Martha Beck says that “The way we do anything is the way we do everything.” 1
Likewise, is how you prepare for anything how you prepare for everything? Take a moment to read these words again and think about their relevance in your life.
You can prepare and choose your state before you take action.
Being flexible and going with the flow is necessary and does allow you to make changes in the moment. On the other hand, you could know and choose what state you would like to be in when you have to:
- Write a test or exam
- Teach a lesson while being assessed
- Attend and contribute at a meeting
- Stand up and deliver a presentation
- Do your speech at school in front of the class
- Present your research proposal at university
- Complete a sales pitch
- Recite your poem at an Eisteddfod
- Go for surgery
- Sing a song or perform in front of an audience
And there are so many more examples in life …. where you may like to prepare and choose your state before you take action.
If you could decide – this is how I want to be feeling when I do that task and you could prepare by accessing that state (how you stand, breathe, feel physically, what emotion you experience, what attitude you want) – how different would your experiences be?
PREP (or Preparation)
Prep is a second strategy we can use to build and sustain resilience (the first strategy is Shift and Reset).
If you prepare, it is like recharging your inner battery to its full capacity, and it allows you to grow your ability to regulate your emotions. Your starting point can be your choice.
Say you want to feel confident before and during a speech or presentation or exam:
- First, get coherent by doing Heart Focused BreathingTM or Quick Coherence®
- “Focus your attention in the area of the heart. Imagine your breath is flowing in and out of your heart or chest area. Breathe a little slower and deeper than usual. Make a sincere attempt to experience a regenerative feeling, such as appreciation or care for someone or something in your life.”2
- Then think about a time when you felt confident (it doesn’t have to be a time when you were presenting or doing a speech – any time you felt confident is good).
- Really imagine stepping into that experience. Notice:
- Where you were (what are the colours, sights, sounds)?
- Who you were with (is anyone else there)?
- What you were doing?
- Where you felt that sense of confidence inside your body?
- Did you say anything to yourself?
- How did you breathe when you were feeling confident?
- How did you stand or move?
- How did you sound?
- Bring all that awareness of the feeling of confidence into the present moment. Breathe deeply and feel that confidence.
- Then to anchor this feeling, you can touch and hold the thumb and little finger of your left hand together.
You can try layering several positive feelings onto this same spot. Just go through the steps3 again.
Experimenting with Prep and using your ability to Shift and Reset in the moment can go a long way to building and sustaining your resilience. HeartMath® techniques help you get coherent and the technology4 is also really useful in providing immediate feedback, so that you can see what your level of coherence is, and increase it. If you bring in positive, helpful feelings or attitudes you can get through any situation or event that you need to prepare for.
If you could choose to do things differently, what would you be doing and how many aspects of your life would change?
- Beck, M. 2013. Martha Beck.Com: The Labyrinth of Life. Online. Available: http://marthabeck.com/2013/03/the-labyrinth-of-life/, accessed February 17, 2017.
- Institute of HeartMath®, 2017. Quick Coherence® (online). Available: https://www.heartmath.com/quick-coherence-technique/, accessed February 17, 2017.
- Steps 2 to 5 are based on NLP: anchoring and building a resourceful state. For more information on Neuro-Linguistic Programming [NLP] see: http://www.inspiritu.co.za/what-is-nlp/
- For HeartMath® technology, see: http://www.heartmathsouthafrica.co.za/shop/
- Featured Image of phone with heart sourced: https://www.heartmath.com/blog/articles/3-minutes-to-recharge-your-resilience/
- Resilience and Inner Battery image sourced: Institute of HeartMath, Building Personal Resilience Guide (2014), pg 3.