NLP’s own belief
It’s all in the outlook: Seb and Carl’s story
Carl: ‘Come on, Seb, let’s see if we can get these people to back
us in this venture. We need financial support, some materials and
some volunteers to run the programme.’
Seb: ‘Carl, it’s never going to work, you can’t trust people to do
things and no-one is going to give us the money. Even if they did,
you’d have to watch your back because they would have a hold
over you.’
NLP is based upon a set of beliefs, called presuppositions, which are listed below.
For each presupposition you will be invited to choose a personal example. When you
have read them all and found examples for each, go back over the presuppositions
and imagine what it would be like to believe the opposite of each one.
You are about to learn:
That the way you approach life is based on a series of choices
That NLP gives you more choices
That there are beliefs upon which NLP is founded
How life differs when you choose to either take on the beliefs or reject them.
216 brilliant NLP Workbook
The presuppositions of NLP
These presuppositions are not necessarily true, and they are offered to
you as a choice, but when taken on board you are more likely to be suc-
cessful at whatever you put your mind to.
Here they are identified with the letter P for presupposition.
P1: The map is not the territory
We each understand the world in our own way, and how we perceive
it isn’t how it actually is. We never have ALL the information ALL the
time and just as a map doesn’t show every single house, shop, tree or
bump in the road, our own maps are merely our own representation of the
world, rather than reality, or the territory. We create our maps by filtering
information through our senses, the language we use, metaprogrammes,
our beliefs and values and our experience.
This is why Carl and Seb were able to create such differing perceptions.
Carl was filtering for positive experiences while Seb was filtering for the
negative ones.
In Chapter 10 you learnt that you make rules for yourself. These rules
become part of your reality and therefore your map. You have probably
begun to challenge some of these already. Here is an opportunity for you
to challenge some more.
exercise 12.1
People watching
Take some time to watch people around you who you know something about
and who are in similar circumstances to yourself. Are they successful in areas
where you aren’t? What beliefs do they hold that differ from your own and
could be having an impact on their success? Record your findings here.
NLP’s own belief system 217
P2: Respect others’ maps of the world
As we each have a unique representation of reality, there can be no
right or wrong map. It is important therefore to work with, and seek
to understand, another person’s map. By respecting others’ maps, and
acknowledging the differences instead of assuming one is right or wrong,
we can gather more information and use this to build rapport, expand
our own maps and build more successful relationships. Respect does not
mean you have to agree. Learn to be curious rather than judgemental.
Solo. When you find someone doing something that you would like to do,
ask them questions about their approach, what is important to them and
what they believe about their ability to succeed.
Duo. Use precision questioning to help the explorer identify what it is they
would like to do. Help them identify people who have this skill and offer
suggestions as to the questions they may ask to determine the thinking
behind the skill.
exercise 12.2
From judgement to curiosity
Think of the last time you judged someone or something only to discover
that your judgement wasn’t useful. Write it down here.
Now write down what you could have thought had you decided to be curious
rather than judgemental.

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