WHAT IS NLP?
Every now and then people come to me and ask me, “What is NLP and how can it be useful to me?” Sometimes this comes from people who have a basic understanding of NLP while other times it’s from people who just happen to stumble across NLP through friends, colleagues or happen to read an interesting article about NLP.
Let’s first look at the literal definition of NLP – NLP stands for Neuro Linguistic Programming.
Neuro stands for our Neurons, which basically stands for ‘the way we think’.
We, as humans, have a unique thought process. The way we think, the way we make our memories and the way we experience life are basically constructed through our senses which are:
In simple terms, our thoughts are constructed through our senses mentioned above.
Linguistic stands for the way we communicate with ourselves and the world. In order to communicate with the world, we use:
Programming stands for our patterns of habits, behaviors and emotions. This is nothing but the internal programs we run unconsciously that decides the way we behave, the things we do, the things we are good at, the things we are not so good at, the habits we have created for ourselves, the emotions we feel, like knowing when to be happy or when to be sad, etc.
By studying and learning the relationship between these internal programs and how we create it for ourselves , we can transform the way we traditionally think and act, and can start adopting a new and far more successful model of excellence.
In short, the literal definition of NLP can be taken as a more effective way to Program/Reprogram, and influence our own or others’ minds to achieve our desired results.
If you are reading about NLP for the first time, the most likely case is that you are still not clear about what NLP is and how can it help you. That is okay. Most people usually take some time to really understand NLP and its applications. In fact, NLP is about experience so unless you experience NLP, you won’t fully understand it.
In its simplest form, NLP can be defined as ‘The Science of Excellence’; Excellence in results and the process of obtaining those results.
Let’s take an example to understand NLP better.
Let’s say you are really good at Mathematics and for someone it’s a struggle. I can use NLP to understand (model) WHAT you do, HOW you do it, the WAY you do it and use that pattern to achieve the same result that YOU do in almost no time! Using NLP anyone can MODEL your thinking pattern, the way you create pictures and sounds in your mind when you solve a math problem – including your beliefs, values, habits and HOW you’ve created them. One can also model how you use your body to observe the most intricate details. Now using all of this, we can create a step by step procedure of “How to be good at Math” and apply this structure to anyone who wants to be be as good as you or EVEN BETTER than you in Mathematics.
It doesn’t stop here… one can even use this structure to even help others get the same or better results. Isn’t that just amazing???
Another interesting example is CONFIDENCE! From the time we go to school, college, work, our social lives, we are told to be confident. ‘If you want to be a head-boy in school ‘BE CONFIDENT’, want to be a popular kid in college ‘BE CONFIDENT’, want present in front of big crowd ‘JUST BE CONFIDENT’, want a promotion ‘BE CONFIDENT’…It can be in any context and all we need to do is to be confident! But has anyone ever told you HOW to be confident? Probably not! Now this is where, NLP becomes your best friend because it actually helps you understand the STRUCTURE of CONFIDENCE and how you can model that structure in any context and BE CONFIDENT!!!
And that’s how the founders of NLP created NLP. NLP is the brain child of Richard Bandler (a Brilliant Mathematician) and John Grinder (an Effective Linguistic), who based it on the principle of Modelling. They modeled some of the best and most successful people involved in fast-change therapeutic work who delivered not only good, but extraordinary results with their clients. So Richard Bandler and John Grinder observed their patterns and created a step by step structure. Then, they explored this structure with their students and clients and amazingly they were able to achieve the same results at a even faster speed than before.
Initially, NLP was developed keeping therapy in mind but since then it has spread across almost all the different fields of today.
In a nutshell, NLP is what you make of it. It is, literally, modelling your style in areas of your excellence and applying a similar structure in any other area to produce the same or better results.