Have you ever been “stuck” in a dysfunctional situation, habit, or relationship? You absolutely know you have to get out of it for your own good, but somehow you’re just not able to respond to the warning signals. If you relate to the paralyzing effect of this mysterious condition, then you’ll understand how it can prevent you from making the positive behavior changes required for creating a more fulfilling and meaningful life. Being “stuck” has become a universal catchphrase for describing the inability to transition from a problem state to a solution state. The good news is that becoming “unstuck” is no great mystery at all, according to the science of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP).
NLP was developed in the early 1970s as a practical method for understanding and transforming human behavior. It later evolved into an elegant therapeutic model that explains the structure of subjective experience. At the base of this model is a set of presuppositions that form the essence of NLP. Presuppositions, also called “maps of the world,” are subconscious assumptions that we hold about ourselves and the world we live in; they guide our thoughts, communication, emotions, and behavior, and they help us to make sense of our experiences. The following are some of the most important presuppositions of NLP that explain how it is possible to become “unstuck” and move easily from where you find yourself to where you truly want to be.
The Map Is Not The Territory
The reality you experience is the one you created as the result of your physical and genetic design and your unique personal history. Whenever you act, you respond to your map of reality, not to some ‘universal’ reality. Your map contains certain capabilities and possibilities that are available to you at any given time; thus, if you had to change your map by expanding the choices available to you, it would be possible to change your behavior.
The Meaning Of Your Communication Resides In The Response You Get
The essence of communication is not what you intend to say but the response you illicit. You’re always communicating and by using verbal and body language through all three representational systems (visual, auditory, and kinesthetic), telling people about yourself all the time. Human interactions form a cybernetic system and communication evolves continuously by way of systemic feedback loops. Therefore, if you don’t like the feedback you get, you can always change your communication until you get the response you want. Remember, there’s no such thing as failure, only feedback.
You Work Perfectly And Have All The Resources You Need
If a situation fails to work out for you, don’t assume you need to be corrected or fixed, because you’re not wrong or broken. Conversely, if you improved your understanding of how your thought and behavior processes operate, you can act more effectively to achieve the positive outcomes you want.
Your Behavior Has A Positive Intention
No matter how strange, hurtful, or inadequate it may seem to others or even to yourself, your behavior is appropriate within the context in which you created it. You are doing the best you can with the resources available to you, or you’re doing what you’re doing because your believe it is right. In view of that, it would be more productive for all of us to respond to the intention behind behavior rather than the apparent outward expression of it.
The positive intention of behavior resides at a deep structure level of the psyche. When you change a behavior that no longer serves you, it is crucial that you find the core intention that supports that problem behavior before moving toward healing. You will only be able to sustain your new healing state when you find a positive alternative behavior that continues to support the positive intention of the old behavior.
Here is an example: Imagine that your problem state is a phobia of public speaking. You discover the positive intention of your irrational fear to speak in public is a desire to protect yourself from ridicule. An alternative way to protect you from ridicule may be by adopting a bold attitude. Since a bold attitude is a healthier state than irrational fear, this would be a sensible exchange. Using a cross-mapping NLP technique, you can replace the sub-modalities that represent “phobia” with the sub modalities that represent “bold attitude.” Once these are in place, there are truly no obstacles to you achieving your desired outcome of being a confident, successful speaker.
By recognizing and separating positive intentions from behaviors, you can quickly change your map of the world in very significant ways.
Good luck to becoming “unstuck” successfully!
|Published in The Healing Springs Journal, Issue #17, Dec.04/Jan.05. The Healing Springs Journal is an independent publication committed to printing articles regarding the wellness of body, mind, spirit, and environment. The Healing Springs is distributed in the New York Capital District, Saranac Lake and everywhere in between.|