“Just Stop!” It sounds simple, but it’s not

  • Fact: Once we realize the extent to which we have become caught in a cycle of over- or underfunctioning, it can feel like achieving a healthier balance is literally impossible. The forces that are at work within ourselves and in the larger system around us are usually so imposing that we literally cannot imagine a way out. Fortunately, escape from the destructive cycle requires only that we focus on our own part of the pattern, not that we take on the “other” side (over which we usually have little or no control).
  • Action: The way out: 1. Identify your part of the reciprocal dynamic. 2. Get in touch with the strength of the hidden driver (i.e., the anxiety) of “A” that has created and sustains “A”. The underlying narrative sounds like this: “It’s “impossible” to change “A”—the risks are too great…even inevitable…the price is too high…etc.” 3. Begin to practice a very small, manageable, opposite behavior, “B”. 4. Persist in your commitment to stop doing “A” even if it seems like it’s too trivial to really matter. 5. Engage in that opposite behavior “B”, over and over. 6. Repeat: Stop “A”– start “B”. 7. Repeat: Stop “A” — replace with “B”. 8. Gradually—incrementally—increase the frequency and scope of Stop “A” – replace with “B”, and watch in amazement as momentum builds, strength grows, and success follows.