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, PhD

Author's Bio: 

The Visionary Striving Style

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 behavior, has influenced the development of the Striving Styles Personality System.

Holistic Approach to Learning

Driven by a vision for a holistic approach to emotional and physical health, Anne chose educational pursuits that aligned with her passion. At the same time, she studied at mainstream universities such as Ryerson (Business Management), University of Toronto (Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, Religious Studies) and ADR Institute of Ontario (Alternate Dispute Resolution). Anne looked for training institutes that would help her integrate the cognitive, emotional and physical approaches to healing the mind and body. This education included: receiving her degree as a Registered Massage Therapist; graduating from the International School for Spiritual Sciences (Montreal); psychotherapy certification from the Centre for Training in Psychotherapy (D.C.T.P); studies at the Masterson Institute for Disorders of the Self (New York); and a Ph.D. in Therapeutic Counseling from the Open International University for Complementary Medicine (WHO).

Committed to lifelong learning, Anne has completed postgraduate programs in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Spiritual Self-Schema Development, Brain and Behavior and Emotional Intelligence (EQ-i), and she has been a long-time follower of the work of Carl Jung. Anne continues to stay educated and informed about recent advances in neuroplasticity, brain development, mindfulness and social intelligence.

Executive Coaching & Corporate Therapy

Anne became one of Toronto’s first Executive Coaches in the late 1980’s. She could see the direct application of the therapeutic tools to 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, behavioral competence and relationship skills in organizations. She has also used her unique approach to work through dysfunctional relationships, partnerships, teams and boards.

Prior to starting SKE, Anne built several successful companies including Sage Developmental Resources, an organizational consulting firm focused on behavioral alignment, and the Centre for Mindful Therapies, which offered customized Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction Programs to organizations and individuals. In addition, she worked extensively with Heather on Several global leadership development initiatives for Caliber's clients, providing both individuals coaching and facilitating high performance team development at the executive and senior management levels.

Sought After Writer

A prolific and frequently cited writer on the impact of behavior, emotional intelligence and personality styles in the workplace, Anne 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. Anne's latest series of books, The Jung Typology Series©, focuses on understanding the impact of personality type on employees, teams and leaders.

Anne has been featured in the media — on radio and on 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, The Globe and Mail and Additionally, her work has appeared in three issues of “O” Magazine within the past year, with her article on Striving Styles being included in the “O” Annual as one of the year’s top articles. She has recently been contracted to write for an upcoming issue of “O”.