- Posted: December 2017
- By: Michael Carroll
Creating State Choice with NLP
The Chain of Excellence
In NLP you will often hear Practitioners referring to ‘state management’ or ‘state control’. In New Code NLP, we (Grinder/Bostic/Carroll) affirm that the management or controlling of state is a flawed proposition.
The notion of controlling or managing one’s state subscribes to Descartes mind dualism; a theory that negatively influenced psychiatrists and the medical profession for over three centuries. If you are controlling or managing your state, you are over thinking what should be a natural process that is your state.
One of the key presuppositions published in classic NLP in the 1970s is the ‘mind and body are a linked system’. With what we know now about how human beings function, the presupposition can be updated to ‘the mind and body are part of same system’. So how do we go about creating states of excellence in our life without having to think or control our physical responses?
In New Code NLP, state is a key element of intervention, whereas in Classic NLP, Practitioners frequently work with behavioural level which is of a lower logical level than state. One of John Grinders frequently used quotes is ‘the problem is never the problem, the problem is the state the client enters the context of the problem in.’ When you have state choice, you have access to resources to help you breakthrough what were once problems.
There are many different states of excellence, for example you could have a highly focused state for academic tasks, which will be different to a state of high performance in sporting tasks or state of deep relaxation. If you are fully absorbed in the appropriate state relevant to the task, you are more likely to excel in the activity.
We have a variety of ways to access states of excellence in NLP. In Classic Code NLP, anchoring is frequently used as a way to trigger and stabilise a resource state. In New Code NLP, we have formats that build and instigate a state more naturally than anchoring which operates with historic states. New Code Games are designed to create a cross contextual high performance state which I will describe specifically how the New Code Games work in a future article.
We have a system in New Code NLP called the Chain of Excellence (Bostic & Grinder 2002) which is a simple and effective way to change state. The chain is listed below.
→ Breathing → Physiology → State → Performance
Now the Chain of Excellence may seem very simple however, it is highly effective. The next time you find yourself in an unresourceful state, notice how you breathe, notice your posture. Unresourceful states usually have irregular breathing rhythms and tension in the body. To change your state using the chain of excellence system, take a step back, take a couple of deep breaths in through your nose and exhale through your mouth and then adopt a regular breathing pattern from the diaphragm. Let the tension out of your body, stretch a little to relax your muscles and you will soon be aware you now have state choice.
The Chain of Excellence is really about developing high levels of self awareness, where different activities will have different breathing rhythms and postures associated with the said activity, as do problem states. The more you become aware of how you breathe and your physiology, the more choice you have with your state.