NLP and the 4-Step Success Formula

Having completed a course in NLP and been interested in the potential it has for improving personal performance, I thought I would read a little more into the subject and give readers a simplified view of what I have discovered.

NLP focuses on helping people achieve their goals and this simple 4-Step Success Formula is the first stage of that process.

  1. Know what you want –be specific and know in detail what you want

  2. Take action – Nothing will happen until you take action

  3. Be aware of what you are getting – is what you are doing working or not

  4. Be flexible – If it’s not working, do something different, change your actions not your goal

Consider the last time you went on holiday.

You didn’t just turn up at the airport and say ‘Fly me somewhere!’

You may have sat back a thought ‘I want a holiday, in the sun, with a nice beach, great food, night life that appeals to me.’ (Step 1)

Perhaps you then booked the flights and hotel. (Step 2)

When you got there, you may have been unhappy with your room and realised that you had booked the wrong hotel for your needs. (Step 3)

So perhaps you changed hotel and had a great time! (Step 4)

This simple model is hardly complex but sometimes it the the act of pointing out simple things that leads to profound understanding.

Often the simplest things in life are the most profound. One of the simplest questions you need to ask yourself in life is truly profound and in my experience often the question that people find the most difficult to answer.


It seems such a simple and clear question, until you sit down and try to answer it.

Lots of people will start with what they don’t want.

  • I don’t want to be poor

  • I don’t want to do this job

  • I don’t want to be hungry

In many ways this approach is understandable as most of our behaviour triggers seem to be in response to moving away from a negative feeling such as hunger, loneliness, cold and so on.

So when it comes to answering the question ‘What do you want?‘ it is can be difficult to express. Certainly it is difficult to articulate to a the level that you need to begin moving towards achieving it.

The key to leading a more successful life (however you want to gauge success) is to identify what you want and create such a clear and compelling image that you define your future so well that you begin to take action that moves you towards it. By applying the 4-Step Success Formula, you are already moving towards achieving that success.

  1. Know what you want

  2. Take action that moves you towards what you want

  3. Be aware of what you are getting

  4. Be flexible so that you move towards your outcome

Dare to Aspire



Filed under Improvement, NLP, Performance

2 responses to “NLP and the 4-Step Success Formula

  1. Pingback: NLP and the Structure of Outcomes « BrainCram

  2. Pingback: BrainCram

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