Bad Habits

How to Overcome Bad Habits

Many people want to overcome their bad habits, and even though they do their best to combat them, they still fail after trying many times.

To overcome a bad habit, you must not follow generic advice or one size fits all advice. Still, instead, you have to get a deeper understanding of yourself and the habit and then find the best way to help you overcome this habit.

To overcome bad habits, you need to understand them

Contrary to common beliefs, bad habits aren’t developed due to trying something and liking it. Still, instead, they are developed because they help the person fill certain psychological gaps in his personality.

For example, during the teen hood, some teens start to smoke to appear more masculine in front of their friends because they already have some insecurities about their masculinity and their ability to face life like men.

Now you might be wondering why that person would stick to smoking as an adult and fail to overcome his smoking habit even though he is no longer a teen? The answer is simple the man has another psychological gap that smoking still fills.

Lots of people smoke when they feel stressed to restore their sense of control.

Overcoming your bad habits by understanding yourself

To overcome your bad habit, you need to ask yourself the important question, what psychological gap am I trying to fill by making that habit?

Am I making that bad habit of feeling worthy? I am making that bad habit because it makes me feel in control? And so on.

Once you find the answer, you should then find a better alternative that would help you reach your goals other than making the habit.

After all, your subconscious mind doesn’t care about the bad habit itself, but it only cares about fulfilling a certain unconscious desire. If, for example, you discovered that you make a certain habit because you lack self-confidence, then overcoming your bad habit in such a case is all about building your self-confidence.

Many of the bad habits we do have the same common goal of elevating our self-worth and making us feel good about ourselves.

A person who doubts his ability to succeed might develop the bad habit of procrastination not because he hates the task but because, unconsciously, he doesn’t want to test his self-worth.

That’s why I said in the beginning that overcoming bad habits can’t happen through generic advice such as “be positive” or “be persistent.” Still, instead, it can only happen when you manage to fill that psychological gap in another way that is not harmful.

Overcoming a bad habit by developing a good habit

Sometimes it becomes tough to overcome a bad habit because there is a great need for it in the person’s life. For example, a man might be watching TV all the time because he would otherwise feel really bored.

In such a case overcoming the bad habit can be done by developing another good habit that can replace the bad one. That man can solve his problem by developing a good habit such as exercising or even hanging out with his friends more often.

After all, he has developed this bad habit because he feels bored, and so if he managed to find any other way to kill boredom other than watching TV, he would be able to overcome this bad habit.

Overcoming a bad habit by building momentum

Once you do something, it becomes easier for you to do it again.

This rule works both ways when it comes to breaking habits. The more you make a bad habit, the easier it will be for your brain to crave it, and the more you abstain from the habit, the easier it will be for your brain to resist.

I’m afraid I have to disagree with the 21-day-rule for breaking habits because each person is a special case, and so each person might require a different amount of time to quit something completely. This, however, doesn’t mean that each day of abstaining makes returning to the bad habit much harder.

Abstain by force for some time, and you will realize that your ability to resist the habit became much higher.

Overcoming bad habits by defeating loss of hope

Every day so many people make bad habits that they don’t like because they have already lost hope in breaking those habits. In fact, loss of hope is one of the most powerful factors preventing people from quitting for long periods of time.

This loss of hope doesn’t have to be conscious, for in many cases, it happens on the unconscious level. Once you believe that there is no way to break a habit, you are very likely to keep doing it repeatedly.

The best thing you can do in such a case is to restore hope once again so that you allow your brain to help you to quit.

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