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Neuro-linguistic Programming for Beginners

Aishwarya Nirmal Jul 29, 2020
Neuro-linguistic programming is a new and significant branch of psychotherapy. It has been included in counseling therapies only recently and hence, not many are acquainted with it.
"To be a great champion you must believe you are the best. If you're not, pretend you are." - Muhammad Ali.
These words reflect the motivation of a speaker who has proved himself to be the greatest boxer of the century. Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) is all about developing this attitude. Though positive thinking may not always result in success, it teaches one to learn from failure and not repeat the same mistake on the path to success.
In a few words, 'the right attitude' is an approximate definition of neuro-linguistic programming.

An Overview of Neuro-Linguistic Programming

If the term 'neuro-linguistic programming' is broken, each word expresses a  meaning individually.
  • Neuro: Mental
  • Linguistic: Language
  • Programming: Setting/Coding
i.e., setting mental language. Our brains are programmed in such a way that for instance, whenever we see a rose, we conclude that it 'looks' beautiful and 'smells' good.
The same way, a common reaction to a foul smell will be to cover the nose. If we were to mentally program someone to perform the opposite analysis of the two situations, he would do so, giving an impression to people around that he has lost his sanity.
Many people in the world tend to have a few negative traits in their personality. So the question is, 'Are all of them mentally ill?' The answer is obviously NO! There are some people who put in their best efforts to achieve something, but receive little in return.
Such people gradually tend to develop a negative perception about life. A negative attitude is considered a serious issue in the psychological world. A negative attitude can make a person lose everything he has. NLP helps to 'change the equation' by changing a negative attitude to a positive one.
In short, NLP is about building a winning attitude through motivation. Some people are self-counselors, while others need professional psychotherapists. However, many people shy away from the possibility of visiting the latter thinking that they will be tagged as mentally unstable and, therefore, will be boycotted from society.
The attitude of society towards people with mental disabilities has always been critical. Over the years, doctors have highlighted the fact that mental disability does not always relate to madness or insanity.
NLP was first introduced by Richard Bandler, when he was a student at the University of California. With the help of John Grinder, a linguist and a lecturer at the same university, Richard created a meta-model of a language of influential word-structures and their working.
In her book 'Neuro-linguistic Programming for Dummies', Romilla Ready explains that NLP comes in handy not only in driving away negative thoughts, but also in bringing about the following changes in a person.

Rapport Building

When we enter new surroundings, it's unlikely that we become friends with everyone we meet. We connect to some people instantly whereas we cannot connect with a few others. Ignoring people we dislike is impossible; hence, by altering our thought process, NLP enables the creation of an adjusting rapport with those people to maintain a peaceful environment.

Sensory Awareness

NLP can help in keeping a firm control over our physical senses. Observing carefully, listening with complete attention, and speaking only after thinking, prove to be very effective in the long run.

Outcome Thinking

When we expect a specific outcome in a certain situation, the action has to be taken in such a way that the desired outcome is achieved. There should be no doubt after the outcome.

Behavioral Flexibility

If the result of an event is not as per your expectation, to achieve the expected outcome you need to find other options. The more flexibly you choose an option, the higher the chances of accomplishing your goal.
The 2001 released Hollywood movie, "Shallow Hal", is the story of a guy who judges people by their outer appearance. One day, he accidentally crosses paths with a life coach, who hypnotizes him and programs his mind to see the internal beauty of people. After that day, his life changes entirely.
Though this romantic comedy was not intended to explain NLP, it did so, in an unobvious way.
The corporate and management world have now taken notice of NLP and are training their employees according to its norms. It has changed many lives with its positive effects. In the years to follow, neuro-linguistic programming will surely gain more impetus.