Well-Formed Outcomes & Future-Pacing

Sometimes, we focus on what we don’t want, or on what could go wrong. This exercise flips the script, and makes us think, “What if everything goes right?” Before we dive into experiencing and future-pacing well-formed outcomes, let’s review the NLP jargon for the five main senses.

Sensory Modalities: Your 5 Main Senses

Visual → See

Auditory → Hear

Kinesthetic → Touch/Feel    

Olfactory → Smell

Gustatory → Taste

In NLP, emphasis is put onto the visual, auditory and kinesthetic senses. They are often shortened to VAK, for visual, auditory and kinesthetic. Later on, you will imagine the outcome you want with your 5 main senses.

Focus especially on the VAK senses, but notice the olfactory and gustatory experiences as well. Be sure to pay attention to subtle details, also called submodalities, like brightness, loudness, size, nearness, texture etc.

How to Do Well-Formed Outcomes 

What do you want?

Get clear.

Close your eyes, and step into the vision of this. By step in, I mean fully associate with the experience, as though you’re actually living it first-hand.

Define the specifics through the 5 main senses. 

Imagine experiencing the desired state through the 5 senses.

What emotions are you feeling?

Visualize the outcome in a way that feels real, and increases motivation.

Identify the resources you need to get there.

What resources have you already developed in the enhanced version of you?

Remember, transitions require a willingness to make personal changes.

Next, do an ecology check. Ask yourself, “If I achieve this, is it good? Does it enhance my life; someone else’s? Is it fundamentally okay?” 

To Recap: Ask Yourself

What do I want? → Describe it in positive terms.

Get into the specific details with all 5 senses, and emotions. –>How will you know when you’ve got this thing you want? What will you see, hear, feel, taste and touch? How will you act? Close your eyes, and visualize it.

What resources are needed? → Look ahead. What resources do you need to get to this place. Then, imagine you have the outcome you want. Look behind. What resources did you develop along the way? 

Is this okay? → Is this goal okay with you? Is it going to enhance your life? Is it going to enhance someone else’s life?

Future-Pacing Your Well-Formed Outcomes

Now that you’ve imagined your ideal future state with your 5 senses, and you’ve identified the resources you will have, or will need to get there, you can choose to go one step further. Imagine your life 5, and then 10 years into the future, beyond achieving your ideal state. Remember, you have access to all of the resources you developed along the way.

As you imagine your life 5, and then 10 years into the future, remember to go into detail with your 5 senses. This will increase your motivation to achieve your ideal outcome.

Future Pace

Establish the well-formed outcome: what do you want, specifics, resources, ecology.

Move forward 5 years. Everything’s bigger. All of your qualities are enhanced. Get into the specific details and feel it with your 5 senses and emotions. You’re picturing your life in 5 years if you continue to develop the resources you need.

Now fast forward another 5 years, and see how things have continued to grow. You’re empowered. You’ve taken full responsibility for the change you seek. What does that look, and feel and sound like? Is that okay, fundamentally, with you?

Well-Formed Outcomes and Future-Pacing Benefits

This exercise helps to shift perspective. Too often, we focus on what we don’t want, or on all the things that could go wrong. This exercise flips the script, and makes us think, “What if everything goes right?” This exercise helps you become aware of specific areas of your life that you need to take responsibility for, so that you are fully empowered to make the changes you need to make to get the outcome you seek.

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