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NLP Coaching: 5 Ways NLP Can Help You Achieve Your Career Goals

An increasing number of people are recognising the benefits of NLP in helping them achieve their career goals.

More and more are people are seeking out and applying to work with NLP Practitioners. Often this is because friends tell them that NLP will help to ‘fix’ the situation they are in. They don’t necessarily know too much about NLP to begin with, but after a few sessions, it’s like the shades come off. They see things more clearly, gaining vital insights to help them make better decisions about their career.

This article will give you a short overview of how NLP (neuro-linguistic programming) can help you if you feel stuck with your career and aren’t sure what to do next.

It could be that you want to change career, but you’re not sure what to do next. Perhaps you’re in the right career, but you need some help with confidence or mindset to move forward. Or maybe there are other issues elsewhere in your life that you need to attend to if you’re to achieve the life you want for yourself and your family.

So, here are five great ways career coaching using NLP can help you make the breakthrough you’re looking for to achieve your life and career goals.

How NLP can help you…

1. Gain a fresh perspective on your life and career

NLP is great for helping you work on beliefs about yourself, others and the world around you, which you’ve noticed are holding you back; limiting beliefs that stop you achieving your career potential or attaining the vision you have for your life.

In NLP, beliefs are treated as what we call pre-suppositions – not as facts or truths. Essentially, you have a conscious choice about what you believe. If you don’t like the outcomes you get from a belief, you have the flexibility to change it.

This is really powerful if you’ve held long term beliefs like ‘I’m not good enough’, ‘everyone else is smarter’ or ‘I’ll never be happy’. Through working on why you hold these beliefs and exploring what belief would serve you better, we can re-programme how you view yourself and the world around you.

2. Understand your values better

Have you ever taken time to really get to the heart of what your values are? If you’re like the vast majority of people, this is not something you’ll ever have taken the time to do. Yet understanding your values is so important – because once you do, you are able to make better decisions in all areas of your life.

Values are essentially the things that are most important to you. They are principles or standards of behaviour which are formed from a very young age or through your experience of the world around you.

For example, the values that are most important to me include freedom, integrity, authenticity, fairness, fearlessness, and happiness. They are part of who I am and guide how I approach life.

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If you do something that contradicts one of your core values, you experience a physical sensation that something is wrong. It could be a sinking feeling in your stomach, heart palpitations, or pain.

Once you’re properly in touch with your values, you feel like you know yourself better. You can use your values to help you make decisions. Essentially, running the options past your values to work out what to do.

This includes your career, so is the career path you’ve chosen in line with your values? If not, this is more than likely the reason why you feel you need to make a change.

NLP is really effective in helping you to get clear on your values, which really helps clients who are looking to make a career transition.

3. Develop the resources to succeed

Sometimes it feels like you are on the right career path but you don’t have all the tools to achieve the success you are looking for.

This can manifest itself in a number of ways, such as shying away from promotions or getting struck by imposter syndrome. This is when you doubt your achievements and have an underlying fear of being found out to be a fraud. Even though, deep down, you know you are good enough.

In NLP, we assume that everyone has the resources they need in order to succeed – or that they know how to develop them.

This could be by becoming more confident to deliver presentations, developing greater resilience to deal with setbacks, or improving your interpersonal skills to communicate better with clients and colleagues.

Image of young woman confidently delivering a presentation NLP

Don’t let things like this hold you back from what you want to achieve when NLP can help you move forward.

4. Change unwanted behaviour patterns

Do you repeat patterns of behaviour over and over again? If these behaviours get you the results you want, then great! However, it is time to change them if they stop you from accomplishing the things you want from life.

A fundamental principle of NLP is if what you are doing isn’t working, you should do something different.

Negative repetitive patterns of behaviour come up in all areas of life, such as work, relationships, eating, exercise or financial management. It can easily get to a point where they can feel crippling.

The good news is that using NLP, you can break these patterns and re-programme your brain to get the outcome you’re looking for.

5. Develop a more flexible mindset

Sometimes people don’t accomplish what they want because they develop tunnel vision. They see one path only, rather than the wider spectrum of options available to achieve their chosen outcome. Perhaps you recognise this in yourself.

At its foundation, NLP is all about developing greater flexibility in how you approach life. Right now, it might feel like you can’t see the wood for the trees. By developing more flexible thinking, you will see the whole forest – every single tree.

There is always more than one way to achieve an outcome. The best way to make it a reality is not to stick rigidly with your plan if it’s not working. Instead, keep the end goal in mind while being open to all the options available to reach it.

Changing your mindset using NLP encourages greater curiosity, which leads to flexibility, success, and fulfillment.

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I hope this short article has helped you understand a little bit more about NLP and why it is so effective in helping you achieve your career goals. NLP is developed from modeling excellence, using these learnings to develop techniques that enable people to re-programme their brains to improve their performance, along the way understanding themselves better.

