The Gift

This video opens up the biggest myth and misconception in the personal development industry today. Have you ever wondered why it is that some people have what seems to be ‘miraculous change’, while others struggle. Have you ever wondered why some personal development tools – just don’t work? Have you ever thought why it is that the ‘secrets’ the Guru’s tout on about are more about them than they are you?

Be a rebel, leave a comment!


  • Rob Ballentine

    Reply Reply October 2, 2011

    Today I Quit NLP training after 16 years teaching.

    This Vid explains some of the reasons – in later Vids on this blog… I’m going to tell you why.

    Please leave a comment and tell me what you thought of the vid.

    PS A lot of people have been asking for the song here’s a link to it Run
    the song was originally recorded & written by Snow Patrol & then covered by Leona Lewis. This is our version. Hope you enjoy.

    • Kate Jacobs

      Reply Reply October 4, 2011

      Interesting blog, I question if you are quitting NLP, as you would need to unlearn all you have learnt in that time! But more that you are evaluating it and using the knowledge in a new way 🙂
      I experienced my NLP Training with trainers that always taught the change is within the client and we can simply show the ways to access the resources they already have, a view I felt congruent with.
      I spent several years struggling with how I fitted into the Self help world as so much of it was outside of my values. Until I finally realised I don’t! lol.
      great learnings 🙂

      • Rob Ballentine

        Reply Reply October 7, 2011

        Unlearning all that I learn’t that’s a really interesting thought 🙂 I wonder if that’s possible (though sometimes I think it happens! lol)

        It sounds like you had some very good training. Thanks for comment Kate 🙂

    • Gido van Tienhoven

      Reply Reply October 17, 2011

      Dear Rob,

      I appreciatie your video. It is refreshing and honest to me. I am practioner becomming master practioner at the moment. I think people start seeking for personal development when they are ready for it. But than again what is the chance of ready the right book or doing the rigth course for your need? I am not sure if I want to start a coachingbusiness. I already have a small business in technical stuff. But the feeling to help another person is what makes me going that way. It is good to ask yourself if you are going into this to help other people and/or to help yourself. Regards, Gido

      • Rob Ballentine

        Reply Reply October 18, 2011


        They’re good questions you’re asking.

        Many people get into the helping industry because in a way it reflects back their own requirement for help.

        This is not a bad thing only something worth reflecting on, that is for what reason do you wish to do X, what is the intention and consequences of doing it.

        that is – if I help you I also help me.

        I never learn’t NLP for personal development self-help. I as just fascinated by the technology of it.

        Keep these questions open.

        Great job though Gido, keep it going – apply the stuff back to yourself, ask your trainer how to use the techniques and models on yourself without a coach.

        Thanks for sharing


    • Glenn

      Reply Reply May 23, 2012

      I am new to this way of thinking and your website. Could you give me the best order to watch/read things in? Is their a course? I would like to experience what I am capable of in my life. I don’t feel like I have much input into either the “good” things (what I like) or the “bad” things ( what I dislike). I like your spirit and way of looking at things.

      Also, I tried to join your list, but have received nothing back from your site in my email

      Best to you- Glenn

    • Glenn

      Reply Reply May 23, 2012

      Hi Rob: I left a question earlier, but now can’t remember under which page I posted it. So I am leaving it again here. I am new to your site and to this work. I want to find out what I am capable of changing inside for my outside to change. Too many things- good and bad- seem to have nothing to do with me. Please tell me what order to watch videos or books to look at so I may learn what I am doing to make my life happen.

      Any help is appreciated

      Best to you- Glenn

      • Glenn

        Reply Reply May 23, 2012

        Sorry I did not see the posting till after I entered it. Apologies for my eagerness to learn. please delete the extra comments. Thanks- Glenn

  • Corinda Hall

    Reply Reply October 2, 2011

    Hi Rob
    Very thought provoking!!
    I was very surprised to get this notification that you are quitting NLP. When I met you some time ago on an introduction day to NLP, I admired your energy and belief in what you were doing and thought you were a miracle worker in unlocking doors to people’s problems and issues and guiding them to a new attitude…But, it was your personal journey of self discovery.. I found it a powerful vid as I’m currently going through a similar journey but different route. It touched a chord with me… I’m taking a BAPP course BA (Hons) Professional Practice (Arts) it’s to top up my dance teaching qualifications to a degree, distance learning15 months.. I would like to add this vid link to my blog page for the other students and course advisers to see as it’s appropriate at this time as we going through our modules which includes personal & professional development, critical engagement, learning out comes, reflection etc…It would be a good learning aid for us all but may not have the same resonence for others as it has for me.
    Let me know if you have ANY objections to my adding this link, wouldn’t think so as you clearly wish for everyone to see this. And, what are you going to do next? I’m intrigued..
    You clearly have raised your spiritual awareness and as you say got rid of the ‘bullshit’ My very best wishes to you. Corinda Hall

