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NLP Meta Model – How one little word changes everything…

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Modal Operators of Necessity – Can’t vs. Don’t – Meta Model language patterns…

In NLP the Meta Model refers to specific patterns of language that effect how you frame your ideas about our behaviour.

By changing one little word you can change how your thinking or saying something feels, as well as have a HUGE impact on how your thoughts will impact others.

This is really important because some people are very unaware of how they “victimize” themselves unintentionally.

For instance both the words can’t and don’t are examples of the meta-model language patterns called “modal operators of necessity”.

When you say to yourself “I can’t” do something, this is very different from saying that “I don’t” do something.

NLP Meta Model: Modal Operators change everything

It changes your perspective and how you feel about your behaviour.

“Can’t” is very disempowering and is often misused by people who are actually able but unwilling to do something.

“Don’t” is more neutral and allows you to be more honest about your behaviour. It’s more of a observation rather than a statement about your ability to do something.

Can’t sets you up to be a victim and takes away your power.

Victims are powerless to change and thus it doesn’t feel very good to use the word can’t inappropriately.

I say inappropriately because there are circumstances where you are truly unable to do something and there is nothing wrong with using the modal operator “can’t” in those instances.

It’s just a matter of whether you are victimizing yourself unintentionally.

You’ll learn to master this and other NLP meta model language patterns when you attend the One Spirit NLP training and certification course. Get more info about NLP, NLP techniques and NLP training by clicking the link below.

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11 Responses to "NLP Meta Model – How one little word changes everything…"
  1. Adrian says:

    Imagine a wall…and now imagine someone hitting it. Well feels a little like my what happened in my head. In essence, the way i see it with me is the minute I say I can’t do something, I start becoming tense and anxious. I could notice it because in one area of my life I say I won’t or don’t, and in another I say I can’t. The difference is not in the results but in the way i feel about them. So thanks.

  2. Elizabeth says:

    Thanks for the “don’t vs can’t” concept. During the past several weeks I’ve been changing my eating habits to lower my cholesterol and I am delighted with this empowering approach.

    • Jackey says:

      Yes I love it too Elizabeth, it feels so much better to say “I don’t eat that” instead of “I can’t eat that”!

  3. cc says:

    fantastic Jackey, “Can’t” did help me through a recent “crisis” of a choice I knew I wanted to stop immediately, but I am now ready for it to be “i don’t ” do that anymore….feels much more empowering thank you ….yet again beautiful lady

    Carolyn C

    • Jackey says:

      Yes Carolyn. Sometimes the “power” modal operator for an individual in a specific context will be “can’t”. In other words within the context which you found it beneficial it was in fact the “difference that made the difference”. Don’t is a wonderful alternative in a more generic sense as so many people often utilize “can’t” unresourcefully and therefore disempower themselves. I’m so happy to hear you’ve got great experiences with both. Here’s some for you!

  4. Emilie says:

    I love these videos!
    I’ve recently been noticing when other people you ‘can’t’ and pointing out to them that they actually ‘caaann’ in most cases, they’re just making a choice. It’s so cool to see people stop to think about how something so simple can actually change so much in their lives :).

  5. tree says:

    Best tip I have received this year :-)

  6. Sarah says:

    Works wonders for me both when I want to talk myself out of eating something, as well as when people offer me foods that doesn’t fit with my eating choices. “I don’t” feels much more assertive than an “I can’t”. Who knew such a small change in language could be so self empowering ?!

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