In a variety of different ways, I often ask the clients that I work with, without them fully realising what I am asking them to do, to give me an insight into their map of their world. By stepping into their territory, I am able to listen out for and identify the ways in which they are seeing the world, how they are engaging in all that they are doing, as well as any limitations, blocks and other stand out issues, which for me may be causing them issues in their life.
Bringing the inner world into focus…
You see, we all very easily and very unconsciously distort, delete and generalise the information we share when describing a situation, an experience and even a problem. We also do this to ourselves with the ways in which we interpret our experiences to a certain degree. We can make ourselves feel better, we can relieve pressure as well as reduce the importance of an issue, or a task that may need completing as we select and form our internal experiences through distortion, generalising and deleting parts of the reality. This can in ways prevent us from completing things, fulfilling our own potential, it can lead to procrastination and avoidance, and also form particular representations within ourselves that determine the ways in which we experience life.
For example an individual that I worked with had severe anxiety. The anxiety was limiting them from living their life fully as they were anxious about the future prospects of their wellbeing and safety. This may be how you yourself feel in your life, or even how you may describe to someone like me, a coach, your experience that you are finding a challenge to personally deal with.
The issue here is that information has been generalised, distorted and deleted when presented to me, and it’s my job to politely and positively dig deeper, to get more information on what’s going on within their personal world within their mind and their thoughts. By this, I need to know how the individual is forming their experiences. The ‘method’ or the structure of what is being formed personally within the individual, to bring the person to a particular state, this example being anxiety needs to be explored, as we all have different methods and structures for each and every experience that we have.
There’s a method to all of your thoughts….
A great way for me to break this down with an individual is a way in which you yourself can begin to look at your own actions and formations of your experiences, by looking for the ‘method’ and getting the information in great detail. So in my attempts to step into the map of their minds, emotions, their experiences and their world, I am in various ways going to find out just exactly what is going on within the person that is contributing to their anxiety. This often, when done in a slow and explorative manner allows the individual to gain insights into how they are ‘functioning’ within. These findings can often surprise so many who often see the symptoms as happening to them, rather than something that they are actually contributing to.
What is the recipe for your anxiety?
Allow me to make this clearer for you. If you were to tell me how to make a chocolate brownie, you would give me the step by step guide, the method, the stages for me to put everything together to make and produce a brownie. So with that in mind I am looking for the exact method and step by step guide that I need to follow to experience the anxiety that you are experiencing. This leads me to the method or the structure of the experience, so that if I were to follow their method, I would then be able to experience their experience of anxiety.
I would generally get something like:
- An inner voice starts talking in my head.
- I start to feel panicked.
- I have thoughts of having no control and not being able to reach safety.
- The voice continues faster and louder with a more panicked tone.
- The feelings build in my body making me feel uneasy.
- The thoughts keep changing from scenario to scenario but are making things worse and increasing the anxiety.
This example is a general, distorted and deleted example and there is a deeper structure to what is going on within the individual, however I would be able to experience some anxiety if I followed the steps above. This structure for their experience tells me so much more than ‘I have anxiety about going out’. It gives me something to work with. This structure, this method above, shows me what the individual is doing, or what is happening inside themselves and by having the method and structure, I can in a variety of ways help them to change their structure to stop, eliminate and improve their experience.
Going further into their map, and deeper into their structure through coaching and questioning would give me further information, for example….
Additional information of the structure of the experience is BOLD ITALICS…..
- An inner voice starts talking in my head. Saying: Don’t go out, you’ll get trapped somewhere and nobody will be around to help you. You will be stranded.
- I start to feel panicked. Feelings cramp in my stomach. I feel like I need the bathroom. My heart is racing and my body feels tense. I can’t breathe.
- I have thoughts of having no control and not being able to reach safety. I see myself in my mind powerless without anyone to help me, it plays like a movie over and over feeding the inner voice and feelings.
- The voice continues faster and louder with a more panicked tone. Don’t go out screams louder in my mind, it’s not safe, is heard so loud in my head. Panic Panic Panic.
- The feelings build in my body making me feel uneasy. I’m overwhelmed by the feelings. My body feels so uneasy, no one knows how this is making me feel. I hate it.
- The thoughts keep changing from scenario to scenario but are making things worse and increasing the anxiety. It’s an endless cycle of thoughts, inner talk and unpleasant feelings. So much panic, I’m not going out, I’ll lie down and not move.
So here you have a deeper level of the individuals experience that allows me to then change how they are forming the structure to reduce and even eliminate the experience of anxiety, because if you change the method for any particular situation, you’ll get a different result.
Discovering the method for anything in your life in relation to your mind will always give you a map to work with….
Another example is procrastination. When asking individuals what there method is for procrastinating I usually get a series of steps which include: I make a cup of tea, scroll on my phone on social media, read the daily mail, do online shopping and stare at my screen not getting anything done. It’s one thing to say ‘I procrastinate’, and another to give me the method to achieve the experience that you are having. Once I have the method, I can procrastinate just like you, but more importantly not only does it highlight to you how you are spending your time and how you are procrastinating, it gives me the steps that are in place, to transform your experience for the better.
If you find yourself stuck or challenged by a particular fear, emotion, lack of motivation, write down the steps to your method so that you can see for yourself just how you are forming and making your experiences. You can also look at the things that you do very well and with so much ease as those steps and methods can be mapped over to help you eliminate the methods in place that are not giving you the results that you want in your life.
It may sound all too easy, but it’s what I do each day with the people that I work with, and changing the method and structure to experiences can and does very quickly change lives. Take a look for more information on my clinic services and my courses: Clinic