How the NLP Meta Model Transforms Distorted Beliefs that Cause Stress: Real Life Examples from a Current Online Student
The NLP Meta Model is a systematic way of asking questions to get more and more specific answers. A product of neuro-linguistic programming training, the Meta Model serves as the foundation for gathering information during conversation. The companion to the Meta Model is the Milton Model, which is commonly taught in hypnotherapy training.
Meagan Martin, an iNLP Center student, recently wrote some personal insights she gained while studying the NLP Meta Model. We thought they were worth sharing here.
After taking time out to recognize where the Meta Model applies in my life, I am more aware of how I distort, delete or generalize different situations.
In having this realization, it helped me to see where I was misinterpreting what was actually going on. I would catch myself in the middle of talking or thinking and notice that I was exaggerating situations and causing myself stress.
I had to stop myself and ask the question “Is this really how it’s happening or how things will be?” I have actually changed some of my belief systems after coming to some realizations from the Metal Model!
Overall, the Meta Model helped me to slow down and take a look at what I was saying or thinking (or what other people were saying) and determine whether it was something that was going to be a real concern
Here are the top three benefits I have gained from the Meta Model.
1. My first insight that I was ALWAYS comparing myself to non-existent “others.”
I constantly thought or said out loud:
•I want to make more money
I need to do more
I need to be more motivated
There is hardly a time that I was not saying how I needed to be a certain way or act a certain way or have certain things. I never stopped to truly ask the question, “Like whom?”
For instance, I learned to ask myself:
Have more money than whom?
Be more motivated than whom?
Do more than whom?
Once I came to the understanding that I was constantly comparing myself to pretty much no one in particular, and I actually answered those questions, I could see that I wasn’t being realistic at all!
In answering the Meta Model questions I realized, “Wait a minute, that person does really have the type of job I would want to make more money. She never has any time for her child.”
So I got to see the other side of how constantly deleting my comparisons was leaving me to judge myself with no basis for those thoughts. In other words, I was feeling stressed for no reason!
2. The second breakthrough that came from learning the Meta Model has to do with being so hard on myself.
I don’t support myself at all. After using the Modal Operators, I realized that I wasn’t being rational about my own expectations.
I constantly use words like must, mustn’t, and have to in my everyday life. I usually say:
You have to do better at your job
You have to be a better person
You have to get more motivated
It was really hard for me to answer the question, “What would happen if I didn’t?”
It made me recognize exactly what I was doing to myself and, at the same time, when I could answer the question, the outcome of not doing what I pressured myself about wasn’t so bad after all.
I was unrealistic and came to the understanding that I was already doing the best in the first place. I knew in some areas it wouldn’t hurt to push myself a little further, but it was a relief to realize that nothing bad would happen if I didn’t do what I was telling myself to do. And in the long run, it was hurting myself more by pushing myself all the time rather than giving myself support that I needed from me.
Can, can’t, could, couldn’t are my worst habits, though. I am constantly guilty of saying I can’t and couldn’t do things. I actually said to myself before I took on life coach training that I couldn’t do it.
I really like the positive feeling came to me after asking the question, “What would happen if I could?” I realized that if I could do this, I could help so many people and I could grow into a better version of me as well.
My whole life I have used the word shouldn’t or ought to which led me to judge myself. I constantly tell myself “I should be a better person” or “I shouldn’t get involved with something I don’t know anything about.” My lack of confidence was out of control and I realized that this has kept me from doing things that I could be really good at.
It was so helpful to get to the bottom of “According to whom” and “What would happen if I did or didn’t?” In challenging myself with these ideas I realized that I’m the only one saying I can’t do it. I realized that I needed to start thinking more about the outcome before I make judgments or decisions.
3. Mind Reading turned out to be a bad habit for me as well.
I constantly thought that others were thinking the worst of me. I would make judgments on myself before anyone else even had the chance.
Through the Meta Model questions, I learned to let go of quickly jumping to the conclusion that everyone thought I dressed badly or hated my personality. I liked being able to be neutral and not be so quick to think the worst.