Treat Yourself Like a Partner, Not a Servant

Some of the most important work I do at NLP Canada Training involves convincing people that they don't need to control themselves. They need to develop a respectful relationship with themselves that allows them to negotiate, collaborate and sometimes even disagree with the part of themselves that is unconscious, fast and powerful.

It's hard to get past all the voices in our heads that tell us that self control is a good thing. After all, when we compare it to being controlled by someone else, self-control is better. The problem is that we are often trying to have one part of ourselves control other parts, and the part that seeks control is not always the strongest, most accurate part of us.

Relationship time for me and my bigger self
Every human being has a limited ability to process information consciously and a much stronger, faster system that processes information outside of conscious awareness (your brain interacts with the world and makes connections between new stimuli and stored information and it does it much faster than you can 'think'). Sometimes that superfast processor shows up as instinct or emotion. That's what we want to control. We want to use our slower, more limited conscious mind to tell our bigger selves what to do, think and feel. That just doesn't work very well.

What works better is to assume that you are the leader of you. As a leader, you want to get the very best out of every part of you. It happens when you treat your mind, your brain and your body all with respect. If you wouldn't try to control your life partner (don't try to control your life partner!) then you shouldn't try to control your "self." Instead, work to lead yourself so that your mind, body and brain can collaborate to make the very best life for you.

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