Discover How To Change What You Expect Will Happen In Your Life
Do you predict bad things are going to happen? Do you anticipate that talk not going well, that person rejecting you, and other bad stuff?
Join Dr. Aziz as he uncovers this pattern and learn how to install a new habit of positive predictions that will help you dramatically increase your confidence and your performance in all areas of life.
Click below to hear this episode!
How Your Predictions Create Confidence (Or Social Anxiety)
Before an event, a meeting, a social situation, a date, how are you predicting that it will go? If you are nervous most likely your prediction is a pretty negative one. Have you ever wonder why you do this, and more importantly do you want to know how to change that pattern so you start to anticipate good outcomes across all situations? That is exactly what you are going to learn in today’s show.
Welcome to today’s episode and welcome to 2015. Hope you had great New Year’s. I hope you listened to the last show, the New Year’s show which was all about “New Year, New You” how you can reinvent yourself in this New Year. A pretty exciting opportunity for you to really grow into the person you want to be in 2015. So, if you haven’t listen to that episode it’s the previous one, go back and check that one out, and welcome to 2015 and I hope it brings you all kinds of confidence, success, happiness, awesomeness, growth; whatever it is that you most want that will let you up.
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In today’s episode we’re going to get into something that I think is going to be incredibly valuable to you because if you are anything like me you are doing this all the time and it’s frustrating and sometimes you are aware of it, sometimes you are not, but it’s this idea of negative predictions.
And I am fascinated by this, how anytime there is something in the future ahead of us that maybe we don’t have 100% control over, how people are going to react to us or a certain outcome. Are we going to get that one particular job? Is that one person going to say “yes” to us or “no” to us?
When you don’t have total control of the outcome and it’s in the future we have uncertainty right? I don’t know how it’s going to go it’s the future, we can’t know. And yet, our mind will start to predict these negative outcomes into that unknown. Have you noticed that? So it’s really unknown, really it can go yes or no, yes or no. I could do well, I could do poorly. Whatever it is but, our mind will put forth with pretty strong conviction “nope this is how it’s going to go. It’s going to go real bad.” Right, do you know what I am talking about?
In fact think about something that you have coming up here in the early 2015 part of year. Maybe a presentation, an interview, a conversation you want to have with someone. Maybe you want to ask someone out, something that is on the horizon that you want to do. Maybe it’s tomorrow maybe its next month and something you are hoping for, a goal, something you want to create soon. And what do you predict? What is your mind predicting? If you can if you are not driving you can close your eyes and you can just imagine it.
Now, for most people the prediction is often a negative one. We predict that it will not go. In fact there is a fantastic quote which I am going to paraphrase from Mark Twain which is:
I’ve been through some terrible things in my life. Some of which actually happened.
And that’s what we are doing right? We are putting ourselves through the ringer where we are just predicting “oh nothing is going to happen, it’s not going to work. No one is going to show up, ah you are going to fail, they are going to say no, she is going to grimace at you if you ask her out. Ugh!” And you are playing it again and again and again. And I call it’s, it’s like a mental movie, I will ask people when I am working with them and they are really nervous about something I will say so “what mental movie are you playing?” And if they work for me they know exactly what I am talking about, if they are new they are like “What? What do you mean?”
Well we often don’t know this, it is often unconscious but we will run a little quick movie in our mind about how we think something is going to go. Even if you don’t think you are a visual person, we just do it, it’s part of a brain mechanism, it’s form of thought that we have a series of images, sometimes they are literally a movie like a moving picture and sometimes it’s just a still image. But, it’s of that event going poorly, and you might notice that for yourself. There is that person frowning at you or you just in front of a room giving a presentation and you see it but they are not smiling it’s just kind of heavy and tense in the room; that is the tone of the scene as it were if it were a movie or a still image.
And so, we have this really quick prediction that goes through our mind and it says “yes that is going to go like this, it’s going to go bad.” And, we watch this movie and then we are terrified, like “oh God, this is the scariest movie I have ever seen.”
You know a teacher of mine, Steve Chandler, tells a story which I love. Imagine you are walking into the psychiatric ward of a hospital, the locked psychiatric ward. And, you are going down the rooms and you get to one particular room and you look in and there is a guy and all he’s got is a little table and some crayons and some sheets of paper. And he goes over to the table, grabs some crayons, and just starts drawing, and he looks calm and relaxed. He is just drawing and drawing. Then, all of a sudden he stops and he looks down at his drawing and he freaks out, he gets terrified. He starts grabbing at his shirt and trying to pull it and runs away and runs into the corner of the room screaming, and you are so curious, like “what is that?” So you have one of the tenants in the hospital when the guy is calmed down go into the room and get you the picture, and you look at it. And, it’s a picture of a monster. So he drew a picture of a monster. He drew it himself, and then he was terrified of it.
