NLP was developed by Richard Bandler and John Grinder in the 1970’s and is, in essence, the study of how human beings create “maps” of the world based on their perception of their past experiences. NLP identifies how our thoughts, beliefs, emotions, and bodily experiences interact to create our identity, responses to the environment, internal dialogue, and behaviors. One of the goals of NLP is to support us in letting go of the “maps” that no longer serve us and to build upon the internal resources, or assets, that we already have, but may not be utilizing.
By identifying our “programs”, we obtain more agency over how to create what we want and be who we want to be, rather than allowing our subconscious mind and limiting core beliefs to run our reality and repeat patterns that no longer serve us.
NLP also studies models of human excellence to determine the “maps” or “programs” that allow success and achievement of goals. For example, it asks the question, What is it that people think about or focus on that allows them to sustain a positive state of mind, or achieve an important life goal?
My training in NLP has deepened my skill and confidence in helping my clients get to the core of what both limits and empowers them, and is a lens that enhances the other modalities I use. NLP is a model that empowers us to be agents in our own change process, rather than victims of a reality that we do not want.
The principles, or presuppositions of NLP are as follows:
Have respect for the other person’s model of the world.
We are all unique and experience the world in different ways. Everyone is individual and has their own special way of being.
The map is not the territory.
People respond to their ‘map’ of reality, not to reality itself. How people make sense of the world around them is through their senses and from their own personal experience; this means that each individual’s perception of an event is different.
Mind and body form a linked system.
Your mental attitude affects your body and your health and, in turn, how you behave.
If what you are doing isn’t working, do something else.
Flexibility is the key to success.
Choice is better than no choice.
Having options can provide more opportunities for achieving results.
We are always communicating.
Even when we remain silent, we are communicating. Non-verbal communication can account for a large proportion of a message.
The meaning of your communication is the response you get.
While your intention may be clear to you, it is the other person’s interpretation and response that reflects your effectiveness. NLP teaches you the skills and flexibility to ensure that the message you send equals the message they receive.
There is no failure, only feedback.
What seemed like failure can be thought of as success that just stopped too soon. With this understanding, we can stop blaming ourselves and others, find solutions and improve the quality of what we do.
Behind every behaviour there is a positive intention.
When we understand that other people have some positive intention in what they say and do (however annoying and negative it may seem to us), it can be easier to stop getting angry and start to move forward.
Anything can be accomplished if the task is broken down into small enough steps.
Achievement becomes easier if activities are manageable; NLP can help you learn how to analyse what needs to be done and find ways to be both efficient and effective.