NLP Aligning Perceptual Positions

Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) is a very useful approach to achieve your goals, especially through its Perceptual Positions. This has been a useful and important distinction in NLP. Perceptual position is the dimension an observer decides to view a particular experience or situation. It can be used to develop our wisdom, flexibility and resourcefulness. In reality there are multiple points of view. There are basically three major perceptual positions as presented by NLP.

First Position is experiencing the world from your own unique point of view and feelings. I.e. you see and hear other people from your own point of view, have your own feelings. This is also known as Association.

Second position is experiencing event and situations in the other’s point of view and feelings. This is usually the case when you remember a conversation with a friend; you remember it as him, feeling his feelings, seeing and hearings events from his point of view. This is the boundary between Association and Dissociation.

Third position is experiencing the world from a neutral position (observer). In other words, you experience the event from the outside, as an observer. In this Perceptual position, you observe yourself and whatever situation you are in from the outside, as if you are seeing someone else in the act. This is also known as Dissociation.

All these perceptual Positions are very useful in certain situation; as they enable you have absolute control of your feelings, thoughts and emotions. You can decide to either Associate (First Position) or Dissociate (Third Position) or even be in Second position of a particular event as you may deem it feat for that situation.

Many limitations in life either arise from being bound in first position, failing to see other people’s point of view or the big picture. Or being bound in second person and be deficient of boundaries. Others are bound in third position and can’t connect to their lives anymore. For instance, a phobia arises when you are being bound in “First position”, to a terrible memory and panic.

NLP trains you to dissociate from that terrible memory and view it from the “Third position” (observer). In applying this technique, you must be careful not to be totally engulfed in it, as you may be so dissociated into an observer that you no longer experience your own life.

With the help of NLP perceptual positions, brilliant people in many disciplines have the ability to shift their perceptual positions flexibly. This is a basis for their excellence in various fields.

In all these aligning perceptual position is very important. In your attempt to move from one perceptual position to another, you may end up having your three representation system (auditory, visual and kinesthetic) in three separate perceptual positions. For instance, as you experience and event, you could be seeing with your own eyes (First position), you could be feeling the feelings of another person (Second position) and you could be listening to an internal voice commenting from the outside (observer).

So, in NLP training, you learn how to align these perceptual positions to prevent this split up. As a matter of fact, it is impossible to fully align perceptual positions in difficult situations.