What’s Your Habit?

by Nancy S Buck, PhD, RN

            Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t — you’re right —   Henry Ford

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit —   Aristotle 

Recently I discovered that I have been practicing an unhelpful, ineffective habit for years. I have developed excellence in failing. And this is not the good kind of failing, where I would learn and grow from the experience.  Let me explain.

Here was my usual routine when setting and working toward a goal. I would spend time in quiet  contemplation becoming clear defining my goal, desire, and intention. Next, I gave thanks for already receiving my desire. And finally I put my head down and did my work. Too frequently though, I never actually received what I wanted. What was I doing wrong?

Perhaps I was setting myself up for failure by creating unrealistic expectations. Sometimes the answer to a wish or a prayer is “NO.” With this realization I started to do my best by letting go of all expectations. However I found this confusing. I was encouraged to “dream the dream.” Following the advice of the Secret and other modern gurus I was to make myself ready to receive all I asked for and more. Isn’t that an expectation? No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t seem to let go of my expectations.

Finally a friend came to my rescue in the form of a Mental Health & Happiness challenge. When dreaming my dream and creating the goal, I could include my preference for a specific outcome. The results might or might not match my preference. I shifted to preferring a result rather then expecting an outcome.

WOW! What a revelation. I felt I had freedom to prefer an outcome, but really let go of an expectation of what the outcome should be according to me and my ego.

In the process of trying to figure all of these ideas and practices out, I came face-to-face with my actual expectation. For years and years my actual expectation was that I WAS GOING TO FAIL. Thinking that I couldn’t succeed meant I was always right! Repeatedly thinking I never could meant I had cultivated the excellent of failing! Just as Wayne Dyer promised, when I believed it – that I would fail – I would see it – failing.

What a BIG lesson that took years and years for me to finally learn. Once I finally became conscious and aware that failure was my expectation, I could use failing as a teacher. I have developed a new habit when turning a dream into a goal:

Give thanks for my dream coming true
Work hard
Articulate my expectation, clearing any failure expectation
Transform my expectations into a preferences
Be amazed at all the expanding, extraordinary possibilities I receive

Thank you Mental Health & Happiness Challenges. It was from a specific challenge I learned about transforming a failing habit into the amazing and expanding possibilities of my dreams and my life.

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