I’ve just come back from a beautiful walk in the rain on Ashdown Forest in Sussex. There is a gentle hint of Autumn in the air and the abundance of nature was all around me.
For me this was a wonderful reminder of the next NLP pre-supposition “We have all the
resources we need!”
Sharing this NLP pre-supposition with someone lacking an NLP background requires some reframing and explanation.
Resources refer to our inner strengths and our ability to cope with whatever life throws at us. Examples would be qualities such as confidence, courage and creativity (and that’s just some of the “C”‘s!).
The belief that all people really do have the resources they need is a belief that was held by the late Milton Erickson, an extraordinary hypnotherapist. For those of you new to NLP, Erickson was one of the people modelled by Bandler and Grinder as the basis for NLP.
This belief or perception is very important and takes Carl Rogers, (the humanistic therapist), idea of “positive regard” one step further. As a practitioner when we adopt this belief we view the client as capable of solving their own problems rather than as a victim.
This empowers the client to take charge of their own destiny. In other words it is not about
fixing the client but more about helping them to access their own inner strength.
I sometimes quote the self-esteem expert, Susan Jeffers to help clients understand this idea. In her excellent book “Feel the Fear and do it anyway!” she uses an affirmation “no matter what happens I can handle it!”
She encourages readers to adopt this affirmation as a personal belief or in NLP terms a
pre-supposition. Jeffers argues that this belief is already true! You have survived everything that has happened to you up until now which means you handled it! There might be some things that you wish you’d handled differently yet the evidence is you did handle it.
This pre-supposes that whatever happens in the future you will handle that also.
In our workshops we introduce the belief “I am enough” as a reminder that we do have
within us extraordinary strength and resources. I talk more about this concept in my earlier blogs on self-esteem.
Working with clients experiencing very low self-esteem and/or depression can present challenges. Such a person may find it hard to accept this NLP pre-supposition because they may believe they have never had access to the strengths they need.
I have seen Richard Bandler working with people who, for instance, believe they have no confidence. His approach is to encourage the client to defend their assertion that they have no confidence. He then points out to them that they seem very confident about that!
This is a way of bringing in a change of mind set. Bandler feeds back what he is observing in terms of physiology and conviction. For some people this can be enlightening if somewhat harsh.
John Overdurf and Julie Silverthorn take a much gentler approach which I personally prefer. They help the client to “chunk up” and take a wider view of their experience.
This is based on the idea that when people are in less than positive states they tend to have a very narrow focus and are unable to see alternatives. By taking the bigger picture position the client becomes aware of other experiences, feelings and options.
Our job as practitioners is to connect people with these resources so that the client can
experience their own innate personal power and self-worth.
One approach I love is to induce a light trance and invite the client to open themselves up the infinite universe. The universe has an unlimited supply of all resources and we can encourage clients to experience being filled up by these resources.
This approach tends to remove resistance to owning the resource and can often leave the client genuinely feeling a connection to their inner strength.
If you wanted to use a less spiritual approach you can ask the person to imagine someone they admire who does have the quality they are searching for. We can then facilitate the
client in “borrowing” the resource from their role model.
Both of these approaches of course are just ways of helping the client to connect with their
own inner strength.
When we adopt this NLP pre-supposition for ourselves it is an enormous gift. It allows us to give up our victim stories and look for ways to transform our own experience. In fully embracing that we do have all the resources we need we can unlock our own untapped potential.
The mission I have embraced in my life is to help others to connect to their full potential and with this in mind Joe and I have designed some new workshops.
On January 28th 2012 we are launching a series of one day workshops called
“Your Brilliant You!”
These will be aimed at helping people re-connect with their own sense of worth and understand concepts such as “you have all the resources you need within you”. We
are running these workshops as fundraisers for Marie Curie Cancer Care. For more information follow the link below.
More on the NLP pre-suppositions next week. I can see the sun coming out over the Forest now so I think it might be time for another walk. That will please the dogs!