What is N L P ?
When I tell people I am a certified coach and practitioner of NLP and Time Line Therapy, often the first thing they will say is, “Oh cool… what is that?” So to help spread the word a little more, I thought I would put together my own explanation of what it is, how it works and how it can change your life like it did mine.
“All learning behaviour change is unconscious.”
First and foremost, NLP is NOT about making you do anything that you don’t want to do. Instead, it’s about me providing the tools, safe space and methods for you to explore new ways of understanding your world.
So what actually is NLP?
NLP is short for Neuro Linguistic Programming and when you break it down even further, each component has a meaning.
N – for Neuro – refers to our MIND and the way our experiences are processed via the five senses.
L – for Linguistic – refers to our LANGUAGE and the way we are speaking to others and ourselves.
P – for Programming – refers to the way we have been programmed, which largely takes place between the ages of 0 and 7 when our minds are like sponges and we soak up everything that goes on around us.
During this time our parents, social world, school and any other people we come into contact with make an imprint in some way, shape or form. Essentially, our behaviour, values, morals and thinking are modelled off of the environment and world around us. These factors form our programming, which then run in our conscious AND subconscious minds. They’re also then enforced through our communication with ourselves and others via our neurological systems.
So to put it all together, NLP involves working with our conscious and subconscious minds to help us achieve certain desired outcomes, reach our goals and design our lives. We do this by using the mind and language to create new programs and neurological pathways in our brains.
How does it work?
The language of the mind is a powerful thing, and when we use it to consistently choose to create more empowering thoughts and programs it drastically affects our decision making (for the better). Through this process we untap our ability to achieve specific and desired outcomes all geared towards enabling us to live life the way we want to live it. Because at the end of the day, what you think is essentially how you will act.
NLP is very future focused and involves using the senses to create an internal representation of what your desired outcome is. From there we work on changing your state and physiology to produce a different behaviour. Through this creation of a new behaviour we shift from living life in default mode doing the same thing day in and day out, to making active choices about our beliefs and the way we want to live.
What’s my experience with NLP?
Prior to going through NLP and Timeline Therapy, one of my biggest limiting beliefs was that I was responsible for everyone – especially my family. I felt that I had to help them with EVERTHING and that I couldn’t say NO to family demands. It got to the point where I was using a lot of time, energy and resources trying to keep up with requests because I martyred myself as the ‘fixer’ and ‘helper’.
I had this belief that since I had done a lot of my own personal development work, that I could help and fix them. This could not be further from the truth. I wanted to accomplish freedom in my life, living life on my own terms and not feeling responsible for everyone. I wanted to free up my time and energy to create a thriving business and lifestyle.
Instead, I was struggling externally to keep up with requests and demands, and internally I was battling an inner dialogue that recited, “If I can’t help my own family, who can I help?” I was anxious and exhausted and I knew that if I wanted to achieve my goals then I would need to change the story in my head. I needed to learn that I am not responsible for everyone, including my family.
At the time I was completing my NLP training. I had worked two jobs to get there, grinding away, and had saved for months for this moment. On the first day of training I got a phone call with family demands that I had to deal with. I knew in that moment something within me had to change.
So when the practitioner asked us to write down a limiting belief, I quickly uncovered a strong one that said, “I am responsible for everyone.” I decided then that I wanted (and needed) to create the new belief of, “I now choose to say no.” Through using NLP and Time Line Therapy techniques I was able to create this new belief in my subconscious mind and at long last actually have it stick. Prior to this I had worked with a therapist, a breathwork practitioner and used other modalities to try and change this belief of feeling responsible for everyone.
NLP and Timeline Therapy taught me that I can have a lot of love for people in my life and at the same time stay on my own path and choose to say NO powerfully, and leave it at that. I no longer feel responsible and with this new time and energy I am now creating the life I want with a thriving relationship, business and career.
Now, it’s your turn
I invite you to journal on these questions and see what you uncover about your own beliefs and the way they're shaping your life.
Who are you that is more than your name, job title, label (e.g. mother, father, sister) etc?
What do you want to accomplish this year in 2020?
What is your biggest goal?
What does this goal look, sound and feel like? Be specific.
How is it possible that you do not have it now?
For what purpose do you want this? What will you gain or lose if you have it?
What will happen if you get it?
What won’t happen if you get it?