Thursday, 13 April 2017

My experiences with NLP tools

For my Holistic Life Coaching course, I have completed a module on NLP coaching. In that module, one of the assignments is to put some of the techniques which are outlined in the textbook, into practice. The student is then asked to write about their experiences. I like this style of learning because it actually helps to develop a working knowledge of the technique, rather than basing all of it on pure theory. Another benefit is that using the techniques actually leads to insight and change in my own life. That is a nice little bonus.
Well I thought I would share what I wrote for this assignment, as I think it can help to explain some of the techniques of NLP, whilst also giving you a glimpse into my life through the lens of a Life Coach. Enjoy!

Select three NLP coaching tools, and, after you are sure you understand the concepts involved, use each tool to analyse or comment on a particular work or personal situation, stating what changes might make a difference. 
The first NLP technique I implemented was that of anchors. I thought this would be useful in a number of situations, and would be quite simple to learn. I decided to try a variation on the movement exemplified in the textbook (pressing thumb and a finger together) to help with relaxation. I decided to connect the movement with feelings of relaxation by using it when meditating, relaxing, and listening to music which made me felt calm. Over time, I found that I could use the movement in stressful situations - at work, for example - to help me calm my mind and allow me to think more clearly. This is beneficial as it is not intrusive and can be used quickly. I think that I will also try using this technique to help me to feel confident when I am trying to make a decision but second guessing myself; I will accomplish this by connecting a movement with thoughts of when I have been successful and received support from others.
Next, I made use of the ‘compelling futures’ technique. This is in respects of my goal of becoming a qualified counsellor, working in an organisation which is in alignment with my views and ethics. I found the process of building my vision to be quite soothing and enjoyable. I decided to do this by combining visualisation with writing down my desired goals. This became almost like a meditation, in that I was picturing myself in the situation. I found this rather easy to do as I have good visualisation skills. I was able to feel the sense of fulfilment which I am aiming for in that vision within me, which was encouraging and motivating to me. I am able to make use of this technique in a number of situations; for example, when I am feeling uncertain of myself or when people are curious as to what I am doing (in that I can give them a clear answer which bolsters my drive to achieve my vision).
The third technique which I practised was the meta-programs. I approached this in a different way to the other techniques. Rather than using the technique for a specific goal, this technique helped me design my goals to more deeply resonate with me, which made them more compelling. After analysing my meta-programs, I can see that I am definitely of the ‘moving towards’ mindset. Even when I am trying to get rid of something, I prefer to think of it in terms of what I am gaining. This has helped me to understand why previous attempts at losing weight had been unsuccessful. Beforehand, I had been focusing on losing the weight, which is an ‘away from’ goal. This became disheartening because I felt like I was cutting things out of my life, and so would be resistant. Since changing my goal to that of ‘becoming healthy and more flexible’ (important as I have injured my ankles and need to work on restoring their mobility), I have found that my weight loss efforts are more natural and there is little-to-no resistance anymore. I am thinking how I am gaining better physical health, more body confidence, and better psychological health too from the exercise which I enjoy and find relaxing. It has been useful to consider some of my other meta-views (‘necessity’, ‘focus on others’, ‘through time’, etc.) which has further helped me with goal setting and maintaining motivation. This has allowed my endeavours to become more enjoyable and inciting forward-motion in me naturally, rather than being a constant struggle to achieve a small success.

During this process, there were some techniques which I found to not work as well for me. The eye-accessing cues, for example, didn't seem to really work for me (although I can see how the theory would work). I am not sure if this is because I am left-handed - whereas the examples in the textbook were for a right-handed person - or some other reason. Thus I feel this technique is too subjective and would require a lot of careful observation on my behalf - something which may not be possible if my coaching is to occur over the phone. Thus, I gave the technique a read through, but did not try out extensively as I felt it would not be too appropriate in my current situation. I will revisit it, however, when I begin to counsel clients as it could be useful for getting an insight into the ways in which they think.
Thank you for reading. Feel free to check out my channel over at YouTube, and also my Instagram account.