July 14, 2022


NLP Language Patterns

Introduction - NLP Language Patterns

Language patterns lie at the heart of Neuro-linguistic Programming, or NLP for short.

It was practically built on them. 

It all started with John Grinder and Richard Bandler, the co-founders of NLP, modelling 3 excellent communicators: Milton Erickson, Fritz Perls, and Virginia Satir

From these 3 people, they were able to derive the Milton Model and Meta Model

Later on Robert Dilts would contribute Sleight of Mouth.

If you had to pick a place to learn about NLP, then learning about these language patterns would be a great place. 

I’ve talked about the Milton Model, Meta Model, and Sleight of Mouth in separate blog posts, but for the first time, I’m bringing them all under one roof. 

I may update this post later on with more language patterns as I see fit. 

For now, we’ll just cover the basics.

With that being said, let’s dive in.

Milton Model - NLP Language Patterns

Milton Erickson is widely considered to be one of the greatest Hypnotherapists that had ever lived. 

It's no wonder that the co-Founders of NLP, Richard Bander and John Grinder, decided to model him and figure out exactly what made him so good.

During the time they spent learning from Milton, they started noticing a pattern in the way that he talked with his clients.

It wasn't before long that they were able to formalize it, and this became known as the Milton Model.

In a nutshell, the Milton Model allows you to be "artfully vague" so that your subject can create a meaning that is appropriate for them.

So, without further ado, let's jump right into these language patterns!

Mind Reading

Much like the name implies, this language patterns claims to have the ability to know what someone else is thinking or feeling.


I know that you're going to get a lot of value out of this blog post.

There are a lot of people just like you who feel that NLP is the world's greatest communication model.

You have seen.....(visual)

You have heard that....(auditory)

You feel that......(kinesthetic)

Lost Performative

A statement of judgment, beliefs, or standards which are expressed in such a way that the individual who has made the statement is not identified.


It is going to be a lot of fun.

It has been proven that learning NLP will lead to a richer and much more fulfilling life.

Many people think that....

It's been proven that....

All the best companies....

Cause And Effect

A statement that presupposes a one thing causing another thing to happen. 


Because you're reading this blog post on the Milton Model, you're putting yourself head and shoulders above the competition.

Reading this blog post to the very end allows you to feel exceptionally good about yourself.

Your being here means you're really serious about learning.

Complex Equivalence

Statements that presupposes one thing is or means the same as another thing.


NLP is the greatest communication model in the world.

Reading this blog post is one of the best ways to learn the Milton Model.

Learning NLP is a good way to invest your time and energy.

Universal Quantifiers

Words that imply or state absolute conditions as being true.


Always put yourself in a state of excellence before giving a presentation.

Everyone can begin to feel totally relaxed now

Every time you begin to feel this way you can remember all the ways you change your feelings, now.

Modal Operators

Words that suggest something is necessary or possible within a person's model of the world.

(must, can, may, try, intend to, have to, should, able to, pretend to, ought to)


NLP could be the greatest communication model in the world.

We must develop the ability to be excellent communicators.

If you want to learn more about the Milton Model, then this blog post is a great place to start.


Words that change a process or verb into a static event or noun. You can usually tell a word has been nominalized if it has -tion as a suffix.


A college education doesn't have the same value as it did a generation ago. (educate)

The revolution will be televised. (revolt)

There is a solution to almost every problem. (solve)

Unspecified Verbs

Verbs that do not have phrases that specify how or on what action is performed.


At this retreat, you can begin to make many changes, starting now.

NLP can create changes in your life.

For all those reasons, you should hire our consulting firm.

Tag Questions

Questions that are used to turn the uncertainty of a question into the certainty of a statement.

(can you not?, hasn't it?, wasn't it?, aren't you?, aren't they?, can't you?, couldn't you?, don't you agree?, didn't it?)


Many people say that the Milton Model has some of the best language patterns, don't they?

That was a great movie, wasn't it?

