Step 8 of the Proactive 12 Steps
I explore alternative behaviors, and rehearse them in safe settings.
Step 8, above, is part of the Beta version of the 4th edition of the Proactive 12 Steps. A video commentary on each step has been released over the past few months. Now is the time to share with us your feedback on the commentary:
- What do you find helpful?
- What would you want more of?
- What would you add or change?
Your comments on each specific step and on the approach as a whole are welcome. Please share your comments.
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So now we know what our patterns are, and we are also starting to know why we fall into them, as a way to manage, to cope with difficult situations. So we think of them as coping mechanisms.
We also have the experience of how difficult, how almost unbearable it feels in that situation. And so we have more of a compassionate understanding of why, in these kinds of difficult situations, we tend to fall back on these patterns.
So we want to change them. But what we have also learned the hard way is that it's really hard to change patterns through willpower. And it's even harder when patterns are related to things where there is a sense of pressure, a sense of fear, a sense of vulnerability. Then, naturally, the way we're built as human beings is we tend to go towards what allows us to avoid that clear and present danger. So what we're going to do is not confront it, in the heat of the action, but prepare. And prepare means rehearsing when it's safe.
This is not a revolutionary concept. This is what, for instance, people do in sports. When people play golf, there is a lot of practicing... not just practicing with a ball, but sometimes just with the club, or even without the club, just practicing the movement. Having the time to deal with understanding the movement without the pressure of being in the heat of the action. In tennis, same thing: Going with the movement slowly... Finding the position... Whereas, once the ball is coming at you, it's much harder to both pay attention to having good form and dealing with the pressure of the ball arriving at you right now. So what we're doing here, in this step, is taking the time without the pressure to think about what else we could be doing in what are, for us, high pressure situations. So it's a stage of rehearsing with as much safety, as much comfort, as possible so that new patterns can start to form and become a possible alternative.