A Trigger is the result of the brain linking an association between an external sight, sensation, or sound and an internal vision, thought, or feeling. As an example, if you walk by someone wearing a specific perfume, you might suddenly recall an experience with someone else who might have worn that same fragrance.
We’re going to establish some goals and those goals should require a stretch. “Being Better” requires seeing or sensing potential beyond that which your mind allowed you to see previously. If you fail to believe in possibility, your own self-talk will inevitably shut you down.
What we’re going to do is a powerful mind exercise that utilizes the brain’s inner workings (neural pathways . . . bridges allowing for goal-specific neuron transmission) and the mind’s ability to affect action (stimulating the PFC). You’re going to select a unique object, something that you can have with you at all times, something that you can immediately identify when you hold it in the palm of your hand with your fingers wrapped around it. That will become the “trigger” for the sensation of certainty, an absolute belief that you can make the goal real, a sense that allows the PFC to take charge over the restraining tendencies of the EEM.
There are a few prerequisites to connect the trigger to the desired state.
First, you have to identify how your mind represents certainty. When we think, learn, and imagine we use visual, auditory, and kinesthetic cues and we are all unique in the strategies we use combining those cues to formulate recognizable sensations. In other words, one person in the group might find a greater sense of motivation if he or she envisions a goal becoming reality, another might be better coaxed by a reassuring internal voice that says, “you can do it, you can do it.” If you identify how your mind best creates a sense of certainty, you’ll be able to modify internal representations of goals you may feel uncertain of to instantly dismiss doubt.
Right now think about something you know beyond the shadow of a doubt is within the realm of your capability . . .bench pressing a given weight, running across a given finish line, or carrying something you know you can carry up a flight of stairs. Just relax and let your mind summon up the thoughts, and then, allow your RAS to take note of what the predominant cue is. Is it visual? Is it auditory? Is it kinesthetic (i.e. a sense of tingling or tension in the muscles)? Take a few days and practice this changing the thoughts, always focusing on something you are certain you can do, and noticing the unique traits and attributes.
With careful introspection, you’ll be able to identify some specific elements recurring in your summoning up of certainty thoughts. For example, some visually driven people may find the image appears up and to the right . . . they may find the image appears crystal clear in full color . . . . and they may find the image has a border around it as if they’re watching it on television, while others may find their certainty image is directly in front of them, in wild blurred shades of red, and is panoramic without borders seeming to go on indefinitely as their actual fields of vision.
For some people who are primarily auditory in their certainty manifestations, they may find their “certainty inner voice” is deep and commanding, is repetitive, and has an reverberating quality as if there’s a hallway echo. Others may find the certainty voice is calming, soft, and almost a whisper.
Neither I nor anyone else can tell you how you create the sense of certainty, but you already do it masterfully. All you have to do now is become an observer, a disassociated eavesdropper, a scientist who lets things unfold the way they normally do and identifies consistent behaviors.
This is a science, and while much of it is discussed in Bandler and Grinder’s studies of NLP (neuro linguistic programming) I would discourage you right now from immersing yourself in their works. For now, rather than attempting to fully understand the brain, a task that will never be completed by any human being, it’s best to simply integrate those concepts that apply to your command over your own mindset.
Once you have fully identified your own representational strategy of “certainty,” you’ll be able to take your goals and figuratively shape them, in your mind, placing those attributes you come to uncover upon the new goals. In other words, if you find your goal is visually manifested, but out of focus, practice fine tuning the image. When the image becomes clear you’ll be amazed by what happens to your senses and emotions attached to the goal.
This, as everything we’ll do, is a process, so as beginning steps in creating a powerful trigger:
1. Spend some time identifying how you think about those things you are certain about
2. Once you have identified consistent imagery, internal audio programs, or feelings that play into your “certainty” thoughts, work to mentally reform the thoughts of your most pressing goal.
3. Learn to identify a “peak mental state,” one where the goal feels not only achievable, but it feels as if there is nothing that can hold you back from making the goal real. Practice returning to that state at will.
4. When, and only when, you can summon up the peak mental state, begin doing it five or six times a day, and each time you do it, grasp your trigger object. Always hold it in the same hand, always use the same amount of tension in your fingers, and make the experience replicable. After 3 or 4 days you should find that grasping the object instantly fires you up, giving you a certainty that you can and will achieve whatever you specifically set out to.
- by Phil Kaplan
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