NLP Presuppositions are the foundation and principles on which NLP operates
Almost every field of study and every behaviour we undertake is based on some presupposition(s) ~ whether consciously held or not. Presuppositions literally means to "suppose something before .." For instance, (without thinking about it) I pre-supposed that there are people who can read these squiggles, that they can understand what my squiggles mean, and that there is someway I can get the article to them. Based on those presuppositions (and others), I am writing this article. Those presuppositions enable me to write this; they are the foundations that allow me to search for ways of writing and delivering this article.
Similarly, NLP works on a set of presuppositions - a way of thinking that leads to an attitude of mind that yields certain outcomes - which enable NLP to study human behaviours and look for solutions with greater choice and flexibility. NLP-ers may not always be able to state or articulate these presuppositions, yet they underlie the approach, thinking, and interventions that are part of the field of NLP. Presuppositions are assumed to be true - not because they have been proven but because the holding of which opens up greater degree of choice, opportunities, and freedom to enable us to look for workable solutions and to search for models of excellence.
The NLP Presuppositions
- The map is not the territory.
We hold mental maps of the world and we respond to these mental maps rather than directly to the world. As we try to make sense of the world, we make our own maps of reality based on our interpretations of what the world means, what our experiences mean, what people, attitudes, words and tone of voice mean.
- Experience has a Structure
Our behaviors, thoughts, memories have a specific pattern or structure to them. Changing that pattern will change the outcome.
And because of the structure, we can then model excellence and be able to duplicate and teach the same successful structure or pattern to others.
- We already have the resources we need
We already have inside us the mental thoughts, the feelings, the experiences, the memories that when used in specific (new) ways will help us achieve and reach our goals.
- You are ALWAYS communicating
and especially in non-verbal ways.
- Behind every behavior is a positive intention
In its original situation, every behavior arises from some positive intention. These behaviors may not be useful later in life. (Smoking originally to feel accepted; Yelling to get attention; Hitting to get attention.) Separating the action from the positive intent allows new choice and avenues to be made available which could now better satisfy the underlying positive intent.
- People are always doing the best they can based on the resources available to them
We all have our own personal history from which we build our own map of reality. In that map, we have our strengths and limitations and we use those resources as best we can at any one time. When we change and have more choices, and more resources - our actions and behaviors also change.
- Flexibility: if something doesn't work, change it.
Doing what you have always done will give you results you have always gotten. Change what you do and changed results must follow.