Thursday, 19 July 2007

Freeing my mind

I had a bit of an epiphany last night. It should have been obvious, but often, you don't notice things about yourself as easily as you do in others. I'll tell you what it was in a minute.

Those of you who have heard of NLP (neuro linguistic programming) will know that it is being used in the business world and in the sporting world to help people really boost their performance and blast through limitations. You see, most of the limitations we have are due to limiting beliefs that we carry around in our unconscious minds (I call it the unconscious mind, some people call it the subconscious). We have two minds, effectively. Our mind is like an ice berg. On the surface is the conscious mind and below is the unconscious mind. The conscious mind is used day to day for analysing, planning and making logical choices. The unconscious mind handles everything else, from keeping us breathing to managing our emotional responses. So, the unconscious mind is pretty powerful. Most of us think we make our decisions rationally, but in most cases, they are driven by emotions and urges from the unconscious mind and then justified by our conscious mind. How many times have you gone out, bought something you didn't need, either on a whim or because you got "sold" on it and then justified it to yourself afterwards (usually with a paper thin excuse)? How many people would really continue smoking if the choice was a purely conscious one? We all know how damaging smoking is, but the urge to smoke comes from the unconscious (I can explain why, if anyone is interested), so it is a hard one to continuously resist. Changing unconscious behaviour by using will power (conscious mind effort) is really difficult. It is like trying to explain quantum physics to someone who speaks a different language. NLP and hypnosis give us a way to change things at the unconscious level.

Okay, so I've gone a bit off track, let me tie it together. Last night I was looking at the trades I had been making. Each session I would start really well and then just before the end I would do something silly that would wipe out my winnings and about 10% more. Even if I did something daft and let a bet run and it came in, at the end of the session I would do something to lose it. Now, if I heard this about someone else, I would immediately look at it from an NLP perspective and suggest that perhaps there is a limiting belief in place that is causing the underlying behaviour, i.e. not following the system and doing things that cause the loss. I never thought to apply that thinking to myself, until yesterday. I believe that if I just topped up my bank and started again, I would keep doing the same things wrong. I need to fix the root cause, the limiting belief.

So, first off, I did a couple of NLP techniques, one, called a parts integration, seemed to instantly help. I will top up my bank again and try again. How will I know I have made the necessary changes? I will take sticking to the system as evidence. I'll feedback on whether my quick NLP intervention has made a difference or if I need to do more. This might be useful to others out there that are going through the same thing.

I can explain more about how beliefs influence our decisions and how we can realign them if anyone is interested, in another post.

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