Basic NLP Patterns

Circle of Excellence

Written by Lee Avery

One of the earliest patterns to come out of the original NLP team it is designed to allow an individual to access a positive and helpful emotional state in any situation. It is a simple pattern that can be used by an individual at any time without the intervention for an NLP Practitioner. Once the pattern is learnt it can be modified to fit the needs of the situation and required emotional state.


Start Here

Step 1

Identify Required State

Ask the client to think of an emotional state that they would like to have on demand. This can be feelings of confidence or security, comfort or energy, anything that will help them overcome a particular situation. It can be useful to identify a problem or situation where this state will be useful.

Step 2

Access the State

Get the client to remember a time when they were in an intense version of the state that they want from the circle of excellence. Have them fully assoociate (be in the memory) and then intensify the level of feeling using sub-modality shifts. If it is a state that they have never felt, get them to imagine what it would feel like.

Step 3

Create the Circle

Have the client imagine a circle on the floor about 1 pace in front of them (they will need to step in to it) large enough for them to stand inside. Now get the client to make the following changes to the circle:

    • Make the circle a colour that elicits the state.
    • Add artifacts to the circle that enhance the feelings.
    • Include and sounds or smells

Step 4

Step into the Circle

Step into the circle, intensifying the feeling as they move over the threshold. Fully associate into the state and notice the change, intensify and evaluate the circle adding anything that will enhance the state. Ask the client to describe the sub-modalities of the feelings, pay special attention to key sub-modalities shifting as appropriate to enhance the state.

Step 5

Step out of the Circle

Have the client step out of the circle making sure that they bring the state out with them when they come. Break them out of their current state to bring them back to a neutral state.

Step 6

Step in and Test

With the client in a neutral state have them step into the circle and experience the state change. Make sure that they fully enter the resourceful state. Have them make any changes that they need to enhance the quality and intensity of the state.

Step 7

Repeat until Complete

Repeat steps 1 though 7 until the anchor is fully embedded and the client can activate the state whenever they step into the circle.

Step 8

Pick it up (Optional)

Have them pick up the circle and put it in their pocket so that they can access the state whenever they wish to. This can be an important step for some people who will tie the circle to the current location so that they can only enter into the state if they go through the Circle of Excellence in the place where they first experienced it. By taking it with them they can throw it down and step into it whenever they need to access the state.

End Here

About the author

Lee Avery

Professional Therapist, Clinical Hypnosis & NLP Trainer with over 25 years of experience in training new professionals and treating clients. He specialises in Trauma related Psychological health issues. After years of running training classes Lee has decided to publish his training materials online to further the accessibility of NLP and Hypnosis. He is an advocate for Clinical Hypnosis Excellence and is constantly looking to improve the professional standing of Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy within the medical community.

He also runs Achieving Greatness a software development company producing mobile apps for the mental health community.

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