What Is NLP and How Can It Help You

Imagine your brain as a massive friendly computer and NLP as the software you choose to run.  If you can learn to communicate with your mind, in its own language your mind will work with you, and for you, and help you achieve just about anything you want. So what is NLP and how can it help you?

Imagine you wanted to go skydiving!

I always believed that before trying something new, you need to do proper research. But you might ask: ‘Why should I?’

Let’s say you’re interested in skydiving. You buy all the equipment you need and you schedule an appointment for skydiving on the weekend. You know for sure that you’re not afraid of height and that you like extreme experiences, so you don’t do any research. After all, there’s going to be somebody there to instruct you.

The big day comes and you’re on the plane, all equipped, strapped to a professional, safety information in your head. The time comes to jump out and your heart drops when you see how high you are. You were definitely not prepared for this and you’re one step away from backing out. 

If you would have done your research, this probably wouldn’t have happened. Maybe there would have still been a feeling of fear or dread, but you would have been much more prepared. This is why researching something is important.

Now, with that in mind, I’d like to introduce you to NLP and show you why it’s a great technique and why I like to use it in my coaching. Let’s start with the basics:

So WHAT IS IT? WHAT DOES NLP MEAN?

N.L.P. is short for ‘Neuro-Linguistic Programming’ and explores the relationships between the three most influential components that create a human experience:  how we think (Neuro), how we communicate (Linguistic), our patterns ( Programming) of behavior, feelings, and emotions  – and how they all interact with one another to bring about the positive or negative results we get in life.

It can help you eradicate your limiting thoughts and beliefs. Reduce stress, Eliminate nerves and ultimately change the way you think and feel about the past, and learning to make the most out of circumstances, challenging events, or failures.

Richard Bandler and John Grinder, NLP’s creators, believe that there’s a connection between neurological processes, language, and behavioral patterns learned through experience. They thought that this connection makes it easier for people to achieve life goals and acquire new skills. 

There are three major departments in which NLP plays an important role: communication, personal development, and psychotherapy. 

The core concepts of NLP are:

  1. Subjectivity- we create subjective representations of our experience through our five senses and language. Our behavior and others’ can be changed by manipulating these subjective representations.
  2. Consciousness- has two components: conscious awareness and the unconscious mind, which acts when we’re not conscious of our actions or thoughts.
  3. Learning- a process that uses modeling, which is a technique that is based on imitation. Through modeling, one can codify and reproduce successful behavioral patterns. 

 

Bandler and Grinder also claimed that besides helping people achieve their goals, neuro-linguistic programming can cure things such as:

  • phobias
  • depression
  • tic disorders
  • psychosomatic illnesses
  • learning disorders
  • Better communication skills

So How Does NLP Work?

The basic premise behind NLP is the following: an individual can reach their goal by analyzing what a successful person did to achieve the same -or a similar- goal and adopting their strategy. 

Let’s imagine that someone tries NLP on you? Traditionally, these are the steps that a practitioner should follow:

  1. A connection is going to be established between you and your practitioner, in which they will pace your verbal and non-verbal behavior.
  2. Once the rapport is established, your practitioner will try to learn more about your state of mind and your goal. This process is completed through Meta-Model questioning.
  3. As you’re talking, your practitioner will pay attention to verbal and non-verbal cues. 
  4. After gathering enough information, the practitioner will help you reach the desired goal by changing your internal representations of certain things.
  5. Your practitioner will help you integrate these changes into your life.

Of course, practitioners might have their own techniques that they’ve developed during NLP procedures, but the end result should always be the same.

As you might see, the practitioner, which oftentimes is a life coach, has a very important role to play in the whole process. It’s the life coach that leads the procedure and teaches the client how to imitate and ultimately adopt the positive changes. Through supervision and regular guidance, the coach can help you reach the goal or goals you’ve set for yourself. 

What are the benefits of NLP?

The ultimate benefit is that you will be given a path towards success and fulfillment that isn’t necessarily tied with intelligence or education. But let’s see more accurate examples. Here are some of the main benefits of NLP:

  1. Improve Health

I have already mentioned that NLP can cure conditions such as phobias, depression, anxiety, learning disorders, etc, but it can also help you get over unhealthy habits, like chain-smoking or binge eating. By having an NLP practitioner assist you, you can drop your bad practices and adopt healthier ones instead.  

For example, you can start eating healthy or going to the gym. But that’s not all. If you’re a procrastinator and that leads to you being stressed and anxious, you can increase your concentration and form a regular work schedule with NLP. 

  1. Improve Work Environment and Performance

NLP is not only used for personal development but it’s also used professionally. In fact, a lot of people started using NLP techniques to improve things such as: 

  • Communication
  • Management 
  • Leadership

So if you want to brush up on your communication skills or just learn how to become a better leader for your employees, then you can start using NLP. 

  1. Improve Self-Confidence

By using NLP, you can overcome beliefs that limit your abilities and possibilities. Just like dropping unhealthy habits, you can also leave behind limiting mentalities and concentrate instead on success. 

You will be able to make better decisions and communicate your feelings, thoughts, and ideas to others without shying away.

Bottom Line 

Now, of course, you could read entire pages about NLP and go into detail about certain techniques, but there’s nothing else like experience. It’s good to read about skydiving, but in the end, nothing will replace the experience of skydiving.

If you’re curious about NLP and you’d like to see how it works or if you’re a bit on the fence and you’d like to see if it works, then why not give it a go?  

 

If it works, not only will you improve your communication skills and have a better understanding of yourself, but you will also reach your goals. From my experience, I can tell you that NLP will definitely help you more than you think, especially when it’s combined with other coaching techniques.

 

And on the off chance it doesn’t work, you have nothing to lose. So, come on and try NLP and watch your life change for the better before your very eyes.