And of course you think “well that guy is insane, that guy is ridiculous” but we are doing it all the time in our heads. Right now we are creating these predictions, these terrible, horrible, scary, awful predictions that are most likely never going to happen then we are terrified of them, we feel awful and most of the time what you do then is “phew that didn’t go so bad, all right on to the next thing to be terrified about.”
So what if we could change this pattern? Would that be valuable to you?
Well first we’ve got to look at what does this give me? Every time we need to change a pattern we must ask ourselves what is the current pattern doing for me? Because, it’s doing something for you otherwise you wouldn’t keep doing it. So we are going to explore that. We are going to answer a question from a listener as well when we get back. So, stay tuned we are going to figure out why you are doing this pattern and the most importantly how to shift it, how to break free. So, stay tuned for that.
So why do we do it? Why do we predict these negative outcomes and run them through our minds to terrify yourself and be uncomfortable so much of the time leading up to an event that we are uncertain about? And I am going to answer that, in fact, I am going to start by answering a question that which points I believe directly to this and you are going to see how this negative prediction mechanism is underneath so much of our social fear.
Ask the Shrink
This is a question from Andrew, he wrote and emailed me.
Hey Dr. Aziz, thanks so much for the show I’ve gained tremendous confidence just from listening.
That is awesome, you are most welcome Andrew.
But the main thing that destroys my confidence now is when I struggle with things to say while starting conversation. I can usually get the courage to go talk to people but the problem is I don’t have much to say. I am not the much of a shy guy when I am in a really energetic and good mode. I try my best to avoid awkward silences but they seem to happen half of the time I talk to people. This happens the most when I try to talk to girls in my high school and I think it’s holding me back from meeting a girl that can be my girlfriend. You probably run into this problem all the time so do you have an advice that is proven to work?
So first off, Andrew listening to this in high school that is awesome, you are ahead of many people your age who, –God if only I had been working on myself development when I was in high school. Actually, no, I am glad I hadn’t because I wouldn’t be here talking to you if I had overcome this problem in a short period of time.
So let’s jump into it, but you might be wondering why am I putting this question in this episode? And this is because did you hear where his challenge is the strongest? Did you hear where he gets the most uncomfortable in conversations? Who was he talking to that he was the most uncomfortable? That is right, women his own age.
Women that he is attracted to that he wants to maybe ask out or have one of them be his girlfriend. Now why do you think he is most worried or tense or uncomfortable or has those silences the most often women that he is attracted too? You might say “well duh Aziz because they are attractive and he is attracted to them that is what happens when you are attracted to someone.” Like really but why? Why?
Well, what happens is there is more potential for negative predictions. My guess is that he in his mind somewhere, Andrew, in your mind somewhere you have negative predictions about what is going to happen if you just share as freely with a women that you are attracted to as with a good friend that you hang out with. There is some mental movie in there of her grimacing, of her laughing at you, of her stepping away kind of with “I am scared” look on my face, “you are not as cool as I thought you were.” There is some negative prediction. “Oh she is going to tell her friends and then no one is going to date me.
So we have a series of negative predictions that are in our mind whether we are aware of them or not they are in there and they are holding you back. I was just speaking with a client earlier this week about this where he was again uncomfortable around women and I asked him how he was around his friends. And he was describing a particular situation where he had nothing to say to a women and I was like “what would you say to a friend?” and he had like 10 things he could have said, he said I would have said this, I would have said that.
So what is the difference? A negative perdition.
So how do we break free of that? In fact this is such a big thing that I actually created and audio program specifically for it, it’s called The Approval Assumption and it’s a simple trick that I use to double my confidence, really shift everything in my relationship life, in my business life, it’s called The Approval Assumption and you get actually get, –that is a bonus program that comes with a new version of Confidence Unleashed which is coming out in just a few weeks here.
But, this is so important that we have to shift the assumptions, the predictions in our mind. Whether it’s this kind of conversation example that Andrew is talking about or a work presentation or a sales conversation and specifically imagining that it will go the way that you want it to. You have to start changing these predictions. And the nonce you have changed the predictions you imagine it going “well I am going to guide you exactly how to do that in a moment” But, then once you’ve done that just to answer Andrew’s question, some specific things that you can do is saying something, something is better than nothing. Doing something that I call “loose associations” so you are able to just say whatever comes to mind, sometimes people are like “I don’t know what to say. She mentioned that she is going to go to the gym later to work out” and then I was like “oh cool, cool. I will see you later.” And I was like dam nit why didn’t I say something better than that?
