NLP for Pushing Ourselves

Filed Under (NLP life coaching) on 01-03-2019

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Despite the advice of coaches, fitness, and personal development professionals to push ourselves to achieve more etc. I’ve found that pushing ourselves is not effective for a high number of people. Why? Here’s one NLP perspective on pushing ourselves. 

Is pushing good or bad?

If we push an object away from us, the word push is neutral – neither positive nor negative. Pushing will be good if we want an object to be farther from where we’re pushing it from. But in a metaphorical sense, i.e. pushing ourselves to achieve something, the word push will have a positive connotation for some people and a negative one for the rest.

Since various professionals have heavily been pushing the metaphor of pushing ourselves as a good thing for decades, many people will take the positive connotation of the word ‘push’ in the metaphorical sense for granted and won’t question it.  Others will see it differently. And their point is just as valid. But can you blame them?  If you were to push someone to do something, how might the person react? S/he would either oblige for a while to appease you and go back to his/her ways. Or s/he would shut off and even rebel against being pushed.

NLP shows that we work the same way. If we push ourselves, we’ll either comply for a while and then go back to our old ways or we’ll shut off and rebel. This is why pushing ourselves is not effective. Another important factor at play is our internal dialog – what we say to ourselves. Pushing in the metaphorical sense is usually negative, because pushing indicates that we must do something that we’re not doing. Pushing has an aura of order, failure, ruling, thus negativity. Our internal voice pushing us will shout the words must, should, ought to, or even push. But these words can carry the caveat ‘…but I somehow don’t manage to’.

When will pushing work?

Pushing ourselves will only work if we reframe and rename pushing to encouraging and encourage ourselves with words with only positive connotation. Plus if all other factors necessary for successful acting on what we were formerly pushing ourselves to do are equal. But all factors are rarely equal, thus even encouraging ourselves will only work if all other factors are set absolutely right. And this is a domain where an NLP coach can help.

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