1459 words, average reading time 5.8 minutes
There is a dirty little secret in the NLP world. And it’s this: No matter how much you know, it’s VERY difficult to do real work on yourself. We all know this. There’s even a saying about it:
“Doing NLP on yourself is like playing tennis alone. You can do it, but it’s very slow.”
The Problem Is That You Can’t Be In Two Places At Once. You can’t be in your head, having the feelings that create the state you want to work with, and at the same time be outside of yourself, analyzing what might be going on.
So you have to jump back and forth – and frequently the person who tries this ends up either getting exhausted or losing focus. In either case you get a second-rate job.
And yet, sometimes you just CAN’T find anyone who knows enough NLP to work with you. So you must manage your own personal evolution. In this way, self-management is just like the rest of life.
Life Is Like A Solo Flight Lesson.
First there’s the ground school where you learn the theory and regulations that govern flight. Then there are the student pilot days where the instructor has hands on the controls to keep you from getting into serious trouble.
Finally you have to solo. Usually getting off the ground is the easy part. At some point you have to land the plane by yourself. No one can do it for you. You are alone. You bring yourself to a safe landing it or you become a flaming pile of rubble on the ground. You can radio for advice and guidance—just like life – and you have to do all the really important stuff yourself.
In life if you want to change direction or altitude you have to do it yourself. You can get all the advice available but you are at the controls. Suppose the controls don’t work as well as you want them to? What if you want to change your way of operating?
I’ll tell you how I do it—courtesy of several NLP pioneers who gave us some tools that can work wonderfully with others. But the most important thing about these tools is that they can work just as well when we use them on ourselves.
Let’s Take An Example.
Say you have a fear of dogs (or headwaiters or tomatoes – doesn’t matter). Let’s take the dog example. You get nervous even thinking about going to a friend’s home where there might be dogs.
You don’t want to be a bother, but you really can’t get comfortable thinking about trying to be polite in someone’s home when their dog is sniffing or nosing around you. Other people think you’re being foolish and that just makes it worse for you.
You don’t know where this fear came from, but it seems to get worse with the passage of time. You don’t live near a bunch of NLP people who can work with you. What do you do?
Here’s a process that I adapted from the Hack Your Brain with NLP online course. It is a great resource to start with if you really want to get NLP skills deeply ingrained into their thought and behavior. This came from Anchoring, Section I.
Why You Need Resources To Support Your Learning.
Let me take a little side trip for a moment. If you have done an NLP training, It was a whirlwind, wasn’t it? One amazing principle after another. Genius trainers that seemed to do magic when they demonstrated some technique from the front of the room.
Hundreds of little things to keep in mind. Let’s see, how were they breathing? Did their color change? Were they even breathing? What do I do next???
Don’t worry – you’re not alone. We’ve worked with thousands of NLP graduates in various NLP Cafe study groups as well as trainings, and most people had the same experience.
They were shown so much material in such a short period of time that they weren’t able to keep track of all the details. And like many other skill sets, it’s the details that make the difference between drudgery and mastery.
So I participated in the creation of the Hack Your Brain with NLP program. And I have my own copy of this incredibly rich resource. So even though it’s been years since I’ve been in a training, I can review the video, slow motion and repeat over and over if I want—until I thoroughly understand what was going on.
Even though I have an NLP library of over 140 books, these videos show me the actual process that trainers and students go through as they do NLP.
Now I’ll Show You How I Do NLP On Myself.
First, just as if you were working with someone else’s problem, you need to do some investigation of the “problem state”.
If you were working with someone else you could just ask them questions about their internal experience, and make notes.
When it’s YOU who is both client and practitioner the process is a little different.
First, Sort And Separate Your States Of Mind.
First, be the client. Get a piece of paper and write “dog fear” on it and put it on the floor. Then stand on it, imagine you were in a room full of dogs, and get the full icky feeling. Then step back and brush that yucky feeling off onto the paper. Step away from the feeling and take a deep breath.
Whew! What a relief to leave that feeling over there!
Now you can consider it from a little distance. What was that person standing on the paper actually experiencing? What were they seeing in their mind’s eye? What did that other “you” hear inside his or her head? Where in your earlier life does this seem to come from?
Now you have a lot of information, uncontaminated by trying to get it clear while you were in the middle of a panic attack.
With Spatial or Floor Anchors You Can Do Lots Of NLP Techniques.
What I may do then is to lay out an imaginary timeline of my life, stretching from the present back to my infancy. I may slowly walk back into my past, looking for the first time this weird anti-dog feeling came up.
I might then pick up that younger me who was frightened by a dog, and bring him with me back through time up to the present, allowing that younger Tom to learn how much I’d grown and changed through the years, so he could see that he (and I) were now big and strong and safe from the occasional friend’s yapper.
Or I might just leave that “dog fear” floor anchor in place, and put another one down a few feet away called “comfort around dogs”. Then I could move back and forth, noticing the difference and working with whatever came up.
The key to this is to stay immersed in the NLP mindset, past the training. By continually reading, watching the Hack Your Brain videos, and practicing you can develop skills that seem like magic.
You may have been shown hundreds of principles and techniques, but you probably only saw one trainer demonstration. Then you tried it yourself, and then the course had to move on to the next subject.
No wonder so many NLP graduates don’t do NLP, or lack the confidence to do really good work and make money at it. Or even be able to help themselves and their friends and family.
I haven’t been in a training room in years, but because of my frequent revisiting my NLP library and most importantly because I have access to the Hack Your Brain Practitioner videos, my skills continue to improve.
Consider protecting your investment in NLP training. You could give yourself the gift of the Hack Your Brain Course.
It’s a fully annotated 20 Day training in streaming video online, and it’s the only one in the world. Click below for details, and your choice of options:
I wonder what you might learn and develop if you let your brain roam through these 20 days, observing and letting this amazing information soak into your consciousness.
In any event, enjoy your new approach to self-work. Let me know how you’re doing.