Breaking Habits That Don’t Serve You by Jim Britt

Jim BrittIn order to create a new structure for your life, for your business success, your financial future you must first truly want to be free of your bad habits that are costing you. A habit is any action that you have performed so often that it becomes almost an involuntary response. If you consider a habit to be undesirable, like smoking or overeating, then you may label it a “bad habit”. People spend countless hours and dollars each year attempting to break these bad habits and often without much success. Why? Because there is no magic bullet.

Change is hard work and there is no short cut except to do it. The steps a person needs to take, however, can be very simply outlined.

To effect a change in habits, you first need to bring the action back into the realm of consciousness and regain the ability to make choices. The first step in breaking a bad habit is to look at why you find this action so compelling. NULL

In other words, what’s the payoff for doing this seemingly negative thing? Since you’ve already classified this as a “bad” habit you may be tempted to say there isn’t a payoff. But if you look closer you’ll find the payoff. There is always a payoff. Let’s say your bad habit is not following up. What’s in it for you? You get to avoid the possible rejection of a “no.” The payoff could be that you get to spend more time on the Internet doing things that make it seem like you are busy or simply that you get to avoid the pain of possible rejection! On the other hand now, take a look at the trade off. What is it that you are losing by exercising your habit? This step should be easier. Just think why it is that you consider it a bad habit in the first place. Not following up is a bad habit because if you continue you’ll end up with no results in building your team. You are trading a temporary release of staying busy at something that produces nothing for growing your team by following up.

Now that you’ve weighed both sides of the issue – your payoff and your tradeoff – it’s time to make a choice. Once you are aware that you have this bad habit, it’s no longer an involuntary act because now you know that you are making a conscious choice every time you perform this action. You are choosing what you value more… the payoff or the tradeoff!

Each time you start to do whatever the bad habit is now you have to consciously choose. Which do you value more? Do you value more the relief of “busyness” or do you value growing your team?

In order to be successful financially in most businesses, especially those where you have exposure to the public you have to sell yourself first. If the prospect doesn’t buy you they won’t buy your product or service or join your team.

We all have habits that may not be serving our best interest. The good thing is that all habits, good or bad, are self-imposed, and they can be changed. To help you to recognize some habits that may cripple your chances at success, here are some specific things you can consider. In my book “Do This Get Rich – For Network Marketers” I talk about breaking bad habits and the pay off for doing so. Let’s look at some the self-limiting habit patterns: The habit doesn’t accomplish anything at all. It only costs you time, energy and money. Maybe you have a habit of making personal calls during the time you have designated to make business calls or doing non-business activities during the time you are supposed to be working at your business. With closer observation you may discover that this habit is fueled by fear… a fear of being rejected by someone when you make a business call or a fear that your business may not succeed. So you use personal calls as a way of justifying to yourself that you are busy making calls or doing business activities. This could lead to a justification of why your business is not working.

This habit is called “busyness” versus “business.” What it’s really called is hiding from the truth. And if you want success you must look for truth not hide from it, and then take action that leads you toward what you want instead of away from it.

The habit irritates others. Maybe you have the habit of always asking for compliments, or standing right in someone’s face when you speak. Maybe you clear your throat before each sentence. Maybe you tap your finger on the table, or constantly insert a phrase like “you know” or “okay.” You might want to observe yourself when you are using this habit. Notice what you’re feeling at the time. You may discover a need for acceptance or a fear of rejection that is causing you to do it. Whatever the habit, if it’s irritating to others you can bet it is costing you business. The habit makes you look foolish. This doesn’t mean you have to break every habit that someone else doesn’t like, but you might want to just take a realistic look and ask yourself what habits you have that may be costing you business, credibility, etc. For example I know someone who promotes a health product and she smokes. She does very well in her business, but my question is, how much better could she be doing if she got rid of a habit that causes her to lose credibility? On a deeper level she might discover that it is her need for attention that drives her smoking habit. “Why don’t you quit?” “How can you be in the health business and smoke?” And so on. Her real issue is the need for acceptance. You don’t approve of your own habit. It violates your own credibility, values or integrity in some way. Maybe you are always telling things that were told to you in confidence. No one knows except you, and it bothers you, but you do it anyway. Maybe you do it for recognition, or to make it look like you know something that others don’t. Either way, you might find that it hurts your credibility without even knowing it. Maybe you “over state” or “over exaggerate” your product or opportunity in order to make a sale or entice someone to buy. You know you shouldn’t, but you do it anyway. All I’m saying is to become more self-observant of how you may be coming across to others. You get three primary payoffs for breaking bad habits:

One, you get rid of something you didn’t want or need in the first place. Two, you develop new insights into how you affect others. And three, it will greatly improve your chances at being successful.

