I have been asked how the ‘safe experiment’ model fits into our understanding of how we change.
This is a good point as some of the theory around change explains why we have to persist with some experiments and learn from results that leave us discomforted – those small defeats, I mention.
Effective change appears to require some initial inspiration, growing motivation, an effective strategy that transforms into the ‘do-able thing’.
The results of one do-able thing after another make the change. If its the preferred change – then you will do more of it. If it is an unexpected or undesirable change, then you will find something a little bit different to experiment with instead.
For a practical example of a change process, specifically relating to the research of James Prochaska and Carlo DiClemente, take a look at:
This material is based on important research contained in their text:
Trans-theoretical Stages of Change model (1983).
Those four pages, alone, provide considerable practical suggestions for any number of safe experiments. TRY IT!!
How to give yourself a nudge.
Welcome to Find Your Nudge.
Early on in my main blog I included some ideas on how to design a safe experiment. Some people have realised the value of recording as part of the experiment, but they have asked me whether there is a systematic way of collecting information to prepare for all this. Well, as you might imagine, there are many alternatives and your researches may come up with a few. However, here is a simple set of questions to ask yourself before you get into planning:
- What do you want to change? this is the most general and, if needs be, most vague idea about your wishes for your future. The Road Map experiment, included in the early part of the main blog, may well help here.
- How might you get want you want? This is a brain-storming exercise (meaning – just write everything and anything down on a bit of paper as it comes out of you head! Only when you’ve exhausted everything possible – however zany – you can then sift through the material to see if some particular things ring a bell).
- From all you now know: can you identify a problem that you’d like to solve about your current situation. Consider your life as thoroughly as possible – your physical health and well-being, your emotional health and well being, your present emotional state and the beliefs you possess about yourself and the world you live in. Body Scans, and all the exercises associated with them, can help here.
- In particular, identify negative thoughts that appear to be stopping you making changes. What things might be stopping you – in your work, home and your community; what limits do you appear to place on your self?. Beware of blaming others here as blame IS a major stopper. Remain aware of YOU – your body, your sensations, your emotions and beliefs. Be open to unpleasant feelings of shame, jealousy, fear and bitterness.
- For some people there may be critical incident(s) in their life that haunt or plague them. This is particularly likely where there has been some abuse or trauma in your personal history. Make a brief, factual note of any incident(s) noting, all the while, how easy it is to be drawn into them. This is one time, at this early stage, where avoidance is OK – on a temporary basis!
- From all this information, can you discern one or two specific opinions or beliefs that you have developed about yourself – who you are. Can you record those thoughts briefly and to the point, e.g. I have failed in life; I am my own worst enemy etc.
- Does a single life message emerge from it all; e.g. life isn’t worthwhile, I don’t deserve to succeed.
Bear in are mind, as I have said a few times, these can be unsettling exercises. It would be wise to have available a back-up plan. Some-one to talk to and share with.
Once completed, you may find it possible to return to the main blog and revisit the section on AIMS AND OBJECTIVES. Do use your browser search facility to winkle it out.
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