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Learning states

Updated: Feb 11, 2022


In this day and age there are opportunities for learning all around us; many people say they want a career change and some of these need to learn new skills possibly go back to college or university.

Some are lucky enough to have companies who will assist them in their quest; the workplace can provide excellent opportunities for learning and continuous personal development.

Many review opportunities and never get started; whilst others start, they begin full of enthusiasm, excited at the prospect of creating a new future then something happens that stops them.

Firstly, let’s examine, what is learning? It is a physical process, some may argue that it is a mental process and this is the traditional way of defining learning. Yet when thoughts occur, something physical happens to us. When external events take place, physical processes take place in our bodies in reaction to them; these processes establish memories, reinforce or create behaviours and beliefs and change our physiology.

Our learning begins before birth, taking place in our development and continues throughout our lives. In the beginning we learn how to control movement, to feed and communicate with others; learning who we are and about the world around us. And it is here that we may learn other things, beliefs about ourselves, things that we inadvertently pick up from those around us.

For example:

“I can’t dance”



“I’m not musical/artistic”

“I can’t spell”

“I can’t change”

“I always fail”

“I’m stupid”

These are just a few statements that people may learn about themselves, beliefs that hold them back limiting their self development. Beliefs that were learnt physically then metaphorically into their bodies through individual experience.

Can these beliefs be un-learned? Certainly and generally very quickly using various NLP techniques.

What we believe about ourselves can easily influence our ability to think and learn; this can also be influenced by the mood that we are in, our state. Our states serve as a filter for the information that we receive; when learning our physical and mental state is just as important as the level of training and information delivered. Discovering your learning state and how to access it will enable you to get yourself into the appropriate state as and when required.

As well as having a state that best suits the learning process people have individual learning styles that they have developed. For example some people prefer to be shown how to do something, learning by watching or reading; whereas others prefer to be told how to do something, learning by listening and discussion; and then there are those who learn best by doing, they like to try things out.

From the NLP perspective learning styles can be either paced or lead, as a tutor/trainer the information can be presented in a way that matches the person’s preferred way of learning; as well as helping the person to enrich their learning style by helping them strengthen their other senses. Recognizing peoples natural learning styles is an important skill for all communicators, and can enhance the effectiveness and ease with which they can influence their listeners.

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