In his 2000 best seller, The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference, Malcolm Gladwell defined the tipping point as, “the moment of critical mass, the threshold, the boiling point.” For the most part, Gladwell was examining sweeping social changes that began as small ideas that spread like viruses. Is there such a tipping point in individual behaviour change? Are there personal thresholds of health behaviour change? What makes them seem insurmountable? What does it take to dare to cross one of those thresholds? What do tipping points look like? Consider this example:
Obviously, these are dramatic examples, ones used to make a gender-specific point about women taking bold actions, daring to access their own positive motivation to do and be the kind of person they want to be. The feeling, even in the video – as enhanced as it is for effect by the musicality – is palpable. Change is possible. We submit that there most certainly is a tipping point in individual behaviour change; each person is capable of taking bold actions in service of health behaviour change. Our role as health professionals is to work with our clients to help them realize what is possible and that the potential for change is within every one of us. Most definitely, making these changes is not as quick as this video example suggests. And the ‘music’ of behaviour change that we can bring to our clients is played out in powerful, open-ended, motivational questions, ones that facilitate our clients in looking inward in order to make their own external behaviour changes. What are you willing to do to help your clients achieve the health changes they want to make in their lives?