How Your Feelings Can Affect Your Habits

Have you ever noticed how your feelings can affect your daily habits? For example if you grew up in a home where your parents always argued, you may develop a fear of relationships. You may think it is perfectly normal for adults to constantly argue. If you have been surrounded by money issues, then this subject can always make you fearful or angry.

Myself, for years I got very nervous and even upset when tax time rolled around.  Even though I have never had any IRS issues or anything like that. The reason is because when I was growing up tax time was very tense in our house. My folks did the taxes themselves and it just wasn’t a fun time. My “inner child” associates tax time with bad moods and tension in the house.

Don’t let past negative associations affect your future success.


Don’t let your feelings run you

A habit is just a set of steps that you do repeatedly, so you can see how negative feelings and thoughts can affect this. A child may grow up expecting that they will never have money. So they don’t bother taking steps to counteract this. Instead of learning how to save or budget, at some level they accept that they won’t have money when they are older.

The point here is to not let your negative feelings affect your efforts to make changes. First you have to understand what it is you want out of life. Do you want to own your first home? Do you want to have a happy marriage? Or do you want to go to college?

Whatever your goal is write it down and then figure out the steps you need to achieve this. How much money you need for a down payment for a home, for example.

Then start thinking good thoughts about your choice. Be positive that you will save enough for your down payment. That you will get accepted into the college of your choice, or find the person of your dreams.

Now that you have a plan of action you need to form the habits to achieve your goals. This can include putting money aside weekly. Or it might involve taking a night class so you can get accepted to college.

As you start repeatedly doing things that will lead to success, they will become part of your daily routine, and will form a habit. Before you know it you will be saving regularly without thinking twice.

DO – BE – HAVE: Self Perception Theory aka, “act as if” is real.

In fact, taking action will change your attitude and personality, and over time you will become “the kind of person” who succeeds at the goals you’re working toward. This is called Self-Perception Theory. It’s one of my favorite psychology theories because it turns common knowledge on it’s head.  The idea that your personality and how you feel determine what you’re capable of is completely backward.  In fact, your personality and how you feel are determined by the actions you repeatedly take.  Dr. Daryl Bem did this seminal research back in the 1960s.  

Self Perception Theory has been validated by thousands of studies. You can think of it simply as “we become what we repeatedly do.”  Decide to take different actions, start doing things differently and stick with it, and you will become the kind of person who does those things.

This is why many authors who write about goal setting and achievement say that reaching the goal is less important that who you will become as a result of the process of reaching the goal.  And this is why “success breeds success.” By being dedicated and reaching that first goal, you become the kind of person who reaches their goals, and that makes future success even more likely for you!

Negative emotions and limiting beliefs are not written in stone. They can be changed simply by the process of striving for your goal.

You can also use methods like self hypnosis or Emotional Freedom Technique to release and “over write” the negative associations so they don’t affect your ability to follow through and achieve your goal. The best way to do this is as the limiting beliefs show up in your life. There’s no way to find and release every limiting belief you have in one fell swoop. And in fact that would be overwhelming psychologically.  As you release old negative emotions and limiting beliefs you will find it easier and more comfortable to take steps toward your goals, find yourself procrastinating less and less, and taking action more and more.

So if you aren’t that happy with your current life, start working on changing the way you feel about yourself, and about others, one small step at a time.

This small change of mind can lead to huge improvements in your life! To your SUCCESS!



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