The human mind is an amazing and complex organ, which neuroscientists continue to learn more about all the time. The great thing is that the brain continues to evolve all throughout your adult life – a process known as neuroplasticity.

You don’t need to accept that you can’t do something just because you haven’t been able to up until now. You may just need some help and to try a different approach in order to get there.

Take this forward: NLP to achieve your career potential

Chris Cooper is a mindset and career coach based in Manchester, UK. He works with businesses to develop their teams for success. He also coaches clients worldwide by phone or video call to help them achieve their career potential.

Click to learn more about career coaching.

Do you want to make changes to your career? Speak to Chris more about how career coaching can help you.

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Change Your Perspective: 5 Belief Shifts to Amplify Your Career Potential

Is your view of the world limiting your happiness and career potential? Here’s 5 hacks to see things more clearly (and kindly).

This may not be something you’ve ever thought about before. How your sub-conscious beliefs about the world govern each moment of every single day. Whether or not you believe it right now, just pre-suppose it’s the case for a few minutes while I show you why this is true; and how some simple shifts in thinking can have a profound effect on your life and career potential.

As a coach and NLP Practitioner, I work with my clients to challenge their beliefs about themselves and the world around them. This is because what you believe impacts how you experience the world and therefore the decisions you make.

If your beliefs about the world limit your choices, it’s important to consider that there is always a different perspective. Another lens through which to view life.

How You Experience the World

We all experience the world through our senses (sight, hearing, touch, taste, smell and taste). Your brain constantly has to deal with millions of pieces of sensory information. Yet it is only possible for your conscious mind to process a handful of individual pieces at any one time.

Therefore, your brain filters through everything, sifting out the information it chooses to pay attention to. This is based on your values and beliefs, memories (and the emotions attached to them) and your cultural and social background. Taken together, this is our map of the world.

Every individual has their own unique map of the world based on their past experiences. Imagine two identical twins raised by different families in different parts of the world. They may be the same biologically, but their experiences are unique and so they will view the world differently.

The Map is Not the Territory

Consider that our sensory experience of the world is the territory and the way our brains process this information is our map. The sensory information is the truth and the map is our interpretation of the truth – not facts, just our own unique version of how we perceive them.

If your map doesn’t enable you to navigate the territory, you can upgrade it. Just like you might update your sat-nav, or in the old days when you would buy a new atlas each year to stay on top of how the roads change.

Image of atlas open to show the USA with a compass on top of the page. NLP pre-suppositions help you change your map of the world - and achieve your career potential

This is how NLP pre-suppositions work. They enables you to change your mental map of the world so you can understand and interpret what is going on more clearly.

In NLP, we treat beliefs as pre-suppositions – not as facts or truths. If you act as though a belief is true, it will change how you experience the world. And if you don’t like the outcomes you get from a belief, you have the flexibility to change it. Essentially, you have a conscious choice about what you believe.

You may have long term, deeply held beliefs which don’t serve you well, like ‘I’m not good enough’, ‘everyone else is smarter’, ‘I’ll never be happy’. For beliefs like this, working with someone else, like a coach is the best way to help you to change. However, applying the lens of an NLP pre-supposition can also profoundly change how you see and experience the world.

5 NLP Pre-Suppositions to Change Your Life (and Achieve Your Career Potential)

I commonly use NLP Pre-suppositions to help my coaching clients gain a fresh perspective and make better decisions based on greater flexibility of thought. This means when it comes to areas like career change, altering mindset and improving relationships, they have greater freedom in how they view the world.

There are many more than this, but here are my top 5 NLP Pre-Suppositions to change your life and maximise your own career potential.

1. There is no failure, only feedback

It can be too easy to get caught up in negative feelings when something doesn’t go according to plan. This can lead to a cycle of questioning whether you are good enough, which may deter you from challenging yourself in future.

Taking on the belief of this pre-supposition is really powerful as it means you always look for the positive in a situation where things didn’t go according to plan. It encourages a learning and growth mindset. You seek out feedback opportunities to enable you to do better next time. This may be through self-reflection, evaluation of data or from speaking to other people.

For example, if you don’t get a new job or promotion, you can ask for feedback from the interviewer. This enables you to attain a greater understanding of why you weren’t successful. You can use this information can help with future job applications and interviews. This is a much more positive and pro-active approach to your career than just lamenting on things and feeling discouraged from applying for other roles.

It’s also a great approach to project management, enabling you to be pro-active and remain solutions focused when things go wrong.

2. If what you are doing isn’t working, do something different

How many times have you repeated something that didn’t work, hoping for a different result the next time? And how many times did the same thing happen again?!

Accepting this pre-supposition doesn’t mean you just abandon what you are doing. It instead encourages greater flexibility in working out how to achieve your outcome.

