To understand Neuro-Linguistic Programming and how it came to be, we first have to take a look at how people communicate with themselves and others, and how they respond to situations that produce human experience. We consider that our communication strategy and responses are automatic functions of our neurology, which we have little or no control over.
This is far from true. For there exists a connection between the neurological processes (“neuro”), language (“linguistic”) and behavioral patterns learned through experience (“programming”); and these can be changed to create new ways of understanding how verbal and non-verbal communication affect the human brain. As such, presents us all with the opportunity to communicate better, achieve specific goals in life and understand what change really is.
Let’s break it down:
Neuro: relates to what’s happening in your mind. We experience the world through our senses, process it and translate it into conscious and unconscious thought, affecting how the body functions, emotions and behaviors.
Linguistic: refers not only to the words you use in your communication, but also your body language and the way you use it. You may think that words only describe meanings, but in fact they create your reality. Test this and begin to notice how you think: Imagine a hot summer’s day. You’re standing in your kitchen at the end of this long day, holding a lemon you’ve taken from the fridge. Look at the outside of it, its yellow waxy skin with green marks at the ends. Feel how cold it is in your hand. Raise it to your nose and smell it. Mmmmm. Press it gently and notice the weight of the lemon in the palm of your hand. Now take a knife and cut it in half. Hear the juices start to run and notice that the smell is stronger now. Bite deeply into the lemon and allow the juice to swirl around in your mouth. Did you notice how simple words can trigger an effect in your saliva glands?
Programming: tackles the persistent patterns of behavior that you acquire through experience and then repeat. Your personal programming consists of your internal thinking patterns and strategies that you use to make decisions, solve problems, learn, evaluate and get results. NLP shows you how to recode your experiences and organize your internal programming so that you can get the outcomes that you want.
Therefore, NLP is the art and science of communication, the systematic study of human behavior. It can be defined as the how-to or the manual of the human mind: how people become successful at things; how they develop their desires, how they motivate themselves, how they achieve what they aim for and enhance their lives.
NLP provides tools and techniques for the development of states of individual excellence: personal and professional performance, motivation, learning, maintaining good health, sports performance, communication, negotiation, public speaking and change management. It provides ways of helping one become more in control of their thoughts, feelings and actions. It brings about a positive attitude on life and possibilities, and enhances your mental, emotional and physical well-being. And can also be thought of as a journey of self-discovery. As we already know, the mind is divided into 2 parts, the conscious and the subconscious. In order for change to occur, we have to educate our subconscious mind and insert new ideas to produce desired behaviors. Using NLP, we consciously, through words and techniques, command our subconscious mind to allow the necessary suggestions to take place, which consequently changes your thought processes, habits and shapes your map of reality to achieve desired outcomes.