Hello there, how are you? I hope you're doingfantastic. My name is Conor McMillan. I'm an IFS-trained life coach, and I got trained about10 years ago by the IFS Institute. This channel, as you probably know by now (if this is yourfirst time hearing about it), we're all about empowering you to do self-therapy and to learn,specifically, some IFS protocols that you can start implementing on yourself to develop moreself-awareness, healing, and growth in your life. So today, I want to bring forward the conceptof bad habits and unhealthy distractions and actions that we may be participating in inour lives. And I want to maybe offer a new narrative on 'bad' because just offering a newnarrative can really shift the way that we see and feel our system, how we reflect on whatwe are doing, how we're interacting with life..
I really love this concept that's brought forwardin IFS and in other modalities. But to speak specifically about IFS, understanding that ourwhole system has all been designed from a place of health. So everything that we do, everythingwe think, everything we feel, it's an action of health. It's rooted in health. And that conceptcan be confusing for parts of us or for our logical thinking brain because some things thatwe're doing, we have a narrative that it's a 'bad' habit or it's 'unhealthy.' And perhaps it reallyis causing additional suffering, additional chaos, additional pain in our personal life, in ourphysical body, maybe in our psychological body, maybe in our relationships with other people.So that's a real thing, and we don't want to dismiss that. But at the same time, we might beable to soften this concept of 'bad' so that we.
Can release ourselves from shame, we can releaseourselves from guilt, and we can start to develop a deeper level of compassion for ourselves and forthe parts of us that are participating in those actions that we have been labeling as 'bad.'Identifying Root Causes and Cultivating Compassion 2:52Well, I just taught a class in my self-leadership coaching Academy all about whatI like to call 'Shadow distractions' rather than calling them 'unhealthy distractions.' I like tocall it 'Shadow distractions,' and the class was all about recognizing the root cause or the rootreason, the root need for a distraction. And that, typically, in our culture, we would saythat distracting is 'bad' or 'unhealthy.' My approach is we need distraction. Distractionis a form of relaxation. It's allowing our system.
To become mindless in the sense that, like, wecan relax our brain; we can also relax our body, maybe we can relax our emotional body as well.So distraction, in my opinion, is super important for all of us. And there are also other forms ofrelaxation that might be more like mindfulness practices that are indeed wonderful to have inyour life, but mindfulness often can be work for us, and we need a place and we need a thingthat we can turn to where it's not work at all. But healthy forms of distraction can easily become'Shadow distractions' when we are not consciously choosing them. So part of understanding andreshaping our idea of a 'bad' habit can also be thought of in this way. First of all, we have toidentify what's the root cause of this thing that we have been labeling as 'bad.' The root cause,if we can find that, will reveal to us it's based.
In health. So let's just use the distractionelement for a minute because I think many of us have labeled certain distraction things that we'vedone as a 'bad' habit. So you've got this habit of endlessly scrolling through Facebook. I know alot of people have something like this. So you have this habit, and you label it as a 'bad' habitbecause you find it to suck you in, to take you away. Maybe it's taking time out of your life; youdon't feel like you're in control of it, or you don't feel empowered by it. You just feel like,'Man, I really want to change this thing, and this is bad. I don't want to be doing this.' Andall of that information is valuable, and it's also most likely coming from a part or parts of youthat have a problem with that action, that have a problem with you scrolling through Facebook.And these parts or part have an opinion about it,.
And it's great to listen to that opinion from aself-led place as best as you can. It's great to have the knowledge and the wisdom from those partsthat have a problem with this distraction method. But it's also really important to understandthe deeper reason for the distraction method in the first place. So being really curious aboutthe part of you that gets turned on that turns to Facebook and starts scrolling endlessly and kindof takes over your system. Well, what could the reason be? And here are some possibilities: Thispart wants to shut everything down so that you can have some relaxation. This part wants to shuteverything down because it has gotten overwhelmed. Probably it's one of or both of those things.There might be other reasons for it, but most likely, it's rooted in a desire for relaxation orstress management or a combination of the two. So.
