Modeling as The New Behavior Generator
Updated: Jul 30
Written by: Sonjali Di Guida, Executive Contributor
Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.
Often in the height of our careers, a hidden monster lurks in the background of our subconscious. This proverbial “boogeyman” depletes our confidence, energy, and internal resources, so that growth is impossible. This villain superimposes itself into our being, our bodies, actions, our thoughts and controls our behaviors. He wears a dark cloak that masks us from reality and possibility. Who specifically is this elusive super villain? Well, dear ambitious one, it is YOU.
If you have ever halted your own progress for fear of failure, procrastinated embarking on projects because you lacked confidence, or declined opportunities - feeling that it was out of scope with your capabilities, you have been assaulted by this villain. If you have held the stubborn belief that ‘I am just not made that way” or “I am not good at that sort of thing”. Then you, my friend, have been taken hostage by your self-doubt.
Many times, innovation, creativity, learning and growth both personally and professionally comes in moments of clarity and neutrality. The concept of perceived fear, can in itself, be the bottleneck to our growth. I have seen many clients over time neglect the hero in this narrative. Their person, who can come into the situation, assess it, and take control back, wearing their hero cape.
Equipped with your very own hero cape, I invite you to explore the world of someone you believe would master your uncomfortable situation...
Throughout time in my practice as a hypnotist, I have witnessed the most driven, intellectual and seemingly fearless leaders experience moments of self-doubt in their capabilities. We are often exposed to different facets of our careers, which require us to hone into skill sets and behaviors we actually do not perceive we possess.
Modeling for transformational change
What if you were told that you do have the necessary attributes of the go-getter, the charming salesperson, the confident one, the leader? How would your approach to your career or job change? I invite you to conquer and master your fears, using your single and best tools: yourself and your model.
Being confined to yourself, your behaviors, attributes, and skills would perhaps be insufficient in your new and seemingly ‘scary’ endeavor. But what if you were someone else? What if you could step into the colorful world of someone you know who would navigate your dilemma with ease, confidence and resilience? How would your approach and the outcome be different?
I had a client a while back who can best illustrate this power of stepping out of ourselves. Sonia was an ambitious young promising Junior Analyst in the infant phase of her a role in a competitive corporate environment. Prior to this job, she had run her own business, which ultimately collapsed due to the loss of sales from the poor economic conditions. The loss of her business resulted in her being incredibly security-minded, lacking confidence, and chronically stressed.
She would later take on this new promising job, feeling under qualified, insecure and lacking direction. When she came into my office, she looked defeated and spoke very softly as she slouched in her chair. Her body language alone depicted her reservations and shyness.
Up comes the make or break day of her career; she would have to pitch her company’s services to a massive potential client. The day was soon approaching, where she would have to pitch her company and deliver a 40-minute presentation to a panel of seasoned and well-educated professionals. She felt intimated, under qualified, and overwhelmed. She felt there was no way that she could, as her introverted and petite self, impress this panel. This would be her make or break point in her career, the pitch that would put her back on the map, and advance her further up the corporate ladder.
Sonia called me a few weeks later to recount how her presentation went. Not only did she successfully secure her account, the panel loved her energy and drive, and signed on for three other projects a few days later! She got promoted, and later I would find out, got promoted again to manage a team of 20 people in her department.
So how did David conquer Goliath? Sonia was able to step out of herself during her presentation, and wear her hero cloak. By choosing a model, she was able to comfortably transform into a self-assured, competent and passionate presenter.
In my sessions with Sonia to overcome her fears of public speaking and to build her self-confidence, we ran an exercise in which she chose someone she thought was an excellent speaker model.
From there, Sonia was tasked with stepping into her model’s shoes. How does her model stand, use her hands, look people in the eyes? What is her breath rate, the volume of her voice? Once mentally calculating this, Sonia then stepped into this role, and started seeing the world through her model’s eyes.
While Sonia has traditionally been hyper detail-oriented, introverted, organized, and meticulous, this task required someone to see the big picture. Someone who could link, in broad terms, her company's services, with the strategy of her client. Someone who can make her company look dynamic, fun and promising. Sonia believed in the value of her company. She just needed other people to see it. While she had the technical savvy and on-paper qualifications to represent her company, it was those soft skills and behaviors that needed refining.
