Performance & Potential

Stop & Think: A Radical Approach to Life

Making a change for the better? You will have to stop and think and self-observe—what were my means before? How was I trying to get what I wanted? What was not working in that way I was going about it? These are questions you will have to ask yourself. The answers may not be very clear to you because usually we have no firm idea about exactly what we have been doing. Only by stopping can you find this missing information.

Inhibition and direction. F.M.’s great discovery

This search for what you were really doing, not what you believe you were doing will be very interesting. What we find 99.999% of the time deep in the subconscious, are fears of not doing well enough (or that we are not enough).

This fear has caused us to fail. The failure may be partial or total or any gradation in between but in every case this subconscious belief will corrupt our ease, pleasure, self-confidence and rob us of reaching our full potential.

All fear is a deeply imbedded reflex. In all vertebrates these reflexes (which we call a “startle pattern”) are part of self-preservation. Without a capacity to feel fear, no creature would survive. Alexander found that we are all in the actual grip of over excited fear reflexes. It starts at about the age of 4 or 5 years when we start to notice others more objectively and make comparisons. It becomes more and more habitual as the child strives to succeed with good grades, be loved and liked, and to fit in. I can add many other factors that increase the pressure, but you have the idea.

If you will try a very strange thing now and test out Mr. Alexander, you can decide for yourself the merits of what he discovered: Inhibition and Direction.

Warning: It is best done with a trained teacher who can show you the feeling of what you need to allow. If you could just follow these instructions directly, your problems would not exist in the first place and you would not need to read about this. You would be totally free of anxiety in every possible way and delightfully poised always.

  • Step 1: Stop (inhibition)
  • Step 2: After stopping, add direction #1. The first direction is “let your neck be free,” meaning you decide not to stiffen your neck. This includes your shoulders. (The shoulders like to gang up on the neck.)
  • Step 3: Next, add direction #2. Direction #2 is “let your head go forward and up.”
  • Step 4: Move into direction #3. Allow the back to lengthen and widen.

Fear cannot enslave you with these new directions. It is not reflexively possible. If you will really stop and direct, the fear will not be able to cripple you the way it did. With time the irrational fears will diminish totally yielding you efficiency, ease, poise and allow you to attain greater and greater potential. Of course this needs repetition so it becomes familiar to you so these irrational fear habits weaken into nothing. Then you are free to function at your full potential.