Behavior Change – How To! by Nick Matthews
What you grow into is more important than what you get. The vital inquiry you need to ask is not “what am I getting”. You should ask “what person am I turning into”. You see what you become clearly impacts what you obtain as you start to live it in real life. Think of it this way; most of what you have today you have manifested by becoming the person you are today!
It is difficult to maintain that which has not been achieved through personal development – So here’s the great maxim of life: To have more than what you’ve got, you need to become more than you are. Unless you change how you are, you’ll always have what you’ve got. Accordingly, this model will help change negative ways of being and developing neural links that are not supporting what you want to accomplish.
The sub-conscious mind can’t tell between what is real and what is fictional. This enables us to methodically build up a picture of the new behaviors we wish to display utilizing our three main sensory representations of sight, sound and feeling. This technique can therefore be used to make new or changed behavioral patterns.
Behavior Modification Technique
- Firstly identify a new behavior you want or the change that you want in an existing behavior. This should have a focus on what it is you want to achieve. This is time for some fun as you can either be certain what behaviors you want or, as in my case, when I did this exercise some years ago I chose the behaviors from a mix of movie and TV heroes. To stop you wondering I chose a mix from Biggles and Sherlock Holmes. I thought they were so cool, suave, sophisticated and very brave! Interestingly, when I see a new movie I like to continue with my learning and I copy new behaviors when I see ones I like. More recently, I liked some of the traits developed by the lead character in the movie “Limitless”. Indeed, I have modified my coaching training to use examples from this movie on my coaching courses.
- Now describe to yourself the behavior you want. How do you look and sound? This why I liked to use someone I could see on a screen. Alternatively, I have also liked some behaviors and traits in people I admire in real life which I have “modeled” (more on modeling later) and added to my own repertoire.
- Next imagine yourself producing the behaviors that you want in the particular context that you would like to change. If others are involved, what is there response? From your work on representational systems notice how you look, and sound and how they look and sound, do this in detail.
- Is there anything that you are not happy with? When I did this I felt a little uncomfortable with such a large change so I modified to a more step change as I became more comfortable with the response of others. Subtle is good here! If you are not happy go back to the previous step and make any changes as you see fit.
- Once you are comfortable with your performance, step inside that image of yourself in your imagination and run your new behaviours. Pay attention to your feelings and to the response of others.
- You can always go back and make any changes at bullet 3 and then redo the previous check.
- This is a continuous cycle of do, act, check and do again so when you are happy enough for your first run make sure you have an awareness of when you intend to use your new behavior. What signal will you see, hear or feel, internally or externally which will let you know that now is the time to unleash the new you!
- To test, imagine the awareness happening and imagine unleashing your new behavior. Feel the satisfaction sweeping over your mind and body.
- Practice makes perfect and as you move from conscious competence (you know what to do but you need to think about it, which isn’t efficient and a bit clunky – like driving a car for the first time) into automatic unconscious competence (you know what to do and its so automatic you don’t have to think about it – a like a pro basketball player shooting the hoop) you will notice a huge difference in the way you feel about yourself and in the way others respond to you. At any time that you experience a poor behavior immediately run that behavior through this model. The more you do this, the faster you move towards being the person you really want to be.
To kick start your new you why not open your mind to new possibilities?
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