What Are Habits?
Why is something so simple so important?
Habits are something you do repeatedly - and they’re not just actions, but also your emotional responses. And everything you have (or don’t have) in this life, is a direct result of the habits you’ve developed.
So how does a person go about changing a habit?
In this episode, you’re going to learn what habits are and why you must change your habits if you want to change your life. In order to change a habit, you need more than willpower--you have to address it at a brain-based level of the subconscious to effect lasting change.
What you’ll learn in this episode:
Can habits overcome our basic sense of self-preservation?
What do people mean when they talk about the “lizard brain?”
Do we have the power to control our subconscious? (Hint: the answer is yes)
Why do we do things that we know are bad for us?
Learn even more ways to transform your habits by signing up for my free Behavior Modification Program by clicking here.
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You’re listening to episode number 3 of the Identity Factor podcast. In this episode you’ll begin to see why everything you have or don’t have in this life is a direct result of the habits you have. And why doing your best is just simply not enough. You’ll also discover how your brain forms habits at a neurological level and what you can start doing to transform your life today.
Hi there, I’m Anthony Serino and by joining this podcast, you’ve started a life-changing journey with me as your tour guide. You’re now also part of a community of like-minded individuals who light this world with passion. As a high performance coach and expert in habit modification I’ve worked with amazing individuals from all over the world who have transformed their lives from within . As you listen to this podcast, you’re going to get an inside look at my science-based approach to transformation.
Imagine if you had to get up out of bed every morning and relearn how to walk… or brush your teeth.
What if every time you got in your car, it was as though you were 16 or 17 years old again driving for the first time?
That clearly wouldn’t be an effective way for you to navigate the world. But apply the same concept to your thoughts, feelings, and emotional responses…
What if you had to relearn how to think, or feel, or respond to people and experiences you encounter every day?
It’d be like knowing someone for years and having to get to know them all over again every time you saw them. You’d have to relearn what you think about them, how they make you feel, and the appropriate way to respond to them based on who and what they represent in your life.
When we frame it like this, it’s easy to see that nearly everything is a habit... and habits aren’t just things you do, but also what you think and feel. In fact.. Four of the leading health risks here in the US are habit-based… substance abuse, obesity, smoking, and risky sexual behavior. That’s how powerful your habits are.
Research shows that nearly 90% of what you do and what you think on a daily basis is habituated behavior or thought. And 45% percent of those habits happen in the SAME environment every single day. For example, perhaps you have a cup of coffee each morning… chances are… you make it in the same spot in your kitchen and drink it in the same spot in, say, your living room, every single day.
So this brings up the concept of macro and micro habits. With the coffee example… your habit of drinking coffee is the macro habit… but there’s micro habits specific to your environment and the context of the situation.
More on all that in a bit.
But that’s why this episode is all about habits… because everything you have or don’t have in this life is a direct result of what you do, think, and feel on a day-to-day basis... and all of it is habitualized by your brain. Specifically, the lizard or reptilian part of your brain which is the part of your brain that keeps your heart beating, lungs breathing, and is responsible for basic motor control, and your automatic, reflexive, and instinctive behaviors. This part is very similar among reptiles, birds, and mammals and is said to be the oldest part of the human brain.
For you science buffs out there… the scientific term is the basal ganglia.
All this to say… basically… for most of your life, you are on autopilot and your brain does everything in its power to keep you there.
That’s why we’ve all tried using will power to change something in our lives, but time and time again, we fail to make any meaningful changes.
Well that’s because willpower is a conscious, analytical process that happens in the prefrontal cortex part of our brain and that part battles with the reptilian brain responsible for our survival.
Which one do you think normally wins?
Self-help gurus, motivational speakers, and religious leaders alike have encouraged you to be deliberate, conscious and mindful in your daily life. They pump you up to DO things and get shit done.
But the thing is, they’re speaking to your conscious, analytical mind… the part of you that’s actively listening to this podcast right now. And modern research in psychology points to the fact that it’s actually our unconscious routines, or habits, that dictate most of our life. And all of those things are run by your reptilian brain.
