Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Ideas are Scary...At First!

(This blog was originally posted on February 9, 2015)

Photo by Rick Hustead

Last week, I saw a brilliant television advertisement for General Electric. Titled “Ideas Are Scary,” it shows how people react when introduced to a new idea: “Ideas are frightening, because they threaten what is known. They are the natural-born enemy of the way things are,” the narrator explains.

According to Hypnosis Motivation Institute founder John Kappas, Ph.D.’s Theory of Mind, the longer you have held a belief or been practicing a behavior, the more deeply you ingrain it in your mind. Eventually, it becomes a default, a comfort zone, a known. Every time you repeat that behavior or habit, you send another positive message to the SCM that reinforces your comfortable association with what you are doing. In his Theory of Mind, John Kappas, Ph.D., refers to the subconscious mind categorizing certain events or stimuli as “pleasure.” In this context, pleasure is something the person identifies as familiar or known, but not necessarily “pleasurable.” In other words, you are equally likely to continue to behave in a particular way even if it is uncomfortable, because that behavior is what you know and where your subconscious mind tells you that you are safe. However, anything “new” is initially considered painful; the subconscious mind will continue to reject it until repeated exposure to the stimulus makes it familiar (known) and can be accepted in the subconscious mind.

I have summarized the plot of this ad in the context of Dr. Kappas’s model, below:
·         The new idea is introduced as a hairy, unrecognizable creature lying on its back in a baby bed in a neonatal ward. Nurses huddle against the walls, pointing and talking to each other (presumably) about the unusual creature in their midst. Once out of the ward, the “ugly, messy” idea wanders around alone on the street. (Unknown: pain)
·         People throw objects at it from car windows; pedestrians stare, grimace and hurry past. The Idea is ushered out of businesses and even evicted from a cafĂ© where it has stopped to rest. Sad music plays in the background as it shuffles out of the restaurant. With its shoulders slumped, the Idea finally curls up in a cardboard box on the street. (Rejection)
·      When it finally ventures back onto the street, the Idea passes General Electric, where an employee opens the glass front door and welcomes it inside. Here the Idea is finally, no longer scary. It is no longer messy or a threat to the status quo. The innovators and inventors at General Electric seek out and create new ideas, themselves. After all, new ideas are familiar, comfortable and “knowns” for them. They are ready and willing to nurture this fragile creature into an established concept or belief: (Repetition creates comfort)
·         By the end of the advertisement the Idea has been cleaned up: Its once limp and lank coat and tail and head feathers are now fluffed and their color returned to their former luster. The now-receptive audience gives Idea a standing ovation as it steps behind the podium on a stage to present its message to others: “But under the proper care, they become something beautiful,” the narrator concludes. (Acceptance of a new known in the subconscious mental script.)

This is by far the best illustration of the Theory of Mind that I have ever seen. I encourage you to click on the Ideas Are Scary link to watch this clever advertisement and see how it illustrates Dr. Kappas’s concept. For more information and examples of the Theory of Mind, I invite you to read more of my blogs at www.calminsensehypnotherapy.com.

Sara R. Fogan, C.Ht. is a certified hypnotherapist based in Southern California. She graduated with honors from the Hypnosis Motivation Institute in 2005. For more information about Calminsense Hypnotherapy® and to set up an appointment, please visit http://www.calminsensehypnotherapy.com/.
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