    • Rob Ballentine

      Reply Reply October 3, 2011


      Thank you so much for your post. It was lovely to read and hear it….and yes I would be more than happy for you to add this as a link.

      It seems that it’s touched quite a chord with a lot of people judging by the emails too and I’m glad it has resonated with you. It does me too.

      I hope our paths cross soon.

  • Sylvianne

    Reply Reply October 2, 2011

    This can just change my perception of ourselves from powerless to masterful.

    • Rob Ballentine

      Reply Reply October 3, 2011

      Yes it does.. and I think that’s important.

  • Anna

    Reply Reply October 2, 2011

    I’m intrigued to see the next, yet my internal cynic says, here’s a guy that may well be using his skills to capture customers and market something. In other words, ‘the gift’ will ultimately lead towards his bank account.

    I find it sad that my view of some people working in the mega billion pound industry have tainted my perceptions in this way. What does this say about the industry? What does this say about me?

    I kind of guess I have a real distaste for people that position themselves as helping you by offering you something of value in the form of a gift (my interpretation of a gift is something you give free of charge without expecting anything in return), and then sting you. In this case he’s already asking for your email address. He doesn’t need an email address if he’s giving you something, and therefore it is not a gift.

    • Rob Ballentine

      Reply Reply October 3, 2011


      Keep your cynic… it’s important.. I have mine and it’s helped me through my life.

      I’m not giving anything here. Behind the email address it just says ThankYou.. that’s all… there are no gifts here. You have the gift…. not me.


  • Gaetan

    Reply Reply October 2, 2011

    Nice vid, thanks for sharing your thoughts on the subject. My 50cents on the subject: As a master NLP practioner i dont see myself as a therapist or the helper, i just teach techniques with which one can help him or herself. I completely agree with that everyone has the gift to create wanted changes in their lives and achieve things they want to achieve. At best i am an inspirer or eye opener. The progress is achieved by the progressor, not by me.

    P.S. nice Ibanez!

    • Rob Ballentine

      Reply Reply October 3, 2011

      Thank for your post, I appreciate it.

      Yeah I love my Jem 🙂

  • LoftyGit

    Reply Reply October 3, 2011

    A Gift is something you give or receive, but The Gift is something we were given at birth, and that is the ability to change our minds.

    Happiness is just a change of mind. By setting our mind to what is happening to us and not dramatising the difference between what we think SHOULD have happened and what DID happen we can bypass a lot of anger and frustration.

    NLP has mapped out a lot of procedures based on models of how people change their minds, and the minds of others.
    Maybe its time for a new map.

    • Rob Ballentine

      Reply Reply October 3, 2011

      Love your name – that’s cool!

      Well said and put- it is – ‘The Gift’


  • Macbeth

    Reply Reply October 4, 2011

    Not sure I understand what you’ve tried to say. Too much “hidden” message, with an assumption that I know what you’re talking about.

    Everyone I have changed through NLP/hypnosis has not been manipulated to make that change. I have just helped them, it is never about me, it is always about them. I may have an awareness of how to help them flick their switch, but that is just an inner skill they’d never happened to have come across.

    I have no ego.

    I await the second video with interest.

    Are you hiding behind your guitar ?!

    • Rob Ballentine

      Reply Reply October 7, 2011


      That to me is very important, about the manipulation to change. It’s easy to do because we (in the jobs of coach (in that capacity) want the change as much as them. Getting out of our way is important and thanks for bringing this up.

      I wish! I’m not as thin as I used to be 🙂

  • Michael

    Reply Reply October 4, 2011

    Interesting Vid
    As a relative newbie to NLP, just finishing my practitioners certification, I have always thought pretty much what you have just said, and do not see the NLP’er as making the client change, but rather as a catalyst to allow the client to realise their own change/belief, and that any other form of change will inevitably fail unless self belief is achieved.

