Probability Versus Fact
March 13th, 2013 by Mike Whittam Dip.I.pch, NLP Master Practitioner, TFT-Alg
Probability is quite often replaced by the words 'I know'. How many times have we heard someone say something along the lines of, "I'm not getting in that lift, I know it will get stuck if I'm in it...oh, and I'm claustrophobic!" Well, if we knew what is probably, or in this case, definitely going to happen, we would all be lottery millionaires!
Language and what goes on in our minds is unique to each of us and this is reflected in our behavior, especially if we have a fear or phobia. If we analyse what we say externally or internally to ourselves, I wonder how we might change these words and sometimes images, to state things more positively. How much of what we say to ourselves is actually fact?
Facts can be pleasant, a sigh of relief, bad news, unnerving and more, but you know exactly where you stand don't you?
I do a lot of work freeing clients (including children) from fears & phobias. These may have appeared all of a sudden or got worse over many years. Let's look at one of the most common - a fear of flying. Some clients are petrified and some just don't like flying and all want to reduce their anxiety level so they can enjoy their holidays or travel for work.
A fear of flying is a good example of how we can build up a picture of probability in our minds...I can't get out if something happens, what if an engine stops working, what if there's turbulence or we get struck by lightning, what if... If we keep this going and play this negative film to ourselves enough times, we can make ourselves really, really scared!
The facts. Flying IS the safest form of transport, maintenance always has a 'safety first' approach (grounding of the Dreamliner 787 until everything is 100% safe is a perfect example) and would you really want to get out at 35,000 feet? Also, planes are built for turbulence - all facts.
Whatever our fear or phobia, we have the choice of playing the probability game in our minds or the more positive, relaxing and enjoyable film based on facts. Sometimes we need a bit of help to get rid of the negative and send us off down the right and positive road based on facts and when we beat that fear or phobia it's a great feeling. I should know as an ex-claustrophobic!