Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself


On January 19, 2013, I attended a live full-day workshop in Vancouver, BC with Author & Neuroscience Researcher Dr. Joe Dispenza. The event was designed around the information shared in his book Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself: How to Lose Your Mind and Create a New One  and is all about HOW to make change stick. Dr. Joe addresses the question, “Why is it so hard for people to change?” and goes on to answer this question from a neuroscientific perspective. But the best part is when he explains how you can consciously design the change you want to experience in your life and wire it in to your body so the experience will inevitably follow. Let me share with you some of the highlights.


The last 10+ years have been eye-opening to say the least in the area of neuroscience. Technologies have dramatically improved allowing us to better observe the brain in action and map the results. The main breakthrough science is that of Neuroplasticity – the study of the ability for the brain to change its “wiring”; to make new connections and prune away old ones. The reason this is so significant is because it caused a paradigm shift in the accepted belief that the brain was pretty much set after childhood and you were stuck with what you got. Well, guess what? You’re not. You can teach an old dog new tricks.

Epigenetics is a term that literally means ‘beyond’ genetics. It is the name given to the scientific discovery that genes do NOT control life. Genes do not have the power to turn themselves on or off – they cannot activate themselves. Genes are a ‘blueprint’ or ‘guideline’ for how something will grow. However, which genes are ‘activated’ during the process of growth or change is determined by the ENVIRONMENT.

Now here’s the kicker when it comes to genes being activated by the environment: most of the energy and information you receive from the environment comes through your five senses and has to be interpreted by your brain.  Your brain interprets information based on the ‘information filters’ and ‘programs’ it has running. What this means is, your genes are controlled by your perception. Your perception is controlled by your beliefs and that means your beliefs – the way you think and feel – are what activate your genes and tell your body what to do next.

As you dive deeper into this, you’ll discover the implications this has for human health and disease.

Dr. Joe likes to say that “your personality creates your personal reality.” He goes on to remind us that, “your personality is made up of what you think, feel, and do.”

Now here’s the next thing to consider: only about 5% of what you think, feel, or do in a day is actually conscious and the rest is on auto-pilot. Your auto-pilots are internal thought sequences, emotional sequences, and action sequences that you have memorized so well that these are “hardwired” into your body through specific neural connections and firing patterns. They make up most  of “who you are” – your identity; your personality.

This is the state where your body knows something better than your conscious mind does. For example, have you ever picked up the phone to call a friend and consciously forgotten their phone number? You then put your finger on the phone’s number-pad and your finger seems to know just where to go to dial your friend’s phone number. Another example is typing in a PIN number when using your debit card – sometimes you’ll forget the number consciously but your finger knows the pattern to punch in on the keypad. The commonly-used layman’s term for this is “Body-memory”.

Your body remembers how to ride a bike, how to drive a car, how to walk, and so much more in order to free up your attention for new things. Unfortunately, you have memorized (created auto-pilots for) a number of things like thought/emotion sequences that were useful in the past but are no longer effective or applicable to your current situation. Still, they are triggered anyway because no better auto-pilot is available. In other words, many of your thoughts and feelings about a situation are re-actions – neurological sequences that were previously recorded during an original event and triggered to replay during the current event. They are recordings set to playback when a similar event comes along again.

This re-play of thought and emotion can cause trouble because you are treating new and unique situations as though they were the old situation and you inevitably create progressively worse results. Why? Because you are holding the same old behaviour pattern in place within an ever-changing world. Your old ways continually become less and less effective and before long, LIFE steps in and wakes you up out of your stupor with a jolt of adversity. This is when (and why) ‘bad’ things happen to you. You have fallen asleep in your own life and are letting the recorded emotional patterns of your childhood call the shots in your adult life.

If you’ve ever had something bad happen to you and found yourself stewing about it in a negative way – perhaps you were betrayed by someone close to you and you couldn’t let it go – you would have found yourself experiencing that bad feeling for a long time. As you maintain this state long enough it becomes a mood. As you hold the mood long enough, it becomes a temperament. As you sustain the temperament – uh-oh, it’s becomes part of your personality and you become known as a bitter person. You are bitter all the time regardless of the situation – you are constantly playing back the same internal recording over and over again no matter what is going on around you. Can you say “Dysfunction”?

This memorized emotion, this auto-pilot is running consistently, tainting everything in your life. It is a way of thinking, feeling, and doing that shape the events of your life that follow – which are usually similar to those of your past so you remain “stuck”.

This memorized emotion is also a state of PERCEPTION that activates certain genes within your body – telling your body what to do next.

When the negative emotions that activate the stress-response within you are prolonged,  you get disease.


