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Your First NLP Mini-Lesson:
examples and how-to’s are drawn from the actual experiences of people
just like you who succeeded in getting what they wanted with the help of
Getting What You Want More Easily With NLP #1: The Inside Family
years ago, a good friend of mine and I were discussing change. The
really big kind. He had just lost his business, his wife had left him,
and he wanted to achieve the independence of owning his own business.
Clearly, the universe conspires at times to wake us up. “It feels scary
and exhilarating and perfect. I’m facing change AND I need to change” he
“crossroads” moments tend to do, he found himself thinking a lot about
both his past and his future. He really wanted to make the right choices
moving forward, not based on the limitations of his past. The
implications were tremendous. It was obvious to both me and him, that
the road he had taken here was not the right road to take forward. He
asked me “Do you know someone who can help me?”
many people who had done therapy or hired a life coach to navigate
through big changes in their lives, and I had talked to many of them
during my own life transitions.
lots of stories about how the work was interesting and useful, and
helped for awhile. Often, it created some better habits in some areas.
But there was one common theme to all of these stories. Each person
reported that old patterns of behavior eventually returned – stuff that
got in the way of them realizing their goals. It was like the “default
program” of limiting thoughts and behaviors could be overridden
short-term, but in the end it always prevailed.
told him about NLP (neuro-linguistic programming). One of these friends
was describing how her coach, Lou, helped her navigate changes in her
own life. The time they spent together was not typical. Rather than
“talk-focused,” the coach asked unusual questions and guided her through
a series of “mental” exercises.
meeting with her coach, she found herself implementing changes easily
that had been met with lots of “internal resistance” in the past.
Here’s the simple process Lou used with my friend:
Think of a specific goal you want to achieve.
it’s to lose weight, get a raise, win a big contract, or buy a bigger
home. Just make it something specific and something you really care
Write it down.
Now, READ the below instructions. Then, DO the instructions (in that order):
1. Close your eyes, and name the goal. “I want a raise.”
Notice the feelings associated with the goal. If you picked a real goal,
there will probably be more than one (kind of like there is a family of
“opinions” inside your mind about it).
3. Write down the words that describe all of the “family of opinions” – the actual words that come to your mind.
4. Now, draw a line to start a new section on your paper.
5. Next, think of a goal you achieved in the past, that you are proud about.
Write it down, along with how you felt about it. “I got a raise, and it
felt great. My boss felt I deserved it, and we had to bend some rules to
make it happen. And in the end, it felt great to have someone believe
in me that much.”
7. Now, read the two descriptions out loud. What do you notice about the difference?
us have not recognized how much subtle “inside talk” goes on in our
mind that is unsupportive, harsh or defeating. It’s like an all- day,
uninterrupted soundtrack of characters who narrate and comment on our
life (usually without being asked), without us even realizing it.
this is helpful, you might find these more complete tools even more
helpful: “New Technology of Achievement” (book or CD set), “Heart of the
Mind” (book) OR “Core Transformation” (book or DVD). All can be found
important question is this: Who is your Inside Family? Are they a group
of cheerleaders, mentors, co-creators (maybe an eccentric aunt in the
mix), or do the nay-sayers, ne’er do-wells, and critical parents drowned
out the positive messages?
When we meet and start to get to know our Inside Family more closely, we often wonder how we got anything done.