Sometimes the answer is simpler than it seems. Sometimes we can find a way to develop that new behavior in an easy way. I speak frequently about neuro-linguistic programming and some of the techniques it offers. One of them is called the New Behavior Generator.
Let’s imagine you want to do something and you are having a hard time. Let’s say you want to talk to someone but you find yourself naturally (or habitually) conflict averse. What to do? You could get up your courage. You could email the person so you don’t have to face them. You could ignore it.
It is interesting how the human brain and body are connected though. The imagination is so powerful that it can be harnessed to truly change your life. The New Behavior Generator is simple and you may have heard of such a technique before. Consider a person who you think could do what you want to do. Somebody you know or somebody you’ve seen on TV who can talk to people in scary situations. The person does not even have to be real – just someone who you believe will do the thing you want to do well. Who is it that knows how to confront, but with respect? Who will not back down and will get his/her point across in the way you want to do? Is it your Uncle Ted? The Fonz? (Sorry millennials, you may have to look this guy up.) Is it Robin Williams? Who do you know of who could pull it off?
Once you have figured this out, pretend to be the person. Literally, step into their skin. Breathe the way they breathe and stand the way they stand. Walk the way they walk and move your arms the way they would. BE them. Start to think like them. Do things the way they would. Truly embody them. Practice the conversation you need to have while being that person. Then do this entire process again right before you are going to have the actual conversation. Step in and trust the process.
See what happens.