I’ve been procrastinating!
I’ve been using large chunks of NLP for over a decade but for a good 5 years now I have been wanting to get qualified, develop some of my current skills further and learn lots of new tools too.
Prior to attending my NLP Practitioner program earlier this year, I would have told you that I didn’t have the time, that work was too busy and that I have other things to spend the money on.
No, it’s all a fallacy. I wasn’t too busy and I did have the resources, I was just “doing procrastination.” — More on that later.
The good news is that I finally did dive into the world of NLP and like most, I came out wishing I’d done it earlier. While there were many great nuggets of gold, here are a few of the brightest, most sparkly ones.
Gordon — our expert facilitator — said that that NLP is an attitude and I’ve mostly focused on learnings that have changed and/or challenged my own mindset beliefs and attitude.
Here are my top 5:-
1. Beliefs are NOT facts and they can really hold us back
Yes, I know, this one’s obvious BUT just because we all know it doesn’t mean that we challenge them at the right times or in some cases, ever. In fact, as much as I’ve known this all of my life, this was the first time it actually clicked how much my beliefs were holding me back and how easy it is to challenge them.
Our thoughts are not reality. Each time we think “I can’t” or that “I’m not good enough” the belief gets stronger. Soon it feels like it’s set in stone. That’s absolute rubbish!
The sooner we realise that we control our thoughts and because of that we can easily change them, the better!
What NLP does is provide us with the tools to consciously take control of our thoughts and beliefs. To start owning them rather than letting them own us.
Tim Minchin said in his UWA valedictorian address that “we must think critically, and not just about the ideas of others. Be hard on your beliefs. Take them out onto the verandah and beat them with a cricket bat.” He was really on to something here and if you’re letting your beliefs dictate your life, it might be time to give them a checkup!
2. Just because we don’t understand it doesn’t make it untrue
There’s a lot of what I learned that I don’t understand. In fact, Gordon himself said that not everything can be explained. I was completely lost for words when after no more than 5 minutes, he completely broke down one of my most embedded self-limiting beliefs.
Then there was the absolutely explainable results from Time Based Therapy. It’s impossible to wrap your mind around the fact that considering past lives or past generations can have any bearing on your ability to break beliefs. It just doesn’t make sense.
I watched even the strongest of sceptics go through the Time Based Therapy process while questioning the validity of such “fluffy stuff” and see real positive results without the ability to explain how or why it worked, just that it did.
Gordon likened this lack of understanding to his use of email, stating that while he doesn’t understand the technical ins and outs email, he doesn’t need to in order to receive them in his inbox. He’s absolutely right and while I’m not sure it’s exactly like email — let’s face it, while I don’t understand the science behind email, someone else does — the tools never the less work and just because we don’t understand how doesn’t make it any less true.
3. The observer is the most empathetic position
Hello, I’m Bec and I’m a repeat rescuer. When someone’s in trouble I’m there to help. When someone’s sad, I’m there to lend an ear. When someone wants to “chat” I am always there to listen.
I’ve always been the rescuer. It makes me feel good to “help” other people. I want to be there for my family when they need me. I’m never one to say no to a friend in need. The problem is that when I’m the rescuer I’m there with you, right in the middle of the drama. Sound familiar?
The problem with being the rescuer is that when you’re trying to help someone get out of their hole, you end up jumping in there with them. When you’re in the hole you’re no good to anyone!
Stepping out of the cycle allows you to become the observer. To see things clearly but not to be involved. Being an observer involves practicing empathy and not sympathy. It allows you to help from the sidelines, to find the rope that they can use to pull themselves out rather than getting in there with them.
4. I’m not stressed, I do stress
This is a game changer! For years I’ve been the busy one. I’ve been stressed to the max, I’ve had no time for a life or to do the things I love and it’s made me sick.
NLP will tell you that stress, like everything, is a strategy. What are you normally stressed about? That big presentation? An assignment due? Your never-ending to-do list? All of these can increase our pressure. Stress is a response to pressure or to any other perceived threat. Basically, it’s a response to something that hasn’t even happened! So what good is knowing this?
Once you realise that you “do stress” you can start working out HOW you do stress.
Break it down, identify the elements that make up your stress process and then use your NLP tool kit to change your strategy.
It’s also worth noting that whilst things like stress and procrastination are strategies, so too are things like being in the zone. Once you know that, you can apply the same technique to learning your strategy for the zone or any other positive experience and draw upon it when you need it.
5. Play, play and play again
There’s definitely been a shift since I first started applying these tools. I’m calmer, I’m less reactive and I’ve gone back to exploring things I’ve always been passionate about. Things that I’d told myself I wasn’t I could never do.
I can’t expect this feeling to last if I never pick up my new tools again. As with anything, all of the light bulbs will eventually dim over time. The key is to keep using the tools. Get creative, play around, use your own language and in the words of Dr Stephen Covey, teach to learn, so share the skills with others.
So there you have it, my 5 key takeaways. I should let you know that these are from the practitioner level program and that while I am booked in to continue my studies further, this is the foundation program so there will be more and deeper insights to come I’m sure.
If I’ve peaked your interest in NLP then here are some details about my experience. I’ve been studying with Gordon Young at BeyondNLP who is a provider based in Sydney, Australia. Gordon is the only trainer based in Australia to have studied at the Milton H. Erickson Foundation in Arizona, the birthplace of modern NLP. Apart from that, he has a library of personal experiences and real-life applications and is incredibly engaging as a trainer. I did quite a lot of research before deciding to train with BeyondNLP and would recommend them if you’re based in Australia and are looking to develop your skills.
Until next time,