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What Is NLP: Neuro-Linguistic Programming?

Wednesday, August 18th, 2021 : Read 2,718 Times : 1263 words (Aprox 6 min read)

Neuro-Linguistic Programming took the world by storm, with a new empowered way of looking at how the human mind works. Initially developed by Richard Bandler, John Grinder, Robert Dilts, and a hand-full of other pioneers in the 1970s, NLP has expanded greatly, both in usefulness and in Practitioners around the globe.

At its core, NLP is about producing excellence. If you want to produce excellence in any area of life — in your career, in personal relationships, in sales, in sports, in health and fitness, and other areas of life — Neuro-Linguistic Programming is likely to have answers for you.

To begin to define NLP, let's break down the name into its three constituent words:

Neuro: Having to do with the human nervous-system, or the mind, which receives input from the world through our senses: Visual, Auditory, Kinesthetic, Olfactory, Gustatory

Linguistic: The language and other communication which we use to experience and store reality and to give it meaning, including the following things we experience inside our mind: Pictures/Movies, Sounds, Feelings, Smells, Tastes, and Internal Dialog (self-talk)

Programming: Discovering and using repeatable, proven programs, patterns, and strategies we run in the mind to achieve success.

But What is NLP Really?

In other words, NLP is how we use the language and the programs of the mind to consistently achieve the results we want in life.

NLP started with a notion co-founder Richard Bandler had that he could study a person who was really excellent at something, and become as excellent as they are through a process called "Modeling."

The subject was famed family therapist, Virginia Satir. Satir was know for getting excellent — almost "magical" —  results with her clients in therapy. Since most all therapy is communicated through language, Bandler partnered with linguistics professor John Grinder to study her language. What they found was that of all her education and experience came down to about a dozen language patterns. They found that these language patterns could be taught to nearly anyone, regardless of their education and experience, and that these people could get nearly the results Virginia Satir could produce. Neuro-Linguistic Programming was born.

NLP Really Comes Down to Modeling

Most of the concepts, content, and techniques of NLP were not created by NLP Practitioners, Master Practitioners, or Trainers, but rather modeled from people who produce excellence. NLP modelers went on to model profound masters such as Gregory Bateson, psychiatrist and hypnotherapist Milton H. Erickson, Karl Pribram, George Miller, and Eugene Galantner.

Next, modelers moved into the fields of selling, influence, and persuasion. They modeled sports performers, such as the US Olympic diving team, and the US Army competitive sharpshooting team.

And the list goes on (and continues to develop).

Many people think NLP comes down to the "techniques," such as a Swish pattern, Parts Integration, or Collapsing Anchors. But, as NLP co-founder Richard Bandler puts it, the NLP process of modeling, "leaves behind it a trail of techniques." And wow... there are a lot of techniques.

What Can NLP be Used For?

From a personal development standpoint, NLP can allow you to learn how to run your mind so your mind no longer runs you. The mind is the most amazing "super-computer" (it's not actually a computer, but it's a nice metaphor) in the universe. But most people feel that the "other" part of their mind (the subconscious mind) is perpetually running things and even self-sabotaging, and that there's nothing they can do about it. People who don't know NLP often say things like, "well, I can't change that (negative trait, bad habit, etc.) ... it's just who I am."

Nothing could be further from the truth. When you learn to use NLP tools to run your mind, nothing can hold you back. It is quite-literally, the science of achievement, success, happiness, and fulfillment.

For example, some of the things you can use NLP for in your own life:

  • Release negative memories from your past (all of them)
  • Eliminate limiting beliefs you've had your entire live in just moments
  • Stop feeling anxiety and fear about things you know you shouldn't
  • Change how you feel about situations in life that bother you
  • Stop bad habits and replace them with new ones in 90 seconds or less
  • Change faulty thoughts that keep sabotaging you
  • End internal conflict to create confidence and certainty
  • Communicate better with people in your life to improve your relationships
  • Program your subconscious mind to almost automatically achieve your goals
  • And so much more (the list would literally take hours to enumerate)

NLP works so fast and the changes are so permanent, that people often jokingly call it, "magic." Unfortunately, most NLP trainers do not teach that NLP can be done-to-self. But it can.

Using NLP on myself is primarily how I transformed my life since I discovered it in 1999 and has allowed me to create a life I previously only dreamed of.

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Can I Start a New Career With NLP?

Yes, absolutely! I used to be a computer programmer. Though it paid well, I was miserable, and I hated my job. When I discovered NLP and took my first NLP-based certification training in 2001, I knew what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.

I set my sights on quitting that "stinkin' day job" and began seeing clients. Since I didn't have an office, I initially saw clients in my living room, in executive office suites I would rent by the hour, and remotely (over the phone or video chat). I built up my side-hustle income to the point where I could finally quit that job and have a career that I love: helping others and getting paid very well to do it.

Many people who get certified in NLP use it to become an NLP Practitioner, but NLP can be used in many entrepreneurial careers, such as:

  • Success Coach
  • Life Coach
  • Manifestation Coach
  • Performance Coach
  • Mentor
  • Negotiator
  • Business Consultant
  • Clinical Hypnotherapist
  • Teacher/Educator
  • Motivational Speaker
  • Self-Help Author
  • Professional Copywriter
  • Eventually, an NLP Master Practitioner; NLP Trainer
  • And much more

The fact is, Neuro-Linguistic Programming will not only teach you "techniques," but also teach you:

  • Effective communication
  • Ethical influence
  • How to read people
  • How to motivate people
  • Success principles

And so much more, which means, "sky's the limit," when it comes to what you can improve or achieve in your own life.

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