I had been struggling, for the longest time to get up early enough to meditate, workout and do my personal study, spend time with family and still get to my work in a relaxed and calm manner.
I knew this would be an easy fix if I would do one simple thing and it would help me create so much ease and flow in my life.
If I would just get up when my alarm goes off, that would create a positive domino effect on all areas of my life; my physical health, mindset, my family and creativity in my business; it would also empower me and strengthen my level of self-confidence.
I knew what I should do…wake up and get up; but why wasn’t I doing that? Every day I would rush around, feel the stress, skip the workout and I would promise I would do better tomorrow, but tomorrow would come and I would repeat the same cycle of crazy all over again.
The simple answer is, I wasn’t programmed to operate that way. I knew what to do and wanted to follow through, but I just couldn’t seem to make it happen.
That’s what I call the knowing-doing gap and it can be frustrating, especially for a motivated type-A person like me. The knowing-doing gap is simply, our programming or paradigms stored in a section of our subconscious mind.
We are all programmed to operate the way we do. Most of our behavior is habitual; the way we wake up, talk to people, approach challenges and new situations.
We are literally on autopilot the majority of the time. That doesn’t mean we have to resign ourselves to accepting our paradigms.
We actually can upgrade our internal programming and close the knowing-doing gap, no matter what area of your life you want to improve or what habit you want to shift.
The arch nemesis of the knowing-doing gap is persistence and I think Calvin Coolidge summed it up quite nicely.
“Nothing in the World can take the place of persistence. Talent will not. Nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not. Unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not. The world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan, ‘Press on’ has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.”
I coach a lot of entrepreneurs with varying backgrounds and they all have that knowing-doing gap in certain areas of their lives. For some, it’s with saving, earning and investing a certain level of income; others, it’s taking the first steps in a new business venture or managing the activities in their day to create more freedom in their lives.
Think about some areas in your life where you’d like to get better results. It is said, we are only using about 10% of our mental capacity. Imagine, if you could multiply your income by 10; how about elevating your relationships by 10 or your fitness and level of fulfillment?
What would that look like and what do you think is standing in your way? Start there and that will give you an indication of areas where you are experiencing a knowing-doing gap.
Start with one area you’d like to improve your results and start to examine your behavior and your thoughts about your results. Pinpoint one habitual thought or behavior you would like to eliminate and build a new paradigm around it.
Specifically, if you could improve your results in that area 10 times over, what would that look like? If you achieved those results, what kind of person would you be; how would you think? What new actions would you take?
Build an affirmation about the person you want to become and start being that person in your thoughts, feelings and actions. That’s how you start to close that knowing-doing gap.
At first, your paradigm or old way of thinking is going to put up a battle wen you try to close this gap. Initially you are going to have to use your will power to get you started.
To set you up for success, here are six steps toward closing the knowing-gap and eliminating negative patterns of behavior.
1. Discover your knowing-doing gap: Pinpoint the areas in your life where you aren’t getting the results you want and discover where your knowing-doing gaps are; pick one you’d like to work on first.
2. Affirm the opposite of that old habit, paradigm or thought and write a new paradigm you’d like to adopt.
3. Use other positive habits as a launching pad for a new positive behavior: For example, “I come home from work and immediately work for an hour on my dream,” “My alarm goes off; my feet hit the floor. “
4. Eliminate Triggers: If social media is grabbing your attention and you aren’t being productive, close all browsers and turn off message alerts on your computer and phone. If you want to
5. Set the Environment: If you associate your sofa with watching movies and eating snacks, that’s not the best place to get your work done. Set up a different area of your home for focus and another area for leisure.
6. Get the support of a coach or mentor if you really want to fast-track your results. We all have blind spots and we all can benefit from the support, guidance and accountability a great support system can provide us.
Will power and self-control do have a shelf-life so this simple but powerful life-hacks will keep you going until you have established your new norm and your new paradigm.
If you simply try to change your behavior without addressing the underlying cause of behavior, your thoughts, you are setting yourself up for failure. Growth isn’t always easy, but it sure is worth it when you are living your dream.
Laura Noel works with individuals, groups, and companies in reaching their potential and achieving their personal and professional goals.
As a student and teacher of personal growth and leadership for over 27 years, Laura continues to develop her expertise
If you’re ready to stretch your thinking and mind in a way that opens you up to new possibilities, sign up for a free coaching session with Laura here