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How to find the courage to follow through on your convictions using NLP and Neuro Semantics... Phone 07 5562 5718 or send an email to book a free 20 minute telephone or Skype session. NLP Coaching, Hypnotherapy and Meditation. Gold Coast, Robina, Australia. Online NLP Coaching sessions on Skype and by phone also available.
(By Abby Eagle) Has fear ever stopped you from talking to a group of people, speaking to a stranger, making a phone call, asking for something, going on a holiday, participating in an activity, experimenting, having fun, enjoying yourself, living your life to your potential, expressing your opinion or speaking out and doing what you truly believe in?
Fear is a hard wired physiological response that is designed to protect the mind/body organism from danger. Fear gets the mind and heart racing to create a heightened state of awareness in order to help you in a potentially dangerous situation. But whether you run or hold your ground depends upon the meaning that you bring to the situation.
And there may be some times when you need to hold your ground. Your mind and body tells you to run but at some level you know that you need to stand your ground. Those times when not only do you need to face the danger but you need to move closer to it? If you ran away how would you feel? Would you feel pride or shame?
Sometimes you may need to take action in the face of danger but how do you do that? How do you build courage? Where do people like Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King, Julian Assange, the activists, the whistle blowers? What is the source of their courage?
"Few men are willing to brave the disapproval of their fellows, the censure of their colleagues, the wrath of their society. Moral courage is a rarer commodity than bravery in battle or great intelligence. Yet it is the one essential, vital quality for those who seek to change a world which yields most painfully to change." Robert F. Kennedy, 1966 speech US Democratic politician (1925 - 1968)
What is courage? Is it an absence of fear or is it an ability to manage your state?
There are two types of situations. The first is where you voluntarily enter a situation like jumping from an airplane. The situation could be frightening but at least you have the choice to jump or not jump. The second type of situation is one outside of your control, one that life presents itself to you.
Either way, how you act in that situation depends upon the frames of mind that you bring to it. Feeling scared and not being able to take action is because you lack sufficient meaning. Once you bring enough meaning to the situation you will take action. It is all about how you think
Let's consider a number of scenarios:
1. House fire: your children are at risk.
2. House fire: strangers at risk.
3. An injustice in the world: no direct threat to you or your family.
In the first scenario most parents would not hesitate to run into a burning house to save their child. Why? Because the child means everything to them.
In the second scenario let's say you come across a burning house. You can hear screams for help. Whether you risk your life to help the stranger will depend upon the meaning that you hold in mind.
In the third scenario you observe something morally wrong in the world. It could be about any number of things - sadly the list is endless - but think about something that gets you worked up. What frames of mind would you need to hold in mind for you to take action? Do you have what it takes to go up against politicians, religion and industry giants?
Courage is the application of a number of frames of mind to a potentially dangerous situation. The danger still exists - fear is still felt but by texturing in a number of frames of mind it helps you to maximise your resources.
For the purpose of this article let's focus on something that you have observed to be morally wrong. What frames of mind would you need to hold such that it gave you the inner strength to speak up and take action?
Would playfulness be a useful frame? Remember we are not interested in the reality of the situation - what we are after is a frame of mind that puts you in a resourceful state. You might have heard people talk about a court room fiasco, a political theatre, the world is a stage, fun and games, that politician is a bunny rabbit, and so on. These terms indicate that the speaker has brought a sense of theatre, drama and playfulness to mind.
What other frames of mind might help build courage? Would frames of curiosity and fascination help? If you could bring a sense of curiosity and fascination to a person's behaviour would that help you explore how the other person thinks? Such that you don't get caught up in the content of what they do or say but instead you focus on the process of how they act. By focussing on the process we can ask questions like, "What is their intention? What is the origin of their mind-set? What is their history, their upbringing? What drives them; what are they moving away from; what are they moving towards? What are they missing in their life? Are they in control of their life; are they acting out of conditioning or are they acting like hypnotic subjects?"
Making the distinction between process and content is a skill worth developing. If we get caught up in content then we may end up reacting out of our emotions. For example, there are parts of the world where feuds between families and groups have persevered for generations. Someone kills a member of family 'A' so then family 'B' needs to get revenge by killing someone from family 'A', and so on. The ability to track process allows us to map out the structure of the content and then facilitate changes within the process towards achieving positive outcomes.
What other frames of mind would help build courage? "Everything that I do is above board. I come from a space of respect, honesty and integrity." Would that help? Or, "Life is precious, those people deserve a better life. I would feel bad if I walked away. I want to make a difference in the world. if I take action and set an example then this might motivate others."
Frames like, "Life is precious; there can not be one law for men and another for women; no gender should have power over the other; both men and women deserve to be treated with respect and dignity; both men and women deserve to be afforded the same protection and the same rights and privileges in society."
