2 words that will get you going

2-palabras

“If I get scared, then…”

How would you complete this sentence?

Most of us would complete the sentence with something like:

“…I give up”

“… I start to shiver”

“… I get serious”

The vast majority of people complete the sentence with what they would normally do. It’s logical, right?

However, to what extent are our automations useful to us?

To what extent does the one who usually gives up want to give up?

To what extent does the one who usually shivers want to shiver?

To what extent does the one who gets serious want to get serious?

To what extent do we want to continue reacting as we usually do?

Our brain is configured to survive by spending as little energy as possible. No wonder you create as many habits as you can to avoid “having to reflect and think” in each similar situation.

Getting out of our comfort zone effectively requires a higher than normal energy expenditure, which leads our brain to opt as much as possible for… the status quo!

In short, if your brain could speak in a situation that requires you to step out of your comfort zone, it would surely tell you something like:

  • – “You better do it tomorrow”
  • – “You still don’t know enough to get into this”
  • – “What a mess you’re getting into”
  • – “Don’t do it”

Fears and procrastination

If you notice similarities between your inner speech and the four sample statements I made above, welcome to the club… of procrastinators!

And if you don’t see any similarities… I welcome you too!

ALL of us procrastinate.

I take this opportunity to remember that the fact of doing many things does not mean that we are doing what truly deserves our full attention.

Procrastination is the most natural thing in the world and arises based on fears of all kinds that we believe.

Actually, we do not procrastinate so much the real task as the perception we have of this task. And here is the most interesting thing: the more we focus on the fear that a thought causes us, the more the probability that the same fearful situation will be repeated increases, amplifying the phenomenon.

So, how to break with the effect that our fears have?

How to walk towards what we truly want to be and do, instead of going back to what is not good for us?

2 words that will change your life

IF – THEN

As I mentioned at the beginning, we tend to complete an “if…then…” statement because of our habits.

What if we changed and modified the final part of the sentence to our plan?

Let’s imagine that you indicated “If I get scared, then I quit”.

How about changing it to “if I get scared, then + YOUR PLAN”.

Remember this formula for life:

IF +[OBSTÁCULO] THEN + [YOUR PLAN] [TU PLAN]

IF +[OPORTUNIDAD] THEN + [YOUR PLAN] [TU PLAN]

In other words:

“If you come across an obstacle, then apply your plan”

“If you find an opportunity, then apply your plan”

Your plan

At all times we have the opportunity to choose.

To continue with our example: How do you choose to react to fear?

One thing is that your instinct invites you to flee (abandon), but another is the reaction that you would deeply like to have, which would help you achieve your goals and objectives.

What do you really want?

One way to come up with implementations of intents (if-then plans) is, of course, to think about it. You can perfectly put yourself in a situation and reflect on the strategy that you will put into action immediately every time you get scared.

What do I recommend you base your reflection on?

Always start from your goals and objectives! Choose a plan (which you will mention after the “then” of your intention implementation) that serves your goals and objectives.

Do you want to get to speak in public, but you tend to run away when they ask for a volunteer to give a talk at your company?

What do you think about completing “If they ask for a volunteer to give a talk” by “Then I immediately propose without thinking about it” instead of “Then I turn around and leave”?

I repeat: you choose at all times. Acting from awareness, you increase your control over your life. By planning with implementation intent, you further increase your chances of long-term success.

Why think about it so much?

The process of reflection to get a plan that corresponds to us can take a long time. It is even highly likely that we will fall back into the traps of procrastination since, in reality, we are developing a plan to get out of our comfort zone (remember our natural relationship to the comfort zone?).

Is there a shortcut to making the plan?

The answer is… YES: your subconscious mind!”

I invite you now to take a pen and paper and follow the next steps:

  1. 1. Identify a goal that you want to achieve in about 6 weeks.
  2. 2. Identify an obstacle that prevents you from reaching this goal
  3. 3. Identify how this obstacle makes you feel each time it comes your way. Connect with the emotion you feel when remembering this obstacle and above all also with the sensations that are generated by your body when you feel the emotion.
  4. 4. Write your statement of intentTHREE TIMES, slowly, making sure that:
    1. a. you don’t pick up the pen
    2. b. you let your subconscious dictate the second part of the sentence
    3. c. you do not reflect, or think, or judge what comes out
    4. d. you aree open to everything that may arise
    5. e. you use the words “if” and “then”
    6. F. you always use the same first part of the intention statement all three times (the “If…” part).

I give you an example of the implementation intention thanks to which I gave up smoking:
“If I notice anxiety or any signs that I want to smoke, then I do four 4-second box breaths.”

I won’t go into the details of what box breathing is, and will just confirm that the “I do four 4-second box breaths” part came from my subconscious mind.

I never would have thought of having this reaction to anxiety. I had quit smoking about 10 times before the last one, and never successfully.

My subconscious sent me the perfect plan for me…because he knows!

Having written your implementation intention 3 times, the part of the plan (“So…”) may change between one statement and another.

Go through each plan and try to be specific. Sometimes when writing from the subconscious we only leave “incomplete concepts”. Try to remember the concrete concept you had in mind at the time you wrote it.

If you end up with several plans, try one now, and if it doesn’t work for you… you still have two more left 😉. But you can rest assured that the plan your subconscious put on paper is the right one for you. Who would have told me that breathing would be better for me than acupuncture, patches, hypnosis, …?

In short: implementation intentions will help you get started. Use them as much as you can by remembering the correct formula:

IF +[OBSTÁCULO] THEN + [YOUR PLAN] [TU PLAN]

IF +[OPORTUNIDAD] THEN + [YOUR PLAN] [TU PLAN]

By using them, you will react much more effectively to any obstacle or opportunity.

Do you want to increase your chances of success? Don’t think too much about it and consult your plan directly to your subconscious mind.

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