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Chapter 07: Program Your Brain For English Success


While teaching English at a university in Thailand, I had a student named Ploy. On the first day of class, Ploy sat in the back row. During that class, she did her best to hide from me. She hunched her shoulders and tried to disappear behind the student who sat in front of her. Ploy remained silent during the entire class.

After class, I asked her to stay a minute. I could see that something was wrong and wanted to find out how I could help her. I told her, "I noticed you were hiding during class, is everything okay?" She said, "I'm not good in English." Ploy then described her longtime frustrations with English, including bad grades, bad test scores, and embarrassment. Because of this history, she was convinced that she had a flaw and was "bad at English."

After talking with Ploy, I thought about her problem and her beliefs. I realized that other students in the class probably had similar feelings. Before I taught them English, I knew I had to find a way to help them reprogram their beliefs. That week I researched more psychology techniques and discovered the method of "mental movie programming."

The following week, I taught the technique to the class and continued to use it throughout the semester. In just a few weeks, I noticed a dramatic difference. Ploy grew more confident and outgoing. First, she sat in the front row instead of the back row. Then, she began to participate in class. Her classmates likewise grew more confident week by week. This experience showed me the power of psychology and why it is so important to program yourself for success.

This chapter is the final step to reprogramming your psychology for English success. You'll learn exactly how to program the beliefs, goals, and peak emotions you need to develop race-car fuel for your Effortless English engine.

The problem for learners is not a lack of intelligence, nor a lack of will power. You are not "bad at English." What most people lack is control over their mind and emotions. In fact, you have all the talent, intelligence, and power you need to master spoken English at the highest possible level. You simply need to learn how to control your power and use it to change your emotions, beliefs, and actions in an instant, exactly as you want.

Like many English learners, perhaps you too suffer from "English trauma."

Perhaps you hold limiting beliefs and feel frustrated, nervous, or stressed when trying to speak. You want to feel confident and powerful when speaking, and to do so, you must learn to control your internal movies.

Your internal movies are the programs you use to create feelings, beliefs, and goals. You create these movies with your five senses: sight, hearing, touch, taste, and smell. Your memories and your dreams are recorded in your mind as a combination of these senses. These are the ingredients you use to write and direct your own internal movies. These movies then create your emotions, thoughts, and actions.

When you want to change the results you get with learning English, you want to change two things: how you feel when speaking English and how well you actually speak. In other words, you want to feel confident while speaking and you want to speak skillfully. This chapter is about how to change your internal movies so they program you for both powerful feelings and skillful performance while speaking.

As you think about the movies you make in your mind, realize that there are two things you can choose: What is in your movies and how that movie is made. If you frequently think about memories of embarrassment with English, that will change the way you feel. How that memory is structured is also important. For example, perhaps you remember a time when you were corrected by a teacher in class, and that memory creates nervousness about English. That memory is a movie in your mind. Internally, you see the event happening, you hear the teacher correcting you, and you feel the embarrassment (sight, hearing, and physical sensations are the most common and powerful ingredients used in internal movies).

For most people, if you make that negative movie larger in your mind, the bad feelings will get stronger. Likewise, if you make the teacher's voice louder, the bad feelings are likely to get worse. And you could focus on the sensations or feelings of embarrassment and move them faster in your body, again making them stronger. By changing how the movie is played in your mind, you change its power.

These movie qualities are called "sub-modalities." They are the specific qualities of each sense used in your internal movies. Each of the senses has several submodalities that can be controlled and changed.

Visually, for example, you can change the colors of a movie, or remove color completely to make it black and white. You can change the size of the images in your mind, making them larger or smaller. If you imagine the movie showing on a screen inside your mind, you can change the distance to the screen, bringing it closer or pushing it away. You can change the brightness of a movie. You control the movement of your internal movies and can make them fast, normal, or slow motion. You can change the "camera angle" of your movie, changing the view of any scene.

Internal movies have soundtracks, and these too can be controlled and changed.

You control the loudness of the sounds in your movie. You control the rhythm. You can change the tone and pitch, making sounds higher or lower.

