Repeating Old Behaviors

We know we’re doing it, we know we shouldn’t be doing it, and yet we do it, repeating old behaviors that no longer suit us, and maybe never did, but they were what we knew, or what we were taught, or, what we used to get by when we didn’t know or have the courage to do something better. They can feel, sometimes, like getting into our favorite pair of jeans, or a comfy sweater, but, that moment fades when we catch ourselves doing it, or someone else does. There are times too where we don’t even realize that we’re doing it, those old behaviors have become so ingrained in how we operate that we seamlessly dive in without a thought or the awareness that we’ve pulled ourselves back on our path. All of that is OK, no one is perfect, or gets it right all of the time, but what we need to do to move forward and release ourselves of those old behaviors that hold us back is to recognize and acknowledge them, and not just when we get caught.

Before stepping on this path most of what I did I did without much thought, and, if some thought went into it it was focused on justifying my bad behavior. I reacted quickly or dove in doing what I had always done. I didn’t realize that most of what I was doing was actually harming myself and my chances of living the life I wanted. In fact, by participating in my bad behavior I was preventing myself from ever making things better for myself and my thoughts and actions were actually causing me to slide down deeper into a place that I almost didn’t get out of. When I finally realized what I was doing I had to get honest and I had to call myself out and identify all of that bad behavior.

Change isn’t always easy, especially when what we do and say is ingrained in us from an early age, or we’ve convinced ourselves we have found the best way to navigate through life. For me, I could no longer deny my actions when I found myself emotionally and spiritually bankrupt. There was no lower bottom, except death. So, when I set out on this journey of recovery and I resisted letting go of old behavior, I had to remind myself of how bad it had gotten doing it my own way, and if I was to get any better I had to let go of those old behaviors and replace them with healthier ones. They say, practice makes perfect, I haven’t found that to be true, but practice does make it easier, and it’s OK if I’m not perfect as long as I am doing my best in the moment. You see perfection used to be what I strived for, and never feeling I was able to achieve it I labeled myself a loser, which gave me permission to act out in ways that harmed myself, my relationships and my chances of learning and growing from the place I was. But to get better I had to let go of my perfectionism and embrace the idea that I was going to make mistakes and fall back on old behavior, but that wasn’t an excuse to throw out all the progress I had made and allow myself to engage in that old behavior. Making mistakes was part of the process of growth and if I was able to use it as that, I would do just that, grow from there.

We all have things we like to do even when we know it’s not the best choice for us, but indulging in that old behavior doesn’t move us forward, it doesn’t help us make better and stronger choices and it holds back from being our best selves. Acknowledge when you are repeating old behaviors and set yourself on the right path for success. SLAY on!

SLAY OF THE DAY: Do you recognize behaviors from your past that you still practice today that may not be the best for you? What are they? When do you notice them come up? What do you tell yourself to let yourself engage in that behavior? Or, do you not realize you are doing it until later, or not at all? What behavior stands in your way to being who you want to be, or know you can be? What can you do to change that? It’s OK to make mistakes and fall back on your old ways, but work to make better choices and soon you may find that many of those old behaviors don’t feel so comfortable anymore.

S – self L – love A – appreciate Y – you

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