You may never have heard of the term “neuro-linguistic programming” or NLP, but I’m sure you’ve seen or used some of its practices.
Remember last week when I was discussing using visualization as a method of guiding your brain? NLP is visualizing with superpower!
What Is Neuro-Linguistic Programming?
In a nutshell, NLP is an approach to communication, personal development, and psychotherapy that was created by John Grinder and Richard Bandler in the United States in the 1970’s
Their goal was to help individuals face and overcome all kinds of challenges and improve performance mentally, physically, and emotionally.
NLP has also been shown to help some people to heal from traumatic events.
Does it sound too good to be true?
How Does NLP Work?
You can use NLP to define your goals and then achieve them. Many athletes use NLP to improve their abilities and excel in their sport.
NLP focuses on a lot of the key skills I’ve discussed in this blog. You are responsible for your own mind and your own reactions to a situation. There is no failure in life, only lessons. So it’s key to learn from them.
And this is done through meditation, visualization, self-hypnosis, and staying present.
Learn Better Communication
You first learn how to stay in the present as well as take responsibility for yourself, your actions, and your reactions.
If you’re having a disagreement with someone, or you think they’re overreacting to a situation, NLP would teach you that no matter what you think you’re are communicating, if the listener hears something else, you have not communicated effectively.
Therefore, you need to take a step back and start using some active listening skills to figure out what they heard and take the opportunity to correct their understanding.
Learn Better Decision Making
Do you find it difficult to make a good decision quickly? And I don’t mean the simple things like what to wear and what to eat.
Often in Life, we need to look at a problem and try to find the best path through it. That means making a decision, and trying it out adjusting as more information is known.
NLP techniques can teach you to make better decisions. You’ll be able to frame the problem in a certain way, and then see potential answers. It’s exciting.
But how do you learn NLP?
Do I Have to Buy Training?
There are many online courses (including free ones) out there that you could buy. There are also a lot of free videos on YouTube.
I’d recommend doing some kind of training or reading a book to build up the proper foundation.
Then you can branch out and create yourself a customized program.
I’d also recommend working on one goal at a time in order to give it your best focus.
What Can NLP Be Used For?
If you have an area in your life where you’re feeling stuck, then NLP can probably help you.
If you’re procrastinating chances are good that you’re feeling overwhelmed or you’re being held up by perfectionism. Sometimes, we’re held up by a lack of skill, and need to be motivated to find the time to learn that skill.
Usually, that’s connected to fear of perfectionism and we need to relax and give ourselves permission to make mistakes and master something new.
Change Your Energy
If you want to manifest things in your life, you need to change your energy to attract it rather than repel it.
NLP can help you reframe bad things to good, and then feel more positive about your life in general.
Improve Your Relationships
Being able to see a situation from another person’s point-of-view can help tremendously in building a positive relationship.
When they see that you truly understand their perspective, they become less defensive and hostile.
This never means you have to agree with them. But it does mean that you can show respect and understanding.
Increase Your Wealth
Part of NLP is improving communication while improving your self-confidence. The third important part is helping you overcome your mental barriers.
Often we can see where we’re holding ourselves back but we don’t know how to push through.
Easy NLP Techniques
The first one you can try is to build rapport with someone you’re talking to. This may seem easy, but you’ll catch yourself wanting to answer instead of reflecting.
You can build rapport by reflecting back what you heard with “Let me make sure I’ve heard you correctly….”
Another way to build rapport is by matching tone and body language.
Anchoring is another easy technique you can use for self-hypnosis. Simply put, anchoring takes a physical action and connects it with a positive response.
If every time you felt joy, you did something simple like touch your index fingers together, you would program your mind to connect joy with the sensation of your fingers touching.
And then, when you find yourself in a stressful situation, you could touch your index fingers together, and your body would respond by giving you an overall feeling of joy.
That certainly can help your mood and bring you back into the present.
Finally, learn to take yourself and others literally. How many times have you said or thought “I’ll never achieve X.”
If someone took you literally and asked you why, your answer would probably be along the lines of “I can’t see myself as Y.”
So spend some time asking yourself what would you look like, think, feel and do if you were that kind of person.
Then identify some simple habits you could change to become that person. And repeat that you ARE that person.
This little bit of self-hypnosis will embed the successful you in your brain, and you’ll start to do more positive things to move you towards becoming that person.
Our minds hate dissonance. So if you say that you are an excellent money manager, and you start living on a budget, your mind will help support you by finding other areas to help you become a better money manager.
My Final Thoughts
NLP is a set of tools that you can use to help reframe things and reprogram your mind to help you overcome challenges in your life.
Ultimately, nothing will change your life except for you. There are no magic pills or wands. You have to have the desire to change and the commitment to changing things.
But it is a good tool for helping you find the power to change things. It can show you the path.
Then NLP can help you to move through the tough parts, and reconnect to why you ultimately want to make the change in your life.
There is something so very powerful when you feel like you are in control of yourself and your life no matter what comes up.