Fears and Phobias

This is one of the exercises that made NLP famous for its efficacy. It may be undertaken for all the fears we have: fear of driving, of an exam, of someone… The exercise is presented to be carried out by one person, but if we want to work on a phobia, we will need to do it with a therapist.

1. Reframing the fear

First, we become aware that the fear we want to work on, allowed us to adapt to a danger; it was a very quick learning experience. Our unconscious is able to learn new responses just as fast.

The “part of our unconscious” that is responsible for producing that fear response always has a positive intention. We thank her for it, and we inform it of our wish to change, that we still need protection but not from that danger anymore, and that we are going to update its information so that this part can protect us better.

2. Anchor of security and calm

We are going to create and anchor of calm and security (see NLP exercises) and we will use it every time we feel insecure.

3. Find the earliest possible memory you may have of that fear. Use this first memory of fear.

4. Imagine the screen of a mobile phone at a distance of several metres from you, project on it, in black and white, the traumatic scene at high speed. You become aware that you can hardly see it at such distance. With a control remote, go back to an image that comes before the scene, then let the scene develop, and stop on an after-image and freeze it on the screen.

Now rewind the scene with the remote control, very fast and in black and white, until you get to the first image.

Reproduce the scene in this way, in black and white and at high speed, until you can feel that it doesn’t affect you.

Now select colour and a slower speed. Remain at a distance from the mobile, and play the scene forward and back and forth several times until you feel nothing when in front of it.

Notice how you have survived that situation and that you feel good.

Constantly help yourself with this anchor of security and calm.

5. Switch off the mobile and discover the positive intention of that part of your unconscious that created that fear. Say thanks to it.

6. On a big cinema screen, in full colour.

Now ask your smaller self (pertaining to your first experience of fear) to relive that moment of fear one last time on that big screen and in full colour, very fast at first, forth and back.

Put yourself into your smaller self, you are on the big screen.

Several times at high speed, until you can feel that it doesn’t affect you.

7. Hug your younger self.

Tell her that she has survived the experience, that she has grown up and she has got better, and that you, her adult self, are going to look after her and protect her; tell her that event is over, and that everything is different now. Tell her of all your love and gratitude. And now decide together what to do with this new available strength, that strength that you had to waste feeding that fear.

8. Bridge to the future.

In a few days, imagine yourself in front of that situation that would have created fear in you and observe what