Say What??? Shake Up Your Beliefs with NLP Pattern Interrupts

Using a “Pattern Interrupt”, an NLP Technique, is a great way of initiating change in your behavior.  It creates a virtual Hiccup in your thought process so that your normal pattern of behavior is interrupted and you can consciously insert a new belief that leads to an action.

Humor is a fantastic tool to incorporate into the Pattern Interrupt because it links up a “fun” state to the new behavior you choose to take afterwards. Here are a few fun pattern interrupts that have come up with clients lately.

Belief: a “Waste not, want not” attitude in regards to food at dinner.

“You can Waste it, or Waist it, which waist do you want?”

Belief: I am too tired to get up in the morning.

“It is a simple matter of mind over mattress.”

Belief: I’ll start tomorrow, I meant to do that, or I was going to…

“When would NOW be a good time to start?”

Belief: I don’t know.

“I know I don’t know what I don’t know now, but if I did know now, what would I know to do?”

Belief:  We argue all the time.

“This is a great opportunity for discussion.”

Belief: I hate this!

“This situation is truly less that favorable!”

And my favorite:

Belief: It’s not in my job description, I shouldn’t have to do it.

“If you don’t stay sharp and on point, like the tip of a spear, all you get in the end is the shaft.”


Pattern Interrupts can be a great tool for not only changing your state but the emotional state of others also. The shock value of not giving a “typical” response is what ignites the opportunity for change to happen in patterns of thought. Adding humor is like adding gas to the fire!

Have fun creating some pattern interrupts for yourself.  I would love to hear yours below.


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3 replies
  1. Gail
    Gail says:

    Love the humor idea with the pattern interrupt! I have a client I am working with on this and we’ll add some humor in the next session! Great idea!

  2. Paul Eich
    Paul Eich says:

    “I might be doing this wrong!” Or, “I’m not good at this!” Or, dejectedly saying “I suck!”

    Turn of the phrase – “You have to fail to succeed!” IOW – persistence is the currency of success, failure allows you to practice persistence.

    This get’s my perfectionist 11 year old’s attention (not sure where he gets it), and I remind myself all the time too.

    This was a great read, thanks James!

    • James
      James says:

      That is awesome Paul,

      I am sure your son gets it. We all tend to pick up the simple phrases our parents taught us. I remember the first time I yelled, “Stop acting like a child!” to my son…meanwhile, my wife, Emma, is Bursting into Tears in the front seat saying, “…But he IS a child!”

      What the kids remember goes both ways! Hope you are doing great and the CrossFit is AMAZING!

      To your continued success,


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