By David M. France
Outcomes are everything. They’re what we get for thinking or acting in a certain way. Needless to say, they’re important. Here is a 5-step process, grounded in NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming), to help you control your outcomes:
- State your outcome in positive terms.
This tactic is used by many of the top performance coaches and practical philosophies. You manifest what your mind concentrates on. NLP goes as far as claiming the mind does not register negatives. So if you want to stop smoking, for instance, don’t say, “I won’t smoke anymore.” Rather, say something along the lines of: “I am in control of my habits.” Positively visual and frame the outcome.
- Be as specific as possible. How does your outcome look, sound, feel, smell?
Specificity matters. It’s the ‘S’ in SMART Goals. The more you know what your target looks like, the easier it will be to aim for it. Top performers use this technique all the time. Essentially, you visualize your outcome in as much detail as possible. The goal here is to make the experience as real to your conscious and subconscious mind.
- Know how you will look, how you will feel, and what you will see and hear in your external world after you have achieved your outcome.
Similar to step 2, this step is all about practicing success. Rehearsing it in your mind to the point where it’s almost a forgone conclusion. This step builds confidence and anticipation at the same time. There are numerous stories of Gold Medal-winning athletes using this day in and day out for the weeks, months, and years leading up to competition.
- Be in control. Your outcome must be initiated and maintained by you.
Having an internal locus of control—believing that you are responsible for the things that happen in your life—is freedom. By accepting that you are responsible for your life, you take back control from external forces. This remains the same when it pertains to a singular, specific outcome. If you want something to happen you need to make it happen. Nobody is going to do it for you. Initiate the action(s) that are most likely to lead to your desired outcome. Maintain these actions with tunnel vision until you’ve achieved your desired outcome.
- Verify that your outcome is ecologically sound and desirable.
If some part of you disagrees with your selected outcome—whether it goes against your morals or your true desires or for whatever reason—chances are you won’t achieve this outcome. So, rather than finding that out only after failing, it’s important to do a check-in with yourself upfront to make sure you truly want this outcome. Asking yourself why you want it—and why you want the resulting answer—can be extremely helpful. Cultivating this self-awareness will help fuel you towards your intended outcome.
In summation: State your outcome in positive terms—avoid using negatives or avoidance language. Visualize the outcome and how you’ll look achieving this outcome as in-depth as possible. Engage as many of the senses as possible while doing this. Take control and accept responsibility. Accept the fact that this outcome you want is totally up to you to achieve. Finally, make sure that every part of your being wants this outcome. As always, I hope you’ve found this article useful and implement the knowledge in your own life. Thanks for reading.