Let me show you how NLP works with a very simple example.
First, don't think of a white elephant!
What have you picturised inside your head? Did you think of a white elephant? But I specifically told you not to!
This is an absolutely normal reaction because the command "Think of a white elephant" lay within that short sentence itself. Before you had a chance to not think of a white elephant, your unconscious mind had already put a picture of a white elephant up and stuck a DON'T label on it saying "This is the thing to not think about."
It may be a fairly useless talent to be able to trick someone into thinking about a white elephant, but the real talent is to apply the same principle to more useful situations.
Let's say you need to remember to pick up some medicines on the way home.
You could try telling yourself "Don't forget to pick up medicines!" over and over again. But that sentence carries the command "Forget to pick up medicines " which, as we now know, is the active instruction. You're MUCH more likely to succeed by telling yourself to "Remember to pick up medicines!"
A tiny - but crucial - difference that determines the success of your medicines plight.
Now, how about this one:
Imagine you've got a 5-year-old son and he's trotting towards a busy road. You have about one second to react before he is standing in the traffic, vulnerable to being hit by a car.
How will you react?
- "Don't walk on the road!" - or -
- "STOP! Come here right now!"
We've established that if we yell to him "Don't walk on the road!" the instruction "Walk on the road!" remains in that negative order itself and so he may take a split second longer than usual to process the full command.
Instead, the instruction to STOP is clear, followed by "Come here right now!" which is a direct command, not framed in the negative. It could make the difference between life and death for your son if a speeding car is seconds away.
As NLP techniques go, this is a very simple introduction to the subtleties of language and how it is processed in the brain. In actual Training, we learn the most effective techniques of Neuro-Linguistic Programming and how we can use them in real-life situations to change habitual outcomes.
Whether you're nervously preparing for a job interview or a first date, or feel like it's impossible to overcome your irrational fear of spiders, we have some smart NLP practices that will make a big difference to your life. Try it out yourself and see!