So what is NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming)?
Well, before I get to that, I’ll mention that throughout the years, I’ve talked about being an observer of your surroundings with YOU being part of the observed.
It isn’t a bunch of fluff I heard somewhere, and to be honest, I hadn’t read any books about it either. I became aware of my inner-world and how it influenced my behavior through some good old fashioned (and at times, rather painful) self-awareness.
I realized that I was in pain and had been throughout my life.
I’d spent a good amount of time trying to change my outer world via circumstances – whether I changed careers, my physical attributes, my environment and the people I interacted with.
And while that was all fine and good, I discovered something that kinda rocked my world. It went like this:Everywhere you go, there you are. Hence - everywhere I went, there I was. #whatisnlp #selfawareness Click To Tweet
There was no escaping me.
Regardless of where I went, who I associated with or how I looked, what was inside of me dominated everything I felt and subsequently, did. I couldn’t change a thing – until I decided I was what needed to change – from the inside out.
So that’s what I did. It’s been a long journey – one that has no end date to it either. I am always a work in progress. We all are.
But while I’ve gotten into that in my books and in other posts here on the blog, I’ll use this time to share a tool that I feel can help you to navigate through your own inner-world and finally make some pivotal changes.
Changes that’ll help you to naturally become what you’ve spent so much time seeking.
What is NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) and Why Does it Matter?Your thoughts, emotions, and beliefs rule your world. They are responsible for everything you do.Click To Tweet
From the time you were born, your surroundings have influenced everything inside of you – good, bad or indifferent.
You learned things from your parents, your teachers, your peers, the media, and society. Wherever you look, whatever you hear and regardless of your surroundings, you are being told a story…
…a story of what it means to be alive.
You create an internal dialogue that plays out in your mind, usually on autopilot. It becomes the foundation of your overall perspective of yourself, others and life itself.
All of this, in a nutshell, basically means that your inner-world runs your life.
As within, so without.
So if things aren’t working out so well for you, then while it’s great to make plans and change things around – your best bet is to engage in self-awareness work to find out what’s inside of you.
This is where NLP can help.
Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), is an exercise in self-awareness using three components:
Neuro – Physical brain/mind/five senses.
Linguistic – The language we use to communicate with ourselves and others.
Programming – The habitual thoughts and belief systems we’ve obtained throughout our lives that contribute to our overall perspective.
NLP works from the inside out – but it also requires you to assess what you perceive using tools that work from the outside in.
Sounds confusing, right? It really isn’t, but I’ll explain.
See, we use our five senses to give us feedback about our surroundings. I’ve heard reality phrased as a “3-d total immersion movie” – and that’s kind of what it is.
When we watch a film, we observe the story. We can see the big picture, which is why we may do things like yell “don’t go upstairs!” to the characters. We are witnessing a story with an understanding that it’s designed to produce a response. That’s why we watch them, right?
Well, in life, we are the characters. We are in a movie. But if we had known this all along, we wouldn’t felt the full impact of our experiences because we would have been aware. It would have robbed us of the experience itself.
Now, being a character in a movie means the actor “forgets” or suspends who they really are and instead, they follow a script and the commands of their director. But once an actor decides they want full creative control of a film, THEY start writing, directing and producing their own films.
Using this information in practical terms
Putting the movie stuff aside for a moment, let’s take a look at you and your life.
Say you want to make some changes. Maybe the pain of your reality includes things like:
- bad relationships
- unfulfilling careers
- lousy self-esteem
- unhealthy habits
These experiences, eventually, hurt enough to drive you to make a change once and for all. So you go about this by changing your diet, getting a new job or breaking up with your partner. This is what we all do – but as I’m sure you’ve noticed, it’s pretty easy to revert to old patterns – and quickly.
The truth is, in order to truly change a thing, you have to know what created the thing in the first place.
This involves going within and questioning what’s inside of you. Your thoughts, beliefs, opinions, and emotions shape your perspective. And as I mentioned before, they’ve accumulated throughout your life through your upbringing (conditioning/programming/experiences).
And your emotional response to your upbringing creates this story (the movie) in which you (your character) are following a script (your internal environment).
If you want to stop being the character (only) and become the writer/director/producer of your film (your life), then you need to remember you are the ACTOR – who can take on multiple roles and responsibilities in this creative project – otherwise known as your reality.
This is where NLP comes in.
Neuro-Linguistic Programming is meant to help you understand how you view your life and reality itself through the eyes of an observer. It’s a system of techniques designed to help you to understand:
- How your mind works (neuro)
- How language (your conversations with yourself and others) influences everything you do (linguistic).
- How your conditioning has altered your perspective (programming).
It’s a system that helps you to learn what’s inside of you and gives you the tools to create your mindset consciously, deliberately and intentionally. And since your thoughts and beliefs become things, if you truly want to change, it helps to become that change.
My Own Example
As I’d said earlier, once I realized how conditioned I’d become through my own upbringing, I understood that any true change I needed to make had to come from within.
I had some massive issues with my weight for the first three decades of my life. Regardless of the health and fitness regimen I embarked on, as long as my perspective about healthy living remained the same as what made me sick to begin with, nothing I did worked for long.
Once I went within and faced my own patterns, internal dialogue, past experiences, and behaviors – and then questioned them, I began to see that I needed to rewire my perception of food, exercise, and overall well-being.
I allowed myself to have an open mind and try new things. I also detached myself from my prior conditioning by taking inventory of my inner-conversations.
I had to become the change I wanted to make by using the same techniques in NLP. It’s been over a decade now since I’ve done this – and I’m still going strong.
But I had to become a warrior – brave enough to face the enemy within. Once I did, I’d decided that it was time to treat myself with dignity and respect. So I became those traits.
And you can too!
If you want more detailed information about NLP and how it works, visit https://inlpcenter.org/what-is-neuro-linguistic-programming-nlp/.
In the meantime, I hope you enjoyed this post – and as usual, I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Thanks for reading – and until next time, take care.