How Neuro-Semantics has helped me both to gain more fluency and to live my life more richly

A Letter to Dev

Roddy Grubbs

Hello Dev Mehta,

I’m Roddy Grubbs; I live in the USA; I’m 56 years old, work as a software engineer; and I first became aware of Bob Bodenhamer and his material on Mastering Blocking and Stuttering about 3 years ago. The material has now been condensed into a book by Bob entitled Mastering Blocking and Stuttering: A Cognitive Approach to Achieving Fluency.

I contacted Bob because I was having problems blocking and stuttering in my speech – this was especially the case at work. I had always considered myself to be a stutterer, and blocking in my speech has been more pronounced during some years while less in others. But 3 years ago I was especially bothered and concerned, as well as irritated by the experiences I was having. I wanted to change; and I wanted to experience real, substantive, and permanent change. I especially did not want to have an experience where I “found something that helped a lot” and then “lost that something”

In the past 3 years I have done some reading of Bob’s books, of some books co-authored by Michael Hall and Bob Bodenhamer, and of some of Michael’s books; I’ve attended Bob’s week long seminar class on Mastering Blocking and Stuttering; and I’ve read some additional books and materials by Bob and Michael – including many of the excellent articles that are available online at the Neuro-Semantics website and at the Mastering Stuttering website. I have not been a full-time student, but I have tried to keep reading regularly.

Equally important to this “reading and study time” has been the time I’ve spent “doing Neuro-Semantics”. I’ve read that “Neuro-Semantics is something that one does as opposed to something one just learns”, and I have experienced that myself – my learning of Neuro-Semantics has been through my doing these things.

When I read your posting to this e-mail list, I read the following things:

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  1. My stuttering is really having an adverse effect on my career.
  2. Companies have a hard time looking beyond one’s stammer, here in India.
  3. I often lock up when I go for an Interview and become really under confident.
  4. This has happened a few times and now I am really scared to be interviewed.
  5. In today’s world of cut throat competition, it is especially difficult for people who stutter.

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As I read that, I felt a strong identification with what you said. You asked for feedback on how Neuro-Semantics actually relates to blocking and stuttering. I know how it relates to the blocking and stuttering that I have done, so I thought that I would share some thoughts with you about that; also about how Neuro-Semantics relates to what you said, and how “your doing Neuro-Semantics” will greatly benefit you!

There are so many, many facets to Neuro-Semantics (of which I am expert in none); I have found that the following especially appeal to and work for me. I use these daily, in fact many times each day. The following is a summary of (a) thoughts from Neuro-Semantics which I have found to be helpful, and (b) my experience “doing Neuro-Semantics”.  Doing these things has brought real change into my living, and that has helped make my life more enjoyable. My hope is that you will find some of this to be useful.

(1) People everywhere and in every situation work the same; just because one stutters, one is not somehow broken and in need of being fixed. We all have the capacity to learn and to change ourselves. People who stutter “work” or “operate” in the same ways as people who do not stutter. The differences between the two groups are found in the details of the “operating” or “working”, and not in any idea that one group has something that the other group does not have or that one group is lacking some “component of being human” that the other group has.

(2) One of the fundamental ways people work is in the way they process the information that streams into their being from their senses. A human brain processes the incoming sensory-based information by “pattern matching”. A brain compares “what I sense now” against the stored memories of “what I have experienced before”. When it finds a match, it also recalls “what did I do before”, “what did I feel before”, “what did this mean before”. Various neurologists describe (in books and articles) that the human being stores (in some kind of internal database) not only the memory of past events, but also the associated feelings and learned behaviors which happened in conjunction with the remembered event. The memories of all these things are stronger and will have a greater influence and impact in the future in relation to the strength and amount of emotional energy experienced with the original event.

So, when my brain, today, finds some kind of match or “striking similarity” between what I am experiencing right now and some stored memories (when my brain says “oh, THIS is like THAT”; experiencing “THIS” triggers a memory of “THAT”), all of this information is recalled and is sent to the rest of my being. There it signals and cues my nervous system and entire physiology about “what to do” and “what to feel” and “what this means” right now – in this moment – in response to the current situation. And this activity happens within milliseconds. And all human beings work in this way.

