Take Responsibility For Creating Your Preferred Future
In Relationship Coaching, Responsibility means you owning your part in the stories you have co-constructed, towards building your preferred future together.
The supporting players in your life can positively impact the creation of your preferred future. But they may or not come to the table. One person alone is required to be there with 100% energy and commitment for 100% of the journey. That person is you.
As with any problem, you must approach it strategically. This requires you to ask focused questions. The answers will make the implicit explicit, providing the information you need to successfully challenge the problems that stands between you and your preferred future.
To take responsibility for creating that preferred future, you must understand how habits are formed, because they govern much of our behaviour.
Are You Using Your Brain, Or Is It Using You?
William James, often considered the father of American Psychology, said “life is but a bundle of habits”.
The brain uses about 20% of our energy, so it needs to be efficient in how it operates. One way is by shifting familiar tasks from the energy-depleting pre-frontal cortex, to be managed automatically elsewhere.
Habits form strong neural pathways requiring less energy. For this reason, they are one of our brain’s most effective energy-saving strategies.
Each time we repeat a familiar behaviour in the same context it strengthens the neural pathways created. The stronger that circuitry becomes, the less energy it takes to operate it.
In other words, the more we do something the more it becomes an effortless habitual repetition, woven ever more firmly into our brain’s architecture.
Habits Are The Gateway To Your Preferred Future
Each habit requires a cue, a behaviour and a reward. For example, we feel hungry (cue), we eat something (behaviour), we enjoy the food and it satisfies our hunger (reward).
Cravings are caused when the combination of behaviours and rewards fires reward neurons, even before the behaviour is enacted. This releases pleasure chemicals, such as dopamine, into the brain. Some have explained addiction as a reliance on these reward systems.
We must weaken the strong circuits that have been wired, or strengthen new ones if we want to change an existing habit, or build a new one. This means we must ensure that new behaviours involve clear motivations and attractive rewards.
We must make these new actions small and achievable and repeated consistently over time (usually about 3 months)
What Will You Do Today?
Taking responsibility for changing the things you have control over in your life does take effort. Our preferred futures are waiting for us along a road of small, repeated actions, that gradually transform the way we live.
If you’ve enjoyed this article, you might want to check out another of my blogs, which suggests that We Are What We Do. What will you do differently today?