Breaking through conscious and unconscious habits, patterns, triggers and addictions. Dr John Demartini reveals how your habits and patterns have the potential to transform your life.
The formation of habits
Research shows how particular activities that are repetitively performed are most likely to become habitual. Some research states that it can take as little as 18 days, while others indicate that it can take up to 84 days.
Think about brushing your teeth as an example – something that your parents almost certainly had to remind you to do as a child. As you grew older, this may have become a habit and then something you routinely did without thinking about it. In other words, repetition over time – or ‘space repetition’ – is likely to result in an action becoming automatic or habitual.
Anything that you perceive will heighten the pleasure of something will tend to reverberate and you will be likely to do it again.
Anything that you perceive to cause pain will tend to deverberate and you will be likely to try to avoid it.
In doing so, you can get in the habits of seeking and avoiding. If you prefer to watch the video on Breaking Through Habits and Patterns, click below. ↓
Conscious vs unconscious habits
You might tend to avoid situations where you are conscious of the downsides and unconscious of the upsides; and seek out situations where you are conscious of the upsides and unconscious of the downsides. In both situations, you will have an unconscious half to those habits and patterns.
You can also develop a conscious habit of pursuing things that you consider to be a more balanced objective. In the process, you are likely to be more fully and synchronously conscious of both the pleasures and the pains or supportive and challenging aspects of the pursuit, and embracing the necessity of the equally numbered challenges you may face along the way.
For instance, if you are going to run a marathon, you know you will need to spend hours each day pounding the sidewalk, and that you will experience muscle pain and stiffness. So, there are some objectives where you are willing to embrace both pain and pleasure. These actions can then become habitual through repetition and training, and thus become a pattern.
You are also most likely to build momentum to achieve these objectives or goals, plus have a higher probability of developing a ‘space repetition’ habit pattern that will imprint in the forebrain of your brain’s neural pathways and lead to the discipline and self-governance that are needed to achieve them.
There’s an interesting phenomenon that I’ve observed working with clients over the years, that if you don’t fill your day with high priority actions and habits that inspire you and make a repetitive habit of doing that, your day is likely to fill up with low priority distractions that don’t.
Now, when I say distractions, I am referring to things that you are impulsively seeking or things that you are instinctively avoiding.
To be clear – you can be distracted by the perception of either a pleasure or a pain.
I’m sure you’ve had a situation when you were distracted by some money coming in, or a whole bunch of bills coming in. Either one of them can make you feel elated or depressed; excited or down. Those can then distract you from the primary objective of that moment.
What is interesting is that you might not even realize that you are doing it in many areas of your life. You might avoid certain people you resent or become infatuated with them and seek them, you might avoid certain bills or opportunities to work out, or you might seek certain foods that make you feel temporarily satisfied.
In other words, those seeking and avoiding responses or reactions can, in turn, develop habits and patterns of behavior.
There are also additional secondary associations that you can make to any primary perception. For example, when you judge something that you perceive to have positives without negatives, or negatives without positives, which you will then store that in your subconscious mind.
When you have new stimuli that reminds you of that situation or individual by association, either with similarities to it or oppositional differences to it, it is tagged or imprinted in the brain as a pattern of ‘seek’ or ‘avoid’.
Think of Pavlov’s dog as an example – each time the bell rang, the dog began to salivate. It is a conditioned reflex that results from subconsciously stored data that is polarized because of emotional judgments of the past.
Anxiety is a compounding of an original event that you thought had more pain and pleasure – one where you never found an equal amount of upsides or blessings to.
In my signature seminar program the Breakthrough Experience, I take individuals through the Demartini Method, which allows them to become conscious of the unconscious so they can objectively balance the experiences of the past that are stored in their subconscious mind.
In that way, you can clear that baggage, which is impeding it and compounding and creating anxieties or addictions.
The Demartini Method is a series of very precise questions that help to make you fully conscious, mindful, and present. So, instead of being reactive, you are proactive because, if you’re not filling your day with proactivity, you are likely to end up with reactivity.
And if you don’t develop patterns of proactivity and foresight together with objectives that are balanced, you will tend to run around as an automaton, reacting to behavior around you.
There are things called ‘triggers’ – things that are associated with a previous event.
For example, if you had a situation as a child when your father was yelling at your mother while he was wearing a certain set of clothes, you might find yourself feeling anxious if you happen to meet someone wearing the same clothes.
You might then immediately perceive them to be untrustworthy.
You may not even be aware that you’re doing that, but these are repetitive patterns that have been stacked up and associated and compounded over time from an original event that you judged and that has become an imbalanced perception.
Anything you judge, that is not neutralized, which you have a skewed subjectively biased view about gets stored in your subconscious mind. This biased content then compounds and initiates further associations and habits and patterns that keep repeating themselves.
These associations are imbalanced, and often result in you reacting before you have had time to think. Many people exist predominantly in that pattern of reacting instead of proacting.
It is wise to take the time to set for yourself true, balanced, full-conscious objectives, which result in behaviors that you’re inspired by, that you know will help you fulfill your highest priorities or values in life, and make a habit of doing that every single day.
Addictions are compensations for your unfulfilled highest values that you are unconsciously seeking. Many people perceive an addiction as being something over which the ‘addict’ has no control.
In over three decades of presenting over 1,100 Breakthrough Experience seminar programs, I have yet to meet a single addict who does not have an unconscious awareness of the advantages over the disadvantages that they are perceiving concerning their behavioral habit.
Know that any time you make a decision, you’re likely to make that decision based on what you believe will give you the greatest advantage over disadvantage in that moment.
So, when it comes to an addiction, you may unconsciously perceive that there are more advantages to continuing with that addictive behavior than disadvantages, or you would not still be doing it. I often refer to it as an ‘unconscious motive’.
The wise thing to do is to take command and be fully mindful of both the advantages and disadvantages so you are not hiding unconscious information from yourself.
It is for this reason that I used the Demartini Method in the Breakthrough Experience so you can go through a series of questions that make you fully conscious of both sides and neutralize the habit or behavior.
If you are neutral, you are not likely to fear the loss of things you assume you are addicted to. If you are neutral, you are not likely to fear the gain of what you are trying to avoid – the subdiction.
So, the more you can neutralize those perceptions and stacked associations from your subconscious mind and bring them to the full consciousness, the more freedom you have to structure your life according to your priorities and become a master of your destiny.
It would be wise to develop habit patterns that fulfill your primary objective and that you spontaneously focus on, as well as corresponding priority habits that you have created according to your highest values. When you fill your day with high priority actions that inspire you, your life does not fill up with low priority distractions, habits or addictions that don’t.
When you do things that are aligned with your highest values, your self-worth, achievements, and confidence tend to go up. You are also more likely to have more self-governance and less distraction, be more empowered and exemplify what is possible.
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About Dr John Demartini:
Dr John Demartini is a human behavior specialist, a polymath, philosopher, international speaker and published author. He has recently been awarded the IAOTP Top Human Behavior Specialist of the Year as well as the IAOTP Lifetime Achievement Award. His work is a summation of over 299 different disciplines synthesized from the greatest minds in most fields of study today. His extensive curriculum focuses on helping purpose driven individuals master their lives so that they are able to more extensively serve humanity with their inspired vision and mission.
To find out more visit: www.DrDemartini.com or search for Dr John Demartini on your favorite social or media channel.