Timeline Therapy (sometimes spelled as Time Line Therapy) technique works very well when you need to find a "real reason" for some odd behavior. Together with self hypnosis scripts and nlp techniques it can also help to change ths behaviour to something we want, which makes it a valuable tool for Habit Management.
The woman had an extra weight problem. She tried every fat burning recipe in existence - and achieved zero results. After some questioning the therapist found, that the extra weight is a defensive mechanism. Because when the girl was young, she was afraid of all this confusing things with the opposite sex. And being her humble servant, her unconscious mind did a simple calculation:
a) she doesn't want to be in a focus of men's attention
b) girls only get this attention if they are slim
The conclusion? Diets didn't work - until someone (the therapist) found this construction, destroyed it and REPLACED it with more or less confident state of "I know what to do with men".
Was the woman aware of the problem? No. She knew that she had extra weight and she thought she was a genetically predisposed. She tried diets - and they were not working. While in fact her efforts were sabotaged by the only person who could sabotage them - by herself.
There is a wonderful set of techniques described in "Timeline Therapy and the Basis of Personality" book written by Tad James and Wyatt Woodsmall. These techniques - among other things - can help you to get to the root of your "problem" - and often the problem will disappear just because of you being aware.
And we should always remember, that when we take away a strategy, or a painful memory, or a limiting belief - there is a hole left! It is not enough to "remove a problem", we have to create a solution and to fill the "hole" - or the problem might come back.
So - look for real reasons, benefits and alternatives.
This is just an example, as all habits are pretty much the same - in terms of the underlying reasons.
Consider smoking (Sorry! As an NLP person I should watch my language. Consider NOT smoking ;)
Had it ever occured to you, that for most people the ONLY chance to relax and breath deeply is while smoking? Because normally we breath shallow, unless we are doing Yoga, or any other breathing exercises.
And if you read NLP, Hypnosis and State of Power texts on this site or some of the eBooks, you might know that the breathing is one of the most powerful "controls" we have - it can alter our state "in a breath"!
Let's make an experiment. Sit straight. Unwrap your shoulders (please). Smile and ENJOYING IT take a deep breath and stretch. Feels GOOD, doesn't it? Now, what was that thing again, that your unconscious mind is concerned about more than anything? It is YOUR HAPPINESS! And if you are happy when smoking, it will help you to smoke! Why are you happy when smoking? Because you are taking a deep breath!
Give yourself alternatives! Can you create a habit of breathing deeply from time to time, just as we did in the previous paragraph - but WITHOUT a cigarette? One deep breath in 15 minutes - just to FEEL how good it is - to breath.
What about "business considerations"? "I have to smoke during business negotiations, because my boss does"... Well... this one is tough. Fire your boss. Seriously. How can he kill you in such a slow, painful... what are you saying? He doesn't know? Good. Then this is not an issue anymore.
It is changing now, but it is still a problem. I read about a woman who were a non-smoker. When she noticed that her colleagues are going outside the building every half an hour for a smoke, she decided to take same time and to walk around the building. Week later she had a very unpleasant conversation with her manager about "you are supposed to work, not to walk around".
Pressure of an environment. If she read my NLP eBooks, of course, she would talk to the manager first, charm him and perhaps he would send a company-wise E.mail asking people to follow her example instead of smoking. Then she would become a role model.
Flexibility. NLP is ALL about flexibility of behavior.
Another favorite argument the smokers use is "I just have to keep my hands busy". My response (depending on the rapport and of the kind of person I am talking to) can be anything from "have you tried knitting" to "masturbate". I don't care about politeness - if "rude" behavior can help the person. This is just the argument we are dealing with, just an excuse, there is nothing behind it. It should be broken, by force or by kindness, doesn't matter. What kind of an argument is it anyway - the adult person cannot control his hands?! (That is what I would say if I want the person to abandon this argument).
From NLP point, "keeping hands busy" is just another strategy. We either scramble it (for example by being sarcastic and making the person ashamed of doing this strategy) or we can replace it with a better one.
