Humans are strange animals. We congratulate ourselves on our many and varied achievements and unparalleled intellect. Yet we are quite possibly the only animals that don’t do the things we know we need to do to be happier and more fulfilled. We self-sabotage consciously and unconsciously. Self-deception is a very powerful force in our lives. Other animals don’t have the same burden. They have much simpler brain hardware that is instinctive – see food, get food. Seek shelter, get shelter. There is no other unconscious, counterproductive programs getting in their way.
So why do humans struggle so much to do the things we know we need to do (and often could do) – but don’t? I see it all the time in my mentoring and business coaching work. People with genuine ambition or pain points – highly motivated to change but struggling to effect the change they know they must.
Why are gyms busy in the first few weeks of January but empty by February? Why can we be so genuinely motivated to change in an area of our life, yet don’t take the necessary steps? Or, we take the necessary steps for a while but don’t get traction-we don’t keep at it. It’s like we’re driving a car with one foot on the accelerator and one foot on the brake at the same time.