Behaviour defined can be a physical thing one does such as a morning routine and it can be non-physical such as replaying negative thoughts all day long. A few behaviours are instinctual and built in while the rest are learned through meeting needs. What this means is that our behaviours are motivated by our needs and therefore we can be manipulated as well as manipulate to have our needs met.
So when we have negative behaviours and we want to change them, we find it isn’t always so easy because these learned behaviours that we exhibit are actually rather complex.
There are two types of motivation – the motivation to approach something and the motivation to avoid something. When we desire something, we are motivated to approach it therefore receiving positive reinforcement or feedback. When we avoid something, we are motivated to move away from it or we will receive negative reinforcement or feedback. This is pretty simple. We understand that when we eat something sweet, most of us have a pleasant experience and when we eat something sour, our faces pucker and we try to avoid that experience again.
But let’s look at those things we approach or avoid because the thing doesn’t create that behaviour, we do. Some people desire the adrenaline rush of jumping out of an airplane. It is exhilarating – it is something they repeat again and again as it has a positive affect on them and they desire that and are motivated to seek that experience. Some people avoid even the thought of getting on an airplane due to their learned fears that it will absolutely crash and they will die no matter what statisticians say – forget purposefully jumping out of a perfectly good airplane! Did the airplane create these behaviours? No! We learned them. And each of us react differently to different things, experiences, tastes, smells, thoughts, etc. All because of our own personal thoughts and behaviours.
So how do you change your behaviours? Your thoughts? How can you overcome this fear, build confidence and perform? You have to change your behaviour so that you are motivated to approach your desire effortlessly without turning into a sweaty mess or stressful situation.
Practice. Anything you try for the first time will be clumsy and awkward, maybe even difficult. By practising – over and over again until it is so ingrained in you and flows through you, you build your confidence… until you are ready to roll it out. Practice.
Shaping. Practice and ask your audience (family members, friends, mentor, coach) for feedback. Try giving it several different ways. Break down the steps into bits and mix it up. All the while correcting your approach and delivery until you shape your performance.
Chaining. Very good and effective results are complex. They are made up of many components to get you to the end result you desire - your result has to be built on a frame and chaining is how you piece it together so there is a natural flow, a rhythm that mesmerises the audience / clients / colleagues.
By using these techniques, you can change an old behaviour that you don’t want for a new one that you do want. Whatever you want to change, practice your new desired behaviour, shape the new behaviour by approaching it in different ways and ask for feedback all the while tweaking it, chain all the components of the new skills you are now mastering together and now you have successfully changed your behaviour.
Photo by Alex Jones on Unsplash
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