According to its proponents, NLP, or Neuro-Linguistic Programming, can show people practical methods to change how to approach life, view the past, and even the way they think. NLP believes that by taking control of the way your mind works, you could take control of your life too. NLP, however, is different from psychoanalysis. Psychoanalysis puts emphasis on the ‘why.’ NLP, on the other hand, is more practical—it emphasizes the ‘how.’
Neuro-Linguistic Programming Overview
NLP gained prominence in the 1970s when Americans Richard Bandler and John Grinder first developed it. Its methods are used for personal development, and to assist people in changing and modifying their behavior and the way they perceive things. In this regard, some NLP practitioners see the connection between NLP and the philosophy of Marcus Aurelius, Seneca, and others: the philosophy of Stoicism.
One of the principles of NLP is to accept the fact that you can’t control what’s going on around you. What you can do, however, is to control the way you think. And although intelligence and education can contribute to your success, they aren’t a requirement for success. Success can also come from the way you develop and utilize positive habits.
These habits and unconscious patterns of behavior that you act out daily can affect your decisions and the way you perceive things. If, for instance, you’re a pessimist, you’re seeing the world in a particularly negative way. But, if you’re an optimist, you’d be looking at the world quite differently; your reaction and your perception will be more positive.
The other aspect of NLP is called ‘modeling.’ Practitioners of NLP maintain that by modeling your behavior after those people who had experienced success, you can be successful too. However, ‘modeling’ could also mean avoiding self-sabotaging behaviors, such as procrastination. There are several NLP techniques for modifying your behavior to train you to remove thoughts and mentalities that can hinder your success.
If you’re wondering about the reason for the name, these are the reasons why:
Neuro – Applies to the brain or mind; specifically, how your way of thinking affects your behavior as well as the way you communicate. With NLP, you can learn to understand the different states of your mind and body, how to create a mental image of how things transpire, and the means to alter your path.
Linguistic – Refers to how your language and non-verbal communication can indicate the condition of your mind and how you communicate with others and yourself. In NLP, the mind and body affect each other and are presumed to be two pieces of the same system. Your mind can influence your body’s health, and your actions affect your mental state.
Your mind is accessed by a tool—language. NLP helps you learn how to gain access to your hidden thoughts, those pieces of information buried in your subconscious that would otherwise remain buried and unconsciously affect your behavior.
Programming – Signifies the ability to modify, or program, the state of your mind and body. Programming, to the NLP practitioners, means that feelings, beliefs, habitual thoughts, traditions, and reactions should be in accordance with each other.
For people who are NLP-trained and have NLP Certifications, programming is designed to influence your mind using language, or specifically, conversations, so that the old, unproductive way of just-going-through-the-motions behavior can be modified and changed.
The Benefits NLP Can Offer
One of the greatest benefits of NLP is that it can help you improve your ability to get your ideas across and enhance your ability to gauge other people’s responses. History’s greatest communicators know and understand how to effectively reach people and influence them with their messages.
The skill and training that NLP provides can be utilized in various aspects of your life, be it your professional or personal life. Below are a few areas of your life that NLP can positively influence:
Management and sales, the two pillars of business, deal mainly with relationships and connections formed with other people. With NLP, you can learn to improve your communication, leadership, and ability to influence others. It could also teach you to inspire others to advance their careers.
- Personal Relationships
NLP techniques could help create an instant connection with others. You can establish rapport with people by learning how to communicate effectively and how to handle information properly. There are also techniques in NLP that you can use to make your interpersonal relationships richer and more fulfilling not only for you, but also for the people in your relationships.
- Mental Health
NLP could help you avoid procrastination, overcome your phobias, and deal with your depression. It could train you to deal with the negative things that occurred in your past. NLP could also be the catalyst for you to use a positive experience from which you can build a foundation where you can stand tall.
The techniques NLP uses to alter how your brain reacts to particular triggers could also help you overcome your anxieties. Eventually, you’ll learn how to master your emotions and understand how to best handle the challenges that life throws your way.
Confidence is one of the biggest factors to consider when improving a person’s personality. In NLP, adherents use a specific language structure to make interacting with you a positive experience. You could also manage your ‘internal representations,’ or the contents of your mind that influence your outward behavior. You’ll also learn to recognize the limitations that prevent you from progressing.
NLP is also used in the field of education. NLP skills could help students overcome learning difficulties, improve focus, and avoid distracting thoughts. Practitioners believe that NLP could help anyone develop an effective learning strategy.
For students who think there’s something wrong with them because they aren’t doing well in school, NLP offers techniques to help them concentrate and achieve academic success. It operates on the belief that everyone is good at something. NLP helps students gain confidence in their ability to improve in other aspects where they feel they’re not good enough—including school.
NLP is a technique that can be classified as a behavioral modification. It’s used by some psychiatrists, hypnotherapists, and general counselors. NLP has been around since the 1970s and continues to be popular as a supplement for making positive personal changes.
Its use of jargon could be confusing, but reading between the lines, you’ll see some similarities with other philosophies, like Stoicism. NLP could help retrain the way you think and perceive the world, as well as modify the way you react to certain situations, and help you achieve your personal and professional goals.
With NLP, the theory might sound daunting, but the actual practice could be effective.