A few weeks ago Bill kindly wrote me an email explaining in detail how he created and used a covert belief change process on his daughter to get her to drop the blocks that were stopping her learning maths. His email explaining step by step how he did this is below.
The True Key to Learning
When we are young it is easy to pick up and start installing the beliefs of others. A personal example would be my musical ability. At the age of 13 I went for trumpet lessons at my school. After the second lesson my teacher told me I was tone deaf.
As a result I gave up and did not pick up a musical instrument again until I was 16. Even though I used to be permanently attached to my Sony Walkman and was spending every last penny I was given on records I still believed I was tone deaf and would never be able to play a musical instrument. It took my mother three years to convince me otherwise and even though I know it is obviously untrue I am still left with issue that centre around the idea of not being able to hear tones correctly.
The Problem with Belief Changes
The interesting thing about these sorts of beliefs is that they are so easy to pick up. Then you just sort the evidence to make it fit. This makes them very difficult to change because you will tend to believe the things that confirm your belief and ignore or treat as an exception the evidence that contradicts your belief.
You have an investment wrapped round evidence to support your beliefs. Using counter evidence will not normal change anything, it will just give you examples of exceptions, excuses or anomalous results. As a result I like covertly changing beliefs and then ratifying the new beliefs and creating new evidence supporting the new beliefs. You know when you have done this right because when you espouse the old belief your client will look at you as if you are mad for even suggesting it.
Bill kindly wrote out the exact process he used to blow out an incredibly difficult belief from a very challenging client. Here is his process:From: Bill Sent: 20 March 20:42 To: Rintu Subject: Re: What connects Maths, Elephants and Comfort Zones?
I left you some feedback on your Steroids material that you recently used in one of your emails. I am the dad with the 11 year old daughter her mother anchored to the concept that math is too hard to do. During Spring Break we were together for 10 days so it was time to follow up on helping her get her math down pat. I thought you might appreciate getting an update on the situation.
The highlights from my earlier note are as follows. My daughter’s math skills were a paradox for years. In many contexts of her life she has an almost photographic memory and yet struggled with simple things even when they were complete memorization. Finally I realized her frustrations were more related to years of anchoring (mostly installed by my ex-wife who is completely math phobic) that math is just too difficult to do. I used the thoughts about learning being confusion on the Steroid Material to get some NEW ideas easily into her realm of being doable. We really didn’t have time to do much on breaking the anchors on the old stuff.
The first thing to do over Spring Break was to get our daughter caught up on the things she had learned long ago but convinced herself she would never be able to actually do well with. This may have been easy if I had practitioner training instead I improvised using the tools learned from your APP course. My solution was not elegant but it worked.
Since she was already so firmly anchored and resistant to change, my first step was to anchor her to the negative thoughts even stronger and then throw them away. I made her spend a solid hour a twice a day doing the things she was struggling with. Along the way I would frame it as hard, draw HUGE red X’s over the ones she missed and tiny checks on the ones that she got right. She was not a happy camper and there was a LOT of RED on those pages. Along the way I started setting up anticipation loops that there were easier ways but refused to tell her what they were. She was begging me for the secrets and I simply refused to give her any.
After a few days I decided she was ready for the “secrets”. Honestly there aren’t any secrets to doing 6th grade math. After days of torture and my framing by opening the anticipation loops she was ready to believe I was showing her something new even though it I was just presenting it SLIGHTLY differently. So now she is anchored to a large group of math problems are actually easy. The only thing that really changed was her beliefs about what we worked on.
The second thing was to teach her the new material that will be taught in her school beginning this week. This was incredibly easy as she didn’t have a negative anchor. The whole trick was to avoid framing it as math at all. Instead she was learning Probability and Combinatorics.
I just laid out various combinations of face cards from a deck asked questions that were simple for her to answer that were thinly disguised probability problems. Then I allowed her to discover it was nothing more than proportions (which was a part of what we had done earlier in the week). CLICK…..she is now the greatest “Probabilitist” in her school.
She has also become quite the “Combinatoricalist” using similar methods.
To sum it all up….She was tortured for a few days doing things the way she had been doing them. She made the switch to those things being virtually impossible to being quite comfortable with them even if she makes a calculation error from time to time. She is now a “Certified” Probabilist and Conbinatoricalist meaning the next 3 weeks of school is going to be easy for her.
I should probably feel ashamed of torturing her, being benignly deceptive and abusing the English language. But I don’t. Certainly there are probably more elegant methods and perhaps one day I will have the opportunity to learn them. In the meantime I will continue to do what I know how to do.
Text Book Application of NLP Techniques
Bill thinks he might have better results if he had been on an NLP Practitioner course. My experience is many NLP practitioners and Master Practitioners not having the skills or ability to think through and execute such a smart plan. So my challenge to Bill is, “How do you now let go of that belief and step into your own powerful skill set?”
And my challenge to all the people on the Advanced Persuasion Patterns or the Persuasion Skills on Steroids Deconstructed course is to deconstructed Bill’s process, work out why he has taken the steps that he has and then put it back together again for a different context.