NLP practitioners are people too

7 March, 2008 for NLP services (coaching, consulting, therapy) in Wellington.

I remember when I was doing my NLP practitioner training and first met my NLP trainer. I was such a different person back then, much less empowered than I am now, and I remember just being totally in awe of the life he had created from himself. I still am, actually, although as I learn more and more about myself and NLP, and establish myself and my business more, where he is at doesn't seem as far away as it once used to. However, I do remember thinking, that as an NLP "expert" he had a perfect life - never sad, angry, stressed, sick, could do anything and get anything possible.

Of course, part of a good NLP trainer's job, is to model these attainable things to us, so we understand the power of NLP and how if you use it with yourself you change yourself and your life and create the self and the life that you desire and deserve. I have to also say that my trainer is the most congruent person I have ever met - no inconsistencies - he walks his walk and talks his talk. An amazing role model for sure.

I remember though, the first time I head him get slightly stressed about something - I was shocked! I had no idea that could still happen if you knew all this NLP malarkey. However, now, I have a different take on things.

I think there is something limiting with the idea of a "perfect" person with a "perfect" life. In short, it doesn't exist. As an established NLP practitioner I am very aware of modelling positive attributes to my clients - being open about my own changes and what I have achieved in life in a short space of time, and being open about how (by using NLP), so that people understand what is possible for them. Anyone who has ever worked with me will know that I am very open about my previous personal challenges with relationships, money, career, self-esteem, depression, insomnia. I want people to know how I have gone about changing those things within myself and what I have achieved in my life as a result. How easy it was, how hard it was. It is through our own struggles and challenges in life that we truly learn, and are then so much better placed to teach and help others. I believe that's why I have been through so much in my life.

I also want people to understand that there isn't a "perfect" person sitting in front of them. I want people to know I am still human. I have struggles in life, challenges, things to get over, improve. For example my partner and I have recently gone our separate ways - a decision that was undoubtedly best for both of us - and it's been very, very hard to deal with. Don't get me wrong - I think being an experienced NLP practitioner has meant that I have dealt with it so much more resourcefully than I would have done 3-4 years ago! My goodness, it is an immeasurable difference! And I am VERY grateful for that indeed.

However, I still feel sad, I still grieve and cry, and those emotions I believe are appropriate. I wouldn't want to "fix" it straight away, as the relationship meant a lot and my mind and body need to grieve for the loss. I have however, been able to manage this process whilst maintaining my life and my work, and still progressing in both - a balance which, upon reflection, is totally amazing to me and one that I give myself huge credit for. It is great to know that I can handle even the most difficult times in life. And you can too, when you believe it.

I was talking with my supervisor (my professional consultative support person, friend, and my NLP practitioner!) recently about the huge benefits of being able to "bounce back", as oppose to try and achieve an "idealistic" outcome. For example; I might be worrying about something at the moment, so my ideal outcome might be to feel completely calm and in control at all times and to have a clear, confident mind. An outcome which any good practitioner would support their client in achieving, for sure. I know I personally used to be a chronic worrier (I learnt it from my mum, I think). These days however, I worry far, far less, and when I do find myself doing it, I have learnt to "bounce back" quickly- i.e. when there is a time I notice myself worrying, I stop it, tell myself it will all be OK, take action if appropriate, and then move on. That, in turn, constantly leads me towards my ideal outcome of being calm and in control at all times, and to have a clear confident mind.

In other words, it's highly unlikely that as a human being I will never worry again, but it's what I do when I notice myself worrying that's important. I bounce back. And that's a great skill. If I hadn't set up the "bouncing back" strategy, I might be really keen to get my outcome of being calm and in control at all times, and then, if I notice myself worrying, I might think; "Oh well, there you go, I've blown it now! I've worried! Outcome failure! This NLP stuff doesn't work!" - which, I am sure you'd agree, would be a less than resourceful response for anyone, and certainly doesn't lead me toward my outcome of being calm, in control with a confident and clear mind!

The message is - it's OK to be human. It's OK to get stressed, worry, feel sad, cry, overreact. If you do this for any amount of time, it's a problem and leads to an unresourceful you, and you not being as inherently excellent as you are. If you notice these things and then bounce back and change them, as appropriate, you are well on your way to achieving those higher outcomes, and are in charge of your own brain and your own process. It leaves no room for beating yourself up for not being perfect - something which is surely a useful thing - agree?

So, if you notice you're in a situation that's far from ideal - worried, stressed, anxious whatever, firstly identify what you want instead - i.e. I want to feel calm. Then, ask yourself:

How would I like to be responding to right now, in a way that leads me towards being calm?

We know that getting stressed about being stressed or beating yourself up, is NOT it!

It will be something like: tell myself it will be ok, take a deep breath and reassess the situation, ask myself do I need to think about this now? Take action, book an appointment with an NLP person, etc.

Buy effectively "building a bridge" between the undesired state of mind to the desired one, you are changing and diffusing the undesired state - AND setting up a "bounce back" strategy, so that in a hypothetical future time when you notice yourself for example worrying again, you know what to do.

If you can bounce back every time something doesn't feel so good - you can't go wrong can you? Have fun being human and finding resourceful ways to be you.

To find out more about building outcome bridges go to and click on articles.


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