Speaking a New Future Into Existence
How does the idea of ‘living a life you love living’ translate into effectiveness for yourself and for others in your family, community, workplace and your world in general? To create a life you love living, start by imagining a future you want and then live from that future instead of the past. To do that, there are some things to bear in mind and the practice is to continue to speak the future into existence as if it already were so. Even in the face of adverse circumstances and dis-belief you an speak a new future into existence.
One of the very first things I encourage my coaching clients to do is change unresourceful language. As soon as a client begins to ‘reframe’ the problem behavior they came to me with, I coach them to change the old language that was keeping it in place. When a client says, “I have ‘X’ problem,” I coach my client to switch it to past tense. Please start languaging old unwanted behaviors as if they are already in the past; and move far enough into the future that the problem state is no longer an issue for you. For example; “So, you had X problem or issue?” or, “I used to have that issue.”
The next thing I encourage my client to do is imagine a future free of the old unwanted behavior and I refocus them on what they do congruently want in life. The more they are able to imagine the future, fully associated and in as much sensory specific detail as I can get them to imagine, the more the universe seems to conspire to achieve it. In a way, all you have to do from that point is feel the state of the completed future that you have imagined and allowed yourself to feel. It’s a little like strumming a particular chord on a guitar where any other similarly tuned guitar nearby will vibrate with the same chord.
Logically it makes sense that as soon as you experience and anchor the state you want to be in and you can remember how to get back into the state, then you can choose to feel that way at any present moment. It’s called ‘anchoring’ in NLP terminology. You can see what you already imagined you are going to see, and hear the words and tonality of your own voice and that of others, and you can feel the air on your face, and you even smell and taste what you created. Anchoring creates familiar pathways through your neurological system.
Your brain and nervous system simply sort for those qualities in the future as you continue to find yourself choosing to move into that familiar future. Highly successful people, in my study over the years, tend to start with an imagined future and then work backwards at various time increments to determine what they had to do to create the future success they have imagined. It’s the secret of creating the ‘life you love living.’
Program For The Future You Want NOW
In a recent weekend workshop, the first of three objectives was to have participants write goals as outcomes starting from well into the future; so far out in the future that they were long past the tedium of daily concerns and pressures that often cause people to find reasons why it is difficult to accomplish tasks or even get through today. From standing in the distant completed future, most participants noted that it was much easier for them to experience the sensations of success, perhaps because the hard work had already been done.
Let me repeat this. In my modeling of highly successful people, I have noticed that successful people tend to share the pattern of imagining the completed future in as much sensory specific detail as possible and then they work backwards through chosen time increments toward the present. They are then, simply figuring out what would have had to occur in order to achieve the outcome they are already fully experiencing as if were now. They fully associate to the completed future they say they want.
Speak Powerfully From a Compelling Future
This principle cannot be over-emphasized. As a trainer of public speakers, I have found the dynamic to be similar. If you want to inspire a group of people, a charismatic speaker does not speak from the present, using reasonable language to express incremental gains as in speaking about the reasons why IF we (audience) could just make a 3% improvement in performance by the end of the quarter, then we should be able to expect a 4% annual increase. That delivery expresses only incremental change and it is not particularly inspiring to people. People are inspired when they are challenged to go beyond incremental expectations and be part of something that is worthy of contribution of their discretionary effort.
Charismatic speakers speak as if they are standing in an extraordinarily powerful future, inviting us to join them by seeing what they see from their perspective, and they choose words designed to elicit highly emotional, values-based inspirational language that ignites our desires, and makes our dreams seem fully attainable. We, the audience, want to leave behind fears that might have stopped us in the past in favor of calling us to action that will achieve more than we dreamed possible.
By-Pass the Conscious Filters
Charismatic speakers speak from a completed future. They speak from the heart, from an alignment of values to communicate past conscious motivations and into the unconscious mind. They take a stand for something or someone. They self-disclose. They speak past conscious understanding of their audience because they know that people decide, buy, and do what they do, not because they logically figure things out, but because they decide subjectively, based on emotion and then justify their decisions and actions only later with logic.
Language That Influences
Your NLP Practitioner and Coach will encourage you to come up with a list of words that denote the various states you want your audiences to experience whether you are speaking to a large crowd, a family member in need of reinforcement, or to a co-worker in your office. Think about and practice speaking the language you want to use in these various situations. Language inspires, motivates, and can cause inner reflection. Choice of words should tap into the unconscious minds of your listeners.
Imagine for a moment, you want to cause someone to think about something as a fleeting or passing manner. What words and phrases will trigger the effect you want to have? Practice saying these words and allow yourself to think of other words and phrases. Momentary, briefly, passing, fleeting, quickly, can’t hold onto, in a flash, temporary, like sparks, meteoric, short-fused, traveling, moving target, flash in the pan, streaking, in a short time, melting, evaporating, fading, time sensitive, blink of an eye, brief exposure, burst a bubble, yet, etc. Write down the new words you think of.
If you were in a selling situation, you might want to use this type of language to influence belief that the opportunity will be gone soon. As a coach, it is not uncommon for a client to hold onto a negative thought or occurrence unhealthy. If a student in my NLP training class were to say, “I can’t learn these patterns,” I will probably reframe parts of that experience and say, “Oh, so you haven’t learned these patterns, yet!” The client has to consider a new belief that is possible in order to even make sense out of what I just said. Note that the example ignores the limiting belief, “can’t” and that tonality helps with the communication.
If you want to cause a person to think of something as permanent or unchanging use this language: forever, lasting, absolutely, guaranteed, never ending, eternal, always, keeps on, fixed, unvarying, continuing, ceaselessly, stable, perpetual, rooted, stable, without end, etc. Remember to practice saying these words to yourself and write additional words and phrases that can be used when you intention is to communicate permanence.
