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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