30 Mar Welcome & A Story
Welcome to what will now be my monthly blog “Tools & Tales of Change.” You can also sign up to receive these monthly posts as an email newsletter by entering your name and email in the green box (upper right). This blog/newsletter is:
- Short and concise
- Offers you practical tools you can use yourself
- Shares true tales of how others have used these tools for positive change!
Enjoy today’s tool and tale below.
Tale of the day:
In the following short video I reenact a humorous and inspiring story of creative response—from my colleague Michael Perez, in the UK—that I’ve presented at conferences around the US. Just watch the first 4 minutes:
Tool of the day:
Stepping into New Behaviors—what all kids do naturally*
- What is an area in your life where you would like more choices in your own behavior? (Responding to criticism, interacting with your kids, communicating with your partner, etc.)
- How familiar is this feeling of inflexibility or lack of choice in your behavior?
- Think of the first time you can remember feeling this lack of choice. It may not be the first time you ever experienced it, but it is the first time you can remember now.
- Close your eyes and see yourself in this situation as if on a movie screen in front of you.
- Now replace the “you” on the screen with Michael from the video you just watched. From the comfort of your seat, notice how Michael responds differently in the same situation. Consider other role models from your life and watch each of them respond in their own way to that same situation.
- Choose the response you would most like to embody yourself. See yourself behaving in that way. What are the postural shifts you notice in the “you” on the screen as this “you” responds with ease in the new way? Play it several times, and keep making adjustments until it looks just the way you want it.
- Now, at the beginning of the movie, mentally step into this new “you” you’ve been observing. Feel your body settle into this new posture. As you let the experience play forward, find out how it feels to respond in this new way.
- If it feels satisfactory, move forward through time until you reach another similar memory where you once felt that same lack of choice in your behavior. Find out how this memory feels now, with your new response. Move forward through time again and step into having your new response in a third memory. Now rehearse your new response in 3 future scenarios that are likely to happen.
- If it’s safe to do so, deliberately seek out the type of situation in which you used to feel limited, and try out your new way of responding. Notice how well it works for you and what feedback you get. Remember, If you’re not making mistakes, you’re not making progress. It’s unrealistic to think you should get everything right the first time. Kids take a long time to learn to walk, but when they fall down they just go for it again and again. Pretty soon it’s as natural as breathing, but it wasn’t always that way! Feel free to repeat the above process as many times as you like until you have a range of flexibility that you’re happy with.
*This is one of many incarnations of the “New Behavior Generator” from NLP. Thanks to Andrew T. Austin for some of the linguistic patterns that add depth to this process and help it flow smoothly.