The Basic Assumptions of NLP

NLP is not only about techniques, but above all, it’s about the way of thinking and looking at the world. It is about the change in the approach to everything that surrounds us that is the source of the biggest changes in our lives without using any specific techniques.

In this post I want to introduce you to the main assumptions of NLP. It is an absolute basis if you want to start your adventure with Neuro Linguistic Programming.

The mere adoption of these assumptions and perceiving the world in harmony with them will considerably change your behavior in many situations. Rather than reacting impulsively and emotionally, you'll act a lot smarter, always looking for solutions and agreements. Please read carefully each of these assumptions and consider how they relate to your own life. It is important that you think about how your behavior will change after the adoption of a particular look at the world.

- Everybody has a different 'map' of the world

It doesn’t matter what in fact the world is like. To get to know it, we use the senses such as sight, hearing, taste, touch, and smell. Due to the limitations of our brain we are able to process only a small part of the stimuli sent by our surroundings. Each piece of information is processed by various filters: cultural, lingual, beliefs, values and experiences. Everyone has different, unique filters.

Therefore, each of us differently perceives the surrounding reality. Owing to the fact that each person receives the same information uniquely, the same words can be interpreted in different ways. We all live in our own unique realities created by the sensory impressions and individual experiences.

What do you get from such a look at the world? Firstly, to solve your problems, you can change your ‘map’. You can change your beliefs, values, the way of looking at the world. It can lead you to the deep change. Secondly, getting to know the ‘map’ of the world of another human beings is the key to understand them. When you realize that every man may sees things differently, it will be easier for you to create healthy relationships.

- There is no failure, only feedback
We all make mistakes, they are a part of our lives. But there is one thing that separates successful people from everyone else. It is the way of thinking about the failures and the mistakes that we all make. Usually people, after experiencing some failure, feel very negative emotions that block their further actions. A successful man, however, should be grateful for the lesson that he can learn from making mistakes.

If you have failed, you should treat it as valuable feedback, which you can learn a lot from. You can draw conclusions from the mistakes you made. Think about what you did wrong so that next time you’ll be able to make it much better. This is a completely different way of thinking, which offers great flexibility. Making mistakes is an integral part of striving for success, and every failure gives you an invaluable knowledge needed to achieve this success.

- If what you are doing is not working - do something else
It is really simple and obvious, yet many people who try to achieve their goals are still doing the same thing. When acting always in the same way you will always get the same results. If you see that a given approach doesn’t work, change it, try something else.

Behind every behavior is a positive intention.
According to this assumption, each of our behavior results from positive intentions. Even if we’ve done something that we are not satisfied with, we probably chose to do it in that very way, because it was our best choice at that moment. If you hadn’t meant well for yourself, you wouldn’t have chosen that way. Understanding of this is very important when you want to change and adopt new behavior. Remember that the old unwanted behavior stemmed from the fact that your mind read them as having positive intention for you.

It is also very useful in dealing with other people. Always try to guess what lies at the basis of others’ behavior. This will give you the opportunity to understand and communicate much better.

- We are always communicating.

Communication takes place anytime, anywhere. Everything you present is communication. Words only account for 7% percent of our total communication. What is most important while communicating is the non-verbal communication and voice quality. NLP provides a variety of techniques that demonstrate how to effectively convey such a message.

NLP also assumes that the meaning of your communication is the response that you get from the recipient. The way the other person reacts depends on how you convey the message. You are responsible for whether someone fully understands your words or interprets them very differently from what was intended. Therefore, you must make sure that the information that you want to pass is the one that the recipient receives.

For me, familiarizing myself with these assumptions has been a great start for learning about NLP. Besides, it gives an idea of what Neuro Linguistic Programming is really about. It surely isn’t a collection of persuasive techniques, but a wise model for a change for the better. Even now, I often come back to these assumptions, and I recall what is worth remembering. Which of these assumptions, according to you, are the most important and why?


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