Presupposition #3: People are always doing the best they can

Human beings work perfectly to produce the results they are getting. No one is broken. You are perfect and whole just as you are. There is nothing wrong with you… but that also means there is nothing wrong with anyone else, too. 

People are always making the best choice(s) available to them. Given our awareness of our choices, we are all doing the best we know how to do at every moment in time.  We make the best choice available given our unique resources, environment, conditioning, history, and other functions. Within it, we learned what to do and how to do it, what and how to want it, what to value and how to value it, what to learn and how to learn it. This is our experience. From our experience, we make all of our choices. When we have better choices available, to us, we use them.

The conditions we learned to survive (as infants and toddlers) becomes the experience upon which our continued survival depends. Which means, what we learned become a pattern of what we deem as safe. Our brains are always checking, are we safe? Are we safe? If not, it sets off alarm bells. The only problem is the alarm bells are usually bad feelings, disappointments, sadness, hurt feelings, etc. Our brains are checking if the current environment is safe against what it knows (ie: our current map of reality.).

Disappointment requires planning.

-Richard Bandler

So then, healing, growth and success are not a question of getting rid of or eliminating behaviors. Healing, growth and success are a matter of acquiring more behavioral choices. These behavioral choices provide more options for useful responses in all areas of our lives. 

One of the things I tell my clients is that not only that they are doing the best that they can that they know how but, so did their parents and the other people that took care of them at that young age. Those people that created that young experience, we now have embedded as our internal warning and safety system. We can allow that warning system to relax by offering an alternative such as a positive intention. Like: Your parents did the best they could, with the skills they had and that they knew how. By allowing your system a choice, we get to expand your behavioral flexibility and ultimately your experience of life.

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