By Amy Tan
About two years ago, I started reading lots of self-development books and came across Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP). So with the purpose of wanting to be the best that I can be in whatever I do, I signed up for the NLP Practitioner Course in Oct 2002.
Personally, I have benefitted from the course. I am more patient and calmer when handling ‘challenging’ issues at work. And most of all, it has benefitted the people closest to me, namely, my husband and my children, especially my teenage daughter who is dyslexic.
My kids, especially, started opening up to me when I started the NLP course. After each lesson, I would return home, all excited and would share with them what I had learnt.
One Saturday evening, after returning from the Master Practitioner course, my daughter came to me, in tears and said that she had no confidence in passing her math test the next day, I utilized the NLP beliefs that I had learnt and applied what works for her ‘map’ or view of the world and stopped imposing my “map” on her.
This meant I STOPPED JUDGING, my own perceived limitations and hers.
In the past, I would have answered her in a very impatient tone, “why didn’t you tell your math tutor earlier, mum’s not good at math, why don’t you ask dad…” or something like that.
That night, I took time to listen to what she was saying and asked questions to find out exactly what caused her to make all these comments.
I learnt so much more about my daughter that night—she had very low self-esteem.
According to her, she thought that she was slow and would never complete all the questions in the test paper. And she wished to be someone else and not herself. She wished to be her younger sister, who is very bright. And she wanted to be just like her mum, who is focused in whatever she does. Then she wished to dance confidently like her ‘god-sister’ who would always win at competitions.
I told her that she could be herself, someone who is gentle, warm, helpful and a great artist.
And that she could have the ‘state’ of anyone whom she thinks she wants to be.
She then chose to be in confident, focused and successful–the “state” when she received her PSLE results.
Using NLP skills, I ‘integrated’ and ‘anchored’ for her; meaning I guided her to get conflicting parts of herself to co-operate to help her fulfil her goal. To anchor her, I taught her how to trigger herself to feel focused and confident whenever she needed to. I knew this worked when she told me she had found her life’s purpose.
This gave me a sense of fulfillment and a sense of joy.
The same joy that I felt when I first held her in my arms 14 years ago! That night itself was a lesson to me for I had forgotten the joy of having her.
For her, the outcome of the exercise was that she almost ‘topped’ her class in that math test.
During the course, I discovered many tools that could help me change my behaviour and limiting beliefs. However, what surprised me most is that my children are beginning to enjoy me more. They say that I am less uptight, more tolerant of their behaviour, more fun to be with, tend to ‘go with the flow’ and being ‘present’ with them.
Amy Tan is a former housewife turned businesswoman. She runs home-based jewellery business, selling mainly pearls and semi-precious stones through and is a successful distributor in a local network marketing company.
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