Pulled Between Self-Knowledge and Influence

16 September 2022

By Linda Ferguson

Spring is a time of opposites. Feasts and fasting. Death and rebirth. The longing for green and the sting of allergies. Long weekends and long COVID.

How do you feel about being pulled in two directions at once? On the one hand, many NLP practices are about congruence, the alignment of all parts of you towards a single outcome. We don’t achieve this by cancelling out half of the equation. We look for a frame big enough to hold differences and strong enough to withstand the tension between them. Think of the centre of the Venn Diagram.

The particular tension that energizes NLP is the one between self-knowledge and influence. People come either expecting that they will get to know themselves better or that they will become more persuasive. The truth is more complicated. Self-knowledge and influence are the two poles of the same spectrum. You need to grow them both to grow either of them.

I know how much you want to manage your emotions better. And I know how much you want to know what to say to get other people to agree with you more often. Some want to build relationships and some want to build sales. But it’s all the same process.

The way to what you want is not a straight line. It’s a spiral between self-knowledge and influence, between knowing what you want and changing what you do, between intention and connection. Look at the diagram below and imagine that to grow either circle, you need to grow them both simultaneously.

It’s hard to hold in your mind but less hard to hold in your experience. That’s why I encourage you to come to one of our free evening programs and practice. Experiment with memories and conversations so you start to get a feel for the balance you have now and the growth you want to make happen.

Get a little bit confused. Laugh about it. Grow. Repeat.

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