Bag of Habits
"We are what we repeatedly do."
Wrong. Scratch that. You are not what you do. You’re more like a walking bag of habits. Everything you do, from brushing your teeth to the way you talk and walk, to how you prepare your breakfast and the way you laugh, is habitual behavior. Who you are, is not your habits, even though it might very much feel like it. You are not your habits. You are the one underneath it all.
When we’re caught up in our habit, we believe this is who we are.
”This is who I am.” We honestly feel aligned with our habits, and we feel this is who we are and who we’ll always be.
I know it can seem like such a woo-woo thing to say, but you’re so much bigger and cooler than your habits.
I believed I was my habits up until recently. By habits I mean not only any behavior but also any thought pattern.
We’re walking around, all of us, like a bag of old habits.
Thinking, feeling and doing things programmed into our unconscious. Innocently we believe this is who we are but when we open our eyes to the fact that we are not our habits, then we’re set free.
We are set free to change. And here’s where it gets interesting. Here’s where it empowers us to let go of the habits that are not serving us. We are set free to ditch the crap that is weighing us down without having a meltdown because we’re so attached to ”who we think we are.”
I must confess this took me a while to grasp. Letting go of my habitual behavior felt like I was betraying my true nature. How can I let go of who I truly am? It scared the crap out of me. I even rebelled against the thought of changing my ”nature.” I fiercely held onto my imagined bag of habits a.k.a ”self.”
If I don’t act the way I usually do, then what will people think?
If I don’t laugh like I usually do, I’ll be a fake! If I change anything about me, then I’ll be confirming that something was wrong with me and that I needed to change. But here’s where we got it all backwards. We are not our habits. We never were. We never will be.
If you change the way you dress it doesn’t mean that how you used to dress was wrong. It just means you changed the way you dress. Ha! If you change the way you eat, it doesn’t mean that you were a horrible broken person before. It only means you are eating differently now. If your body changes because you’re eating differently, it doesn’t mean that something was wrong with your body before or that you didn’t love it. It just means your body is changing. Your bag of old habits can be upgraded to a newer bag of habits. That’s all. It doesn’t have to mean anything. It doesn’t say anything about you. Because you are not your habits. You never were. You never will be.
You are the one underneath it all.
The thing is that the ”being” that you are is always present. You, the real you, is always a constant, no matter what habitual thoughts and behaviors you have. You are unchangeable, unbreakable and unshakeable. No matter what habits you take on or take off.
If you don’t believe me, try it. Try doing things differently. Try laughing differently. Try speaking differently. It might feel awkward because you’re not used to doing it but you, the real you beneath the habit, is still you. It was always you. It can’t be broken or changed. It’s unshakable, and the habits are layers on top of it that can be peeled away. You can add new habits, and you can ditch old ones. You’ll always be a walking bag of habits, and the good news is that it’s kinda cool as it makes life uncomplicated and automatized. You don’t have to come up with a new way of getting into your car and driving to work every morning. You use your ”let’s drive” habitual programming and let it run its course. It frees up your headspace to think about other important stuff.
If you truly understand that you are not your habits, then changing the habits becomes easier.
You’re not attached to them as if they were part of your DNA. You can actually stop caring about your habits and you are free to choose new ones. You’re free to try new ones on like a new piece of clothing. You get to explore new ways of doing things, and maybe you’ll discover habits that will blow your mind. Habits that will take you to new places not only in the world but to places within you that you never thought existed.