Can you predict what your next thoughts will be? And if you could, will they be empowering or self-limiting?
A father brought his 7 year old son to see me because he was having panic attacks, and missing lots of school. He had been to a psychologist, but nothing had changed and he had not improved in several months and the panic attacks continued.“The thoughts you have on a daily basis either hold you back or propel you forward.”
We are mostly operating on auto-pilot despite thinking that we are actively directing our thoughts and behaviors.
As 20+ year student of personal development, I have benefited greatly from the numerous books, articles, and videos that I have seen. But it was my discovery of the work of Dr. Milton Erickson that completely blew my mind.
Dr. Erickson, was an American psychiatrist that specialized in medical hypnosis and family therapy. He believed in and trusted completely the power of the client’s unconscious mind in order to help him facilitate the transformation they wanted in their lives. His success stories are legend and his work became a foundational piece for Richard Bandler and John Grinder to create (Neuro Linguistic Programming) commonly known as NLP.
While I always believed that having the right mindset was essential to creating success I became curious about the possibilities of the unconscious mind.
What are we truly capable of if we can harness this unconscious power within us?
Dr Bruce Lipton, An American developmental biologist had the idea that genes and DNA can be manipulated by a person’s beliefs, both conscious and what he refers to as subconscious beliefs. In his book, The Biology of Belief, Dr. Lipton wrote that our subconscious was simply a tape player that had archived all our thoughts and experiences from the moment we were born and was playing them constantly in the back ground. And this programming was directing about 85% of our brain stimulus/response.
More fuel for my growing curiosity about this primarily dormant power within us. So I began to experiment and test ideas with myself, and coaching clients in order to create faster results in overcoming life’s challenges.
Two examples of fascinating outcomes as a result of my curiosity:
1. I spent about 20 minutes talking with him once about butterflies and colors and breathing while his father looked on. According to his father while he doesn’t understand what happened, his son hasn’t had a panic attack since. It has now been over a year later without a panic attack.
2. A woman was having trouble sleeping for the past 25 years as a result of a traumatic break in in her home. She awoke one night to find two men in her bedroom who proceeded to rob her. I talked with her for about thirty minutes about flowers and feelings and lemons. She slept through the night that night and has for the past eighteen months.
Change is possible now. Not in six months or three years, but right now.
And as a result of that belief, I trust in my unconscious to find a solution.
While immediate changes don’t always happen, frequently enough something in the other person shifts instantly, and it reinforces my belief and sustains my curiosity about the possibilities within us all.
Dr. Erickson believed that his unconscious mind was communicating with the client’s unconscious mind. I know what when I successfully do this type of work, I am not thinking about what to do, nor am I thinking consciously at all. In fact for me, the less thought the better.
I have no formal training in psychology. I am not a therapist, or psychologist nor hypnotist. I am simply a results oriented coach trying to find solutions to the people who ask for my help.
Every time a client experiences a change right away, I am both puzzled and unfazed.
Puzzled, because while I understand totally what I am doing, there was no conscious thought involved, so the process is completely unique to the situation. Unfazed, because I expect the change to occur now, and when it doesn’t I wonder if my conscious thoughts got in the way.
Tap into your curiosity about your unconscious programming and the habits and patterns that are running your life. You can even use tools like Project Yourself to dive deep. The solutions will come from your curiosity, not from trying to force your unconscious programming to change.
Words by: Jeff Forte
Jeff Forte CSIC, CME author of The 90-Minute Marriage Miracle and Million Dollar Mindset audio program is an Executive and Peak Performance Coach founder of PEAK Results Coaching. For more info visit: www.peakresultscoaching.com
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