Do you have New Year's Resolutions that you are still working on, or that you have already given up on? Are there changes you've been meaning and hoping to make for months, or even years? Often, it's not as much about motivation as about what's been getting in the way.
Harvard professors Bob Kegan and Lisa Lahey have developed an extremely effective method for dealing with behaviors and problems that are difficult to change. They call this method "overcoming immunity to change".
Using this method, I help clients to explore what has been getting in the way of the desired change and what steps might be taken to begin to make progress. The assumption behind this methodology is that if we didn't have compelling reasons not to change, changing would be easy and we would already have done so. This is why, for example, simple behavioral change such as dieting, often is ineffective (most dieters end up gaining back everything they have lost plus an additional 7%).
If we can treat these compelling reasons not to change (Kegan and Lahey call them competing commitments) with the respect they deserve, and explore the assumptions that maintain these beliefs, we can create small, manageable experiments to test our assumptions. If we decide, based on these experiments, that it might be safe to discard some of the assumptions we have held, the path to change becomes much easier.
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