Buy an aromatherapy kit, they make some of their items in shape of a small cylinder, just like the cigarette. Hold it in your hand. Smell it. Not only it smells good, but the carefully chosen aroma will in fact increase your work productivity dramatically, not to mention that you will have something to talk to all these strangers that will approach you, curious on what you are sniffing.
The arguments and excuses are countless. What you need to remember is that our language is VERY flexible and powerful tool - we can find words to support or disprove ANYTHING. These are games - nothing more.
We know that it is possible to quit smoking or to loose weight easy and quickly or to start exercising - whatever. There are people in this world who have done it successfully. And as you know if you read NLP tutorials on my web site, WHAT ONE MAN CAN DO, THE OTHER CAN LEARN, TOO.
Two techniques that we are going to use are called Reimprinting (Robert Dilts) and Time Line Therapy (Tad James), and I am going to mix them a little.
Both techniques are very powerful, so read disclaimer again, before continuing.
Remember some event from the time when you were five years old. Some small and neutral staff. Notice that you sort of know "where this memory came from" - it is like you are asked "can you remember", and then you look somewhere, say at your left, where the picture is.
Can you remember something from the age of ten? Again, notice where this memory came from. Something from the age fifteen? Twenty? Ask yourself couple of questions like that, and "map" your Time Line - the imaginary line from past to future, the line where all your memories are, so that you can find the memory fast. The index, so to speak.
Now, some people would agree, that if you go deep inside, maybe close your eyes, and fly above this time line, you get disconnected from your memories, so that you can revisit them while staying detached. It is necessary, especially if the memory is painful.
Let's do it. Let's fly way above the time line, and look at it from above. You might notice, that not only it goes back into the past, but also into the future! Yes, you have your "memories of future", not the fate, but more of blueprints. In the eBook called Working with the future I use it a lot to change future events.
Take a deep breath. It is not possible to forget to breath, but often we forget to breath as powerful people. And to SIT STRAIGHT as a powerful person, too. And now, as a powerful person, look at your time line again. (and if you don't see it - imagine and pretend that you do. In NLP there is no difference between "I experience" and "I pretend that I experience" - if you pretend well, you will soon learn how to do it for real). Isn't it amazing, how this imaginary line has these areas full of light and energy, and also some dark and boring areas? What are they?
Well, if you pick the "bright" area, and "fly" down there, you might find a memory of something pleasant, that's what it is! A period in your life that you liked. Powerful and happy period.
What about the dark areas? Don't go there yet. And if you have something REALLY painful there, or the dark area is just resisting your efforts and does not let you in - you better leave it alone or find some NLP guy to do a guided work. But for most people and for most memories - it is simple.
OK, that was your fair warning ;) Now back to explanations. The dark, or somehow else (different people perceive it differently) forbidden areas are negative memories. Something you don't want to remember (on the unconscious level), something you hold suppressed.
And to hold it there you are spending your own energy - don't you have a better use for it?
Why do I mention this dark areas? Because I am going to offer you a new point of view, just remember, as almost anything in life, it is just a metaphor. A simplified map of reality. Anyway, what if your "bad habit", whatever it is, is a result of some negative blocks, memories, beliefs that you had? What if it is a reason for you to continue (smoking?) even if you "want to quit"? Can we do something about it?
Fly above the Time Line. As you are doing it, feel the power of a simple knowledge that you CAN alter your past memories, and therefore - alter your life.
And smile. And take a deep breath.
And double this feeling. That's right. It is your feeling, you can increase it!
Now - find a dark area that corresponds to some relatively small negative memory that you know about. Don't ask "how" - just politely instruct your unconscious mind to do it and discover to your own surprise that it "just happening".
Also let your unconscious mind know, that what we are about to do is AN EXCERCISE. Because you see, the moment you teach your unconscious mind to deal with one dark area on your time line, it will learn how to deal with all similar dark areas!
So - find something small. For example, someone you never seen before called you an asshole on the street - in our "information society" almost everyone had this stimulating experience. And the memory.
