Behind it All
by John G. Johnson
Like it or not humans are always learning. And we learn quickly. It’s not just our minds that learn, but our bodies as well.Sometimes a single experience is all it takes. Rapid learning can occur when an experience is unique, novel and accompanied by a heightened emotion. What’s interesting is that the more this learning event occurs, the more it becomes a stronger aspect of our being, hard-wired, so to speak, thus leading us to create “conclusions,” “rules” “a point of view” “beliefs,” etc. about this unique event. Take for example, going to a restaurant and eating a meal that upsets your stomach. The next time around, you’ll most likely be cautious of either the restaurant in question or the same meal. However, if you decide to give the same place and meal another try, and if the same thing occurs - again - then you’ll definitely build even stronger conclusions either about that establishment or the meal. In fact, it’s how phobias are created - the body has learned to respond in a particular way that’s usually undesirable.
There’s another way we learn and acquire knowledge, and that’s through detecting patterns. Our minds are continuously scanning for and cataloging patterns in our environment. The interesting thing is that this pattern-detection activity takes place at a level that’s - below our awareness! Inferences are then derived from these patterns, manifesting in the form of, attitudes, beliefs or ideas, etc.
There are times, however, when these patterns are made available to our conscious minds. This gives now us the opportunity to discover the source of our present attitudes and conclusions about a provocative subject in question. This revelation also now puts us in an immediate position to decide whether a specific attitude, belief, etc is useful to hold onto - or not.
But oftentimes these patterns aren't made available to us consciously. And all that we are aware of are just the “conclusions,” and their various forms, be that attitudes, beliefs, gut-feelings, rules, ideas etc., that seem to just “exist” without a source. A simple exercise to prove this is to list as many of the attitudes, beliefs, conclusions and ideas you are aware of, and then ask yourself how did you come to acquire them. This unconscious pattern-detection mechanism has kept our species alive for millions of years. So, too, has our ability to infer and to generalize from these patterns as well. We use what we have concluded, (attitudes, beliefs, gut-feelings, rules, ideas etc.) as rudders in our lives which influence our: behaviors, thoughts and how we see the world. But this mechanism does have its flaws:
IF YOU are having trouble accomplishing a sought-after goal or activity, regardless of whatever field you are in (personal or professional), or are dissatisfied with your level of performance in a specific arena, then it’s useful to examine your attitudes, beliefs, even the excuses you create as to why a certain outcome is the way it is surrounding the context in question. And then - challenge them!:
We don’t have to prisoners of our thoughts and experiences.Success in any endeavor requires that useful beliefs, ways of seeing and even attitudes be adopted, because, as stated before, they act as rudders influencing our behaviors and the choices we make that push and pull us in the direction we choose.
©2013 John G. Johnson All rights reserved! Subscribe to our mailing list for workshops, newsletters and events. Go to: www.nlpsuccessbydesign.com
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How to Let Go of Fear
by Tina Taylor
Fear is part of our survival instinct; it sets our body and mind in motion in preparation for a perceived threat. It’s hard wired into the subconscious and is one of our oldest emotions; sometimes generated without any conscious awareness. We feel uneasy, yet don't know why. It makes us jump when something moves on the ground or touches us, makes us blink when something is coming towards our eyes. We respond due to sensory input driving us into action.
Fear makes you focus. There’s a moment of awareness, with our unconscious telling us something isn't right, and as we sense "something" we freeze. This freezing may stop predators from seeing us it also gives us a chance to evaluate the situation and if it is OK we continue - returning to what we were doing.
Fear is all about chemicals, epinephrine and norepinephrine; epinephrine (adrenaline) is secreted by the adrenal glands. These chemicals are released in moments of fear to prepare us for the fight or flight response; and changes occur to improve chances of survival. As well as increased strength an increase in oxygen increases sensory acuity whilst non-survival process like digestion are put on hold.
Fears and phobias are extreme anxieties. As we go through life we learn a great many things by experience, things we are not even aware of. An unconscious learning, fear is one of these experiences and is a demonstration of how quickly we learn an automatic response.
From one experience the mind can generalize and attach fear. Then the flight or fight response kicks in. Your imagination is far more powerful than conscious will and the area of the brain that you use to imagine something is the same area that is used when experiencing things. Which is why your nervous system can’t tell the difference between a real or vividly imagined experience.
For an event to be coded as traumatic its said that four conditions need to be met. First it needs to be a emotional event; second, have a meaning for the individual; third, the chemicals need to be in place and fourth the experience is perceived as inescapable. If these are present it is possible that the brain will categorize the event as traumatic.
And yet there could be 2 people at the same event and one will be traumatized whilst the other will not. How can this happen?
Life is full of traumatic moments, in order for an event to be traumatizing it must produce an emotional response. Meaning is attached to the event, and whereby one person may code something as traumatic another may not. A good example of this is those who are afraid of riding on roller coasters, they produce the four conditions in their mind and they know its scary and dangerous; whereas someone who loves roller coasters will have all the same conditions in place yet they love the thrill of the ride.
Our feelings are created by the way in which we think of something; for example someone scared of spiders may be creating an image in their mind of a larger than life spider which is scaring them. Our fears may have begun due to specific event in our lives but these tend to evolve to a point whereby it’s the thought of the event/situation that causes the feeling rather than the situation/event itself.
There are a number of ways in which you can change the way you feel. One of these is: as you notice a feeling of anxiety/panic begin.
1. Breathe in gently and slowly through your mouth when your lungs are full hold your breath for 10 seconds then.
2. Breath out slowly through your nose.
3. Breath in slowly through your mouth and hold your breath for 5 seconds.
4. Breath out slowly through your nose.
5. Continue breathing this way for a couple of minutes at which point the anxiety will have subsided.
Tina Taylor is one of the UK's sought after Licensed Master Trainers of NLP & Hypnotherapists, having been trained by and then assisting Paul McKenna & Dr. Richard Bandler. With experience in the Human Resources sector, Tina has worked both on a consultancy basis and full-time for major corporations in the City of London. Within her private practice, this diverse background has allowed her to create and provide some very unique services such as assisting couples with fertility issues and to help create a comfortable childbirth experience as well as coaching and hypnotherapy within the south of England to many individuals and companies.
Tina Taylor’s new CD, How to Let go of Fear, can teach you ways in which you can change your response’s and take back control of your thought processes.
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