I have just completed the first half of the Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) Practitioners certification with The Coaching Room. My journey is far from over but let me share with you what I learned and have thought deeply about since…
The course introduces the foundations of NLP.
- Neurology – how your brain interacts with our physiology
- Linguistics – the language we use to communicate meaning to ourselves and others
- Programming – how we develop our neural pathways through neurology and linguistics.
Furthermore, it introduces the idea of self-actualisation, what it means and how to practice it through unpacking and decoding why we do what we do.
So here is the first really key thing The Coaching Room taught me about self-actualisation, it is just something we made up. Somehow we’ve come to think of it as something beyond the ‘normal’ human, something reserved for a small few; for Buddhists, for yogis and for the Anthony Robbins or Eckhart Tolles of the world. And the rest of us mere mortals (neurologically speaking of course), well we can only stand by and watch, listen and hope to learn snippets of how this can be practised as we continue with our busy lives.
Well, you can forget that. Self-actualisation is not a rare molecule. It is not some precious thing. Self-actualisation is no more unique to us than going to sleep at night and waking up in the morning. We’re all capable of it. All of us. We’re designed for it.
When I talk about NLP to friends and family, the descriptions I use are messy, sometimes incoherent and for some, ‘culty’…. Yes, that’s right, some people think I’ve joined a cult. I think it’s my uber enthusiasm plus my incredible inability to articulate clearly what NLP actually is.
“It’s all about communication – but you learn about it in a really profound way. Like you never have before. It also kinda links to Buddhism and other religious philosophies in so much as it’s all about being consciously aware and present to, ‘how I do me’ or ‘how you do you’ and with more experience in the art of NLP, ‘how others do themselves’ and what that means for us as individuals, as a collective and in terms of human evolution”. See what I mean by messy/’culty’?
To further confuse my audiences, I also include my far from basic (in the opposite direction to advanced), understanding of the various ‘Stages of Development’ or ‘Levels of Consciousness’. This was an element of the NLP Practitioners course that was threaded throughout the first four days. It wasn’t explained in any detail but referred to throughout.
From what I understand, the Stages of Development recognise there are numerous features of an individual’s consciousness including, cognition (what we are aware of), values (what we consider most important), and self-identity (what we identify with). It is asserted that each of these elements of our consciousness develop through stages and at each stage, we develop a new understanding of the world.
The diagram below illustrates various perspectives on the ‘Levels of Consciousness’.
The inclusion of the Stages of Development – minus the explanation – was an interesting approach to presenting a deeply complex concept. The reason it worked however, was because although complex, something about it is deeply intuitive.
It lays out a map that all of us inherently know exists but have never articulated. A map that helps us see more intimately, that to achieve greatness, we don’t have to do more, be more, give more, achieve more. To achieve greatness, we have to unshackle ourselves from what we’re carrying with us from the past and shake off our ideals of the future.
The question isn’t how can we achieve greatness but rather, what do we need to stop doing? What limitations have we put on ourselves that we need to let go of?
Suddenly, transformation or self-actualisation even, seems more attainable. It isn’t about being ‘more’, it’s about discontinuing old habits. A challenge? Yes. Is it do-able? Yes.
NLP is a practical and accessible approach to mastering our own thoughts, feelings, behaviours and communication and subsequently, limits suffering and increases the capacity to love, unconditionally.
NLP holds up a mirror – no judgement, just feedback’. It reveals our ego and uncovers our habits – the best and worst of who we are and then moves these out of the way in order for our authenticity to come through.
(NLP coach @ The Coaching Room)
Working with The Coaching Room, there is a ‘take no prisoners’ approach to self-transformation. There are no excuses. No blame. Only accountability for who you are, the results you get and how you show up on the planet.
So far, this is where I’m at with NLP. More questions than answers. More scaffolding than content. More enthusiasm than knowledge.