Unless you are already a highly experienced NLP practitioner, this technique may be inappropriate for you to try on your own. We suggest that you work with a very competent NLP practitioner who is very mature in his or her own personal work. Conflicting beliefs can cause self-sabotage and prevent people from assertively pursuing their goals. They can undermine relationships of all kinds. This technique assists in aligning beliefs so that they are accurate and synergistic.
Select and state an issue that involves conflicting beliefs.
a. Examine your personal issues, and identify one that has conflicting beliefs. State the beliefs as specifically as you can. One of the beliefs is likely to be irrational, so it may be a little embarrassing to express it. For example, you might, deep down at a gut level, believe that an intimidating person that you have to deal with is capable of destroying your self-esteem. Your increased heart rate when you encounter this person is a good sign that there is an irrational fear.
b. State the beliefs as specifically as you can, starting with the words “I believe that _______ , but at the same time I also believe that (rational alternative belief).” State any irrational beliefs without censoring or altering it. The more irrational it sounds, the better.
Identify the ideal outcome for this issue.
a. Identify an ideal future outcome and time frame for it.
Clearly identify the ideal future outcome of this issue. The best outcome for this purpose is an outcome that one of the beliefs is interfering with. Select a good time in the future for the ideal outcome to take place.
b. Generate and anchor a related resource state.
Imagine that you are stepping into that point in the future. What are you like, as the person experiencing that outcome? What other changes have taken place? Especially notice what it is like to experience the more successful belief fully liberated and engaged. Select a trigger for this state and anchor it.
c. Imagine what you overcame to achieve the outcome.
Now look back and see what obstacles you overcame to reach that successful point in time.
d. Identify the point of origination of the obstacles. Look back even further to the time or times that the obstacles originated. Imagine stepping back into the most significant point in time. Notice especially how it was like to feel the more unsuccessful belief inflamed and active at that time. For many of us, it is better to think of a point at which a number of negative patterns came into focus as a belief that could be put into words. A history of patterned abuse or neglect, developmental problems, drug abuse, chronic difficulties such as ADD, a serious career crash, or a toxic relationship that ruptured your self-esteem over time can be considered a theme. You can identify a point at which a dysfunctional or un-resourceful belief and physiology emerged as an identifiable state. The point at which things were at their worst and it was difficult to see a positive outcome might be a good point to select on your timeline in this case.
e. Notice the polarity comprised of the two beliefs. Notice how the future successful belief, and the past, less successful belief comprise two opposing elements, such as logic versus emotion, or rationality versus intuition, immature versus mature beliefs, and so forth. For example, the belief “I can’t succeed or people will expect too much from me.” versus, “I thrive on meaningful challenges and enjoy expressing my drive to succeed.” could be divided into the drives for security and avoiding embarrassment versus adventure and risk.
f. Identify the two beliefs as parts with states. Notice the differing physiologic manifestations of each conflicting belief. Your thought patterns, emotional feelings and other physiology comprise two different, conflicting states. Pay special attention to the asymmetry in the feelings or related body language such as gestures you would do differently in these two states. Think of them as two “parts” for this NLP pattern.
Step into a meta-position
Select a meta-position located off your timeline and dissociated from the beliefs and identities. Step into this position.
Elicit the opposing divisive beliefs.
Have each part express its beliefs regarding the other part. They are likely to express distrust, disgust, and other charged judgments.
a. Have the parts face each other. Have the parts turn to face each other. Notice how this causes the perception of each part to shift. You might notice, for example, that the future part can see the past part as reacting to inappropriate judgments by adults that as a child you were highly motivated to avoid. This suggests a part that needs help unfolding its potential, rather than a part that is disgusting or just a threat to success.
b. Identify the positive motivations of each part. Identify for each part the underlying positive motivations. Have each part recognize the positive intentions of the other.
Identify the shared mission of the parts.
Still in your meta-position, identify the mission that these parts share, according to your highest values. For example, achieving success with adequate preparation and effective strategies. This example captures the positive essence of both parts.
Explore the resources of each part that can help create the positive future.
Think about the resources and capacities that each part has to offer, and that can help the other part in achieving the positive future that you already explored in this process. Reviewing the positive motivations and common mission of the two parts can help you come up with more of these resources and capacities. For example, your future scenario will rely upon your analytical skills as well as your passion for the most meaningful elements of the positive outcome and the path to that outcome.
a. Gain an agreement from the parts to work together. Gain an ecologically sound agreement from the two parts to combine their resources and accomplish their common mission. You have already harmonized their resources, so your previously conflicting parts are ready for a new, powerful alignment.
b. Work with deeper limiting beliefs as needed. This is the point at which you may discover the limiting beliefs that are even deeper or more neglected than the ones you have unearthed so far. If this process has good momentum for you, it may be possible to refine and update these beliefs. If they are challenging, then you may want to subject them to this process from step one at another time. The anchor you have established can help you do this more effectively.
Re-Anchor the resource state, and work with the anchor.
Return to the point on your timeline representing your desired future identity. Re-anchor the state that is aligned with this identity. This state includes your positive intent and the sense of your parts’ common mission. The state you are re-anchoring is actually an expanded and enhanced version of the first future state that you anchored.
a. Holding the anchor, move to a point prior to the less successful identity.
Hold the anchor, moving off of the timeline and back to a point that is just behind (earlier than) the past, less successful, identity.
b. Move your future successful self to that point, and act as a mentor.
Have your future successful self step back along your timeline to that past point.
Have this successful self act as a mentor to you in that past point, providing any needed support and resources.
c. Receive this mentoring in the first perceptual position.
Associate into that past identity and experience that point in time while receiving mentoring and resources from your future, successful self.
d. Take the resources into the future point, causing the parts to contain the resources of both parts. Maintain your focus on the resources of the two identities and the positive changes that are taking place now.
Slowly move forward in the timeline, carrying these resources, until you step into the point that you established in the future. This way, each part has the resources of both parts within it. Notice all changes in you that result from the integration taking place.
Step into a meta-position opposite (across the timeline) from the first meta-position that you created.
Recall the meta-position that you established off of your timeline. Create a new meta-position on the opposite side of the timeline from that one.
Step into this new meta-position.
a. Have yourself (from your meta-position) and the two parts walk together.
Imagine the past and future parts walking towards each other along the timeline, as you move from your meta-position toward your timeline at the same pace as the parts.
b. Bring the identities into you.
When the two parts meet, reach out with your hands and gather both identities, bringing them into you.
c. Step into your timeline and face forward in first perceptual position, perceiving things with your parts fully integrated as a single entity.
STEP into the timeline, in the first perceptual position (associated), and associate the two parts into your perceptual position, so that you are facing forward, fully integrated as a single rich identity.
d. Walk forward in time to the desired state you had established. Walk forward until you reach the point at which you had established the desired state.
Notice what it’s like to think about the conflicting beliefs that you started with. You should feel much more resourceful and unified than you did in the past. If the conflict involves more that two parts or issues, you can include those issues or do these integrations in sequence, one pair at a time. Remember that this is an advanced pattern that may require further training and assistance before it is appropriate to carry out.