NLP and the Structure of Outcomes

Knowing what you want is the first step in the NLP 4-Step Success Formula. Looking at the gap between where you are and where you want to be is the best way of identifying your outcomes and the path to your success.

Perhaps you want a promotion, or to have more money or responsibility.

Perhaps you want a better relationship with your family or spouse.

Whatever it is, there is clearly a gap between where you are and where you want to be or you wouldn;t even be considering change.

The NLP 4-Step Success Formula is a good approach to adopt in achieving your success, but it does require you to have some fairly well defined outcomes.

The characteristics of outcomes are very important and NLP defines 9 criteria to consider when defining your outcomes:

  1. Positive – Your outcomes should be framed in a positive way so that you are moving towards a goal rather than away from a painful situation. Eg state your outcome as ‘I will be have a positive bank balance’ rather than ‘I will be free from debt’. The first lets your brain focus on finding more money while the second just registers the term ‘debt’ in your unconscious mind which then works towards creating more debt.

  2. Detail – Your outcomes should be vividly defined so that you will know when you have achieved them. You need to see movement from where you are to where you want to be, and you need to know when you get there.

  3. Specific – Your should be specific on where, when and with whom you want to achieve your outcome. This builds clarity for the unconscious mind to focus on.

  4. Resourced – You need to have or be able to acquire the resources you need for your outcomes. These are normally in the form of Money, People, Personal characteristics, Items and examples of behaviour to follow.

  5. Self control and discipline – You need to remain committed to the outcomes you have defined and applying effort towards achieving them.

  6. Ecology – Your outcomes need to fit into your life without any negative impact on you, your family and the environment.

  7. Aligned to your identity – Your outcomes need to be coherent with who you are. That doesn’t mean you cannot reinvent yourself, but it does mean that the outcomes you chose need to reflect the person you truly are or want to be. An outcome that isn’t consistent with your underlying values and beliefs is unlikely to endure.

  8. Coherent – Your outcomes need to be aligned with each other. There is little coherence in outcomes that are opposed. For example, if Outcome 1 is to ‘relax more by drinking alcohol’ and Outcome 2 is ‘Increase the quality of my health’ then one or both of these outcomes will not be achieved.

  9. Put into action – Anthony Robbins suggests that you need a massive action plan to achieve outcomes. I suggest that a ‘Managed Action Plan’ is a better way to go. Too much change too quickly can be disturbing and may not be very ecological (point 6 above). Better to achieve outcomes in a manner that is controlled and at a pace that you can assimilate and consolidate rather than making too radical a change with a negative impact.

By setting your outcomes in line with these criteria, you are more likely to achieve them and to maintain that change for the long term.

Dare to Aspire


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Filed under Improvement, NLP

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