What Is Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) and How Can It Help You?
NLP is an extremely powerful concept used to enhance self development and move towards personal transformation.
NLP stands for Neuro-Linguistic Programming. Originally created by Richard Bandler and John Grinder in the 1970s.
The unconscious mind is a powerful part of you’ it’s where your thoughts, your behaviors, your thinking, your memories, your habits… your entire model of the world lives from this magical and mystical place! It has taken in every detail of everything you have ever seen, done, heard, smelt, tasted. Isn’t that amazing?
NLP therapy and coaching is extremely effective, because rather than just using questioning skills to get you talking about something, other techniques can be used to help you change your behavior and your thinking. This allows you to be released from the negative memories, thoughts or feelings that are holding you back from making progress.
There are many names for the techniques used in NLP, however, most of the time the therapist/coach will be creative in how they help you re-wire past detrimental thought patterns and behaviors and help you create new ones. A bit like a car MOT, but instead you are nourishing your mind and body.
A little breakdown of what the words mean:
Neuro: Each of us has established our own unique mental filtering system for processing the huge amounts of information being absorbed through our senses. All the information we receive on a daily basis through our senses is filtered through our personal conditioning sieve (beliefs, values, etc.). As a result, our perception of what we see, hear, taste or smell is transformed into a unique understanding and experience of the world. A bit like when you make a cake: you throw all the ingredients into a bowl, but how you’ve mixed the cake, the ingredients you put into it and the temperature you bake it at (and even the air it’s subjected to), will all affect how it tastes, looks and smells. No cake is ever exactly the same (well, not if you were to really look closely!). A bit like your own finger prints.
Linguistic: We then assign our personal and unique meaning to the information being received from the world around us. We form our second mental map by conveying language to the internal images, sounds and feelings, tastes and smells. As a result, this forms everyday conscious awareness. The information that we receive into our conscious and unconscious mind is then regurgitated back out through our language.
Notice when someone is describing a situation to you; the language they use may be very different to the way you’d describe the same situation. We delete, distort and exaggerate when we speak – most of the time without realizing it!
Programming: Behaviors, habits and attitudes are formed as a result of the information you take in throughout your life and the influence of those around you. Habits are created through repetition.
Your brain creates neural pathways when you do something repetitively such as a new health regime, eating habit, even down to the way you say something.
These neural pathways can either be to your advantage or detrimental, resulting in them having a negative impact on your life. The great thing about the mind is that everything you learn can be unlearned too!
This is a very light touch insight into programming. Without wanting to confuse you too much, we’ll leave it there!
Your mind and your body are connected, and your emotions will always communicate and reveal themselves through your body language and feelings. Sometimes, you are not even consciously aware of how you are expressing yourself. However, 90 percent of our communication is picked up and internalized through our body language. So, you could say something to someone linguistically, but your body language may be saying something completely different! Your body language is the window to the unconscious mind!
So, how can NLP help me?
- You find yourself living in, and thinking about the past.
- You constantly procrastinate when you need to complete a project or deadline.
- You feel depressed, sad, upset and you’re not sure why.
- You want your performance to improve at work so you can ask for more money.
- You keep failing at a new health regime, falling off the wagon after a week or month and feel frustrated at yourself.
- You’re stuck in a rut, situation or relationship and don’t know how to get out.
- You lack self confidence which prevents you from speaking up or taking action.
- You’re a sales person and want to get more sales.
- You want to improve mental and physical performance.
- You want to reveal the barriers that keep you locked in position, restraining you from freedom and independence.
These are just a few examples of how NLP can help you. NLP can be applied to pretty much anything where you want to improve how you do something, how you feel and how you think.