Breaking The Habit Of Being Yourself by Dr. Joe Dispenza
Big Idea #1: To Change Your Life, Change Your Thoughts
This idea is actually in the very first chapter of the book. Dr. Joe Dispenza starts off explaining how our beliefs or thoughts, lead to our feelings which lead to our actions which ultimately leads to our results. This is exactly the same as the concept of ‘TFAR’ in T. Harv Eker’s book ‘The Millionaire Mind”. However, instead of giving simple practical examples, Dr. Joe Dispenza uses the concept of Quantum Physics and other physics concepts to prove this point.
Basically, everything in the physical universe is made up of subatomic particles such as electrons. These particles exist as pure potential. They are in their wave state when they’re not being observed. These particles are potential ‘everything’ and ‘nothing’ until they are observed. Hence everything in our physical reality exists as pure potential. What Dispenza means by being ‘observed’ is when we don’t actively look out for it. But when we do see it and ‘observe’ it, we can start to act upon it.
What this ultimately implies is that the quantum field or the universe for this matter contains a reality in anything you want. So if you want to become a millionaire, the universe contains a reality in which you are a millionaire. And since our consciousness has effects on energy, we are powerful enough to influence matter. (I know this is a bit too technical but stay with me).
Now, the whole point of using this concept of quantum physics is to prove only one point. We can master our skills of observation to intentionally affect our destiny, our life, and our results. In this case, Dispenza uses ‘observation’ to mean we can master what we ‘focus’ on to change our results. To quote Henry Ford:
“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t, you’re right” – Henry Ford
For example, I had a friend who was quite miserable at his job. He wanted a pay rise but didn’t think he’d deserve it so he would never ask. A month later, something happened at work and he was blamed for something he didn’t do. He was really mad and thought staying in this job just isn’t worth it for the amount of pay he was getting. So he wanted to quit. But before he quit, he asked for a pay rise first because he had nothing to lose. To his surprise, his boss actually gave him a 10% pay rise. He was delighted and didn’t end up quitting.
Now the sudden change in his thoughts to think of himself worthy of getting a pay rise – was the change in his skill to ‘observe’, his ability to change his ‘focus’. He first focused on how h ewasn’t worth an increase in salary to focussing on the fact that the job wasn’t worth him staying. Dispenza says that that the potential of him getting that salary increase was always there. It was there even when he was miserable a month earlier. In fact, even if his job would say no, there still exists a potential situation in the universe where he’d get a 10% pay increase. Maybe this would’ve been through another job. Whatever it is you want, the potential is there. The only missing link is whether we have the ability to ‘observe’, to change our ‘focus’ to look it or not.
Big Idea #2: Live Your Desired New Future In the Present
Dispenza teaches us that our brain doesn’t know the difference between the internal world (what we imagine in our heads) to what we experience in the external environment. That is, our thoughts can become our experience. This is what Napoleon Hill also said in his book Think & Grow Rich. The reason why we think how we think and do what we do is not that of who we are. Remember, we only act because of our thoughts. This concept is extremely important because as quoted above, we can imagine ourselves being someone totally different. We can imagine a more successful life with more confidence, with more friends and so on. This is a very similar concept of “The New Self Image” by Maxwell Maltz in his book Psycho-Cybernetics.
When explaining these kinds of concepts, I like to break it down even more. In layman’s terms, if you’re able to imagine success and everything that it involves in vivid details, even down to the amount of money and house structure. And live that life in the present, meaning living that success right now in the present regardless of your situations, you will manifest it. For example if you want to become a millionaire. Think of how a millionaire would think, act, do, how their house would look like etc. First act in that way. And you will slowly attract the quantum potential of you being a millionaire into your life. It’s like, first you have to be a millionaire kind of person to actually become a millionaire.
