NLP – Neuro Linguistic Programming looks at the internal representations that we make as individuals and how those representations form our experiences. Once we are aware of how our minds are ‘wired up’, how we are choosing to form our internal experiences, we are then very powerfully in a position to make adjustments and changes that last. So for example if you’re trying to eat healthier, or to transform your health and wellness for the better, you may be facing periods of struggle, or lack of will power or enthusiasm because of the internal representations that are programmed into your mind. Changing those settings is easy, and with a new set of tools to empower your mind, your fitness or health goals will be more achievable as you learn how to have your mind on your side.
When looking at how you’ve been performing in particularly at a goal or area of your life that you’re trying or have tried to transform, you can highlight the areas that may be preventing you from achieving success.
Try to make a list and see what comes up for you for how things may have been running through your mind and body when trying to achieve something in your life. This could be healthier eating, wanting to lose weight, stop smoking, etc.
- In your attempt what did you experience in your body? A set of thoughts that got in your way of moving forward? An inner voice or inner talk with negative talk? A sense of feelings that overpowered you? Or a combination? If so try to identify what combination, Thoughts, Sounds and feelings, Which ones?
- Give your inner findings a score out of 10. How big were the images for the thoughts? How loud were the sounds of the inner dialogue? How intense were the feelings?
- Notice what you find, Try to see how your inner mind is set in terms of thoughts feelings and sounds. This will change for each goal, each experience and the context of the experience. Being able to notice what’s going on within can help you change the internal settings.
- Take your time to get lear on your list. Think back to previous attempts where you may have not been successful or how you’re currently approaching your goals. What is going on inside? How strong or weak are the internal representations on a scale of 1-10. 1 being weak and 10 being strong?
Now that you are more aware here’s how you can change and adjust your inner settings to make your mind work better for you. Let’s use the example of healthy eating.
The images and your thoughts – what needs changing? Is unhealthy food overpowering your decision to be more healthy? Perhaps you lack a clear image of the body or lifestyle that you want to create? What do you want to achieve? Get clear on what you want and look at the size of your thoughts within. Are the images of unhealthy foods, sugars and sweets huge in your mind making you crave sweets and desserts? If so make them smaller. Change the settings by minimising the images in your mind or shrink them down. Make the images of the healthy food and the lifestyle that you want larger and bring them closer to you making them huge and colourful. Repeat until strong in your mind.
The sounds – is your inner critic too loud telling you that you won’t achieve your goal? Is your inner voice telling you to reach for the burger or chocolate bar? How loud is that voice? Turn the volume down on that voice and on those words to take power over your choices. Or you may need to turn up the inner voice of health to remind you of the healthy choices to make with your food and the benefits they will give you. You may have to adjust volumes on both. Repeat until strong in your mind.
The feelings – is your body craving foods? Where do you feel it in your body? Is the feeling intense? How does the craving feel? You can locate the feeling and change it. Use your mind to make it weaker, less intense, cooler or softer, whatever works for you. You can overpower cravings that make you feel that you need to eat certain foods by being aware of the feelings in your body. Repeat until better established patterns in your mind and body.
Practice makes perfect. The more that you try to use your mind to your advantage the easier it will become.
This is just a short guideline on how to adjust your inner settings to help you achieve success with your goals. Good luck.