How To Have Better Control Over Habits
When we change a habit, we are trying to create a new path through the jungle. This article talks about how to get out of our comfort zone and change habits for the better.
When we seriously start thinking about doing MBA from one of India’s top B-schools, we realize that we do not possess the skill sets required for corporate life. For example, handling procrastination, thinking less emotionally, managing relationships etc. Therefore we realise the need to change.
In the initial stages, we are enthusiastic about the change and go for it with “vim, vigour and vitality.” Over time, this enthusiasm fizzles out and we revert to our comfort zone, and then rationalize our inaction.
What is this comfort zone?
As we develop a habit, neuron paths are created in our brain, as the habit moves from the conscious into our subconscious. This becomes a convenient path and familiar path, a path of least resistance. The more we use it, the smoother it becomes. The psychological reasons for using this path also become ingrained.
When we change the habit, we are trying to create a new path, through a jungle. we need to cut down trees (overcome resistance from self and others) we need to smooth the path (try the new method enough numbers of times) and become familiar with it.
This is tough, and in most cases we give up, as the other, familiar path is there.
Even if we create a new path, we now have choices. The new, untested one, and the old tested one. We take the old one.
How do we handle this?
Take addiction as an example.
Sometimes, teachers are trying to create new habits in you. To create the new path, they force you to do things which you do not like because they force you to get out of your comfort zone. Sometimes you ask the purpose of the change – which is a right approach – and sometimes you try to avoid doing what they recommend.
The choice is yours.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Prof. Chandra Kant, is an alumnus of IIM Calcutta and currently, a senior professor at Indus Business Academy, one of India’s top b-schools. He teaches, change management, business leadership and Self Management.