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Comprehensive Guide to NLP

Updated: Mar 12, 2021

INTRO Increase your success and happiness.

NLP transformed is the Art of communication & changed our own lives.

(NLP) is one of the most sophisticated and effective methodologies currently available to help you communicate effectively.


  • is about understanding what it is to be human – how people do what they do

  • takes you from being stuck in a problem to achieving outcomes

  • is about how people think and behave

  • techniques can help you through difficult times

  • offers a means for you to learn, grow, and develop yourself

  • helps people to stay centred and focused on their core values and self-awareness, and so remain in tune with their health

The NLP toolkit offers a collection of models and exercises, as well as encouraging an inquisitive mindset,

Neuro relates to what’s happening in your mind. Neurological

Linguistic words and body language. Way you use language

Programming Patterns of behaviour. Your personal programming

NLP as ‘the study of the structure of subjective experience’; or;

Divide this book into seven parts

  1. Intro - best NLP question of all, which is ‘What do I want?’,

  2. Winning friends and influencing people - what if others just did what you wanted them to do? We can make your worst enemies smooth putty in your hands – but rapport is such a key theme in NLP

  3. Opening the toolkit – manage thinking, difficult situations & changing habits

  4. Using words to entrance - language you use doesn’t just describe an experience, but has the power to create it.

  5. Integrate your learning – Apply!

  6. Part of 10s – the meaty stuff

  7. Appendix – further reading


Chapter 1

Getting to know NLP

It all started with some smart people in California

Into what’s happening in your brain and unconscious thinking,

Sufi story: A man being followed by a hungry tiger, turned in desperation to face it and cried: ‘Why don’t you leave me alone?’ The tiger answered: ‘Why don’t you stop being so appetising?’

In any communication between two people, or in this case between human and beast, more than one perspective always exists.


All able-bodied humans are born with the same basic neurological system.

Your neurological system transmits the information you receive from your environment through your senses to your brain.

Your ability to do anything in life – depends on how you respond to the stimuli on your nervous system.

Begin to notice how you think

You may think that words only describe meanings, but in fact they create your reality

Formal definition is that NLP is ‘the study of the structure of our subjective experience’.

Art and science of communication

Understand what makes you tick

Getting results


Milton H Erickson, Bandler, Grinder, Fritz Perls, Varginia Satir

When you head for win/win, you’re on track for success.

Pillars of NLP

  1. Rapport: Mirror and empathy

  2. Sensory awareness: Like the famous fictional detective Sherlock Holmes, you begin to notice that your world is so much richer when you pay attention to all your senses.

  3. Outcome thinking: to beginning to think about what you want

  4. Behavioural flexibility: This

You need to bring out all your skills in building rapport with the customer service manager before anyone listens to your complaint.

You need to engage your senses – particularly your ears as you listen carefully

Notice how to control your feelings and decide on your best response.

You need to be very clear about your desired outcome –you may need to be flexible in your behaviour and consider different options if you don’t achieve what you want the first time.

Discovering Models and Modelling

Modelling is at the heart of NLP

The NLP premise begins as follows: if you can find someone who’s good at something, you can then model how that person does that thing and learn from them.

How you process the information that comes at you from the outside. According to NLP, you move through life not by responding to the world around you, but by responding to your model or map of that world.

This insight means that you and another person may experience the same event and yet do so differently.

It simply helps you change the way that you observe/perceive your world.

This perspective is empowering,

Using NLP to Greater Effect

Attitude comes first

At its essence NLP brings a positive attitude about life and possibilities rather than dwelling on problems.

people looking at the negatives

By conditioning yourself to concentrate on what you do want, positive results can be achieved very quickly.

curiosity – accepting that enlightenment is always preceded by confusion. ‘you don’t know all the answers – and a willingness to be confused

Changing is up to you. It’s about trying things out, having a go. Test out the ideas for yourself – don’t take our word for it.

NLP involves much fun and laughter.


  1. learning is serious work that’s serious fun

  2. ‘The person with the most flexibility in a system influences the system’.

