Thinking Habits

Posted on January 15, 2013

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Habits are what we do everyday. They are the constants, the small things that actually form the foundation of the rest of our lives. Because we’ve been doing them for so long, they have become almost effortless; we just do them, with little to no struggle involved. 

When you think of your habits, you probably think about actions. The way you think is also a habit. You have habitual thoughts about things. And if you go about life just accepting those thoughts without ever questioning them, it will be hard to make transformative changes. 

Many times, when I coach my clients, it becomes easy for them (after some practice) to catch themselves in big, negative thoughts about their life’s events. The cognitive-behavioral strategies we practice during sessions become coaching tools they can use when crappy things happen and they need to make a paradigm shift. And that’s great. 

But what will really shift your entire life is if you begin to recognize not just those big, negative stories you tell yourself but the habitual thoughts you’ve been thinking for so long, it never occurs to you to question them. I’m talking about the universally accepted truths that no one has ever taught you to critically analyze.

For example, the idea that when someone does something mean to you, it actually means something about you. The thought that it’s possible for someone to have so much power that they can make you feel something. The thought that it’s possible for someone to reject you. 

These are things we’ve been taught, over time and across generations, that many of us have never questioned. These are habitual thoughts that can make us miserable. 

Learning how to undo negative, habitual thinking patterns and replacing them with positive, habitual thinking patterns is a way to entirely transform who you are and how you are in the world.  

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Posted in: Habits, Thought Work