How Can NLP Help Me?


In old cowboy movies, there was always a suited, silver-tongued salesman selling Dr Feelgood’s Miracle Cure from the back of a cart. From sweaty feet to coughs, and from indigestion to hair loss, no matter what the problem—Dr Feelgood’s Miracle Cure was the remedy.

Unfortunately, NLP can sometimes sound like the cure for everything too

I use the word unfortunately because NLP is such a vast field, it’s challenging to define it in a sentence or two. But we could start by clarifying that NLP is the condensed version of Neuro Linguistic Programming.

Here are some common NLP definitions:

‘The study of human excellence.’ John Grinder
‘The science of programming your own brain.’
‘The study of subjective experience–how people know what they know and do what they do.’

While all these definitions are accurate, they also make NLP sound very vague, grandiose, and all-encompassing.

And you’re probably none the wiser, are you?

What you really want to know is, how can NLP help me? yes?

Perhaps you’re trying to figure out if it’s something you’d like to learn more about. Sometimes, it’s more useful to hear specifically how NLP might apply to you, your life, and your own experiences.

Examples are useful—and more compelling

Here are some ways NLP Practitioners or coaching clients have used NLP to improve their lives. I’ve given some specific, personal examples. Each person mentioned below (whose names have been changed to protect their privacy) learned more than is shared in the case studies. The results they achieved answered their own initial question of, how can NLP help me?

A. Lot. More.

Jenny is a 32-year-old mother of 2 preschoolers


The kids wouldn’t settle at bedtime and she spent ages trying to get them to sleep—often falling asleep herself in the process! She used NLP rapport processes and specific language patterns to help her children calm down and then quickly and easily get them off to sleep.

Martin couldn’t manage his team of non-engineering staff

He couldn’t get his team to listen to him, or do what he asked. When faced with their opinions and questions he became defensive and stubborn. Martin used NLP listening skills to better understand his crew and targeted questions to get to the root cause of the problems—and the reasons for them ignoring his requests.

Instead of getting worried and uptight at the prospect of talking to the guys, he used the NLP anchoring technique to feel relaxed and confident. These comparatively small changes made a huge and positive difference in their working relationships, and productivity was much improved.

Margot drove her boss nuts—and vice versa!

They would get frustrated with each other to the point where Margot was considering another job. Margot became aware that, to do an excellent job for her boss, she needed detailed information from him. Regrettably, her boss only gave Margot an overview of what he wanted, avoiding the detail.

Margot enjoyed details so whenever she spoke to her boss, she had been giving him a chronological, blow-by-blow account of what she’d done. She believed she was being helpful and informative. He responded by getting annoyed and impatient and asking her to ‘cut to the chase.’

Margot’s work style meant she needed detailed instructions to do a good job. However, her boss had a big picture outlook on life. He only needed an overview and got frustrated and bored with all Margot’s details.

This is a classic example of why you shouldn’t treat others as you want to be treated!

Each presented information to the other based on their own preferences.

Recognising these differences in their work styles, Margot learned how to ask specific questions so she could get the information she needed to do her job well. She also mastered the art of the ‘Executive Summary’ giving her boss a simple overview of what she was doing. This put an end to him getting annoyed. They each developed a greater understanding of each other’s needs and a better, more productive relationship.

Chris couldn’t talk to a group to save himself.

It was holding him back in a job where he needed to make presentations to staff and company clients. As a result of learning some NLP skills, Chris was able to change this situation dramatically. Firstly, he changed the way he thought about himself in front of an audience.

Instead of imagining himself stuttering, stumbling and looking decidedly uncomfortable, I coached him to  create some positive and inspiring images that made him feel good.

Following this he changed his self-talk and used encouraging, empowering words. He also used the NLP anchoring technique to settle into a powerful and energised state.

Experiencing this new state meant he could relax and he actually began enjoying talking to groups of people. The amazing feedback he got from his presentations further buoyed his self-confidence.

Jeremy asked, how can NLP help me be a better presenter?

Jeremy (his real name) overcame a debilitating fear of public speaking

Prior to attending the Inside Your Mind Workshop Jeremy, literally shook with nerves whenever he was required speak. As the CEO of a growing company, this was affecting him both personally and professionally.

Jeremy learnt ways to overcome stage frightJeremy Hughes, a course participant who learned how to confidently speak to large groups of people.—and at his next speech, he sang.

Yes, he sang!

