- Whenever we think about behavior change, whenever we think about trying to motivate either ourselves or somebody else into stopping something or taking up something else, we tend to look at one of these three things and they’re not right – fear, force, facts.
- Whenever you try to change something, if the relationships that you have, if your friends are a certain way, if your spouse is a certain way, if your coworkers are a certain way and the the change that you’re trying to effect goes against those emotionally charged relationships, it’s very unlikely to happen.
- The number one way that you do it is you develop new emotionally charged relationships, and there’s always groups that you can have access to. You can pay to join a community of people where you’re going to have a leader, hopefully that will care about you, that will believe different things about you than you believe about yourself. That’s why it’s so important to put yourself in a position where other people in the environment becomes an assisting force that helps you become what you want to become rather than the opposite.
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Hi and welcome to this 10 x your life session. I’m Alex Goad, bestselling coach, author, small business marketing specialist. And today we’re going to continue with the Paramus sphere or the environment and how that environment dramatically influences your behavior and what you are and aren’t capable of a lot more so than a lot of the other factors that we generally give far more credit to.
So let’s look at today, the number one behavioral trigger that exists. So you’re probably going to be surprised to discover that it’s not one of those three things. It’s actually these three things. So whenever we think about behavior change, whenever we think about trying to motivate either ourselves or somebody else into stopping something or taking up something else, we tend to look at one of these three things and they’re not right.
The first thing that we look at is fear. So we think that fear is going to be enough to make us change or to make somebody else change. But the truth of the matter is that it’s not. Everybody pretty much has the same fears. Everybody has the same parameters in life. Everybody knows that being obese and eating poorly leads to bad health outcomes and everybody is afraid of bad health outcomes and yet that doesn’t change people’s behaviors for the very most part. So fear isn’t it.
The next one is force. So we really truly believe for the most part that we can force people into adopting the ways of behaving that we want them to and that we can force them to avoid doing certain things just by having negative consequences applied as a result. And of course that does work to a certain extent and it does work, especially when you know the gun to your head type of force where if you don’t do a certain thing then there’ll be immediate and certain consequences and the consequences will be very powerful than of course that will drive behavior to a certain extent. But we’re, for the most part, we’re not able to do this to ourselves. And so trying to use force on ourself is actually often very ineffective and very frustrating.
And the final factor that we all know that this doesn’t make us change is facts. So facts are interesting because facts kind of educate us and give us a guideline for behavior. But for some reason it’s not enough to make us change. So a lot of the times we encounter facts that make us realize that we’re doing something all wrong or that we should be doing something that we’re not doing and we easily and quickly forget about it and continue doing things exactly the same way that we’ve always done that. So neither fear force nor facts are the thing that are going to make you change.
And by the way, all of this, I almost forgot to tell you this, this is almost all of the stuff that I’m going to be showing you in the first part of this video comes from the really excellent book “Change or Die” by Alan Deutschman. It’s super short, it’s super good. I’ve recommended it before. I’ll recommend it again. It’s a tremendous piece of work because it shows you, and what it showed me is that the things that we usually think are going to change our behavior actually don’t. Case and point, for example, was somebody having a heart attack. So you’d think, and I used to think that if someone had a heart attack, that would be enough, enough fear, enough force and enough facts for them to change their behavior, to change their lifestyle, start exercising, stop smoking, whatever it is. But the truth of the matter is, when they pulled statistics for that, they found that 85% of people who had a heart attack and ended up in the hospital and it was doctors crammed facts into their head in fear and tried to force them to change. 85% of the people didn’t change.
They did change. In another circumstance, which we’re going to talk about in just a minute, and actually we’re going to talk about it right now. Here’s what those factors are. Here’s what makes people change. For Real. The first factor is relating, so for the very most part, our behaviors are anchored in relationships, either relationships that we had some point in the past, so for example, we learned to do things a certain way with our parents, or we’re still doing things a certain way because that’s how our community does. Then that’s how our friends do it. That’s how our family does it. And so behavior and even belief is anchored all around us in our environment, only partially inside of us and a lot so outside of us, in other people in the way that they act. So if you see everybody around you acting in a certain way, it’s almost certain that you will begin to act the same way as well.
And if you stay in an environment where people continue to behave the way that you don’t want to behave, then the relationship that you have with that environment will keep you anchored there. So you got to shift the environment. If you want to shift the behavior, the first step of that is to find a new relationship or a set of new relationships always with people because this is what’s called social gravity. As humans, we’re such social creatures that we really tend to incorporate and adopt the behavior of the largest number of people around us. And of course people in different environments behave in different ways. And the simplest way to look at things is to say if you want to behave in a certain way, go hang out in an environment where people are behaving that way and develop relationships with them. Why? Because if you hang out with people and you relate to them regularly in a new context and enacting a new behavior, what that does is it makes you repeat the new behavior that you want to eat.