Now, I know this may sound very weird and bit B.S. but here are some examples that you may relate to. Think of manifesting like dating. For example, imagine your perfect ideal partner in life. You don’t really care about the nitty gritty of how they look but you have to be attracted to them and they have to have the same values and be ambitious in life. Now imagine if they existed, what would they want in their perfect partner? They would want you to also be established. Be caring. Be funny. All that. So even if you’d meet your perfect partner in real life, you’d miss your chance because you’re not the type of person they’re looking for. Chances are even if they’d walk past you on the streets, you won’t even see or notice them because deep down you don’t think you deserve them so you don’t look out for them. Hence think of manifesting like dating. You have to become first, then you will receive.
So applying this concept to the previous scenario with my friend wanting to earn 100k, if he just acted, and thought of himself as already being a 100k type of person, asking for that pay rise would be a no brainer to him. Another example is if you want to become a public speaker – the kind that gets invited speak on TED Talks. First treat yourself as that kind of person already and you will slowly see more opportunities to public speak. It’s all about changing our focus to become better ‘observers’ so that we can attract our goal into our life.
These questions will help you find your desired new future. Also, when you’re done answering these questions and have a better understanding what your new desired future looks like. Remember not to live in the future but to bring it to the present. Live it in the present and feel the emotions, feel the happiness and feel everything that comes with it. More importantly, act and think like you’re living in the future but in the present. So when choices comes up and when situations arrives, deal with them as if the future you is dealing with them.
Big Idea #3: Three Brains: From Thinking To Doing To Being
We have three brains. The first brain is the Neocortex, which is responsible for our thoughts. The second brain is the Limbic brain, which is responsible for our emotions. The third brain is the Cerebellum, which is responsible for our habitual thoughts, attitudes, and behaviors.
And this is how we learn things. First, we think about the new concept, then we act on the new concept. Once we act on it enough, we can be the new concept.
For example, you don’t want to have as much of a temper anymore so instead you want to learn how to be more compassionate. So you immerse yourself in studying compassionate people like Mother Teresa and the Dalai Lama. Everything on how they think, act and what they believed. Now you know exactly how to think like them.
The second step after thinking is doing. So a situation comes up where your partner does something you extremely hate. If that was the old you, you would’ve started an argument. But since you just studied how to be compassionate, you start to act compassionately instead. At this stage, Dispenza explains that the act of doing represents us teaching our body what our mind has learned. So the first step was for the mind to learn. This second step is for the body to learn.
But acting compassionate in only one situation doesn’t necessarily make you a compassionate person. So what you have to do is act it out repeatedly. Only when you act compassionate repeatedly enough, you’ll move on to ‘being‘ compassionate. At this stage, Dispenza explains you no longer have to think of being compassionate, you just are. Being is when your body acts without needing a signal from the mind. It’s natural, routine, second nature and unconscious.
He goes further to say that to master being is when our internal chemical state is greater than anything in our external world. That is no matter how many times someone pushes your buttons or no matter how messy the house looks, nothing in your external environment can make you get mad since you want to be compassionate.
And the thing is this might sound foreign to you. As if ‘mastery’ is something very difficult to achieve. But the truth is, we have attained the mastery level. Just not on traits we might like. In fact Dispenza says ‘if you can master suffering, you can just as easily master joy’ – Dr. Joe Dispenza To demonstrate this I have to give you this example from the book which I find demonstrates this so well and at the same time is hilarious.
You probably know someone who has mastered suffering, right? So you call her and ask, “How are you?” She answers “So-So.” You go on and say “Listen, I’m going to go out with some friends to a new art gallery and then eat at this restaurant that has really healthy desserts. Afterward, we’re going to listen to some live music. Would you like to come with us?” And after a long pause, your friend answers “No. I don’t feel like it.”
But if she said what she actually meant, she’d say, I’ve memorized this emotional state, and nothing in my environment – no person, no experience, no condition, no thing – is going to move me from my internal chemical state of suffering. It feels better to be in pain than to let go and be happy. I am enjoying my addiction for now, and all these things that you want to do might distract me from my emotional dependency.
So guess what? We can just as easily master an internal chemical state such as joy or compassion as we can and we do for suffering. This also goes mastering our internal state of thinking we’re not good enough. Which is the most common internal state most of us have.
