Bad habits creep up on us.
One day we smoke that first cigarette, eat that first bag of Cheetos, or discover how easy it is to charge things on a credit card.
Before you know it, that one decision has mushroomed into big, bad habit. We become physically or mentally addicted to substances, food, spending, nail biting, and any number of actions that don't reflect our best selves.
You know what your bad habits are, don't you? It's kind of embarrassing you can't stop them. You don't really want to admit they're habits, but in your heart of hearts, you know they have a hold on you.
If you're like me, you've probably tried many times to quit, to break the habit and set yourself free from limiting, unhealthy actions or thoughts. Maybe you've had a little success, but eventually you go back to that stinking habit like a crow returns to carrion.
And boy does that do a number on your self-esteem. Why oh why don't we have the self-control to just STOP??
If it makes you feel better, bad habits are really, really hard to break. That's because you've spent a long time "teaching" your brain to embrace the routine. You've carved out deep and solid neural pathways for this habit.
Imagine walking through the woods on a clear and easy path. Then you decide to get off the path and make your way through the brambles and thick forest. Pretty quickly you find yourself jumping back on the beaten path. That's what happens when you try to jump off the bad habit path and forge new behaviors.
So is it possible to get off the bad habit path for good and not return to it? Yes . . . it is if you understand the very specific skills involved.