You can see yourself using these patterns in your everyday life, can't you?

Lack of Referential Index

The use of a noun or pronoun to refer to a nonspecific group or category. The person doing or receiving the action is deleted.


It has been said that NLP is the greatest communication model in the world.

One can only imagine the infinite possibilities when it comes to using the Milton Model.

It is a good thing for all employees to be able to master communication skills.

Comparative Deletions

Statements that do not specifically state what or how a comparison is being made.


This blog post explains the Milton Model better than any other blog post written on the subject.

The best communicators in the world use NLP technology whether they know it or not

And this is more or less the right thing to do.

Pacing Current Experience

Statements that describe ongoing experience.


As you sit there in front of your computer or smartphone reading this blog post on the Milton Model, you're beginning to realize that it's possible for you to learn these hypnotic language patterns and become a master communicator.

Double Bind

Statements that offer two or more choices that are in fact the same choice.


Are you ready to get started now or in a day or two?

You may begin to feel terrific immediately or it may take several minutes before you begin to feel great.

Would you like to go ahead and set up an appointment or should we just jot down a time when we can meet?

Conversational Postulate

A statement in the form of a question which when asked and taken literally would require a yes or no answer. This statement is normally taken as a command to perform the requested action. This works best when using the voice intonation of a command.


This is the contract; do you have a pen to sign it?

Can you run a quick errand for me?

Do you have Visa or Master card to pay for our change program?

Extend Quotes

A statement that contains one or more quotes that are intertwined with each other and with the story so that it becomes ambiguous as to what is a quote and what is story


One of my clients in a firm that I worked with said that he told two people in another organization, and he told them directly Jim, you should hire my firm and that each of them said that they had been telling others to consider it seriously and he knew I could only work with a few companies right now.

I was talking to a communications expert who said one of the most respected communicators told her that NLP is the greatest communication model in the world today and that she used it always.

Selection Restriction Violation

Statements that are violations of well-formed meaning as understood by native speakers of English.


When money talks you should hire my firm to make more of it for you.

This blog post has Milton Model written all over it. 

A chair can have feelings…

Embedded Commands

Statements that include indirect commands embedded within the statement itself.


When people like yourself, Jim, attend my seminar they get excited about how they can make many changes in their lives.

When clients hire my firm, Jim, all the work we do is to get results right now.

All the experts who study NLP in-depth agree with me that it's the world's greatest communication model

Embedded Questions

Questions that include commands embedded within the question itself.


All the experts who study the Milton Model in-depth agree with me that it contains powerful language patterns.

If you will use commands you will be amazed at how you'll be able to persuade more rapidly

If you want to accomplish this, you will become driven to learn how to effectively use them.

Covering All Ranges of Possibilities

Statements which cover all ranges of what is possible.


When you decide to write a contract with me, I can work with my associates, work with some of your internal resource people or I can come in and do the work by myself.

When you decide to buy my product, you can write a check, use your credit card or pay cash whichever is more convenient for you. I prefer to write a check, which do you prefer?


Statements that use everything as though you control it, as though you planned it and thought of it

Example 1

Person A: I'm not sold on this product

Person B: Of course you're not sold on this seminar because I haven't told you about all of our success stories as well as the one piece of information that you need to know about before you are completely sold.

Example 2

Person A: My company is not like all those others you have worked with.

Person B: Yes, you're right, every company is different and that's exactly the reason you need to hire my firm, we tailor our services to fit your company exactly.

Example 3

Person A: There are many other great communication models.

Person B: You're right, there are many other great communication models; that is actually how NLP was able to take the best of the best to make an even better model

Building Excitement and Expectations

Statements used to create excitement and expectation.


In a few minutes, I'm going to tell you how you can double your income with no extra work by joining my business opportunity.

In the next hour you're going to learn how to use the techniques of the greatest communication model in the world to triple your income

In a few minutes we will explain what almost everyone says is one of the best opportunities around.

Truisms About Sensations and Time

Universal statements about sensations and time.


