Today I attended a short course, the theme being an Introduction to NLP (Neuro-linguistic programming) . It was a day full of interesting information about how we can model human excellence. I’m no expert on this so I won’t try to explain in detail except to share this brief definition of NLP
“Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) is an approach to communication, personal development, and psychotherapy created by Richard Bandler and John Grinder in California, United States in the 1970s”
Usually at this type of workshop you are thrust into group activities that take you a little out of your comfort zone. Here you are with a group of people you have never met before sharing personal stuff, making you instantly a little vulnerable. But that’s the name of the game at these training events, you learn so much.
To the point, one of the group activities was to stand with three random strangers and ask a set of questions. The task was to watch for behavior patterns when the questions were being asked and to see how much of the information we could retain.
Who Are You?
The first question was simple Who Are You?
The common response is actually pretty straight forward, isn’t it? I am Anna. Full stop.
But that’s not true at all because Anna is just the label I was given at birth. When you start to really think about that question, Who Are You? it becomes a much deeper exploration.
If you take away all the labels you have attached to who you think you are, then you find the essence of who you are. Most of us came up with, I am a mother, a wife, a teacher, an athlete, an artist and the list goes on. But these words only describe roles we play in our life, they don’t really explain who we are at our core.
That got me thinking about another question. If we associate ourselves with the roles we play in life, what happens when that role changes or disappears altogether? What happens when you lose your job, you get older and can no longer be an athlete, your marriage ends and you are no longer a wife or husband? When that label you have identified yourself with for so long goes, then who are you?
When you lose your labels do you cease to exist? I doubt that very much because you are much more than the roles you play in life or the labels you attach to you. You are part of everything that exists and that is way more than a label.