    I also echo the cynicism of Anna, although on perhaps a wider scale, regarding the ‘selling’ of NLP by some people/companies who are more like ‘snake-oil salespersons’ and are more interested in how they can change their bank-ballances and so have tainted the image of NLP.

    As such what Kate says resonated with me, and I see perhaps there is no clear distinction between what you say about ‘The Gift’ and NLP, and that perhaps a point of conjunction exists.

    I look forward to seeing how you will take this forward

    • Rob Ballentine

      Reply Reply October 7, 2011

      Re- the selling of NLP by some companies ie think you’ll like that aspect in the second vid!

      The clear distinction between The Gift and NLP is more about…many hands pointing to the same thing. That is don’t look at the hands, rather where they’re pointing.

      I think alot of NLP training misses this in a BIG way…yet they talk about it alot.

      It’ll become clearer.

      Nice post. Thanks

  • Steve Cowie

    Reply Reply October 4, 2011


    An interesting and intriguing message. It would be even more interesting to see how far the rabbit hole goes.

    NLP in my humble opinion, is not an end in itself; many forget about the content of life, other systemics and…

    Well, I don’t wish to steal any of your thunder 🙂

    Experiencing a similar period of time with NLP, I can begin to appreciate why you took the decision you did.


    • Rob Ballentine

      Reply Reply October 7, 2011


      Thanks for the Rabbit Hole metaphor 🙂 It does feel a bit like Alice in Wonderland a bit and when we look deeper into that story we can see a similar paralell to the PD industry.

      It wasn’t an easy decision, though in a way it got taken out of my hands and was precipiated by my daughter!


  • Tom Breeze

    Reply Reply October 5, 2011

    Hey Rob,
    This is a seriously cool video. I see some guru magic at work and it’s really good to see.
    Keep up the good work!

    • Rob Ballentine

      Reply Reply October 7, 2011

      Hey Tom,

      Thanks! It’s great to have you here.


  • Gregg Swanson

    Reply Reply October 7, 2011

    Hi Rob! Great video and I agree with you…to a point. Yes, all the change comes from within. I’ve told clients that if they ready and to action on everything in “Think and Grow Rich” that they would never need to read another book again, or hire a coach.

    Yet, at some level we all need a “guide” to show a way. When we climb a mountain, we do the work, but the guide shows us the way. This is why I like Roberts Dilts concept of “Coach to Awakener.”

    The real assistance, I think, comes when we help the clients understand that any change is done by them. As Morpheus said in the Matrix, “I can show you the door, but you have to walk through it.”

    Glad to find someone shedding light on this. Looking forward to “The Myth”

    • Rob Ballentine

      Reply Reply October 7, 2011

      Hey Gregg,

      Good to see you here.

      Like you I wouldn’t advocate to a client not to see a coach in the same way if someone breaks an arm, don’t ‘hope’ it’s just going to right itself back into place, go see a doctor! 🙂

      And yet we tend to dislocate the change agent outside of ourselves and it propogates into this myth that the book, the course, the guru is that agent for change.

      While its not something we think about and can agree on a conscious level, underneath this…. it doesn’t happen for many many people – (17 billion dollars worth doesn’t happen!)

      Nice quote re The Matrix one of my all time fav films!

      Which Pill people take – The Blue Pill or The Red Pill?


  • Emil Capone

    Reply Reply October 8, 2011

    Hello Rob,
    After listening to what you had to say, I have a question…
    The name rebel can mean two things.
    One who does not agree with what is…whom I will call the anarchist.
    The other who has gone along the path and wants more, therefore he works to change what is, for the better…whom I will call the reformist.
    Which rebel are you?
    I believe you are the second…
    If so…I will join your mailing list.
    Yet, you probably understand by now, that you are not quiting NLP, rather seeking for new and better ways to use it and enjoy.
    Wish you the best…

    • Rob Ballentine

      Reply Reply October 9, 2011

      Hello Emil,
      It is a pleasure to have you here.
      You are indeed correct, the second. I enjoyed your astute observations 🙂
      ‘…works to change what is, for the better’ – yes.
      Thanks for commenting, very much appreciated.


