In NLP, there is a presupposition that states that all behavior no matter how destructive has an important positive intention motivating it. On the surface, it seems that we are always judging our own behaviors. Most of the time our inner critics are saying the same hurtful things to us in an endless looping of the same phrase. We hear it in a very specific way every time. What would happen if you were to be able to take from that inner critic the best intention and leave all of the criticism behind? Wouldn’t that be a valuable asset to your toolbox? Now you can.
Here’s another goodie from my brilliant NLP Coaches, Kevin Creedon and Doug O’Brien. They teach this method of Reframing the Inner Voice as a Primer to teaching the actual strategy of Reframing
to groups. Reframing is simply the ability of being able to see things in new ways and to turn it inside out and change your perspective by expanding your perception of the situation at hand. Let me give you an example.
In the case of Reframing an Inner Voice. I had a client, L who always heard her inner critic yell,
“I hate you, you fat pig.”
Her inner critic shouted these words at her in a loud shrill voice. The effect of it made her cringe and caused her to feel unresourceful and made her focus on her weight and appearance. This caused her to unconsciously fall into patterns of eating for comfort and doing other things that kept her light hidden. She hated that voice.
I met L one day as I joined a coaching circle in an attempt to give L many new resources. The purpose of the circle was that each coach present in the circle generated a new way of using this voice. L listened to the change made by each coach in inflection, tonality, timbre, and other vocal qualities and determined which of the suggestions was useful and ended up with one favorite.
She heard many suggestions of how she could reframe that inner voice and make it more useful and settled on one in particular. Now she hears her inner voice saying the same words yet the inflection is soft and the voice has a lilt after each few words. Now after the reframe she hears this in her head:
I? Hate You? You? Fat Pig?
For her, it made all the difference in the world. Now she is able to see that her inner critic can really be a very valuable and loving coach because it is easy to see how caring it since making the changes and adjustment to her inner vocal patterns. Please note that in order for this change to take place at the level of the subconscious, it is necessary to anchor this several times in the client’s mind by repeating this several times in the same manner and to lead the client into the future when the voice is heard in the more resourceful way.
Here are the 6 steps that you use to Reframe An Inner Voice as taught by Kevin Creedon and Doug O’Brien of the Dynamic Wellness Center in New York. Please contact me if you would like more information about Kevin and Doug’s wonderful NLP Trainings. They are two wonderful trainers worth their weight in gold.
Reframing An Inner Voice
1. Critical Voice:
Think of a situation in which an inner voice criticizes you. Go back there in your mind and listen to it carefully to the words and the tonality. What is the vocal quality that you hear repeated in your memory?
2. Positive Intention:
Ask that voice What is the positive intention for me? You may also need to askFor what purpose? (Think bigger and expand your thoughts or in NLP language chunk up) in order to get a positively phrased positive intention.
3. Acknowledge and Appreciate:
Acknowledge and thank the part for having such a powerful and important, positive intention and for being so committed to it.
4. Ask the Voice To Join A Search For Alternatives:
Ask the voice if there were other ways to achieve your positive intention, perhaps even better ways, would you be curious to try them out? Make sure that you get total agreement before you proceed forward.
5. Creative Part:
Ask your creative part to generate lots of new behaviors. Then ask the voice to choose three new behaviors that it likes and that it believes will satisfy its positive intention even more than the old behavior.
6. Future Pace
Acknowledge and thank both the Creative Part and the Voice and then Future Pace the new behaviors. Future pace is an NLP term which means to see yourself doing the behavior now and in the future.
Now I’d like to ask you how could this be valuable for you? What little voice inside of yourself would you like to hear differently? I would be happy to help you to reframe that little voice and lead you to many new wonderful resources, but first follow these directions and you will be well on your way to making some very useful changes and hearing things in a totally new light. Enjoy!