Alexandra the Nomad

Alexandra the Nomad

18-10-2022

16:50

Does it feel almost impossible to change your habits and the ways you are? That may be the Endowment Effect playing tricks on you ...

Endowment effect is a psychological tendency to attribute higher value to something that we consider our own in comparison to something that doesn't belong to us That includes objects, ideas, habits, principles - anything

Here are some examples: - This mug has cracks but I still love it - This idea is better because it's mine - This is a shitty habit but it's just the way I am - I've been doing this for years, I'm not going to change - What if it doesn't work out? I don't want to risk it

If you're happy with the ways you are - congrats, you've achieved something no human being in history ever has If not - keep reading, we're about to break the curse

Awesome, you want to change How do you break that unhealthy attachment to the not-so-good ol' ways?

1️⃣ Consider the Cost of Inaction Say, you want to start running. But you absolutely hate it (preach) List all the bad things that will happen if you do NOT start running - and keep listing till something hits home

You won't lose weight as fast? You won't join your friends at a Friendly 5k run? You'll be the first to die in a zombie apocalypse? There's no universal "bad thing" cure - find something the loss of which will sound more terrible than getting out of bed and going for a run

Why it works We often don't realise how much it costs us to stick to the old ways Thinking of what we lose (literally or in missed opportunities) will defy the status quo

2️⃣ Burn the Ships Place yourself in a situation where you have no other option but to change your old ways

Want to spend less time on social media? -> Install an app blocker Want to start working on that side project? -> Tell everyone about it, make a social commitment Want to eat more fruits and vegetables? -> Fill your fridge with them and don't buy any other snacks

Why it works? Because you make sticking to the old ways more complicated A lot of things we do is a just a force of habit - if you add some resistance, you're likely to give it up entirely or, at least, reconsider its appeal

3️⃣Frame New Things as Old Ask yourself - is this "new" thing you want to do really new? Or, you are rather reverting back to your old ways? In other words, try to phrase this upcoming "change" so it doesn't sound as a new behaviour

Like, didn't you use to love to run as a child? It's not a new scary job, you've been doing it and learning about it for years You've been smoking for 5 years and hadn't smoked for 25 years prior - the smoking part is new, not the non-smoking one

Why it works? Change is scary. New is scary. We're afraid to come out of the comfort zone because we don't want to face disappointment, uncertainty, the unfamiliar By convincing yourself that this new habit is, in fact, an old one, we tame that fear

You can try to mix and match these methods or test them out separately Find out what works best for you and stick to it Change is scary. But never changing? Scarier still.

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