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No, thank you! Breaking free from deep-rooted thinking habits

We all have established patterns of thinking that act like a computer programme, running silently in our brains, directing our behaviour, our choices, our reactions. These patterns may have been established in early childhood and can be gender related, behaviour orientated, cultural, or simply based on a parent or caregiver's way of thinking. Nice girls don't make a fuss, strong boys don't cry, winning is the only thing that matters, manners are everything (so suck up something uncomfortable); I am sure you can identify many things that have been programmed into you from an early age. By adulthood, you are conditioned to think in certain ways, and these habit based thinking patterns are very hard to break. I'll bet you say "thank you" a lot. What if I was to ask you to simply not say it for a week? How would you get on? Would it be easy? I'll bet not! I wouldn't be surprised if you really struggled. After all, you have been taught from a very early age to say thank you for almost everything. When you are young, every time someone gives you something, you are prompted by a hovering parent or caregiver, to immediately say thank you. Little people are reminded of this at every opportunity, conditioned or programmed to a point where it becomes an automatic thought pattern, leading to an established and unconscious behaviour. If I did challenge you, and you were to take me seriously, we both know you would fail pretty majorly in the first week. But what you would do, is notice yourself saying it, and sometimes even irritate yourself by saying it unnecessarily. Very occasionally you would be able to make a last minute swerve and maybe mutter something else that feels adequate in that moment, like "you're so kind". And if I asked you to carry on, to really step up your efforts in weeks two and three, and we kept going with the challenge, you would eventually not say "thank you" very much at all. Yet saying thank you is a very powerful piece of brain programming, something we have been conditioned to do from being young. And with the right approach, focus and determination, and the guidance of a therapist, you can recondition your mind to override any long established piece of programming. And if you could do it with something as strongly established as the habit of saying thank you (not that you would want to!), you can do it with any unhelpful or unhealthy thinking habit or belief that has held you ransom for many years.

No need to say "thank you" for this message, no, really, it's okay!!

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