Our habits (which are our way of being automatic) feel very familiar to us – in our bodies, in our emotions.
Said another way, when we act habitually is also when we most often feel like ourselves.
Perhaps you know yourself as the irritable one, or the one who makes a joke out of things, as always just a little bit late, or as someone who can charm others. Maybe you know yourself as assertive and pushy, someone who’ll always get angry, or as the one who makes sure everyone is taken care of at the expense of what’s good for you. Each of them, whether helpful or not, is a habitual way of being that you keep going perhaps because it’s the way you’re able to feel like you.
So it should be no surprise your development – making the move away from habit towards responsiveness – means loosening your grip on what’s familiar and feeling some measure of confusion, disorientation, and anxiety.
And that this is what development always entails – allowing ourselves to feel unsure, a little shaky, to not know ourselves – so that we can do what’s called for, not just what feels familiar.