Monday, 22 October 2012

Which Way is Up?

Within the Meta Model in NLP, there's a couple of interesting concepts in the way people have a sliding scale of referencing their beliefs either internally or externally. In other words, do people look outside of themselves for their truths, or do they base their decisions and actions on what they think and feel? Hands up if you've ever had lunch with an externally referencing person, they go around the table asking everyone what they're having before making their decision about what they're going to eat (and are usually unhappy with their choice).

Actually, I have been that person. 

I have been the person who reality checks things with other people, rather than trusting my own judgement. The problem with this approach is manyfold. For a start, you have to trust that the people around you fully understands what's happening and they have to have your best interests at heart. I've been very lucky, I have been able to trust the judgement of those closest to me. 

But by far the biggest problem with this, is the lack of trust in myself. When I was going outside of myself for wisdom, what I was really saying is that I didn't trust myself to make the best decisions for me. This reinforces feelings of worthlessness and envy. Neither of which are of any use.

Things really began to shift for me, the more time I spent sitting with my feelings, no matter how uncomfortable or unpleasant they were. But the real change came when I started to accept myself, when I stopped giving myself a hard time, when I started enjoying spending time on my own.

Accepting yourself is one of the easiest things to say...and one of the hardest things to do. It means you take responsibility for yourself fully and you stand by the good, bad and ugly decisions you've made. It's a process, not the destination. Because, like everyone else, you still have days you wish would never end, and the days when you regret opening your eyes and getting out of bed. It means you take control of your internal dialogue, you catch the thoughts where you undermine yourself. It means you start owning up to the great things you do, the goodness in your Life and start taking pride in your accomplishments, no matter how seemingly trivial.

The trouble with constantly referencing externally, is that whilst you're stuck in that mentality, it's easy to slip into believing that other people have it much easier than you, that people have better and more fulfilling jobs, that other couples have better relationships; you slip into sour grapes.

Personally, I don't see the sense in that kind of thinking and it confounds me when I do see it. I think it's narrow and mean-spirited. I'm having enough challenges with my Life as it is, I sure as heck wouldn't want someone else's Life and their problems. You might think that other people have it easy, but in my experience those other peoples' Perfect Lives are their own personal Hells. 

I've also got too much to be getting on with to worry about what other people are doing. The time spent bitching about other people, could be spent in more pleasurable pursuits. Like hugging. Hugging and cuddling are the best remedies for feeling crap. Or going for a walk. Or just taking a few moments to breathe deeply. The attitude of gratitude is a fantastic remedy. Because once you start counting your blessings, you'll find it difficult to stop, even when the going gets challenging. Learning to be kind to yourself allows you to be kind to other people and about other people.

And I don't know about you, but I sure as hell think the World could do with more kindness.


  1. Well, I've been that person too, but sometimes it's so I can suggest we don't have the same thing so that we can swap tastes. And sometimes it's to make sure I'm not pigging out on three courses if the other person is just having a modest starter.

    I think most people are kind and lovely. Maybe I mostly know people like you.

    1. My ideal meal out is tapas...a little bit of everything...

      I think I'm the lucky one. I have good friends around me.

      I think you are good people.


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