Most people have experienced a feeling of being totally relaxed and that's what you'll experience in one part of this comprehensive change seminar

Most people know that it takes a long time to develop expertise on communication all by yourself; that's why they hire a firm like mine.

Sooner or later people discover that NLP is the greatest communication model in the world

Open-ended Suggestions

Statements that do not place boundaries on what is possible or not possible in the future.


We all are capable of making money than we do right now. My business opportunity is one way to do this.

All people have the ability to master the Milton Model, and it is much more easily achieved by reading this blog post.

We all have potentials that we are not aware of, and we usually don't know how they will be expressed.

Single Binds

Statements that link one cause to one effect as the only possibility.


The greater the need to improve communication, the less time you should waste before you learn the Milton Model.

The more you practice these language patterns the more you'll will be able to use them at an unconscious level.

As you continue to learn to use these tools you'll find that the more you use them they become easier and easier to use and the more you use them; the more you understand them at a deeper level.

I'm not going to Tell You…

A statement used to covertly or indirectly make an assertion.


I'm not going to tell you that the Milton Model contains powerful language patterns, I'm going to let you find that out for yourself.

I'm not going to tell you that you should hire my firm, I would be silly to tell you to hire my firm when we haven't even discussed the services you need yet.

I'm not going to tell you that the Daily Income Method is the only business opportunity of its kind; it might not be wise for you to think about only promoting Daily Income Method, at least until after you've read the review post.

Compound Suggestions

A statement that makes a suggestion that one would like to be accepted and covertly covers this up by making a second statement of fact.

Syntax: (1st suggestion) <then> (2nd suggest of a fact)


It is to your company's advantage to hire me. How we communicate is important, isn't it?

After you join my business opportunity, you'll be delighted at how simple it is to make money online. Everyone wants to make more money, don't you think?

Phonological Ambiguity

Words that sound the same but have different meanings. They're generally used to cause ambiguity when spoken.


you ewe, there their, our hour, sea see, four for, bee be, know no, knows nose, I eye, by buy bye, -pray prey

Meta Model - NLP Language Patterns

History of the Meta Model

Back in the 1970s, Richard Bandler, one of the co-founders of NLP, and Frank Pucelik learned Gestalt therapy from modeling the founder himself, Fritz Perls. 

They began teaching it to other students at the University of California but lacked the knowledge of the specific patterns being used. 

John Grinder, the other co-founder of NLP, helped dissect the specific patterns they were using by first modeling each of them, to get an unconscious representation of the patterns, and then codified it. 

They continued their modeling work with Virginia Satir, a world-renowned Family therapist, and noted an overlap with Fritz Perls’ work. 

In 1975, The Structure of Magic was published and the Meta Model was introduced for the first time. It was originally intended to be used by therapists, but it can be applied in a wide range of applications including business, personal development, and coaching/consulting. 

The Goal of The Meta Model

Even though the Meta Model wasn’t created with a specific goal, it is generally used to help someone point their consciousness in more useful directions. 

We do that by treating the map (or statement) as a whole map and asking questions that challenge the main idea behind an utterance or statement.

In NLP, we recognize two mental maps that we operate from. 

First, there is the sensory-based map which forms an internal representation of everything we see, hear, feel, taste, etc. from a moment-to-moment basis. 

Secondly, there is the linguistic map which is a symbolic interpretation of the sensory-based map. 

In the Structure of Magic, Bandler and Grinder outline what they call the “Universal Model Process”, which describes how we form our linguistic maps. 

There are 3 distinct elements: 

  • Deletion - A process which removes portions of the sensory-based mental map and does not appear in the verbal expression.

  • Distortion - The process of representing parts of the model differently than how they were originally represented in the sensory-based map.

  • Generalization - The way a specific experience is mapped to represent the entire category of which it is a part of. 

In the Structure of Magic, Bandler and Grinder make a distinction between “surface structure” and “deep structure”, two terms that they borrowed from Transformational Grammar. 

