The Jim Fortin Podcast

EPISODE 5: “Why Your Bad Habits Are So Hard To Break”

March 20, 2019

In today’s episode, you’ll learn why it has been so hard to break your bad habits. The reason why is that people try to use willpower to break bad habits and willpower is a conscious process and habits come from the reptilian brain. When you got up this morning you didn’t say “ok I’m going to get out of bed then go to the bathroom then shower”…. it happened automatically without conscious analytical thought. All of us go through life on autopilot and if you have what you do not want, you’ve created that on autopilot.
If you want to create new things in life, you’ve got to create new habits.

You’ll learn:

Transformational Takeaway

You are not your habits. You are not your urges. You are not your habit voice telling you to go into your habits. (That’s your reptilian brain talking) You are you and your brain runs your habits. You cannot change your habits by fighting them. You must communicate with reptilian brain and it becomes easy for you to break your habits. 

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Full Episode Transcript


You're listening to episode number 5 of the transform your life from the inside out podcast, and in this episode, you're going to start learning why it is so damn hard to break your bad habits. So listen to this entire episode because you're going to learn why it's been so hard for you to break your bad habits. But also, you're going to learn how using willpower which many of you have tried to use using willpower actually works against you and makes it harder for you to break a bad habit. You're also going to learn about what I call the brain battle how your brain actually fights itself the front part of the brain, prefrontal cortex, thinking part of the brain, and The Reptilian part of the brain. They get into a brain battle they fight, and you lose the battle and stay in the bad habits. Keep listening. Hi, I'm Jim Fortin, and you're about to start transforming your life from the inside out with this podcast. I'm widely considered the leader in subconscious transformation, and I've coached superachievers all around the world for over 25 years here. You're going to find no rah-rah motivation and no hype because this podcast is a combination of brain science, transformational psychology and ancient wisdom all rolled into one to take your life to levels you have never thought possible. If you're wanting a lot more in life, to feel better, to heal, to have peace of mind, to feel powerful and alive, and to bring more abundance and prosperity into your life. Then this podcast is for you because you're going to start learning how to master your mind and evolve your Consciousness and when you do that, anything you want then becomes possible for you. I'm glad you're here.

Habits Are Habits for a Reason–Here's Why

All right. What I want you to get right off the bat is that everything that you do or do not do is a habit at the Max Planck Institute on Leipsic Germany big word there. I'm tripping over at the Max Planck Institute Leipsic Germany, one of the foremost research institutes in the world. I believe they have 43 Nobel prize-winning scientists contributing research there. They did a study, some research, back in 2008. I'm not going to go into it here. But what they discovered is that up to 95% of every decision that you make is already determined by the brain, even while you think you're consciously thinking through a decision, your brain has already made that decision for you, which means up to 95% of what you do on a daily basis and I will demonstrate this in a bit plain and simple is to have it. So the foundational place we're going to start in this podcast, and you hear people talking about habits all the time, you know, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People in the seven habits of millionaires and all that we're going to go deeper in this podcast because I want to look at the mechanisms of habit because let's say for example that a book can say that, you know millionaires they have a habit of reading every single morning for 15 minutes. Well, suppose you have a more foundational habit of not being committed to doing things. In that case, there's no way you're going to be able to make that 15-minute habit because you're not even in the habit of having a different habit about commitment to follow through on reading 15 minutes a day. So foundation and where we start everything you have and don't have in your life is a habit and way of being, so the next step is to train and recondition yourself when you train. You recondition your habits. You will create entirely new outcomes in your life.

So I do want to segue here for a second. I had mentioned breaking your bad habits. I want you to understand that when it comes to The Reptilian part of the brain, which is the part of the brain that manages your habits when it comes to the reptilian part of the brain. There are no such thing things as bad habits. For example, you could say, well, smoking a cigarette is a bad habit. That is the analytical prefrontal cortex, thinking it's the executive part of the brain saying no, you should not smoke because that is bad for you. However, The Reptilian part of the brain does not distinguish between good habits are quote and bad habits. Those are simply thoughts attributed to the habit. Your brain just does what it does because habits are habits without any external value. Your brain reptilian part of the brain creates habits, and there are neither good habits nor bad habits, simply habits.

