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  • Writer's pictureHolly Ridgway

Taking opposite action creates success.

Updated: Jan 7, 2019

How making everyday a "George Costanza opposite day" changed my life.


We've all heard that doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results is insanity, so one day I got serious about doing something different. A few years back I started to do the opposite of what I usually do and it yielded huge positive results. If I would normally say no, I said yes. If I would normally go casual, I dressed up a bit. The fact that I did not typically speak my mind meant sharing my opinion. I would stay in instead of go out or go out if I had been staying in for a while. If I was afraid and felt paralyzed, I definitely did whatever that thing was!

Here's your chance to do the opposite...

“If every instinct you have is wrong, then doing the opposite must be right."- Jerry Seinfeld

I didn't do this everyday, or with every little thing, but it was enough to move the dial. Believe me, the idea started small. It started because I have the worst sense of direction! See, when I was leaving dinner parties and came to the first "T" in the road where I needed to go left or right, I began to notice that if I went the opposite way that I "felt" like going, it was the right way. It took me a while to trust this but over and over again it proved to be true. Of course doing new things can be hard because we are wired to patterns. I went the way I "felt" many times still only to U-turn and get to prove that this weird opposite idea was a winner.

"Have your own George Costanza opposite day."

This is at the crux of addictions. Repetitive behaviors get wired into our brains, literally! So we do something new, healthier, exciting...and our patterned nervous system says "Whoa! Beware! Go back!"

Or, more insidious, the old nervous system as its organized will just whisper, "This is uncomfortable.This is kinda dumb. What are you doing this for again?" If you believe your nervous system then you'll say something like, "I don't know why this seemed like a good idea." was a good idea because your heart had a moment of wokeness! Now your old operating system (outdated OS) is saying, "wait, what!"

I want to invite you to transcend your nervous system. Step out of the cage it's got you in and be free! Have your own George Costanza opposite day. Start with small things if you want. I suggest choosing a new communication and doing it new for two weeks. If you normally wait to be called on, raise your hand and speak up. If you wait for your kids to call, commit to reaching out to them every third day for two weeks. If you always let your girlfriend choose what to do, make suggestions and commit to doing your thing at least half the time for two weeks.

“Do something, anything, DIFFERENT.”

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