Do NLP courses work?

Do NLP courses work?

Something people ask me all the time is ‘Matt, do NLP courses work?’

The answer depends on the persons level of commitment before they attend the course!

If someone is fully committed to change, then yes, NLP courses work. If they are not, then the course does not.

NLP is binary, a technique either worked, or it didn’t.

Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) has been around for almost 50 years, although it’s been a pretty well-kept secret until recently, mostly because people don’t usually call it NLP…

What is NLP?

NLP is a way of thinking and understanding our internal and external communication, psychotherapy and personal development. It’s best used for people who are feeling like they are living average lives and want to step up, or for people who are living good lives and are looking for excellence.

There is an element of co-operation between an NLP practitioner and their client. It’s essential that a client is ready and accepting of change. If there is no willingness from the client, NLP is ineffective. Of course, if you choose to come to our NLP training in Sydney you will be committed and willing to allow transformation to the very best version of you!

Because of this required agreement for NLP to work it is completely safe. No one can ever ‘make’ you do anything you don’t want to do using NLP.

Tony Robbins, one of the leading personal development experts on the planet, uses NLP to help people shift their lives, inspire positive change, and motivate people to get their act together. He’s not alone, most positive motivators and personal development gurus actually practice NLP to engage with their audience and bring about incredible revelations.

I know what you might be thinking, how much of it is a scam? None of it! NLP is a science-based rapid change technique that works to bring about change. It’s all about communication.

Communication is something we all use every day, and probably take for granted.

Sure, communication skills might be taught for certain aspects of life, like a sales job, how to behave in a job interview, how to deliver a class presentation in school, but there is so much more to communication than that. Way more.

Communication Mistakes

In most cases, people go through their lives making multiple communication mistakes without ever realising it.

If you feel like you are bashing your head against a brick wall some days and facing the same problems and frustrations over and over again, you can pretty much bet something (or multiple things) about your communication is off. When you figure your communication out, life gets incredibly simple, and amazingly easy.

When we talk about NLP training we are simply talking about paying attention to how we communicate, both with ourselves and with others. I don’t just mean how you talk to people. Yes, the words we use and how we deliver them is important and they hold valuable clues to how we think and what we believe, when it comes to real communication, talking is only the tip of the iceberg. Beneath the water is a massive undercurrent of information.

When you study NLP, you get to examine the whole package. We can use the study of NLP to better understand and translate behaviour. By understanding how we communicate we can get to the heart of why we act the way we do and get a better understanding of the behaviour of other people.

Verbal Communication

Verbal communication is all about the words we use and the way we deliver them.
The pitch of our voice, the inflexion of a question, the order we put the words into. The smallest change in our verbal communication can deliver a different message and response.

There can be subtle clues in the words people use that indicate their state of mind and how they are thinking. By identifying places where there are deletions, distortions and generalisations in verbal communication we can phrase questions that uncover hidden issues and conflicts that shape our model of the world.

Excellence Now teaches you how to correctly identify deletions, distortions and generalisations in a conversation and the correct questioning to use to open the conversation up to a deeper level.

Verbal communication examples:
• Word choice
• Volume
• Pitch
• Timber
• Tone
• Tempo

Non-verbal Communication

Non-verbal communication is something we register and take in naturally. We pick up non-verbal cues without ever learning them or actively watching for them.

It’s important to note that with NLP (or any communication study) it’s impossible to use nonverbal or verbal cues to know what a person is thinking or feeling. Every person expresses themselves differently, one person might laugh when they are in pain while another person might cry. Some people smile a lot when they are angry or scared, other people might sound angry but they are sad or fearful. The only way to know what a person is feeling or thinking is to ask them.

What’s important with NLP is that you recognise the change. When you know what to watch for you can immediately tell when there is a shift in someone’s breathing or facial tension that indicates a new thought, a remembered experience, maybe a breakthrough. Knowing that there has been a change is significant when you are practising NLP with a client because it’s an indicator that it is time to help them move forward.

Non-verbal communication examples
• Skin colour
• Skin tone
• Eye shape
• Eye movement
• Blinking
• Lip size
• Posture
• Gesture
• Personal presentation
• Personal appearance
• Level of breathing
• Breathing rate

Internal Communication

Internal communication is the way we talk internally. We talk to ourselves all the time, on different levels, for different reasons. We rationalise, fantasise, argue, bully, motivate, congratulate, and name call. Typically, even if we are unaware of our internal communication, our external communication is close to identical. Someone who abuses themselves internal will most likely abuse someone verbally or physically who is close to them.

For some people internal dialogues will be very clear, you may even find yourself talking out loud. You’re not even slightly crazy, this is a big part of what makes up our working subconscious mind.

To be successful in life and to move towards our goals we need to start to pay attention to our internal dialogues and spend some time getting to know what we say to ourselves, how we feel about us. Success is just a matter of making sure our internal dialogue matches our external dialogue in a positive and nurturing way.

When left to fend for themselves, you’d be surprised how often our internal voices are at war with each other and don’t nurture our dreams. When our thoughts are negative or mismatched with our external desires we can experience stress, frustration, confusion and lack of self-confidence.

If it sounds a bit too much to take in, let me give you a really common example:

A friend of yours hates their workplace. They keep saying they will quit, they tell you endlessly how they want to be gone….and they stay there.


