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NLP - Steps to the Process of Change
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Making an Effort to Change

With any habit where you simply perform an action (such as over eating at specfic times of day, nail biting, smoking, drinking, etc.) there is an element of control or will. It's not simply saying, "I'm not going to do this anymore," but noticing what you are about to do and stopping the automatic action from taking place. There is nothing I know of that would eliminate that step in habit change because at first, the natural inclination is to move towards taking the old action, and then, when one realizes what they are about to do, they choose another action.

If I want to change any habit, even which way I drive to work, I have to make an effort to change, take another path, make another choice. Initially, it is a conscious decision made over and over, until the "habit" has been sufficiently altered and then you are free to either choose another route to work, or decide to drive different routes every other day, and so on. It's now another conscious choice in which direction you take with this habit.

In NLP the Process of Change is Described as:

  1. Unconscious Incompetence - you simply do an action. There is no thought beforehand, no pre-meditation because it "just happens."
  2. Conscious Incompetence - now you're aware you do an action and you know you want to do it differently.
  3. Conscious Competence - you are consciously making an effort to do a different action, taking lessons, learning, etc. The part where you know you are making a change and finally,
  4. Unconscious Competence - now the new action is ingrained, or the new habit to take the place of the old. You know what you want, you follow-through toward that outcome, without having to put any conscious attention on the process.

When to Use EFT in the Process of Change

Meanwhile EFT can help with the desire to do an old action, wanting to eat a certain food, or eat until you're overfull or stuffed, reaching for that cigarette. Depending on the issue, it can take only a single session of tapping to forestall the instant desire, or a series of many sessions over a long period of time to overcome an ingrained habit. EFT and NLP are not a magic wand but tools.

What to Do After You've Broken the Old Habit

You stopped eating while watching TV, or grabbing a handful of candy every time you walked past the bowl. You've quit smoking or biting your nails. Once you have reached the point where you are comfortable with your "new habit," you may not be sure you want to make any more changes, and you may be unsure which direction to take. This is the time to use EFT to reinforce your decision and keep the old habit from creeping back in.

This is when you'd work on ideas such as not wanting to "give up eating." When I hear those statements I think, "Give up eating? Who said anything about giving up eating?" yet that's precisely what I hear over and over. The idea that you must never again enjoy what you previously enjoyed is pervasive. Instead of thinking in terms of all-or-nothing, black-and-white, think in gradiants of color from light to dark. In the case of eating, you never must completely eliminate any particular food, if you don't want to. You can instead enjoy it as a once a year treat, once a month special event, or once in awhile occasion (holidays, etc.). It is when you enjoy the indulgences more often than not that the weight comes back.

Eliminating Bad Memories

At any time when you think back on a situation and you suddenly feel uncomfortable or a twinge of emotion comes to you, pay attention. Those feelings provide important clues for something to address with EFT. I've used it when I suddenly get an emotional wave (it feels like a rushing wave of feelings) from a "bad feeling" or a memory. This happened recently while daydreaming when I suddenly had a memory of when my son when he was small, probably only 8 or 9-years old, and I'd gone to a company Christmas party. I drank far too much and stayed far past my usual time, and I came home very late, much later than usual, but the worst of it was that I didn't telephone my son to let him know. It was totally irresponsible and inconsiderate.

When I arrived a few hours late my son was so scared he'd gone to the neighbors in alarm, so now the neighbors were there, also looking frightened, and here I was. Drunk, embarrassed and I felt so horrible and guilty. I've kept that memory inside all these years so whenever I think about it, those feelings come right back, flooding my system with emotion and bringing tears to my eyes. .

Now we all do things we regret later, but there is no reason to torment yourself with the memories. What's done is done. You can make amends to people but how do you make amends with yourself? With EFT! So when that memory suddenly popped into my mind and I felt the wave of upset; the tears came to my eyes, and I thought, "Why not try some EFT on this?" Obviously that memory wasn't serving any useful purpose at this point. It was over 10 years ago, and I wouldn't do it again. I learned my lesson the first time so why traumatize myself over the memory?

I thought of EFT and did a couple rounds, "Even though I feel horrible for what I did, I deeply and completely accept myself" and "Even though I feel so sorry for upsetting everyone, I deeply and completely accept myself" and now writing about it doesn't make me feel that heaviness. I can think about it and I get no emotional response at all. No tears, no feeling horrible. That is gone, and that's what we're after. Before I got a deep feeling of regret and now, it doesn't feel like anything except relating a story. I think it's good to relieve those old memories that bring up pain, and many times it is memories such as this that cause us to rise and head for the kitchen.

I have to remind myself to use EFT on things like that, but every time I do it, it makes me feel lighter, more free, happier. Think about it. Are any old memories haunting you?


Read my weight loss articles - you'll find lots of ideas and suggestions there. Learn to use EFT. Get my Daily Bites where I give examples of using EFT for these issues, and take it one day at a time, one bite at a time.

You may not need to lose weight specifically, but if you have issues with food that you'd like to resolve, learn to use EFT and NLP methods. You can learn to remove your obstacles to feeling healthy and in charge of your own life. Look here to see if a Weight Loss Coach is right for you.


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Kathryn Martyn M.NLP
Kathryn Martyn Smith, M.NLP EFT Weight Loss Coach
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