Diverse range of people

When I first started as a NLP practitioner in 2012, I expected to have a whole range of clients. I thought there would be some amazing clients that I really liked working with. There would be some I found a bit ‘run of the mill’. I braced myself for the possibility that I would even find a few that were downright annoying!

It even seemed likely that I might occasionally have to have some very frank conversations and refer some people on to another practitioner.

To be fair, that has happened, once.

But what I actually found, was what I should have known from the start. Every single one of the people I have worked with over the years has been amazing.

Like the mother of three who runs a successful design business from home and wants to write a book.

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smoking, drinking and partying bad habits

You have to wonder if a little NLP might help with Ed Sheeran’s bad habits. In his latest hit song, the singer, songwriter focusses on the bad habits he has later in the day. Some might interpret this as a reference to drink and drugs, and others to partying and one-night stands. As with all songs, the interpretation lies with the listener to a certain extent.

What is a bad habit?

Before you can resolve a problem, you need to be aware that it exists. Often we find ourselves experiencing repeating patterns in our careers, personal life and relationships that we find difficult to explain. Maybe we typically begin a relationship with passion and commitment and then start to develop jealous behaviours or possesiveness that destroys what we have. In a career we might start by loving the job but then get into a loop of complaining and politicising and end up leaving.

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does your partner say sorry

Saying sorry seems such a simple thing. When you find yourself in an argument with your loved ones in particular, things can become very emotional. You can sometimes find yourself saying and doing things that you later regret. Maybe you shouted, or stormed out, or said painful words. I hate you’, ‘I don’t care about you’ or worse. We know how to push eachother’s buttons. Sometimes we bring up past hurts to put the pressure on and increase the power of our arguments. We are seeking a reaction, feeling overwhelmed, angry and upset. We may find ourselves going to extremes in the moment. An apology may come easily to you, so why doesn’t your partner say sorry?

Just because these things happen from time to time does not mean the relationship is broken. We are all individuals, with a host of different values, beliefs and attitudes. It is only natural that conflict will occur between two loved ones, and often around similar themes.

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Controlling anger isn’t something tigers have to think about. These are incredibly beautiful creatures. They represent concepts of pure wildness, untamed beauty, strength and power. Tigers have a reputation for being unpredictable and incredibly dangerous. Keeping a tiger as a pet is definitely inadvisable. It is their wildness that we admire most. A tiger doesn’t need to apologise for being a tiger.

Unlike tigers, we sometimes need to be able to control our anger. Anger is sometimes a perfectly natural response to a situation. Like all emotions it is a signal that something needs to change, and there is something new to learn.

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Man about to set out on his heros journey

Guest post by Ewan Mochrie, author of ‘It’s Time’.

In 1949 Joseph Campbell published The Hero with a Thousand Faces. By doing so Campbell brought into sharper focus the underlying structure of myths and storytelling. This structure is known as the Hero’s Journey. It is an innate human archetype; we instinctively recognise and utilise this pattern, despite having little or no conscious awareness of it. When you read a good novel or watch a good play or film you unconsciously identify the pattern and match the events you are observing to this structure. One of the reasons that you might think a film or novel isn’t good is that the author hasn’t followed the ‘right’ structure. More than this though the Hero’s Journey is playing out in your own life too.

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woman with a question mark instead of face

Self-esteem is defined on Wikipedia as ‘an individual’s subjective evaluation of their own worth’. Valuing yourself, knowing your core identity and believing in who you are is a key issue that underpins many problems in life. I have written on this subject before.

There are many ways in which we can work on our self-esteem. There are habits we can cultivate. We can change our self-talk – the way we tend to talk about ourselves to others and in our own minds. There are journaling exercises, and many Neurolinguistic Programming inventions. We can see a hypnotherapist or a Timeline Therapist and we can get some coaching.

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ball of string representing how long will it take

One of the questions I get asked in the early stages of working with clients, is ‘How long will it take to get better?’ When you are suffering from anxiety and depression, coping with a phobia or dealing with stressful situations, you want to get better as quickly as possible.

The traditional view of psychiatry is that you go and see your ‘shrink’ every Tuesday afternoon over a period of 2, maybe 3 years. You lie on her coach and tell her everything. How your mother didn’t love you. You father dropped you on the head when you were 6. All the traumatic experiences you endured, and of course every sexual encounter you have ever had. Through this the therapist has you come to some realisation that immediately makes you see the world differently. However once you often have that realisation you still need to work with it and come to terms with it.

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person looking forward to a holiday

This sounds like a Coronavirus question, doesn’t it! “After the pandemic, what are you looking foward to doing that you have been unable to do so far?” To some extent that is a valid question, and I would be delighted to hear your answers. However this virus could be around a long time. We don’t quite know what would be possible and what won’t.

I also think that thinking in this way can be unhelpful. Not being able to put a timeframe on thes things means we experience frustration and longing. We may start taking risks just so we can fulfill those needs sooner.

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“Why am I different?” – It’s a question I get asked a lot by my clients about themselves. “‘I try to be like everyone else. I try to fit in. I wear the kind of clothes that other people my age wear. I join in with the conversations that go on and try to look like I am totally on their wavelength. I pretend to be interested in all the things they like to do, and I take part in the socials. I turn up for the charity events and I even turn a blind eye to the things that make me uncomfortable.

“I don’t agree with some of the things people say, and some of it is just so wrong, on so many levels. I daren’t say anything though, so I just smile politely. That makes me feel really bad inside. It just emphasises even more that I am different, and I don’t think people would like me if they knew what I am really like.”

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coping with coronavirus and social distancing

I don’t know with certainty if you can have too much of a good thing, but it’s definitely true that you can have too much of a bad thing. This is, without doubt, the most testing of times. Coping with coronavirus is unlike coping with anything we have ever experienced before and it is a massive ‘reframe’.

A reframe is when something comes along – an experience, a therapy, a different way of looking at things, that causes you to suddenly completely change your way of living and being.

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