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Exploring the Origins of Our Beliefs, Actions and Habits

Often we forget that our lives are made up of choices. Our own choices. Instead, we assume that certain things are simply non-negotiable, and we follow suit. We count our calories, watch our portions and work out at the crack of dawn because we assume that’s the only way to be healthy. We drink because we assume that’s the only way to celebrate and be fun. We buy a big house because we assume that’s the only way to be happy. We try to lose weight because we assume that’s the only way to be loved.

Are you making some of these assumptions? Are you making other assumptions that drive and dictate your days?

Today, explore the actions you’re currently taking, the habits you’re currently practicing and the beliefs you’re currently holding. Are they coming from your own needs, desires and dreams? Or are these assumptions based on what society, your parents, your friends, your teacher, or anyone else is saying or has said?

Make a list of all your beliefs and actions—and where they come from. Create three columns on a piece of paper: “belief, action or habit”; “origin”; and “me.”

If you’re not sure where to start, start by asking yourself: What do I do first thing in the morning? What do I think first thing in the morning? Where did I learn this? Who said it? What do I do during lunch? What do I do in the evenings? What assumptions do I make about how to live my life? Where did I learn this? Who said it? Keep exploring your entire day this way.

Next ask yourself whether you actually think these beliefs are true, and whether you’d like to continue taking these actions or practicing these habits. You’d write that response under the “me” column. For instance, you might ask:

  • Do I actually want to wake up this early?
  • Do I want to go to the gym?
  • Do I want to count calories?
  • Do I actually like this breakfast? This lunch? This dinner?
  • Do I want to eat dessert every day?
  • Do I believe that losing weight will make me healthy and happy?
  • Do I want to have a bigger home?
  • Do I like this structure to my days?

Then, on another piece of paper, explore these questions: What does make me happy? What is important to me? What do I want to do with my days? How do I want to feel? What beliefs, actions and habits actually empower and inspire me?

Because, again, remember that you have a choice.

What do you choose?

Photo by Aaron Burden.
Exploring the Origins of Our Beliefs, Actions and Habits

Margarita Tartakovsky, MS


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APA Reference
Tartakovsky, M. (2017). Exploring the Origins of Our Beliefs, Actions and Habits. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 15, 2018, from https://blogs.psychcentral.com/weightless/2017/02/exploring-the-origins-of-our-beliefs-actions-and-habits/

 

Last updated: 13 Feb 2017
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 13 Feb 2017
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.