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The NLP Presuppositions

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The NLP Presuppositions

  1. 1. The NLP Presuppositions Dr Hiten Vyas Life Coach, Author and Speaker http://hitenvyas.com
  2. 2. Copyright statement Copyright © Hiten Vyas 2012 Hiten Vyas asserts his moral right to be identified as the author of this work in accordance with the Copyright, Designs, and Patents Act 1988. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electrical, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of the publisher. Image credit: Cantabrigensis. About the Author – Hiten Vyas Hiten Vyas is the Founder of Stuttering Hub Limited, a company specialising in providing coaching services for people who want to improve their communication. As a life coach, he is passionate about helping other people increase their self-confidence and overcome communication related fears. Hiten is based in Leicestershire in the UK and is available for private one-on-one consultation locally, and internationally through telephone coaching. He is an NLP Master Practitioner and uses NLP-based techniques in his coaching practice. He has personally experienced trauma and pain caused by stammering, and has faced and overcome some of his own deepest communication fears, to lead a successful life. He has reached a position where he now believes that a person can achieve all they want in life, no matter how they communicate. He loves and embraces change, and is passionate about helping people change and live fulfilled lives. Hiten also has a PhD in Biomedical Information Systems from Loughborough University in the UK.
  3. 3. Table of Contents Chapter 1 – Introduction Chapter 2 – The NLP Presuppositions 2.1 There is no failure, only feedback 2.2 Our map is not the territory; it is but a map, a symbolic representation of the territory 2.3 We respond according to our map of the territory, not the territory 2.4 The meaning of communication is the response I get 2.5 The element in any system with the most flexibility will exercise the greatest influence 2.6 People are not broken; they work perfectly well 2.7 We can model excellence, and even genius, if we break the tasks into small enough chunks. If someone can do something, then it’s a human possibility 2.8 Mind-body are part of the same system and influence each other 2.9 It’s always better to have choice, than the lack of choice 2.10 We add to choices in NLP, we don’t take choices away 2.11 Since memory and imagination use the same neurological circuits as external sensory awareness, they can powerfully influence our development 2.12 People are more than their actions, words, emotions, roles etc. 2.13 Resistance indicates lack of rapport 2.14 Behind every behaviour is a positive intention 2.15 Every subjective experience is made up of two parts. These are content and structure 2.16 People have the resources they need Final thoughts from the Author Other eBooks by the Author Bibliography
  4. 4. 1. Introduction NLP is set of tools people can use to model and replicate states of success. It can also be used to model unhelpful states and develop new and empowering ones as replacements. Underlying the set of tools is a number of ‘statements’, beliefs or assumptions that are taken as granted. These are applicable to any person, no matter what their current circumstances are. In the NLP world, these are known as the ‘NLP Presuppositions’. They are very powerful and I will share 16 of these and explain what they mean, and how you can use them to live an empowered life. 2. The NLP Presuppositions 2.1 There is no failure, only feedback This is the most well-known presupposition and in my opinion the most powerful. This attitude supports any activity you do in your life. By adopting it and living it, you give yourself permission to try out things, experiment and most importantly get things wrong. Because when you get things wrong, you’re not failing. It’s just feedback you can use to change and adapt the approach you are using, in order to continue improving and developing competence and excellence. 2.2 Our map is not the territory; it is but a map, a symbolic representation of the territory This is another very famous NLP presupposition. This presupposition is all about ‘things not being like they always seem’. For example, let’s say you and four other people go to Canada on holiday. Canada in this case, is the ‘territory’. The place you all went to is the same. However, the experiences you would all have would be different to each other, and each of you would recollect different memories about your trips. What this demonstrates is our ‘maps’ are never complete. We can never know everything about something. Our ‘maps’ may contain distorted information and yet other information we have deleted. Hence, we can develop the ability to challenge our ‘maps’ and change them if they are not serving us to better ones. It also allows us to be respectful of other people’s views of the world, to create strong rapport with others and helps us in developing relationships.
