I’ve been in the habit-changing business of helping people to become fitter and eat healthier for a long time now. As most people know, knowledge is part of the solution. Sure, one must know the right foods to eat, and the right way to live–that’s half the battle and is critical.
However, the other half of the battle, and one that’s not so straight-forward is that of changing habits and IMPLEMENTING that knowledge of what we now know to be the answer to get where we need to go.
BELIEF comes into play big time here. Beliefs can sabotage us if 1) we don’t really believe that implementing those new habits will lead to change and 2) that WE PERSONALLY are CAPABLE of actually changing.
The first step to increasing belief is to gain knowledge of OTHER PEOPLE who were in your same situation that were able to effectively change using the same method you are contemplating using. That’s why before and after testimonials are so useful because they provide real-life proof of atual people who struggled with your same problems, whether it is trying to quit smoking, stop drinking alcohol, lose weight, running a marathon, becoming better at yoga or whatever.
We call it inspiration. By seeing that change is possible, we come to believe that it’s possible for us.
That’s why it’s important to read testimonials and to meet, if possible, real-life people who have successfully changed. And to keep a folder, or box, with inspiring stories, testimonials, photos, etc., TO SHOW THAT IT’S POSSIBLE. That’s one reason we often see whole families changing to a plant-based diet or going on a juice fast together because they saw the success of someone they knew and were close to. Look at Phil in the “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead” documentary and how he inspired his brother. And of course Joe Cross inspired many by his weightless since he chronicled his whole journey and shared it with us so we got to see that the process actually worked.
Then, we need to identify our triggers that cause us to smoke, drink, eat junk, or not exercise and then replace that unhealthy behavior we use to deal with stressful situations with a new behavior such as deep breathing, getting a massage or listening to music that brings the same feelings of calmness and relaxation to us that those other things bring.
And we need to believe it will work. Visualize yourself getting to your goal and being successful. See it. Taste it. See how your life will be different.
Relapses are a crisis of belief. Of not believing we’re up to the task. Not believing change is possible. Not believing we are good enough to deserve that new result. What we call “patience” is really having a firm vision that change is in fact on its way even if we can’t fully see it physically right now.
Examine your beliefs and find whatever evidence you need that those changes will really benefit you and that change is possible. Then find people who have actually done it and use them for inspiration and support.
Then one day, you too, will be an inspiration to others and your belief will be even further strengthened as you help them reach their goals and see the transformation occur in them.