If there was a way you could remove that sense of panic and brain fog for an interview, a presentation or just having more confidence, would you try it? Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) sounds like a software program for a laptop, but does exactly that.
Let’s break it down.
NEURO – just imagine a freeway that connects you to different places. Depending on which one you use, will take you either directly or indirectly to where you want to go. The drive has an effect on your thoughts and behaviour. The neurological system is how the mind works and stores information. With NLP, you experience the world through your senses and process this information via your inner thoughts, consciously and subconsciously. These thoughts stimulate the neurological (freeways) part of the brain and have a direct effect on your emotions, behaviour and how you hold yourself physically.
LINGUISTIC – it’s how you communicate, and the words and language you use to influence your experience with the world. There is so much power in the words you choose with self-talk and with others. Think of it this way – it’s like taking a snapshot of selfies and storing that image as a memory. How you review these snapshots gives you an insight into how you interact and talk with the world.
PROGRAMMING – your thinking patterns, how you make decisions, solve problems and how you learn. These patterns determine how you move through life in achieving your wants and desires. I liken it to a software update; NLP lets you recode your thinking (patterns based on past experiences) so that you can update and reorganise past experiences to better support results you want, instead of hindering you.
Now let’s look at how you can use NLP to benefit you:
1. BODY POSTURE
If your body is always slouching or just hanging around, you’re signalling your mind and emotions to follow suit. Or if you’re stressed or anxious, your breath is shallow and activates the mind and emotions to be on alert.
So try this exercise daily for a couple of minutes to watch how a change in posture can rewire how you feel and think about yourself in a positive way:
Stand with your feet hip-width apart and hands on hips. Do this for a few minutes so the body can signal the brain and emotions to follow suit. This is a power pose to feel strong and confident in your body. The more often you do this, the more it becomes an ingrained pattern.
This Wonder Woman or Superman pose is great to do before a job interview, presentation, or when you need to lead a meeting.
Have you ever noticed how often people use the words ‘BUT’ and ‘HOWEVER’ in a sentence? Any statement or information said before these two words are instantly forgotten and the latter part is left with a negative impact. Instead of using but or however, replace it with ‘AND’.
Here’s an example:
I like how you’re managing this project HOWEVER we can focus on this area.
I like how you’re managing this project AND we can focus on this area.
It’s a softer and more positive approach to getting the desired outcome.
3. MIRROR & MATCH
Building a connection with others is what’s called rapport. When you’re in a discussion and want to get your point across, gently mirror and match the other person’s body language, as this instigates a connection. It’s not about mimicking them straight out, more like a flow back and forth. You’ll show a comfortable ease between you both as well as stimulating the brain and emotions to an active interest. It can create a stronger sense of trust for the other person.
To do this, maintain eye contact with the person and have your body language gently follow their body position. If their legs are crossed, cross yours. If they’re leaning to one side, follow suit and if the person uses their hands, have your hands mirror their hand gestures accordingly. This is great to use in an interview, meeting a client or just talking with your boss!
These three simple little tricks are part of NLP and by practicing them daily, you rewire your mind, body, and emotions in a more positive outlook. Making it easier to achieve your desires and wants with small tweaks in how to speak, hold your body and connect with others. Try it for a week and notice the difference it makes!