Tag Archive for change

Presupposition #5: Experience has structure.

All maps/models have a syntax and structural elements. The structural elements are the building blocks of a model. For experience, the structural elements are made up of our words and spoken vocabularies. The syntax is the set of rules or directives that describe how the building blocks can be put together. For us, this is the set of grammar rules that dictate how we fit together words.

The structure of experience consists of sensory impressions – pictures, sounds, feelings, smells, and tastes – some are internally generated and others come from the outside. It is through these sensory impressions that we compare to what is already logged into our memory (our current internal map of reality) and create meaning and subsequently update our internal map of reality.

What was originally logged in that internal map of reality was information or impressions from two months before we were born and our physical brain, sometimes referred to as our critter or reptilian brain started functioning. It was during this time, we gathered our impressions from our mother’s feelings and experiences. Unfortunately, we didn’t have the experience that went along with those feelings to make proper meaning so we made it mean things about ourselves like, we are worthless, helpless, invisible, unlovable, etc…

If our thoughts and memories have a pattern to them, and we know that pattern, we can change them. When we change that pattern or structure, our experience will automatically change no matter what the original experience was like or how long it existed. We can neutralize unpleasant memories and enrich memories that will serve us.

When I was just learning NLP, I was the class demo for our anchoring class. My NLP mentor asked me to think about an experience that was fun and interesting. So I did, and as the feeling loaded up in my mind I looked around at the class and realized they were watching me, and I got self conscious and blushed. Just as I blushed he squeezed my arm. He then asked me who I considered a mentor – which I had none so I replied “the Dali Lama.” Carl had me think about the Dali Lama and then squeezed my other arm. Then he did the unthinkable… He squeeze the first arm and said “ now, when you load up this I want you to load up this too,” and squeeze the second arm. He continued talking to the class while periodically squeezing the first arm which, would immediately bring up my face blushing and then the Dali Lama would appear in my thoughts. This to me seems so wrong… so I begged him to do some thing. He asked if I knew who the woman was that sang the song Hello Dolly. I said “Carol Channing” and as soon as I said it he created another button on my back and he connect it the pattern.  So now, he could squeeze one arm and get me to blush, think about the Dali Lama and hear Carol Channing sing me hello dolly! Forever my memory of that initial fun and interesting experience was changed. 

Tracy Joy is an NLP practitioner, author, and speaker in Vancouver, Canada. She is an international business expert in the area of human systems analysis and thinking change. If you have brain questions, send them Tracy and she’ll answer them on this blog. She can be reached through www.TherapeuticNLP.com

Presupposition #1: The map is not the territory

A map is not the territory it represents, but if correct it has a similar structure to the territory, which accounts for it usefulness.

– A. Korzybski, Science and Sanity

We are map makers constructing representations or depictions of our experiences. The mental maps we create of the world are not true or reality – they are based on reality. As human beings we do not respond directly to the outside world but we do to our mental maps, representations or depictions. We make our maps and models by using our sensory representations–pictures, sounds, feelings, smells and tastes. The models that we create to guide us in the world are based on our conditioning and experience. Each of our models, or maps, of the world are unique. We experience our own personal reality, and then we respond to and deal with that reality accordingly.

A representation is not what it represents; one is a symbol for the other. This distinction may been insignificant on the surface. However, as we explore the process by which maps, models, and representations are built, it will become clear that the relations ship which exists between map and territory, when examine din detail, has an effect on the very structure of reality as we may know it.

 – A. Korzybski, Science and Sanity

No two people have exactly the same experiences. So our representations of the world determine which experiences and responses we will have. Some aspects of our maps may are out of our conscious awareness. Still, they determine how we will perceive the world and what choices we will have available-or not-as we interact with and within that world.

This is key. This what is available out of learning and being able to do NLP – having the ability to change your experience in any area of your life. If you are aware of your map of reality, you can change it and have exactly what you want.

To change our experience we must change our maps!

When interacting with others it is very important to remember that we operate from within our own maps of reality. Our personal maps form “bubbles of belief” around us. These bubbles filter our experience. They organize the meaning of our experience in relation to what we already know. Our bubbles of beliefs separate us from and connect us to the reality of others (Connect if our beliefs are similar, separate us if our beliefs are different.). Frequently, when we look out from inside our personal bubbles, we only see our own reflections. 

