The Half-Second Rule

Copyright: Colin G Smith

The mind learns fast. A very powerful way to view life is to experience everything as a learning experience. I think it was Dr. Richard Bandler (co-creator of NLP) who first made me realise that Phobias are in fact a learned response. The mind of the Phobic has learned to associate a stimulus (eg a Wasp) to a response (eg Panic!)

The more you ponder this idea the more profound you will realise the implications.

And here's the deal. Does a person develop a phobia of wasps over time? You know, do they see a wasp one day and then the next week they see another and decide they don't like them and get more and more afraid of them?

No. Phobias are 'learned' very, very fast. Out of consciousness, in less than half a second!

They have an intense emotional response which becomes associated/anchored to the stimulus in such a way that that state is AUTOMATICALLY triggered whenever they see/hear/feel/smell/taste the stimulus again!

This is incredible! The persons mind will from then on automatically go into a very altered state, within half a second of experiencing the stimulus.

Now I think you'd agree, phobias aren't exactly useful, right?

But, what if you could use that same Stimulus/Response mechanism to create automatic states of Joy, Ecstasy, Fun and Bliss.

Would that be useful to you in any area of you life? ;)

Now for sure they are many other ways of creating effective change. Some methods use different concepts and are slower to implement. With this article I wanted to introduce you to the half-second rule concepts because they are less well known than other "change-technologies" and they lend themselves well to generating more fun because they are playful by design.

The following technique is a really fascinating NLP tool because it makes great use of your unconscious resources. I only discovered it recently and was surprised to learn that many 'NLP veterans' didn't know about it either!

Merging Metaphors (Adapted from a technique called 'Spinning Icons' developed by Joe Munshaw and Nelson Zink.)

1. Select a problem state.

2. As you think about your problem state what visual image comes to mind? Notice where it is located in space.

3. Break your current state: eg) Remember you phone number backwards or look up and notice the patterns on the ceiling. Now think about the desired resource state (or outcome, or goal) you would like instead. Notice how you represent this as a visual image. Pay attention to where it is located in space.

4. Now allow your mind to turn the first picture (problem state) into a metaphorical symbol or icon. Keep it in the same location in space. (This visual metaphor could be quite complex or it may be as simple as a colour. Just trust your unconscious.)

TOP TIP: It can be useful to ask yourself, "What is this problem state like?" This often allows a metaphorical representation to arise.

5. Do the same thing with the desired resource state you selected in step 3, making sure to place the new metaphor symbol in the same location in space as the original image.

6. Now see the two metaphor symbols at the same time noticing their locations in space. Next slowly rotate them around each other. Keep rotating them around each other and do so faster and faster. Do this spinning for about 10 seconds allowing the rotation to be so fast that you can no longer track the images and you may even feel a little confused.

7. Now allow the images to merge together, that's right. And push this merged image out in front of you where you can view it easily. Describe the new image briefly, quickly moving to step 8.

8. Immediately begin telling WHATEVER story comes to mind. Just allow yourself to start telling a story. It doesn't matter what it is. It could be a real memory, a story or just simply made up ramblings. The point being is that this process taps into your vast unconscious resources.

9. Now ask yourself, "How is this story relevant to my problem/challenge?" or "How can this story help resolve my problem?" (This step can help to give you conscious insight into how the previous steps have made some useful changes.)

Isn't that a great technique! You know it's got that magical spirit of curious wonder to it hasn't it?

So I wonder how else could you use a tool like that to add more magical sparkles to your life?

2006 Colin G Smith

Colin G Smith is a licensed Master Practitioner of Neuro- Linguistic Programming (NLP) and author of 'The Half Second Rule: Your Master Key to Safe, Rapid & Effective Change', his NEW Special Report that empowers the reader to quickly easily and safely make profound personal changes using the principles and techniques of the half-second rule.

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