August 10, 2015
Creating Response-Able Persons #1
Unleashing Your Response-Abilities
If you want to unleash your potentials and live a self-actualizing life, if you want to make the most of your possibilities and live life as fully as possible (and who doesn’t?)—then you have to unleash your responsibility powers. It’s required. No one can give you this. You have to choose it and then you have to act on it. You have to begin to unleash within yourself living a more responsible way of life. Self-actualization is that simple and it is that profound.
In Neuro-Semantics we train and coach this subject by beginning at the core—with identifying and accessing your innate, inevitable, and inescapable powers. This is pattern number one in APG (Accessing Personal Genius, also known as Self-Leadership and Coaching Genius). We identify these powers because so many people live their lives and talk as if they are completely unaware and unconscious that they have these innate personality powers. They talk victim talk. They talk as if they are helpless. They talk depression talk. They talk as if they are hopeless. They talk as if they are not human beings with these innate powers, but helpless victims living in a deterministic universe where they are fated and controlled and forced.
Now the profound simplicity of what follows will elicit in some people yawning boredom and in others “Aha!” eureka moments. Yet whether you yawn or go Yahoo! it all depends on the meanings you construct. And the “problem” with the meanings we construct is that because our innate powers are so simple many will discount them. Yet the implications are incredibly profound for your everyday experiences and how you can create actualize so much more of your potentials.
What are your innate powers? They are your powers of mind, emotion, speech, and behavior. They are your mental powers for thinking, representing, framing, evaluating, imagining, remembering, and much, much more. They are your emotional powers to “move” yourself “out” (ex-motion) from your current state to your desired states and to feel the full range of human emotions, to develop your emotional intelligence (EQ) and live with love, joy, peace, passion, compassion, appropriate fear and anger, hope, excitement, etc. They are your linguistic powers of speech which enables you to inquire to understand, assert to explain, explore to learn, invite in and set boundaries to keep out, bless and curse, heal and wound, to tell stories, make music with poetry, create hypothesis, etc. they are your behavioral powers to gesture, take action, plan, converse with others, create partnerships, do risk management, practice, persist, bounce back (be resilient), etc.
In other words, you have incredible powers within your very person. How amazing! Are you amazed? Are you impressed? In these powers, you have all of the foundational resources to actualize your potentials. These powers give you all the resources that you need for almost every skill on Planet Earth. After all (and here is a tremendous secret), every skill is comprised of these four powers. Where we are talking about doing surgery, dentistry, driving a car, flying a plane, deep sea diving, building a generator, being a general manager, leading a company, managing your budget, exercising regularly, being a loving partner, parenting, teaching, coaching, whatever— all skills are comprised of these four powers.
When you identify and become aware of these powers, you create the meta-state of awareness of your powers. That’s first, but that’s not the end. Next you need to take ownership of this awareness and these powers. That creates the next level frame-of-mind or meta-state, ownership of your powers. By then owning your responses and deepening that so it becomes fully embodied, you begin to feel you innate powers— hence the gestalt meta-state of responsibility. From this other meta-states are now able to emerge: proactivity, taking the initiative, openness to action, bias to action, courage, risk-taking, etc.
In Neuro-Semantics, trainers frequently use the quotation from Viktor Frankl to drive home the power of being response-able. When in the concentration camp that Hitler set up to kill those who he hated, Frankl lived on a meager eight-ounces of soup and a piece of bread every day. As a young doctor and psychiatrist he was stripped of his clothes and possessions, he was imprisoned for no mis-deed except he for Hitler’s hatred. His mother and father were killed, so was his wife and sister. And yet … in the midst of that hell, in the midst of that unjust cruelty he later wrote in Man’s Search for Meaning:
“They can take everything away from me, but they cannot make me hate them.”
Talk about power! He maintained to the end his power to respond as he chose. His thinking and feeling was his and they could not control that! In fact, within the hell of that camp he developed Logo-Therapy and came out basically unscathed because he gave his experience meaning. Another of his powers that he refused to relinquished. He owned his power to construct meaning about things and would not let them set the frame—he set the frame for himself. He identified and owned his response-powers and embodied them so that he did not feel—even in that situation—that he was not in charge of himself and had the freedom to live life as he wanted to. Did I mention this was profound?
No wonder he was later recognized in the field of Humanistic or Self-Actualization Psychology as one of the pioneering thinkers for his development of Logo-Therapy. The amazing thing is that he came out of the concentration camp showing no signs of having been traumatized. Now how fantastic is that? This means that even trauma is not merely what happens to you, no matter how hurtful, it also involves what you do with it. So, what do you do with things not being fair? With disappointments, hurts, accidents, disasters? You can think and feel and talk and act like a victim— that’s within your power. You can also think and feel and talk and act like a person with response-powers at your command. Then you can forge the kind of life you want— and make the most of things. And it all begins by identifying and owning your four foundational powers. Read more about your response-ability powers in Secrets of Personal Mastery (1997).
L. Michael Hall, Ph.D.