What the heck is “presuppositions”?


The word presupposition is a noun and is an assumption, conjecture, speculation or something supposed without proof.


 What are the presuppositions of NLP?


There are a number of presuppositions, which are the central principles of NLP; they are its guiding philosophy, its ‘beliefs’. These principles do not claim to be true or universal. You do not have to believe they are true. They are called presuppositions because you pre-suppose them to be true and then act as if they were; discover what happens. If you like the results then continue to act as if they are true.


They form a set of ethical principles by which to live your life.


  • The ability to change the way we process our experience in our reality is more valuable than changing the content of our experience of reality.
  • The meaning of any communication is the response you receive. This places the onus of responsibility to get your message across directly at your door; you cannot blame the other person if your communication has not been understood.
  • By using our senses, visual, auditory, kinaesthetic, olfactory and gustatory we make distinctions within our behaviour and environment we make sense of our world.
  •  The resources we need to effect a change are already within us.
  • The map is not the territory: i.e. for instance if you book a holiday from a brochure you will see a description of the place and events but the brochure isn’t the holiday, the holiday is how you experience it to be.

You respond according to your map of your world the one you hold in your head your map is made up of your beliefs and values as well as your attitudes, memories and cultural background.

  • It is not what you do it is who you are that counts. NLP always seeks to maintain a person’s self worth whilst questioning the value and appropriateness of their internal and or external behaviour.
  • Behind every behaviour there is a positive intent even if others perceive it as not being so. NLP separates the intention or purpose behind an action from the action itself. A person is not their behaviour. When a person has a better choice of behaviour that also achieves their positive intention, they will take it.
  • There is no failure only feedback-
  • All results and behaviours are what you have achieved, whether they are desired outcomes for a specific task or context or not .A great way to increase your understanding of NLP is to explore your own basic assumptions or presuppositions about life.  If they are different to the above then try these on for size and see, hear and feel if they are a more comfortable fit for you.