In case you didn’t know, NLP is short for neuro-linguistic programming. And this is an incredible way of breaking out of lifelong habits and replacing them with new ones that power up your performance.
It’s been around for many years, but it hasn’t gained the popularity it deserves for some reason. Most likely, too many people have tried it, given up too quickly, and passed along negative information because they had poor results.
There’s no magic pill for overnight results
Many people who tried using NLP methods were probably cynical, to begin with, and were ready to dismiss it unless outrageous results were quickly achieved. In my opinion, this is a shortsighted approach to trying anything new.
Nothing in this world will transform you overnight.
Perhaps you think the lottery would? Have you read about what happens to some of those lottery winners? Sometimes they lose their friends, get scammed by shady deals, spend a fortune on legal bills, and wish they hadn’t won. This is because they weren’t ready to be transformed.
Proper NLP mindset
The proper way to use NLP is to work it into your daily routine gradually and then compare your own performance to your own past performance – not to someone’s performance – always your own performance.
Your NLP mindset should focus on improving yourself 1% every single day – rather than improving 50% all at once. Too many people are impatient and have expectations that are too high when they attempt to improve themselves. Small, steady improvements are longer lasting and are more likely to become habits.
There’s no point in rushing things. Just relax, learn to enjoy the process, and watch the results roll in.
Powerful NLP techniques
Now let’s talk about neuro-linguistic programming. There are lots of various NLP methods out there that can be used. Some of them are better than others, but sometimes it depends on what your objectives are.
In other words, the NLP process that I use may not work as well for you, and vice versa. But there are some of these methods that many people use because they’ve proven to be very effective. So when you are a rookie NLP scholar, it’s recommended that you begin with these.
Let’s look at two very powerful NLP techniques:
Anchoring has proven over the years to be very useful. This is because, like many NLP methods, it utilizes several sensations within our minds and bodies.
It is used to induce a specific emotion or frame of mind – like joy or relaxation. The ‘anchor’ refers to the touch or gesture that triggers the sensation.
Natural examples of NLP are very useful because they do happen – even though the participants have no previous knowledge of neuro linguistic programming whatsoever.
Consider this scenario:
Your father passed away suddenly. Throughout the funeral process, people kept tapping you on your right shoulder and expressing their condolences.
Six months later at work, your boss taps you on your right shoulder, asking about a project – and then suddenly, you feel very sad, and you’re not sure why.
The shoulder tap was the ‘anchor’ that triggered sadness from your father’s funeral.
Countless situations like these naturally occur in our lives. Personally, I believe that those déjà vu moments that all of us have are actually anchors that have been triggered for some reason.
Think about songs and how we often remember what we were doing and feeling when certain songs became popular in our past. Music has the natural ability to trigger our past feelings.
Using anchoring effectively
So now, let’s talk about how to use anchors for your benefit.
You begin by identifying a state of mind that you want to trigger. Perhaps a time when you were very resourceful, or when you performed your best. This event needs to have a lot of passion and emotion behind it – the more, the better.
Now recreate that event and feel that emotion – when you’ve reached the peak of that passion you’re feeling, then anchor it so you’ll remember the sensation. For example, you could squeeze your right thumb very hard or tug on your left ear lobe.
Now completely relax and do it again – build that passion you felt as intensely as possible – firmly anchor it again. For about a week, continue building this anchor at random times. Only do it a couple of times at each sitting.
When the anchor is established, you can trigger it whenever you need it. For instance, if you have to give a speech to many people, wouldn’t it be nice to feel invincible right before you speak?
How about if you need the courage to approach a girl or guy that you are interested in – wouldn’t like to be at your best?
The swish pattern is an NLP technique that is used to replace unwanted emotions and behavior with those that are more useful. Swish patterns can be used for many things when you use some creativity.
To use some modern jargon, think of this method as the NLP ‘copy and paste’ function. On the word processing apps that you use on your computer, you have the ability to copy a line of text and then paste it somewhere else. This is what the swish pattern does with your thoughts and internal images.
A closer look at the swish technique
Whenever we are undergoing a stressful situation, we typically refer to similar situations from our past.
For instance, suppose we are a teenager who has moved and are feeling anxious about going to a new school. We have all those feelings of not fitting in, being embarrassed, and probably many other negative images in your mind.
Now all those mental images also have emotions tied to them. So we need to make these feelings work in our favor.
Why not feel excited about going to a new school? We’ll meet new people and experience new things, and maybe even meet a love interest too.
The first thing we do is recall a memory when we felt excited and eager to do something – such as going to a party with our friends. Then, tune in to that memory and put a vibrant image of that inside your mind. Finally, intensify that feeling of excitement as you see that mental picture.
Now when you feel anxiety about your new school, quickly copy and paste that new exciting image over the negative one you’re having. It’s called ‘swish’ because you need to do it very quickly – so it will stick.
Keep replacing that negative image with your new exciting one every time you think about the school. If you are persistent enough, a new positive image of excitement will soon replace the negative one.