  • mimi

    Reply Reply October 9, 2011

    with all due respect, i really don’t get your point. you are a guide, not the healer, or anything else.
    a doctor does not heal either, he/she provide what seems best for the patient to heal himself/herself.
    i don’t see the problem if you help people getting access to their inner resources. THEY find their own solutions, AND this whole thing applies to the western thinking only.
    i think if we remove the “I”, the “ME”, the NLP trainer/Guru/Coach it becomes clear that he/she is just a channel, guide… (fill in the blank), the existentialist problem would have no basis.
    my apologies if i offended anyone.
    Take care 🙂

    • Rob Ballentine

      Reply Reply October 9, 2011

      Welcome to the site and thanks for watching the vid.

      You are quite right in what you say, though I would go much further and not even introduce the identities such as guide, rather see it systemicly.
      While I don’t reflect that everyone sees themselves as the change agent, it is an alluring prospect even unconsciously. Even as far as, if we take into account traditional western medicine where the medical practitioner can as much be easily caught up in this tangled web of ‘healing’. ie that at a superficial level they may know they did not heal, but prescribed the drugs or surgery… and at a conscious level this becomes very much a cause-effect response – that is I did something that caused a change to happen.

      I don’t wish to go into depth in the video because it is a metaphor….there are many many assumptions about the way in which the world of self-help is viewed and these are not necessarily conscious in many people. The behaviours speek otherwise from the way in which books and courses are sought.

      I allude to many things in the video re the personal development and self help industry and I’m not just talking about NLP.

      I would say it’s intention is self help, but this seems further from the reality of what it really is.

      Your post most certainly is not offensive in the slightest.

      I welcome all the responses that have been on here – they are all reflections of the way we each percieve this space called personal development.



  • Dr Leila Edwards

    Reply Reply October 10, 2011

    BTW: What was the point of taking us into your living room? And why did you suggest going into another room next time? I’m a sucker for home improvement as well as human development, so I was a bit disappointed that there didn’t seem to be a point to the changes as far as the content went. Maybe there was a point and I missed it. Although I did sit through to the end, probably at least some part of the reason for that was the nice music, I didn’t agree with the suggestions on the end titles (apart from enjoying the humorous ones) about why a person must still be watching the video. I was waiting for something to happen, and of course hypnosis can be induced by boredom, but then there was no follow-through. I was genuinely waiting for something to justify the ‘hook’ of your post on the mailbase, but didn’t hear anything new or ‘aha’ in anything you said. Maybe you have spent your time around people who actually believe that they are the ones who are doing things to their clients, without the client being responsible for their own change/healing, and perhaps you thought that you were. And, of course, in a way they/you are because the point of doing ‘right work’ is to provide some tools and signposts along the way that are very useful in the process of evolution, so that every individual doesn’t have to re-invent the wheel themselves. Of course people can only change themselves in ‘personal development’ work. It’s in the fundamental NLP presuppositions that the resources we need are already inside us. But as for quitting training or teaching, unless you’ve had enough or fancy a change, well that would be like saying that we don’t need physics teachers to teach us physics, or physical therapists to treat us for certain conditions, or give us useful information about health and well-being, or warn us about the mass hypnosis perpetrated daily by pharmaceutical companies, governments, etc. Why have a mother and father, surely you can do it for yourself. Learn to walk and talk without anyone to model… that simply isn’t borne out by the facts. We are all part of the whole and we do affect each other. The quality of a person’s consciousness is highly relevant. 100th monkey stuff. Agents of transformational change, whether they are writers of books, trainers, seminar leaders, or healers, can simply be people who have learned enough wisdom to be the change they want to see in the world, as Gandhi advised, and to be motivated to help others to help themselves. Of course there are lots of manipulative, ego-driven people out there, some also being very smart and talented, however, there’s no tenets in any of the therapy, NLP, coaching, healing work I’ve studied or practised over the last 40+ years that says we can only change by the grace or intervention of another person. But we can certainly benefit from someone who is a good, inspirational teacher/coach/guide/mentor, regardless of the label. If you consider what inspires many people to do the jobs and follow the careers that they do it’s because they were inspired/influenced by another person. And sadly, it works both ways, people can be put off something for life by a negative role model. So, frankly, I don’t see what your point is, although, because although your video does have some flavour of an NLP sales pitch, and I was waiting for some nesting of the loops, and to see what you’d come up with next, I was left thinking that it was mostly content-free of any insights I could use/apply. But the music was nice 🙂

    • Rob Ballentine

      Reply Reply October 12, 2011


      When we hope to find what we wish for, sometimes we get disappointed when it’s not immediately there.