  3. convenient beliefs – which form the basis of NLP

  4. The map is not the terrority

  5. Referring to the fact that you experience the world through your senses (sight, hearing, touch, smell, and taste – The terrority

  6. You then take this external phenomenon and make an internal representation (IR) of it within your brain – the map

  7. If you ask a botanist what Belladonna means, they may give you the Latin name for the plant and describe the flowers and slight scent while making a picture of the plant in their head. Whereas a homoeopath may explain its uses in treating certain symptoms and see a picture of a patient they treated. If you ask a murder-mystery writer about Belladonna, they may say that it’s a poison.

  8. This external phenomenon and make an internal representation (IR) of it within your brain – the map.

  9. Your senses bombard you with millions of different bits of information every second,

  10. As a result, an awful lot of information is filtered out.

  11. This filtration process is influenced by your values and beliefs memories, decisions, experiences, and your cultural and social background, to allow in only what your filters are tuned to receive.

  12. Each of you write a short description of what you observe: for example, the view from a window Notice that people’s descriptions are individually tailored by their own life experiences

  13. To make communication easier, a really useful exercise is to at least attempt to understand the IR or map of the person with whom you’re communicating.

  14. Man had declined, quite rudely, to fill in the form. Romilla asked the ladies whether they had considered how the poor man may have felt if he was illiterate, and that perhaps he was rude because he was embarrassed.

  15. Able to let go of all the negative feelings.

  16. Count all the blessings in your life

  17. Examples of your own good fortune rattling around in your brain, put on your most generous hat.

  18. Ask yourself what may be going on in this other person’s world that would warrant the behaviour.

  19. You may find that not only are you happier with your lot, but also you accept people and their idiosyncrasies with greater ease.

  20. People respond according to their map of the world

  21. There is no failure, only feedback

  22. Between allowing yourself to be waylaid by your undesirable results or taking on-board the lessons that present themselves, dusting yourself off, and having another shot at jumping the hurdle.

  23. Do not be afraid of failure.

  24. Failure is one of the most powerful tools to learning;

  25. Feedback result or outcome you may get from a particular situation.

  26. Edison’s genius lay in trying out his ideas, learning from unexpected results,

  27. Edison simply saw each trial as yet another way of discovering how not to make a light bulb.

  28. Think of something you ‘failed’

  29. What am I aiming to achieve?

  30. What have I achieved so far?

  31. What feedback have I had?

  32. What lessons have I learned?

  33. How can I put the lessons to positive use?

  34. How am I going to measure my success?

  35. Then pick yourself up and have another go

  36. What would happen if a builder started by slapping bricks on one another without a plan?

  37. Positive feedback works brilliantly

  38. Patricia’s teacher found another way to reach her.

  39. Verbal = 7%

  40. Tonality = 38%

  41. Physiology = 55%

  42. The circle of excellence exercise asked Tom to imagine that he was Arnald Schwarzer

  43. She realised that it was her way of getting the love and attention she had craved from her mother but never received.

  44. That her own mother’s behaviour was based on her mother’s problems and weren’t Janet’s fault

  45. When you identify the concealed positive intention that’s causing a person to behave in a particular unresourceful way, you can increase your flexibility and thereby your ability to communicate effectively with that person. You can then help to change the unwanted behaviour by satisfying the intention of the behaviour in a more positive way.

  46. He would spread himself out. He sprawled in his chair, which meant it was pushed out away from his desk and people in the corner had to squeeze past. He was loud, made demands on everyone around him, and was extremely unpleasant to his secretary.

  47. An office gossip revealed that poor Patrick’s behaviour was the product of a domineering mother and even more masterful wife. Unfortunately, his need for acceptance, and

  48. By showing him a degree of acceptance, they were able to satisfy his needs a little and mellow his behaviour

  49. People can behave badly when they don’t have the inner resources or ability to behave differently in that instance.

  50. Helping people to develop capabilities and skills, or move to a more conducive environment, can often change their behaviour dramatically and propel them to new levels of excellence.

  51. People have several levels at which they function: Identity, Values and beliefs, Capability & skills, Behaviour, environment

  52. When Bob was helped to change his beliefs about his capabilities, however, he became a very valuable contributor to society by working for an animal charity.

