Trance-formations and Transformations — change is possible if you are willing to explore your auto programs
In This Moment
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The grandfather of clinical hypnosis, Milton Erickson, taught and practiced for decades.
Many of his students are still alive, and several have contributed to NLP. NLP, at it’s base, takes Erickson’s flexible approach (it’s said he never repeated an induction or hypnotic pattern) and codified it for easier learning.
Which was all fine and dandy, until car salesmen started learning it.
I remember going in to buy a car once, and the sales guy started pattern matching, and playing other NLP games. He was OK at it, and I even allowed myself to “feel the pull” he was bringing about by his words and actions.
Then, I got bored
So, I started shifting my patterns (the way I was talking, sitting, etc.) away from what I had been doing. He got confused, then compensated. I shifted again. And again. Pretty soon, he stopped talking and looked gob-smacked.
I said, “Enough with the NLP, let’s talk cars.” He went a bit rigid, then smiled. “I’ll stop if you will!”
The basis of NLP is that our brains are lazy. Powerful, but lazy. Or economical.
Thinking burns a ton of calories. Uses a ton of oxygen. So, our brains develop patterns, or habits. Example: you want to call a friend, so you pick up a telephone, not a banana. You habitually “know” that phones are for calling. No thinking necessary.
You are actually in a trance state when you reach for a phone. Or drive a car. Or walk down stairs.
The problems come along when more and more things fall into the trance category. The cure, then, for trance-formation is… transformation.
The things you believe to be so are nothing more than trance states. Your brain has been fed a certain line of thought, and it’s “hooked” to something. (Back to phones. The hooks: needing to make a call, and seeking the phone.) Eventually, you see (hear, etc.) the hook, and the belief is triggered.
No thought. Just stimulus / response.
The gross example of this is fundamentalism. Fundamentalists see something that “offends them,” and all thought goes out the window. All that you hear and see is mindless action, rhetoric, and often, violence. They spout off about their “religion,” but of course “miss” that other believers react differently. They are caught, and in a sense, brainless.
Of course, this process is mostly quite subtle.
One client has an issue with being too comfortable with herself. She receives complements, or is treated well by her partner, and when her “set point” is reached, (“I’m not supposed to feel this good!”) she gets critical, or turns off, or does something to reduce the feeling of “good.”
The trigger, the hook, is her pleasure set-point.
Another person — a friend — is lifting weights and running, and hasn’t lost any weight, but is more buff. She realizes that the weight thing is her mouth opening too often to stuff in carbs. Her belief is, “I shouldn’t have to work hard, things should just work out.” So, she does what she always does with those carbs, and guess what? No weight loss.
Transformation is seeing yourself
Everyone does this stuff differently, but the commonality is that the things you are stuck over are caused by you, refusing to observe your beliefs, accept them, and then change your patterns.
Asking “why” doesn’t help
The why question only leads to story telling and blaming others (or a situation). The short answer to the why question is:
Because that’s what you do… it’s your pattern.
In the case of the client with the mis-set self-esteem, the key is for her to notice the feeling that comes right before she makes a mess for herself. The tight, icky feeling of being “too loved.” As she notices, she can stop herself from reacting, and say,
“So, I notice I’m hearing (your complement) and I’m about to reject it, because that’s what I do to make myself miserable. I want to own that, and then shift, breathe, and invite you to complement me again, so I can reset my tolerance point.“
She will need to do this repeatedly, for a month or more, with no slip-ups.
Or she can whine about how hard change is (Yup. Hard. If it wasn’t, everyone would have their shit together.)
Transformation takes courage, strength, and determination, because you are fighting with decades of programming — years of trance-formation.
Yet, it all boils down to this, griping and staying stuck, or staying preset while shifting your behaviour.
No one can help you, as this is all about you. Just like everything else in your life.
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