Having the ability to control your inner state is one of the most powerful skills you can develop, not just for your business, but for how you approach your entire life. It is essential for you to engage with and enjoy the experiences that life has to offer you. You may have read our article on the State Meter, but if not, you’ll want to familiarize yourself with that, once you’ve read through what we’re covering here.
First, it’s important to understand exactly what I mean when I refer to a state. For that, I use author and coach Jim Kwik’s definition:
In the western world, we tend to think of states as something we catch, like a cold, instead of something we produce internally like a dynamo creates an electric charge. Understanding and classifying the states available for you to experience and then identifying the processes that produce those states is the first step towards mastering how to influence that process and reliably achieve our desired states.
Think of the State Meter as a menu in a restaurant. You wouldn’t sit down in a restaurant and say “I think I’ll have the food this evening.” You are specific about what you’re ordering according to your needs and taste. Identify the state you want to produce, then you’ll be able to formulate a method to achieve it. Be specific. Be intentional.
Regulate Your State
Here are five practical areas for you to focus on to help you begin influencing the states you are experiencing. These areas help you to override our compulsive reactions to the events that we are experiencing, allowing us to maintain or regain control over our internal landscape.
All states follow breathing. You instinctively understand the difference in the energetic states associated with short, gasping breaths versus slow and deep ones, but we don’t often take mindful control over our breathing. There are many conscious breathing techniques, many of which have existed for centuries or even millennia, like Breath of Fire in Kundalini Yoga. Some are modern developments, like Box Breathing. Regardless of their origin, their aim and results are aligned. These techniques are how you can override your impulses and center yourself in the moment.
Your eyes contain the only part of your brain that is external to your skull. Your eyes are the primary method by which your brain takes in information, requiring larger processing power from the brain than any of our other senses. You may have heard the expressions “seeing red” or “tunnel vision”. Angry and distressed states can limit our perceptions, so if you find yourself seeing through straws, look around. Take in the whole visual range available to you, explore your surroundings with your eyes. You’ll begin to find yourself becoming more grounded and less fixated.
Take up space. Puff out your chest like a superhero. Your body influences your mind and your mind influences your body. Big, excited gestures create big, excited states. Practice power moves if you want to psyche yourself up. Pump your fist in the air, high-five everyone you pass, jump into the air. Act excited, become excited. Don’t neglect exercise, it reduces anxiety, increases blood flow to the brain, and increases oxygen in the blood, elevating you into states of higher energy and focus.
Focus controls your feeling, but your focus is greatly controlled by the questions you ask yourself. You might not be aware that one of your shoes is slightly tighter than the other unless I ask you about them. Where you allow your mind to roam is where it will dwell, so rather than let it get stuck in the doldrums, lead it to exciting places. Ask yourself what you are excited about in your life. Perspective is key, so instead of asking yourself why something unwanted is happening to you, ask how is this happening for you? Just with that shift in question, you change your interpretation of the experience. How you interpret the events around you is your choice, it’s often a matter of how you frame it.
We all have internal self-talk, but most of us have an inner critique when we need an inner coach. How you speak to yourself in your own mind can poison your experiences and your performance. Would you speak to your friends or children the same way you speak to yourself in the confines of your own mind? Listen to that voice and realize that that voice is yours and you get to decide how it speaks. Your external language is just as impactful on your states. Tony Robbins often speaks about the power of incantation. Incantation, which shares a root word with “chant”, like a mantra, is the practice of altering your reality through the power of your spoken word. Positive speech can break the spells of malaise, depression, and self-doubt that we place upon ourselves. It reaffirms the knowledge that all you need is within you now.
Use these techniques along with the State Meter to create your own self-induced states of choice. Build your internal state like the black box inside a plane, indestructible and utterly unaffected by the turmoil and trauma of external events. Once you can do this you can reprogram who you are and become unstoppable. I hope you use this knowledge to raise the consciousness of your life and move up to your next level.