Into Any Windows Lately?
The Red Cardinal
red cardinal has become a frequent visitor this winter at
my friend Jackie
Johnson's home in Connecticut. She first spotted him flying
repeatedly into her front window, which was quite understandable
since the window offers a clear view straight through her
house and out another window. Add to this the blinding combination
of bright winter sun and voluminous amounts of snow on the
ground. Jackie banged on the glass and scared it away, feeling
that it was "the kind thing to do." To her dismay,
a few days later she discovered the cardinal flying into the
window again - and repeatedly so. Wouldn't this little fellow
A New Metaphor
After several visits by the cardinal and the realization
that no amount of window banging was going to make that bird
take a different path to her backyard, Jackie pondered the
metaphor. We laughed as we gave name to what we now
refer to as our "flying into the window behavior."
We all have those things we do over and over with disappointing
Sometimes the resistance to trying a new approach is connected
to the fear it won't work and to the memory of past failed
attempts. Here's where we can learn from that silly cardinal.
I bet he didn't go back to his nest berating himself and feeling
What can help is allowing yourself a "design
phase." This is what I called it this year when
I decided to revamp my exercise routine. In granting myself
several weeks to experiment with a few different ideas (time
of day, type of exercise, whether to join a gym), the desired
new behavior (increased physical activity) is already happening
without it having to be perfectly executed from day one.
My client Gail¹ wants to make more time to build her
business, and we're exploring different work habits that will
help her. She prefers the idea of practicing
these new routines vs. imposing a rigid structure.
They are more appealing to her when framed like this.
What's Another Way?
As you release yourself from old behaviors that no longer
work for you and seek to replace them with strategies that
are more effective, remember there is usually more than one
right answer. The important thing is getting yourself
to try something new. If it works, keep it in your
This Week's Call To Action:
- What is your flying into the window behavior?
- What's another way?
In the next issue, I'll address how to "bang on the
window" in the moment you recognize you're flying that
"What is necessary to change
is to change his awareness of himself."
See you in the current,
¹Name changed for privacy.