Three Delusions About Change

I’ve been using a tool with teams lately, called the “Johari Window.”  No, Johari was not originally used by the Mayans.  It was not first mentioned in Sophocles.  It was actually invented by two psychologists named Joe and Harry.  Joe-Harry.  Johari.  So.

Anyway, the tool encourages you to voluntarily disclose hidden things about yourself, and to seek feedback from others so that you can gain greater understanding of how you ‘show up’ in the world, both for good and bad.  It’s a good team tool, and very simple to understand.

Inevitably, people identify things about themselves that they want to change.  They voice these things, and make mental notes about how they should be better; how they MUST be better.  And then most leave and carry on living in the same way they always have.  That’s because most of us fall prey to three basic delusions about change:

Delusion #1

I have the insight to objectively assess a fix for my situation

Delusion #2

I have enough willpower to gut it out on my own

Delusion #3

I don’t need help or structure to accomplish my goals

Do any of these resonate with you?

Here’s what I’ve learned about change through my client work:

  1. Real change involves using new tools:
    If you want better team communication, you need to establish a meeting rhythm that forces you to communicate.  If you want to change your marriage, you need new tools that force you into using new ways to deal with money or conflict.
  2. If you haven’t made progress on a goal for 12 months, you need outside help:
    It’s never going to happen.  You’ll be in the same place personally in 10 years.  Your business will not have changed.  You know this in your gut.  You need to involve another person.  That person might be a professional (or peer) coach, a personal trainer, a therapist, or some other outsider who can help you with structure and accountability.

If you want to effect real change, use a new tool and involve an outsider.  If you stir in these two elements, you’ll find that things will look different in 12 months.

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