As a coach and NLP (neuro linguistic programming) trainer, I know that one thing that is as certain as the coming year is that people love familiar patterns. Patterns help us to function without consciously thinking about what we’re doing – patterns are held in the unconscious. Patterns maintain the status quo and they’re the very reason we keep on doing the same things. Patterns are also the reason we so often don’t get what we consciously want and why new year’s resolutions usually don’t stick. We get stuck in our patterns and, without the tools or the know-how, we get ourselves into ‘ruts’. Ruts are merely patterns we want to break, but don’t know how. Here are some simple ideas for you.
With a little conscious observation you can spot a pattern. We’ve got patterns for all sorts of things: getting up for work, going or not going to the gym, dieting and bingeing, getting rich and going broke. In fact there are patterns for everything we do and I would go as far as saying that if you look at your last five years, your next five years are likely to be the same – unless you consciously break your limiting and unconscious patterns.
Do everything differently
I was watching TV where Oprah interviewed Keith Urban. Oprah asked what it was that Keith did to overcome his addiction to alcohol after so many failed attempts. What he said might be a clue to what you could do next year if you want to break a pattern. He said, “I did everything different”. While we have specific processes to break a pattern using NLP, sometimes you can simply do the opposite and break a pattern. We call it a ‘pattern interrupt’.
How do you discover your limiting patterns and interrupt them?
You can do this now if you like. Look at any area of your life and sit down with a note pad and pen and elicit from yourself a pattern you would like to change. Make sure you get into the detail and avoid big picture concepts. In other words, if you want to improve your wealth, don’t start with wealth. Break down wealth into smaller task-sized components such as saving, spending, investing, learning, selling, marketing, advertising, and of course the list could go on. There are many areas of wealth and choosing your wealth pattern as a broad topic will not give you a specific pattern that is workable.
For example, I was working with one of our WealthClub members and I discovered that her non-wealth pattern was found in her overspending. While she made a lot of money, money slipped through her fingers. The more she made, the more she spent. So what we did after working out her spending pattern, which is what we would call in NLP, a visual, kinesthetic repeat pattern, we simply added an auditory digital (self-talk) step right before the kinesthetic step. What does that mean? When she went shopping her pattern was very specific. She would first see a dress (visual), try it on so she could feel it on her body (kinesthetic), look at herself in the mirror (visual), if she felt good (kinesthetic), she would buy it. By adding the auditory digital step, each time she saw something she wanted to buy, she consciously decided that she would ask herself in her mind, “Will this change my life and improve my wealth?” She asked herself that one question every time she wanted to buy something and it broke her excessive spending patterns permanently.
Add some colour to your life – diarise a new pattern
The year that I wrote my first book, Life Beyond Limits: Infinity Belief, I spent so much time writing that I completely omitted exercise and broke my exercise pattern. After finishing the book I couldn’t seem to get motivated to exercise and couldn’t find the time. The truth is I was in an alternate pattern to exercise and didn’t make the time. I was on my way to run some training when I noticed my profile, reflected in store windows. What I saw was my belly at a size I promised myself it would never get to. That was enough to motivate me to get my diary out and diarise a workout schedule. In just a matter of weeks my body shape improved and I created a new pattern. Yes I know that there are processes in NLP that break patterns, but sometimes it’s even simpler than that – the human mind has a habit of overcomplicating and dramatising most things.
If you want to change anything in 2011, you’ve got to allocate time for a new pattern and place it in your diary – what you put in your diary is what you get out of it. It doesn’t matter if you reprioritise from time to time, but at least if it’s in your diary, you’re more likely to do the task. For instance, if you wanted to increase your knowledge in a specific area then don’t just let work and meetings be the only things that you put into your diary, add some regular study time. Einstein said that, if you invest 15 minutes every day to study, in just one year you would become an expert. So in which area would you like to become an expert? When I first studied NLP I followed Einstein’s advice but instead of 15 minutes, I diarised one hour every day of NLP study. In no time I became one of Australia’s leading experts. It works if you commit to it by diarising the regular activity.
Each Friday night our family schedules games night where we each choose a game that we can all play as a family. This pattern brings our family closer together and no doubt it will create fond memories in the minds of our children as they grow older and reflect upon games night. Another scheduled night is date night. On the last Saturday night of the month my wife, Rebecca, and I have date night – so we can keep our relationship fresh and have some time alone.
