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♦♦♦    SAFETY MATTERS    ♦♦♦
Aug 2018

Behaviour and Habits

you can teach an old dog new tricks


There is a misconception in “safety” circles that poor or unsafe behaviour or habits can be “unlearned”. Untrue. The sad reality is that, once your brain has made the links and formed the pattern, i.e. you have mastered the skill or developed the habit, it’s there to stay.

Trying to wipe out a behaviour or habit is like trying to “unlearn” a language, talking, or walking. You can’t. What you can do is to learn a new skill / behaviour / habit and work on the triggers which will make it dominant, so that your brain automatically chooses that new skill / behaviour / habit. For a while, this will entail a conscious effort to suppress the old one. If you “get on the OLD bike”, the old skill / behaviour / habit will come back to you.

The saying: “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks” is not true, but it is much harder to “overwrite the old tricks”.


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