Q: I read your column and see that I often have better options than the ones I automatically use at work. I see a change I could make, get...

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Q:

I read your column and see that I often have better options than the ones I automatically use at work. I see a change I could make, get scared and do what I always do. What does it take to use the tools you describe?

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A:
Changing habits first requires the consciousness to get off automatic. The second step involves wanting better results more than fearing change.

I see executives I coach go through a predictable set of challenges as they struggle to learn new approaches and tools.

First, we work on getting them off the default program. The default program requires no thinking — which is why it’s so popular. The automatic wiring of human beings is to avoid discomfort and seek safety.

Most folks don’t realize they’re running on default. They believe their circumstances are controlling them. The choices they make are invisible and unconscious. The default program allows the comfort of feeling powerless and does not require courage

The good news is, you’re already liberated from the default program. You know you have choices. The bad news is, you’re hitting the next challenge. Making changes requires doing stuff that’s not fun, but scary. You’ve left the land of blissful ignorance.

The only thing powerful enough to overcome our fear, inertia and habits is a goal fueled by our heart. Everyone must ask the question, “What do I really, deeply long to have happen?”

We all want something. The trick is recognizing and grabbing hold of what we really want. Stoically proclaiming, “I don’t need anything” is a lie.

If you like what you’ve got, stay on automatic. If you long for something different, pause, think carefully and identify what it is you crave.

The last word(s)


Q:

I’m 50 and I’d like to go back to school. Is it too late?


A:

What else where you planning to do between here and 92? A woman in my Ph.D. program graduated at 65 and is using her degree in a second career.

Daneen Skube, Ph.D., can be reached at 1420 N.W. Gilman Blvd., No. 2845, Issaquah, WA 98027-7001; by e-mail at interpersonaledge@comcast.net; or at www.interpersonaledge.com. Sorry no personal replies. To read other Daneen Skube columns, go to: www.seattletimes.com/daneenskube