The Scenario: Do you stand in the way of your own success sometimes and you don’t know why? Or maybe you know someone who makes the same mistakes over and over again? They come to you for advice, you talk to them, it seems like they get it, but two days later they are doing the same thing. It’s as if they know what needs to be done but are incapable of doing it.
What stands in the way of personal behavioral change?
According to James M. Olson, Ph.D., professor at the University of Western Ontario in London, there are several psychological barriers that inhibit behavior modification or change:
1. Admission of the Problem
- Minimizing or refusing to admit the problem
- Believing oneself insusceptible to the problem
- Attributing symptoms of the problem to a less severe cause
- Allowing emotions to interfere with decision-making
2. Initial Attempts to Change
- Ignorance to the problem or its severity
- Lack of confidence in one’s ability to effectively change behavior
- Negative attitudes toward change or its outcome
3. Long Term Change
- Reverting to the original negative attitude toward change
- Believing the changes are unsuccessful
- Absence of outside encouragement
- Reversion to old behavior
The Insight: It’s important to identify the barriers we create for ourselves when confronted with life challenges so that we are better equipped to recognize the obstacles and pursue the behavioral changes we need and want to make.
Are you able to face your barriers?
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