What is Neuro-Linguistic Programming?
NLP is a powerful and practical technology to help people overcome fears, strengthen health, enrich relationships, increase self confidence, and support success in reaching goals. NLP is an acronym for "Neuro-Linguistic Programming." "Neuro" refers to our nervous system, the mental pathways of our five senses by which we see, feel, hear, taste, and smell. "Linguistics" refers to our ability to use words and the nonverbal communication of body language. "Programming" comes from the idea that our minds are like computers that store our thoughts, feelings, beliefs, attitudes and habits. By understanding how these aspects of your life influence your life outcomes, you can learn how to change your thoughts from what they ARE into what you WANT them to be. As you bring more awareness to your life experience you can gently step back and be the witness, realizing you are not your story, who you are is awareness.
Where did NLP come from?
In the early 1970's Richard Bandler met with Dr. John Grinder at the University of California, in Santa Cruz, CA. They began the discipline of modeling human excellence. They studied the work of Dr. Fritz Perls (Gestalt Therapy) Virginia Satir (founder of family therapy) and Gregory Bateson (philosopher.) They researched how people think about something makes the crucial difference in how they will experience it. Co-founders Bandler and Grinder met with Dr. Milton H. Erickson, M.D. (founder of the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis.) The combination of Dr. Erickson's hypnotic skills with Bandler and Grinder's modeling skills is the foundation of NLP. Bandler and Grinder taught classes and students such as Leslie Cameron-Bandler, Judith DeLozier, Robert Dilts, David Gordon, Steve and Connirae Andreas, Tim Hallbom, Suzie Smith and others all bring to NLP their unique contributions.
How you can use NLP right now! Try these 4 easy exercises:The techniques are quick and easy to learn. It is empowering to be able to get yourself out of a "stuck place." Experiment with these 4 simple processes to change the way you perceive your inner self and the external world:
1. Gain perspective on "The Roller Coaster Of Your Life"Imagine you are standing at an amusement park. In the distance you see a roller coaster ride. Watching from a distance, you are detached, observing and "disassociated" from that experience. Now imagine you can get into the seat of the ride, feel your hands on the guardrail, look down and see the tracks, hear the sounds of the people and feel the wind on your face as the car picks up speed. As you are in the experience you are "associated" and engaged.
Once you become conscious of how those two experiences affect your life, "disassociated" or "associated", then you can choose from those perspectives. You can "step into" any life experience (mentally and physically) to enjoy them more. Or, you can "step out" of your experiences, giving yourself a way to have some distance, to be more relaxed. It becomes your choice and you do not have to simply automatically react to situations based on your past patterns of thought and behavior.
2. Re-envision your experiences
Reflect over your life and think of a very enjoyable experience you had, a specific time you enjoy thinking about. Close your eyes, take a few deep and relaxing breaths and imagine you are there. Notice how you feel "being there." Allow the experience to become larger and brighter and more colorful. Notice your feelings. Now, move your experience farther away, smaller, dimmer, move it far away. Notice how you feel now. Go ahead and close your eyes and experience that.
Most people experience stronger, pleasant experiences "closer" - and experiences are "weaker" when they are further away. If you want challenging memories to be less intense, just "move them further" away from you. Put them way out there on the horizon. Then you can be more neutral to your experience and make clearer choices. When you want to enjoy life more, bring your pleasant experiences "closer." Make them more colorful and breathe into the good feelings. You can even say to your subconscious, "thank you for this good feeling -- and more, please." Realize with this exercise that you own the power of choice.
3. Choose what to create
Your subconscious does not know how to think in negative language. When you say to yourself "I won't eat cookies at night" your subconscious hears "eat cookies at night." It does not understand double negatives. As a way of changing your thoughts, tell yourself what you DO want, not what you do not want. Rather than saying to yourself, "don't worry"... say, "be open to possibilities." Rather than saying, "Don't do that"... say, "what DO you choose to do?" Rather than saying, "Don't make me angry" ... say, "how would you like to feel?" As you focus on what you do choose to create, it is easier to move in that direction.
4. The "Circle Of Excellence" process
NLP is about how the mind works. It follows certain principles we call "presuppositions." One presupposition is "if one person can do something, anyone can learn to do it." Confidence, self esteem, the "I can do it" mind-set are all skills you can learn, just as you learned to cook a meal, play a musical instrument or drive a car. NLP systematically analyzed behaviors that successful people have excelled in and offers you that information about "how to" also achieve excellence.
Stand up and think of a time when you were very confident. Recall a specific time. See what you saw, hear what you heard. If that feeling of confidence were a color, what color would it be? Imagine you could draw a circle in front of you with that color. Go ahead and step into the circle. Pretend you are back in that situation of confidence. If this experience were a sound, what sound would it be? (a hum, a sizzle, an ahhh?) Hear it. Now, breathe into that confident feeling, really be in that experience. Now, leave that "self" you just recalled in the circle, and step outside of the circle. Get a good look at that "self" standing in the circle. Notice that self's posture, gestures, facial expression. Remember that confident experience. Step back into your circle again, really feel this resource of confidence. Breathe into it. Let the experience fill every cell of your body. Let the color flow over you. Leave the feeling in the circle and step out.
Now think of a time in your future when you will want to have this feeling of confidence again. See and hear what will be there in the environment just before you want to feel that confidence, something that will serve as a "cue" to recall the confidence you want. (The cue could be turning your computer on, your phone ringing or reaching out to open your front door.) Make sure you choose a cue that will occur in the environment just before you want that feeling of confidence to become available to you. When you have decided that cue, imagine you are there in that future situation and step into your circle with these confident feelings. Imagine the situation unfolding just the confident way you want to experience it. Step out of the circle again, leaving those confident feelings there in the circle. Naturally the confident feelings are there. Think of that situation in the future whenever you want to recall confidence. You can add to your circle additional experiences of confidence if you want a very robust state of confidence.