With a worldwide recession, a fast changing world and an online cyberlife that sees your friends updating their status with all the wonderful things going on in their lives it is easy to see why insecurities and uncertainty rule our lives in a way they never seemed to in the simpler, pre-internet past.
What’s more, with all the reality celebrities around and people becoming famous for very little, the world seems to lack the heroes we once knew and relied on. The stuff of legend. Leaders that led! So how can we survive and thrive in the fast-paced 21st century? You might need to change the way you think—as NLP expert David Shephard explains.
‘Neuro-Linguistic Programming, or NLP is one of the most effective ways to learn how to run your brain. The secret is to develop a few techniques for taking control of your mind—and therefore your life. This is very different from therapy or counselling—this is training, whereby you learn to use your brain in the way nature intended, eliminate problems and get the results you want.’
Train Your Brain
‘Your unconscious mind stores and organises memories for you. What few people realise is that they have “memories” for the future as well as the past. These are the things you expect to happen. So if I ask you what you were doing yesterday, last week, last month, last year or even five or ten years ago, you’d be able to tell me. And if I asked you what you’ll be doing tomorrow, next week, next month, next year or even five or ten years in the future, you’d be able to tell me some of that, too.
‘You need, literally, to insert “memories” of what you want to happen into the future. Your unconscious mind needs to know exactly what you want and when. Your conscious mind’s job is to decide how to get there. Try this:
1. Think of something you realistically want to happen in the future in the minutest detail. Remember: it’s what you want—not what you don’t want: eg, “I weigh 12st 4lbs and have 13% body fat. I am both fit and healthy.
2. Then ask yourself the question, “What’s the very last thing that has to happen for me to know I achieved it?” That would be, “I’m standing on bathroom scales that read 12st 4lbs and 13% body fat. I can wear my grey dress/suit comfortably.”
3. When you have the answer, visualise it as if it’s happening right now and you are watching yourself enjoying the moment.
4. Then take that picture and put it out in your future timeline right where you want it to happen, eg, April 10, 2012.
‘Two sayings I hear all the time are “If I could turn back time” and “If I’d known then what I know now I would never have…”. You’ve probably said them many times yourself. But in your mind you can indeed turn back time. You can revisit the events in your past that trouble you and re-evaluate them in such a way that their negative impact is massively reduced or even eradicated. Here’s how:
1. Think of an event in your past that’s bothering you.
2. Bring to mind the direction of your past and imagine floating over your past timeline until you are above the event.
3. Ask yourself, “What can I realise and learn about myself from this event so it no longer bothers me and I know that if something like this happened again I’d handle it differently?”
4. Then float further over the past so that you are 15 minutes before the start of the event that used to bother you. When you get there, turn around and look back beyond it to the present time and notice how you feel differently about the event now.
‘These are just two ways that can empower you to change your life for the better. The most important thing to realise is that nothing is just the way it is—you have the power to change the meaning of the past and create your future the way you want it.’
The full article appears in February issue of Reader’s Digest magazine. David Shephard can be contacted though the Performance Partnership at www.performancepartnership.com
[picture credits: Cindi Matthews; clarita]