By Nadine Araksi Silverthorne, Toronto-based Storytelling Coach

Getting unstuck when building new good habits

“Be careful what you practice, you’re going to get really good at it.”

In the past when I’ve caught myself trying to build new habits, I often struggled to figure out what was keeping me stuck. When I first heard the above quote, I was rattled. Similar quotes about creating new habits popped up during our program and my extended learning:

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”

“How you do one thing is how you do everything.”

These truth nuggets about how what we do consistently solidifies our habits rang like a clear bell. Suddenly aware that my inner voice had certain thoughts and stories on repeat for decades, I knew I had some work to do. How do we get unstuck when attempting to build new habits?

The quiet of the past year has created space for me to examine these thoughts. When we talk about habit change, we often focus on the external, things like, “I’d like to drink more water,” or “I ride my bike to work to stay fit.” But what about our internal habit structures? Things we’ve done on repeat in auto-pilot mode without thinking?

Are you aware of your survival habits?

I now know that these deeper, subconscious habits developed as my brain’s way of keeping me safe through past traumas. But habits that have kept us safe in survival mode can hurt us if we don’t examine them and practice letting them go.

These types of “stay safe” habits can manifest as **

  • Health anxiety
  • Second-guessing yourself, your expertise or authority (which can lead to imposter syndrome)
  • Stalling on decision-making
  • Making snap judgments or having assumptions about others
  • Overthinking or overanalyzing
  • The inability to start something
  • The “fixing things” habit
    ** Not an exhaustive list

It’s important to acknowledge that we live in a society that amplifies the need for these “stay-safe habits” for women and marginalized humans in particular. Yes, that white supremacist, cishet, ableist, colonial patriarchy rears its ugly head again. So since we didn’t write the game, we can learn to be gentle with ourselves and how to rewrite the rules to better serve us.

Habit change doesn’t happen overnight. I’ve developed a few key thoughts/sentences that I use in our 12-week program that can really help to unstick these patterns, helping to build new ones with consistency and gentleness over time. I love sharing with clients and seeing real change in how they treat themselves and what they can accomplish.

🤗 If you want to move from being stuck in these (or similar) habit loops, and you want the accountability and gentle but firm support of our coaches and community, get in touch! The Kickstartology Coaching program works. If you’re curious about how the Alignment Framework could help you bridge the gap between your life today and what you really want your life to be like, book your free exploration call now to have expert global life coach, Stephanie J. Marshall, take you through how we would apply it in our program!

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