  53. Move into an environment where he felt valuable.

  54. The mind and body are interlinked and

  55. Modelling successful people leads to excellence

  56. Practice the tests in this book until they become second nature

  57. Pick one for each day


  1. Breathing goes to show the huge influence that your unconscious mind has on the running of your body, outside of your conscious awareness.

  2. Here we get to meet out unconscious mind

  3. How to use your brain to get your goals easily

  4. Learn about your values which are the buttons that motivate you

  5. Taking charge or your emotions, memories and the way you respond to people

  6. The conscious mind can be compared with the tip of an iceberg and the unconscious mind with the nine-tenths of the iceberg that’s submerged underwater

  7. Conscious mind is logical and on the left side

  8. Unconscious relates to right brain and is creative

  9. Meditating develops both sides

  10. Your unconscious can’t process negatives: it interprets everything you think as a positive thought. So if you think, ‘I don’t want to be poor,’ your unconscious mind focuses on the ‘poor’ and, because it doesn’t do negatives

  11. The focus becomes poor

  12. That’s why stating your goals in the positive is so important. E.g. I want to be wealthy

  13. Yogis liken the unconscious mind to a mischievous monkey, always leaping from tree to tree

  14. Open up communication b/w conscious and unconscious mind by meditating and examining the memories presented to you by your unconscious

  15. Part of the function of the unconscious mind is to repress memories with unresolved negative emotions.

  16. ‘Come back mummy, my tummy hurts.’ Diane realised that the stomach ache she used as a child as a ploy to get her mother to come back had been recreated by her unconscious

  17. Another function of the unconscious mind is to present repressed memories for examination in order to release trapped emotions.

  18. A terrorist can kill and destroy without qualms because his moral code teaches him that he’s a freedom fighter.

  19. however, your unconscious mind decides that you deserve to be punished, you can be wracked with guilt and exhibit behaviours designed to punish yourself

  20. Jane admitted to feeling that she manipulated men and discarded them when she felt they were looking for commitment.

  21. When she was five years old and had ‘manipulated’ her father, who was verbally violent, into apologising to her.

Tracking information – Your RAS

  1. With billions of pieces of data coming in through your five senses every second, you need a way to maintain your sanity

  2. This filtering network is called the Reticular Activating System, or RAS

  3. it works like an antenna, noticing stimuli and alerting your brain to pay attention.

  4. RAS just lets in data which is:

  5. Important to your survival

  6. Has novelty value

  7. Has high emotional content

  8. Effectively the RAS operates on stimuli that are above its threshold of observation.

  9. Mundane and daily routines slip below this threshold helping you to notice things that are relevant to your current goals

Examining How Memories Are Created

  1. The traumatic event gets trapped within the amygdala and the hippocampus is unable to present the memory to the neocortex for evaluation, which means the brain can’t make sense of the event

  2. PTSD sufferers it stays in a constant state of arousal, causing flashbacks and high levels of anxiety.

  3. Phobias and PTSD are part of a group of anxiety disorders.

  4. That a memory stays trapped in the amygdala

  5. This process ensures that you examine an experience while you’re doubly dissociated from the memory, creating a separation between you (in the now) and the emotions of a trauma or a phobic response.

BELIEFS & VALUES Accepting That Beliefs and Values Make a Difference

  1. Accept that values and beliefs make a difference

  2. Your values and beliefs are unconscious filters that you use to decide what bits of data coming in through your senses you pay attention to and what bits of data you ignore.

  3. Your beliefs can help you to health, wealth, and happiness or keep you unwell, poor, and miserable

  4. Beliefs are the generalisations you make about your life experiences.

  5. Generalisations save energy but can limit experience of options and differences, e.g. all women are a pain

  6. You can use one empowering belief, for example, to help you to develop another belief to the next level of achievement.

  7. Being bullied at school, you may have developed a belief that people, in general, aren’t pleasant

  8. May make you behave quite aggressively towards people when you first meet them.

  9. Limiting beliefs = such can’t, should, shouldn’t, could, couldn’t, would, ought, and ought not,

  10. The really scary thought is that other people’s preconceptions can place false limitations on you, especially if the other people are teachers, bosses, family, or friends.

