One of the most powerful examples of being in an undesirable state is the story of Karl Wallenda of the Flying Wallendas. He had performed aerial routines for years with great success, never considering the possibility of failure. Failing was just not part of his mental makeup. Then, a few years back, he suddenly began mentioning to his wife that he had started to see himself falling. For the first time, he had begun to consistently give himself a representation of falling. Three months after he first started talking about it, he fell to his death. Some people would say he had a premonition. Another viewpoint is that he gave his nervous system a consistent representation, a signal that put him in a state that supported the behavior of falling – he created an outcome. He gave his brain a new path to follow, and eventually it did. This is why it is so critical to focus in life on what we want versus what we don’t want.
If you continually focus on all bad things in life, all the things you don’t want or all the possible problems, you put yourself in a state that supports those types of behaviors and results. For example, are you a jealous person? No, you are not. You may in the past have produced jealous states and the types of behaviors that spring from them. However, you are not by your behavior. By making these kinds of generalizations about yourself you create a belief that will govern and direct your actions in the future. Remember, your behavior is the result of your state, and your state is the result of your internal representations and your physiology, both of which you can change in a matter of moments. If in the past you have been jealous, that simply means that you have represented things in a way that created this state. You now can represent things in a new way and produce new states and accompanying behaviors. Remember, we always have a choice of how to represent things to ourselves. If you represent to yourself that your lover is cheating on you, pretty soon you find yourself in a state of rage and anger. Bear in mind, you have no evidence this is true, but you experience it in your body as if it were, so that by the time the person you love comes home, you’re suspicious or angry. In this state how do you treat the person you love? Usually not very well. You may abuse or attack him or her verbally or just feel bad inside and create some other retaliatory behavior later on.
Remember, the person you love may not have done anything, but the kind of behavior that you produce out of such a state will probably make him or her want to be with someone else! If you’re jealous, you create that state. You can change your pictures of negativity to images of your loved one working hard to get home. This new picturing process will put you in a state where when your loved one does make it home, you will behave in a way that will make him or her feel wanted and will thus increase the desire to be with you. There may be times when a lover really is doing what you pictured, but why waste lots of emotion until you find out for sure? Many times it’s highly unlikely that it’s true yet you’ve created all kinds of pain for both of you.
If we take control of our own communication with ourselves and produce visual, auditory and Kinesthetic signals of what we do want, outstanding positive results can be consistently produced, even in situations where the odds for success seem limited or nonexistent. The most powerful and effective managers, coaches, parents, and motivators are those who can represent the circumstances of life to themselves and to others in a way that signals success to the nervous system in spite of seemingly hopeless external stimuli. They keep themselves and others in a state of total resourcefulness so that they can continue to take action until they succeed. You’ve probably heard about Mel Fisher. He’s the man who for seventeen years searched for an undersea buried treasure, finally discovering over 400 million dollars’ worth of gold and silver bullion. In an article read about him, one of the crew members was asked why he had stayed on so long. He replied that Mel just the ability to get everyone excited. Every day Fisher told himself and the crew, ‘Today is the day, and at the end of the day, tomorrow’s the day’. But just saying it was not enough. He also said it congruently, in his tone of voice, the pictures in his mind, and his feelings. Everyday he put himself in state so that he would continue to take action until he succeeded. He is a classic example of the Ultimate Success Formula. He knew his outcome, he took action, he learned from what worked and if it didn’t, he tried something else until he succeeded.