Developing habits to be more social is absolutely necessary to become a more socially well-adjusted person. This can be a bit challenging though…
When I started developing habits to become a more social person -I still do this-, I ran into a lot of trouble. I would for instance procrastinate a lot by telling myself I didn’t prepare well enough, or that I would do it next time…
… Or I would start with full enthusiasm, and quit two days later. I reasoned that the habit I chose wasn’t “perfect” enough. Or that I didn’t feel good that day…
The simple fact is that I wasn’t completely clear on how to go about it, nor was I a 100% sure I was going to do it no matter what. I wasn’t both consciously and subconsciously convinced I was absolutely going to create a new habit.
Since then, I’ve invested a lot of time into “the how and what of developing habits successfully” as this is absolutely necessary to transform yourself into a socially well-adjusted person.
In the article below I will show you how to make developing habits inevitable. I’ll teach you a formula to use that will trigger your brain to act on the new, positive habit on auto pilot. I’ll advice you how to make developing habits more easy and I will show examples that you can directly apply to your own life.
Developing Habits On Auto Pilot
We are creatures of habit. Right now you do a lot of things without even knowing that you do them habitually. You put your left (or right..) shoe on first, you might eat at set times, and you have specific table manners. These are all learned behaviors that turned into habits.
Now when you want to change from a socially anxious person to a socially confident person, you have to change your habits. You have to start developing habits that a socially confident person has. And then once you are successfully incorporating more and more habits of a socially savvy person…
… you will eventually turn into a socially well adjusted person yourself.
To make the process of developing habits easy to understand and effective, I have developed a specific strategy that I’d like to teach you. But first…
Understanding stimulus –> response:
To understand the strategy I want to teach you, we first need to know the definition of a habit. So here we go:
“A habit is an automatic pattern of behavior in reaction to a specific situation.“
We can break up a habit into two parts. There is a stimulus and a response.
The specific situation is the stimulus.
And the automatic pattern of behavior is the response.
Let’s look at an example:
A specific situation might be someone looking at you (the stimulus).
And the automated pattern of behavior might be
“looking down and away” (the response).
So a habit is basically the response to a stimulus.
Now that we know this we can consciously start developing habits. We do this by beforehand determining what our response will be when there is a certain stimulus.
Using Stimulus –> Response For Developing Habits
With the knowledge from above on stimulus –> response let me give you a 5 step formula to effectively create a new habit. This way your new positive habits will run on autopilot in no time.
The 5 step formula:
- Think of a habit you want to develop.
- What is going to be the stimulus that sets of your response?
- Be clear on what your response will be (the habit you want to install)
- Mentally rehearse it
- Take action
Let’s keep the same example I used above regarding eye contact. Up until now every time someone looks at you (stimulus), your habit is to look down and away (response). Say you want to change that habit to giving a smile and a nod of approval every time someone looks at you.
Then write down:
Stimulus: someone looking at me
Response: giving a smile and a nod of approval
This will be your new habit. What you want to do is mentally rehearse this in your mind. See someone looking at you, and act out the new response. Do this at least 20 times. More is better. This automates the process so that when it happens in real life, you will respond accordingly.
Now I’ve put step 5 in there because it might not just go completely automatically. You probably have to consciously “smile and nod in approval”, so be on the lookout for that stimulus and answer it with your rehearsed response.
Some advice on finding stimuli and responses:
To think of a stimulus to set of your response for developing new habits, ask yourself these questions:
Every time I…
- See someone looking at me
- Walk into a room
Every time someone…
- Smiles at me
- Introduces him/herself to me
Every time (X happens)…
- Someone hands me something
- My phone rings
To come up with responses (for developing habits to be more social) to the stimulus is up to yourself. Use your imagination.
What would make you more social? What would propel you forward? What would help you to become a more socially well-adjusted person?
I’ll give you a few ideas:
Every time a stimulus happens, my response is:
- To smile
- To say hello
- To wave and smile
- To introduce myself
- To say thanks and look the person in the eye
- To take a deep breath and say to myself “I accept myself and choose to feel calm”
Necessary Tips On Developing Habits
There are a few things that you must absolutely follow when developing habits. When you don’t follow the below advice you are at best going to have a hard time. Here they are..
