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Why We Don’t Change

It’s starting. The “new year, new you” shpiel. It’s everywhere. Fitness, mostly. But fashion and household products are in on it, too. They see that disconnect between who you are and who you want to be and pounce:

“You wanna be the eco-friendly house you keep shaming your friends about? BUY THIS TOOTHPASTE. No Koalas harmed.”

I’m not mocking the brands, I’m mocking you.

Change is hard, but the promise of it is easy. It’s easy to believe that if we just had that body and that table setting, our lives would be better. It doesn’t help that you hear people peddling this nonsense:




The assertion that our failures stem from a lack of desire – that’s problematic for lot of reasons, not the least of which is it’s not true. It’s not desire that’s the problem. It’s belief.

When you build a marketing campaign, a good one, you start with everything you know about the person you’re trying to reach. What do they want? What are they afraid of? What do they believe?

Your marketing is immune to people who don’t believe they have a problem your product solves. I can create the world’s greatest baldness eradicating shampoo and if you don’t believe your baldness is a problem, you’re not buying it.

This is the same reason why so many people make NO progress in therapy.

It doesn’t really matter whether you believe your ophthalmologist can help you. She’s going to help you see better. It doesn’t matter if you hate the woman performing your surgery. She’s going to get that appendix out.

It matters if you don’t like your therapist. If you don’t have trust, rapport, confidence. If you don’t believe that “therapy works.”

One of my biggest contentions with The Sopranos is that Tony never really opts into therapy. He’s there reluctantly. Expecting a doctor to “fix” him. For someone else to make him feel better. Which, in fairness, is how the medical community brands itself. We will fix what’s broken. Your rotting tooth gets better if you go to the dentist, whether you “believe” in the science or not.

Behavior change is different.

Behavior change doesn’t happen unless you opt-into it.

Psychological change doesn’t happen unless you opt-into it.

Opt-ins in marketing are permission. Raising your hand to say, “Yes! I’m interested! Tell me more.”

Tell. me. more.

That is not “fix me.”

It’s not the abdication of responsibility, it’s the acceptance of it.

Taking ownership, taking responsibility, for the outcomes you desire is step one. No one can help you if you don’t actually believe your help-able.

That’s where “GET HUNGRY” misses part of the puzzle. Because you can want something very much, but if you believe, sincerely, you aren’t worthy or capable of it – it’s game over before we’ve even started.

This year, if you want sincere change – start with what you believe.

What do you believe is true about you? What are the stories you tell yourself about what you’re capable of? What you’re entitled to? What you’re allowed? What you’re owed?

Start deconstructing those.

Then, we can talk real change.