Presuppositions of Life

Life is busy, and most of the time we dedicate our thoughts to making sure our tummies are full and our bills are paid, we don’t get much time to think or ponder about the logic of our daily workings. And why would you? Well, if you have found your way to this site we can assume that you are looking for a higher quality of life. Questioning our own logic is one of a few great ways to start an amazing journey of self-discovery and growth. All coaches including myself, involved in the Giants in the Making program, are certified NLP Practitioners (Nero Linguistic Programming)…

All coaches including myself, involved in the Giants in the Making program, are certified NLP Practitioners (Nero Linguistic Programming) and part of our training includes the understanding of a very important list of ideas called, “The Presuppositions of Life.”

The Presuppositions of Life are a guide to a set of healthy beliefs developed by extensive examination of our reality by the founders of INLPTA certification program. Part of our coaching involves a guided explanation of these and how to implement them in our daily life.

This list is not necessarily true or false however at the very least it has produced very useful results and will aid in the development of your world view.


Presup1 The process, form, patterns and structure of a communication provide higher quality information than the content

“Be aware of how a person uses language rather than just the words said”

In other words, when we are communicating there are so many different factors that contribute to the message that is being sent across apart from what we are actually saying. In fact in a lot of cases, factors such as Body Language 55%, Voice Tonality 38%, have a great deal more impact than, Words 7%.

The map is not the territory

“A map is a summary of what we deem to be the important features of our world but is not the complete picture” “The words we use are NOT the event or the item they represent.”

In order for us to function we create our own “how to get through life” maps modelled by beliefs and experiences, however as a map is only a limited representation of reality sometimes we may not be aware of potentially better options that are outside of our perception.

Language is a secondary representation of experience

“We experience the world physically and then we put that experience to words/or endeavour to describe our experience with language.” “The body communicates constantly in ways that go far beyond words.”

It is often said that a picture is equal to a thousand words. In fact words could do very little to fully describe anything as approximately 2 million bits of information hits us per second. In order to make sense of this ginormous amount of data we make deletions, generalizations and distortions and thus whatever we say will always be incomplete.

People are not their behaviours

“Behaviour can and does change in context and a person and their behaviour are two separate things.”

People often act in different ways according to what situation they are in, this does not necessarily mean that the behaviour is truly who they are. For example we all have to act differently at work than we do at home. Our behaviour is very flexible and subject to change meaning that it is possible to accept a person but condone a behaviour.

Every behaviour has a positive intent

“All behaviour has value at some time somewhere.”

No matter what behaviour we display we somehow have devised in our mind that this act or set of actions will bring about consequences that we deem will be beneficial or rewarding to us either right now or sometime in the near or distant future. For example anger out of context may be an attempt to get people to understand. However although our behaviours may have a positive intent they may not always be useful or gain the desired result.

Everything anyone does makes sense to them in that moment

“This is what drives the question that people ask themselves, “Why did I do that?”

We can’t do anything that at some level does not make sense to us, whether that be work in a terrible job because we need the money or say something we regret because we thought it might give us the upper hand in a fight. We use whatever neurological connections we have available at any given moment to choose our behaviour which is why it is so important to continue to create more neurological connections.

People make the best choice available to them in any given moment

“When under stress or duress the choices we make in that situation, will be limited, when compared to when we are at our optimal functioning.”

Although we do not always agree with other people’s choices and sometimes even question our own it is often apparent afterwards, that these choices were selected from a reduced list of what was actually possible. The common outcry is what else could I do, I only had two choices! However maybe under different circumstances under less stress it is possible, things could be different.

There are no un-resourceful people only un-resourceful states

“Separate emotions from identity. Emotional states determine actions and results, rather than a person”

Everyone has the potential to be highly resourceful, however we are often unable to access our potential due to many factors including if we are depressed or unfocused. In order to be resourceful we need to change our state! One effective way to change our state is though physiology, when we are standing tall and looking up, we are bright, awake, alert and ready for all challenges however when we are slumped over and looking down we are stifled and our vision inhibited.

Behaviour is geared towards adaption

“All behaviour is or was adaptive” “People can realise that although a behaviour may be suited to the context in which it was learned, in another context it may not be appropriate.”

If a behaviour is serving our needs and producing the results we desire we will continue to demonstrate that behaviour.  However if circumstances are altered; as we are ‘built to learn’ we can adapt our behaviour to suit the new environment.

People have all the resources they need

“Essentially, our unconscious has all the answers to solve our challenges”

Although we feel that we may not have everything we need right now, we all have the capability within ourselves to make the necessary decisions, choices, and modification to our behaviour or overcome any challenge that come our way.

Always add choice, never take away

“When facilitating change always present a new option as a positive choice, rather than attempting to just remove an unfavourable choice”

The more choices we have available to us, the more chance we have to scrutinize which is the best possible one to go ahead with. People with limited choices are always stuck because they will often default to the lesser of two evils as what they really want has been taken out of the picture. If we focus on putting more options back into our life, our growth and chance for survival will increase exponentially.