  11. Teacher for one group was told that the students in the group were gifted,

  12. The good news is that beliefs can and do change

  13. When you think of a belief you make a picture have These qualities of your beliefs – visual (pictures), auditory (sound),and kinaesthetic (feelings) – are called modalities,

  14. These can be fine tuned using submodalities: qualities such as brightness, size, and distance for pictures; loudness and tone for sounds; and pressure, heat, and location for feelings.

  15. Values are the why you do something.

  16. Beliefs direct your behaviour, which then helps you to fulfil a value –

  17. Values are the ‘hot buttons’ that drive all your behaviours and are your unconscious motivators and demotivators

  18. Each of these areas of your life, family, work, leisure, and so on has its own values hierarchy, with the most important value at the top

  19. Values = Happiness, Love, Companionship, Togetherness, Friends, Family, Employment, Money, Success, Power,

  20. Values can be ends values or means values,

  21. Means values are those that need to be fulfilled in order to get you to your final,

  22. ends value values can drive you towards pleasure or away from pain:

  23. Love Guilt

  24. Freedom Sadness

  25. Health Loneliness

  26. Happiness Anger

  27. Wealth Poverty

  28. Away from values can be can be released using techniques such as time-line therapy

  29. Unconscious mind to release the trapped emotions.

  30. Values are formed over 3 periods

  31. Imprint, birth – 7

  32. Modelling, 8 – 13. Core values formed around the age of 10

  33. Socialisation, 14 – 21

  34. Conflicting values = become thinner and enjoy food


  1. Allowing your mind to wonder can be a powerful step in achieving your goals

  2. Give yourself permission to dream and play

  3. Imagine that you have all the influence, contacts and resources

  4. Now, while still daydreaming, imagine floating out of your body and into the future, to a time when you may have achieved this goal.

  5. Notice the pictures, sounds, and feelings, and manipulate them.

  6. From the place in the future, turn and look back to now and let your unconscious mind notice what it needs to know about and help you do in order for you to achieve your goal.

  7. Remember to notice what the first step would be!

  8. When you’ve savoured the dream fully, come back and take that first step!


Taking Charge of Your Life

  1. Put your seatbelt on and prepare to go for a drive

  2. Taking control of your memories

  3. Memories are recorded as pictures, sound and feelings

  4. by adjusting the quality of how you see, hear, and experience them, you can enhance positive memories

  5. you find out how to recall and manipulate a positive memory so that you can feel good, or even better, at will:

  6. 1. Recall a day when you felt really happy

  7. 2. Notice what you see, hear, and feel when you bring back the memory.

  8. 3. If the memory is a picture, adjust its quality by making it bigger, brighter, and bringing it closer.

  9. 4. Take note of any sounds in the memory.

  10. 5. Examine any feelings you have.

  11. second exercise shows you how to change the qualities of an unpleasant memory and distance yourself from it.

  12. Recall a memory that’s only marginally unpleasant.

  13. Notice the pictures, sounds, and any feelings that the memory brings up.

  14. 3. If you’re in the picture, step out of it to become an observer

  15. Change any sounds so that they’re softer, or perhaps make people in the picture speak in ridiculous voices.

  16. Adjust the quality of the picture.

You See It Because You Believe It

  1. Her supervisor, along with the departmental secretary, ganged up on Mary, being very unpleasant and extremely petty.

  2. that the supervisor was a very lonely woman who had no friends and was very unpopular at work

  3. she imagined that the supervisor was holding a placard saying: ‘I feel I’m worthless and unlovable

  4. Replaced fear with compassion. She realised that her own self-esteem needed a prop and began standing her ground – she discovered how to challenge her colleagues whenever they were unpleasant to her.

  5. ‘I can’t get my leaking roof fixed because I don’t have the money,’ you put yourself in a problem frame.

  6. ‘I don’t have the money because my louse of an ex hasn’t paid me my settlement’ – is putting yourself in a blame frame.

  7. By reframing the experience, however, you think differently and can break out of constraining thought patterns.

  8. you need to step away from the problem frame and take actions to secure what you want

  9. you tend to look backwards when something goes wrong in order to analyse what didn’t work

  10. One of the nasty side-effects of this tendency is to lay blame.

  11. A more constructive approach is to ask what you hoped to achieve by doing something, or what your purpose was behind doing something.

