Why bother?

Why bother learning NLP? Good question.

If your life is just peachy, and you are, and have, and do what you want, then only learn NLP out of curiosity. If, on the other hand, like most of us, you have settled for less than your dreams, then NLP tools can be useful for improving your life and getting what you really want.

Herein, of course, lies the first conundrum. What do you really want?

Many of us have been battered down so often by life and circumstances that we no longer think that what we really want is even possible, so we give up on it. We begin to think that this is just the way we are, and thus we should be content with our lot. Our history moulds us. It creates our beliefs and thus our responses to the world. Sometimes we grow stronger as a result of events, but often we do not, and the reason this happens is we just did not have the tools and knowledge to deal successfully with those events when they happened.

It is never too late to have a happy childhood.

Richard Bandler (co-founder of NLP)

NLP provides tools and techniques that will enable you to deal with life’s events in a much more empowering way. Now here is the really interesting piece: NLP can also be applied retrospectively to events that happened in the past to sort of ‘clean them up’ so they no longer dictate your actions in the present. It is all about how you use your mind, and NLP is one of the better and more accessible toolsets around that can help you do this well.

Using your mind effectively

The idea of using your mind more effectively may sound great, but you might find as you read these pages that some of the techniques seem odd – almost simplistic, and therefore perhaps hardly worth bothering with. A lot of NLP really is simple. It’s simple because it’s based on how we all operate; it’s just a matter of fine-tuning so that you do things just that crucial bit better – it’s ‘the difference that makes a difference’.

NLP techniques are increasingly used by people who excel in a wide range of fields, including sports, music and business. People find that with the help of these techniques they can break down mental barriers to success and promote a winning synergy between mind and body. As NLP tools have proved extremely useful in business settings, why leave yourself out of the loop?

Don’t just read about it, do it!

Warning

Simply reading this topic could seriously waste your precious time!

NLP is a practical science/art. It’s a body of knowledge and skills that are there to be used. Throughout this topic you will find exercises. Our advice is to use them, because the only way to achieve the beneficial changes in your life offered by NLP is to get out there in the real world and have a go.

OK, your time is very precious, but in most cases you really don’t need to take time out to do these exercises. In your ordinary working day, you are inevitably going to be using your brain and communicating with people. NLP is all about using your brain more effectively and improving your communication skills, so you can incorporate many of the exercises into your day-to-day life.

After all, when you find an NLP tool or insight that works for you, you may find – as many other highly successful people have discovered – that it’s as if barriers come crashing down. Barriers that have been restricting your performance, blocking the way ahead, preventing you from achieving your full potential. Barriers that have been stopping you from getting the best out of your team or communicating effectively with other people on all sorts of levels.

Think of it this way, you’ve spent all your life so far getting where you are now. Your mind is an amazing biological machine which has been trained – and tinkered with – in all sorts of ways and by all sorts of people – parents, teachers, your managers, the people you’ve met and the experiences you’ve had. Doubtless some of that training has been excellent, while some events or people may have lowered the efficiency levels of the machine.

You wouldn’t make the mistake of imagining that simply reading about an exercise programme would give you the well-toned, athletic body promised by the regime. And just reading about NLP won’t fine-tune the way you use your mind.

So do it! Have fun!

How we improve our competence

The vast majority of what we do is done at an unconscious level. For example, when you tie your shoelaces, it is simply a part of getting dressed. You don’t concentrate on it. When you drive, you have a destination, and perhaps a route in mind, but the act of driving is largely unconscious. Walking is unconscious; most eating is, and so on.

Our responses to situations and to what others say and do are also mostly unconscious. We rely on unconscious patterns of behaviour within ourselves. That is why people are predictable. While we are ‘ruled’ by these unconscious patterns of behaviour, we will continue to get the same results in our lives. In order to get different results, we need to bring these patterns into conscious awareness because only then we can fine tune them. Once they are fine tuned, practice will ensure that the new improved pattern will become habitual and happen unconsciously so we don’t even have to think about it. The new improved pattern will be as effortless as the older and less effective one.

NLP provides tools to work with our patterns of behaviour, but, of course, for a tool to be effective, it needs to be used. So we repeat our warning from above.

Warning

Simply reading this topic could seriously waste your precious time!