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Albert Einstein is credited with defining Insanity as, ‘doing the same this over and over again expecting different results.’  This makes sense and yet so many of us do exactly that; why?  The answer is strangely simple, yet hard to overcome.

I use the tagline

“If you don’t like your progress, change your approach”

 

Why Change your Approach

Sometimes there is only one answer to getting to your desired goal; change your approach.  This is easier to view from the sidelines; look at someone else’s situation.

Think of a person trying to get one suitcase too many in the boot of a car.  It doesn’t matter how many times they take the other cases out and move them around if the volume inside the boot is less than the volume of the suitcases they will not fit.  And yet these kinds of events can be witnessed daily.

Practical examples as above can be shown to be incompatible with success, intangible occurrences or where a third party is involved are harder to reason with.

 

You catch more flies with honey

 

When staff didn’t respond well to draconian rule a man I know doubled down.  The feedback was all there, he stamped his feet and staff did as they pleased; not as he demanded.  Of course, the problem here was their insubordination.  What needed to happen here?  Perhaps a little more honey.

I bring you back to my tagline, ‘if you don’t like your progress change your approach’.  It may be a small tweak, the seemingly slightest change to a recipe is the difference between perfection and otherwise.

 

Why is Change so hard

When we embark on a route it is with a degree of forethought.  It may be small, but there was a reason why you took the approach you did.  Even the flip of a coin can give a reason.   And then we take possession, this is now our approach.  We will go to incredible lengths to protect our approach, defending the decision we took; the other option is to admit we were wrong.

The tricks and games we play when our point of view is challenged make for an interesting chain of events.  There are similarities here with persistent gamblers, especially those that used, a system and won once or twice.  A run of failures are explained away; as losses mount up they become even more certain that their system will come good.  Here the boundaries between logic and emotion become blurred, clearly illogical ideas trump logical ones due to the powerful force of emotion.

When a logical challenge is made, the most balanced straight talker can be so defensive that fearing defeat they simply change the challenge to one they can win; The Straw Man.

 

The Straw Man

A recognised phenomenon The Straw Man Fallacy is so well known that professional negotiators and interviewers are trained to spot it; it follows this pattern.

  1. Ignore the real argument
  2. Create a pretend argument
  3. Defeat the pretend argument
  4. Claim a victory over the real argument
  5. Bask in your victory

As an example consider this.  Your boss asks you consider working on a Saturday – you do not want to work on Saturdays.  You respond by saying that one of your parents worked on Saturdays and that led to your other parent having a breakdown from looking after you and your siblings.  You then continue, reminding your boss that you have children and ask, ‘do you want my husband to have a breakdown?  Do you want my children to see their father broken?’  And then close with, ‘you see me working Saturdays is not going to be possible.’

This comes up in many guises, how often do you hear a politician be asked one question and then go on to answer another?  This is probably planned to avoid answering a difficult question, the trick is to notice when you do it without planning.  Watch out for someone starting sentences along the lines of ‘So you are saying that . . . . .’ and be sure to check the content that follows as these are the words metaphorically being put in your mouth.  Or when answering a question starting off with, ‘ In answer to the question ………’ and stating a different question; one they are happy to answer.

 

Is there another way

When your current strategy doesn’t yield the desired result, something has to give for progress to be made.  One of three things will have to change:

  • Your approach
  • Other contributing factors
  • Expectation of result

If you simply cannot bear the thought of changing your approach the room to manoeuvre is tight.  Where other people or factors are involved you can hope for a change in these or try to influence a change; technically this would be changing your approach.

Reassessing and changing your expectation of result could well be the way to go.  In some cases there comes a time to acknowledge that the goal was not realistic or at least is no longer realistic.  Ask yourself what do I need to see out of this, this could be different to what you would like to see.  Looked at from this approach anything over the need is a step towards the like.

 

Hypnotherapy to Change your Approach

Almost all the strategies we build with Hypnotherapy involve making changes, either directly or more discreetly.  An example of a direct change is to discuss, in or out of hypnosis, the goal being aimed for, and the current strategy.  This is a discussion that explores various options and makes room to amend the aim, the strategy or other associated factors.

A more discreet technique would be asking the subconscious, while in hypnosis, to look for changes that can be made.  Both routes have merit depending on the specific case and client.  These are the kinds of techniques we use when someone states they are ‘in two minds about x’ or ‘part of me thinks x and part of me thinks y’.

Beyond redefining approaches or other factors, hypnotherapy plays a fantastic part in quelling the human trait of rejecting change; where we tend to protect our initial ideas as correct.  This is a very important step to avoid the whole exercise becoming self-defeating.

By the time a person has noticed that their original strategy is not working, they have likely turned up the heat.  It is quite common that when our progress lacks we increase the ferocity – hit it harder with a bigger hammer!  This can be exhausting, and knowing the effort put in, giving up sometimes seems easier; this is where some focus and motivation is required may be appropriate.

Using hypnotherapy for change is a frequent occurrence for me, insomuch as it ties into every technique I work with.

 

Summary

In this post, we have looked at some realities of change.  When change needs to take place, even if that is a change of mindset towards your goal.  Why we find change so hard and the effort we put in to avoid change.  Finally looking at how hypnotherapy can be used to change your approach and produce better outcomes; making achieving your goals a reality.