NLP in a nutshell

Posted on April 5, 2013


185699_144287875726593_174886345_nI’ve had a few people recently ask me about NLP and I found myself not explaining it very well.  Despite having done an NLP course and the extensive reading and thinking that went alongside, I was failing to give it an adequate explanation.

Until now (I hope). I’ve revisited some old material and tried to sum it up into an expresso-long read.

NLP was developed in the 1970’s and is probably best described as the art of getting what you want.  We like this don’t we!

It’s basically an owners manual for the mind, a beautifully equipt toolbox to get the results you want and create the life you want. At school, we were taught all sorts of nonsense subjects that have no baring on our actual lives when we should have been taught things like NLP because it boils down to how to feel good and how to create great relationships, be they between family and friends, lovers and others or when trying to woo a badass boss or a cute client.

The letters stand for ‘Neuro-Linguistic Programming’, which sadly is a totally unsexy term for one of the most brilliant psychological innovations of all time.

It was developed by two guys, Richard Bandler and John Grinder … one a mathematician and the other a linguistics professor. They wanted to establish why, whilst we all have similar faculties, only a few reach the top of their game … they wanted to study this notion of human excellence and did so by exploring the behaviour and thinking styles of the most effective and successful people in business, sport, education and personal development. At the core of NLP is ‘modeling’ which is a key method for replicating this excellence … how we should behave to get the results we want.

By mastering various NLP techniques, it will improve the way you think, feel and behave towards anything and everything.

It enables you to communicate better than others, think more clearly, better manage your thoughts, understand how other people tick & why and do whatever you do now, but better … much, much better.

I think sometimes people find it confusing because it has such an extensive range of applications, I mean, how can one process improve your personal relationships, help secure a promotion, enhance your creativity, help you study better and make you run faster or hit a golf ball further? But NLP really can do all of these … and then some! It is universally useful because it enables you to improve your overall effectiveness, in ever facet of your life.

Think of it this way … we’re all born with the same basic neurology. Our ability to do anything in life, whether it’s swimming the length of a pool, getting a degree, running a race or reading a book, depends on how we control our nervous system. So, much of NLP is devoted to learning how to think more effectively.

We know that most of our behaviours are learnt … ever seen a baby with self-esteem issues or a phobia of flying? No!  

We learn our behaviour from our experiences and the people around us as we grow up and this programs our brain to perceive things and to react to the world in a certain way. NLP allows us to understand what these programs are … and then, most importantly, to reprogram them. Anything that has been learnt is capable of being unlearnt!

Our brains store all it’s experiences as pictures, sounds and feelings and NLP enables us to change how our brain recognises these experiences and therefore how we perceive and respond to them. Your unconscious mind doesn’t know the difference between what is real and what happens in your head … which means your imagination is always more powerful than your willpower.

Clearly, some guy called Napolean Hill who said “what the mind can conceive, it can achieve”, was on to something!


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