This information is sent throughout our being via what neurologists call the “chemical nervous system”, which is comprised of the pathways throughout our body over which all kinds of peptides flow. These peptides carry other chemical substances with them. These other substances are called “messages” or “information”.  These different kinds of peptide “messages” each have their own kind of chemical “key”. When a message passes a special kind of cell which has the corresponding structure to accept the “key” (called a “receptor cell”), then the message “binds” with the “receptor” and the chemical substance being carried along transfers from the peptide to the receptor. In response to this transfer of chemical information, the surrounding area changes at the biological and chemical level.  Candace Pert in Molecules of Emotion describes this flow of informational substances and the change they induce when they bind. Bruce Lipton in The Biology of Belief emphasizes that (a) these flows of informational substances can be caused by the bodies’ reaction to external stimuli and equally by the bodies’ reaction to what a person is thinking (wow! what a powerful concept) and (b) the change at the bio-chemical level in a human being in response to information received from the “chemical nervous system” demonstrates that we are not “biologically determined”, not “biologically predestined”.

Whether a person stutters or does not stutter, all people work this way. The details of each individual’s experience vary and are never replicated from person to person, but all humans work in this same manner.

(3) OK, so my brain performs “pattern matching” on what I experience now (and on what I am also now thinking), and “finding a match” then triggers chemical flows in my body that result in bio-chemical level responses and changes within my body. The bio-chemistry within my body has changed as a result of this processing. I have different feelings and emotions within my being compared to those I had a few moments ago.

People have long recognized that an “experience of something” can put one in a “certain state of mind” or in a “different state of mind”, that it can “change their mood”, or that it can “change their frame of mind”. Neuro-Semantics calls these kinds of things “states of being”. We all go into different “states” as we experience life over the course of a day. These “states” are experienced throughout my mind-and-body-altogether as a “state of being” in response to what I experience. These “states” can range from “a mountain-top experience of pure jubilation and happiness” to “a deep sadness and sorrow” – and many more examples can be thought of. But we all experience in our mind-and-bodies-altogether what our brains and minds think that something “means to us”, and that experience affects our nervous system and physiology – our experience of “states” is at biological and chemical and physiological levels, which is not neutral nor insignificant.

As an aside, have you ever had the thought, upon experiencing a seemingly new and different experience, that “I’ve never been in this situation before”, “I don’t know what to do”, “I don’t know what I am supposed to feel or to say”? This is a good illustration of the above. In a “new situation that is somehow radically different from what we usually experience” we might not have a clue as what to do or to feel or to say. Our brain is struggling to match the new experience with something in our memory, which leaves us with precious few cues and signals about what to do or to feel right now – and we can even sense that at a conscious level within our mind.

(4) But the story does not end there! Enter our “human mind”. The story goes on from “experience, pattern matching, chemical messages, physiological reactions”…

The human mind does not stop at this point. The human mind can and does go on from “thinking about experiences” to “thinking about what it just thought about”. The mind will have thoughts-about-experiences and then thoughts-about-those-thoughts-about-experiences. It will can and will then think about those thoughts-about-thoughts, thus having thoughts-about-thoughts-about-thoughts; and on and on it can go. Neuro-Semantics did not invent this idea (which has long been described and reflected upon by philosophers); the authors or originators of Neuro-Semantics found a way to describe this clearly in a way that one can understand.

As a human mind “thinks about its thoughts” and the brain gets engaged again, the brain will look at this “set of thoughts and meaning about a set of thoughts and meanings” and the brain will match those against something in its memory which will result in more cues and signals getting sent out into one’s being. The biological, chemical, and physiological activities (described above) start all over again. The result is that now one is in a “state of mind” that has been created by processing the information in one’s being about “another state of mind”!

Although I am not a spokesperson for Neuro-Semantics, I would venture to say that Neuro-Semantics is about (among other things)

a) understanding what “states of being” or “states of mind” or “states” get induced within a person as they react to physical stimuli and to their own internal thoughts;

b) identifying “what one does” and “what one believes things mean” when one experiences a “state of being”;

c) understanding what influence and impact a “state of being” has on a person; and

d) changing the meaning that one gives to things, and the thoughts that one has about things, so as to establish a new set of signals and cues for what to do and how to feel.

