We all do, think, believe and act out stuff we shouldn’t, often impulsively and thoughtlessly, and sometimes stupidly – even dangerously. Just look at our proclivity for lying: on any given day, studies show we’re told anywhere from 10–200 lies (and it’s fair to say that we’re telling a few to other people ourselves). When meeting strangers, we stretch the truth roughly three times in just the first 10 minutes – worse still, we lie to those we love most – with the average married couple telling fibs in one out of every 10 conversations. (‘That outfit looks great.’ ‘I’m on my way!’ And those two words that no man wants to hear: ‘I’m fine’.)
And let’s not forget all those vices we’re forever trying to shake: those practices, faults, behaviours and habits that we're not proud of, but do anyway. Turning to wine when stressed. Turning to food when bored. Turning time and again to a friend or partner that you know isn’t right for you. Of course, whenever we do these things we feel bad afterwards – what’s that about?! DNA, character, temperament, morality, sin, wickedness?
We say no! – hey, we’re coaches, we believe in people. We believe it’s about behaviour, and that we always have the ability to change behaviour, if only we can find the will and the way. (We don’t mean to be flippant, obviously some people need higher level and long-term support to change behaviour.)
Anyways, what we’re saying is, often times an intellectual understanding of unproductive behaviour is not in itself enough to prompt behavioural change. Knowing we’re doing something negative isn’t the same as doing something about it. To spark and sustain change in our behaviour, we need to do something differently – and that’s hard. Change is hard. And hard to sustain.
Let’s get down and dirty here. Let’s get real. Sometimes we need to give ourselves a good talking to! We need to learn from bad role models what we don’t want! We need to get off our butt, stop whingeing and excusing – and do the work on ourselves.
Here are 20 things to stop: pick one now and set a SMARTER goal: specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, time-bound, evaluated, reviewed. And take action. Start now! Make it happen. Take responsibility for yourself. Enlist an accountability partner who'll hold you to your commitment.
- Stop old habits that do not serve you – they’re just behaviours and can be changed.
- Stop limiting yourself – you can do what you want. You're in charge of you.
- Stop playing the blame game and believing excuses are reasons. Deal with it!
- Stop rigidity, closed mindedness, stagnation – flex, pivot, adapt, adjust, reframe.
- Skip the drama – the gossip, nastiness, hatred, vindictiveness, revenge, division.
- Move on from worry – worry on its own achieves nothing. Take action or let it go.
- Stop avoiding the big or hard stuff: health checks, difficult conversations, discomfort.
- Stop procrastinating – there is rarely a right or best time to take action. Do it now.
- Stop hanging out with crappy people – the ones who introduce or reinforce bad feelings.
- Stop feeding your brain/mood with negativity: bad news, violent TV, pandemic statistics.
- Stop feeding your body with crap: processed and convenience food, drugs, alcohol, sugar.
- Skip jealousy – unless someone else’s success inspires you to work harder on your own success.
- Stop the nastiness: the sarcasm, the trolling on social media, putting others down, bullying.
- Stop thinking you’re not enough – that you should be perfect, or like others. Be proudly you.
- Banish sloth, boredom, wasted days: live life, challenge yourself, have fun, go adventuring.
- Don’t spend all your time in sensible adulthood – et your inner child out sometimes.
- Stop self-deprecating or putting yourself down. You have value – find it and promote it.
- Stop lashing out in anger– step away from the default reaction and focus on the solution.
- Stop with the gullibility – there are no magic pills or potions, or easy ways to do hard stuff.
- Don't be arrogant – nobody likes a smarty pants! Confidence is something different.
– The Coach Place Global
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