  5. 5. 2.3 We respond according to our map of the territory, not the territory Reality only exists in our own mind. We respond to this ‘reality’. This reality is created by the experiences we have through our senses (our eyes, ears, feelings, taste and smell) and the way we talk to ourselves. And we have these experiences through filters of existing thoughts and beliefs we already have. Let’s take the movie The Godfather as an example. The Godfather represents ‘territory’. You watch this movie and create a ‘map’ about it. Your ‘map’ is that the film is brilliant. However your friend also watches it. The ‘map’ he makes about it is that it is boring. So, the next time you talk about the movie with each other, you both respond according to your own view or ‘map’ about The Godfather. You tell your friend how amazing it is. And he tells you it puts him to sleep. This realisation is a very important one. By responding according to our ‘own maps’ of the ‘territory’, we become responsible for them. We longer need to believe or feel anyone or anything external to us, is the cause of our problems. We’re not responding to ‘what is out there’. We’re responding to our ‘maps’ of what is out there and these can be changed. We have the capacity to do this. 2.4 The meaning of communication is the response I get Ever had a conversation with a person and the other person just wasn’t getting you? I know I have. Isn’t it frustrating? You tell yourself “I’ve explained my point of view and she still doesn’t get it. What is wrong with this person?” This attitude is reversed right around when you appreciate and adopt the presupposition that the meaning of communication is the response I get. If another person doesn’t understand you, or you’re not getting the response you want, rather than blaming the other person, you just change the way you are communicating. This might involve using a different tonality, or certain words or a facial expression, or most importantly, really appreciating the other person’s view of the world before sharing you own. You become responsible for the way you communicate. 2.5 The element in any system with the most flexibility will exercise the greatest influence A way of looking at this presupposition is a group of people, which represents the system. The system is made up of a number of elements. One of these is you. Let’s say your company is being bought out by a bigger company. The means line management structures will change, some people may have to change their roles in the company and others may lose their jobs.
  6. 6. Most of those whose roles will change demonstrate massive resistance. Your role is also going to change. However, rather than getting down about it and creating inner turmoil, you see the opportunity in the role, as you have the flexibility to adapt and change, as the company itself is changing. While others only experience resentment, you experience a sense of being able to progress in the company. 2.6 People are not broken; they work perfectly well I love this one. What it means is, you may be experiencing a certain problem in your personal or professional life. A loved one you know may also be experiencing a problematic issue. However, there isn’t anything majorly wrong with you or your loved one. All you’re doing is running ‘unhelpful maps’ in your mind really well. For instance, if you are a person who stutters and just the thought of giving a presentation makes you get anxious and fearful, then what this means is, you’ve just learnt to create anxiety in this particular context in an expert way! And if you’ve learnt to create anxiety in the context of presentations really well, then you can learn to create another more resourceful response. 2.7 We can model excellence, and even genius, if we break the tasks into small enough chunks. If someone can do something, then it’s a human possibility This is one powerful belief. Let’s consider it for a moment. By being able to model excellence, we can truly observe those people who have completed activities, tasks and achieved goals, which we may also want to accomplish. We can break down into small bites what they do internally in terms of their thoughts and beliefs. We can model and replicate what they see, hear and feel in their thoughts. We can model and repeat the self-talk they say to themselves and the beliefs they layer onto themselves. Now by doing the above, doesn’t it just totally shatter into pieces the belief that we can’t do what we want to, because we’re not good enough? I believe it does. 2.8 Mind-body are part of the same system and influence each other Our minds-and-bodies are connected. There’s no other way about it. You can experience this for yourself.
  7. 7. Just think of a happy experience you had previously. Really imagine it vividly. Do you now feel good inside your body? You’ve just witnessed how the mind impacts the body. You can try this out the other way too. If you go for a good workout at the gym, or even take a brisk walk, your mind will be clear and refreshed. In this case you used your body to impact you mind. This mind-body connection is extremely powerful for making change in your lives. Think and cultivate positive, happy, empowering and resourceful thoughts and your body will support you in your endeavours. On a similar note, by taking care of your body through eating the right foods and getting plenty of sleep and exercise, means the mind will be in a good shape to continue developing and living wholesomely. 2.9 It’s always better to have choice, than the lack of choice This is one attitude I have personally internalised. I’ve taught myself to look for choices by default. How could this belief help you in your life? Are you at the moment experiencing a lack of abundance in your life, because you’re not seeing the choices you have right in front of you? If so, for whatever problem you are experiencing a lack of choice in, physically get a pen and piece of paper and write down ten ways that you can overcome the problem. The choices are always there. Of course, they might not always be apparent. Doing something as simple as writing, can help us see the abundance which is there. 2.10 We add to choices in NLP, we don’t take choices away How amazing is this one! What a powerful assumption to live by. The whole NLP model, whether used for achieving excellence or for overcoming emotional problems is about increasing choices. This is one of the reasons why NLP is such a helpful tool to life coaches, executive coaches and therapists.
