Summer is little by little starting to wane here in Tokyo.
Thank goodness! I am just not made for the combination of high heat and high humidity.
This newsletter is Part 2 in my series on “Unlocking Your Brain”. The theory and work described can yield great benefits, and I hope these newsletters help you get a taste of what is possible.
In this newsletter I will describe a client session to give you an idea of how this process can take place.
Your life is made up of patterns. Change the patterns and you change your life!
Photo by: Ruben Alexander
2. Unlocking “Brain Lock”- Part 2
I have a client who I will call “Jim”.
(I have asked for “Jim’s” permission, and changed some details to make his identity hard to discern.)
Jim comes to me because he is creating problems for himself in regard to giving public talks, which is an important part of his job.
What happens is this-
He gets really anxious prior to giving a talk. So before leaving his office he finds numerous tasks that he compulsively feels he must complete before he goes out. He does things like answering emails, making calls to clients, and talking to his boss about an upcoming project. He leaves late and arrives to his talk late. Recently he has been arriving at his talks a half hour late and his audience is upset and restless, and the organizers are clearly annoyed. The interesting thing is, that he is actually a good presenter, and thus he has no idea why he gets so nervous beforehand.
I believe that trying to understand “why” he does what he does is a slippery path at best, so I suggest that we work on helping him to unlock his brain instead.
Here is the process we follow-
He lets me know the time for his next presentation and we agree to talk on the phone a half hour before he needs to leave, to arrive on time.
So he calls me at the appointed time, and,
Step One, he reports feeling anxious and out of sorts.
Just as we both expected.
Step Two, he says that he would love to change the way he is feeling.
We both agree that this is an excellent idea.
Step Three involves helping him unlock his brain.
I know Jim has a hobby that he is quite passionate about and I ask him to tell me in detail what his last outing was like. When he begins to talk he is still clearly upset but soon as he tells me about some of the high points of his adventure he starts to get animated, and the enjoyment he feels when engaging in his hobby becomes clearly palpable. He reminds me of a young child telling his father how much he enjoyed one of his summer adventures.
Jim carries on for about twenty minutes, and occasionally I interject statements like, “Wow, sounds like you were having a great time!”
Finally, I ask Jim how he is feeling now. He says, “Gee, I feel like I was just doing some wonderful time traveling!”
“Yes indeed!” I reply. “And now it is about time to leave for your talk. Are you ready to go?”
“Yes” he says, “More ready than I would have imagined!”
Turns out that he left on time and gave a great talk!
So what did we do? I helped him to unlock his brain.
Rather than staying stuck in running through Steps One and Two over and over again, Jim instead interrupted his pattern and engaged in talking about something enjoyable. The more he engaged in talking about what brings him joy, the more he dissolved his feeling of anxiousness.
He took the signal of anxiousness as a sign that he needed to, A. Stop what he was doing. B. Become mindful of his intention to perform with excellence, and C. Engage himself in a pleasurable activity as a way of unlocking his brain.
Jim and I engaged in a similar process two more times, and after that he let me know that he could now do the same on his own. He also said, “Wow, I have a whole new lease on life and I find that I am doing much better at accomplishing tasks at work that used to leave me feeling frazzled.”
You are capable of doing much the same.
Life affirming change is possible!
All the best to you going forward!