June 24, 2011: Instant Analysis

[Previously: We have been considering  the power of awareness, in contrast to guilt or blame, as a first step in changing very old and automatic responses.  Today we will begin to see how to apply such awareness.]

People often feel troubled by repetitive behavior that seems irrational in themselves.  From arguments that repeat, to self-doubts that echo, to rages that control us — these and many any other states become prison doors with incomprehensible locks.

One way to accelerate the first step in change is to perform an  “instant analysis,” which answers the following question.

Why are you repeating this behavior?

  1. You do it now because you did it before.
  2. You did it before because you learned it then.
  3. You learned it then because, at the time, it worked for you or someone else.

When we learned our old patterns (the ones that make no sense in our current  lives and do not fit our current goals) they were actually the best possible responses to the places and situations in which we found ourselves.  We matched up our personal abilities at the time with the demands upon us, and we came up with a formula for the most we  could hope for back then.  We either invented  the formula or  learned it by watching someone.

We keep doing it now, because we repeated it so many times, making it the most familiar response  we have during stressful times.

Ask yourself:  how was this type of response a much better option at some previous time in my life?  When is the earliest I can remember that it might have fit the bill?

Next week, more insight into developing useful awareness:  discover the worst  thing you can accurately say about yourself.  (Hint:  It’s  better than you think.)

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This entry was posted on Friday, June 24th, 2011 at 1:14 am and is filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

4 Responses to “June 24, 2011: Instant Analysis”

  1. Mary Lou Gunther Says:

    I feel as if I’m back at Change Agents with you & Tom. This is great stuff & I’ll bet if I hunted up my notes (which I have kept) & read them again, I could write this with you :)….isn’t it a shame I don’t always put these ideas into practice!!! I guess it’s just another case of “welcome to the human race”…

  2. Dr. Rick Blum Says:

    I’ll bet you could — that’s why I knew you’d enjoy it. You may find that by these reminders of such useful information, you start to apply it more.

  3. Cindy Says:

    This takes me way back to when I first began learning about this stuff, and it’s great reviewing it all again. It’s amazing to realize the disconnect that happens between childhood and now, but I guess that just shows how well behavioral patterns are learned and integrated into our lives. “I can run this pattern without any awareness of learning it in the first place!” But realizing at some point, “I’m the one who initiated a certain behavior” can be a little embarrassing. Accepting responsibility and owning it as my own gives me back the power to make real change. It becomes mine to change.

  4. Dr. Rick Blum Says:

    You and Mary Lou — as former students of the Change Agents Training Institute, you were both in the workshops where we developed “portable concepts” like this. That was beautifully put about the power of knowing this information. About the embarrassing part, thanks for the segue into next week’s question about what all this says about us.

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