Tag Archive for presuppositions

Presupposition #2: All behaviour has a positive intension.

For the part of the person that is responsible for a particular behaviour, that behavior has a positive intention. Every hurtful, harmful, and even thoughtless behaviour has a positive purpose in its original situation.

In NLP, if we can find an alternative that is positive then we can change the resulting behaviour. So, if every time someone yells you cover your head as if someone will hit you, you are equating yelling with hitting. This is currently the only alternative available to you. But, if we can come up with an alternative meaning to yelling, say; someone expressing themselves because they feel like they are not being heard – then an subsequent yelling might mean hitting or it might mean expression of self. 

The more positive we make the alternative, our brains will most likely go to that alternative more often, than if the alternative is negative. So, in the practice of NLP we are always looking to hold the positive intention of the behaviour. This is the hardest task for a human being experiencing being hurt by a past memory over and over again. But, being able to hold there is a positive side as well as the negative side they are experiencing, allows them to move forward through the experience. Holding on to there is only a negative side, re-enforces the negative and keeps the pain intact. 

I find personally this is the presupposition I have the most issue with and bump up against it time and time again. Recently, I had someone cross a boundary with me. They performed a security check on me to find out who I was without having my permission to do so. When I asked them about their intent, they told me they did it for me and for them to feel more comfortable. And, they would find out about it anyway through me so it was ok that they got everything they wanted out on the table.

Now if I want to be able to have a positive relationship with this person, I would need to come up with a positive intention that I could hold about this person’s invasion of my privacy and his subsequent discount of my value of that privacy. If I don’t, I can choose to continue to hold the position that this person is never going to respect my boundaries and as such will never be my client, my friend and only a draining on my energy.

I personally hold, that a person gives you everything about them in the first couple of moments of meeting them – he invaded my privacy (something I honour highly) without my permission and told me that it was ok for him to do so. I know on a professional level for the most part, most people don’t change. Unless they are exposed to a major life event, but even so, many times this only lasts a week or so… permanent change is only created through NLP or a hugely painful event. In this instance, if I were to do work for this person, no matter what I would offer, it would not be enough. So for me, this isn’t a potential customer, or a potential friend, and just a suck of energy. If I want to continue doing what I do, I need my energy for the people I want in my life. Life is too short to be taken in by energy vampires even if you are in a helping profession.

So I would like to add the cavieaot, all behavior has a positive intention, what you choose to make meaning of and do with it, is your business… so the receiver gets to choose the meaning they get with the associated behaviour. As the receiver, you get to condone or not that behaviour in life – guilt-free. If a behaviour hurts you, you might want to figure out an alternate positive meaning for the original hurt (ie: the 1st time you experienced this hurt in your life), so it doesn’t hurt you any more when a similar experience comes up.

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

Presuppositions of NLP

The thing about presuppositions is that they are not necessarily true. They are observations that Richard Bandler and John Grinder observed as the beliefs that were held by Virginia Sitir, Milton Erickson and Fritz Perls when they were achieving excellence in change with their clients.

We can use these when dealing with others and create great changes in ours and others experience by holding even one of these. However in NLP, if you want to have the best results, you want to hold all of them. I have many, so stay tuned and I will try to explain them all in detail and give some examples.

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 #9

NLP is… the language of the heart and mind.

If you just apply three quick and simple NLP concepts, you will know how to use NLP to bring more positive and successful behaviors into your life.

1.) Make what you want in life into a positive statement. Most people I work with find it easier to start in the negative – so what don’t you want? or what’s not working as well as you would like? Take those items and switch them into what you consider your opposite. Most people associate the words “good” and “bad” as opposites… but I’ve had “bad” paired with “smart,” “loving,” etc. Use you’re opposites. Don’t worry about what others think… If you do, then you will miss out on the power of this exercise (concentrate on your heart and mind). Most people can’t get the positive out until they get out the negative or their complaint about how they don’t want things to be.

2.) To make what you want more vivid and attractive to you, figure out the details of the specifics of what you want. How will it feel to you when you have these things? When you accomplish these goals? Once you have that how can you make them more powerful? One of the things I do with my clients is I ask them to breath live into their desires. They tell me how it feels in their body when they achieved their goals – like is their breathing fast or slow? Is there tension in their muscles or not. If so, where? I have them tell me what are the conversations they hear around them and what are they telling them selves when they go there? Increase mental vividness of what you want to do in order to increase its attractiveness to you.

3.) Try these behaviors and feelings on. Use your imagination to explore these feeling that you came up with in #2. Mentally rehearse them, so they feel natural. The more you practice the more your brain will search for those feeling and experiences making your desires into your reality. Many years ago I was handed a story about a girl who grew up in a family who made a refrigerator list. What ever the family wanted they put on this list and every week they made what they wanted more specific. And, like magic what they wanted would show up. In NLP what you are doing is aligning your deletion, distortion and generalization filters around what you want. Once they are aligned there is no reason for you wants to go unfulfilled.

This step-by-step practical program approach to change is the hallmark of NLP. NLP is a how-to technology for personal transformation. The differences between traditional clinical psychology and NLP, is that psychology is mostly concerned with describing issues, putting those issues in categories, and figuring out the history of the cause of those issues. NLP is interested in how our thoughts, actions, and feeling work together right now to produce our experience now.

To do NLP, we need completely new principles of how the brain works in comparison to what is known. It doesn’t have to be the truth but it has to work. And, it has to be completely new for us. When we try and learn something new, there is a strong temptation for us to make it into something we already know. To be successful with NLP we need to be wiling to be indefinitely wrong.

To effectively study the patterns of human excellence and build the structure of this model of how our brain works, we need to hold certain beliefs or hold that certain facts are true. In practice of NLP the generalizations we believe for practice are called “presuppositions.” The presuppositions of NLP are observations that Richard Bandler and John Grinder and others made with respect to creating NLP. Just by holding even a couple of these belief systems in your life, they have a transformative ability…we hold them not because they have been proven but because when they are held in mind, they give us a much greater degree of freedom of choice and opportunities.

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