There is the old cliché “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks”. Oh, I am not saying I am anywhere near being an old dog, but starting new habits/behaviors is not easy. And I find that I am my own worst saboteur when it comes to starting something new! My own inner voice often prevents me from starting or continuing things.
A tool I learned from The Artist Way (Julia Cameron) to help with these self-limiting beliefs voiced inside your own head is one I call it Turn off the Inner Critic.
Paraphrasing her tool, first you create an affirmation of your new behavior, in present tense and positive language. “I am a creative artist.” “I am being active everyday.” “I am enjoying being a beginner.”
Then write it down 10 times, and each time, allow your inner critic voice to respond. Get that voice out in the open. Allow the “buts” to be said. My inner critic said things like “you’ll never be good enough, why start”, “hah, really? why are you wasting your time doing that?”, “but you’ve never been an active person before”, and “who do you think you are?”
Then, just sit back and recognize the lack of reality in so many of those statements. Think about times when those “buts” were not true. Realize you would never say some of those things to your best friend!
Then acknowledge the comments and put them aside. “Thank you for your opinion. I don’t believe you. I believe in myself.” And restate the affirmation.
Sounds a bit weird, but often the inner critic shuts us down without us realizing it. This has allowed me to make that voice heard and then discounted. I continue to state my affirmations every morning and the inner critic voice has gotten a lot less vocal! I am trusting my creativity more – I call it being joyfully creative! I am working on new skills, learning new things. And, surprisingly, I am definitely being more active.
What is your inner critic saying about your habit changes?
Picture Credit: Pixabay