I am writing this article direct from the filming set of a new BBC1 primetime TV series called “Run For Glory.” Run for Glory charts 15 people who have amazingly valiant reasons for wanting to raise money for charity by running the London Marathon.
None of them were runners before this show and they are being trained by UK Olympic gold medallists Steve Cram and Sally Gunnell. I have been filming for one of the Run For Glory shows to help the participants overcome psychological barriers and get in control of their minds with regards to running the marathon and their preparation.
I have found it very interesting to observe the relations between the crew, the producers and the interactions with and in between the participants of the Run for Glory show and how other people really do affect each other and have an impact on each other.
Recently, I wrote about developing rapport without even speaking. Lots of people do this without even being instructed on how to do it. One of the things that I have noticed since I started working within the various fields of personal development is that I am much more aware of other people and how I interact with them.
I have practiced and practiced achieving a really enjoyable sense of rapport with people when I meet them and develop relationships with them. It has been great to observe my own improvements in how I do this and the kind of intuitive and instinctive way that I do this.
When working on the set of this TV show “Run for Glory”, I was chatting to one of the participants who is about to become very famous here in the UK thanks to this show, and they were telling me that at the end of filming each episode of Run for Glory, with everything going really well, they would finish the day feeling drained and verging on being depressed.
I spoke to them for a while and I was not sure about this until I observed all the kinds of interaction that was there in this unusual TV environment filming for Run for Glory – the participant was getting excellent results, I mean they are doing so amazingly well, so why were they feeling so low?
I suggested that this person might be picking up other people’s issues, thoughts and feelings. I suggested that maybe they needed to protect themselves from the other Run for Glory participants. She used the technique that I then demonstrated to her and subsequently reported back that she felt amazing, so much better than she was before when she was around these people that were stressed, having great demands placed upon them and facing some very challenging situations in their lives.
When you develop rapport with people and get close to them, you can and often do access some of what they are thinking and feeling. This is not the best when the person you are in rapport with is not in a great or a productive state.
It is like a friend of mine who I joke is a “fun vampire.” Sometimes he is so morose and seemingly depressed when we are out socially that he seems to “suck the life and the fun” out of all the people that he encounters! I know you all know someone like that too.
I tend to find this is particularly important when I am running seminars with people that are making a lot of changes in their lives or if I am working therapeutically with individuals; I want to be sure not to take on board too much of their feelings and way of thinking. So I want to show you some ways of protecting yourself too.
The way I suggest of doing this requires your natural ability to use your imagination and visualise. Now, if you believe you have difficulty visualising or using your imagination, trust me when I tell you that you use your imagination every day. Your imagination is what reminds you what your partner or spouse looks like, what colour your front door is and how your childhood bedroom looked. You do not have to visualising in perfect cinema screen pictures in your mind, just do it in a way that is right for you. This method is just as effective if you visualise the things I ask or if you just pretend to visualise them in your mind.
Firstly, get yourself nice and relaxed. Sit still and take some longer, deeper breaths and then allow your breathing to be natural and become rhythmic and easy. Focus on the moment; be aware of how your body feels in that moment.
Secondly, as you get more relaxed, imagine the relaxation spreading through your body. If you want to, give it a colour or a texture or imagine it as a sensation.
Thirdly, imagine the relaxation, or the sensation of stillness moving out of your body, just a few centimetres. Imagine that you are extending it to become a protective shield that is all around you.
Imagine that it acts as a filter, so only you to take on things that are for your better good and understanding and does not allow you to take on anything that is going to affect you detrimentally.
I don’t know if any of you remember adverts for the oat cereal “Ready Brek”? The people used to have a glow about them when they were going to work if they had eaten their Ready Brek. When I first started protecting myself in this wonderful way, I used to imagine that I had a glow around me that acted like emotional armour and any unwanted thoughts or feelings or even comments of others that I did not want to carry around with me, just bounced off my armour.
Finally, when relaxing tell yourself that this protective shield is there working for you even if you are not consciously aware of it. That way you can be sure that you are not carrying anyone else’s vibes around with you and leaves you free to enjoy your experiences for what they really are. Then go ahead and practice this a few times, putting conscious effort into it, imagine making it more powerful with your attention and really getting it strong.
These ideas are just metaphors for protecting yourself, but because your mind and body are one system, they can be extremely effective ways of letting your unconscious know what you want. One of the things that you may begin to notice after you have used this approach a few times and over a prolonged period of time is that you just need to remind yourself of it every now and then, and then it works even better and better. The long term effects of establishing some protection are so very good for you; just as good as finding a good sun screen, that’s for sure. It was so successful with that participant for Run for Glory too.
One of the first things I disocvered when I really looked at the people on the set for Run for Glory was how many people out there make negative or bad suggestions (ie. people who say things which guide attention in less than helpful directions). It is the same in life as on the Run For Glory Set! The number of well-meaning doctors, family members, colleagues and friends that I have heard giving people suggestions for ill health, stress and negativity is truly amazing! If you maintain some good protection for yourself, you can be sure not to allow other peoples negative language, thoughts and feelings to affect you in a way that is not for your better good.
The ability to protect myself from the things going on around me has been instrumental in my latter life, being able to block out most unhelpful messages that come my way leaves a very nice state of well-being and it did so too for the participant in Run for Glory.