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Anil Thomas

Master NLP Practitioner & Gestalt Therapist

How do I use positive intention?

There are 2 parts to this, on you and on others.

Using This On You

We’ve all wanted to change some of our actions and habits, and sometimes those changes stick and sometimes they don’t. One of the reasons is because we don’t understand that underlying that behaviour we want to change is a positive intention.

If you smoke, and you want to quit, you need to understand the positive intention behind your smoking. Maybe you smoke because it helps you to relax under pressure. If you quit, the positive intention is still there, but there’s no way to fulfill it, which makes it more likely you’d go back to smoking. But if you recognize your positive intention for smoking, and find other ways that are just as effective to help you relax under pressure, it’s easier to quit.

Using This On Others

Suppose you want to help someone change his mind on something, maybe he believes that ‘there’s no learning experience only failure‘, and you want to help him adopt a more empowering belief, but he keeps refusing to do so.

One way to interpret his resistance is to think he’s being a douchebag, just for the sake of it. But if you stop there, then you’re stuck.

But if you can recognize that there’s a positive intention behind his ‘resisting’ your idea, e.g., maybe he wants to ‘remain true to his ideals’, then you gain more understanding and awareness, and you’re more empowered to work around his ‘resistance’ by coming up with a way for the both of you to satisfy your positive intentions, creating a win-win situation.

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