by Dr. Kim Redman
as published in Choice Magazine
Part I of IV from The Book of You: Mastering Your Inner World
It happens all of the time. You swear you are going to change your behavior, change your focus, mantra your way to gratitude and possibility, and still you find that possibilities are passing you by. Why can’t you get that “can-do” attitude to work? Why can’t you change your behavior?
It may be both simpler, and more complex than is first suspected because there is a mind, brain, and behavior connection. When we are coaching we need to address behavior from this more coherent perspective if we want to experience a greater degree of change, faster. We need to get the sentinel of “The Book of You”, the Reticular Activating System or RAS, on board. According to Eugene B. Shea, a cognitive scientist, in “all sentient beings, the” RAS is “the de facto manager and coordinator of all brain and body activities.”
What’s Really Going On:
Experts argue exactly how many internal and environmental impulses the RAS processes a second, but best guesses are between 5-10 million. The RAS determines, literally, how we will experience our world; is it a safe place, a hard place, a poverty or abundance filled place? The shocker: We screen out reality to match the RAS! We’ve all experienced this phenomena when we buy a car. Suddenly we see that model of car everywhere! Since car buying can be pretty intense, our RAS noticed it, and now our experience of reality changes. We literally notice different things.
Since the life experiences that change our RAS focus are fight, flight, or intensely emotional situations (read chaos and drama), we need to use a synthesis approach to create a change in focus and behavior, while supporting the well-being of our clients. This is where NLP Coaching is so highly valuable because it does provide a synthesis of our conscious and unconscious coaching tools. We can refocus the RAS in mere moments, and clients can be taught to do much of this on their own, reducing the risk of co-dependence.
How We Change Things:
The good news is that the RAS is very programmable! Here is a quick process technique to add new focus:
- In a zoned out, and relaxed state (alpha-theta wave), make a movie of a future goal that you see through your own eyes and brighten the colors, sharpen the sounds, make it moving, and add in the feelings of success. When it’s so real that you can taste it, step out of the picture so you see yourself in the picture. Float out to an imaginary calendar and insert it on the date. Notice the difference.
In Part II of this series: Near or Far: How Intense Should it Be? We will look at wrapping our hands around a couple of fast techniques that give you more awareness, control, and choice about how you will unconsciously respond to your environment. (Sneak peak…they are fun too!)
To your Health, Wealth and Happiness.
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