NLP Presupposition #13: It is useful to make a distinction between behaviors and self
Your behaviour at any moment is not you. If you think of any behavior as being you, you are cheating yourself. Making distinctions between behavior and self allows flexibility of behavior on the outside, and leads to flexibility of behavior and experience on the inside.
Behaviour exists to be observed, explored, criticized, changed and generally made different…at least from a NLP perspective.
Many times we do things and act in certain ways, and we realize later, that wasn’t me. That wasn’t who I was. That was not how I knew my self to be. There is a very good reason for this experience.
In the 60’s a neuroscientist named Paul D. MacLean developed a model of the brain called the “Triune Brain.” The model consisted of three very different brain structures that deal with very different actions. And, these actions supported the behavioural differences we often feel in ourselves.
The Neo-cortex (or logical brain) is the part of the brain that separates us from the rest of the animal kingdom. This part of the brain is logical and processes the higher level functioning such as reasoning, creative thinking, language and interaction of sensory information. This part of the brain is how most people will experience you. What determines what they experience of you is dependent how much you are willing to express yourself. If you are introverted, may find it very hard to read you. If you are expressive it will be easy.
The Limbic System (or emotional brain) creates chemical messages that connect information to memory. This is where our brain’s make judgments about the information we receive, such as feelings that come into our brain to encode it into our long-term memory. For example, if we have the sense of butterflies in our stomach, is that us being nervous or are we scared? This brain determines which and gives meaning to our experiences.
The Reptilian Brain is also known as the fight-flight-freeze response or physical brain. This area of the brain pretty much finished development before we turned 3 years old. This part of the brain deals with all our responses concerning greed, compulsiveness, obsessive ness, ability to seek a mate, sex, submission, aggression, rigidity, worship, or fear. Generally, this part of our brains is responsible for why you like or don’t like someone or something. The physical brain carries out set programs of behavioral responses, when presented with certain external triggers. If we know the traits of this area for a particular person we can actually predict their behavior.
When the physical brain is triggered, it surpasses the Limbic System and the Neo-cortex. When the Limbic System is activated it surpasses the Neo-cortex. Which makes sense when it comes to survival, that is more important than logic and emotions. When we behave in any way we could be operating out of any of these three brains. So if you don’t recognize yourself or your behavior you could be operating out of your physical brain, which completed it’s development before you turned 3. Or you could be operating out of your limbic systems that completed its development around the age of 21. Many times we forget the logic or the meaning we made to our experiences back then and now they surface only when directly stimulated through familiar experience.
Tracy Joy is a Canadian NLP and human change expert, behavioural profiler, one who believes everyone should feel comfortable in their skin and the girl who brings the cool Jedi mind trick party games. ; ) And, wants to know how much longer you plan on waiting to have the freedom to fully express yourself? Contact Tracy at www.TherapeuticNLP.com for a session.