Posts tagged: problem

Taking Shortcuts

What does this doodle say to you?

 doodle od a dark cloud gradually lifting to reveal the sun and the possibility of a short cut

Doodling is a great way to explore ideas without too much conscious attention. 

What does this doodle say to you? My guess is that it will say different things to different people. It depends upon your current experience, your thoughts and your mood or ‘state’ as we might label it in NLP terms.

Here’s a closer look…

a closer look at the image reveals that there is more than one way to reach your goal

sometimes a closer look reveals something unexpected

 

Click on the image to open it fully and look even more closely. begin to notice details that you hadn’t previously noticed.

I have shown it to a few people and asked the question… “If this doodle had a message for you, what would it be?” and got a surprising number of different replies:

  • “It’s about how the sun is always in the sky, even when all you’re thinking of is the clouds.”
  • “Even when you think you’ve solved a problem, something can come up that seems to set you right back to the beginning again and yet it’s not quite the same this time and you can keep going.”
  • “The clouds are your problems. The sunshine is feeling better, sorting something out.”
  • “Is it about depression and the depression can lift and come back and then lift again?”
  • “The arrows are all the different paths if you want to escape from something.”
  • “It’s about shortcuts. Sometimes you have to go the long way round to get out from under the grey sky but sometimes you might spot a short cut, and sometimes there’s an even shorter one.”

There isn’t a ‘right answer’. I was concentrating on something else at the time (my most interesting doodles seem to come during online meet-ups, TED talks or Tony Robbins videos). I would love to hear from you about what you make of it.

Better still, have a go yourself and maybe ask a few people what they make of your unconscious doodling.

A Maze of Possible Pathways out of a Problem

At the heart of the maze lies a problem

Where do you start?

As soon as we try to find our way out of a difficult situation we discover that just thinking about it can become part of the problem.

How often have you felt overwhelmed or thought ‘I just don’t know where to start’?

Helping you sort this out can be part of the role of a coach…

It can help to identify which pathway you have been going down already in order to try something different.

While thinking through some recent conversations with clients I came up with this maze-like doodle, identifying typical strategies my recent clients have described as they began telling me their stories.

IMAG3683

 

As you read through the list of ‘ways of working it out’ you might recognise something that you have been trying. Better still, see if there is something here that you haven’t thought of because trying something different, something new, will give you the best chance of getting an unexpected result. It may not be the result you thought you were looking for, but it is likely to be a result that leaves you feeling more positive about the future.

 

What have you tried?

  • trying to solve the problem
  • trying harder
  • trying harder still
  • acceptance
  • avoidance
  • denial
  • hearing a message in the problem
  • seeing the problem as ‘ a part of myself with special needs’
  • talking to the problem
  • asking the problem what it thinks it’s doing for me

In future posts I will look at each of these pathways and invite you to contribute to my musings. Do you have an experience you would like to share; an observation on the list or a part of it; or an entirely different pathway to suggest?

I look forward to hearing from you.

 

  

Trying to Find a Way Out

At the heart of the maze lies a problem

Looking for a Way Out
Sometimes we find ourselves not knowing which way to turn. By allowing ourselves to consider different directions for our thoughts, we create new perspectives, find new pathways and allow possibilities to appear where none seemed to exist.

 

Acceptance
By accepting the specifics of a situation we can often identify a hint of the direction in which an answer might lie. The ‘W Questions’ can be a good starting point: Who, what, when, where, why. Ask yourself;
       Who is with me when this happens?
       What do I do specifically?
       When and where does it happen?
       Why does it happen?
Once you have the answers to these questions, consider what is possible for you to change. Even one small change in your thoughts, behaviours or actions can trigger further changes leading you in a new direction.         

