Trapped By Thinking Fallacies - Deepstash

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Eight Reasons Why It's So Hard To Really Change Your Behavior

Trapped By Thinking Fallacies

Feeling overwhelmed by trying to change a behavior often makes us charge into change, and see failure as a sign of incapacity. But this straps us into a no-win situation because you are unlikely to sustain the initial momentum to change for long.

If we really want to change, one of the first things we have to do is take all-or-nothing off the table, and purge a few other thinking errors while we’re at it.

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The Dynamics of a Resolution

We all have goals to achieve and behavioral changes we want to implement. Making the resolution is the easy part. The implementation and the work that is to be put in daily is the real challenge.

Why Resolutions Fail
  • Getting motivated by negative emotions like fear or regret.
  • A sudden influx of motivation followed by giving up in the first instance of a setback ("All or Nothing" approach).
  • Having a big and unattainable resolution.
  • Not being in terms with the concept of failure.
  • Not committing fully to the process.
Social Pressure

New research suggests we are less prone to keep working on our goals after we publicize them. This is because we may end up talking about our goals and celebrating our success prematurely rather than implementing them.

Social Pressure makes us fearful, as we can feel afraid of appearing inept. This negative mindset does not work well where we need daily work.

Pre-Contemplation

In this stage of change, individuals are aware of the behavioral change they desire; however, they have no conscious intention of altering their behavior. They may be strongly influenced by pressure from others who are aware of their problems.

Instilling motivation towards change within is key in this stage. This can be done by educating oneself on the behavioral change that is up for debate. 

Contemplation

In this stage of change, an individual acknowledges the problem and begins an internal debate about pursuing change. A lot of time may be spent in this stage as many may not be ready to commit to changing.

People often get stuck in this stage going back and forth between measuring the benefits and costs of behavioral change. A thorough cost-benefit analysis followed by a troubleshooting session can be helpful here, especially if it is done in written form.

Preparation

In this stage of change, individuals commit to the intention of changing in the immediate future and have accepted the costs and benefits. What determines the success of an individual in this stage is their commitment to exploring, planning and insuring.

Set up contracts with yourself, by setting specific measurable goals, and detailing how you will accomplish the task at hand, including contingencies in order to stay on track. 

Stephen R. Covey

We control our actions, but the consequences that flow from those actions are controlled by principles.”

Stephen R. Covey
The basic form immediate behavioral change:
Understanding and feeling the consequences of our behavior. Our actions don’t offer imediate feedback, so principles are important in recognizing the consequences of certain things without waiting.
Normalcy bias

Underestimating the possibility of disasters occurring. People incorrectly assume things will be as they have always been.

Thus, they don’t have an urgency to prepare for the worst. The solution: practical or defensive pesimism.