THERE IS A PATTERN AND STRUCTURE BEHIND EVERY EXPERIENCE
**Long Post Alert**
Even though I used to be very shy, I managed to work years ago with MTN Nigeria Communications Limited as a Property Negotiator. It was a daring period of my life as we were required and were responsible for the largest telecommunication network roll-out any time in Africa.
I was challenged yet managed to produce some outstanding results more out of sheer determination and unflinching bravado.
There was a regular need to interface with potential and existing property owners, landlords and community members with a view to negotiating new and existing leases as well as resolve emerging community upheavals and family squabbles.
Many people needlessly created chaos where our mtn sites were located in an attempt to have a bite of the MTN largese, as they saw it. You had to be adept with excellent negotiation and communication skills to have any breakthrough outcomes.
While I wasn’t sure I had the forgoing, I realised that growing up with my mom had helped a lot. Mom and I would be up as early as 4am when I was a child and head out to the “ruggan Fulani,” in Birnin Kebbi, Bebbi State of north western Nigeria.
For years, I heard many people wrongly describe short walks as “treks.” When I came to realise the true meaning of the word trek ( a long, arduous journey on foot, by air, by sea or by road), I later realised that those long walks were actually regular treks. Imagine a 9 to 14 year old me walking for sometimes 3 to 6 hours in extreme cold or hot weather and doing this for years during holidays and weekends while helping mom at her pepper soup and alcohol selling joint.
When it came to weather, this part of the north was a toast of both extremes at different times of the year and these journeys on foot with mom to seemingky endless bushes and sandy patches were very unhappy times and reluctant adventures for the young me who had no options but to follow mom’s orders.
How do these all add up? Follow me patiently my friend.
Being the laid back, shy and timid young man back then in MTN, my KPI required that I attend training to keep up with the daily demands of my work. I attended a number of training back then in public speaking, presentation and negotiation.
Have you noticed like I have, that most of these trainings out there place more emphasis on the mechanics or “how tos.” For any to do or achieve anything significant, you need to grasp that 80% of learning any subject matter is psychology while only 20% is mechanics. How you have been wired and programmed and currently think about a thing makes up for 80% of how you will likely deal with it. The problem most people usually assume is the problem is not really the problem. The problem IS what and how YOU think about the problem.
Those memories from the past actually play a part in conditioning your response or reaction to a particular situation. The problem is not necessarily the obstacle in your path holding you back; it is your pattern of thinking when you encounter a trigger that is holding you back. Every action or feeling that is witnessed on the surface emanated from a unique train of thoughts and until these thoughts are reprogramed, anything else you do to control your actions or feelings will be on the surface as well as temporary and less effective. You will just end up repeating the same old script like a broken record.
The state most people get into when this old wiring is stirred is usually unresourceful and since everything is known to be state dependent, accessing the right or resourceful state is the most important element. We all have shone and done brilliantly in presentations, at social events or meeting strangers ONCE we were in the right state and feeling fly.
Habiba (an alias), told me this when she came into a training event not long ago, “Mr. Usar,” she said, “I am shy and I believe I was born to be this way.” She further said to me, “we cannot all be the same , some of us may never shine and be outgoing. This is how we are in our family.”
Have you heard similar comments in the past yourself? They reveal something deeper than most people know. Habiba represents a quarter of the people who come into our trainings.
Usually at the beginning of our NLP Presentation and Platform Skills (Level 3) training events, confess to being very shy and would most times experience stage fright, in spite of the fact that they had like me, attended several previous presentation skills trainings. The reason for this is because a lot of the focus usually is on how to ‘’sound’’ confident, not how to “become confident.” These trainings teach many invaluable skills related to how to make good eye contact with audiences, control gestures, body movements and stand to exude confidence, when in fact, many candidates dying to get it over with. When the root cause and issues have not been dealt with, this continues to be their unfortunate experience.
Most of the tips taught are mere mechanics. Most people have not looked at the beliefs, values, memories, language and meta programs that have supported the shyness and low self-esteem in the first place. Most times, the person suffering from timidity has had an embarrassing experience and the meaning they drew from that early that was anchored in their neurology having created a neurological pathway that need to be redesigned using tools of accelerated change.
