Build Your Behavior Muscle

Gain Self-Awareness to Increase Your Behavior Flexibility

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Behavior Flexibility

The truth will set you free, but first it will piss you off.

People don’t change their behavior unless it makes a difference for them to do so. The first step of change is to become self-aware and then decide what your motivation to change is. I’m not telling you, it’s going to be easy. I am telling you it’s going to be worth it.

Everyone is capable of behavioral flexing, but you have to be willing to flex. The missing pieces required to complete this puzzle of reaching your full potential is your willingness and practice from habit to natural.

Let’s talk about the number one reason for building your behavior muscle – YOU! Changing your behavior – to gain self-awareness, you must have the  knowledge, capacity, and willingness.

“Success is never guaranteed, but when you don’t choose to grow, you are almost certainly guaranteed to fail.”

Sheryl Sandberg

Real growth is when you start checking and correcting yourself. Look into the mirror and say, “You did well today.” Or “Maybe you shouldn’t have said that or have done that way.”

Life is about change and growing with it. Resisting change is resisting your own growth. By choosing to start, you choose to grow. Consistently choose to grow and in time, you will have additional skills, knowledge, and connections you need to succeed.

“Whenever you have a choice to make, choose to grow. You will never regret that one choice.”    

Sheryl Sandberg

There are three items I want to share with you that have helped me gain behavior flexibility.

First – Recognize your unconscious biases. Unconscious bias is a personal and sometimes unreasoned judgment towards someone, a culture or situation. This bias could be based on perceptions, how you were raised, and experiences. Get those in check. Understand why you have the bias. What am I feeling? Why do you feel the way you feel?

“Bias is woven through culture like a silver cord woven through cloth. In some lights, its brightly visible, In others, it’s hard to distinguish. And your position relative to that glinting thread determines whether you see it at all.”

Jessica Nordel

Unconscious bias shapes how we interact with one another. Our senses are bombarded by about 11 million pieces of information at any given moment, but we’re only capable of processing 40. Apparently, we can’t take the time to process all of that info, so our brain’s natural mechanism is to create preconceived or unreasoned feelings, opinions or beliefs. That’s what bias is.

Have you ever felt different? We spend about 25% of our time trying to fit in. So if you are a minority, in fear, or have something holding you back, this number increases.

Second – Identify your triggers. Look at times that you have felt angry or sensitive. Was it something someone said? A triggering statement such as “you don’t know what you are talking about,” “you don’t know anything,” or “You will never accomplish that” can trigger us to shut down and be upset. We all want to be valued, respected, and heard. The last one, “being heard” is huge. If we feel that we haven’t been heard…that could be a trigger. If you know what triggers your anger or emotion, remain calm….this leads us to number 3.

Third –  Keep your Power. When you can’t control what is happening, challenge yourself to control the way you respond to what’s happening. That’s where your power is, don’t give it away. When you are in an unfavorable or tense situation, count to double-digits. Allow that emotion to travel to the frontal lobe to rationalize it. Information comes in through the brain stem, the emotion is defined in the limbic system, and then goes to the frontal lobe to rationalize it. This frontal lobe is fully matured at age 25. Some later than others. Take your time. The best decisions are made when you slow it down – including deciding how you will act or react. Some, more than others, drag their luggage everywhere they go (without wheels…its old luggage). This luggage is your past. DO not give your past any power to define your future. You learn but apply your lessons from your past.

Unconscious Bias, Check your Triggers, and Keeping your Power – 3 items that could begin to increase your behavior muscle.

Remember, this is your journey. The more self-aware you come, the more social- aware you become in understanding and tune into the behavior of others. You remove judgment; you tend to recognize behavior patterns and because you are keeping your power, the communication will increase creating a favorable interaction.

Do you know that you teach people how to treat you? How? By what you allow, what you stop, and what you reinforce. Set expectations; teach people how to treat you. Stop apologizing for wanting more. When you grow, people in your life will have to step up or step aside.

When you walk in freedom with your light burning bright, some people won’t like it.

Every next level of your life will demand a different you – a you with more confidence, a you with insurmountable strength – this is why Behavior flexing is very important.

Behaviors can adjust based on situations or environment. Behaviors can be adapted based on circumstances. This does not mean to “not be yourself” but to adapt to the situation and the others perceive communication style. Your willingness to exercise behaviors not necessarily characteristic of your style, for the benefit of the relationship is behavior flexibility.

This is something applied to yourself (your patterns, attitudes, and habits) than to others. Remember this is about you. Keep it real for yourself, being you yet adjusting behavior (flexing) for the benefit of the situation or relationship.

This means adjusting your openness, directness, pace, and priority in the direction of the other person’s preference while maintaining your own identity and having good relationships. Remember the saying “it’s not what you say, but how you say it?”…well continue this with…”it is also how it is received.”

Once others start experiencing this change in you…they will begin adapting or flexing their behavior…or not. But don’t let the behavior of others destroy your inner peace. Flex that behavior muscle!

If you continue to act how you always acted, you will continue to get what you have always gotten!

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