Applied to blocking and stuttering, then some goals of Neuro-Semantics are to understand “how we do what we do”, “what meaning we give to that”, and then to create and install a “new interpretation of things that we encounter” so that we experience a new and different and positive “state” in place of the previous state(s) which we experienced as we dealt with both the external world and with the world of thoughts within our mind.

In this way, Neuro-Semantics is about experiencing the meaning that one gives to things. And just as the experience of meaning that one has in response to an external stimuli is not neutral nor trivial, so too experiencing the meanings of our “thoughts-about-thoughts-about-thoughts” is likewise just as full of impact and influence at biological, chemical, and physiological levels within our being. This experiencing is not trivial nor negligible for a person. Processing the information associated with these thoughts results in effects to one’s entire mind-and-body-altogether.

(5) A good deal of the processing described in (2) and (3) occurs in what we usually call our “conscious mind” or “our consciousness”; but certainly not all of it does. A good deal of the processing described in (4) occurs at some level or levels in our mind of which we are much less aware; in conversation, we usually speak of this as our “subconscious mind” or our “unconscious mind”.

(6) So, we all have various kinds of and varying amounts of information processing taking place in our beings all of the time. Cues and signals are sent to our beings via our “chemical nervous system”, and the results are that we experience different “states of being” which involve the biological, chemical, and physiological levels in ones being.

The above descriptions sound linear, serial, and sequential in nature. This is due to being expressed in language. But the activity described is non-linear. Our minds jump all over the place all of the time. And like a “good pet”, our brains go right along with our minds to “do what brains do best”. So we think about a lot of things from moment to moment, and we often think about “a thing” from many different angles. (It is an interesting observation that people usually speak 150 to 500 words a minute, but can read 2000, 3000 and more words a minute. So the mind can move along much faster than the body can produce speech.

Bruce Lipton in The Biology of Belief addresses how the vast amount of thoughts that one has on the unconscious level of one’s mind influence and impact the body at the biological, chemical, and physiological level of one’s being. In fact, his conclusion is that “Beliefs control biology” (p. 135). He discusses the need to train one’s self to become aware of “what is going on in the subconscious part of one’s mind”; this is key to changing one’s behavior and feelings.

(7) OK, so here’s how I use this information every day to “do Neuro-Semantics” for Roddy.

(a) First I had to start training myself to “become aware of thoughts in my being of which I was unaware”.

(b) That meant that when I found myself blocking in my speech, I had to learn how to react differently to it than I had always reacted to it. That means that I used to think badly of myself when I would block. I would “really get down on myself” – most everyone I’ve spoken with who blocks and stutters has said similar things about them self.

What did I teach myself to do differently? I began to “welcome into my experience” the blocking and stuttering behavior that I had so loathed. I said to it “come on in, it’s alright, everything will be OK, so come on in and tell me why you are there – tell me what this blocking that I do accomplishes or achieves for me”. I had to have some patience with myself here, had to apply some forgiveness to myself, had to give myself some permission to do some things that I was not inclined to do.

When did I do this? At first, only after the experience in which I was blocking had ended and I could “talk to myself alone”. I learned to give myself permission to block if it occurred, and then to always ask “what did that blocking help me achieve or help me avoid”.

I got amazing answers “from within”; you will too as you teach yourself how to do this. I found that I do the behavior of blocking for reasons that “make sense” given the meanings that my mind gave to things. I believe that you will find your own set of “reasons” too.

As I worked with this, I began to “welcome” the occurrence of a stutter even when I was talking with someone. That means that I would not fight back when I sensed that I might stutter. I would silently say “come on in, it’s OK”. Later I could ask “what were you trying to do for me”, or “what were you trying to protect me from”, or “what thing was ‘blocking’ better than doing when I was talking”. I did – and do – this imperfectly; I never “perfectly interdict” every situation. Sometimes I still fight & don’t relax with myself. But I gave a “block in speech” the meaning that “it does not matter, it is not important, what is important is that I am becoming more and more aware of sets of thoughts and images that I think about – and hence, perform information processing on them – and that finding out what’s going on in my mind is far more important that whether I block on a word”.

(c) As I became more aware of things for which I used to be very unaware, I began to realize that there were two or three “sets of images” or “pictures” that I thought about just before many of the times when I would block and stutter. These “pictures” raced through my mind in milliseconds. But I learned to start sensing when I “was seeing them” in “my mind’s eye”. These images or thoughts or ideas were of me being scared, feeling intimidated, feeling unsure, feeling apprehensive, and then blocking and stuttering in my speech, and more.