Now, let me show you for us, and we'll get more into this in just a bit. But let me show you how you Operate on autopilot all day long, which is a habit, and you're not even aware that you're doing it. Let's look at your morning ritual. Think back to this morning when you got up. I want you to look at the sequence of behavior that you did this morning. Did you get out of bed? Did you go make coffee? Did you go to the kitchen? Did you go to the bathroom first? Did you check your messages? What did you do this morning? And then what order did you do it in? Notice that now I also want you to notice what you did this morning in the order you did it in–most likely… I'm a betting person. So I'm going to say 99% chance you did yesterday morning and the morning before and the morning before and the week before and the month before and the year before, so your morning sequence demonstrates that for the most part, every single one of you you get in the habit and you work through habit not even knowing that you're doing it.

So, you know when you got up this morning, you did not say well. Okay, I'm going to get out of bed. But what am I going to do? First? Am I going to make coffee? Am I going to actually go to the bathroom? Am I going to start making some hot tea? Do I shower first? I brush my teeth first. What do I do in what order? No, it happened automatically with no conscious analytical thought, and that's what I want you to recognize about your life your entire life because research demonstrates, as I said earlier 95% of what you do is an unconscious brain-based habit. Most of us go through our life on autopilot will not most all of us go through our life on autopilot and habit, and let me show you another example here of how this plays out. I want you to think about the last time you pulled up to a stoplight. So you're driving along, and you see the light, and the light goes from literally from green to yellow. What do you do? Do you sit there? And do you think whoa, okay? What happened here? Wow, this whoa, what do I do? What does it mean? It just went from green to Yellow, do I? Do I stop, do I hit the brakes, the brakes do I run through the light, do I go fast? What do I do know what every one of you did with?

No analytical thought is that you stopped or you went bastard and run through it, but you stopped at the stoplight notice also that you were probably engaged in other activity. You're either listening to the radio, looking out the window, talking to the kids in the backseat, you're texting–which, by the way, is very unsafe–or you're doing something else. But notice when you stopped at that stoplight, there was no analytical conscious thought involved. You did it automatically unconsciously autopilot brain-based. Well, that's how you live your life and every bit of your life. If you have what you know you want, you've created that on automatic autopilot. If you have what you do not want, you have also created that on automatic brain-based autopilot. So it stands to reason, and it's obvious if you want to create new things in life. You don't get what you want. You actually get your habits. So you've heard me say some variation of this before in earlier episodes, but where you are right now with your money. Your health, your food, your relationships, your business wherever where you are right now is a reflection of your brain based unconscious habits, you know, let me give you an example here of how these work in the background like an app on your you know on your cell phone. You got apps running in the background, but no one ever says, hmmm. What apps do I have running a day? Well, the same thing with your habits are running in the background, but we never talk about them or think about them. And let me show you again how effortless leave it effortlessly. They happened when I moved to the current house that I live in, the last house that I lived in. I lived there for four years, and back then, I used to drink cold water ahead and refrigerator when I moved here. I switched to room temperature filtered water. Here's the thing and the last house anytime that I wanted water and I drank a gallon a day. I would go to the refrigerator and get water. Well, when I moved here, even though it a different house, different layout, everything for about literally the first month anytime that I wanted water. I would go to the refrigerator, and I'd be like, Oh, okay. That's right. I'm not drinking cold water anymore. Our habits are so ingrained that we don't even know that we're getting newer habits. And that's why your life is exactly what it is because of the ingrained habits you don't even know you're getting into.

You know one of the cultural misnomers and one of the things that mislead a lot of people is that the motivational speakers and the Rob people and all these people will say things like, you know, what you've got to believe you got to create a burning desire and when you believe it you will achieve it and all this other nonsense. I mean to some degree. Okay. Yeah, that could be true, and that's a whole different podcast episode, but overall, what we get into as human beings as we get in the self-deception, which I've alluded to before. Oh, yes, my left brain, my analytical brain believes. I can achieve that when in your unconscious paradigms in your habits, that is not true. So what I want you to understand at this point is that you will not, for the most part. You will not get your goals. You will not what you will get is your unconscious habits many times. Also, you will not get your beliefs. You will get your unconscious habits, and that is why it is so. By title, I mean monumentally vital that you understand, which we started with that 95% of what you do on daily basis habits. Everything is conditioning. Your entire life is a habit. And if you want to create new things, it comes down to plain and simple you must focus on not what you believe because many of us get in the self-deception what you must focus on is creating the habits that create the outcome that you want. All right, we did this a little bit in the last episode, but I'm going to do it again. And as you continue to listen to this podcast, you're going to become very familiar with this brain model is that there are three parts of the brain three predominant parts of the brain the newest part of the brain called the prefrontal cortex, which is the executive thinking part of the brain. It's the part of your brain listening to me right now. I'm going, oh, okay. Yep. Yep. Yep. I get it. That makes sense. Then. There's the middle brain, the mammalian brain, the limbic system, the emotional part of the brain, and then there is The Reptilian part of the brain, which again is fight or flight or survival. This

