What graffiti do you carry in your mind?
Updated: Mar 2
I was recently watching a demonstration by Richard Bandler, one of the founders of Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP), which helps us understand what makes us tick. It studies the habitual programmes we run inside us, some of which take us forward in our lives, and some of which hold us back.
Richard was working with someone who couldn't let go of a bad memory.
He asked the person this: "If I came into your house and sprayed a horrible picture on your wall, would you leave it there?"
The person laughed and replied with an obvious "No!".
Bandler then said quickly: "But you'd leave one in your head?"
Which kind of silenced the room.
And cuts to the very heart of the power of NLP.
For we all process the world through our senses - what we see, hear, feel, smell and taste - and this means that we all experience it in completely differently ways. Things come in, and we react to them and give them meaning according to what we've experienced before - ie the representations we have on our internal "walls".
So if something bad happened before and something similar happens again, no matter what the circumstance, we match it with the bad representation in our mind - for example, an encounter with a spider, or an unhappy event in our past.
This then affects how we feel ( our state) and what we can do.
But NLP says we have a choice.
We don't have to be prey to our senses. If we can decide what we focus on, decide how we talk to ourselves, and how we represent things to ourselves, we can change those pictures, sounds and feelings on our internal wall and choose the state we want to have.
We can become very rigid in the way we think. If you think of yourself as a piece of concrete, there's no movement in that. But NLP can be the drill that causes the concrete to split, to move, to loosen and increase your choices of action.
So, when you're really stuck, when you really don't know how to get what you want, let NLP help you use your brain for change, rather than your brain controlling you.
Be at your best for more of the time and free yourself from:
Anxiety, fear, stress
Low self esteem
Conflict with others