New behaviour generator

The New Behaviour Generator is a strategy for generating change in your own behaviour. You can use it for generating completely new behaviours – something you have never done before – or for making modifications and changes to a behaviour you already have, and are now less than satisfied with. This process allows you to systematically build up an internal representation in the three main sensory systems of the specific behaviour you want. It works because the unconscious mind has no way of telling the difference between a ‘real’ event, and something you imagine vividly.

  1. Identify the new behaviour you want, or the change you want in an old one.
  2. Describe to yourself the behaviour you want, ask yourself “How would I look and how would I sound if I were doing that behaviour?”
  3. In your imagination watch yourself* producing just the behaviour you want in the particular context you want it; if there are any other people involved, become aware of their response; notice how you look and sound and how they look and sound.
  4. If there is any aspect that you are less than satisfied with, go back to Step 3 and run it through again with whatever changes are necessary to make it more satisfying.
  5. Once you are satisfied with your own performance, step inside that image of yourself in your imagination, and run it through as though you are there, now, doing it. As you go through the motions, pay particular attention both to your feelings and to the response of any other people around you.
  6. If you want to change anything, go back to Step 3 and change your own behaviour, then step back in and check how it feels.
  7. When you are happy with your imagined performance and the feelings that accompany it, ask yourself “What signal will I see, hear or feel, internally or externally, which will let me know that it is time to use this new behaviour?”
  8. Imagine the signal happening, and imagine yourself doing your new behaviour. When you’ve done that, become aware of your feelings of satisfaction.

The New Behaviour Generator is a self-help tool to assist in your personal and professional development. Like all skills, the more you use this process the faster and easier it becomes. You are aiming at using it automatically, and/or unconsciously as a tool for continually regenerating your own behaviours. Anytime that you have an experience that is less than satisfactory, immediately take a few seconds and run it through the new behaviour generator. The more you do this, the faster you move towards being the person you really want to be.

NB. When you take yourself through each of these steps, the outcome you choose will usually be well-formed and ecologically sound. It is worth reminding yourself of the well-formedness conditions for achieving outcomes until you know them

* If you cannot see yourself doing it, watch a model doing it first. A model in this context means either someone else that you know, or a fictional character from a book, film or TV programme. Any representation is better than none!

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