Don't Let Your Light Go Out!
Shine bright like a diamond We're beautiful like diamonds in the sky
Some of us are addicted to the WRONG thing. A synonym for addiction is habit.
a settled or regular tendency or practice, especially one that is hard to give up
Habits are those regular practices that we do day in and day out. When we consistently practice a habit. It becomes part of who we are. Habits are not bad in and of themselves. Some habits can be good. I think brushing my teeth and taking a shower on a regular basis are very good practices.
Some practices are bad because they work against us. For example, when I was younger I admired women who had beautiful nails. My mother's nails were always so pretty. But I had a nasty nail-biting habit that prevented me from having the beautiful nails that I wanted.
And the key phrase in that definition of habit is "hard to give up." Let's just face the terrible truth about bad habits: they are hard to break because they provide relief, comfort, release, or temporary happiness. My nail biting tendency was a quick way for me to deal with anxious feelings.
One day I made the decision to give up my nail-biting habit. I looked at my hands one day and decided that I no longer wanted to live with "ugly" hands.
But giving up my nasty habit was easier to think about than it was to do. Giving up my tendency to bite my nails was HARD. Of all of the things that I have done in my life, it is arguably the most difficult challenge that I faced. I often tell people who have quit smoking that giving up nailing biting is harder. Your hands are free and they are always with you.
I am proud to report that I was able to give up my nail-biting. Would you like to know how I did it?
Before we get to that, let's go back to Rihanna's message for us: "shine bright like a diamond." The reason that it is so important for you to give up your bad habits is that they work AGAINST you becoming your best self. For every bad habit you have, it takes the "light" from your spirit. Your light becomes dimmer.
Giving up those bad habits will help you "shine bright like a diamond." Replacing the bad habits with good habits moves you closer to becoming your best self. And when you live your best, you will shine bright for everyone to see.
I warn you that it won't be easy. But if you stick with this plan for 45 days, you will be on your way to conquering your bad habit and becoming the DIAMOND you were meant to be.
Get a vision of where you want to be. I had to envision myself with beautiful nails. I looked at pictures of women with beautiful nails. I spent a lot of time looking at my "ugly" hands so that the reality of my "now" could sink in. Looking at where I wanted to be helped me see and where I was helped me see where I needed to change.
Decide NOW to take one action to move you in the direction you want to go. Looking at all of those pictures motivated me to purchase a manicure kit. I looked up some You Tube videos that showed me what I needed to do to take care of my nails. I decided to use my manicure kit at least once a week.
Schedule time to practice a new habit. After learning about how to take care of my nails, I scheduled a regular time on my calendar to do my at-home manicure: Saturday after dinner became my manicure time.
Commit to practice your new habit. A one-time manicure wasn't going to do the trick. So I also adapted some daily practices to help keep me on track. Every evening, I washed my hands in a luxurious scrub, dried my hands with a fluffy towel, and put oil around my cuticles. Over the top you say? No, what was over the top was me nibbling my nails down to nothing. This new habit was good for me and I chose to make it an enjoyable experience.
Don't cry over slip-ups. I wish that I could say that I never chewed my nails again. That would not be the truth. During that first year, I regularly "fell off the wagon" and found myself anxiously nibbling away on my fingers. The key is that I was now aware and often would stop myself before going too far. That, my beloveds, is called "progress." Stick with your new practice even when you fail. Get back and go at it again.
Get support. Encouragement from others is not something most of us actively seek. Thank God for perceptive people who are more than willing to help us. Tell some trusted friends about your commitment to give up your bad habit. Ask them to support you. And then let them! We call these "accountability partners." My husband was my partner for my journey to beautiful hands. There were times that I did not want to hear him. I just wanted to give up and bite my nails. He would just remind me, "I thought you wanted nice nails." Yep, busted. When your accountability partners bust you, take the gift and get back on track!
Change of any kind is HARD. Changing to give up a bad habit is down-right BRUTAL. But here is one thing that I know: if you commit to it and stay consistent, you will WIN!
How do I know? Because if you are reading this, you ARE a WINNER and a diamond in the rough. My hope for you is that you will learn how to SHINE brighter each day.
What habit are you going to tackle? Let's do it!