You might have created a work pattern by diarising work functions, so why not create some healthy fitness patterns, fun patterns, family patterns and relationship patterns? What pattern would you like to create in 2011?
Would you like to create a wealth pattern?
Have you ever worked out how much you earn each year, what you save, what you invest and how much you expect you’ll be worth by the time you reach (say) 60? It’s often a sure fire way to break a pattern. A wealth pattern is where your activities increase your wealth by a positive percentage each year. As the formula for wealth is value x leverage, wealth is seldom created by a job where you trade your time for money. While it might grow your value, it’s usually not leveraging your time. The formula is simply this. Do something that grows your value such as growing your knowledge or skills and then leverage them. To leverage simply means to do something once and it multiplies the return. For instance you could write a book once and sell it many times over, create a website and have tens of thousands of visits and purchases, distribute knowledge or products or better still, teach others to. There are numerous ways to create wealth patterns and if you’re not creating a wealth pattern, my question to you is why not? So many people want to create more wealth – so let’s create a wealthier new year. Here’s how…
Remove your limiting beliefs
The biggest and most profound key to shifting patterns is found in your beliefs. If we believe we will never be wealthy, then we won’t. If we believe there is a chance then we’ll choose the odds and prove them right. If we believe we are on the path of wealth then our path will reveal itself to us, almost as if in a golden hue. So where do our beliefs come from?
Don’t let fear hold back your wealth in 2011
Our beliefs, for example around wealth, are usually formed from birth to seven years of years of age – often referred to as the ‘imprint period’. During the imprint period our brain is like a sponge, soaking up other people’s beliefs and storing them in our unconscious mind. These beliefs become facts about how the world is, though unfortunately we did not consciously select the best teachers. In fact, many of our beliefs are not even our own. Our beliefs around money usually come from our mother’s and father’s attitudes around money. Did they argue about money? What were their views about big business or rich people? How did they feel about paying bills? Many of your answers that derive from these questions often provide clues as to your beliefs around money. Fear repels wealth.
Blame holds back your wealth
As we grow up into the wide world of work, our very beliefs around money usually form our self-esteem and this determines what we believe we’re worth. Many trade up to 2,500 hours each year for an annual wage. And while most move into the world of wealth by slogging it out to make ends meet, others are making money, serious money. Some say this is unfair. Some feel wronged and blame others for not getting ahead. This creates the concept of blame into our complex neurology. Blame repels wealth.
Wealth is an illusion – create the best possible illusion
Our beliefs are often no more than a ‘complex equivalence’. This is when two things are given equal meaning. Here’s an example: you drive past a huge, expensive house or a shiny, new prestige car pulls up alongside you, and the first words you say about the owner reflect your complex equivalence. The first conclusion might be that mansions and prestige cars are owned by rich people – that’s the first complex equivalence. The second could be, ‘Rich people are greedy’. Get the idea? So should ‘rich’ equal ‘greedy’, then you will never aspire to become one, unconsciously; unless you’re okay with being greedy. This is where issues of self-sabotage so often arise. Are all rich people greedy? No, not really – it’s just an illusion and the illusion has us resisting change. It keeps us stuck in our patterns, keeping us safe and we of course intellectualise and justify our current circumstances. Some people I know hold complex equivalences that do not serve them or their dreams. Some consider themselves to be highly spiritual and believe that spiritual equals non-material and some abhor money. The problem with that is that some of them have much to share that is of high value to the world, yet do it in such a small way (because they cannot afford to do it in a big way) and their beliefs will have them take lifetimes to get their messages out there, if at all.
To truly create the best year yet, you must:
- first accept total responsibility for where you are right now
- remove blame
- recognise your complex equivalences
- then address your limiting beliefs and change them (this is vital).
And if you find this a challenge – come along to our next Journey Beyond Limits where we’ll show you how. [I allowed this ‘plug’ because it is an answer for you if you have no success following the ‘recipe’ above. Ed.]
You are the master, the creator of your life – don’t let another year pass you by without addressing the things that need to be changed – start creating the life of your dreams in 2011.
Rik Schnabel is Australia’s #1 UnTrainer and is an accredited NLP trainer and author of Life Beyond Limits: Infinity Belief. He is CEO of Life Beyond Limits Pty. Ltd. in Melbourne.
Share this post