Let’s talk about form and process for a minute, because so much of how I make sense of all of these ideas is by putting them into formulas, equations, algorithms, and theories. What are all of those terms and what do I mean when I use them?
Theory: a system of ideas to explain something
Formula: a list of ingredients to get an outcome
Equation: the process of equating one thing with another
Algorithm: a process or set of rules to be followed to problem-solve
Before any of that happens, we need to know the problem, the facts aka the Observable Behavior, or what is factually happening. It’s what we’re solving for, and many times that “problem” changes and evolves when we go deeper and deeper.
Here’s an example of the process I use. You’ll notice that things are fluid and keep changing.
Observable Behavior: I eat a lot of sugary foods even when I try not to.
Theory: I crave sugar. Sugar tastes good and I’m weak and can’t say no.
Equation: if I don’t get to eat sugar I feel alone and sad (Eating Sugar = No Sadness)
Theory: my body is trying to protect me from sadness and grief. Even though I logically don’t want to eat too much sugar, my body and brain will override that to protect me.
Curiosity: What specifically is my body trying to protect me from feeling?
Formula: Next time I observe myself mindlessly eating something sugary, I will stop eating the food, sit still, and ask myself, “What am I (not)feeling in this moment and where am I (not)feeling it in my body?”
Theory: I have fear around X
Theory: If I change my belief around X and create a new truth, I can change my behavior and my body won’t have to protect me anymore by prompting me to eat sugar.
Algorithm: Create New Belief (Afformation) + write and place it where I will see it when reaching for sugar + stop and feel my feelings + insert new behavior = significant drop in sugar intake
Observable Behavior: I repeat my new process, even in initial discomfort, and eat less sugar without feeling sadness around X.
X, of course, is the wild card here and can take quite some time to solve for. There can also be many Xs that inform a single Observable Behavior.
Additionally, some of these steps come with a lot of intense emotional processing that isn’t represented in the formulas etc. and vary from person to person.