Why Changing Your Habits Will Never Bring Lasting Results
If you’re like me, you have tried a million and one different diets. One diet says that you should only eat protein. Another insists that sugar will be the doom of all mankind. And still another gives you a 3-hour window of time in which to eat each day.
It seems like every week there is a new fad diet taking over, offering promises of rapid weight loss and increased happiness. And each one is completely different from the last. But here is one thing that they all have in common: they all insist that by changing a few key habits, you will achieve your weight loss goal. And sometimes they are right. You could drop a couple pounds those first few weeks and feel elated by the changes you see in the mirror. But these results are always temporary.
The weight creeps back on. That brief glimpse of happiness fades away and your self-esteem plummets. You feel shame that, once again, you did not have enough willpower to keep the weight off. You chalk this up to another failure on your part. And then it’s time to search for the next diet that will make all of your dreams come true.
A lot of research has been done to understand why results never last with these diets. And there are physical reasons why weight loss is only temporary, but I want to discuss what is really happening inside your body and inside your mind.
Changing Your Habits Won’t Help You
Have you ever eaten an entire bag of chips or said something hurtful to someone you love and later wondered “why did I just do that?” Of course you have. We all have done this. We act mindlessly and by impulse. It is ingrained behavior. Over time, we have trained our minds to react a certain way to certain situations. Our habits have been downloaded onto our internal hard drive. For a short amount of time, we may be able to alter our actions, but it will not last. Unless we dig deep and discover the underlying belief behind the action.
Actions do not stand alone. Our actions are simply the effects of our beliefs, thoughts, and feelings. About everything and everyone around us, and especially ourselves.
Each of us has a set of core beliefs that affect everything that we say, think, and do. Our bodies are literally physical manifestations of those beliefs, since our bodies are a result of every choice we have ever made. For example, if deep down you believe that you are worthless, your thoughts will follow the same line. You will think that you are not capable of achieving that goal of yours or that you do not deserve to be happy.
These thoughts will infect your feelings. Shame, guilt, sadness, anger, frustration, hopelessness – all of these will manifest from the harsh thoughts that you accept as truth. It is impossible to act as the highest versions of ourselves when our feelings, thoughts, and beliefs are out of alignment.
How to Reprogram Your Beliefs
Thankfully, our minds are incredibly powerful creations, and have the ability to be reprogrammed with new core beliefs. We actually have the power to completely recreate who we are at our very cores.
It’s a simple process, but it’s not easy. It takes commitment – a relentless, in-the-moment kind of commitment.
It requires rigorous observation of our thoughts. When we stop and pay attention to our thoughts, without judgment, we can then examine them and trace them back to those core beliefs that guide us. By exploring those beliefs, we can then work on shifting them until they reflect the most authentic versions of ourselves that we truly are.
There is literally no limit to what can be examined through this process. Every single one of our thoughts, feelings, and actions can be traced back to a core belief. No matter how large or small it may seem. From the largest pitfalls to the tiniest personality tick.
This is not a process that can be pushed off until a “more convenient time.” It must be done in the moment. Take every opportunity to observe your thoughts and explore them. Write them down so you don’t forget. Get curious about why you are thinking those thoughts. Devote yourself to becoming who you are meant to be.
It is only by altering our beliefs that we can find lasting change – the kind that brings real results and real happiness.
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