State is our way of being at any given moment, consisting of our physiology, our thoughts, and our emotions. Our states are the frontlines of our experience and affect our meaning of that experience. States also affect our capabilities, thereby impacting our outcomes.
It is important to be aware that our states are created by ourselves and ourselves alone; not by any external factors. This is a fundamental of NLP. Yes, e.g. you choose to be happy, or you choose to be grumpy, at any point in time.
Now, if we are in a resourceful (positive) state, such as calmness, happiness, curiosity, etc., it is much easier for us to achieve rational thought. Resourceful state is also when we learn best.
On the contrary, unresourceful (negative) state, such as anger, sadness, fear, etc., rob us of our reasoning and trigger unintentional inappropriate behaviours. We lose sight of our intended outcome and lose our ability to analyze clearly. Unresourceful state is also when we drop in performance, when in fact we are more than capable of achieving better results.
My “Impatient” State
In the past, I was a very temperamental person; easily irritable, sulky, frowning, blah blah blah. These unresourceful states weren’t helping me get anywhere I wanted to be.
I remember a time when I had a meeting with a key stakeholder over some crucial project matters. Before the meeting, I already knew the outcome I had to achieve, i.e. to seek her approval to proceed with a certain course of action that my team was proposing. Unfortunately, I was in an ‘impatient’ and ‘irritable’ state. I just wanted the whole meeting to be over quickly and get on with my other work.
Now, she had some concerns she wanted to run by me for assurance before making decisions. And the state I was in simply didn’t help. As you can imagine, my response and behaviour was largely unacceptable to my stakeholder, who probably thought I couldn’t care less what she thinks. I kept interrupting her and throwing my hands up whenever she tried to explain her thoughts. Well, you can imagine the outcome of the meeting… she didn’t approve my proposal. She was clearly upset and even offended perhaps. And I just threw myself into the hot soup. <Ouch! That hurt!>. Not to mention my loss of Rapport with her.
My “Scared-cat” State
Not only that, I also carried with me a baggage full of fear. I would literally s**t myself at the thought of presenting or doing anything that would put me in the spot light. What did it cost me? Opportunities.
There was a time when I had to do a presentation for a tender that my company was bidding for. Now, I dare say I prepared very well for my presentation. But when the moment came, I was having a nervous breakdown; stage fright. I stiffened at the sight of the small audience; the pairs of eyes looking back at me. I spoke; my voice went into my throat. I thought about what to say next; my mind blanked-out. I tried to gesture and use body language; I became frozen. Whatever I think I had prepared, just blurred out on me.
Basically, I couldn’t perform at all because I sucked big time at managing my state. I totally screwed up when in fact I was more than capable of a better outcome. And that cost me my career in that company, not to mention the add-on to my low self-esteem and low self-confidence. It was painful. How I wish I knew NLP back then. And I would have had Command & Control of my state and excelled!
How to Manage Our State
So, you get it, don’t you? It is paramount that we be in Command & Control of our own states. I.e. we are clear about what our state is and choose another more resourceful one. First and foremost is to have awareness of our state. Awareness is the first step to bringing about change.
What’s next then? Change the way you are moving. Posture is very crucial to how we feel. In the past, I was walking around with a hunchback, head down looking at my feet, slouching. Oh, that really helped to put me in an unresourceful state, all right! Not to mention the spinal problems I ended up with. And, I had to go for chiropractic care to fix all that but that is a different story altogether…
When I started watching out for my posture and the way I move, my mood was naturally better. In general, I had more resourceful states. Now try this:
Stand tall and straight; shoulders pulled back and down. Lift your sternum 2 inches high. Keep your chin up.
Now, maintain that and stride with confidence; keep arms at the side. Loosen up and allow your shoulders to sway naturally. Take brisk, lengthy and even steps.
How are did that feel? Oh, I feel like a Queen alright!
I also learnt further how to manage my state with NLP Anchoring. With my resourceful anchor, I can change my state in an instant! Let’s face it; all of us will have negative states pop up throughout our lives. Imagine the freedom of being the Master of your state so you consciously choose and feel how you want to, anytime and every time.
Being able to Command & Control our state is essential for leading an abundant life.
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