I first heard about Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) about 7 years ago when I worked for a healthcare insurance company and I’ve had an interest in the subject ever since; though never took it further than reading the odd chapter of a book or an online article. At the beginning of 2014 I joined Beyond Training Solutions and I’ve been incredibly lucky to have had the opportunity to complete both the NLP Practitioner and NLP Master Practitioner courses.

Gone surfing!

Gone surfing!

They were most certainly challenging, pushed me beyond my limits, hurt my head and from time to time left me feeling perplexed and somewhat bewildered. And, they were the best courses I have EVER been on!

I’ve spent so many years allowing so many limiting beliefs to stop me from doing things. I’ve suffered with anxiety, been terribly self-conscious, worried far too much about what other people thought and had a constant fear of making myself ‘look stupid’. So I did what I thought was the only option… nothing! I decided by not doing any of the things that might result in any of the above, then I was safe; and very effectively created my own confined maximum-security prison.

Several people have asked me how NLP has benefitted me and whether it’s something that is for personal or professional development? I’ve found it incredibly empowering first of all on a personal level because I’m now discovering all kinds of new opportunities and doing things that were previously WAY out of my comfort zone. For example, I was previously very fearful of swimming in the sea. I’m not a strong swimmer, I don’t like being out of my depth and I was convinced that if I ventured out into the ocean I’d be eaten by a shark! I was aware how ridiculous this sounded and yet it stopped me. In September (2014), post NLP training, I went surfing! For two hours! It was like discovering a whole new world with no limits and it’s given me a complete sense of freedom.

Professionally I’ve benefitted from being able to deliver confident training presentations that connect with the audience because I know now how to. I’m able to listen, really LISTEN to clients and customers and adapt my communication based on their own preferred style. Most excitingly for me, I’ve been able to coach other people to help them help themselves. A few examples are that I helped someone who was very stressed at work, and had gotten very upset following a complaint. At the end of our session they were laughing and joking and able to see things from a totally new perspective. I’ve worked with someone who was struggling with anxiety over an upcoming exam. When the exam came they were able to feel calm and confident instead. I coached someone who was terrified of flying and was able to reduce that fear in just 45 minutes. Another person asked me to help them dislike red wine, which I did, and now red wine repulses them! Not something I can quite relate to myself mind you…  red wine and I will always be friends!

So for me, it’s all interlinked because once you’ve got this knowledge, once you have these tools and techniques and practical skills, it cannot not benefit you personally, professionally, socially, romantically, and in every which way that makes you YOU! In turn you can share with everyone else around you including colleagues, clients, friends and family.

In a single sentence I’d say you discover your limitless capabilities and realise your own outstanding potential.

Having blown-up the walls of my self-created incarceration, the quote by William W Purkey springs to mind… “Dance like there’s nobody watching, Love like you’ll never be hurt, Sing like there’s nobody listening, Live like it’s heaven on Earth”… because now, I actually do!