Your Mind is Like a Parachute...

September 3, 2021

Your mind is like a parachute...it only works when it is open.

Have you ever had cause to just stop and consider if the life you are living is the one that you want or is it the one that you have? Do you feel that you have been totally responsible for creating the life you have now, did you simply end up with what you have by reacting to life without a plan or is the life you have a result of someone else’s actions? These are interesting questions indeed and worthy of provoking some deep and reflective thought.

At certain, indeterminate times in our lives we take stock of where we have been, where we are now and where we want to go and sometimes we decide that we need to change something in order to get to our desired outcomes. Change comes in many different forms. Perhaps you want to change behaviours like smoking or poor eating habits to improve your health. You may choose to change the way that you react to certain situations to reduce your stress levels or you may choose to change your part in a relationship. Change might mean moving into a different role at work or changing your career path entirely. It may also involve moving house, cities or even countries. Change can be large or small, whichever it is change is a choice that is yours and yours alone. So you’ve made the decision that things need to change. The key question now is, as human beings, why don’t we just go ahead and change? Immediately stop smoking or lose weight or think differently? Anyone who has been through change knows that it’s just not that simple is it?

The problem we have is that our behaviours are habitual and stubbornly installed at the unconscious level. We are often not consciously aware of how we generate our thinking or behaviours, we just do. If you are not consciously aware of HOW you structure and mould your thinking, then how do you go about changing it? The second problem is that when you were born, you weren’t issued an instruction manual entitled, ‘How to use your mind and control your thinking.’ That’s were Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) comes in. NLP is that manual.

The way we accept and process information is complex, instantaneous and unconscious. Let me explain. The unconscious mind is the part of your mind that you’re not consciously aware of right now and it performs according to your instructions. Imagine for a moment that every second of every day, an enormous amount of sensory material is entering your neurology through your five senses; sight, sound, feeling, taste and smell. As individuals we uniquely filter all of the information that enters our neurology through a set of internal filters. The information that we accept, coupled with our conscious self-talk, forms our internal and unique representation of our concept of reality. That internal representation creates our emotional state, which in turn directly affects our physiology and then produces our internal and external behaviour.

To change behaviour, we are clearly required to make changes either to our unconscious filters or to the resultant internal representation. These alterations are the core elements of change with NLP. Practitioners of NLP know how to change their internal representations to change their behaviour and to change their emotional state. We begin by changing the properties of the internal representation that we have formed through the process of unconscious filtering. In NLP speak, we call these properties submodalities and they are the fine coding or building blocks that come together to form our internal representations. It will surprise and delight you to discover that just by making some very minor adjustments your behaviour can be modified completely and extremely rapidly.

Sometimes, the behaviour is functioning at a deeper level and we are required to make adjustments at the level of the internal filter. This may require adjustments to you values and beliefs which may be causing a functional blockage and filtering in a way that causes you to produce unwanted behaviours. NLP allows us to firstly understand HOW we generate behaviour through our values and belief filters and then gives us clear instructions of how to adjust them in order to achieve our desired results.

Other times, our behaviour is generated by something residing in our past that is as yet unresolved for us. Unresolved negative events which are charged with large amounts of negative emotion continue to reside within our nervous systems and can periodically or consistently impact on our emotional state and behaviour. To release that negative emotion, we have a wonderful technique called Time Line Therapy®. You can learn Time Line Therapy® techniques during your NLP Practitioner Training. Time Line Therapy® shows us HOW to remove past negative emotion from our nervous systems, how to remove limiting beliefs from our psychology and how to generate our desired future in a very brief period of time. By removing negative emotions and limiting beliefs from our past we generate a positive feedback loop which generates useful strategies for coping with anything that our future life throws up.  

 

People don’t change just because they are told to. This is what the majority of change managers working in corporate environments fail to see. Change even in a corporate context is about people at the end of the day and so they need to be supported in their change process. If an organisation decides to change its values and identity or even a key process or system, each individual employee is required to adapt to their new environment and for the reasons I’ve already explained, this is not easy for most people. This is the one biggest reasons why change projects fail, they forget about people and that people are not sheep, they are functioning individuals! What’s the answer to successful change projects? Ensure that there is an NLP trained change consultant on the project team!

Change is challenging when you have no compass to give you direction or instructions to tell you what to do when you get there. With the right direction, you can make personal change very easy and very quick. Even the most deeply seated habits and behaviours can be changed without a great deal of pain when you know HOW and NLP shows you how.

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