Years ago, I took a course in Neuro Linguistic Programming, or NLP for short.
NLP is leveraged by influencers and leaders around the world such as former President William Clinton, the band Aerosmith, and is taught by fantastic presenters such as Tony Robbins, and is among the reasons these people rose to prominence.
NLP in a nutshell is based on the concept that humans have highly predictable patterns, and those predictable patterns can be leveraged by these people to encourage you to buy what they’re selling.
Having an undergraduate degree in Marketing, and having spent 20 years in programming – about 10 years ago I began studying Neuro Linguistic programming when I came across a series of videos and tv shows by a man named Derren Brown who leveraged NLP to highlight what NLP was capable of.
Now to be clear – what Derren Brown did was outright manipulation.
For instance, he leveraged long known flaws that street con artists have long abused in human perception that let him hand a stack of perfectly cut white paper with a $20 bill around it to then pay only $20 for an expensive piece of jewelry – and walk out with the clerk being none the wiser.
Richard Bandler, another older gentleman who claims to have invented NLP, would synchronize his pulse to that of a woman he would pay attention to, which would create a physiological bond with ‘his target’, to which he’d then approach a woman and bed her shortly after
I say Richard Bandler claims to have invented NLP for one reason: Richard Bandler profited off the name of NLP, but I believe all he did was study highly charismatic people and then took what they did and gave it a label. Put specifically, NLP had been going on LONG before Richard Bandler gave it a name.
Don’t get me wrong, People like Richard Bandler, Derren Brown, William Clinton, and others who are experts in this area I have nothing but respect for. But there was more to their methods that I don’t think even they were aware of.
What is that?
The effectiveness of these men was based on their ability to observe and take advantage of the predictable patterns of behavior of other people.
TV shows like Lie To Me, a story about a highly effective man who was trained by himself to recognize patterns of deceit and other emotional tells in other people’s body language, tells only a part of the story of NLP.
But the part that is missed is this:
When someone or something is observed, it’s behavior immediately changes based on whoever’s observing it.
It’s a quirky little byproduct of something called Quantum Physics, but the thing I began to notice as I studied Neuro Linguistic Programming was that many of these leaders and influencers delivered a highly consistent message which becomes possible to become immune to because it lacked one thing – self awareness.
They were going through the motions, their character was rehearsed.
Here’s an obvious example:
Years ago, I went to a Lance Burton Magic show in Las Vegas. While the magic he demonstrated was mostly predictable, there were things he did which defied explanation. But there was more to it than that. I paid attention to Mr Burton on stage, and despite the smile on his face, I could tell the man hated what he was doing.
He was merely going through the motions of his act and doing what he’d programmed himself to do.
And his ‘act’ – while interesting – made me feel…
Sorry for the guy.
You. Me. We all have patterns of behavior, and it’s one thing to recognize patterns in others, but entirely another to understand how, when, why, and where we influence those patterns as an observer.
Which requires a profound sense of self.
Did Lance Burton ever stop to ask himself “Why am I here on this planet and am I doing what makes me happy?”
I sincerely don’t know.
But as I investigated people’s behavior. I found an interesting repeating pattern.
People going through the motions.
Friends, family, co workers – all doing what was expected of them.
You see – this is the heart of learning how to reprogram yourself. I’d discovered something in others I didn’t want to see in myself, and as I felt sorry for people like Lance Burton. I began realizing…
This isn’t about them.
It’s about me.
There’s three primary concepts to understand in Neuro Linguistic Programming.
One’s called projecting.
And I was projecting my own insecurities onto others.
Which brings me to the first step in reprogramming thyself.
Step 1: Quit projecting and FIX yourself
IN a general sense, when you begin seeing repetitive behavior patterns and reaction to your presence by others that’s not favorable, this is referred to as a reflection, and what you’re doing is PROJECTING yourself onto others.
It’s your mind’s way of saying to you “Hey dummy, You aint payin attention to the things I’m trying to get across to you from within, so I’m gonna begin influencing the outside world so you get it”.
Now Richard Bandler first exhibited this with his pulse synchronization thing. He’d done something that silently created rapport with his target, something intangible even to them. In a sense he projected himself onto others long before he even approached them, and as they would say things such as ‘it feels like we know eachother’ – he was fully aware of the power of projection and the invisible bond it could create with others.
But in order to understand this. One HAS to let go of doubt, remorse, insecurity, and be ok with leveraging these skills to get what you want. The fact of the matter is. Some people are more skilled in understanding communication, influence, and this world, and this is a tool in the arsenal to achieve contact.
This is why fixing yourself is important. WHEN you’re rejected for whatever it is you’re trying to do, and ultimately you will be A LOT as you learn, not taking the feedback you get personally is a critical key to achieving personal goals. Remember, WITHOUT the feedback you get from pressing the buttons and finding out which ones not to press, you’ll never learn which ones to press.
So try to create personal balance in yourself – FIX yourself – so you can better understand those you’re dealing with more without superimposing your own beliefs and suspicions and hangups onto them.
Step 2: Be whole in yourself.
A part of balancing yourself is
You know. I got this far and I almost deleted all this. I’m just gonna commit it and keep it as is.
The way my mind thinks. Unfinished thoughts that I gotta quit deleting.