PTSD Professional Perspective: Project Butterfly Code, Part 1
Friday, February 5th, 2010 • PTSD Guest Post: Professional Perspective •
I really love practitioners with a plan. So often PTSD — and our recovery from it — seems haphazard and chaotic. I was intrigued, then, when I saw that Michael Blackstone, today’s guest post author, actually has a strategy for deliberately helping clients develop some self-empowered muscle.
Today is the first in a series of guest posts that will run on the first Friday of the next 6 months. I hope you enjoy Michael’s thoughts, try out his ideas, and benefit from his suggestions. I know I am!
The Power of Making a Decision
One of the hardest things you will ever have to do is decide to take the first step to squarely face any life issue you are up against. I have compassion for you, because that has been my experience. In the face of feeling powerless, worthless, and hopeless, making that decision has often called for the thinnest thread of courage I could muster. But I’ve made some discoveries that have worked for me and many others. I want to share them with you. This is the first of a 7-part series on how to take charge of any life issue you’re up against.
What you believe about your life, other people, and — especially — what you believe about yourself is the crux of any life issue you are up against. I am talking about beliefs like, “My life is ruined.” Or, “I am unworthy of anything better.”
As an executive coach, life coach, NLP trainer and therapist over the 23 years of my professional career, I have successfully worked, one-on-one, with nearly 4,000 individuals.
I want you to have confidence in what I am about to tell you. If you simply decide to learn the principles and do the exercises in this article, and the following six, your life will change for the better — you WILL improve.
Objective vs. Subjective Beliefs
What you believe about life, other people, and yourself fall into two categories — objective beliefs and subjective beliefs.
Objective beliefs are those you have that are corroborated and can be proven by fact. One example is the belief if you touch a hot stove, you will get burned — an objective fact unerringly proven in the experience of every child growing up.
The second category — subjective beliefs — falls into two groups. The first group are beliefs of “faith” — those that are spiritual or around one’s personal religion.
The second group of subjective beliefs is the one to be interested in because beliefs contained in this group (some of them) are the ones that keep you from dealing effectively with your challenges. This group of beliefs I sometimes call “bubble” beliefs. They can be “popped” — they are changeable. We often think these beliefs are as “real” as our objective beliefs, yet they are not — we change these beliefs all the time when we get new information, or a different perspective on things, or we decide to change them.
Here is an example of a fairly benign bubble belief that can change. You may believe you have no musical ability. If you have a desire, as many do, to be able to play a musical instrument, this belief will be a barrier to you actually learning an instrument. Yet many people, often a little later in life, decide to override this belief and try their hand at a musical instrument. They discover they do have musical ability. Though most never become virtuosos, they become good enough to entertain themselves and get pleasure from it.
Not unlike this belief, but less benign, are beliefs about yourself that slow or completely derail your efforts to progress. Here are some examples…
- I am powerless to do anything about my life.
- I am being punished.
- I am defective, flawed in some way.
These beliefs evaporate desire and halt your progress, yet they can be changed if you decide to change them – they ARE subjective bubble beliefs.
How to Change Your Beliefs
Decisions, well made, bring about dramatic changes in peoples’ lives. In this 7-part series, I will show you how to make effective decisions about your beliefs — decisions that will stick, grow, and succeed.
Let’s begin by you proving to yourself you can make decisions that work. Think of something you have been intending to do, but have been putting off. It could be calling someone you’ve been meaning to, doing any chore you have been putting off, organizing a room, an office, or your checkbook — you get the idea.
Before you go to bed tonight, identify a single first step that you could do tomorrow that would be a natural first step toward accomplishing your task. For example, if you’ve been meaning to call someone, a natural first step could be writing down their telephone number and putting it next to your telephone.
Then, say to yourself (out loud — but just loud enough for only yourself to hear) the following: I declare, I am determined I will… (and fill in your task), and the first step will be… (fill in your first step), tomorrow!
You will surprise yourself. Then pick another task to make a decision about the next night before you go to bed. And then, do it again the next night.
There are 7 keys to making powerful decisions, and I call these Keys, the Butterfly CodeTM. Declaring your decision and identifying your first step are the first 2 Keys. In the next installment of this series (on March 5) I will add the 3rd Key. And we will begin to go directly to changing the beliefs that are the crux of your life challenge.
[NOTE: If you want a quicker start learning and using the Code, click here.]
He’s been called the “best coach on the planet,” and the “Master coach among the Masters….” Over the 23 years of his professional career, Mike Blackstone has been an executive coach, life coach, therapist, NLP master practitioner and trainer, teambuilding specialist, and seminar leader. He’s successfully worked with nearly 4,000 people, one-on-one, and delivered more than 350 programs in eight countries. But what trademarks his effectiveness, more than anything else, is his dedication, commitment, and compassion for people, and to teaching them the steps anyone can learn to master their own destiny.
The opinions of this post solely belong to the author. To contribute to ‘Professional Perspective’ contact Michele.