By: Jordan Matthews
Everyone who wants to learn NLP should start with an NLP workbook or a seminar where you can learn about the wide range of applications that NLP has for your daily life. The NLP workbook will give you the methods, and the seminar will allow you to practice. But with this article, I will give you the NLP workbook, and all you need to do is practice this belief changing NLP system and put it into action.
Richard Bandler starts off almost every lecture and seminar in the same way. He works with a person’s inner beliefs about themselves, and the world around them. He has a philosophy that anything is possible as long as you believe it is. Working with NLP, or Neuro Linguistic Programming, is no different. This science, or art, if you so choose to see it, has proven to be inexplicably beneficial to people, changing lifelong patterns in a single instant. But to most people, regardless of the results they can see before them, this is an impossible task. Many times, it can seem almost like actors at a magic act, and they simply sit waiting for Mr. Bandler to pull a rabbit out of his hat. It’s not magic, and it does work, but only if you believe it to be so. If not, you’ll convince yourself to find a way to return to your old habits, and all will be for naught.
So, of course, the first thing that one must do is to work on a positive, optimistic outlook. This does not come easily for everyone, but some people may feel that they already have a positive attitude and can skip this step.
Using NLP techniques on yourself requires the use of submodalities, which you can read about in my article on the Basics of NLP. For a quick rehashing of the main topic, submodalities are the distinct qualities of your mental images, voices or feelings, that help you to subconsciously differentiate between good experience and bad. Things like the tone of voice, the direction it comes from, and the volume, would be examples of auditory submodalities.
Since most people are visual learners, and since everyone relates some part of their experience through visual images, it is typically most useful to think in terms of pictures to begin with. They are also the easiest to manipulate, so it is a good way to learn.
The first step in changing your beliefs, and in working almost any NLP techniques within your own experience, is to compare and contrast the differences in submodalities. First, imagine a really powerful, and really good memory. It can be of anything. Watch that movie play out in front of your eyes.
Now, do the same thing with an unpleasant memory. Play it like a movie, and begin at this time to notice the differences in the movies. The location where you look to see these two movies is often the first noticeable difference, but look to see if one is larger than the other, or if one is more colorful than the other. Do they both play back with sound? Write all of these things down on a piece of paper if it helps. Remember, it’s the differences that matter, any similarities you may find are not particularly useful.
Knowing this information, you’ve now figured out how to create a happy and pleasant memory. Play back that bad memory once more, and notice how you feel. Now, rewind it to the beginning, but this time, before you play it back, shift that movie screen to the same position where your happy memory was. Stretch or shrink the frame of the picture to be about the same size as the pleasant memory, and add color or sound if necessary. The idea is to look upon that unhappy memory as if it were a happy memory.
This can take some practice, and working alone without a guide, it may take a few tries to get it right. You may find that you have no idea what I’m talking about with these different submodalities. If this is the case, take it slower, one step at a time, and look closer into what is going on inside your head. For most people, this can be very difficult, and may require a lot of practice. If you get it right, you should be able to play back that unhappy memory in happy-vision, and notice that you have a much better feeling about the experience. Best thing about it? This technique will work for almost anything you want to do. If you want to boost your confidence, examine the differences in your memories. If you want to stop doing something, manipulate the submodalities of the memories.
Once you get used to the technique, you’ll notice some startling differences. First and foremost, you’ll begin to feel better about your past experiences, and most people find that this alone is good enough to make them more confident and feel better about themselves. But as you build up on the good experiences, and those that you have manipulated to help yourself feel better about them, you’ll notice that you begin to automatically assign new experiences and new memories the same, beneficial submodalities that you assigned to your first memory. By changing the past, you’re effectively changing the future.
Go ahead and try this. There’s nothing to lose except for feeling a little silly at the idea. But, if it works for you, there’s much to gain from the experience.
About the Author:
My name is Jordan, and I am a certified NLP trainer who believes that these techniques should be made available to everyone. Because Bandler’s books are so expensive and hard to find, I recommend that for any further NLP work, you should check out the NLP toolbox or Forbidden Patterns.