Why its hard to swap one behaviour for another

by Fe Robinson


Trying to think your way out of over-thinking? Or to diet your way out of over-eating?  If so, you may be finding it frustrating!

Change does not happen by substituting one approach with another approach without making deeper enabling changes.  All that happens when we try to change superficially is that patterns translate. Over-eating stops and over-drinking starts. We resolve that and then mysteriously start spending too much money. Round and round, a symptom can keep showing up in different ways of we do not address it at a deeper pattern level.

Robert Dilts conceptualized 6 levels of change in a model he called Neuro-Logical Levels.  His levels are:

Environment - where and when something happens

Behaviour - what someone observing would see / hear you doing

Capability - what you able to do

Beliefs and values - what matters to you and what you believe about yourself

Identity - who you are, what you are metaphorically represented by

Spirituality / Purpose /.Connection - for what/who you are motivated to act, what you are connected to beyond yourself 

Each successive level of this model is deeper, and each underpins those above it.  We have many behaviours which are surface expressions of our capabilities. What we become capable of depends on what we think matters and what we believe is possible. What we value and believe depends on how we identify ourselves. How we make sense of who we are depends on how we do or do not experience connection beyond ourself, and what we connect to.

For peak performance in anything, we are energised from our connections beyond ourself, and aligned through the levels showing up our deep selves through the things we do and where/when we do them.

If you are struggling to make change stick, then check out at what level you are seeking to change, and then address the next layer in depth.  To change behaviours evolve your capabilities.  To change capabilities work with your values and beliefs. And so on.

While this sounds simple in principle, in practice it can be tricky to spot what is happening and how/where you are blocked.  If you are not feeling in flow and would like to explore how you align yourself and your energy behind what you want to have happen, then get in touch.

To sign up for a monthly digest of mental health self-help material, visit www.ferobinsonpsychotherapy.co.uk/get-in-touch


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