What is NLP?


I have been asked this question so often, and I want to give you a comprehensive answer that inspires you, as much as it delights me.


Neuro-Linguistic Programming (or NLP for short) was developed by 2 Scientists, Richard Bandler and John Grinder in California, United States in the 1970s.

These two awesome folk with backgrounds in Linguistics, Mathematics, and Gestalt Therapy went out to research the most effective therapists at the time, to replicate change so it could happen rapidly and effectively.

NLP is a Hybrid-Science. An approach to communication, personal development, and psychotherapy using Quantum Physics, and Ericsonian Hypnosis. A pragmatic school of thought - or an Epistemology. (In other words,the study of knowledge and justified belief)

The Foundation:

Sounds pretty Radical and scienc-y - So Lets start by breaking down the name. 

So, your entire human experience is made up of 3 main influences: Your Neurology (or your subconscious processes and patterns), Linguistics (or the language you use) and Programming (The behavioural patterns you have, you learned through experience).

Through utilising and understanding these three “influencers", you can identify yours, and others, subconscious patterns. These patterns are exactly what is determining the way you feel, the way you show up, and the way you respond to the world. Therefore, the results you’re getting. Yep! It all starts in your subconscious.

Then, using the same influencers, you can re-program your subconscious to improve your own natural experiences and behaviours.

In short, it’s  like having an owners manual to your mind. When something’s not working, you know what to do, When something is, you know how to replicate it.

You can use this knowledge to break Habits, Cure Addictions, Change your reactions to things that trigger you, Start enjoying things you don’t naturally enjoy but wish you did (and therefore create success a whole lot easier), resolve inner conflicts and start charging towards your goals without self-sabotage or hesitation, ignite your health by releasing allergies, let go of trauma, negative beliefs and emotions from past experiences, and, replicate the successful behavioural patterns of anyone you know who has what you want.

It’s freaking insane. And So interesting.

But here’s the biggest clincher: It’s rapid-fast.

Thanks to our mates Bandler and Grinder, Something that can take up to 7 years like the repatterning of a major issue such as a phobia can now be done inside of 15 minutes.

NLP is Founded on 2 Core Principles:

1. The Map is Not the Territory. As human beings, we can never know reality. We can only know our perceptions of reality. We experience and respond to the world around us primarily through our sensory representational systems. (Visual, Auditory, Kinaesthetic, Auditory-Digital, Olfactory) It is our 'neuro-linguistic' maps of reality that determine how we behave and that give those behaviors meaning, not reality itself. It is generally not reality that limits us or empowers us, but rather our map of reality.

2. Life and 'Mind' are Systemic Processes. The processes that take place within a human being and between human beings and their environment are systemic. Our bodies, our societies, and our universe form an ecology of complex systems and sub-systems all of which interact with and mutually influence each other. It is not possible to completely isolate any part of the system from the rest of the system. Such systems are based on certain 'self-organizing' principles and naturally seek optimal states of balance or homeostasis.

Here’s why I love it:

“If Quantum mechanics hasn’t profoundly shocked you, you haven’t understood it yet. Everything we call real is made up of things that cannot be regarded as real" -Neils Bohr. 

I love NLP because it's a modality of viewing the world which completely side-swipes the long-held assumption that change is hard - if not impossible. It facilitates rapid, all-encompassing, long-lasting, easy change - Fast. 

I love it because you can not only use it for yourself every day, you can use it to help others. Through formal processes, and simple changes in the way you converse with other people moment to moment. 

It addresses the levels of a human being through context, not just content. In other words, not only what is happening, but how and why. 

For example: 

  • It teaches the development of behavioural competence and flexibility, but also strategic thinking and an understanding of the mental and cognitive processes behind behaviour at large.
  • You learn tools and skills for the development of states of individual excellence, but it also establishes a system of empowering beliefs and presuppositions about what human beings are, what communication is and what the process of change is all about. This gives you so much power of thought, and a frame to view the world through for your future experiences.
  • It addresses self-discovery, exploring identity and mission. But it also provides a framework for understanding and relating to the 'spiritual' part of human experience that reaches beyond us as individuals to our family, community and global systems

NLP is not only about competence and excellence, it is about wisdom and vision.

(Click to tweet)

I truly believe if everyone on the planet had this kind of understanding about our own potential and human behaviour, we’d be happy, and empowered. A Lethal combination for peace, fulfilment, and sustainable, long-lasting success. 

But most of all, I love it because you see beautiful, life-altering, results.


As a life coach, I hear my colleagues talk quite regularly about how travelling back into the past, re-hashing and taking about it it is unnecessary - and to some level, I agree. Re-hashing and talking about the past without curiosity, understanding, new insight, release, learning and perspective - is painful, boring and useless... Until you have a new way of looking at everything you’ve ever experienced - which is Exactly what NLP does.

If you can understand the context of how and why and where your current view of the world springs from, and then return to that place with processes to re-pattern your experience of it, and see it differently - your entire world moves volumes. Your Entire perspective of life from the past up until this moment takes on new meaning, and you are free to move ahead in this moment with a clean lineage.

It feels... light. It feels fresh. It feels like a big deep breath of inspiration, and paves the road ahead with ease.

Focusing on this moment and building a strategy to get where you want is powerful, yes. But knowledge, context, and understanding, is true power. The latter removes the boulder you may be carrying with you up the hill, and gives you a bag of tricks to throw at the future.

And that’s why I absolutely love NLP. 

Do you Have any Questions? Have You Studied NLP? What are the fantastic Results you’ve experienced? I’d love to hear what you have to say in the comments below.

Love, Hayley x x

P.S - Are You Thinking You Might Want To Learn Some More About NLP? Contact me