One of the fun things about learning NLP (NeuroLinguistic Programming) and hypnotic language patterns is that we can use them to get rid of our own limiting beliefs and patterns of thought.
One of my favorites language patterns is “apply to self”. We start with a sentence in the form of “X means Y” or “X causes Y”. For example, “I have trouble learning NLP language patterns because I lack self confidence”. Obviously, a belief like this would slow down anyone who was learning the NLP language patterns.
Next comes the fun part. We take the first part of the sentence and use the main concept against itself. For example. “How much trouble was it learning that troubled pattern of thinking about easily learning NLP language patterns?”
We can also use the second half of the sentence against itself. “So, for yourself, how much confidence do you lack in those kinds of statements about your learning abilities?”
And, if we are feeling frisky, we can loop both sides of the statement against the other. “How did you ever have enough self confidence to create such a lack of self confidence about your easily learning to use NLP language patterns? It probably wasn’t a lot of trouble for you to create a troubling belief about your learning NLP language patterns easily, was it? And that means that you can learn to create new beliefs in your ability to learn without much trouble, doesn’t it?”
Many times when I loop a statement against itself with a client who has just uttered one of their limiting beliefs, a look of confusion crosses her or his face. That confusion is an indication that the old belief is losing some, or all of its grip. Typically, limiting beliefs travel in packs. So, it is useful to use the apply to self pattern with the original belief’s brothers and sisters as well.
And, of course, when you recognize one of your own limiting beliefs, and it happens not to be in the form of “X means Y” or “X causes Y”, it is simply a matter of restating the belief in that form. Then you can play with it until you feel that moment of confusion, or the belief just seems a bit silly, or just untrue.
The “apply to self” NLP belief buster pattern is like a hammer. A hammer can be used to smash a windshield or build a house. Use the belief buster pattern with compassion and caring, and you will enjoy the results.