Coaching is all about getting results. It’s about changing something so that you can get different or better results and so how do you do that?
I’ve heard lots of different answers to that question. I’ve heard
- change your behaviour to get different results,
- change your thinking to get different results,
- change your environment to get different results or
- change everything to get different results.
Sometimes it can be quite difficult to change your behaviour or change everything and actually all we can do is change small things.
Thinking, Feeling and Body Language are all connected
One thing that really excites me is understanding the relationship between what we think, how we feel about it and our body language.
All of these things are connected, and I think we’ve lost a lot of the mind body connection. We put a lot of focus on intellectual ability and cognitive ability and that’s stopped us from realising that our thinking, feeling and body language are linked.
When you do know that they’re linked it can be really powerful.
Think of a Yellow Lemon…
Let me see if I can explain this. If I say to you think of a yellow lemon, what happens?
The vast majority of us think in pictures, so if I said think of a yellow lemon, most of you will have got a picture of a yellow lemon in your mind. Some of you may have smelt it, some of you may have got the taste of it, some of you may have got more than one thing, you might have got the picture and got some saliva happening in your mouth.
Let’s assume that you got a picture of the yellow lemon, you probably also got a feeling as well. Your feeling might be eugh lemon or it might have been, mmm that’s refreshing, oh yes, that reminds me of holidays or something.
You get a feeling, maybe a joyful feeling maybe an eugh feeling but a feeling nonetheless, and the other thing that you might have noticed was in order to access that picture of the yellow lemon you might have shifted your body position or your eye position.
Accessing memories links to body language
Now this is where I think things are really interesting because the way that we access memories, stored experiences, pictures in our head is by the way that we use our body.
If you were thinking about something that made you sad, you probably noticed that your eyes go down, maybe your shoulders come forward.
If you wanted to access something, a memory of a time when you were really excited and really happy, you’ll notice that your eyes actually come up and your shoulders go back.
Sometimes it’s almost imperceptible but you’ll tell you’ll be able to feel little shifts, maybe in your face or your shoulders, head, your eye position.
That’s because what you’re thinking, that stored experience, the way you feel about it and your body language are all absolutely linked. If you change one, the others must change.
I get very excited about this because it means that I can do really cool things like I can make you like things that you don’t want to like, or I can make you not like things that you like a lot and would rather not like by changing the picture in your head. But that’s a little bit advanced for this blog.
To change your results, change your behaviour
It’s important for you to understand that if you want to change your results then you need to change your behaviour and your behaviour is the result of this relationship of how you store your experiences, what you feel about them and your body language.
Knowing that, the easiest thing for you to do is probably move your body. If you find yourself in a situation where you really want to change the results that you’re getting and you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed at the thought, shift your body into a position where you don’t feel overwhelmed anymore. It’s really really difficult to access sad or overwhelming feelings and memories and experiences when you’re smiling and waving your arms in the air.
This is something that I want you to play with. I want you to get playful with it.
Access those different experiences with a smile
It was my gran who first introduced me to this. My dear Nana and she used to say to me when I was sad
“smile until you feel better”
Well, at the time I just wanted to punch her in the face. But actually, it’s true because that physical shift in my face was enough for me to access different experiences which meant a different feeling, which meant a different behaviour.
If you want to change your results, play with that relationship between stored experience, feeling and body language. It will change the actions that you take and that will change the results that you get.
Let me know how you get on.