Did I get what I wanted with NLP?

Normally my interaction on sundry forums involves short posts, but occasionally I am more expansive. Recently, on NLP Connections, there was a thread which questioned “Did you get the results you were after when you first connected with NLP? Were you overjoyed – disappointed – surprised?”

My reply was thus:-

Being a lifelong student of everything, especially NLP, I’m going to have to frame my comments in the present – since in terms of what I know there’s more to come and it certainly feels as though I’ve come a long way as well!

Am I getting the results I was after?

Yes, geometrically, exponentially. It started off slowly and gathered a momentum of its own as I moved from all the ‘apply to self’ scenarios into using it in a sports context with people I coach, into using it specifically with clients in mainstream and therapeutic contexts.

Am I overjoyed-disappointed-surprised?
To be fair – none of the above. For me its more like enthused, enthralled, curious and investigative.

Within the last 3 years and especially the last 18 months my view of NLP has moved from it being an entity in itself into it being a perspective of thinking, being, viewing the world, communicating with that world and the people in it. That has accelerated my enthusiasm, enthrallment and curiosity and level of investigation.

What I once viewed as the ‘core’ of NLP seems now, in my understanding at any rate, to have more body of material outside it than inside. In that there is more and more to be discovered beyond the confines, as this ‘way of thought and action’ spills over into neighbouring disciplines and newly emerging processes. Its rather like broadening one’s vocabulary when learning a language whilst, all the time, that language is also expanding.

Many clients ask me what NLP is, perhaps expecting (from how it has been described to them) that I will be ‘doing it’ to, with and for them. Every answer I give is different, probably tailored by my unconscious understanding of how the answer might be most useful for them. This isn’t from some arrogant standpoint being that ‘I know what’s best for you’. Its more from the point of giving a natural, interesting and revealing answer in a natural, interesting and revealing way. I’m not expecting to be “right” with these answers, and for some the answers may be so far from the ‘defined norm’ that I might appear that I don’t know what I’m talking about! In a lot of cases I am deliberately (and artfully) vague – which is particularly disarming for them and thus permits a level of unconscious dialogue that may not be possible in other ways.

I have some wonderful gurus and teachers who accompany me on this journey of discovery. Most of them are not aware I hold them in this status! I am particularly fortunate in that by having to pay for all my tuitions myself, that I have trodden outside the borders of training-for-trainings-sake. I suppose I’ve been lucky in that financial constraints have made me take the better route to choosing courses and trainers since, as you say Chris (Chris Morris, forum moderator), there is an element of the ‘less than honourable’ out there in the marketplace. However – there are many in our ‘community’ who do what they do for the greater benefit of the community – and one of those great benefits is a this particular web forum. I have gained much help, information and stimulus by my involvement here.

To conclude – I know that had I NOT studied and started using NLP over the last 15-18 years that (a) I wouldn’t be the inner person I am now, (b) wouldn’t be capable of doing the things I am doing now, (c) wouldn’t be as effective a coach or therapist as I am now. I also know that I will never arrive at the ‘temple of knowingness’ and rather everything is just a step along the journey of knowledge. That way, tomorrow I will be more effective, thoughtful, creative and fascinated than today.