So what exactly is a habit? A habit is a brain response activated automatically by the context cues of our external world that is congruent with our past experiences.
And the most important concept to understand is that not only is everything we do a habit, from our actions to our emotional responses, but we LEARNED every habit today.
I mean, a smoker wasn’t born a smoker.
And no, for all you listeners who have battled with anxiety, you weren’t born with that either. Because as I mentioned in the last episode, anxiety is a habituated emotional response that your brain developed as a result of a past experience or experiences.
Oh, and here’s something else that blew my mind when I saw the empirical evidence behind it… 95% of your daily behaviors, thoughts, emotions, etc… are responses produced by your brain unconsciously up to 7 seconds before you “think” you’re making the decision consciously.
Think about that… it means, not only is everything you do a habit, it also means you have very little conscious control over it IN THE MOMENT.
Which means you have to be proactive. Because the good news is, you can “uninstall” or modify old habits and create new ones that will produce the life you want.
And that, in part, is why I created this podcast. I want to show you there’s a way to get off autopilot and take back control of your life. I’m not here to get you all pumped up, I’m here to give you science-based advice and techniques you can use in a very practical way to achieve the outcomes you want.
There is SO much I will share with you here on the podcast, but I also want to encourage you to head over to our private Facebook group, Inside The Identity Factor. Because this sort of information isn’t just something you consume… it’s information you must engage with and put into practice. And by joining our community on Facebook, you’ll be engaging with like-minded individuals where we all hold each other accountable and provide a safe platform to discuss everything I talk about here on the podcast.
Okay, so by now you should be coming to terms with the fact that everything you do is a habit AND you can control your habits.
Why is this important? Because everything you have or don’t have in this life is a direct result of the habits you’ve developed. If you look in the mirror and aren’t happy with your body… look at your habits when it comes to eating and exercising. If you check your bank account and aren’t happy with the amount of money in there… look at your habits when it comes to working or running your business.
The number one reason clients come to me for help is that they are doing things they KNOW they shouldn’t be doing, but do those things anyways without any sense of control.
And by now, I’m sure you’ve realized that I view EVERYTHING as a habit… and operating under that model has been my key to success for helping people from all over the world rapidly transform their lives using the wonderful 3 pound mass of tissue between their ears that is more powerful than every computer on this planet, combined.
One thing I also want to make clear, I’m not here to debate the spiritual, energetic, or cosmic beliefs many people have. And although I do touch on a number of esoteric themes in this podcast, my aim is to consistently provide you with practical, science-based advice you can use to take back control of the things in life you may have thought were beyond your control.
And it all starts with understanding that your subconscious, or unconscious, is a very real part of your brain that you can communicate with and control. This is the part running on all those mental programs that dictate how you respond to the world around you.
You don’t have to take my word for it, but if what I’m saying is resonating with you, like… if you’re starting to get that pretty much everything you do and experience is driven by the way your subconscious is programmed and conditioned, then doesn’t it make sense for you to learn how you can develop NEW programs that allow to create the life you want instead of one you’re simply just reacting to?
For most people, it takes more than just conscious effort and willpower to change habits and behaviours they’ve been doing their whole lives. This is because, as I mentioned earlier… habits are run by the reptilian part of your brain and willpower is a process primarily dictated by your prefrontal cortex.
And when you’re not getting what you want in life… it means these two parts are battling with each other.
Now, if you’re wondering which part of YOUR brain normally wins, let me ask you a few questions.
How many times have you tried to stick to a new “diet” only to find yourself reverting back to your old eating habits a couple weeks later?
How often do you procrastinate even though you tell yourself to bang out that to-do list?
How often does that anxiety affect you despite you telling yourself to be confident and happy?
Really… how many times have you absolutely WANTED to change a habit, but failed to do so?
Without subconscious reprogramming and changing the way your reptilian brain functions, your conscious desire to change will always be undermined by your own subconscious identity, beliefs, and habits you’ve developed.