 

Trying and Trying Harder 
The word ‘try’ is defined as ‘to make an attempt’ or to strive’. Both definitions imply the use of energy but not achievement. When we think of trying we often infer that we will not succeed. Trying harder suggests doing more of the same and if you keep doing what you’ve always done, you always get what you’ve always had. Replace ‘try’ with ‘do’ or ‘be’ and notice the difference.

 

A Part of Myself with Special Needs
Within the problem is a clue to something you need. By feeling for any emotional associations you may be experiencing you can identify what you need.  Identifying and giving yourself what you need can often be the answer.

 

Hear the message in a problem
What aspect of yourself is crying out for attention or has gone unnoticed, overlooked, forgotten or denied? Allowing a problem to be a pointer in this way can help you find a new direction where you might stumble across an unexpected opportunity for change.

 

Denial
Well if you were refusing to accept that there is a problem you probably wouldn’t be reading this post! Denial rarely leads to new possibilities and it’s new possibilities that make a difference.

 

Avoidance 
Choosing to ignore a problem can sometimes seem like a good way of dealing with it but of course this allows it to persist and its effect and influence spread. A different pathway is more likely to result in your discovering a way out.

 

Metal door in stone wall with NLP CREW graffittiSomething I haven’t thought of yet
There are always possibilities that haven’t yet occurred to us. Being curious and open minded, looking up and beyond ourselves are habits and practices worth nurturing because this is where we discover that the possibilities really are endless. 

 

The Dramatic Art of Narrative NLP

 

Dramatic Change is possible

The dramatic art of changing stories

 

In this short video Ben’s story Paul Zak tells the story of a father and his little boy who is dying of cancer and uses the storytellers’ dramatic arc to explain the neurochemistry of empathy.

The dramatic arc rises to a climax and falls to the denouement

the dramatic, or narrative, arc

 

While he uses the theory of mind to explain our empathy with others, I recognise its implications for understanding our own emotions and influencing, our own behaviour.

When you tell me your story, you offer an exposition of the problem as you currently perceive it.  Our conversation proceeds and tension increases (rising action) as we explore the problem story and begin to entertain the prospect of new, previously unguessed at, possibilities.

The climax is reached when new perspectives lead to a breakthrough so that the power of the old story is reduced (falling action) and you can begin to let go of old thought patterns and habits.

The denouement of the old, problem, story emerges as you identify new ways of being that herald a new direction for your life story.

 

The Narrative NLP arc rises through possibility from the problem story to a breakthrough and through letting go reaches a

The Narrative NLP arc

 

 

From present state to desired state via stories

A little boy bites his nails while adult lives are dominated by irrational but all-encompassing fears.

I’ve been watching LinkedIn conversations in coaching and NLP groups with interest recently. Many of the questions asked there revolve around the selection of techniques to address specific problems.  Questions along the lines of “Any suggestion for nail biting in a 6 year old?”; “How do you approach phobias?” and “I have a 30 year old client who is afraid of driving over bridges, what would people recommend?”

These questions are all about real people experiencing real difficulties, but the focus is on the problems.

Interestingly I have been working with two clients looking for the same outcome; “I just wish I had more confidence”.

With the first I found myself working with her internal dialogue, meta-positioning conversations both with herself and others, and re-generating positive messages she may have forgotten, disregarded or ignored in the past.

With the second, a single piece of timeline work released him from the hold of an experience that dated back to before he started school.

These were my NLP structured, intuitively accessed pathways for their journeys from present state to desired state and both were narratively influenced. Their present state view of themselves had been strongly informed by power they had inadvertently given to their “lack of confidence”. One of the many possibilities released by our conversations was that they could have been confident since childhood if they had picked up different messages.

Once these messages reappeared from wherever they had been hidden, overlooked or disbelieved, they began to gain strength.

Both clients have reported significant changes in their own view of themselves and both are exploring and nurturing their new confidence.

Narrative NLP is not about the problems. It is about the story you have been telling yourself.

So my answer to the technique questions is always the same; I don’t know what I will say or do until I have listened to your story.

 

 

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