be-hav-ior, n. The manner in which something functions or operates: the faulty behavior of a computer program; the behavior of dying stars.
Do you move through your day at a steady pace, humming along, engaged in Life? Or are you a fits-and-starts kind of person, ultra-energized when you start a task but fizzling out before you finish? Worse: do you contemplate the huge mountain in front of you - and give up before you tackle it at all?
It all comes down to behavior, your behavior. Do you know WHY you do the things you do? It could be perfectionism - 'I can't settle for anything less than perfect, and I just know I can't do THAT perfectly, therefore if I don't take on that task I'll avoid proving to myself I can't do it perfectly.' Twisted logic? Yes, it's easy to fall into patterns of crazy circuitous thinking.
Perhaps you aren't a perfectionist as much as a (self) defeatist. 'There's no sense spending time or energy on thus-and-so, because I already know I can't do it. I'm a failure.' You've lost before you got out of the starting gate, never giving yourself a chance to fail - or succeed.
There may be a thousand reasons why you can't do something, but you only need one good one to succeed: 'Because I WANT to!'
Behavior is not inherited. You are not stuck with it. Oh, yes, there is instinctual behavior, like that of birds knowing how to build nests.. But in general human behavior is learned behavior: language, skills, thinking, are all learned behaviors. And because they are learned, you can change behaviors you aren't happy with.
First, set aside a specific period of time during which you will observe your own behavior, keeping a diary of events and your responses. How do you react when the pressure's on? Are there 'triggers' that cause you to lose control? What kind of self-talk do you have?
Second, after gathering your data (you scientist you!) make some decisions about what you want to change. Perhaps you want to make sure your internal dialogues focus on optimism. If your usual behavior gives you negative feedback, that's a behavior to change.
Third, once you have pinpointed behaviors you want to change, do some homework, using the internet or visiting the library. What would help you establish the habits and practices leading to changed behavior? You may need small adjustments here and there - remembering to treat yourself more kindly when you make a mistake, rather than beating yourself up over a stumble. You may want to change in a more comprehensive way, revamping your current lifestyle. You've identified what you want to change, so next--
-- make a plan: if the change is small, you may only need one or two steps to effect a new behavior and develop it into a good habit. If the change is a big one, though - 'life-changing' - you will need to plan in more detail. Use small steps, but more of them, breaking the change into smaller increments so you aren't overwhelmed from the outset.
Last, put your plan into action. It takes twenty-one days - three weeks - to establish a habit. It can take even longer to 'deconstruct' an old one. Be patient with yourself! Rome wasn't built in a day, and you aren't making a temporary change, you are changing to healthy behavior for life.
As you work through your plan, trying different techniques, continue to evaluate: how do I feel after I--? Has this resulted in positive change? Does that reinforce the new behavior I want to learn? Keep adjusting as you go, focussing on those behaviors you want to establish.
You can learn the traits that enhance your life and increase your self-satisfaction. It's hard work - it will take a lot of time and effort - but it's perhaps the most rewarding work you will ever do.
And if you want to - YOU CAN.