There are things we want to do, we hope to do them, and we have the best intention to do them – yet we make moves that go against what we’d rather do. Sometimes we call this “a foot on the gas and a foot on the brake”. Or “one step forward, one step back”.

This happens to everyone, myself included. It happens to people individually, and it happens to teams as well.

We might find this happening with our personal goals and development, our habits, and things we’re trying to do at work – “I’m doing X, but Y is the outcome, and I’m puzzled why it keeps happening.”

Change is hard. There’s no way around it. It’s hard to change eating and exercise habits, and it’s hard to change ingrained, learned & rewarded behavior at a company or within a team where those behavioral norms are the only thing people know. It’s part of their identity, it’s safe, and has been shown over and over that “if you do this, everything will be OK”, no matter how detrimental the behaviors or mindset might be. It’s as foreign as telling your left hand to be the dominant hand if you’re right-handed – simply wishing it or saying it louder will not make the change happen.

What can we try if we’re feeling that drag, that resistance?

1 // Dig into what’s going on for YOU. What have you been working on, and what have you been doing (or not doing) that goes against what you’re working on?

2 // Take a few minutes to just listen to the chatter in your mind about what you’re trying to accomplish – what does the resistance sound like? Are there certain words that come up over and over again? What does your mind tell you you’re worried about?

3 // Try designing the smallest experiment you can come up with that would help you learn more about your worry. Make sure the experiment doesn’t require a lot of effort and is something you know will help to either prove or disprove the worry.

Here’s a simple example:

Someone is working on voicing their opinion more, but they don’t speak up even though they’re an expert on a subject. The story in their mind is that no one wants to hear what they think, and they worry that people will reject their opinions. To help them address and potentially overturn the worry, they design an experiment to ask a few trusted people if there’s anything they would like to hear more about from them or ask those same trusted people what was valuable about something they shared recently.

Simple? Sure. Difficult? Yes.

The key is to learn more about yourself or your team and try new things for more control over the brake and the gas.

If you’re interested in exploring this more for yourself or your team, I facilitate a process called “Immunity to Change”, complete with a map that flushes all of the detail out, experiments to try, and direct support from me.

Here are a few related resources that I’ve been sharing recently:

1 // There’s the elephant, the rider, and the path. Three components when thinking about any new change that you want for yourself or are implementing for others. Dan Heath gives an overview to the book, “Switch”. (16 min video)

2 // “Doubt is what makes you reconsider what you know through a different lens and to update your thinking as a result of taking a renewed perspective of your thoughts.” More to That writes about “The Thin Line Between Delight and Doubt” (5 min read)

3 // Ben Zander talks about “giving yourself an A” – a grade that you don’t need to live up to but one you can live into. Also, remembering that most, if not all, of our struggles and challenges are invented by our minds. (14 min video)

If you enjoyed this, would you forward it to 1 friend who might like it too? Subscribing is easy, below.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *