Overcoming fear is the key that unlocks several doors in life. And motivation guru and psychotherapist Richard Bandler's new book "Get the Life You want" prescribes a set of ideas that helps one understand how people think and change their behavior.
"But getting over fears is probably the biggest obstacle that people have," says Bandler, the co-inventor of Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP).
The NLP created by Bandler and fellow doctor John Grinder is the set of ideas that help one understand how people think and can change their behavior.
It forms the core of the therapy prescribed by Bandler in the book. The NLP was later used by hypnotist Paul Mckenna, who learnt it from Bandler.
"Get The Life..." contains the most potent and simple mental exercises that Bandler developed over the past 35 years as motivation tools for success in both personal and professional lives.
Over the years, people have been coming to Bandler with all kinds of fears. "People think they are afraid of elevators, some people think they are afraid of flying. Others think they are afraid of driving. They are even afraid of bees and ... heights," says Bandler.
These fears are unfounded. "Actually they think they are afraid of many things, but they are not. It is not the height that makes you feel afraid, it is your brain. We know this because other people can be at the same height and they don't get afraid," Bandler says in the book.
The psychologist suggests a two-pronged strategy to cure such fears and anxieties. One is the Enough is Enough Pattern or the Threshold Pattern and the Fast Phobia Cure.
The Enough is Enough Pattern is a five-fold cure.
According to Bandler, it primarily involves thinking of those times when one felt embarrassed because of the fear and then "making a movie of the times you felt this way".
Put the fearful occasions together, advises the therapist, into one long continuous movie and run it in your mind till you reach the point when you say to yourself, "enough is enough".
The Fast Phobia Cure is similar, except that one has to walk backwards like re-winding the movie after having run it to the point where the "victim successfully overcomes the fear" and lives through it. "Repeat the process five times," says Bandler.
The psychologist also prescribes a bit of laughter.
"Laughter produces endomorphines that are an important part of changing your mind," he says.
For those facing interview boards and examinations but are low on confidence, Bandler offers a quick-fix way to shore up self-esteem.
"Think of a time when you felt confident and focused. See what you saw at the time, hear what you have heard. Feel how confident and good you felt and amplify the feeling by spinning it faster. Run right through the process and when it is time to go to the interview, you will find yourself feeling greatly confident about it," Bandler said.
Explaining the triggers that prompted the book, the author said: "When I started out in the early 70s, the field of psychology had its therapists and practitioners fighting about who had the correct approach. The argument seemed futile to me. I was born in the first age of information science and am a mathematician and scientist by trade. So, I took a different road to psychology."
The book, designed to be a behavioral primer for those who do not want to go for clinical therapy, is divided into four segments.
It begins with an inventory that probes the power of the unconscious, quality of thoughts, mastery over brain, changes in mindsets and time-lines for remedies. The three subsequent segment look into syndromes such as anxieties, fear, bad relationships and bad memories individually, listing the symptoms and the cures.
It also teaches "wannabes" how to get through love, meet new people, discharge important duties, be more organized, shed flab and mint more money.
Published by Harper Collins-Elements and priced at Rs.295, it has a foreword by Paul Mckenna.