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Four Easy Steps To Change Thoughts-Feelings-Behavior

Dorothy M. Neddermeyer, PhD

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Like many people, you have read a plethora of self-help books, yet, there seems to be something missing. The something that is missing is: How does one assimilate all the information one reads in a self-help book and integrate it into one’s life? In other words, how does one change from the old to the new? It is a process to be sure, but what is the process?

The process is simple—albeit one needs to be willing to discipline oneself and commit to working the process until the new is ‘integrated. ’

In four steps you can change your thoughts/feelings/behavior.

Step I: Identify the thought/feeling/behavior you want to change.

Step II: Identify the thought/feeling/behavior you want to incorporate in its place.

Step III: Observe yourself. Each time you observe yourself using the undesired thought/feeling/behavior note that fact. Simply note that you are doing it. Avoid criticizing or judging yourself.

Step IV: Continue to observe yourself and note you had a thought/feeling or behaved in the old way. As you note this, stop yourself immediately and replace the thought/feeling/behavior with the new thought/feeling/behavior. Continue this process, until the old thoughts/feelings/behavior have become integrated.

The key to being successful is to choose only one thought/feeling/behavior at a time—avoid overwhelming yourself by choosing two, three or four issues. Work on only one and when it is integrated, choose another and so on, until you are satisfied with all your thoughts/feelings/behavior.

The critical aspect of this process is to avoid criticizing or judging yourself when you notice you are thinking/feeling/behaving in the old way. If you criticize or judge yourself you are locking yourself into your old behavior. What you focus on you experience. Therefore, it is imperative to only observe yourself and immediately change the thought/feeling/behavior in real time.

For example: If you use the word, ‘should’ and you want to replace ‘should’ with the phrase: ‘need to, ’ remember to observe and when you hear yourself say, ‘should, ’ stop and rephrase the sentence immediately. The person you are speaking to will seldom notice or comment on the change from ‘should’ to ‘need to. ’ I chose this example because it is common for nearly everyone to use ‘should’ when we are asking for change or asking for compliance with—employees, child, friend, spouse, et al. Here is an example: “In order to obtain a more favorable response to your report you need to include graphs and use a power point presentation. ” In speaking to your child to set ground rules or boundaries—“In order to avoid losing the car keys, you need to keep your curfew. ” While these statements seem stilted, there is little room for arguing as it is devoid of ‘dictatorial’ language as the word ‘should’ imparts.

Dorothy M. Neddermeyer, PhD, Life Coach, Hypnotherapist, Author, “101 Great Ways To Improve Your Life. " Mind, Body, Spirit healing and Physical/Sexual Abuse Prevention and Recovery. As an inspirational leader, Dr. Neddermeyer empowers people to view life's challenges as an opportunity for Personal/Professional Growth and Spiritual Awakening.


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