Rituals are very unique things, we all have them, we all experience them and we all use them everyday in our lives. Have you ever watched a baseball game? Have you ever noticed there are players who adjust their helmut, or adjust their batting gloves everytime before the ball is pitched to them? Some players make the sign of the cross before swinging the bat. In fact there are a lot of sports figures who make the sign of the cross before they play. 

There was once a professional football player who used to literally threwup before the start of each game. He did this get rid of his anxieties before each game. Not a pretty picture, but this was his ritual.

    So what exactly are rituals? They are subconscious habits we create within our belief systems. We believe that they will cause us to do whatever it is we do, better. In fact they they play such a powerful role in our lives, that we also believe if we do not do them, we will not get the results we want. For example, I used to play bowling years ago, and everytime I went up to play, I would pick up the bowling ball and tap it twice with the palm of my hand before stepping into the bowling lane. I remember there was one time when one of my team mates asked why I did this, and I said, "Oh, I didn't realize I did that". She asked me, "What would happen if you didn't do that?". So I made a conscious effort of not doing the entire game, and it was the worst game I ever played. At the end of the game I said to her, "Does this answer your question?". To this day, I still tap the ball twice before playing.

    Rituals are simply habits we create. They are all subconscious and play a powerful role in our lives. I believe there are two types of rituals, I like to call enhancing and interfering rituals. Enhancing rituals are the ones we believe we do that actually help us to perform things better. We actually believe that if we do not do them, we will not get the same great results. Interfering rituals are also called "nervous ticks" we see people do, either when they are talking to someone, or about to do something? These are the rituals that people do when they are unsure of themselves. These are also done at an unconscious level and are also very powerful as well, but, in the negative sense. Some people "twitch" their eyes, heads or hands. Some people bite their fingernails. Stuttering is also an interfering ritual. Like I said, these rituals are negative and get in the way of our desired results.

    All rituals are habits and all habits can be changed if we want to change them. How do we change them? To change them, we must first know how we created them in the first place. To create a ritual, it takes twenty-one days for it to stay with us. Nobody knows why, but research shows that is takes the subconscious mind twenty-one days to form a habit that will stay with us until we make a conscious effort to change it. It all starts by doing something on a consistent basis, like getting up at a certain time, or leaving for work at a certain time, start twitching our bodies when something makes us feel nervous. When we do these things often enough, they no longer are done at a conscious level, they are done at a subconscious level, thus becoming a habit, or ritual.

    To change a habit or ritual, it first takes a conscious effort. You must be aware of what ritual you want to change, and replace it with a new, more positive ritual. We cannot just stop doing a habit and leave it at that, we must make an effort to replace it, or we will not rid ourselves of the habit. The brain does not accept changing habits unless we replace it with another one. And, we must believe that the new habit will be more powerful than the one we are eliminating. Once we have the ritual we desire, we make a conscious effort to perform it on a daily consistent basis, then after twenty-one days, it becomes an unconscious habit. We automatically do it without having to really think about it.

    Do you exercise on a regular basis? What happens if you miss a workout session? It feels like something is missing, right? Do you get together with friends on one peticular day of the week? What happens if you do not make it one day? It feels different, right? These are just examples of how rituals play an important role in our lives. My question to you is this; which rituals do you want to keep and which ones do you want to change? If you have any question, please feel free to contact me at thefutureisyours@live.ca and I will get back to you