We May Be Ignoring The Obvious: Keys To Successful Behavior Change

I’m signed up for a two-day training session on Motivational Interviewing, which is the term used for knowing how to ask questions to initiate behavior change.

The trainer showed the video that Harvard University did way back in 1999 called the Selection Attention Test.  You may have seen it before. If not, it is worth the minute and a half it takes to watch it.

After watching today we learned that typically half of the people in any given audience fails to see the obvious.  As coaches we are taught to look for the gorilla in the room and help clients see it, which often times is the most difficult part.

For example: When someone says they don’t have time to exercise, what are they really saying?  Maybe that they don’t have the support of their significant other so they aren’t able to be spend an hour at the gym four days a week.  Maybe they are so ridden with guilt after leaving the children with a babysitter all day that they think they can’t leave them again to go for a run.  Maybe they are afraid that if they lose weight, look better and feel better their friends will resent them and exclude them.

I’m certain we all have a gorilla in our life that we just don’t see, or we choose to ignore. When we watched the video today in the training, some of the people in the audience were so focused on counting the basketball passes by the people in the white shirts they didn’t focus on the gorilla at all even though they saw him.  They dismissed the gorilla completely.

It’s Not Always About Exercise or Weight Loss

The gorilla doesn’t have to be related to exercise or weight management.  We could be a procrastinator that keeps everyone waiting, or consistently find ourselves in toxic relationships, or let other people walk all over us because we’re afraid to stick up for ourselves.

Do you have a gorilla in your life that keeps you from reaching your goals? There are ways to recognize the big ape and conquer him.  Stay tuned for “Conquering The Gorilla”.