BY BRITTANY ORIE
“My life has no purpose.” “I’ll never be anything great.” “I’m too quiet to do this…too fragile to do that.” “I don’t believe in me…”
Everyone has bad habits that they need to break. A bad habit I dealt with was negative thinking. There was a time not too long ago when negative thoughts swirled around in my mind, and I didn’t know why I had this problem. I knew one thing: that this negative way of thinking was a terrible habit of mine that I needed to break. Here is how I did it.
I joined a business where I had to sell healthy coffee and part of the job involved speaking to strangers practically every single day. As a shy introvert, this terrified me. The more I learned about the business, the more I found out that negative thinking was not an option. I wanted to become better, stronger, and more confident in myself so I knew I had to break this terrible habit of negative thinking.
During the process of breaking my habit, I listened to inspirational audio—such as The Secret audiobook—and read books such as Think And Grow Rich and also wrote down positive affirmations (positive statements about oneself or a situation that you want to see come to life). There is one statement from Earl Nightingale’s The Secret that really stuck with me, which is that, “We become what we think about.” If we have thoughts of success and confidence, that is what we will become; if we have thoughts of fear and failure, we could become that as well. What an awakening truth! If there was nothing else that broke me out of my pessimistic thinking, that statement was it!
Set goals for yourself. Make them realistic and doable. Set small personal goals every single day by starting off small and gradually moving on to the more challenging goals. For example, if you have a bad habit of falling asleep mega late at night—very much like myself—try going to bed an hour later than you normally do for a week. Then the week after that, try another hour earlier than you did the previous week. Keep persisting every week until you’ve reached your desired bedtime.
Replace your bad habit with a healthier one. Find ways to replace negative thoughts with more positive ones, like I did. If your bad habit is one that can be replaced with a healthier habit, give it a try!
Ask others to help you break out of your bad habit. You may never know just how your habits look to other people. Your family and closest friends could be your greatest coaches and supporters to help you break free from whatever bad habit you have.
Give yourself time. Breaking bad habits could take weeks, months, or even years. Be realistic in goal setting and don’t get discouraged if breaking that habit takes too long. Depending on the habit, it could take either sooner or longer to break. Patience is key.
Pray to be delivered from your bad habit. This tip is for the firm believers in Christ, like me. Prayer is powerful, and faith will take you further than you could ever imagine. Tell God that you desire to be free from your unhealthy habits, and He will make a way for you to be delivered from it. He will show you many alternatives that you can take instead of engaging in your bad habits.
Write down positive affirmations and speak them over your life. This tip may or may not be necessary depending on your habit, but there is power in written and spoken affirmations. For instance, if you write down on a small index card, “I am happy and grateful that I have been delivered from smoking cigarettes,” and if you truly believe it, that truth will start to manifest itself in your life.
Don’t give up! You CAN break free from your bad habits!