What is personal development? Seems on the surface of it a fairly straightforward question, surely it’s developing yourself to improve yourself? And that’s true, but how?
I suppose a better way to phrase the question is what are the details I need to know to improve myself? Now we have a more focused question. Another I’d add is why not have a stab at answering it now?
Are you the sort of person who sort of drifts along in life and deals with it as it happens? Ever found yourself saying to yourself “well there must be more to it than this?”, but never really seeming to find the time to do anything constructive?
How is your library of self-help and improvement books? I have quite a few but book knowledge is different from applied knowledge. As the old phrase goes “the learning is in the doing”. There’s nothing wrong with reading books, they can teach a great deal of course. However, it’s in the practical application of that knowledge that we start to see real results. To coin the old phrase “we learn by doing”
Or is it that you are the sort of person who recognises that change will only come with action, and that action is only going to happen if you make it happen?
If you are in the last group of people then you already recognise that NLP is quite possibly the thing for you, the technology of change that will help you to progress along your path of personal development.
If you do find yourself thinking you’re not in the last group then no worries, after all, you’re reading this website and that’s a great step forward. Remember – it is curiosity that leads to practical action.
And this is what I love about NLP. The whole thing is extremely practical. However it’s not just a bunch of techniques, although they are important, but it is also about learning a framework that gives us real insight into how we communicate internally and externally and how we process information which ultimately drives our behaviours and leads us to action.
The Practitioner course is a great example of this. At the beginning of the course people are curious, what is this NLP stuff again? Why am I here? What am I going to learn? And my favourite question I see people asking themselves is “over the duration of this course how am I going to grow?”. The whole course is a process of exploration and of change, some of which can be quite profound. I have seen people on practitioner courses leave with a real renewed sense of purpose and fired up to go out and make all sorts of positive changes. Of course I can use myself personally as an example of this, my practitioner course led me to a deep appreciation of NLP, on which I followed up and now share with other people through running courses and passing on my knowledge.
So what makes the application of NLP in personal development so effective?
NLP works at the unconscious level. Now it’s true that the techniques and tools we learn are held in the conscious mind, with NLP though we work with the unconscious when we apply what we’ve learnt. This means the change is at a much deeper level, with fewer barriers and therefore easier results.
The old techniques of repetition of the desired outcome or of consciously trying to change our behaviours by ‘willpower’ or by force of thought can only take us so far.
Think of a new year’s resolution for example. The desire to change is there, there may even be some planning to make sure that the change can stay with us. Ask yourself though how many times do our good intentions towards ourselves go by the wayside? How often is it that you’ve seen the change you wish to make simply run out of steam and disappear? As an example think about gym membership.
This is because this is all being held at the conscious level of the mind, a noisy place where there are many distractions and where many underlying aspects of ourselves vie for our attention. Quite often things are not necessarily in harmony with each other. “I want to lose weight but I love eating cake” – both things are fine on their own but as you can see they overlap and could quite easily be at odds with each other.
With the application of NLP in personal development, we work at a level where there are no contradictions. This means we can effect lasting positive change, and change that sticks!