The surface structure refers to the words or utterances that correspond to the internal representation. 

This is where we notice the deletions, distortions, and generalizations that gives us insight into their model of the world. 

The deep structure is the pure experience which the surface structure is based upon. It exists at an unconscious level. 

By using the Meta Model challenge questions, we’re able to help someone connect to the deep structure where more resources are present.

Unfortunately, Transformational Grammar came with a number of issues and for some reason, the co-founders never did anything to address them. 

I go over this in detail in the Meta Model Revisited but in a nutshell, Transformation Grammar has 2 main problems: there were many instances that didn’t follow transformational rules and there were instances where “deep structure” couldn’t completely give rise to the meaning of the sentence, the way it should.

The Meta Model Compass

I want you to start thinking of the Meta Model in terms of a compass. This idea was originally formulated by NLP Master Trainer Michael Breen

On the north end of the compass, we have generalizations, conclusions, abstractions, and summaries. 

This is a high-level overview of someone’s thoughts.

On the southern end of the compass, we have sensory-specific information.

This is the kind of information that could be picked up on a video camera, other than taste and smell. 

In other words, just the facts. 

Every statement that someone makes is relatively specific or relatively abstract in relation to the context that they are speaking about.

By the time you hear what someone has said, billions of processes have already taken place in their brains. 

What you hear is a conclusion based on many neurological processes. 

On the eastern end of the compass, we have what’s called “inside the map.”

“Inside of the map” is the type of information that a journalist would look for: who, what, when, where, and how. 

We can usually infer this information from what someone has said. 

On the west side, we have the patterns that relate to what’s outside of someone’s map or model.

These are the linguistic elements from inside the map or model that someone cannot perceive. 

We will be using this compass as we go through each pattern to demonstrate how each pattern relates to the compass. 

As an added note, there are also patterns that fall on the “backbone” of the compass which is neither inside nor outside of the map or model.


Every statement that is made is a claim to knowledge.

All of the language patterns in the Meta Model act as presuppositions in the statement that is made. 

As a quick exercise, I’m going to give you a sentence and I want you to presuppose what has to be there in order for the statement to make sense.

Here it is: 

“The cat sat on the mat.”

Think about it for a sec.

For starters, we have to presuppose there’s an entity called a “cat”. 

We have to presuppose there’s an object or entity called “mat”. 

Lastly, we have to presuppose there’s a relationship between the two entities called “sat”.

Because presuppositions exist within every single utterance, we’re going to place it at the top of the Meta Model. 

In the Structure of Magic, Bandler and Grinder outlined 29 syntactic environments, which are places within an utterance or sentence, where presuppositions can live. 

The problem with this approach is that it makes learning the Meta Model seem a lot more complicated than it really is. 

For our purposes, we won’t be going over each one, but focus on the general idea of presuppositions.

Mind Reading

This is the first pattern that we look at from inside of the map or model. 

A Mind Read is a claim that’s made without stating how you know. 

In order to challenge this language pattern, we must first assume that in order for someone to make a particular claim, they have to have a way of making that claim. 

Also, if someone is making a claim about something that is less than useful, isn’t helpful, or it’s getting in the way, we can ask someone for the foundation of that claim and make a change in how someone thinks. 

Here’s how you would challenge a mind read: how do you know?

Asking them how they know allows us to see where they’re drawing that information from.

Lost Performative

The Lost Performative is the first pattern we look at from outside of the map or model. 

It has the same overarching influence as the Mind Read but from the outside. 

Challenging this pattern allows you to take a statement from a free-floating reality back to a statement about a specific time, a specific place, and a specific reason. 

More often than not, we tend to drop who said it, when they said it, and under what conditions. 

When we fail to define the scope of a particular statement, our nervous system treats it as a universal, meaning all situations, and at all times. 

Here are a few questions for challenging a Lost Performative: 

  • Who says?

  • According to whom?

  • Where did you get that from?

Modal Operators

Modal operators describe the mode of operating in a sentence. 

