“Change is the only constant in life.”
— Heraclitus, Greek Philosopher
Nowhere today is this more apparent than in the business world. New technologies are launched daily, business models have changed and continue to change, lean startup thinking has proliferated and the traditional business plan is not what it used to be. Who wants to read a 40-page business plan nowadays? I sure don’t.
Change often stems from external factors; things or events that are outside our control. And many people spend an unnecessary amount of time and energy focusing on them. Successful people accept that change has and will continue to happen for eternity. They adopt certain mindset changes, that makes them different and have helped, and continue to help them achieve unprecedented success. Here are four!Advertising
“I will take action despite.”
Successful people accept that there will always be external factors that are outside their control. Rather than harp on those – and waste unnecessary time and energy – they focus on that which they can control. They adopt an “I will take action despite” mindset.
A great example is Bamidele Onibalusi, a Nigerian-born businessman and freelance writer who serves as an inspiration to thousands of aspiring writers and entrepreneurs. As a 16-year-old kid, he wanted to make money online. Despite not having access to a computer and internet, he approached a cafe owner. This partnership lasted for a few months, with no concrete results.Advertising
He explored other avenues, despite his circumstances, to make his dream come true. In his first eight months of blogging, he published roughly 270 guest posts in highly regarded publications, such as Business Insider and Problogger. One of his articles titled 30 Websites that Pay You to Contribute an Article, Instantly has gained over 200 000 views in the past four years (this is probably a lot higher now).
People began noticing him. Requests poured in. At the age of 18, he was one of Nigeria, top bloggers. He currently has his own website entitled Writers in Charge, where he inspires writers and aspiring writers to become truly in charge of their writing career. He also has a commercial fish farm.
“There is always a solution to any problem.”
Many people feel that life is too hard. As a result, they give up to easily. Consider for example someone -who has no experience – who wants to launch a website. There are a lot of technical details involved, from hosting, domain registration, working in WordPress, designing (or other content platforms) and countless others.
Many people will give up before they have even started because it seems like a huge mountain to climb. The reality is that there are always solutions to these problems. You can search Google and teach yourself or you can outsource the project to someone to complete for you. Successful people develop a “there is always a solution to any problem” mindset.
“I will always be proactive.”
In today’s business world you cannot expect to create a product and people will flock in their thousands. Sure you might get one or two customers, but to truly make a success out of any business, you need to have a clear strategy. You need to be proactive in marketing your product. You need to bring the product to the people, not wait for the people to come to the product. Adopt the “I will always be proactive” mindset.
“I will always be positive.”
Much research studies have been done on the power of positive and negative thinking for our overall well being. In business terms it is simple. Positive thoughts lead to positive actions and in turn positive results. If you spend time worrying about what’s not working and what’s gone wrong, you cripple progress. Through changing your mindset to what is working and what is right and what can be done (refer to the point about finding solutions) you actually start to make positive progress toward achieving results and becoming more successful.
Last Updated on March 25, 2020
How Do You Change a Habit (According to Psychology)
Habits are hard to kill, and rightly so. They are a part and parcel of your personality traits and mold your character.
However, habits are not always something over-the-top and quirky enough to get noticed. Think of subtle habits like tapping fingers when you are nervous and humming songs while you drive. These are nothing but ingrained habits that you may not realize easily.
Just take a few minutes and think of something specific that you do all the time. You will notice how it has become a habit for you without any explicit realization. Everything you do on a daily basis starting with your morning routine, lunch preferences to exercise routines are all habits.
Habits mostly form from life experiences and certain observed behaviors, not all of them are healthy. Habitual smoking can be dangerous to your health. Similarly, a habit could also make you lose out on enjoying something to its best – like how some people just cannot stop swaying their bodies when delivering a speech.
Thus, there could be a few habits that you would want to change about yourself. But changing habits is not as easy as it seems.
In this article, you will learn why it isn’t easy to build new habits, and how to change habits.
Table of Contents
What Makes It Hard To Change A Habit?
To want to change a particular habit means to change something very fundamental about your behavior. Hence, it’s necessary to understand how habits actually form and why they are so difficult to actually get out of.
Habits form in a place what we call the subconscious mind in our brain.
Our brains have two modes of operation. The first one is an automatic pilot kind of system that is fast and works on reflexes often. It is what we call the subconscious part. This is the part that is associated with everything that comes naturally to you.
