By Jeremy Glyn FKF
For those who do not know me I work with, and run workshops on the ‘ABC of Success’ for, private individuals, aspiring sports stars, coaches, sports psychologists, and anyone who wants to understand about how to help people to use more of their potential.
Having spent thirty years working with Kinesiology and Psychology I was told I should be training Britain’s Olympic coaches to adopt my techniques, so I set out to teach others how, by integrating Muscle Response Testing, Psychology, and Kinesiology, they can help ambitious people, to achieve their goals, enjoy more fulfilling lives, and lead more successful organizations.
After working with Olympic and Paralympic athletes and prospects, I created ‘Mindset Priming’ to give mentors and coaches, of every description, a simple way to help their clients to fulfil their innermost ambitions.
As you are fellow kinesiologists I thought it might help to flag up the existence of this approach and report what I found a really interesting conversation from my recent workshop.
Other experienced kinesiologists were discussing the fact that, sadly, kinesiology is still seen as rather “touchy-feely” by many people — and especially those in the business world.
I commented that when I started running psychology workshops for business leaders, 30 years ago, I would be drummed out of the boardroom if I mentioned that the workshop was all about psychology.
I learnt that if I told them the workshop would
a) give their people the confidence to stretch their goals,
b) give them the understanding of how to use an instinctive process that made change both comfortable and sustainable, and
c) would help them to generate continuous improvement, then my audience was keen to know more.
I suspect that many of you have the same aspirations as myself when it comes to helping people with kinesiology.
It strikes me that if we want to see kinesiology accepted as something that takes coaching (whether in the sporting or corporate world) to a more profound level, it is just as important that we focus on the benefits to our prospective clients rather than the process.
I’m hearing more and more frequently that mentors and coaches wish there was a means by which to link practical applications of psychological theory with conventional coaching. Now that we have such good research on the validity of muscle response testing I think there is a place for us to offer our services to help them bridge that gap — perhaps omitting to mention that we will be using kinesiology!
It took me a long time to realise how easily I could link the psychology element with my kinesiology work. At its simplest the kinesiological “goal balances” that I was doing put people in touch with their subconscious aspirations and also reduced the level of “subconscious sabotage” that had been holding them back from making progress towards their goal.
At the same time the psychology workshops I was teaching explained how the mind works, gave people the confidence to really stretch their goals (without necessarily needing to know how to achieve them) and helped people to understand that their free-flowing behaviour was a reflection of their multifaceted subconscious self-image with its assorted comfort zones.
Once clients learnt the instinctive process we have all used to achieve change (by adjusting our self-image and comfort zone to the desired new level) they all understood that any change they sought to achieve would be sustainable provided they had underpinned that new performance with a suitably revised self-image.
With the help of former psychology students I created a “psychology menu” that I integrated into my kinesiology work — relying on muscle response testing to indicate when the client’s needs were best served by understanding one, or more, of the psychology concepts rather than a kinesi-ological diffusion.
To create this new ‘menu’ I sent 200 or so participants who had attended my workshops a list of some 50 or so psychological concepts and ask them to prioritise those that had been of most value.
I was astonished that one concept in particular was selected by everybody who responded, even though I had not myself see it as particularly life changing.
I have since been much more aware of how many people are allowing what is basically careless talk to have a markedly negative impact on their lives so I thought I would share the concept with you — in the hope that many of you will benefit from it and you may also find opportunities to help your clients to understand its significance.
The concept is called “creative avoidance”. Put simply our subconscious helps us to get out of doing things that we do not want to do (that perhaps are our responsibility or just need to be done).
If you pause for a moment to think about your own life I expect you can readily identify things that you put off doing and I suggest there will be one of two reasons why you do so. The simplest is that you don’t enjoy it — or have a negative attitude towards it. The second is more subtle – none of us like being pushed around. If someone tries to push us into doing something we are very likely to push back and resist the coercion.
What you may not have understood until now is that most people very often try to coerce themselves (without realising they’re doing so) and thereby trigger creative avoidance from even important tasks. The most obvious examples of coercive language (that you perhaps use on others as well as yourself?) are “you must ….”, “you have to ….”. Hearing such language your subconscious will complete the sentence along the lines of “if I am saying ‘I must’ I clearly don’t really want to” and will get very creative to find you some alternative occupation that you would prefer.
If you want to demonstrate this instinctive resistance to coercion you will find that this exercise usually works a treat. (If you’ve been doing some muscle response testing you will need to explain to your client that this is a different activity!). Ask them to put one hand up in the air facing you, then put your opposite hand against theirs – and push increasingly hard. They will normally push back, and the harder you push the harder they will push back.
“Your Mindset Priming approach takes sports psychology to a new and even more powerful level. I would recommend you to any competitor, at any level, wishing to achieve their full potential. What interests me, more than just the psychology side of your approach is the kinesiology, which is really interesting in that you get right to the nub of what your worries, concerns, and fears might be, as you are really tapping into your subconscious. So at the end of the session, you know you’ve dealt with the problems that you need to if you’re going to perform to the best of your ability. Thanks again for your tremendous support.”
Goldie Sayers, Triple Olympian, British Women’s Javelin record holder 2018
“Mindset Priming was hugely relevant to me in achieving my goals. I have now set myself more ambitious targets and am very keen to have a later session to stretch my goals further. You have unblocked my inner self-belief, removed negative energy, and given me a clear mindset.”
Reece Prescod, (in 2015)
200 m Bronze medallist, 2016 British Cham- pionships 100 m
Gold medallist, 2017 British Championships 100 m Finalist, 2017 World Athletics Championships
The reason will not be obvious to them until you explain that none of us like being pushed around. They will just have demonstrated how they would resist a physical push. ‘Creative avoidance’ is a demonstration of how we all resist verbal/psychological coercion.
If you keep your ears open I think you will be amazed how often you not only hear “how to’s and musts” but also the other coercive phrases such as “got to …”, “ought to …”, and “should” — all of which are equally coercive. If you’re one of those with this careless habit I suggest you develop the preferable option of saying “I want to” or, very often the most appropriate and powerful alternative, “I need to”.
Do get in touch with me if you would like to know more about the concept that my clients selected for the psychology menu or if you would like to know more about the training I run for kinesiologists and coaches who want to work with what I call ‘Mindset Priming’.
Websites: PathfindersABC.co.uk, TheInsideTrack.guru