Archive for the ‘Personal Change’ Category
We do tend to take better care of others than we do ourselves. It’s so much easier to tell someone else how to make a positive change than to come to good conclusions about our own lives.
I’ve used that tendency to my own advantage many times, both in my own life and in my coaching of other people.
When someone comes to me and asks for advice, and I haven’t the slightest idea what to tell them, I ask, “If someone came to you with this same problem, what would you tell them to do?” I love the fact that they almost always come up with a great solution to their own problem.
I received an e-mail today from Tom O’Connor. In it, he mentions research by Shawn Achor, a researcher of happiness. Mr. Achor says that, to be happy, we need only do the following five things every day:
- Write down three things you’re grateful for
- Write about one positive experience you had over the last twenty-four hours
- Do some form of exercise
- Do one “random act of kindness” for someone else
I wonder if it’s really so simple. Let’s find out.
Charlie Badenhop. That’s who. New York City. That’s where.
If you haven’t heard of him until now, it may be because he lives in Japan. He rarely gets back to the US. I hadn’t heard of him before my friend Joel Elfman told me about some bodywork training he’d done with Charlie. Couldn’t speak highly enough of him.
This past year, I got to meet him myself. He was a guest trainer at the Master Practitioner training offered by Doug O’Brien and Jonathan Altfeld in Vermont. He was truly amazing. It’s tough to put into words.
Go experience him firsthand. Read more about it and sign up for his rare US training in Seishindo.
A couple of weeks ago, I posted about an article I read on President Bill Clinton’s charisma and someone’s attempt to model a bit of it. I also mentioned that I’d be playing with it. I thought I’d update here.
According to the original article, there are three things Bill Clinton does that make people feel as if a “reality distortion field” has wrapped around them:
- Eye contact;
- Judicious manipulation of interpersonal space; and
- Focused attention.
I’m pretty good at the second one, though there are a couple of aspects of it that I could improve. It isn’t so much the actual space, but the way the other person perceives it. There are things one can do to make interpersonal space seem smaller or larger without actually moving toward or away from the other person. I think that’s an interesting idea. I’ll play with that last.
The third one? I’m horrible at it. Nearly 25 years of security and Emergency Medical Services work have required me to habitually cast my attentiveness as wide as I can. It looks like I’m easily distracted, especially in unfamiliar places. I’m really not, but there’s no way someone talking to me can tell that. I’ll play with that next.
What I’m playing with now is eye contact. I’ve always been really bad with it. When I lock eyes with someone, I get the same feeling I get when I look into someone’s living room window. Sure, if the curtains are open, you can’t help but notice it in passing, But to really look? It feels invasive to me. Like I’m violating someone’s privacy.
Irrational, I know. I’m hoping to find someone who can offer me a better way to think about what I’m doing. In the meantime, I’ve been doing it anyway. Looking into people’s eyes and keeping it.
Two things have surprised me.
The way other people respond to it is a surprise. Most of them genuinely don’t mind, and some of the rest really seem to appreciate it. Those who (apparently) feel like I do simply look away quickly, but they don’t seem offended.
Many of the first group suddenly find me a better conversationalist. Not that I say anything. They do a lot more talking to me. I guess if I appear fascinated, they must assume they’re fascinating… which does make sense. A number of people have found it difficult to go on about their business. One deliciously beautiful woman actually accused me of preventing her from leaving.
The other surprise was my own internal responses. Absolutely nothing bad has happened, and sometimes I feel surprised at that. On occasion, when I lock eyes with someone and they look away quickly, I feel a small, but primal, sense of power that I’m not at all happy about in retrospect. With many, I really am a better listener; I want to listen, I actually crave it. And the most unusual response of all: one particularly blue pair of eyes actually fascinated me… and I mean that in the original sense of the word: “to cast a spell which renders one unable to move.” I have studied hypnosis long enough to be able to break that “spell,” but for the few seconds that I was there, I went meta to it and wondered how something like that could happen to a grown man.
I learned, as well, that there are times when I need to not make or hold eye contact.
In a restaurant, for example, no matter which staff member I looked at, they stopped what they were doing and asked what they could do for me. I was actually interrupting them without meaning to. Not polite.
I spoke with the CEO of the hospital for which I work a couple of days ago, and I intentionally did not lock eyes with him. I won’t tell you the circumstances (no, I wasn’t in trouble; far from it) but somehow I felt it wasn’t appropriate at the time. He’s the type of guy that I could connect with that way if the context were different, though.
Tonight, I made eye contact with a co-worker, and I quickly broke it. I believed that if I held it, he’d ask me what the heck I was doing. I didn’t feel like explaining because I was ready to go home. You know how it is.
It’s been interesting and pleasant so far, and I think it’ll continue to be.
If you have a good, strong belief that allows you to make and hold eye contact comfortably, would you mind sharing it with me in the comments? I’d appreciate it.
We have yet another “NLP said it first” moment in an article in a recent issue of the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology:
A new study underscores the benefit of receiving cognitive behavioral therapy CBT from a competent therapist who follows the guidelines for delivering CBT.