Fly above the timeline to the memory, and fly down and step into the moment of time BEFORE it ever happened. And ask yourself a simple question - where is the emotion NOW? Gone, isn't it? Because nothing yet happened.
So at least we can NOT experience it.
Now look at the situation from the point of view of detached observer and - from the side - see yourself in this situation, and the other person, too. Ask yourself - what was the real reason for this younger, less experienced and not-yet-exposed to NLP you to end up in this situation in the first place? What was the reason? What inner RESOURCE, or what QUALITY does this younger you needed in this situation to resolve it differently?
Now. About resources and qualities. Kindness is a quality. Assertiveness is a quality. A million dollars is NOT a quality, it is an asset. You can say "this other me need to learn to be assertive", but you cannot say that "this other me needs a million dollars" - even if it is so.
If you needed more that one quality back then - pick more then one, nobody counts ;)
Now, have you seen a Star Trek? I would like to ask the "current" older and more experienced you to "beam" your younger self these qualities. And notice that as you do it, the situation is beginning to change. Also along with the "beam" of qualities, send some feeling of love and support. Tell yourself something that you didn't know back then - tell that no matter how bad this "asshole" feels, YOU WILL SURVIVE.
Here we are approaching Reimprinting technique, by the way. It allows us to keep the memory, but to alter the emoton, that is associated with that memory. To learn the lesson, so to speak, and to avoid the pain.
Now, what about this other person, the one that called you an asshole? What qualities does (s)he need to behave differently in this situation? Send these qualities to this person.
What do you mean "no"? Why not? You are not going to send anything to this bastard? Which one? The real one is long gone, you are not sending him anything. It is all in your mind - you are sending qualities to your own memory!
On this same reason - tell this person that you forgive him. And don't just tell - forgive. Because now, with this qualities - it is a different person, or should I say - a memory of the different person?
Watch again how the situation changes as you do it. And when you seen enough, approach the younger you and embrace him (her?) because it is you... your memory. Your new memory... The memory of a new you...
Fly up from the time line and notice that the dark spot is not that dark anymore! Can we make it to shine?
Glad that you asked. Take a deep breath (always) and smile. If you want to know why should you smile - read the State of Power eBook - there are some VERY serious reasons for smiling. And stretch up as you are breathing.
And when exhaling, send a powerful flow of energy into this spot on your time line - and watch all the minor things that we missed on some reasons resolve themselves.
An interesting observation made by some highly visual people - those who can REALLY see their time line, as if with their own eyes. When we change something, when we make one spot brighter, the changes are propagating into the future, as if the wave of light is spreading through your memories. Sometimes, when your unconscious finds similar situations, it would resolve them by itself, and sometimes the extra energy that you just got would become that little "extra" that is required to resolve some totally unrelated issue.
Which will give you even more energy. A chain reaction. A reason for a smile - a smile of a powerful person.
I am going to use this new knowledge that you got in this chapter later, when I teach you some self-hypnosis. However there is something you can do RIGHT NOW. Ask your unconscious mind to find all memories that are related to your unwanted habit, and to discharge them (if some unrelated negative memory happens to be around, it can be discharged, too). You don't have to know what these memories are, you don't have to know when your unconscious is dealing with them and when it is busy with other issues... Just that... if in the nearest future, one or more times, you will suddenly feel like smiling, or singing, or jumping (in a good way), in other words if you will suddenly notice that you have more energy NOW, don't forget to thank your unconscious mind for a wonderful job.
Additional NLP and Hypnosis technique to break bad habits and to get good ones.
Use the following table to get an idea of what is included in the eBook:
|Chapter||Free online intro||E.mail class||eBook|
|Playing games, finding reasons and alternatives||+||-||+|
|Feeling good for no particular reason||+||-||+|
|Changing the past||-||+||+|
|Making it disgusting||-||+||+|
|Changing the future||-||+||+|
|Changing the strategy||-||+||+|
|Testing the new strategy||-||+||+|
|Ecology, environment and being in Peace without turning Green||-||-||+|