Almost every one of us have a "critical voice" that goes on when we make a mistake. The critical voice might keep warning you not to repeat the same mistake at other times. The critical voice could make you go down and lower your self esteem and self confidence. You might feel that you can do away with the critical voice permanently.

Some people might have had a visual experience. Instead of a critical voice, their mind would keep throwing in pictures of them doing badly, and messing up the situation.

In NLP, we call such portions of ourselves as "parts". It is possible that parts of ourselves could come in the way of our normal functioning in everyday lives. This is true, even though most of our parts are helpful to us.

When we do not know how to drive a car, we practice driving a car and thereby create a part within ourselves that drives car. Starting from physical activities such as driving car to mental activities such as telling ourselves how good or great we are, we keep creating parts in ourselves. When some of these parts do not work in harmony with each other then we can do what is called as a Parts Integration or Parts Negotiation.

Negotiating with a Critical Voice


There are SIX steps to negotiating with a critical voice, known as Six Step Reframing.

  1. Identify the critical voice and listen to it. Ask the critical voice what is its positive intention in bringing you the negative thoughts.
  2. Acknowledge the positive intention of the critical voice and thank the critical voice for its positive intention.
  3. See whether you can agree with the positive intention described by your critical voice. If you can agree, go ahead with the next step. If not, ask the critical voice what does the critical voice accomplish through its positive intention. In other words find out the positive intention of the positive intention. Keep asking for a positive intention, until you can find a positive intention that you can agree with.
  4. Ask the critical voice what alternatives it has in order to achieve the positive intention that you can agree.
  5. Let the creative part in you come up with alternatives to the critical voice. Ask the critical part whether it would accept the responsibility of changing the behavior through these alternative.
  6. Visualize and Imagine the alternative behaviors that you would be demonstrating in the future. (Called as Future pacing)

Resolving Inner Conflicts


Here is a step by step technique to resolve an ongoing inner conflict.

This is done best when someone does this for you, rather than you doing it for yourself.

  1. Identify the parts that are in conflict with each other.
  2. Acknowledge the parts in turn.
  3. Now, detach yourself from the parts and use your instinct to decide which part you want to put in each hand.
  4. Each part symbolizes some aspect for your Life. Explore what each part represents for you.
  5. Now repeat the above two steps (steps 3 and 4) with the part that you have on the other hand.
  6. Identify what attribute or quality the first part has, to give to the second part in a way the second part would accept it. Identify in what way would the second part would receive this gift.
  7. Identify what attribute or quality the second part has, to give to the first part in a way the first part would accept it. Identify in what way would the first part would receive this gift.
  8. Typically, at this stage, there is an unconscious drawing together of the two hands.
  9. Bring both hands together towards your chest. Imagine how it would be for these two parts to exist together.