Since childhood we have been taught to lead our lives based on the three magical principles of Humata, Hukta and Hvrashtra, given to us by our beloved Prophet Zarathustra, thousands of years ago. What if I tell you that the world today uses the same principles of Humata, Hukta and Hvrashtra as a super powerful capsule to garner success and achievement. From successful CEOs to winning athletes, people swear by its efficacy. The new-age success coach calls it ‘Neuro Linguistic Programming’ or NLP.
Neuro Linguistic Programming studies the ways our thoughts (Humata) affect our actions (Hvrashtra). It looks at the ways our brains interpret the signals they receive and how these interpretations affect what we do. It does this through language (Hukta) – the linguistic part of neuro-linguistic programming techniques. By examining how our brains process information, NLP techniques help us to look at our thoughts, feelings and emotions as things that we can control, rather than things that passively happen to us.
NLP starts with a set of presuppositions that complement successful results, in particular – the belief that the meaning we assign to our experiences is everything. It takes the approach that failure is feedback; and if we find the lesson and get back up, failure is worth it. Most of all, NLP believes in the growth mindset: ‘We can change our lives. We can do, have, and be exactly what we wish’.
NLP techniques are action-oriented. Rather than focusing on the why of problems, as is done in traditional therapy, NLP focuses on the how. How can you react differently to your thoughts and emotions? How can you adapt your communication style to the situation? How can you change your mindset so that life is happening for you, not to you? The following are common NLP techniques:
IMAGERY TRAINING: Also called mental rehearsal, Imagery Training, is a classic NLP technique based on visualization. It’s an excellent exercise for beginners because it’s straightforward and linear. The key is to create a highly detailed scene of yourself performing an action successfully – whether that action is nailing a presentation or driving with ease during peak hours’ Mumbai traffic. Picture your body language: confident, determined, comfortable. Feel the confidence you exude and the energy that’s around you. Be as detailed as possible. Such NLP techniques are essential for creating absolute certainty in yourself and your abilities.
MODELING: as an NLP training technique has gained the most attention from successful entrepreneurs, athletes, etc. It’s based on the law of attraction – the idea that, ‘Whatever you consistently think about and focus upon, you move towards’. To elevate your life, surround yourself with people who have achieved the success you want and focus on modeling their behaviors. The more role models you have, the more you’ll be able to leverage this NLP technique.
NLP SWISH: First, create a vivid picture in your mind of something you don’t want. Make it big and bright. Then create a vivid picture of what you want to replace it with, making it small and dull. Now reverse them: Bring the image of what you want into the foreground, making it brighter and bigger. Add triumphant music and motion. Throw the image you don’t want into the background, turning it gray and colorless. Repeat this reversal three to five times. You’ll train your brain to amplify positives and weaken negatives.
MIRRORING: As per the ‘7-38-55 Rule’, just 7% of your message is communicated through words. Your tone of voice contributes 38%, but your body language communicates 55% of your message. Mirroring is an NLP technique that leverages body language to make instant connections and build rapport with anyone. When you’re talking to someone, mirror your body language to theirs. If they are high energy, match that energy level. If their body language is relaxed, reflect that. You can even change the words you choose to use to match their vocabulary. The other person will automatically find you more trustworthy – because you resonate with them!
INCANTATIONS: One of the more mainstream NLP techniques, Incantations is a more powerful version of affirmations (a phrase you repeat to yourself about your beliefs and goals). Incantations take it a step further, changing your physiology as well as your words to create a state of complete confidence. Get yourself into peak state by embodying what you’re saying with all the intensity you can.
DISSOCIATION: Identify an emotion that you want to get rid of (fear, anger, guilt, etc.). Imagine you can float out of your body looking at yourself having this emotion. You can then float again out of it, meaning, ‘you look at yourself looking at yourself’. This will help distance yourself from the emotion.
ANCHORING: If we start talking about lemons, their smell, their taste, the colour, the image of you eating one, you will begin to salivate. The image of the lemon is anchored in yourself. Same goes with many images or emotions. It has been proven that if you strike a power pose for two minutes before an interview, and put yourself in a positive successful mindset, you will dramatically increase your chances to succeed!
An Anchoring Exercise: Think of an emotion you want to feel (happiness, confidence, calmness). Close your eyes and think of a moment you were feeling that emotion. What did you see? Hear? Feel? Taste? Smell? To anchor that feeling, press the part linking your thumb to your index. Close your eyes and keep reliving the moment. You will create a neurological stimulus response, which will allow you to go back to that feeling when you press that part again. You can also do it pressing your ear lobe, etc.
These are a few of the most popular NLP techniques that are easy to practice and quite effective. Like anything else, they need time and practice to master the techniques. If you feel you need a coach or a mentor to help you with the same, feel free to contact yours truly! Enjoy your summer holidays and do keep growing and getting better and better every day. Ushta Te!!