Inconsistency kills your fortitude, according to former marine and mental toughness coach Andrew Wittman.
“Doing well for a few weeks, then coasting … then feeling bad enough to start doing well again for a few weeks, then backsliding some more,” he stated, according to Yahoo News.
Wittman explained that this rule can apply in any area of your life, whether it be in the trenches, at the office desk, or while just trying to be a better parent at home.
According to Wittman, inconsistency is the biggest challenge most of his clients face while trying to improve their lives. That cycle of motivation, coasting, and sliding is an easy trap to fall into and can make self-improvement feel impossible. In the end, it’s what leaves many people “in worse shape than at the beginning,” Wittman stated.
Wittman offered more advice in his upcoming book, Seven Secrets of Resilience for Parents.
In it, he suggested parents should focus on behaving consistently around their children. This, however, doesn’t just mean dolling out harsh punishments on a daily basis. Instead, Wittman advised parents to consistently listen and respond to their children, while reliably rewarding the good while not letting bad behavior slide.
On the other hand, he warned against the “Jekyll and Hyde” mentality, where parents can be relaxed one moment and unreasonably strict the next.
This advice doesn’t just apply to parenting, Wittman explained.
A surefire way to sabotage your success is to act inconsistently. That's according to Marine Corps veteran and mental toughness coach Andrew Wittman, author of the forthcoming "Seven Secrets of Resilience for Parents." https://t.co/SRJYn11oY3— Veteran Owned (@VeteranOwned) September 27, 2018
He pointed out many practices of good parents can be applied to any leadership role, such as managing employees in the workplace. Even employees themselves might want to take a leaf out of Wittman’s book. He suggested we can all become better workers by not only being consistent on the job, but also in our personal lives.
“The fact that your boss was a jerk and you had a bad day at work doesn’t excuse you taking your frustrations out on your spouse and children,” he stated.
Wittman may have a point. As Yahoo News noted, a 2016 study published in the Academy of Management Journal found evidence to suggest unpredictable management is the easiest way to produce a toxic work environment. Meanwhile, another study in the Journal of Education forTeaching found similar results in the classroom.
Inconsistent leadership is so poisonous because it kills confidence and alienates people around you, according to management expert and author Victor Lipman.
“Simply put, it makes people nervous,” he argued over at Forbes.
“Thoughtful consistency brings out the best in others, whether they’re employees, consumers or investors,” he explained.
“It’s a strong foundation on which all kinds of solid business relationships are built.” Lipman added.