It's been a hectic month travelling and doing many new and exciting things on the NLP front (more on that in a future post) but while I had some quiet time I wanted to take the time to respond to a number of emails I've been getting from both new and experienced NLPers wondering "How do I …" and wanting to know how they can apply NLP to some area of their life.
Answering these got me thinking .. what is one of the quickest ways to dramatically improve your skills with NLP and improve the quality of your life? The answer .. is to apply the NLP attitude and rapid change techniques on yourself. Is this something you do consistently, or even at all? We can all do with a "personal enhancement" from time to time.
I have lost count the number of NLP trained folks I have meet who have significant psyco-somatic "challenges" in their life, like lack of belief in themselves, shyness, under confidence etc that are a big drain on their life. While it is true that it can be hard to get a jump on yourself .. to notice when you're invisibility caught in a habitual de-energising pattern, a skilled NLPer can develop the skills to catch him/herself doing patterns of behaviour that doesn't serve them and transform it.
So what are some of the more destructive emotions we all have experienced in our life and for some are still caught on to them like a fur ball that won't just disappear out of their life.
The top four I've noticed in many people are:
- Extended sadness
Using NLP we have a whole series of techniques and tools to change this rapidly. For the beginner or the advanced the famous collapsing anchors pattern is still a very powerful technique to change a feeling rapidly. The Decision destroyer pattern and time line techniques are again very powerful to use to improve the quality of your life and to "get over" the habitual debilitating stories of life.
A rarely mentioned tool not typically taught in the training schools but essential to any skilled practitioner is humour, taking the mickey out of yourself and not taking anything in life too seriously. If you find yourself experiencing self-pity a good technique to use is to really go to town on it and write out all the ways you have been hard done by in as much detail as possible and write a long long very detailed version of "war and roses" and then re-read it out loud with as much drama and gusto as you can until you find yourself (at threshold) either laughing your socks off and finally seeing the silliness of it all or just plain "can't handle another re-run of that" for your life.
Extended sadness can and often does include an aspect of unconscious self-pity in ones life. Simple yet very powerful patterns like visual swish and rapidly changing the sub-modalities or using Dr. Bandlers superb "spinning of feelings" technique can make a big difference. First I would also encourage yourself to move and use your body, engaging your physiology makes it challenging to hold on to a deep feeling of sadness and creates the room to using any of the many other NLP techniques to transform your life.
A golden rule with transforming all of the above feelings is to start from a place of acceptance .. in that you accept that 'hey these are just emotions and they may seem quite real and present in my life right now, but they are not who I am or what I am about'. Starting from that place will allow yourself to explore with a sense of wonder and interest as to traverse the neural pathways and emotional rivers that have had been running your life.
So what has any of this got to do with the title of this post "using your body and mind for a change", well interestingly enough it is this - many NLPers and NLP book surfers get caught in the trap of "staying in their head" too much, thinking that NLP is just cognitive stuff and not accessing the great resources that are available in the form of listening and being aware to the signals of your body and mind (which in this context I mean intuition and unconscious instinct).
Part of the language that showed up in later decades of NLP was very much around "feelings in your body", and doing subtle body and energy work as used by many of the Master Trainers and Dr. Bandler. John Grinder focused on "New Code" and accessing the unconscious mind for change.
If the NLP you are using today is still primarily focused on just the cognitive part of what a person is conscious of and the mental pictures that they make then you are leaving a massive area of untapped resources out there. When working with yourself and indeed others, you will want to be tuned into these other key information and change centres to transform your life.
Making it Practical:
So if you are the kind of person who is or can be very much "in your head" then take some time this week to get re-acquainted with the ebb and flow of your body in motion and your breath. Go take a Yoga, Tai-chi or dance class and get re-experienced with the feeling of energy and emotion moving within and beyond your body. Or if you're into sports such as jogging or swimming use that experience to tune into your breathing and the moment by moment awareness of being aware and conscious of your life and life force.
As bizarre as this may seem, this can allow your NLP skills to accelerate beyond the plateau or level they are at now. By following the suggestions above you can allow these experiences to tune up your intuition, your sensitivity and awareness to your feelings and so catch yourself when you fire off a pattern that doesn't serve your life.
And in the magical moment when you "catch yourself" you can take out pen to paper to capture the cycle of behaviour, thinking and feeling that is driving that aspect of your life. Writing it out is important as it will help you "work on yourself" and help give you clarity to notice all the false beliefs, unhelpful thinking and notice what is the "attractor" (the one thing that is attracting and drawing on all the others) is and by noticing what is the glue that is keeping the whole structure together you are able to self-diagnose and from there decide which of the many many NLP patterns you can use do dislodge or transform your experience of that behaviour.
As you do this, employ another of the truly great NLP attitudes, to have an insatiable curiosity …