Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) is a powerful psychological tool whereby you can take back control of your mind to really see success. For those that do know about it … and use it … it is one of the cornerstones to their success. But is it really possible for anyone to see success with NLP ?
This article aims to break NLP down into 6 steps for those looking to achieve successful changes in their life.
Not seeing the success you desire ?
Most of us have areas in our lives which we would like to see improved. These can include:
- The problems we have balancing our work and home Life
- The quality of a relationship
- A lack of confidence in a particular area of our life
- Failing to achieve success no matter how hard we try
Anyone visiting this site and reading this article is likely to be someone who is interested in personal growth; and probably able to understand what it takes to be more successful. Because of this, you already have a ‘success blueprint’ in some areas of your life.
Unfortunately, some people might just consider these as ‘pockets of success’, which were due to good fortune or a series of ‘lucky coincidences’. However, many others (including ourselves) believe that any success you have previously seen is more likely to have been as a result of a series of deliberate actions being taken sometime in your past.
The key thing is to work out :
- How you can improve those already successful areas of your life
- Transfer the steps you took to see success in those areas into the unsuccessful areas of your life
It mostly boils down to previously showing greater focus and awareness in the successful areas.
Understanding Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP)
NLP provides the crucial building blocks to take control of our lives. However, we must combine these strategies with meaningful action to really see successful change.
NLP originated from the study of successful people; and then modeling (copying) what they did in order for those skills to be passed on to others. John Grindler and Richard Bandler, the founders of NLP, modeled those who were most effective at creating change.
The early findings were particularly useful as they soon discovered the patterns that successful people had developed, over a long period of time and through trial and error. Even today, discoveries are being made in this field and it is still the foundations of replicating successful people which is the core to NLP success.
Being able to formulate ‘well-formed outcomes’ (The NLP term for ‘goal setting’) is a key skill. Progress can be reduced, or even stifled completely, if you’re not able to do this. Failure to do this is like going on a journey before knowing where your destination is.
The important point about ‘well-formed outcomes’, as opposed to traditional methods of goal setting, is that the NLP method involves thinking about our design change in ways which are both compelling and attractive. Doing this is likely to make the user much more motivated to achieve the outcomes.
Basically, it is a way of framing where you want to get to.
- First you must establish what exactly it is that you want
- Then the brain can create a picture of the desired result
- The brain then starts to high-light opportunities (which are already around you), to bring your desires into fruition.
Your brain does need a little bit of help and the following 6 steps will propel you to see the changes that you want. It’s important to realize that you should take each step sequentially and not move onto a subsequent step until you have the existing one mastered.
Step 1 : Get clear on what you want
This is a crucial part that people who are attracted to the NLP process often struggle with.
The key is to focus on what you DO want, as opposed to what you DON’T want. If you focus on what you don’t want, you merely reinforce to your brain to look for opportunities of the thing that you don’t want. Let us explain that with a couple of examples :
Losing weight example
Some people who wish to lose weight become almost obsessive with what they look like and the amount of extra weight they are carrying. They will often look at themselves in a mirror on a daily basis. They might even weigh themselves on a daily basis. They talk about having additional weight. All this focus is on the problem (i.e. the weight).
Instead they should be focusing on being fit and healthy and thinking about their ideal weight – not what weight they are at this moment in time and how bad they think they look.
Struggling financially example
Another example is people who do not have enough money. They become fearful every time they have a bill to pay. They focus on what little savings they can make when they are at the supermarket. Basically, they focus on their ‘lack of money’ as opposed to focusing on wealth and abundance.
We’re not saying that people who are having financial difficulties should suddenly become reckless with whatever little money they do have. But, if you’re constantly focusing on ‘money issues’ then you are going to encourage further ‘money issues’ into your life.
We’re not talking about law of attraction here, we are talking about your ability to spot the right opportunities, as opposed to constantly being focused on the wrong opportunities.
Have you ever lost your car keys ? ………… Watch the short video below :
NLP – The Focus Creation Cycle
Start thinking about changing your life by stating your outcomes in the positive.
For example state: “I’m fit, healthy, and my ideal weight. I only eat healthy and nutritious food and I enjoy the process of being fit and healthy”.
Be aware of any differences you feel about the change as you begin this process. At the start it may be difficult and you may not actually believe what you are affirming to yourself.
