NLP Presuppositions | Other Key Principles

NLP Presuppositions

NLP Presuppositions
NLP presuppositions

NLP Presuppositions are helpful beliefs which are surprisingly applicable to success in life. We’ve included a number of other fundamental principles which we also find helpful. It’s useful to update our valid beliefs and principles as we continue our life journey. They are a significant part of our mental maps.

Note: Please read this page in conjunction with NLP Coaching models (s)

The 14 Presuppositions of NLP

The * items are the original NLP presuppositions; the others have been added later.

  1. *We connect to the world through our senses. (The better we develop our sensory acuity, i.e. the better we see, hear, feel, taste and smell, the more accurate our mental maps will become, and the more effective will be.)
  2. *Our map is not the territory. (We, and others, respond based on our mental maps, not reality. Again, the more accurate our maps are, the more effective we’ll be.)
  3. Have respect for others’ maps. (it’s easier to effect change in others when we work from within their own maps)
  4. *The ability to change the process by which we experience reality is often more valuable than changing the content of our experience of reality. (The more we’re aware of reality, the better we distinguish what is going on in the outside world, as opposed to in our heads, and the more effective we will be. Improving the way we take in and process information, again, the more effective we’ll be.
  5. *We are constantly communicating. (Even if someone is still and silent, we’re able to learn something about them)
  6. *The meaning of communication is the response we get. (It’s helpful to measure the success of how we communicate by getting feedback from our audience and adapting our communication until we get the results we want.)
  7. *The resources an individual needs for change are already within us (or them). (They are already in us, or we have the resources to create any further resources we need.)
  8. *Feedback vs failure. (All results and behaviours are achievements, whether they are the desired outcomes for a given context or not. Feedback is always helpful. We may need the courage to listen to it, and it’s up to choose if and when we act, but it’s always worthwhile to consider feedback.)
  9. *The positive worth of the individual is held constant, while the value and appropriateness of internal and/or external behaviour are questioned against a specific outcome. (Our value to ourselves and others and our behaviours are not the same things.)
  10. *There is a positive intention motivating every behaviour and a context in which every behaviour has value. (Every behaviour has a positive purpose and has a context when and where it’s valuable – even if we personally don’t see it as such.)
  11. When we have real choices, we’ll naturally make the best one. This only applies to real choices (A genuine choice means we a) Know what it is, b) Know how to do it, c) Know its value – we are motivated to do it, d) Are able actually to carry it out.)
  12. If what you’re doing doesn’t work, do something else. (We tend to repeat patterns that we’re comfortable with, even when they don’t work. When we’re not getting the results we want, it’s a good indication that we need to do something different.)
  13. Anything can be achieved if it’s broken into ever smaller steps. (Many people sabotage themselves by setting unachievable first steps.)
  14. The body and mind are part of one system. (What we think and feel has an impact on our body, and the health of our body affects our mind.)
  15. +If you want to understand Act. (If you want to test your mental maps, take action – Often, taking action is the best way to move forward towards our goals.)

NLP Presuppositions Exercise

Think about any challenge you might have. Choose two of the NLP presuppositions above; for 30 seconds, act as if they are absolutely true, and ask what has changed about your challenge. It may be small or significant; whatever it is, it will often help you move forward.

Useful Key Principles

In addition to NLP presuppositions, we’ve included the following principles to seed your imagination. Use the ones that are useful to you! And from time, check that they are still working for you.

Ray Dalio’s Life Principles

  1. Understand and embrace reality. Both the good and the bad.
  2. Discovering the right answer(s) is more important than being right
  3. Meaningful work and meaningful relationships are the greatest assets and the greatest rewards
  4. Don’t let your ego and your blind spots get in your way
  5. Pain + Reflection = Growth
  6. Be open-minded and assertive at the same time
  7. You can have virtually anything you want, but not everything you want. Prioritise well!
  8. Find the most believable people you disagree with, and try to understand their reasoning.
  9. There is always a good path; if you don’t see it, keep looking, in the right way, with the help of others,
  10. Own your own direction/outcomes

Ray Dalio’s Work Principles

Get the culture right

  1. Radical truth and transparency
  2. Meaningful work + meaningful relationships
  3. Learning from mistakes
  4. Alignment/being in sync
  5. Believability weighted decisions
  6. Agreed resolution process

