Is this really me, the real Phillip Holt?
Do I really look like that?
Is this as others see me?
In my head, when I am training, out on stage, or just being me walking around the shops, I do not conceive myself looking like that. In my head my body looks nothing like the above, it is as it was when I was eighteen.
I a recent NLP Practitioner course held in Italy with Coach4Life, there were lots of photographs taken, and when I was shown them, I could not believe my eyes. Surely I do not look like that? Surely I do not act like that?
In Turkey I have often been accompanied by perhaps a young lady translator, and after a hard days working together delivering a course, to go for an evening meal. On the way to the restaurant as we walk past a shop window, I catch sight of the two of us, and it becomes a shock, because there I see a young woman walking next to a “95” year old man. Yet in my head as we are walking together I feel as one, the same age.
The Cat on the Mat teaches us to realise that what we take as the truth or reality, is seen in a different way by another person, each and everyone of us have different beliefs, even of the same subject matter. Just look at religions.
With the subject of Perceptual Positions, we learn to see ourselves as others see us, and to many participants or clients I have, it becomes a shock to look at themselves as if through another’s eyes.
To hear ourselves as others hear us is most peculiar, our voices does not sound the same as the sound waves we hear in our ears are not carried by the air around us, but by the bone structure and skin between our voice box and ear drums.
It is not only the sounds we make as we speak that are completely different from our own ears to those of our listeners, but it is what we say, the content, which is often different to what is received and understood by the listeners to what we meant to say, as with the tonality of how we say our words.
It is when we can step outside our own shoes and look back at ourselves and hear ourselves as others see and hear us, that we may find we need to change our ways.
It could be a parent who treats their offspring as a child, but in reality that “child” is an adult in their twenties.
It could be that a parent wants their child to be of a certain character type, to dress in a certain way, to behave in a particular way, yet that child is different to what the parent expects. This problem arises when a young person realises that they like the same sex partners, and dress and act in their parent’s eyes inappropriately.
It could be that the parent disapproves of the boyfriend or girlfriend, but the two potential partners are hopelessly in-love, enough to get married. The parent only sees the boyfriend/girlfriend/husband/wife with distaste and ruins their child’s life as well as their own.
It could be that two partners see the world in a different way to each other, leading to arguments, disagreements and fights.
It is when we see ourselves from another’s perspective or point of view, that we can often see how wrong we could have been, that actually we should change our ways.
By stepping outside our shoes, as if looking back upon ourselves, we can often see how much harm we have done, how much distress we have caused to others. Or, perhaps, how much good we have done, yet had not perceived it.
So, looking at the photographs from the recent courses I gave, the images were not of me as I perceived myself, yet, the role plays I create, the tonally and words I use, the way I give information, the games I play, the stories I tell, all combine to take the participants on a journey of learning with fun and laughter, in an easy and quick way.
Would I change the way I am?
Perhaps, perhaps not. I am what I am, so accept it.