Cheat Sheet

Neuro-linguistic Programming For Dummies

Neuro-linguistic Programming, or NLP, provides essential building blocks for discovering how people think and manage their emotional states. This practical Cheat Sheet gives you some useful NLP checklists to keep handy.

Altering Your Mental State with Music

Here are some different ways to think about using the music you play to alter your state of mind. Perhaps you’re stuck in a groove with your listening taste.

  • Vary the range of CDs you buy – Change up your selections, from baroque to folk, jazz and blues to reggae, and pop and rock to opera.

  • Change the rhythm – Compare predictable rhythms with varied and unfamiliar ones to encourage your creativity. World music works well for this purpose.

  • Instrumentation or lyrics? Words can distract; solo instruments tend to encourage relaxation.

  • Intuition Trust your own tastes. If you dislike a piece of music, don’t struggle with it. Turn it off – it’s unlikely to make you feel good.

  • Start the day differently When you feel good in the morning, you get off to a flying start. Try swapping the confrontational news channel on the radio for inspiring and uplifting music.

How to Change a Personal Belief

Learning to change beliefs that no longer support you enables you to transform your life in all kinds of positive ways. You make the switch by working with the submodalities – the fine sensory qualities of how you see, hear, or feel your experience of the belief.

  1. Think of a limiting belief you currently hold, one that you’d like to change.

    Perhaps you believe that you have two left feet as regards dancing or that you’re not a good swimmer.

  2. Think of a belief that you used to hold but which, for you, is no longer true.

    This belief can be something such as believing in the tooth fairy. Note the submodalities of your old belief.

  3. Think of something that you believe to be certain.

    If you can’t think of anything, try the belief that ‘The sun is going to rise tomorrow.’

    Note the submodalities of this belief.

  4. Think of a belief that you’d rather have.

    This belief can be the opposite of your limiting belief in point 1, but restated in the positive: ‘I’m a good dancer.’ Perhaps you want to be better at parking – ‘I’m good at parking’ – or want to feel more confident when speaking professionally – ‘I’m a confident professional speaker.’

    Notice the submodalities of the belief you’d rather have.

  5. Change the submodalities of your limiting belief – Step 1 – to those of the belief that for you is no longer true – Step 2.

  6. Change the submodalities of the belief you’d rather have – Step 4 – to those of the belief of which you’re certain – Step 3.

Checking In with Yourself to Stay on Track

In order to keep on track to where you want to get, on a daily basis or longer term, use the following checklist of questions to ask yourself:

  • What do I want?

  • What is that going to do for me?

  • What’s stopping me?

  • What’s important to me here?

  • What’s working well?

  • What can be better?

  • What resources are going to support me?

Comparing the Conscious and Unconscious Minds

Neuro-linguistic Programming (NLP) recognises that your conscious mind and unconscious mind excel at different things. When you know what each part does best you can then concentrate your development where it will have most effect. Learning to meditate is one discipline that harnesses both conscious and unconscious processing.

The Conscious Mind Excels at The Unconscious Mind Is Better at
Working linearly Working holistically
Processing sequentially Intuition
Logic Creativity
Verbal language Running your body
Mathematics Taking care of your emotions
Analysis Storing memories

Employing NLP Logical Levels

Neuro-linguistic Programming (NLP) logical levels are a powerful way to think about change by breaking it down as a model into different categories of information. As you begin to think about some change you want to make, you can ask yourself some questions that relate to the different levels:

  • Environment refers to the factors that are external opportunities or constraints. Answers the questionswhere?’, ‘when?’, and ‘with whom?’

  • Behaviour is made up of specific actions or reactions within the environment. Answers the question ‘what?’

  • Capabilities are about the knowledge and skills, the ‘how-tos’ that guide and give direction to behaviour. Answer the question ‘how?’

  • Beliefs and values provide the reinforcement – motivation and permission – to support or deny your capabilities. Answer the question ‘why?’

  • Identity factors determine your sense of self. Answer the questionwho?’

  • Purpose goes beyond self-consciousness to relate to the bigger picture about mission, to ask ‘what for?’ or ‘for whom?’

Overcoming Fears with the NLP Fast Phobia Cure

The NLP Fast Phobia Cure takes you through the experience of a traumatic situation in a way that distances you from feeling the normal phobic response. Only do this in an environment where you feel safe and with someone who can help you to stay grounded.

  1. Identify when you have a phobic response to a stimulus or a traumatic or unpleasant memory that you want to overcome.

  2. Remember that you were safe before and after the unpleasant experience.

  3. Imagine yourself sitting in the cinema, watching yourself on a small, black-and-white screen.

  4. Now imagine floating out of the you that’s sitting in the cinema seat, and into the projection booth.

  5. You can now see yourself in the projection booth, watching yourself in the seat, watching the film of you on the screen.

  6. Run the film in black-and-white, on the very tiny screen, starting before you experienced the memory you want to overcome and running it through until after the experience when you were safe.

  7. Now freeze the film or turn the screen completely white.

  8. Float out of the projection booth, out of the seat, and into the end of the film.

  9. Run the film backwards very quickly, in a matter of a second or two, in full-colour, as if you’re experiencing the film, right back to the beginning, when you were safe.

  10. You can repeat steps 8 and 9 until you’re comfortable with the experience.

  11. Now go into the future and test an imaginary time when you may have experienced the phobic response.

The Four Pillars of NLP

Look no further for a summary of Neuro-linguistic Programming (NLP) in just four key points. Pay attention to these four chunks of the subject and you’ll be well on your way to integrating NLP into the way you go about your daily life.

  • Rapport: How you build a relationship with others and with yourself.

  • Sensory awareness: How the world is different when you use all your senses.

  • Outcome thinking: How to think about what you want.

  • Behavioural flexibility: How to do something different when what you’re currently doing isn’t working.

Sharpening Your Rapport in Seven Quick Ways

Rapport is the foundation of valuable relationships and is key to your success in your interactions with others. Here are some ways to help you build rapport fast:

  • Take a genuine interest in getting to know what’s important to someone with whom you want to build rapport. Start to understand that person rather than expecting the person to understand you first.

  • Pick up on the key words, favourite phrases, and manner of speaking that someone uses, and then build these items subtly into your own conversation with that person.

  • Notice how someone likes to handle information. Does the person like lots of details or just the big picture? As you speak to the person, feed back information in this same portion size.

  • Breathe in unison with the other person.

  • Look out for someone’s intention – the underlying aim – instead of what the person does or says. People may not always get things right, but expect their heart to lie in the right place.

  • Adopt a similar stance to the other person in terms of your body language, gestures, voice tone, and speed of talking.

  • Respect someone’s time, energy, favourite people, and money. They’re important resources for that person.

Using the NLP Four-Point Formula for Success

You can apply this neuro-linguistic Programming (NLP) formula for success to both long-term and short-term goals. So, whether you simply want to hold a productive meeting or are planning the holiday of a lifetime, here’s the quick way to hit your target.

  1. Know your outcome.

    Specifying precisely what you want is vital. You can use the outcome frame to fine-tune the desired outcome and satisfy the well-formedness conditions.

  2. Take action.

    Unless you take that first step, and then the following ones, nothing happens to help you towards your outcomes, no matter how clearly they’re defined.

  3. Have sensory awareness.

    If you have the awareness to see, hear, and feel what isn’t working, you can modify your behaviour to steer you towards your desired outcome.

  4. Have behavioural flexibility.

    This point ties in beautifully with the NLP presupposition that ‘In interactions among people, the person with the most flexibility of behaviour can control the interaction.’ Or you can say, ‘If it ain’t working, do something different.’

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