NLP is without a doubt one of the best maps for running our minds, bodies and relationships that has ever been teased out of the process of being human. Essentially NLP is a “process model” of how human beings perceive and project the world. In short it’s a handy map for how we create and interact with “reality.”
All fine. All good. Wonderful really.
Because it is an elegant model of the human mind, understanding NLP enables a person to quite literally transform his or her experience of the world overnight.
We know for a fact that the mind and body are connected. Therefore thinking crappy dysfunctional thoughts creates crappy dysfunctional bodies and relationships.
Change your thinking. And your results can change. FAST.
And here’s why NLP sucks:
Somehow NLP newbies seem to think that changing their thoughts and learning a few NLP techniques is some kind of magic bullet or pill that will make them masters of everything by the end of whatever NLP training they’ve signed up for.
Here’s the trigger for my rant:
Yesterday I got an email from a prospective NLP student who wanted to do an intensive 1 on 1 private training with me.
“I heard about NLP about a decade ago and been reading about its miraculous merits. I also learnt of Richard Bandler and DHE. To cut to the chase I want to know how much would it cost for me to undergo a 1-2 days intensive training. In 1-2 days could you train me to-
1) Visualize intensly (full inner submodality awareness-taste/touch/feel/smell etc),
2) State control (happy/glad/concentration/focused, confidence, deep relaxation, quieting of the mind etc,)
3) Goal achievement (to have strong discipline and determination)
4)Clear thinkning (to help with talking/writing/learning etc).
5) Impersonal [sic] skills-better storytelling, readin verbal/nonverbal language and expressing my self better…
…with what I’ve read about nlp and hypnosis, my objectives are very much so possible in 2 days. I wouldnt want to undergo such an intensive training just to have to practice some more for days or weeks to get the results. [italics and emphasis mine] I want a trainer that can get me those results DURING THE TRAINING.”
There’s an old story about a guy who is sitting in front of a cold wood burning stove. “As soon as you give me heat, I’ll put in the wood!”
That’s a little bit of what this guy is doing. He wants to spend no more than 2 days and in that time he wants it all and he doesn’t “…want to undergo such an intensive training just to have to practice some more for days or weeks to get the results…”
So where are people getting these ideas about NLP as the key to instant mastery of the known Universe?
I totally agree that NLP can give us amazing results in a much shorter period of time than many other modalities of personal change and development.
And ultimately there is a difference between a new way of thinking and developing actual skills.
Here’s an example: let’s say you grew up in an isolated mountain town in out Mongolia. You basic mode of transportation is walking, or if you’re really rich, a horse. Then one day Richard Bandler shows up in your town with a helicopter.
It seems pretty damn miraculous. And first you’re like “ooooo, ahhhhhhh, This guy is a GOD! I WANT TO FLY TOO! JUST LIKE RICHARD BANDLER!”
The process of discovering that a better way is possible takes only a few moments. But if you climb into the cockpit of that helicopter with just a few instructions and no practice you are going to crash and burn. Seriously.
I don’t know how long it takes to really develop mastery of flying a helicopter. You can learn the basics perhaps in 2 days. But the experience necessary to handle all the possible emergencies and weather challenges not to mention mechanical failures and crash landings and high winds etc. Well that’s a lifetime project.
You can model the excellent thoughts of an excellent helicopter pilot but you still have to put your butt in the seat and get real world experience.
Does that make sense? Do you see what I mean? How does that feel to you? Can you resonate?
There have always been people willing to tell you whatever you want to hear to sell you something. And there have always been people who want so badly to believe that they will pay through the nose to buy smoke and mirrors.
We call them “Con Men” and “Suckers.”
I’ve met some NLP practitioners who came through 3 and 4 day NLP trainings. I definitely wouldn’t trust them to fly MY helicopter.
We are called NLP “Practioners” not NLP “Learned it All in 2 Day-ers”.
In over ten years of practice I still learn new things about myself and my clients. I still experience situations that I was not prepared for in my NLP training. But the process of thinking I learned and the foundation of having an attitude of wanton curiosity and willingness to experiment has enabled me to survive and thrive.
The other thing that people seem to forget is that like the veteran helicopter pilot who makes everything seem so easy, Richard Bandler and other NLP legends have been PRACTICING for a long time… only about 30 YEARS. Not 2 days my friend. THIRTY YEARS.
So I guess NLP doesn’t really suck.
But the attitude that seems to be fostered by the marketing “geniuses” selling NLP definitely does. And the willingness of people to believe whatever they want to believe is probably going to be with us for a very long time.
I’m sure we’ll see a 15 minute NLP certification training in the near future.
In truth the same mind set shows up in internet marketing as well. Everybody wants to make a million dollars sitting on the beach. But the reality is that massive success and mastery in any field requires time and um… something called… work.
If you want to learn NLP in a way that is solid and congruent for a life time of excellence and mastery my next training is in July. It’s a 9 day, hands-on intensive bootcamp. Preceded by a full online training that you can do at your own pace.
The real training begins when you take your new concepts and skills home and PRACTICE them. Remember learning to walk? You probably don’t. But I guarantee you didn’t learn it in only 2 days. Now it seems easy. But once upon a time you didn’t know you could even do it. Then you realized you could walk so you started pulling yourself up and falling down. you did that for quite a while until eventually you managed a few wobbly steps.
NOW, it’s easy. NLP is like that. Let’s stop fooling ourselves, roll up our sleeves and PRACTICE.
Mark Shepard, NLPT