There are things we want to do, behaviors we want to adopt, and there are things we want to stop doing. And it seems the conscious, rational, analytical part of the mind is not up to the task of putting these changes into effect long term. If the conscious mind could handle change easily and effectively, there’d be no unwanted habits, no “addictions,” no smokers, no overweight, and so on.

Trying to THINK our way out of specific habituated behavior sets is like trying to dig a trench with a teaspoon. Not very fast. Not very effective. Traditional talk therapies are like the trench and the teaspoon. The right tools for the right project make all the difference.

We in the fields of hypnotherapy and Neuro-Linguistic Programming know the power of the UNconscious mind. It’s the part of the mind “back behind the curtain” which truly runs the show. This is where we direct our work. It’s the control room of our thinking, feeling, and doing…the warehouse of our accumulated strategies of life and how we live it.

People say quitting tobacco is harder to quit than cocaine. (Both are easier than you think.) People believe they have to “struggle” against alcohol their entire lives (False.) People have resorted to medical surgeries in order to control their food intake. (There are better ways, that are au naturel.) People feel they need drugs to sleep. (The actual pharmacy is located in your brain.)

NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) is about creating ideal states of mind/body to facilitate and accomplish any task. In one facet of NLP, we customize and manufacture emotion and attach to projects. Feelings and emotions such as motivation, confidence, and energy are available to us. Highly effective!

Today I explain my “Never In a Million Years” approach to habit change such as quit smoking. I keep a pile of packages of cigarettes on my shelf to use with clients for testing purposes. I have some of every brand. Where did all these come from? Every package was given to me by a client, as each successfully quit smoking.

Here’s my two-pronged approach, in a nutshell. Some people are driven by wanting to feel good. Some people are driven by wanting to avoid feeling bad. With my approach, we put both together.

Dr. Richard Bandler, the co-creator of NLP has said: “Good feelings, good decisions. Bad feelings, bad decisions.” I’ve changed it up somewhat. “Good feelings, good decisions, bad feelings, good decisions.” I want a client to feel so good in the moment (the various decision points) that the behavior never triggers. There’s no urge to do it, and it doesn’t even enter their thinking. And, I want to attach such negativity to the habit itself that it becomes an automatic “no.” “Never in a million years.”

With NLP, Neuro-Linguistic Programming and the services I’ve trademarked, called “Designer Feelings®,” this is actually very easy to do. And fun!

What are the good feelings which change behaviors? It’s different for every person. We figure that out and create together. What are the bad feelings which change behaviors? It’s different for every person. We figure that out and create together.

Here’s the premise of the negative side, “Never in a million years!” We find something in a person’s life which is an automatic “No! I don’t do that. I wouldn’t do that. Never!” Here are some examples I’ve heard in my work: get a swastika tattooed on their forehead (No!), eat liver (No!), jump off a cliff with a toy parachute (No!). We capture that response, bottle it, and then attach to the unwanted and non-useful habit.

When the attachment is successful, the unconscious mind makes a new connection: “This is like that!” And, suddenly, the unwanted habit generates the same responses. No! We have a name for this process, it’s called “learning.”

Quitting smoking and other changes can absolutely be this quick. The right tools for the right project. Fingernail biting. No! Too much sugar. No! Procrastination. No! Negative self-talk. No! Too much alcohol. No! Insomnia. No! Plus, at the same time, we attach good feelings to the absence of the habit. Old unwanted habits dissolve, new positive habits form.

I’ve been doing this work in the Seattle area for 12+ years. And I’ve found this two-pronged approach to be highly effective. It's helped hundreds of clients to achieve successful habit change. Habit change is the number one reason people seek out hypnosis and NLP services.

Author's Bio: 

Connie Brannan is a Licensed Trainer of NLP® through the co-originator of NLP, Dr. Richard Bandler. She owns and operate a private career school in Washington State, Mindworks NLP. If you'd like to learn more about the control panel in your mind and how to optimize your life, check out Mindworks NLP. We offer certifications in NLP through the Society of NLP®.

Connie is also a clinical Neuro Linguistic Hypnotherapist and offers private change work sessions blending hypnosis & NLP in Bellevue, WA.