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The Difference Between a Disruptor and the Disruptive Part II:

Updated: Sep 15, 2021

The Disruptive Tendencies in Our Personal Lives

In our last blog we shared the differentiators between a disruptor and the disruptive in the workplace: a few days after the blog was posted my trainer was explaining a new work-out to me to which she quoted, “If this move is even slightly off of how I am showing you, it will be disruptive to the rest of your work-out.” This statement instantly graced me with the epiphany that 'disruptives' in the workplace are similar to our disruptive behaviors, in fact, we can even use the same mechanisms to identify these qualities. Our personal disruptive behaviors hinder our ability for growth and similar to a disruptive in the workplace, can create toxicity over time.

In order to change the behaviors that are not serving us, we must first understand how to identify them. Often times, our disruptive behaviors feel good in the moment, for example, my work-out would have been much easier if I had half-assed the work and moved through it in the disruptive way that my trainer had described. The identification lies in how you feel after having engaged in the behavior; while it would have felt good/easier in the moment, my work-out would not have been as effective and I might have even experienced a physical disruption from doing the move improperly. This same theory works with other disruptive behaviors from indulging in a night of drinking to snapping out at your spouse. It may feel good in the moment but after a while we feel worse for having engaged in the behavior. Let’s look at some examples of indulgences that are disruptive to our ability to become better or experience growth.

Examples of Disruptive Behaviors: Overeating, over-drinking, eating unhealthy foods on a regular basis, late night eating, toxic friends and/or relationships, yelling, impulsive behaviors such as road rage, smoking, lack of sleep, physical inactivity, ignoring routine health checkups, feeding into anxiety, attempting to control others, manipulation, harmful self-dialogue, and too much screen time.

Some of our most disruptive behaviors are the ones that are widely accepted as a societal norm. It is easy to fly under the radar and unnoticed when your form of self-harm is the status quo. The problem is that these behaviors often leave us feeling worse. The antithesis of these disruptive behaviors are our differentiators. The differentiators are the things we do that separate us from the behaviors that brings us down. They are the behaviors we put off because they may not feel good in the moment but leave us feeling better for having engaged. Our differentiators incite growth, health, and self-love and offer up as a replacements for disruptive indulgences.

Examples of Differentiators: eating healthy, working out consistently, getting at least 8-9 hours of sleep every night, routine health checkups, reading instead of watching TV, connecting with people that make you feel good, asking questions and listening, therapy, breath work, yoga, meditation, walking in nature, taking extended breaks from screen time, minimizing social media, creating a healthy self-narrative, acts of kindness, going to bed early, waking up early, keeping an organized schedule, managing your time, incorporating play into every week, and ongoing self-improvement.

Our differentiator behaviors are not always easy: they may not stand out as the most popular or common choice and can often separate us from some of our more toxic relationships. But in the end our ability to make better decisions for ourselves, one small step at a time, will expand our future possibilities. There are tools and opportunities that can help us on this journey, and I think the work is truly different for each person but there is a choice to change the appetite for the now into an appetite for growth. There is a space to replace our disruptive behaviors with differentiating ones.

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