Presuppositions, in NLP, are statements which operate ‘As-if‘ they are true and hence they have the structure and quality of ‘Beliefs‘.
‘Beliefs‘ have this innate quality of being self-fulfilling prophecies which affect behaviours and outcomes.
Thus, carrying a limiting belief like – “I am not good at this” – ends up making a person (at being) really not good at it (despite having all the necessary skills).
On the other hand, having a powerful and positive belief like – “Learning NLP will make me achieve my goals faster” – ends up making a person deliver better results than most.
Now, presuppositions are one of the founding principles of NLP and there are 13 such statements which are considered as the original presuppositions of NLP.
These statements have been taken from people / actions where results of excellence have been obtained.
Here I will take just one such presupposition of NLP for consideration. It is also known as the ‘Law of Requisite
Variety’, adopted from the First Law of Cybernetics, which states:
“The person (or element within a system) with the highest flexibility of behaviour controls the system (or environment)“
This NLP presupposition stretches thinking and behaviour in the manner that when faced with a challenging
situation, do you continue doing the same thing or do you have the ‘requisite variety‘ in thinking and adapting so
that you can / will do something else?
Will you complain when things are not going well or will you look for alternatives?
What differentiates true and great leaders is their ability to adapt and be open to change and to implement the new possibility / variety by taking action. Flexibility to adapt and reach your outcome is the true hallmark of great leaders.
And by great leaders I don’t just mean public figures – past or present, but I talk to and of the leader within
So, think about a particular challenge that you are facing right now and for a moment adopt this NLP presupposition – “I have the flexibility to recognise and exercise more choices to do things differently so that I will get better results”
• What are the choices available to you right now?
• Were you thinking about the problem or are thinking about solutions?
• What is clear to you now and what step are you going to take?
Success will be yours when you have the ability to respond to the same situation in many different ways and the
choices you make out of the variety.
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