      When we keep ourselves open to what could be there then we remove disappointment for surprise and in so doing discover something different that is different from our conceived ideas of how the world should be.

      When we sit back enough and look behind the curtains, not everything is as we thought it was.

      And then we have begun another way of understanding.


  • Dr Leila Edwards

    Reply Reply October 10, 2011

    PS The motto of the Association for Professional Hypnosis and Psychotherapy, to which I belong, is ‘Compassion and Humility’.

  • KellyR

    Reply Reply October 11, 2011

    I am not normally a person who comments on websites however after reading the last comment by Dr Leila Edwards I am compelled to reply.

    Firstly, what is life without evolution; to change what is already old and to make it better than it already is. If you are not open to change then are stuck your own nested loops, for life.

    Secondly, your motto compassion and humility doesn’t seem to apply to your response as you aren’t in any way focusing on the end goal but rather complaining about what doesn’t seem to perfectly match your map of the world, like Robs living room.

    I truly think if somebody could sit through an entire twenty minutes or so of video above without learning something and appreciating the giving that is the video and be inspired in someway to change, even a little and instead feel a very strong desire to pick it to pieces, then they most certainly have an immediate need for self-help.

    I feel sorry for you that you view the world so negatively and are compelled to pull things apart rather than appreciate the little things in life – even if you don’t agree.

    It is sad that there aren’t more people who won’t openly challenge the world and it’s ways such as Rob is clearly doing in the video above.

    I think the point was obvious, Personal Development works, but with some, it doesn’t affect the right change. Rob clearly wants to show us, as facilitators of change and as people in our own right, how we can make sure we affect the right change. And how we can use the books and courses in a much better way.

    As for leaving NLP, did you ask why? Do you know the full story of what ‘leaving’ means. Rob I hope you don’t mind but I have simply assumed you are no longer training NLP specific courses such as Practitioner etc. He hasn’t said the world doesn’t need these teachers anymore so physics teachers and NLP trainers are quite safe DR.


    P.S. What a sad and boring life one must lead to be compelled to write such a long, negative and in my opinion uninspiring comment. It angers me and I believe this is why the world is in the state it is in. Not enough humanity!!!

  • Mairéad Kelly

    Reply Reply October 11, 2011

    I’m am constantly surprised at the amount of people who say they have changed other people’s lives. People change their own lives…we might help by asking questions they didn’t previously know to ask themselves, but they do it themselves.

    Like you said the change comes from within, it harks back to what Henry Ford said: “whether you think you can or you can’t…you are right”.

    It is ALL down to our mindset and taking personal responsibility for that…It was NEVER in the books and I am always stunned at the people who think that it ever was.

    NLP and many other personal development tools are simply a means to unlocking that…the books are only good if you USE the information they provide, unfortunately too many people move on to the next shiny object instead of stopping using the skills they have learnt.

    • Rob Ballentine

      Reply Reply October 12, 2011


      I concur with your findings

      “It is ALL down to our mindset and taking personal responsibility for that…It was NEVER in the books and I am always stunned at the people who think that it ever was.”

      Very well put.

      The PD industry is alluring and makes magpies out of many people’s desires and wishes.

      Thank you for your post


  • stephen argent

    Reply Reply October 12, 2011

    well I did watch the video right to the end…… I was hoping for something original but heard nothing but the obvious.
    no book, no theory, no person, no faith can change a person in a healthy way without the personal choice to internalise the experience.
    Change does come from within but that change has to be the result of acceptance.

    1) count how many times the speaker refers to himself…’I’ is the most used word throughout
    2) observe the clever use of the follow me technique
    3) consider the use and selection of props

    it would appear that the speaker has just abandoned one process (NLP) and wants the listener to follow him straight into another…perhaps a time of personal reflection would be more appropriate.

    • Rob Ballentine

      Reply Reply October 12, 2011


      Thanks for your post.

      A friend came round the other day excited at the book he’d just read and said I should read it.

      After glancing at the cover, I saw that I had read it before.

      Then he asked me what I had learn’t, I told him, he replied.

      “did you not discover about the mysterious stranger”

      I said I did not. I read the book again, and then waited for what was to follow before making my mind up.

      Re – observations:

      1) I was referring to my experiences, this would be expected
      2) I’ll take the compliment 😉 I’ll let you read the next question 🙂
      3) They are what they are and happened to be in the room at the time. Jessica Rabbit was holding down the backdrop where she normally resides on the piano. I don’t know what other props you may be referring to.

