Here is something we don't always stop to consider. There are benefits to our unwanted behaviors, big benefits! Otherwise we wouldn't keep doing them. And there are drawbacks to change. Otherwise, we'd have done it already. It can be a fascinating practice to look at what you gain from staying the same and how you might suffer if you had to change.
Here are some examples. I will say much of this comes from personal experience with addicts. There are HUGE upsides to some really screwed up, seemingly totally negative and destructive, thoughts and behaviors.
Being passive, uncaring and unfeeling is advantageous because: Hey, not my problem. Others are on their own. I'm not responsible. I don't care if you get hurt, killed, struck by lighting, hit by a bus, lose your mind, break your heart, go broke trying to fix me. I don't feel anything anyway. I just do my _____ (whatever addictive behavior) and I'm numb as hell. I can't deal with anything else.
Not taking care of myself or my family has the upside of: Zero pressure or expectations. I wouldn't have to be super woman. I wouldn't have to go places. Screw playdates! I don't have to pull myself together. I don't have to bathe, or dress right, or say the right things. I don't have to please anybody. I don't even have to get off the couch. I can lay on my back and eat off of my stomach like an otter.
Abusing food is good because: It's so tasty! It's always there for me. It doesn't judge me or reject me. It passes time. It distracts me. It protects me. It numbs scary feelings. It entertains me. It's "me" time. It lowers other people's expectations of me. It generates attention and concern from others. It gives me a kick ass all-consuming identity.
Being confident, proud and trusting myself 100% of the time has the downside of: Holy shit, people would expect things of me! I'd expect things of me. I'd have no excuse. I'd have to put myself out there. I'd risk failure, rejection, and ruin. I might get hurt. I might make a bad decision. People might not like me or agree with me. They might think I'm arrogant and full of myself. I might create conflict or controversy. I'd have to stand up for myself and what I believe in. Being totally myself might mean not pleasing others, which would make me bad. Very bad.
Being happy 100% of the time isn't great because: Oh, please. Who doesn't want to punch that person in the face? Especially at 8am. If I were happy all the time, I wouldn't appreciate it because I'd have nothing to compare it to. I'd drive everyone around me crazy. I wouldn't be able to relate or connect to people who were struggling.
Being someone who loves life all the time would be hard because: People die. Marriages end. Terrorists blow things up. Tornados wipe out schools. And I'm supposed to be cool with that? People would think I was a total ass. Plus, I'd have to love and accept scary, painful, negative things, and that's unacceptable.
Sleeping well, feeling energetic and smiling 100% of the time isn't perfect because: Oh, dear god. If I were rested and energetic, I'd have to DO things, clean things, help people, be social. I'd have to say yes all the time, go places, start projects, volunteer, host dinner parties, and run for elected office. I couldn't hide. I couldn't take naps. I couldn't be lazy. I couldn't be myself. I'd have to be out there doing shit with a silly smile on my face. No thanks!
Like that. :-)