NLP, or Neuro Linguistic Programming, can be broken down into three parts. The Neuro is pointing to your neurology, Linguistic represents your experience through language, and Programming is how you act in a habituated way. NLP is about how you represent the world to yourself which then affects your neurology and your subconscious actions in an order of efficiency.
Consider when you learned to talk. You probably don’t remember it but learning how to talk as a child takes about three to four years through simple stage structures. You were constantly corrected and were constantly advised and mentored in the use of words and how to craft them to communicate effectively. When your parents taught you how to talk, they also shared with you the meanings of those words, they embodied the meanings, which is the neurology part, and the values, beliefs, and identity structures were all given to you. NLP is the study of how you now use that to run yourself.
The Subjective Experience
NLP is a model of human subjective experience. It maps the internal experience that runs a person’s processing of their external experience. This includes the thoughts, feelings, beliefs, values, identity, programmed structures etc., that drive your reactions and responses to the world.
The first part is bringing awareness to all this internal processing. You can’t change something that you’re not aware of, and it’s a common misunderstanding that NLP is a model for change, but it’s not. NLP is the study of how you do what you do. This doesn’t presuppose that you need to change, it’s simply about observing. It’s looking at that subjective experience and making it objective, to determine if something does need to change.
In NLP, we only ask one question (not is it right or is it wrong) and that is, “Does it serve you?” There’s no judgment in this question, you need to decide for yourself. Does what you are doing enable you to get where you’re trying to go, does it enable you to actualise your intention? If it doesn’t, then identify the leverage point for change, given it’s not enabling your potential even though the structure itself might have a positive intention attached to it.
The execution often lets down the original intention. An example is procrastination which is an incredible skill. It’s to put off the things that you tell yourself are important to you. Number one, you’ve got to be able to tell yourself that something’s important to you, and number two you need to resist that priority and somehow put it off. This may indeed be because you have a secondary intention, a secondary commitment that you haven’t become aware of yet. One that’s ensuring that you don’t run your primary commitment because it would mean that your secondary commitment wouldn’t be achieved. The secondary commitment will sit outside of awareness running the game. In NLP, we’re constantly looking at the secondary commitments.
NLP gets to those hidden prior commitments to reveal the intention behind your original intention and asks, are you achieving this higher intention? If you’re not, then the intention’s good, but the strategy needs changing. NLP gives us a way to identify and lay out the strategy so that we can find the leverage point in it for you to restructure and accelerate. It is bringing to awareness what you are unaware of but at some level are absolutely aware of, you’re just not consciously aware of it.
A limiting decision is a classic example. I may have made a decision early in my life that money doesn’t enable happiness because my parents had money, yet they fought all the time. In this example, I connected the two, and now my commitment to happiness stops me from having the money I want to have, because of the frame that I created that money makes people unhappy. Making objective what is subjective allows us to free ourselves from those old frames that have got nothing to do with who we are now.
Changing Your Frames
It’s an NLP presupposition that every action or behaviour has a positive intention, yet the action may not be positive. Once we can understand the positive intention, we can start to ask if the action is getting you what you intend. If not, what would a new and different strategy look like to achieve that intention? This type of change takes a person getting deeply objective to what they’re subject to, which is their own frames running their game.
The Coaching Room NLP Courses
The Coaching Room offers an NLP practitioner course that gives you an understanding of the key five domains of NLP. It links them together and shows you how they work in a single model. The master practitioner course goes into more embodied depth, to take the understandings that you have in cognition and incorporate them into your life. This course is transformational because it’s looking at the structure of the personality itself. You learn to clear the way for change so you can be the human being you already know how to be but just aren’t in your life. Master practitioner is about helping you lean into being truly who you are in a self-actualised way.
We offer a variety of NLP courses throughout the year. Feel free to drop me a message if you have any questions, and below you can download our NLP Practitioner brochure – and start the journey to changing your world today…