The Value (and Detriment) of Self-Rewarding Behaviours

Amelia Zimmerman
2 min readSep 22, 2021
Photo by Martin Péchy on Unsplash

Pay attention to the habits that self-reward.

You can use them to your advantage, or you can fall prey to them.

Chewing a shoe is a self-rewarding activity for a dog. It releases endorphins, it soothes teething gums, it feels good — he will continue. It is not an activity he does for a reward; the activity is the reward. Though you may tell him to stop, he has little incentive to. It feels too good.

Some parts of your own life are self-rewarding. Running can become this way, and waking up early, and leaving a window open for fresh air.

But so can binge-eating. And checking notifications. And seeking out only conversations and corners of the internet that confirm your own world views, because they validate hat part of you that is always terrified to be wrong.

Notice the rewards inherent in your habits. Are they serving you? Are they getting you closer or further away from what you really want?

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Amelia Zimmerman

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