Did you know that you can change the meaning of your experience? When our perception of an experience changes, that leads to changing our state; which in turn facilitates a change in our responses and behaviours.
An Unpleasant Experience
As with most, the company I worked at conducts annual performance appraisal exercises for its employees. It involved the staff providing a self-assessment, followed by the Supervisor providing their assessment of the staff. Thereafter, HR would process the appraisals of all staff and do a moderation to rank the employees by the division, followed by cluster and eventually at corporate level. A staff could get moderated up or moderated down in overall ranking. Now, I do not know the details of how the whole process works.
In any case, having had consecutive bad years with my appraisal, I was determined to get a better ranking for one such appraisal exercise. Moreover, I knew the extra effort and diligence I had put into my work for that year. Thus, I put in due care in writing my appraisal for that year than I ever did in the previous years.
Since the day I submitted my self-appraisal till the whole performance appraisal exercise concluded, I was eagerly waiting for my appraisal outcome; hoping for the best. Finally, the appraisal result was released, and to my utmost disappointment. I was stunned upon learning that my ranking, after moderation, was not what I had expected.
My Emotional Response
I felt very bitter about being moderated down to such a low ranking when in fact, deep inside I know I deserved much better. I was struggling to put the feeling aside as there was no closure since I didn’t understand why I was moderated down. Eventually, I formed the opinion that the whole appraisal system is flawed and biased, and that I had simply been wasting my time and effort.
In the week that followed, I was feeling angry, confused, upset and whatnot. My internal dialogues with myself contributed to my negative feelings. Some of the things I said to myself were:
“Why did this happen to me?”
“Do I really deserve this?”
“This is not fair and I will not accept it”
…and so on and so forth
Correspondingly I became demoralised, which affected my concentration at work. I slowly started to fall back on my assignments as I was losing my drive. Soon, I became aware of my negative frame of mind and that I had to do something about it as it clearly wasn’t helping me at all.
To What Benefited Me
Well, I had to change the meaning I gave to that experience so that my emotional response could be modified to one that benefits me. For this, the NLP technique I used is called a Submodalities Shift.
Submodalities are the qualities of our internal representations; the building blocks of our five senses which we use to code our experience. Since submodalities make up our experience of our world, changing them also changes the experience.
Hence, I coached myself and did the exercise to shifting the submodalities of this experience to those of one with me being absolutely amused over a bad joke and carrying myself in high spirits.
Naturally, along with that process my state too changed to one which is resourceful and positively impacts me. Now, I don’t feel bitter or become sad when that appraisal outcome crosses my mind. Instead, I just smirk it off with a smile and carry on.
There you go! By changing the way you feel, you can change your map of the world to one that impacts you positively.
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