In this conversational reframing pattern we move to a high level, a meta-levelto the magical box wherein lies the belief construction. We designate this one as Model of the World. In chunking up to this level, we thereby identify the overall mental map that a person, uses in negotiating the world's territory. As we recognize and consider it as but a map, we then bring that awareness to bear on the belief. "Hey, it's just one way of mentally mapping the territory!"
As with all of these meta-moves that outframe, this shift enables us to step back (i.e., dissociate) from our map. And doing that has several delightful consequences. One of which involves the ability to hold our map less rigidly. And that consequence (ah, an outcome-of-an-outcome), in turn, enables us to avoid confusing our map with the territory. The result? We can then examine our map more objectively.
In the Meta-Model, we describe free-floating maps (belief statements) as Lost Performatives. These linguistic statements seemingly appear out of the blue (or as commands from the Heavens). And yet, because no map-maker appears with the map, we tend to assume that the unowned maps must "just be real." This leads to an unquestioned acceptance of the lost performative
When, however, we pull the Model of the World mind-line, we question the map. We ask, "Says who?" "Who specifically said that?" "Do you realize this exists as just a map about the territory?" "When did they create this idea?" "In what context?" Challenging a lost performative in this way assists us in recovering the person, group, culture, etc. who generated the making of that mental map. Then we can make a clear-minded decision about it.
(A) "Saying mean things makes you a bad person."
"Where did you learn to think and judge statements in terms of 'meanness'?" "Does that belief about meanness come from your model of the world or someone else's? No? Who created that rule? At what time did they come up with this idea?"
(B) "Cancer causes death."
'Yes, I've heard that before. Of course, not all medical people hold to that belief. Where did you first learn to view cancer in that way?"
Connirae Andreas commented that she frequently uses Model of the World. This indicates the power and usability that she attributes to this pattern. When we directionalizea mind upward to the Model of the World level, it typically loosens "reality" inasmuch as it immediately brings into awareness the fact that we operate in the world using our mental maps. It embeds the belief inside the higher frame that all of our thoughts exist, at best, only as maps.
When I first studied with Richard Bandler, I head him frequently comment that he always enjoys taking someone's limited view of reality and twisting it completely around. And I can believe that he really does. Of course, you'd have to know Richard to appreciate the level of his iconoclastic approach! He does seem to love to twist things around. I think this describes part of his original genius.
Anyway, when we find a limiting belief in ourselves or another, moving up to the Model of the World level certainly enables us to step aside from our whole frame-of-reference and to refresh our awareness that the belief only exists as a mental construct anyway. De-confusing ourselves about our maps, our beliefs, and reminding ourselves, "They're not real!" (at least not in any external way), then frees us from the insanity of confusing map and territory.
Submodality Codings—Mere Facets of Mapping
To appreciate how using this "Sleight of Mouth" pattern works on our internal representations, notice what happens to the submodalityqualities of your images as you entertain the following. Think about your automobile (or something you consider as having value). Notice the qualities (submodalities) within your representations. Now, as you look at your internal picture, say, "This seems to look like my car."
What happens to the image when you say that? Many, if not most, people report that the location of their image changes. For some, the picture may suddenly seem pushed further back into the distance.
What about the focus of that picture? Processing the statement, "This seems to look like my car," typically causes the visual qualities of pictures to loose focus, move into a less prominent position, etc. Notice also what occurs in your auditory representational system. Now think of your automobile again and notice the qualities of your pictures and sounds while processing this statement: "How long have you thought about this car belonging to you?" How does that statement affect your visual and auditory submodalities?
This pattern of moving to one's Model of the World places a question in the mind that at some point in time you did not think of this car as your car. In doing this, it brings to our awareness, that our "thoughts" come and go, change, transform, etc.
I (BB) typically locate my present day pictures directly in front of myself. When I get a picture of my car and think about the question, "How long have you thought about this car belonging to you?" my image of my car swishes far out in front of me and disappears. Why? Because a year ago I didn't even own this car. Processing the statement causes the image to disappear in my immediate "past."
When I (MH) process these Model of the World questions, my visual pictures suddenly seem much less colorful. The color representations fade out as if bleached by the sun and so have much less kinesthetic intensity for me. With the second question, I dissociate and take a second position to my movie as I observe it running back to the date of the purchase, and then a little before that.
