Because I have just returned from teaching Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) to a group of coaches in Singapore, I’m reminded of one of my favorite NLP processes- the As If Frame.

Milton Erickson, my favorite healer of all time, created easily the most clever way around obstacles that arise in the human mind. If you know the history of hypnosis, you know that it has been used for thousands of years to diagnose and treat illness. However, there has been no formal record of the way this was done. I believe Milton figured it out. Here is my interpretation of this famous pattern.

Take a moment right now to consider something you want to be, do, or have that is not currently part of your life. For example, I don’t yet have one million dollars in the bank, but I’d like to. Or, maybe you want to be pain-free or a nonsmoker.

Now, let’s take a ten minute mental journey. Read through the following instructions before proceeding. You’ll want to take a few moments to breath and center yourself for the exercise.

1. Imagine getting in a time machine, and set the controls for either six months or a year from today. Press the button to go to this time.
2. When you step out of the machine, notice where you are, what’s going on around you, and how you feel. What is in your environment that lets you know you were successful in creating what you wanted?
3. Listen to what you hear going on around you. What are the sounds of your success?
4. Take stock of how it feels to know you’ve succeeded. What’s going on in your mind and body?
5. If you had to give someone advice on how to get to this point, what would you tell them? What’s the method you used to get here? And, what would you do differently given the chance?
6. When you’re ready, get back in your time machine and come back to the present moment. Remember everything you learned and experienced there, so that you can apply that knowledge in the now.

The main objective of the process is to fully associate yourself into the desired state, to get visual, auditory, and kinesthetic information so that your visualization becomes more real. Research has proven that visualization works best when it is specific and focused. By fully immersing yourself in this dream world, you activate your unconscious mind to move in this direction. Now all you have to do is to take action!

Now that you’re back in the present moment, use that experience to drive your next steps. I like to envision my outcome each morning for a few moments. Alternately, consider putting a meaningful word or phrase on your desk to keep you focused. In any case, continue to act “as if” you’re already successful in your pursuit. It will give you the necessary confidence and direction to move forward in your life and work.

Author's Bio: 

Janis Ericson, founder and director of Lightwork Seminars, Intl. and HybridNLP, is Master Hypnotherapist, NLP Trainer, and author. She lives in San Francisco, CA and teaches classes around the world.