How are metaphors useful in NLP?
Personally I have found metaphors to be the most powerful, transformational and colourful ways of delivering messages to the deepest part of somebody else’s being.
I first discovered this when delivering a metaphor to 6-year-old girl who asked the question to me what is life all about?
Although I was really honoured by this question, I then felt the weight of responsibility of having to tell a small being about all the different variations of life, the complexities, responsibilities the intricacies of the intelligence of life – and that’s a really really difficult thing to do.
So how do you make metaphors fly and what are they really?
In the truest sense, metaphors are not really stories as we have come to know them as. Metaphors are dramatical descriptions of something which describes a feel for the colour or the essence of them.
For instance, technically a metaphor could be “the clouds appeared like velvet curtains above a ceiling sky”.
Yet the way that we use metaphor in NLP are alike stories – but not just normal stories, these are stories that have certain instructions to the unconscious mind of how, where and when to do something.
The reason for metaphors is that it cuts down the amount of words that you have to tell clients to get a behavioural change. When people are interested in what you do and you say ‘Well yes. I’m trained in NLP and Hypnosis’ and they say to you “What is NLP?”, you may feel just a little daunted by that question!
And you think back to the 147 page manual. hinders of MP3’s, many videos and you ask yourself “Where do you want me to start? Which bit? The philosophy of it? The actual techniques of it? What am I going to tell you?”
When you have got a nice library of metaphors for specific people and specific questions. It’s going to save you hours and hours of talking.
Somebody asked me about my course, The ABC of Abundant Living, and whats it all about?
The ABC is real simple and the course is really simple. It’s like gardening. First thing you want to do is have a look at the land. What is the land like? What is the reality? What is actually there? So we have a look at what is actually there on the course. What is your life like? We have a look – are there unwanted rocks in it. Are there unwanted weeds in it?
Then we have a look at what you actually want. What do you want in your garden? Do you want roses, do you want a waterfall, and do you want a pond. What do you want there? Then we do some processes which enable you to take out the weeds and take out the rocks and make the soil completely fertile so it is ready. Then we do the process of planting the seeds – because if you think about it logically, you can’t plant seeds on weeds. It just doesn’t work. You can’t plant seeds on rocks either, it doesn’t work.
So the first bit is getting the ground prepared. Then we can start looking at your goals and your aspirations and start planting those into that fertile soil which is your nervous system. The seeds are your thoughts, your desires. Then it is just a question of showing you how to use your mind processes to water those plants. That is your job afterwards. To keep watering those seeds, keep on watering those plants. That is basically the course.
So that was about a two minute story about the ABC (or Law of Attraction) course. There aren’t many more questions after that. They might just ask what techniques are you using perhaps. Yes I’m using some NLP techniques, some time based techniques. Maybe even some hypnosis if that is what required on the weekend. Also the extra bits will align you to your core purpose in life.
And what of the six year old that I had to explain the workings of the universe to? I simply gave an analogy of how a plant grows, to how life evolves. Everything is in the seed, yet it grows one branch by one, learning as it grows. That young child’s asthma stopped from that day and has not returned as far as I know.
I have more sections on Metaphor in the upcoming book on Hypnosis that should be out this year.