What are the Presuppositions of NLP?

The Presupposition of NLP are a set of convenient beliefs or assumptions that if you adopt, you are more likely to create better results in your life.

  1. Everyone has a unique model of the world
  2. Respect other peoples model of the world
  3. The map is not the territory
  4. People are not their behaviours
  5. Behaviours should be evaluated in terms of context and ecology
  6. All behaviour has a positive intention
  7. The most important thing about a person is their behaviour
  8. Everyone has all the resources they need to get their outcome
  9. There are no unresourceful people, only unresourceful states
  10. A persons behaviour is not who they are. Accept the person, change the behaviour
  11. Law of requisite variety: The person with the most amount of flexibility ends up controlling the system
  12. There is no failure, only feedback
  13. You are in charge of your mind, and therefore your results
  14. The Meaning of your communication is the results you get back.
  15. Resistance in a client is a sign of a lack of rapport


  • Respect other peoples Model of the World: There is a strange temptation in saying “Why can’t everyone know this?” and want to change everyone’s MOW. The big lesson is – If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it. It’s not your model.
  • Map is not the territory: We experience the world through our senses and so the model of the world we have inside our head is not real, only a model. The words we use are abstract entities that represent our complete life experience around that word, and everyone has a different life experience in determining what that word means. When we think about an event in the past, that causes an emotional response, we have a choice on how to respond to that event and change it.
  • The person is not their behaviour: By accepting the person is not their behaviour, we can work on changing their beliefs, strategies and therefore their behaviour. However we are not changing the person
  • The most important thing about people is their behaviour: A person’s behaviour is influenced by their model of the world, and how they filter external events. By understand a person’s filter and their Model of the World (MOW),  we can begin to understand their behaviour, for example is a person answers “yes” but  nods “no”, then calibrate on the physiology because their Internal Representation is a “no”
  • Law of requisite variety: Did you ever wonder why sometimes kids end up controlling their parents? Kids have endless flexibility and choice of behaviour. Parents do not as they are concerned by extern views of their actions.
  • Meaning of the communication is the response you get back: When you communicate with someone you have no idea what they understand until you hear back from them what they understand. It doesn’t matter what you said. It doesn’t even matter what you think you said. It only matters what they thought you said.
  • No failure, only feedback: Thomas Edison did 10,000 experiments before he invented the light bulb. He never saw them as a failure. He would say “I’ve found 10,000 ways how not to invent the light bulb.
  • Resistance in a client is a sign of a lack of rapport: There are no resistant clients, only inflexible communicators
  • People have all the ability to succeed: There are no unresouceful people, only unresourceful states. States leads to behaviour. If people perceive that they don’t have the ability to succeed, then may be in a stuck-state. The person herself is not unresourceful. By heading someone from a less resourceful state to a more resourceful state, they can begin to create their own success

The challenge in the Presuppositions of NLP is to find the presuppositions that you resonate least with, and then finding evidence to where your life creates challenges by not accepting these presuppositions.