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Neuro Linguistic Programming - NLP Presuppositions

One of the core principles of Neuro Linguistic Programming is a set of presuppositions one needs to make in order to understand both the brain and behavior. NLP is predicated on an established set of presuppositions.  These presuppositions are:

·         The map is not the territory

You can take this to mean that your representation of reality and what people are thinking and doing is not necessarily the truth. It is merely your interpretation of the truth.  Surely you’ve known someone’s whose perception of an event or an action was just plain wrong.  Well, they had a bad map.

Just as with real maps, some are better than others, but even the best is missing things.  Never lose sight of the fact that your representation of something is just that…your representation.

·         Experience has a structure

There is a logic and pattern to everything you experience.  This is great news because it means that any experience can be deconstructed, analyzed, improved upon and replicated.  This is an essential element of Neuro Linguistic Programming.

·         If one person can do something anyone can learn to do it.

This is a very powerful belief to have and adopting this presupposition will remove a lot of the limitations we have in life.  How many times have you been told that you simply weren’t cut out for a certain thing like sports, learning to play a musical instrument or learning a language?  For that matter, how many times have you told yourself such a thing?

If anyone can do something there is no reason anyone else can’t do it too.

·         The mind and body are parts of the same system.

There is a connection and what influences one will influence the other.  Our thoughts and emotions are reflected in our bodies.  Conversely, pains and troubles in our bodies can manifest themselves in our minds.

·         People already have all the resources they need.

People in general have a resourcefulness problem that exists primarily in their minds.  We all have the same resources available to us to achieve anything, we just make excuses as to why things simply aren’t going our way.

·         People cannot “Not” communicate.

You, and everyone else, are broadcasting all the time.  What we need to interpret this communication is knowledge and awareness.  Once you attune yourself to look for the various communications being made, both verbally and nonverbally, you will be amazed at what you will be able to figure out.

·         Underlying every behavior is a positive intention.

If your like me this one might be a tough one to grasp, but think about it a bit and it only makes sense.  All behavior is positive for the person doing the behavior, even though it might not be a positive for those it affects.  Think about a temper tantrum in child.  The child is trying to get a certain result and is using a strategy to get it. 

·         People are always making the best choices available to them.

Even thought they may have poor maps and lack the proper decision making tools, people will always make choices that seem to be the best to them.

·         If what you are doing isn’t working, do something else.  Do anything else.

A key concept in NLP and in life is that you need to remain flexible in your choice of responses.  If something isn’t working or giving you the result you desire then you need to try something else.  Training your mind to be flexible in this manner is a major benefit you’ll get from studying Neuro Linguistic Programming.

A key thing to remember about these presuppositions is that they might not even be true because being true is not relevant to whether or not it works.  I liken this to the placebo effect.  Even though placebo’s don’t contain any active ingredients like pain killers they have been shown over and over again to work, sometimes better than the actual drugs themselves.  These NLP Presuppositions are just like that.  They will give you more options to live a happier and more enjoyable life if you just accept them without worrying if they are true or not.

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