Be consistentWhen you are starting to create a new habit, give it your all. Decide that you will do the new habit for a full month. It takes around three to four weeks for your brain to make new neural pathways which will make the new behavior a habit.
If you miss a day, you are cheating yourself. What you have built up in the previous days will lose its juice. You are not just losing one day! When you are developing habits, be consistent. No excuses.
No matter how you feel, no matter what happens, you are acting out your new behavior. You keep going until it becomes you, your personality, attitude and identity.
One habit at a time I’ve made this mistake many times. I felt I was behind on schedule, so I would try to install 5 habits in one month. It never worked. It’s too much to ask.
Developing habits costs a decent amount of focused effort and energy. Stick to one habit per month and give it your all. This will be challenging enough for you.
Convince your subconscious You say you are going to do it. You think it would be great to have this new habit. At least, that is what you are consciously convinced about. To convince your subconscious mind though, you might want to make it a bit more obvious.Here’s how:
Write down on a piece of paper the answers to the following questions (be as elaborate as possible):
- What will you get by installing this new habit?
- What will you gain?
- How will your life be better?
- What will it cost you if you don’t take on this habit and keep your life where you are at?
- What will your life look like in 5, 10 and 20 years from now?
As your mind always moves away from pain and towards pleasure, putting this down on paper helps your subconscious mind. It will then understand that this new behavior is an absolute must for you and your life.
Get leverage Developing habits is not easy. Sometimes it can be extremely challenging. If this is the case, you want to get some leverage on yourself to make sure you stick to your habit for the time necessary to make it effortless.
You do this by…
Paying someone you trust an amount of money and signing a contract that you will act out your new behavior for 1 full month every day. No matter what. When you don’t do the new behavior one day, you don’t get your money back.
Signing a contract and stating in that contract that when you don’t keep up with your new behavior for the full month, you will do something you really, really don’t want to do.
Make it something that is worse doing than the habit you are planning to develop. I’ve put running around naked in a mall in a contract once… Yes, I did create the habit!
Rewarding yourself. As I mentioned earlier, your mind works towards pleasure and away from pain. So think of something you would really want to have or do. When you keep up with your habit for the full month, you can go buy or do the thing you have put up as a reward.
Combine these three to get leverage on yourself and developing habits will be inevitable.
The key to becoming a socially well adjusted person is living a life of habits that a socially well adjusted person has.
Start implementing one new habit every month. Think of 12 habits you can install in a year.
How much progress will you make? How much more social will you be? How much will you enjoy living the social life of your dreams?
And if you are ready to completely overcome your social anxiety NOW, getting coached from the comfort of your own home and the ease of sitting behind your PC, my Skype Coaching Packages where we use the power of EFT is what you are looking for to achieve social confidence in ALL social situations.
“Become Comfortable Starting A Conversation With Anyone”
Go to Part 1/3: Asking Questions To Start Conversation?!
Go to Part 2/3: Conversation Starters For Every Situation
Go to Part 3/3: Asking Conversation Starter Questions…
“Starting Conversations 101″
Go to Part 1/4: Creating Interesting Conversation Starters
Go to Part 2/4: Steps To Creating Your Own Good Conversation Starters
Go to Part 3/4: How To Start Conversations
Go to Part 4/4: Mentally Rehearse Your Conversation Openers
“Conversation Topics Mastery”
Go to Part 1/2: 24 Interesting Conversation Topics
Go to Part 2/2: Conversation Exercises For Conversation Confidence
“Conversation Questions Mastery”
Go to Part 1/2: Excellent Conversation Questions For Conversational Mastery
Go to Part 2/2: Questions To Keep Conversation Going?
- Techniques To Create Conversation Skills
- Normal Phone Conversation Starters
- Move beyond your comfort zone
- Structurally developing habits to become socially confident
- Tips on how to make friends
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