The gap between knowing and doing

We often know what we should be doing, but find there is a gap between knowing it and doing it.

What sets us in motion is usually external. We may suddenly have no choice, or someone may incentivize us. However, when it is internal, we often indefinitely postpone what we know we should be doing.

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How positive psychology tools bridge the gap between thinking it, and being strong enough to do it!

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MORE IDEAS FROM THE ARTICLE

  • If you are putting off a difficult conversation, identify what makes you feel really good, and do that when you get a moment. Doing so will remind you that you worth caring about. When you feel good, you feel more capable of doing the hard thing.
  • Instead of "dump the toxic people," give the valued people in your life a call. Being energised by lovely people in your life, you might find the time around other people more bearable.
  • While you focus on your goals in life, you can also be reminded to look around daily and really see the value of everything you already have.

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As adults, when we want to change something we might seek help - join a gym, or take lessons, or see a coach. Regarding DILT, the teachers often teach from the bottom up. They give classes and tools and continue to encourage us.

But, people prefer efficiency instead of effectiveness. We will revert to behaviours that give us immediate pleasure, such as comfort eating or a spending spree while we find working harder less appealing. As our motivation decrease, we may drop out of coaching and fall back to where we started.

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A potential answer comes from Robert Dilt's logical levels of change, modelled in a hierarchy.

  1. Purpose (What else?)
  2. Identify (Who?)
  3. Values and beliefs (Why?)
  4. Capabilities (How?)
  5. Behaviours (What?)
  6. Environment (Where and when?)

Change that begins at the bottom does not affect the next step up unless you make an effort to climb. Change that starts at the top will filter down naturally.

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  • A child learns about the world through reflex and conditioning. A baby cries, and someone comes to help. They do something and get rewarded.
  • Then behaviour becomes reasoned and chosen. As a person grows, so reflex and conditioning are replaced by desire, choice, reasoning and consequence. Physical development is also occurring. We may think and then do, but also do and then think.
  • Positive change needs to appeal to both as it needs to challenge ingrained habits.

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By using simple behavioural interventions, we can create helpful habits. Instead of only identifying a negative behaviour and then trying to avoid it, we can find a substitution which we love, and that will give us a sense of joy, such as eating a healthy snack or texting a friend.

Traditional tools such as journaling, reflection, and lessons or classes can be used in conjunction with behavioural interventions.

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RELATED IDEAS

Back in 1919, an aspiring young cartoonist was fired from his job at a Kansas City newspaper. His editor told him he wasn’t creative enough and should look into work elsewhere. Had the cartoonist listened to his boss and given in to negative thinking, we wouldn’t have the work of Walt Disney.

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What is Positive Thinking? 5 Ways to Use the Power of Positive Thinking

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Positive psychology: the "science of happiness"

The "science of happiness" was born as a result of Martin Seligman's (the father of positive psychology) endeavour to approach psychology beyond the idea of restoring normality in individuals and to look at happiness and contentment as ways to not only restore normality, but also to prevent and protect as well as potentially cure.

Positive psychology has three main areas: Generation of both short and long term healthy pleasures, joy obtained through the connection with others and happiness that comes from a meaningful life.

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Positive psychology - the Pollyanna of psych?

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Martin Seligman

"When you remove depression from a person, you aren't left with a happy person...you're left with an empty person...sometimes people need to learn what BEING WELL is."

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Thriving is NOT simply "being able to deal with it". Use positive psychology for BEING well

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