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NLP Q&A: Can I solve a bunch of personal problems using NLP on myself?

Here is a question I received yesterday from one of our readers.

This question resembles our first FAQ question, if you remember… But we’ll work on the same theme again. The more we discuss this, the clearer the “already nebulous” definition of NLP will become.

NLP serves as a framework, an overarching model. You can’t “use NLP on yourself” any more than you could use philosophy, biology, carpentry or engineering on yourself. These are just fields. It would be like asking if you can use carpentry to build a house. Well… yes and no!

What you’re looking for is a technique or a set of techniques. A swish pattern. A submodality overlap. A strategy elicitation and/or installation. A compulsion blowout. Those are tools developed by NLP-trained practitioners you can use to solve problems and achieve the results you desire.

While it may not seem so, it’s critical for you to differentiate the two. Differentiate epistemology from technique.

Take that step towards mastery.

Chris Hurley - July 24, 2013

This. Makes. Sense.

What I think you are expressing is that much of what we see described as “NLP” is actually a product of someone using NLP.

Having become casually familiar with The Swish Pattern, it was confusing for me to understand how exactly it (and other patterns) fit into NLP. It seems that the answer is that they don’t- they are simply work product of an NLP process at modelling a successful technique.

I’m trying to think of a useful analogy- If I wanted to learn how to model someone that built an amazing hamburger, I would go observe their process. I would document all of the steps involved, their actions, movements, the actions of things around them that seemed to be relevant. I would then set about removing the steps that were not necessary to building the amazing hamburger. In the end, I might find my steps to be:

The Ultimate Burger:
1. Take 1/2 pound of 80% lean ribeye
2. Grind it using Kitchenaid Grinding attachment 12345
3. Mix in 1/2 tablespoon of [ingredients]
4. Divide into two equivalent portions and press into round patties
5. Preheat grill surface to 400 degrees
6. Cool round patties for two minutes per side and serve with choice of condiments.

So here I have the exact steps necessary to make The Ultimate Burger, which I created using NLP to build the map. The Ultimate Burger is not NLP. It is simply a product of an NLP process.

And this is of course my map of the subject, which is itself not the subject. 🙂

    Martin Messier - July 24, 2013

    Beautiful, Chris! You got it!

    The hamburger recipe model you created is a cooking pattern, not an NLP pattern.


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