Why do we do what we don't want to do?

Why do I do what I don’t want to do?   Because it is working for you!

The truth is that we do things because the behavior serves a purpose or generates some value to us.  If it didn’t serve us in some way, we would not do it.

For every single behavior we do, we ARE getting a payoff.  It is working for us.

This payoff keeps us doing familiar or repeated behaviors, both good and bad.   Our behaviors lead to our results in life.   The payoff we get for repeated behaviors either aligns with what we want in life or it does not.   The hard part is that we don’t always have a clear conscious awareness of the payoff we are getting.

Can you think of a result that you want that is not present in some area of life? 

Is there a result that you want that you are not actively working toward?  

Can you identify your behaviors that are keeping you stuck from getting this different result?

It’s time to look at the payoffs you are currently getting for the behaviors that are keeping you from getting the result that you want.

Sometimes it’s hard to identify why we keep doing what we intellectually know we don’t want to do.   We all choose our behaviors by the payoffs we are getting.  On some level, they are working for us.  We need to identify the current payoffs.

So many of our behaviors are so automatic that we don’t consider the payoffs.  Human functioning proves that we keep doing these automatic behaviors even when we don’t want to.     I want you to consider the following possible payoffs for any behavior that you have, good or bad:

  • Happiness
  • Minimizing pain
  • Path of least resistance
  • Avoiding emotional or physical effort
  • Fear of possible outcomes
  • Immediate gratification
  • Safety
  • Comfort
  • Acceptance
  • Fear of rejection
  • Joy
  • Fulfillment
  • Peace
  • Setting for good
  • And so many other possible payoffs…

We need to identify the payoffs for the behaviors that aren’t aligned with our desired long term results.   When we know the current payoff, we can begin the work to detach from it.   We must be willing to let go of some current payoffs we are getting to have new results.  The behaviors must change so that the payoff can change.   It’s simple cause and effect. 

If you find the payoffs you are getting for your behaviors, you can decide you want different payoffs.  You can control the behaviors.  You can get different results.   You can choose the behaviors that support the results you really want.

The new desired results come when you:

  1. Start behaving in ways that get you what you want
  2. Stop behaving in the ways that don’t get you what you want

Let’s find the payoffs you are accepting that don’t align with unlocking your best life.

Here are 7 steps to use in your own life to get clear on the behaviors that you need to start or stop doing for the results you want in your life.

  1. Write a list of the 5 most frustrating and persistent challenges in your life where you want different results.
  2. Identify any negative behavioral patterns for each of these results or situations in your life. Describe in as much detail as possible.  The specific behavior, the pattern and the intensity which keeps you in the behavior.
  3. Write down why these behaviors or situations are a negative for your life and your goals.
  4. Make your best effort to analyze, identify and write down the payoff that is supporting.. even feeding this negative behavioral pattern.
  5. No get really clear and honest, what different result would you like to have?
  6. What different payoff would be associated with this result?
  7. What behaviors do you need to start or stop doing?

You can watch the FULL 30 minute video teaching  by visiting our Unlocking YOUR Best Life facebook page  

The video is titled Why do I do what I don't want to do? 10/22/19

Take some time, identify the payoffs you need to detach from for behaviors that aren't aligned with unlocking YOUR best self and YOUR best life.   You are worth it!   

I hope to see you soon. 

Always with hugs, 


JOIN ME every week for our FB LIVE chat on #tuesdaywithtammy at 12:00 noon cst on our Unlocking YOUR Best Life facebook page  

Let’s stop doing what we don’t want and keep unlocking the results we really want in life!

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published