Part 4 - Controlling everything in life using Perception and Projection

Here is a Method that is Helping to Refine Your Goal Setting to Make It Happen – NLP Teaches us about Boundaries – Part 4

Here is a Method that is Helping to Refine Your Goal Setting to Make It Happen – NLP Teaches us about Boundaries – Part 4

By Adriana James and Brett Ellis

In previous three parts (to read Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 click on the respective link) of this article we have covered a large ground of ideas and concepts defining how our minds construct our goals, how setting goals is important, who in turn define who we think we are, and the notion of “boundaries” as it comes as a valuable tool in accomplishment of life objectives. The notion of “boundaries” is a new term and here is how we defined it: “boundaries are those things indicating the limit or the extent of what we think we are, the extend or the limit of what we can do or have.” This could fulfill both functions as limiting, or as defining.

Perception is Projection is a topic covered from the first day of the NLP Coaching Practitioner Training. It simply means that you cannot perceive anything around you that is not you. This topic makes us go back to the basics of NLP – the NLP Model of Communication which describes precisely why that’s the case. It is one of the first things you learn during an NLP Practitioner Training. The problem is that not many people really spend enough time understanding the complex meaning of that diagram. Therein lies the whole Perception is Projection explanation and why you cannot possibly see anything outside yourself that is not inside your own internal filters.

But, back to our issue: if you feel that your boundaries are being “stepped over” by other people we have to refer again to this peculiar concept which is very interesting and familiar to our graduates. If Perception really is Projection (meaning that we cannot perceive something that is not already inside our own filters, values, beliefs, attitudes) and if the NLP Communication Model works the way NLP points out to us,  that means that through careful observations of your own “boundaries” and other people’s “boundaries” you can learn a lot about yourself, your ability to project success and achievement in your life.

Back to basics again. Cause and Effect. Taking responsibility for your projections is not having to be blamed for anything. Remember that if “Perception is Projection” works the way we say it does (based on Carl Jung’s philosophy), then we should pay really good attention to the definition of our goals and stay true to our beliefs and especially values.

Once you do that, then by noticing the results you get from your goals, etc., you can hone in the skills for an even better definition of your goals, and become more and more conscious that you “are getting the message” of setting boundaries and controlling your projections, not to mention being ready to experience your own life and stop leaning heavily on others.

It Pays To Pay Attention To Boundaries!

So then, what is the condition of your boundaries and the boundaries of others around you in your world?

Do you live by what you preach? Do you walk your talk? Do you stand for your own “boundaries” or do you allow others to step over them? Do you step over other people’s boundaries yourself? Depending on how willing you are to admit it, or how conscious you are about your own behaviors you may learn extremely valuable lessons here.

So, let’s restate the question. How often do you feel that your boundaries of what is dear and “true” to you, or what you “stand for” is “stepped over” by other people every day? How many times have you said to yourself: “Oh, I actually did not want that thing…”, or “Oh, now that s/he told me otherwise, I realize that “x” is not really important to me”, or “Maybe what I really want is not correct/not right/not good/not appropriate”…what have you! And so you fool yourself but what you don’t realize is that in the process you are actually stepping over your own boundaries.

Paradoxical but this is how it works. All is about how your mind creates, constructs and represents the reality of your life experience.

And now we’re getting to the “heavy part”. And this will constitute the subject of the last part of this article.

Until then, be well


Brett Ellis

About the Author: Brett Ellis

Brett Ellis is a Certified Trainer of Neuro Linguistic Programming, Master Time Line Therapy® Trainer and Hypnosis Trainer. He’s been teaching trainings in Western Australia since 2007 as a graduate of Drs Tad and Adriana James and continues to be involved with the latest research and developments of the field. Transgressing from a background of Family Crisis Management and Educating long term unemployed to re-engage and step back into the power of creating the lives they want and deserve, Brett has guided many transformations in people’s lives over the last 20 years with a dynamic and fulfilling passion second to none. With elegance Brett continues to dedicate the remainder of his life to empowering the magical powers of Change within people not only with a love for them but with a great dedication to the transformation of mankind upon our planet with honor and integrity in all areas of life.


  1. Great article Brett. Thanks for the reminder of perception is projection.

    • Brett Ellis

      You’re welcome, Martin! “Perception is projection” is an excellent process for creating change. 🙂

      I hope you enjoy part 5.

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