So in the example that I gave you above where fear, force and facts didn’t make people who had a heart attack change their behavior. What did make them change their behaviors when they were put into a group of other people that are in the same circumstance. So other people that have recently suffered a heart attack and need to change their lifestyle. So they’re in a group where they can relate with those people. They get together regularly, they cooked meals, they talk about their experience and they eat together. And this act of doing these things together deepens the relationship but also makes them repeat the good behavior. So instead of having a burger and fries, they have carrot sticks and a salad or something else that’s healthy in that context. And by repeating that behavior, often enough, all of a sudden it becomes that the old behavior loses a lot of its attractiveness and the new behavior becomes either neutral or favorable.
And finally, the last factor, and this is absolutely the key to almost all deep personal change, is reframing. And reframing comes down to the way that you see yourself, the way that you imagine your possibilities, what you imagine about your future. So a really interesting study showed that they tested three different kinds of therapy against each other to see which one was most effective in getting people to stop being depressed. So the therapies were radically different and yet they almost all worked in almost exactly the same proportion to one another. And the scientists were very surprised by this because they thought, how could it be possible that three different types of intervention could have almost exactly the same result on the condition of depression? Well, what they finally figured out was that actually if you had a therapist or a leader that believed in your ability to change and supported you through that change, that that would reframe the situation in your mind enough that all of a sudden instead of seeing yourself as this kind of person who can’t do it and who’s stuck over here, you go into that environment and the therapist says “No, you know what? I’ve seen people like you before that have gotten great results and I’ve been talking to you now for 15-20 minutes and I think you’re a smart, capable person and you can do this.” And so a person in authority in a position of authority and expertise can easily provide a very powerful reframe that all of a sudden person goes “Well, if you think I can do it, then maybe I can!”. And that’s kind of the starting point or the seed for a new behavior is believing that it can happen is having the hope that whatever you’ve been experiencing in the past can be something that stays in the past and that you don’t need to take with you into the future. Okay, so the number one behavioral trigger is emotionally charged relationships. And that’s why after a certain point, people tend to change very little because the way that you are tends to be anchored in the emotionally charged relationships that you have.
So whenever you try to change something, if the relationships that you have, if your friends are a certain way, if your spouse is a certain way, if your coworkers are a certain way and the the change that you’re trying to effect goes against those emotionally charged relationships, it’s very unlikely to happen. Whereas all of a sudden, if one of the important parameters are one of the most important relationships in your life, if they change their behavior, that is likely to make you change. And so here it is the number one thing that you can do to quickly and dramatically change your behavior. And I’m not talking about changing little things here. I’m not talking about, you know, brushing your teeth three times a day instead of twice a day. I’m talking about going from being, for example, a very low performance person to being a high performance person, being a low discipline to a high discipline person, being a minimum wage earner to being in the 1% of top earners on earth.
How do you do something like that? Well, the number one way that you do it is you develop new emotionally charged relationships, and there’s always groups that you can have access to. You can pay to join a community of people where you’re going to have a leader, hopefully that will care about you, that will believe different things about you than you believe about yourself. You know? That’s why it’s so important to put yourself in a position where other people in the environment becomes an assisting force that helps you become what you want to become rather than the opposite. So these emotionally charged relationships, when they’re successful, what they do is they provide you with these three things – hope, skills, and thinking. So the first level of real change of big change is most of the time we think that we can’t do it, at least a part of us. Deep down inside says “You know what? That’s going to be hard and maybe even impossible”. When you develop new relationships with the right people in the right environment, all of a sudden you have hope where you didn’t have hope before, and I’m sure that you’ve experienced this for yourself. You know, you may not be the same person at home in your own bubble, sitting on your couch with your, your face on your chin, just kind of thinking you might be in a low mood. You might not even be able to connect with your ability to think higher. And then all of a sudden you go to a seminar, you go to an event, or you just end up in a room where you’re, where you’re around people who are positively charged, who have strong positive emotions and all sorts of energy. And you spend some time there and all of a sudden you think, you know what?
