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KNOWING and DOING

If you want to make a change, believe you know what to do and still can’t seem to do it, then what?  It’s both complex and simple.  Many people do not understand either the complexity or the simplicity.   According to research in the field of psychoneuroimmunology there is an interconnected web of psychological, chemical and neurological factors.  When activated these factors can effectively paralyze you and make it virtually impossible to take the actions needed to make the desired change.  All of this and more are documented by Nick Hall in his book, I Know What To Do, So Why Don’t I Do it? The New Science of Self-Discipline.  Hall even lists the 10 most common excuses for inaction:

Excuse #1: “I’m too stressed out.”

Excuse #2: “I don’t believe I can.”

Excuse #3: “I don’t have the time.”

Excuse #4: “I don’t have the energy.”

Excuse #5: “I’m too emotional.”

Excuse #6: “I’ll always be the way I am.”

Excuse #7: “I’m afraid I’ll make a mistake.”

Excuse #8: “I’m too sick.”

Excuse #9: “I’m too skeptical.”

Excuse #10: “I can’t do it alone.”

At the end of the day, or at the end of the list of excuses, it seems to be about choices.  Choose to accept your excuse/reason for not making the change or understand that you may have another option which is to shift your thinking and your behavior to a different gear, thus moving beyond the excuses.  I know, it sounds easier than it may be in reality.   Oh yes, remember to get enough sleep so you can think clearly. Maybe change your diet, thus changing some of the chemistry and remember too the positive effects of exercise.  Hmm.  Nick’s book sub-title?  “The New Science of Self-Discipline.”

(Featured image by Taylor Davis)

Comments (5)

  1. This one resonates. My favorite coaching modality is called balance. You’d think it has something to do with finding balance but it’s more like finding a new fresh perspective to give balance to your current view. When we’re stuck, stepping into a new way of seeing shakes loose actions that we didn’t remotely consider when we were neck deep in the mud. Psychoneuroimmunology is new to me and look forward to learning more.

    Alli

  2. This one resonates. My favorite coaching modality is called balance. You’d think it has something to do with finding balance but it’s more like finding a new fresh perspective to give balance to your current view. When we’re stuck, stepping into a new way of seeing shakes loose actions that we didn’t remotely consider when we were neck deep in the mud. Psychoneuroimmunology is new to me and look forward to learning more.

    Alli

  3. Comment, always appreciated, appeared twice and not sure why you can’t see it or get a notice that I respond, maybe sometimes not right away if I am off line for a day or two. Regardless, I love your descriptions of actions that help clients who need a different kind of nudge now and then. Thanks for your continuing support, insight and sharing.

  4. This reminds me of the old story about the dog who would sit on the porch all day long and welp out occasionally in pain… but, he wouldn’t move off of the nail that he was sitting enough, because it didn’t hurt “enough” 🙂

  5. So many lessons to be learned from the pain/pleasure continuum. Comfort versus discomfort; faith vs. fear; happy/sad; empathy over apathy. My suggestion to those unwilling to make a change for the better choice is that you have a choice, to remain with the status quo or to move beyond, whatever it takes. Chances are very good it will require a change in both attitude and behavior. Then we can go to how willing are you to make the effort to move off that nail? Woof!

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