There is a lot of debate on whether or not NLP is fake. Some people swear by it, while others think it’s nothing more than a load of pseudoscience. So, what is NLP?
NLP stands for Neuro-Linguistic Programming, and is a type of self-help therapy that claims to be able to change your thoughts and behaviour by changing the way you communicate with yourself. The theory behind it is that the language you use in your head affects your neurology, which then affects your behaviour.
So, does this mean that NLP actually works? There’s no definitive answer, as it seems to work differently for everyone. However, many people have found it helpful in managing stress, anxiety, anger, confidence levels and other issues. There are also many people who have found that it’s not helped at all.
So is NLP real or fake? It seems to depend on the individual!
Is it possible to reprogram the brain? Can reprogramming the brain change our behavior? Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) is a combination of Linguistics, Semantics, Hypnosis, Behavioral and Cognitive Psychology. It’s about how we interpret the world we experience via the input through our senses: visual, auditory, kinesthetic, tactile, olfactory and gustatory. It’s about how we represent the world to ourselves and to others.
The events in our life have continually accumulated and have been stored in our subconscious mind. Our subconscious mind, in turn categorizes, generalizes, interprets and filters the inputs related to the events. This process creates what is often referred to in NLP as “our map” of the world. Furthermore it is thought that the different events and experiences create “states” in our physiology that are stored by our physiology and which in turn give rise to our behavior or reaction in given situations.
It has been demonstrated how the way we interpret the world is shown through movement of the eyes. Individuals vary in the way they experience events. Some experience them kinesthetically, i.e. feelings, others visually, some verbally (auditory), or any combination thereof. For example, we may ask a person “how was the party last night?” If the eyes turn to the right and downwards, it is likely that person is searching within for a memory of how she felt at that party. A person who is more auditory may turn her eyes left, an indication she is recalling conversations or music. A more visual person’s eyes may turn upwards and to the right, indicating she might be recalling what people were wearing, or the decorations etc.
The responses those individuals will give to the question “how was the party last night?” could go something like this: “Oh! I felt really great, I had an awesome time”. The auditory person may say: “The music was loud but I could still hear what Bill said about Nancy”. The visual person: “The place was done out with silver balloons and blue ribbons, it created a really pleasant atmosphere.”
So can our interpretation or “map” of the world be altered or “tweaked” to suit our purposes, change our perspective, or change our behavior? I say a definite yes! With the reservation that any alteration or tweaking needs to be done by an experienced and ethical practitioner with the full consent of the subject; otherwise the results could be detrimental.
Due in part to its open-ended philosophy, NLP is controversial. It is at times criticized in the scientific community as unproven or pseudo-scientific. Amongst those who watch for fraud, it is criticized for exaggerated claims and unethical approaches by a number of practitioners. There is also some dispute among its developers and proponents regarding what NLP is and is not.
At one seminar, a participant, who was an engineer, asked me “did I believe?” I said I did, but that it may not work for everyone. During the course of the seminar this participant, having disagreed with something the presenter said, stormed out never to be seen again; proving my point exactly.
Having studied NLP, and volunteered during demonstration of techniques; having applied techniques to several clients with great outcomes I can only say it worked for me and it worked for them. I definitely am a believer…and yes, it is possible to reprogram the brain!
Does NLP work?
There is a lot of debate surrounding the effectiveness of NLP. Some people swear by it, while others claim that there is no scientific evidence to support its efficacy. However, I believe that NLP can be a powerful tool if used correctly. It can help you to change your thoughts and behaviors, which can lead to positive changes in your life.
I think that NLP can be an effective tool, but it takes work. Many people don’t commit the time needed to use NLP. You have to be dedicated, and you have to put in the effort even when it’s difficult. This is something that many people are not prepared to do. However, for those who are willing to make the commitment, I think that they will find great rewards in return.
As with any other activity or self-help technique, there is no guarantee of success with NLP. If you follow all of the instructions correctly and diligently enough, then it probably makes sense that you might see positive results. Sometimes life just throws curveballs at us though, and we can do everything right and still end up with an undesirable outcome.
This is why it’s important to remember that change takes time. Don’t expect miracles overnight, especially if you’ve been living your life one way for a long time. You have to be willing to accept your current situation before you can make the necessary changes to improve things for yourself.
It also helps if you are honest with yourself when trying NLP. If there are some negative thoughts or behaviors that you are having trouble eliminating, then maybe they aren’t as bad as you think? Maybe it’s just fear holding them in place? This is what happened for me- I was afraid, but once I started being truthful about my fears and how they were affecting my life, everything became much simpler!
The bottom line: NLP can work, but it takes time and effort. If you want positive change in your life, then I recommend using NLP as one of the tools to help make it happen. Even if you don’t see results right away, they will come eventually if you continue to be dedicated and stick with it!
Keep these tips in mind as you start practicing NLP techniques, and chances are that things will come together for you just fine!
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