Friday, 21 December 2007

Reboot your neurology & wave goodbye to hesitation with the pizzawalk & urban sprinting

A few years ago I published an article called "How to wave goodbye to hesitation" which detailed a technique called "The Pizzawalk" which I use to help people overcome hesitation & rejection-anxiety.

Anyway, I found this fantastic youtube clip today, called "Urban Sprinting".

While I am absolutely NOT endorsing the activity in the clip, it has a strong spiritual connection to pizzawalking, & made me laugh like hell. The pizzawalking article is re-presented in full below.


This Week’s Tip

This is the final part in our exploration of ways for you to overcome the last of the three obstacles to mastery…

- over-reliance on focal vision

- internal dialogue

- a feeling of hesitation

Last time, we looked at ways to quiet the chattering monkey. Today you have the opportunity to say a fond farewell & wave goodbye to feelings of hesitation, but before you do…

He who hesitates…waits

As Richard Bandler, (bona-fide genius & co-developer of NLP) says "He who hesitates…waits…& waits…& waits…" Almost everyone has situations where you would like to do something, but find yourself hesitating. I’ve heard Bandler describe hesitation as one of the main barriers to learning, & he focuses a great deal of time & energy on helping people to overcome it.

Would you like fries with that

One day in London, I was on the tube on the way to train some telesales people, helping them to overcome ‘sales call reluctance’ (ie. not wanting to pick up the phone & dial.) I was reading the book Change (by Watzlawick, Weakland & Fisch) & came across a story describing how Watzlawick helped a student who had been unable to complete his thesis due to anxiety. He told the student "Go into three shops over the next week & make an absurd request." The student did so, reported a shift in attitude, & finished their thesis shortly thereafter.

I loved the idea, & thought it might be useful with the reluctant telesales team, but I knew that I couldn’t ask them to do something I wasn’t willing to do myself. I said to myself "You have to do this now", & as soon as I got off the tube, I went into a well-known fast-food hamburger joint outside the station. I joined the queue, looking around at the other customers. My heart was pounding like a drum; even though I knew rationally that I was in no danger, my neurology was responding as though I were about to stick up a bank.

When I got to the counter, I looked at the person behind it &, with a straight face, asked for a ham & pineapple pizza. She looked confused and said "What?" I repeated my request. She said "We don’t sell those." "This is a chinese restaurant isn’t it?" I replied. She said no, I said thanks anyway and left. I felt like I had just knocked out Mike Tyson – I felt invincible!

Now, before you send me loads of email saying how childish this is, & how it isn’t really NLP - I know. But the result was amazing. In the days following, I did several similar acts. Each time, my physical response was diminished, but in other areas of my life, the opposite happened. I started to exhibit less hesitation and more wanton ‘go for it’ than ever before!

Thrilled with my success, I invited the telesales people to do similar absurd acts, and they reported similar liberating results. I knew I was onto something.

The PIZZA-WALK EXPERIENCE

A few years ago, I became interested in Tony Robbins & went to one of his weekends, eagerly anticipating the fire-walking, which I had heard so much about. I was really looking forward to it, and Robbins did a great job of building up the anticipation, but when the time came, I found it impossible to actually believe that walking on the hot coals was in any way dangerous. As a result, walking across them didn’t have much impact on me as a metaphor for overcoming fears in other areas of my life (though I know it really works for some people.)

By comparison, THE PIZZA-WALK EXPERIENCE costs nothing, can be done virtually anywhere, and is incredibly powerful. So…

1) Identify a few of the areas in your life where you hesitate and would like to just go for it.

2) Choose a commercial premises (eg. shop, restaurant, petrol station) and make an absurd request (ie. ask for something they definitely don’t sell) while keeping a straight face. Be polite, safe and non-threatening.

3) Repeat twice more in the course of a week.

4) Look forward to the situations where in the past you would have hesitated, and enjoy your new responses.

One of my clients used to have difficulties asking women out on dates. I sent him out to a burger joint to get some Italian food. Within the week he had a date and now has a full diary. This stuff works!

For those of you who are worried about the person behind the counter, in all the times I’ve done this, their response has been anywhere from bemused to very amused, but never frightened. The key is for you to be non-threatening and polite (ideally coming across as a bit confused.) For those of you who are thinking this is pointless, foolish or humiliating – you probably need this more than most J

Why does this work?

Our central nervous system is set up to protect us from dangerous situations. Many of us have been heavily conditioned against making mistakes (by teachers, parents, peers etc.) and code mistakes as dangerous. Yet making mistakes is an incredibly important part of learning, growing and exploring. A willingness to make mistakes is an absolute must for anyone who wishes to become skilled at NLP (with me, I used to be almost phobic of making mistakes, but no more.) The Pizza-walk Experience seems to help you eliminate this unhelpful response. There are lots of other NLP techniques which can reduce hesitation & increase ‘go for it’, but this one’s the easiest & quickest to communicate in writing. By the way, obviously there are times when it’s useful to hesitate (eg. when about to step into a busy street.) Keep those.

More advanced

This is also great for playing with beliefs around money. I was in Egypt a couple of years back, and found that you are expected to haggle over the prices of items in shops – it’s a cultural norm. When I returned to the UK, I went into a large DIY shop, picked up £300 worth of expensive equipment and offered them £40 for it. Once again, my neurology responded as though I was in a dangerous situation, even though I was perfectly safe. By doing this, though, I was able to start changing my beliefs around money (Stuart Wilde’s book The Trick to Money is Having Some is where I got this idea.)

Summary

Re-wire unhelpful hesitation responses in minutes with today’s tip…

1) Identify a few of the areas in your life where you hesitate and would like to just go for it.

2) Choose a commercial premises (eg. shop, restaurant, petrol station) and make an absurd request (ie. ask for something they definitely don’t sell) while keeping a straight face. Be polite, safe and non-threatening.

3) Repeat twice more in the course of a week.

4) Look forward to the situations where in the past you would have hesitated, and enjoy your new responses.

Next time

Please…send this tip on to as many people as possible. People in our society are way too afraid of looking silly, and they deserve to be liberated from this terrible affliction. This will help them to have more of what they want in their lives.

The key with this is to DO IT AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. The results of this will amaze you, and the sooner you start, the sooner you can start reaping the benefits. Remember, reading about it just isn’t the same as when you do it. Be safe, be considerate, have lots of fun and amaze yourself. J

Best wishes,

Jamie Smart

www.myNLPresources.com
www.saladltd.co.uk


PS Click here to watch a youtube video of me explaining the pizzawalk

5 comments:

Kodanshi said...

This stuff works? NO IT FUCKING DOESN’T! I have the same problem as that bloke you mentioned who couldn’t get dates. Stop pissing about. The only thing that’ll increase confidence in talking to women is… TALKING TO WOMEN! Not playing stupid pranks at shops. Idiot.

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Ada Michle said...

You make it enjoyable and you still take care of to keep it sensible. I can't wait to read much more from you. This is really a terrific website.
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Micheal Gibbs said...

This is an extremely valid point, though I imagine you'd have to persuade your GP to believe, if he doesn't, that this is indeed harmful.
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