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3個阻止你實現目標的心理障礙


試回想自己上一次説,想吃得更健康;要每天寫日記;或者整理家居。但是,儘管你誠切希望達成這些目標,但進展還是停滯不前一一究竟怎會這樣?

你可能會說這都歸咎於懶惰或缺乏意志力,但紐約心理學家及教練 Amanda Crowell 則有另一個說法:這些其實出自我們的「失敗防禦機制」。

Crowell 以自己作例子:她本是個討厭做運動的人,直到有天在孩子身邊醒來時,發現自己背脊發疼的厲害。Amanda 隨即想起自己曾想成為那種,可以在公園裡追逐、或隨意抱起自己孩子的媽媽,於是她決定要開始做運動。可是,雖然她有這個想法,但一個月、三個月、一年過去了,她就是無法真正的穿起運動裝,走進gym。

一番研究後,她將這種情況定義為「失敗防禦機制」一一當一個人強烈的想要實現某些目標,並且不斷為其思考,卻無法將想法付諸行動。她同時找出了3個當中的心理障礙、並智勝它們的方法。

「我就是覺得自己無法做到。」

在Amanda頓悟自己需要運動之後,決定開始跑步。在第一天慢跑時,她因穿了寬鬆的瑜伽褲而無位置放好手機,但她卻需要手機中的跑步應用程序。Amanda形容自己當時一隻手提著褲子,另一隻手拿著手機,簡直是「一團糟」。

萬事起頭難,對許多人來說,一個不穩定的開始足以阻止我們繼續前進。甚至會有「我就是覺得自己無法做到」、「我根本沒有這方面的天份」等想法來否定自己。

如何智勝這個想法:

我們應嘗試將每一次失敗視為進步道路上的又一步。培養足夠的心理質素,才能應對好這種種碰釘子:它們不再證明你未嘗試過,而是學習的機會,因為你知道成功的核心不是天份,而是隨時間推移的努力。下次當你覺得自己失敗時,請告訴自己:「這讓我向目標又邁進了一小步!」

Amanda 並沒有讓她不穩定的開始阻礙她 :她最終完成了鐵人三項和半程馬拉松比賽。

「我這樣的人並不擅長於這些。」

經過人生中,對自我的種種實驗及強烈反思,我們開闢並定義了自己的身份。對許多人來說,「身份」(或是説「自我認同」)能讓我們感受到生存於世的意義一一但建立身分是一個艱難的過程;故此,當我們嘗試新事物時,它有時反而會妨礙我們。

當Crowell初被認證為教練時,她原本計劃參與不同社交活動,努力推銷自己來找客戶,但是每當日期臨近,她又總以自己太忙作藉口來推搪約會。在研究「失敗防禦機制」後,她才意識到,是因為這些行徑違背了她自我認同中的身份。這是一種常見的感覺:許多人都會避免做任何威脅自我意識的事情。

以Crowell為例,她一直認為自己是一個情緒主導、幫助別人的類型,而推銷自己並出售服務的感覺對她而言非常不真實。

如何智勝這個想法:

找一個在做相應工作的同類型人,並與他們分享你的擔憂。有什麼能比親自看到活生生的例子來得易於體會呢?你愈是能將你的目標發展得接近自己的本質,就愈容易向前邁進。

「我知道我必須這樣做,但我就是不想」

有時候,在內心深處,你根本不想這樣做,只是認為你應該這樣做。Amanda認為,這是出於我們錯放重點。我們想要達成一個目標通常有兩個原因:一是深層次的內在需求,如滿足興趣、好奇心;有或者你一直以來的夢想。另一方面,也有外在原因,比如所有成功的人都這樣做;或「家人會為我感到自豪」的想法;甚至是受到欽佩、崇拜的慾望。

如何智勝這個想法:

想想你希望完成這件事情的內在動機,以作為激勵自己走完這條艱辛道路的能源。

若果你只能想到完成一件事的外在原因,你很容易就會認為這件事不值得追求。故此,你必須在想做之事與你的夢想之間劃清界限。Amanda建議,在找出潛在的慾望之後,將之寫下來,再塞進錢包。當你想要離開或放棄的那一刻,就拿出那張紙,讓它為你充電。

The bad news: We all face powerful mental blocks that stop us when we’re trying to achieve our goals. The good news: We can outwit them. Here’s how, according to cognitive psychologist Amanda Crowell.

Think about the last time you said you wanted to do something. Maybe you wanted to eat healthier, write every day in a journal, or declutter your home. But despite your sincere desire to achieve the goal, you’ve gotten no further than a few steps along the path. Why not?

While you might be tempted to say it’s because of laziness or a lack of willpower, New York City cognitive psychologist and coach Amanda Crowell has another name for this phenomenon: defensive failure.

Crowell offers an example from her own life to illustrate. Growing up, she loathed exercising; she was fond of saying “I will run when a bear is chasing me and never before then.” This aversion “went on for another 34 years,” she says in a TEDxHarrisburg talk, “until I woke up one day with an infant … and a back that hurt all the time.” If she wanted to be the kind of mom she aspired to be — “a mother who can chase around her kids at the park or pick her kids up and swing them around,” as she put it — she needed to get in shape.

