people resist change because they feel too ashamed of
their issues to face them and deal with them, and even if they
have the desire to, they may feel helpless and hopeless in finding
any way of adequately resolving them. So some people may
try escaping or avoiding their issues; meanwhile the problem
doesn’t go away and the it quite often grows larger or snowballs.
very outlooks are the biggest barriers to making any changes.
There is the story of a man who could no longer drive his
car to work because parking rates had gone up and his car
was becoming unreliable. His easiest solution on his
limited income was to take the bus to work. However,
he had a tremendous fear, almost a phobia, that he would end
up sitting next to some crude punk. So, he felt very
uneasy and only went on the bus because he had no other choice.
he lived at the outskirts of the city, so there were few people
on the bus and he could pick where he wanted to sit.
He thought to himself, “God, please don’t let some crude punk
sit next to me.” As the bus slowly filled up with people,
his anxiety grew and he kept saying to himself, “Please, God,
don’t let some crude punk sit next to me.” Finally there
were only a few empty seats left, and into the bus came a
very large man dressed in black leather with chains on his
coat and arms, tattoos, purple spiked hair, and a very menacing
look on his face. Again, our passenger thought to himself
desperately, “Please God, don’t let this crude punk sit next
his horror, the punk sat down next to him. Our passenger
turned to the punk and asked in a pleading tone, “Why don’t
you sit in that other seat over there? Why did you sit
next to me?” The punk just looked at him and grinned
and said, “God told me to sit here.”
is a good example of a self fulfilling prophecy. Shakespeare
said, “Nothing is good or bad, but thinking makes it so.”
Because the unconscious mind does not hear negatives, our
passenger was unwittingly creating this negative image repetitively.
It would probably have been more helpful to not ask for what
he didn’t want, and instead ask for what he wanted, such as
“I wish someone peaceful and quiet would sit next to me.”
of the first steps out of a negative state is to focus on
what you do want (not what you don’t want). One of the
main principles of NLP counselling is there are no unresourceful
people, only unresourceful states. All people need is
new information or different strategies to assist them in
making the change.
is always possible. In this there is no failure, only
feedback and learning. People are always doing the best
they can with the inner resources they have available.
Hindsight may be 20/20, but during an event people respond
in the best way they can. If it doesn’t go the way they
want it to, it just means there are new things to learn.
We don’t have to look at this as failure, we can see it as
learning, so that we can respond more appropriately in the
future. In learning any new skill, one usually starts
off awkwardly. A child must first learn to walk before
he can run.
important is knowing that people are NOT their behaviour.
People HAVE behaviours. Just because you “screw up”
doesn’t mean you ARE a “screw up”. We can change that.
all, what is a good experience and what is a bad experience?
How do you define it? Everyone will define it differently.
What is good for some is bad for others. That we learn
and what we learn are what the true value of the experience
is. So, in reflecting back after an event, it is important
that we choose our reflective lenses carefully. True
happiness lies not in having what you want, but in wanting
what you have and learning and growing from life’s lessons.
Happiness is an inside job.
Nygaard is a Certified Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) Trainer,
Time Line Therapy® Master Trainer and Hypnotherapy Trainer.
She can be reached at email@example.com