By Christopher Fish
I was introducing NLP the other evening to people new to NLP. To whom NLP was a completely unknown subject. The area covered that evening was beliefs and how NLP can make significant impact on changing limiting beliefs to empowering ones. Many interesting points were raised by the delegates and one was that; to paraphrase: “If it was as simple as doing a technique to change a long held limiting belief and hence creates a more fruitful life then why doesn’t everyone know etc.” A good point. I was mulling over this as I walked my dog, these thoughts came to me: Any technique or insight to a limiting behaviour and its alternative, positive one can only be a part of the ‘cure’. The truth is that people tend hold onto their limiting beliefs with tenacity even in the face of evidence to the contrary.
Whatever the technique or strategy or insight there are two other qualities that are essential for change.
1. Motivation has to be high – Just wanting something isn’t enough
2. Action has to be taken – However small. An insight into a better way of doing things is actually only the beginning. That better understanding can’t just remain ‘intellectual’ but has to be adsorbed into the very texture of our daily behaviour. After all most patterns of behaviour including limiting beliefs have been years in the making and persistent daily reinforcing.
So I would suggest that people who achieve successful change and they may be in the minority, do this by taking advantage of the beneficial insight creating a plan of action and finding ways of maintaining motivation.
Do the same thing and we will get the same result. Do something different and we get a different result. The plan of action can be as simple as considering the smallest alteration to our usual way of doing things and noticing the consequence. Noticing what is better. Noticing what has the potential to lead further. The emphasis is not about what’s not possible it’s about what is possible.
Remember Roger Bannister and the 4 minute mile? No one had (been recorded) as running faster than 4 minutes. The eminent doctors of the time said it wasn’t possible… At 4 minutes the heart would explode and the shins would fracture as the human body was not equipped to do it. Bannister -obviously a ‘reckless type’ proved that wasn’t true when he ran the first sub 4 minute mile. And then what happened next and this is very interesting. All over the planet at race meetings athletes began breaking the 4 minute mile barrier. How come? – What had changed, it certainly wasn’t their physical ability, same bodies, same athletes. One thing that had changed was their belief in what’s possible.