As people, we are creatures of habit and routine. Our daily lives shape how we do things, so much so that we can easily end up on a regimented merry-go-round that we can’t get off. While many of our habits benefit us by keeping us organized and time-efficient, we mustn’t be living our lives only to carry out our everyday obligations.
Sometimes, being so set in your ways can keep you from enjoying life or becoming a better person. It is important to go about identifying those old habits that no longer align with positive attitudes or improve your quality of life. Indeed, bad habits or negative belief systems prevent you from moving forward and attaining your life goals. While moving past them may not be easy to do, it is a necessary step we all must take. This is also not a journey that we must go on alone, as we always can ask for help from loved ones, a licensed therapist, or a life transitions coach.
Why We Hold onto Old Patterns
People don’t necessarily cling to old patterns because they are masochistic. Rather, it’s primarily because humans prefer to stick with whatever’s familiar.
It does not matter how bad we may feel about doing the same thing over and over because we know these feelings. We feel less anxious following these patterns of behavior because we can already anticipate how we’ll respond to them. This is how we slowly become more comfortable with old habits that aren’t always the best for us.
The more set in our ways we become, the more we begin to believe that the same routines we follow are actually part of our identity. We assign emotions to these habits, which is why we might feel a strange sense of calmness when we act out these patterns. After all, it can be difficult to separate those routines from ourselves when they’ve become so ingrained in our minds and committed to our muscle memory.
Why Holding onto Old Patterns Is Bad for You
Unfortunately, keeping bad habits and routines out of comfort can make us feel stuck and helpless. We may stagnate and continue living a life that is unfulfilling and joyless when we allow ourselves to become nothing more than creatures of habit. While these patterns are already familiar to us, we need to learn how to separate those behaviors from our real emotions. It is possible to feel a certain way about something without necessarily following the same pattern of behavior.
This becomes easier to do once we begin to see that while our habits are something we might have become stuck in, we are also capable of breaking them. Our belief that things will always be a certain way is simply that: a set of attitudes and mindsets that we hold to be true. It is not necessarily factual, and we are more than capable of changing our beliefs if they no longer align with our goals and desires. We owe it to ourselves to live happy and meaningful lives, and we must put the effort into continually improving ourselves by taking up new patterns.
Why Letting Go of Old Patterns Is Good for You
Recognizing that a pattern is old means that you do see a need to change it. You crave self-improvement and no longer want to be held back by your unproductive behavior. Feeling this way is a step in the right direction and can help give you the push you need to let go of old habits.
Learning to release something takes a lot of maturity and courage, which is something you can pick up with time and encouragement. Successfully letting something go signifies that we have made peace with it. There will no longer be any need to stay attached to these old patterns because we now understand we are still ourselves even without them. By no longer identifying with these habits, we are free to form new ones that better serve our purposes.
Start Letting Go of Old Patterns Today
Before any growth can occur, you must be willing to let go of old patterns. You must also be prepared to struggle, as it is not an easy process. You must be completely ready to examine your behavior and recognize the shame that you feel without blaming yourself for it. It is okay to feel embarrassed that you’ve kept these habits, but you should show yourself compassion and patience during the process of letting them go. With patience and practice, you can wholeheartedly begin to release bad habits until they are completely gone.
When letting go of old patterns, try not to fault yourself for it. Old patterns can unintentionally slip into your subconscious, and this is a perfectly normal occurrence. You don’t live in a vacuum and you might absorb the beliefs, habits, and prejudices from negative influences around you. However, it is still important for you to grow into your own person with behaviors that bring you closer to your goals. To grow is to evolve, which will always mean questioning the world around you as you strive to form good habits that become part of a productive daily routine.
Trying to let go of old patterns but don’t know where to start? Get in touch with Mary Jo Rathgeb today.