The “Swish Pattern” is a technique in Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) that is used to change limiting beliefs and negative thought patterns. The goal of the Swish Pattern is to quickly and easily replace negative thoughts with positive ones, thereby transforming negative behavior into positive behavior. I’ve found this useful when participating in any public speaking setting.
The steps of the Swish Pattern are as follows:
- Identify the negative thought or limiting belief you want to change. In this case the fear of clamming up or stopping speaking.
- Visualize the negative thought as a picture in your mind’s eye. Clear visualize the embarrassment and real time failure.
- Choose a positive thought or image to replace the negative one. Visualize a bright, positive image of your self with the crowd hanging on every word smiling, nodding and clapping enthusiastically.
- Visualize the positive thought or image, and make it larger and brighter in your mind’s eye, while simultaneously making the negative thought or image smaller and dimmer. Inflate the positive image to massive proportions like a gigantic balloon.
- “Swish” the positive thought or image into the place where the negative thought or image was, and associate a positive feeling or emotion with the positive thought or image. ! Quickly allow the positive image to explode over the negative which is shrinking and fading to grey, before rapidly fading away into the distance.
- Break State, which simply means to think or experience something else. Ask ” Do you smell baked bread ” ? ” What’s your middle name” ? etc.
- Repeat the process several times until you can’t see the original image, each time making the positive thought or image brighter, clearer, and more vivid, and the negative thought or image smaller and less intense.
It may help to accompany the thought/image with a Swish sound rather like quickly closing a curtain.
The Swish Pattern is intended to be a fast and effective way of changing limiting beliefs and negative thoughts, and to help individuals achieve their goals and improve their lives. However, it is important to keep in mind that NLP techniques are not a substitute for professional therapy or medical treatment, and that individuals who are experiencing serious mental health concerns should seek the help of a qualified professional.