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The power of Neuro-Linguistic Programming beliefs can be best understood by imbibing the beliefs of excellence. These beliefs are very practical and easy to adapt. They are also called the NLP presuppositions or the principles on which our mind and brain work. The essence of these beliefs is that ‘people work perfectly’. It also means the programmes, which have conditioned our brains to work perfectly. That is the reason 95% of our behavior is patterned, and hence our behavior and attitude are predictable.
- The NLP beliefs of excellence provide a different perspective on altering our limiting behavior patterns.
Each person is unique (The map is not the territory)
There is no right or wrong in life. It is essentially the outcome of the way our thought process interprets the event. It is important to understand that we respond to our ‘mental maps’ or our interpretations of our world to arrive at a conclusion. These conclusions are different for different people. The difference is essentially a reflection of our past experiences and thus the way we interpret the present situation. Through new experiences, we keep updating our old mental maps which is why the more problems we face in life we have a better chance of succeeding.
- Each experience has a structure
This is also interpreted as, ‘knowledge, thought, memory and imagination are a result of combination and sequence of the way we filter and store information’. Our thoughts and memories have a definite pattern or structure, and that is what decides our emotional state. Thus whenever we face a situation, we trigger these old structures resulting in a specific behavior or an action. Changing the way we think, can change the experience and thus the resulting emotion and action. This is ideal for generating a new behavior pattern. A typical example would be few people would like to take up challenging assignments because the thought patterns are programmed for new experience and learning. While others may prefer to do things they are comfortable with because they are programmed for doing the jobs they know over and over again.
- If one person can do something, then anyone can do it
This belief is the base of programming or modeling in NLP. This belief talks about understanding the mental map of the achievers and eliciting them to model excellence. Thus everyone is capable of delivering excellence. It is just a question of whether we have programmed ourselves for excellence.
- There is a solution to every problem
If you repeat the same pattern of thought and action, it will always result in similar outcomes. If the outcome has to be different, then you need to do things differently. The thinking pattern needs to be conditioned to look for a solutions approach. A problem persists as long as you treat it as a problem. A solution-oriented or a result-oriented mind always looks for a solution.
- The mind and body are the parts of the same system
NLP advocates the principle of congruence very strongly. It means that the values, beliefs, thinking patterns, capabilities and behavior should not be in conflict. Our thoughts instantly affect our muscle tension, feelings, etc. which in turn have an impact on our thoughts again. Thus by changing any of these, you can effect a change in the entire system. That is why when we are in difficulty our facial expressions say it all.
- You cannot, not communicate
We are always communicating through our language and subtle actions. Our internal thoughts also keep communicating with us, which is reflected in our physiology to others. At all intervals of time, there exists a verbal or nonverbal communication.
- The meaning of communication is the effect
The intention behind communication is not always its effect. This belief can go a long way in interpersonal relationships. Our communication is received as per the mental maps of the listener. Noticing how the communication is being received allows us to make adjustments. Linguistics gives us specific patterns of communication, which enhances the quality of communication.
- Behind every behavior is a positive intention
This is the best belief to carry because it sets off a very positive feeling. Every behavior has a positive intention somewhere or the other. Even if the intention is not good for us it is good for someone else. This belief is best understood with respect to the next belief.
- People are always making the best choice(s) available to them
This takes care of the cliché “I did not expect this from you.” Everyone has a unique personal history, which shapes experiences and thoughts, which results in the effect. Thus different people have a different value of hierarchies and beliefs. The choices they make are an outcome of these combinations. Thus the choice they make is the best possible available at that point in time to them.
- There is no failure, only learning
Fear of failure is the most immobilizing emotion. This is an empowering and enabling belief to carry. There is no success or failure but learning. Learning can result in experience and an improvement in subsequent actions. Fear of failure is the fear of the unknown. Success is an outcome of facing the fear of the unknown. Thus every successful person treads into the zone of fear of the unknown and keeps learning for subsequent challenges.
- People have all the resources they need
We are born with all the sensations, feelings, mental images of inner voices based on all the five senses, which are the building blocks for excellence. Over the years we get conditioned with a certain set of skills we are most comfortable with. The repeated application of these skills results in further conditioning. This conditioned pattern of behavior thus does not create the need to develop additional skills or patterns which may be better. It is therefore important to note that we can learn and develop all the necessary skills. It is just a question of effort.
Our brain is like a computer, the only difference being we are not born with a ‘user manual’. The Discovery of NLP provides this necessary manual for the software to run the brain the way we want.
This is the first step in NLP towards enriching your experiences and lives. These insights clearly bring out the fact that NLP provides a new approach to the way we process our thoughts and thus the resulting action, i.e. the behavior. Once NLP as a skill is available, one can start looking at the limiting patterns and change them by learning the skill of programming.