Personal development: the complexity of human behavior
People are complex. We are aware of our actions and know and review our consciousness; we are metaconscious. This main characteristic distinguishes us from the rest of the planet, a feature with its lights and shadows.
Meta-consciousness helps us live in society, regulate ourselves, and try to anticipate the behavior of others, although we do not always succeed. This same meta-consciousness collaborates in the conformation of a psychic life so full of levels and nuances that we cannot always manage adaptively; this can cause us suffering and, sometimes, cause it to those around us.
Neurological levels according to Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP)
We can analyze any behavior and any situation in our life from different levels of depth that range from what we see, our external behaviors, to the depths of our psyche. Some authors call them neurological levels, and from each of them, the potential changes for personal development would be analyzed, identifying limiting or enabling aspects of said change.
According to neurolingüistic programming, a series of rules govern these levels of thinking and being:
- Each level organizes and controls the information perceived by an immediately lower level.
- Changes at higher levels affect lower levels. In contrast, lower levels do not have to affect higher levels.
- A poorly structured lower tier is poor support for higher levels.
We create our schemes and mental maps that help us interpret and understand the world through these levels. Knowing how these levels are established in ourselves helps us better understand how we perceive, act, and feel. This provides us with a structure to develop potential learning and changes, improving our relationships with the environment.
These levels are usually represented in a pyramid of seven steps that begins at the environment level and culminate in the transpersonal level.
Pyramid of levels
Environment (Level 1)
It is what we perceive through the senses and what we react to. Our actions and relationships occur in the environment, framed by the period in which such situations arise.
Behavior (Level 2)
They are the concrete actions we carry out to relate to the environment. Our senses frame the behavior.
Capacities (Level 3)
They are the aptitudes, abilities, and strategies we deploy in our behavior. It is the level related to learning through which we adapt to the environment and achieve objectives. It is a facilitating level of change since, through capacities, we can regulate our behavior.
Beliefs (Level 4)
They are our reasons and truths, and they configure schemes that move us to think and act in a certain way. They are the generalizations we make about what surrounds us and about ourselves. They affect our perception and can enhance or limit certain behaviors, affecting our potential capacities.
Values (Level 5)
They are more stable than beliefs and direct our lives from a deeper psychic level, establishing what is important to us and our ethical and moral position in the world. They guide our aspirations, judgment of right and wrong, and preferences. Satisfaction and personal fulfillment require knowing our values and acting accordingly to avoid internal conflict.
Identity (Level 6)
It is the sense of self or way of recognizing ourselves as an individual within the whole. It is a compendium of behaviors, capacities, beliefs, and values that differentiate us from others and endow our existence with differential values.
Mision (Level 7)
It constitutes the essence of our existence, gives meaning to our lives, and guides us towards a motivating future. Our contribution to the world is when we align behaviors, capacities, beliefs, values, and identity towards an existential purpose.
The culmination is the transpersonal or systemic level, transcending what we perceive through the senses. The individual deploys his attention to the group, taking on greater interest without losing his character.