(d) So, here I was doing information processing on “thoughts about thoughts about a situation” just before I blocked. My “good ole brain” was pattern matching “this situation” to “old previous situations” and streaming into my being the signals and cues of what to feel and what this meant and what to do: be fearful, look out, hold back, don’t let go, etc, etc. And guess what? I did that, and I felt uncertain, insecure, apprehensive, anxious as I had felt before. I felt that I was destined to block and stutter in the new situation that was just about to unfold, just as I had done so before. And I did! Surprise! Not really…no reason to be surprised; one follows the other as surely as night follows day! What I did and felt flowed naturally from what I was thinking about (i.e., from the information processing that I was doing).

***NOTE TO PONDER:

Dev, you wrote:

“I often lock up when I go for an Interview and become really under confident.”

Suppose Roddy was going to fill-in or “to be” Dev for a day. And suppose that on that day, Roddy-as-Dev was going for an Interview. What would Roddy have to think about so that he could “be Dev” and lock up when he goes to that interview? What would Roddy have to think about to feel the same intense level of “very under confident” as Dev feels? What sort of things have to “be on Roddy’s mind” so that he gets the same cues and signals as Dev which will then enable Roddy to lock up and to feel very under confident just like Dev does?

I ask this thinking that your contemplation of this will assist you in beginning to become aware of the pictures or sounds or thoughts that go through your mind before you go for a job interview.

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(e) Now being aware of some information processing that was going on, but of which I was previously unaware, what was I to do?

I’ve learned through Bob Bodenhamer and Michael Hall in their talks and writings about Neuro-Semantics that people can use the same “tools” which were involved in the creation of some style of thinking (i.e., like “I am a stutter and always will”; or “I can’t do anything right”, etc) to change that thinking! The brain and the mind are powerful players. Un-assisted, un-trained, un-led, they can and will go off on their own un-guided way. What they wind up with, as that un-guided journey unfolds, is anybody’s guess! So, a person can use their powers of imagining and thinking to “train them”. And unless a person has a brain injury or suffers lost capacity due to an illness like dementia or Alzheimer’s, then every person has this capacity, has these tools, to “train their brain to think what they want it to think”.

So, variously and seemingly randomly, I am running images and pictures through my mind, I am “thinking”. “What I am thinking” is typically the same thing or something quite similar. Usually, this set of images starts out with “A”, then “B” happens, then I feel and think “C”, then “D” happens, then I feel and think “E”, then the pictures are over.

So this information processing that I am doing has a structure to it: A, B, C, D, E. That is not to say that “A causes B causes C, etc”. That is only to say that there is a structure of A, B, C, D, E. And that structure, when experienced again by my running those images through my mind, leads to my experiencing similar behavior again as in the past: I get tense and anxious, and I block.

I have learned from Bob and Michael that if one changes the structure of that experience, then one changes the impact which that experience has on one’s self.

When you “alter the structure of a remembered experience”, then thinking of that altered experience sends a new set of signals and cues to your body that are very different from the original set of signals and cues – these new signals are powered by the new meaning that you now give to the altered experience. So, “change or alter your memory of something” and you change what that memory tells you to feel or to do when you think about that.

The altered experience now “means” something different to you than the original experience meant. The result of “information processing” of those changed thoughts, or “images”, is a new and different state of being.

On web site you will read about the difference between “focusing on the content” of a problem versus “focusing on the structure” of a problem inside an article that Bob wrote with former PWS, Linda Rounds. A lot of talk-therapy spends a great deal of time in the “content plane” and has not too much to show for it (in my opinion). Neuro-Semantics is a way to focus on “what makes up an experience” of a problem – i.e., the “structure plane” – and to affect real and lasting change by changing that structure.

(f) So, I got a clear, full picture of two images that I learned that I “ran through my mind” just before I blocked, and I changed them by doing the following:

(1) First, Dev, you should read an article that Bob has on his web site about Perceptual Positions. This way of dealing with something has helped me a lot. (Note from the editor: You will find Perceptual Positions as Number 8 in the article that I wrote entitled “Eight Keys to Personal Change“. If you haven’t read  that article, I highly encourage you to do so as it summarizes my therapeutic discoveries over a period now of 17 years.)