Prior studies have shown that while cognitive therapy is an effective treatment for depression, a clear understanding of the role therapists’ training and expertise plays in making treatment successful was unknown.
The new study suggests therapist competence may be a particularly important determinant of outcome for some patients.
I’ve heard this from my trainers from my first training with Richard in 1997. How is it that Psychology takes so long to catch up to NLP?
Go read the rest at Therapist Competency Important for Treatment Success on Psych Central.
We’re often asked to help someone who has a painful memory. Whether it’s a phobic response, grief, post-traumatic stress, or what-have-you, NLP gives us the tools we need to help.
Sometimes, though, I question whether or not we should. I see value in grief, myself, and believe it should be left alone unless it’s crippling. According to my CISM trainer, post-traumatic stress should be left alone too, at least for the first 24 hours, to give the client’s own coping abilities time to work. And as I mentioned in this thread on NLP Connections, I believe altering or eliminating the memory of a painful event could have negative effect in and of itself, by preventing the client from learning from the event.
I actually learned this from a client, a good friend of mine. She had been sexually abused as a child, and had a phobic response whenever someone patted their thigh in a “come sit on my lap” sense. She’d talk about it, and every time I’d offer to help her with it, she’d refuse. She was wise enough to know she wasn’t done with it, and knowing she could have my help with it gave her the strength to face it on her own, as much as she could, drawing knowledge and wisdom from the event. This went on for many months. When she finally gave me permission to help, it took all of fifteen minutes. (I can’t tell you how gratifying it was when, a couple of days later, she came over to me and sat on my lap.)
Anyway, today on the Freakonomics Blog, author Steven Levitt wrote:
My son Andrew died exactly ten years ago today, October 23, 1999, nine days after his first birthday. No one would describe me as emotional. And yet the wound still remains remarkably raw.
I say there’s nothing wrong with that.
Please read the rest of the article: Naming the Child
The title of his article is taken from the book of the same name, which he recommends. It looks quite compelling. (If you choose to buy the book, please go ahead and follow the amazon referral link from his article, rather than the one here.)
All I’m suggesting is that we, perhaps, consider ecology before we do anything like this. We humans evolved with the ability to feel fear, anxiety, sadness, grief, and the like, and there’s an evolutionary advantage to them. Let’s not just toss them away.
If you’ve yet to sign up for Doug O’Brien’s advanced workshop on altered states, “How Deep the Rabbit Hole: Further Adventures in Neo-Ericksonian Hypnosis,” your time is running out! It’s this coming weekend!
Explore the inner/outer reaches of Ericksonian-based Hypnosis and therapeutic interventions. Discover not only what it has to offer your clients, find out what it has to offer you.
Hurry and sign up at How Deep the Rabbit Hole.
PS: Doug tells me he’s arranged for a Shaman, initiated in Brazil, to personally conduct Shamanic Journeys. It’ll be amazing.
Jonathan Altfeld has two new courses — one for Practitioners, one for Master Practitioners — coming up soon. He calls them “Mental Renovation”:
To get NLP to help you achieve the changes you desire, you have to make a choice. There’s no avoiding it. You have a choice of 3 optimal or primary options:
- Take a lot of expensive training over time, and get extraordinarily good at knowing & using NLP, which might help you to become good enough at it, that you can create the changes you want in your life. The benefit of this route is, you might also get good enough to help others. That may be a career choice that would excite you.
- Hire an NLP-trained coach or Practitioner to do their magic on/with you, which may vaguely resemble therapy depending on how badly trained the NLP practitioner or coach is. Done right, you should get some of the changes you want, but you’ll be paying premium rates by the hour for such 1-on-1 work.
- Attend one or several short, applied courses or seminars like this one, which instead of training you in NLP, the seminar leaders use NLP while they lead you through exercises or experiences that get you to think differently about your situation. Then you sometimes get the change you want, but you won’t have actually learned a lot of NLP consciously. If you want the results without a new career in NLP, this is the way to go.
Go learn more about the Mental Renovation Workshops in Chambersburg, PA and sign up!
Psych Central has some recent research that shows that mainstream psychology is finally catching up to thirty-year-old NLP:
According to a new study by University of Michigan psychologist Ethan Kross, the best way to move ahead emotionally is to analyze one’s feelings from a psychologically distanced perspective.
Go check out the article titled Analyze Emotions From a Distance and wonder what else we’re ahead of the curve on.
When in any Master Practitioner training and learning about metaprograms, one of the more amusing moments is when someone discovers that he or she is motivated by pain more than by pleasure. Often, they cry, “But I don’t want to be away-from!” (If you don’t know why this is funny, I can’t help you right now.)
There’s a prejudice in American culture against away-from motivation, a persistent belief that it’s somehow ineffective or worse. I think that’s garbage. People with away-from motivation can accomplish great things:
Scared, and more than a little frustrated, I made up my mind, then and there, to do SOMETHING about my situation. I took out a piece of paper – actually, the back of an envelope – and I began to…
Read the rest of You. Can. at No Credit Needed.