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Neurogical Levels in NLP I.

Hypnosys & NLP

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One of my favourite exploratory models in NLP is Neurological Levels as developed by Robert Dilts. Dilts identified six different levels of experience corresponding to six different levels of neurological ‘circuitry’. Before reading about the levels, choose a behaviour (playing a sport, eating, and writing coaching tips) or a life area (money, sex, relationships) to explore:

Environment - This level defines the external context for any behaviour or event. It asks the question “where, when and with whom does (whatever you’re exploring) take place?”

Behaviour -    This is the level of action, which asks the question “what specifically do you do when you’re engaged in (whatever you’re exploring)?” Behaviour is made up of the specific actions or reactions we take. Regardless of our capabilities, behaviour describes what we actually do at the level of conscious action.

Capability - This level answers the question “How do you do (whatever it is you’re exploring)? What capabilities and skills do you tap into when you engage in the area of your life you have chosen to explore?” Every behaviour we use is a subset of the area of our capabilities and skills. When I write, I am (hopefully) utilizing the skills of creativity, self-reflection, seeing the world from multiple perspectives, critical thinking, and typing.  Essentially, the capability level looks at the thinking that underpins behaviour, the mental maps and knowledge, plans or strategies a person has access to when they’re doing what they’re doing. Some behaviours and thinking patterns have been repeated so often they’ve become automatic (like getting angry, having low self esteem). Maybe it’s time to question them!

Beliefs and Values – Having explored the where, what, and how of your chosen context, the next question to ask is ‘why’? Asking yourself why (whatever you’re exploring) is important will assist you in identifying your values; asking yourself ‘what’s true about (whatever you’re exploring)?’ will begin to bring out your beliefs.
Our beliefs and values direct us and act a bit like a dual purpose valve both allowing and preventing certain things. Beliefs can be both permissive and limiting. Our beliefs and values provide the reinforcement that supports or denies our capabilities.

Identity - Your sense of self and the way that you see yourself that determines who you are. Who you are, the persona you inhabit, and how you define yourself has a huge impact on your life. Our sense of identity encompasses a vast constellation of beliefs and values about the world, and is a powerful key to unlocking transformational change. Ask yourself “Who am I when I am engaged in (whatever you’re exploring)?”

Spirit or Purpose - Spirit is my connection to a higher power – my sense of being part of a greater whole. Spirit may be your sense of mission, higher purpose, or your connection to God or your connection to that which is beyond your scope as a human. Choose the language that works best for you and ask yourself “Who or what else is involved in (whatever you’re exploring)? How does it fit in with the big picture of my life? How does it fit in with the big picture of my life on earth?”

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Neurological Levels have been represented in many ways. Here are a few of the more common.

NLP and Values

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Understanding Feelings Through NLP

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People generally attempt to describe their feelings in terms of pictures, metaphors or internal dialogue instead of actual physical sensations. So before we go any further, answer this question: "How do you feel, right now?"

Here are some of the most common types of answer to the question:

  • Judgements and Comparisons (words like good, bad, awful, fantastic, better or worse etc.) Remember – these are not feelings, they are descriptions.
  • Analogies such as "I feel an elephant is sitting on my chest", "like the cat that got the cream" or even ‘I feel like sh%t!" Again – these are not feelings, they’re descriptions.
  • Neutralizers are words like "fine", "OK", and "not bad" are also ways of keeping our feelings at a distance (i.e. like descriptions)
  • Emotions (which also are not feelings). They are generalized descriptions of a set of sensations. "I feel happy" or "I feel sad" is a step closer to your actual feelings but are also descriptions.

So what is a feeling?

A feeling is an internal sensation, like ‘warm’, ‘tingly’, ‘cool’, ‘tight’, or ‘loose’. You may feel one thing in one part of your body and something completely different in another, though we are often only aware of one dominant sensation in any given moment.

While you may prefer certain feelings to others, there is no inherent good, bad, right or wrong to what you’re feeling – a feeling is a feeling is a feeling. How you interpret those feelings however has a huge impact on how you experience life.

Have an NLP Coach who can train you to use feelings for your own good:
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Learn more about how to handle negative feelings via NLP from other articles:

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Being able to turn negative feelings into positive motivations would be an advantage in a sales environment. 

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If, as a result, the patient escapes the negative thought patterns and dysfunctional behaviors, the negative feelings may be relieved over time.

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