NLP, Neuro Linguistic Programming, is all about effective communications. Some of those communications are between people, and some are within our own mind. When we clearly communicate and instruct our own unconscious (creative, problem-solving, power mind) in the things we want, it adjusts our thinking, emotions, and behaviors to facilitate those desires. Our unconscious mind nudges us toward behaviors that support our goals. It creates new beliefs that empower our goals. It creates new energy and appropriate responses in us.
Here in this article I’m sharing a technique to do just that. We open up the control panel in our brains and give good instructions to create an explicit success-oriented mind set and driving emotions that move us forward towards our goals. Any goals!
This control panel in our minds is sensory operated. It’s visual. It’s sound-based. It’s feeling based. And these things, pictures, sounds and feelings, lead us into behaviors and beliefs. People think of beliefs as solid things, tangible, like a rock. They’re not. They’re more fluid, like a flowing river. And we can change the direction of them at will. That’s NLP. It’s effective communication with our unconscious minds, that part of us which defines and determines our reality.
This technique I’m sharing today is visual. I call it: “Not that, This!” It’s formal NLP name is “The Visual Swish.” In this technique, we take the unconscious mind by the hand and show it clearly what we want. And what we don’t want. Not that feeling, this one. Not that belief, this one. Not that habit, this one. Not that body, this one. It’s a five minute process which could change your thinking and your actions, your outlook and your life.
Why visual? A simple still image can convey an enormous amount of complex information and meaning. “A picture is worth a thousand words,” as they say. Looking at a picture, we absorb incredibly large amounts of data quickly. For example, a goal picture of a more slender body for a weight loss process contains a world of information as to habits and attitudes, eating choices and quantities, activity level, energy, control and confidence, and so on.
Here is the technique. I invite you to go for it!
How To Do the NLP Visual Swish Technique
The Big Picture:
You’re going to create two pictures in your mind, one at a time. One is a picture of “the problem.” However you want to represent it is fine. The other is a picture of “the goal.” This second picture represents the result you want to achieve, whether it be a physical thing (like a new body size), or an emotional thing (like calmness). Then you’re going to manipulate these images as described on an imaginary computer screen.
–Create an image in your mind of “the problem.” It can be realistic, or it can be symbolic. For example, a problem called smoking might be represented by a pack of cigarettes (realistic) or a dark cloud in the sky (symbolic). It doesn’t matter what you choose. Any image THAT MEANS TO YOU the problem.
Some of you say: “But… wait, I can’t make pictures in my mind.” Yes, you can, and yes, you do. All the time. Quick. What color is your car?
If you can answer that question, here’s what you just did, even if it was outside of conscious awareness. You looked at the car in your mind. Yes, we are all visual beings. And that means you. So, let a picture form in your mind of the problem. Any picture.
–Create an image in your mind of what you want to achieve. “The goal.” Again, it can be realistic or symbolic. For our smoking example, the goal of nonsmoker might be a healthy lung (realistic) or a picture of a green smiley face (symbolic).
The content of your picture that you create in your mind does not matter for our purposes. It only matters that the picture is what your mind conjured to represent your success.
Ok, great! You’ve got these two images in your mind, the problem and the goal. We’ll use them in a moment. For now, set them aside.
–Third image. Imagine a computer screen in front of you. It’s blank. White. Nothing at all on it. Like a blank piece of paper. This is a third image. We’ll call it “blank screen” and it will be used in our process as well. Memorize the nothingness of a white blank screen.
–Understanding the process. Read this section carefully, more than once if you like, before you perform the technique. Follow these directions to the letter, to give the proper communication to your unconscious mind for your success.
Here’s what you do. You take the problem picture and see it filling the entire computer screen in your mind like wallpaper. You’ll be shrinking it. Quickly! Resizing it. Down, smaller, smaller, into a speck, a dot, a nothing, into a bottom corner of the screen. In my mind’s eye, I see it as similar to Window’s minimize function. You click that little _ symbol at the upper right of the window, and watch what happens. A very quick shrinking, shrinking, shrinking. It’s gone. The instruction to your mind through this visualization: make my problem less and less until it’s gone.
That’s one piece of what’s going to happen. The problem picture shrinks and vanishes.
AT THE SAME TIME, something else is going to be happening, on the same screen. Simultaneous to the problem picture shrinking, the goal picture is going to be expanding and enlarging. The goal picture starts as a speck in the bottom corner of the screen and rapidly maximizes to fill the screen like a wallpaper. Bigger, bigger, bigger until it takes over, and it’s all you see. The instruction to your mind through this visualization: I want more of this!
Again, these two images transform simultaneously. The problem picture only shrinks and leaves. The success desired outcome picture only grows and takes over the screen. To the best of your ability, see these two things as happening together at the same time. Check out my illustration, which I call “Adventures in Re-Sizing.” 🙂
The process. Look at the problem picture filling the screen. See the goal picture as a tiny dot in the corner. Now, SWISH. See them trade places. Suddenly, you’re looking at the goal picture filling the screen and the problem picture is gone.
Once you’ve made that happy transition, imagine the third image. “Blank Screen!”
Set the full-sized problem image back onto the screen, and repeat the above, with simultaneous shrinking of the problem and growing of the goal. Repeat this process approximately 15-20 times. Problem image turns into goal image, then blank screen. Problem image turns into goal image. Blank screen. Problem image turns into goal image. Blank screen. Problem image turns into goal image. Blank screen.
You are giving the following Instruction to your creative unconscious mind: Not that, this! Not that, this! Not that, this! Note: it may become harder to conjure up the problem picture. If that happens, GREAT!
Read the instructions until you fully understand the process. And then, go for it!
–Do the process, either with eyes open or closed.
–Test! Try to conjure up the original problem image. If it’s somehow weakened or blurred or tiny or even nonexistent, that’s success. If your mind jumps now to the goal picture, that’s success. What you focus on expands, so we want your mind to see success, not problems.
You have just performed a very explicit unconscious communication with your own mind. “Not that! This!!” Here’s what happens now. You get out of the way and allow your unconscious mind to guide you into living “this” goal picture. You may notice shifts in thinking, feelings, behaviors, and beliefs–all useful changes.
Good job! I hope you enjoy your “Not That, This!” outcomes. There’s so much more to this control panel in our minds. If you’d ever like to learn how to run your mind and optimize your life, take our Seattle NLP Training course. Michael and I are Licensed Trainers of NLP ® through the originator of NLP.
All the Best,
Copyright © Connie Brannan, CHt. & Licensed Trainer of NLP ®, Mindworks NLP, 2015. All rights reserved.