How to use NLP Future Pacing to Achieve Excellence in Your Life?
Sunday, February 18, 2007
Have you ever thought that we have a mental image of ourselves stored in our mind? We form certain opinions about ourselves, on what we can do or achieve in our life. Are you surprised to know this? Self-image is what we think about ourselves, the mental picture which we form about our abilities. Self-image influences our self-esteem, attitude, and our behaviour. We create a high boundary wall and we work within that mental boundary or framework. And that becomes our comfort zone. So, our achievement and success in life is highly dependent on our Self-image. If self-image is that important, do we need to do something about it? Please read on if you want to create a positive self-image.
We hold both positive and negative views about ourselves and self-image is the sum total of both. Comfort zone does not necessarily mean that it is the best place for us. We may experience great pain in our comfort zone but still we may like to stay there. Normally we do not like to go out of that zone and accept a new challenge because we become use to that lifestyle. Human beings always resist change and we fail to accept that our environment is constantly changing.
I have met many people in my life and I know for certain that they can live a far better lifestyle if they change. But they prefer to stay where they are in their so-called comfort zone. And the problem is they even do not realise that they are suffering. I have done it myself in the past. There were times in life where I let myself down. I thought I cannot do something, but later, I realised that it was only my thinking, which was limiting and stopping me to move forward.
But one thing that I always do when I identify a limiting belief; I do my best to find a new way and take a different approach. Replace the old limiting belief with a new powerful and positive belief. I believe and often say to myself, “I have unlimited potential.” When we repeat this statement again and again, amazing things start to happen in our life. You do not need to trust me, try it yourself sincerely for at least a year. There is no quick fix. Then, you can decide for yourself what the truth is.
Let me tell you a real life story, a couple of months ago I was watching the news in BBC. And became shocked when I watched the news about a young woman who faced torture from her partner for many years before she sought any help from Police. During the interrogation, she revealed why she did not seek help earlier. Surprisingly, she said that she felt the torture and agony was a normal part of her life.
I still cannot believe it. And at that moment, I asked myself: how can someone form such a negative self-image? I am sure you know about similar examples where people let themselves down. They think they do not deserve any better. Can you remember any such examples?
Let me share a beautiful story about an eagle. Once upon a time somehow, a chicken hatched an eagle’s egg. So, the eagle grew up with other baby chicks. And with his other chick mates, he learnt what everyone did in the chicken world. In other words, he adopted a pure chicken lifestyle. So, everyday he used to go looking for food with his Mom and others, scratching and digging the ground looking for grass, seeds, and insects. And it seemed he was living his dream.
One day the eagle saw a majestic bird flying in the sky and he turned to a fellow chicken and asked him, “Hey look how wonderful that bird looks in the sky.” The fellow chicken replied, “Don’t you know that’s a majestic eagle. We can’t fly like them because we are chickens and meant to be in the ground.”
The eagle accepted what his mate said to him and nodded his head. Thereafter he led a life of a chicken and died, as because he formed a self-image and he believed that he was a chicken. Now we need to ask ourselves: do we sometimes behave like this eagle? Can we fly high majestically if we change our mental picture? Yes, off course we can, the moment we decide to take a new approach to life.
When we decide to break out of that boundary or loop, we experience ultimate freedom, and that becomes the turning point of our life. You can stop reading for a moment, think deeply, and identify your mental boundary. What is keeping you behind? What is limiting you to grow and have more in your life? What are your limiting beliefs? Is there anything that is stopping you to reach your full potential? Take your time and identify any blocks or barriers that you have at the moment. When you identify them, write them down immediately.
Now ask yourself: what can I do to change them? How can I change my approach to life? What are the different options or choices? And write them down as well. At this stage you do not need to worry whether they are right or wrong, just write them down as a list, as you can always change and modify it later. It is your life so it is you who decide what is right or wrong for you. Off course, we have to keep in mind that our actions do not harm or disturb others.
When you think deeply and start to question yourself, you will experience deep change, and move towards releasing your untapped hidden powers. And you will also realise that some of the opinions you held about yourself seems unfounded now. You might even laugh at yourself. And this happened to me a few times.
Sometimes when I sit down and look back I laugh at myself thinking about few opinions and views, which I held about myself in the past. I now know that they were my limiting beliefs. I don’t feel sorry or repent, but I definitely reflect and learn from my mistakes or feedback. Remember, there is no failure in life, only feedback. If you do not like something, keep changing your approach till you get what you want.
There are many successful people in this world who have faced severe hardships but they never stopped and accepted defeat. “When the going gets tough the tough gets going”, read this inspiring story of this brave man called Stephen Hawking. Take responsibility for your own life if you want to control and create your own destiny, if you decide otherwise, someone else will. Let me quote Anthony Robbins, one of the world’s top motivational speakers, “It is in your moments of decision that your destiny is shaped.”
