Releasing Negative Behaviors

by Loren Gelberg-Goff -

Everyday we have opportunities to bring in positive thoughts and messages about ourselves and our lives; We just have to learn how to be conscious and aware of these opportunities. I believe you really are, and always have been "Well Within"; as you learn to access this awareness, you can live more empowered and be fulfilled.

Everyone has them; those behaviors that you’re upset about, that you wish you didn’t do, that you know are bad or harmful to you (physically, emotionally, &/or mentally) but you just can’t seem to stop them or change them.

These are the behaviors that keep you stuck in old patterns, old beliefs and old feelings that you think you can never change, and you’re just doomed to live with the and continue to feel badly about yourself and your life.

Do you know the ones I mean? 

These behaviors might be obviously problematic especially when in excess, like drinking, drugs, shopping, gambling, working, eating, sleeping, busy-ness but I am not just referring to severe addictive behaviors; I am referring to behaviors that bother you or that feel oppressive to you or that interfere with your overall well-being.

Take a moment and write them down.

Let yourself acknowledge which behavior(s)/pattern(s) really bother you or interfere with your life, your self-esteem and your overall well-being.

Do not judge them, just acknowledge them and put them down on paper. These behaviors, thoughts, feelings and beliefs can be changed, modified and/or stopped.

The first step is becoming aware of your desire to deal with them.

Ask yourself: “Do I really want to change?” Are you ready to access your power to make it happen?

Stop, breathe, focus and ask yourself: 

“On a scale from 0 - 10 how strong is my desire to change this behavior?” (0 being not at all, and 10 being as strongly as you have ever felt anything.)

Take a slow deep breath, and be honest with yourself. Do you want to change it because someone has told you that you have to or do you think that you should deal with this issue?

Way down deep inside, where you know your true inner qualities are waiting to come out, are you ready to address this issue and handle it differently or maybe have it no longer be a part of your life?

Look at your list, and see which behavior, habit or feeling is the one that causes you the most problems, and/or the one you most want to deal with now.

This is the moment when you can access your power. 

This is the moment when you acknowledge that you have a choice. Take a slow, deep breath,--- in through your nose,--- and exhale gently, with a sigh through your mouth--- Just let yourself connect to the feeling, and the belief: “Who I Am Is Enough!

I am lovable, capable, special and worthwhile and I deserve to be treated as such!”

As this warm, loving feeling flows through you and around you, notice where the negative thought, feeling, behavior, message sits within you.

What resistance does it put up against the positive message of “I Am Enough” ?

Allow yourself to feel the inner conflict, as your old messages of inadequacy fight against the new, positive message and belief. Take a deep breath, and just sit with the conflict. By allowing yourself to sit with your feelings you’re learning to experience and tolerate discomfort.

Discomfort is really what started the negative behavior to begin with, and now we’re going to use it to actually stop the negative behavior.

All our behaviors have a purpose. 

We created and now maintain our habits to block out our uncomfortable feelings. Just sit with your discomfort and acknowledge the conflict and what you would normally do to “make the feelings stop”.

In reality no matter what you do (or have done) the feelings don’t really go away; they just get buried or pushed aside for awhile and then the feelings resurface, again and again and those negative, self-destructive behaviors crop up again in a desperate attempt to stop the feelings.

However our feelings just like children who desperately want attention, will not be denied.

Now is the moment when I want you to acknowledge that what you are feeling are JUST FEELINGS. They may be distressful, upsetting, painful, scary, hurtful, etc. but they are JUST FEELINGS and it’s not our feelings that get us into trouble, it’s our actions, so now you can choose to sit with your feelings. 

As you breathe slowly and deeply, remember that you have walked around with these feelings for a long time and You Have Coped! Today, You CAN STILL Cope!

What feelings go through you as you DON’T act on the feelings, but you just sit with them and acknowledge that they are there and they are real. Say the statement out loud: “I trust in my abilities to cope”.

What’s your biggest fear if you don’t “do your habit”? 

Write down your fear(s). Let yourself really see what you are afraid of; what your behavior has kept you from facing. Breathe deeply and acknowledge once again (out loud) your worth.

“Who I Am Is Enough! I am lovable, capable, special and worthwhile, and I deserve to be treated as such!”! Does your “negative behavior” honor this statement?

Remember, as you move forward in your journey to actualize your self-esteem and self-empowerment, you will become more consciously aware of how negative behaviors undermine your positive sense of self.

When we engage in a self-destructive behavior and tell ourselves that it’s OK or it doesn’t matter, then we are furthering our negativity by lying to ourselves. You do have the power to change this behavior. (lying to yourself may be the very behavior that needs to be addressed).

This aspect of your work takes time, patience, perseverance and a true willingness to see yourself as whole and deserving of your respect. Practice this activity on a daily basis. Whenever you are aware of yourself engaging in your particular negative behavior, take a moment to...


Ask yourself the following questions. (It’s helpful if you take time to write out your answers---)
1. What am I feeling at this moment?

2. What is it I am really afraid of?

3. Is what I’m afraid of something I can cope with alone, or do I need help?

4. If I need help, who do I want to reach out to?

5. If I don’t engage in my negative behavior(s) what can I do instead that will reflect my more positive self- esteem? (write your options down, so that they are readily available to you)
Carry this list with you as a reminder that you are empowered to change and/or eliminate the behaviors that undermine your self-esteem. After all, you know what your desired outcome is and now you’re ready to move forward to achieve your goal!

Bookmark and Share