Because some part of their internal communication is telling them they need the income, a new job will be just as bad, they have a system that works at this place, maybe even that they deserve to be treated like that, it will get better, it’s not that bad…yet.

This kind of scenario plays out all the time in relationships (I want to leave), finances (I want to save), health (I want to eat better) and the opposite happens.

Have a listen to your internal voice throughout the day.

Is it mostly good, or is it mostly bad?

What goes on in your mind is really important. It sets up your whole day.
The way we talk to ourselves internally creates filters for how we see the world. Rose coloured glasses is only one set of millions of lenses we have to choose from. There are green ones of jealousy, there are red ones of anger there are yellow ones of fear and black ones of death.

Typically we choose to use the same sets of tinted glasses over and over again, because the thinking and internal dialogue we used yesterday worked out okay, maybe not great, but okay, you’re alive, right?

If your internal thoughts are always saying, “that’s unsafe”, “that’s dangerous”, “that’s risky”, the tinted glasses you wear most of the day will be looking out for danger.

If your internal voice is telling you, “that’s a great opportunity”, “what a great idea”, “how does that work?” You will be wearing glasses that look out for more opportunities and ways to show innovation.

By using NLP, any internal thoughts can be easily and effectively changed to pursue the life you really want by focussing specifically on what you want and generating positive self-talk that matches that focus.

When our internal thoughts are set on survival mode our internal dialogue expresses fear, scarcity, blame, excuses, no action that is proven in everything we see in our day to day lives.

When our internal thoughts are set to creativity mode, our internal dialogue expresses passion, resilience, abundance, opportunity and willingness to learn through action.

Using the examples from a moment ago, a create-minded person at a job they didn’t like would have a list of possible options; to quit, to move to a different office, to move to a different branch, to put forward a suggestion for improvement, to communicate the hours they want to work and work those, to go to part-time, to take some leave, to go on holiday, to learn about Love Languages or personality profiles to have better relationships with their co-workers and feel more appreciated, to take a leadership role and bring the team together, to apply for a promotion, to start their own business….

When you set your filters to that of a creator, the possibilities are limitless.

There are way too many types of internal filtering choices to list them all here, but here’s an idea of how much work your brain does at lightning fast speed before you make a decision about anything.

Internal communication examples

• Risk vs Reward
• Towards or Away from
• Worst case scenario or Best case scenario
• External or Internal praise acceptance
• Self or Other references
• Match or Mismatch
• Possibility vs Necessity
• Big picture or Small picture
• Glass half full or half empty

External Communication

Our external communication is the way we respond to our environment. It is our response to what we hear, see, feel, taste and smell. At the beginning I told you about verbal communication and mentioned how the smallest change can make a big difference to the way your communication is interpreted. External communication is the interpretation. It’s the listening end. The filters we have in place actually help determine what we hear and how we hear it.

Using filters, it is even possible for our unconscious mind to insert inflexions, or hear blame and accusations in someone’s verbal communication based on past experiences and internal communication cues. If we are geared to hear fights and threats, we will create them even when the conversation is neutral or positive.

How we think can drastically change our external communication. When you study NLP one of the biggest skills you will learn is how to listen accurately and understand that most of the external triggers (external things that set us off emotionally), actually originate from inside.

Knowing that part alone can radically change people’s lives, their jobs, and their relationships as they are able to stop reacting on an internal level and start to just be in the moment and appreciate what’s around them.

Ever wondered why you don’t have time to stop and smell the roses? Chances are your external communication is clogged with internal junk.

External communication examples

• Kinaesthetic (K)
• Audio tonal (At)
• Audio digital (Ad)
• Visual (V)
• Olfactory (O)
• Gustatory (G)
• Anchors

Do NLP Courses Work?

As strong connections are made between incredible success and incredible NLP (overall communication) ability, the study of NLP mindset and personal development is quickly trending as the next big thing. I’ve been studying and practising NLP for 20 years and the only thing that surprises me is that it’s taken this long!

NLP isn’t a fad, as our global consciousness shifts it’s going to get bigger and bigger and there won’t be enough life coaches trained in NLP to satisfy demand. I can’t wait for the positive effects of understanding our brain completely to be incorporated into the fabric of our society for a life of abundance and satisfaction.

As NLP becomes more talked about, the need for NLP practitioners is growing and more and more classes and training centres are becoming available.

Why? Because NLP works. It’s as simple as that!

Understanding all the aspects of communication and understanding the seed of our behaviour gives us incredible power to transform our lives. The skill of actually listening, where you hear what the person is saying without inserting your own filters and judgements into the conversation is one that can change, or save, lives.

By attending our Excellence Now course you get the opportunity to reconnect with yourself and gain priceless tools to get you to a place of incredible freedom in life and business.

Each section of training comes with an expert demonstration and hands-on practice that gets you incredible connection. That means you get to learn how to do each technique with full support and you get to have every technique practised on you for incredible benefits to your life. Not only that, but we have a lot of fun and create communities of like-minded people too!

You can either use NLP in your own life to transform your relationships, business operations or tap into your personal power or take it one step further and complete our NLP practitioner test to become certified and work with people to help give them options and choices for abundant living!

I hope to see you there soon,

Matt Catling

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