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“Before you speak, think - Is it necessary?  Is it true?  Is it kind?  Will it hurt anyone?  Will it improve on the silence?”  -Sri Sathya Sai Baba
Use Your Outside Voice … Inside PDF Print E-mail
Use Your Outside Voice … Inside
By Dave Berman

Think of the ways you can modulate your speaking voice.  The volume can be loud or soft, the tone nasty or nice, the tempo fast or slow, the pitch high or low,to name a few voice characteristics or submodalities in the lingo of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP).  Say the same thing in different ways and you will likely get different responses.
Now listen to the voice in your head. You may already be aware of the powerful mind/body connection that means you can influence the way you feel by what you say to yourself.  But have you stopped to consider the fine-tune controls you also have for delivering the content of your self-talk?  That’s right, when you use your outside voice features on the inside, how you say what you say, will also have a profound impact on the way you feel. 

There is an exercise I often do with new NLP clients to move this point from intellectual concept to embodied experience.  First, I’ll have the client stand with one arm straight out at shoulder height and ask the person not to allow me to press their arm down.  With permission, I’ll then touch the arm and find the pressure can be easily resisted.

I’ll then have the client lower the arm for a moment as I give the next instructions: Thirty seconds with eyes closed, whining and moaning self-talk about feeling weak and tired.  When they are in this state of mind, I’ll then ask to see the extended arm again, and invariably the ability to resist me pushing it down has disappeared or lessened. The mental state influences both the emotional and physical response of the body!

Next the client will spend another 30 seconds with closed eyes, forcefully and adamantly using self-talk about feeling strong and powerful.  When the arm is once again extended, naturally the ability to resist me pushing it down has been restored. 

People learn best through experience and this ninety second self-talk demonstration will provide an effective lesson that can readily flow into several different areas commonly addressed by NLP; most notably improving confidence and self-esteem, plus increasing the ability to manage and sustain energetic states. (What does it sound like in your head when you exercise?) 

This technique is also a good jumping off point to illustrate how each of the other senses contain submodalities that can be controlled to greatly influence emotions and behaviors.  In the April/May Isis Scrolls article “Making Sense of Senses with NLP,” (available at IsisScrolls.com in the featured articles section) I described various visual submodalities that can be changed to quickly eliminate a phobia.  I demonstrated this at a recent workshop, helping a woman overcome a fear of spiders.  A free video of this event is at  http://bit.ly/FullTRH. 

Watch the video and you’ll also see how undesired feelings can be improved by noticing and then altering properties such as color, shape, texture, movement, and location?all kinesthetic submodalities useful in rapidly letting go of anxiety, trauma, addiction, and other unwanted habits.

NLP is a versatile modality that can benefit anyone whose feelings or actions do not match with their conscious intention or desire.  This is usually due to the influence or control exerted by the subconscious part of the mind.  NLP is a model of communicating with the subconscious via the senses to reorganize a person’s “mental filing system,” or how information is stored and accessed by the brain. In other words, NLP is a means of updating neurology (Neuro) using the language (Linguistic) that drives how we manage our minds, moods, and models of reality (our Programming).

Dave Berman is a Life Coach and Certified Practitioner of Neuro-Linguistic Programming.  He is available for private, confidential sessions in his Arcata office or remotely via Skype.  Learn more about NLP and Dave at www.ManifestPositivity.com or call for a free consultation: 707-845-3749.


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