The reality is, that each one of us has grown up in a somewhat dysfunctional family – and some more dysfunctional than others. But regardless of how functional it was, we all have values embedded within our subconscious that don’t fit anymore.

Some of those may be the norms of a culture and society that have changed whereas other values will have been more consciously recognised and rejected. Some of these will have shifted through the natural personal growth of being human, other changes will have come through more focused self-development work.

Regardless of how it happens, the drama triangle is often involved. We see that we have subconsciously taken on the disempowered role of the victim, supported our self-esteem through being the family fixer or even become the persecutor or black sheep of the family and now realise how draining and limiting those roles are.

Instead, we decide to create a life where those roles are redundant and therefore no longer detrimental to our mental, emotional or physical health.

In that process of re-defining ourselves we also need to re-define what is important to us and what rules we now choose to live by. Old ways will push us around, but we will need to commit to thinking, acting and being in alignment with our new rules to create the life we truly want to live.

What stops us is often die-hard old habits.

Habitual ways of responding, rooted in our dysfunctional past. These are very often unconscious habits and so particularly hard to change.

redefining values

So, how do we change these old dysfunctional habits? (Aside from kinesiology 😉.)

First, make sure you are clear about what your values and rules for living are. If you haven’t done a values exercise click here to figure out your priorities.

Then use these to consider what your new rules for living look like. For example, you may have taken on the martyr role in the past and now recognise you are fed up with helping others and never getting any help yourself. Your redefined values may include valuing yourself and who you are. In this case, what could your new rules for living be? Perhaps never saying yes without thinking about it. Perhaps giving yourself time to care for yourself each week, no matter what. Perhaps committing to allowing others to step up and share responsibility.

While each of these sounds obvious, the transition to creating them in your life will take time. And if you keep falling into old habits it will take even longer, or may not work at all.

One way to deal with this is to take time to see how your habits impact and create your changing habits new scripts. Take time to sit down and think about the old habits that are not working for you.

>>> Important! DO NOT BEAT YOURSELF UP! This is an exercise in change and change is supported by kindness not punishment.

Start to reimagine all those situations where you habitually do the old. Rather than ruminating on them, imagine erasing that memory and reinstalling a new picture of what could have been a perfect interaction. Recreate your past to recreate your future.

Now, this is not going to work if you haven’t done the groundwork of really understanding why you want this new picture. Keep coming back to your values, your rules for living and recommit to that change. For yourself, not for others. Find that point that is ready inside of you and build on it. If it doesn’t shift, get help to find the energy (physically, mentally, emotionally, energetically) to change. This is not the time to sell yourself out!

And make sure you take time to integrate the journey. We all want to be in that new and shiny place, but it is the learnings that make it turn into reality. Be present and enjoy.


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