Ron Garfield
PIQue Coaching and Strategy

Daily, Contrary Actions

Contrary Action is a term frequently used in addiction recovery.

It refers to taking an action opposite or contrary to an action or thought that you might normally take.

The simple, practical and scientifically proven application is if a person takes a Contrary Action enough times, the action no longer becomes contrary. The new action or thought then regularly occurs. The brain rewires.

The full impact of taking a Contrary Action to change or shift a long ingrained action or way of thinking can take 12-18 months.

Contrary Actions can be taken daily. I often work in unison with my clients. We are intentional in our actions and hold each other accountable around a Contrary Action we both took that day. This is invaluable. Being intentional and committing to the action is the key. We are both paying close attention to any triggers or negative thoughts or potential actions we might be taking and being transparent about it.

For example: Feeling overwhelmed is a trap. A tricky one too. When we’re overwhelmed we see everything that needs to be done and say, “that’s too much, I can’t do it.”  Then, we do nothing. Underlying fears show up. Guilt, anger, resentment. I personally get stuck and avoid anything that feels unpleasant or uncomfortable. The stress and pressure keep building which leads to feelings of paralysis and avoidance. That is an illusion.

How simple would the things that actually overwhelm us become if we release the fear based feelings and return to the rhythm of our lives?

I start by closing my eyes, taking three deep breaths and focusing on just one thing.

“Yes, I need to have that tough discussion with my client or friend.” My contrary action is doing that one thing. Not worrying about many. How simple it becomes, one action, one outcome, one thing crossed off the list.

The action becomes deliberate and intentional. The next time it becomes easier to do. Stress is reduced, the feeling of being overwhelmed retreats. Repeat over time and notice how you respond and what you become aware of.

I encourage you to try it. Today, and for the next week. Set your intention, get curious and take a Contrary Action.

Let me know how it goes.

Today my Contrary Action was completing this email. I was stuck and the Saboteur voices were giving me every reason not to. I’m glad I did and acknowledge the power of the action.

To Be Continued….