Beginners Guide: What is NLP? (Neuro-Linguistic Programming)

What is NLP?

What Is NLP? (Neuro-Linguistic Programming)

The three words that makeup NLP provide a big clue. First, there is the word “neuro”. Neuro relates to thoughts and thinking in your head. Then there is “linguistic”, which is the way that we use our language to communicate internally and externally. Then “programming” which is about making changes in our thought process.
NLP is all about communication both internal and external. At present, you send and receive messages in a particular way. These messages are in verbal and nonverbal format. The way that you process the messages you receive will determine what state you end up in. These “states” will determine your behavior and what you end up doing or not doing.

What is NLP in other words – NLP is all about change

When you are using NLP techniques to improve your life, you will not be dwelling in the past trying to reason why you are doing certain things that are preventing you from succeeding. This is the therapy model, and NLP takes you in the opposite direction. With NLP, it is all about what works for you rather than why it works.
With the therapy model, it can take a really long time for a positive change to occur. It may never happen as well. It will be painful for you to delve into your past to try and make the change that you want. With NLP, changes can be very rapid as you are focusing on how to make the change rather than why you need to change.

Beliefs and Assumptions of NLP

One of the main beliefs with NLP is that you are not broken beyond repair. All that is required is for you to change the way that you see the world in order to get the results that you want. What you believe is reality is not reality. It is your map of reality that you have internalized. This mapping changes if you under particular influences such as stress. So one of the key aims of NLP is to change the mapping that you have in your mind.

Models used in NLP

NLP has its foundation in modeling work on successful people several years ago. The thinking here was “what makes these people successful?” and “how can I apply this to my life to be successful too?”

Two of the most well-known models in NLP are:

  • The Meta Model

    This is a model for language and the idea behind it is to change the map that we have of reality. With the Meta Model, you will uncover certain things from your subconscious mind that require a remap.
    All of us have set rules that we often unknowingly abide by. These rules lead us to generalize, delete, and distort chunks of reality so that we can manage our lives. The problem is that when we do that, we do not have a view of all of the options that are available to us.

  • The Milton Model

    Milton Erickson created this model, and the principle of it is to distract your conscious mind with the use of vague and abstract language so that direct communication with the subconscious mind can occur. No subconscious content comes to the surface as with the Meta Model.

Other key NLP strategies

  • Representation Systems

    These are your internal senses. You have an internal mental screen where you represent what you have experienced externally. All of your internal senses such as seeing, feeling, smelling, hearing, and tasting will match up with your external senses.

  • Submodalities

    When we represent something, we will add specifics to it such as size, color, and location. These assist us to recall what we saw, smelt, heard, tasted, and felt whether this was internal or external. Think of it as a code that you use in your thinking and that you can change this code.


We do hope that you now have a basic understanding of What is NLP? and what you will learn in NLP? Keep reading our other posts to learn the applications of NLP and how it can help you in your personal and professional life. NLP has been learned and practiced by a lot of well-known celebrities such as Oprah Winfrey, Sophie Dahl, Lily Allen, Gerri Halliwell, Jimmy Carr, and Russell Brand. If you want to take your life to the next level, do get training of NLP Practitioner & Master Practitioner. We wish you all the very best for your life, keep learning and keep growing.

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