The second mode is the conscious mode where every action and decision is well thought out and follows a controlled way of thinking.
A fine example to distinguish both would be to consider yourself learning to drive or play an instrument. For the first time you try learning, you think before every movement you make. But once you have got the hang of it, you might drive without applying much thought into it.
Both systems work together in our brains at all times. When a habit is formed, it moves from the conscious part to the subconscious making it difficult to control.
So, the key idea in deconstructing a habit is to go from the subconscious to the conscious.
Another thing you have to understand about habits is that they can be conscious or hidden.
Conscious habits are those that require active input from your side. For instance, if you stop setting your alarm in the morning, you will stop waking up at the same time.
Hidden habits, on the other hand, are habits that we do without realizing. These make up the majority of our habits and we wouldn’t even know them until someone pointed them out. So the first difficulty in breaking these habits is to actually identify them. As they are internalized, they need a lot of attention to detail for self-identification. That’s not all.
Habits can be physical, social, and mental, energy-based and even be particular to productivity. Understanding them is necessary to know why they are difficult to break and what can be done about them.
Habits get engraved into our memories depending on the way we think, feel and act over a particular period of time. The procedural part of memory deals with habit formation and studies have observed that various types of conditioning of behavior could affect your habit formations.
Classical conditioning or pavlovian conditioning is when you start associating a memory with reality. A dog that associates ringing bell to food will start salivating. The same external stimuli such as the sound of church bells can make a person want to pray.
Operant conditioning is when experience and the feelings associated with it form a habit. By encouraging or discouraging an act, individuals could either make it a habit or stop doing it.
Observational learning is another way habits could take form. A child may start walking the same way their parent does.
What Can You Do To Change a Habit?
Sure, habits are hard to control but it is not impossible. With a few tips and hard-driven dedication, you can surely get over your nasty habits.
Here are some ways that make use of psychological findings to help you:
1. Identify Your Habits
As mentioned earlier, habits can be quite subtle and hidden from your view. You have to bring your subconscious habits to an aware state of mind. You could do it by self-observation or by asking your friends or family to point out the habit for your sake.
2. Find out the Impact of Your Habit
Every habit produces an effect – either physical or mental. Find out what exactly it is doing to you. Does it help you relieve stress or does it give you some pain relief?
It could be anything simple. Sometimes biting your nails could be calming your nerves. Understanding the effect of a habit is necessary to control it.
3. Apply Logic
You don’t need to be force-fed with wisdom and advice to know what an unhealthy habit could do to you.
Late-night binge-watching just before an important presentation is not going to help you. Take a moment and apply your own wisdom and logic to control your seemingly nastily habits.
4. Choose an Alternative
As I said, every habit induces some feeling. So, it could be quite difficult to get over it unless you find something else that can replace it. It can be a simple non-harming new habit that you can cultivate to get over a bad habit.
Say you have the habit of banging your head hard when you are angry. That’s going to be bad for you. Instead, the next time you are angry, just take a deep breath and count to 10. Or maybe start imagining yourself on a luxury yacht. Just think of something that will work for you.
5. Remove Triggers
Get rid of items and situations that can trigger your bad habit.
Stay away from smoke breaks if you are trying to quit it. Remove all those candy bars from the fridge if you want to control your sweet cravings.
6. Visualize Change
Our brains can be trained to forget a habit if we start visualizing the change. Serious visualization is retained and helps as a motivator in breaking the habit loop.
For instance, to replace your habit of waking up late, visualize yourself waking up early and enjoying the early morning jog every day. By continuing this, you would naturally feel better to wake up early and do your new hobby.
7. Avoid Negative Talks and Thinking
Just as how our brain is trained to accept a change in habit, continuous negative talk and thinking could hamper your efforts put into breaking a habit.
Believe you can get out of it and assert yourself the same.
Changing habits isn’t easy, so do not expect an overnight change!
Habits took a long time to form. It could take a while to completely break out of it. You will have to accept that sometimes you may falter in your efforts. Don’t let negativity seep in when it seems hard. Keep going at it slowly and steadily.
More About Changing Habits
- 11 Important Things to Remember When Changing Habits
- How to Break a Habit and Hack the Habit Loop
- How to Find Your Keystone Habits to Change Your Life
Featured photo credit: Mel via unsplash.com