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« Wild About Work group coaching | Main | Divine intervention: Leaving it all behind »

November 06, 2006

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Career Change Time

Okay, first I have to tell everyone. I'm NOT on your payroll. It's kind of funny because I hadn't stopped by your blog in a few weeks and so I started reading top down, which this post was first. And my answer to: advice for stepping outside your comfort zone, was: get support from others. Then I scrolled down to your next post about your group coaching. But really everyone, this is my answer, not a ploy by Curt to get signups.

Just to be a bit more convincing, while a formal group support network is great, you don't have to go that far. And support can come in a variety of styles. For instance, I've known people who made bets that they would complete a task. Their support network was really people betting against their success. I heard of someone who did this for the "complete a novel in a month" project. He basically got a bunch of people to bet him $50 that he couldn't finish the task. I guess he had a bit of a reputation for not completing things. I think he even made them the offer that they only had to pay him $20 if he succeeded. So he had 20-40 people who had all said he would fail and the motivation that he would have to shell out a couple thousand dollars for not doing the task, was enough to push him to completion. As an aside, he noted that the same approach didn't work the following year.

My favorite story along these lines was told by Paula Danziger. She had a writing buddy, I think it was Bruce Coville, who she used to set a goal with about how many pages or words they each would write in an upcoming week. If they failed, there was a penalty. Paula said her penalty was that she had to make a campaign contribution to a certain Republican (she said this with a look of great distaste) candidate's campaign.

I think in general, people feel that you get better results if you set yourself up with positive reinforcement and motivation. BUT.... you don't HAVE to have positive support. These are a couple creative stories about people who used a penalty to get their butts in the chair and out of procrastination mode.

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