We all at some point adopt belief systems and habits that we perceive as useful in maintaining some sort of control in our lives. Its usually much later that we begin to realise the things we thought made sense are actually a hinderance. If we develop and increase an awareness of ourselves, we can use that awareness to confront old habits and beliefs and achieve small breakthroughs.
Habits are hard to break for several reasons; we are accustomed to them; we've had years to get used to them and their power goes so deep that we often forget the most important thing about them - we made them, and therefore have the power to break them. The best way to regain your power is to take small steps; increasing your awareness moment by moment. You make mini breakthroughs every time you choose to do something a little differently, instead of letting the habit choose for you. This is true whether your habit is about responding with anger to a given situation, feeling anxious about a challenge you've not even tested out yet, or simply over-eating. All habits do the same thing - they rob us of awareness; but awareness has the real power. At any given moment, noticing how you're acting begins to dissolve the habit because you are aware of your choices.
Think about a time of day when you're most susceptible to old habits. See yourself doing something you do regularly and narrate what you are doing objectively. By doing this, you notice what you are doing in a mindful way; this can lead to a breakthrough if you then choose to change that pattern, so celebrate this by giving yourself a silent pat on the back. Realising what you've achieved is important in the process of reprogramming yourself.
Meditation is a great tool for building and increasing awareness; it forms a place of stillness within us that we can return to again and again. Building this connection to our awareness helps us to be mindful and thus brings the breakthroughs and possibilities of change that we seek. Connecting to awareness in this moment brings about transformation and freedom.
Every breakthrough offers you freedom of choice instead of acting on an unconscious habit, so enjoy it as soon as it happens. Expanding your consciousness begins with tiny steps but brings you the freedom to be your true self.