NLP, or Neuro-Linguistic Programming, has been around for decades. Developed by Richard Bandler and John Grinder in the 1970s, NLP is now used by many practitioners to help people to take accountability, reframe negativity, and make better lives for themselves. The applications are endless. But, for Centre of Excellence students, here are some NLP learning techniques to help you achieve success with your studies.
NLP Learning: Reframing Negative Thoughts
With NLP learning, you can try one of three tips to combat negative thoughts about your studies:
- Identify your automatic negative thoughts and write them down. This will help you increase your awareness of your modes of thinking, so you can stop automatic negative thoughts in their tracks as they arise. Keep a record of these thoughts when they occur. This might even help you come up with a phrase or gesture to counter them, such as saying ‘STOP’ out loud or raising your palm in a stop gesture.
- Explore the cause of these negative thought patterns. For example, you might automatically assume you’ll fail your assessment because you once had a teacher who said that you weren’t good at studying. For deep-rooted patterns stemming from trauma, you might think about seeking counselling.
- Use positive affirmations. When you’ve written down your negative thought patterns and began to come to terms with them, why not try rewriting those negative thoughts as positive statements in the present tense. So, ‘I’m going to fail’ becomes ‘I’m working hard and learning more each day’.
NLP Learning: Chunking Up
In NLP learning, ‘chunking’ refers to the act of breaking a big problem down into manageable pieces of information. This might be useful to you when embarking on your course. Instead of seeing the course as an overwhelming whole to complete, set yourself smaller chunks of work to tackle - be that a single module or simply reading the first page of the course!
You can also ‘chunk up’ by focussing on more general or abstract information. This is a useful technique for when you’re feeling unmotivated or unexcited by a project. For example, you might find you’re struggling with a question in your course despite giving it a lot of attention. Rather than chunking down and getting bogged down in the minutiae of this complex topic, and potentially becoming overwhelmed, why not take a step back and look at the bigger picture? Perhaps your time would be better spent remembering why you wanted to take this course and learn this information in the first place or getting excited about what the future might hold once you understand the concept; it might be an idea for a side hustle or small business or you might use the knowledge to help others. With this lighter and more exciting mindset, you might find things fall into place a little easier when you go back to the question.
NLP Learning: Timelines
NLP teaches that we all have our own interpretations of the past, present and future and that these can impact our success in life. In line with the law of attraction, the NLP timeline allows your brain to accept your visions for the future as real events. So, we can apply this process to our studies, too! To harness the timeline NLP learning technique for your studies, you begin by pointing to the spot in your mind’s eye where you consider your past to be. For most people, this is behind you or to your left but there’s no wrong way of picturing your timeline. Moving forwards or right, perhaps, you can pinpoint your future. Draw a line between the two points in your head and somewhere along here you have your present.
Now, look to your future. You can see yourself having completed your course. Visualise what your life is like with your newfound knowledge and imagine the feelings of achievement that go along with your success. For more complex timeline work, you can also look to the past experiences that might have given you cause to doubt your ability to complete your course. With the timeline NLP learning technique, you can travel back to these past moments and reframe them in your mind so you can move forward with your studies, free of those hurts.
NLP Learning: The Discovery Frame
The Discovery Frame concept is especially useful when learning new skills and concepts. Simply put, it is an attitude in which you suspend your expectations, judgements, and attachments to a particular outcome when setting about a task. Rather than prejudicing the outcome with your expectations, the Discovery Frame allows you to be in the present and be open to whatever you may learn on your journey. Remember: A learning exercise is not a competition. It’s not important how ‘well’ or ‘poorly’ you are doing on the journey; just that you are alert, positive and receptive to new ideas throughout, even if they might not be conducive to your preconceived ideas of either the topic or success itself.
This blog only scratches the surface of what NLP learning can do for you on your lifelong learning journey. NLP learning can be especially useful when managing stress. Studying can cause stress when accompanied by your other day-to-day responsibilities to yourself and others. There are a number of NLP Learning techniques that can help you manage your stress, from self-hypnosis to Parts Therapy. Comment below if you’d like to read more NLP learning tips and advice on how to become a super learner!