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Why Bad Habits are Hard to Break & How to Fix it

Do you find yourself making the same mistakes over and over again? I wouldn't be at all surprised if you said 'Yes'. Because we are all human, and a lot of our habits and behaviours are hard-wired. But that doesn't mean we can't change those habits and behaviours. If you read my last newsletter, you will know that change is possible. But that it takes practice.

But, it also takes Awareness, and even then it isn't always easy.

You keep being attracted to the same guys that treat you badly You find yourself being talked into things you don’t want to do at work You have too many drinks despite telling yourself – ‘Never again’ – the next day when you have a hangover.

What’s worse is that you probably KNOW you are doing it.

Breaking old habits and forming new ones is more difficult than you realise, so being frustrated with yourself isn't going to help. You will only feel rubbish and failure and as a result, you stop trying to change.

Why it's so difficult to change habits

When we encounter a new experience our brain has to make decisions. There is a lot of activity going on in the brain at this time. You have to analyse the situation carefully and then make conscious decisions on what to do, and the brain is learning the most effective course of action.

Imagine you have taken up a new hobby. Let’s use tennis as an example.

• You have to learn how to • hold the racket correctly • move your feet around the court • hit the ball successfully • learn the rules of the game

All of that takes time before you can do those things automatically, and only then can you play a match. It will take time, and you may fail many times before you get the hang of it, and your brain treats these movements become embedded in the brain’s neural pathways. This is the feedback loop behind all human behavior: try, fail, learn, try differently. With practice, the useless movements fade away and the useful actions get reinforced. The problem with this is that the brain doesn’t differentiate between good habits and bad ones. That’s one of the reasons why quitting smoking is so hard. (There are other contributing factors too where habits like smoking are concerned)

This means that we get into ‘bad’ habits quite easily, and they are familiar to us.

You fall back into bad habits and negative beliefs, simply because it's easier.

Easier to pick that cigarette Easier to eat that cake of chocolate Easier to skip the exercise Easier to stay in that relationship that really isn't working

After all, you tell yourself, it's too hard, or impossible to change, and you convince yourself, what's the point?

But deep down, you aren't really satisfied with those unhelpful choices. And they can lead to negative thoughts and beliefs about yourself, believing that you aren't worth it.

Those habits become automatic responses, and let's face it, it takes so much time, energy, and practice to retrain your brain into new habits, overriding the old less helpful ones.

Being aware is a really great start, then we have to make conscious efforts to overwrite the habits formed in the neural pathways.


Identify the triggers which often relate to past experiences, noticing your behaviour and acknowledging they belong in the past. Practice the new behaviours and healthier habits you want to adopt Be kind and compassionate with yourself


Latest Podcast News

The Love~Listen~Talk~Repeat podcast with Wendy Capewell

#118 -Change your negative beliefs and attract the right person into your life - With Gabrielle Valdes

Gabby spent years looking for that special person, but it just wasn’t happening, and she couldn’t understand the reason why. It’s a story many of you recognise, as I do. She decided that something had to change – and much of that was about her mindset. So, listen in to what Gabby did to make those changes and what they were. Because she knows it works – Gabby has been in a happy relationship for the past two years and is planning her wedding! So, if you are looking for love, then tune in. Here is the link

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