How do I start learning NLP?

In many ways, when you start learning NLP by yourself, you’ll have some advantages. Among those is that you’ll be able to focus more intently on your goals and objectives.

NLP, which is short for Neuro-Linguistic Programming, offers very ways in which we can alter how we process our thoughts, approach our lives, and even how we view past events.

Neuro-Linguistic Programming allows us to control our minds finally, and because of this, we can control our lives. Standard psychoanalysis, which is used by the mental health profession, always looks for the ‘why’ in the workings of your mind. NLP focuses on the ‘how’ instead.

Take control of your mind

NLP operates from the standpoint that we probably lack adequate control of life because we aren’t managing our thoughts and perceptions very well. When someone asks, “how do I start learning NLP?” comes from this starting point.

Understand that while you cannot control what goes on in the world around you, you can indeed control how you will react to them – and that, my friend, is your advantage.

Thoughts, feelings, and emotions aren’t things you are or have but are something you experience. These are caused by many factors, including comments or beliefs from your parents or teachers or by life events.

NLP shows you how to control your beliefs and influences. By utilizing mind techniques such as visualization, you can change how you think and feel about past events, fears, and even phobias.

The Power of Belief

Beliefs can be extremely powerful.

Witch doctors have been employing this method for centuries: if you believe you’re sick, you will probably die.

When you believe you have been given something that will make you better, you often get better. The placebo effect has been well-documented in clinical trials.

This boils down to believing in your abilities and doing it. However, you can also challenge limiting beliefs and change whether you think something is possible by asking yourself questions like:

  • Do I really know that I can’t do that?
  • Who said this to me? Could they be wrong?

Goal Setting

Goal-setting is nothing new, but NLP offers some interesting insights that focus on satisfaction rather than dissatisfaction.

It’s helpful to make your goals positive; instead of thinking about what you want to lose or not have, focus on what you’d like to have. It is always best to consider what you really want. Likewise, you aren’t interested in buying your dream home; you’re interested in living there. A goal that you care about makes it easier to stay motivated.

How do I start learning NLP

The Power of Questions

According to NLP, our minds actively seek answers to questions.

If you ask yourself, “Why do I feel so bad?” Your mind will find answers to that question. The key to NLP is to ask the right questions, for example:

  • What’s the reason I want to change?
  • How will my life be altered by such a change?
  • What is required for me to make this change?

Questions that are phrased like this will lead to much more supportive answers – and they will be helpful too.

Some NLP techniques and tools

This section introduces a few of the tools and techniques used in NLP. When used properly, these can be very powerful.

Moving images

  1. Take a moment to visualize someone who irritates you. Imagine how the picture appears in your mind.
  2. Put the image in black and white, and imagine it moving away from you. Take note of your feelings.
  3. Take a moment to visualize something pleasant. Move it closer to you and make it bigger and brighter. Feel how this makes you feel.
  4. A thought process based on this concept helps you understand how events or people affect you.
  5. This technique teaches the brain to magnify positive feelings and weaken negative ones.

Undermining the critical voice in your head

We all have that critical voice inside our heads that will speak at inopportune times and say things like, “You couldn’t possibly do that,” or “That sounds way too difficult for someone like you to handle.”.

  1. When you hear that critical voice next time, imagine it as a silly voice, like Donald Duck or Tweetie Bird.
  2. Take note of how this changes your perspective on the voice’s ‘wisdom.’
  3. If the voice does not sound like anyone real, it’s easier to silence.

Running the movie backward

If you’re struggling to get over a bad experience, imagining it backward can help.

  1. Start from a point at which you realized the experience had ended. Now imagine the entire incident happening in reverse until you reach the moment before it occurred.
  2. Repeat this a few times until you understand how the ‘film’ plays backward.
  3. Put it on a small screen in your mind – perhaps as small as the screen of a mobile phone – and play it backward.
  4. Let’s finish with an experience that ends with a smile. Observe how your feelings about it have changed.

This technique works by showing your brain a new perspective on memory, and by doing this, you’ll change your feelings about it as well.

Brilliance squared

  1. Consider an emotion that you would like to feel, such as confidence. In your mind, visualize a color square filled with the hue of the emotion you are experiencing.
  2. Imagine that you are standing in the square, filled with that emotion. Observe the way you stand, the expression on your face, everything about you.
  3. Imagine yourself as the imaginary “you.” Enter the square. Spread the feeling throughout your body. Make sure you can do this easily by doing it a few times.
  4. Put the colored square in front of you on its own and step into it. Feel how it feels.

In this case, the trick is that you have trained your mind to connect an image with emotion. By invoking the image, you will invoke the feeling as well.


Based on the power of your mind, NLP is a very powerful technique. Some might call it ‘mind tricks,’ but by employing methods like these and others created by NLP experts, you can learn to take control of your mind and your responses to the world.

The real key to making NLP work for you is your desire and willingness. These techniques require some effort on your part. It would be best if you rehearsed them until they are embedded in your subconscious.

Do not approach the methods by doing 200 repetitions in one day and being done with it. Instead, try doing ten daily repetitions across a few months – this would be far more effective.

And never forget the main principle behind NLP; although you can’t control the world, you can control how you react to it.

This is how you start learning NLP.