Part of the brain is the part of the brain that houses your habits. It's not the prefrontal cortex. The thinking part of the brain. It is the survival, the Reptilian, part of the brain that houses and executes every single habit that you have. Now, this podcast is partly about why it's so hard to break your bad habits. And I don't know anyone for the most part because most people are never taught this. I don't know anyone for the most part that says, you know, what? Oh, yeah. It's easy to break a habit. I've had for a long time, as a matter of fact, most people have a story that it's really hard to break your bad habits. Let me show you why, as I said, your habits are maintained by The Reptilian part of the brain, the oldest part of the brain, and a habit is simply a habit. There are no good habits. There are no bad habits in your brain. The Reptilian part of the brain just does what it does, and it maintains your habits. The Reptilian Brain also works from the premise that every habit that you have is needed for survival. That's why it's so hard to break a habit because the reptilian part of the brain is working from whatever habits you have. I have to maintain those habits. Why because you need that habit for survival, then what happens is the prefrontal cortex, the thinking part of the brain.

Let's take smoking. For example, that part of the brain says no, you should not do that smoking is bad for you. So what happens is the prefrontal cortex thinking part of the brain thinks that smoking is a bad habit, but the reptilian older part of the brain doesn't know better good. It just knows habits, and it doesn't want to abolish any habits because it believes all your habits are needed for survival. So then what happens is you literally have two parts of your brain juxtaposed. You have one part of the brain saying, Hey, I want to eliminate this habit. You have another part of the brain saying nope. Nope. Nope. We are not eliminating that habit. Now you have set your brain up to work against itself. This is why it is so damn hard for people to change their habits because they don't know the mechanisms of habits we're digging into in this episode. Okay. So I think you're starting to recognize that any time that we say we want to create something different in life. We're thinking that psychologically which prefrontal cortex thinking part of the brain, but what we're really saying is that we want to change some habit and then what we do which is the wrong way or the least effective way that doesn't work is we try to create change with the thinking analytical prefrontal cortex part of the brain. It doesn't work because habits come from a different part of the brain, a reptilian part of the brain. Then what people do is they say something like, you know what, I'm going to use my willpower. I'm going to make this happen and look at your own life. Most times when you have tried to use willpower, you have failed because again, what you're doing is one part of the brain, the thinking part of the brain is Posturing, thinking analyzing, and saying I'm going to change XYZ habit The Reptilian part of the brain is saying no, you're not that habits needed for survival. Then we get into What's called the brain battle. I call it the brain battle. One part of the brain is battling with the other, then what happens is the analytical brain says, well, I'm going to fight harder because you know what? I'm fighting you, and you're making the habit even stronger. So I'm going to fight it even more, and I'm going to use my willpower, and in the end, what generally happens is you actually revert to your old habits again. The reason why is because willpower is also fixed finite resource willpower is like using the, you know, using your cell phone. If you have a charge beginning of the morning, you've got a full battery, but the more that you use it into the day, you've got no battery, and the same thing with will power the more of it you use, the more you deplete, the less you have the less you're able to use to facilitate behavioral change. Here's something that I want you to understand, and this will be a big aha for a lot of you is that once you get into the brain, the brain battle the thinking part of the brain arguing with The Reptilian part of the brain where the habit comes from which I'll get into in just a moment because part of having the habit as an urge, I'll go there in just a moment. But when you actually analytically start fighting the urge which comes from The Reptilian part of the brain, make no mistake the urge and The Reptilian part of the brain will always always always win because the urge is stronger than the analytical thought. So let that sink in. Let's take an example here. And this is one that I actually have in my habit training program is Diet Coke. I drank that garbage, and it is garbage, for many years, the artificial sweeteners in it, and I did read somewhere that for every soda you drank, it takes 13 glasses of water to cleanse your kidneys. That stuff is horrible. I don't know if it's true or not. But part of me does believe that there is something in that drink that is addictive. I drink it for a lot of years and using a process that actually I'm going to teach you not in this episode but in the video somewhere else and remind me are just want you to recognize right now that there will be a video link in the show notes where you can go watch a video on how to easily use what I'm telling you and what you're learning here to break your bad habits. Okay, but let's take diet coke, for example. I drink that crap for a lot of years. And analytically, I would say, you know what, you know, Jim, you shouldn't drink that. It's not good for you. It's bad for you blah blah blah many of you have been there with smoking and sugar different things. You do in your life Diet Cokes Etc. So nnalytically I would say, you know what? I need to stop drinking diet coke, and tomorrow I would be right back at the old habit again; and I was in the habit of having at least one Diet Coke a day after lunch, and my rationalization was, well, you know what? I don't drink coffee, and I do want the caffeine. So one Diet Coke a day is okay for me, but then when I decided that I wanted to stop the habit, what happened was is that I was in the habit meaning the brain-based habit, and a habit is just a habit of drinking it every day. So then what would happen is I'd get in the brain Battle of having the diet coke no don't have the Diet Coke have a Diet Coke. No, I don't have a Diet Coke, and then ultimately what would happen is I would collapse Into The Reptilian habit, and then I would have a Diet Coke then what I would do is I would say something like sees, you know, I can't break this habit. Anyway, it's got a hold on me. It's just a habit, man. This habit is really hard to kick, and that cycle went on for years. Until I learned what you're learning here, and you will learn in the video down in the show notes.
