Don’t BREAK your bad habit!

When breaking a bad habit, we often just think in terms of what we want to get rid of.  This is NOT the best approach.

I remember coaching a client once when  I first started  out,  who was trying to get rid of a bad presentation habit  – placing his  hands in his pockets.

( Lots of problems with your hands being in your pockets while presenting. )

He would force his hands out at my insistence but then be at a loss as to what to do with them.  It was during that coaching session that I got my biggest insight of my coaching career, to  that point.

I had to give the poor soul something to do with them.  All of that nervous energy had to go somewhere, right?  It just wasn’t fair to ask somebody to stop something and not give them something to start.

I ended his misery by giving clear directions about how to USE his hands.  I remember thinking I didn’t want to give him too many things to do – which is why I elected to keep the skill set of gestures out of the session.

But that was a wrong decision.  Jim needed to have something to create.  Breaking a bad habit can’t just be about NOT doing something, that just isn’t enough.

You have to CREATE a new powerful success habit to replace the “bad” one.

So don’t break your bad habit, create a new one instead.  This approach works.  It’s powerful when you work on something positive.  You notice you get less tired when you work like a dog on something positive that you love?

But when you push against something, trying to break a negative habit, you can loose your motivation so much faster and get much more tired of the whole habit breaking thing.

Leave your bad habits alone.  Do something positive instead and you’ll have to get them out of the way to make space for your new powerful habits. They’ll be taken care of,  we just don’t need to focus directly on them.

Makes sense?

I guess that glass really is half-full after all.


P.S.  I’m here on Twitter


One Response

  1. This is radical & brilliant. Instead to getting rid of some thing old its much more potent and effective to replace behavior with more productive activity. Very smart!

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