Richard Bandler says NLP is an attitude and methodology. But who is teaching the attitude?
Not Richard, not the other co-founder John Grinder or their student Robert Dilts.
Not any of the other trainers of NLP who have come from them… So how come?
NLP is an epistemology or way of thinking.
And because it’s a way of thinking how many people get stuck is they get locked into a Thinking Thinking Loop™ where they are thinking about their thinking.
Let’s be very clear this isn’t bad in the sense that’s it’s good, useful and helpful to be able to think about your thinking.
But getting lost in a Thinking Thinking Loop takes you further away from taking action and taking action is how you get results.
High performance is really about experience but you’d never know that from how most people teach NLP because they’ve left out the attitude.
To perform at a high level you understand that the Feeling Thinking Loop™ starts with feeling which primes your thinking. So to be thinking in a highly positive way where you can achieve results you get there through priming that thinking with the right feelings.
Let choose a simple example to illustrate where you might want to perform at a high level, let’s say you have to speak or present to a group of people. I’m choosing this example very intentionally because public speaking is the biggest fear for many people, and it could be in front of a group, to your colleagues at work, an interview, a presentation that you are giving - there are lots of scenarios where if you can perform at a high level when you are speaking you get the result you want whether that is just looking good in front of your colleagues to getting the job or making the sale.
Most coaches who’d try to help you with this would be working with how you perform and how you think about your performance. NLP is just one type of methodology that coach may use, if you needed someone more therapeutically orientated you might see a Cognitive Behavioural Therapist.
But your thinking is driven or primed by how you feel.
Let’s look at our example of public speaking thinking about it from the viewpoint of the Feeling Thinking Loop - if you are not a confident public speaker how will you feel about speaking to the group, giving the presentation, attending the interview?
This is key because this is what you communicate.
So if you are feeling nervous, afraid, nauseous, worried, shaky, uncertain. You communicate this.
AND it’s also true if you are feeling overconfident, arrogant, or that you don’t care. You also communicate all of this.
The secret of great speakers is they talk about something they are passionate about so they communicate that feeling of passion.
You can use this in the Feeling Thinking Loop - how do you need to prime yourself (what do you need to feel) to think and get the results you want from that thinking?
If you let Fear and Anger stay in control (you have seen Pixar’s Inside Out haven’t you) what does that do to your thinking? You are not seeing the opportunities, the possibilities that are present for you because those negatived emotions inhibit you.
If you choose to feel positive emotions that prime your thinking you are more open to noticing the possibilities, the opportunities that are there.
This is how I’ve been describing how I use attitude here on this blog and in the work I do with clients - it’s your angle of approach to life. You can learn to prime yourself so you see the possibilities that don’t exist otherwise. Joseph Campbell said this in a slightly different way about when you “Follow Your Bliss” that doors open for you where there were no doors before.
You can upgrade NLP by using it on yourself rather than just on other people which its usually how it’s taught, as a set of tools. But are you using those tools like the proverbial weekend DIY enthusiast who puts up shelves only to have them fall down shortly after or do you become a craftsman or woman? Do you operate from the position of an artist? These are all questions of beingness - about who you are. About who is using the tools.
You become influential and persuasive by understanding how that works on you first. If you market or sell “stuff” you learn how you react to what other people try to sell you and you notice when they “try" that’s not the good stuff. But when you want to buy that’s profoundly useful information about what they are doing that you could be using yourself.
It’s how if affects your feelings which primes you to think: “I want that”.
How are they running your neurology - causing you to think and behave in the ways that they want?
You can learn to do this for yourself and run your own neurology - This is using NLP on yourself. Beginning to become more of who you want to be. The person that gets the results you really want.
It's about having an attitude of noticing for what is possible.
Because if you don’t do that you are limiting yourself, literally inhibiting yourself from seeing what opportunities you might be taking advantage of.