Research shows we are immune to change (Lahey and Kegan, 2009). And we can all probably think of anecdotal evidence from our own lives, or others that we know, that could attest to this. We know we need to lose weight or get healthier or get a better work-life balance and we start the year with great intentions only to slowly start slipping back to our old selves before long.
Why is this? When our conscious mind knows that change is in our best interest why do we resist it and how can we overcome this and make, what psychologist call, adaptive change.
The answer lies in our tendency to focus on behaviours rather than the underlying mindset behind these. Typically when we are not doing something that we believe would benefit us, it’s because ‘competing commitments’ are holding us back. For example, we know we should leave the office at a reasonable time and spend more time with the family but by doing so maybe we are worried about how that would look with our colleagues or that the work wouldn’t get done properly. Challenging these underlying beliefs is the key to lasting change.
And this is where many of my clients find having a coach is invaluable for them. Rather than just skimming the surface to look for behaviours we can change, having a coach to help dig deeper to uncover the underlying assumptions that are holding us back, and also to keep us on track, can help ensure successful lasting change. If you are interested in discussing this further please contact me for a chat.