If you ever run across situations that give you anything less than an immediate resourceful and beneficial emotional response, then this post is for you. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, hang in there; it will make sense in a second.
Let’s say somebody mentions to you that you have to give a presentation at work next week. You weren’t expecting it, so what happens? If you’re like most people, you’d likely get nervous, anxious, even fearful. Itâ€™s no secret that speaking in public is the biggest fear for most people.
But what if you were able to have a different response? What if your automatic response was much more supportive and resourceful? What if instead of getting fearful and anxious, you felt confident of yet another opportunity to share with others your incredible awesomeness?
Well, there’s a simple way to reprogram your brain to respond however you like to situations like that. It takes only a few minutes to learn, and about a minute to practice it, whenever and wherever you like, the only exception being while driving, but you can do it at stoplights.
You may have even heard of it. It’s the famous swish pattern from NLP, and it’s been around for many years. Probably because it is so easy to learn and teach, it’s likely the most popular of all NLP procedures.
Here’s how you do it.
First, think of something that gives you a feeling of anxiety. For now, pick something that’s not that big a deal. Once you learn the procedure, you can move on to bigger things.
Got it? Ok, now what triggers that anxiety or emotion? Is it a picture you make in your mind, a sound, and somebody’s tone of voice? Take a few moments to get clear.
Got it? Ok, good. Put that picture or sound or whatever it is in your left hand. Move your left hand so it is completely outside of your peripheral vision.
As you slowly move your left hand closer to your face, with your palm open, allow the feeling of anxiety to grow as your hand get closer. Do this a couple times to “set” your anxiety response to your left hand motion.
Ok, clear your head. Think of something neutral, like banana chicken ice cream.
Now, think of something that gives you a really good feeling. Confident, playful, self-assured. Whatever it is, from anywhere in your past. A great golf shot, or when you told that joke that went over really well that one time, or that time when you made that special person feel really good.
Do the thing with that good feeling, and your right hand. Slowly move it closer to your face, palm open, and allow that good feeling to swell, as it gets closer.
Ok, now clear your head with another mental bowl of strawberry pizza.
Now the good part. Bring both hands so they are outside your peripheral vision. Slowly bring your left hand in, and just as it creeps across the threshold of sight, and you begin to feeling the attempted awakenings of those old unhelpful emotions, immediately drop your left hand and bring your right towards your face, and allow the full brunt of those new, powerful, helpful emotions to overwhelm you, like that gust of hot wind as you walk out of the freezing cold casino into the hot desert of Vegas, or that wave that came out of nowhere and crashed over you, destroying your plans to wade in slowly.
Do this several times. After about ten times or so, you should begin to automatically feel those new feelings and emotions whenever you think of that old trigger. You’ve effectively kept the same trigger, but changed the emotions that it triggered.
If you only this once, it can be helpful, but unfortunately it usually wears off after a couple days. The trick is to keep doing this every few days for a few weeks, until the old emotional response is completely gone. The stronger the old emotional response, the longer it will take.
The good part is it only takes more than a minute at first, when you set your left and right hands, and choose which emotions you want to replace with what. Once you got that down, you literally do this ten times at every stop light on your way to and from work.
And once you prove to yourself that this really works, you will be amazed how much more resourceful you can program your mind to be. The opportunities for self improvement and self-development are limitless.