There is a place where transformation occurs. A place wherein a person can have a life-changing encounter… with themselves. This place is a Crucible inside the mind of those who are courageous enough to confront themselves. In this place, a person can melt down toxic meanings, thoughts, emotions, ideas and create a new, incredibly life-enhancing way of Being in the world.
In my book How To Chill Out – Earthquake Proof Strategies for Staying Calm in Any Crisis, I make a bold observation and claim. Here’s the piece from the book;
“I’ve noticed that a lot of ‘self-help’ or ‘personal growth’ books and trainers give great info, but on examination it lacks substance or applicability. They preach but don’t teach. Here, let me explain. They ‘preach’ that to deal with problems or overcome stress or be happier etc. that the answer is to “Just accept things” or, “Open up and become present to people” or “make the decision to change” etc. And I think to myself, ‘yeah great, but they’re not teaching me how. They’ve told me what to do, but not how to do it.
- How do you do ‘accepting’? What’s the process of accept-ing? It’s a verb!
- How do you do open-ing up with another person?
- How do you go about decide-ing?
- How does change-ing occur and how do you do it?
A lot of books and courses preach, but they don’t teach. I teach the ‘what’ and most importantly the how….”
So in this article I’m going to explain what’s needed for change to occur. There are more ways to change and the specifics are fully modelled out in the Neuro-Semantics Axis Of Change model – a core model in effective coaching. And only in the hands of a skilled coach can real, generative change occur (as opposed to remedial change – just fixing what’s broken); because change requires certain pre-conditions. A skilled coach will create these conditions for you during coaching sessions. For you to apply them to yourself can be a bit more challenging (which is why some of the most successful people in the world agree; “everyone needs a coach”).
Let me just stress again, that I’m not talking about the kind of change that just adjusts where you’re at and makes your current situation a bit easier. That’s just corrective change, the normal way people live. I’m talking about the level of change where your whole life paradigm shifts to something truly amazing. The kind of change that catapults you into the stars. The kind of difference that takes you from Quasimodo whose life is severely restricted and whose very survival relies totally on others; to the Richard Branson’s of the world who create the kind of life they choose.
So here I’m going to describe the key pre-conditions for this kind of change. These conditions were modelled from the old ‘encounter groups’ of the first Human Potential Movement. They worked really well for some who were strong enough to deal with them. Yet the encounter groups of that age tended to be rough, confrontative, intimidating, demanding, and in-your-face stressful. This was how NLP began — as the two original founders, Richard Bandler and Frank Pucelik ran Gestalt encounter groups.
However, these pre-conditions are often harder to get than you might think. So let’s jump in. The pre-conditions for real generative change are:
- Unconditional positive self-regard. Self-esteem. You gotta love yourself and value your worth. And I mean fully and completely. No surface ‘positive affirmations’; you can’t fool you!
- Self-acceptance. You have to accept yourself for who and what you are; your weaknesses, faults, failings – and your strengths. And funnily enough a lot of people find the latter much harder than the former.
- Witnessing. The ability to ‘step back’ and observe yourself. The skill of getting your ego out of the way. To be able to ‘just notice’ all the good, bad, mad and glad stuff of your emotions without being caught up in them.
- Appreciation. The ability to appreciate anything. Crappy situations, your failings, your weaknesses.
Now if these first four haven’t made you realise just how challenging change can be and why most people in the world simply put up with ‘just good enough’;hold on to your hats for the last two…
- Ownership and responsibility. Yes, you can’t blame anyone for your frame of mind. You have to take full responsibility for your situation – paradoxically, especially if it’s out of your hands. You gotta ‘own your shit’. If you don’t, you can’t change it. And you have to be courageous and proactive.
- Ruthless honesty. Can you be truly honest with yourself? Can you suspend defensiveness and judgements? To quote two experts;
- “Telling the truth pops the cork. Out flows the person. Lying blocks self insight and interpersonal contact. Lying blocks exploration of the self.” (Will Schutz, Profound Simplicity, p. 69).
- “A little bit of honesty goes a long way and this is what most of us are afraid of — being honest with ourselves and stopping the idea of self-deception.” (Fritz Perls, Witness to Therapy, 127)
So there you have it in a nutshell. I’m hoping that you’ll realise there’s a lot more to generative, life changing change than you realised and that it’s far beyond the scope of this article to cover it.
Indeed, this is why a real, purposeful and major life change takes time, and coaching and training. In fact, on the Unleashing Potentials course we spend the whole of day 2 simply constructing then using a Crucible of Change using these very pre-conditions. And the Accessing Personal Genius course even puts in more groundwork for making these changes in an even more effective way.
Drop me a line for the upcoming training dates and make sure you subscribe to the elist to keep your finger on the pulse and get these free articles and videos delivered straight to your inbox.