What I will often do is say how about loose associations. So she says “I am going to go to the gym to work out.” What is the first thing you think of when you think of the gym? First thing? Say it right now in your mind, first thing that you think of when someone says “I am going to go to the gym”. And whatever it is for you that is your loose association. So for me I imagine 24 hour fitness in the Bay Area where I live. I imagine Arnold Swachinager. I imagine weights. I imagine a bunch of people watching TV’s while they are on their treadmills trying to zone out. Right so those are the first images that come to my mind.
So I might bring one of those into the conversation. Like, “oh what kind of gym is it? Like 24 hour fitness or something?” Right, because that is the first association that I had. Or, I might say “what do you do at the gym.” And she is like “oh I do the elliptical”, and I am like “oh great so do you have like a TV right in front of your face to distract you from the physical discomfort of being on the elliptical?”
You know it’s a joke right so I am using one of my loose associations that allows me to bring more into the conversation. Of course asking her questions is great, “what kind of work out do you do?” “Do you like it?” “How often do you do it?” that kind of stuff. Now you want to mix that in with some play as well, not just kind of ordinary conversation some sort of flirting as well. So you can go really deep with this but the key here is to do loose associations something is better the nothing. Blurt something out, like it’s better to just say something even if it’s not the most fitting thing in the conversation. Sometime we are trying to find the best right thing to say to avoid that negative prediction, but really just saying something because that negative prediction is not going to happen and the essence of assumed approval if you want to know what it is, the essence of assumed approval is think, –focus on how you are with one of your best friends, one of the people you are just the most comfortable with in the world and then showing up with new people, with attractive women, with anyone with that exact same energy. And if you are hearing that and saying “that’s awesome” then I think you are right it can really change things. And, if you are thinking “wow that sounds easy I can’t do that, that is easier said than done Aziz.” Then you’ve got to listen to that program because I really guide you through how to do that.
But how do we change what we predict? Because that is what I am suggesting to Andrew to do and then I gave him some specific tips, but that is incredibly important; how do we change the prediction in our mind? Let’s get into that right after this break. You are going to learn some really valuable stuff that people are doing sessions with me right now, just did this stuff last week so stay tune for how to change these negative predictions.
How To Change Negative Predictions
How do we change the negative predictions in our mind to something more positive or inspiring that fills us up with excitement, anticipations rather than fear, dread, anxiety?
Well, the first question to ask yourself is how would I like it to go?
How would I like it to go? So really imagine, think to that thing in your mind that is coming up. It could be coming up this week, a sales conversation, a presentation, talking to someone, a social gathering, even it could be meeting some friends of friends for dinner, someone that you are not super comfortable with that you don’t know that well, making a certain phone call, asking someone out, having a difficult conversation. Right, whatever it is that you are anticipating negative things about, that you have these negative predictions, ask yourself this question, how would I like it to go?
Think about that for a minute. Isn’t that amazing how we don’t even ask ourselves that? If I could just choose, if I was the director of this mental movie, the writer, the author; everything it was my mental movie, how would I want it to go? Interesting huh?
And what if it goes that way? How would that feel? If it went exactly how you wanted it to go? How would you feel? Huh, interesting.
Another great question to ask yourself is how I can get this result the way that I want it to go. How can I make it go the way that I want it to go? How can I do this? How can I make this an amazing presentation? How can I make this an impactful sales conversation? How can I confidently ask this person out? How can I do it?
Because, a “how” question that is powerful. “Can I”, “will I”, “is it going to go good or bad” versus “how can I make this happen? How can I get this done? How can I do this? How can I do this?” And you ask yourself “how” question repeatedly, kind of expecting that your mind is going to give you an answer.
Now, it’s not about the end result, and it’s not about how can I get this person to say “yes” to going out with me because that is outside of your control. She is going to say “no” if she wants to say “no” and you want her to say “no” if she wants to say “no”. You don’t want her to say “yes” if she wants to say “no”, you want’ her to have freewill don’t you? Well not if you study some pickup artist stuff, they say use the secret magical technique to bend her will to your own, but no, ultimately you just want to be able to put yourself out there, be confident, say hey you want to go out and she says “no” then great who’s next? And how can I do that? How can I ask with complete confidence in myself and be totally relaxed about the outcome? That is in your control isn’t it? But not her response.
So you want to ask “how can I make this”, -how can I show up to this presentation and just nail it? How can I share clearly and effectively? How can I show up curious and interested in my customer and try to meet their needs at the highest level and be unattached to the outcome for the sales conversation example? So you ask yourself those questions with expecting a result then you get powerful information.
