Using NLP to change limiting beliefs into empowering ones

Many of you have already listened to our free MP3 download which guides you through the NLP process “Changing Beliefs”. This week I am going to explain the steps to add to your knowledge and make it easier for you to use this technique.

So how do we start?

Earlier in this blog series I asked you to identify some of the limiting beliefs you hold about yourself, your body image and how the world works including weight loss. For this exercise choose one of these beliefs making sure you have got a way of representing it to yourself as a simple easier to remember statement. Last week I used one of my own old out dated and limiting beliefs:

“No matter what I do I can’t seem to lose weight!”

As detailed in an earlier blog it is important that we acknowledge that there would have been a positive intention behind this belief at the time that it was created. As mentioned a few weeks ago this positive intention may be conscious or unconscious. If it is conscious then we need to bear this in mind when constructing our new alternative, replacement belief (Empowering belief).

There may also have been some secondary gains as also mentioned in earlier blogs so again note needs to be taken to ensure that new alternate ways of achieving healthy versions of these secondary gains are preserved.

Now for what might seem like the strange bit! Consider that old limiting belief, say it to yourself and notice where you keep that belief. I’ll give you a clue! It will either be somewhere within your body or hanging around in the air somewhere around you. It helps to point to the place to locate it. Make a note so you remember this place.

This is where you have been keeping your Limiting belief, this is how you store beliefs that you hold to be true.

Now for those of you thinking “What!”

Yep, it is an odd thing to suggest however this is a metaphor. We seem to have ways of storing information that is spatial as a way of sorting it. This has been written up with reference to how we store our internal representation of other people in the book “Social Panoramas” by Lucas Derks. So here is my suggestion, just go with it and see what happens. If you don’t know where you store your limiting beliefs just make it up and point somewhere!

Have you done it?

We here’s the thing, if you made it up what told you to point to the location you picked? If you haven’t worked it out let me suggest it was your unconscious mind that created the choice you made which means it is probably exactly the right location!

Now that you’ve done that just have a look around the room and count how many things in the room are green. Done that? We call this breaking state in NLP. It is about distracting you from the previous step and engaging another part of the brain before we set the next step.

Now consider an age in childhood where life was pretty ordinary, I’m going to pick the age 13. For whatever age you have picked say a statement such as;

“I am thirteen”

Substitute the age you have picked. Now let me suggest that this is a belief that used to be true but is no longer. So there was a time in your life where if you had said the statement above it would in fact have been true but now it is no longer true. Say the statement to yourself again and now notice where you keep that belief, I’ll give you a clue it will be somewhere else!

Now we have two locations:

  1. Limiting Belief – where you keep beliefs that you consider to be true.
  2. Younger age belief – where you keep beliefs that used to be true but are no longer.

You will need to keep track of these locations so make a note.

Now you will remember a few weeks ago we talked about constructing for yourself some Empowering replacement beliefs. These beliefs need to be appropriate substitutions for the belief that you had before and the chances are you will not believe them to be true. That is kind of the point!

So to use my example how useful would it be if I came up with:

“No matter what I do I lose weight”

This wording lacks “ecology”, for example no matter how much I believed it if I ate 5000 calories a day, sat around and assuming I didn’t have  a medical condition that burned up calories I would not lose weight  I would gain.

So what is an appropriate ecological replacement?

How about this?

“When I eat fewer calories than I expend, manage my stress levels and ensure that my endocrine system is healthy weight loss is likely.”

So I’ve got a bit technical there. I could have just gone with the first bit but I wanted to include some of the other factors. For example when we are stressed we hold onto weight in lots of ways. If we are eating a lot of processed foods and things that may have unhealthy chemicals in our body is also compromised. I could have also talked about the negative impact of salt but I’m guessing you get the idea.

Now that we have three beliefs we are ready to do the process, so to recap the beliefs are:

  1. The limiting belief
  2. The used to be true but is no longer
  3. The empowering (made up) belief.

Now for the steps of the process. Take the limiting belief and move it to the location of beliefs that used to be true but are no longer. It is your brain, all you have to do is decide to move it there! Notice how this feels. Some people experience marked physical sensations while other do not. This does not appear to make any difference to the success of this process, it is merely interesting!

Say the following statement to yourself as I have written it below.

“Unconscious mind please save any useful learning and information that is worth preserving from this old unwanted belief and keep it in that place where all such learnings are stored so that it can be accessed when needed.”

This is to take care of any unconscious positive intentions and ecology issues.

Now take the belief you have made up and put it in the same place, where you keep beliefs that used to be true and are no longer. Notice how this feels and again some people notice sensations while others don’t.

Now take that empowering belief and put it into that first location, remember this is where you keep beliefs that for you are true. Say the following to yourself as I have written it below.

“Unconscious mind please incorporate any important learnings from the old unwanted belief that may be helpful in a way that is appropriate, healthy and maintains the positive intention of my new belief.”

That is the whole process!! Remember you can listen to it on our free MP3 download, website below.

As a final step imagine yourself now some time in the future maybe six months down the line where this new empowering belief has been normal for you for some time. Look back and notice how your life has improved for the better. Maybe you get some clear ideas of how this change has happened already or perhaps you just get a sense that something positive has just happened and you don’t yet know how that change will manifest itself. Either is better!

That’s it for this week. Behind me I can feel the Spring sunshine on my back, I hope you too are getting a similar experience.

A couple of quick reminders of things your can do with GWiz NLP in the next few weeks

9th April during the day an NLP Skills refresher day and in the evening an NLP practice group session.

In May we have our next NLP 101 and Diploma in Bedfordshire and in June our next Sussex NLP101 and Diploma. Remember the two day 101 is a free introduction to NLP for those of you who are new to this field for more details check out the website


About Melody @ GWizlearning

Melody spent fourteen years gathering experience of the business world working in banking, telecommunications and the public sector before co-founding The GWiz Learning Partnership in 1993. Melody has a Masters Degree in Applied Positive Psychology, a degree in Psychology and a diploma in Psychotherapy. She is an NLP Master Trainer which allows her to run NLP Practitioner, NLP Master Practitioner and NLP Trainer Training courses certified by the Positive School of Intrinsic Neuro-Linguistc Psychology. She is also a qualified Myers Briggs practitioner and EI practitioner and added to all this is five years Transactional Analysis training, meaning she is able to help organisations access the hidden potential in their staff. She is also in demand for her work in transforming average or even troubled teams into high performers. Melody is a visiting lecturer at University of East London, teaching "Wellbeing and Positive Psychology" to undergraduates. Additionally, she is a member of the CIPD and is ILM accredited. Melody's interests are many and varied. She has a keen interest in personal development, canine and wolf psychology, conservation, movies and running. She also enjoys western horse riding, walking the GWiz dogs, nature watching and stage combat (particularly sword fighting).
This entry was posted in Metaphor, NLP, NLP Practitioner, Weight loss and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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