Rewriting Rules and Beliefs

 Steve Davis's  Humorous Softener

 by Lynn Timpany, NLP Trainer.


By modeling the work of Virginia Satir, NLP Trainer Steve Davis and his colleagues from Independent Training International (Manitoba, Canada) have developed many new "NLP techniques”.   Altering beliefs and rules, or limiting decisions, is an extremely powerful aspect of the change process.  I have found Steves process, The Humorous Belief Softener, to be particularly useful in my work with clients.  This process is fast funny and effective, and is an excellent way to "loosen up" a belief or limiting decision.


I am always glad to find light hearted ways to change.  Being able to laugh with your client is invaluable anchoring, and one could say that this process collapses anchors on beliefs or ideas that are passed their "use by" date.


Changing beliefs changes reality.


A belief like "I'm not creative" or a limiting decision (rule) like "You must do it right or not at all" acts like a post hypnotic suggestion.  A belief literally filters our experience of reality.


    Steve Davis' Humorous Belief Softener:

     1)  Identify and state the belief or rule.

     i.e. "You've got to do it right, or not at all."


    2)  Choose the most significant verb or noun.

     i.e. right


    3)  Choose two words that rhyme .

     i.e. bright, light


    4)  Choose a word that's opposite.

     i.e. wrong


    5)  Choose one "free associated" word.  A word that has a totally different meaning.

     i.e. stuff


    6)  Restate the rule substituting each of the new words and read them out loud!


    "You've got to do it bright, or not at all."

     "You've got to do it light, or not at all."

     "You've got to do it wrong, or not at all."

     "You've got to do it stuff, or not at all."


    7)  Test.  How does that old belief that you used to have seem now ?