This doesn’t only apply to tasks, it also impacts on your interactions with other people. Have you ever tried to get somebody else to alter something you don’t like about them? Instead of trying to change another person, ask yourself what you can you change in your own behaviour to achieve the outcome you are looking for.

3. Every Behaviour has a positive intention

Sometimes we take it personally when other people do things that have a negative impact on us. It’s as though what they did was specifically designed to make you angry or feel bad. What if you accepted that their motivation is to accomplish something that is important to them, however frustrating their actions may be?

By accepting that every behaviour has a positive intention, we operate with a deeper understanding of the other person. We are less likely to react adversely to what another person does. We have greater compassion and don’t allow other peoples’ actions to negatively influence our own state of mind.

Not only this, we can try to work out the positive intention and may even be able to help the other person to find a better way of achieving it.

This may apply to your boss, your team, your clients and also your personal relationships. In addition to other small interactions you have with people every day.

Every behaviour has a positive intention also links to…

4. People make the best choice they can at the time

Do you ever look at another person’s behaviour and question why they chose a particular course of action? Especially when you know there was a better way of achieving what they were trying to do.

How would it feel if you just accepted that based on their life experiences and the information they had available, they made what they believed to be the right decision?

It’s especially powerful in situations in which you were negatively impacted by that decision. It removes some heat from and allows you to see there are other factors that influenced what happened. It’s less likely to feel like the world is against you.

This pre-supposition also enables you to feel more self-compassion for bad decisions you’ve made in the past (something we’ve all done.)

The way to make better decisions is to have greater insight and a greater range of options available.

With deeper understanding and more choices, people will always make better decisions. Including you.

5. Individuals have all the resources they need to achieve their desired outcomes

This is a fundamental assumption of coaching. Everyone has, or is able to access, all the resources required to achieve the outcome they are working towards. They just need to ask right questions, either of themselves or by a coach.

They also need to feel sufficiently motivated to take action.

When times are tough it is easy to fall back into a position in which we feel we are not good enough. As though everyone else has all the answers except us. Once you accept you are capable of the outcome you are working towards, you will feel more confident and in control. Providing your goal is realistic!

Yes, some outside help may be beneficial, but this is a resource you are accessing to implement a strategy you decided for yourself. You are in the driving seat. Of your life and achieving your career potential.

Take this forward: achieve your career potential

So, what’s the best way to get started applying these five pre-suppositions?

Think of a problem you have right now, something you’ve been stuck on for some time. Apply each of these pre-suppositions to the situation and see how it changes the way you feel about things. You may also uncover solutions you hadn’t thought of before.

There is always an answer to every problem you face. Sometimes you just need to look at things differently.

Chris Cooper is a mindset and career coach based in Manchester, UK. He works with businesses to develop their teams for success. He also coaches clients worldwide by phone or video call to help them achieve their career potential.

Click to learn more about career coaching.

Do you want to make changes to your career? Speak to Chris more about how career coaching can help you.

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5 Signs Your Work-Life Scale is Off Balance

Is your work-life balance feeling a little out of alignment? Here are five signs to look out for.

Modern technology and alternative ways of working were meant to make work easier. Or at least that’s how it was sold to us. But due to smart phones, wi-fi and email, for many people it feels like the work day is never over, with no natural end point. Technology provides more opportunities and greater flexibility than ever before, but the pressure this places on people is taking a toll on our work-life balance and our wellbeing.

The latest research from the OECD’s Better Life Index ranks the UK 29thof 38 countries for work-life balance. 13% of the population reported working over 50 hours per week, with the research noting that long hours impair health and lead to increased stress.

This is backed up by recent findings by the Office for National Statistics. The data show that anxiety and depression are now the most common form of work related illness, overtaking musculo-skeletal disorders for the first time.

Is work stressing you out to the detriment of other areas of your life? Here are five signs to look out for that your work-life balance is out of alignment:

1. Being on constant call for work emails

Answering emails outside normal work hours is something many people do. Indeed, working through emails on your journey to and from work may be an efficient use of your time, especially if this means you can arrive late or finish early.

The problem occurs when you find yourself checking your messages all night, getting involved in protracted email exchanges until late and hardly ever turning your work phone off. This creates an expectation that you will always be available. Soon you feel like you can never switch off from work.

Image of business person checking emails on their smart phone

2. Developing unhealthy eating and drinking habits to cope with stress

This creeps into your daily routine when you use sugary foods and alcohol as crutches to help you deal with the long hours you are working. At the office, this can include ‘treating yourself’ to muffins, chocolate and other snacks to help you get through the day.

And when you finally get home from work, opening a bottle of wine or having a few beers becomes an ever more familiar habit to ‘help you unwind’ and reward yourself for your efforts. Pretty soon, this can turn into alcohol dependency.

