Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP) is a multifaceted concept which cannot be contained in one single definition. However, I will provide a few definitions given by great names in the NLP field in order to shed some light into what NLP is all about. Then, I will share what NLP means to me as a coach and practitioner.
One of the founders of NLP, Richard Bandler, said that ‘NLP is an attitude, which is an insatiable curiosity about human beings with a methodology that leaves behind it a trail of techniques’. According to Anthony Robbins, ‘NLP is a set of tools to deal with blocks- that we’ve all created – to simply being who we really are’. For Jamie Smart, ‘the name of the field refers to the human nervous system (Neuro), including the brain and the five senses, the verbal and non-verbal languages with which we communicate (Linguistic), and the ability to structure our neurological and linguistic systems to achieve desired results (Programming). And Chris Howard says that ‘NLP is an owner’s manual for the mind’.
For me as NLP coach and practitioner, NLP means ‘attitude’ and ‘responsibility’!!! I have learned about these two principles while receiving my NLP training, and I must say that understanding them and adopting them has changed my whole outlook on life for the better. These two principles differentiate NLP from other methodologies and make it unique:1) The first principle -‘Attitude” – means that we need to have an attitude of open-mindedness so that we become vulnerable and learn about the ‘self’ so that we can unlearn the ‘old habits and beliefs’ that have kept us stuck in limited thinking. 2) The second principle -“Responsibility’ – means that we need to be willing to accept the notion that we are 100% responsible for everything that happens in our life.
I remember that throughout my training as NLP coach and practitioner, I felt the process of change and transformation unfolding from within not only due to these two principles but also due to various NLP methods and techniques that have changed my thinking. With every bit of new information I received, I felt that layers of my ‘old’ thinking and believing were being peeled off one by one, letting the new ‘me’ emerge. I experienced the benefit of these methods and tools as they were applied to me and by me. Thus, I honestly speak from the heart when I say that this “stuff” works. My hands-on experience has shown me that I can offer my knowledge and expertise to help others. At the same time, I understand that adopting and applying new principles like ‘attitude’ and ‘responsibility’ in life takes time. It is not a process that happens overnight. It requires patience, commitment and perseverance.