Breaking the cycle

It’s easy to get caught up in a behavioural loop. Before long, a loop can evolve into a rut. And ruts take a bit of work to escape.

Like many mammals, homo sapiens (that’s me and you) are ‘creatures of habit’. Without this capability to flip into autopilot, each day would be overwhelming in its complexity.

As we know though, not all of our habits serve us well. Every behaviour that is now habitual began as a useful action. But we’re continually changing, as is the world around us. Some of our habits don’t evolve gracefully to meet our present needs.

Every professional needs to develop mastery of their own habits.

It’s part of our role to build awareness of how we behave, how we notice and how we respond. Without that awareness, and the subsequent capability to adjust course, our output is like an untethered boat on a choppy sea.

Emerging, as we hopefully are, from a constrained pandemic era is revealing that some of our habitual professional practice has hardened into ruts. This shouldn’t become another reason to judge ourselves harshly but more usefully is an honest acknowledgement of a human response to an overload of uncomfortable change.

Climbing out of ruts means behavioural change. That means taking a different action. And that means breaking the cycle.

You already know how to do this. You may even want to start today.


This post was adapted from one of Aodan’s Sunday morning newsletters, eagerly anticipated by hundreds of readers. Give yourself the gift of that weekly wisdom by signing up here.

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