Let me explain a little more about that process and the neurology of it. I said a little earlier, see when you have a habit. What happens is the brain knows it's like an alarm clock. You set your alarm for 6:00 a.m. The alarm goes off. What happens is your brain knows that it's supposed to be The Reptilian part of the brain knows that it's supposed to get in the habit at a certain time. So what it does is it gives you the urge here's the place where a lot of people fail it gives you the urge to have the diet coke. Here's what most people do is they fight the urge now. So we've got a brain battle going. We got The Reptilian part of the brain with the urge in the urge gets stronger. We've got the analytical part of the brain saying no, no resist resist resist. You don't need it. You don't want it. It's not good for you. And this is where the battle starts what I want you to, and we also have a habit of voice here, which is happened voice comes from The Reptilian part of the brain.
And the Habit voice is saying, go ahead. Go ahead. You're going to fail. Anyway, go ahead and have that Diet Coke that I want you to get clear, and I know you've experienced it because you have a brain, and your brain does the same thing to my brain does is once the habitats time for it to happen. Like people will say things like every day at 3 o'clock. I smoke a cigarette, or I have a Diet Coke or whatever happens as The Reptilian Brain knows that needs to happen. Then the urge kicks in actually to push you into the habit and get into the brain battle. So I want you to see very very quickly here is that we do set ourselves up for a battle which you have probably done, and then we get into, you know, fighting the urge with the conscious voice, and we fail pretty much I would say about 95% of the time. Now, let me give you something here in this is literally I'm thinking through this whether or not I want to share this because it's going to make a lot of people mad, and that's okay. Alcoholics Anonymous, when I have looked up what are their success statistics? I have found anything from 50 to 70%. It depends upon what you read. I have found no definitive evidence on, you know, what based upon all the collective evidence here is the success rate of Alcoholics Anonymous. So I don't know but let me tell you when it comes to the brain how alcoholics anonymous is a broken brain model because it doesn't take into consideration how the brain works.
The way that Alcoholics Anonymous works are one of well one way but two choices on your left hand. You have a lifetime of drinking and all the bad things about it on your right hand. You have a lifetime of sobriety. So what is your left? You have drunk on your right, you have sobriety, and you are in the middle. And then what that does is that puts you up for a sea salt of a lifetime left-hand drink right hand not drink and here's where most people fail left hand. Thinking about not drinking is not as powerful as our left-hand drinking is not as powerful as right hand staying sober. So what happens is we get into the emotions people get into the emotions in the urges of drinking, and it pulls them right back into the habit again the failure of that. Model is that it sets you up or sets people up, and this is how people structure all their habits and sets people up to either Diet Coke or not. But you're in the middle like a seesaw, and you have to choose between the analytical thought in the urge, and it is a constant turmoil and battle for most people. Let me tell you the most powerful place to put yourself, and then we'll wrap this episode up when I stopped drinking diet coke. By the way, you will learn this in the video that's in the show notes where we went through this. When I stopped drinking diet coke, I removed myself from the model of either have Diet Coke or do not it's good for you or bad for you where I went psychologically is this and this is the most powerful place that we can work from today. I work from, and there's a whole there's a very, very simple but whole process in the video below where work from is that Diet Coke is not either-or for me. That's not where I work from where I work from is this diet coke for me is a thing of the past notice when I keep my attention their diet coke for me is the thing of the past no longer am I in that brain battle either-or state which I would lose over and over and over again a caveat here. I want to point out if you are actually smoking cigarettes or, you know, someone that's drinking way too much. I highly recommend a couple of books. They're called the easy way to stop smoking and the easy way to stop drinking by Alan Carr. I believe his last name is simply C A R R Alan Carr the easy way to stop smoking in the easy way to stop drinking. These books are very effective at removing people from Either or model and having them actually take the habit, disassociate from the habit, and making it a thing of the past for them. Like I've done with Diet Coke. Okay. I know in this episode we've talked about a whole lot of brain. Jargon and big words like prefrontal cortex and you know, the brain battle and all this kind of stuff and all these big brain all this big brain stuff. But let's keep this really simple. What I want you to do is go in the show notes and watch the video. It's about a 20-minute video where I actually will walk you through a process, and that process is the process that I used the exact process that I used to kick a 15-year Diet Coke habit and a matter of one day with no Cravings if I can do it you can do it. So your fundamental thought for today is this is you are not your habits.

