Behavior Appreciation

Improve your performance and self care by developing a positive approach to personal development. This technique uses anchors to find the positive intention (the underlying positive outcome-seeking pattern) underlying a negative behavior. For example, if you burst into tears at times, you have better options than feeling inferior. Instead, this positive approach might help you decide to accept your need to release an emotional burden, and might help you find ways to live without unnecessary stress. 

Identify the behavior.

Select a negative behavior. It may be primarily a feeling, a thought pattern, or physical actions. Include the context in which you carry out the behavior. 

Anchor the context space.

a. Where in your visual field or body does this experience seem to belong? Imagine that this spot is a location that you can step into, and that when you step into it, you will see the location around you where the behavior has occurred. This spot now represents the behavior and its context, like a location or a space where you can stand in your imagination. We’ll call this the “context space.” 

b. Step into this space, imagining that it is the location where the behavior took place. Begin thinking of the behavior in its context. Recall this as vividly as possible. Anchor the behavior and its context to this spot. 

Access your underlying positive motivation.

Even the most negative or unwanted behaviors actually have a positive underlying purpose. Think of the negative behavior that you selected as coming from a part that has a positive underlying motivation. This dramatic change of frame can liberate your creativity and motivation.However, set aside your first ideas as to these underlying motives. 

Get into the “mind” of the part that is responsible for the behavior. This can provide insights that will make this technique more powerful.

Part Space

a. Imagine that there can be a space that is just for the part; a space that does not include the behavior and its context. We will call this the part space. Step out of the context space, taking this part with you to the part space. You might want to visualize this space as being next to the context space. Remember to leave the behavior and context behind. This leaves you with the part dissociated from the context, so that you may have an easier access to its underlying motives.

b. Now you will clarify the part’s motives with questions. 

At times, speak as if you are the part, speaking in first person. This will help you get an associated experience of the part’s motives. When referring to the negative behavior, point to the previous (context) spot anchor as if it was an actual physical location. This helps you dis-identify from the prior behavior.

“What do I really want to get out of what I had been doing (referring to the negative behavior)?” 

Note: the past perfect tense of “had been doing” helps you mentally distance from the behavior by making it seem to be in the distant past, and implying that you have changed already.

“How do I feel when that desired outcome does or does not occur?”

“When I get the desired outcome, what do I want to do with it?”

“When I get the undesirable parts of the outcome, how to I react to them?” 

Typical reactions include: blaming others, rationalization, spacing out or ignoring it, manipulating others to escape the consequences, isolating, self-soothing such as comfort food, distractions, etc. Continue asking questions such as these until you feel that you have brought out responses that are valuable to you and your part

c. Imagine yourself in the future, looking back upon the situation from a meta-state, at peace, fully able to enjoy the positive outcomes.

In the coming days and weeks, notice any changes in your behavior when this kind of situation arises. Notice any ways that you are more resourceful or have more options.

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