Get the people right

  1. WHO comes before WHAT
  2. Hiring right
  3. Continually train, test, evaluate and sort people

Build and evolve your machine

  1. Manage/design the machine
  2. Don’t ignore problems
  3. Diagnose root causes
  4. Improve your design
  5. Execute your plans
  6. Build and improve tools and protocols
  7. Build governance

See more: Principles

12 RULES FOR LIFE – Peterson, Jordan B.. 12 Rules for Life (p. iii). Penguin Books Ltd. Kindle Edition

  1. Stand up straight with your shoulders back.
  2. Treat yourself like someone you are responsible for helping
  3. Make friends with people who want the best for you
  4. Compare yourself to who you were yesterday, not to who someone else is today
  5. Do not let your children do anything that makes you dislike them
  6. Set your house in perfect order before you criticize the world
  7. Pursue what is meaningful (not what is expedient),
  8. Tell the truth – or at least don’t lie
  9. Assume the person you are listening to might know something that you don’t
  10. Be precise in your speech.
  11. Do not bother children when they are skate-boarding
  12. Pet a cat when you counter one on the street,

See more: 12 Rules for Life

3 RULES FOR ATTRACTING ROMANCE. From Models by Mark Manson.

  1. Create an attractive and enriching lifestyle
  2. Overcome (embrace?) fears and anxiety around socialising, intimacy and sexuality
  3. Master the expression of your emotions, values and desires and communicate them fluidly and effectively.
  4. Take action (added by Michael)

See: Models

16 Paradoxes By Mark Manson

  1. The more you try to make people like you, the less they probably will
  2. The more you fail, the more likely you are to succeed
  3. The more something scares you, the more you should consider doing it
  4. The more you hate a trait in other people, the more likely your avoiding it in yourself
  5. The more connected we become with the world, the more isolated we seem to be
  6. You can only have a happy relationship, if you’re happy being by yourself
  7. The more you learn the more you realise you don’t know a shit
  8. The more a person is convinced they are right, the more likely that they are wrong
  9. The more honest you are about your faults/vulnerabilities, the more people will think that your perfect
  10. The more options you have, the less satisfied you’ll be with each one
  11. The more you force a relationship, the more likely you are to break up
  12. The more able you are to love yourself, the more you can love others
  13. The less you’re able to love yourself, the less you’re able to love others
  14. The less afraid you are of death, the less afraid you are to live life
  15. The only certainty is uncertainty OR The only constant is change
  16. Learn to be comfortable with discomfort

5 Life Skills By Mark Manson

  1. Patience
  2. Compassion
  3. Risk Tolerance
  4. Skepticism
  5. Self Awareness

To Manage Good Times and Bad Times by Spencer Johnson

From Peaks and Valleys

Make Reality Your Friend

Whether you are temporarily up on a Peak or down in a Valley, ask yourself: What is the truth in this situation?


Find And Use The Good Hidden In A Bad Time

Relax, knowing that Valleys end. Do the opposite of what put you in the Valley. Get outside of yourself: be of more service at work and more loving in life. Avoid comparisons. Uncover the good that is hidden in a bad time, and use it soon to your advantage.


Appreciate and Manage Your Good Times Wisely

Be humble and grateful. Do more of what got you there. Keep making things better. Do more for others. Save resources for your upcoming Valleys.


Follow Your Sensible Vision

Imagine yourself enjoying a better future in such specific, believable detail, that you soon enjoy doing what takes you there.


Share It With Others!

Help people make good and bad times work for them, too.


15 Paradoxes That Will Change Your Life

Coaching Video

NLP Coaching | Success Systems And Model

Watch this short video from Michael Beale in which he explains his own 8-element success system. It’s best to develop a system that is personal to you – what elements do you need to feel more successful and fulfilled? 

Full NLP Techniques List

NLP Coaching Section Index

1: NLP Coaching Introduction
2: NLP Presuppositions
3: NLP coaching model
4: Beginning frame
5: States and anchors
6: End goals and direction
7: Rapport
8: Where are you
9: Getting to there
10: Mental rehearsal
11: End frame
12: Summary
13: CEO and executive coaching follow up

NLP Coaching Success Systems
NLP Coaching | Success System and Model