(2) Also, read an article there about “Stepping In and Stepping Out”. (Note from the editor: You will find an outstanding example of the mind’s ability of stepping out of one state and stepping in to another state from the article above.  For, as one moves around the different “Perceptual Positions”, one is in effect stepping out of one state and into another state for each position represents a different state of being. We do this all the time. We go through many different states in any given day. One moment we may be sad and the next moment we are happy. One moment we are in a sleepy state and the next moment, as something grabs our attention, we find ourselves in a curious state. To access one states requires that we step out of another. The plasticity of the brain allows us “to choose” what state we desire to be in and to enter into it. To not to be in a mind-body state means that you are dead.)

(3) I took one set of images that I ran just before I blocked, and I did this:

a) I “stepped in to” a situation where I felt very confident. I was completely there, and experienced that confidence throughout my being again.

b) I “stepped out” of that, but (metaphorically speaking) kept it close by.

c) I sat down and pretended that a large projection screen was in front of me. I mentally placed the images in this one set onto that screen.

d) I mentally “stepped into” the images and was the “me” that I saw there. I ran through the images like they were a brief movie. I got plenty of cues for bad feelings!

e) I let the movie play out and end. It was over. I “stepped out of that movie”. The screen was blank. All was calm. I was in a calm place. I stepped back into the situation where I felt confidence. I felt it again.

f) I brought that confidence with me to the chair where I sat. Sitting there as a confident, adult, third-person observer (an “adult” Roddy, not a “child-like” Roddy from many years ago) looking at a blank screen. I put the last image of that movie back on the screen. Viewing this image from my position of calmness and confidence, I ran the entire movie backwards at a “fast-rewind” speed. When it got to the start of the movie, I stopped.

I’m sure that you have seen the visual effect from running a movie in reverse rapidly. One can see this with a VCR or a DVD. When you run the movie fast in reverse, the images don’t mean what they do when you play them forward at the proper speed. The entire “meaning” of the video sequence of the images is changed by doing this. The impact that the movie has on you is totally changed by viewing the movie this way! When you view a movie “in fast reverse” you don’t feel the same as you do when you view it at normal forward speed. It’s very simple, yet quite profound!

g) Mentally, I went back to the end of the movie again, and sitting there as a calm and confident adult, I ran it in reverse again. I repeated this about 20 times. Then I grew bored.

h) Then I played it forward at normal speed and my response was “so what, it means nothing”. Now before this, seeing that movie play at normal forward speed in my mind’s eye certainly did mean something; but now this way of viewing it had changed its structure, resulting in it now “meaning nothing”. That’s right. It means nothing now. It does not mean what it used to mean.

As an aside, have you ever had someone ask you if you wanted to see a certain movie, but you replied “No, I don’t feel like watching that tonight” or “No, I’m not in the mood for that tonight”? We say that because movies give us cues for how to feel when we focus our attention on them by closely watching them; sometimes we want to feel a certain way, sometimes we do not. Sometimes we say “You know, I’m in the mood to watch such-and-such”, meaning that we want to feel certain things and we know that watching a certain movie will “make us” feel that.

(Note from the editor: Roddy here has magnificently utilized the NLP Pattern “The Fast Phobia Cure” in ways that have proven most helpful to him as he works to eliminate the image that he had just before he blocked.  If a picture triggers us into a negative mind-body state, then the removal of the picture will theoretically remove the negative feelings from that state.  The trigger of the state is now eliminated so the state will not run.  I do not have this pattern on the web site. You will find it in my book Mastering Blocking & Stuttering mentioned earlier. If you search the internet,  you will find many links to this model. We have been utilizing the structure of this model for many years in assisting clients overcome fears, phobias and traumas.  If you have a picture in your mind that you would like to get rid of, try this model.  Visit website of one of the leading founders of NLP, Robert Dilts, and from his multi-volume entitle “The Encyclopedia of NLP” you will find this model at: http://nlpuniversitypress.com/html3/V23.html.)

(4) OK, I took the other set of images that I ran through my mind before I blocked, and I did this:

(a) I accessed a situation where I felt confident and strong; I “was there again” and felt it strongly.

(b) I step out of this and “place it close by”.

(c) I started to run this movie. I step into it and I am “Roddy, back there a long time ago”.

