Tad James, one of the (and by some accounts, THE) first NLP Master Trainer, once repeated the joke, “What’s a meta for?” Indeed. That linguistic playfulness is a powerful key to influence as hypnosis uses many different pathways, that being one of the easiest to learn. Though to build on James’ question, metaphors can guide us in powerful ways. Think about the title of this article for a moment. If you’ve had a bad behavior that for some time has been habitual, a go-to action, it might seem all but impossible to stop.
But it’s like anything else you have. You can misplace it. And if you don’t bother looking for it, you may never find it again. Haven’t we all misplaced our car keys, or our cell phone? Maybe it’s something you’ve done…frequently?
In NLP, we don’t speak of failure, as even when you do behaviors you don’t appreciate, you’ve clearly succeeded at doing them. It may sound like a strange way to view it, and it may feel odd for a moment. Which means your brain is working it out. What it means is that you can do anything. Your mind can in fact misplace things it doesn’t want or need. It can forget things, lose things, and where we typically might think of that as being a bad thing, we can use our successfully pulling off that behavior as evidence that we can do it with things we do want to misplace, we do want to lose, we do want to forget. Now…
You likely don’t want to do that with everything, and that’s not what we’re saying here. We are merely talking about behavioral flexibility and once you know you can do something, instead, assuming you didn’t like how you used it, of dwelling on how bad it was, you may now begin to find yourself…looking for ways in which that might be useful. Such as…
As your mind begins to explore the ways, the various possibilities it can appreciate and delight in discovering for you now begin to wonder where else this might be useful that you haven’t even begun to notice yet!
I myself have a standard place I drop my keys when I return home. The same with my cell phone. However, that was a habit I created out of necessity. Otherwise, like your bad habit that your mind is considering how to lose, I would lose my keys and phone–you know, like you may with that bad behavior, just set them down somewhere odd, then walk away, distracted. You know how that is: Something else grabs your attention and you begin thinking intently about it, your mind focusing everything on that one single thing. Forgetting everything else for the time.
And then it’s only if you decide that you need your phone, keys, or whatever it was, only in that event, do you instruct your mind to recall where, and you locate it. But if it’s something you’re pleased to have misplaced, you can forget all about it and enjoy your newfound freedom and the time you’ve just saved yourself. From years of frustration, possibly.
Let your mind begin to play with these statements and see what you choose to do with them. It is your own mind and you have the right to use it as you wish. My aim of course is to have you notice at one point how much greater your life has become and how you focus on things that truly matter to you–no one but you knows what those are–and you have released like a full breath out anything you don’t value and would just as soon forget.
Your mind knows what to do from here. Trust it.