Imagine How to Accomplish What you Want

 Are you up a tree? Procrastinating, fearful, not sure where to begin?

You know how to make changes because your brain has continually accommodated,  integrated and assimilated changes your entire life, whether you meant to or not.


Up a Tree, by Peggy

The science 

When we experience something especially significant or meaningful, our brains store the memory for easy access.  The research was originally based on Post Traumatic Stress where people have flashbacks and vividly recall the sights, sounds, smells, feelings and thoughts they had during an actual traumatic event. 

Our brains are wired to make strong, retrievable memories when strong emotion is involved. Fortunately,  you can use this ability to go back in time and access again the thoughts, feelings and information you experienced when things went well.

Your brain can’t tell the difference between the actual event and the re-imagined event, thoughts and feelings.  When you assess those thoughts and feelings and imagine them in a new situation the brain stores that as a memory as if it happened, creating resources, stored in your brain, to make a change or accomplish something new.

Here’s an easy jump-start for you to regain or access the positive thoughts & feelings you already have stored in your brain to achieve something that you perhaps have avoided or don’t know how to accomplish.

Quickly fill out this form to help you find the resources you already have.

The change or achievement I want to accomplish is _______________________________________________________

The resources or abilities I need are ______________________________________

Think about a past time(s) when you had those resources or abilities (here’s some prompts)
Felt confident/assured/positive
Been assertive
Taken a risk
Made a new friend
Started a new job or class
Made a good decision
Organized your thoughts, your room, your files, your day
Done something you were a bit afraid or reluctant to do
Made others laugh/taken things “lightly”
Passed a test (physical/emotional/intellectual)
Started and finished a project
Confronted someone
Asked for and gotten help
Been motivated to do something hard
Motivated someone else
Been kind/forgiving
Been self-assured/positive/determined 

Based on my memory of past times the resources or abilities I already posses are___________________________________________________________________________________________________________

1. Using your mind’s eye remember the time you used a resource as vividly and specifically as you can.  How did you look : What were you wearing? Where were you? standing? sitting?

  • How did you move?
  • What was your tone of voice?
  • What did you feel?
  • What did you think?
  • What did you say to yourself about what you were doing?
  • What were you seeing?

2.  Now, take that image/sense of yourself and apply it to yourself in the present.  See or sense yourself with those qualities moving ahead with the change/accomplishment you chose.

3. If (or when) you get stuck it’s not an issue.  Simply recruit your memory  of the qualities/abilities/resources you’ve used in past experiences again and re-apply them to your current circumstance.  

Now, go out on a limb and take the first step.


Switch, How to change Things When Change is Hard, Chip Heath and Dan Heath

Frogs Into Princes, Richard Bandler


4 comments on “Imagine How to Accomplish What you Want

  1. Fascinating stuff. I thought that when we experience trauma we subconsciously “block it out”? Pushing it into some deep dark corner of the brain…..This research you mention seems to substantiate the opposite.



    • Peta,
      You are correct! If you think about it from a survival perspective, we need to remember trauma, and all that surrounds it, to protect ourselves in the future. We need to be aware and afraid of what has hurt us in the past so we can avoid it!


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