Fear, the Magnifying Glass and NLP
Written by listed counsellor/psychotherapist: Lena Fenton
27th November, 2009
One of the main issues that I deal with in my work on a daily, if not hourly basis, is fear. However, many people would not recognise fear as such because it is a cunning emotion.
Mostly, fear manifests itself in reluctance, rationalisation or denial. It is like a magnifying glass that distorts as well as amplifies whatever you are looking at. Whilst you are looking through the magnifier you forget what you are looking through because you are so focused on whatever you are seeing. Or when you wear glasses for reading they magnify the print so that you can see clearly but in the process you forget that you are wearing glasses. Fear makes you see things in an enlarged and distorted way. So much so that a tiny, harmless creature looks like an enormous monster that is most definitely going to harm you in some way. Even a fly magnified many times is really quite a terrifying sight.
This same thing happens to us psychologically. This is because we view the world through the lens of our subjectivity. The event or item we are viewing appears inside our minds with all our past experiences, emotions and notions attached to it. By the time our brains have finished processing all of this, a tiny midge flying around the room becomes a monster to be feared to the point of causing severe disruption in every part of us. For example, we may have an anxiety attack (especially if we are phobic of flying insects) or stop what we are doing and start trying to kill it in case it bites us. In the mean time we spill our drinks, break a glass and our partner starts telling us not to be so stupid. We have an argument and go to bed upset. All because we feared a bite half the size of a pin prick.
Other examples may be the teenager who seems unmotivated to go out and get a job, who perhaps is really quite frightened of facing the ‘big bad world’ out there, or the social phobic who has no friends but constantly complains that s/he’s lonely. They would benefit from examining the magnifying glass they are using, perhaps with the help of a life coach.
After many years of studying human behaviour in one form or another I am fully convinced that what is most important for each of us is how we see things on the inside. I also know that few of us are self aware enough to recognise how we make distorted representations of the world around us
This is the most important contribution of NLP technology. Through its exercises NLP enables you to radically alter your internal viewpoint. By looking at the way you represent things to yourself, an NLP coach can truly help you to change at a fundamental level.
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