One Sunday, she told her husband that starting that week, she’d go to the gym regularly. Monday came and went without her making it there. Then days, weeks and months flew by and Crowell hadn’t set foot inside the building. She says, “I meant to go to the gym, I intended to go to the gym, so why am I not going to the gym!?” To answer the question, Crowell did three years of research.

“Defensive failure” is the term she came up with to encapsulate what occurs when we want to achieve something and we think about it constantly but we don’t do it. She says, “I found that there are three powerful mindset blocks that are keeping you locked in a cycle of defensive failure.” Below, she explains what they are and how to beat them.

Block #1: “I just don’t think I can do this.”

After her need-to-exercise epiphany, Crowell decided to take up running. One day, she put on her running shoes and went for a jog. However, she did so while wearing baggy yoga pants that had no place to put her phone — which she needed, for the 5K app she was using. She was “a mess,” she recalls. “I’m running holding up my pants with one hand and my phone is in the other.”

For many of us, experiencing such a shaky start would be enough to deter us from going any further. “You think somewhere in your heart that you just can’t do it,” she says. “You think that some people have the talent or the genetics to do this thing, and you don’t.” As she says, “If you believe that at the core of success is talent and genetics, then this rookie mistake matters a lot; it’s the proof you need that you didn’t have what it takes.” (Crowell didn’t let her shaky start hinder her — she eventually completed a triathlon and a half-marathon.)

How to outsmart it: Try to think of each failure as just another step on the road to progress by developing what Stanford University’s Carol Dweck (watch her TED talk) and other psychology researchers call a “growth mindset.” When you cultivate this kind of mindset, Crowell says, “these rookie mistakes lose their significance. They are no longer proof that you never should have tried. They’re opportunities to learn, because you know that at the heart of success is not talent; it’s effort over time that produces accomplishments.” The next time you feel like you’ve fallen short, tell yourself: “This is putting me one tiny step closer to my goal.”

Block #2: “People like me aren’t good at this.”

Through years of action, experimentation and intense reflection upon who we are, where we came from, and who we want to be, we carve out our own identities. For many of us, it’s a hardwon process. And while our identities can give us a sense of meaning and a place in the world, sometimes they can get in our way when we’re attempting new things.

When Crowell first became certified as a coach, she struggled to sell herself and find clients. She made plans to attend different networking events, but when the dates approached, she’d invariably decide she was too busy. After researching “defensive failure,” she realized that she was resisting blowing her own horn because it went against her identity. This is a common feeling; many of us will avoid doing anything that threatens our sense of self, Crowell says. In her case, she thought of herself as a “heart-centered helper type,” and, she says, “promoting myself and selling my services felt very inauthentic — it felt really pushy.”

How to outsmart it: The answer is simple. “Find people like you doing things like this, and share your concerns with them,” says Crowell. She says, “I had to find a heart-centered helper type who was great at promoting her business and learn from her.” This peer showed her ways that she could sell her business without feeling like she was selling out. The closer you can bring your goal or activity to your identity, the easier it will be for you to move forward.

Block #3: “I feel like I have to do this thing, but I don’t really want to do it.”

Or, as Crowell puts, “Secretly, you don’t want to do it; you just think you shouldwant to do it. Basically, you value it for the wrong reasons.” She says that there are generally two reasons why we want things. “On the one hand, you can value them for what we refer to as intrinsic reasons — reasons that come from inside of you, your interests, your curiosity, or … your long-term hopes and dreams.” On the other hand, she adds, there are the “extrinsic reasons, like ‘All the cool people do it’ or ‘My mom would be proud’ or ‘Boy, would I like to be admired.”

Let’s say you’re trying to stick to a budget, says Crowell. You’ve found that lunch is your biggest expense, so you vow to brown-bag it. One day, you forget your lunch and your coworker asks you to go out with her. You face a choice: Do you eat with her and spend $25 on a meal, or do you buy a $2 protein bar from the vending machine? Well, if you’re saving for intrinsic reasons — you just got engaged and you’re socking away money for a house and kids — you’re more likely to stick with your resolution, says Crowell. But if you’re doing it for extrinsic reasons — you want to out-save your sister — you’re more likely to dine out, she says. “It’s not enough to counterbalance the urge, the desire in the moment, to go to a restaurant with your friend. And this works for anything that you’re struggling with.”

How to outsmart it: Think of your intrinsic reason — the motivation behind why you’re doing what you say you want to do — as your own personal energy source. It’s there for you to tap into whenever you need it. And you will need it. Crowell says, “If the work you want to do is hard, there will be urges in the moment to quit, and it is intrinsic interest that keeps you focused on the steps you need to take.”

If you’re only coming up with extrinsic reasons for your activity or goal, you may decide that it’s not worth pursuing. But if you feel in your heart of hearts that it is, she says, “you must draw the bright line between the thing you want to do and your long-term hopes and dreams.” After you figure out that underlying inspiration, write it down on a scrap of paper and tuck it into your wallet. Crowell says, “When the moment comes that you want to get out or give up, you have to take that piece of paper out.” Read it, and let it recharge you. 資料來源:TEded

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