I have over the years begun to see a pattern when it comes to how I learn new things, and here’s what I have observed; I first ask myself what is this new subject, skill, knowledge etc similar too, what do I know already that it is like? We as human beings have been evolving for hundreds of thousands of years, and our fantastic ability to notice a pattern and repeat a pattern that works over time is probably one of the reasons why we are still here on planet earth.
This patterned way of learning, looking for similarities with what we already thought we knew, in order to make sense of this new thing being told us has served us very well indeed.
In the model of NLP there is a presupposition: human beings are not broken, and do not need
fixing, in fact, the patterns we have developed to survive life are working well. Now, we may say
we don’t like aspects of our lives as they are, but it is still these very patterns, running largely
outside of our conscious mind control, that keep us right where we are at this moment.
The fact that we have this wonderful mechanism, causing us to survive is both a blessing and a curse, it works perfectly and has done for thousands of year, so when it comes to the task of
changing our lives and the behaviours we say we don’t want any more, it’s the brilliance of this
evolutionary adapted process that works against us making those changes.
The model of evolution is very clear, patterns repeat over many millions of years, then something happens that disrupts the pattern, as a result of the pattern being interrupted something new occurs in the world that has not existed before, an evolution occurs, a fish comes on dry land, a man stands up, behaviours begin to take place that until that moment of disruption where not even thinkable.
This model has a lot to teach us about our own personal and professional lives, inside our birth
institutions we see the evidence of pattern repeating behaviour, the leaders of our NHS birth
cultures often seem to be afraid of any innovation that threatens the patterned ways of working that they have been following for years.
This response makes sense, when seen through the filter of the evolutionary model, disrupting the patterns threatens the very survival of the institution it’s self, and from the point of view of the individual this can be experienced as a threat to their very lives. Remember the ancient structures of the brain that work to keep us alive can now be stimulated by and imagined threat.
The treatment of mavericks by the institutions historically has not been good, yet ironically it is the mavericks, those who challenge the way things have always been, who are the very disrupters we need to see our birth world transform.
In the short video that comes with this blog I talk about how in my life it took my wife dying to
disrupt my patterned way of living. The realisation that all that I called my life was based on a
foundation of patterned beliefs and behaviours running pretty much on automatic.
Life itself will always bring such disruptions, and our illusion of control will inevitably crumble at
some point, but understanding this evolutionary principle which has led to our survival until now can generate enormous hope.
“We can not solve our problems with the same level of thinking that created them”
― Albert Einstein
For any change to happen in the birth world and in our personal lives our patterns need disrupting.
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