What is NLP?
NLP, Neuro Linguistic Programming, is a collection of techniques, models and processes for personal development, effective communication, changing unwanted behaviours and letting go of limiting decisions, destructive strategies and heal old negative emotions.
NLP was developed in the 1970’s by John Grinder (professor in linguistics), and Richard Bandler (mathematician and therapist) when they asked themselves the following question: “What are the main differences between successful and unsuccessful people? What is it that successful people think, do and say that make them succeed?”
Bandler and Grinder decided to seek the answer by studying three outstanding therapists who got amazing results with their patients and who all were masters of communication. They studied Milton Erickson (psychotherapist and Hypnos-therapist), Virginia Satir (family therapist) and Fritz Pearls (founder of Gestalt Therapy). They wanted to see what it was that distinguished them from other therapists.
By studying how some of the world’s most successful therapists and communication experts got their outstanding results, they managed to extract what it was that they did. Bandler and Grinder then copied them, using the exact same strategies, linguistics, processes and techniques, on other people and managed to reach the same results as Erickson, Satir and Pearls. They were amazed. NLP was born.
NLP is about FREEDOM
Freedom to be the best you can be; to live to the fullest; to be happy and content what ever life brings you and free to choose to be the person you want to be.
NLP has become very popular all over the world, especially in Britain, the United States, Australia and Canada, as well as in several countries in Europe. It has become an effective tool within the business world as it helps us to have effective communication, increasing our ability to tune into and understand others better. Virtually every coaching today contains some form of NLP. The world’s most famous life coach, Tony Robbins, did his NLP training with John Grinder. Tony Robbins has worked with presidents, world-class tennis players, Hollywood actors, as well as millions of people through his courses, CD program and books.
From NLP other techniques have developed such as Timeline Therapy (founded by Tad James), Timeline Re-patterning (founded by Michael Carroll), Timeline Empowerment, Higher-Self Healing, The Journey (founded by Brandon Bays) and many others. They are often taught alongside NLP, and most of the founders are certified NLP Trainers.
All of the techniques are effective methods for changing thought patterns, perceptions and attitudes of ourselves, others and our previous experiences. They help us connect with our inner wisdom and positive inner resources, which exists deep within us, in our unconscious mind, and a profound healing process can take place.
How NLP works
Within NLP you first work with identifying negative thought patterns and limiting beliefs that exist within the unconscious mind. Then NLP uses a variety of processes and techniques to change these thought patterns and beliefs to positive, resourceful and empowering ones instead. This causes the client’s inner screening system and inner map to change and the client’s own perception of their reality changes.
Inner Screening System
We never experience reality as it is, but how we are. Every person is unique with their own experiences and personalities. This means that there are as many filters and experiences of the world as there are people on this earth. This is why 10 people perceive the same scenario, or see the same movie, but give you 10 different stories of what actually happened. How is that?
We receive an estimated 2 million “bits” every second from the external world (your surrounding) coming into our central nervous system. If we were able to perceive all of this we would most likely go mad. Therefore we have an inner screening system which filters out everything except around 5-9 bits of information/sec which we are consciously aware of.
Our inner screening system consists of our values, decisions about ourselves and others, as well as our earlier experiences, which NLP calls imprints. An imprint is a positive or negative memory in the unconscious mind formed at an early age, creating an either limiting or resourceful and empowering root thought. To put it simply, a negative or a positive root thought about ourselves. The more positive memories and imprints we have, the more love and happiness we are sending out and therefore receiving. The negative thoughts and decisions on the other hand becomes like black spots on our glasses and gives us a negative view of ourselves, others and our reality. It affects our ability to deal with situations in a loving way.
Just like positive imprints attracts positive experiences, negative imprints draws negative experiences to us. Your life is simply a representation or a mirror of your own inner world. That’s why we keep experiencing the same problem over and over again. When you change your inner reality, your outer reality changes as well.
We all have different inner screening systems for different areas of our lives, such as relationships, family, work, personal development, spiritual development and health. As a simple guide you can say that those areas that are working well for you in your life have positive inner screening systems and maps. Those areas which are not working so well will contain negative inner screening systems and maps, weakening our ability to have positive experiences in these areas. But since everything is affecting everything it will improve the other areas as well, when you start working on one or the other.
The goal of NLP is to assist you to change your inner reality into a positive one, so you can be the person you truly want to be like.
If you want a difference, you need to act differently
NLP is not a cult, religion or demands you have a certain belief system. The only thing NLP requires is that you are willing to want to get to know yourself better and that you have the ability and willingness to think outside your usual way of thinking. I have never met anyone who could not allow NLP to help them find more freedom and inner positive resources.