“Wow, I feel like all of a sudden I feel so capable. I feel like I could undertake something big and do it with a snapping my fingers.” Hope crucial. The next thing is skills. I talked about this in my last video. I encourage you to wash it if you haven’t already, but one of the things that will change the way that you relate to your environment and the results that you get is the skills that you have. If you think about this in the following way, think about it. What’s one skill that if you had that one skill, it would change the value that you can deliver in your environment constantly. For example, if you work in any kind of business and you can develop a new skill that helps you influence the bottom line of that business, the profitability of the business, I guarantee you that your value in that environment will skyrocket. And I guarantee you that having a higher value in your environment will make you want more and will make you get more and will automatically cause you to strive towards what you really want to have. So in other words, the amount of opportunity that you will, that will naturally exist in your environment increases dramatically when your skills increase. And the last thing is thinking, so this really belongs to the reframing category. The way that you think about yourself and the way that you think about your interaction with different ideas changes your behavior dramatically. So for example, if you think, if you believe that your future is just going to be more of your past and you don’t like your past, you don’t like your president and you think that’s all I have looked to look forward to because you can’t see things differently. Well, all of a sudden you encounter emotionally charged relationships and they say, you know what?
I don’t see you over here. I see you over here and here’s why. Well, all of a sudden what that does is it changes your thinking. It makes you think, well, you know what? Maybe it is possible. Maybe I would enjoy doing those good behaviors just as much or more than I enjoy doing the bad behaviors now. And so that liberation in thinking is one of the things that allows you to act differently, to try new things. Here’s how you use this to your advantage because you would be shocked to see how changing just one of those factors can really cause you to become a different person. Whereas staying in exactly the same environment and using all the willpower and the world will not. So there’s five factors. I talked about four of them in the last video and this video I talked about the number one behavioral trigger, which was emotionally charged relationships.
So look in your own life, what is your, what is the social gravity around you? What do the people around you? What do they think about you? What do they believe about you? What do they expect from you? Because those expectations you are likely to fulfill. So here’s another question is how could you add people in your environment? How could you add a group, a membership, a club, so that all of a sudden the social gravity of your environment would pull you in the direction that you want to go into? Think about it, write it down. Number two, how could you transfer from the the environment that you’re in now to an environment that has more opportunities in it? Sometimes that means physically moving from one location to another location.
Another one is how can you remove certain negative challenges from your environment?
And just these simple shifts will make you into a different person. Number three, this is called picnic. If you watched the last video, it’ll make perfect sense if you didn’t watch the last video and won’t make much sense. So let me explain it really quickly. The things that get done in life are the things for which there are either are consequences and for which the consequences are immediate. And certain. So if you want to make it more likely that you’ll do something, make it so that there’s consequences to doing it and consequences to not doing it and make it so that the consequences are certain and that they happen right away after the behavior or once the behavior has been avoided. And that’ll make it so much more likely that you’ll actually do it versus not doing it. Okay. Here’s a very simple and quick example of this is if you prepay for a training session at the gym, well that makes it that if you don’t go, if you skip your session, then there’s an immediate negative consequence that certain, which is that you lost your money and of course you don’t want to lose your money.
So that makes it likely that you will actually go and do the training session. And if you do the training session often enough, then it becomes a habit and it becomes easier. And at the same time you might develop an emotionally charged relationship with your trainer and that’ll make it even easier. So I think you’re starting to see how this works.
The next factor is simple factors of the inner and outer environment. So this, this is one example of this might be just cleanliness and order. So it’s proven that having an environment around us that is clean, orderly and well lit is conducive to mental health, happiness and productivity. And the opposite is also true. So what easy simple changes can you make in your environment to make it more conducive to being productive, to being happy, to being positive. And finally the last factor is environmental gravity. So this is something that I was talking about really simply in the last video, but it really becomes a question of kind of curating your environment so that it becomes easier to do the things that you want to do and harder to do. The things that you don’t want to do. And here’s a very silly example of that, but it actually works is that so people that want it to develop the habit of exercising first thing in the morning, well instead of wearing their pajamas to bed, they would wear their sports clothes to bed.
And then instead of having their slippers and next to the bed in the morning, they have their running shoes. So they get out of bed, they’re already dressed to do physical activity and their shoes are right there. They put on their running shoes and all of a sudden they brush their teeth and they look at themselves in the mirror and they’re ready to go for a run. They’re ready to do some pushups, do some activity. Well, that’s simple shift was had more influence on behavior than any attempt to motivate that person to get up and go at it. So what I invite you to do is come up with just one factor that you can change in each one of these categories. We’re come up or better yet come up with one single factor that you can change on. Number one here. How can you shift the social gravity in your life so that it repulses the behavior that you don’t want to have and causes you to enact and value the behavior that you do want to have.
Make that one change and see if you aren’t surprised by the result. So I’d be curious to hear what you think about this, and I’d certainly be curious to see if you come up with something good in your social gravity shift, why not? Right? It’s shared in the comments below so that I can see how you use this information and just become more familiar with the people consuming this message. So listen, I hope that you’ve enjoyed this. I hope that you move away from fear, force and facts as motivators of behavior, and that you try this method instead, which is relate, repeat, and reframe. I’m Alex Goad reminding you that today is a template for every day. So behave yourself accordingly and I’ll see you next time.
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