Back in 2002 I began my 20 year career of working with young people.
I had secured some part time work as a Further Education Teacher working predominantly with 16-18 year old girls who had many Educational, and social and emotional challenges. I had also landed a part time job in the new Connexions service. I was one of the first cohorts of Personal Advisors and my role was within Educational Diversity supporting young people with choices for their future.
I had realised very quickly that I had a shortage of tools in my toolbox for helping these young people in the best way that I possibly could. So being the kind of person who loves learning and has a high value on doing the best job I possibly can, I sought out some training that would help me and the young people I was working with.
I was introduced to NLP by a colleague and there began my NLP journey. Not only did I learn some incredible processes for my work, my own journey of personal development and self awareness was initiated. Over the past 20 years I have worked in Educational Diversity, High schools, Further and Higher Education and Private practice sharing the transformational methods and processes of NLP for change, motivation, self esteem and confidence, learning, mental health and much more. Since becoming a trainer of NLP I have had the pleasure of training in many Education settings and services for young people as well as working with trainee teachers.
So here are 3 ways that NLP can be used with young people to support them in
Motivation: Many young people that I have supported struggle with motivating themselves. Helping a young person to understand ‘how’ they are doing their current state ‘lack of motivation’, and then eliciting their strategy for this, gives them self awareness and an understanding about how they are maintaining their problem state. With this information they can then build a new strategy for motivation in the context that they want it, and then strengthen this with an NLP technique to anchor in the motivation feeling. With this new learning and understanding of themselves they are then able to generalise this to other contexts and use their motivation strategy effectively. This not only helps them in motivating themselves, they also learn that they have control over their internal thinking and feeling and that they can determine the results they get! Unlocking this possibility thinking enhances their potential for other areas of their life.
Learning: We are always learning. From the moment we are born we learn. Many of the young people who I have worked with believed that they were not good learners, particularly in an Education context. I remember teaching several groups of students the spelling strategy and I will never forget the look of pure delight on their faces when they realised that they could do it. The beliefs that a young person holds about their ability to learn will impact their performance and achievement levels. You have probably heard of the term self fulfilling prophecy right? If a young person believes that they are a poor learner then they will seek to prove themselves right to reinforce this belief. NLP teaches us to assume that we all have excellence and brilliance within us and that each individual is unique and is working towards fulfilling their highest potential. When using NLP with young people we can support them in shining their light on their strengths and as we presuppose their excellence, they will come to believe in their own potential too. Our beliefs influence and shape our behaviour. We experience situations and accept opinions form influential people in our lives and hold them as facts. If a young person has been told that they are not capable of something or they have experienced setbacks or perceived failures, then they might hold a belief that things are not possible for them. There are many techniques in NLP to support the creation of empowering beliefs so that young people become confident learners and can unleash their potential to be the best they can be.
Resilience: NLP teaches us that it is our patterns of thinking and behaving that create our response to our circumstances and not the circumstances themselves. Young people face many challenges that they have no control over. Teaching young people how to future proof their skills with a resilient mindset will support them in seeking opportunities, overcoming challenges, self leadership skills, communication and relationship skills, making wise decisions, taking courageous action and following their aspirations and dreams. Learning to train their brain, create habits of success and focus on what they can control and influence, sets them up for having a sense of control and purpose in their life. NLP teaches everyday practical solutions that can be implemented to support a young person in placing their attention on their strengths, capabilities and inner resourcefulness. They are able to seek new meanings and understandings of situations that they may have previously perceived as threatening or harmful – for example they might have been ‘left undelivered’ on snap chat and perceived this as someone not wanting to talk to them or them or not being good enough (and many more distortions). NLP gives them choice to think in different ways that can help them to perceive these situations in a more helpful way. In doing so they are able to have a wider lens in which they view the world and can make changes in their thinking, feeling and actions to support a healthier and happier way of being.
There is so much more!
If you or your organisation supports young people then I would love to have a conversation about how my NLP training can help. The picture at the top is the wonderful trainee teachers from the Fylde Coast SCITT that I had the pleasure of training this year.
See you soon 😊