A model is a symbolic representation that depicts structure of our reality. Each of us builds models or representations of the world. And, it is through these models that we organize and communicate our personal experiences. The process of modeling allows us the ability to have an infinite variety of experiences. And if we are using a model for our personal realities then those realities can be interpreted, understood, and utilized. Modeling is way we transform the chaotic into the structured and make sense of our worlds.

A model is neither good nor bad, right nor wrong, but can be evaluated only as to its usefulness in making available specific outcomes. Models inherently provide both limitations and resources. 

– Kostere and Malatesta, Maps, Models and the Structure of Reality

The magic lies in the very structure and syntax of our words, pictures, sounds, sensations, smells, etc. Because our maps govern all our experiences, if we change the map, our experience changes. This means our personality, awareness, emotion and abilities to do a new skill come from our maps. These maps also drive our ability to influence, persuade and transform.

Fritz Perls, Virginia Satir and Milton Erickson did not work on the everyday life experiences of people. Instead they worked on changing these people’s internal models of the world. As a NLP practitioner this is the charge. This is why it is so difficult to quantify what can be accomplished through NLP because the change is so deeply personal. 

Our maps occur inside our mind-body systems. So to create influence, persuasion and transformation in others we must be able to change the receiver’s neuro-linguistic maps.

It is Korzybski that we can thank for his observations of our internalized maps realty. He analyzed how our nervous system interacts with our worlds at various different levels. He figured out our sense receptors are designed to leave out many characteristics and generalize about the information missing. He even showed how different levels of the brain made different kinds of mental maps about things.

But Gregory Bateson in 1972 asked if we create internalized maps, what gets mapped on these maps? He later answered the difference. So that our mental world is just maps of maps of maps for infinity… the map is not the territory because the territory never gets in to our minds because the process of representation will always filter out the territory.

Tracy Joy is an NLP practitioner, author, and speaker in Vancouver, Canada. She is an international business expert in the area of human systems analysis and thinking change. If you have brain questions, send them Tracy and she’ll answer them on this blog. She can be reached through www.TherapeuticNLP.com

What is NLP? Definition #4

NLP is… A toolbox of techniques for expanding perceptions, changing behaviour, redefining capabilities, revising beliefs, updating identity, & extinguishing personal coherence & well being.

Gregory Bateson said that in processes of learning, change and communication, there were natural hierarchies of classification. He also said that it was the confusion of these logical levels that often creates problems. The reason for each level to exist was to organize the information on the level below it. So, if you would change something on one level it wouldn’t affect the upper levels, but would cause change in the lower levels in order to support the change at the higher level.

Robert Goldson devised a hierarchical list of logical levels of change. So the higher on the list, the harder to create the change. And, the higher the change on the list creates change and support for changes lower on the list. The list was as follows: (high) Identity, Belief, Capacity, Behavior, and Environment (low). John Grinder said this was illogical. However, in NLP we tend to use what works… and this logical levels of change, works.

Understanding the logical levels of change creates a context for thinking about NLP techniques.  It also provides a framework for gathering and organizing information, so we can identify to the best point to intervene in making change. As humans, we do not change in bits and pieces, but organically. Learning and change can take place at any level or levels.

Identity change deals with your sense of self  – your values, your purpose, who you are.

Belief change deals with what you believe is true about life: the ideas that determine your daily behavior. Beliefs can be values, permissions, necessities or limitations.

Capacity change deals with the sets of behaviors, skills and strategies we use to function in our daily life.

Behavior change deals with the specific actions we carry out regardless of our capacity.

Environment change deals with what we react to – our surroundings, the people and the events that make up our experience.

So you may have noticed that after attending a seminar or reading a self-help book the processes doesn’t work after a week. It is precisely because behaviour is a lower level of change. And, to change a behavior permanently one must also make the belief and capacity level changes. Belief and Identity level changes are difficult to create with out specificity. When an author is writing and book or a speaker is running a seminar, it is difficult for them to create enough specificity for your unique belief system to create that level of change. At the most they could make some capacity level change.

If we don’t change identity or belief, it can clash with a new capability. The system in those instances will throw it out due to cognitive dissonance. NLP starts with behavioural and capacity change to figure out what’s not working. It then goes to belief and identity to create the sustained change.

Tracy Joy is an NLP practitioner, author, and speaker in Vancouver, Canada. She is an international business expert in the area of human systems analysis and thinking change. If you have brain questions, send them Tracy and she’ll answer them on this blog. She can be reached through www.TherapeuticNLP.com