How to Break the Habit of Being You
Out of unconscious habit, I've thought that there's something wrong with me. I've thought, "I'm lazy. I'm not smart enough. I'm not good enough."
Thinking this way had me feeling shame, anxiety, and self-loathing.
This negative mindset did not motivate me to inspired action.
In 2019, I'm committed to breaking this habit, so I can love myself more fully and create more intentionally.
I share my three biggest takeaways from the awesome book "Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself" by Dr. Joe Dispensa (https://www.amazon.com/Breaking-Habit-Being-Yourself-Create/dp/1401938094), which are:
1. Mind Creates Reality
2. Mind Shapes Body
3. To Change is To Think Greater Than How We Feel
Full Episode Transcript
Hello! Welcome to Episode 51 of Born to Thrive with Jamie Lee. I’m your host and coach, Jamie Lee.
Happy New Year!
How is the first week of 2019 unfolding for you?
I hope it’s going superbly.
I had the awesome privilege of traveling extensively for the past two weeks. I was in Japan, we went to several cities, including Tokyo and Kyoto, Nara, Tokushima. We also went to Singapore and we had a fabulous time and ate the most delicious foods. It was wonderful.
This trip was made especially meaningful to me because I got to do two things:
First, I got to take a long mental break from my own thought errors.
And I read the book called Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself by Dr. Joe Dispenza which gave me valuable insights on how to address my thought errors.
The thought error I’m talking about is something that a lot of ambitious people encounter. When you are ambitious, you set high goals and expectations for yourself.
I’ve noticed that I have a pattern of habitually setting more goals, more to-do items within one day than I can actually do and this is something that I’m going to work on addressing in 2019.
The effect this creates is that I often fall short of my high expectations.
I fail. A lot. I fail all the time.
And I say that with pride, not with shame, because I do know that the road to success is paved with failure.
But at the same time, I haven’t quite made myself accustomed to the new pattern of thinking that would help me deal with this failure better than I have done before.
And that means that I often encounter my default thinking, which is thinking that there’s something wrong with me.
That I’m lazy. That I’m not good enough. That I’m not smart enough.
And when I allow my brain to entertain these thoughts, the thoughts generate feelings of shame, anger, frustration, anxiety, depression and self-loathing.
I really struggled with self-loathing in late 2018.
I’ve noticed that the combination of high expectations and cold winter months and shorter days during November and December is somehow...it creates an environmental cue for my brain and my subconscious mind to just make these negative thought errors more strong. Especially in the morning.
And so in late November and December, I woke up very often feeling sad and heavy and then I would intentionally work on creating new thoughts, new patterns of behavior so that I can accomplish regardless of the fact that I was feeling sad and heavy and dealing with self-loathing.
So, you know what? I’m actually really proud of myself.
And the first thing I did when we left on vacation was I stopped hating on myself. I said, “Enough! I’m on vacation. I am going to give myself credit. I am going to be grateful to me for all that I have accomplished.”
And that was a really powerful and poignant moment for me when I just looked myself square in the eye in the mirror and I said, “Thank you.”
Reading the book Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself really helped me understand why this thought error was happening and how it became so habitual that my body became accustomed, it became a sort of automated response from the body and the subconscious mind to have and to repeat the thought error that there’s something wrong with me and that there’s something for me to hate about myself.
And I highly, highly recommend this book. And reading this book really helped me see that there are three truths:
Number one: Mind creates reality, mind creates your reality.
Number two: The mind shapes the body.
And number three: Change is possible when we think greater than how we feel.
So number one: Mind creates reality. This might have you think, “Wait. But, Jamie, I think you’ve got it wrong. Isn’t it circumstances that create your reality?”
Well, hear me out on this.
I think the thought that our circumstances create our reality is another thought error that so many of us suffer from.
A lot of us think that, hey, only if I had a new job that I like better, I’ll be happier. Only if I had more money, I’ll be happier. Only if I went away on vacation, only if I got to away on an awesome vacation like Jamie did, I’ll feel better about myself.
Now, I have had these thoughts myself and in my experience, what I have found that new circumstances did not always change my internal reality. It didn’t always change how I feel from the inside.
And isn’t it that we all want to feel better at the end of having achieved whatever new circumstances that we’re chasing?
Isn’t it that we just want to feel happy and successful and peaceful by having the new job, by having more money, by going away on vacation?
But it’s not true that simply having these new circumstances will create those internal changes.
In my experience, before I learned to manage my own mind, when I had a new job, that was great, it was a very temporary high and within two or three months I often felt the same frustration and the boredom that I felt when I had an old job.
And when I made more money, before I learned to manage my mind, I still encountered worries about, okay, now I have this money, how am I gonna keep it? And then I would worry that I somehow didn’t deserve it. Or then I would worry how am I going to earn it again?
And before I learned to manage my mind, when I went on vacation, an awesome vacation, I’d still worry about the job that I wasn’t happy with. Even though I was on vacation away from the job, I would be thinking about the job and making myself unhappy even though I was away.
Does that sound familiar to you?
And the point that I’m trying to make is circumstances don’t change our internal state of being. It’s what we think, it’s how our minds are thinking that create the internal experience of happy, joy, wonder, gratitude.