The main point to consider here is that the problems in your life – in your relationships, in your finances, in your health are the result of inappropriate outdated auto-pilots causing you to make inadequate decisions that lead to a less-than appealing destiny. Auto-pilots are also know by another name: ‘HABITS’. When you add up all your habits and put them together into one unit, you get your ‘personality’ – your idea of yourself. You can see that when you replace your outdated habits with new appropriate ones, you essentially Break the Habit of Being Yourself. The motivation for you to do so is to create and sustain a state of health and well-being in every area of your life.


Neuroplasticity is the evidence that you can change your ‘wiring’ – you can change your brain. When you change your brain’s wiring, you change your personality. Change your personality, you change your personal reality.

Here, Dr. Joe would go on to say, “When you successfully apply this new paradigm, your brain and body are no longer a record of the past but, a map to your new future. To live by this law is to live by the quantum law.”


Okay, hang on…  Quantum law? What is he talking about?

Quantum law is a term that applies to the way that our reality is constructed from the very smallest particles and waves of energy all the way up to what we know of as our physical life experience. As you may well imagine, it’s a pretty big subject. However, I’ll just touch on what you need to know in order for what follows to be effective and useful for you.

In quantum physics, scientists look at the world we ‘know’ to be real with a really really powerful imaginary microscope and develop theories about how things work at that level of our reality. The theories are later substantiated mathematically and experimentally. Quantum physics dates back as far as the 17th and 18th Centuries when scientists such as Robert Hooke, Leonard Euler, and Christian Huygens offered a wave theory of light based on experimental observations. Albert Einstein was one of popular culture’s more famous quantum scientists and, while he was a great contributor to the field, he was only able to go so far given the time he lived in. Many advancements have since been made. One such advancement is the discovery of “The Measurement Problem” also known as “The Observer Effect.”


The Observer Effect is the name given to the discovery that an atom is essentially spread out all over the place as pure potential until a conscious Observer looks at it – at which point it collapses into into being. This means that the Act of Observation is what creates the entire known Universe. Pretty wild, eh? (Yes, I speak Canadian)


This “Observer Effect” is what Dr. Joe is referring to when he mentions living by the ‘quantum law’ and he encourages us to master the art of observation – to be present and observe our thoughts and feelings.

So let’s take a look at what we’ve learned so far:

The way you Observe creates your reality. The way you Observe is called ‘Perception’. Your Perception controls your genes. Your Perception is influenced by emotional states. Most of your emotional states are memorized sequences we can call ‘auto-pilots’. These auto-pilot states are reflections of your past. When you repeat an emotional state you memorized long ago, it influences your perception, it controls how you observe, which then creates a reality that matches your observation. So you create more of the same – making it difficult to change.


The short answer to creating change in your life is to cultivate a new way of Observing. You begin by becoming more present with yourself more of the time and simply observing your thoughts and emotions. Simply noticing them changes the structure of your brain. Noticing/Observing your thoughts and emotions shuts off the auto-pilot. As you build your awareness of what you think while you’re thinking it and what you feel while you’re feeling it, you empower yourself to question it and change your perspective. The shift in perspective changes your perception – and things begin to change.

The real key here is to have a specific process for doing this consciously and this is what Dr. Joe Dispenza offers in his workshops. I offer a similar yet different process in my coaching practice. What is unique about Dr. Joe’s workshop is that he begins by empowering you with an education on your brain so that you know exactly what you are doing and why you are doing it as he guides you through the process of Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself through a specific meditation process.

Dr. Joe Dispenza will tell you that the Tibetan meaning of the word “meditation” is ‘to become familiar with’. The act of Conscious Observation is the process we use to become familiar with things.

When you sit still and create a coherent brain state, you can begin to Observe a future you would like to experience until you begin to feel what it would be like to be there now. This process – repeated – creates and strengthens the neural connections that support this experience. You are programming an emotional response to an event that hasn’t happened yet.

Every emotional state is a form of energy with a unique electromagnetic signature that is attracted other energy with this same signature.

With this new wiring in place, you will notice new things, become attracted to different people and situations, make different decisions which eventually causes the event you wired into your body to emerge into your daily reality.

You will bring the new event to life by BEING different.

At this point, you are consciously creating your future experiences and you have become the conscious author of your own life story.


So what will the next chapter of your life story look like?


©2013 Trent Janisch –

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For more information about Dr. Joe Dispenza and his programs you can visit

Here are links to his books:


Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself : How to Lose Your Mind and Create a New One

Paperback BookCLICK HERE

Kindle eBookCLICK HERE




Evolve Your Brain: The Science of Changing Your Mind

Paperback Book – CLICK HERE

Kindle eBook – CLICK HERE



If you would like more information about receiving coaching on this and similar processes of consciously creating your future, please feel free to CONTACT me.



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