The Christmas season is well upon us – whether you love it or loath it, it presents many opportunities to practice your NLP skills. I love Christmas and am especially looking forward to spending this Christmas with my 18 month old twin nephews in the Sun of Florida. This will be different on many levels – we’re usually sat around the open fire at Christmas in Devon and what will I wear on Christmas day if I’m not wearing my big Christmas Jumper?! I’ll be around my Sister in Laws family this Christmas – I wonder what their traditions will be, how do they usually celebrate Christmas?
What Traditions or Patterns do you run at Christmas? Do they cause you pain or pleasure?
Humans are creatures of habit – whether it’s when the decorations can go up (apparently the Christmas Trees are suppose to be put up today), what time on Christmas day we are ‘allowed’ to open presents, what we eat on Christmas day, the types of sweets you have in the house (are you a Roses or Quality Street fan?!), the way you cook your Brussels sprouts ….. we run our life by patterns and programmes that run in our mind at the unconscious level. As many of our delegates know, most of our patterns don’t cause us a problem – in fact traditions passed down the generations create a sense of belonging of connectedness – traditions no-one challenges because we all know and love the way we do things ‘around here’. However what happens when your rules or patterns are different to the next person (eek!) – the reality however is that we are all different and run our lives by different ‘rules’ – and this can be exposed at Christmas.
Whether you like tradition and for things to be the same, or if you prefer to try new things and to mix things up – it’s always useful to remember that it’s simply our preferences that are different (Master Practitioners will know this as one of the Meta Programmes). If someone says or does something that grates you, here’s my tip – notice it and them ask yourself is what they’re doing really a problem for you? If yes, then ask yourself what is it that you struggle with in that person that’s a reflection of yourself? – take a learning (which will allow the negative emotion to dissipate). Remind yourself you have a choice and that you can choose your response in any situation – our students will recall the cause-effect equation – practice taking responsibility!
Christmas is a great time to practice NLP …
So you’re sat at Christmas with people you maybe only see a few times a year – Great Aunt Joy who you’ve not seen for years, the relative that just has to look at you and you get that reaction (you know the one!), or indeed Uncle George who just blurts out what he thinks as he watches the TV or the children playing and you find yourself trying to get him out of a hole that he totally unaware he’s even dug for himself! Students on the NLP Practitioner courses will recall we talk about how people we know well and ‘click’ with are naturally in rapport with – so you could use Christmas to notice how people are building and breaking rapport!
While Christmas should be great fun and a wonderful event that draws the family together, it can sometimes have its problems too – so why not set your intention to use Christmas as a time to practice your NLP skills and make it beneficial for you as well as a great time of year – you can use works parties, Christmas gathers and more to practice your skills on lots and lots of people – so use the opportunity to practice! You could ….
- Make and break rapport with even the most belligerent relatives
- Reframe even the most bizarre behaviour to something interesting and amusing
- Use specific questions to help people get to the root of the problem when they generalise that everything is wrong or not going right
- Understand and appreciate personal differences that would drive others nuts
- Practice managing your emotional state if you become challenged
- Simply be more at ease with yourself and have more fun…
- … what else can you think of?
There’s no time like the present …
What’s more important at Christmas – Presents or Presence? – an interesting thought … Christmas for many has turned into a commercial affair with lots of gifts exchanged, however, just stop and think about what’s more valuable – presents or presence? – we are a nation of time poor people these days and the opportunity at Christmas of time together, to talk, to reconnect is invaluable. Those of you who do mindfulness or medication, or simply like to take time to relax over Christmas – enjoy it – it’ll be gone before you know it so make the most of it (I love making time for Board Games – it’s a real treat to be playing Monopoly with those that are close to me!) Maybe there is someone you can think of that might not get the luxury of someone being present this Christmas – what could you do to help? a phone call? a visit? – could you make time for someone this Christmas – I’m sure it would make the world of difference.
Wishing you and yours a Wonderful Christmas …
Whatever Christmas brings for you, set your intention to make it magical, continue learning, growing and sharing the love with those close to you during the festive period. Oh, and don’t burn that Christmas Tree
We’d would like to take the opportunity to wish all our delegates, customers and clients a wonderful Christmas – may you have a fabulous festive break when you get there and wonderful start to the New Year.