Remember it has taken you a little while to fall into such bad habits. Therefore, it’s going to take you a little while to get back into good habits and produce the changes that you desire. This is merely the start of converting existing problems into achievable solutions.
Step 2 : How to know when you have achieved your outcome
The second step is to get a really detailed picture of what success will look like. This is where you really need to use all of your senses :
- What will you see?
- What will you hear?
- Will there be any distinctive smells?
- In achieving your outcome how will that make you feel?
This process really reinforces to your brain what your desired outcome looks like. The more precise you get with this the more complete your model of success will be.
Step 3 : The where and when of your outcome
This step involves you adding specifics in respect to the time, the people, and the places of your desired outcome. By doing this, you are checking that your outcome is actually viable. There is no point in having a goal that is not practicable.
For example, if you have a goal to be more confident, there is no point in setting an outcome with this being achieved on a Sunday afternoon when you are sitting at home with no one else in attendance.
In reality, you would want to see yourself as the life and soul of a party, maybe holding an in-depth conversation, with a group of people at a wedding in (say) three months’ time. That would be a more realistic outcome for your goal.
By doing this you are laser targeting a situation and your brain will be in a position to prepare you for the ultimate event.
Step 4 : You must be in control
If there any stages during this process where you are not in control then you need to redefine the process again.
If you are choosing an outcome which is dependent on other people, then your chances of success are severely reduced and your outcome is not considered to be ‘well formed’.
Step 5 : What resources do you need ?
Resources could be internal and external. Examples of internal resources could be :
- the ability to focus
- the will to win
External resources could be anything, but remember not to be too dependent on external resources. As indicated in Step 4, this will reduce your chances of success as it takes the process out of your control.
Either way, do you already have the required internal and external resources, or do you know where you can get them ?
If you are lacking a certain skill which is going to be required, to help you achieve your desired outcome, you can use an NLP technique to visualize yourself as someone you know who possesses the desired resource. So if you are wanting yo be more confident, think of someone that you know who is already confident. Imagine yourself stepping into their clothes. How would you be acting and what would you be saying ? This is a way of programming your brain to experience the resource even though you don’t personally have it.
With respect to external resources, you might have to plan and organize these to achieve your desired outcome. But until then, imagine yourself with all of the resources magically falling into your hands. Notice how grateful you would feel if you did have all what you needed right now.
Step 6 : Are there any consequences of your desired change in circumstances ?
To many people, this might seem a strange final step. However, we have to appreciate that we do not operate in isolation; and any changes we make are likely to affect others around us such as friends and family.
Think of a situation you are currently in that you want to change. Let’s say, for example, that you are looking to learn more about personal development. Then let’s assume that you see our articles on emotional freedom technique (EFT) and want to use this as a method for unblocking ‘poor programming’, which may be holding you back from achieving success.
Now you may start speaking to friends and family about EFT and whilst you may be full of enthusiasm for it, they may see it as silly mind altering ‘woo woo’ nonsense.
The outcome of this is :
- You may have in place plans to learn more about EFT
- You want to use EFT as part of the process to formulate your success outcome
However, those around you might be less enthusiastic about the benefits of EFT and their negativity might hold back your progress – either consciously or sub-consciously.
Another classic example of this is with a girl who is trying to lose weight. If they have a jealous partner, this person could become even more jealous when the weight is lost. For the girl trying to lose the weight, their progress is very likely to be impeded with this ‘jealousy issue’ sitting in the back of their mind.
So, you need to consider the potential consequences of your desired outcome – before you start. Failure to do this will slow your progress, and maybe even stop it completely, due to a conscious or even unconscious desire not to antagonize those around you.
To guarantee a smoother path to success, you need to ensure that your desired outcome fits in with those who are in your life, or those who you want in your life. There may come a point where you have to choose your desired outcome over somebody else. Alternatively, you might have to ‘water-down’ your desired outcome if other people are involved – otherwise you might not get anywhere near it at all.
We will have a lot more articles on neuro linguistic programming as there are parts of this which are quite complex and need to be broken down even further.
Well-formed outcomes do not guarantee success. But it does offer a much greater chance of success – as you are focusing your mind, as opposed to drifting your way through life. If affectively provides a winning formula which should make normal goal-setting more watertight and refined.
Ultimately, NLP creates improved focus and thinking, which successful people practice all of the time. The good news is that it’s actually available for all of us IF we are willing to take the first step.
We wish you a great deal of success with NLP, whatever you use it for.
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