It was Norman Vincent Peale who said “Change your thoughts and you change your world.” There is no shortage of advice on how to change thoughts, mind-set, perceptions or even the way your brain is wired; on the internet, in books, seminars, courses and workshops. Whether they work or not hinges on the fact that change has to come from within. Anything otherwise is considered coercion. This was Sylvia’s opener as she began her Town Hall talk to address the organisation at large.
Some were there in person and others dialled in. This was the start of the Culture Alignment program and she was going to drive it. Our thoughts are the result of a constant ebb and flow between the conscious and unconscious mind. They give rise to our emotions and dictate how we feel. They are powerful beyond measure, she continued.
It is our thoughts about a person, event or situation that upset us long after they have gone. The question is; do we let our thoughts control us or are we in the driver’s seat? Do we stop to think about where they come from and how they got there in the first place? she spoke as the hall was in pin drop silence.
Are they coming from our egos or voices from the past - perhaps the voices of our mother, father, teacher, sibling or friend? Are they stored neatly away in compartments or just scattered in any which way? she asked.
Sylvia went on to tell a story. In the course of one of her programs she met a lady who was in her 40’s. She had everything going for her but she said she sabotaged herself and typically didn’t achieve her goals. Through the 7-day course, Sylvia found that she did all the right things and self-sabotage happened at the end.
On questioning her Sylvia realized it was a voice that was stopping her. When asked whose voice it was she looked at Sylvia in horror and burst into tears saying “oh my God it’s my mother’s voice.” Her mother had put her down from a child and told her she would amount to nothing.
As soon as she realized that same old voice was playing in her mind she wondered why she had not picked this simple point up herself. Sylvia asked her to play a game of changing her mother’s voice to Donald Duck’s voice. She was in stitches in seconds and said that simple strategy would work. For her a little thing like changing her internal dialogue was enough to change her life around. Her mother’s voice had been muted.” It was as simple as that.
Sylvia explained that all processes worked with the five senses. Simple things like changing a picture from black and white to colour made a profound difference to the end result.
Identifying limiting beliefs was another way to recognise negative thought patterns. These held individuals back from living life to the fullest. Most often they were oblivious to the unhelpful thoughts that drive them which usually emerged in patterns. The same thoughts over and over again or thoughts that connected together in a story.
Sylvia assured everyone that NLP did not require them to divulge any personal matters as she worked with the context rather than content of an event. That was the power of NLP.
Even seemingly successful and emotionally healthy people may find a thought or two that did not serve them. Most people were on autopilot hence were not aware of their patterns. Changing mindsets was easy to do. All it took was identifying driver thought patterns and changing them.
Ultimately Sylvia had the structure to take everyone to a higher level of performance by helping them re-direct their mindset. It was going to be a fun and exciting journey of learning, one that would bind the organisation together.
Sylvia is a qualified Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) Master Trainer. She started her business in Sydney and is now based in Singapore.