I was interviewed by a potential client today. He asked me how my coaching clients were actually able to change their behavior. He wanted to know how they stopped a behavior they no longer wanted to do, or started a behavior they wanted to incorporate into their repertoire. Our behaviors can be so engrained. I know mine are after 50+ years on this Earth.
I gave him a list of things I do to support my clients to make the changes they want to make. I also gave him a list of things I do to support myself to make the changes I want to make. Sometimes the lists are different; sometimes they’re the same. And the lists are good, and instructive.
But I realized that sometimes what it really takes to change a behavior – to stop doing something – is just to stop doing it. It’s as simple as that.
We could – all right, I could – spend a great deal of time talking about how hard it is to change, or I could change. I could use up my energy discussing and debating how entrenched my thought patterns are. I could ruminate over how little control I have over what I think, and sometimes over what I do and how I react. Or I could simply stop doing what I’ve been doing and stop getting stuck in the thoughts I’ve been getting stuck in. I may not be able to keep them from coming up, but I do have a choice over what I do with them. Do I fuel the fire and keep them going? Do I talk them over and over (and over) with people around me? Or do I simply stop? Do I distract myself, or reward myself for moving in a different direction?
These are all options I have, choices I can make. Instead of arguing for my limitations, I can stop doing the things I’ve been doing that are no longer working for me…and start doing something else.
So, stop it!
I’d love to hear your thoughts, and please share this post with others if it resonates with you!