Opening the Toolbox: Exploring Mindset in NLP

NLP is a powerful set of tools we can use to affect change in ourselves and others. ‘Mindset’ is one of those tools. Mindset can be thought of as a set of mental filters accompanied by attitudes and beliefs that form a psychological state. Simple to define, difficult to see in action, even harder to change.

Though it’s difficult to change your mindset, it’s incredibly possible. At the Business Institute for Growth (BIG), my team and I work with members from the first day to hone their mindset. Though developing a winning mindset is a journey, we can see effects from day one as well.

This is part two of a blog series detailing powerful tools and how they can help grow your business. To learn more NLP business tips and tools, read part one here.


Foundations of Developing Mindset: Awareness

One way to begin understanding mindsets is to see how they form. We experience everything through the five senses. We see, hear, smell, taste, and feel life, and form our mindset from our sensory experience.

Our memories are then formed from our sense perceptions. We can see this in action. Think of something that makes youfeel good; close your eyes if it helps. What do you see? There is a picture there! What sounds do you hear? Where is the feeling located?

This is the best way to start becoming aware of your mindset; to first contact your senses and feelings. You can then replace memories and mindsets that make you feel bad with ones that make you feel good. Does it take some conscious practice? Yes. Is it worth it? Absolutely!

In this way, we can turn daunting sales calls and presentations into exciting propositions rather than scary ones. That is the power of mindset.

I remember going to meet a good friend, Scott, at his office in the heart of London. I had completed my executive MBA with Scott and we had worked together on many projects. But still, Scott is a verysenior executive. I was taken in the executive elevator – very fancy – to the top floor, where I was shown to the boardroom to wait for him. We weren’t there for business; this was merely a social visit to a good friend, but still, when Scott walked in, I joked, “I’m nervous.” Although I knew Scott very well, although I had an MBA and was a very successful salesperson, the meeting with a senior executive is unnerving. But because I was aware of my nerves and because I was trained to change my mindset, I settled down and had a lovely chat with a friend.

This is why understanding your mindset towards certain situations is key. So to start, we have to build self-awareness.

That’s why we teach our Gold BIG Members about mindset from day one. That way, as you’re practicing communication skills, rehearsing a presentation, or roleplaying your next important sales meeting, you can have the awareness to examine your mindset, and the tools and support to change it.

And for Platinum Members, those responsible for managing and leading sales teams, mindset has reverberating effects throughout the organization. Whether leading a sales meeting, doing opportunity reviews with your team, coaching salespeople, or meeting with major execs from a partner or client, we train our Platinum Members to be NLP Master Practitioners, meaning they have all the tools to understand and affect their own mindset, as well as those in their team. Learn more about BIG.


The Power of Mindset in Action

Mindset isn’t just a tool you can use to help you be happier, more balanced, and more thoughtful. It will also help you make more money!

Recently I was attending a customer meeting with a salesperson I’m coaching. Let’s call him Peter. I had been working with Peter to ensure success on his next deal. I had done my research, determined a business issue a prospect had, and knew we could solve this issue. I was in the mindset of “we’re going to close this deal,” and everyone knew it!

Before we left, the HR Director walked up to me. She looked me up and down and said, “you’re going to close this aren’t you?” The CEO overheard, and asked what deal I was closing. “$40,000 of consulting,” I said.

I had the mindset that this was mydeal. This doesn’t mean I became the sleazy salesperson who doesn’t take no for an answer. It doesn’t mean I become the pushy, aggressive salesperson. I still had to be a consummate sales professional. I still had to take the customer through the sales process and make the presentation. But I had the right mindset, and I performed at the top of my game.

So, I did exactly as I said I would. I walked out of the meeting with a $40,000 deal. Prior to this, the sales person was accustomed to walking out with $3,000 deals.

And the best part is, it wasn’t just because I was there. Since this meeting, the salesperson has closed a number of similar sized opportunities. Once you achieve something for the first time, you now know it can be done, and the best part is, you know how to repeat it.

That’s the lasting power of getting mindset right. That’s why our goal at BIG is tailored to developing winning mindsets from day one (and so much more). And as we practice, rehearse, and roleplay real life situations with the right mindset, you learn to achieve something new for the first time. Then, with our continuing support, you go out and repeat it. Learn more about how you can GoBIG.


The Positive vs Negative Lens

I once had a business partner (not for long incidentally) who told me, “you don’t always have to smile.” As you may have imagined, he said this through gritted teeth!

The truth is, whatever happens in life, I always see the positive. I know it can be annoying for some. People tell me, “you don’t always have to be happy. It’s ok to say it didn’t work out.” I agree, it is ok to say that, and I do. But I also turn things that didn’t work into a positive experience. I learn from it and keep moving forward. Nothing stops you except yourself.

For example, when I was 13, I wanted to be an actor. So, my father told me, “no son of mine is going to be a waiter!” He was good man, but narrow minded! Looking back, I can see how derogatory and negative that statement was.

But at 13, you don’t reason so much, and you just accept things. It was probably less about the words, and more about his unconscious communication that scared me to thinking being a waiter was BAD.

So in regards to acting, my father’s negative mindset became my negative mindset. But the beauty is, by utilizing techniques such as NLP, we can change the mindsets we’ve adopted.

Now, one of my goals is to audition in Hollywood. I’ve taken some acting and improv classes, and got a non-speaking part in a Wells Fargo commercial (on my first ever audition). I was also privileged to do the first table reading for an upcoming Hollywood movie. There was no chance of getting the part – they already had the big name in mind for the lead – dammit!

But with BIG members I do get to scratch my acting itch. This is because one of the things we do at BIG is act out real world situations that will help us in our actual professional life. For example, if a member has an important sales meeting, we’ll roleplay how it may go down. If you have a keynote presentation to give, we’ll coach you through rehearsal and give you access to feedback from the network of your BIG peers.