I remember not too long ago I was want to have more time to record video, audio; I wanted to record this new version of Confidence Unleashed and my schedule was so full that I didn’t have time during the day to record and I didn’t want to take the weekends to record because I wanted that time to be with my wife and my son. He’s 1 year old now so it’s a pretty magical time. But, I was getting frustrated because I was like “what if I can maybe record 2 hours a week at that rate I can record the new program in you know 9 or 10 weeks, God 2 months ah geez…” and I was discouraged and frustrated. And I just did this thing. I was like “okay how can I make massive progress in recording” because that’s what I love to do and it help some reach more people it’s part of my mission. How can I make massive progress in recording while having plenty of time with my family and getting plenty of sleep?” Because my first thought was “well just record all night?” Then I am going to be fried the next day.
So how can I have plenty of time to record and spent a lot of time with my family, and have plenty of sleep? And I asking in my mind, and I was biking to work when I asked myself this question my mind was like “you can’t stupid no way.” And I just kept going it more, with more force, more intensity. How can I do this? And I just kept asking the question again, and again, and again, and again and I got and answer, I created an answer.
And you will as well if you ask yourself this question: how can I show up totally unattached to the outcome? How can I be totally confident when I ask this person out because your mind is normally saying “you can’t be confident it’s not going to go well” blah, blah, blah, blah and it’s so focused on the outcome versus the how? How can I make this particular thing that I want happen happen? And, it brings you back to your power because you have control and influence over what’s going on inside of you and your behaviors you don’t for the people outside.
And, if you are curious what my solution was is that I actually had to go on what I call a Farmers Schedule where my son goes to bed super early. So we basically put him to bed and my wife and I have a little bit of time together and then I go to bed really early and I wake up really early and then I have plenty of time. So I wake up between 3 and 4 in the morning and I have a couple hours each morning to record to do stuff and the house is totally quite, got a recording set up here in the basement area and it allows me to create this stuff and then have plenty of time with my work, my son, my family, and it worked out awesomely.
So that was the solution and you will find a solution for yourself if you ask “how” with enough determination and expectation of getting an answer.
And then, when you have an idea of how you are going to make it happen, how you want it to go then I highly encourage you to do this process called Theater of the Mind it comes from psycho cybernetics and nuero-linguistic programing and anyone else who has had their own little spin on it. But, basically it goes something like this and this one is going to involve closing your eyes. So, if you are driving you can do it with your eyes open I suppose. It’s going to be much more effective if you do it with your eyes closed. And so I understand that you might, –you can do it later if you want, sometimes you want to keep the momentum going but if you can close your eyes.
Close your eyes and imagine walking into your favorite movie theater. And siting down in whatever seat you want; it’s totally empty. You can pick your favorite seat. And imagine what are the color of the seats? Good, sitting down in your favorite seat after you’ve chosen it and feeling the soft chair, does that back kind of recline a little bit? Are there big arm rests with drink holders? Do you have a, –perhaps you have a soda and some popcorn on your way in and, just settling into your seat. And then up in front of you is a huge screen, gigantic movie theater screen. And on it, you are going to start to play the movie that you want to happen the way that you want things to go. How you would like it to go, your preference, your exact desired outcome.
Playing it like a movie, you are watching it from the outside. You are watching yourself interact with those people, interacting with that person, giving the talk, asking her out, walking into the meeting, and walking into the room where you don’t know anyone and casually starting a conversation with people. People laughing and smiling at what you’re saying. Watching the movie and watching it go incredibly well, exactly how you want it to go. Good and making it brighter and bigger and more vivid in your mind. Yes, that is’ it. That is exactly what you want to. Adding any details that you want to add in, and now making it more detailed and vivid. The more detailed you can add in the better.
Good. Great. So now letting these images go from your mind, taking a deep breath in.
And as you let it out, opening your eyes and turning your attention to where ever you are.
That is an incredibly powerful visualization process that you can use daily or before any situation to help influence your mind to help relax you to get predictions going into the direction that you want. The more you do this, the more you utilize it your life will change. In fact that brings us to our action step…
Your action step is to do this exercise, this Theater of the Mind at least once a day. It only takes a minute; you can do it longer if you want. You can put on a great inspiring song, close your eyes and relax for 4 or 5 minutes and do it. But, you just want to imagine things going the way that you want them to go and this sends a powerful message to your unconscious mind of this is how I show up, this is who I am in the world. It impacts how you see yourself, your self-concept, ultimately your identity and it’s powerful. When you combine that on getting clear on the predictions that you want which you want it to go, how you want it to go and giving yourself a sense of certainty in the other direction, in the positive direction, that you are going to show up in this way that you can handle whatever happens. And that will get you ultimately a much more confident approach to any situations because you are not going to be filling your mind with these negative predictions.
So thanks so much of joining us for today’s show. I love to hear from you. Go to Shrinkfortheshyguy.com and send me a message, ask any questions that you have I love to answer them in the show. Don’t forget to rate the show on iTunes, and thanks so much for being with me. I look forward to talking with you in the next episode. Until we speak then may you have the courage to be who you are and to know that you are awesome.
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