NLP Success Principle Four - Behavioural Flexibility

Updated: Aug 22, 2020

I have always considered myself one to welcome change. That is true when applied to my work or business environment. It was only when I started studying NLP that I realised and could acknowledge that I have not been very flexible in terms of my thinking and, not thinking.

We have spoken about the mammalian brain or our limbic system before. This part of our brain dictates our fight, flight or freeze responses. It also manages those parts of our bodily functions we do not think about on a daily basis, such as breathing, scratching our nose when it itches, or even our reaction when we see a spider.

Despite what you may think, your life is one big routine. At home, at work, well everywhere! If I had to ask you to explain your morning routine, it may surprise you as you recount what you do each morning, that there is a very clear pattern that you unconsciously follow each and every day. But on a micro/subconscious-level, there are also routines. These are the ones we do not see as part of a planned routine.

Most of us drive the same route to work every single day. We know how long it takes, we know where there will be delays and possible might even expect to see other cars that we see daily on the road as well.

Now imagine you left for work the same time you always do, and of course, you expect to arrive at work in a certain amount of time. To you surprise a part of your normal route is closed for construction, and today's trip will now take an extra 30 minutes which will make you late. How does that make you feel?

Being the creatures of habit and routine that we are, this is will likely set the mood for the rest of your day. You are grumpy and complain to anyone who asks about the road closure, poor city planning, and lack of communication by the municipality.

Now let's replay that scenario, but instead, while getting ready for work, you recall an announcement on the traffic report from the day before, advising of the road closure. You pop onto your phone's GPS and map out a new route, and can see that the new route will take you 30 minutes longer. No problem! Instead of enjoying your coffee while watching the morning news, you take it to go and jump in the car a bit earlier.

This simple act, though not part of your normal routine is not such a bit shock to your system, as you could adjust your mindset and plan. Now when asked how you are you reply in your normal friendly tone "Wonderful how are you?".

Preparing our minds for the possibility of change is behavioural flexibility. This does not mean that you need a news report each day for what may or may not happen. Just accept that nothing is constant, except change. become used to expecting the change and adjusting your GPS routing - in a manner of speaking - on the fly.

By accepting the constant of change, not only do you avoid daily disappointment, and the "why me?" syndrome, you also prepare your mind for more regular internal-routine changes.

If now you suggest in the context of NLP a minor internal routine change, you significantly increase the success ratio.

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