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Her intellect’s safety alerts kicked in immediately. She got very defensive and went on tirade about how she was right, and no one could see all that she went through day in and day out, raising three kids while working, and if her blood didn’t boil she would become just as lazy as her son, and whole house would be a wreck.
Then she ended call by saying that she was perfectly fine, and it was her son who had problem.
Now how many of you identified with her story, sympathized with her stance? Did you get sucked into trap? Did you let her logical retort validate your own stance?
Go back and read it again. What did she do? How did she trap herself? Her intellect screamed bloody murder moment we came up on her sacred cow of cleanliness.
It started by building a logical argument around why she was right and he (or me, for challenging her) was in wrong. She used that along with lack of validation and recognition from everyone else to validate her logic. And finally, she felt compelled to share it with me to externalize trap and manifest it into reality.
By sharing, logic is not just a construct in her mind anymore. Adding voice and breath to it begins to give it a life of its own. This is where pointing begins. And remember whenever there is one finger pointing outwards, there are three fingers pointing back to person doing pointing.
Getting Out of Trap
Now that you know what to look out for, you can begin using tools below to stay out as well as help others to stay out of those thought traps. Remember this takes practice. The hardest step is to recognize it. The moment you do recognize it you are in a sense already on your way out. But then it is about freeing yourself from logic that intellect has spun around trap.
Even then you may find it is easier to spot other people’s traps quicker than your own. And reason for that is because your own logic is most seductive to you not to others. So while they may be seduced by their logic, you can clearly see through it. And it certainly works other way around as well. So go slowly with this at first. You don’t want to find yourself at end of week with no friends because you challenged all their sacred cows without maintaining rapport.
Now simplest way is to first recognize trap and then begin questioning it.
Who, What, Where, When, and How.
Avoid “Why” because you will only get justifications, which only help build thought blockade stronger.
For example, when working on your own thought trap, you may want to begin like this:
Who says you’re right? How do you know? According to what criteria? When am I wrong? When was last time? Where was it? What was going on then? Who was I wanting validation from then? How did I get it then? What did I do as a result of it? What other choices did I have available to me then? What about now? How would things be different if I responded differently?
If you are familiar with meta-model, you can use it to guide you to different ways of looking at trap? And as you start finding edges, boundaries of confine, you can find doorway out of trap.
Another tool is to use your vertical and lateral thinking strategies to leap you or others out of trap. In some cases, these strategies will not get you totally out of trap, but it will begin expand boundaries, giving you an opportunity to find your way out. Let’s use lady who called me as an example.
(Staying vertical to her position) I could have said to her, “Well, if you can’t keep a house a clean without your blood boiling, then perhaps you should hire a 24-hour maid.”
Vertical thinking leads you up and down same line of thinking, regardless of whether you are speaking at levels of abstraction or levels of specificity; topic doesn't change.
(Going lateral to her position) Or I could have said, “A friend of mine had a problem with a wrecked house, so she went out and got herself an apartment—No more wrecked homes.”
Lateral thinking begins one place and ends up at an entirely different place. A conversation may begin at A and end up at D, with transitions B and C explicitly stated or just processed internally by one or both parties.
As you begin discovering your own traps, whether they appear as beliefs, values, or ideals, and regardless of how many layers of logic that are piled on top, you now know how to dig your way out. The more you do this, more flexibility you will create within your own system. You will find that you don’t fall into your own thought traps or anyone else’s.
Remember to go easy on yourself and to enjoy process!
As the director of the CORE Changes Institute, Oz Merchant, trains and coaches individuals for personal and professional excellence utilizing cutting-edge transformation technologies such as NLP, Hypnosis, TFT, and EFT to name a few. Get access to the Success Skills E-Letter and remember to get your free copy of his latest e-book "11 Simple Lessons to Manifest Your Destiny," at www.corechanges.com