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Do you want to make a true transformation and change the way you achieve your goals, with nothing holding you back?
In this blog we go into detail explaining what it really takes to change yourself for the better. We talk about neuro science, biology and how our cells are built up, in order to understand what makes us able to change the way we perceive ourselves and how biology is actually a big part of that. We explain why knowing all these things about your own biology is SO important and we will also explore the number one mechanism you need is in order to reconstruct yourself and make those changes as fast as possible. This is not 5 quick tips on how to change yourself, in this blog we truly go into the specifics on how we as humans are built up and how we can change the way we develop and how we achieve.
Vertical Development vs. Horizontal Learning
Before we start I want to say Congratulations! The fact that you are reading this blog called “How To Change the Way You Achieve” shows me already that you have the first quality you need in order to change something in your life – You have ownership.
You already realise that it’s not some tactic or something that needs to come from the outside in order for things to change, you know that it has to come from within you. That’s really what we focus on here at Stryv, especially within our StryvX Programme. So congratulations! You have already taken the first step.
Now let’s get started. Often when you read other blogs like these, you may have noticed that they are trying to take you from one place to another. It’s almost as if they are trying to show you how to get from one room in a house to another, and this in itself is of course a change, but it’s a different kind of change than the one I would like to talk to you about today, which is this: How to go up a floor. This is what we call vertical development, and in difference to horizontal learning where you move from one room to another, gathering new skills and abilities, with vertical development you actually go up a floor in terms of truly changing yourself. It changes the way you see obstacles and challenges, but also changes the way you can deal with them. Once you are up a floor, you can see above the walls that were previously surrounding you, and that is why we are focused on vertical development here at Stryv.
Your Emotional Encoding Is More Important Than Your Past
Before we get into the details it is important that we understand how our cells are built up, if we want to change anything at all. The person I consider the most forward thinking in this matter is the researcher Antonio Demasio. He explains that there are two aspects to how a cell is constructed.
First of all there’s a temporal aspect to it. This means that we learn of who we are by what happens to us because it happens in a sequence from childhood to adulthood, with different experiences along the way. What happens to us and our experiences shape us as adults right? The truth is that this helps creating only one layer of ones self.
There’s a second layer which has to do with the emotional encoding that happens to us. When a significant event occur, we assign a certain meaning, a certain emotion, and a certain focus, to that event. What is so interesting about this is that the emotional encoding created when something happens is actually MORE important and has a BIGGER impact than the temporal encoding in terms of re-constructing yourself. The emotions are key here, they can throw off the temporal encoding entirely, meaning that we can perceive something to happen in one way – but in reality it actually happened a completely different way! Our emotions were so strong when this event occurred that the emotional encoding changed our way of thinking about it and how we constructed our personal narrative.
So why does emotions create the self? Well it’s because in order to create the self you need something that’s consistent. When you go to sleep for 8 hours and then all of a sudden wake up again – what makes you recognise yourself again? How does that happen? You need something consistent that your brain can refer back to, and one of the things that is always there is your body and the homeostasis within it. So just like when you see an object like a door for instance, certain neurons in your brain will fire to make you realise the vertical lines and shape of the door. Those neurons will make your brain understand that it is in fact a door, you recognise it because you have seen one before.
What happens when creating your Self, is that the neurons fire based on the maps of the emotions within your body. So just like you can recognise a door, your brain has gotten used to the internal stasis of your body, which comes from your emotions, and that in turn creates a sense of self. Then all other representations of maps comes from that, whether it be your perception of life, your purpose, values, what a door looks like – everything!
Changing Your Emotional Encoding To Achieve More
So how can we change how we are essentially programmed? You can’t go back and change the temporal since it’s your history, can you? The emotions however have been encoded and a lot of them have been encoded subconsciously, often before we even had true consciousness as young children. But they are also encoded in young adolescence and as we grow older, and when we do they drive how we feel about ourselves. It can affect our sense of identity, ambitions, the goals we believe we can achieve, the self-doubt we have, the feeling of not being good enough or the feeling that we’re alone or not worthy of love. It all comes from this emotional encoding and we are letting it run our lives. This means, in order to change ourselves we have to be able to get objective about the emotional encoding that we’ve put in, and re-construct that narrative of our own life. That is truly changing the self. But how on earth do we do that? The process that helps you do that the most is Vertical Development. My own mentor Terri O’Fallon’s uses this framework to explain the subject further:
When you are a baby you only really deal with concrete objects, physical things that you can touch, but as you grow older, you go through what is called a “tier change” and you start being able to think about your own emotions, essentially meaning that you are able to think about your own thinking. When you are past your teenage years you start being able to recognise your feelings and you are actually able to have a feeling ABOUT a feeling that you are experiencing. You may feel unhappy about feeling too vulnerable or angry about feeling scared of something you know you shouldn’t be scared of. You can also be annoyed at the fact that you’re frustrated.
