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ITC Workbook

Immunity to
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Choose a goal that would make a big difference, one you truly want to
achieve. Ask yourself, "What is the single most powerful change I could make to
improve my life (or work performance, relationship, finances)? "
Here are some guidelines:
1. It can't be dependent on the cooperation or efforts of another person or
2. There needs to be measurable room for improvement.
3. It must be important to you (e.g., on a scale of 1-5, it's a solid 4 or 5)
Take your time answering the following questions. Find a place where you
can sit comfortably without interruption. Don't be afraid to dig deep and
be brutally honest with yourself.
Self-Improvement Goal
What goal do I want to accomplish?
Is this goal necessary? Why?
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What actions am I currently taking to realize this goal?
Next, specify concrete behaviors that would be necessary to achieve this
Make sure your statements are:
1. In the now ("I am" not "I want to")
2. Positive
3. Express what you want, not what you don't want
What do I need to do differently to realize this goal?
e.g., improving focus by putting my phone on silent while I work, having the patience to hear
someone out before speaking, or setting the alarm to get up earlier.
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Ask yourself, "What thing do I do or not do that gets in the way of my goal?"
Take stock of the things you do (behaviors) that get in the way of achieving
your goal. You don't need to explain or understand your obstructionist
behaviors. Just notice them and write them down. Define your actions, not
your feelings.
What behaviors am I participating in that conflict with my goal?
e.g., Waking up late, seeking out distractions like my phone or TV, or buying junk food.
What will avoiding this goal or change cost me?
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Ask yourself, “What would happen if I stopped the behavior that prevents me from
achieving my goals?”
Picture yourself in the same situation that triggers the behavior you don’t like
and imagine yourself responding differently. As you imagine this alternate
scenario, what are you feeling and thinking? What makes not doing the
behaviors that trip you up so scary? Jot these down in the worry box.
Worry Box
e.g., I fear that if I stopped doing [blank], I would [blank]...
Now ask yourself, “By engaging in the behaviors that trip me up, what worrisome
outcome am I committed to preventing?”
The resulting answer is your competing commitment.
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Competing Commitment
e.g., I am more committed to doing this other thing than the behavior that accomplishes
my goal. List as many as you can.
Big assumptions, says Lahey, “are the beliefs and internalized truths we hold about
how the world works, how we work, and how people respond to us. They are
assumptions that make each hidden commitment feel necessary.”
Look for assumptions that anchor and inform your specific hidden
commitments. Notice how your assumptions lead to the very behaviors that
undermine, rather than support, your goal.
On the next page, take your time to pinpoint the core beliefs that support the
conflicting behaviors preventing you from accomplishing your goal.
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Big Assumption #1
e.g., I am more committed to doing those other things (my competing commitments) because
I believe not doing them or doing something else would...
Big Assumption #2
Big Assumption #3
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First, decide what behavior would challenge your big assumptions. Then,
imagine a realistic situation that could discredit your big assumption. Follow
Kegan and Lahey’s SMART strategy: Safe, Modest, Actionable, Research-based, and
The point of unearthing your big assumptions and testing them is to question
ideas and beliefs that you’ve assumed to be universal truths. Once you bring
awareness to the big assumptions, test their validity, and examine the data,
you can change your behavior to support your improvement goal.
Experiment #1
Did this assert or refute my big assumption? Explain.
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Experiment #2
Did this assert or refute my big assumption? Explain.
Experiment #3
Did this assert or refute my big assumption? Explain.
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You are an ever-evolving human being. Change is part of your DNA, and
therefore unavoidable. But that's a good thing, because change ultimately
brings renewal and growth. It's a revelation of all the possibilities and
opportunities you can create for yourself and others.
Through this process, I hope you’ve received a most powerful gift - the
awareness that although change is often complex and even scary, it's often
in your best interest. You are a change evolution.
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