I recently decided to become an NLP Practitioner to better support my book coaching clients get through their fear and other challenges that were preventing them from starting or finishing writing their books. I wanted to take a moment to tell you what the heck NLP is, and why it matters to me.
What is NLP?
You can do a search for this and get a TON of answers. My definition and the understanding I work with of NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) is: NLP is a set of tools that enable me as a coach to get to the deeply-held beliefs my clients have, either in their subconscious or conscious mind, that keep them in un-resourceful states. These states can look like fear, procrastination, uncertainty, pain, excuses, justifications, unwanted patterns of behavior, and more.
One illustration that has really helped me understand this is that of a river. When a river starts off, it moves fast and quickly cuts into the ground. As it gets older, it slows down and mostly follows the same path of least resistance. It gets lazy – you’ve heard the expression ‘lazy river’, haven’t you? In NLP, these ‘lazy rivers’ are the pathways our brain has created to keep life easy. We take that path of least resistance and say things like:
“I want to finish my book, but I’m scared what my family/friends/co-workers will think”
“I started my book but I can’t find the time to do the research” (aka Analysis Paralysis)
“I’m not really qualified to write a book (so I won’t)”
“I don’t want to look foolish (so I just won’t do it)”
What NLP does is basically re-routes the water (belief) to a new path. The more often this new path is used, the faster the water flows once again. This creates a new habit, that, as it ages and slows down, will once again become ‘lazy.’ But in the meantime, it has still built that new pattern – a more resourceful pattern.
An Example of NLP’s Use in Book Coaching
There are a few NLP processes or tools I can use with a client, which include:
WFO: In this process, the client gets really clear about a goal, makes sure it is aligned with their belief system (making it possible to achieve), and sets it in place for action.
Example: I want to write a book.
Resource Anchoring: In this process, I help the client create a state that supports their goal.
Example: I want more focus when I sit down to write.
Behavior Change: Several processes can be used to change behaviors or beliefs that allow the client to move forward when previously “stuck”.
Example: “On one hand I want to finish this book, but on the other hand, I’m scared to be vulnerable.”
Hypnotic Language: In this process, I communicate with the subconscious mind to empower the client (writer) to have more motivation, relaxation, or whatever state they wish to be in for a better outcome.
Example: Client wants less anxiety when sitting down to write, so I create a sound clip for them to listen to prior to writing in order to facilitate hat. The client isn’t traditionally “hypnotized,” rather, suggestive language is used to speak to the subconscious mind, based on what the client wants or needs to move forward.
Why NLP Matters to Me
I’ve been interested in NLP since I was first exposed to it almost 10 years ago in a business role. I was invited to an event lead by an NLP master and seeing him practice some of the processes, and then applying them to my own life, created some very meaningful change for me. I ended up attending several events lead by this NLP Practitioner and always took something of high value away with me.
When I began to research tools I thought would be helpful for my book coaching clients, NLP felt like the perfect fit because it works very quickly to make a change. I didn’t want my clients to have to stop writing their books to go to therapy to resolve a specific issue that was holding them back. I wanted to be able to quickly motivate them, get them past beliefs that were stopping them, and get them back on track within a day, or even an hour, so they could continue towards their dream of authorship.
NLP is excellent for this purpose because it quickly and easily supports the person through their fear, belief, or block without them having to recall the initial event that caused the problem. It allows us to easily tap into the hidden beliefs in the unconscious mind, to get to the root of the block or belief, and ‘re-route’ it in a way that creates real results.
So, I am very proud to offer these coaching techniques as part of my book coaching, to really help clients not just with the technical components of writing, but also with the mental and emotional challenges that may or may not arise and block their progress.
If you’d like to learn more about how I use NLP specifically with book coaching, if you are afraid to write a book and want to, or have excuses that are holding you back that you want to release, schedule some time with me. As always, there is no obligation to work together beyond the call. I look forward to speaking with you.