The pull in our businesses and lives to repeat old patterns is as pervasive as gravity. Starting something new is so very difficult. Part of the reason for this difficulty is that to start something new is also to lose something old and we simply don’t want to let go of the ways of old.
Often we like the concept of starting something afresh and we can easily begin a new habit, but our brains will quickly begin to look for old patterns. Then the endless search for ways to repeat past behaviors has the brain fighting ourselves against the new something that we want to start.
There are countless ways that philosophers and teachers over the years have suggested to counteract this effect and many are really good. Still our brains fighting against ourselves is real.
Learning to let go of past behaviors is a skill that can be learned. I might suggest that we practice this in small ways so that we can develop the skill that we can then use in bigger ways. For example, if you drive a certain road to work each day, choose one week and drive a different way each day. Or if you attend church and sit in the same spot, choose a different one for the next few weeks. If you have a routine in the morning, practice breaking it and doing something small but different. Even if your morning routine is a good one, breaking it in a small way teaches our brains that we do indeed have the capability to successfully let go of older things.
If we can begin to teach our brain that letting go of past ways is ok, then we can take this skill and use it in other areas like selling more effectively, or communicating with our staff differently. This is the same skill that will help us get to the gym regularly or eat differently if that is what we desire to do.
Do not buy the lie that you cannot teach old dogs new tricks. Old dogs that learn new tricks can and will change the world.
We would love to hear about your experience of letting something go in order to start something new. Let us know about these experiences in the comments section below.