When I used to travel 30+ weeks a year, I would have lots of opportunities to meet new people on airplanes. Invariably the question would come up: “What do you do?”
If you want to turn heads on airplanes, either answer the question with “Hit man” or “Hypnotist.”
When people heard the term “Hypnotist” or “Hypnosis,” they would reach into their memory banks for any associations they had with either of those words, and the questions and comments would come non-stop.
“Don’t make me cluck like a chicken,” “Can you help me stop biting my nails?”, “Can anybody be hypnotized?”, “I’d be afraid to let anyone control my mind.”
After I answered their questions to the best of my ability, they would eventually ask: “How does it work?” or “What do you actually do?”
I would say that hypnosis is a form of accelerated learning. When the chatterbox part of your mind calms down, the part of your mind that does the learning is wide open and fertile for suggestions you are open to. Then the process of learning something new happens more quickly. So the job of the hypnotist is to guide you into that quieter frame of mind.
When I explained what I actually did, it would make most people stop and think about how much of their behavior was automatic and predictable. I would say that my job was to get people to first, notice, and then outgrow behavior that ran in the background.
We are almost completely unaware of the patterned behavior that runs us. That’s because it’s invisible and runs in the background. It’s like the software in a computer. A computer is only capable of running the same routines if we use the same software.
The visible part is the behavior, not the routine.
Most of psychology probes the “Why” of the behavior. That’s pretty interesting stuff, but it does very little in actually outgrowing the behavior. Rather than know the why and the wherefore, I find it much quicker to get people to notice the behavior while it’s running.
This method opens the curtain so you can see that the “Great Oz” is just an ordinary routine running in the background. You demystify it and notice it for what it is – a piece of outdated software.
Once you have that recognition, you begin to drop the notion of “I was meant to be this way,” or “I’ll never be able to change.” Those concepts melt and fade away when you notice that they have been running in the background.
If you begin to jump into the area of “It’s someone else’s fault that I am the way that I am,” you have brought your ability to learn new behaviors to a screeching halt. That’s backward focus. It’s not helpful in moving you forward.
Outgrowing behavior begins by noticing it while it’s running, not 15 minutes or a day later. When you notice a piece of undesirable behavior running, your job is to interrupt it. The process of interrupting behavior, while it is running, is the quickest path to learning something new.
With each interruption, you cause a gap in the outdated software. It’s in that gap that new behavior starts to form. The more often you interrupt behavior, while it’s running, the quicker you get to new behavior.
New learning loves a void. That’s why mind quieting is such a powerful, learning tool.
Begin to recognize your behaviors in action and you will bring them out of the background where you can interrupt them at will. By doing so, you will bypass all the justifications you’ve been using for your behaviors, and begin the process of accelerated learning.
All the best,
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