It is useful to look at the mind and how this darn thing works. A expert hypnotist, Human Performance Engineer and friend Skip Carson wrote a response to someone looking for a way to set up what he called a perfect system for change and I knew this was so well written that you could learn from it and possibly apply it to your own endeavors.
The Mind : How This Darn Thing Works
How your mind/body does what it does…
And your attempt, while studied, and thoughtful, misses the mark. Why? Because it doesn’t take into account how your body/mind does what it does.
Let me try to explain.
First an assumption or so. These assumptions may or may not be true, but it is useful to pretend that they are true, and I am using ‘useful’ as being more important than ‘true’. In other words, if it works, I don’t care one whit whether or not it is true.
The 6 things you may not know about your mind/body…
1. You are a learning machine. You are constantly learning, and if you can learn one thing you can learn another.
2. Your body/mind works perfectly. Read that again. You may like the results of what your body/mind does, or you may not like the results; but none the less, you are working perfectly.
3. Behavior is simply that. It is neither good nor bad, EXCEPT when considered within the context in which it is performed. ‘Good’ or ‘Bad’, ‘appropriate’ or ‘inappropriate’ are judgments we make about some behavior in relation to the context in which it is performed. It isnt about the behavior but about the relationship to the context that we need to be concerned. Fear, for example, a behavior, is appropriate in some contexts, and inappropriate on others. Capice?
4. Your neurology is set up to detect patterns. It is done entirely unconsciously, and when a ‘pattern’ is recognized, a learned response is triggered which consists of ‘neurological steps’ if you will, a neural pathway that eventually leads to a full blown response. Now this happens in fractions of a second, and you do not become ‘consciously aware’ of what is going on until you are either well along that pathway to the response, or at the response itself Then you decide, based on its appropriateness to the context, “This is good.” or “This is bad.”
5. Your unconscious does not care if the judgment deems a response either good or bad, it is following a pattern it learned sometime in the past. This is why you have ‘bad’ habits, and ‘poor’ behavioral responses, to some contexts. It is incidentally also why you have good ones too, but people don’t seem to ever recognize they have good responses, they focus mostly on the bad ones. (A learned response too, incidentally.)
6. If you learned to do something one way, You can learn to do that a different way. AND you learn very fast, in fact your body/mind prefers to learn quickly. You learn least best slowly, if you manage to learn at all.
Now what about your options considered in relation to the above ‘truths’, or better “useful beliefs”?
Self hypnosis- the best of the ones you offer. Self hypnosis offers you the opportunity to learn quickly new patterns of behavior for specific contexts. You are able to enlist the assistance of the unconscious mind to help break into the ‘pattern’ you wish to alter and redirect it to a more desirable outcome. This means the ‘new behavior’ is accomplished outside of the need for conscious awareness at the time, and you simply behave ‘naturally’ but now differently from how you did in the past. The drawbacks of self hypnosis are, “It is difficult to work on yourself, until you have a fair amount of knowledge and expertise in both hypnosis and ‘behavioral therapy’. ” Fortunately there are training’s and workshops designed to help you acquire the needed skills quickly.
Affirmations- Affirmations are simply put the conscious mind telling, demanding, the unconscious run a different neural pathway when it encounters a certain context. Effectively this is telling a computer to ignore the hard-wiring The affirmation does not enlist the aid of the unconscious, it dictates. It does not interrupt the ‘pattern’ before it comes to conscious attention, nor does it ‘rehearse’ the new behavior until it is habit. It is simply issuing orders to a ‘soldier’, who is going to mostly ignore the orders and continue to ‘do what it knows best’ in the situation. Plus it is S-L-O-W and the mind hates slow.
Thought Stopping and such – This is an attempt to interrupt the pattern. It has two serious flaws. First it isn’t used until the pattern has come to conscious attention. (and even then not consistently because you don’t always remember to do it ). Which means you are likely to already be doing the unwanted behavior. Fait accompli. And second, it offers the mind no alternative. Effectively you are trying to command your mind; “See the snake, do nothing.” How well do you think that is going to fly? And did I say S-L-O-W?
Thinking as advised by a ‘professional’ – A professional what? I’m a professional, I’ll advise you. “Stop being a ****wit!” Now you may apply that to any situation where you have unwanted behavior. Let me know how you are doing at our next session. That will be $250.00, just pay the receptionist. She is a peach isn’t she?
If you wish to change your behavior, just consider that you simply want to learn to have a ‘new’ chosen desirable “honest unconscious” response in situations where currently you are using a response that you don’t find useful. No fault, no blame, simply I used to do this, now I do that. “I used to soil my diapers, now I …”
It isn’t hard. But you do have to work smart. You have to take advantage of the way your body/mind likes to learn. And you do have to learn how to make well formed outcomes. Because just as you once learned a behavior that is now unwanted, you can learn a new behavior that is equally unwanted. Not a huge problem because you can always learn another. But why waste time making mistakes when you can do it elegantly, and get the results you want.
If you want to know more about The Mind :How This Darn Thing Works or you want help in changing any behavior please feel free to contact us and we can help you make the changes that you want quickly, easily and effortlessly.
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