As you may know by now, along with being a meditation teacher, I am also a trainer in an area of personal development called Neuro-linguistic Programming (or NLP for short). For those of you who haven’t heard of this, it is a very powerful set of teachings to help understand the mind and get rid of emotional baggage, bad habits and mental patterns that are blocking you in some way. The techniques I can honestly say were instrumental in changing my life and my business to achieve greater levels of success in each.
Because of my expertise in both fields I often get asked “what is the difference between NLP and Meditation?”, so, I thought I’d take some time to talk a little bit about the differences between the two practises, and explain what NLP is.
NLP begins with the question “what do you want?” and then goes to the next step which is to look for someone who already has what you want and model him or her. The premise of NLP is that if you think, talk and act the same as another person who is achieving the things that you want, you should get the same results.
Fortunately for us, many of the successful behaviours that we want have already been modelled and distilled down to their core components. There are strategies for getting rich, strategies for overcoming anxiety, strategies to read better or improve at maths. There are ones to find a partner, to lose weight and to quit smoking. In fact, there are strategies for most things that we will ever need.
It is useful to know that all of these strategies came about through modelling other people (particularly therapists) who have already achieved excellent results in their particular area.
When I first learned about NLP this sounded very logical, so I tried it out. The techniques worked so well I decided to become a trainer and coach of NLP.
So, essentially, NLP is a technique to help undo mental patterns, while meditation is used by people on an inner, self-development journey. And while they’re very different from one another, and at first glance, it looks like two couldn’t be further apart; they complement each other perfectly.
Both of them centre around understanding the patterns of our minds. Patterns which we can actively work on and change to act in more productive ways. Through NLP, this is generally very specific in that we work on particular events in a person’s life – a sort of laser beam approach. In contrast, meditation creates a foundation to enable us to understand the broader mind – like sunshine illuminating the parts we are yet to discover.
So how do meditation and NLP support one another?
Once you have achieved a certain level of mindfulness, the use of NLP becomes even more powerful because you can see in real time what those processes are doing.
The two fields work beautifully in conjunction with each other. NLP provides a powerful tool to shift emotional blocks and create motivation whereas meditation brings a deeper and more spiritual foundation to NLP.
How can NLP benefit you?
To answer this question, you should ask if there is anything you are doing that is not working for you – and if you know of people that are doing it better that you. Or better still “what do you want?”. If there is an area of life you could improve, and you have a suspicion that it is because you are not thinking, talking or acting as efficiently as you could, then it is worth finding out if a strategy has been modelled to do it better. Through personal coaching or doing a group course, you can learn and master your strategy. That is how you get what you want in life.