One of my favorite NLP techniques; this post gets lots of attention even three years later. It is such a mind eye opener and it stops the stories that fuel our suffering “dead in their tracks”! So powerful, it bears sharing again…
I attended an NLP/Hypnosis meetup this weekend and was introduced to this fabulous new tool that I’ve been dying to pass on to you all. It’s called — just the facts. First, bear with me, while I take us on a little side trip to illustrate the power of this process. You’ve heard of the path of least resistance? Well, strap yourselves in for a bumpy BUT short ride down the path of *most* resistance, Bethie-style.
I leave the meetup, get in the car and immediately call home, since the plan is to now go home, pick up my daughter and leave for a concert. Back story is I don’t like to be late and I don’t like to be rushed. So I’m checking in with my husband on the status of our daughter getting ready, since we have to leave in one hour. Not only does she have to get ready but she has work to be done before we leave. My husband says that my daughter’s not up yet. It’s 3 o’clock in the afternoon. I’m gobsmacked. I’m telling my husband we’ll never make it on time. Not only that, I’m saying she often does this, she’s rarely on time lately. I explain how I’ve been struggling all week with getting her out the door on time for things. And then I’m thinking, I just know she’ll do a half ass rush job at the work she has to do. And who sleeps ’til 3pm? Wait, there’s more … if we don’t get there early, parking will be hard to find, I’ll be stuck in concert traffic, yada, yada, yada.
I hang up the phone. And then I just said STOP. For crying out loud, just STOP. I stop and take a deep breath and remember I just left a meetup. What did I just learn in the meetup? I will tell you what I just learned and how I used it.
What actually happened here? Just the facts. What are the facts and nothing but the facts, m’am?
FACT: I called home and was told that my daughter is not up yet.
That’s all that happened. That’s the facts, period.
All that other stuff is just blah, blah, blah. A story I made starring me and my unwitting daughter and the script went like this — well you heard it all already. Did any of it serve me or her? Are they giving out any awards for the one person who can get their panties in a wad quicker than anyone else? And if they were, would I even want that award? Well I might, for you know what and giggles, but no, I don’t really want to be the fastest panty wad twister on earth.
Here’s what I want. Here’s what I always want and that is to feel good and happy and clear. So I just learned a new tool to do just that. And I like this even better than Byron Katie’s: is it true? because it just by passes all of that. I’m still asking a story if it’s true in the BK model. Why get vested in the story at all, why not separate it out altogether and get down to the bare minimum. What are the facts? The rest is all a choice I make to have it mean this or that.
Immediately I realized how this could help a friend who doesn’t really get along with her boss. Every time she gets an email or a phone call from this boss requesting such and such, she goes right into the story of what that means. And it’s often a story that doesn’t serve her; it’s a story that leaves her feeling less than and wanting to change jobs. So what do you do in that case? You take the facts only. Boss calls. Boss wants to review my document. Boss has made these changes to my document.
What does it mean? It means nothing and everything, depending on what you tell yourself about it. Strip it all down to its bare minimum, just the facts. Before you, me, we get caught up in the whirlwind of what it all means, just stop, take a deep breath. Ask yourself: what are the facts? Look at the facts and decide, choose selectively, mindfully what you want to make of it, if anything at all. Or choose just for this one moment, choose to have it mean nothing at all. You can always come back to that subject and plaster it with all the meaning you want, but for now consider halting all the story about what *anything* means. Feel the pure relief in that.
Thankfully I drove home sans the irritation over potentially being late or rushed because I realized it was all a resistance, filled to the brim, story. And by the way, we got to the concert, no traffic, found good close parking and had plenty of time to spare. We had a great conversation standing in line chatting with people we’d never met before but found so many crazy synchronistic things we shared in common, including the names and breeds of our dogs, the names of our kids, it just went on and on.
Things just flow and line up so much easier when I take the time to line up myself. In my heart, I always want to be in my corner. In all of our hearts, we all want to be in our own corner, our own good friends. Just the facts and nothing but the facts, is a great and easy, user friendly tool to use and is definitely a keeper in my tool box.