The Pattern

1. Identify an unresourceful state. Think about a state from which vou almost always go to deeper levels of unresourcefulness. What state do you have the most difficult)' recovering from? (e.g., frustration, self-contempt, stress overload, etc.)

2. Design a plan for developing a new direction. Where would you like to end up when you experience that negative state? Obviously, moving from frustration to pure ecstasy would feel nice, but in most contextual situations where you experience a blocking of your goals ("frustration"), to immediately feel ecstasy would not serve to bring out your skills and resources that enable you to effectively cope with the blocking of your goals. What would you like to feel? Presence of mind, calmness, problem-solving ability, curiosity, creativity, etc.?

3. Specifically identify a pathway. Once you know the negative state (e.g., frustration) and your desired state (e.g., presence of mind), plan for a series of two to four intermediate stages whereby you can veer from the problematic emotion to an ever-increasing resourceful state. For instance, you might want to plan to move from frustration to endurance to calmness, to acceptance, and then to presence of mind.

4. Access and anchor each state. First establish an anchor on the skin between the thumb and index finger on the back of your right hand for frustration (or on the hand of someone you are working with). Then set an anchor for endurance on the knuckle of the index finger, then an anchor for calmness on the knuckle of the middle finger, then one for acceptance on the knuckle of the next finger, and finally an anchor for presence of mind on the knuckle of the little finger. Test each anchor.

5. Chain the states together. When you have completed ┬┐ill of this preparation, begin with the first state and slowly have the person access it, helping by firing off the first anchor. When the person gets to the peak of that state (ask them to nod their head), then fire the next anchor while holding the first. Hold the first for a couple of moments while holding the second. Then release the first and maintain the second. Repeat five times. I hen fire the second, and when it gets to its peak, fire the anchor for the next state. Use same process, hold both, then release the first. Repeat five times. Continue through the chain.

6. Test the chain. Fire the first anchor for the person to move quickly and automatically to the outcome state. If so, you have successfully set up a chain so that the person has a neurological pathway whereby he or she can move from frustration to presence of mind.

7. Future pace. "Imagine some time in the next week when you may feel frustrated (fire anchor) and you can feel this (fire the chain of anchors, holding on "presence of mind") as you go smoothly and easily to...[the desired statej."

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