"They can because they think they can." -- Virgil
'>NLP or Neuro Linguistic Programming is a new innovative tool that teaches us to use language, both verbal and non-verbal, to control our emotions and beliefs in order to achieve excellence. Imagine being able to merely chose to be more confident in the saddle. You may not be aware of it, but you posess, now, the power to decide to be relaxed over that big jump, out on the trail or in the show ring. We all do. We can learn to control or "run our brains" as easily as our bodies.
By studying and applying NLP skills riders can:
Overcome fear and anxiety
Reduce Performance Anxiety
Improve Focus and Concentration
Achieve Your Goals
NLP is popular for the unusual techniques it uses to bring about effective and lasting change. These techniques have been developed based on studies performed by the co-founders of NLP, Richard Bandler and John Grinder. Bandler and Grinder studied the habits of people who had acheived true self-mastery -- those who were the best in their fields-- and noticed which habits were in common among them. Based on the concept that all humans possess the same innate abilities, they determined there is no scientific reason any human cannot model the same habits and patterns of the masters and achieve the same results. Below, I will introduce you to some of the techniques Bandler and Grinder observed.
The Power of Belief
A few days ago, I was cooking and couldn't find the salt shaker. I knew my daughter had been the last to use the salt so I called out to her in the other room. "Where is the salt? I can't find it" She called back to me, "It's right there on the counter, Mom, where I put it!" I answered again, "But, I don't see it!" She marches into the kitchen and picks up the salt shaker that was right in front of me on the counter, just as she'd said. She gave me the usual teenaged sigh and rolling eye combination. I had said to myself " I CAN'T find it. I DON'T see it." And my brain obeyed. My brain followed the command not to see the salt shaker. I'm sure you've had the same type of thing happen to you many times and someone said to you, "If it had been a snake it would have biten you."
This is a perfect example of the power belief. We are constantly giving our brain these little mental scripts that enable and disable us thoughout our daily lives. NLP teaches us to be in control of these scripts.
Anchoring is similar to Pavlov's experiments with dogs. Pavlov sounded a bell as the dog was fed. The animals salivated when they saw the food. Pavlov then began sounding the bell at the same time the food was presented. In time, the dogs salivated at the sound of the bell alone.
Anchors are stimuli that bring forth states of mind - emotions and thoughts. Throughout are lives we are being effected by anchors that effect our mood, motivation and spirit. You may hear an old song on the radio that reminds you of a childhood sweetheart. That memory may make you smile. You might smell a perfume worn by a loved one that has passed, and become overwhelmed by a sense of sadness. These are examples of involunteery anchors.
We can also put into place anchors so that we can summon a particular emotion, when needed. Let's say you want to the ability to elicit a feeling of calm relaxation. You can lie down in comfortable place, close your eyes and imagine a time when you were very relaxed and at peace. Maybe you imagine lying in a meadow, under a tree on a warm summer day. The sun feels warm and calming on your face. The ground beneath you gives you a soothing, cool feeling. A light breeze blows whisps of your hair gently across your face. Your eyes are closed, but now and then you open them to see the bright blue sky, the leaves of the tree gently blowing, and the small heard of horses grazing, contentedly, in the field below. You can add as much descriptive detail to this scene as you need to allow yourself to relax more and more. Once you feel completely relaxed, attach an anchor - such as rubbing your thumb and index fingers together. After you have practiced this anchoring technique a few times, you will be able to use your anchor, in this case the fingers rubbing together, to produce that same feeling of relaxation. I found self-hypnosis very effective in putting anchors solidly in place.
In this book by Laura Boynton King, you will learn to use NLP to overcome your fear in the saddle and achieve all your goals with your horse.