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Neuro Linguistic Programming: An Intro to NLP

Jul 15, 2008
In the 1970s, John Grinder and Richard Bandler set out to study what set highly effective psychotherapists apart from the others in their field. What they ended up with was a methodology for self-improvement all its own, known as neuro-linguistic programming (NLP).

NLP focuses on what works, sometimes disregards what we might believe to be true or false, and works off of certain presuppositions. This makes it different from traditional self-growth and positive thinking methods, as well as psychotherapy.

NLP is very much about context, one of the things that it presupposes is that failure does not exist. NLP also assumes that if you want to make a change in your life, that you have all the resources that you need to be able to do that.

As long as it is useful, it doesn't matter whether or not the presupposition is actually true. For example, you don't ask whether or not a tool is true before you use it. You simply pick up a hammer and a nail and use it.

Another presupposition in NLP is that people work perfectly. Even if someone is consistently getting results that they don't want, they are not broken.

Some therapies seem to turn people into victims by reinforcing a belief that they're in some way damaged or broken. In a sense, this gives people an excuse to make mistakes in the future and repeat negative behavior.

As an example, think about a negative belief you have about yourself and how it might be holding you back. Many of our negative beliefs are reinforced by years of listening to others. Take the case of someone who has been told all of their life that they're a poor learner. They become a victim of their own self-limiting belief and spend their time on trying to fix their perceived learning problems instead of accomplishing their goals.

With neuro-linguistic programming, you would simply accept that whatever your results with learning have been in the past, it has been perfect. Remember also that another presupposition of NLP is that you have all the resources at your disposal to make a change. In other words, you can learn anything you want to learn right now, regardless of past results.

Professionals in the life coaching field utilize a similar concept that says that the present is perfect. This allows you to accept that things are as they should be and gives you the power to make changes in your life.

NLP tells us that if someone can accomplish something, then someone else can do it as well by modeling those who are successful. It's also flexible in that it says that if your current processes aren't achieving the results you want, then try something different.

One of the most famous students of neuro-linguistic programming is Tony Robbins. Tony became very well known for showing people how to achieve quick turn-arounds in their lives, and developed his own brand of self-improvement in part, based on NLP techniques.

A fair amount of information on NLP is available online if you want to learn the basic techniques. There are also many practitioners you can work with to enhance your skills and understanding. If you're looking for an effective and practical approach to life change, then this may do the trick.
About the Author
Kurt Schmitt writes for a website that includes quotes on success and a number of articles on how to learn neuro-linguistic programming
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