Collectively, we love to learn about how to improve and develop ourselves. We watch shows, read books, and take courses because we want to learn how to change our behavior. There has never been a time in society when we have had more information about what it takes to maintain a healthy body, have effective relationships and be an influential, effective leader. Yet as a society, we are more obese; divorce is more common that couples staying together, and our children have more learning and behavioral problems than ever before.  And we still complain about our leader’s incompetence.

So why is this? These are all examples of the knowing doing gap in action. It takes so much more that insight and knowledge to affect behavioral change. As a colleague of mine always says, “Knowing is the booby prize.” Taking in information is a passive activity.  Changing behavior is an experiential one. These two activities are governed by different areas of the brain and as much fun as an “aha” moment is, it doesn’t usually go anywhere else.

How often have you gotten excited by reading something or attending a training session only to continue along the same behavioral path that you were on before that great “aha” moment. We can vow to resolve to change our behavior but that doesn’t mean that we are going to do anything that makes us feel uncomfortable. Mark Twain once said “It is easy to quit smoking. I have done it many times.”  

Changing behavior requires action and often behavioral change leading to new experiences. This is where the resistance in the brain occurs, because it often doesn’t feel good to act differently. In fact, it can cause feelings of anxiety, embarrassment and vulnerability, for example, which no one really wants to feel.  Setting goals is a fantastic exercise and people get really good at doing this. Not understanding that behavioral change is an emotionally driven activity that takes emotional self-management and feelings of discomfort to achieve it derails many of our good intentions.

Setting goals doesn’t mean that we have the emotional buy in from ourselves to actually achieve them. As soon as we feel discomfort, we can rationalize why the change we are seeking isn’t that important, or things are really okay the way they are. Emotional self-indulgence takes the place of the development of emotional self-management.

We need to be able to tolerate our emotions and use them to drive us toward our true goals, rather than hijacking us and leaving us in a chronic state of disillusionment with ourselves.  Of course we can always rationalize that we are really okay, even fabulous the way we are. But inside, we know better.

Anne Dranitsaris, Ph.D brings a lifetime of study, psychological savvy and hands-on clinical experience to helping people become who they are meant to be. Her interest in creating mental health coupled with her interest in personality systems and the dynamics of human behaviour has influenced the development of Striving Styles Personality System™. With a profound interest in human psychological and personality systems, she built a thriving psychotherapy practice. Her approach had a strong psycho-educational perspective focusing on the interplay between personality systems and thoughts, feelings, beliefs and behaviors; finding patterns of self-protective behavior that limit the capacity for achieving one’s potential. She later integrated the world renowned Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction program into her practice opening an holistic psychotherapy center with a focus on using mindfulness training in a therapeutic context. Seeing how her clients were affected by their leaders and workplace culture, Anne became one of Toronto’s first Executive Coaches in the late 1980’s. She could see the direct application of the therapeutic tools into the corporate world, which drove her to expand her work into that realm. Anne began using the title of corporate therapist to indicate the depth with which she worked with leaders and teams developing emotional intelligence, behavioural competence, and relationship skills in organizations. She has also uses her unique approach to work through dysfunctional relationships, partnerships, teams and boards. This approach included assessing, educating, training, and coaching to develop greater self-awareness, awareness of others, improved team dynamics and overall corporate functioning. A prolific and frequently cited writer on the impact of behaviour, emotional intelligence and personality styles in the workplace, she has written a series of books on personality type based on Jung’s theory of Psychological Type. The Personality Profile Series© books are used to help individuals in coaching and counseling to understand themselves, their environment, their partners, and their children. Her latest series of books, The Jung Typology series, focuses on understanding the impact of personality type on employees, teams and leaders. Striving Styles Personality Assessment has been prominently featured in the media, on radio, television as well as in a wide range of national and international publications including USA Today, the New York Post, Huffington Post, The Toronto Star, NOW Magazine, Globe and Mail and where Dr. Dranitsaris was referenced in November 2009 as one of Oprah’s next protégés. Additionally, her work has appeared in three issues of “O” Magazine within the past year, with her article on Striving Styles being including in the “O” Annual as one of the year’s top articles.
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