Episode 81: Use the ABC’s of Automaticity to Manage Fear and Create New Habits
What’s going on in your world? How are you doing with those New Year goals? Are you still making progress, or have they fallen by the wayside?
If you’ve forgotten your goal for the year or you ran into some hurdles don’t worry – you can pick it up again. You can choose to start again, exactly where you are right now. It doesn’t matter what happened, why you let it go. All of that is in the past. What really matters is what you do NOW.
If you’re hearing my voice, use this as a reminder to go back and look at the goal you set for this year, this quarter or even this month and start again.
This is part of the journey and let me encourage you. You got this! Keep Going!
Today I want to share with you something I learned in a mastermind that I’m part of. One of my coaches, Evans Putnam, taught this and I’d like to share it with you too because I’ve found it helpful. Yes, I’m a coach and I always have my own coaches. For a variety of reasons, coaches help me reach my goals, they help me grow, they encourage me and help me get a new perspective and not give up on myself.
One of the things I talked about in Episode 46 about the Motivational Triad is that our brains love to conserve energy.
And this relates to something called Automaticity. I found this explanation in a Harvard University study on the same topic.
Automatic thoughts and behaviors are ones that occur efficiently, without the need for conscious guidance or monitoring. Most of our thoughts and behaviors tend to be automatic or have automatic components, and for good reason. These processes are fast, allowing us to do things like drive to work without having to think about how to turn the steering wheel each time we get into a car. There are two main categories of automaticity defined by how the thought or behavior is initiated: Some automatic processes are triggered quite unconsciously, often by stimuli in the environment, whereas others require a conscious act of will to get started.
Why am I talking about this?
Well, here’s why, any time you want to create a new habit, a new practice if you leverage what is known about automaticity you will have an easier time.
Take for example if you decided that you want to build the ongoing habit of doing IG lives to build your coaching business – how can you make it easier.
Well, we do this by applying the ABC’s of automaticity.
We know that our brain wants to be efficient – so it wants to wherever possible create a habit and that’s what the ABC’s support.
A is Anchor
B is Behavior
C is Celebrate
Let’s talk about each of these in turn using the example of integrating a new habit of going live on IG to attract paying clients.
The first thing we notice is that you want to make the action itself, so small and easy. That way you reduce the complexity and with that reduce your resistance to doing it.
Remember from the few episodes where I spoke about different aspects of fear. I think it was Episode 78 – Make Friends With Fear I talked about one way of minimizing your resistance to doing something uncomfortable is to take small steps, break your actions into micro-steps. These are things that you can do quickly and easily, thereby building confidence because you’re making tangible progress.
Let’s talk about the specifics of the ABC’s
An anchor is a prompt for the new action. Find something you do on a regular, daily basis. For example, driving your kids to school or making dinner or your morning walk. Use an activity that is part of your everyday life, something so automatic that you would never question it. And then tie this new behavior, going Live on IG to the anchor.
So, if you choose the anchor of your morning walk – decide you will do the IG Live at the start of or during your walk.
When you link these two behaviors, the new behavior with the anchor, automatic daily habit to you will make it easier to create the new practice that you want.
Here’s where the micro-step really comes in handy. Don’t start with the expectation that you will easily chit chat on IG Live for half an hour, make it easy, reduce your stress and nervousness. Decide on a maximum of 5 minutes. You can even go live for 2-minutes. In two minutes, you’ve got enough time to go live, share about a topic and invite them to reach out by DM
There’s no possibility you can say “I don’t have time”.
You’ve got two minutes, and that might be all you need to change someone’s day. Help your prospective clients with one new thought, one small shift in perspective and they’ll sit up and take notice.
Finally celebrate. You did it! You took action. I know that it can take courage to start something new and I’m proud of you. The rush you get when you leave your comfort zone will give you a dopamine hit. Dopamine is one of the hormones associated with reward and motivation. It feels good!
Adding celebration will increase how good you feel. It’s ok to give yourself a pat on the back, and say good job, I’m proud of you.
So you will feel good because you did and then feel even better because you congratulated yourself. Intentionally cultivating the feelings of accomplishment and pride will help you to keep going.
So, the A-B-C’s a simple and useful approach you can begin using today to create a new habit that will help you on your way to being a fully booked, thriving and successful coach.
If you've always being curious about what it takes to become a successful coach, I've got a gift for you. It's called The Ultimate Guide To Becoming A Professional Coach. I've put a link in the episode notes, and I'd encourage you to go and download it
And if you want even more help, maybe you’ve had enough of trying to figure it all out on your own or taking hours and hours piecing together a solution by watching YouTube videos. Then we should talk about how we can work together.
Click the link in the episode notes to find out how to apply to work with me.
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