Visualise your ideal you, alter your internal dialogue, correct limiting beliefs, risk criticism from others, roll your shoulders back, breathe, smile and offer your fabulous self to the world.
Everyone is affected by social programming. Whether from well-intentioned parents, insensitive teachers or peers, we are likely to have adopted limiting beliefs from our imperfect worlds. Kate Arnott explores a technique called neurolinguistic programming (NLP) as a way to unlock the door to desired states of being. It encourages us to become curious about our thoughts and why we behave and respond to life in the way we do. Through this, we can take the necessary action towards improving our lives by exploring a different way of being through a simple shift in awareness.
This article will leave you with principles and techniques from NLP that you can to enhance personal growth and enrich your relationships on a daily basis. Personal growth is essential for us to perform at our highest level of potential. Often we are limited by a lack of self-confidence and limiting beliefs - fears of what others might think or say. This can create stagnation and affect our ability to change and grow. Personal growth looks at aspects like self-esteem, self-confidence, health, fitness and spirituality.
Have you ever caught yourself in a battle of negative internal dialogue, in which you shame and criticize aspects of yourself for things you may have done/not done in the past? Or created doubt and judgment around your actions?If yes, then you're human (captcha test ' tick). You're also practising a degree of self-awareness. If you answered no, you're most likely still human, and I'd like to encourage you to become aware of your inner judge and the language you direct towards yourself.
An essential principle of NLP is the language we use towards ourselves (and others). Our mind cannot distinguish between fact and fiction. Negative statements like 'I'm not good enough' or 'I don't deserve a loving relationship' are taken literally by our minds and manifest themselves in our performance. NLP encourages us to change our internal dialogue by altering these statements in ways that evoke a more positive reaction from our bodies (such as 'I am absolutely good enough' and 'I am worthy and deserving of love').
NLP is more than simply using 'positive thinking' or affirmations. It encourages us to experience how the statement feels in our bodies. This establishes the mind/body connection. Body language is another key part of NLP. The next time you lack confidence or feel despondent, take your awareness to your posture and notice how, if you roll your shoulders back and encourage a smile, this small adjustment to your body can make you feel different ' perhaps more expanded and confident internally.
Incorporate these two NLP techniques into your life to help achieve your goals. You can easily do them during daily activities like washing dishes, preparing meals, taking a walk or enjoying some quiet time.
Picture the person you would like to be. How you would like to look, your ideal weight, the way it feels, the way YOU feel, the way you behave when you are feeling this way. What does your life look like when you are this person? Perhaps you are more giving, tolerant and loving; perhaps you are powerful and independent. The most important part of visualisation is to feel and experience the sensations in your body.
Analysing your 'current behavior patterns' helps you notice potentially negative behaviour patterns and replace them with more nourishing and uplifting ones. Take note of self-sabotaging excuses, e.g those we use to avoid going to the gym. In retrospect, they leave us feeling guilty and perpetuate negative self-talk. Instead of seeing this as a lack of self-discipline, try a more enjoyable alternative, like dancing or walking in nature. My personal favourite is yoga.
If we create our life experiences through the choices we make and what we believe to be true about ourselves, it makes sense to review our internal dialogue and pursue everything that truly enriches our souls. This, in a sense, is a form of spirituality. Find something that truly ignites your spirit and enriches your soul.
This holistic approach to mindfulness offers us the tools to help us achieve our greatest potential. It facilitates kindness towards the self and, in turn, the body responds more effectively. Importantly, by altering our own internal state, we have a profound effect on others, initiating a ripple effect of conscious beings.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kate is a recently-qualified Nutrition Scientist with a passion for food, movement and general wellbeing. These interests fuel a variety of business ideas that Kate hopes to refine and develop within the remainder of this year. She is currently practising as a yoga teacher. Contact her at [email protected]