Author Topic: Creating "Success" and "Failure" Stacks  (Read 2018 times)  Share 


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Creating "Success" and "Failure" Stacks
« on: January 21, 2013, 01:51:27 AM »
This was originally a reply I made in the following thread:
I thought that since I provided a lot of information, it should be made into its own post.

This woman is not emotionally blocked at all:

Since her entire presentation is founded upon anxiety -- and fostering anxiety in the viewer -- I'm not sure she is a good example of a person without social anxiety. I mean, this is a classical lesson in purposefully transferring anxiety to an audience, since fear is probably the easiest way to rally people to your cause. (Anger would take second place, and she is putting plenty of that out, too.)

The thing about fear is that the biggest, most urgent fear will take precedence in your mind over any smaller fears. So, since she is so focused on her "primary fear" of societal collapse, and she is tuning into that in a big way in order to create the desired effects in the viewer, if she does have any social anxiety ordinarily in her life then it is completely irrelevant during this presentation since she is tapping into her "primary fear" which will de-prioritize social anxiety and knock it completely out of her focus and awareness (thus: she won't experience it). To consider this further, imagine you ordinarily have massive social anxiety -- but you just found out a bomb was about to go off in a room full of people. You would find it rather easy to run in and blurt out "THERE'S A BOMB! EVERYBODY OUT!" regardless of your social anxiety, because the pressing matter would consume your focus entirely.

In fact, it's fair to say that changing your focus is the primary method of not experiencing social anxiety. In my book The End of Social Anxiety I've given the reader things such as meditations, watching and "fading" overlays, and purposefully feeling good, in order to change their focus to something other than social anxiety. A lesson from the "feeling good" side of things would be to imagine you just got some really good news -- a job promotion, or winning the lottery (if that's a desire you have), or some other event that would elate you. Now, walking into a crowded bar or party or other social gathering, you aren't likely to experience social anxiety whatsoever as your focus is consumed entirely by the good feelings and positive opportunities your good news has brought to your attention (so you might be cycling through scenarios of how to spend your new money or whatever, and this would consume your focus completely).

This sort of thing actually happens regularly -- people have great social experiences while their focus is on positive things. The problem however is that people with an unhealthy focus on what they perceive as their "social anxiety" will later, at some point, have their "despair cycle" triggered again, which causes them to forget their good experiences entirely as they once again begin to dwell on their "condition" and therefore experience the memories and thoughts which support that stance.

The human memory is rather fickle. When you feel good, other positive memories connected to that feeling are made easily available to you. When you feel bad or in despair however, the memories related to those feelings are more readily available instead. The memories you have most readily available to you at any time are the ones which provide evidence to support your current emotional state. This is why meditation is an important and effective "breaker" for this cycle: by calming your own emotional state, the "bad" memories no longer wish to surface so urgently. The key to breaking the back of any kind of depression or anxiety is therefore to begin collecting positive experiences which support the self-image you wish to hold of yourself. Meditation and other personal development methods and techniques are simply there to calm your emotions and keep you focused long enough to gain those positive experiences.

A great little technique I was told recently by a friend in real life who is a business coach and personal development enthusiast was to create two "experience stacks": Successes and Failures. His idea was that people generally just have one "stack", and all their experiences get kind of thrown onto it. Since humans are generally predisposed towards focusing on negatives (which many scientists believe is an evolutionary survival adaptation), their negative experiences dominate this stack. Take a few minutes now to mentally catalogue your recent experiences (over the last few weeks or so) into two stacks: Successes and Failures. Get that Success stack really vivid and strong. The idea now is, when you are entering introspective thought cycles, to begin to train yourself to access your Success stack first. I can confirm that, with practice, you can begin to do this quite quickly and get your Success scenarios to be the first things that pop into your mind whenever you are introspecting or your self-image is called into question.

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