NLP offers a straightforward way to make those changes and become a more resourceful individual. Neuro-Linguistic Programming provides us with self-improvement tools to enhance our own personal development, to be in control of our inner states, and to make the most positive choices and decisions in our lives.
To be or not to be. Shakespeare realized that having a choice is important to the individual. Having the ability to weigh up the options, make a judgment and then make a selection, empowers us and gives us control in the way we live. Think of the millions of decisions we each make every day. The easy choices of what clothes to wear, debit or credit, eat-in or take-out; the bigger decisions, Ford or Honda, Republican or Democrat, East Coast, West Coast, or Central; and yet we are not always aware of one of the most important and life-changing choices we can each make each and every day. Consider ordering breakfast of an egg and toast at the local diner. How do you want your egg cooked – scrambled, over easy, over well, sunny side up, etc? Once that matter is settled, move on to the decision about the toast – what kind of bread – whole wheat, white, rye, and whether you want it buttered or not. By the end of ordering a fairly standard meal, you have already made a large number of decisions. Now, these are hardly life-altering choices but it just goes to show that our lives are full of options and that most of us are accomplished decision-makers. Even in the areas of lifestyle, political affiliations, or religious choice we make the decisions that shape our lives with thought and consideration. Yet how much thought and consideration do we put into the choice of how and what we choose to think about our inner state, our emotions, and reactions to events? How frequently do you, or those around you, complain that he/she is making me feel, angry, mad, unloved, etc.
Before I learned Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) I didn’t realize that I had the ability to make one of the most fundamental and important choices in my life. You’re making me so angry was one of my stock phrases, and at the time, I really believed that the other person’s behavior was making me furious. I was all too keen to blame someone else for the way I was reacting or feeling. Now it is not the emotion of anger that I want to discuss here, it has its place in the wide range of emotions needed to live a rounded life. It is the “you’re making me” part of the phrase that we are discussing. Just by saying those words I was giving control of my emotions to the other person. How can another person’s behavior make me do or feel anything? If I am to believe that I am in control of my own mind, that there is no one living inside my head but me, and that it is my own thoughts that drive my emotions and behavior, then I must be the one who is making myself angry.
In NLP, this means living at Cause rather than at Effect; to choose to be in the action position rather than reacting to other people’s behavior or choices. Being at Cause means, very simply, in this example:
- having the ability to choose what is best for me
- controlling my own internal state or emotion
- taking responsibility for my emotions and behavior
- creating more resourceful options
as opposed to being at effect:
- reacting to others behaviors or emotions
- giving control to someone else
- being led rather than taking the lead
- limiting my choices
Being at Cause places me in a more resourceful state, one where I can opt to take responsibility for my choices rather than act in response to others. We pride ourselves that we live in a free democracy, where we have a choice as to who to vote for, the news channel we watch, or the music we listen to. Now, with NLP and the idea of cause and effect, I am able to choose to be in control of my reactions, of my inner state and my emotions.