Change or Transformation?
It’s the beginning of the year, and you have to make changes in your life. Maybe you need to quit that mind-numbing job or end a toxic relationship. You have thought about it for months—maybe even years— but why haven’t you taken action?
There are countless books, tapes, and videos that offer tools to implement change, but only a small percentage of people are able to permanently modify their behaviour. Do we (as a whole) lack will power? Or have we not found good enough reasons to get rid of bad habits?
Part of the reason that changing an area of our lives can be difficult is that the status quo offers some benefits. For example, the boring job guarantees a steady paycheck and a certain social status. We may fear that our situation will worsen after quitting our job—what if the new position pays less and is not at all fulfilling? Also, there are few role models around us of people who have successfully taken the “road less travelled.”
Mainstream psychotherapy often breaks the process of behaviour change into five stages: precontemplation, contemplation, preparation, action, and maintenance. Needless to say, this process can take a long time, and there is a risk of relapsing at any stage. Also, if you are stressed or distracted, you may easily fall back into those bad habits. But what if change is much easier than we think?
Maybe we should use a different word to describe what we are trying to accomplish. The behaviour (i.e., procrastinating) is only the end-result. Change is superficial, whereas to permanently modify the way you see the world requires a mental “transformation.” When you positively alter your worldview, you think differently and feel better; consequently, changing your behaviour becomes effortless.
Robert Williams, an American psychotherapist, believes that the key to easily changing behaviour is through a shift in beliefs. According to Williams, beliefs are “conclusions derived from information and/or experience.” When an event occurs in our lives, we try to explain the reasons why it happened. Based on that conclusion, when we encounter a similar event, we tend to assume it is for the same reason.
According to Williams, behavioural change is very difficult because we are talking to the wrong part of our brains. The subconscious mind is the seat of our strong-held beliefs, and it will override the conscious mind’s efforts to change. Most of these beliefs have been passed down to us when we were children, before we had the chance to filter out the negative ones.
In order to change negative beliefs, Williams created a tool called PSYCH-K (PSYCH stands for psychological and K stands for kinesiology). The name of this tools makes reference to the fact that the way to communicate with your subconscious mind is through muscle testing (kinesiology). The body does not lie. If you make a statement that contradicts what you truly believe, the electrical signal from your brain to your muscle will be weak, and the muscle will be unable to forcefully contract. The result is a loss in muscle strength.
Mr. Williams states that the subconscious mind wants safety and prefers habits. This part of the brain thinks literally and uses the senses (i.e., eyes) to perceive the world. It only understands the present tense but has limitless processing capacity and memory storage space. For example, when you drive your car and talk, your conscious mind focuses on the conversation while your subconscious mind focuses on driving the car.
Contrary to conventional psychotherapies, Williams affirms that beliefs are easy to change—even the ones that we have had for decades. (It is important to note that the origin(s) of any belief is irrelevant to PSYCH-K.) The PSYCH-K tool enables you to remove negative beliefs as easily as deleting files from your computer’s hard drive (i.e., the subconscious mind).
Although life is often unpredictable, we all want to feel a measure of control over our behaviour. Each New Year is an opportunity to re-evaluate our lives and make positive changes. Maybe PSYCH-K is the tool that will make 2010 a year of transformation for you.
Here are the steps of muscle testing using PSYCH-K. (Note: the psychotherapist should be a certified instructor of this technique):
- The therapist stands in front and to the side of the patient.
- The patient’s eyes look straight ahead but towards the floor.
- The patient’s chin is parallel to the floor.
- The patient’s arm is extended horizontally to side of the body.
- With one hand, the therapist touches the patient’s wrist, and with the other hand touches the patient’s shoulder.
- As the therapist presses the patient’s wrist gently, the patient will make statements out loud (i.e., "I deserve happiness and success in my life").
- If the muscle becomes weak, the patient’s subconscious mind disagrees with the statement. If the arm stays strong, the subconscious agrees with the statement.
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The Psychology of change Part 1-8
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