I have begun studying NLP, and here I will be sharing what I learn and my experiences with the application of what I learn. NLP is a set of techniques, guidelines, and intra+interpersonal skills. Kind of a ‘study of self-excellence’.
Chunking is the process of grouping things into larger or smaller groups. Think of ‘big picture’ vs ‘details’. This is important because everyone files information in their mind differently. I’m sure you’ve known a dreamer, who could never seem to come to grips with the details, as well as a process-person, who was very good at doing the things that needed to be done, without a thought to the overall purpose.
Seeing as this is the 101 Series, we are going to keep focusing on internal application of these tools. Once we have finished, we will come back to the tools and look more at how they apply externally.
What I want you to do is pay attention to how you think. It’s not necessarily better to think either way, it just depends on the circumstance. One type of information will probably appeal to you more than the other. Once you know what kind of thinker you are, you can both implement, and improve, your way of thinking.
When you are thinking about something, try to look at it from the other point of view. If you are a detail person, try to see how the details fit into the big picture, and vice versa. Not only will this give you a greater understanding in the other method of Chunking, but it will also give you greater insights into your own method of Chunking. Understanding the big picture is going to allow you to comprehend the details more fully.
I understand that I am generalizing a lot, but as this is just an overview, I don’t want to get into too many details just yet. We’ll deal with the smaller chunks next time 🙂
So learn your way of thinking, and use the other method to increase your understanding.
Behavioral Flexibility is simply the ability to adapt to different circumstances. An understanding that there are a myriad of ways to deal with any situation will allow a flexible person to select better methods.
To develop your flexibility, you only need to do one thing. Learn to ask yourself the question “How can I best deal with this situation?”. Whether you are preparing for an interview, meeting, or lecture, or whether you are simply having a conversation with someone. Take a more objective look at the situation, so you can consider your approach with other possible strategies (Sounds like Dissociation again… you will see these tools interrelate very often). After the event is over, take a retrospective look back and consider what might have worked better. Even if something works out well, you should plan for other possibilities, and keep looking for improvement.
“How can I best deal with this situation?”. Make a habit of asking yourself that, and you’ll find a lot more avenues opening up to you.
Next on the list is Dissociation. Being dissociated is being removed from the situation personally. It’s an objective experience, not subjective like Association. Like we were talking about, you don’t want to experience a movie objectively(unless you are a critic). However, objectivity definitely has it’s place.
Let’s say you have a problem with procrastination. When you have something to do, but don’t want to, you will feel that subjectively. Instead, go look at yourself in a mirror. Look at yourself as if you are looking at someone else. Consider that person’s situation. What do you think he should do? Wouldn’t it be better for him to do his work, rather than procrastinate? You wouldn’t want to see that in someone else, so why would you want to see that in you?
For another application, let’s say you feel emotional everytime you are criticized. Does that sound like a Negative Anchor? I hope so… Now, when your boss comes up to you with criticism, try to detach yourself from the situation and observe it objectively. Imagine that you are a fly on the wall, looking down at the situation. You will be able to hear the criticism without emotional involvement. You will be able to see the merit, and the subjective prejudice in it as well.
Learning to dissociate takes a little practice, but you will start to notice results very quickly. Now that you know about Association and Dissociation, try to find the best times to use them in your life.
Today let’s lay down some groundwork with Association. To understand Association, you also have to understand Dissociation. Two sides to the same coin, neither is inherently better than the other. Association refers to ‘being in the moment’. Dissociation refers to being removed from the situation. Today, we’ll look at situations where Association would be a positive.
Let’s imagine that you are at the movie theater, watching some sappy chick-flick with your better half. Or, you could be watching the same movie, alone at home, after it became available at red-box. Either way, we’re not going to judge anybody here.
So you are watching said sappy, heart-wrenching movie. Your significant other has tear-streaked cheeks, and you can’t wait to get home and watch the football game. You are dissociated. Distractions are pulling you from the experience(movie). But you’re a sensitive guy, or at least you want that wad of tears and tissues at your side to think so. So what can you do?
1 – Pay attention. It’s a choice to pay attention, so the first thing you have to do, is make the choice.
2 – Remove any irrelevent thoughts from your mind as soon as they come in.
3 – Try to experience the situation(movie) as if you were actually in it. In reality, you are trying to associate into an experience that isn’t yours. Try to feel what the characters are feeling. Act as if it were happening to you.
4 – Grab a tissue. It’s ok, big guy, let it all out.
Now, obviously, this has more ramifications than just watching movies. However, I’ll leave you to find where you think this could best be applied in your life.
Unlike positive anchors, we don’t want to develop negative anchors. However, learning your negative anchors will help you to understand yourself and take control of your situation. When you are feeling stressed, find out exactly what caused that state to occur. It might have been something someone said, a thought you had, or something you ate.
Once you identify a negative anchor, you have different options for dealing with it. Today we will look at two simple solutions:
1 – Avoid the anchor. If it is an internal anchor(such as a thought process), this can be difficult. Don’t get discouraged if you accidentally trigger it, just determine to do better.
2 – Create a counter anchor. Think of this as a security anchor. When you recognize a negative anchor going off, you can activate your postive anchor for stability/security. You could imagine yourself surrounded by a force field that won’t allow the negative change of state to occur.
If you start looking for your anchors, and opportunities to use what you’ve learned about them, you’ll be surprised what kind of difference you can make on your own quality of life.
An Anchor is a stimulus that triggers a certain change in State. For now, think of states as moods. Anchors can be positive or negative, and come in many forms. Environmental, auditory, visual, physical, etc…
First we are going to look at positive anchors, and we’ll look at those you can easily control at any time.
Physical: You can associate a physical action with a particular state. As an example, we will use happiness. Press your thumb and middle finger together. As you do this, sit/stand up straight, begin breathing deeply, smile, and try to feel as happy as you can. Also, when something happens to make you happy, repeat the physical action.
Visual: Visualize an image to represent happiness. Maybe you’ll choose a lollipop. Picture this image in your mind, sit up, breathe deeply, and smile. Again, when something happens to make you happy, picture your image for happiness.
For better results, you can combine the two. Visualize your image for happiness as you perform the physical action. It doesn’t take very long for the anchor to be established, and once it is established, you can begin using it to change your state at will. When you are feeling down, activate your anchors, and watch the results 🙂