They show us the boundary of the map or model. 

You can also learn what motivates someone by the modal operators they use. 

There are 3 types we concern ourselves with: 

  • Possibility - can, could, may, might

  • Necessity - should, ought to, must, need to

  • Desirability - love, like to 

There are a number of ways you can challenge modal operators. 

First, there’s the conventional approach. 

For example, someone says, “I can’t do something.”

You can respond, “What would happen if you could?”

This kind of question provides us information from outside of the map. 

You can also respond with, “What stops you?”

This provides us with information from inside of the map. 

Here are some other challenge questions you can ask:

  • How do you know that you can’t? (Mind Reading)

  • According to whom? (Lost Performative)

By the way, when someone says that they can’t do something, they’re literally saying “I can engage in the act of not doing x.”

Here’s a quick story: 

There was a VP of communications from a big company that was afraid of giving talks in public. 

One day, he met with an NLP Trainer and told him, “I can’t give talks in front of other people.”

The NLP Trainer asks, “How do you know?” 

The VP says, “I gave a couple of talks and I didn’t like how it turned out.”

The NLP Trainer responds, “Ok, so you’ve given a couple of talks and you didn’t like the outcome. You ever gave a talk and it was neither here nor there?”

“Yes, plenty of times,” responded the VP.

The NLP Trainer says, “We’re no longer talking if you can or can’t. The question is of quality now.”

If you hear Modal Operators around limitations, use counterexamples or challenge the inferred or implied universality. 

We’ll talk more about universals in the next section.

Universal Qualifiers

Universal Qualifiers define the scope of the map. 

Some examples include “every”, “all”, and “only”. 

There are also times when universal qualifiers aren’t being used explicitly. 

Unless someone offers a form of qualification, there is an implied or inferred universality to what they’re saying.

In order for a statement with a universal qualifier to be valid, there cannot exist a single counterexample. 

To challenge a universal qualifier (implied or explicit), come up with a counterexample that could be true, based on what they say.

Cause & Effect

Cause & Effect gives us the structure for how the model works. 

The basic structure for cause and effect is “if x, then y”.

On the “x” side, we have the sum total of evidence that points to “y” as the outcome. 

It could be one thing, or it could be several things, depending upon the belief.

For more information on challenging the cause and/or effect, check out the Sleight of Mouth language patterns.


Nominalization allows us to take complex activities and put it together into one thing so we can think about it.

If you’re unsure if a word is a nominalization, use the wheelbarrow test.

Any noun that you can’t put into a wheelbarrow is a nominalization. 

Here are some examples of nominalizations: 

  • education - educate

  • conclusion - conclude

  • demonstration - demonstrate

If a nominalization is problematic, it can prevent someone from taking effective action. 

To solve this, put the nominalization back into verb form.


Predicates are words that tell something about the subject. 

We can use these words to influence what kind of representations someone makes in their mind. 

There are 2 main types of predicates: Time/Space and Sensory.

Time/Space predicates determine where and when something occurs. 

Here are a few examples of each: 

  • Time - before, look back, happened
  • Space - here, there, inside

Sensory predicates are words that imply sensory information. 

In NLP, there are 5 major representation systems: Visual, Auditory, Kinesthetic, Olfactory and Gustatory. 

Each type of sensory predicate corresponds to one of the representation systems. 

Here are a few examples of sensory predicates: 

  • Visual - review, out of sight, show me, colorful
  • Auditory - Outspoken, say, Shout, unheard of
  • Kinesthetic - Heartwarming, Firmly, Solid, Gripping
  • Olfactory & Gustatory- stinking, fragrant, sweet, stale

Complex Equivalence

A complex equivalence occurs when a person equates a particular, qualitative word and their experience of the world around them. 

Here’s an example: “I just missed my appointment. I’m such a disappointment”.

In this example, “missing the appointment” is the same thing as “being a disappointment”.

To challenge a complex equivalence, you simply ask them how they equate the qualitative or descriptive word with their experience of the world around them. 

