A Leopard & Its Spots

March 11, 2021

The human mind, particularly that entity we refer to as the unconscious mind, responds rapidly and comfortably to symbolism and metaphor. This is why we find it so powerful to weave magical metaphors into the rich tapestry of our everyday language (see what I did there!) and we don’t even consciously bring those intricate and delicate nuances into our consciousness most of the time.

I would lay a pretty safe bet on the possibility that you have either said or heard someone else say, ‘A leopard can’t change its spots’.  This is a widely used metaphor which is making the statement that a person is somehow genetically stuck with their behaviour and attitudes and that they are as in-built as the spots on the coat of a graceful big cat. The spots on each leopard are unique and can be used to identify the individual, remaining the same throughout its life. When we refer to a person in this way, we are effectively saying that they are who they are and they won’t change, they are just wired that way.

In NLP we think a bit differently about how a behaviour defines or describes a person. NLP Practitioners choose to adopt a series of convenient assumptions or presuppositions which assist them to widen their thinking process and challenge elements of their internal processing that they may have chosen to believe for most of their lives, complying dutifully with socially accepted norms.

In challenging their accepted and as yet, unquestioned beliefs, NLP Practitioner begin to view their world and the people within it very differently and in a much clearer light. Everything clicks pleasantly into place and their communication skills and resultant relationships are enhanced beyond all expectations, taking them into the top percentile of effective communicators.

Let’s focus for a moment on just three of our presuppositions of NLP:

 People are not their behaviours, accept the person and change the behaviour.

 Everyone is doing the best they can with the resources they have available. Behaviour is geared for adaptation and the present behaviour is the best choice available in the moment. Every behaviour is motivated by a positive intent.

 Calibrate on behaviour. The most important information about a person is their behaviour.

Now, begin to push your thinking waaaaaaay beyond the limits of your normal thinking about a leopard and its spots whilst holding these presuppositions as solid and safe foundations in your mind.

People can change their thinking, values, beliefs, attitudes and behaviours if they are motivated to do so. The technology of NLP allows us to make those changes easily and effortlessly, creating change which is both rapid and permanent.

Accepting that a person can choose to change means the realisation that they can connect or re-connect with internal resources which will almost magically become available to them. People continuously adapt to their circumstances and their environment and not always in the most helpful way. Using NLP thinking, adaptation can become positive, powerful and supportive of excellent results and the achievement of desired outcomes. In NLP, we use carefully honed sensory acuity to notice everything that produces a certain behaviour and once we know HOW the behaviour is constructed, we can then de-construct and re-construct it in a new way to produce the most positive behaviour.  

We are all doing the best we know how to do right now. NLP thinking enables us to achieve more than just mediocrity in life, it allows us to fly and sore towards incredible new heights, achieving those goals we believed only existed in our dreams.

Not only does a leopard change its spots, the spots are constantly evolving into something exciting and new. To control this process and change your spots on purpose, join our Enhanced NLP Coach Practitioner Certification programme and change your thinking to create more positive states, solid relationships, excellent communications, and achieve your most fantastical goals whilst letting go of all your negative emotions and limiting beliefs. Change your spots!

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