Neuro-linguistic programming, or NLP, dates back to the 1970s. It was coined by professor John Grinder and author Richard Bandler—both of whom were Psychology majors. NLP takes a close look at the language our bodies and minds use to analyze the data received from the nervous system. It also examines the way we behave outwardly in relation to that information.
NLP is basically an instruction manual for the mind. If you want to achieve your goals and become successful, you can benefit from tapping into NLP and harnessing the power of your subconscious.
With neuro-linguistic programming, you can become a more effective communicator and even a happier individual. NLP can help you become more productive by assessing the way you process your own thoughts and put them into action.
Here we’re going to do a deep dive into NLP and how you can benefit from this advanced method of intrapersonal and interpersonal communication.
What is NLP: NLP Explained
There are studies that suggest that the psychological state of NLP practitioners have improved after training it. Although other researchers question its effectiveness due to lack of solid scientific evidence, there are lessons you can pick up from the concept of NLP. In fact, Richard Blander explained in an interview that the NLP techniques should not be thought of as a form of neuro-scientific training, but rather a way to optimize your mindset.
The idea is that if you can understand how someone accomplishes a task, you can learn to copy it and achieve the same level of success.
This psychological approach involves analyzing the strategies used by successful individuals and then applying them to your own life so you can reach your personal goals. You don’t need scientific research to know that taking inspiration from successful strategies, carefully analyzing how they work, and learning how to apply them to your own situation can benefit you greatly.
Some proponents of NLP assume that all human action is positive: including failure. If your plan fails, or something unexpected happens, it only gives you more useful information to work with.
NLP was first developed at the University of California, Santa Cruz. In the late 1970s, NLP started to grow in popularity. Grinder and Bandler started marketing it as a tool to help people learn how others achieve success. Now it is being used in a wide variety of fields like medicine, law, counseling, sports, the performing arts, education, and business.
Whether you’re working for a company or running your own business, there’s a lot for you to learn through NLP.
Practitioners of NLP believe that there are natural hierarchies of learning, communication, and change. The six levels are: purpose, identity, beliefs, capabilities, behaviors, and environment.
Purpose may refer to spirituality and the belief that there is something larger than oneself. But it may also relate to ethics, morality, or another system that influences how a person operates from within.
Identity is the person you perceive yourself to be. This includes the responsibilities and roles you play in life.
Beliefs and values are the issues that matter to you. Your capabilities and skills are the things you can do, whether you are naturally talented or it’s something you picked up along the way.
Behaviors refer to the things you do and how you act in different situations.
And finally, environment is your context or setting, including the people around you.
Environment is considered as the lowest logical level of change, while purpose is the highest. Changes in a higher level will create changes in the lower levels. But changes in the lower levels may sometimes cause changes in the higher levels too.
With this in mind, we can say that everyone operates within their own perspective instead of from an objective place. This means everyone perceives the world in a distorted, limited, and unique way.
If a therapist who practices NLP wants to help someone, they will first try to understand how that person perceives the world around them.
NLP practitioners must understand how a person’s individual “map” of the world around them affects their perception, thoughts, and behavior. Your own map is developed from the data received through your senses. It is also shaped by your knowledge, skills, beliefs, emotional state, aspirations, etc.
How NLP Works to Train Your Subconscious
Training your brain and changing your mindset is tough. You’re challenging your established though processes and beliefs so you can become more productive and successful. That’s not an easy thing to do.
But with NLP, you can actually train your subconscious so you’re always making the best decisions.
Since the brain can’t figure out the difference between what it is actually experiencing and what it is imagining, you can visualize the future you want for yourself and start “programming” your brain to act in ways that will allow you to make that into reality. This allows your brain to envision the necessary steps to achieve your goals.
The clearer your visualization, the easier it is to identify the resources needed to make your dreams come true. The law of attraction works, but you need to know exactly what it is that you want to attract.
First, you need to know what you want. You have to state it in a positive way, meaning you need to talk about things you want instead of what you don’t. You also need to be specific. You can’t just aim for happiness or success in general—that’s too vague. For your mind to work towards your goals, it needs to know where it’s headed.
When you really want something, it tends to stick in your mind, and that’s why you start making plans on how to get it. Discovering what you really want is the first step.
Think about something that you can personally achieve within a particular timeframe and then work towards it. Keep it personally meaningful and realistic so you can come up with realistic solutions.
How to Use NLP to Smash Your Goals
Once you’ve identified your goals and dreams, it’s time to work towards smashing them using NLP.
If you have a high-level goal, you may have to reach some lower-level goals. These lower goals may be something you have to accomplish daily so that they accumulate and push you closer and closer towards your end goal. This means you need to train your brain for consistency and discipline.
Next, determine if your goal can be achieved on your own. If it depends on other people, then you are not in control of the result. Achieving this type of goal may be trickier, unless you can get the help you need or find an alternative path.
Determine your motivation for pursuing this goal. If you can identify the “why’s” of your mission, you can stay motivated even when it gets tough.
Once you have all these answers, break down your plan into actionable steps. Write it down if you want to and create a roadmap towards the successful version of yourself that you visualized.
Even if a dream looks realistic, it won’t happen without your input—things don’t just happen on their own. Make a “to-do” list that details the steps and resources you need to achieve it. And finally, take action.
NLP is all about learning the language of the mind. If you understand how to “communicate” internally and convince your brain to cooperate with you, it will be much easier to accomplish whatever it is you set yourself to do.
If you want to manage your time better, NLP suggests identifying your priorities, writing them down, and being specific on what you want to do. This allows you to convert your priorities into concrete goals.
Set deadlines and complete your tasks within the proper time period. Marking it on your calendar helps you keep track of all your commitments.
Finally, you need to learn how to say no to opportunities that don’t push you towards your goals. All they do is clog up your schedule and make you unproductive. You may even start to feel overwhelmed by all the responsibilities you accepted.
How to Succeed at Business Using NLP
If you are a business owner, you need to be a good communicator. Communication is the key to landing new clients and getting your brand’s message across effectively. It also helps you run your business efficiently and develop good relationships with your team.
These are the five basic techniques of NLP that influence your progress towards success: rapport, dissociation, reframing, anchoring, and changing your beliefs.
Rapport is an NLP technique that enhances effective communication within yourself and with others so you can achieve the goals you set.
Dissociation is a positive way to deal with difficult situations, whether it’s at home or at work, so you are not distracted from your goals.
Reframing is a method that’s similar to dissociation because it’s all about viewing negative situations in a new light. Reframing a bad situation allows you to learn from it.
Anchoring is using a particular happy memory or event as an anchor for when you are sad or stressed.
Lastly, changing your beliefs is all about challenging the ideas, assumptions, and opinions that are already rooted deep in your subconscious. Believe it or not, these beliefs affect your everyday life—including the way you react to situations and how you make decisions.
NLP techniques help you view your life in a more positive light, so you can keep all the noise out and just focus on what will bring you success. NLP focuses on identifying realistic goals, planning for them, and taking action by optimizing the way you spend your time.
NLP will even improve your communication skills so you can speak the same language as your client. Everyone has a different communication style. Knowing how to navigate different conversations with different people will help you create better relationships—which can ultimately lead to your success.
Harness the power of your subconscious today by using NLP to challenge and change the way you think.