Neuro-Linguistic Programming is a study or excellence among humans. It strives to take the strategies, assumptions, and techniques of the most high functioning individuals and teach them to anyone. One of the fundamental beliefs of NLP is that anything that can be done by anyone can be broken down into discrete steps and strategies and therefore taught to anyone else. By studying subjective experience the NLP practitioner hopes to improve the way he or she thinks about the world. One of the most popular metaphors for understanding NLP is that it acts like an instruction manual for the mind. By studying the instruction manual to your mind you can learn to direct and control your mind much more efficiently. NLP strives to close the gap between knowing what to do to improve our lives and actually doing it.
Because Neuro-Linguistic Programming is such a broad discipline, it can improve a wide array of different aspects of your life. For example, people have worked with NLP coaches to improve self-confidence, changing bad habits, eliminating phobias, building rapport with others, improving communication, and reducing stress. There are a multitude of different NLP techniques and strategies that can be used for one or more of these different goals.
One of the most popular NLP techniques is called anchoring. In a nutshell, by setting an NLP anchor you can have instant access to any feeling or emotion that you want. It is like flipping a switch that automatically sets you to a desired physical or mental state. Many people will anchor feelings of positivity, calmness, or confidence. You set an anchor by linking a unique trigger to a specific state. For example, you can think about a time you felt incredibly happy. As you let the thoughts of happiness wash over you and as they reach their most intense point, you link it to an act like pinching your thumb and forefinger on your left hand. Restart this process until eventually you will be able to trigger that feeling of happiness by just pinching your fingers.
Another technique that NLP practitioners commonly use is based on the power of visualization. For example, lets say that you wish to improve your self esteem. Find a comfortable chair in a location where you won’t be bothered for at least ten minutes. Close your eyes and visualize yourself sitting down to watch a movie. The movie is of somebody you deeply admire for their confidence. Or, it could even be yourself acting and speaking with great self-confidence. Make your visualization as real and lifelike as possible as you watch it. After you’ve watched the movie several times (it should only be a 15-20 second clip), allow yourself to visualize floating up to the screen and assuming the role of the super confident person in the screen. Instead of observing the movie you are now a part of it. Run the movie again but this time you are actively taking part in it. Keep playing the movie clip over and over and try to make it more intense and faster each time.
NLP practitioners firmly believe that the brain cannot differentiate between something real and something that we vividly imagine. By creating these visualizations of desired outcomes, we accustom our brains to this state. Elite athletes have been using the power of visualization for many years as a valuable part of their training. One of the goals of NLP is to bring the power of visualization into the classrooms, boardrooms, and cubicles of today’s world. By using the anchoring and visualization methods you can unlock the hidden potential of your brain.