      Change always has to be acceptance even forced acceptance where the context goes against the values of the person. Change happens, it’s just a question of whether the change is desired, ethical, needed or appropriate.

      Hence I agree with your statement ‘change in a healthy way’

      Appearances cannot tell the whole – the book is not the cover. The menu is not the meal.

      Abandonment is what you do when you give up. I have neither given up or abandoned rather changed a focus of attention.

      Personal reflection can be useful at times.

      On a serious note: it is all too easy to let our initial judgements cloud what we see and experience. Shifting from one business to another after building it up with alot of clients both corporate and public does not happen in a flash.

      Serious consideration to the larger frame and consequences are not taken lightly nor without effect.

      What i do is not a joke or a play thing, even though I may play while joking. I take very carefully every change element and experience to allow people to have the opportunities that they felt they could not. It is a responsibility not a job.

      Thanks for posting Stephen.


  • Peter Wrycza

    Reply Reply October 14, 2011

    Thanks for sharing this. I enjoyed your idiosyncratic account of an important shift in your thinking and doing. I agree that we generally at best stimulate a process that already has its own momentum and direction in the client.

    It seems that the insidious notion that the change is ‘out there’ or needs something or someone ‘out there’ is the biggest impediment to deep and lasting change. But I guess the paradox is: how does this insight of yours become truly internally referenced, when the very sharing of it is yet another example of externally imparted personal development material? I am reminded of a student in my early days of training who declared her aim thus: ‘I must become more autonomous, I’ve been told’.

    I noted it well. But I didn’t apply it to myself, as much as I might have. I didn’t realize how much (as I do now writing this) it did also apply to me.

    I suppose your position rests a lot on the presupposition that there is indeed a Self and an Other. Which on one level appears to be the case. But what if we ultimately participate in some shared mind/consciousness/field of which Self and Other are facets? If that were really the case, then Self-determined shifts are not immune from shifts in Other parts of the greater Mind. (E.g., blue tits opening milk bottle tops after the War, morphic resonance, blah, blah, blah).

    If the ‘Guru’ is ultimately not that which brings change from outside, but that which removes darkness from within, then the outer Guru flourishes to the extent that realization ‘there’ arises from that which is also [already] arising ‘here’.

    Your model is healthily systemic. But what of ‘the pattern which connects’ in Mind-at-large? If ‘no man is an island’, perhaps the personal development industry isn’t entirely pointing lemmings towards the ‘wrong’ cliff, and away from the one that each must seek and soar from independently.

    Put another way, how much following is helpful and how much a hindrance before we can/will assume that inner-directedness and willful earnestness that alone undoes the knots-within.

    Thanks so much for stimulating some pertinent reflection here.

    I’m reminded of a Balinese psychiatrist-healer and social activist and reformer who shared with me how as a teenager she was tested and taught by two goddesses…and how an important part of her personal transformation from a shy girl to a woman who could shake her world was a day each month that she took in silence and solitude to work on her own self-improvement.

    When is an Other, merely another, and when is it an aptitude of the greater Me? And when is an aspect of myself, a kind of unacknowledged Other?

    Phew! What have you done to me????

    • Rob Ballentine

      Reply Reply October 16, 2011

      Peter, Your welcome and thank you for coming here too. I welcome your input.

      I think the issue I have (I mean issue, not in the sense of burden, rather in questioning) is the myth and reliance on books and courses and the marketing of such that perpetuates this myth that you will get ALL the change you need from these. NLP trainings (the Prac and Master Prac et al ) has and still is subjected to this myth without further observation and in depth study.

      After working with John Grinder I stopped looking at the hands that were pointing rather to what they were pointing to. John describes these as the ‘attention fixating points’ i.e. the exercises and models. I had ‘done my self-help’ prior to NLP – I did this on my own. NLP gave me the language to understand what I did. Over the years I’ve been unpacking, coding and testing alongside the NLP Prac – Master Prac stuff – and where some of the ‘NLP stuff’ failed for people.

      I don’t think it will become truly internally referenced as you say – I think man is an island at one level and yet we are connected by the water and the air and if we look below the water, the island is not really an island rather already connected to the larger whole. It’s just that the water prevents us from seeing this – until we do.

      Therefore at one level, it will be internally referenced by the mere fact it becomes the wearers clothes, though by another fact, it was tailored by someone else – though in time, the clothes will fit and mould to the continually changing shapes and movements of the wearer.

