The essence of this NLP technique is to show you the crucial differences in your thinking that give your experiences meaning.
- Think of something that you believe or know to be true. For example, a fact like you have brown eyes or blonde hair or live in a van down by the river 😉
- As you think of that fact/belief, what images, sounds and feelings come into your mind? The content of the picture does not matter the slightest, all that matters is the qualities of the picture. Look at the picture and list the submodalities. (Submodalities are the components that make up your senses. Example: In the visual modality, the submodalities include color, brightness, focus, dimensionality, etc.)
- Listen to any sounds or voices and list the submodalities.
- Notice any feelings you have. Note: The emotional content will be physical sensations, not a dialogue you have about your beliefs.
- Now do the same thing for something that you know is not true. For example, that the moon is made of green cheese or all politicians are honest 😉
- Again, look at it, listen to it and feel the way you represent that belief.
- List all the submodalities of the pictures, sounds and feelings that represent this non-belief.
- Now compare the two lists. There will be crucial differences. For example, one picture might be associated and the other dissociated. One picture might be in a different part of your visual field. These submodality differences are how you code a belief as opposed to a disbelief.
If you experience stage fright, this exercise can help. First, you examine your beliefs about being on stage. List all of the submodalities that are connected to the experience. Then, find a time when you are relaxed and at ease, even confident. Make another list of submodalities and compare the two lists. Finally, map across the positive submodalities of being at ease and confident to the experience of being on stage. If you notice that your breathing is relaxed when you feel confident and your breathing is short and shallow when you’re on stage, practice relaxed breathing while being on stage. In essence, you apply all of the visual, auditory and kinesthetic submodalities of being confident to the experience of being on stage.
Of course, most stage fright happens before you ever step foot on a stage. In this case, examine the submodalities of your experience before going on stage. Then apply the positive submodalities like you did in the previous exercise.
This process is called mapping across. You can probably imagine how you could apply it to countless situations. Every single limiting belief you have has specific submodalities associated to it. All you have to do is replace them with empowering submodalities and the limiting beliefs dissolve into positive experiences.
What to do now? Write down 5 limiting beliefs you have and replace them with empowering experiences. I’ll start you off with an easy one. Do you ever feel overwhelmed? Notice how the submodalities of that feeling tend to be coming from above you or weighing down on you? The submodality clues are even built into the word. OVERwhelmed. Now, take that feeling of being overwhelmed and push it down below your waist. Look down on it and notice how your experience has changed. Pretty cool huh?
Go get ’em 🙂