Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) is a grouping of concepts, methodology, and skills to help you understand how the language of the mind creates the programs you run in life. The actual definition of NLP will vary from person to person, because as you will read in this book, NLP can be so many things.
What we’d like to do is take a few minutes to frame NLP and to give you some insight into the general history of NLP. Then we would like to begin sharing with you how you can personally benefit from learning NLP.
First, let’s look at the basic descriptions of NLP:
Neuro: The neuro of NLP deals with the mind and brain, but not just the brain that sits in your head. We are interested in all the neurology within your being: every cell, atom, chemical, hormone, and neurological connection.
Linguistic: The linguistic of NLP has to do with your senses. We are interested in the verbal and non-verbal aspects of anything you can be aware of: what you see, hear, taste, touch, smell and think.
Programming: The programming part of NLP is the most important. You have programming (or patterning) about everything you do; your beliefs, behaviours, actions, thoughts, and moods are based on the programming that you have.
Possibly, the real order of NLP should be, LNP—linguistic, neuro, programming—but it just doesn’t sound as good! Everything that goes on around you is taken up linguistically; every single thing you’ve ever seen, said, tasted, touched, smelled, thought, or felt is within your awareness. Automatically, what has come into your awareness connects with your neurology; based on the internal or external stimuli, your brain creates and secretes chemicals, hormones, and neuro transmitters that instantly trigger your unconscious programming and you have a physical, mental, or emotional reaction. Instantly.
Let’s look at a simple example. There may be a certain way a person can say your name that triggers an emotion from you. Here’s what is happening:
- You hear your name being said in a specific way (linguistic).
- Your brain automatically creates and secretes a chemical based on what you’ve heard (neuro).
- Your body immediately triggers an emotional reaction (programming).
So, NLP is understanding how the language of your mind creates the programs of your life. NLP also contains skills and knowledge that allow you to identify how the programs were created, how to enhance the programs that work well, and how to change what doesn’t work well to be able to create the programming you desire.
As you will learn, you can use NLP to better communicate with others by learning more about how they have been programmed to understand, behave, and think. You can use NLP as a personal development tool to understand more about yourself, grow, change, and align your programming; in business you can use NLP to better understand and use the psychology of others; for your own health you can use NLP to align the mind/body connection; and you can use the skills of NLP as modality for helping others in all aspects of life, including as a Coach or Therapist.
When learning NLP, will hear us talking a lot about the conscious and unconscious mind. The conscious mind is thought to make up only 10% of our mind. It is responsible for thinking, analysing, judging, and reasoning. While you may think it is your conscious mind that is in charge of you because you may be so aware of its incessant chatter, this isn’t the case. Your unconscious mind makes up the other 90% of your mind. Also known as the subconscious or non-conscious mind, it is really this part of you that runs your body. It also stores your memories, creates your emotions, creates and transmits chemicals, and is responsible for every part of your life.
From an NLP perspective, It is your unconscious mind that we are interested in as this is the part of your mind responsible for storing and using your programs and patterns of emotions, thoughts, beliefs, and behaviours. If you’ve ever tried to logic your way into health or happiness, you’ll know that your conscious mind isn’t responsible for such things. It is your unconscious mind that we use in NLP.
The skills, tools and concepts of NLP can be used in all aspects of life. We have unconscious programming about how we think, believe, choose, act – everything! By knowing and using these simple life-hacks you will be on your way to living your best life!
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