Usually, they will give you a list of things that let them know how those two things are equal. 

In that list, there will be some sensory-specific language, but you want to look out for nominalizations. 

This is partly because Nominalizations and Complex Equivalences are on the same level of the Meta Model Compass. 

Nominalizations describes the bits and Complex Equivalences show how they all fit to mean one thing. 

In addition, the Sleight of Mouth language patterns are also great for challenging complex equivalences.

Comparative Deletions

Every evaluation that’s made, from the biggest abstractions to the sensory-specific, comes from making comparisons to other things. 

Traditionally, this pattern was used for statements that contained phrases like “better than”, “worse than”, best, etc. 

However, you can still use this pattern even if there’s no explicit mention of a comparison. 

If there’s no standard of comparison mentioned in the map, you can simply ask about it. 

Here’s an example: 

Person A: This is the worst sandwich I ever tasted. 

Person B: Compared to what? A sandwich from a five-star restaurant?

By asking for a standard of comparison, you’re able to sort out the relative difficulty for that person.

Lack of Referential Index

A referential index refers to the subject of the sentence. 

Lack of referential index is a language pattern where the “who” or “what” the speaker is referring to isn’t specified. 

Examples include he, she, it, and they. 

To challenge a lack of referential index, ask “who?” or “what, specifically?” to gain clarity on what the speaker is referring to.

Non-Referring Nouns & Unspecified Verbs

We will present the last two patterns together because they are interrelated with one another. 

Both of them live at the bottom of the Meta Model, in relation to the compass. 

The subject-verb relationship is fundamental to the acts of cognition. We have an inherent need to know what something is and what it’s doing. 

It’s also the first linguistic structure that children learn to generate. 

Non-referring nouns are also called Unspecified Nouns.

When we challenge this language pattern, we’re able to find out more information about who or what is being talked about.

To challenge a non-referring noun, we use the same questions as those in lack of referential index. 

The words are the same, but the function is different.

In the case of unspecified verbs, it’s important to note that every verb is relatively unspecified. 

To challenge an unspecified verb, simply ask “How, specifically?” to get more information.

Keep in mind that just because you collect more information about a verb, doesn’t provide more understanding about what’s going. 

Here’s an example: Let’s say you’re with a guy and he tells you,  “My friend hit me.”

You ask, “How?”

He responds, “She hit me hard.”

You ask, “With what?”

He responds, “With an idea.”

You ask, “why?”

He responds, “Because she was trying to help me.”

It’s not until we ask our third question that we finally realize that the guy is speaking figuratively. 

This is why it’s important to start at the top of the model and then work your way down. 

Otherwise, you’ll end up collecting a bunch of useless information.

Sleight of Mouth - NLP Language Patterns

Sleight Of Mouth is one of the classic NLP Language Patterns originally formulated by Robert Dilts.

In a book titled "Sleight Of Mouth: The Magic of Conversational Belief Change" Robert outlines 14 Language Patterns that he discovered during a training held by Richard Bandler, one of the co-founders of NLP.

During this training, Richard pretends to have a "paranoid" belief system and challenged the group to change it. Despite their best efforts, they were unable to do so. 

Dilts would later realize that the same language patterns that Robert was using were also used by people like Lincoln, Gandhi, Jesus and others, to "promote positive and powerful social change".

By mastering these patterns, you can easily establish, shift or transform beliefs through the power of language.

With that being said, let's jump right into learning these Sleight Of Mouth language patterns.

Note: For each example, the limiting belief we will be changing is "I have had this belief for such a long time that it will be difficult to change.


This patterns directs attention to the purpose or intention behind the belief.


I very much admire and support your desire to be honest with yourself.

Positive Intention = "honesty"


To substitute a new word for one of the words used in the belief statement that means something similar but has different implications.

Example 1

"Yes, something that you've held onto so tenaciously can be quite challenging to let go of."

