Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Day One

Well, here I am, and as expected, my mind has gone blank. I imagine it is a self-fulfilling prophecy at the moment, and I know, I know, being an "NLP aficionado" I should be able to do some jiggery pokery on myself to "break through this limiting belief" and "skyrocket my creativity".

Or other such marketing rhetoric.

And it is a big problem with the "self help" field in general and the NLP field in particular; these snake oil salesmen, promising the stars with their amazing skills.

Most of which is utter nonsense, and these wild and unbelievable claims are doing the field harm, not good.

It creates too high expectations of what is possible and lot of angry people when they find out it just doesn't work that way. Which creates vehement critics of the field and a lot of negativity and bad feeling.

It has created a field of people who are utterly afraid to admit they may be having a bad day, or have some sort of fault or foible in case they are attacked by other members of the scene for not sorting themselves out (who themselves are hiding and repressing their faults). So they wander round with these false smiles plastered on their faces, having happy-off's (thanks to Owen Fitzpatrick for that phrase), with one another "I am amazingly outstandingly happy", "NO! I am more than that I out of this world happy...". It really isn't healthy!

I recall meeting a leader of one of those Anthony Robbins inspired "Yes Groups" (you think they could have put some of their passion into doing a better website, eh?), he asked me how I was and I responded (quite politely), "I am OK, thanks, you?" and he said "JUST OK?" I wanted to smack him in the face.

It has made the field horrendously inauthentic.

Not that I am saying that we should all hold hands and cry and wallow in our self pity, but a level of honesty about how we are really feeling and are really capable of would not do any harm, and I think it would do the field some good. Admitting we (And NLP) are not perfect, it is not a cure all, but it as highly effective tool for getting things done and creating change (if you put the work in).

I was reading the Barefoot Doctors excellent new book "The Man Who Drove With His Eyes Closed" and in several times in the book he laments the move in the self help field from explorers who pushed the boundaries of understanding in a genuine attempt to help change and "improve" humanity, to this commodified field of daytime TV guru's, marketing men and snake oil salesmen, who are just in it for the money.

Stop with these wild, impossible and unsubstantiated claims, this false hope of "brief therapy" (why are we obsessed with speed over substance?) and "lasting change" with little or no effort in one session. Tell the truth! The truth is as equally as remarkable (if not more so)!

Well, as a first day, I didn't expect to hit the ground running with a rant against the inauthentic self-help snake oil salesmen. But there you go, that is whole idea of this blog!

See you tomorrow.

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