Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP)

NLP is the art and science that helps explain how the mind actually works in terms of our own self-programming using verbal and non-verbal communication and how that communication affects how we perceive ourselves and the world around us. Neuro stands for brain, linguistics for language, and programming for behaviour.

“NLP is hard to explain, because it is something that needs to be experienced.”

According to the National Institutes of Health, “Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) is an applied science built on the disciplines of linguistic, psychology and neurophysiology. A system for understanding and utilizing communications, NLP helps individuals and teams achieve positive changes and personal growth. It is distinct from other models or theories of communication and psychology in that it provides the user with the “nuts and bolts” of communication and change… The value of NLP is its ability to furnish you with conscious choices and flexibility of behaviour in areas of motivation, performance, decision-making, learning, communication, creativity and emotional ease.”


Originally developed in 1975 by Richard Bandler and John Grinder, NLP’s premise is that we all operate according to certain models of behaviour and programming; if you could model the way we communicate to ourselves and others, and could model how successful people operate, you could “teach” those successful models to others and if they adopted them, they too could be successful. In addition, once you understand human behaviour and how our unconscious mind works, you can understand how both good and bad behaviours are programmed in and therefore dictate our behaviour.

NLP might be seen as a competitor with Landmark Forum, Tony Robbins, and legions of other enterprises promising to teach the masses the key to success, power, health, and happiness. Tony Robbins is probably the most successful “graduate” of NLP. He started his own empire after transforming from a self-described “fat slob” to a firewalker to (in his own words) “the nation’s foremost authority on the psychology of peak performance and personal, professional and organizational turnaround.”

How Does NLP Work?

NLP is a form of programming, or more accurately- a form of reprogramming. We usually associate the term ‘programming’ with computers and are the best way to describe it. However, unlike the computer, the human mind is not so straight forward and it can be somewhat challenging when finding the correct “code” to reprogram.

When a person was born or when he/she was an infant, there was so much flexibility to do anything you want and however you want it. That’s mainly because, from birth, kids started off with a mental program that was blank. There was nothing in there and no code existed. However, as they grew older, new codes were slowly installed inside our brain, and multiple ‘codes’ were built along the way.

The word “code” in the mental program is a great analogy to explain the situation. In fact, this is probably the single most important information for most people and it is really up to you to find it. This is of course a little challenging for the untrained trader because, more often than not, that flawed line is just in front of you.

Because that code has been in the mental program for a very long time (nearly a life time for some), nothing really stands out anymore and it becomes a real challenge to identify it. On other occasions, the code looks like a perfectly normal working pattern in a non-trading environment. However, in the context of trading, it can cause chaos and this is can represent the typical trading problems like fear, greed, over-trading, failing to pull the trigger, anxiety etc.

Thankfully, these codes can be easily removed thanks to the tools used in NLP or coaching. In layman terms, the codes that I’m referring to can generally be categorised as:

Limiting Beliefs/ Conflicting Beliefs

Neuro-Linguistic Programming is very effective in these conditions by bringing limiting beliefs into awareness so they can be resolved.

Negative Emotions

Overwhelming negative emotions such as anger, grief, sadness, guilt, etc., can all be dealt with using specific processes.


“We believe that NLP is the next generation of psychology. It has been called the New Learning Paradigm and the New Language of Psychology. As a model of the structure of human experience, it may be as profound a step forward as the invention of language” – Joseph O’Connor and John Seymour

“NLP can enable you to achieve those professional and personal goals you desire, to keep on the leading edge of the latest technology of change, to manage your own life, and to have the excellence and skills of anyone you have ever admired” – Penny Tompkins

“Changing the quality of your life is the focus of NLP. You will deal with – vanquish anything that may be holding you back from utilizing the force that can instantly change your life. Empower yourself with the keys to extraordinary achievement. Discover within yourself the force that can change everything” – Steve Boyley

Even Tony Robbins uses NLP – “Tony Robbins’ contributions to the field of personal achievement are legendary and he truly has a gift for understanding and communicating information so that virtually anyone can understand it. However…”

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