In NLP one of the tools that we use to facilitate change in others is to encourage the client to think and imagine ‘as if …..’ As if they had already changed, or got that job or were totally whole and healed. The primary purpose of this is to encourage and escort thoughts and the unconscious mind to another track and way of thinking and being and to help create a more compelling goal to move towards.
Another reason is to do what we call and ecology check. We check that now that they have everything that they want and hoped for and made changes to enable, that it is how they would want it to be. After all if you are going to change your life, particularly in a dramatic way then you want to know that it’s going to be all that you would want it to be. Imagine having changed everything only to get where you are going and it’s not the job that was making you unhappy but something else that you hadn’t considered before. That is one of the purposes of imagining, using all of your senses, as if it had already happened.
One of the major benefits of this is then to check further ahead again. You are imagining in glorious sensory detail your life as if you had already made the changes you want and it’s all good. What about the wider impact of the changes? The knock on effects both at the time and further out into the future. It is only by really living in the imagination as if the changes had already happened can you then go and check that they were worth it in the wider context of your life and your relationships. After all the dream job may have an unforeseen impact on your relationship which may be good, as in you can now afford to buy a house or not so good in that you may not see as much of each other. The ‘Is it worth it?’ check is also vital.
How do you use it for yourself?
When you have a goal that you wish to achieve you will hopefully have broken it down into manageable, easy to take steps and maybe even put some time targets on them. At each step of the way taking time for an ‘as if’ check will not only keep you motivated but will also allow you to fine tune your process. The ‘as if’ check can come in useful for making sure that the steps you are taking are useful and will help you further towards your overall goal. The ‘as if’ check will also allow you to anticipate the wider impact of what you are doing and allow for contingencies to be made just in case some of the things that you have identified do actually come about.
The process is pretty straightforward. Place yourself in the future at some time when all of your plans and goals have come together and you now have everything that you have wished for. At this point you are behaving, thinking, speaking and interacting with your goal as if it had already happened and you are now enjoying the fruits of it. Use all of your senses to build that world and spend some time freely interacting with it. Carefully check that all of what you expected has come to pass and that the knock on effects are acceptable to you.
The ‘as if’ check works equally well for all kinds of goals from business, to personal to health goals. I have found that when I broke my arm, it was an awkward break, the act of imagining it whole and healed and working again was extremely useful. In fact I had to work quite hard with this as there was a lot of trauma associated with the break and something that I expected to be easy actually wasn’t. However, I persevered and managed a smoothly functioning joint and arm again whilst processing some of the associated trauma at the same time. In terms of health and healing goals, this was an extremely useful insight.
If you would like more information on setting goals and taking the next steps to change your life in whatever way that you want, please contact me for more information and a confidential assessment.
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