Carefully watch your thoughts
for they become your words.
Manage and watch your words
for they will become your actions.
Consider and judge your actions
for they will become your habits.
Acknowledge and watch your habits
for they shall become your character.
Understand and embrace your character
for it becomes your destiny and your dreams ..
~ Anon ~
This quote put me in mind of the hierarchy of neuro-logical levels that NLP trainer Robert Dilts set out, where he models out the relationship of our environment, to our behaviours, to our capabilities, to our beliefs and values, to our identity, and finally to our purpose or spirituality.
Dilts explained that each level informs the next, and to make change, you need to work a level deeper than the level you wish to change. So, to change your behaviour (actions, words) you need to work with your capabilities. To develop your capabilities, you work with what you value and believe, and so on. As Einstein said, problems are not solved if we continue using the same thinking that created them, we have to do something different.
I also like the emphasis this quote gives on our agency and influence. It tells us we can impact who we are and what happens to us, by taking care of our thoughts, actions, and habits, and how they accumulate to become our character and way of showing up in the world.
As a psychotherapist I have learned that change is possible in so many different ways. When we believe change is possible, magical things can start to happen. When we are open to experimenting and playing with our inner experience, we can hold things more lightly and make it easier for them to evolve in the direction we want them to. We may even get some nice surprises along the way.
It is an irony that to enable change, we must firstly come to know deeply exactly where we are. Honest looking and listening to current reality is a must, paths forward only exist when you begin where you are standing.
If you’d like help in coming to know your current patterns more fully, with the objective of releasing that which no longer serves and moving towards what you would rather have, get in touch.