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NLP and effective self-change

I asked a good friend recently what he wanted to know about NLP. He replied “How does NLP work with effective self change?”

So this post is my answer to how NLP works with effective self-change, or self transformation. When you think of developmental stages in your life, there will always be patterns of change. So what is self-change and how come it doesn’t just happen automatically? Through the eyes of an NLP Practitioner, you’ll see that all change is unconscious.

The filter systems that you and I have were evolved at ages zero – seven, so these patterns are hard wired and difficult to move. That’s a good idea too as we all need some protection from changing too quickly for any reason! Any change you want to make to the ‘hard wiring’ is going to happen unconsciously, as that’s how it got programmed there in the first place.

The memories you and I own have all been conditioned over the years, so much so that you believe everything you see and hear within yourself! That’s perfectly normal of course and will never be questioned…unless problems start to occur. As soon as an insurmountable problem or challenge appears, the whole system goes into panic, anger, chaos or confusion and solutions are needed quickly!


Logical or cognitive solutions may work short term, yet as all the solutions reside in our unconscious mind, you will have to access that area to perform a solution. Sometimes the amount of stress or pressure may be enough to clear the problem out of its own accord and sometimes you’ll need to be proactive and find assistance outside. Here’s an example of an issue that cleared up by itself, albeit over a long period. My mother took me to an exhibition and inside there was boxing ring on the side. I was four years old and the guy in the boxing ring beckoned me to come in. I thought he meant it and being four didn’t think I’d win so ran off crying!

Of course, alike many memories, that one was forgotten and I continued through my younger years. All the way through the period between this time and my early thirties, I had this unanswered question about whether I was ‘tough’ or not? To the women reading this may be a completely strange thing to be considering, yet to men it’s quite a big issue….until you find out…..normally early on what those kind of issues are all about. This underlying question went on until one day I suddenly decided that I wanted to get ultra fit and was considering which training would be best. From a point of inspiration and choice (or so I thought), I came up with boxing training as the best form to practice.


I went through all the aspects of hard, tough fitness and came to the time when I’d be sparring for the first time. In the boxing ring, I managed to fight well, yet when a ‘lucky’ punch came at me in an awkward angle, my nose met it with a large ‘bang’ and it was fractured. In that moment, I got taken all the way back to four years old and all the questions I had about fighting, being tough and my ‘Manhood’. In a flash (or a bang) all the questions were answered and I learned about being a man, so much so that I never considered the issues again. So just look at the synchronicity of events and how my unconscious mind must have wanted the resolution to the issue. Eventually I literally took myself back to the source of the problem so I could experience getting back to understanding.

So when you consider self-change, you would be considering getting back to issues that evolved a ong way back, yet will still be happening today. We have a saying within NLP which is to ‘Trust your Unconscious Mind’.

What that means is that the patterns are residing in the unconscious, so trust whatever messages are coming to you and what you may be attracted to. If you don’t listen, you may have to wait a number of years and get hit on the head for you to remember what you are supposed to be learning. Otherwise, a great use of NLP, Time Based Techniques and Hypnosis, is to use them to access these deeper areas and then the understandings, memories and beliefs resolve themselves.

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NLP Retreat in South Africa

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NLP retreat South Africa

The South Africa Retreat NLP Course

The Ultimate Retreat: NLP Practitioner Training with an African Twist Imagine embarking on a transformative journey of personal growth and professional development in a serene

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