Swish Technique In NLP: Learn To Master This Foundational Tool

Sebastian Leblond teaching the swish technique to a class of NLP Practitioner trainees.
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    Neuro-Linguistic Programming, also known as NLP, is a practice that involves dozens of different techniques to help a person become much more effective at both self-discipline, as well as the ability to influence others around them through words, body language, and ways of thinking alone. 

    What Is The NLP Swish Pattern Technique

    One of the most prominent NLP techniques is the Swish Pattern Technique. To practice this, you need to follow a few steps. 

    Firstly, create an image of failure in your mind. Whatever situation you are going into, try and imagine the result of failure in that situation. Make a visceral image of what that looks and feels like in your head. After this has been done, enlarge the image in your hand. Make it colorful, big, and noisy, and bring it to the forefront. 

    Secondly, create an image of success in your mind. Make this image small, black, white, and quiet, and keep it in the back of your mind. 

    After doing these two things, go ahead and swap the images, make success bright, colorful, and loud, and failure small and colorless. Repeat this exercise a few times and then go into the situation you are preparing for. 

    Does the NLP swish pattern work? 

    The Swish pattern is one of the most widely used NLP techniques among professionals and regular people worldwide. Why else would so many people practice it consistently? This would, of course, suggest that the technique works.

    Additionally, the best way to see that it works is by trying it out before going into a situation and noting the results. 

    What Benefits Does The Swish Pattern Technique Provide? 

    You may be wondering what benefits the Swish pattern specifically can provide and the use cases in which it can be effective. There are a few important benefits to consider in this regard.  

    Weakening Negative Thoughts 

    Firstly, by demonstrating over and over that good can overcome bad and replace it, the Swish pattern is a practical demonstration that negative thoughts can be weakened for the person using this technique. 

    Additionally, by removing negative thoughts, you are more likely to achieve clarity in thought and action so that you can pursue your dreams without the distraction of lowered self-esteem or lower confidence. 

    Overcoming Bad Habits

    Another advantage of the Swish technique is that it can help you overcome bad habits that hold you back from being able to perform optimally in your daily life. Through the Swish technique, you can see a picture of your life with and without these habits interfering with who you are. This comparison is useful for a few reasons. 

    Firstly, it helps motivate you because a better version of reality is right there in your head that you can easily picture. 

    Secondly, the Swish technique demonstrates that the better world and the better version of yourself can overcome the negative side. This fact helps provide the confidence needed to pursue action and take the first step in breaking the habits interfering with your life.  

    Shifting Mindset

    Another benefit of the Swish NLP technique is that it can help you shift your mindset. Rather than feeling helpless or nervous about a situation, you can take control and be more likely to change it for the better. 

    This happens for a few reasons; firstly, by clearly envisioning the processes involved, you are in a better position to consider the little details in failure and success. You can avoid the actions or ways of thinking that might fail and, instead, pursue the ones that are more likely to lead to success.

    This shift in mindset is crucial as many small changes can compound to form a significant aggregate difference overall. 

    How to use the NLP Swish

     Now that we have gone over what NLP Swish is and how it can lead to potential benefits, the next step is understanding how to use this technique. 

    1.  Get Clear on the Issue 

    The first step is to form a clear idea of what the problem at hand is that could lead to two different worlds, one which is ideal and one which is not.

    2.  Identify the Choice Point

    The second step is to identify the exact choice or moment that will end up differentiating the two worlds. This decision is the critical juncture between your ideal and your imperfect world.  

    3.  Create Your Ideal Outcome 

    Now focus on what your ideal world looks like. Try to imagine it as much detail as possible to make your ideal outcome visceral, realistic, and emotional. The better the job you do here, the more effective the outcome will be. 

    4.  Amplify the Positive 

    Now that you have the ideal outcome in mind brighten up the sounds, colors, smells, and all other sensory stimuli of the picture in your head and bring it to the fore of your mind until it’s the only thing you are focusing on. 

    5.  Setting up the Swish 

    The next thing to do is to imagine a bad world in a similar amount of ideal of your ideal outcome. Follow the same steps just for a negative world.  

    6.  Making the Change

    Now make the switch by bringing the bad world to the fore and taking the ideal one to the back of your mind where you cannot focus on it. 

    7.  Repeat for Success 

    Finally, the key is to repeat this process a few times and end it with the good world in the fore of your mind. The Swish technique has now been completed. 

    What if the Swish Technique doesn’t work? 

    Although the Swish technique is fairly common and one of the most successful NLP techniques, it might still be prone to not working for some people. In such an instance, there is no need to panic or lose faith in NLP. 

    You can do a few diagnostic things to try and fix the problem. Firstly, you can try applying the Swish technique to another situation while following the instructions as closely as possible. 

    You can try out different NLP techniques if the technique still does not work out.

    Fortunately, the world of NLP is diverse and has a plethora of different techniques to choose from. You can look for another one that may apply to your situation and be technically easier to implement. 

    Learn The Swish Pattern Technique From An NLP Master 

    If this article has interested you in the Swish technique and you want to become an expert in using it, there are a few options. 

    You can find a wide variety of online resources and literature on neuro-linguistic programming. However, this process is a bit arduous and prone to error as the resources may not be reliable or suitable. 

    Alternatively, a good avenue to pursue is to learn the Swish Pattern from an NLP Master. Online resources and courses like this one have been produced and vetted by professionals to ensure their accuracy and efficacy.

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    Sebastien Leblond

    Sebastien Leblond is the Founder of NLP Top Coach, a leading NLP Coaching and Leadership Development Company. He is among an exclusive group of American Board of NLP Certified NLP Master Trainers in the world. More than 40,000 individuals across 30+ countries have been trained and certified by Sebastien to become world-class coaches and trainers. Sebastien is originally from Québec, Canada, and now lives in Bangkok, Thailand with his wife and children.

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