A few months ago, I read about this research that found that one of the best ways to face a challenge is to give advice to someone else facing the same challenge.
HellOOoo… whole premise of Chump Nation, amiright? We’re ahead of science!
Writing in MIT Sloan Management Review, Lauren Eskreis-Winkler, a Wharton psychologist who studies motivation, and Ayelet Fishbach, a professor of behavioral science at University of Chicago Booth, explain that psychologists have long known problems related to self-control are connected to a lack of motivation to transform knowledge into action.
“Realizing this, we decided to turn the standard solution to self-control on its head: What if instead of seeking advice, we asked struggling people to give it,” write Eskreis-Winkler and Fishbach. To answer this question, they conducted a series of experiments that appointed people struggling with self-control to advise others on the very problems they themselves were encountering. The population samples they studied included unemployed adults struggling to find a job, adults struggling to save money, adults struggling with anger management, and children falling behind in school.
“Although giving advice confers no new information to the advice giver, we thought it would increase the advice giver’s confidence,” they write. “Confidence in one’s ability can galvanize motivation and achievement even more than actual ability.”
Struggling to leave cheaters perhaps? Or build new lives? Everyone has the ability to be mighty, I’d argue. But you just have to make the mental shift. With that in mind, I thought today’s Friday challenge would be to write the encouragement you wish you had received.
Right now someone somewhere is having a dark hour of the soul, or slogging through single parenting (vomiting illnesses anyone?), or feeling like some hairy-backed cheater is the last person they’ll ever love. They could use some uplift — and YOU are just the person for the job.
Today we’re writing PEP TALKS. To that stranger, to ourselves. And then they’ll sit here in the archives, radiating YOU GOT THIS! — so no one ever feels lonely again.