Want to know how to finally break codependent habits?
There is no other reason for codependency than your programming. Programming that happened mainly during your childhood. You don’t need to delve deep into your childhood and analyzing the root of this programming. You just need to become aware of it and bring it to the surface. Then you have the opportunity to deal with the thoughts (conscious or subconscious) that you have now.
Typical events that cause Codependent Programming:
- Lack of love & nurturing
- Rejection & abandonment
- Addiction in the family
- Physical, emotional, or sexual abuse
- Mental or physical illness
Signs Of Codependency:
- Having a hard time saying no
- Having poor boundaries
- Emotional reactivity
- Feeling compelled to take care of people/rescue people
- A need for control, especially over others
- A need to be liked by everyone
- A need to always be in a relationship
- Denying one’s own needs, thoughts, and feelings
- Fear of abandonment
Steps for Breaking Codependent Habits
Step 1: Get Space from the Relationship (even in your mind)
If the relationship is already over you can still have codependent tendencies toward that person in your thinking and emotions. So this advice goes for both current and past codependency with a specific relationship like your ex spouse.
Take space from the relationship and focus inward. Even space in your thoughts about him. Connect to yourself. As with any habit, you can’t reprogram it if you keep doing the same things repeatedly. Think of it as any habit. For instance, if you have a habit of smoking, you can’t expect yourself to quit smoking while continuing to smoke. You need space to reprogram what and who is important and that is you. You can’t do that when your focus is outward on that person. This will feel uncomfortable. You’re not used to focusing on you. But push through the discomfort. Remember you are undoing years programming to be codependent.
Step 2: Bring Your Emotions to Awareness
You can’t correct a behavior and emotion if you don’t bring it into awareness. Take time before waking or right before sleep, when your mind is most susceptible to new conditioning, and ask yourself what positive emotions do you get from your codependent behavior. Once you become aware of the feelings you are trying to get from this behavior, ask yourself, how can I get these feelings in a healthier way without dependence on another person? For example, if rescuing a person enhances your self esteem, how else can you increase those feelings about yourself? It could be from doing something courageous, learning something new, or going after a job you love. When you get to the root of the feelings you want from the codependent behavior, you can go after these feelings in a healthier way.
Step 3: Question the Thoughts that Create Codependent Behavior
Your behaviors stem from your beliefs. And not all of these beliefs are conscious to you. Here we bring them into awareness and question their truth in order to release them. Do this work on paper so you can slow your mind down enough to not talk you out of it.
Get into a state of relaxation so your subconscious is open to you. Ask yourself, what is it that I believe that makes me want to rescue him, put others before myself, or be overly involved in other’s well-being (or in whatever way your codependency shows up for you). For example, you may believe: they can not help themselves, so it has to be you. You may believe: you are only worthy if you can save another person.You may believe: you don’t deserve to put your own well-being first
When you’ve identified the belief, write it down. Now ask yourself, what is also possible? Is there another way I can see this? And give yourself proof of the opposite possibility. For instance, If you believe, I am not worthy if I don’t save people, write down all the examples of the things that make you worthy. How are you worthy even when you don’t save people?
Giving your mind examples as evidence on paper releases the belief. I promise you. I’ve done it myself and my clients and it works!
Step 4: Reinforce New Beliefs with Actions
Taking action to reinforce new beliefs is the final critical step. As with any programming and conditioned behavior that you want to change, you have to practice doing something different in order to unlearn it. Yes it will be uncomfortable and it takes work to act outside of your programming. But it is the only way to change it.
Here is an example of an action you can take to reinforce your new beliefs and your commitment to no longer being codependent:
Set Boundaries that ensure you create new habits. Again, if you quit smoking, you aren’t going to let someone put a cigarette in your mouth or blow smoke in your face. Same thing with breaking codependent habits. You have to set boundaries with this person to reinforce your new beliefs and your new focus on you. You teach people how to treat you so you have to be OK if you receive resistance.You may also feel guilty. Practice in small steps but be consistent and don’t waiver. Remember, this is for your greater good and absolutely necessary for cultivating healthy loving relationships that don’t destroy you as an individual. Become aware of your behavior and don’t let yourself be controlled, shamed, or coerced by others. You can stand up for your needs with: “I love you, but I love me too”. Be gentle and loving with yourself, but also be firm when somebody is mistreating you. Be responsible for communicating what’s on your mind without judging yourself.
This is your time to release the programming and build the healthy relationships you deserve <3
Dianah Johnson is a writer, mentor, and Certified Life Coach. With her training in Hypnosis, Neurolinguistic Programming, and Cognitive Behavior Therapy, Dianah created the Rapid Reprogramming Technique(RRT). A powerful technique that helps women release the programming keeping them stuck and in pain after divorce. Dianah has helped hundreds of divorced women heal old wounds, rediscover and love themselves deeply, and create an incredible future with clarity and confidence. Learn more at www.dianahjohnsoncoaching.com
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