Consider that you are not your habits. You are not your urges. You are not your habit voice telling you to go into the habits. See, what most people do is they think they are the Habit voice. They think that is them when it's really their Reptilian Brain talking. Do not personalize your habits. So, for example, a lot of people, when they fail less a drinking diet coke fail what they do is they personalize The Habit which is nothing more than a brain-based habit, and they say, see I told you I am weak. I don't have any willpower. I have no strength. I cannot do it, and they are simply actually personalizing and psychologically making it about them when it's nothing more than a habit. So your fundamental takeaway from this week. Is this you are you and your brain runs your habits you are. Not your habits. You predominantly cannot change your habits by fighting your habits. What you must do is you must communicate with the conscious analytical part of the mine. You must communicate with the part of the brain, The Reptilian part of the brain that sustains The Habit. When you do that, it becomes very, very easy for you to break your habits. Okay. So as I said a little earlier multiple times go Below in the show notes. There should be a video for you with a link to watch that will show you the exact steps to break any habit that you do not want already. So stay tuned and keep listening because in the next episode.

I'm going to be talking. We're going to go in a different direction. We're going actually to stop the brain stuff in the next episode, and we're going to talk about how you can live from your Highest Potential. I'm going to tell you right now you might already be thinking. Oh, okay. Well, I've heard this, and I've heard that know what you hear in the next episode. I promise you you have never heard before because living from your Highest Potential is an overrated buzzword in the industry. Most people have no clue what it means to live from your Highest Potential, and I'm going to actually start talking to you about how to live from your Highest Potential as a cosmic being. Living from your Highest Potential is an internal process. It's not like a lot of people think and external measurement of your ability. Okay, stay tuned and keep listening.


Thanks for listening to this episode. Thank you for listening to this entire podcast. If you're the kind of person who likes to help others, then share this with your friends and family, you know, if you found value, they will too. So, please share via your social media channels. Also. If you have questions, I'm here to assist. You can email me questions to support at Jim, and I may even use your question for a future podcast episode. Also. If you want transformational content like this daily, connect with me on Instagram. My Instagram name is I am Jim Thornton. Finally. I do have a personal request. I believe that we're all here to help others and to grow and evolve ourselves. Together you and I, Let's help more people. If you would please leave a review on iTunes and a good one, by the way, I'd be grateful and through your assistance together. We can transform more lives. Thanks for listening.

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The link above is a video training I did to help you reinforce the elements from the podcast episode. In the video training, I also teach you about how to communicate with your reptilian brain in order to get rid of a habit.

Jim Fortin

Jim Fortin

Jim is an international subconscious self-transformation and high performance expert with over two decades of expertise in brain based transformation and high performance. Using a brain based approach coupled with transformational psychology and ancient wisdom Jim has created programs that create long-term core-level life transformation in his students.

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