Friday, 24 June 2016



Given the many, many variables within resilience (#4) and the stages of
resilience (#5), you have to have several meta-strategies to handle each of
the stages.  That is, for each stage (set back, emotional roller-coaster,
coping, mastering, and recovery) you have to have specific belief frames,
identity frames, understanding frames, decision frames, etc. in order to
navigate through that stage.   It is not sufficient to merely have the right
state or states within each stage, you have to have the right belief-system
(beliefs and beliefs-about-beliefs) which will hold those state or states in
place.  This is another one of the great contributions of the Meta-States

To start this process, elicit each of the stages and simply begin by asking
meta-questions about each of the stages.  For example, take the set-back
stage itself.  Considering that stage, now ask:

         What do you understand about the set-back?  Is this normal or
abnormal?  Is this something you can expect in life, or is it completely

         What do you believe about being set-back?  What does it mean to

         How do you experience yourself as a person and in your identity
when you are set-back?

         What decisions do you need to make given the set-back?

         Do you have permission to experience the set-back or do you fight
and reject it?

         What do you expect when a set-back occurs?

         All of these italized words are meta-levels, also known as logical
levels, and when you ask questions about them , you are asking a

What then happens?  What do you achieve by doing this?  When you ask these
meta-questions, the answers take you (or another person) into the realm of
the person's internal matrix of frames which informs your experience of that
stage.  It lets you explore in depth what you think consciously and what you
are unconsciously thinking that's setting the meaning frames that you are
living by.  This enables you to do some, literally, high-level information
gathering about what a person understands, believes, expects, etc. about
that stage.  These make up the person's frame of mind.

These frames of mind not only inform you and that person regarding the
person's rich inner landscape of consciousness, it also governs it.  It
self-organizes it.  And if there's any problem for you or another person in
handling that stage, the frame is almost always the problem.  The
meta-questioning enables you to get to the frame, understand it, and then
give you an opportunity to change it- reframe it, deframe it, outframe it,

Now when you have done that with each of the stages, you have gathered
intelligence about the person's higher frames of mind about the whole
process from suffering a set-back to bouncing-back in a resilient way.  But
... but is there any connection between each of the meta-levels of beliefs,
understandings, expectations, etc.?  Are there any commonalities between one
meta-level set of beliefs and another's?

This question takes us up-and-beyond the primary level strategies wherein we
handle each of the stages.  It takes us to a higher level where we can begin
to consider meta-strategies.  A meta-strategy would be a strategy that
enables us to go from one stage to the next.  And in terms of resilience,
this is critical.  "How do you know to go from the set-back stage to the
emotional roller-coaster stage, or to the coping stage, or to the mastery
stage, or to the "I'm back!" stage?"  This is the question that I asked in
1994 that opened up the key to how to be resilient and to the presence of

If a person answers, "How I know to go from this stage to the next is I have
an overall picture of all of the stages" then the person has just given you
a larger-level, a meta-level, strategy.  You can then explore more about the
person's understandings.  "How many stages are there for you?"  "What do you
believe about moving through these stages?"  "What do you believe about how
long it will take you to do the 'work' in each stage and get to the end?"
"Is there anything that could stop you from proceeding forward and getting
through it all?"  And so on.

"I believe that I will get through this!" one person says.  That's a high
level belief about the process and  about himself.  "What enables you to get
through it?"  That will call forth information about how the process of
knock-down and get-up works and factors that may play a role inside of it.
"While you may not like the initiating experience of suffering a set-back,
what do you believe or understand about such things happening?"  That will
give you much of the person's philosophy of life.  "Do you think the
set-back was fair or unfair, or do you think it has nothing to do with
fairness, it is just things that happen in the world?"

With that introduction to the meta-levels of consciousness that set the
frames for how you think about set-backs and resilience, let's now explore
more personally what meta-level frames that are operational in the back of
your mind that supports you being a resilient person or that undermines it.
Here are some questions to consider:

         What do you understand about unpleasant and disturbing events?  Do
you think of them as a personal attack or as activities that occur?  What do
you believe about what causes them, what brings them about, and what they
say about you?

         What are you expectations and assumptions when some "bad thing"
happens to you?  What meanings do you give to such an event?  What criteria
(or standards) do you use to evaluate the experience as "bad?"

         What do you permit to happen or not permit?  Are there "bad
things" that can and do happen to people and you have no permission within
yourself for them to happen?  What permissions do you need to give yourself
so that you aren't shocked or blown away if something bad happened?

         What are your understandings, beliefs, and decisions about how to
cope with disasters or hardships?  Where does your mind go in terms of what
you can do to ameliorate the hurt?

L. Michael Hall, Ph.D.

               Neuro-Semantics Executive Director

               Neuro-Semantics International

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