When you use NLP techniques to work with a client, change happens fast, no doubt about it. This can be a little puzzling for people sometimes. Let’s face it, we are not used to the idea of change being a quick and easy thing, are we? How can a person who has been diagnosed with depression, for example, and suffered from deep, uncontrollable feelings of sadness and anxiety for years and years suddenly release all of those during a single session, easily and effortlessly? Because you know, it happens all the time; and the truth of the matter is that people can.
Time Line Therapy™ techniques are especially effective at taking care of negative emotions such as anger, sadness, fear, hurt, guilt, etc. A client of mine was shaking his head in amazement recently after letting go of an emotion that had been holding him back for years. For him, sadness was ever present, stopping him from enjoying his life fully, always shrouding his experience in a mist of melancholy. After he let go of it he looked amused, and slightly baffled at the same time. “I can’t feel it anymore,” he remarked with a delighted grin. “I just can’t find the sadness inside of me. It’s gone!” And yet, on a scale of 1 to 10 the emotion had ranked at an intense, troubling 9. Ten minutes later when we finished, my client rated it at zero. Strange, but true! Now, what about you? What do you believe about your own ability to create change in your life?
Some of my clients find everything difficult. They tell me everything is hard, everything is a challenge. And yet, when they are in the office with me they are very successful at letting go of their limitations. They choose new, empowering beliefs; they release negative emotions; they adopt a different point of view on their experience. It all happens very quickly, very easily. And yet, they still like to say that it was hard. The thing is that sometimes, it’s okay to label something as difficult, because then when you achieve it the feeling of satisfaction is even stronger. You can be proud of the fact that it was not easy, but you did it anyway. When it’s not okay to use ‘hard’ is as an excuse to remain stuck. Because it really is all in the mind, you know? If you believe change is hard, and that it takes a long time, guess what? It will be difficult, and it will take ages. So what else could you believe instead? Beliefs are just ideas and generalisations about the world that we decide are true. So, choose wisely. If you understand that life is whatever you say it is, whenever you do, then everything changes. The real question is, what do you really want?
In NLP, we work with the mind to effect change at the unconscious level because we understand that all learning, behaviour, and change is unconscious. You may be behaving a certain way in your life right now because of a belief you acquired when you were 3 hours old. Can you remember it? Probably not – well, at least not consciously. But when we remove unconscious blocks and limiting beliefs, you will change immediately. The belief will be gone, instantly. The negative emotion will disappear in the very same way. And that is when it is crucial to focus on what you want. Because in that instant, you are a different person, 100% brand-new. In a way, you never had that problem. But if you are not consciously ready to start thinking differently, you will act and behave as if your issue were still there! Trust that it has disappeared, because it has, and believe in the change.
One thing I do with my clients to help them be ready to think differently as soon as the desired change happens is I ask them to write a little paragraph that starts with, “Now that my problem is gone, I…” You may even want to do this now. Think about it; now that your problem is gone, what are you like? What are you doing differently in your life? What results are you getting that you did not before? That is what you need to pay attention to. Remember: the key to successful and long-lasting change is to focus on what you want, and take massive action in that direction. When you do, the details will take care of themselves.
“Most of us don’t experience life; we experience what we focus on” – Tony Robbins