What do you want? Success? Money? Happiness?

(Please make sure to see and do therapeuticnlp twitter feeds for Steps 1-15)

Every NLP session I do starts out with the question “What do you want?” In fact the whole session is about what the client wants. We spend 2.5 to 5 hours (depending on the client) clarifying that question and creating change around the answer.

Over the past 2-3 days, I’ve asked you to look at one word. The word “success.” And, what it means to you.

Notice how it is not the same as the word “successful.” “Successful” has it’s own pictures sounds and feelings that are distinctly different. Trying to communicate to someone the difference between these 2 words is a lesson in futility and is why paraphrasing back what some else says doesn’t work. (STOP USING ACTIVE LISTENING as a process for communication – it doesn’t work! It just puts people on the defensive.) We have visceral experiences for words. Actually it’s the other way around. We have names for our visceral experiences. One person’s use of a label for their visceral experience doesn’t necessarily equate to another’s visceral experience where they use that same label.

Now back to the exercise…

So when you are clear about your goal, crystal clear about the visceral experience related to your “success”, you can have yourself experience it: You can do this by remembering a time when your life was like that – where you felt “success.” If you have never experienced it, you must have someone in your acquaintance you know who has experienced your “success.”

Once you can locate that experience, you want to imagine yourself experiencing that exact “success.” What is it like hear all those things, that people are saying to you while you are experiencing “success”? What is like to see and have the experience of “success” you previously described? How does your breathing change in this experience of “success” in comparison to your life currently? What is different? What is new? What are your emotions? How does your body feel? Is there tightness, or stiffness anywhere?  Are you light or heavy on your feet? How does the air feel different around you? What is easy for you now that was not previously?

Being able to get answers for these signals that your unconscious brain has processed the information we’ve given it so far. If you don’t get answers to theses immediately – like you have to search for the answer, you are experiencing something Gregory Bateson (an early NLP developer and contributor) would call an “ecological objection.” This means something in your system is not wanting you to make a change. If this happens go back and explore who might have and issue with you having this “success” in your life. If there is someone, would that affect your relationship with them? is there something you could do to make a difference for them, to say make them feel safe no matter how much you change? Then go back and imagine your clear visceral experience of “success” and repeat the instructions in the above paragraph.

This is the first step, in being able to have your “success.” The next step is setting your world up so you can have that. So, what do you now need or want to set that up? Let me know.

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