Talk Is Cheap: How to Practice More the Ideas You Believe In

One thing I find exciting about today’s world is that we have more and more access to more and more rational, well-documented and practical ideas, which a lot of us are keenly accepting. We’re going through a veritable second Age of Enlightenment.

However, it’s one thing to believe in a good idea at a conscious level, it’s a totally other thing to live by that idea every day. It’s much harder to practice an idea consistently than it is to agree with it and talk about it. Which is why you’ll often find a big gap between what people claim to believe and what their actual behavior reflects.

Take the case of minimalist living: lots of folks are getting wise to the fact that the relentless pursuit of stuff won’t make them happy, and they give considerable credence to the idea of a low-consumption lifestyle with other priorities than acquiring stuff. Many of them are quite vocal about this too.

I think it’s great that the notion of minimalist living is catching on. Nevertheless, it’s much easier to proclaim you believe in it than it is to live by it. So you’ll often find people who state they believe in a low-consumption life, yet they change their phone every 6 months, their car every 2 years, and they have a wastefully big house, crammed with stuff they rarely use. And many of them fail to see the duplicity in this.

As a coach, I regularly help others practice consistently ideas they believe in and they know can transform their life, to make them a part of the very fabric of their personality. I’d like to show you some ways to do this that have worked very well both for me and my coaching clients.

1. Live More Consciously 

The more you pay conscious attention to your thoughts and your behavior, the easier it is to spot inconsistencies between the ideas you believe in and the way you act. Then you can make deliberate changes to close this gap. This is what I call living consciously.

Most of us rarely live consciously. We mostly live in reaction; we are impulsively driven by obligations such as work or house chores, and by distractions such as television, advertising, fast food, and funny YouTube videos. It will take work to be more mindful of how you live, moment by moment, and take charge of your behavior. But it’s worth it.

practice

2. Carve Out Specific Actions for Yourself 

Often when we discover a good idea, we decide to adopt it, and then we stop there. We think that decision alone will change our behavior and align it with that idea; which rarely happens. In order for your behavior to change, it’s crucial to come up with specific actions to carry out, and then do them regularly.

For example, say you decide it’s a good idea for you to be more social. You can then come up with specific ways to be more social; like going out to social events at least 3 times per week, or talking to at least 3 new people at each social event you go to. These kind of specific, actionable goals turn good ideas into practical behavioral changes.

3. Overcome the Emotional Barriers 

Frequently you may want to implement a certain idea but have problems because of emotional obstacles. Going back to the example above, you may wanna be more social, but you may be afraid of talking to new people or feel anxious in social situations. Such emotions will make it hard to genuinely come out of your shell.

So you’ll have to work on overcoming these insecurities in order to be able to change your behavior. Since this is a broad and important topic, I’m not gonna go into details on it here.

Instead, I’ve created a separate instructional presentation in which I’ll show you with clear explanations how to overcome your anxieties, especially the ones you may have in social settings. I’ve helped literally thousands of people with this issue, I’m sure I can help you too. Go here to watch the presentation.

4. Ask For Feedback 

Other people can often see things about your conduct that you are oblivious to, because they have an external perspective on you. So to better align your behavior with your beliefs, it’s a good idea to tell others about the kind of beliefs you wanna implement in your life, and ask them for honest feedback when they think your behavior is off track.

Pick people you trust to be honest and levelheaded to help you with this, and who genuinely care about you. Sometimes their feedback will be a hard pill to swallow, but it’s just the right medicine.

5. Have Someone Help You Stay Accountable 

It’s always important to hold yourself accountable for your actions. But it’s even better if there is another person to keep your accountable in addition: someone who aids you set personal development goals, someone you report back to on your progress, someone who gives you and extra dose of motivation, focus and guidance to keep going.

A competent coach, counselor or psychologist is probably the best person for such a task. They will have the skills to properly oversee your personal development and help you stay committed to your goals. So if you wanna align your behavior with your beliefs as fast and as much as possible, this is definitely an option to consider.

For more help from me in changing your behavior (especially in social situations) and becoming the person you wanna be, I recommend you join my free social success newsletter.

Ultimately, when you practice what you preach, when you align your actions and your whole being with the ideas you consciously believe in, you are a person of integrity. It’s not only something to feel very proud of, but also a great path towards success and happiness.

What Makes a Good Leader?

Business Talks

As my coaching experience grows and my communication coaching skills improve, I find myself increasingly more working with people in high management positions. The business world is an interesting kind of jungle and the activity of a top manager is quite fascinating to me. But a person in a top management position is more than […]

Continue reading...

How to Be Memorable in 4 Practical Steps

Hanging upside down is fun

As a species, we human beings are outstandingly social creatures. We crave companionship and connection. We love to be accepted, appreciated and admired by others. But perhaps one of the most fascinating social desires we have is the desire to be memorable. We want others to remember us, to think about us, and to recognize […]

Continue reading...

Why So Serious? 5 Ways to Loosen Up and Enjoy Life More

why so serious

I’ve always appreciated considerably people who are upbeat, optimistic and generally unperturbed by the hassles of everyday life; people who don’t seem to take anything too seriously and are able to fully enjoy life as it is. Such people aren’t very common though, and a lot of folks are actually quite far from being that […]

Continue reading...

3 Love Myths That Really Harm Your Romantic Life

Love

Romantic relationships fascinate me. Most people deem their romantic life as very important to them. At the same time tough, it’s an area that even generally smart and educated people often navigate using irrational, impractical and simplistic ideas. And when that happens, a lot of frustration and disappointment ensue. I’ve certainly made my fair share […]

Continue reading...

How to Win an Argument and Do It with Style

debate

My argumentation and persuasion skills were the very first communication skills I ever became interested in developing. This was many years ago, back in high-school, when I decided to join my school’s debate and public speaking club. Looking back, that was one of the best decisions I ever made. Since then I’ve had a lot […]

Continue reading...

Fixing the Issue of Coming Across As Shy

shy

Working as a confidence and communication coach, many of my clients are shy and socially anxious people. Many of them verbalize to me big concerns about coming across as shy to others around them. They tell me that they get comments like “You don’t talk very much”, or “You’re really quiet”, or plain bluntly “You […]

Continue reading...

4 Rules for a Fulfilling Social Life in the Modern World

social life

The world has sure changed a lot. Just a couple of centuries ago, most people lived in small towns and villages, where they had a basic social life and well-defined social roles. In time, human settlements grew, and a large percentage of the population migrated to the city. Then came newspapers, radio and TV, as […]

Continue reading...

How to Deal with Social Pressure and Follow Your Own Path

social pressure

Sometimes your goals and behaviors, even though they make rational sense, will come into conflict with the way others would like you to act and live. When this happens, such people may try to make you conform using emotional tools such as sarcasm, criticism, withdrawal of approval, threats or rejection. The use of such tools […]

Continue reading...

How to Not Be Creepy

Asian college students

There are a lot of emails in my Inbox from people who want to improve their social interactions. Many times, they’ll talk about coming across as creepy, or weird, and wanting real bad to fix this. Sometimes this creepiness is mostly imaginary, many times though there is reliable evidence to support it, and sometimes others […]

Continue reading...