Trying To Eliminate Negative Behaviors? There Is A Secret Formula That Will Guarantee Big Success

For nearly all folks, the road to personal transformation and self-improvement is a long and winding trail filled with complicated barriers. Drug companies in particular have capitalized on and created colossal fortunes because of the elusive search for the “Magic Pill” that will answer all of your prayers. As it turns out, there is a secret formula for success, and it begins in the human mind.

One of the presuppositions of NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) is that “there is a positive intention behind all behaviors.” And based on that presupposition, when it comes to successfully eliminating negative behaviors, there is an equation that we should always keep in mind. I’ll let you in on the secret equation in a minute. But I have a riddle for you to solve first.

Riddle: A minister made his child drink lye, which burned out the child’s vocal chords. What was the positive intention behind this action?

If you are like almost all of the clients who have visited my office since 1978, you’ll say something like: “There isn’t any.” But you would be totally incorrect. To answer this riddle, you must separate the behavior from the positive goal of the behavior.

The minister’s child was cursing. And the preacher believes that if a person curses, his soul will be condemned to Hell. So the answer is that the preacher was burning out his child’s vocal cords so that he couldn’t curse. By doing so, he was saving his child’s soul from being fated to Hell.

The secret equation for personal change works as follows:

We should respect the positive intent that motivates every behavior. If we have an urge to employ a behavior that we do not like, we can quickly get rid of the urge to use that behavior. What we must do is to find another behavior to substitute in its place. To be successful, the new action must be as available and efficient at accomplishing the same secondary gain, but be more consciously tolerable to you. This is called a REFRAME.

When clients come into my office, the first thing I do is to take a thorough case history. Let’s say that they come to my office and ask me to help them suppress their appetite. Conventional wisdom tells us that the two main reasons that anyone eats too much are: (1) to reduce stress; (2) because eating can be a behavior triggered by other behaviors that it has been associated with (a conditioned response). Case in point, if a person eats while they are watching TV, they will develop a conditioned response, and thereafter, every time they sit down to watch TV, they’ll get cravings and an urge to eat.

However, the above answer only takes into consideration the possible secondary gain from the eating behavior. What if they also have another behavior that is involved in the equation? For example: What if being obease is also a behavior for this person? I can hear your mind grinding right now as you think, “Being tubby isn’t a behavior, what are you talking about?”

Sorry but you could be absolutely wrong. Here is a simple classic textbook example that will demonstrate the fact that being tubby can be a behavior. It can be a behavior because it can accomplish positive outcomes.

Example: A woman is in love. Her partner breaks up with her, and breaks her heart. Her subconscious wants to protect her emotionally and stop her from ever having her heart broken again. So it motivates her to get tubby to keep her out of relationships. Because if she isn’t in a relationship she won’t get her heart broken again.

Everyone is totally different. And sometimes there are unconscious elements at work causing neurotic behaviors. These are elements that are different for each person.

Here is another instance: A woman comes into my office complaining of an uncontrollable compulsion to eat too much at dinnertime. During the case history, the woman tells me about how she has never been able to satisfy her father.

During an age regression, we learned that one of her earliest memories was of eating a meal with her family. And dad was insisting in a very loud voice that she eat what was left on her plate, even though she was full. So she cleaned her plate out of fear, and her father commended her for eating all of the food. It was one of the only times in her life that she could recall her father telling her that he was happy with her.

Jump forward to the present. Dad has been dead for many years, but the unconscious program he programmed is still working. She still has a powerful urge to clean her plate, even if she is feeling full, because by cleaning the plate, in her subconscious she is getting dad’s approval, and eliminating her fear!

So if you have a problem making personal changes, please remember that there is a positive intention that causes all behaviors. And the secret formula for successful change is to alternate a different behavior that will realize the same secondary gains, but in a manner that is more consciously suitable to you, as an individual. The most efficient way to get your subconscious to accept the responsibility for making this kind of alteration for you is through an NLP Six-Step Reframe.

Alan B. Densky, CH is an NLP Practitioner. He opened his practice of NLP in 1978. He offers an interactive NLP Six-Step Reframing CD on his Neuro-VISION Hypnosis site. Also available are his Free NLP article library, MP3 downloads, and NLP & hypnosis newsletters.

– Alan Densky