We’ve all had bad experiences in our lives. Just thinking about them can put you in a bad emotional state. But the great thing about NLP is how powerful it is in helping you manage your thinking and your emotional state to affect and gain a clearer way to think and better decision making. Resolving bad experiences is a lot easier than most people would have you believe; And faster too – because therapy charges by the hour (wink).
If it is logical to feel bad when something bad happens, ask yourself how is it that some people are able to feel good or positive in spite of experiencing the same bad thing happening to them? How is it that people can go through the exact same experience but have totally different points of view? Do they feel good first, and then turn it around…Or do you think they turn their situation around and then feel good about it? What actually goes on in their heads that makes the difference? Difficulties and challenges are part of life which can teach us a lot about how to make things better, but the misery and suffering we carry forward with us is entirely optional.
Just for a moment, take these bad experiences you’ve had. Where are they now? In the past? Well, where exactly are those ‘past experiences’?
It’s in your mind, isn’t it? And now ask yourself, can you change your mind? Of course, you can change your mind! And before you add ‘buts’ with reasons why you want to still hold on to bad experiences and feelings, remember that this is about making a change and thinking in a different way.
You’re now aware where you make your past experiences, so this means it’s easier to start changing the way you make it feel ‘bad’ into being ‘useful’. It’s simple because it works on 2 basic premises:
Simply holding these premises as a universal fact (despite what you may have believed) allows you to look at or think about your problems in a new perspective. This helps in shifting your mindset from being stuck (that limits your decision making capabilities), to being neutral or in a resourceful state that opens up your mind to new possibilities. The objective here isn’t necessarily to ‘fix’ or ‘cure’ your problems, but rather enable you to be in a better frame of mind to make deal with situations. And since we deal with problems and make decisions about them in the present, it makes sense to want to make good decisions, doesn’t it.
Even if something bad was done to you by others in the past, the event itself ended long ago. Dr. Richard Bandler (co-founder of NLP) often says, “The best thing about the past is that it is over.” It only exists in your mind. The reason you may still believe it is there, or still has power to control you and keep you from moving forward is because you are thinking about it now in the present and giving it the power to mess up how you see your future. Whatever that reason may have been, it’s why you chose not to move forward before.
Another thing that happens with bad memories is that you’re modifying the memory of it – Distorting or exaggerating it so it feels even worse. Memories gets distorted, deleted, and generalized naturally and when it comes to our bad experiences, we are so convinced it’s bad that we can easily twist and turn bad memories to only show us things that make us feel worse. We might even add new things to those memories; amplifying the pain until it really makes us paralysed in an un-resourceful state. But since we can’t stay stuck forever, the decisions we rush into tend to come from a place of desperation. And really, how often do you make excellent decisions that you’re happy with when you’re in a negative state?
The technology of NLP™ is designed to help people think on purpose – To find different choices, to find a useful way to look at problems, to behave in a better way. So in learning how to take control over how the way you think, you take charge of the results you see. Once you have control again, then the only question is “Why won’t you?” It’s a definite change from ‘Why am I…’ to ‘How can I…’.
Regardless of whether we are at fault for creating the situation that created our bad experiences or not, we have the responsibility to find the learning within it as we move forward and do better. But taking the pain and hurt and guilt? That’s purely optional.
As Einstein brilliantly put it, “You cannot solve the problem with the same thinking that created the problem in the first place”. So elevate your thinking method to gain that new perspective. It’s no longer a question of ‘If you can’ or ‘why it is’ but ‘how can you’. No one can change the past, but you can choose to change the way your perception of the past affects you from now on. And in changing that, you give yourself permission to re-gain control over the way you want to be in the future.
For other useful tips and other life changing ideas, please read our other blogs and learn the #AuthenticNLP™ with NaviGo® NLP Center.