Remember… you LEARNED how to do, think, and feel EVERYTHING. Most of it, you learned at a very young age before you really had a say in a matter.
So, the conscious mind is really just a small part of your brain. It’s great at critical thinking, short term recall, and planning… but that, as they say, is just the tip of the iceberg. There is so much more below the level of conscious awareness and thousands of peer reviewed studies point to the fact that it’s actually your subconscious calling the shots and it’s capacity is exponentially larger than that of your conscious mind. It’s like stepping outside the front door of your home, and for as far as the eye can see is your conscious mind… but everything beyond your field of view, beyond your town, beyond your state, beyond your country… is your subconscious mind. You may not always be aware of it, but it’s there… running all the programs your brain has installed over the years.
When I refer to the term “subconscious reprogramming”, I’m really using it as an umbrella term that encompasses modalities such as hypnosis, visualization, EMDR, and other similar methods that directly affect your subconscious and reptilian part of your brain
All of the modalities, methods, and techniques I reference work by neutralizing the conscious mind, quieting the “noise” of analytical thought and reasoning, and allow you to alter the way the reptilian part of your brain processes new and old information. This, in turn, allows you change the programs that are running your beliefs, habits, and emotional responses.
And when you can change those… deliberately… with positive intent and control… THAT’S when the magic happens.
I usually tell my clients that the changes and transformation they will experience are not magical or miraculous, but they often certainly feel that way.
Because when someone leaves a session with me feeling confident and happy for the first time in decades… or they start bringing in 10s of thousands or even 100s of thousands of dollars after being broke their whole lives… or they eliminated a life long fear of some sort in less than an hour...
That… that feels miraculous to many people.
But here’s the thing… ANYONE… yes… even you… can do it. We all have this wonderful and innate ability to literally THINK our ideal life into existence.
You’ve probably heard the quote by Henry Ford: “whether you think you can, or you think you can’t, you’re right.”
Well it really is that simple. And you’ve already made it further than 99% of the population, because I’m confident, after listening to just these first few episodes, you now have the awareness that there is a part of you… a part that may have seemed out of your control… but that... now... you realize you actually DO have control over it.
As you learn to control your subconscious mind, instead of letting it control you, you’ll begin to experience, not just transformation in your external environment, and not just with wealth (if that’s what you want) … or fancy cars…or a big house.. or whatever THINGS you want… but you’ll experience a transformation from within… and when THAT happens… that’s when you realize all the external shit doesn’t matter.
And that’s where I’m leading you to. A state of contentment that transcends any other feeling, emotion, or desire.
For those of you who started this journey with me at episode number one, you know that I close every episode by asking what the “aha factor” was for you.
What resonated with you at a deeper level? What is the ONE thing that triggered your sense of wonder AND profound understanding all at the same time?
Perhaps it’s finally clicked with you that you’ve been operating on autopilot for years, and although it’s not your fault, it’s now your responsibility to take back control of your life.
Or maybe you realize now that EVERYTHING you do, think, and feel is a habit and when you change your habits, you change your outcomes.
But of course… it all comes down to who you’re being and how you show up in this world. Because you’ll never do something if you’re not already the type of person who would do it.
BOOM! That’s it for this episode of the Identity Factor. This first batch of episodes is THE foundation for your transformation and going forward, each episode will build on the ones prior. Be sure to subscribe so you’re the first to know when the next episode drops. And let me tell you, the NEXT episode is one you’ll want to listen to as soon as it’s available because I’m going to be teaching you some practical, science-based tips to modify your habits and design the life you deserve.
For show notes and more details on this episode head over to theanthonyserino.com and click on the podcast page.
If you’re the type of person who likes to get involved in a community of like-minded individuals come join our group Inside The Identity Factor on Facebook. Also, stay up to date with the latest content by following me on Instagram. If you have questions, I’m here to help. You can email me at [email protected] and I may even feature your question on an upcoming episode!
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Thanks for being here.