Part Three of Listening
Posted on 1st March 2022 at 12:57
Delete, Distort and Generalise, Part Three of Listening
Our brains and minds are incredibly complex and are processing vast amounts of information every second of the day and night. This has caused a need to separate out the information we need in the moment from the avalanche of information coming in.
Our conscious minds are for navigating at the moment and for planning and for all of the reasoning we are capable of individually. The unconscious or non-conscious mind is where everything gets registered and stored, it never says “Andy, don’t do that again!” It is more likely to say, well, this looks like that time that was scary and we survived by doing this, so let’s do it again.
The ability to create a pattern of behaviour that deals with specific criteria unconsciously is brilliant and very useful, it allows us to focus on our current surroundings while still accessing a wide range of input.
When we create a pattern or belief our mind then begins to filter for evidence to support it. We delete information that does not support the belief and can often twist or distort events to fit, this can often spread across our lives to influence all of our decisions and choices.
Unfortunately, this skill set of creating a response pattern to events we experience begins very early in life. We can have intensely emotional and upsetting experiences as a child and if we have no one to talk it out with we make up a story about it and that becomes the source of an unconscious pattern of behaviour in response to even remotely similar experiences in life afterwards.
These are often referred to as Beliefs or Core Beliefs.
A ‘Core Belief’ is something that has been identified as True, and we then filter for evidence to prove it and we ignore any evidence to the contrary, we can also distort our experiences to support the Belief and when this spreads across our awareness it influences all of our decisions. In NLP parlance this is Delete, Distort and Generalise.
Many of my clients have had experiences as children that they never had the chance to talk through with an adult and they had to make up a story to try to make sense of the event and their part in it. They have often blamed themselves or decided they were not lovable and then have unconsciously filtered for any signs of such things happening again.
I have clients running these patterns well into their sixties and seventies and they feel conflicted about responding in a way that feels like a knee-jerk reaction but not what they would choose to do as an adult.
These patterns and beliefs may have been around so long that they feel like they are true, they are the way life is and the way I am.
However, they are adaptations to life events made as a child and buried in the unconscious mind. It is possible to detect these patterns and make new decisions and create new patterns of behaviour that resonate with and are aligned with the current identity allowing for a congruent lifestyle.
This relates to how well we listen to others, what we hear and even to how we react to our children’s emotions and whether we listen to them.
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