My husband's 14 year-old niece was visiting us over Christmas Holidays and she saw the book that I had co-authored: Unlock the Power of You – 12 Keys to Health, Happiness and Success. My expertise in the book is on behavioral weight loss and she asked me what I mean by that. I simply said, "I help people change their relationship with food by changing their behaviors." She replied, "But how?"
I apologized to her and told her I could have explained it better. I explained, "Do you know how some people say that they are a carboholic or a chocoholic or they are addicted to a certain food? Well, they are identifying themselves as that rather than identifying it as a behavior. Once we identify it as a habit or behavior we can change that easily."
She nodded her head and said, "So, if I say I am messy then I am identifying myself as a messy person?" "What do you mean by messy, you look fine to me?" I asked. She laughed and replied, "No, I leave my room in a mess, yet I tell people that I am messy." "Ah, so if you keep saying I am messy, you will continue to leave your room in a mess now, wouldn't you?" I said. "How do I change that?" She asked.
"How would you change your wording so it sounds like you are not your mess, but you have a habit or behavior?" I asked. "I have a habit of leaving my room a mess?" She stated curiously. "Is it possible to change that habit?" I asked. "Yes," she replied. "What stops you from making your room more organized?" I asked. "I can organize it but I like to it do at my own time in my own way."
"So you do have the ability to be organized. Then what makes you say you are messy?" I asked, bringing her full circle and reframing it for her. She sat silent and I believe she was analyzing our conversation and thinking to herself that she is not her behavior! She looked at me and thanked me.