Happy Tuesday! Weather is warming up a bit here, at least for a little while, and I have been busy baking and enjoying Autumn smells. My home is filled with smells of apple and pumpkin and I am enjoying getting to read by the fire. I’m sure by mid-January I will be ready for warmer weather, but for now I am loving spending more time indoors, eating soup and reading books.
This week I’ve had occasion to give a lot of thought to one of my favorite NLP presuppositions, and in my opinion, one that speaks to the very beginnings of NLP.
Anyone can do anything.
Wow, that’s a pretty bold statement, right? That means that you could do anything anyone else can do…can you believe that? It’s kind of like the old song “Anything you can do I can do better, I can do anything better than you.” (Feel lucky you aren’t here to hear me singing this!)
While that can be hard to believe, I mean, I’ve never even swung a golf club, I’m not sure how I could ever play a great golf game like Tiger Woods! But it’s true. Anyone can do anything.
Now, there are a couple of caveats I want to share with you, then we’ll take a closer look at this.
Caveat #1 – This does not say anyone can do anything exactly like anyone else. It doesn’t even say like anyone else. Language is very important in these presuppositions.
Caveat #2 – You must be willing to try.
Okay, now that we have those two things out of the way let’s take a closer look at this.
Anyone can do anything. NLP was based on the concept of modeling…breaking down the behavior of another person so specifically that it can be replicated. This concept of modeling is more specific than you may be used to, and results in the ability for anyone to replicate another’s behavior.
Let’s look at an example of this.
About a year ago my mother and daughter got a couple of small dogs to be service dogs for them. They were young, and needed to be trained. Never having trained service dogs before I knew I needed to learn how to do it. So, we studied, watched videos, read books, interviewed trainers and were able to put together a set of steps that we believed would lead to well-trained service dogs.
I created a solid list of tasks, we did them, and within 3 months they were going to doctor appointments, on their best behavior, and helping their humans when they needed it. It was awesome.
Using this same approach I, a city girl who has until this point never built a thing from the ground up, has built an iguana cage from scratch, a chicken coop & run to house 10 chickens with sliding doors and everything, learned how to groom the small dogs at home, bake almost anything and I can use any power tool you put in front of me.
For many people the biggest obstacle to learning something new is their own mindset. We’ve all heard the saying “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right” (Henry Ford) and that is very true. The only adjustment I would make to this saying is that it takes a bit more than thoughts, but it certainly starts there.
Having the knowledge, the deep down true belief, that you can do anything if you know the steps you must take, is among the most empowering things you can ever experience. It removes the feeling that you must rely on others. It lets you know that, if needed or desired, you can do whatever you want and need to do.
It’s important to realize that it often takes some steps you can’t see to replicate a behavior. For instance, in building my chicken coop I searched a lot for directions. They all provided a plan and gave you step by step instructions, like you get when you buy furniture that needs to be put together. But I didn’t really like any of the plans I found. Plus, I had decided to build my coop with all repurposed wood.
So I had to spend some time breaking down all of the unmentioned steps that were taken to design and build a coop. Decide how big to make the finished coop. How big to make a run. Protect from potential predators. Take into account size differences of warped wood. Imperfect corners and joints. There were a number of things that were not dealt with in the instructions that had to be worked out in order for me to accomplish a stellar coop.
Following what I know about modeling from NLP I was able to create a set of steps to build a great chicken coop. (You can see a picture of it here…still needs a paint job and windows and you’ll have to excuse the dogs and my daughter int he photo, but everything else is finally complete)
I want to emphasize that it is not the specific task, or “thing,” being replicated that is life changing here.
It is the belief that Anyone can do Anything (and that means me: I, too, can do anything) that will change your experience of life.
Imagine if moving forward you knew you could do anything you wanted to. You would do it with your own flair, and your own style, and to your own abilities, but the point is you could do it.
What would you try if you knew you would succeed?
I’d love to hear your thoughts. Please leave your comments here.
P.S. Foundations of NLP is starting Monday! Make sure you reserve your spot before it fills up. Calls are Monday evenings, 6 pm Pacific, and all will be recorded, so if you can’t make it, no worries. You’ll get the recordings. So jump over and register today to reserve your spot and recordings.