      Surprisingly, the position doesn’t rely on the notion of self or other, rather ‘when’.

      I like the statement by Aldous Huxley ‘…a crass preference for either total consciousness or total unconsciousness. Their art is unlikely to be great’.

      I think to me this fits with ‘self and other’ – neither total self nor total other ‘rather I, You We, Us as I and Not I at the same time and not at the same time.

      Like many trainings and imparting of information – there is the rational conscious mind that needs to be taken care of ‘the wants ‘ while at another level – we train and teach something else – Though I don’t do this as knowledge rather – as you’ve seen my other posts before – puzzles that their unconscious will solve sometime, in time.

      This is the RebelCode a puzzle that connects through the conscious and unconscious from self to other and whole, such that the person adopts a quicker position of self-reference and learning than if someone were to go through a ‘standard NLP’ course or some other frame of ‘off the shelf’ personal development. Without necessarily having to spend a) a lot of money on repeated courses b) climb the ladder to the trainer trainer or ‘master trainer’ – (I find the metaphor of the NLP courses Practitioner to Master Practitioner to Master Trainer to be a hindrance to personal development – they perpetuate this myth even further.)

      “Put another way, how much following is helpful and how much a hindrance before we can/will assume that inner-directedness and willful earnestness that alone undoes the knots-within.“

      I don’t know Peter – Though I think it is about balance and imbalance. That we are always in imbalance and balance happens only for that moment between shifting from one state to another. Or that balance is an imprecise term – and is more about logical levels and paradox.

      Imbalance is perfectly balanced as it is on either side – so imbalance is balanced. Balance doesn’t happen between imbalance on one side and another because they are two different logical types. I see it as two hands that hold imbalance on either side while an umbrella (not the literal umbrella) covers them, called balance if you can picture this.
      How much following – I don’t know – how long’s a piece of string I ask As long as you want it to be until it’s a rope. At what point does it change? Or rather at which point do we change perception to give meaning. The string is still string. Until we call it something else.

      I think this is internally calibrated and as much can be referenced and balanced from the outside too, until that ‘ah ha’ moment pops ready for the next action. To continue by-self and or learn/educate/be guided by another.

      “When is an Other, merely another, and when is it an aptitude of the greater Me? And when is an aspect of myself, a kind of unacknowledged Other?”

      I think these questions are highly pertinent and relevant.

      Thank you for them. I won’t answer them, I think this is as you say in your story above – one for meditation.

      Thank you Peter – I have enjoyed reading it and connecting your thoughts to this work too. I hope we can continue this discussion.


      I don’t stand here as an Island – look beneath my reflection to see the depth that is we.

  • Sousa Hari

    Reply Reply October 20, 2011

    Thanks Rob. When I took up coaching and NLP, I already knew it was mostly for my own self-development – if I could make changes, then I could show others how to do it too. Most of my life was spent trying to please others, as my mother had done.
    I soon realised that its vital the person really wants to be helped and is 100% commited to helping themselves. It’s an uphill struggle working with people who only think they should be able to change – when fear keeps them locked into a self-defence system, that’s a hard nut to crack. However, if we are the ones who provide the chink of light, the realisation, the self-awareness for that person, it can be enough for them to make a breakthrough and then our support has been an enormous benefit. That’s when we get our golden glowing moment of job satisfaction!

    • Rob Ballentine

      Reply Reply October 25, 2011

      I agree, by shifting people through a process of can’t won’t to might to could to can to will – a change will happen.

      All too often many people get stuck at the first hurdle – the fear and the fear comes in many shapes and sizes. Not one size fits all

      As people helpers it’s how we can create the right space that is engaging for the fear to be temporarily suspended while waiting for the muse to strike.

      Thanks Sousa.

  • Linda

    Reply Reply October 25, 2011

    Isn’t this kind of obvious. The change is within the person not in the book or course. I thought the whole reason people became involved in being an NLP practitoner is to help others to find the ability to change within themselves. In this case, I don’t see what is so original about what is being said in this video to be honest.

    • Rob Ballentine

      Reply Reply October 25, 2011


      Obvious to whom?

      I wish it was so obvious, unfortunatly it’s not. And while this was an overt observation – it runs far far deeper than that.

      In my experience not everyone who wishes to learn NLP does so to become people helpers.