And you also control the feelings or physical sensations in your movies. You control the temperature (colder, hotter), the pressure (more, less), and the location of sensations. You also control the intensity of emotions and can make them vibrate faster or slower in your body.

Essentially, you are the movie director of your own mind. The question is, will you control these movies and consciously direct them, or will you let them control you? A good director controls the images, camera angles, sounds, etc. in a movie to create exactly the thoughts and feelings he or she wants the audience to experience. As director of your own mind, you can do the same.

You can, for example, change your memory recordings. Memories are simply internal movies you have created about an experience you had in the past. For most people, these movies were created without conscious choice. The good news is you can re-direct these movies in order to make them weaker or stronger, and change the effect they have on your life.

Let's do it now. Think of a very happy memory. It can be anything, any memory that makes you smile. Close your eyes, smile, and think of that memory now. As you remember, notice the image or movie in your mind. What do you see? Then notice what you hear: does your movie have sound? And what about the feelings: how do you feel in this movie? Where are the feelings in your body? Do you feel vibrations in your body, or feelings of tension or relaxation? Just notice the details of this happy internal movie.

Now become the director of this memory. If you only see a still photograph, make it into a movie by adding movement. Then make the image bigger in your mind, bring it closer to you. As you make it bigger, notice how your feelings change. For most people, making the movie bigger increases the power of the emotions (negative or positive). With a happy memory, you can make it even happier by making the movie bigger!

Of course, you can also change the sound and the feelings. Try making the sounds a bit louder, especially the pleasant sounds. When you notice the good feelings, locate where they are in your body and how they are moving. Feelings are physical and are usually experienced as vibration or energy in the body. Make that happy vibration faster, and have it move through your body more. For most, this will also increase the feeling of happiness.

Congratulations, you just directed your first internal movie. You learned how to increase feelings of happiness by becoming a better director. You can use this same skill with negative memories, thoughts, and beliefs. Let's try it.

Remember a negative experience with English. Perhaps it's a bad experience from school or a time when you felt nervous, frustrated, bored, or foolish trying to speak English. As you remember this bad experience, again notice the details of your internal movie. See the memory in your mind. Notice if this movie has sound, and notice how you feel in the movie.

First, bring this negative movie screen closer to you, making it bigger. Make the sounds louder and vibrate the feelings faster. Most people will feel worse by doing this. That's not what you want. So now do the opposite. Push the movie screen farther away, making the movie smaller. Then make the movie darker and harder to see in your mind. Imagine this movie screen has a button that controls volume. Grab that button and turn it down, making the sounds quieter. In fact, turn off the sound completely. Finally, take a deep breath and calm your feelings.

By doing all of these things, you'll notice that the negative feelings are much weaker, or gone completely. You have taken an unhappy memory and made it powerless by consciously directing your mind. Most people believe that memories are unchangeable, but you have just proven that you are, in fact, in control of your memories. The same is true of your thoughts.

You have a choice. You can be the conscious director of your mind or you can let your brain run wild. Most people do the latter and they feel powerless. They are controlled by negative thoughts and memories and bad experiences. This is not necessary. You can choose to run your brain, directing it to produce the thoughts, feelings, and actions you desire.

You can make the negative powerless and you can also increase the strength of positive memories, thoughts, beliefs, and goals. You can control your brain instead of being controlled by it. This process not only works for memories, but it also works for goals you want to achieve in the future. Think of a big goal for English, one of those large and inspiring goals that will change your life.

Close your eyes as you think of this goal. Now consciously make a movie for that goal. You are the director! See yourself speaking English powerfully to other people. Choose a situation that inspires you. As you look at this movie, notice the faces of the other people as they listen to you. See them smiling as they understand and enjoy your English! Grab that movie screen in your mind and bring it closer, so the movie is much bigger. Then make the colors more beautiful. Make the image a little brighter.

As you continue watching this great movie, notice the soundtrack. Hear one of the listeners say, "Wow, your English is great! How did you learn to speak so well?" Turn up the sound so you can hear this loud and clear! Notice how you feel when you hear this compliment. You'll feel the pride and happiness in your body somewhere. Where is it? Wherever it is, make that happy vibration faster and stronger and then move it around all of your body. Feels great!

