What Exactly Is NLP?


I was going down the elevator with my neighbour, I could see she was trying hard to recall my name since I greeted her warmly with her first name. The instant the elevator landed on the ground floor her phone with which she was fidgeting came alive and she was on Facebook, it was so easy to observe all the confusion going on in her mind despite the attempts to guise them with small talk. Suddenly, she shouted out my name, “Shreeja!” and I burst out laughing. She realised what had happened and she flushed in embarrassment, she lowered her eyes and sheepishly smiled at me.

I mirrored her and called out her name in the same tone and this time we both laughed together. That’s it, we had established a good rapport and she eased up, her shoulders relaxed and she did not look in hurry anymore.

I have been living in this high-rise building for three years and with the changes that have happened owing to technology and social forums, we hardly know our own society. Ironical but true isn’t it? We probably know a Facebook friend sitting in a forsaken lane of Nairobi more than our next-door neighbor.

Let me sketch a provocative scenario in front of you today. Think about it.

We all have boarded a time-machine and we all are looking out of the window which is our mobile screen, not realizing at what speed we are being taken to an absolutely new and strange world, where we will need to rediscover ourselves again, where we will be seeking out relationships with desperation, where probably we will realize that we need “real” connections. We are humans driven by values, emotions, and beliefs and when the clouds will settle and we finally look up, our neurology, our mind will be in dilemma, our new lifestyle and habits which would’ve taken deep roots will conflict with our intrinsic needs and that is when stress, depression, anxiety, and other psychological disorders will transpire and erode us of the natural joy and serenity. Maybe with the advanced pills and technology, we’ll be successful in numbing ourselves. Maybe gradually the word “affinity” will only be a part of old dictionaries and apathy will be the new winning formula and intelligence will become completely artificial. You know where I am going, don’t you?

Isn’t this other side not too far if we do not intervene and take charge of our mind, our relationships, our ecology, and our world today?

So, my dear neighbor who was looking at my profile while we walked together towards the basement car park, asked me, “What exactly is this NLP that you conduct your training programs on?”

I paused and she stopped too and I looked in her eyes and said, “it is all about we feeding a program in our mind which will work in favour of us and others and the coding language is our words, attitude, verbal and non-verbal communication. When we do this we consciously change our unconscious mind and create what we desire.”

She gave me a vague look and said, “What are you talking about? Is that really possible? We all have set ways of doing things, we aren’t babies that someone can feed something in our head and we will start changing our behaviours… or is it another of those preaching sessions where we need to listen to the long-drawn lectures and implement”, she chuckled and amusingly closed her sentence with, “Only if we remember one word after leaving the program.”

I beamed at her and said, “Exactly because we are not babies we have a choice at any given moment to change our behaviour and move towards what works for us, don’t you think? Have you changed from when you were in college to now when you are married with two sons of your own?”

“O’course!”, she said, “as the circumstances and situations changed so did I…”

I responded calmly, “Well, then dear, change indeed is possible at any age, do you agree?” she nodded in agreement and I continued, “Only that change is sort of unconscious and driven by external factors like you said situations, and this one is more conscious and driven by your life purpose and is rather more compelling.”

The best thing about Neuro Linguistic Programming is no one feeds your mind with any code, you do it with your own words and ways, we only provide you with the syntax, the protocol that will support you to create a neuro pathway, simply put, in rewiring of your mind to align with your purpose and access your strengths, your excellence and your genius. NLP isn’t about content, it is all about context, so there are no longish lectures or stories flying in, rather, it is all about finding solutions and winning strategies that will put you in your best state where things will become effortless for you.

She was completely engrossed in the conversation, I could tell by looking at her eye movements, NLP not only makes you extremely aware of your own verbal and nonverbal responses but makes you mindful about others as well. The information helps in a range of connections starting from building rapport and enhancing your communication, building better bonds, conflict resolution, negotiation and persuasion.

NLP is a blended science put together by Richard Bandler and John Grinder, who’ve extensively researched and included the work of Milton Erickson, Fritz Pearls, Virginia Satir, Alfred Korzybski, Gregory Bateson and others in the early 1970s. They are all stalwarts in their field of therapy and change work.

She rephrased and said, “You’re saying that our behaviours can be modified by understanding how we think more than what we think and use words and nonverbal cues to create winning solutions for ourselves?”

I nodded excitedly. She added, “What if we still don’t win?”

We had reached our car park long back and were getting late for our respective meetings. I was aware of the time so I left her with another thought for the day.

“In NLP we believe there is no failure only feedback. If this doesn’t work something else will and we are open to change!”

She smiled with curiosity and interest and invited me over for the evening coffee. I gladly accepted the invite and turned towards my car. Getting in, I looked at her she was standing there waving at me.

I was sure about one thing, she’ll remember my name. 🙂

“You have the powers you never dreamed of. You can do things that you never thought you could. There are no limitations in what you can do except the limitations of your mind.”

– Darvin P. Kingsley

Categories Life, Mental Health, NLPTags , , ,

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