Tony Robbins is an entrepreneur, bestselling author, philanthropist and the nation’s #1 Life and Business Strategist. Author of five internationally bestselling books, including the recent New York Times #1 best-seller UNSHAKEABLE, Mr. Robbins has empowered more than 50 million people from 100 countries through his audio, video and life training programs. He created the #1 personal and professional development program of all time, and more than 4 million people have attended his live seminars.
Neuro-linguistic programming techniques
How you can transform your life with these 5 powerful methods
Why do so many athletes use visualization techniques? Why are affirmations and incantations so popular with the health and wellness movement? Why do the most successful entrepreneurs always seem to know something others don’t? It’s not just their confidence. The answer could be something you may not have heard of: neuro-linguistic programming techniques.
The difference between those who are successful and those who aren’t is that successful people are willing to do things that unsuccessful people brush off. NLP techniques are one of these things. They’re a powerful way to change your mindset and your life, and you can start using them today.
What is neuro-linguistic programming?
Neuro-linguistic programming studies the ways our thoughts affect our behavior. It looks at the ways our brains interpret the signals they receive and how these interpretations affect what we do. It does this through language – the linguistic part of neuro-linguistic programming techniques. By examining how our brains process information, NLP techniques help us to look at our thoughts, feelings and emotions as things that we can control, rather than things that passively happen to us.
NLP at its core sums up one of Tony’s most powerful beliefs: We can change the way we think, feel and behave by changing our focus – because where focus goes, energy flows. While NLP was created by Richard Bandler and John Grinder in the 1970s, it has been expanded upon by numerous researchers, authors and Tony himself. Tony has adapted many NLP training techniques into his system, neuro-associative conditioning.
What is neuro-linguistic programming used for?
Because NLP techniques focus on making behavioral changes, they can be used for a variety of different goals. Mental health professionals use NLP by itself or with other types of therapy, like talk therapy or psychoanalysis, to help treat depression and anxiety. It can be used to treat phobias in particular, as well as other expressions of anxiety such as panic attacks. The therapist will work to reveal the person’s “map,” the unproductive patterns that make us feel stuck, and then write a new map that replaces those with empowering habits and effective strategies.
Neuro-linguistic programming can also benefit those who do not have a serious mental health issue, but are interested in personal growth – a powerful human need that can bring fulfillment to our lives. NLP techniques are particularly useful for building skills like public speaking, sales and negotiation, team building and leadership.
Its action-oriented nature and focus on growth mean that neuro-linguistic programming and coaching go hand in hand. Many coaches use NLP techniques to help their clients reprogram their brains and achieve their goals.
Top 5 NLP techniques
NLP techniques are action-oriented. Rather than focusing on the why, as you might do in therapy, NLP focuses on the how. How can you react differently to your thoughts and emotions? How can you adapt your communication style to the situation? How can you change your mindset so that life is happening for you, not to you?
1. Imagery training
Imagery training, sometimes called mental rehearsal, is one of the classic neuro-linguistic programming techniques based on visualization. It’s an excellent exercise for beginners because it’s straightforward and linear. The key is to create a highly detailed scene of yourself performing an action successfully – whether that action is nailing a presentation or perfecting your golf putt. Picture your body language: confident, determined, comfortable. Feel the confidence you exude and the energy that’s around you. Be as detailed as possible. NLP techniques like this are essential for creating absolute certainty in yourself and your abilities.
2. NLP swish
When you’re ready for more advanced NLP techniques, use the NLP swish. First, create a vivid picture in your mind of something you don’t want. Make it big and bright. Then create a vivid picture of what you want to replace it with, making it small and dull. Now reverse them: Bring the image of what you want into the foreground, making it brighter and brighter. Add triumphant music and motion. Throw the image you don’t want into the background, turning it gray and colorless. Repeat this reversal three to five times. You’ll train your brain to amplify positives and weaken negatives.
Modeling is one of the NLP training techniques that has gained the most attention from successful entrepreneurs, athletes and more. It’s based on the law of attraction – the idea that, as Tony says, “Whatever you consistently think about and focus upon you move toward.” In order to elevate your life, you need to surround yourself with people who have achieved the success you want and focus on modeling their behaviors. You can find a mentor, join a mastermind group or model your boss or an executive you admire. The more role models you have, the more you’ll be able to leverage this NLP technique.
According to the 7-38-55 Rule, just 7% of your message is communicated through words. Your tone of voice contributes 38%, but your body language communicates 55% of your message. Mirroring is an NLP technique that leverages body language to make instant connections and build rapport with anyone. When you’re talking to someone, mirror your body language to theirs. If they are high energy, match that energy level. If their body language is relaxed, reflect that. You can even change the words you choose to use to match their vocabulary. The other person will automatically find you more trustworthy – because you are just like them.
Incantations are a more powerful version of affirmations, which are one of the more mainstream neuro-linguistic programming techniques. An affirmation is a phrase you repeat to yourself about your beliefs and goals. Incantations take it a step further, changing your physiology as well as your words to create a state of total confidence. Get yourself into peak state by embodying what you’re saying with all the intensity you can. Tony began using incantations when he was 17 – and he still uses them backstage today. NLP techniques like incantations are an effective way to reprogram your mind and create empowering beliefs.
These are just a few of the techniques that might be used in a neuro-linguistic programming and coaching session. Neuro-linguistic programming also starts with a set of presuppositions that complement results coaching, particularly the belief that the meaning we assign to our experiences is everything. It takes the approach that “failure is feedback” and if we find the lesson and get back up, failure is worth it. Most of all, neuro-linguistic programming believes in a growth mindset – that, as Tony says, “We can change our lives. We can do, have, and be exactly what we wish.”
So what is neuro-linguistic programming? It’s a behavioral method that uses the power of reframing to help people overcome their limiting beliefs. A Results Coach can help you get started with these techniques and create a breakthrough in your own life.