NLP techniques for changing beliefs

NLP techniques can open up your present beliefs and enable you to view the world and those about your with greater clarity and precision. 

Have you ever looked at your brother, sister, cousin, friend or acquaintance and thought to yourself, “I am glad I am not like them” or “I wish I was like them”?  Perhaps you are more like them than you believe.

A thing is not necessarily true because a man dies for it

Oscar Wilde

Changing beliefs about others

NLP techniques - changing beliefs

Test this for yourself.  Think of someone you dislike or are angry with because of some disgraceful or disgusting behaviour.  

Sit quietly with pen and paper and write a list of those things you despise about them or that particularly displease you.  

Keep looking until you find them and are satisfied that you have covered each and every one.

NLP techniques for changing beliefs – consider the traits

Now examine yourself and look for each and every one of those traits in yourself.  That’s right – in you!  

As I write these words I can hear some readers scoffing, “But I am not like that.  That is why I am so angry and disgusted with them.”  

That, though, is precisely the point.  If you can identify the trait in someone else, you have it within you also.

A happier exercise is to think of someone you admire and would like to emulate.  Perhaps it is a famous individual or someone with a particular skill that you would like to acquire.

Now write a list of every aspect of them that you admire and would wish to copy.  When you have completed that list it is time to examine yourself and find those traits within you.

Don’t begin to think that they are someone special or have some particular ability that you don’t.  We all have an equal balance of positive and negative traits. 

If you think otherwise you have not searched widely enough or for long enough within your own personality.  

Or you are closing your eyes to those traits you do not wish to recognise.

NLP techniques for changing beliefs – the benefits

The benefit of this exercise is at least twofold.  When you have performed it in respect of the person that you despise, you can open your heart and no longer, so to speak, put him in a pit.  

When you have performed it in respect of the person you admire, you no longer place him on a pedestal.

You then come to realise that we are all on a level playing field.  There is no lesser or greater person than you or me.  

When you truly appreciate that neither positive nor negative traits outweigh the others within us, you will also understand that there is nothing that you cannot achieve.

NLP techniques – try changing your beliefs

If there is someone who you cared for or love but have grown apart from because of some row or perceived sleight, may I respectfully suggest that you try practising this exercise alone. 

I don’t pretend it will be easy for you because your feelings may be badly hurt.  You may have to be brutal with yourself. 

I had a dispute with a close family member and the effects were felt over many years.  

It was not open warfare but we chose to stay away from each other and did not communicate except at times of family bereavement or when it was absolutely necessary.  

There had been a time when we were extremely close and other family members were sad to witness what had happened.

Dr John DeMartini’s quantum collapse

Then one weekend I attended Dr John DeMartini’s Breakthrough Experience and participated in the quantum collapse process (The DeMartini Method) which is a very detailed extension of these principles.  

I used the exercise to work on the way I felt about the family member, and when I recognised that there was truly no difference between us it opened my heart and completely changed my attitude.

NLP techniques – the benefits for me

Two weeks’ later I attended a family event that I had been dreading because I knew I would have to encounter the family member.  

I don’t know how they were feeling but I was different.  When the occasion was over, I wondered how we had managed to feel the way we had for so long (or was it just me).  

The old dispute was never discussed, we were at ease with each other and the event passed off very happily.  

We remained in touch and, I am glad to say, we are again the best of friends.  That was four years’ ago.

NLP techniques for changing beliefs – a metaphor

Let us complete this article with a metaphor.  There was once a young prince who believed in everything except princesses, islands and God.  

His father had always taught him that such things did not exist.  There was no sign of God in his father’s kingdom and neither were there princesses or islands.

One day the prince decided to slip away to the next country to explore for himself.  When he reached the coast he saw in the sea what he believed were islands and he could see beautiful women in regal dress.  

He decided to cross the water to the islands to see for himself, and as he looked for a boat a man in evening dress approached him.

The prince asked him:  “Are those real islands?”

"Of course they are real islands” said the stranger.

“And are those women real princesses?” enquired the prince.

“Yes, they are real princesses” replied the stranger.

“Then I think God must also exist” proclaimed the prince.

“I am God” responded the stranger in evening dress.

So the prince returned home as quickly as his horse would carry him.

“Where have you been?” asked the king.

The prince related his experience to his father.  “They don’t exist”, said the father.  “There are no such things as islands, princesses or God.”

“But I have seen them for myself” said the prince.  “I have seen princess, islands and God himself.”

“Tell me how God was dressed”, said the king.

“He was in full evening dress complete with bow tie.”

“Were the sleeves of his jacket rolled back?” asked the king.

The prince thought for a moment.  “Yes, they were” he said.

The king smiled from ear to ear.  “You have been tricked. That is the uniform of a magician.”

NLP techniques - changing beliefs

So the next day the prince decided to return to the other country where he again visited the coast and saw the man in full evening dress who he decided to confront.  

“My father has told me who you are”, he said.  “You won’t get the chance to trick me again because I know you are a magician and these islands and princesses are not real and you are not God.”

NLP techniques – who is deceiving whom?

This time it was the man in evening dress who smiled.  “It was not I who deceived you but your father, for it is your father who is a magician.  

Indeed, there are many princesses and islands in your father’s kingdom but because you are under your father’s spell you do not see them.”

The confused prince returned home and looked his father in the eye.  “Is it true, father, that you are not a real king but a magician?”

The king again smiled and rolled back his sleeves:  “Yes”, he said, “I am a magician”.

The prince said, “I must know what is the truth beyond magic.”

“There is no truth beyond magic” replied the king.

The prince was deeply saddened.  “I cannot bear it”, he said, “I must kill myself.”

NLP techniques – what is reality?

So the king magically summoned death to appear, and death beckoned the prince to approach.  

The prince was shaken and remembered those lovely but unreal islands and the beautiful but unreal princesses.

“OK” he said, “I can bear it”.

“Then you see”, said the king “that you too now start to be a magician”.

*A version of this metaphor appears in NLP at Work by Sue Knight

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