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Updated on February 22, 2012

Are you stuck in a rut, struggling to better yourself, increase your portfolio and walk into the good life you see so many people around living effortlessly? You may need to change your mindset and step outside of your comfort zone, take a risk and try something new- maybe even something like NLP.

What is NLP? NLP, or neuro-linguistic programming, is an approach to life that seeks to unify and reprogram certain learned behaviors and language patterns in order to achieve specific life goals. Created in the seventies by Richard Bandler and John Grinder, it was mainly intended to address certain phobias, depression, psychosomatic illnesses, and learning disorders. It has been used with great success to halt unhelpful self doubt, by reprogramming the way in which a person thinks of, and speaks about himself.

A classic interaction in NLP between a therapist and a client is composed of several major stages including establishing rapport, collecting information regarding perceived problems and future goals, and utilizing specific tools and techniques to make a guided intervention, armed with knowledge about the client based entirely on non-verbal cues. Rapport is established through mirroring non-verbal actions and responding to eye movement. Once established, information can be gathered regarding issues and goals through the use of reframing a client's utterances, in order to inject a more positive spin on what they say. This is a vital step, in that it begins the reprogramming phase subtly. The spoken word has great power, and if the client can be encouraged to embrace a more positive, success oriented way of expressing himself, actual success is that much closer. All changes brought about by NLP are "future based"- that is, a client is encouraged to mentally rehearse and prepare for challenges that hinder goals, in order to see himself succeeding.

NLP can also be practiced outside of the realm of the professional psychotherapist, and is a highly effective tool for interpersonal communications which involve persuasion, including management training, sales, coaching, team building, public speaking, sports, and negotiation. By choosing what you say in order to accentuate the positive, you are creating an environment and demeanor that is successful, and therefore overcoming your greatest obstacle- yourself. NLP frees an individual from the fear of failure, because a practicer of NLP has already gone over the steps necessary for success time after time in his mind, much like a football player will rehearse the possible outcomes of his plays, until he knows every pitfall and subsequent response.

In addition to mental rehearsal, those versed in NLP methodology have trained themselves to give themselves the verbal affirmations that so many crave from unreliable sources. We have everything necessary for success integrated within ourselves, we have only to stop doubting ourselves and speaking negatively about our capabilities in order to unlock the potential for a greater life. If you truly wish to break the patterns of failure and mediocrity that are holding you back, turn to the time-tested techniques of NLP and start living the life you were made for.


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