When Facts Are Not Enough [Newsletter]
I came across this quote earlier this week, and it made me pause:
“Convincing someone to change their mind is really the process of convincing them to change their tribe. If they abandon their beliefs, they run the risk of losing social ties. You can’t expect someone to change their mind if you take away their community too. You have to give them somewhere to go. Nobody wants their worldview torn apart if loneliness is the outcome.”
You can read the full article by James Clear here.
Have you ever heard people describe themselves in terms of their diet? Not just “I eat keto”, but “I AM keto”. It seems like a small difference, but the word “AM” hints at identity. At the very tribe that Clear is referring to in his article.
No amount of facts, and scientific studies on ketosis is going to shift someone’s keto identity. Not until you can give them another one to replace the one they’d be giving up.
Once in a coaching call, I suggested that a client consider an alternative gym to the CrossFit box she was currently a member of. The workouts were too intensive for her goals, and more often than not, she found herself discouraged, and injured – moving further away from her goals, not closer to them. Yet, upon hearing my suggestion, she… burst into tears.
It was not just a gym, or a training program. It was a tribe, a community. To leave the gym would mean to leave the community as well.
Many folks I coach desperately search for research studies, scientific reviews, and meta-analyses on a particular supplement, way of eating, or training protocol – all in hopes of convincing their friend, or spouse to change their ways.
A better approach would be to consider what kind of communal support that system of beliefs provides. Can you provide another?