Most of what we do, feel, and think happen outside of our conscious awareness. To the extent that we are not directly aware of the cognitive processes that inform our physical, emotional, and mental behaviors, we can’t directly affect them. However understanding the way these processes work means we can indirectly affect them by designing for the behaviors we want to cultivate. Our use of language is especially key to identifying our unconscious narratives as well as realigning them with our aspirations.
A few years back, my colleagues and I studied 5,000 people who had attempted to change a stubborn career-limiting habit… As we reviewed what separated the successful few from the rest, we found a quirky distinction: The successful people talked about themselves the way an experimental psychologist might refer to a cherished lab rat…
We are profoundly shaped by outside forces that manipulate, distract, arouse, and impede us. Those in our study who were best at changing their behavior were the ones who bowed to this fact and made it work in their favor. Their path to controlling their behavior was to take control of those relentless sources of influence, essentially manipulating themselves into seeing a situation differently.
Managing yourself: Trick yourself into breaking a bad habit | Joseph Grenny