Some NLP techniques are unbelievably simple and straightforward. In fact it’s the simplicity of NLP that many people find so attractive. Here’s one such concept that anyone can use to create a better experience of life.
We all have self-talk. Some of it very negative. Have you found yourself saying to yourself something like:
“I can’t do that”
“I know I’m going to screw it up”
“I don’t deserve this”
“Who do you think you are?”
The things we say to ourselves are often expressions of inner beliefs or self-limiting behaviours. They can also be like a recording of something we’ve heard someone else say to us; perhaps a parent or teacher. In the moment this inner dialogue can feel very real and has the effect of limiting our choices and/or shattering our confidence. It can catch us out, just at the wrong moment, and be a trigger for anxiety and panic.
There is a value to this type of self-talk. It can stop us being too confident, arrogant or simply reckless. However it can also be disabling and unhelpful. Often we speak to people who we know are very capable and the only thing holding them back is a lack of self-belief that is expressed through a negative internal dialogue. For example we’ve worked with many people that have an excellent track record of presenting confidently but sometimes this inner voice catches them out. They’ve learned to avoid it by avoiding presenting, despite the fact they have had plenty of experience of presenting well. Interviews, first dates, difficult conversations and many other scenario’s, where the person can’t have complete control of the situation, are all potential situations where their ‘voice of doom’ can hold people back.
This can be very simple to deal with and can be handled in minutes. Within NLP there is the concept of submodalities. Simply put, we represent experiences in our minds and how we represent these experiences effects how we relate to them. Our minds are incredibly flexible and we have much more choice over how we code these inner representations than most people realise. By simply changing how we represent our inner world we can change our state of mind and give ourselves much more choice in our behaviour. Dealing with negative self-talk is a straightforward example of this kind of change in action.
The first option is to move it. Firstly tune in to where the voice is coming from. Often there is sense that it comes from just behind you on one side or the other but it could come from anywhere. Try moving it and notice how you relationship to the voice changes as you move it’s apparent location.
Notice that we haven’t suggested changing what the voices say. We’ve left the words as they are. This is deliberate as changing the words can often result in a less effective change. NLP can be thought of as creating more choice in the way we respond to both internal and external influences. It’s not about changing the influence but changing the meaning we make of it.
Some ways to change a negative voice (other than moving it):
Speed it up
Slow it down
Lower or raise the tone
Add background music
It’s remarkable how flexible our minds can be and how quickly you can make a change sometimes. This I also a simple example of just how straightforward an NLP approach can be and how easy it is to add greater choices in our lives. And of course you still have the choice to keep the negative voice as it was originally – but then again you now know you can respond to it just how you want to.
To create more choice in your life you might like to take a look at our popular NLP Diploma programme. A 4-day residential course in the inspiring Cotswolds exploring how your mind works with a great bunch of friendly people – what does your inner voice say about that?
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