Written by Doctor G

How important IS that to you?

Hi! belief

This week was the premiere of Season 2 of The Resilience Think Tank. We started with a question I’ve been thinking about for my whole career:

How do you approach someone who denies the existence of a problem you are poised to solve?

I spend my time thinking about how we can navigate change more competently, but how are we supposed to navigate change with someone who denies the reality we see? I invited a medical doctor who specializes in pediatric infectious diseases and vaccine refusal, an expert in renewable energies combating climate change and a sports psychologist who is an expert in the impact of mental health on athletic performance. These people know a LOT about change denial.

Many incredible strategies came out of our time together. If you’re a subscriber to the Think Tank you’ll get a summary from me and a link to the Think Tank on Tuesday. But this bit of thought leadership is so good – and so useful – I couldn’t risk you missing out on it.

How you open someone to changing an idea they hold depends on the strength of their connection to the idea. Is it a preference? Is it a belief? Or is it integrated into their value system?

A preference is, for example, where you find “the best” coffee. And opening someone to changing that is as simple as offering them an alternative and asking for their feedback.

A belief is based in information or experiences they have. It can be changed with new information or a new experience. 

An idea that is core to identity and values is an idea that person not only holds, but wants to pass on to their children to hold as well. Or to anyone they mentor or teach. It is a part of what makes them recognizable to themselves. To change THAT a person requires a bridge. A bridge is a person (or experience) that they identify with and feel connected to, that is also connected to the new idea. 

It’s easy to see how – when someone believes something so deeply that they’ve connected their identity to that belief – opening to change is a frightening and risky proposition.

Can you think of an idea that you’ve questioned – in yourself or someone else – that felt risky to contemplate? Does this help you understand a disagreement you’re having with someone or a change you’re struggling to navigate?  Commet and tell me!

All my best,

Dr. G

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A widely recognized media personality, Dr. G is your go-to expert on resilience. Countless broadcast outlets rely on her contagious humor and illuminating stories to tackle tough topics. She is regularly seen on TV, as well as interviewed for print and digital outlets. Here, she’s answering your questions. Search for the answers you need, or ask her your question now!
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