Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Getting unstuck: Logical levels

One of the presuppositions of NLP is the Law of Requisite Variety, which is a fancy way of saying that more choices are better than few choices. If you're stuck, it may be because you're... well, stuck. You need more choices.

If you have two choices, that's better than one, but you may still feel stuck. To reach a comfortable sense of flexibility and freedom, you'll want to have at least three.

What are some ways to find new choices?

NLP has a model called logical levels you can use to explore any situation in which you need more choices. Making change at any level can affect the whole system.

Level 1: Environment. Environment is everything around you. Nothing occurs in a vacuum. Becoming aware of the environment may seem extremely basic. Why bother?

The more familiar you are with the environment, the more habituated you become.

Have you ever had a clock that chimed every hour? How long did it take before you no longer noticed it? Or have you ever taped a reminder to your computer, refrigerator, or mirror, and over time forgotten to look at it so that it became "invisible"? Take a moment to quiet your mind, ask some questions, and explore this first, most basic level.

What's the context of the challenge? Where does it occur? (If your answer is, "EVERYWHERE!" choose one specific example and start there.) Is it confined to home or office? Certain locations? Who are the people involved? What time does it occur? Mornings? Afternoons? Evenings? Weekdays or weekends? What do you notice about the surroundings? What sounds do you notice? Where are they coming from? What's the quality of light? Do you notice a lot of movement, or are things quiet? The more facets of the environment you can notice, the more options you'll have when it comes time to make the changes you desire.