24 Dec Influencing behaviours for the better
Remember the 60,000 thoughts you have every single day? And how, in order to influence your own behaviour, you need to understand what drives you?
Understanding the emotions generated and subsequent behaviours of these 60,000 thoughts gives you more emotional intelligence and enables you to make confident judgement calls to stay in control of your life and live in flow. This can also help you to radiate influencing behaviours among friends, family, classmates and colleagues.
“Emotions can get in the way or get you on the way.” Mavis Mazhura
Change can intensify behaviours – good or bad
Stressful times, such as a pandemic or life-changing experience in the form of a house move, change in school, marriage or even a breakup magnifies people’s behaviour and as a result they meet their needs in different ways.
The caring people become more caring, the selfish become more selfish, the angry become angrier, the worriers worry more and those with anxiety have panic attacks.
It’s logical when you think about it because if life conditions change massively and rapidly your thinking capabilities can’t always expand fast enough to deal with what’s going on.
Under pressure you evolve or crumble
By using the resources around and within you positively you will effectively evolve to meeting your needs or the needs of the situation with positive behaviours.
When you devolve (or crumble under the pressure) the resources inside are forgotten and you can go into fear and panic mode and use anxiety and anger as a coping mechanism to meet your needs, which often results in poor behaviours.
What do you see around you?
Take a moment to think about what you see in the people around you. People you know and people who you don’t know. How is their behaviour?
Behaviour is the outward result of an unmet need and it’s important not to judge people too harshly because the moment you do, you lose the ability to appreciate them for who they really are.
People are not their behaviours because the person can change their behaviour and that depends on the driving force. Once again, it’s a circular process.
“It isn’t stress that makes us fall – it’s how we respond to stressful events.” Wayde Goodall
The six human needs
In my book “The Spark to Your Success” and in previous blog articles, I introduced the concept of the six human needs that equate to living a balanced life. This chapter will recap the needs to build on the necessity for meeting them in a positive way.
Everyone has a need for certainty. For you, this could be security, safety, peace of mind or a feeling of being in control of your own destination.
Now, once in a lifetime (probably) an unprecedented event might take place and, all of a sudden, you are told what to do and a new set of rules are put in place. Without warning certainty is replaced with uncertainty and meeting that need may become negative through anger (often through fear), developing symptoms of obsessive compulsive disorder (repeating things over and over again or being over the top), feeling anxious or panic buying.
To counteract this uncertainty, structure will help. By creating structure in your day for yourself and to support people around you, you’ll be better prepared and organised for what lies ahead.
The need for variety is fulfilled by learning new skills, visiting new places, trying new activities and meeting new people. You can do this in person or virtually and whilst there are plenty of choices – cooking, crafting, exercising, gaming, learning, dating – the online world isn’t quite a replacement for the physical world, which leads us nicely to the human need of love and connection.
Love and connection
Are you meeting your need for love and connection by gossiping, scaremongering, or even attention seeking by being overly ‘out there’ or getting stressed and anxious?
Negatively meeting the need for love and connection will see ‘naysayers’ huddling together and moaning about the world, sympathising with each other to gain connection. It can be seen on social media too with the type of posts that crave a sympathy response. Are you an online drama king or queen?
Instead, meet your connection and love needs positively by connecting through humour, encouragement and optimism – it’s far healthier. Engaging online on Instagram, Tik Tok or House Party is a great way to connect 24/7 in between meeting in person.
Can you help elderly relatives or those more disengaged from technology to reconnect with loved ones? Or what about volunteering in your local community to let people know that someone cares. It’s a great act of kindness and it even tops up your own needs!
Meeting your need for significance is when you do something or receive something (such as a compliment) that makes you feel special and unique. Whist this might sound like a good thing, many people feel significant by criticising others or attempting to take control in an undermining or disrespectful way. Think about the dictator.
The best way to meet your need for significance is to step up and take responsibility for yourself. Doing positive things through service, teaching or caring can make you a great role model to your friends, family and community.
Use your gifts to create new skills, systems and mindsets, and find a voice to spread positivity. Significance can lead to a real sense of freedom.
Learning and growth
There are so many ways to meet your need for learning and growth. Remember, what you focus on is what you get, so be different, more skilled, knowledgeable, interesting and resourceful.
What are the things available to you to learn online? The opportunities are vast and I encourage you to immerse yourself in new activities and topics that intrigue you. Embrace everything that will allow you to feel enriched and grow as a person.
They say that knowledge is power and once you realise how many new opportunities open up as you learn, you’ll never want to stop!
The final essential human need of contribution is your way of giving back.
Instead of wallowing in self-pity (for whatever reason), think about connection and kindness again. How can you serve your community, family, your parents or siblings, especially if they work hard and sacrifice things in their job or for you?
What can you do at home to contribute to making their lives a little bit easier and show that you appreciate them by easing their pressure? Can you wash the car, pull out weeds from the garden, do the ironing or offer to fetch the groceries?
Perhaps you could volunteer for a conservation campaign, check in on an elderly relative or put a post a card through a neighbour’s door to say ‘hi, I hope you’re well, please reach out if you need anything’.
“Only those who have learned the power of sincere and selfless contribution experience life’s deepest joy: true fulfilment.” Tony Robbins
Choose the life you want to lead
Find ways to meet your needs positively.
Help yourself and those around you. You cannot control people’s behaviours but you can stand back and observe ways to influence their behaviour for the better – and your own.
The optimism created by acting in this way is phenomenal and before you know it, you’ll be on positivity auto pilot! Share your intentions to make them more real and for others to hold you accountable – join our community:
For the next week, make a conscious effort to influence your own behaviour positively and share influencing behaviours with those around you.