  8. 8. 2.11 Since memory and imagination use the same neurological circuits as external sensory awareness, they can powerfully influence our development I really experienced this truth about this after I read Dr Maxwell Maltz’s amazing book Psycho-Cybernetics. I was due to give a presentation at a leadership training course I was attending in my mid- twenties. I practiced and practiced giving a powerful and charismatic speech using my imagination. I vividly saw myself speaking confidently, with ease and authority. And then I stepped into myself, so that I was looking out of my own eyes giving this presentation with true grace. And it worked. I scored a high mark and members of the audience told me afterwards how they really enjoyed it. What this means is we don’t always have to have experienced behaving in a desired way in the ‘real world’ for it to become real. Our mind-bodies will process what we have imagined and remembered like it is happening ‘for real’ anyway. Therefore using your imagination and memory can be a very powerful way to enable personal transformation. 2.12 People are more than their actions, words, emotions, roles etc. This belief allows us to see ourselves beyond what we do, say, feel and the roles we play in life. It allows us to do the very same thing with other people. By understanding this concept, we can forgive ourselves and others for mistakes. We free ourselves of limiting labels we might be calling ourselves, because we are more than this. We are always more than our actions, words, emotions and roles. For me personally, when I think of myself as a spiritual being, this is more powerful than what I will ever say or do. These other things become stuff of the ego, which for me can never be the real me. 2.13 Resistance indicates lack of rapport This presupposition is a great one to internalise, in order to improve our communication with others. In life, whether personally or professionally, we need to interact with others. So often, when we want to get things done, we will need the help and support of others.
  9. 9. For example you might need support for a project at work from a colleague. However, when you discuss your idea, you don’t get the response you wanted. Or perhaps you meet a person at a social gathering and you’re trying to make conversation with this individual. However, this person seems a little aloof and doesn’t want to open up much to you. In such cases, it’s useful to remind yourself whether you have connected enough with this particular person. Have you created enough mutual trust with him or her? If not, you can consider creating some further rapport. An excellent way to do this is to meet the person at his or her current view of the world, show that you understand their view, share similarities between the two of you and if appropriate, offer help or suggestions. After doing this, you can go back to attempting to get support for your initiative or connecting with a person at a party, or whatever it was you initially wanted to do. 2.14 Behind every behaviour is a positive intention This one for me had to be experienced to be believed. Once it has been experienced and you do so for yourself, its truth becomes so apparent. What this presupposition means is that whatever behaviour we do and which others make, there is something positive we or another person is trying to do. Let’s take interacting with women as an example. If you’re a guy and finding it difficult to approach a girl you like, you could be doing so to protect yourself. For instance, the reason why you avoid doing so is because you want to protect yourself from possible rejection. Why is it important to know this? Well when we want to create changes in our lives for the better, by understanding that the behaviour we are doing (however undesirable) has a positive intention, we can learn to appreciate the value of the behaviour, preserve its good qualities and still do what we want in a life from a position of maturity. 2.15 Every subjective experience is made up of two parts. These are content and structure Another way of looking at this principle is our life experiences. Let’s say you had an argument with a family member about something. The argument has already happened. However, you now continue to remember that particular scenario. You remember exactly what you said to the family member and how he or she felt. You recollect exactly what he or she said to you and how it made you feel.
  10. 10. You even end up feeling like you did during the argument, now! This is an example of content. However, this content from an NLP perspective also has a structure. This structure is made up of thoughts and beliefs you have around that argument. Bringing this structure to the fore is powerful because one can actually change these structures to change how they feel for the better, about experiences that have already happened and experiences which may happen in the future. 2.16 People have the resources they need I’m a firm believer that when we help people overcome a problem, all we are doing is encouraging that person to look within themselves for their own answers. In the coaching world it can be called as facilitating a person to help him or her find their own solutions. Once a person takes responsibility for getting themselves into bad states, then equally that person has opened the doors, to taking responsibility for finding answers that will help them be resourceful and move through the world skilfully. It’s amazing what lies dormant inside each of us. However, once our inner strength becomes activated and we channel it appropriately we can become unstoppable! Final thoughts from the Author So you’ve reached the end of this eBook. I hope you’ve enjoyed learning about the different NLP Presuppositions, what they mean and how they can help you in changing your perceptions so that you can improve your self-confidence and the way in which you communicate. eBooks by the Author If you are interested in learning further about the practical application of NLP in real world contexts, then you might be interested in my eBooks: How to Overcome Job Interview Anxiety. Confidence With Women: How To Approach and Talk With Women. You can find further details about me and all my eBooks at http://hitenvyas.com. You can also contact me at hiten@hitenvyas.com. Bibliography Bodenhamer, B.G. and Hall, L.M., 1999. The User’s Manual For The Brain Volume 1. Carmarthen, Wales: Crown House Publishing.

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