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Why am I me? Why do I think, act and react the way I do? And can I change?

I grew up asking these questions and only found the answers when I learnt about the NLP Communication Model.

In case you've ever pondered these questions or ones like them, then this blog is for you.

Why am I me? Why do I think, act and react the way I do?
  • I'm me as a result of everything I've experienced and learnt up to this moment in time. And that determines how I think and how I act and react the way I do.

...but how I think/act/react is weird/annoying/unhelpful! Where on earth does that come from? It doesn't make sense.

Can I change that?
  • Yes. You CAN teach an old dog new tricks!

  • You think, act and react to things based on what you've learnt over time.

  • We are always capable of learning, so you can learn to think, act and react differently.

...and it can speed up the process if you can find out how you learnt your current way, so you can un-learn what you learnt, and learn something more useful from that experience instead!

So as I said, the NLP communication model helps to answer these questions. Here it is:

I go through it in more detail in this blog but the basics are that as humans, we work a lot like computers:

  • Information - some information comes in. What's going on?

  • Internal Computer - this is our mind. We process the information about what's going on using the existing programmes and stored data in our minds, as well as other variables like the amount of energy we have at the time.

  • The Magic Triad - the processing results in some output.

  • What we say to ourselves about what's happening (e.g. nightmare, amazing),

  • How we feel (e.g. stressed, excited), and

  • What happens to our bodies (e.g. tense shoulders, butterflies in our tummies)

  • Behaviour - we use that output to decide what to do (e.g. retreat, dive right in)

  • Results/Feedback - we get some results / feedback based on what we did.

  • This is how we learn. More of that later...

So you can see that how we act and react to things is dependent on how our mind (our internal computer), processes the information coming in.

Our internal computers contain all our memories and experiences and everything we have learnt from them, for example

  • What's important to us (values)

  • What we believe

  • The rules that we have for ourselves, others and the world in general

  • How we do things (strategies)

  • Our preferred behaviour patterns (for example, do I crave the company of others or am I happier on my own).

What’s in your mind and how did it get there?

If you're anything like me (and many of my clients), you might end up with some habitual ways of thinking and behaving that

  • aren't particularly useful

  • are damn right annoying

  • don't reflect how you really want to be

  • just seem odd.

Uncovering what's in your internal computer and the impact it has on how you process your experience increases your self awareness and is the first step to figuring out what needs to change and how you might do that.

That can take some therapy, as sometimes the source of our processing is outside of our conscious awareness. But it normally doesn't take much for the root cause to surface, with the right sort of questioning.

Both the Time Line Therapy and Rapid Transformational Therapy techniques I use, focus on going back to find the root cause. The event or string of events where you learnt to think or behave a certain way.

And it’s thought that our internal computer, or