Big Idea #4: The Identity Gap
This was one of my favorite ideas from the book. I could resonate with this idea. Dispenza starts off the chapter by telling us what kind of person he used to be before all of this. He had the money, he had the job, he traveled around the world to teach and he had a great family. From the outside, it looked like his life was perfect. But even he didn’t know why even having the perfect life didn’t make him happy. And no it didn’t have anything to do with being grateful for what he had. It was the fact that there was a huge gap in his two identities.
Dispenza explains that everyone has two identities: The first is the identity of how you see yourself. The second is the identity of how you appear to others. There’s a gap because we usually don’t want others to see who we truly are inside. So it’s like we put on this front and have two identities. The thing is the second identity was actually created by us to hide our first identity. But now and then the first identity (our true identity) comes out and we try suppressing it further by changing our external world. But what we actually have to do is change our internal world. Dispenza defines happiness as closing this gap.
The gap was created because we memorized many emotional layers such as unworthiness, anger, fear, shame, self-doubt, and guilt. Hence our life’s aim is to close this gap. To really show who we truly are inside. This is what will make us ultimately fulfilled. Being self-expressed creates happiness. And we can do this by unlearning and un-memorizing these emotional states.
We can do it the long way as explained in Big Idea #3, but the faster way, which is to skip from thinking to just being can be done through meditation. That’s when Dispenza introduces his Step By Step Meditation Guide to do just that.
Big Idea #5: Breaking The Habit Of Being Yourself Through Meditation
Dispenza explains that one of the main purposes of meditation is to go beyond the conscious mind and enter the subconscious mind, in order to change self-destructive habits, behaviors, belief, emotional reactions, attitudes, and unconscious states of being. That is, we can skip the doing, to go straight from thinking to being.
The power of meditation actually allows us to become more observant within ourselves. It allows us to break our emotional bond with the body, the environment and time. This helps with “Breaking The Habits Of Being Yourself” and helps with creating new thoughts and emotions that are congruent with the new future you. We can actually skip the acting part and just move into being through meditation.
Hence Part 3 of the book includes a step-by-step guide to Meditation. It’s a 6-week program where Dr. Joe Dispenza shares tools, resources, how to and the reason behind everything. Unlike other books that only just have concepts and little action plans. Dr. Joe Dispenza has gone out of his way to explain every little step and to designing a meditation specifically aimed to have you break the habit of being yourself. He even includes guided meditations and many other resources on his website to help best perform this meditation.
As you can see Breaking The Habit Of Being Yourself reviews concepts that are quite philosophical. I’ve read many similar books like Psycho-Cybernetics, Think & Grow Rich, Secrets Of The Millionaire Mind and The Magic Of Thinking Big just to name a few. They all share one important key concept that actions and results all start from our thoughts.
Breaking The Habits Of Being Yourself doesn’t just say statements like ‘Change your thoughts to change your life’, instead it taps into many different concepts of physics, biology, neuroscience and many others to prove that this is not just philosophical but instead a fact. A fact that not many people are taking advantage of.
I guess my last words on this is that if you’re willing to be open minded and take the book for what it is instead of nit picking every little thing and actually apply the strategies it shares, I’m certain it will have a positive impact on your life. Go ahead, give it a read and break the habit of being yourself to become the new you.
Your Breaking The Habit Of Being Yourself Action Plan
- Choose your top 3 new traits.For example being compassionate, being bold and caring. Immerse yourself into studying on how to be just that by researching famous figures who embody that trait.
- Act out those 3 traits.Whenever you get a chance, ask yourself “What would a compassionate person do?” And do this. Do this enough times until you don’t need to consciously remember to be compassionate anymore. Do this for all 3 traits.
- Unlearn your worst 3 traits. Choose the top 3 traits that you don’t like about yourself. This could also include beliefs about yourself. Beliefs such as I’m not good enough. To unlearn it, take actions no matter how small to prove that you are good enough. And when you do, consciously write them down so you can remember it. Once you build up this bank of examples where you proved to yourself that you are good enough, slowly your old belief will just fall away. Of course, you can also do the meditation to unlearn these traits quicker. However, I’d suggest reading the book first in this case.