What is NLP?

Finding your own map of the world

So what is NLP all about? Well, NLP stands for Neuro-linguistic Programming. Essentially, it is a set of guiding principles and techniques that can be used to understand our thoughts and behaviours, and using these patters to achieve our goals. NLP uses modelling, action, and effective communication techniques.

The method was created by a duo known as Richard Brandler and John Grinder. These two gentlemen who wrote their first book on NLP entitled Structure of Magic: A Book About Language of Therapy in 1975. The book was modelled largely on the strategies used by Milton Eriksson, a great hypnotist, Virginia Satir, therapist and communicator, and other renowned mental health professionals such as Noam Choasky and Gregory Bateson.

The pair studied the behaviour and thought processes of these individuals who had attained excellence in their respective fields, and created a model that attempted to duplicate the thought patterns and behavioural patterns of those individuals. One of the principles of NLP is that everyone has a map of their own reality, because everyone’s experiences are unique to themselves.

You might be wondering how this is possible, given that thought processes are distinct and complex and how this may be pinned down to just one formula. Well, NLP programming has been created simply by modelling the thought processes of successful and then creating techniques which are adaptable to changing thoughts, beliefs and behaviours.

It is important to remember that NLP is not a scientific theory. It merely gives individuals tools they can use to better understand their own cognitive processes in order for them to harness and strengthen their individual skills to attain success. NLP attempts to detect and change any biasness or limiting beliefs that you unconscious mind holds, in order to free you to make better decisions and reach your goals!

An example would be if you were to go on holiday to a foreign country where no one speaks your first language. You try to speak the native language. You sit down in a restaurant, and try to order a bowl of mushroom soup, but instead what you are brought is a whole roast chicken! Had you known how to speak the language, you would have gotten that bowl of mushroom soup.

NLP is much like learning the native language of your mind, so that you can tell it to do what you need it to do and therefore reach your intended outcomes. It helps you identify the language of your own mind to use it to your advantage.