by Edwin Piers | January 9, 2017Self-Help
Think about this scenario…
Has there been any time in your life where you decided to quit a negative lifestyle – maybe a bad behavior – and embark on living a healthier positive one…only to find out you have repeated that same old behavior unconsciously?
Repeating an old behavior, have you ever wondered why?
Negative behaviors and bad feelings seem to be stronger than the logical reasoning from your conscious mind. So when behaviors are generated and stored in your mind unconsciously, the changes have to be reflected at the unconscious level.
Dysfunctional habits and bad emotions are formed, learned, and stored in the brain at an unconscious level making them unconscious responses that are difficult to change at a conscious level.
This scenario is the same for fears which can only be changed at an unconscious level. Our feelings and experiences influence the way we react to external impulses.
But what about limiting beliefs?
Yes, the same is applicable to limiting beliefs! You might have some limiting beliefs you formed at an early stage of your life stop you from moving forward.
How Did NLP Come About
Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) was developed by two famous individuals, a scientist and a linguist at the University of California in around 1970: John Grinder and Richard Bandler
Having observed that people of like character, background, education, and even experience were consistently accomplishing amazing things, they decided to discover the secrets of successful people and the factors responsible for their great performances as well as achievements.
John Grinder and Richard Bandler were more concerned about the possibility of duplicating the behavior and competence of these high performers. To achieve their aim, they decided to invoke the principle of Modeling and Simulation (M&S).
After modeling the behaviors of these folks, they were able to produce patterns of thought that helped and contributed to the success of their research. At the long run, they came out with this theory:
“The brain can learn the positive patterns and behavior which would produce healthy physical and emotional effects.” – this is Neuro-linguistic Programming – the product of their research.
The basic idea is that the language (or word) we use showcases our inner subconscious understanding of our problems.
Scientifically Backed-Up with Facts
A lot of credible organizations around the world have given a strong support for the use of neuro-linguistic programming on the conditions that it should be taught by skilled experts and used in the right manner.
Scientific research has shown that it is a way of understanding with proof obtained from experimental processes and observations, instead of results obtained from theories. It is eclectic in the sense that it relies heavily on results from other fields and studies processes, instead of procedures.
In terms of approach and philosophy, neuro-linguistic programming has been described as being closer to technology than science. It is more engineering-like because it focuses on what works than what is true.
To sum up, the ingenuity of NLP falls under its useful approaches and systemized models.
How Does NLP Work
Often time, most people do not consciously and automatically know how to do something.
Well, this is where neuro-linguistic programming comes in! It will help you to get out from and quit these limiting beliefs, unhealthy behaviors, as well as negative emotions; and replace them with more empowering thoughts and positive patterns that facilitate wellness.
Neuro-linguistic programming analyzes every word you use in describing your problems and symptoms and concerns regarding your health. It will also examine your body movements, facial dispositions, and perceptional issues and help you to understand the root cause.
Hence, neuro-linguistic programming will help you remodel your mental behavior and subconscious thoughts in order to fix original negative thoughts, which may be the factors preventing you from achieving the success you desire.
How to Use NLP to Get What You Want
Neuro-linguistic programming is extremely result-oriented because instead of just applying questioning skills to start discussing something, it provides practical techniques to help you change your behavior and thinking.
This allows you to overcome the negative thoughts as well as those feelings that are holding you back from succeeding.
With neuro-linguistic programming, you can achieve success, increase your level of happiness, live a better life, overcome negative habits, and do a whole lot of other things.
But how do you really use neuro-linguistic programming to get what you want?
Applying NLP to Change Old Ways
The fact is, people aren’t so good at changing their negative habits and neither would they recognize them. The reason is because they hardly replace them with better behaviors that match their purposes but instead choose to blame their environment or upbringing.
Now some habits do serve us!
Do you remember learning how to tie your shoelaces for the first time? It was a big struggle but gradually, it became effortless. This simple task has become such an unconscious behavior that you don’t think much about it when doing it.
That is how your brain makes tasks easy for you. But how about for the negative habits you may have:
…but don’t know how to stop?
Well, first of all, these negative habits make you comfortable, which is the reason you indulge in them and your brain keeps on persuading you to repeat them. However, you can stop these negative habits!
Just take the following steps:
1. Understand the need for changing negative habits.
Nobody is born with negative habits: “God just made me this way” or “It is just in our genes” – these are all fallacies.
Convince yourself that the troubles you face are a result of these negative behaviors. Think about the troubles you’ve created, such as snoring as a result of eating too much or drinking alcohol in excess and getting irritated over small issues.
Imagine if you are not eating too much, would snoring emanate from your sleep? Of course not!
2. Decide to change these negative habits.
Although these negative habits didn’t happen overnight, they certainly weren’t born into you nor define who you are.
So, identify that habit that causes excessive drinking, over-eating, and smoking.
3. Start now to deal with them.
Scenario I – Have you gotten so used to drinking liquor during dinner? Replace that habit with fruit juice or non-alcoholic drink.
If your negative habit is visiting the same bar for a drink and sandwich at lunchtime, then change it. How?
Solution: Have your sandwich in another location and then replace drinking with taking a walk or playing games or engaging in whatever positive lifestyle that appeals to you.
Scenario II – If you are used to eating too much, divide your meal time into four times per day. Eat reasonable amounts only in these set-out meal times without eating anything in between.
Any side effect? Yes!
Initially, you will experience a high rate of hunger because your body system has got used to that habit of being continuously fed and the satisfaction it brings.
Solution: When this happens, take a drink of water and occupy your mind, such as reading an interesting book. This feeling of intense hunger will fizzle away in just around 20 minutes or there about. Then, begin to eat smaller meals during meal times and regularly to get your body well-nourished.
Scenario III – Chain smoking is highly addictive. Does your friend or your environment aid you in smoking? Avoid such occasions.
Solution: Get yourself busy with playing games like squash or chess or even engaging discussion. Always avoid lonely places, especially those environments and situations that drive you into smoking. If you can’t play any game, get into the gym for some workouts.
When you are done, take a cold drink of water and sit quietly in a cool environment such as your bedroom. Take a deep breath and relax. You’ll see that that feeling for smoking will gradually fade.
So whatever activity you do, make a habit of it. In order to change those negative habits, you need to stop them as well as replace them with something beneficial and empowering!
The secret to your success is to practice the new positive habits constantly and consistently.
The more you practice, you will come to understand that you were neither created with any specific negative habit nor controlled by some unseen forces. This will awaken a realization that YOU are in control of your life with all its habits and you have the power to change them as you wish!
This is, more or less, what neuro-linguistic programming can help you achieve.