You’ve been preparing for an important interview for the whole week. You are confident and ready to kick ass. But when you are about to join the zoom room for the interview, suddenly your fight or flight response is activated. You tried to stay calm but nothing works. You blank out during the whole interview. The worst part is that this unexpected turn of the event was not the first time it happened. You feel powerless because it seems like there’s nothing you can do.
We’ve all been in a situation like this, where we feel less resourceful- a job interview, a stressful conversation, or a turbulent relationship. We feel stuck in our heads and trapped in our negative emotions. But we want to feel better. We know we are capable of feeling better because we’ve been there before. We remember what is it like when we are more resourceful. We are more cheerful, more careless, and we are light and hopeful. But Why? Why can’t I just be happier? Why can’t I just be more confident and relaxed? I should be more _____ (you feel in the blank). We feel like there is no way out.
We feel like there is no way out because we are trying to reason your way out. But the truth is- THERE IS a way out. We don’t need to seek it from the outside, because the way to get out of the situation is through a way inward. Yes, the answer is already and always within us. It is our resource state.
What is Resource State?
“Resource state” is an NLP (Neurolinguistic Programming) technique I learned from my NLP trainer Katie River. NLP claims that the most effective way to rebuild our behavior pattern is not through reasoning, but by using emotions or feelings built up in the 5 senses to rewire the emotional pattern we built up in our lizard brain.
For example, no matter how much I told myself I’m a capable, experienced professional, my body won’t listen to me because my emotional action is activated by my lizard brain, not my rational brain. The way to overcome my fight or flight response is to rewire my emotional pattern by conjuring up another emotional state and embedded in that state.
A resource state is an inner mental state where you feel connected to something larger than yourself. Being in the resource state gives you the resources you need for different given contexts. If you are dealing with a stressful relationship issue, your resource state might be where you find love and support to deal with that situation. If you feel uncertain and scared, your resource state might be where you feel trusting and courageous.
Your resource states can be connected to a memory, or a combination of useful resources you in the situation you need. To get into our resource state, we use our five senses to trick our brain into reasoning and bring us back to the emotional states that we want to be in.
Getting into Your Resource State
To put yourself into your resource state, Imagine a memory or a situation where you experience the emotion you want to experience. Embed yourself from that situation and pay attention to the finest detail as if you are looking out from the eyes to the “your” in your resource state:
- Where are you in that situation?
Is it a real place or an imaginary place? Are you in nature? In your childhood home? In a meditation retreat?
- What do you see from your eyes?
Does it have a shape? Does it have any colors? Does it have golden sparkles to it? Does he look blue? Does it look yellow?
- What do you hear from your ears?
Is there a sound from nature, a certain song, or people talking? Do you hear someone’s voice?
- What do you smell from your nose?
Do you smell the plants in nature? The food your family cook? Maybe baked bread from the bakery store on your childhood street?
- What do you feel in that state?
Do you feel the warmth or coldness? Does it feel like plushy pillows or clouds? Is it soft or hard? Is it humid or dry? Do you feel relaxed, energized, ambitious, hopeful, etc?
- Where is this inner state in your body?
Is it in your heart? Your palm? Your stomach?
My Resource State as An Example
When dealing with an unknown job search situation I have, the resource state I call up was when I went on a solo trip to San Antonio, a city in Texas and I took a walk along its riverside on a sunny afternoon. This is what my resource state looks like:
I feel the sunshine on my face and the breeze blowing through my hair. My favorite Latin jazz song was playing. I see the tree, the grass, and the flowers wavering along with the wind, and golden sparkles filled the air. I feel like I was enclosed in a huge, golden, shiny bubble. I feel light, relaxed, trusting, and joyful.
Now whenever I feel less resourceful like before an interview, or in a social situation where I feel nervous, I use this technique to prepare myself to be in the best mental state. I take a deep breath, stop the moment and put myself back into the resourceful state. I look out of my eyes and feel everything I feel when I was walking alone San Antonio Riverside. This technique is so effective that even I was walking among the crowd on the street, I feel as if I was stepping on the soft soil walking down the river stream.
Trying the Resource State
If you also have a situation where you know you could feel or perform better, I highly recommend trying this resource state technique. Recall the moment where you feel most resourceful and make it come alive. Add as many details as possible into your resource state. How do you feel? What do you see? What do you hear? Keep that list of resource state in your heart.
Next time when you need to feel more resourceful, put yourself into a resourceful state. Take an online interview for example. When you are you're talking to your interviewer on the computer screen and you are so nervous that you can’t bring out your best. Try going into your resource state, secretly playing your music in your head, visualizing the color, and feeling the temperature around you. Use these little tricks to put yourself in a more resourceful state. See if it works for you.