The 5 Best Tony Robbins NLP Techniques

This article is an excerpt from the Shortform book guide to "Awaken the Giant Within" by Tony Robbins. Shortform has the world's best summaries and analyses of books you should be reading.

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What are the best Tony Robbins NLP techniques? How can you use these techniques to change your mindset and life for the better? 

Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) is when you change your thoughts and behavior to improve your life. According to Tony Robbins, NLP techniques can be used to change your mindset, your response to difficult situations, and how you view yourself. 

Read on to find the five best Tony Robbins NLP techniques. 

Tony Robbins: NLP Techniques to Try

Try the following Tony Robbins NLP techniques to change your life for the better. It all starts with changing your posture:

1) Change Your Posture 

According to Tony Robbins, NLP can be achieved by changing your physical state.

To learn how to control our mental-emotional-physiological states, we need to explore the factors that influence our states in the first place. As mentioned, your physiology—your posture, facial expressions, breathing, and gestures—and the things you focus on both determine your state. 

Most people develop physiological and mental patterns that consistently produce the same states. For example, if you have a habit of hanging your head down and dwelling on thoughts about your failures, you will habitually feel disheartened and depressed; as we know from our discussion of how habits are wired into the brain, the neural pathways for these postures, thoughts, and emotions become well-trodden, reinforcing the patterns. 

First, develop patterns of physical states and movements that support a happy, powerful, strong emotional state. For example, if you’re standing tall and breathing deeply, you’ll feel more confident than if you have your shoulders slumped and your eyes down. 

To get started, try this exercise for the next seven days: Five times a day, spend one minute giving yourself a huge smile in the mirror. Each time you do, your smile will strengthen your neural pathway for happiness. Go a step further by also making yourself laugh three times a day. 

2) Change Your Focus

What you choose to focus on determines how you experience life and what emotions you feel. Think of your focus as a camera lens and reality as a party: Your camera can only capture one small piece of the whole scene. If the camera focuses on a couple arguing at the party, it gives the impression that the party is full of conflict, but if you focus on a group of friends dancing and laughing, it makes it seem like the party is fun and lively. 

3) Consider Your Identity

Although your identity is not fixed or innate, it dictates your behavior, as people subconsciously strive to act in ways that reinforce their identity. For example, if you identify as a low-achieving person, you’re less likely to push yourself to excel—regardless of natural ability—than someone who identifies as a high-achieving person. As such, your identity determines your decisions, actions, and fate; so, it’s important that it pushes you in a positive direction. Ensuring that this is the case may involve needing to remake your identity, if it’s not currently pushing you to be who you want to be.

4) Ask the Right Questions 

Asking the right questions is a key aspect of Tony Robbins’ NLP method. Thinking is merely a sequence of asking and answering questions—in other words, virtually every thought you have is preceded by a question, even if it’s not one you consciously asked. The questions you ask yourself set the tone for your thought patterns, so it’s critical to make a habit of consciously asking yourself positive, empowering questions that will lead to empowering thoughts. 

For example, if you’ve tried and failed to skateboard three times in a row, ask yourself, “What do I need to do differently?” This is an empowering question that’s framed to find a solution, and it leads to empowering, concrete solutions, such as, “Adjust my footing.” Don’t ask yourself, “Why can’t I get it?” This is a disempowering question that leads to disempowering answers such as, “I’m not coordinated enough.” 

5) Use Words to Shape Your Experience

Just as your questions influence your focus and thought patterns, so do your words. Change your thoughts, emotions, and behaviors by changing the words you habitually use to describe feelings and experiences:

  1. Use words that dull negative emotions and intensify positive ones. For example, say that you are “a bit peeved” instead of “absolutely furious.” 
  2. When you’re upset, use words that disrupt your emotional pattern. For example, replace the word “jealous” with “overloving,” which is a funny enough word that it might divert your thoughts to the reasons you love the person who’s making you jealous. 
  3. Expand your vocabulary to include more words that reflect how you want to feel. Having a limited vocabulary limits your ability to feel and express emotions.

Follow the above Tony Robbins NLP techniques to dramatically improve your life today. 

The 5 Best Tony Robbins NLP Techniques

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Elizabeth Shaw

Elizabeth graduated from Newcastle University with a degree in English Literature. Growing up, she enjoyed reading fairy tales, Beatrix Potter stories, and The Wind in the Willows. As of today, her all-time favorite book is Wuthering Heights, with Jane Eyre as a close second. Elizabeth has branched out to non-fiction since graduating and particularly enjoys books relating to mindfulness, self-improvement, history, and philosophy.

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