What is the meaning you give to words?

Working with a client recently, we talked about what triggered their anxiety. One of the triggers that came on the list was the word “deadline”.
I asked, what is the meaning you give to the word “deadline”?
Their response was: disappointment, failure, no perfection…
We then went on to associate the word with a different meaning. In order to do so, I asked them to create as many possible other words that contain the same letters. They were a bit hesitant in the beginning, but quickly the energy shifted and they became playful. They came up with many other words, and one of them was “LEAD” – which opened a whole new perspective and gave them a choice in meaning.
Then, I asked: Is there maybe a picture associated to the word “deadline”?
Their immediate response was: an old boss with whom they had a humiliating experience.
We then went on to change the picture that was associated with the word. We did so using an NLP technique, changing of the submodalities of the old image and replacing it with a new image. So that next time they hear the word “deadline” there is a completely different image that will show up, and even if the old image might be still there, they now have choice.
This is what coaching and NLP is about, creating choice for the client.
Imagine having this tool in your toolbox to help yourself when you or a close one feels anxious, how cool would it be?
You can learn this and many other techniques to help yourself or your clients at the NLP Practitioner course.