!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Strict//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-strict.dtd"> Streamline Training & Documentation: Be Your Own Hero

Monday, March 24, 2008

Be Your Own Hero

Based on my own experience — my own doings and observations of others — I'm a big believer in identifying your good points and "staking a claim" to them — developing them, and putting them into play in situations where they contribute to happy/successful outcomes.

I recently came upon an exercise the BBC has posted online that is based on a similar philosophy — that you can find within yourself, and then nurture, qualities exhibited by people you admire.

The exercise is called "Be Your Own Hero." In case the webpage disappears at some point, I've reproduced its explanation of the exercise below, with some editing.

What is the exercise for?
The exercise lets you rehearse abilities of yours that are underdeveloped and, by strengthening them, move toward greater fulfillment of your potential.

How do I do it?
Note: Have a friend join you so you have someone to talk with (as described below).

Who is your hero? If you don't have one, try to think of someone who has characteristics that you admire or wish you had. Your hero may be real, fictional, dead or alive. Think of why you admire him/her. What are the specific qualities that you look up to?
  • Imagine how your hero might behave on a very simple level, for example how s/he might walk around a room. Try to emulate what you're imagining.

  • Once you have established how your hero moves, think of a phrase that your hero might say. Take on the persona of your hero and have a chat with somebody. What would your hero say, and how would s/he behave? What advice might s/he give others?

  • Next think of a scenario from the past that did not go as well as you would have liked. This can be a problem you experienced at work or at home; an interaction with another person; a struggle with learning or motivation — just about anything. Working with a friend, play out the scenario as you remember it happening, including the negative outcome.

  • What would you have liked to do differently? Re-enact the situation, but this time as your hero. Try not to take action which is too fantastic; beaming someone to the planet Zarg, for example, would be overdoing it. Focus instead on the superior human qualities of your character, and let them dictate your reactions.

  • How was the outcome more positive this time? How did it feel and how did you cope as your hero? Enjoy the feeling of release and success.

  • Then ask yourself whether you were just acting as your hero, or if you were uncovering hidden attributes of your own personality. It might well have felt strange, but this is because you're not used to behaving in this way. "Stake a claim" to the qualities that have helped you improve the outcome you achieved.
As with anything, practice makes perfect, so if this exercise worked well for you, then carry on assuming the qualities that you'd like to exhibit more consistently. In time you'll see that making a change is not so difficult, and that by acting as our heroes we can become more like them. If you wish, you can keep a journal of experimentation with your "hero" and chart your progress. You may well be surprised.

If you're interested in more of what the BBC has to offer in the self-help arena, another example is their "Get Confident" course.


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