How To Unlearn a Lifetime of Habits


When you wake up in the morning, how do you know to be you? Unless you’re wearing a pair of pajamas with your name neatly inscribed on the top pocket, how do you know?

In those first few seconds of waking perhaps you reach for your phone, or tap into some memories, look at yourself in the mirror as you make your way to the bathroom or make a mental note of the tasks ahead for the day. It’s as if for a few seconds, you have the opportunity to be anyone you choose! Instead, you probably lock yourself back into being the person you believe yourself to be with all the memories from your past that allow you to slide back into your particular identity.

When you lock into your specific identity, it also locks you into certain patterns, and it’s our patterns in thinking and behaviour that create our response to circumstances and not the circumstances themselves.

Are you running patterns in thinking and behavior that are helping you or hindering you?

You have a pattern for being you. Your patterns in thinking literally become embedded in the network of brain cells and each time you repeat a particular thought the connection between those cells becomes stronger and stronger. All good and well if you are running a pattern of positive thinking, but if you are continually side-tracked by poor habits and pessimistic thoughts then you get stuck in a loop. That explains why some people find it so difficult to change. The more the negative thought loops run, the stronger the neural pathways become, and the more difficult it becomes to stop them!

Just for a moment, consider that If you change clothes, cars, where you live, your job, your hair style, your relationships and friends then surely it would make sense that you also need to change or update the programs and patterns stored at the unconscious level.

So the good news is that you have the ability to change the software in your brain; to literally change the way you think.

Mind your thoughts

Your thoughts create your reality and direct your outer world. Whatever you perceive outside of yourself, in people, in events, in situations, in circumstances are all actually projections from inside of you, like a reflection in a mirror. This means there is never a problem with another person, event or situation, it is simply a problem with how you are choosing to perceive that person, event or situation.

The key to solve the problem lies inside yourself. Look for the best in people, in events and in situations. When you change how you observe your world the outside world changes too!

Mind your language

Your thoughts are expressed though your language and the Oxford English Dictionary contains full entries for 171,476 words. It’s unlikely that you are using a million different words each day, in fact, research indicates that the average woman uses up to about 20,000 words a day. What is more, you will also be using the same 100 words on a regular basis to describe your experiences. Pay attention to your language. You have the power to inspire and lift others through the language you use. What is more, the language you use to yourself has a huge impact on how you feel and your energy levels.

Your world literally comes into being by what you create with your thoughts and mind and when you begin to unlearn and let go of patterns that no longer serve you there are endless possibilities.

3 min read

Help! My Friend Is a No Show

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Help! My Friend Is a No Show

Dear Armchair Psychologist,

I have a friend who doesn't reply to my messages about meeting for dinner, etc. Although, last week I ran into her at a local restaurant of mine, it has always been awkward to be friends with her. Should I continue our friendship or discontinue it? We've been friends for a total four years and nothing has changed. I don't feel as comfortable with her as my other close friends, and I don't think I'll ever be able to reach that comfort zone in pure friendship.


Dear Sadsies,

I am sorry to hear you've been neglected by your friend. You may already have the answer to your question, since you're evaluating the non-existing bond between yourself and your friend. However, I'll gladly affirm to you that a friendship that isn't reciprocated is not a good friendship.

I have had a similar situation with a friend whom I'd grown up with but who was also consistently a very negative person, a true Debby Downer. One day, I just had enough of her criticism and vitriol. I stopped making excuses for her and dumped her. It was a great decision and I haven't looked back. With that in mind, it could be possible that something has changed in your friend's life, but it's insignificant if she isn't responding to you. It's time to dump her and spend your energy where it's appreciated. Don't dwell on this friend. History is not enough to create a lasting bond, it only means just that—you and your friend have history—so let her be history!

- The Armchair Psychologist

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