“What is NLP?”
So what is NLP or Neuro-Linguistic Programming? Sounds like some type of mind control or brain-washing technique doesn’t it?
I’m sure most NLP Practitioners would argue that it has nothing to do with “brain-washing” but since I’m a firm believer that most of our minds are dirty anyway, I’m okay with any type of health “brain-washing.”
I took a six month NLP certification course and it opened my mind up to a world of human psychology that completely fascinated me! This post will be just a quick overview on NLP and a very brief way to apply it into your life…
Many people have heard mention of neuro-linguistic programming or NLP. In fact, Anthony Robbins is probably the person most responsible for making that term mainstream in personal development circles.
Neuro-linguistic Programming (NLP) takes advantage of the patterns found in language, both verbal and non verbal. “Neuro” refers to the mind, “linguistic” to language and “programming” to how the mind and the way we phrase things program our behavior and our body.
Every person has a dominant sense: visual, auditory, kinesthetic (touch), olfactory (smell) or gustatory (taste). NLP typically focuses on the first three.
To really answer the question of, “What is NLP?”, I need to take you back to the beginning…
The term, neuro-linguistic programming, came about in the 1970s by Richard Bandler and John Grinder. Their goal was to help people have richer, better, fuller lives. They used the NLP techniques to work with people who had phobias, depression, learning disorders, etc…
Over the years, neuro-linguistic programming has become an very powerful, overall self help tool. Today, it’s used by hypnotherapists, public speakers, government officials and anyone who takes the time to learn the skills.
So why should you want to harness the power of NLP?
Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) studies the structure of how humans think and experience the world. Obviously, something so subjective can’t be measured with exact science so it leads to models of how these things work. From these models, techniques for quickly and effectively changing thoughts, behaviors and beliefs that limit you have been developed. Boom! Re-read that sentence, if necessary!
Techniques for quickly and effectively changing thoughts, behaviors and beliefs
that limit you have been developed via NLP!
That is the power of NLP. It’s a set of techniques that allows you to reprogram your mind, allowing you to eliminate bad habits or behaviors, replacing them with good ones–in either yourself or others.
3 Keys to Practicing NLP
1. Examine your belief system.
Are you a victim or a success story? The creators of NLP studied people who were more successful than others. They focused on their beliefs and behaviors and found that some people believe they can accomplish anything, even when confronted with some serious obstacles.
On the other hand, others believe they’re destined to be victims of bad luck and limited success. According to NLPInfo.com, “once you understand that you create your internal world, you realize you can change it.” Which one are you?
2. Choose an anchor.
An anchor is a feeling state, a new stimulus-response pattern for yourself. Identify very specifically the way you want to feel, such as successful and confident.
Recall a time when you felt that way and mentally go back into that situation. I find if I close my eyes, listen to some calm music and take a few deep breaths, I can find myself back in that place. Be aware of what you hear, smell, see and feel. Notice when the state is strongest as you relive the memory and situation. Revisit that place frequently.
For me, I recall a moment when I was 12 years old and made 4 tackles in a row playing football and feeling totally unstoppable. I can smell the grass, hear the cheers and feel my heart pounding in my chest!
3. Set the anchor. Visit your anchor again and this time create a hand gesture to associate with the state you want to be in. Some people pound their hand with their other fist, hit their chest, or pump their hand in the air.
Practice a few that feel good for you. Next find a word, phrase or sound that describes this state of being. Repeat this process many times to build a strong anchor you can use anytime and can initiate with any of the tools: the hand gesture, the phrase, the visualization. Use them all, and practice.
Of course, this is a short summary of NLP. I could go on and on about the benefits and how to use it. I encourage you to model what I did and read some books on the subject. Although it’s not specifically meant to be a book on NLP, I recommend starting with Unlimited Power by Anthony Robbins.
P.S. Leave a comment and let me know what you learned from today’s blog. Feel free to share with other on facebook and twitter!