In live interview with NLP Life, Dr Richard Bandler reveals how he gave up smoking so easily.
Dr Richard Bandler,
Co-creator of NLP
NLP Life: What advice would you give to people with lack of self-esteem?
Richard Bandler: Well, I have trouble with that one cause I don’t ever see "steam" coming out of people...(smiles)
I just think that’s a stupid anthropomorphism that psychologists have made people think about too much. People feel good sometimes and they feel bad sometimes and that’s not really a good or a bad thing; there are some things that should scare the crap out of you.
If you think about cheating on your wife, it should scare you to death. If your blood pressure is really high and your glycerine count is through the ceiling and somebody hands you butter to put on your bread you should go oh wait a minute.
So feeling bad is not a bad thing, it’s that when you feel bad about the pictures in your head about stuff you haven’t done and you clump them together and you start calling it "self esteem", you’re not approaching things you can do anything with. It’s all metaphorical.
They worry about whether kids are going to feel bad about themselves because they didn’t pass a spelling test. What you need to do is circle the words they got right and ignore the things they do badly. I try to teach people to focus on what they accomplish and feel good about it and just forget the rest. I mean, we spend 12 to 16 years in school and they mark out every mistake we make and that’s not how the human brain is designed to learn. You have to learn to ignore the mis-spelled words and when I taught college I got into trouble because all I gave was A’s and incompletes and people would go it was a test, how can it be incomplete? And I’d go well you don’t have all the right answers and I’d give them the test and say go get the right answers.
So they either had to ask somebody, look them up, but now they’re actively seeking the answer rather than forgetting what they’re supposed to know. It's not a question of going I’m not good at this, I’m not good that and I’m not good at this.
We need to start reinforcing what works instead of punishing people for what doesn’t.