What decisions do you need to make? Decisions like, "Enough is enough, this can not go on, it is time that someone did something about this." Would determination and perseverance help you to get started and keep moving? Or an acknowledgement like, "I can do this; I have what it takes; I have all the resources that I need within myself." Or better still, "I can learn to master my mind. I can get into the drivers seat of my mind and build myself a totally new identity, one that will help me to make a difference in the world."
Or, "Thoughts are just thoughts. I am the one who gives them meaning. My emotions are my emotions; they are not something to be afraid of and pushed down. Emotions are just energy to be welcomed and embraced."
When someone criticises you rather than feeling attacked would this frame help? "This person thinks enough of me to give me their energy. I like that." And then welcome in the feelings such that you take ownership of how you feel.
The ability to accept 'what is'. The ability to acknowledge that what one believed in may not be true after all and the willingness to accept that there may be another point of view.
The ability to persevere with an increasing sense of determination. Courage does not accept helplessness. Courage is about hope and having a sense of optimism that no matter how dark and how long the tunnel might be that there is light at the end.
It takes courage to not act like a sheep and go along with the majority. It takes courage to question authority and even greater courage to make a decision then commit to a goal and take action.
It takes courage to live in the present moment. Mind is past and future. It is easy to believe in meta physical ideas and religious scripture but unless you have experienced it then it is just an idea, borrowed knowledge, a belief. Anyone can learn to believe in life after death... it is just a matter of self hypnosis... millions have learned how to do that but to doubt... to bring one self in to the present moment with an intensity and a sense of urgency and challenge everything that you know for the truth is the mark of courage. The followers may be sheep but the seeker of truth is a wolf.
Watch the Video: How to Set a Goal and Commit to Action
Click the Image to Watch on YouTube
1. Start with the present situation. Think of the problem that you want to deal with.
2. Set a desired outcome. What do you want? What do you want to do, to be, to have, to get? What will you see, hear and feel when you get the outcome? When do you want it, where do you want it and with whom? Step into the image of the desired outcome so that you feel connected to it.
3. Why do you want the desired outcome? This step is very important. This is about congruency, the highest purpose which drives you to take action. To get in touch with your highest intention ask yourself questions like, "Why do I want the outcome? Why else do I want the outcome? Get the outcome for what purpose? Once I get the outcome then what will I get to have and to experience?" In this step you are running a 'core outcome chain' to access a chain of values that lead you towards the core intention, the highest intention for taking action.
4. Do you know what to do to take action? Do you know the steps and stages? Have you got an action plan?
5. What resources do you need? What is the singular most important frame that you need to hold? What frames of mind, beliefs, attitudes, values and principles do you need to support you? What source of energy and inspiration can you draw upon? Who are your role models? How would they think and behave in this situation? Who do you need to be? What is the hat that you need to wear and what are the shoes that you need to step into? Who can you get to help you?
6. So how do you build in the new frames of mind? This is where we dig into our NLP/NS/Hypnosis/Meditation tool kit. One of the simplest procedures is the Mind to Muscle Pattern. In some cases it can be as simple as saying to yourself, "I give myself permission to..."
7. To take action you need to be in alignment within yourself? Are you congruent with the intended action? Is the "yes" bigger than the "no"? If not then what frames would help the 'yes' get bigger and the 'no' get smaller?
8. Is the reason to take action compelling?
9. If so, then are you ready to make a decision to take action?
10. What is the first step that you can take which will let you know that you have acted upon that decision?
Inspiration can come from literature, the scriptures, from people we know, stories that have been handed down from parent to child - and of course from the Television and Internet. Never before in history has there been so many role models for us to learn from, for example.
The film, The Whistleblower 2011, tells the story of Kathryn Bolkovac, an American police officer who takes a job with the UN International Police in post war Bosnia. She uncovers a sex trafficking ring in which high level government and UN officials are involved. Towards the end of the film she has lost her job and her UN Identity. She is faced with the dilemma of walking away from what she believes in or breaking into her old office to recover incriminating documents that can be used to expose the traffickers.
The scene is extremely tense but it clearly demonstrates that she has a positive intention, a specific well defined goal, and a big reason why she has to take action. She had previously made a decision to protect young women from sex slavery and is committed to following through on that decision. She is convinced that something needs to be done and she is in a position to make a difference. She is scared but she has the courage of her convictions to make a stand for the truth.
When you know in your heart that something is immoral, that something is intrinsically wrong, then do something about it. It might only be a small thing but that one action may inspire others to take action. To book a NLP Coaching session with Abby Eagle please use the contact form on this page.