Article 3 in the NLP TimeLine & Self-Esteem 3-part series.
(If you haven’t read the first two I suggest you start with the first article at: https://janecohencounseling.com/2017/04/nlp-and-how-poor-self-esteem-gets-created/ )
We all have ideas at one time or another about how we would like to be different. We think it should be simple to just act in ways that seem to obviously be a better choice, such Suzie (in Article 2) behaving more the way Janet did. But we soon find out it’s easier said than done. The place where change occurs is often an unconscious process, which your conscious mind does not control.
Neuro linguistic Programming and the NLP TimeLine Process, have a different approach to self-esteem than what you may have heard before. Neuro linguistic Programming (also known as NLP) is the study of the structure of experience, how it is formed and how it can be changed. It demonstrates that our subjective experience is based on a very objective process. It’s through understanding this process that we learn we are in control of how we experience our life, rather than seeing ourselves at the mercy of it or as a victim. It is a very empowering approach.
The most powerful process I know of in NLP for making fundamental changes is the NLP TimeLine Process. It is a very rapid and effective process for clearing limiting decisions. (Limiting decisions are childhood decisions, for example, that you are unlovable, ugly, a failure, unacceptable.) It is a hypnotic process which enables you to go back into your past, to the first event in which you made the decision, and release it. The NLP TimeLine process is very effective in getting to that very malleable place where the unconscious mind can create change in cooperation with the conscious mind.
The generally accepted idea is that our past experiences are fixed, objective events, which have had fixed and objective effects on us in reality. And they have to be dealt with by reliving and “really” experiencing them this time in all of their painful details, as the solution for having repressed them. This gives huge weight and energy to these events, and ties the present inexorably to our past experiences. And so we end up seeing ourselves as the victim of our past. This locks in a very disempowering view of ourselves.
But an event happens during a particular period of time. Once it is finished, it no longer exists. What does exist is the process by which we keep it alive in the here-and-now, moment-by-moment. The meaning of the experience is purely subjective, contrary to what people usually think. It is merely the interpretation we attach to the sensory input we take in.
When we lock in place a traumatic experience and keep it alive in our unconscious, it is because we have made a dysfunctional interpretation of that event, i.e., a limiting decision. That locked-in interpretation distorts your experience of reality and causes you to keep reliving it in the form of dysfunctional patterns in your life. That locked-in distortion is what caused Suzie to have such low self-esteem. It is what resulted in her interpreting the man’s responses to her in such a negative way, having nothing to do with what was actually happening.
When, in the NLP TimeLine process, the limiting decisions you have made (such as that you are ugly, stupid, not good enough, or inadequate) are released, you no longer experience yourself in that way. This process makes apparent that wherever you are experiencing yourself as less than magnificent, or are finding life not working in whatever area, these are distortions of reality, and are caused by limiting decisions. They are not inherent in who you are or in the way life works.
I invite you to leave any questions or comments in the below comments field.
Author’s Bio: Jane Ilene Cohen, Ph.D. is an Intuitive & Transformational NLP Counselor, and an NLP & TimeLine Master Practitioner and Hypnotherapist, with a private practice in San Diego North County (Encinitas). She does individual counseling with children and adults (includes the NLP TimeLine Process and hypnosis), works with couples, families and other relationships, and facilitates groups and workshops. She is also the Founder of the “Life is Designed to Work” thought system.
For more about Dr. Cohen’s counseling services, go to: JaneCohenCounseling.com . For a free phone consultation to decide if this is right for you, or to make an appointment, call Dr. Cohen at (760) 753-0733.
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