WHAT ARE YOU GAINING? Find the hidden benefits that could prevent change

You know what is best for you. This is one of the reasons why I love coaching, because my role is to facilitate clients to choose their own path towards their own goals. Whilst I offer creative suggestions in order to promote different thinking and give bold feedback to create awareness and behaviour changes to be even more successful and hold them accountable for the actions that they commit to, the client owns their journey.

However, you (including your brain and body) knowing what is best for you can sabotage your success. We often think or do things which are counter-intuitive to what we want. This can be incredibly frustrating as we do not understand why we cannot change. It is useful to consider the pay offs to the thinking (e.g. “I’ll never get a new job”) or behaviour (insert whatever your bad habit/pattern is here!).

Often hidden from our conscious awareness, there are gains, benefits and positive reasons for the thinking and resulting behaviour, which have become hardwired deep in our unconscious to keep us safe. The more I learn about the human brain, the more it reveals itself to be a highly complex machine dominated by ensuring our survival, at whatever cost. Sounds obvious from a biological view, however, this can be applied to your aspirations too.

Simple questions are effective. For example, how about asking:

What am I gaining from thinking e.g. “I can’t do it”? Or what am I gaining from procrastinating doing X (a priority) which is causing me stress? What do I get from being late to meetings? What do I gain from spending all my money every month?

Ask the question again. Your answers will uncover the hidden benefits from that limited thinking and unwanted behaviour. With this new awareness, you can then start to find alternative, more positive ways to receive those benefits and reduce any perceived threat by your brain.

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