Noticing when we are giving our Power away to others and learning to take it back

I received several messages from people last week about their own experience of being externally referenced so I’ll continue the discussion there.

So first here is reminder of the definition of the external referencing part of this NLP metaprogram. This is where we can only make a judgement based on someone else’s opinion often about ourselves. For instance the question we use to identify the metaprogram is as follows:

How do you know you’ve done a good job….?

(fill in the blank as appropriate). With an external referencing preference we wait for someone else to give us feedback. We may be like this in just a limited number of contexts and when we are learning a new skill. This might even be the most appropriate response when we are learning new skills as our own experience may not be rich enough to evaluate our progress.

It is where this preference is out of balance that we experience problems. For example if we are generalising this form of evaluating across our entire life experience and avoiding self evaluation completely we run risk of placing our self esteem in the hands of others.

As with all strategies we develop there is a positive intention behind our need to apply it. As I’ve mentioned above when learning new skills and models being externally referenced at least in the early phases of learning is helpful.

Where the response is generalised we may have an overdeveloped desire to avoid conflict, to want to please others or to be liked. Each of these desires has a value when in balance and developing good social skills is a species necessity.

Our external referencing becomes dominant for many reasons usually connected with surviving childhood. Perhaps having an opinion lead to disapproval and punishment from authority figures or a withdrawal of love. Maybe we trusted our own evaluation and something traumatic happened to cause us to doubt our perceptions and lose trust in our own judgement.

Often we don’t even consciously know how our reactions and strategies developed we just know that something is not working effectively for us now.

The first step is to identify the contexts in which we seem to have an over reliance on external referencing. To do a personal audit on how you interact with others and judge your own performance in a range of situations.

Next week we will begin exploring how you can rebalance your external referencing strategy.

Quick reminder before I go. I have to group supervisions scheduled for September. These sessions are for coaches, NLP practitioners and hypnotherapists.

6th September, Bedfordshire, this is the last one before I relocate to Sussex.

20th September, Crowborough, East Sussex. Supervision will be available quarterly in Sussex from September.

For details email me,

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).
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