The Belief-Change Technique

The Belief-Change Technique

NLP has a very fast technique for changing beliefs. It’s based on the observation that whenever a belief changes, here’s a transition from state to state that looks like this:

Conviction -> Doubt -> Disbelief -> Open to a New Belief -> Uncertainty -> New Conviction

and the assumption that those states can be anchored just like anything else. Here’s the pattern:

• The technique involves six "stations”. When you’re first starting this, you should write out the stations on pieces of paper and arrange them in a circle for added visual effect.

The stations are:
o Current Belief
o Open to Doubt
o Museum of Old Beliefs
o New Belief
o Open to Believing
o Sacred Place

• When you’re doing the imagining I’m going to talk about, make sure you feel the total experience – visual,
auditory, and kinesthetic (feelings)

• Stand at station 1 and think about your current belief, how it feels.

• Move to station 2 and think about something that you doubt, and how that feels. Now think about your target belief and how it feels to doubt it.

• Move to station 3 and think about a belief that you used to have but no longer have, and how that feels. Now think about your target belief and how it feels to no longer believe it. As you leave station 3, imagine that you’re leaving that belief behind in the museum.

• Move to station 4 and think about the new belief you want to have.

• Move to station 5 and think about something you don’t believe but are open to believing, and how that feels. Now think of your target belief and how it feels to be open to it.

• Move to station 6 and think about one of your strongest and most sacred beliefs and how that feels. Now think about your target belief and how it feels to believe it with the same conviction.

The New Behavior Generator

Once you’ve gotten rid of your negative beliefs and anchors, you’re ready to take on new behavior. You could just do this by practice, but you’re bound to fail and embarrass yourself for a while that way. The New Behavior Generator can help with that.

• Find a model, either your imagined "ideal self” or someone you know that already has this behavior mastered.

• ask yourself "what beliefs does this behavior need to maintain itself?” Go through the processes I’ve discussed to make your beliefs congruent if you need to.

• Mentally rehearse the model from the outside first, then step inside it, walk around in it, see from those eyes, hear with those ears, feel with that body. Experience the new positive intention of the behavior and the positive rewards both in what is gained and in what is avoided.

• Go back in your life to a time when you (could have) learned this behavior and imagine that it became a part of you, then project back through the present and into the future.

• Practice doing this several times a day until you forget to mentally rehearse it because you find you are already doing it!

I can personally vouch for the NBG, because I have some experience with acting, which is very similar. When I do a play I tend to model myself after my character backstage as well as onstage, and the last time I did a play I noticed several women gravitating toward me, and I had all kinds of dating opportunities. It’s too bad that the effect didn’t last, but it was because I still believed in my shyness deep down. Now I know better! :=)

I think the strategy of mental rehearsal is a very important one that we tend to overlook. We often fantasize about what it will be like once we have a significant other, but rarely do we imagine things like approaching people, starting conversations and asking for dates because these things are painful to us. Or if we do imagine those things, we tend to see the worst case scenario, which just makes us feel worse. Starting now, make it a habit to use the NBG, or at least visualize yourself socializing successfully, and dealing with rejection and embarrassment effectively.

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About Bobby Rio I'm Bobby Rio, one of the founders of TSB. I tend to write about what is on my mind so you'll find a mix of self development, social dynamics and dating articles/experiences.  For a collection of some of my favorite articles check them out.