Even for women who have made tremendous progress, it’s always disappointing to see an old negative habit return. (It just happened to me the other day, which I’ll share at the end.) It’s funny how quickly these instances make us forget how far we’ve come.
I get questions about this kind of thing all the time. Here’s one I got recently:
How can I avoid getting sucked back into old habits and negativity when life gets chaotic?
The first step is to accept it. Old habits and behaviors will sometimes pop up. To expect otherwise is unrealistic and will just cause more stress. When you start to feel out of control and notice negative patterns, you need to Pause, Identify, Evaluate and Choose.
- Pause and step back. Take an objective look at yourself and the situation.
- Identify what’s really going on (what’s the problematic automatic response?) and look for an alternative attitude or a tool that’s helped you before in a similar situation, which helped you to cope with it better. Look within and find the solution.
- Accept that you are human – don’t expect perfection.
- Choose how to respond and then move on. Trust that you made the right choice in responding. Don’t beat yourself up!
The other day I got a late-night text message my daughter (who lives away). She was very sick and couldn’t fall asleep. My automatic response was panic and worry. This wasn’t helpful for her and affected others around me. I was disappointed with myself for reacting that way. The next day she felt better and I felt better. I reminded myself to be loving and kind towards myself.
Usually, I know better. This time I didn’t. Not a big deal!
The Bottom Line: Expect progress, not perfection.
Ask: If I step back and observe - how can I react differently?
Affirm: I pause, I step back and I choose my reaction.
Michal Spiegelman of Balanced Moments successfully helps people worldwide create balance and fulfillment in their lives. As a Life Coach, Michal helps people stretch, get out of their comfort zones, grow and achieve. She holds a degree in social work and has 15 years of experience as an Energy Healer. Michal is a trained facilitator and mentor of the Hoffman Institute, a world-renowned leader in personal development. She is a Certified Professional Life Coach (CPC) trained by the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching (iPEC).