You can see how the root desire is really healthy:relaxation, stress management. Thank you so much for caring about helping me relax or helping mereduce stress. That is a wonderful gift for a part of you to take on as their job. That's wonderful.So if we can develop that level of gratitude and compassion through understanding ourparts that maybe we have so far labeled as 'bad' habit parts or parts of us that havea 'bad' habit, or show up with a 'bad' habit, then we can also allow that part to feel seen. Wecan help that part relax, and we start forming a relationship with that part such that we can be indialogue about our other needs. Many 'bad' habits, many 'Shadow distractions,' the reason thatthey're kind of in that place of, like, other parts of us that are like, 'I don't like thatthing,' is because they do indeed overwhelm us,.
And we don't feel like we're really choosing that.So one step that I offered this in my coaching Academy, and I'll also offer it to you, is to takethat 'bad' habit, identify it, what you've been labeling as a 'bad' habit, identify it, write itdown, bring conscious awareness to it. If you can, get in dialogue with the part or parts thatare participating in that action so that you can better understand it, find the root cause.Again, it's probably something like relaxation or stress management. Have compassion andgratitude for the job that that part is doing, and then consciously choose. Consciouslychoose to participate in that distraction. So, for example, rather than just beingoverwhelmed and suddenly scrolling through Facebook and two hours later, I find myself, I'vejust been sitting here scrolling through Facebook.
For 2 hours, what the heck? I could choose, and Icould say, 'All right, I'm going to set up a time for me. I'm going to set up 2 hours for myself tomindlessly scroll through Facebook, and I'm going to do it from, say 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. I'mgoing to set an alarm. When 8:00 p.m. comes, I'm just going to stop. That re-empowers my system tosay, 'I'm going to choose this thing.' And through that process, I get to potentially release myselffrom feeling overwhelmed suddenly by a part that participated in this action, or by parts of methat might have strong feelings of shame, guilt, or criticism about participating in the action.So we still might have those things show up, but in consciously choosing it, we arepresenting self. We are putting self, the idea of self, into the picture. Andremember, self is this core place in IFS,.
And it's represented in many other modalities ofhealing and self-growth work. For the purposes of IFS, we're looking for a place of self-leadership,self-awareness, self-created action, so it's calm, curious, compassionate, courageous, confident. Andwe make this decision to, in this case, distract ourselves with Facebook consciously. We decideto do that rather than have it overwhelm us. Now, as you open up to this concept and maybe do somepoking around in your own system, we take actions in some ways that are really scary for some of ourparts, maybe are truly dangerous to ourselves or to others. And again, this is not to dismiss theseriousness of some of the things that parts of us participate in, but it's also to soften it justa little bit, to get beneath the action itself, and to find the root cause and to potentially findin that root cause compassion and understanding..
And that the root desire or the root need thereis beautiful and it's based in health. The manifestation of that root desire or root need maybe could use some work, and that's okay. But if we can identify the core as healthy and know thatour system is truly doing the best that it can based on the knowledge that it currently has, andthat if we are able to provide our system with an updated version without force, we may be able tohave an organic shift towards greater health and greater vibrancy than we ever imagined possible.So I hope that video gives you something to think about. Would love to hear your feedback in thecomments if you have labeled anything as a 'bad' habit and are maybe interested in shifting that.What could that look like? What could that open up for you in your life? Drop it in the commentsbelow. Let's have a little dialogue about it..
Let's share. That's partly what we're here for.And I hope that you have a beautiful day. Keep coming back to the channel. We put out content atthis point about two times a month. You can also check out our website, internalfamilysystem.org,for additional material, some online programs that we have. And if the self-leadership coachingAcademy might be right for you, we are at, at the time of this video, entering into signups for the2024 self-leadership coaching Academy, and you can learn all about it in the link in the descriptionbox. So we'll be in touch. Talk to you soon.