The world is changing and the people who will succeed need to be able to quickly learn what’s needed to move forward, apply that learning, and, most importantly, sustain that learning over time.

As coaches and business consultants, we get hired because people – with the best of intentions – are struggling to (really) change those things that are getting in the way of their success.

Typically, our clients know that they need to learn new skills, have often done the cognitive learning that’s required, but when stretched by time and pressure, fall back into old and ineffective patterns that sabotage their efforts and erode their belief that they can change.

Our goal is to help people overcome their habitual reactions that keep the changes they’re working toward from taking hold.

It’s not magic. However, in order to live a high-quality life, you must understand that demands, opportunities, expectations, and data are coming at you all the time and therefore, you’re reacting all the time. Both consciously and unconsciously.

Most of the time your unconscious reactions are adaptive which means they work for you. You do what’s habitual and it gets you where you need to go without putting a lot of strain on your brain.

These aren’t the reactions that we worry about. It’s the unconscious reactions that get in the way of your learning. The ones that cause problems are those behaviors that kick in “automatically” and lead you back to doing what you have always done. These “automatic and fixed” reactions are easy to identify once they’ve occurred but can be difficult to interrupt without some focused effort on your part.

The road to change is the Fundamental Pause.

It’s an active, highly engaged moment between the input you receive and your thoughtful response vs. habitual reaction. To make lasting change, you must first become aware of the input (or trigger) that creates your automatic, fixed reactions.

Next, you have to interrupt the automatic reaction, so that you bring the behavior to a conscious level.

Finally, once conscious, you can choose a thoughtful response that’s aligned with your vision for yourself and your desire for a better outcome. A response (vs. reaction) that takes you from a habitual way of reacting, to a consciously chosen response will enable you to tackle anything that life throws at you.

Take some time today to think about where your life would benefit from a fundamental pause. And be gentle with yourself as you work toward integrating that pause into all of your learning efforts.