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How to face up to an extremely challenging situation drawing upon some NLP tools. Phone Abby Eagle on 07 5562 5718 or send an email to book a free 20 minute telephone or Skype session. NLP, Hypnotherapy and Medtation, Gold Coast, Robina.
By Abby Eagle (2020)
Click the Image to Watch on YouTube
In this NLP article I want to explore the possibility of being in an extremely challenging situation, where it is like you are at the extreme edge of your map of the world – and somehow you have to step into the unknown – not really knowing what to do – which forces you to access and mobilise your inner resources – and puts you into a hyper learning mode.
So what types of real world situations could push you towards the edge of your map? Let’s say you have an addiction to alcohol, cigarettes, marijuana, gambling and it is destroying your relationships, your career, your health and your life. Let’s say you have a serious eating disorder – binge eating, bulimia, anorexia, over eating and it is destroying your body. Let’s say you suffer from a serious problem with anxiety, social anxiety, eco-anxiety and you feel immobilised by your emotions – let’s say you lose your job, you lose your business, your partner walks out on you – there is a catastrophe – then what do you do to get yourself into a positive frame of mind?
In each of these examples the person is faced with an unknown. So let’s start with the map and the territory metaphor. There is the actual territory and then there is the map that you have. Now if we are talking about the real world then there is the territory that you have explored – and as a result you have formed a mental map – and then there is the rest of the world that you have yet to explore. You could explore Google Maps and from this you could learn a lot but until you actually visit the actual territory it is just an image in your mind.
So let’s say you have never travelled further than 100 kilometres from your home in your entire life. But now for some reason you get curious about what lies beyond the boundaries or perhaps life circumstances forces you to travel for some reason or another. This may not be as easy as you think. You may be faced with a totally different world. The weather could be very different. The food could be different and people could be of a different race, ethnicity, culture, language and they may even drive on the other side of the road. So what do you do? You could retreat back into familiar territory or you could face up to the challenge which you may find exciting but on the other hand you may find it physically, emotionally and mentally draining. So you have two choices – one is to go back home to what is familiar or you could do what it takes to explore the new territory.
So we start by doing a future selfing exercise – that is using the Present State to Desired Outcome Model – and the NLP Well Formed Outcome Questions to define your goals. If you are going to coach yourself then I would suggest that you layout your future selfing exercise on a large sheet of butchers paper. Just to summarise the procedure, list your present state down the left side of the page. Give it today’s date. Then list your desired outcomes at the top right of the page about three months in the future – or whatever date suits you. Bottom right of the page draw a box for your To-Do List. And then using questions, statements and commands – and keeping the Well Formed Outcome Question in mind, work through the steps and stages that are required for you to move from the present state to your desired outcome.
And whenever you do a future selfing exercise you should exploit the power of questions. As Richard Bandler said at one time, if you can’t say it then you won’t get it. Jesus says, “ask and you shall receive, knock and the door shall be opened for you”. Osho says, “If you can see the door then just open it and walk through”.
For the purpose of this discussion you can ask questions that are about your map of the world – or you can ask questions that are at the edge or outside of your map of the world. And this is where it gets very challenging because you are moving into unknown territory.
The next point is that you can ask questions of others or of yourself. Let’s say that for the purpose of this discussion you are going to be asking questions of yourself and you want to or need to make some major life changes and transform yourself into a totally new person in a totally new environment with totally different types of people.
So keeping in mind that we think by asking questions, making statements and giving commands – we start by asking questions – and keep in mind that there are many types of questions. Direct questions as in yes-no questions, leading questions, open ended questions, and meaning type questions. Keep in mind that you can also ask a question – get an answer and then ask a question about the answer.
The simplest questions are, what, when, why, how, what if and who? For example, what do you want? What else do you want? What would that look like, sound like and feel like? When you do want it? Where do you want it? With whom do you want it? Why do you want it? How are you going to get the outcome? Who could help you? What if you did this or that or spoke to this person or that person? And so on.
There are literally dozens of questions that you can ask of yourself. Let it be a free flowing brain storming but periodically check the types of questions that you are asking and then try asking different types of questions.
Okay so you have a situation to deal with – you have asked yourself a lot of different types of questions – you have written down some notes on a large piece of paper – you have an idea of your desired outcome – you have an idea of some possible solutions and some possible tasks that could help you to implement the changes.
And now comes the hard part – actually taking action. So what are you going to take action on? If you are making a massive change where do you start? Keep in mind that if you are dealing with something at the edge of your map then you need to be aware that you are at the edge of your map – that you could be considering what maybe considered an unrealistic goal. But as I have stated in a previous video, unrealistic goals can be attained if you are aware that it is an unrealistic goal – and you remain aware that you are at the edge of your map – and that you need to keep on asking questions. Then the next step for you is to take some action so that you get real world feedback – and you might be surprised at the results that you get.
Keep in mind that in order to achieve an unrealistic goal or super stretch goal that you are going to have to go into unchartered territory which is outside of your familiarity zone, commonly known as your comfort zone – which could be extremely challenging and feel very uncomfortable.
So as you work through the future selfing exercise – ideas come to mind – you write them down. You become aware of the action steps which you write on your To-Do List. All is good except that you still have to take action and this is where it could be very challenging – because in a sense you are faced with being at the edge of your map. Now what you need to understand is that now is the time to take action. That is by doing the future selfing exercise you have begun a communication with your unconscious mind – the changes that need to occur are in the front of your mind – and this is when you need to take action because if you put the future selfing exercise aside for a week you may have to start all over again.
You will find that when you take action you will get feedback from the real world. It could be positive or it could be negative – how it plays out in the world could be quite different to how you thought about it in your mind. Your mind has the map – the world is the territory. So if the result is different to what you expected then you update your map. You now have a new present state and a new desired outcome. Take action once again and update your map from the real world feedback. Of course you have to learn how to deal with the risks and the pain of taking action. So you need procedures and strategies for dealing with the feedback as quickly and efficiently as possible. Over time you will get stronger.
What I would like you to understand is that you need to get out of your head and get grounded in sensory experience. You see, you get those people who say, I am going to walk up to that person and then I am going to say this and then they are going to say that and then I am going to say this and then they are going to say that. Well this is just a mind read – a hallucination – it is not until you actually go and talk to the person do you get the real world feedback and then the opportunity to update your mental map. So you don’t really know what is going to happen until you take some action.
So you are faced with a challenge – you have to make some changes – you have no choice. And being at the edge of your map means you may not really know what skills you need to develop. It may not be until you have randomly explored something or other that you come to realise what it is that you need to learn – and then you can formally seek some training.
So it is okay to not know what you need to know or what skill set you need to develop. However you do need to be aware that you have to take some action – and from the feedback of your action you will discover what it is that you need to learn.
If you are looking for some coaching then send me an email using the contact form on this page. And feel free to join us over at the Facebook NLP & Hypnotherapy Group.