How to Break a Bad Habit

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I’ve never been shy about my experience with addiction and sobriety. In fact, a lot of my early career was based around that part of my journey.

On the outset, I realized I was addicted to substances. But I had other addictions, too, like love and food. Over the years, I’ve come to realize that most people have some sort of addiction, whether it’s to substances, love or food (like me), or to things like gossip, worry or fear.

Sometimes, these addictions have a big impact. The “rock bottom” addictionsthose that can cause us to lose everything, or at least everything that’s important, and often in a very public way—cause obvious destruction.

But addiction also has a more subtle manifestation. Some addictions never end up blowing up our life; instead, they just hold us back. Even after we realize these patterns aren’t serving us and are willing to change, we continue to repeat them. 

We often call these subtler addictions “bad habits.”

The term “bad habits” is useful to a point. It indicates that these particular addictions aren’t destroying someone’s life on a large scale. Yet it’s also useful to see these bad habits for what they are: Addictions. That’s because all forms of addiction, regardless of how they manifest, come from the same root cause.

In this episode of Dear Gabby, I’m going straight to that root. We’re going to talk about what your addictioneven if it’s just a “bad habit”is trying to protect. We’re going to look at it using a framework borrowed from Internal Family Systems (IFS). And then we’re going to create a molecule of space within the experience for something new.

Just for a moment, we’re going to feel.

The video below contains all that and more. I promise you that what’s happening here is nothing short of miraculous.

Once you’ve created that space, repeat the pattern. Create something new. Make it into a “good habit”one that causes you to connect with that inner child and whatever she needs, whenever she needs it.

This is the beginning. It’s the moment when everything starts to change. Because once you feel whatever is at the root of your addiction, you have nothing left to run from.

*If you’re struggling with addiction and want additional support, click here for more resources.

For guidance on how to form a healthy new habit — meditation! — join my 21-Day Meditation Challenge. Meditation has saved my life, and I’d love to be your coach inside this joyful, highly effective challenge. Get the details here

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