Friday, December 11, 2009

NLP: What Is It Good For?

NLP, if you are wondering,  is the common name for Neuro Linguistic Programing.

In short terms, a kind of 'owners manual' training for our brain, and our thinking and how that affects our actions.

A question that often comes up, after "What is it?", is "What Is NLP Good For?"

For more than a few years now, I've cogitated on this and wondered what it is that makes it possible for so many to have spent so much time and energy and effort in learning NLP and associated spin-offs, yet appear to have little to show for it

My assumption was always, though they may not have articulated it so, that it was to enable them to create better results than they were used to getting. Maybe more comfort in being in control of their responses, and states than perhaps they had been able to date, and possibly in order to create more fulfilling relationships and interactions with others.  I kept looking for examples of individuals who had made more money, worked in environments more of their liking now, were enjoying more control over their reactions. 

I'm still looking.

I wondered how it could be, that one could ingest so much great instruction and finally meet these life changing strategies and new ways of looking at the world without something changing.  My expectation, I realized, was that in submerging oneself in these new viewpoints and ideas could not do anything but allow a smooth changeover in the ways of being in the world.

Some time ago, a conversation with a long-time student of such things, well practiced in his craft and quite savvy in his manner, asked me what I expected from people who are interested in these things, as we are.  My response to him was that I expected those who had been involved for some time, to be getting more open to new ideas, less threatened by ideas that were not their old ones, and more okay with following an idea through, trying it on, without jumping to hasty ill-informed responses. He evinced some surprise.  Surprised that I didn't just expect them to respond the same way they had again and again.  In turn, I was surprised at his surprise.

To expect the self same response, from  people who have invested so much into learning the skills of NLP would be to admit that the whole premise is suspect, and that ultimately, it is all pointless. The technology is worthless.  I am not yet so jaded.

As I work with people, either informally, or in more formal arrangements, it is evident that the degree of difficulty for many people in learning to see the potential that they have right in front of them, is extreme.  Their world views are constricted to the point of stifling them in their endeavours.  To move forward, is like forbidden fruit, and they seek, without knowing what it is they seek, permission to have what is already rightfully theirs.  From whom they hope to receive this permission, is anyone's guess. For many it will be someone who is not even alive any more, and for all, were it even possible to receive it from another, they are still faced with the cold sobering reality that the only one who can deliver them what they could have if they dared to declare the wanting... is themselves.

There is a technique to training elephants that perhaps you have read about.  The young elephants are tethered from an early age, and learn (one way and another) not to move beyond the range of their tether. This training stays with them even when they are grown and much larger and fully able to break free  Similarly, we are tethered to a set of beliefs, some of which are helpful and have been of good use to us in our lives, some which have appeared to be helpful, or so we thought, and some which have been not only a hindrance to our well-being, but have set us up for an array of lost opportunities, wasted chances to live the life we could have chosen and the means to fulfil our potential.

It is neither good policy, nor I suspect, possible, to set someone else's beliefs for them, in the context of assisting them in reaching an improved state of being.  That is for the individual to decide.  In deciding on the beliefs that are worth keeping, there remains the chasm to be jumped, that is at the heart of no-change.  It is a willingness to look openly and without fear at what our current beliefs are, and to know them for what they are.  Then it is the courage to admit that we deserve.  That we can have what is important to us, that we can achieve what we set out to achieve, and having done so, can contribute in ways that we can never do until such time as we have jumped that chasm and discovered it was nothing at all

NLP is good for this.

If you know about NLP, perhaps you have some other examples. Please add them if you do. And if you don't know about NLP yet, feel free to ask questions.

What Do I Do?

I help owners of small businesses to focus on what they want from their business and life. Discover and articulate their vision, review the business, so as to streamline operations, improve productivity, reduce waste and grow more profits.

 Lindy Asimus
(Yes. Accredited NLP Practitioner)

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alixnotes said...

I enjoyed reading this post on NLP, Lindy.

My thoughts are: 1) Im wondering how we can judge another's change or not in that we really don't know where they were and how far they have travelled already - or not!!

And 2) it is easy to gain knowledge, much more difficult to see how it applies to ourselves personally and even when we realise where we need to apply it it is often just more "comfortable" to carry on with what we have always done!

More please!!

lindyasimus said...

Hi Alix, thanks for your comment. I agree with you and on your first point, that's a little scary to consider isn't it!

On your second point, I think knowledge in it's true sense is a lot harder to gain than it is to memorise information.

I wrote a blog on "Comfortable" a while back that gives my thoughts on that particular trap. Here's a link to it

Unknown said...

Thanks Lindy

It may have taken me a while to get around to reading, but having done so I feel enlightened.

Now the next step is to do something about it!