Swish Patterns help re-directing negative thinking in a more resourceful direction
Ever find yourself reacting in an unhelpful way? Find your emotions running away with you and before you know it you’re in a “right state”? Wish you could redirect your thinking?
In NLP we use a technique called a Swish Pattern to help provide more choice. A Swish Pattern is a technique that provides the unconscious mind with a choice; the old behaviour or a new more compelling behaviour. For a Swish Pattern to work, all that matters is that it’s an exact behaviour that you would like to change – a behaviour that happens in a specific context that you’d like to replace with the choice of a new positive and empowering response. Swish Patterns are quick and easy.
Have you ever tried to change a habit for example? Some people say that it takes 21 days to change a habit – that’s if you’re trying to do it consciously – in this case you’re consciously trying to interrupt and disrupt a pattern of behaviour that runs at the unconscious level. From previous blogs we know how hard it can be for the conscious mind to change and irrupt the processes at an unconscious level. The key to making fast and lasting changes is to work at the unconscious level. A habit is probably the most conscious of the strategies your mind runs and even here whilst you may be aware of the outcome, you won’t be aware of the steps that took place at the unconscious level that got you to that point, right? (take biting your nails for example).
Maybe you’re one of the many people who find presentations a challenge, perhaps you feel uneasy and for some quite sick as you walk into the room to deliver the presentation – would you prefer to perhaps feel excited and energised instead? Sports personalities have long used Swish Patterns to help on the pitch/tee/ring … instead of being motivated by nerves (which is a subset of fear, and fear harms the body) they often perform better if motivated by anticipation, excitement or some other positive emotional state – that’s much better fuel for the body. Perhaps you have children about to sits exams – and they could install a new way of preparing for the exam hall – with no nerves.
Responses are automatically triggered by a cue (i.e. you don’t consciously decide to think or act in a particular way, it just happens – just like when the Doctor bangs your knee with a hammer and your leg shoots up). With a Swish Pattern, once you know the trigger you can give yourself a choice, a more compelling choice and thus your thinking is re-directed in a more resourceful way every time you experience that specific ‘trigger’ in a given context.
Richard Bandler first wrote about Swish Patterns in his book ‘using your brain for a change’ which was published in 1985, based on seminars Bandler had conducted in 1982. So, Swish Patterns have a long history, and are still as useful to day as they were back then.
What if you had a choice in terms of how you unconsciously directed your thinking, and in turn your emotions? What if you would spare yourself the heartache or energy drain of ‘the emotion that ran away with you’ and confidently knew you had a more compelling choice in the future to do something else instead? You could have a new compelling choice, imagine what a difference that would make …
Want to learn more about Swish Patterns?
We use Swish Patterns in our coaching with clients to help them quickly and effectively provide more choice at an unconscious level, and it’s also one of the sub modality techniques we teach on our NLP Practitioner courses, which mean our delegates not only get to install compelling choices in themselves but also learn and practice using Swish Patterns so they are confident using them to help other people.