How to decondition bad habits
For a very long time, habits have been my nemesis. I have read many books on the topic, chasing the “good” ones and disdaining the “bad” ones…
When we are young, we have no capacity to discern between them. And so they settle in, for better or for worse. We follow them unconsciously for a while, until one say we say…
“If only I could be better at establishing good habits!”
It applies to:
(things that happen *while* vocalizing)
But then there are those more toxic habits. They are like unconscious snakes in the grass, waiting to snap at your ankles when you least expect them.
This used to happen to me while singing. They were Thought Habits: conditioned responses to any situation in which I was to share my voice.
My thought habits were pretty insidious. They had settled into my practice for a long time, and I had no idea how full of snakes my untidy lawn had become.
It is typical that in order to finally change our ways, we hit a breaking point. (Or something actually breaks.) I was so done with the thought landscape of my voice that I swore off my bad habits and, well, everything in my life did a 180°.
I believe the reason why identifying, setting, and establishing “good” habits is so freaking difficult:
You don’t know who you will be on the other side of the habit.
And at the core of this fear surrounding the dissolution of (crappy, unhelpful, potentially self-destructive) habits is that we are too afraid to claim our own divine potential and true worthiness.
Who ARE you when you are prepared, timely, well-rested, creative, calm, and happy? And your cat is thriving, too?
Who are you when you become a grounded, integrated, focused, divine messenger of love, rather than an overthinking, unhappy, spiky, self-doubting soprano?
Changing your thoughts and actions requires a shift in consciousness. And you have to re-learn what to think and do.
But it only takes a small, simple moment to recognize that you are in a habit rut.
Any habit will begin to shift with recognition. Know when you are engaged in an unhelpful habit. Your understanding will begin to crack the veneer of whatever safety mechanism that habit was engaging for you.
Next comes the will to change. The will to embrace not only higher consciousness, but frankly, a better way. Whether in your singing, or art, or just life in general.
It all begins with what I call a Sacred YES.
It is your call to action, your divine vow, your stepping through the threshold of fire that says, “I am willing to step into my greater potential (even though I am scared and I don’t know what I’m doing).”
Habits are mutable. They are changing, just as we are. Unconscious thoughts and actions based in fear and ignorance need not run the show.
When you realize that this is no longer working for you, then make the first change: say YES to a better way.
And from one friend to another: I know that you are worthy and capable of amazing things.
Are you willing to claim that for yourself?
Prompts for Embracing a Better Way
Take a moment to breathe, center awareness within the heart space, and enter into a state of stillness. Allow these questions to guide your higher mind into clarity.
Is there a pattern in your life, art, or work that you would like to change?
Why is this holding you back?
What is the source of this habit, pattern, or behavior? Why does it continue?
Are you willing to change? Yes or no?
If no, what is holding you back?
If yes, are you willing to make that Sacred YES right now?
A Prayer for Personal Growth
Help me to choose a better life.
Help me to rise into my personal greatness.
Help me to loosen the binds of fear that keep me trapped in the spinning wheel of false safety.
I pray that I may be strengthened in mind and will to make sacred change in my life.
I pray that I may taste the beauty of my precious life when I embrace my true gifts.
I pray that I may embrace my sacred worth and know my infinite potential when I am aligned with You.
Steady my hand and stand at my back as I walk through the sacred portal to claim the potential of my life, and in doing so become more alive.
And so it is. Amen.
About Allison Mondel
Transformational Voice Coach, Singer, Teaching Artist, Director, Mentor, Speaker
I am a visionary artist, educator, and voice coach whose work stands at the intersection of vocal wellness, spiritual wisdom, and personal empowerment. With 25+ years of professional experience as a performer, teacher, and mentor, I empower others to access their innate vocal gifts through a holistic process, and ascend into their personal greatness. I have helped hundreds of students access their voice and step beyond their doubts into joyful, courageous, and purposeful self-expression.
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