NLP and the Search for a Magic Bullet

Magic: Any extraordinary or mystical influence, charm, power, etc. that enables human control of supernatural agencies or the forces of nature.

The Slicks of NLP dance their way into your psyche and into your pocketbook with the lure of magic, unlimited power and an invitation to join them on the super highway of success. Just pay the money, attend the seminar and “presto” you magically transform into an emotionally bulletproof, charismatic and flexible success magnet on your way to certain fame and fortune.

Until you get home from the seminar. Then, the magic of NLP has a way of fading a bit. You stare at the NLP manual, which seemed so shiny and full of secrets when you signed up for the training, feeling a loss for where to begin your quest for glory. Then, your spouse or partner or mother calls and you get into another fight. Down…down…down…and…BACK to reality you slide!

If you’ve been through it, don’t worry, thousands of others have too – you are not alone.

If you haven’t been through it, I hope this article will save you some time, money and keen disappointment.

The underlying message of the NLP slick types is that NLP is magical; that by learning NLP, somehow you will get power to influence others like never before, totally control yourself and become a super-duper person with no problems left to hold you back from your true destiny. Guess again, folks. NLP won’t do that. If you need to burn some money and go to the Slicks before you give up on the magic, go ahead. We’re all in different places in life. But don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Here is some interesting commentary from Jake Eagle’s Green Psychology blog:

We also witness confusion from teachers who promote the illusion that we can escape human frailties and human suffering by relying too heavily on positivistic thinking to address existential issues. In our experience, supported by research, such methods can be repressive, and the benefits short lived.

Jake is a seasoned NLP trainer and the developer of Green Psychology, which offers a new perspective on individuality and personal responsibility. According to Jake, nothing can overcome a fundamental human obstacle. We are frail. We have weaknesses. We suffer. This is the truth and all the NLP in the world will not save you from it.

What will NLP do for you, then?

Before I address that, let me stand on the soapbox a minute longer. Here’s a thought: What if NLP were promoted in a more realistic way? What if NLP marketers and trainers were, simply, more truthful? What would the bullet-list of benefits look like? I’ll take a shot at it:

Learn NLP and…

Change anything you want in your life!

(As long as you are willing to make the necessary sacrifices, let go of wild dreams, discipline yourself MUCH better, accept genetic limitations, accept environmental factors, recognize social disadvantages and so on…)

Get people to do whatever you want!

(as long as they are not your spouse, your boss, your jerk neighbor or your teenage children). Ok, wait, NLP can help you make inroads and gain a little more leverage with many people (not the teenagers).

Become super motivated!

(Temporarily, then it wears off. If you work at it, NLP has some very good strategies for training your mind to focus on positive motivation. Basically, you still need to want it, work at it and sacrifice the donuts if you want to lose weight.)

Achieve laser focus!

(When you remember to focus, that is. NLP can help you become really clear about what you want and what is worth getting. You have to set aside the time, however, to really think goals through using NLP models. Then you become more focused and your goals become more achievable. 99% of NLP practitioners never use this tool in their own lives, though! I’ve surveyed many of them. Anyway, the tool in question here is worth the time and effort.)

Achieve control of your mind and emotions!

(Provided your primitive brain doesn’t highjack your consciousness in the middle of a presentation, leaving your speechless, panicky and breaking out in cold sweats in front of the room. OK, NLP has some great mind management tools and they are fun to explore. But goodness, PLEASE don’t believe the Slicks who tell you that you can somehow master your mind like it is some sort of cheap trick.)

Well, you get the idea. NLP is not magic. The sad thing is that NLP doesn’t need to be magic in order to be amazing. It stands by itself, a unique personal and professional development tool that, if you practice with intention, can make a significant and lasting difference in your life. The pretty boys do NLP a disservice as they try to impress and fill their bank accounts with money from the naive. NLP is worth the time, money and effort. We don’t need the deception to be valuable.

At the iNLP Center, we don’t make promises that you will achieve anything supernatural or “magical.” Transformation takes real work and exploration. Our NLP material is a great vehicle to take you to a greater level of awareness.

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