Meta Programs – Discounting and Counting

Who's counting?

Who’s counting?

Meta Programs are processes that operate at a metal level, which influence other lower mental levels (meta meaning ‘above’). They help you understand how you (and others) make sense of the world, and how you shape your values, beliefs and behaviors. The term meta programs comes from the world of NLP and is widely used in self development, coaching and counseling.

Translated into every day language meta programs would be ‘thinking habits’. Depending on whom you asked there are almost 100 different meta programs which have been identified so far (according to L. Michael Hall).

Does this count? Or not?

This meta program is called Discounting versus Counting and looks at how you habitually look at what you have achieved. If you simply think about how you look back at today’s actions, are you noticing and counting the things you have done or rather discounting them by saying something like “ah, that’s nothing” or “that’s normal, everyone has to do this”.

The famous “To Do list”…

Many of you reading this use something to remind you to get things done. It’s usually in list form and states all the errands and things that still have to get done. This list might get updated with more things to do but those items that have been delivered or finished usually disappear without much celebration. You might, for a short moment, be relieved of having done something but then the focus is on “ok, what’s next?”

Have you done enough?

If you suffer from overwhelm, truth is that you are probably sorting much more for the things that you haven’t done and discounting the things that you have. As a ‘human doing’ we have learnt from an early age that we are only ever as good as what we have done. This is a belief worth reconsidering and updating, if you still fully stand behind it.

Starting to count

How about a new list called “Things I have achieved list”? This would be the first subtle change toward counting. You might wonder “but what’s the point of that?” which is just another discounting statement. The fact is once we start to really appreciate who we are, what we have and are doing as opposed to beating us up for who we are not, what is left to be done or didn’t have time, we will notice a letting-go, a relaxation and a shift to self-appreciation.

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