When I first investigated Neuro Linguistic Programming, I read a few books and was pretty much none the wiser about how NLP worked. I then graduated to an audio series and, finally, took a live course.
The NLP Toolbox promises that you will get the top one hundred NLP tools in an easy-to-master format.
Does it live up to this bold claim?
If you want the quick answer: Yes!
The toolbox is delivered as a PDF file. Which means you can read it on near enough any computer or, if you prefer, sacrifice a few trees and print it out.
The report starts by giving you permission to experiment and have fun. Like most everything in life, you won’t always get the expected results. And NLP is no different.
After that brief explanation, it’s onto a scary sounding word called “presuppositions”. These are the ground rules that everything else is based on.
When I first began to learn NLP, this was an area I got quite confused about. In hindsight, I wish I’d had these clear, concise explanations.
For instance, when you hear a phrase like “The map is not the territory” your mind will likely think “I know that” and close down. Which isn’t the point of this presupposition – it’s aiming to extend your viewpoint and change it if necessary.
Instead, you get a neat explanation which makes this part of NLP clearer. Sure, you could read up on this elsewhere (there are plenty of 500 word “explanations” to be found on Google) but this is short enough for your mind to be able to focus and recognize the true meaning of the statement.
The same goes for the other 11 presuppositions that are discussed.
Next up is an explanation of the NLP Parts model.
If you’ve ever struggled to follow this in the book “Frogs into Princes” or “Tranceformations” then you’ll know that this simple model can get complicated if you’re not careful.
The 7 steps for the parts model (sometimes called parts regression) outlined in the toolbox strip the process down to its essentials. Which means you’re more likely to get it working the first time you use it. A friend of mine used this process to help his girlfriend drop a dress size with no effort on her part after the initial process. And she’s still slim today, which means it’s still working.
After that is a section that’s useful if you’re stuck somewhere in your life. Quite often, you know you’re stuck. Probably because you’ve been having your own private Groundhog Day for longer than you’d care to remember.
But you don’t know what you could do to un-stick yourself.
Any time this happens to you, the “Well-formed Outcome Tool” should be your first port of call. There are a series of 6 short questions that will clarify what you truly want – which is oftentimes not the same thing as your conscious mind thinks you want – and you’ll be on your way. The report also suggests running a parts process to make sure you’re 100% on track.
Simple but powerful ideas that have the capability of shifting the way you look at life.
Another NLP technique is called “anchoring”.
If you’ve ever listened to a song and instantly gone back to the time and place where you first heard it, you’ve already used an anchor. Just not deliberately. The short section on anchors gives you a flavor of how they are used, ready to put them into action later in the report.
All this ground work is well explained and won’t take long to read through. If you’ve done any NLP work before or come across it in a course, it’s worth reading this section through as a refresher.
Throughout the report, there are short exercises.
If the thought of exercises takes you back to exams at school, think again.
These are quick and fun. And they help to reinforce what you’ve read before, helping you to learn quicker. Which, since NLP models successful learning patterns, is doubtless deliberate and works effectively.
If you get a little voice in your head telling you to “skip the exercises” or “you can always come back to the exercises later”, reposition that voice somewhere you won’t take it seriously. Maybe make it a squeaky, tinny voice and move it to the end of your toenail. Then muffle it with a sock or shoe. And do the exercises!
Incidentally, there are lots of other ways covered to deal with these negative voices. (Some less polite than the one I’ve outlined!)
By the way, we all get these voices from time to time. Use this process or something similar to banish them from your life.
From time to time, the report uses NLP jargon. But whenever it does, there’s an explanation close at hand. So if you’ve heard of “disassociation” before but were clueless about its precise meaning, help is at hand. As with the rest of the report, this help is brief enough that you’ll read it and clear enough that you’ll be able to use it. Likely on first reading.
NLP often uses timelines. These represent where we “picture” things in the past and future. Personally, my timeline stretches from behind me (to my left and slightly downwards) for the past and stretches out in front of me (to my right and slightly upwards) for my future.
Different people have different timelines. If you’re not sure where your personal timeline lies, there are 5 simple questions you can use to find it out. As with the other exercises, it’s worth doing this one as the visual nature is easier when you point to the different places on your personal timeline. Once you’ve discovered this, you can play with some of the tools in the toolbox much more effectively.
The NLP Toolbox itself is split up into 11 sections:
- Getting motivated
- Personal power
- Self image
- Freeing up fears
- New perspectives
- Generate more fun/humor
- Eliminating negative thoughts
- Health and healing techniques
- Other cool tools
Your choice: you can dip into these on an “as needed” basis or, if you’re just learning NLP, you can work your way through them methodically.
Whichever route you choose, the methods are explained simply. Usually in a handful of steps.
Which means that if you’ve ever come across a feeling of overwhelm and thought “I can never remember all that” when you’ve used other programs, you’re highly unlikely to get that feeling with the NLP Toolbox. I wish I’d had access to this report when I first started using NLP.
Since each section contains a number of different methods, you can play around to find the one that works best for you in any given situation.
So if you’re looking for an alternative to the Fast Phobia Cure, you can try out the Fear Reversal Procedure or the Fearful Memory Blocker instead. Or maybe ShamaniX® Shapeshifting instead.
The section on fun and humor should be one you turn to if you’re feeling a bit low. I’d be surprised if you weren’t laughing out loud by the time you finish reading the Ridiculous Behavior Generator technique, let alone actually using it.
And even the name of the Automatic Giggle Installer brought a smile to my face!
The Health section begins with a simple headache cure – this isn’t a method I’d come across before but it’s certainly quick and easy and worked well when I used it on someone. And obviously it’s cheaper than buying pain killers as well as being faster than them.
There are a couple of techniques to help with weight loss, another to help you quit smoking plus pain reduction and several other simple techniques.
If your personal belief structure is holding you back in life (for instance, if you often find yourself saying “I could never do that”), then turn to the beliefs section.
In it, you’ll find methods to eliminate negative beliefs from your life. Try the Belief Dissolver for a quick solution. Or one of the other methods outlined if your belief structure doesn’t (yet) allow you to allow this to work.
I’ve just scratched the surface in this review.
The NLP Toolbox is probably the best introduction to NLP that I’ve come across. It puts the subject across in a simple, easy to follow way that will likely have you nodding “yes” in understanding. Old NLP hands will find it a quick refresher course of things they’ve learned and promptly forgotten. Or new insights into techniques that maybe they haven’t yet mastered.
It’s an easy read with plenty of practical help and examples. And it’s definitely recommended.