NLP success patterns can improve any area of your life. One thing is as certain as New Year is coming is that people love familiar patterns. Though our patterns are not always helpful. Patterns help us to function without consciously thinking about what we’re doing – patterns are held in the unconscious. Patterns maintain the status quo and they’re the very reason we keep on doing the same things. Patterns are also the reason we so often don’t get what we consciously want. It’s also why new year’s resolutions don’t stick. We get stuck in our patterns and, without the tools or the know-how, we get ourselves into ‘ruts’. Ruts are merely patterns we want to break, but don’t know how. Here are some simple ideas for you to create an NLP success pattern and enjoy the best year yet. Read more
If you change your focus, you change your life. Nothing is simpler. Though where do you start in the process of change? How can you improve your life in profound and positive ways? Your answers are hidden in your values and beliefs. Though the first step of change is to get off your RAS! (but I’ll explain that later…)
“Whatever you focus upon expands,” is something we say in NLP circles. Does that mean if you ‘focus’ on being happy you will have more happiness? We’ll yes. As long as your focus is on all the things that make you happy; instead of the aspects of your life that don’t. So how does that really work?
We can change our focus by getting off our RAS!
The catalyst to focus is your “Reticular Activating System” or your “RAS.” It is the name given to part of the brain (the Reticular Formation and its connections) that arouses and motivates you. The RAS in essence, determines how you view yourself and the world around you. It is situated at the core of the brain stem between the myelencephalon (medulla) and metencephalon (midbrain).
The RAS is that little bundle of cells you have in the back of your brain known as the “control centre.” It serves as the filter for what enters your conscious and unconscious mind. This makes sense why after watching a horror movie, the darkness takes on a more sinister aura.
According to Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi in his book, Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience, “We filter around 2 million bits of information per second down to 7 plus or minus 2 chunks of information.” In other words, the data available to your central nervous system goes through a process of deletion, distortion and generalisation. Today with the regular bombardment of sensory data, your RAS helps you to make sense of all the information swarming around you like bees. Our RAS defines how we treat the swarms of data and makes sense why some people always get stung, while others get the honey.
Your beliefs and values guide what your RAS focuses upon.
The system in charge of sorting the information is your RAS. The RAS is a self-filtering function that chooses what you accept and reject based upon your beliefs, values and prejudices. So wherever you focus, determines what you experience and don’t experience. In other words, “Whatever you focus upon expands.”
Focusing on two or three key areas of business or a singular goal does something special to your behaviour. It triggers your RAS to be on alert. Your brain is assaulted by thousands of messages each second. Everything you see, hear, smell, feel and touch is a message entering your brain. The RAS filters through all these messages and decides which ones will get page one treatment – that is, arouse the brain.
One of the things we’ve learned from working with students in our NLP Practitioner Training program, is that you tend to pay attention to the things which are important to you at the time. If your dominant thoughts are about creating a new business, you’ll start seeing other what other businesses do and you will get ideas. You’ll hear conversations about new business models. You’ll pick up ideas relating to new business ventures and even see things around you in a different way and relate it back to business.
Your RAS is programmed to determine what is important to you.
In other words, the RAS will reject or ignore anything unrelated to your focus and bring to your attention anything that is even remotely related to your focus. This makes sense why starting a new business will often mean that relationships and health for example, take a back seat for some time until the business is up and running.
From a practical point of view, this means that, if you want to solve a problem or achieve a goal, keep it top of mind. Think about it, talk about it, write about it and imagine it completed. This is one of the reasons why affirmations can work and why it is important to review your goals frequently. Affirmations simply direct your focus in the area of your desires. They help you to keep focused and paying attention.
If you focus on improving a specific key area of your business for example, your RAS will pass through sights, sounds, people and ideas that are related to your point of focus. It is said that simply creating a budget will save you between ten and thirty percent of your expenditure! How can simply budgeting achieve such a task? In other words, if you measure that area of your focus visibly, frequently and attentively, it will likely improve. You may find yourself saying, “I don’t need to spend so much on treats” and your spending pattern improves.
Set simple goals and include metrics.
Here’s my suggestion: Identify the two to five key measurements and key indicators that are important and essential for your business or your life. Set up an active system to measure and track these indicators. An exercise plan or health plan for example. Talk to your employees or friends about it at every opportunity. Put charts and graphs of these indicators on your wall. Make your interest in these metrics very active and visible.
If you set up measurements that indicate if your activities are working or not, chances are, you’ll get what you’re looking for; improvements in these areas. In fact, you can count on it.
Last year for example I programmed my RAS (using NLP) to attune my focus towards health. Since then I have lost 9 kilograms (19.84 pounds) and I am fitter and much healthier. I set simple goals; to actively exercise for a minimum of one-hour a day (one metric), take a minimum of 5,000 steps each day (two metrics), and I weigh myself (three metrics), look in the mirror (four metrics) and check in with my overall feelings of well-being (five metrics).
From a scientific point of view, the RAS is involved with the sleep/wake cycle and damage to the RAS can lead to permanent coma. It is thought to be the area affected by many psychotropic drugs. General anaesthetics work through their effect on the Reticular Formation. Fibres from the Reticular Formation are also vital in controlling respiratory and cardiac rhythms and other essential functions.
The Reticular Activating System has received attention from neuroscientists interested in various pathological conditions affecting behaviour, such as Alzheimer’s Disease. More recently, results of research on the area has prompted extrapolations from the data into various areas such as motivational programmes (for example, Getting Things Done) and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).
