By Morty Lefkoe
Imagine that you had been doing something a certain way for a long time and you believed that you were doing it the right way.
Now imagine that I come along and tell you not to do that way any more. I give you a lot of reasons and I promise a lot of benefits if you stop doing it your way and start doing it my way.
No matter how persuasive I might be, you and most other people probably wouldn’t change their behavior.
“Okay,” you reply, “that just proves that people resist change.”
Not necessarily. Think about what I just said.
If you think what you are doing is right and I am telling you to do something else, what does it sound like I am asking you to do? It would seem to you that I was telling you to do something wrong. …
If you want to change behavior, change the beliefs that drive any given behavior — such as procrastination, anger, worrying what people think of you, the inability to delegate, etc. — and the behavior will change.
To make this clear, let’s look at a situation that comes up frequently in relationships.
Imagine that you have a relationship with someone who yells at people whenever they don’t do what she (or he) thinks they ought to be doing.
Perhaps you have told her that you don’t like her yelling at you and you think it is inappropriate for her to yell at others.
Despite the logic of your argument, her response might well be: “Yelling is the only way to get people to listen and do what you want.”
That’s the belief that engenders the yelling. …