  12. outcome-frame process, = ‘Becoming smarter than SMART

  13. Outcome frame is a different way of thinking about your problems and issues,

  14. Keep asking yourself, ‘What’s the lesson that I need to learn so that this problem is no longer an issue?’

The Path to Excellence

  1. you need to use all your ingenuity to direct your brain towards helping you to achieve your goals. If you can create a compelling, irresistible future, your brain helps to align your behaviour in a way that moves you towards your desired outcome quickly and easily. The first step is working out what you want.


  1. Know what you want

  2. Write your own obituary

  3. Your unconscious mind is a wonderful ally in assisting you to achieve the goals you want.

  4. We discovered that she had lost her much loved grandfather as a very young child. The trauma of this particular event had gone very deep into Denise’s psyche, and her fear of loss had been driving her to end her relationships before she had to experience the pain of loss again. Because Denise was focusing, at a subconscious level, on what she didn’t want

  5. Tell them that, despite all the odds and in keeping with your values, you did something spectacular?

  6. Become smarter than smart by forming well-formed outcome

  7. SMART model, goals need to be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timed

  8. by adding sensory-specific information, which can help you modify your behaviour

  9. NLP builds on the SMART approach by making you use all your senses to design a goal

  10. Explore the how’s and whys to understand your true motives

  11. 1. Is the goal stated in the positive?

  12. 2. Is the goal self-initiated, maintained, and within my control?

  13. 3. Does the goal describe the evidence procedure? When do I know I’ve achieved my goal? What will I feel, see & hear?

  14. 4. Is the context of the goal clearly defined?

  15. 5. Does the goal identify the necessary resources? Acting as if you have the resources now helps you to recognise and shift any beliefs that may be holding you back. It

  16. 6. Have I evaluated whether the goal is ecological? The following questions are the laser-guided system that helps you lock on to the nub of your desires.

  17. What is the real purpose why I want this?

  18. What will I lose or gain if I get it?

  19. What will happen if I get it?

  20. What won’t happen if I get it?

  21. What will happen if I don’t get it?

  22. What won’t happen if I don’t get it?

  23. 7. Does the goal identify the first step I need to take?

  24. Dwelling on the negative can damage your health

  25. Focused their energy on defining the jobs they wanted and finding better employment. Instead, of not wanting to be there

  26. Often, change isn’t of the dramatic breakthrough kind, but a drip, drip, drip effect – slowly getting what you want.

  27. You must create a breakdown of an action plan, showing the steps to get you to your goal.

  28. Four point formula for success

  29. 1. Know your outcome and precisely what you want

  30. 2. Take action.

  31. 3. Develop sensory awareness.

  32. 4. Maintain behavioural flexibility.

  33. The person with the most flexibility of behaviour can control the interaction.’ Or more directly: ‘If it ain’t working, do something different.’

Spinning the Wheel of Life

Keeping a Dream Diary of Your Goals

  1. Think of a goal as an appointment with a desired outcome and write it down.

  2. Commit to actions to achieve them, and work on your plans every single day.

  3. The RAS is a network of nerve cells that operates like a radar, directing your attention to what’s important to you.

  4. Crucially, the act of writing down your goal switches on your RAS.

  5. what you’re really doing is designing the future you want to live

  6. Write down your goals and include the date by which you want to achieve them.

  7. 7. Break the goals down into monthly, weekly, and daily goals, and write them in your diary along with their dates.

  8. 8. Each night before you go to sleep (and this takes only a few minutes) look at your dreams and make a list of what you’re going to do the next day in order to meet your goals.

  9. sense of gratitude, both for the opportunities you’ve had and the people you’ve met along the way who’ve enabled you to get to where you are.

  10. UP and Ellie’s diary

Just Go for It

  1. Janice was following her passion whereas the relative was deeply envious (a feeling of discontented or resentful longing aroused by someone else's possessions, qualities, or luck.) of her travel adventures

  2. Operate from a position of believing that they have few or no options and project their fears and lack of confidence on to others.