This One Habit Wastes Your Precious Time

Cornell University did a study called the Legacy Project.  In this study they interviewed 1500 older Americans (70 plus years old) And by far most of them said the same thing when it came to their regrets – if they had it to do over again one thing that they would change was to master the critical skill of confidence and brake the habit of worry and self doubt.

It’s true, if you change the way you think and you change what you think about – everything in your life will change. You will have so many more days filled with joy, happiness, gratitude and love. Your experience of joy and happiness, your sense of freedom and control over you life will completely change!  This is truly a life of magic – you won’t believe just how much and how quickly things change.

Unfortunately thinking patterns of worry and self doubt are constantly running in your sub conscious.  Did you know that 95% of our thoughts we are not even aware of – they are controlled by our sub conscious mind. So if you wonder why you do the same dumb thing over and over it’s not the devil that made you do it – it’s you, or rather your sub conscious mind.  Experts say we think approximately 2500-3000 thoughts per hour and of those 95% we are unaware of.

Debilitating Habits That Stop Us From Being our Best

The Habit of worry and of doubting yourself. Did you hear what I said – it’s not that “I’m just such a worrier.” NO – it’s a habit you’ve formed over years and years of different triggers. You’ve learned to worry.

So the bad news is you do it – but the GREAT news is  – its not who you are — it’s just a habit and habits can be changed. It’s literally nothing more than a learned pattern that you have practiced over and over again.

Why Should You Stop Worrying & Doubting?

Because it’s not going to help you solve your problems. It does no good. As those who were coming close to the end of their lives learned – they wasted years of time worrying and doubting and it did no good — it just wasted time they could’ve been doing something more.

Consider all the time you spend worrying about your children, your marraige, the weather, your friends, your yard, money. When did worry ever help you fix your problem? When did doubt ever lift you to be a better person?

How Do You Break a THINKING Habit?

You break it by using a ritual or a pattern interrupter. When you interrupt the negative thoughts you awaken the pre-frontal cortex and it says “What?” “Do you need something?” And suddenly you have this gift of a few seconds to choose something else.

Force yourself to think of something else —– that’s all you have to do.

When you catch yourself and stop the negative dialog suddenly you are in a position of tremendous power. In a position to change the way you think thus changing your behavior and eventually your life.

The thing is you use a different part of your brain when you are worrying and putting yourself down then you do when you are looking for solutions, trying to find answers, being grateful or complimenting yourself.

In his book A New Earth, Eckhart Tolle teaches about the power of being in the moment, being aware of the moment. That is the only time and place where you have power because in that moment you can choose a different thought or a different action.

Pattern interrupters

If you notice your thoughts are not supporting you for good there are a few things you can do to interrupt your thought process such as:

  • Watching the breath -Eckhart Tolle says that if you do nothing but “take notice” of your breath several times a day – your entire life will change. Because by noticing your breath suddenly you are very aware of the present moment.
  • The 5 Second Rule – as taught by Mel Robbins is another pattern interrupter. Once you notice your thoughts becoming negative just say out loud 5-4-3-2-1 and choose a new thought.
  • Rubber Band – while this one may be a bit painful it will not do as much damage as your negative thought patterns. In this one you wear a rubber band on your wrist and every time you catch yourself thinking a negative though you “snap” the band – to wake you up and draw you back to the present moment.
  • Your “magic” word – You can choose a word that is specifically chosen to catch your attention and bring you back to this very moment. You can make it funny (so you start laughing), you can make it a gratitude word (which will send you straight to gratitude.

Now What?

Once you have created the interruption its now time to choose your next thought so choose wisely. Think of something you’re grateful for, a solution to a problem, something that makes you happy (like your grandkids) or someone you love.

Remember –

  • Worry and self doubt is a waste of precious life energy – just ask the 1500 elderly people interviewed for the Legacy Project.
  • You’re fighting a battle of numbers (the number of thoughts you have every day)
  • It’s just a habit and because it’s a habit it can be broken and you can reclaim your power over your mind.
  • That the present moment is always a moment of power – use it wisely
  • You must choose a positive thing to replace the negative in your mind – you always have a choice.