Listen to what you know instead of what you fear.
Sometimes I ask myself "what's the point of NLP? Has it really made a difference to my life? Or has it just been an expensive self-indulgence?'
I think it's a good thing to question and to listen to the answer. After all, what might have started out as a good idea, half way through, it might be the worst of all things. And there's no point wasting time about it, if it's not working, it's time to do something different. Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different outcomes (a misquote from Einstein).
NLP's approach to phobias is perhaps one of the most effective and life-changing. I've seen a woman too terrified of snakes to even look at a picture of one in a magazine, within 20 minutes of being on stage with Richard Bandler stroking a patient boa constrictor. My Boy, whom I love dearly had the most awesome girlie scream when confronted with spiders. I've got pictures of him after his NLP training, holding a tarantula called Rosie, looking very pleased with himself.
But what have I experienced?
Well, I'm not a fan of heights or tight spaces. I tried camping once. It wasn't a success thanks to the slope we were pitched on, the chilly August and the fact that I couldn't sleep in the tent with it zipped up. I didn't freak out, or fall apart. I just made it very clear that the tent had to stay unzipped. Never mind the cold and damp.
I've not been keen on heights. Again, I don't freak out, or fall apart, but I let my general unhappiness be known. I have been to the top of Cardiff Castle, not an entirely happy experience.
So, when I was invited to go on a tour of Ely Cathedral, I was curious. I was asked if I would be worried about heights and tight places, because there would be both. There are about 170 steps in very tight conditions to take you to the top of the Cathedral which is about 120 ft. I said I was up for it. And I was.
Going up, it wasn't the very tight space which was the issue. Put it this way, if there is ever a space to elicit a freak-out response, heading up to look at the Octagon is it. It starts out reasonable, but on the third leg of the ascent, the staircase becomes a very, very small space with people above and behind you. No, the issue for me was my level of fitness i.e. the heaving chest and the burning calves. My Goddess do I ever need to sort out an exercise regime. 170 bloody tiny steps to walk up and down again!
Once up there, I looked out towards Cambridge and across the fens. I enjoyed looking down on a nesting dove and at the people walking around the Cathedral grounds. I was laughing and joking. In other words, I was fine.
I was comfortable and happy (a bit chilly, because obviously it's March weather in the beginning of June) and I had a lovely time.
Here's the thing: I had to consciously notice this difference in my response. Big deal? It's more like a little deal. It was something that I used to do, and now I don't do it any more. A bit like my smoking. So the answer is still a resounding yes, NLP is good for me and I still believe it's a great thing for other people too.