In other words, these questions help to bring to our awareness that our internal representations of something differ from that something, and only exist as a map of it. Suppose someone says to you, "You hollering at me causes me to shut down." A Model of the World response might go:
"How long has my hollering at you caused you to shut down?" "How much does it seem to you that you shut down when I raise my voice?"
This question in response presupposes (by using the temporal phrase "how long") that a time existed when either I didn't holler at you and/or you didn't shut down. To answer that "how long" question, we process the temporal element. And doing so then has certain effects upon the qualities of our internal representations. What effect does it create for you? Does it not loosen up your belief statement by triggering some submodality shifts in the way you actually represent the information?
Watching Modality & Submodality Shifts
When we use such mind-lines in conversation, it serves us well to begin to use our sensory acuity skills to pay special attention to shifts and transformations in the person's submodalities. In the previous example, notice where in physical space the person puts his or her past, present, and future. How does this change when you use temporal shifts?
If you speak with someone who has confused map and territory, pay attention to his or her eye accessing cues, language patterns, gestures, etc. Remember to watch for changes when you then bring a Model of the World Mind-Line to bear on the old belief, and the person begins to loosen up. He or she will begin to recognize, "By God, what I have always thought as 'real,' only exists as my map!"
Learning to see such things offers a pretty high level skill and art level. These domains describe some of the cutting-edge places in NLP Master Practitioner Level. Namely, learning to read submodalitieson the outside (Spirit of NLP, Ch. 7), and learning to read Meta-Programs on the outside (Figuring Out People, Ch. 11).
When you find that a particular "Sleight of Mouth" pattern loosens up a person's beliefs by means of some shift in their submodality codings or Meta-Program formatting, follow up your comment with another mind-line pattern. This will help to solidify a more enhancing belief. In fact, count on getting more mileage with such conversational reframing patterns if you deliver them sequentially, one after the other.
When a mind-line loosens up a person's belief by triggering various submodality or meta-program shifts, we have at that moment a window of opportunity for extending the change. Dive rightin. Layeron another one! By the way, the content of what we say in these interactions usually have less effect than the strategy of bringing this Model of the World context to bear on the belief. These structural facets of information work directly on the structure of a limiting belief.
With what Model of the World do you want to outframe the person? What higher level Model of the World awareness would assist and empower him or her? We have many choices before us at this point. After all, many Models of the World exist (we could just as well put these under #18 Other Abstractions). The ones we have found most useful include:
. Unreality. If we use some "unreality" predicates
(words we use to make assertions) in our talk, then we essentially "bring unreality to bear upon the person's belief statement." Here we will use words that question the person's "reality"or truth. Unreality predicates include: "seems, appears, thinks, looks like," etc. These all imply some question, some doubt.
"So, it seems for you that my being late means I don't care."
• Self / Other. If we put emphasis on "you" in contradistinction to "me" then this, by implication suggests that your Model of the World may differ from my Model of the World, and that the ideas, opinions, feelings, experiences, etc. that may hold true for one person, may not hold true for another. This undermines a rigid sense of sameness and allness about Models of the World.
"So—for you—being late means I don't care."
• Tonal emphasis. When we mark out certain words using tonal shifts, this will typically direct the auditor to create alternative internal representations for the marked out words and messages.
"So, you think [not "know"] that my being late means I don't care." Or, 'You think that my being late means I don't care."
Bringing an embedded message or messages to bear upon a person's belief statement can provide a message outside of conscious awareness that the person would not receive otherwise.
s Time. As we did "time" reframing in a previous chapter, we can bring to bear at a meta-level as another Model of the World a distinction between the situation now and the situation as it did or will exist at some other time.
"How long have you thought this way?" "So, at this moment in time you think that lateness and caring have something to do with each other?" "Have you always thought about it that way?"
(D) "Stress causes me to eat chocolate."
"So, stress seems to cause you to eat chocolate? It really seems that way to you? Have you always believed that, or did you come to think that way after some particularexperience?"
(E) "I can't really make a difference because management doesn't walk their talk."
"So, you seem to think that you can't make a difference because management doesn't walk their talk? Does everybody at your work think this way? How did you come to think this way?" (F) "I can't buy your product because it costs too much." "I know that you presently do not believe you can afford this product. This kind of thinking, as a map of the world, would put me out of business if many held it. So, as you can see, I'm glad that others don't view adding quality to their lives through that filter."
To elicit the Model of the World frame as a conversational reframing pattern, use the elicitation questions:
"Does this Model of the World that structures this belief hold true for everybody?"
"Where did you learn to think this way? Who taught this to you?"
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