When you go even higher in your vertical development, you start being able to see the context of what creates that feeling in the first place. When you get really high you start being able to understand the entire construct and you are able to say that “The reason why I feel like this is based on this, this and that. Now how can I change that?” You will also get much faster at doing this, because having gone from the first floor where you just had the emotion and were able to acknowledge it, you then escalated to the second floor where you can realise WHY you felt that particular way.
Going up to the third floor you start being able to see the context and therefore you are also able to see it in a different way, with more objectivity about how you have constructed yourself. Often society creates the context that makes you to feel a certain way, it may be your parents raising you a certain way or social influences. Whatever it is, you start to actually see how these influences have created your emotional encoding and you start recognising the feelings that have constructed you to make the choices and be who you are today. The emotions that are already encoded are now making you regularly encode the exact same way in your life – and it’s all happening by default!
Moving up with your vertical development, getting more insight to your own emotional encoding, the context to it and the structure, will allow you to start reconstructing yourself in order to achieve those things you have set out for yourself, with nothing holding you back!
What Level Are You At with Your Vertical Development?
Most Stryvers that we have measured is at a 4.0 or 4.5 in their vertical development. A true big shift is at the 5.0 level, and I will explain that in further blogs and throughout the programme. Once you take that leap up into 5.0 you get the new ability to construct who you are as a person. I bet you are at the stage now where you can already see the conditioning by people and society around you, and you can recognise that it has influenced the way you perceive things? You may be starting to see through it all, and you may even have some ability to start changing it! But how do you vertically develop?
One of the fastest ways has shown to be through meditation. If you want to change anything in your life you need to be able to differentiate aspects of your life that emerges as well as integrate them. What meditation allows you to do is to take a full stop and actually see what thoughts and constructs are emerging. Then you can start differentiate them and make decisions. But in order to accelerate that vertical development, you need to know what level you are at in the first place. You can look at it in terms of value, maturity, moral development, it’s entirely up to you. At Stryv we use the Stages Model created by Terri O’Fallon, as it’s the most robust and well researched model. We also have access to the person who created it which gives us an advantages as to how to understand it and apply it in the best way possible.
Aside from understanding the level you are at, you then also have to understand the next level, in order to get a sense of the journey it takes to get there. Otherwise it’s like trying to bake a chocolate cake when you’ve never tasted it and don’t know the recipe. Understanding where you are at, what the next level is, and understanding that transition between them is key.
In our StryvX Programme we go into the specifics of what the transformations between the different levels are. For instance, at the 3.0 level you will be very receptive to the things you are taking in, but at the 3.5 you are much more active working towards the goals you are trying to achieve. At the 4.0 level you can shift to a much more collected focus, while at 4.5 you are trying to build a system to understand how all these contexts fit together.
Depending on what level you are at with your vertical development, it will change which intervention you may need to develop into the next level and truly change yourself.
Creating Your Own Personal Narrative?
The main thing I want you to take away from this is that when it comes to your personal growth, you want to be focused on vertical development to truly change yourself. That’s what is going to allow you to get more objective about the emotions that are creating your own personal narrative, and how that in turn is affecting how you construct who you think you are. You can then start re-constructing them until you become who you want to be and achieve the things you want to achieve. This is how to truly change yourself and how you achieve in life.
So to summaries what we have already talked about, the self is constructed out of temporal and emotional constructs that are an internal view of your body, the homeostasis that’s in you.
The most important construct is the emotional one. You have to be able to get some awareness of those emotions and one of the best ways to get better awareness is through vertical development. One of the best ways to go up any level in vertical development is as I mentioned previously meditation. The process of any change is emergence, differentiation and integration, and meditation helps with that, allowing you to focus.
The way to truly accelerate though is to understand what level you are at, what the next level is and understanding that transition between the two levels.
Start to spend time around people who have done that journey already, and who can guide you and explain what you can expect and what you should focus on! It will help you truly change yourself, the context in which you show up and how you construct your own identity.
As you probably understand from now, we are not talking about 5 easy tips here, this is much deeper than that. If you truly want to change, it’s not about a journey into another room in the same building, which will leave you with the same values, the same constructs, not actually seeing through anything and not actually changing yourself. It’s all about going up a floor.
If you really want to accelerate, check out our StryvX Programme, ask yourself, what is going to be the thing that will truly change yourself within the next 90 days, this month or this year. Are you going to truly change yourself, or are you going to keep adding different skills and abilities to your repertoire? Or are you going to truly transform what you are capable of and your levels of consciousness in your own life?