Your unhealthy habits are (mostly) self-created


Table of contents

Why you keep getting stuck in the same unhealthy cycles

The behavior that your mind is trying to fix is intentionally you. Not the you reading this, of course. The parts of you that live in the shadows, unconsciously influencing your actions.

Why? Because these parts of you need those negative conditions to feel safe.

We assume that what the thinking mind needs is what the psyche needs as well. But this isn't always true. If you've ever had an inner conflict, you know that your body is home to many different parts of yourself, which sometimes want totally different things.

Self sabotage is a common example. You–the conscious, thinking you–might be frustrated because you keep getting in your own way every time something good happens. But there's also a hidden part of you that benefits from it. This hidden you is afraid of the unknown, and sabotaging anything unfamiliar–even the good stuff–helps it feel safe.

So, the question is: can you truly get unstuck without first acknowledging the parts of you that benefit from remaining stuck? I'm not sure. If you don't understand why you do the things you do–the hidden impulses and drives that direct your conscious actions–then it's difficult to fundamentally change your behavior.

How to break the pattern:

You have to be willing to dig deep and look into your shadow to find the hidden parts of yourself that benefit from the problem. It's a 3-step process:

  1. Find and explore the void that you're unknowingly trying to fill.
  2. Practice filling it in a healthier way.
  3. Fuck up repeatedly and start over every time.

That's how change happens, at least in my experience. Those 3 steps might take you months to master. In fact they'll most probably take a few years to stick. But they will definitely get you closer to your goal than repeating the same unhealthy cycles over and over again.

This week's practice:

Write down how you play a role in creating/maintaining the negative conditions that show up in your life, if at all. How are you holding yourself back, and what parts of you benefit from doing so? This is painful work, so be gentle with yourself and call on any support that you need – friendly, spiritual or professional.

Thanks for reading! If you have any questions or just want to chat about this post, please email me at and I'll respond in a day or two.