We all have moments of weakness, but chronic, destructive behaviors can be hard to change, even when you’re aware of their consequences.
Our most destructive behaviors — such as angry outbursts, freezing up in high-risk moments, or asserting excessive control under stress — are often rooted in paste experiences, and uncovering their origins can help.
- Try to recall scenes from your early years, when the behavior started to appear. Write down what happened and how the behavior was learned.
- Then ask yourself what need your behavior is serving. Usually it’s an attempt to resolve a painful experience.
- Next, choose a new narrative for how you can meet your needs with alternative behaviors.
Sometimes you need a sounding board especially for the last phase, but you can start by writing down what you think a new narrative needs to be.
This work isn’t easy – and takes time – but it will help you live a far more gratified life, and those you lead will be especially grateful.
This tip is adapted from “Getting to the Bottom of Destructive Behaviors,”by Ron Carucci