There is a natural human tendency for behavior to be highly repetitive.
Your body has an innate drive to conserve energy. This natural tendency shows up in the demonstration of repetitive and familiar behaviors. Familiar behaviors save energy and time because you don’t have to think so much about the activity that is occurring. This repetition can be constructive with, for example, knowing the quickest route to work, putting your keys in the same place, or preparing meals on Sundays. On the flip side, this repetitive familiarity can also be destructive, as seen in engaging in addictions to substances or activities, indulging in negative and limiting behaviors, or repeatedly being involved in toxic relationships.
Your brain monitors your behavior and creates meaning about your life based on how it perceives that behavior. This meaning shows up as emotional perspectives about the story of your life. If you behave in positive ways that generate positive emotions and perspectives, then your brain will perceive itself (you) from a more positive perspective, and you will feel better about yourself and the story you are telling about your life. If you behave in negative ways that generate negative emotions and perspectives, then the opposite will also be true.
Behavior change can be guided by intentional value choices.
Whether you are focused on changing repetitive behavior patterns or challenging negative story lines about your life, you can use values to illuminate your path. Values can be positive concepts, such as equality, discipline, and connection. Valuing equality promotes non-judgment. Valuing discipline increases productivity. Valuing connection promotes abundance. Values can also be negative concepts, such as greed, lack of ambition, and isolation. Valuing greed promotes self-absorption. Valuing lack of ambition squanders your strengths. Valuing isolation deteriorates connections. No matter what you have been through in the past, aligning with an awareness of values in the present can be used to guide you toward making behavioral decisions that can drive you toward a life that involves qualities of thriving. These are processes that can be described as growth, evolution, and coping.
As your behaviors continue in these ways, your brain will become more familiar with positive life narratives that these choices demonstrate. You will be able to trust yourself more because your choices will be guided by a different and more intentional perspective, which promotes familiarization with well-being from the brightness that exists within you.
Imagine what this world would look like if we all behaved with more positive intention.