And I think reading this book, Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself, really helped me see that it is possible. It gave me a manual for creating new thoughts that are not the same as default thinking which are triggered by our environment, our circumstances, our socialization.
The most powerful thing that you can do for yourself is to believe in yourself, in your potential to change in spite of your current circumstances, no matter what your socialization is and no matter what other people believe and say.
This is what amazing leaders in history have done. This is what Martin Luther King did. This is what Mother Teresa did. This is what Gandhi did.
They believed in a new possibility, in a new future, regardless of how much suffering, how much injustice was in their world at their time.
So, your mind creates your reality. What you think and what you believe will shape your experience of your reality.
It’s similar to confirmation bias, right? If you think you’re going to have a wonderful time, you will find reasons for how this is a wonderful time. If you think this is going to be a terrible time, your mind will go and find evidence to support the thought that this is a terrible time.
So your mind, your mindset, will create your reality. And that’s why I prioritize on helping people shift their mindset so that they can become bolder, braver, and better paid.
Another thing that reading the book really helped me understand in a scientific way is that the mind shapes the body.
The book talks about how there is a neurochemical relationship between the brain and body. As you think certain thoughts, the brain produces chemicals, neurotransmitters, neuropeptides that trigger hormones in your body, that cause you to feel exactly the way you’re thinking.
And, in the book, Joe Dispenza talks about if you start to think about confronting your teenager over the new dent in the car, your neurotransmitters would start a thought process in your brain to produce a specific level of mind.
And your neuropeptides would chemically signal your body in a specific way and then you would begin to feel a bit riled up because the peptides find their way to your adrenal glands and the adrenal glands would be prompted to release the hormones adrenaline and cortisol, which is the hormone associated with a stress response, and now you are definitely feeling fired up.
Chemically, your body is ready for battle.
And so what you think, the thoughts, create the feeling, and the feeling sort of confirms the thought in your mind. The way you feel makes the way you think even stronger. And in the book he calls this the feedback loop or state of being. In other words, how you are being is shaped by what you think and what you feel.
And the beautiful thing is that change is possible. To change is to think greater than how you feel.
And this reminded me of a question that I was asked during a recent coaching session with an ambitious professional who wanted to become more bolder, more outspoken, and a better communicator at work but she struggled with the worry of how she would be perceived, and when she worried about how she would be perceived, she found herself holding back, not speaking up, not engaging, not sharing her ideas.
And she asked me, “Jamie, so how can I become confident and comfortable with sharing my ideas?”
And I thought the question was beautiful because it exposed the thought error in the way she had formed the question.
Confidence is not synonymous with feeling comfortable. It’s the very opposite. Confidence comes from embracing the discomfort and taking action anyway.
That’s the definition of courage, right? Feeling the fear and taking action anyway.
So this requires you to raise your self-awareness around the feelings that you have, the unconscious thought patterns that create the feelings of anxiety, fear, and worry and to think on purpose.
In the book Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself, Joe Dispenza talks about how there are three levels of brain.
There is the prefrontal cortex, the thinking brain, there is the limbic brain, that is responsible for managing your emotions, and then there is the cerebellum which is the subconscious mind that manages your automatic body functions and movements.
And a lot of our memorized emotions from the past get processed in the limbic brain and the cerebellum and so it becomes this automated thought pattern, thinking pattern, feeling pattern, behavioral pattern.
And I think the thought error that I was struggling with in the late 2018 was definitely something that had become so deeply ingrained into my subconscious mind, into the mid and the lower parts of my brain that I really had to think on purpose and it took a lot of effort for me to engage my prefrontal cortex and tell myself to think new thoughts.
Have new thoughts like, “Nothing has gone wrong. Everything is working out for me. I’m exactly where I need to be.”
And that’s how I was able to continue to show up and produce content and deliver value to my clients and I think this is going to be something that I want to take to the next level. This is something that I will take to the next level in 2019.
In conclusion, I want to leave you with a distinction. In the book, Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself, Joe Dispenza had this great diagram that had two columns:
On the left, it’s titled Survival and under survival are stress, contraction, fear, anger, sadness, disease, cause and effect, past, the familiar things. And on the right the column was titled Creation and he had these words: homeostasis, expansion, love, joy, trust, health, causing an effect, unfamiliar, unknown.
And what that reminds me of - the right hand column, the creation column - reminds me of my definition of authenticity which is the you that you are in the process of becoming.
It is the future you. It is not the you that you are most comfortable and familiar with being out of habit from the past, but it is the you that you are in the process of becoming from here on out.
So, my definition of authenticity is based on the person that you will create and my big goal for 2019 is to create intentionally, with joy, with trust, in a state of health, in a state of conscious thinking so that I can cause an effect in my life that is greater than I’ve ever seen before.
What about you?
How will you embrace the new you in 2019?
How will you create your authentic self in 2019?
What will it take for you to break the habit of thinking by default, thinking and repeating the errors of your past?
How will you become the new you and break the habit of being the old you?
It’s a really delicious question to mull over on the first weekend of 2019. I look forward to speaking with you again soon, next week.