You have just created your English power movie, and you are the movie star. You are confident and skillful. You are happy. You are amazing, speaking English effortlessly! Feels great!

With this directing power, you start to program your brain for the exact beliefs, emotions, and outcomes that you want. You focus on this power movie every day, and each time you create the movie it becomes stronger. Anytime a negative movie arises in your mind, you use your directing skill to make it smaller and weaker. Day by day, by consciously mastering your mind, you completely change your life.

Of course, this requires daily practice. Those old movies were created over many years, so you need to consciously create your power movies every day. By doing so, step by step you will re-program yourself for English success.

One particularly powerful way to reprogram your movies is by using a method called "the swish." The swish is a classic technique of success in psychology and NLP. A swish is a way to instantly and automatically change a negative internal movie into a power movie that makes you feel great. For example, if you frequently feel nervous when speaking English, you can program your mind to automatically change to feeling powerful and confident every time you speak.

You must practice and train this "swish" technique daily, but once it is programmed deeply, you will not need to think about it. Whenever you need to speak English, you will effortlessly feel strong and confident.

Here are the steps for using the swish technique:

  1. Identify the feeling or action you want to change. Maybe it's a feeling of nervousness when speaking English. First, make a movie of that negative situation. See, hear, and feel what's happening in this negative movie.
  2. Next, you will create a power movie that represents your goal, what you want to feel, and do instead. You could, for example, use the power movie in the previous example... a movie of yourself speaking powerfully and feeling great.
  3. Use the "swish" to connect the two movies and create an automatic change from the negative to the power movie. Essentially, you are anchoring the power movie to the old negative situation.

This is how you do the swish specifically:

Close your eyes and start by making a big picture of the negative situation you want to change. See it clearly. Then imagine there is a small dark square in the corner of that picture. That small square is your power movie. So you have the big negative movie on the screen in front of you, and in the corner of that screen is a small square which contains the power movie.

Next, say "Wooosh!" and imagine that the small square explodes and becomes a huge movie screen. As it explodes, it completely destroys the negative movie and replaces it. Now you see your power movie in front of you. It is big, bright, and colorful. It has a great soundtrack and it feels great. Notice the movie and let those happy feelings grow stronger.

Be sure to say the word "Woosh!" loudly and powerfully, with a lot of excitement. Remember peak emotion and use a strong body gesture, too, in order to increase the positive feelings. You are creating a connection, an anchor, between the word, the gesture, and the power movie.

Next, open your eyes for a moment to reset. Then close your eyes and repeat the entire swish process. Each time, make the explosion happen faster. The power movie explodes and destroys that old image. Shout "Woosh!" loudly and make the peak emotions of your power movie even stronger.

Then open your eyes for a moment, reset, close your eyes, and do it again. Keep repeating the process, again and again. Each day, practice doing this ten times or more. Do it daily. It may take thirty or more days to program an automatic response. Once programmed, you will notice an amazing result. When you are in an English speaking situation, you may feel a brief moment of nervousness. Then suddenly, you'll feel better — more powerful, more relaxed, and more confident. It will happen automatically and effortlessly. This is the result of the swish programming.

Make this a daily habit. You can do this swish process every morning when you wake up and it will only take a few minutes. During these few minutes, you program your unconscious mind for success. You change the old negative movies. You develop more powerful beliefs and feelings about English. You take control and become a skilled director of your own mind.

You now have all the tools you need to develop powerful success psychology. You know how to create peak emotions and connect them to English. You know the importance of beliefs and how to change them through modeling. You know how to use physical movement to create emotions and enhance memory. You know the motivational power of big goals and how to find your deeper reasons for learning English. And you know how to consciously direct your mind to success by using internal movies.

On the road to English fluency, you need two things: powerful fuel and a powerful car: strong psychology and a great method. You now know how to create the premium fuel you need.

In the next section, you will learn what to do with that fuel — the specific English learning methods you must use in order to speak English powerfully. It is time to learn the Effortless English engine.

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