What the Heck is NLP?

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Lately, the use of NLP in life coaching has come up in discussions and the common question is, 'what is it?'. The general idea of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) is a practice where skills or ways are developed to help people look at other opportunities in front of them in a positive and impactful way. This shift in our perception and opening doors to the opportunities around us bring us to our desired outcome. 

In life, we need a few things to be successful. We can often figure out what we don't want in life, but struggle to see the outcomes we desire. This can be for different reasons but often knowing what we want isn't something we usually practice as other things usually come first. If we can narrow down what our desired outcome is, that is the first step. NLP uses a range of questioning and helps to shift perceptions in a positive way to move in the direction of what we want rather than the things we don't want.

Next comes the awareness. Noticing the small and big things we do that moves us forward. Is what you are doing working? If not, change something in that pattern. We cannot expect change from doing the same thing. The more choices we have and make for ourselves, the easier our chances for growth and success. NLP is heavily used in this area as the training allows us to further examine our opportunities in these small or big things that we do.

Finally, we need to practice flexibility: Flexibility to see the situation and opportunities in front of us; flexibility to see that something could work one time but not another; and flexibility to forgive ourselves and practice kindness by making these changes. Change is not easy for most people and is often seen as a negative thing, but it is necessary to give yourself the permission to be flexible in the movement you are making in your life.

NLP helps throughout the entire process of our transformation. Once we develop the idea of what we want, we can move into awareness and how our actions are or aren't affecting us moving in that direction and finally having the flexibility to understand that things change and maybe your path will take a new route from what you originally thought.

As you can probably imagine, it definitely is not a straight shot, and not every coach use NLP. For me, I use a holistic approach with a combination of NLP techniques. By also tapping into our intuition, our deeper knowing, it can push us further into knowing what direction would have the best potential.