In comes Sonia Version 2.0 to save the day. Her selected model (in her case, an old colleague from University), is friendly, could strike up a conservation anywhere with anyone, has incredible charisma and charm. She was that person who danced as if nobody was watching, wore bright colors, and could laugh at herself. She could project her voice, make herself heard in a crowded room, and had this vivacious energy.
Sonia went right ahead and wore her new shoes by modeling her old colleague. Immediately, her posture changed, her confidence shimmered, her movements became more fluid. Her voice unapologetically projected to twice its normal volume, and she was able to captivate and connect with her audience. She mirrored the spirit of her model in those moments. She was dynamic, extroverted, and confident! And Sonia version 2.0 won the affection and confidence of that very tough panel.
Modeling to a better you
Just as Sonia was able to conquer her fears, so can you. I invite you to try on this new confidence by stepping outside of yourself and notice how your perception changes.
To get out of the business of your mind, start with some deep breaths, followed by a minute of large body movements. You have now created a blank canvas to work on, which is not painted with your experiences, biases, and belief systems. You are now ready to welcome a curious and observant state of mind, and paint your canvas with that.
Next, select an ideal model for your situation. This can be someone you know, a character on a show you like, or someone you admire at a distance. Choose someone you believe to possess all those rich attributes, qualities, and behaviors to master the task or situation at hand. Once you have this selected model, mentally populate a list of attributes this person has, particularly those that would help you reach your desired outcome.
Next, ramp up your visualization skills. Imagine all these attributes being absorbed in your body - from the crown of your head to your toes. Sounds silly, right? If Michal Jordan did not utilize his visualization techniques, he would not be able to master basketball to the magnitude that he did. Embrace the visual game. It is fundamental to the mental game.
Now try your character on by imagining you are a method actor tasked with becoming another person. How does your model sit? What speed and volume do they use when speaking? How do they look at people in the eye? What is their body language? Are they excited by the challenge? What does excitement feel like in your body? What feelings do you have in your body as this new person? Conjure this feeling your model would have...See, speak, hear, listen and feel as they do. You are now superimposed with this model. Get comfortable with yourself in this new way of being until it feels natural and believable to yourself.
Finally, with these new lenses on, approach your task. How have your feelings changed since embracing this new way of being? Notice changes to the way you now perceive events, people and situations.
With your feet comfortably settled into your new shoes, you are now ready to approach your situation or task at hand. The good news is, you can wear these shoes for as long as you need them, wherever you need them. When you feel they have served their purpose and match your wardrobe for the day, you can safely put them back on your house slippers.
Modeling is not just for the runway
Learning through modeling is a powerful tool used in many aspects of self-growth and transformation. . When we limit ourselves to our own constricting beliefs, we halt progress and the world of possibilities. Modeling allows us to step into a new world, as a new being, with the proper prescription lenses. You will see that you have many of those attributes you sought in your model; you just had to use them. Once this portal is open, you will see a new realm of colorful and exciting opportunities.
Allow yourself to pick and choose those qualities you need, and jump into the experience when you need them. Know that many great leaders were not just born the public images you have come to know and appreciate. They nurtured their confidence through trial and error, and at some point, felt they did not have the resources they needed. Be consciously or unconsciously, they tapped into a vast population with limitless attributes, and incorporated them into their personas.
Some qualities were permanently imprinted on them, and others were replaced by more useful ones. Some of these are placed on the coat rack and are worn only during special events. These resources are used when and where they are needed, but are permanently in your wardrobe if you should need them again.
I encourage you, with these newfound superpowers, to challenge your supervillain to a dual. You will find that your cape can be selected in a variety of colors.
Sonjali Di Guida, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine
Sonjali Di Guida, is a passionate and outcome driven hypnotist, dedicated to helping individuals master their growth mindset, from the very core of their beings – the subconscious. With her training from the Master Hypnotist Society as well as utilization in Neuro linguistic programming systems, her clinic, The West Island Hypnosis Center has helped her many clients make transformational changes – both personally and professionally. Her executive background as well as her experience running her consulting firm and hypnosis clinic have allowed her to continuously master her craft in changemaking.