Resistance is the sign of insufficient pacing

“Resistance is usually a result of lack of rapport, and lack of rapport is a result of insufficient pacing”

Rapport (a strong connection) is essential for effective communication and is the foundation of a successful relationship. If you cannot connect with a person by matching and mirroring their behaviour and physiology you will find that they become resistant to hear what you are saying or trying to communicate.

There are no resistant people, only inflexible communicators

“Generally people are only resistant when the person communicating with them lacks the flexibility to modify their communication style to suit the person they are talking to.”

Everyone is reachable and able to be communicated to. If they are extremely resistant it is usually because the communicator has not respected the other person’s model of the world. The person who is most flexible in the way they communicate will reach the most amounts of people in the most effective way. Flexibility, listening with intent and non-judgment are essential to effective communication.

You cannot not communicate

“Without words, your body language still communicates. We are always communicating either verbally or non-verbally”

Everything you either do or not do is a communication. The way you dress, your physiology, your expressions and mannerisms communicate. Even your existence communicates. When you are viewed or seen by anyone else they will make meaning about your existence.

The meaning of my communication is the response I get

“The understanding of any communication is the sender’s responsibility”

Regardless of what we say or what we think we said, the meaning of that communication can vary quite considerably to our own intentions. The only way we can gauge the effectiveness of our communication is by feedback. Unfortunately many people only listen to themselves when they talk and are unable to comprehend the other person’s response despite clues being left along the way.

You cannot not respond

“Even no response is a response”

The same as communication, indecision is decision; action or no action is taken as an act.

The mind and body are connected in a cybernetic loop

“The mind/body are one thing not separate, therefore each in turn can effect each other in a feedback cycle”

The loop means that one cannot change without affecting the other. Any variations to brain chemistry/ activity will show up as an effect in the body and anything you either say or do will change the structure of the brain.

The highest quality communication is behavioural

“In the end doesn’t matter what you say it’s your behaviour that tells all”

According to statistical research done by Birdwhistle and Mherabien , it really is true, “actions speak louder than words”. We are all very astute in assessing someone’s true intentions by watching their behaviour, tonality of speech and mannerisms.

You cannot not influence

“It is impossible not to be some sort of influence in any situation where you are physically present”

Everything we do or say not only changes the structure of our brain but also affects the universe in some subtle or not so subtle way. This influence can be good, bad or indifferent. Our influence is eternal even after death. Many people have taken their inspirational influences from characters of the past.

For things to change, first I must change

“All deliberate external change is created internally first”

If we keep doing the same things over and over again and expect a different result usually nothing changes. We must take responsibility for the way things are and then if we want to change something we are in full control.

Possible in the world, possible for me, only a question of how

“Any skill, talent or ability that an individual has can be broken down into its components and taught”

If someone else has done it then it is possible for you to do the same. All you need to do is find out how the other person/s did it.

Law of requisite variety

“This means the person with the most options and behavioural choices will control the system.”

By acquiring the most behavioural flexibility and by having the most choices we naturally become the most adaptive and thus the most likely to not only survive but thrive.

There is no failure only feedback

“No matter what the result is in any situation there is always an opportunity to learn something.”

The term failure means that what you have done just didn’t work. This means that a correction is required for you to succeed or find a way through. Whether or not the outcome is favourable the feedback is valuable and useful for further attempts. Also we will always learn something of value if we are open and receptive to that learning.

Respect the other persons model of the world

“We all have varying understandings of the world, respect them all”

Each person has their own particular way of viewing the world and no two people can see things exactly the same. When dealing with someone other than yourself, profound respect of that person’s constructed model of the world will bring about more beneficial results and help you gain closer rapport with that person. Each person’s model is precious to them and is all they have to make meaning and sense of their world. They can only deal with their life through this model and will do anything and everything to preserve it if challenged without great care and respect.

All behaviour can only be evaluated and changed in terms of context and ecology

It is essential that when facilitating behavioural change that we take into account where specifically that change will occur and whom will it effect. Behaviour is often formed by ones environment and sometimes someone may be forced by ecology to behave in such a way for his or her survival or the survival of a loved one in such a way that is socially unacceptable. Our judgments must be based on what context, i.e. Was it safe or unsafe, was it loving or unloving. Was it right or wrong (and according to whom)? Context will always set up parameters for behaviour and ecology will always change the context. So before we jump to conclusions about behaviour we have to find out why this behaviour was enacted and was it necessary given the circumstances and outcome. Also what other behaviours could have achieved the same or better outcomes.

If it’s going to be it’s up to me

“Life is an endless series of choices, so take responsibility for these choices as well as the consequences of your actions.”

We must take personal responsibility; it is up to us to make it happen. We need to take ownership of our goals and dreams recognizing that what is or isn’t is our concern/responsibility. As the old saying goes, “you get out, what you put in”.

If what you’re doing isn’t working, do something else

“Learn to be flexible in your behavioural choices, rather than sticking to an approach that’s ineffective”

It has been claimed that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.

This presupposition indicates that behavioural flexibility is paramount to success and that we must make adjustments to our moving forward.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]