NLP is the study, practice and experience of human excellence. It is the study of how we know what we know, and how we do what we do. In studying the structure of how humans think and experience the world, the NLP practitioner develops models of how these things work. From these models, the techniques for quickly and effectively changing thoughts, beliefs and behaviours that limit a person, have been developed.
Think of the complexity of the human brain. It can be considered the most sophisticated computer ever conceived of, yet it does not appear to come with any instruction manual. Perhaps this is why, changing how we do the simplest task, often meets with failure.
NLP has been designed to create the knowledge we need to learn how to operate our own minds. The very technical sounding name is only descriptive.
Neuro refers to our nervous system, the mental pathways of our five senses by which we see, hear, feel, taste and smell.
Linguistic refers to our ability to use language and how specific words or phrases mirror our mental worlds. We use language to understand our own world, telling ourselves things about it according to our upbringing and belief systems. Our experiences tend to follow the words we use. For example: if we tell ourselves often enough and for long enough, that we are clumsy, things will appear to fly out of our hands and we may stumble a lot. Interestingly, if we start saying to ourselves ‘I used to be clumsy’ then life seems to follow and change according to the words of our story, especially when these are positive in nature. Linguistic also refers to our body language, the silent language of postures, gestures and habits that reveal our thinking styles, beliefs and attitudes.
Programming is a term borrowed from computer science to suggest that our thoughts, feelings and actions are simply programmes which we run out of habit, that can be changed by upgrading our mental software. Through use of language and holding our body’s posture, we create and change our personal experience of reality. So if our life experience is not progressing as well as we would like it to, this is a good time to realise that we have unlimited resources to change experiences to match our positive expectations.