Free yourself: Your job is to convert people from balls into cats. John Grinder
Many of us are trapped in our thinking. We allow other people to “make” us angry (or happy or sad). We respond predictably when people push our buttons. We fixate upon specific internal representations of events and people. A primary focus for the application of NLP patterns is to restore the freedom, choice and flexibility that allows us to respond differently.
Language can trap us. If I was to say that my son makes me angry I sacrifice my flexibility and give away my power and ability to choose an appropriate response. Yet so many of us do it. The Meta Model, Precision Model and Verbal Package offer direct ways of challenging these distortions of reality – in this case, by recognizing that nobody can make me, or anyone else, angry.
Conditioning can trap us too. When I start to make myself a cup of coffee, I pour in a sugar or two, without even evaluating how much sugar would taste best. And, in reality, different coffee demands different amounts of sugar! If a grave is just a rut with the ends kicked out, we can recognize that while habits and conditioned responses help streamline our experiences, it is so easy to trap ourselves in this conditioning. Collapsing anchors and setting up new anchors are fast and remarkably easy ways of regaining that choice.
When I think about broccoli, I imagine a piece that is dark green, glistening with water droplets, that looks so fresh that it could have just come from the garden. I can smell the freshness and health, and want to eat it. If instead I imagine a piece that looks like it’s spent the past hour in a steamer – so it’s floppy, the colours are washed out, and without smell or texture, it feels much less appealing. Submodalities help us become aware of how we use our internal representations to affect us – in this case, by changing my internal representations of broccoli from washed out to full of colour, I went from hating eating broccoli to loving it overnight.
The laws that apply to inorganic systems are different from the laws that apply to organic systems. Kicking a ball has reasonably predictable outcomes. Kicking a cat of the same weight will have vastly different and inherently unpredictable responses. NLP patterns are all about restoring freedom: Converting people from balls into cats.
For more on this, feel free to watch John Grinder on this YouTube clip or below if your browser permits.