One of things I learned a long time ago in my NLP Training was the concept of Response-can cantAbility. That means I can choose whether to respond to something or not, I can as is said in NLP terms “maintain my own good and useful state” or use tools and techniques for state maintenance, in fact the ability to do just that is a requirement on our of our longer courses. I’m told people outside of the NLP world call this behaviour management. Well let’s learn how to manage our own behaviours!
We are all response-able, that is able to respond. No one makes me do something – i.e. angry, upset, no one “tires you out” (as my mother used to say to me). It’s all our own reaction. We can choose to react or not, because we are thinking human beings. In fact recently my mother made a comment on Facebook (she is 81) that was completely out of context with my original intention. I could get annoyed, but I just thought “drat, note to self not to include mother in “sensible” posts, as she will go off at her own tangent (I love her to bits in spite of all of this)!
But perhaps you are asking how? How do I choose not to react?
Well notice that you start to react to something and ask yourself “what do I want instead?” – when you’ve found that something you would like instead, a better reaction, then first create a “space” – imagine a gap, a void between you and that thing, the other person, take a mental step back from the situation and BREATHE (how many times do you forget to breathe?).
Then see, hear or feel what you would like instead – a desert island, an empty beach, the sound of waves, a piece of music, a CD track you really like, feel calm, feel peaceful, feel happy instead.
Then notice what it takes for you to create or re-create that sight, that sound, that feeling – you might need to practise it several times (only perfect practice makes perfect by the way). Then “anchor” this sight, sound or feeling in some way – “anchor” means fix it, so that you can recall it at any time, anchor for example whilst you are thinking about this sight, sound or feeling press your index finger and thumb on one hand together, or pinch one earlobe. Then when something that in the past “stressed you out” happens press your finger and thumb together or pinch your earlobe to re-create this relaxed, happier, useful state.
I promise you, that if you practise, and when you do something about your reaction you can change the way you react and those things from the past will seem different and life will become easier.
There is one problem with NLP you have to actually do something about making the change – no one can do it for you (otherwise you are just a zombie) – you have to want to make the change, and then just do it!
Like it? Want to know more? Find me on Twitter, find me at Developing Works and sign up for our newsletter there or be even more daring and sign up for a course.
NLP – Neuro-linguistic Programming is interested in the language we use, how we motivate ourselves and others and how this can be used to improve communication. How language programs us and others to react. Find out about NLP can help you, and how you work, or phone Rosie O’Hara on 01309 676004, 01224 900748.


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