Using NLP principles 3: People have all the resources they need to succeed

This NLP presupposition is also sometimes stated as ‘There are no unresourceful people, only unresourceful states’. Before we get into the practical ways you can use this principle to improve your life and work, you might want to read this earlier article for some background.

image by ppreacher at

Some ways of making this presupposition work for you:

  1. Since your emotional state influences how much of your resources you can access, it makes sense to remember and inquire into the times when things went well if you’re wanting to improve your performance. This is one aspect of a method called Appreciative Inquiry, which shares a lot of assumptions with NLP. If there’s something you want to improve about your performance in a particular area, and nothing else has worked, try this – either get a friend to ask you these questions, or if you’re on your own, write your answers:
      • Tell me about your best time in this area, a time that you performed better than usual, you felt alive and engaged, and you learned something positive about yourself.
      • What’s important to you about this story?
      • What was it about that situation, about the people around or about you, that made this better performance possible?
      • If you had one wish for the future about this area, what would it be?
  1. What skills or qualities have you shown in other areas of your life that could help you in the areas you want to improve?
  2. Who are you when you are at your best?
  3. Since we tend to take our own strengths for granted: what do other people say your strengths are, even if you think it’s no big deal yourself?
  4. Who else, and where else, can you get help from?
  5. Again, since you have access to more of your resources when you’re in a positive emotional state, what could you do to get yourself into the right state before you tackle something important?
  6. Remember the Pygmalion Effect. If you’re managing, coaching, or teaching someone else, remember that they have all the resources they need. If you’ve put a label on them of ‘stupid’, or ‘lazy’, or ‘negative’, remember that this acts as a filter on your perception of their performance, so it tends to become a self-fulfilling prophesy. So remember that they have all the resources they need, and actively look for evidence that challenges your existing judgement of them. You may be pleasantly surprised by an improvement in their performance.

As ever, do let us know how you get on with these exercises by leaving a comment!

© 2012 – 2019, Andy Smith. All rights reserved.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.