Is there an ‘essential key’ to personal development? One without which the ‘unlocking’ of your potential might be difficult if not impossible?
If we define personal development as growth involving the mind and the body, then ‘yes’ – I think there is.
Without this ‘key’ personal growth is slow, and sluggish. Without learning how to tap into this essential human ‘tool’, change will be sporadic or imposed from the outside.
And I believe the really important part is this: without developing this function of consciousness, all deep change will be difficult.
It does not matter what courses you buy, which ‘gurus’ you listen to, how many self-growth seminars you take. Because this is one thing you cannot do without.
The ability to self-observe, what some people call self-awareness.
Self-awareness meaning the ability to become aware of what is going on in:
* Your mind’s eye (the cinema screen of your mind)
* Your inner ear (verbal self-talk, sounds, talk from other ‘parts’ of you)
* Your feelings (meaning tactile and visceral feelings inside and outside of your body)
* Your emotions (feelings that you have labelled as ‘emotions’)
* Intuition- literally ‘inner-knowing’
If you are not aware of what is going on inside YOU – what your perceptions are reporting to you on the inside, you lack access to vital information. It’s like sitting in a sport’s car without a key to the engine or being locked in first gear.
You can’t change what you’re not aware of.
According to Shelly Rose Charvet in Words that Change Minds x% of the population predominantly think using their visual system. But a common complaint for people learning technologies like Neuro-Linguistic Programming is: “I don’t see pictures”.
Actually, they do, they are just not aware of them.
But since so much of that field’s techniques use the questions: “Imagine that…” or “Remember a time when…” it is useful to understand some ways of accessing that information.
The most powerful way I have found (and I’ve been using it since at least 2001) is Image Streaming by Win Wenger.
This is a process of describing out-loud anything you are aware of in your mind, and numerous methods for kick-starting a ‘stream’ of images in your awareness.
I’ve found that people who ‘can’t see images’ report ‘break-throughs’ to ‘seeing’ in only a few minutes, thereby automatically increasing their access to their perceptions and self-insight (literally in-sight!)
My metaphor for using this technique is like clearing out a partially blocked drain.
At one end is the unconscious that wants to push answers and ideas through to the consciousness. But this conduit is blocked by rust (lack of use!) Image streaming allows you to receive more information from your incredibly powerful God-given unconscious mind.
Another way – if you already see blurry or indistinct images – is to use the snapshot method.
Quite simply, look at something like a rose or a car and ‘snapshot it’, close your eyes and describe as much of what you see in your minds eye as you can. Use only sensory words: I see…red, I hear birds warbling..I feel soft wool”. Then open your eyes and compare what you saw inside with what you see outside. This has the effect of sharpening your visual memory as well.
Why would you put so much effort into becoming aware of your perceptions?
Well, if you like ancient advice the school of Socrates had ‘know thyself’ over the door. And if you have habits you want to change then you often need to find what’s making them tick.
The famous therapist Fritz Perls said “Awareness per se is curative”.
Think about it – have you ever realised something you didn’t know you thought, and exclaimed : “that’s stupid! I can’t believe I thought that” – and it was gone. That’s what he meant! The realisation can be the catalyst for the change!
An added bonus, however, is (and I saved the best for last) image streaming offers an increase in measurable intelligence.
Creator Win Wenger had tests of image streamers conducted by Charles P. Reinart at South West State University and the results found that there was nearly ½ point of measurable IQ increase for every hour of use and an average of 9 point increase after 20.5 hours of use (http://www.vth.biz/kb/html.php?category=10#category-10
- CTRL+F and search for ‘Reinert’).
Now, most of us know that nowadays intelligence is not considered to just be linguistic and mathematical abilities – Howard Gardner writes about Multiple Intelligences such as visio-spatial, musical and kinaesthetic.
But Image streaming can help with all of these.
I’ve personally used it to solve problems, get insights, create new techniques and improve as a coach.
In fact, Win Wenger has produced a kit with Paul Scheele of PhotoReading fame called The Genius Code: It has all the directions you need to tap into your ever-flowing unconscious yet brilliant Image Stream.
You can get it at by clicking here and searching for ‘Genius Code’.
If you are starting at the beginning I understand it can be frustrating to have to build little by little each day. But before long you will make a quantum leap and your self-awareness will show you things you never knew about yourself and your potential.
Douglas Cartwright is a meta-coach whose speciality is helping professionals who procrastinate get unstuck and start taking more action. Visit www.livingwords.net and get two free e-books and a presentation on coaching along with a bonus ebook on overcoming procrastination.
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