Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Mental Simulation to Change Your Behavior, Part V

Now that you have played out the scenes in your mind, it's time to play them out in real life.

But you don't want to go for the really tough situations yet.

Find some safe situations where you can practice your new behavior.

Suppose you are working on becoming more extroverted. Go to Starbucks and compliment the hairstyle of a customer, or ask a guy walking his dog a question about his dog.

The idea is to find situations that don’t matter if you fail. You are still practicing.

Now that you have done some real-life role playing, you are ready to practice your new behavior in situations that matter.

If you fail, don’t worry. Start from scratch. Maybe you will need to go back to the mental simulation phase for a while before you take your behavior out in the real world. Then try again.

Every time you are in a difficult situation, quickly play out the scenario in your mind the way you are now used to playing it out.

Act the way you do, when you imagine the situation. If you don't get the desired response, go back to the mental simulation phase.

Reevaluate your behavior. Perhaps there is a better response you can practice in situations that matter.

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