Taken together, eating the wrong things and drinking too much will take a toll on your health. Negative impacts may include weight gain increased your risk of cardiovascular disease, some cancers and Type II diabetes.

Image of brightly coloured frosted donuts - junk food

3. Waking up during the night thinking about work

The more hours you work, the longer work is on your mind. If you’re working late, this means your brain will be processing information about work all through the evening. So there is little time to switch off before bedtime. This is especially true if you sit in bed at night answering emails!

Put simply, your mind is working overtime. This makes it more likely you will sleep fitfully and wake up during the night, worrying about what has happened today or what might happen tomorrow.

As well as adjusting your email working hours, try a short mindfulness exercise at bedtime to help your mind unwind and switch off before you go to sleep. These days it’s simple with smartphone apps such as Headspace and Calm. They provide short, tailor-made pre-sleep meditations you can follow easily.

4. Feeling tired and sluggish all the time

Are these habits familiar to you? The effects of working too many hours in the office, eating unhealthy comfort foods, not exercising enough, drinking on weeknights and not sleeping enough combine to create one much bigger problem. You end up feeling tired and sluggish all the time.

Not having enough energy to get through the day means you do things like increasing your caffeine intake and have more and more sugary snacks to get you through.

This creates a vicious cycle which could have a significant long-term impact on your mental and physical wellbeing. It’s something you need to address right now, by focusing on each unhealthy habit one-by-one, including the root cause: working too many hours.

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5. Friends complain that they never see you

One of the first things to get squeezed out if you work too many hours is your social life. Soon, you find the only time you see your friends is on social media. Weeks and months go by without seeing the people you care about most. Your Facebook and Instagram feeds are full of pictures of your friends out and having a great time — without you.

The paradox is that seeing the people you care about regularly is one of the best ways to reduce cortisol. This is the hormone released by your brain during stressful times. Seeing and talking to your friends is a better way to deal with tough times than alcohol or comfort food. It’s time to start marking out more time in your diary to see friends and family.

Do you recognise any of these five signs of work-life balance stress? If so, it’s time to act now by re-examining the relationship between your career and the rest of your life.

Click to learn more about career coaching services.

Do you want to make changes to your career? Speak to Chris more about how career coaching can help you.

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If You’re Not Happy with Your Career, Make a Change

Work is something we spend so much of our time doing. That means it’s important to feel happy, or at least satisfied with your career. If you don’t like what you do, there’s a good chance this will lead to negative consequences affecting not only your work, but other parts of your life too.

The idea of making a career change may seem scary. However, take a moment, close your eyes and visualise the remainder of your working life if you carry on doing what you’re doing now.

Right up to when you retire. Will you be happy if you stick with your current career path? Will these years feel rich and fulfilling? If the answer is ‘no’ then you owe it to yourself to do something about it.

There are lots of great reasons for choosing to do something different. Perhaps your lifestyle has changed, you may find your work boring or you could be experiencing too much stress. It may be the case that the longer term outlook for your industry doesn’t look good.

Or you could be experiencing burnout. You’ve been doing the same thing for years, perhaps at the same company, and it is wearing you down. You may also want to earn more money than you will be able to do if you stick with what you’re doing.

If any of this sounds familiar, making changes to your career now will serve you best in the long run.

Make Your Career Change Happen

Here are 3 steps to get going:

  1. Open up your mind to what you would like to do. Allow yourself to dream. Feel unbounded by what you are doing right now, consider all possibilities.

Make a list of careers you find appealing including, if relevant, working for yourself.

Once you have done this, do some research into what each career involves, including the skills/training required, what your lifestyle would be like and how much you could earn.

Through this process, some of your initial ideas will drop out, while others will seem even more appealing. The outcome will be a shortlist of careers you’d like to explore further.

  1. Using your shortlist, find other people who are doing what you are interested in. Speak to them about what is involved in what they do, what they enjoy and what they don’t enjoy.

Perhaps you have friends or friends of friends who can help. If not, do some research on LinkedIn and find relevant people to reach out to. Don’t be shy – you’ll find a lot of people willing to help. People generally love to talk about what they do!

Try to speak to 2 or 3 people for each career so you get more than one perspective. This step will narrow your list down further.

  1. For the remaining options, identify any gaps in your skills or educational attainment that you would need to fill for each career.

Explore what you would need to do in order to close the gap. How long will it take and how much would it cost? Can you fit any study in around your current job? Is it feasible to take a career break?

Also, thoroughly research salary expectations both at the level you could enter and in the future. If this is less than you currently earn, can you afford to do it? Ask yourself how the rest of your life will benefit from your new career, even if you are earning less.

These three steps will provide a good start to get you going.

But the best thing you can do is get yourself a coach. Someone completely unbiased and on your side to help you work out what you want to do (in your life and career) and who will help you create clear goals and actions to make it happen.

Would you like to learn more about working with me to make your career change happen? Click here to get in touch.