      To appreciate the video – don’t look at what’s being said, Discover why it’s being said. When you watch the other videos and read the other threads, this isn’t a single thought – if it were, it would be an empty blog.

      The patterns of change are not the ones in front of your eyes…it;s the ones that support the patterns that lay hidden from perception.


  • Ronel Barnes

    Reply Reply October 28, 2011

    Thought provoking!!! I have read many articles around people using NLP, but changing it into a different brand. NLP to me is still the basis of which they operate from. NLP has open a world of understanding oneself and others on a deeper level, operating from a place of respect and using language elegantly/wisely. It is about finding the difference that will make the difference.
    We all have choices. In my dealings with people and using NLP, it is not NLP that does not work for some people but rather people who doesn’t want change.

    The gift to take learnings from an experience, reading a book or coaching session is within and to make a shift is within. To have the ability to make a change is a skill. Many people don’t have the skill. This is where NLP training has helped me in order to transfer a skill and give someone else the opportunity to change (if they want to).

    You can quit teaching NLP, but NLP has become part of your DNA. It is your choice to use it or loose it…

    With all respect to Meta-Coaching, Neuro-Scemantics, Human Engineering etc. NLP is still the foundation from which they operate from.

    I am interested to see where you are going with this….

  • Phil Gray

    Reply Reply November 1, 2011

    Everything you said makes sense.. the power to change is in the person.. it would appear that all I/we do is become a “reminder” to the individual of that fact. The Personal change market is huge and the person with the biggest marketing gets the clients… it is bullshit … when a person wants to change they merely come to us for that “nudge” and reminder. Well said Rob.. I’m following you.. nice guitar by the way … I like my SG equally (Ha!)

    Regards, Phil

    • Rob Ballentine

      Reply Reply November 1, 2011

      Hi Phil,

      Thanks – Yes it is Bullshit and too many people are caught by the hype and hope.

      An SG man – cool! 🙂


  • Noura B Mohammed

    Reply Reply November 2, 2011

    I completed the 1st course of NLP and read dozens of books about self development, i felt good but not for long. it seems that I need to read all the time to feel good! I’m interested in what you are saying and THE GIFT appealed to me. thank you

  • Faith

    Reply Reply November 20, 2011

    Please let’s not mix NLP the processes up with NLP the idiots that make false claims. And what annoys me, as much as the hype, is in a way the opposite – it’s taught in a turgid grinding out the exercises kind of way, when it in fact came into being as a challenge to what wasn’t working in the mainstream – much as you are doing now i think Rob. There are many NLP processes that can be used for self change: anchors, pattern interrupts, second and third positions, the Disney strategy, but you do have a good point in that they are not imparted that way. Please don’t come down on me like a ton of bricks with sweeping generalisations like it’s all this and it’s all that.

    • Rob Ballentine

      Reply Reply December 5, 2011


      Well now you put it like that…. TON OF BRICKS 😉 Big Generalisations everywhere!!

      Faith, I’m 100% with you on this… It is a shame that NLP from what seems to me, is not imparted that way and yet the processes are there for self-change as you clearly demonstrate in your post. Though this isn’t just about NLP, as much as it is about the PD industry too.

      It seems many an NLP’er is stuck in the ‘you can only do good change with a good coach’ paradigm. This is a pity because of the potential for applying it to self is lost and negates the priceless phrase in NLP of ‘having choice’.

  • Thom

    Reply Reply April 4, 2012

    I hope it did not take 16 years for you to work out that change comes from within!

    I am sure it didn’t.

    But I would suggest that the term osmosis is more correct for external influences still have their effect.

    Battle of the trances!

    A coach worth their salt is someone who revives the coach in their client.

    • Rob Ballentine

      Reply Reply April 5, 2012

      Ho Thom,

      Thanks for this – you cracked me up! – it would be a sore point if it had taken 16 years to work that out wouldn’t it!

      You’re right it didn’t take 16 years to have come up with that…

      I think the point is – is that so many people get caught up in the ‘its this technique, its that technique or that book or that course or its this or that – they forget or haven’t realised that the place for change (while inside from self/mind etc) is a naturally occuring phenomena.

      And some of the most amazing changes happen without any intervention (necessarily) from external influences.

      Battle of the trances – yes it is! (nice phrase :-))

      I agree – A coach helps a client to find their own coach and to add – to leave the client, such that the client doesn’t have the ‘need’ to come back. That the ‘coach’ is not the vehicle for change.

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