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Change your behaviour and get what you want!

We all know what it’s like to be stuck in a state of mind that is negative and just not helping us. Sometimes there is a part of us that actually gets some satisfaction from wallowing in that state, in conflict to the part of us that wants to change.

The saying “if you do what you have always done, you will get what you have always got” comes to mind. The way we think, feel and behave are intrinsically linked so it is rarely just about one element but all of them. The more we feel, think or act in the same way when responding to something, the more our mind and body gets used to thinking that’s the norm.

Inherent to our behavioural make up and emotional intelligence is the way we automatically associate and label everything we do and react to, often at an unconscious level and within a matter of milliseconds. We constantly learn from these experiences allowing us to live our ever more complicated lives with relative ease.

We constantly perform these mental searches to see if the experience we are faced with fits with any previous experience that might be the same or similar. This search will take into account anything we could have tagged as important, which will include our emotional response. If we find ourselves experiencing something new a part of us will download all this new stimuli and momentarily go into a trance state, which allows us to learn to create a new understanding, before labelling it, so we don’t need to go through the same process again in the future. I remember going to the Grand Canyon for the first time and standing there in awe, basking in its beauty and taking it all in. It was a hugely positive and wonderful experience and as such labelled as that. However for some, who have a fear of heights, they might label the experience as similar to a previously frightening one and hence they will not be happy at all!

Thankfully our mental associations for the experiences we have are not permanent and can be changed. Sometimes we only need to see something in a different light, or through the eyes of someone else for our experiences and therefore our beliefs, to change.

Our beliefs can be pretty powerful, helping us to define what’s important in our lives and creating a strong sense of who we are. This does, however, mean they sometimes get in the way of the change we want, appearing as that part of you that comes in to hijack the change or simply to doubt it. Unhelpful beliefs can be there because they served a positive purpose when first formed, usually as a safety mechanism. That purpose just may not be so appropriate anymore in comparison to the life being led today, yet the belief is still hanging around. Suspending beliefs, perhaps temporarily at first by leaving them hanging in mid air and trying on a new belief, can be a useful way to give a helping hand when you start to make the change you are looking for. For more see my post on Changing Beliefs.

Here is a helpful exercise to leave behind a negative way of thinking, feeling, or behaving;

First of all figure out what you want to be doing differently and far better than you were before. It needs to be highly compelling, positive and attractive! Be specific and focus on how you will be acting, feeling and thinking. What will your body posture be like, what will you be saying, your tone of voice, your facial expressions. Where will the new feelings be in your body? How will other people react to this new you, and what effects might this have in other areas of your life? Our imagination is a great help in these circumstances; if you can create a vivid picture and feeling of what you want, using all your senses, it’s far easier for us to achieve it and our mind then starts to literally make new neurological connections, creating a brand new association.

Just like training your muscles, the first time you do a new exercise it can seem pretty difficult because you won’t be used to it. So practice by giving yourself ten minutes of quiet time as often as you can, to go into your mind and re imagine that picture of what you will be doing and how you will be feeling differently. The more practice you get in the easier it will become and the better the results will be!

Contact me for your free consultation.

By Lawrence Michaels

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