For the last half an hour I’ve been browsing Facebook, checking other social networks instead of working, e.g. writing this article. Does this situation look familiar? I remember very well from my university days, when it was exam time, the house was perfectly tidy, the clothes were clean, the dishes were washed, in other words, I impulsively did everything I could to avoid having to study at that time.
We all have some not very useful or destructive behaviour/habit and we are well aware that it does not bring us anything very good, but we continue anyway. Have you ever wondered why that is and what can be done about it?
The point is that any behavioural strategy that we have is somehow beneficial to us, or was when it came into being, and has some positive intention. If we spend a lot of time on social networks, we are fulfilling our need for socialisation, and we are probably also unconsciously protecting ourselves from possible fatigue if we continue with the work we have accumulated (I want to stress that in this article I will not take into consideration the negative impact of social networking algorithms, which are causing us to spend more and more time on them). At the same time, however, we start to beat ourselves up that we should be working and we are not. This situation is also known in coaching as a conflict of personality parts. One part of the personality wants, for example, rest and relaxation, while the other part wants to work, to achieve results and satisfaction. The interesting thing is that these two parts have positive intentions towards you!
So I suggest you get to know and talk to these parts of your personality. In your mind, call on each of them, make up names for them and address them as such. Ask them both in turn what these parts want for you, what they might be protecting you from by their behaviour, what their higher intention is towards you. Take your time, let all your thoughts come to you, perhaps you can even visualise what each of these parts would look like if they were human. Encourage these parts of your personality to find a common interest in you and to compromise on the issue of two different behavioural strategies.
That is what I did with my different parts of personality in preparation for writing this text. I imagine my “Chill” part (that’s what I call the part that wants to surf the social networks or watch another episode of her favourite TV series) as a relaxed woman lying under a parasol by the pool, with sunglasses on and a glass of refreshment. Her aim is to replenish resources, to encourage rest, to feel good. I imagine my „Power“ part (that’s what I call the part that wants action, to achieve, to create, to get results) as an energetic professional woman in a business suit and trainers who rolls up her sleeves and gets on with her work. Her goal is to get the most out of the day, learn something new and feel good at the end of the day. Have you noticed what the common intention of these two parts is? Feel good! Well, it’s agreement time. Halfway through the text, I’ll be able to take a quick look at what’s new on social media, and once I’ve finished the text and translated it, I’ll get another reward: one episode on Netflix.
This is just one example of everyday life, but often we don’t even think about it. If you have a behaviour or habit that you want to change but can’t seem to do it, maybe it’s time to talk to different parts of your personality? I’d love to help you do that!
With best wishes for growth,