When you want to bring another person to awareness use words and phrases like these, wonder, realize, understand, stop, focus, visualize, understand, attention, consider, imagine, grok, “Are you aware…”, “I wonder if…”, ”Bring your attention…” Practice these words and phrases for moments when they will be useful.
Forgetting and Remembering
With proper use of language words and phrases you can also causes people to forget and cause them to remember.
Remembering: bring to mind, refresh my memory, recall, retain, encode, indelibly impressed on your mind, keep in mind, last impression, embossed, fixed in mind, bear in mind, etc.
Forgetting: dismiss, put out of mind, think no more about…, lose sight of, slip one’s mind, drop from thought, let it go, can’t recall, lose grip on, unable to recall, etc.
Emotionally Charged Language
In modeling the language used by well-known charismatic speakers like Martin Luther King, Jr., US President John F Kennedy, Mahatma Ghandi, and other famous people, NLP Practitioners noticed that each speaker emphasized the meaning of their message with intonation, hand and body movement and use of highly charged emotional language. They paint a picture of the world they want to bring into existence and speak as if it is already happening now.
In his “I Have A Dream” speech, Martin Luther King, Jr. talked about a time, in the not too distant future, when little black children and little white children would be regarded based on the quality of their character and not judged by the color of their skins. He used imagery and emotionally charged language throughout the speech, looking high above the heads of his audience as he said the words, “I have a dream.” When did he have it; in the present moment about a future he was creating with his words, his voice, and his body. When he talked about “freedom ringing from… the mountain-tops and specific parts of the country, his again lifted his head, gazed out above the crowd and allowed his eyes and head to move from one point to another.
Quantum Language Words and Phrases
Word choice should not be incremental change oriented but quantum change oriented as in the comparisons below:
Incremental Language: Quantum Language:
Better Exceptional, extraordinary, incomparable
Strong Herculean, mighty, impenetrable
Good Excellent, fantastic, incredible
Passing grade Ninety five percentile, breakthrough
Hit a note Symphonic, harmonic
2% increase Beyond all expectations
Note: These word choices are broad generalizations and it depends on your purposes which of them you will use in what specific context.
Speaking From The Completed Future
Since you are speaking as if from a future that has already been achieved, language should match temporally. “There was a time when…” may be referring to the present, the past or anytime in the future up the time you have chosen as the completed future in the understanding. The unconscious mind of your audience automatically makes the adjustment. Now you can take any past problem state, put it far in the past and acknowledge the shifts that have taken place over time to arrive at the future you are speaking from. “I had been talking to Richard and learned that the problem had already been resolved in a way that had had all participants perceive the issues from a fascinating new perspective that melted away previous concerns and made it easy to understand and plan for the many contingencies that had been complicating the issue so that everyone could then relax, focus, and get down to the work of creating the inevitable success we are now seeing. Now doesn’t that feel better?
To break this down, “I had been talking to Richard…” That happened sometime in the past “…problem had already been resolved…” When? Sometime before the previous point in time. “…had had all participants perceive…” “Had,” and “Had” are in the past and in the past before that. Note language, “…fascinating new perspective…” Here we don’t even have to say what solution was agreed upon and the word “..fascinating…” is an emotionally loaded descriptor. “Melted away…” is a great visual that leads of a feeling. “Understand…” and “plan for…” and “…relax, focus, get down to work…” point the way to a new strategy that is being embedded. This is a kind of ‘embedded command.’ “inevitable success,” invites the audience to believe this will happen as if it has to happen and cannot be stopped. “We are now seeing…” is still in the future, but has been transformed into a certainly and presupposes success.
Speaking From the Heart
When people speak from their most deeply felt, closely held values, the result is communication that is aligned, powerful, and persuasive. When speaking from an alignment of values, the charismatic speaker is sharing what he or she feels, not what they think. As a rule, you can include what is happening, what you experienced personally, and how it felt to you. Remember you are speaking about your own experience; and more often using the first person pronoun, “I.” Although it may seem risky; self-disclose. Vulnerability causes people to view you as human, and like themselves. Use as many specific examples as possible to illustrate your points. Paint a picture with your words. Talk in present tense; not past tense as emphasized above, from the completed future. Remember to say what you learned, discovered or realized. Share what new possibility you now see in the future.
Ask yourself: What is important to you about that value you are expressing? When did it become important to you? How did it become important? How does it get violated? How do you want it to be honored?
Stand For Others
Mediocre speakers fall into the bad habit of speaking about people and situations as if it were ‘over there’ somewhere and not present-oriented, associated, and in the now. Charismatic speakers take a stand for other people and the future they are speaking into existence. Once credibility has been established, the charismatic speaker includes people. Let people know that you will be there beside them and that at the moment you are speaking for them. This is about rapport. Meet people at their view of the world first and then lead them to the ‘reframed’ future you want them to follow you into. They need to know you are there already and will be there when things get tough. In my coaching I find that some clients will speak as if they are victims of circumstances until I take a stand for what I see is the greatness that is also in them and that they are capable of living. They may not be able to see it themselves, until you, as the coach, point it out to them.
Program Reality and Influence Others
The bottom line here is that excellent speakers, high performance organizations, and highly successful people in general use language powerfully to program their own reality and influence others.
‘Language programs behavior’ is part of the basic definition of what Neuro Linguistic Programming is all about. When we change our language, we, as neuro linguistic beings, re-pattern our own brain and nervous system with new language to get different results in life than we were getting with the old language. We create the things we focus on, so as you choose to get conscious of how you are programming your behaviors, use language that actually gets you what you want. And consider that it is possible to live from the future you have created by setting goals as outcomes, and keep proactively speaking the future you desire into existence.
Article by: Bill Thomason, March, 2014