Many do not know that the earlier significant emotional event may have made the person to develop a certain belief. Over time, this create certain disempowering meanings which leads to certain less than empowering beliefs. This belief leads the person to create a limiting decision, to take up shyness as a shield. And this program gets stored deep in them at the unconscious level. Therefore, whenever the person gets called to present something on stage or in a small boardroom meeting or instance.m, their mind picks out that pre-installed program of shyness as a cover to shield them from repeating that bad experience, and unconsciously the person continues to succumb to low self esteem, all in an attempt to sometimes protect them from “failure.”
Memories or experiences from the past which a person draws meaning, forms a belief and create a limiting decision lead to internal inhibitions or blocks. There internal inhibitions are the real factors stopping most people from stepping out of their cocoon of timidity to be their authentic selves. Note that for many, these internal factors cannot be changed or overwritten by influencing the superficial learning of presentation skills and speaker qualities, such as the way you talk, what you say and the delivery process.
All those are important (mechanics) but, mechanics constitute 20% of response in any subject matter. The real deal is the internal inhibitions which are layered in at the unconscious level and need ro be hacked into an unscrambled. To overcome timidity and shyness, these old programs have to be uninstalled first before an alternative behaviour be installed. We install e6 behaviours that the best speakers use for maximum success at our 7 day Platform and presentation skills and you can check it up here…
Many are literally self-sabotaging themselves by holding on to your limiting beliefs that they are not even consciously aware that they have. Therefore, no matter the volume of educational materials they consume, how intense their eye contact is, the richness of their accent or texture of their voice, or how to master gestures and body language, these preinstalled programs will rebel against their efforts and desires to express themselves in an unfettered way when the need arises.
So, gathering and heaping up information, tips and effective presentation hacks will be a total waste of time, energy and resources, until the inner psychology is dealt with with the appropriate intervention. This is what we do so well with our own intervention at InnocentMINDS and the feedback is mind blowing.
A few days ago, I received a call from this same overly excited former student that I mentioned earlier – a graduate of our NLP Platform and Presentation Skills (Level 3) training. The same person who said she was shy and nothing could be done about it. She called me and she was so filled with excitement. She told me her experience at an event organized by Toastmasters. She was asked to speak on the platform and for the first time in her life, heeded to her pleasant surprise as she wouldn’t do so in the past and although it was impromptu she was graded as the best presenter of the evening. She was excited reporting to me that her outstanding performance was solely due to the fact that she attended our NLP Level 3 training last which holds just once a year.
I have heard similar stories that are well documented from many of our training graduates.
If I were to go back to my MTN days today, I dare not even imagine the magnificence that would ooze out of me and the attendant outcomes.
My mom too would be proud of me and beat me a lot less had I the opportunity to re-live my childhood again. My belief today is that THERE ARE NO COINCIDENCES AND ACCIDENTS, so all of those so called low moments were needed to elicit, use and galvanize the emotions that led to the decision to change my life and outcomes for the discovery of the new me. I would therefore crave no better past that I have been gifted with already.
I turned out a patient and shrewd negotiator like mom whose tactics I hated then, yet I ended up with same but refined strategies.
My past is a gift and an opportunity and so is yours and like Marianne Williamson says in her poem. “Our Deepest Fear…”
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness
That most frightens us.
We ask ourselves
Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.
Your playing small
Does not serve the world.
There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking
So that other people won’t feel insecure around you.
We are all meant to shine,
As children do.
We were born to make manifest
The glory of God that is within us.
It’s not just in some of us;
It’s in everyone.
And as we let our own light shine,
We unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
As we’re liberated from our own fear,
Our presence automatically liberates others.
Nothing captures it for me like these very words. They tell my story, your story and that of millions around the world battling with all sorts of fears and insecurities.
There is a structure to all your current experiences and a sure structure and path to your liberation and greatness.
The time to brave all odds and follow that path to winning eventually is NOW!