Well Hello, and of course Happy New Year. I wanted to use this blog to answer some of the questions and queries we’ve had about the Leaping the Oh Shit Dip course, about NLP, and about us.
Over the last few weeks I’ve been enjoying getting out and about and telling people about the course, most recently with the truly lovely women of Yorkshire Leading Ladies, who not only got the unrivalled joy of listening to me talk (joking, I’m joking) but also got a taster of some of the methods we use as part of the sessions.
‘What’s my headline?’ is still making me chuckle every time I think of ‘body found in concrete’ (it’s not what you think, I’m pretty sure it’s not what you think).
On the drive home me and the training-partner-in-crime (that’s Tina to you) were having a chat about the evening’s taster session and, obviously, plotting Gin, when I had the thought that we were making quite a few assumptions when talking to women about the course, and that that probably wasn’t terribly helpful.
Assumptions about people knowing what the heck NLP is, assumptions about their beliefs about NLP (is it a useful tool for change or is it witchcraft and snake oil???), assumptions about whether the women we’re talking to think people ‘like them’ do this stuff, assumptions about the stories they’re making up inside their heads about what the course would really be like.
So, after giving myself a thorough virtual slapping I decided I should pony up and write something about it.
What is NLP????
Right, so NLP stands for Nuero-Linguistic Programming, and it’s been around for a while and was the brain child of Robert Bandler and John Grinder. You can find many, many explanations of what it is and how it works with a swift google search, some more helpful than others. My favourite is on the Learning, Behaviour and Change site (and not just because it’s home to the frankly awesome Judith McCormack who trained us both).
My personal feeling is that what NLP is depends on who you are and how you are using it. I’ve met people who use it in quite a mercenary manner, developing sales techniques based on sleight of mouth methods, and frankly, that makes my teeth itch.
I’ve met people who have linked it in with their spiritual beliefs and have entered into realms where if Angels don’t quite fear to tread, then I certainly do.
And then I’ve met people who use it ecologically, by which I mean they use it to make positive change that is cogent with the rest of the client’s life and will not agree to anything that won’t increase positive choice across all areas of the client’s life.
In shock news, option 3 is how me and Tina use it.
My handy ‘pub explanation’ is this:
- It’s a model for how you perceive the world and store your experiences.
- It explains how those stored experiences change the way you behave in the world, consciously and unconsciously.
- It gives you tools to change the way you retain and react to stored experiences that are negatively affecting your life.
- Using the tools will change how you perceive and act in the world – permanently.
It’s not witchcraft (though I am completely on record as saying that I’ve always quite fancied witchcraft – if only for the house cleaning spells) it’s not brainwashing and no one can do anything to you or make you do anything. You are the architect of your change and nothing can happen without your full, explicit consent and co-operation.
So, this is an NLP training course then?
You will not leave Leaping the Oh Shit Dip with an NLP Qualification, or credits towards one. We use NLP tools and techniques as a grounding for the work we do with you, along with ideas and tools from other therapeutic methods like Transactional Analysis.
We use quite a bit of NLP stuff because we know it works and because its excellent at getting you in touch with your unconscious, the bit that does all the knitting, plotting, rewriting and story making while your conscious cracks on with the day job.
If, after you’ve gone on this journey with us, you want to know more, do some pure NLP training and get qualified we will cheerfully put you in touch with the people who are able to guide you through that (and that would be Learning, Behaviour and Change I believe other providers may be available)
Why the rude name then? Do you just like swearing?
Well also yes. I do like a good swear, its very cathartic and done right, immensely enjoyable. Just go watch Peter Capaldi in ‘In the Thick of it’ if you want a short masterclass in the art.
But that’s not why this course is called leaping the ‘Oh Shit’ dip.
It’s called that because when I say ‘Oh Shit dip’ you’re already thinking of something. You’re thinking of when you fell on your face, when it didn’t work, when it all went bottom up. You’re thinking of the mornings when your first thought is ‘Oh Shit, not this again’. You’re thinking of the moment when you realised you were going to have to do something, anything, but that it couldn’t stay like this.
That’s the Oh Shit Dip. If you’re reading this you know what it looks like, what it feels like and just how damn hard it can be to pull yourself back out of it.
Its called the Oh Shit Dip because when you’re in there, it’s shit, and I am nothing if not up front about what I do and why I do it.
Also (if you’d like another also) words are just words, we assign them their power and their stigma, have a think about that one.
So who goes on this course then? Is it just women on the edge??
Well I’ve been a ‘woman on the edge’ and to be frank I’d have bloody loved to take two days out to get my head back in the game, so yes, if that’s you, come.
It is just for women, for now. We know that there’s some interest in a course for men, we need to have a longer think about that and the most impactful route to help men on this journey. Gender, how we identify with it, the roles we and society assign to it, the things we’re told and start to believe make a big difference, which is why we think the ‘safe space’ for each of those groups may need to be different.
One beautiful lady asked us ‘but is it for people like me?’.
Yes, if you need something to make the difference for you, if you’re stuck and you can’t quite see how you’re going to stop being stuck, if you just don’t know where to start, if you’ve never let yourself believe that you’re allowed to think about your wants first, then Yes, Hell Yes, this course is for you. (Told you I’d been there)
Is it going to hurt?
Wasn’t quite sure what to do with this one. Because this course, and this area of work, is my happy place, I don’t associate it with hurt. But then I had a longer think about it and decided that, maybe, what I was hearing was fear. Fear of changing – I’ve been like this for a long time. Fear of letting go of the familiar – but if I’m not this what am I?. Fear that we’ll crack you open – and God knows what you’d find if you did that.
And you know what? that’s ok.
It’s ok to be apprehensive about changing, making real decisions about you and what you want. Its big stuff, it can feel pretty damn scary, especially when you haven’t worked out what’s sitting on the other side.
Can I take your fear away? Well no, not before you’ve actually got to us anyway. I can promise you that we make a safe space, we’re not interested in bending you till you break, we’re here to help you come free and grow.
And after the course we’ll keep in touch, we’ll make sure you carry on getting the support, and you’ll have people that you’ve started that journey with and they’ll be with you too.
Sometimes you just have to breathe deep and do it.
Which feels like a good place to end, to leave you with a final thought some words from the inspirational Brene Brown (TED Talks, watch them, watch them now).
“Courage starts with showing up and letting ourselves be seen”