And of course, mindset is emphasized in all of this. Whether you want Tony Robbins’ energy, or Cassanova’s charm, mindset is your gateway to high performance and BIG success.


Coasting or Mountain Biking: A Trail of Two Mindsets

In 2013 I biked the Himalayan Mountains. When I tell people this they always say, “Wow!”

I’m never sure if they’re saying “wow that’s a cool journey,’ or “wow I can’t believe an unhealthy city-bloke like you ever made it that far.”

But I do understand what they always say next: “I wish I could do that.” I understand they don’t have the right mindset to get out of their comfort zones. They have the mindset of, “I can’t do that. That’s impossible for me.”

So I say to these people, “Do it! What’s stopping you?” They always have tons of reasons, and that’s understandable. We all have many priorities that stops us from doing BIG things. But if you truly want something, you have to put yourself out there. And it always helps to have a support structure. That’s why we’re dedicated to providing a community of support so every BIG member knows, whether they’re making a ten-figure deal, or biking the Himalayas, Chris and his team are there to support them every step – or pedal of the way.

In this regards, we have two fundamental mindsets. Coasting and Mountain Biking.

Coasting is the mindset of people who don’t fully experience life. They’re always keeping it at arms length. They don’t examine what motivates them, what excites them, and what doesn’t. They never fully look at what makes them tick.

When you have a “I wish I could do that moment.” A reaction to something that evokes an impossible to accomplish longing, ask yourself what’s stopping you from accomplishing it. It doesn’t have to be a BIG goal like mountain biking the himalayas. It can be as simple as washing your car or making your bed – silly and trivial I know, but we have to start somewhere!

If you’ve been meaning to invest in yourself and upgrade your skills, it’s time to question why you haven’t!

Mountain Biking, on the other hand, is a mindset that drives you forward. That emphasizes not taking the easy route whether you’re going up the mountain or down. It’s not about just gritting your teeth and mashing the pedals either. It’s about finding the right gear and trail. One that challenges you enough to deeply breathe in the fresh air, but one that’s not so challenging it leaves you breathless by the side of the road.

A Mountain Biking mindset truly epitomizes “the journey is the destination.” This doesn’t mean we can’t have goals. It doesn’t mean we don’t shoot for scenic peaks or plunge into the deepest valleys of our psyche. But it does mean we appreciate the ride. Every bump. Every slip of the pedal. Even every fall.

A Mountain Biking mindset is a BIG mindset.

That’s because at BIG we’re not into letting our members coast. We expect our members to work hard – after all, we work hard for our members – and fully expect all of them to accomplish their dreams. We believe in the power of the human spirit to overcome any obstacle and any mountain peak.

I didn’t bike the Himalayas by myself. I had a friend along for the ride. We entertained each other when times were slow, motivated and consoled each other when times were hard, and told each other to ‘suck it up’ when we whined too much (I’ll admit, I did my fair share of the whining). And all this is part of the journey to GoBIG.

Let me and the BIG team be your companion on this journey. We’ll motivate you as you push yourself up the mountain, and be with you to change course when you hit a peak and see the vast valleys below. GoBIKE.


The Journey of NLP

I’m on this journey too and it’s one of amazement. Two days ago, I decided I needed to hire a salesperson. I ran the numbers, and in terms of business considerations everything looked great.

But now, I needed to find a person. Yes there are agencies and marketplaces for salespeople, but I knew what I wanted and was thinking who in my network would be a fit. I step into an elevator and see a talented salesperson I’ve seen give a presentation. Five minutes later, we’re having coffee and an interview – a good interview at that!

I share this because I’m starting to understand the power we each hold, and how we can make things happen. I’ve been on this journey for years. I know some people learn and achieve success much faster and others more slowly. For some, unfortunately, it’s never. But that’s because they never begin. So, start! One pedal at a time.

Start listening to your body, start uncovering your mindset, start seeing what motivates you. Start tuning in. Just because it can’t be explained, doesn’t mean it won’t work. Start to recognize when you’re at your best and what you love to do. Now do more of that! Life is yours and nobody else’s.

To give you a glimpse into my journey, I’ll tell a story from when I was a 20-year old ski instructor. Every night the instructors were in charge of giving a speech to the guests. The hotel manager would warm the crowd up before it was my turn. I was so petrified I’d wait in the wings for the manager to finish.

Every five minutes my stomach would start hurting and I’d run to the toilet. Nothing. I’d run back and it still wasn’t my turn. Back to the toilet, and again, nothing. Finally it’d be my turn. I’d give my speech gripping the table with my knees shaking. Not too good for a wannabe actor!

But now, I can’t wait to get a microphone in my hand. And the bigger the crowd, the more fun I have. So how did I go from wobbly knees to being at home in front of a crowd? It’s simple – not easy.

I trained myself to get here. I practiced, put myself forward, and consciously worked on mindset and NLP techniques that take my performance in all aspects of my life to a new level.

As a BIG Member, you’ll get access to all the tools and techniques I used to take myself from someone worried about spoiling their pants in front of a small, intimate crowd to a keynote speaker who’s given presentations on five continents to crowds of thousands.

If you’re a Platinum Member, you’ll become fully certified by the Society of NLP as an NLP Master Practitioner. You can use this certification in your coaching or training career, to get a better job, or to coach and train your employees to perform at their highest level.

Or you can just use the skills to be happier and more in control of your life. However you use these skills, use them to GoBIG.


Good selling and GoBIG.



Chris Stock

Chris Stock is one of the world’s leading sales experts. He is founder of the Business Institute for Growth based in San Diego. BIG supports entrepreneurs and small and medium enterprises grow their business, through growth expertise, know-how and strategic vision.

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