Embrace Your Brilliance

June 24, 2012

What is a Pattern Interrupt?

NLP Pattern Interrupt

NLP Pattern InterruptOver time, thinking the same thoughts and doing the same things can stymy creative thought and possibility creation. Not only do we frequently get stuck in the routines of thought and patterns of activity, but neurological patterns and conditioning are created. Neurologically stored patterns can be far more difficult to break or change, hence, the need for a pattern interrupt.

A pattern interrupt (also sometimes called a confusion technique) is an interruption, often unexpected, in the  flow or sequence of activity or thought. The purpose of such an interrupt is to allow for changes from the normal routine of activity and thought processes, to weaken an old strategy or repetitive thought process and to create a space for a new change, possibility or pattern imprinting.

Stress overeating can be a response to a patterned or conditioned thought process.  When a person who has this pattern neurologically embedded becomes stressed it would be possible to interrupt the pattern before the overeating starts.  At the first sign of stress, a predetermined activity can be initiated causing the offending stimulus to lose its effect and power.

In NLP and in life coaching a pattern interrupt is a powerful tool that disarms a person’s knee jerk defense mechanisms and programmed responses.  A pattern interrupt gives people the power to change their behaviors, actions, thoughts, opinions and decisions.  A pattern interrupt is generally something that is completely unexpected, provocative and attention grabbing.

To be clear, a pattern interrupt is not an installation of a new pattern, it merely creates the space for a new pattern to be generated. Pattern interrupts or breaks are generally time sensitive, meaning you  have little time to install a new pattern before your established neurological patterns resumes and you are back where you started.


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Rhonda Robbins, speaker, teacher, certified life coach and NLP practitioner has been providing transformational life changing services and personality training to hundreds of individuals, businesses and groups for over ten years.  Rhonda owns and operates, Embrace Your Brilliance, and is available for one-on-one coaching sessions in person, on the phone, via Skype, Google Talk, Google+ Hangout or Yahoo Video Call. You can call me directly at 480-343-8700 or email me at yes@embraceyourbrilliance.co to set up a time for a session, or to ask a question.

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