You have the power to change yourself
The intro of three episodes
NLP and useless methods
Approximately 20 years ago, when I became a student I started to be interested in NLP. According to Wikipedia Neuro-linguistic programming is an approach to communication, personal development, and psychotherapy created in the 1970s in the United States. There were a lot of interesting studies made and different techniques explained. And when it became a trend a lot of different books started appearing in the market. So I read several of those and explored different ideas from there. But there was one interesting approach described, which forced me to think more about our possibilities.
Here is the idea itself. If you see some successful person, and you want to be like that person, as successful as it person is, you can start copying his or her behavior. And the better you will mimic it – the more successful you will be. You can mimic how that person speaks, how he or she stands, how describes different ideas, and how makes some decisions. It was very interesting for me because I could dream of myself as a different person, it actually gives me a belief that I could change myself.
I should say that right now I don’t believe in that approach, Moreover, I have a lot of arguments why it’s not possible, or at least, is not as simple as that. I understand that I probably interpreted it in a wrong way. But anyway, to become a successful person you should do a lot of homework. But nevertheless, the idea of being someone else has been staying in my head since reading that book.
Have you ever regretted that you are not that kind of a person?
My goals and achievements
I have a lot of such situations and ideas what would be great to have or to be able doing. For instance, I was excited about people who are able to motivate themselves for achieving different goals related to physical activities. For instance, doing plank exercise. You probably don’t know that the world record of staying in plank is more than ten hours! Also I like hiking and idea of winning some competitions excited me so much that I took part in hiking competitions for more than ten years. But the main challenge for me wasn’t to be the first one but to overcome my limits. Right now I have my personal record in plank and our team won the first place on hiking competition two years ago.
Another example from my experience was a disability to pronounce letter “L” properly. Because my parents spend a lot of time in my childhood trying to fix the issue with my pronunciation but it still sounded bad. Probably it doesn’t sound very different from original “L”, but for me, it was a huge discomfort. Being 25 years old I’ve decided to change it. So I’ve started practicing that. And it was a funny situation because my wife’s name has “L” in the middle. So every time I called her name she was smiling and even laughing at me. This is how strange and not ideal sounded my attempts to speak letter “L” in a new way. But approximately in four months, I achieved my goal and right now I don’t have any major issues in my pronunciation.
I want to be better and I’m making changes constantly
Do you need any changes in your life?
Is it late to change something?
How other people changes themselves
To give you a more optimistic way of thinking I will tell you about some interesting stories about people who changed their lives in different ways. A first example is a snake man who was 22 years old and wasn’t able to do a simple scratchy exercise like reaching his toes by his fingers. Ad in some moment of his life he decided to change it. So he started practicing every day. In several years he became one of the most flexible people in the world and he does different strange things that it’s hard to believe that someone can do something like that. Moreover, it is the person who starts practicing in his twenty-two. Please take a look in the show notes to see what I’m talking about.
The second story is about well-known brand Mary Kay. For those of you who don’t know about that anything, this is a cosmetic company which had revenue in 2016 of three and a half billion dollars. And the person who created that brand, Mary Kay Ash started her entrepreneurship journey being 45 years old. She hadn’t reach parents or wealthy friends, all she had was five thousand dollars of her own savings. And her previous life was full of injustice and hard work. There is a lot of information on the internet about her and also we’ve put some in our show notes.
And the third story is about a guy from Thailand who decided to change his face and made over 40 different plastic surgeries to have a beautiful Korean face. Of course, it’s a question – should someone do like this and what was his motivation, but right now we speak only about an ability to make changes in your life. I believe that he reached his own goals. He became famous, started singing in karaoke. And it looks like right now he is happier than before. So he found his own way.
Some details of those people or links for stories you can find in sensiblyhappy.com in episode 003. Of course, I told you those stories more for inspiration and you shouldn’t copy those. The main message here – you can change yourself. Doesn’t matter how old you are and what is your past experience. And if you feel at some point uncomfortable with the current situation you should make some changes.
You have better chances to grow without having innate talents
And here is an interesting thing: most of you know that axiom that to have different skills you should bear with those. For instance to be extrovert, to communicate successfully with other people. But interesting relations come into play. When someone has something given as granted he rarely focused on that. He or she knows that the feature exists, so it can be used anytime. But what about improving that skill and that feature. And this is the moment when people who don’t have that feature yet have benefits because they are ready to invest their time and energy to develop that. And they are growing in comparison to those who already have that feature and stay frozen in their growth. And you, who don’t have that skill or feature yet – you can grow up quickly and be really good because you are aware, focused and ready to spend your efforts.
Of course, not everything can be changed, especially if you have some disabilities like lack of leg or some level of blindness. But of course, that doesn’t mean that you cannot achieve something. That just means that you have some real limits which you should take into account while setting and reaching goals.
Things to change
In the previous episode, I gave you six groups of thoughts about yourself, beliefs that someone gave to you. Like the appearance and body features, intellectual abilities, emotional and behavioral skills and so on. This six group is not a final list you should follow. It was made to give you a hint where to look for those beliefs. For today’s episode, I also prepared you some list which should help you to find what you want to change in yourself.
And here it is. First one is how do you treat yourself and who you are. This actually was covered in the previous episode. The second one is the way of thinking and perception of the world around you. You probably had such stories when you believe in something but suddenly you found new information that showed you that thing that you believed in is not true. Was it about other people, about religion, politics, about scientific things or medicine – doesn’t matter. All that matters is that world that is around you is a little bit different than you think. And you can change the way you look at that.
Another thing that you can change in yourself is body health or body condition like strength or appearance. You definitely know a lot of different examples of how someone became a new person after practicing. Also, you can tune your intellectual abilities. Moreover, you can grow your critical thinking. And this is very important. It is about your ability to see real facts around you without combining it with your imagination or beliefs. This is the feature that helps you to explore the real world and not imagines one.
Some extension of critical thinking is flexible thinking. This one shows how quickly you can change your mind based on new facts. I’ve already mentioned a lot of different characteristics but there are still several to remind you. Willpower: if you want to achieve something you can go strictly to that point, you can allocate your energy and time or you can just sit and wait when it will happen by itself.
And also there is a group of different characteristics that are about relationships. For instance, the ability to listen to others. Are you able to sit quiet and listen a lot what other person says without pasting your words every several seconds? And to understand and feel what that person tries to tell you. Also do you able to verbalize your thoughts when you have something in your mind, and you want another person to understand or feel it? Are you able to persuade someone? To sell something to someone? I’m not about some goods for money, but to sell, for instance, your idea to your boss or your friends. Are you able to love? Not just enjoying the feeling, but giving yourself and letting others give themselves to you. We can continue for a long time covering other characteristics. But I believe it’s enough for you right now to start rethinking.
To have all that list without rebinding this audio back, you can go to show notes on sensiblyhappy.com find this episode and get the list from there. You can change most of those things and we will speak about a lot of those in further episodes. But right now by giving you a task for the next week I will give you a simplified plan how to start implementing those changes.
The task for the next week
First step. Select two features that you want to develop in yourself but choose them by priority – what do you think you need to change or develop as soon as possible? Write them down.
The second step is to understand why do you need those changes for. This is very important because in some cases you can find alternative ways of reaching that goal.
The third part of that task is to describe the final goal for those two features. How should you look or feel after reaching that? Will you become stronger, more confident? How would you feel with those improved features or skills?
Then, if you have some ideas about milestones – write them down as well. I believe that you would have answers for those four questions.
And right now – final and most important question. How do you think you can reach those goals? Do you see any ways of doing this? Where can you get more information about that and whom can you speak with? This task is about brainstorming.