Read about this great man if you think you are a failure or not achieved much in your life. Then, ask yourself: if he can do it why not me? We have to keep in mind if we want something amazing to happen in our life we have to pay a price. Ask yourself: Did I pay a price? Or, Am I ready to pay a price? And I believe that if I am not ready to pay the right price than I should not expect it.
By ‘paying a price’, I mean the following: Am I taking responsibility for my life? Am I taking massive action? Am I doing everything possible to achieve what I want in my life? Are you the man who believes, “The man who wins Is the man who thinks he can!” You can read this beautiful poem by Walter D. Wintle.
Remember, the more positive is your mental picture about yourself, the better are your chances of success. Change your mental picture and you will transform your life. So, how simple is that?
Let us explore briefly how we form our mental picture. Do you know that your mental picture started to take shape from the day you were born? Our environment has a massive impact on how we think and behave. Our parents, brothers and sisters, family members, friends, teachers, supervisors and everyone we have met till now have played a role in our life. And influenced us in some way.
They told us what is right or wrong. Some of them were experts in their field; ‘Gurus’ or they had more of life’s experience. Some of them even made some major decisions of our life. They told us what they personally felt was right. In other words, they gave their own opinions. And we accepted some of the opinions without giving a second thought. We never questioned whether that opinion is right or wrong. Or whether it is applicable in today’s environment.
Remember the way people treated you and behaved with you made the person you are today. Let me give you an example, a teacher might have reprimanded you in your Math class for not doing so well. And from that day, you thought that you are not good at Math. Therefore, every time you faced a Math problem you avoided it, and you sent a message to your brain, “I am not good at Math.” And you told your parents, friends, and everyone that you are not good at Math. So the more you did that your opinion about yourself became stronger and stronger, and gradually you formed a mental image that you are not good at Math.
It is important to understand that when we make a statement we try to collect evidence to support that statement. We want that statement to be true. For example, if someone says, “I am not good at Math”, he or she will collect all the necessary evidence to support that statement. And in real life, they will act and behave accordingly, and they will also expect others to support their statement. And with every reference or support, his or her belief will get stronger and stronger. Then, it forms an integral part of his or her self-image. For this example, I am assuming that the individual is not suffering from any mental or physical disability.
But I would also say that a disability should not be an excuse, we have many examples in this world. Stephen Hawking is one of them, and I have great respect for this brave man.
Now let us do some simple exercise, which will help us to challenge our limiting beliefs, remove and replace them with empowering positive beliefs. We will also use some NLP to change our mental picture to a more positive one. Are you excited? I know it is a long article, but we know it well there is no quick fix solutions.
(1) Be careful what you say to yourself. Always send positive messages to your brain. From the previous example, let’s say you feel that you are not good at Math. Say to yourself, “I am good at Math.” It does not matter whether the statement is true or not, now. It will become true with repetition. But you have to take necessary action such as taking extra Math tuition. Jim Rohn said, “Affirmations without discipline is the beginning of delusion.” Affirmation with discipline creates miracles. So, if you do not take some concrete actions, only affirmations are not going to make any difference. You have to walk your talk. Read the following articles:
(a) Your thoughts decide your destiny 1
(b) Your thoughts decide our destiny 2
(c) The Principle of positive self-talk
(d) Strategies for developing self-confidence
(2) Easiest way to identify your limiting belief is to challenge and question yourself. Whenever you say that I cannot do something, make sure that you question yourself. And find out how other people are doing it. Learn by modelling or mirroring their actions or behaviour. Find out exactly what they are doing and do it.
(3) If you fail in doing something, never give up; keep changing your approach till you get the desired result. There is no failure in this world, only feedback. We learn at each step, accept without hesitation that learning is a natural part of our life. Say to yourself, “It is alright to make mistakes.” But please do not abuse it. You know what I mean. Don’t you?
(4) Let me show you how to use a simple but immensely powerful NLP (Introduction to NLP) technique called ‘Future Pacing’. It will help you to re-engineer your thinking. In future pacing you mentally rehearse a future outcome to ensure that you get the desired result. It is similar to visualisation. Some of you may be aware of visualisation technique, but if you are not, there is nothing to worry. The following examples will make it clear. Please feel free to adapt and change these examples to suit your needs.
(a) How to Use NLP Future Pacing to Excel in Job Interviews?
(b) How to Use NLP Future Pacing for Effective Dating?
posted by Debojit Chowdhury @ 7:43 AM,
- At February 19, 2007, Mark said...
That's a great article Debojit and I totally agree. The exercises you suggest, I have already done at least a year ago and I know now that I really can achieve anything I really want. We tend to have similar opinions on things. Thanks
- At February 22, 2007, Marc said...
Its said that many people will not change until their current situation becomes so intolerable that they have no alternative but to change. Thanks for the exercises that can help people make more constructive changes. I've always been a fan of NLP.
- At February 24, 2007, Vancouver mermaid/Montreal photographer said...
I agree with what you said about "being careful what you say to yourself". I find, when I am good to myself, and mentally take care of myself, my life runs way more smoothly. If I put myself down, and start feeling badly about myself, it affects all areas of my life.