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Balance by Sue Knight

“Balance is the key … While it is important to be disciplined and structured in training .. and follow the advice given to you by your coaches, you must leave room to let your natural talent shine through. Have fun but avoid excess”
Ryan Giggs interviewed in The Mail on Sunday

But how? A state of balance is one of ease, fluency and realisation of that natural talent. However the more usual state for most people is one of anxiety and stress;

“The three demons to personal effectiveness are inner noise, foveal vision and muscle tension”
John Grinder co-founder NLP.

Sue Knight

Sue Knight

In the past weeks I have been fascinated by the competitors in the Commonwealth Games. Watching the divers balanced on the edge of the diving board I was struck by their amazing poise and balance. Contrast that to the trembling hands of some of the competitors on Masterchef whose hands were shaking so much with nerves they could barely arrange the food on the plate. It seems that when we face a situation that ‘matters’ there is a greater chance that the nerves will take over. And as a consequence we lose our natural talent at the very times that we would wish to tap into them the most.

Our bodies are the source of feedback as to whether we are in balance or not. The question is do we listen? We can be accustomed to shutting out the signals with caffeine, pain killers and work. If you lay flat on the floor you will discover the imbalance in how you hold your body when you are upright. Even when lying down our bodies continue to hold the habits that we adopt when we are sitting, standing or exercising. So even when theoretically we could relax prostrate we find that our posture reveals the habits we have adopted and you will find that each side of the body touches the ground differently. Some parts will not just relax into the floor the way that the body of a baby would for example.

Any degree of tension or imbalance and we jeopardise our natural talent and our rightful success. So the question is what to do about it if you do want to change? Swamiji – a hindu monk and ayurverdic doctor with whom we consult when I am working in India says “Too much of anything is bad for you” So what are you doing too much of – work, worrying, strenuous exercise, eating unhealthily, drinking, smoking, stressing, sitting badly, watching a screen, taking pain killers, coffee and tea drinking, alcohol …

How many years do you think you have left? One theory is that we can expect to live about the same length of time as our parent of the same sex. How long does that give you? Here in France where I am writing this the country has come to a standstill with the strikes against the raising of the retirement age to 62! In the UK we can expect it to be at least 67 and even that might change. You can expect be working a lot longer than people in previous generations and it is unlikely that there will much in the way of support for your ‘old age’.. so balance in your life that allows you to do what you really love doing and doing it healthily has never been more important. You are going to be doing what you are doing for a long time!!

So what do you do about those excesses, those indulgences and bad habits? You might expect me to offer some complex NLP formula that involves changing your thinking patterns, imagining the ‘you’ that you want to be and finding associations that allow you to access that memory whenever you wish. You could tap into those limiting beliefs that override your underlying desire to find natural ways of being in life. Well I could..

And it is much simpler than that. As Bob Newhart says in his old but popular classic clip “Stop it!!” (You Tube link). Simple as that .. it’s your life – how do you choose to live it?

If you haven’t seen this I recommend it and if you want to see a similarly provocative coach at work and even experience him come and see Frank Farrelly at Work in November in Henley on Thames.

Sue Knight is author of NLP at Work which is now in its much revised 3rd edition and provider of NLP Training and Consultancy in India, Australia, the UK, and France. You can find out more about her work on

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