I wish I could say that you could break unwanted habits without using any willpower, but you can’t. You basically have to go “cold turkey.” Just quit. You have to begin by making a fundamental choice not to have the habit… to be something else. Let’s say you want to quit smoking. You know it’s affecting your health as well as your business. Even the surgeon general has told you that it will give you cancer, but you continue to do it anyway. It will do you absolutely no good to try to “taper off.” It’s like an alcoholic trying to “taper off” alcohol, or a heroin addict trying to taper off heroin. When you just taper off smoking, you still see yourself as a smoker. You can’t be a smoker and a nonsmoker at the same time. The very first thing you must do if you want to quit is to make a fundamental choice, a decision, to be a non-smoker. Not to try to quit, but to be a non-smoker. You have to make a choice, a decision, to honor your own health more than the habit. The rest is easy once you begin to see yourself as a non-smoker. The same holds true for success. Once you really decide to be successful, then failure or the need for someone’s approval is no longer an option.

You have to make a fundamental choice to be a success. You have to “honor” your success more than you do failure or your present condition, or the habit. Once you’ve made that choice, the rest is easy… success comes easy if you leave no room for failure.

to observe your habits as they relate to your business, and to your life, because they both interact. Do you say yes when you want to say no? Begin to notice what seems to bring out certain habits? Is it certain people you are with, or certain situations that make you feel a certain way? The more you know about and observe your non-productive habits, the more you will be prepared to break them once and for all. There are all kinds of habits. Some are good. Some are not so good. But the one thing they all have in common is they are voluntary and artificial and created and controlled by you. You create the bad and the good, and you can live without the bad ones. And all it takes to change them is a decision to do so backed with some discipline. Some habits, however, can be good. In fact you’d be lost without them. Some are just plain necessary in order to get on with living. You wouldn’t want to change hands to brush your teeth, would you? You probably have better things to do with your time. Habits free your mind. You don’t have to get up in the morning and wonder, “How do I get these pants on correctly?” or to get into your car and say, “Now, how do I drive this thing?”

If you didn’t have certain habits you’d be overwhelmed by the number of decisions you’d have to make to get the simplest things done. A habit is only as good as its premise.

Most of us have habits that we don’t like, that we would like to get rid of, habits that we’ve been meaning to break, “one of these days.” If you want success faster now’s the time. Breaking a bad habit has its own reward, and then some. It will improve your business, your success, your finances, your life and your personal growth overall.

Intention is the starting point for change. In order to make a permanent change, you must first have the “intention” to understand yourself.

Self-knowledge is the beginning step toward success. Self-knowledge cannot be given to you by learning a system, or from someone else. Each individual must discover it for him or her self. If your intention to know yourself is weak, then just a casual wish or hope to change is of very little significance. Without knowing who you are, and what habits you need to change, there is no foundation for correct thinking… there is no reality. Without a foundation for correct thinking based upon self-knowledge, there can be no correct action. And without correct action there can be no change. And without change there is no way to take your success to the next level.

Have you ever heard the statement “the truth will set you free?” the truth begins with the understanding of “that which we are without distortion.” That’s what the statement means. It’s not referring to merely telling the truth, although that’s a good place to start, but rather understanding or seeing the truth.

Knowing the truth about yourself is where the change that is necessary to go to your next level of success begins. It’s called starting with what’s real. Reality gives you true freedom. Reality comes from the understanding of what is without distortion. Whereas, when you’re working toward reality through some system that someone else has created for you to follow, or through “motivation” or “positive thinking,” that’s called “postponement.” That’s called the cover up of what is, with what you would like it to be. In order to create a new structure for your life, for your business success, your financial future you must first truly want to be free of your bad habits that are costing you.

Of course the worst bad habit of all I haven’t yet mentioned. It’s a disease and it’s one that will absolutely destroy your chances at success in any endeavor. It’s the disease know as procrastination!

Why do we fall into the procrastination trap time after time? Because procrastination becomes a way of coping with the emotions and physical symptoms that accompany fear. It may bring some temporary relief, but we eventually wake up the following day and find that no boy scouts have dropped in overnight and done our work for us. Most importantly, the next time you catch yourself saying, “I can do this later”, think “Just get it done!” Push on through the feelings and do it now. The feeling you get when you finish will be so much better than any relief you get from procrastinating. Procrastinating: “I must get this job done right or I’ll be a total failure. There’s just so much work to do. I’ll wait until tomorrow when I am feeling better and can do a better job.” Reality: Not doing your work now will lead to a sloppy, rushed job just before your deadline and will leave you feeling too anxious to do a proper job. Strategy: Look at why you are procrastinating. Does the thought of failing make you feel anxious? Take deep breaths, replace your negative thoughts of failure with thoughts of your previous successes. For more information on Jim Britt’s work go to


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