Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) is itself an ambiguous statement. Programming has two meanings, the content that is in there, and the process to create the content.
The same is true of NLP, there is what everybody has in their head that allows them to do what they do. It is put in there along the way by parents, culture, schools, etc. We end up with a collection of neuro-synaptic bursts that are in fact marvelous. Some of it may allow you to get what you want. For some people it does not allow them to get what they want. It can be changed.
What are some words that describe programming you have heard in the past?
Auto pilot, Trigger response, Beliefs, Knee jerk reactions, Thinking patterns, Wetware, Social programming, Cultural programming.
Point: whether we use the term Neuro Linguistic Programming or not, people are aware that people do have programs they run in their mind.
The map is not the territory. A persons idea of what reality is, is not actually the reality but their understanding of it that allows them to navigate in a, hopefully, useful way.
The territory is the map. This refers to the territory a Neuro Linguistic Programmer has to work with, the map in the other persons mind.
How do we get our map of the territory? How do we get this stuff in our mind? What people experience of reality can be affected by the context. 2 primary types of programs come into play when people experience reality.
- Filters – how they determine what is relevant and what isn’t
- Sorting – sort what gets past the filters
Example: If I ask you to have a look around at all the blue items in the room that you are in, take note of all those items in your visual range.
- Do you have a list of the blue things now? Keep looking at your screen.
- Keep your attention on the screen, now count up how many round items are in the room without looking.
Point: you just scanned the whole room so you should know what they are… right?
- Once you have that list of round items, check how many are actually in the room.
- What is the difference in numbers?
Amazing how many you miss, even where you live or work. That was a demonstration of how someone can create a filter and sorting program in your mind.
This provides a way of understanding how people can look at the same event and come away with very different accounts of it. Their filters and sorting are different. This also shows how easily someone else can affect your reality by setting a context to it such that you filter and sort in a different way.
Note: an investigator might go into a situation with no filtering mechanism in play, to purposely notice everything.
So this is how it is possible for one person with a filter to see everything bad around him, is always in a bad mood. But a person maybe even in a worse situation, can be very upbeat.
Point: by simply changing a persons filter, what they notice and what they don’t, can change their outlook in life.
Internal state affects how we use any given sorting program. It can work both ways. The sorting program can affect internal state, and the state can affect the sorting.
Point of all this: That these filters can be affected by context.
Now that you are aware that these filters exist, that there is a choice, you can examine reality with a different filter… you can change how you respond to it.
Now understanding that there are filters in play that affect how reality is perceived, and that these can be affected by context…. You can stop and ask yourself the question “hmm do I feel good about this result?” if not, you can change the filter. If yes, then keep what you have as it is working for you.
So you start out with a filter program, the filter filters the reality, then the sort program begins to sort it all out. There may be rules for the sort program. What happens when you examine the filter you use right now with this information. For example, how would you filter differently if you had paid $1000 to be here?
You would filter it much differently.
So again, one little piece of information would make a big difference in how you would filter. So you see how easily your filter program can be changed? So in therapy… often times by changing the filter program and sort program gets an immediate and appropriate change in behavior.
The rules for the filters are the beliefs. These beliefs are often the result of the way information is filtered.
A reaction is a replay of the response they formed when they acted the first time on how their filter program worked. The reaction is due to them being content with the results from the first action, so now they do not have to think.
This is how they train marines. They condition them to react, to get the results they want. Contingencies are tested. By the time the mission takes place, the players have gone through the scenarios and changes in the scenario so that it is not a response that takes place but a reaction. This speeds the process up.
So what is the thing that gets a persons attention? Interrupt the pattern. Change the filter, change the sort, change the rules of the sort. Ask them what other responses could you build in to react in the future.
Think of this: If a person has a difficultly they would like to overcome, and you use language that moves it to the past (since they are working with you), then use language to give them the tools to handle the situation, and then……
- problem – past
- resource – present
- solution – future
So if you think of any problem you had, and think of those aspects of your personality that you know can handle this, and you think out into the future can you imagine how you will be able to respond appropriately?
That was a problem wasn’t it? If you think of all the aspects of your personality right now that can handle this, and you see yourself now doing those things effectively, can you imagine how easily you will handle this the next time you encounter it?
This is why they call them interventions, it intervenes into the pattern they were using and launches them into a new pattern of doing things. If there is stuff left out, how did they filter it out? Sometimes you need to change the filter so they can let more information in.
Most of the time the problem people think they are having isn’t occurring right then and what they are, is afraid of it happening again. So it is easy to put the problem in the past, plug in the resources in the present moment and project that into the future.
Look at some of the ways this affects people.
Example: News reporter in Iraq. They are there 24 hours a day, and only file a 5 minute report. Who set the filters for them while they are there? What is missing? What are they not seeing due to their filters and sorting programs? Then that info is edited down by the network back home. Whose filters are running there?
Think of all the of events that happen in the world in a day, and that all gets condensed down into a half hour or 1 hour “world news” show. So how much of the reality are you getting from that broadcast?
Reality Tunnels. Idea that people are in a tunnel so sturdy and secure they can’t get out of them. The Reality Distortion Field provides a better model.
Reality Distortion Field (RDF): Each person emits a reality distortion field when they communicate with others. The very people who are creating the reality distortion field often get caught up in it.
A persons RDF develops as they grow, the parents field will affect them, the peer group, the education system. The media. All of these various influences are reality distortion fields. None of them exactly knows what reality is, since they all involve filtering and sorting.
A metaphor of human being affected by reality distortion fields by others, is like the effect of gravity from the planets on a comet. Most people go through life like this, being affected by the RDF of those around them. Neuro linguistic programmers are like giving the comet thrusters to move in and out of the planetary bodies.
A large part of the filtering is known as “meta programs.” also: values, beliefs, memories, time line. NLP itself becomes a filter for the type of information, and gives us a filter to sort for the type of info that makes up a persons map of reality.
Here is how the model for NLP strategies, TOTE, goes for eating pie:
- test – are you eating pie yet?
- operate – close eyes and wish a slice of pie on the table.
- test – is it there? are you eating pie yet?
- (bad strategy)
- operate – (do something till you eat pie)
- find pie, go get it, etc.
- test – are you eating pie? if yes
Overall strategy is to eat pie. sub-strategies are to find, prepare, heat, slice, serve, then eat.
Information goes into the 5 senses, and into the programming box where it encounters the filters, then sorted in some particular way in our mind. By realizing that this is the way we do things, we can change this.
Example: What would Einstein think of this, what would my neighbor say? A way to try out different filter programs and sort programs, experience reality in a different way.
Realize the reality distortion fields around you, and make sure you react in an appropriate way to distorted and filtered presentations of reality. Start out at the sensory level, and point out how you can use the filters you have to sort information and experience reality.
To link that through to the realization that the way others filter/sort creates reality distortion fields that guide your existence if you allow them to. The trick is to strengthen your own RDF so that it affects your reality and becomes a reality of your own creation.
Remember: If thoughts are the cause of what you are experiencing now, what you think now creates your future.