A solution focused programming approach asks “what else is possible?” While challenges or pain are valid, revisiting the past as a therapeutic approach simply serves to strengthen ways of being that do not serve us.
As with all professions, each person brings a range of personal experiences and training into the helping process. The following reflects what I have come to see as basics truths when it comes to creating long term change.
- The self-image is housed in the subconscious mind.
- The life we are living is consistent with our self image not our potential.
- The self-image is a habituated response that has been programmed.
- We will never out perform our self-image until the subconscious mind accepts and absorbs a healthier one.
The reality is that our perceptions of ourselves regulate our lives. Our abilities, talents, wisdom and purpose are often shamed into the back seat at an early age. As we grow, the subconscious mind deletes and distorts any data that is not congruent with the adopted self-image. While innate personality traits play a role in how our life unfolds, social programming plays a heavy hand.
How you think, feel and behave today is a result of your spongy-like mind absorbing information, from a range of source, during times when you did not have the capacity to critique incoming data. These times of vulnerability happen in childhood and adulthood.
When we begin to deliberately influence the subconscious mind, we are restructuring it. The subconscious mind is a learning machine and a servo mechanism. It’s learning needs must be respected if we are to create lasting change.
A new self image requires programming. Without programming the subconscious mind will always return to paths of least resistance. These paths of least resistance can be found in the thought, feeling and behavior patterns that are aligned with the self-image. At Hypnosis for Life we refer to these as familiar ways of being or “cow paths “that run deep.
Old cow paths block the way to achieving our goals and reaching our potential. If we are not satisfied with our lives we are not “broken” “crazy” or “incapable” we simply need to make a commitment to installing new programs.
In terms of identity shifts and habit formation, simple hypnosis has short term results for most people. The stubborn subconscious mind will return to a path of least resistance, when we are stressed or triggered. This is the lazy nature of the subconscious mind.
Subconscious restructuring is a specialized process that takes into consideration the reality of the mind being a robotic learning machine. This is especially useful for people who are not reasonably suggestible, but are “thinkers” or analytical types. The conscious analytical mind can get in the way of the ability/willingness to move into trance or receptive state. NLP tools and strategies do not require true trance.
In order to cement change we need to bring cellular memory into the equation. This simply means that we must actively participate in our transformation rather then sit passively accepting suggestions (recliner approach). This active participation creates a deliberate, specific blueprint for the stubborn subconscious mind. Through the principles of learning and active engagement, new ways of being, consistent with a healthier self-image, become second nature.
Remember that we do not out perform our self image. However, the working of our subconscious mind does not need to be mystical or feel out of our reach. Rather, a little additional effort, beyond a traditional recliner approach, allows us to program a self-image that is consistent with our goals and potential.