How to “Unstick” a Mind, Even Your Own.
By Tom Hoobyar
Article Word Count 568, average reading time 2.3 minutes
Ever hear a friend, associate or employee say, “I can’t do it,” or “It can’t be done”?
Actually, there are many variations on that statement, all meaning, “No way”.
Ever been tempted to argue? Or contradict the statement with, “Of course you can do it, all you’ve gotta do is TRY!”
Didn’t work out too good, huh?
Here’s a little principle of human nature that can come in handy in these moments.
When a human brain hears a question, no matter how unthinkable, it automatically imagines an answer. try it for yourself — pick something you don’t think you can do, or do well.
Then, ask yourself this question: “What would it be like if I could do _________ really well?”
Your brain automatically imagines what it would be like — it can’t help it. You have to be unconscious to avoid having that happen. It’s automatic. And it moves a person’s mind from the frozen position of “impossible” to one of, “what would it be like if…?” and that’s a much more resourceful state to be in.
So let’s see where that takes us. Hmmm. What kinds of questions might you decide to ask, in what situations, if you knew that the listener unconsciously and automatically imagined the answer?
This is really a huge advantage, when you think about it. You can get people to think about just about anything you want, by asking them what a thing might be like. This is the secret behind those courses teaching “Speed” seduction, by the way. It goes like, “What was your favorite date?” or, “What would it feel like if you were having a really good time?”, and more suggestive questions.
The important thing is that by asking a question, you are pointing a person’s attention toward imagining an answer. It’s like shaking a toy in front of a cat – cats can’t help but focus on the sudden motion. Well, human brains are wired to notice questions and imagine answers.
More usefully, you can loosen up just about any attitude if you go, “Yeah, I know it’s impossible. Of course you can’t. But I was just wondering, what would it be like if you could…?”
So, do you know why you FIRST AGREE with them?? It’s because people’s brains are contrary, and if you immediately contradict what someone says you LOCK THEM IN to that attitude.
That’s not what you want to do, unless you just get off on having debates. You may have noticed what happens inside your own mind when someone just flatly disputes something you say. Not too charming, huh?
Doesn’t it make you more stubborn? Probably the last thing you feel like doing is being agreeable with some jackass that just told you you were wrong.
So, the process is,
FIRST — agree with them that they can’t, or that of course it’s impossible, or whatever the limitation is. Then,
SECOND — ask them, “But what would it be like if you could?”
Try it on a few people you know, when the time is right. When you see how easily this works, you might be tempted to make it a habit. After all, who knows?
What would it be like if everyone you knew was able to do whatever they wanted to do?
You gotta wonder, what would THAT be like?
Tom Hoobyar is a Master Practitioner and an Executive Coach. He’s the founder of the NLP Cafe, the longest running free NLP workshop in the US. Go here to find out more and get your invitation: www.tomhoobyar.com
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