Not only that, but he now regularly speak to hundreds of people and always gets complimented on his relaxed and natural style. You can read Jeremy’s testimonial here.

Brenda asked: How can NLP help me be a better nurse?

Brenda is a nurse in the ICU

She learned the power of language. Not only did she learn how she could change her mood by changing her self-talk, but she could also help her patients heal more quickly by using different, more empowering words, and by picturing their quick recovery.

Phil got a new job

By using NLP rapport, anchoring and listening techniques in his interview, Phil aced it. He felt great all the way through the 1-hour 15-minute interview and commented that he ‘just knew’ he had the job from the responses of the three interviewers. He later found out that he’d won the job above 73 other applicants.

Mary and Rob and their twin boys

Mary and Rob had a very stressful relationship with each other. They also had almost non-existent communication with their 16-year-old twin boys. In a few hours, they learnt to understand how they (Mary and Rob) were contributing to the communication issues with their boys. Instead of trying to make their boys change, they subtly altered how they related to them and to each other.

The twins began voluntarily telling their parents where they were going, what they were doing and when they’d be home. The boys also started helping out around the house. The atmosphere at home became much more relaxed, and Mary and Rob retrieved their relationship with each other and with their offspring.

Tracey improved her 8-year-old’s self-esteem

She also helped him score top marks in a spelling test using the NLP Spelling strategy. Previously he’d always scored poorly in spelling, hated English and became very uptight before any spelling tests.

Rodney wanted to know, how can NLP help me get my perfect role?

After having three jobs in fourteen months, Rodney was beginning to think there was something wrong with him. We identified his work values and what those meant to him. Of all the previous jobs he’d had, none had encompassed more than three of his eight values. Rodney subsequently got a position that included all his work values, and was still there three years later.

Carol learned storytelling

She was a natural at telling stories but on her NLP Practitioner Training, she developed this ability so she could help her counselling clients turn around their lives.

Brian identified a belief that was negatively affecting his relationship

He changed a limiting belief into a more empowering belief. The old belief prevented him from having a fulfilling relationship with his wife — the new one transformed their marriage.

How NLP assssisssted Wendy


Although she’d never seen a live snake, she had a debilitating phobia of them. During her NLP Practitioner Training she volunteered to be my demonstration model for the NLP phobia process. Not only did she annihilate her terror but, after completing her training, she helped many others overcome various phobias using the process she’d learned.

Paul learnt the NLP Fast Allergy Relief Process

He helped many people recover from allergies to wheat, milk, pollen and animal hair, amongst other things.

Jim had had an allergy to garlic and onions for 35 years.

Both turned him into a very sick puppy. This made for a very restrictive diet and considerable worry when dining out. I did the NLP Fast Allergy Relief Process with him on the second day of training. He can now eat garlic and onions and says the cure was worth more than the price of the whole course!

Amazed at magical changes

Course attendees are frequently gobsmacked by the changes they see in their fellow trainees. Likewise, when they return home, they notice changes in people they work with and in their family relationships. Participants make changes to their own behaviour, and those changes cause others to react differently. One participant commented: “I must say it’s very peaceful in my house. I am getting everything done, without yelling and screaming, and the kids just can’t understand it.”

More than just skills and techniques

Course participants make numerous positive changes by learning NLP, and in the process, they integrate NLP into their everyday lives. NLP became part of who they are, rather than something they ‘do.’

I’ve just picked individual examples to show how NLP can help, by showing you instances of how it helped others.

So, how can NLP help you?

By now, I’m sure you’ll have a range of ideas to answer this question. There are multiple applications, strategies, skills and techniques that you can easily learn, whether you embark on a course or through or seek the guidance of a skilled coach (pick me!)

  • If every change people made while learning NLP could be logged and recorded, NLP would begin to sound just like Dr Feelgood’s Miracle Cure.
  • Learn NLP and you’ll no doubt find new applications for how NLP can help you.
  • As you change your own behaviour and resolve long-standing issues, people will respond differently to you, and may ask you about those changes.
  • You too will get so excited about the potential of NLP, you’ll have difficulty giving a concise explanation to their inevitable questions. Questions like, “What is NLP?” and, “How can NLP help me?”
  • Give them a few concise examples that make sense, and that they can relate to.

One thing is for sure, the more you understand NLP, the more you’ll find how NLP can help, as you apply it to the various facets that make up your life. Embrace the power of NLP and unlock the secrets to a whole new level of understanding and transformation.

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Tags: Language, Self-awareness, Speaking and presentation, work and career


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