The RAS is a structure in the brain stem that is responsible for arousal and sleep. The RAS is responsible for getting you up in the morning and putting you asleep at night – it makes sense then why your RAS awakens you, alerts you like an alarm to those things that are in the forefront of your consciousness. So in closing – set your RAS to what you would like to manifest into your life. Make a decision to focus in an area of your life that you wish to vastly improve. Set up your measurements that tell you that you are progressing and if your behaviour doesn’t change, consider learning or mastering NLP.
Our habits, beliefs, values and all the decisions we have ever made make up our neural blueprint. That schematic is what determines everything we do and don’t do and is found in the Unconscious Mind. So how can we create permanent change by accessing the bottom of our metaphorical icebergs?
The thing we call the “Mind” is divided into three systems that each have their unique functions: the conscious mind, the subconscious mind, and the unconscious mind. It is useful to compartmentalise them, particularly when we are seeking to break a habit or to transform our thinking.
The idea that we have three levels of mind is not new. Sigmund Freud, the famous Austrian psychologist was the first who popularised it. His theories have since been disputed in psychology circles, mostly because separating the mind into three distinct levels is difficult to scientifically prove. Though it does help us in the transformational sciences to use this model. So Freud created a useful model of the mind, the conscious mind or ego, the preconscious or subconscious, and the section that we will pay the most attention, namely, the unconscious mind.
To make this easy for you, I have illustrated this concept into a visual form. Using the iceberg analogy to show the conscious mind, which is all you see of an iceberg. This represents around 10 percent of your brain capacity. In other words, the reason why we find it difficult to alter our habits and patterns is because our habits and patterns are not conscious. They are found in what you will come to know as the “Unconscious Mind” or the “Unconscious.”
The Subconscious is much larger than the conscious and stores many of the things that you cannot remember consciously, but with some focus or meditation, you may just access your mother’s phone number for example, or where you left your car keys. It accounts for around 50-60 percent of your brain’s capabilities.
For permanent change to occur, it must occur in the unconscious.
The next section, the area below the subconscious is known as the unconscious mind. It accounts for the other 30-40 percent of your brain’s capabilities. It is holds all your suppressed memories and is like the vault to all experiences. It is deep and vast, and is largely inaccessible to conscious thought, a bit like the dark depths of the ocean. Though using Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) and hypnosis, we can access this level of thinking. So let’s explore them in detail.
The conscious mind is your being aware of the present.
The consciousness mind is your awareness at this present moment. You are aware of something on the outside of you as well as some specific mental functions happening on the inside of you. Being aware of where you are right now for example, or the knowledge of your current emotional state, and if you are super conscious, you may even be aware of the timing of your heartbeats. Though can you recall the colour of the walls in the room where you awoke on your first birthday? Probably not. You’ll have to go deeper to access that.
The subconscious mind is the holder of superficial memories.
The subconscious mind or the preconscious is filled with accessible information. While you can’t remember certain things consciously, if you relaxed and focused your thinking you may recall information deep in your subconscious; an old phone number perhaps. Think of this as your access to surface memories. For example; while you had to be conscious of everything you had to do in order to drive a car when you were learning, that information is now stored in your subconscious. No doubt you sometimes wondered how you drove home, as you made a phone call or thought of everything and anything, but driving. The reason you can do that is thanks to your subconscious.
The unconscious mind is the holder of superficial memories.
The unconscious mind is the deep library of all your experiences. It’s like the library where you have read every book, yet their contents are vaulted in some deep, dark back room with a secret door. However, under hypnosis or deep level meditation all the books in your library can be recalled, though this access is not for the fainthearted. Unless you’re a trained NLP professional, access is denied.
While the unconscious can seem like a black hole of unacceptable impulses waiting to trip you up, it is a resource awaiting perfection. It can be the source of hidden beliefs, fears, and attitudes that interfere with everyday life, though once given a spring clean, it can become a major allay to success. Most forms of psychotherapy including neuro linguistic programming aim to bring into conscious awareness many of these hidden hindrances, so that we can examine them and choose how to deal with them.
The unconscious travels at over 300,000 mph!
The unconscious mind has by far more data than the other two combines, so it must process information at lightening speed. It is the fastest operating segment of mind and is purported to travel at over 300,000 mph (482,803.2 km/h).
During our childhood, as we climbed trees and created worlds of make-believe, we acquired numerous memories and experiences that formed who we are today. So within the vault of our unconscious live our beliefs, our values, unconscious patterns, subjective maps of reality, every decision we ever made and the source of every emotion we ever experienced. There is gold down there to be mined and garbage that should have been thrown out decades ago.
It is for all of these reasons that NLP Practitioners and NLP Masters are highly valued because they are trained to open doors that have been shut for generations. They have a master key to transformation.
“Learning styles” also known as our “representational systems” determine how we learn. Some of us take in more information through our eyes, we call them “Visual” while others are predominately “Kinesthetic.” Kinesthetic learners consume information more easily through physical exercises and need to wriggle or move to improve retention.
Less of our population is auditory. Auditory learners need to hear information delivered in entertaining ways and variable tones. Though due to the digital age, more children need to “think” and “process thoughts” and so are becoming “Auditory digital.”
This proven science, taught at level one NLP Practitioner classes is key to our ability to learn, yet it is seldom taught to our teachers. This omission is failing our school children.
Confucius once said, “Tell me and I will forget. Show me and I may remember. Involve me and I will understand.” It makes sense as to why so many of our children believe they are not intelligent. They are rarely taught to understand, instead, they are taught to listen, read and repeat.
Which is your preferred learning style?
If you believe you are worthy of being rich, you will earn more; save more; and invest more. You, in essence, will have attained a rich mindset. While these words are easily typed, they are much harder to attain. Though with the right tools, anything is possible.
Remembering names is easy when you know how. Here’s 6 ways…
Transformational questions liberate us. Mental pain comes from resistence. Read more