(d) At the crucial point in the movie where things go bad for me, I froze the film. The image stopped on one frozen frame.

We have some commercials on TV here in the USA that do this very thing. At an important point in the commercial, the picture freezes at a frame and the motion stops; the narrator steps out into the frozen frame and moves among the objects frozen in mid-motion; he continues his selling pitch as he walks among the objects that are frozen in motion.

(e) So, just like the commercial, I freeze the frame. I “step out” of Roddy the boy and “step into” the calm confident adult as a third-party observer.

(f) I see all of the people there; I see Roddy-the-boy.

(g) I ask a lot of questions like,

“what is Roddy feeling now?”

“what does he believe is going on here?”

“what would help him out?”

I look at the other people.

I walk around them (in my mental picture of this).

I look at the back of their heads.

I ask:

“what’s going on in their minds?”

“what do they believe is happening here?”

“what are they trying to achieve?”

“how do I – the calm, confident adult – see them?”

“what could I share with Roddy-the-boy that might help him out here?”

And more.

(5) Doing these kinds of things with these kinds of images illustrates something that Albert Einstein said about solving a problem: something like “you cannot solve a problem from within the problem, you must rise above the problem” (several articles on Bob’s web site have this quote).

That applies here in this way:

Roddy cannot solve the problem of the impact of this experience on him when he was a 13 year old boy by being in the situation again as that 13 year old. That 13 year old boy cannot ever solve that problem. Roddy can talk about and re-live that experience over and over, and in so doing Roddy is experiencing that as a 13 year old all over again each and every time. And every time Roddy experiences this as that 13 year old, it always means the same thing and always gives him the same cues about what to feel and to do. So, 13-year-old-Roddy, by himself, alone, will always view that experience the same way; hence, he cannot change it. As long as Roddy is “within the problem” in this way, he cannot solve the problem from that position.

But, 56 year old Roddy has a lot of strengths and knowledge and insight which he can bring to this situation and share with that 13 year. Those resources will enable Roddy to give different meaning to what happened; “what happened” will no longer mean what it once did, that meaning will now be altered. And when the meaning is altered, then the impact and influence which occur today when Roddy “sees those images again” in his mind will be a different impact with a different set of signals than it was before.

Roddy, to solve the problem of the impact and meaning of these experiences, must rise above that problem, and he does that “stepping out” of himself as the 13 year old and “stepping into” himself as the confident 56 year old who goes back there and assists the 13 year old with the situation. The 56 year old Roddy helps the 13 year old Roddy “see the situation differently”, “get a new perspective on what happened and on what that really means”.

The whole purpose for “stepping in” and “stepping out” is to be able to identify what is happening and then to rise above it from whence one can work to resolve or to dissolve or to attenuate the impact that the 13 year old Roddy (in this case) felt.

(6) Doing this “stepping out” and “stepping in”, doing this “getting a new perspective from a resourceful 56 year old Roddy”, changes the structure of the experience for me. The structure used to be “A”, “B”, “C”, “D”, then “E”. Now its “A”, “B”, “W”, “X”, “Y”, “Z” – there are no more “C”, “D”, “E”.

Before this, the images in this little movie meant a few specific things, and when I ran that movie I got several specific cues for what to do and how to feel.  But working with the movie in this way has changed what these images mean; changing these images means that it has a different impact on me now; having a different impact on me means that I get cues now for acting and feeling that are different than the cues I got before; getting different cues now means that I act and feel differently!

(7) So, pulling this altogether:

Sometimes I am in some kind of situation and I sense that I am running or am about to run one of these movies. I let myself become aware of what is happening. I let myself start to run the movie. I do not criticize myself because this is happening. It’s OK that it happens. Everything will be alright.

I jump into whichever movie it is just as I described above. If it’s the first movie, I run it in fast reverse, viewing it as a calm confident adult. It is amazing how a movie changes when you run it in fast reverse! If it’s the second movie, I freeze it at the important frame and walk around in it as a confident adult. It’s amazing how the meaning of the movie changes when you freeze it and walk around in it as a calm and confident adult observer.

That means that neither movie “sets me up to stutter”. Experiencing these movies in this modified fashion changes their impact on me as well as the cues or signals sent to me by my brain as it processes this modified set of information.

