By: Dr. John P. DeMann
Go to the bookstore and notice the number of books on the shelf under personal development, there are hundreds. Go to the business section and notice how many books there are dealing with personal development, hundreds if not thousands. Everyone seems to know the answer to attaining fulfillment and performing at your best. Most of the books come at achievement from different angles claiming they have the answer. Have you ever wondered if there was one way to make sure you reached the top in your profession or just to be able to experience a life of joy and happiness? Most of the clients I speak with are frustrated and confused about what really works. In fact, many were about to give up and just let life happen and let the chips fall where they may. However, I have good news; these clients are now cause, not the effect, in their life and experiencing more than they ever dreamed possible.
Personal and professional development should not be difficult; in fact it should be easy. Why would our creator make it so difficult to know how to succeed? The answer is that our creator did not make it hard to understand how to achieve our true potential; it only seems hard because of all the confusion. Please understand, in order to achieve any level of achievement there will be a need for consistency and effort, but I can assure you that after reading this article your confusions will be cleared up and the only effort that you will have to produce will be the will to implement the information.
Our brains function like a movie cinema, creating images of all we experience. We think in pictures using several modalities; visual, auditory, kinesthetic, gustatory and olfactory, which we call our primary representations. These modalities are our senses and our mind has the ability to create from its memory banks any outcome we desire. In other words, we see pictures and movies in our mind and we have the ability to add to these picture and movies any sense we want to. We also have the ability to change the intensity of images we create in our mind; the colors, sounds, feelings, smells and tastes. These we call Submodalities and it is in these Submodalities we can manipulate and change the intensity of the images we create.
Some say they have a hard time seeing pictures let alone movies in their mind; some even go as far as to say they can't see images in their mind at all. This is simply not the case, we all think in images. The problem is that many times we think so fast that we do not notice the images we create, but if you take your time you will see that you too can create images with extraordinary intensity. If I ask you to picture a dog, do you see the word dog or do you get an image of a dog in your mind’s eye? The answer is that you see the image of a dog. What if I ask you to see a car, do you see the word car or do you see the image of a car? Chances are you see not only an image of a car but the image of your own car. If you question the fact that humans think in pictures remember that early man communicated using pictures on the cave walls not words. It was images that early man knew how to use instinctively.
When we think we trigger what is called the Reticular Activation System, RAS, in the brain which is really a mechanism that causes you to focus on what you are thinking about. In other words, if you are thinking about food then the RAS will create in the mind a lazar like focus on anything we experience that relates to food. When someone is depressed they are focused on or creating images in the mind that are depressing. This causes them to only notice those experiences that back up their depressing thoughts. When someone is happy they are creating images of happiness in their mind and the RAS then causes the mind to focus on the experiences that support their thoughts or images of happiness.
This tells us that we have the ability to create any experience we want to. It also tells us that we can change any negative experience we want to. However, we tend to create habits of thought which cause us to think or create images that are consistent. To break the habit we will need to become conscious of the images we create and change the negative ones to more empowering images that support our desired outcomes. We will also need to do this consistently so we can create new habits where we will be able to experience more empowering thoughts unconsciously and automatically.
Let’s look at an example: You want to lose weight/fat and are having a hard time. Think about the images you have of the outcome. Are they represented as an image only or is their sound, smells, tastes, do you get a feeling? Most would say they get a faint image, but nothing else. Some will say they never noticed any image at all. This tells us that the RAS was never activated and is why they probably never experienced the outcome they desired. In order to get the outcomes we desire we will need to activate the RAS so we will have an automatic pilot helping us along the way. To activate the RAS we will need to get a full image of what we want with the intensity of the Submodalities turned way up.
To change this and to experience how powerful the mind really is lets create a new image of what you want to look like if your goal was to lose weight/fat. Get a clear image in your mind of the outcome you desire. Using the Submodalities add color to the image; make it bright like an HD picture. In great detail see the body you want from head to toe. What sounds are associated to the image? Can you hear others saying great things about your physique? Do you hear the sounds of the gym? Are the sounds loud or soft? Generate imaginary sounds that will support you. Hear your friends saying wonderful things about your body. Hear people on the street saying positive statements about the body you have created. What feelings do you have internally about the image? Feel the emotions running through your body. Increase the intensity of the feelings and make them surge throughout your body.
When you do this you will experience massive state changes and this should help you understand the power of images you create in your mind. The key is to hold these images as long as you can. In the beginning you will find this difficult, but as you practice this technique you will be able to hold the empowering image for longer periods of time. Most people cannot hold an image for more than 30 seconds, but if you can get a quick snapshot of the image and the Submodalities you will experience the power of the mind and will attain your desired outcome. The hard part will be to do this consistently. This is where most people fail; they are not committed to consistency. The good news is that once you perform this for about a week on a daily basis you will notice that your behaviors will be more consistent with achieving the image you have created.
The best time to perform this is first thing in the morning and just before you go to bed for about 3 to 5 minutes. It would be even more powerful if you add another during the day just before lunch and one before diner. Try to do this before every meal, even before a snack or when you are faced with having food in front of you. You will find that it will help you overcome the urges to over eat or to eat unhealthy foods.
Once you begin seeing the image in its full intensity you will find that your desire to continue will get stronger. It is important to understand that you will need to change your behaviors, eating habits and exercise habits, on your own in the beginning, but once you get going eating healthy and exercising regularly will become a habit as well. Imagery is a supportive tool which will help curb unhealthy choices or choices that will not take you to your goal. No one said change would be easy, but now that you understand how the mind works the hard part will be your ability to consistently get yourself to perform the visualization exercise. The exercise will help direct your behavior and will help motivate you to achieve your goal. This process can be done for any goal. To enhance your understanding and to help others reach their goals teach it to a friend or a work associate, your efforts will provide a gift that can help change lives!