To experience the power of personal practices, first identify where you get stuck or how you sabotage your dreams. What would you like to change or develop? What could you do differently, and how many times a day or a week will you do it? First practice being the person you dream of being, and then soon it will become automatic and a part of you. Just also be sure to celebrate your newly acquired skill! Give yourself positive reinforcement to keep your motivation going.
Let’s talk more about how this process can help. Say, for example, you want to develop a personal practice to overcome a particular habit—like negative self-talk, over-committing, or procrastination. For these kinds of habits, a powerful way to practice is to choose something you will do every time you catch yourself in the act of doing the old behavior. It could be as simple as this: every time you become aware that you’re caught in the pattern, press an internal pause button. Then, do something different right in that moment. Let’s say you have a habit of negative self-talk, and you’re walking down the street one morning and catch a glimpse of yourself in a window. “You look terrible!” says the voice in your head. Press pause as soon as you realize what’s happening. Stop that train of negative commentary and, instead, tell yourself a new story. Actively say something kind to yourself. “You have a radiant smile!” or “You are a successful person!” Remind yourself of your best, most lovable qualities. Don’t let yourself be hijacked by your Doubter or your limiting belief.
Perhaps you recognize that you tend to sabotage your dreams by not taking care of yourself. You work so hard that you burn yourself out, and then you get sick and fail to follow through on your agreements. In this case, you might benefit from new personal practices like committing to getting a massage once a week, going to bed at a certain time each night, or turning off your cell phone once you get home. Often, personal practices require saying “no” to old habits in order to make way for new ones—something we’ll talk more about in the next chapter.
In any area of your life where you recognize a limiting pattern of self-sabotage, design a personal practice that works for your dreams. It will strengthen your commitment, deepen your self-trust, and make you a bigger dreamer and a better person.