"had a long time" => "held onto tenaciously"

"difficult to change" => "quite challenging to let go of"

Example 2

"I agree that it can initially feel pretty strange to go beyond familiar territory."

"belief" => "familiar territory"

"difficult to change" => "initially feel pretty strange"


To direct attention to an effect (either positive or negative) of the belief, or the generalization defined by the belief, which changes (or reinforces) the belief.


When you expect something will be difficult, it will seem that much easier when you finally do it.

Genuinely acknowledging our concerns allows us to set them aside so we can focus on what matters.

Chunk Down

Breaking the elements of the belief into smaller pieces that changes (or reinforces) the generalization defined by the belief.


"Since having this belief only a short time would make it easier to change, perhaps you can remember  what it was like back at the time when you had just formed the belief and imagine having changed it at that time."

"long time" => "short time"

Perhaps if, instead of trying to change the whole belief at once, if you just altered it in small increments, it would seem easy and fun.

"changing a belief" => "altering it in increments"

Chunk Up

Generalizing an element of the belief to a larger classification that changes (or reinforces) the relationship defined by the belief.


"The past does not always accurately  predict the future. Knowledge can evolve rapidly when it is reconnected with the processes which naturally update it.

"had for a long time" => "past"

"belief" => "a form of knowledge"

"change" => "connected with the natural processes which naturally update it"


Finding a relationship analogous to that defined by the belief which challenges (or reinforces) the generlization defined by the belief.


A belief is like a law. Even very old laws can be changed quickly if enough people vote for something new.

A belief is like a computer program. The issue is not how old the program is, it's whether or not you know the programming language.

Change Frame Size

Re-evaluating (or reinforcing) the implication of the belief in the context of a longer (or shorter) time frame, a larger number of people (or from an individual point of view) or a bigger or smaller perspective.


In a couple of years from now, you will probably have difficulty remembering that you ever had this belief.

I'm sure that your future kids will appreciate the fact that you made the effort to change this belief, rather than passing it on to them.

Another Outcome

Switching to a different goal other than the one addressed or implied by the belief, in order to challenge (or reinforce) the relevancy of the belief.


It's not necessary to change the belief. It just needs to be updated.

The problem isn't so much about changing beliefs. It's about making your map of the world congruent with who you are now.

Model Of The World

Re-evaluating (or reinforcing) the belief from the framework of a different model of the world.


You're lucky. Most people don't even recognize that their limitations are a function of their beliefs that can be changed at all. You're doing a lot better than the average person.

Artists are known to use their inner struggles as a source of inspiration for creativity. I wonder what type of creativity your efforts to change your belief might bring out in you.

Reality Strategy

Re-evaluating (or reinforcing) the belief accounting for the fact that people operate from their cognitive perceptions of the world in order to build their beliefs.


"How, specifically do you know that you have had this belief for a 'long time'?"

"What particular qualities off what you see or hear when you think about changing this belief make it seem 'difficult'?"


Finding an example that challenges or enriches the generalization defined by the belief.


I have seen many beliefs established and changed instantaneously when people are provided with the appropriate experiences and support.

Note: If you want to learn about even more language patterns, then you should check out milton model language patterns.

Hierarchy of Criteria

Re-evaluating (or reinforcing) the belief according to a criterion that is addressed that is more important than any addressed by the belief.


The degree to which a belief fits with and supports one's vision and mission is more important than how long one has had the belief

Personal congruence and integrity are worth whatever effort it takes to achieve them.

Apply to Self

Evaluating the belief statement itself according to the relationship or criteria defined by the belief.


How long have you held the opinion that the difficulty in changing beliefs is primarily a matter of time?

How difficult do you think it would be to change your belief that long held generalizations are difficult to change?

Meta Frame

Evaluating the belief from the frame of an ongoing, personally oriented context. In other words, establishing a belief about the belief.


"Perhaps you have the belief that beliefs are difficult to change, because you have previously lacked the tools and understanding necessary to change them easily."


neuro-linguistic programming, NLP, nlp language patterns

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