Since I’ve been promoting the NLP Practitioner training I’m running later this year and also the two ‘Taster Days’ in June, I’ve been talking about NLP a lot more to clients and friends. One friend asked me, ‘So what has NLP done for you, personally?’
Me: You mean, apart from providing me with a powerful toolkit to help my clients achieve the results that matter?
Friend: Yes, apart from being the foundation of everything you do professionally, what has NLP ever done for you?
Me: Oh, you mean, personally? For me, in my life?
Friend: Yes, what has NLP ever done for you?
Rather than risk carrying on like a bad imitation of a Monty Python sketch, I’ve taken some time to reflect on this and here are ten things NLP has done for me. Or, more precisely, ten things I‘ve done for me using NLP in one form or another. It’s not a ‘top ten’, it’s just ten things.
In no particular order…
- I’ve learned a lot about myself that I can describe in everyday language, and use to my advantage. For example, I know what’s important to me and why. I know what stresses me and why. I know who I like and why. I know how to get the best out of myself.
- I’ve learned how to listen to other people and how to respond to other people’s emotions and troubles. Being English, I grew up thinking that if someone got upset my job was to stop them being upset. Now I know better. I’ve learned how to make it safe for people to experience, explore and express their emotions.
- I’ve discovered how I remember people’s names. It’s something I’ve always been quite good at, (it took me four days to learn the names of all 100 people on a NLP Practitioner training programme some years ago) but having had my strategy modelled for a Master Practitioner project, I now know exactly how I do it and I teach it to other people.
- I’ve got rid of my hang-up about driving around right-hand bends. Having been in the car, aged 8, when my Mum was driving and was hit from the left by a car pulling out of a junction, I was left with an almost unconscious mistrust of that side of the road. My advanced driving instructor spotted it, my NLP training eliminated it.
- I can manage my state. Some years ago I attended a 3-day training programme on Negotiating Skills. It was a high-pressure environment with lots of competitive exercises and lots to learn. In giving individual feedback at the end of the programme, the trainer told me, ‘You bring your own weather wherever you go. Nothing seems to affect your focus and serenity’. (I wish that was true all the time, but at least I can do it in some situations!)
- I’ve run my own business for 21 years. My NLP skills enabled me to manage the transition from full-time employment to self-employment in a way that didn’t feel like stepping off a cliff. If I hadn’t been able to do that, I probably would never have set up on my own.
- I’ve extricated myself from more than one unhappy relationship with dignity and respect on all sides. This takes patience, mental effort and clear focus on what really matters. Perhaps I should have been applying these skills at the start of the relationships, but at least I’ve minimised the damage on the way out.
- I’m no longer scared of spiders.
- I can run a workshop or training day with total confidence. I don’t get nervous about audiences; I don’t get ‘difficult delegates’ and I (nearly) always achieve the purpose of the event. This is the result of years of relentless practice of the NLP Trainer skills and a total determination to ‘walk my talk’.
- I’ve learned that it’s ok to let people be wrong. I must have been insufferable in my 20s. I used to think that if someone was wrong I should put them right. Through learning NLP I first realised that ‘wrong’ is completely subjective, then I figured out that it’s not my job to correct anyone. I may still be insufferable but if I am, it’s for different reasons now.
I could easily have made this list 20 things, or 50. As I started to reflect, I realised that there are literally hundreds of things I’ve achieved in my life using the NLP toolkit and approaches. Whenever there’s a gap between where I am and where I want to be, I can use an element of NLP to help me get greater clarity, shift my attitude or break through a mental block. It isn’t always easy, but it’s always possible.