Procedure for Changing the Personality Patterns

With the courtesy of John David Hoag, author of the great article, I invite you to read it here. Copyright (C) John David Hoag. Republished with permission. I would like to specify that in practice, I have also successfully used this technique with myself and several clients to change other personality patterns and metaprograms. Furthermore, it works for any different meta types. Examples: Talcott Parsons variables, schema modes,” meta meta-programs” as defined by Hall and Bodenhamer in their 2005 book” Figuring Out People”, transactional analysis positions.

STEP 1:  Identify the Meta Program preference that you wish to change.

a. Specifically identify and thoroughly describe when, where, and with whom you are using it that does not serve you well.

b. Specifically identify and thoroughly describe how it does not serve you well.


STEP 2:  Describe fully the Meta Program preference you would prefer.

a. Specifically identify and thoroughly describe when, where, and with whom you would like this new Meta Program to govern your perceptions, awareness, and consciousness.

b. Specifically identify and thoroughly describe how it will serve you better.


STEP 3:  Try it on.

a. Physically change your location to another chair or standing spot.

b. Imagine adopting the new Meta Program preference in an entirely associated way.

c. Pretend to use it, sorting, perceiving, attending, thinking, feeling, etc.

d. Notice how it feels, how things look, how it seems, and what thoughts occur to you. Feel free to walk around with it a bit if you like, experiencing what it would be like to use this new preference. Expect that it might seem a little strange at first because it is new and unfamiliar. Notice what other feelings besides discomfort arise with it.

e. Imagine some specific contexts where you think this preference will serve you better.


STEP 4:  First Ecology Check

a. Step Out of the ‘try on’ experience and move to a new location, leaving it behind.

b. In this new location, adopt the state of mind of a detached but interested observer who can review, from a distance, the ‘try on’ experience you just had.

c. Check it out. What occurs to you right away?

d. Check it out from the standpoint of the low to mid neurological levels. That is, what will this new preference of the meta program do for you in terms of perceiving, behaving, capabilities, beliefs, and values?

e. Check it out at the identity level. What “kind of person” would it begin to make you?

f. Check out its broader effects. What effects would it have on the rest of your life and other people?

g. What effects would it have on your spirituality?


STEP 5:  Second Ecology Check

a. Move back to the original physical location — where you were doing steps 1 and 2.

b. Go inside yourself and respectfully submit this question to your entire inner being and all your parts: “Does any part of me have any objection to making this change or to making this change in this way?”

c. Allow yourself to be still and quiet for a few minutes as you openly wait for any new thoughts or objections to make themselves known.

d. If there are any objections, acknowledge them and say an internal “Thank you” for the communication. Then, make a note of them and continue.

e. Specifically identify how, when, where, and with whom the old preference of the chosen Meta Program served you positively (s). What secondary gains does it provide that will be important to preserve?

f. How will you preserve them?


STEP 6:  Take Care of Ecology

a. Address any conflicts, objections, or incongruities. Then, use any other NLP processes that may be useful and appropriate, such as reframing or redefining, so that all complaints and objections are taken care of and you have resolved the old emotions, thoughts, beliefs, decisions, etc.

b. If you have difficulty addressing any of these incongruities, if any are persistent or difficult to resolve, Stop Here — for now. You can return to this process after they have been thoroughly addressed. Consider exploring other NLP processes to address them in different ways. If you can use help with this, make arrangements to consult with a professional NLP practitioner until they are resolved.

c. When you’re “good to go” and all of your systems give you the green light, continue.


STEP 7:  Permission

a. Give yourself permission to install the new preference of the Meta Program for a specific period of time. This can be anywhere from several hours, to several days, to a week or two.

b. Make the internal agreement that at the end of that time, you can decide to keep the new choice, extend it for a longer trial period, or switch back to the old one.

c. At this point in the process, a person can install a new Meta Program preference simply by giving permission to use it.

d. To strengthen it, move back to the physical location you used during the “Try it on” process (Step 3) and “map it across” to your original physical location. This is done by fully associating back into the “Try it on” state, getting the full sense of it again, then making internal arrangements to create a mental symbol or a few words representing the experience. Then walk the symbol or words over to your original position and take a few moments to accept and integrate the symbol or words into your consciousness. Finally, allow it to “self-organize” in its own way, and allow yourself to experience the new Meta Program preference again.


STEP 8:  Final Ecology Check

a. Go inside and check to make sure all is well and you are excited and looking forward to using this new Meta Program preference for the period you have specified.

b. If any last-minute ecology issues arise, temporarily put a ‘hold’ on your permission, walk the symbol or words back to the “Try it on” location, leave them there, and return to your original position and state. Then go back to Step 6.

c. When all is well, and you are “good to go,” continue.


STEP 9:  Future Pace

a. Practice, in your imagination, using the Meta Program preference in as many future contexts as you like until it feels comfortable and familiar.

b. Return to the present and enjoy your new preference!


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