That’s two examples of how I do Neuro-Semantics every day. I learned to do this by trying to do it. My first attempts were not as successful as I desired. They were a bit awkward; I wondered if I was on the right track. But I viewed that as a “learning experience” – not as failure. I viewed it as “starting to jog or run again” after not running for a long time. First I had to work into “running one-half mile”; then, over days, I could work into “running a mile”; then, over a week or two, I could work into “running 2 miles”…….  I kept encouraging myself and I kept looking for the positive in what I was doing.

Well, Dev, thanks for staying with me until this point. Thank you for listening to my summary.

In conclusion:

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You wrote:

  • “My stuttering is really having an adverse effect on my career.”
  • “Companies have a hard time looking beyond one’s stammer, here in India.”
  • “I often lock up when I go for an Interview and become really under confident.”
  • “This has happened a few times and now I am really scared to be interviewed.”

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Applying what I’ve said above to this:

  1. “Step into” the situation where you are going to an interview; really “be there again”.
  2. What is running through your mind? what do you think or feel or see or hear that leads you to feel very under confident?
  3. Give yourself room to start a journey of “listening to yourself”.
  4. Let whatever you find there come into your consciousness; it will not hurt anything!
  5. Ask what you find there “what cues and signals are being sent by my brain for what to feel and how to act?”
  6. When you find yourself “feeling under confident” or “feeling like you will lock up”, ask yourself “what movie have I been running from which I took these cues and signals to feel this?

One more aside here, Dev. During the course of any day I might become aware that I’m in a “state of mind” and/or that     I am behaving or acting or relating in ways that I really don’t care for nor want to do. In these cases, I’m teaching myself to use what we are talking about here in a reverse way.

Since I am feeling certain things and since I am acting in certain ways, there must be something that my mind is thinking about which is sending me these cues and signals about feeling and acting in these ways! So I ask myself:

“What is running through your mind, Roddy, that’s giving you these signals? What pictures or images or thoughts, what sounds or smells are you thinking about? What past experience are you thinking about that is similar to this experience?”

When I first started asking myself these things I got answers rather slowly – maybe not even for a day. Now, I get them much faster, sometimes within a couple of minutes.     When I get those answers, then I apply things I’ve learned from Neuro-Semantics (like what we’ve discussed) to those thoughts for the express purpose of changing whatever  structure those thoughts have – because when you change the structure of a set of thoughts, then you change the impact they have on you and you thus get different cues and signals for feeling and acting.

  1. Does that look like some kind of little movie?
  2. Perhaps try playing with a movie and altering it in one of the ways that I described.
  3. “Step out” of the above situation and “step into” a situation where Dev feels and knows that he is very confident and capable.
  4. Bring the resources from “Dev in the state of confidence” back to “Dev in the state of under confident” and apply them to each part of what you thought or did to put yourself in the “state of under confident”. This is how you change the structure and meaning of what you used to do into something different which has its new and different meaning.
  5. Now, the above goes a long way toward helping me change the impact of negative experiences that I remember. And I am really happy to have learned this. But I want more, and I bet that you do too, Dev. I don’t want to spend all of my time just “battling to overcome the negative things”. I want to be “all that I can be”.
  6. I want to experience “the positive”. Yet I know that I will not achieve that if all I ever do is just “work on negative experiences”. “Working on negative experiences” is a great place to start, but I can achieve the highest for me by moving on beyond that and starting to shape a new and positive set of thoughts to think about. This means that I also work with my imagination, using my brain & mind, to create and to instill and to install and to anchor securely a set of new and powerful images of “Roddy living and being and feeling and acting at his best in all kinds of situations”. I am learning to create these and then to run them through my mind ever day!

Neuro-Semantics is a two-sided coin: not only does one deal with changing “the negative”, but one builds off of and creates an equally wide array of “the positive”. And you use the same tools for both. That is really great stuff to me! Imagine, not only defuse the negative past, but infuse one’s future with powerful new visions of achievement that, each time we run them through our minds, cue and signal us for our greatest performance and goals!

Dev, you’ll find a whole lot of extremely useful material at Bob’s web sites. Read that material and then “do Neuro-Semantics” by applying that to you, and practice doing that until it begins to become an automatic response!

Welcome to a new adventure in living and being!

Regards,
Roddy Grubbs
RoddyGrubbs@netscape.net