NLP Misconceptions

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First of all, unless you are familiar with NLP, the name itself is daunting .. Neuro-linguistic Programming!!!

  •     neuro, as in neurology;
  •     linguistic, as in language;
  •     programing, as in .. changing how you think ..

We’ve adopted our own acronym, NLP as in Now Live on Purpose! .. but that still leaves the big question: How do you do that?

There are a number of misconceptions about NLP I’d like to clear up first:

NLP Misconception #One: NLP is manipulative.
One student told me that someone on her street used NLP to sell cars. He eventually sold one to all her neighbors. I asked her if her neighbors were happy with their new cars. She told me they were delighted with them. The truth is, you can’t make people do things they don’t want to do, not for long at any rate. More than that, NLP has always taught that you work towards the best possible outcome for everyone and everything concerned.

Was Martin Luther King manipulative because he was a great orator? One of the foundations of NLP is to adopt what works best, to emulate the best .. Martin Luther King, Meryl Streep, Buddha, Mother Theresa, Richard Branson .. to figure out how they got the results that worked best for them, so that you can get the results that can work best for you.

NLP Misconception #Two: NLP is superficial.
Actually the very basis of NLP comes from asking how to make fast permanent change for everyone from the mentally ill, and the severely disabled, to artists, communicators, and business people. So much NLP has been integrated into contemporary training for personal and business development, sports coaching , public speaking etc. that it’s often not recognized for what it is. Far from being superficial, NLP has become established as part of elite methodologies across multiple disciplines.

NLP Misconception #Three: NLP is voodoo psychology, based on unverified beliefs.
As new research in neuroscience becomes available and accessible we hear of “breakthroughs” that many of us have been using effectively with our clients for decades. There has always been a small group of dedicated change-makers who were ahead of the curve. Time and society usually catches up in the end. The originators of NLP were considered marginal, but then so was Freud and Jung, not to mention Galileo, Picasso, and the Rolling Stones.

NLP Misconception #Four: You can learn NLP from books.
If you can learn it from books, then there’s no point in getting Master Certification, or even working with an experienced trainer. But can you learn how to be a parent from a book, or play in an orchestra? You can learn something; but it’s not parenting or musical virtuosity. In fact, you can learn very little from books. The same is true with NLP because a lot of it has to do with the underlying understanding. Being a good parent is valuable, playing music to move hearts is valuable, creating fast permanent positive change in others is invaluable. But to master those skills, you need to rub shoulders with, experience and learn form those who have already embodied those things.

NLP Misconception #Five: NLP is geeky,  Intellectual and not at all spiritual.
Nothing could be further from the truth. One definition of spiritual truth I have always liked is from the Plotinus; “Truth is the mind in agreement with itself.”  If there’s one thing that NLP does it is to create congruity, wholeness, and alignment, so that you are in agreement with yourself, inside and out, emotionally, intellectually, and  spiritually.  If spiritual means learning to appreciating the miracle of living, respecting the humanity of others, respecting life itself, celebrating your highest values  .. then I know of nothing more spiritual than the outcomes people achieve through NLP.

NLP, Now Live on Purpose. Once again, how do you do that in a world which constantly pulls you in many often conflicting directions. Well, that is the question NLP actually  allows you to answer for yourself, in your own way, so that it works.

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