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Do You Internally or Externally Validate

Do You Internally or Externally Validate Yourself?

When I asked my eldest daughter who was working in a restaurant, how she knew when she had done a good job she listed a series of criteria: when she received good tips, when the customers complimented her and smiled at her service; when her manager told her she was doing a good job; when the chef high-fived her.

I had to smile when she told me this because I operate from the opposite perspective. I know I have done a good job because of how I feel inside. I know when I’ve cut corners, when I’ve been lazy or distracted and not given it my all.

If my daughter gives it her all and taps into every single resource within herself and then someone comes and complains about her performance, she inwardly deflates and thinks she did a lousy job. Whereas if I gave it my all and someone came and said that to me, it would go in one ear and out the other. If that same person continually complained about my performance, I wouldn’t take it personally and feel defeated, but would eventually think: ‘what a jerk’ and discount anything they said.

Together these strategies comprise one of the binary behavioural filters we habitually use to determine when we did a good job. Within NLP circles this internal binary switch or habit is referred to as ‘External versus Internal Frames of Reference’.

There can also be a cultural aspect to the way this inner program or switch gets set. Some societies are far more ruled by the concepts such as honour and shame, by how individuals and their family are perceived by the world around them; while other societies tend to favour internal frames of reference which allows people to go off and do their own things as long as they do not harm others. Both have their strengths and limitations.

Another way of viewing this is to observe yourself and try to determine if you are inner or outer directed. Do you march to the sound of your own drum, or do you march in time with the band?

And please keep in mind that one is not better or morally superior than the other, because these are mechanical, machine-like switches that are set in one position or the other (though this is also a generalization because every single person has used both of these strategies).

And if you want to be a human being, rather than a machine, it helps to become aware of the machine-like properties that rule you on an inner level.

Allan Clews http://www.TorontoHypnotherapist.com

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