Paul McKenna, Change Your Life In 7 Days

Neuro-Linguistic Programming or NLP, sounds like one of those pseudo-scientific, new-age dark arts and most of us would avoid getting into something that sounds so technical and weird all at the same time.

Paul McKenna however in his book “Change Your Life In 7 Days” uses NLP and a self-hypnosis CD to teach you the tools that you need to change your life. He sees Neurolinguistic Programming as software for the brain and he gives you access to the source code to reprogram yourself. He runs through a range of NLP tools and sets them within a seven-day programme. He gives you lots of different ways of thinking about yourself to break your old patterns of thought and literally reprogram your habitual patterns of thinking.

He talks about your pretend self, your self-image, and how to changing your ‘inner you’ can change your life. How you can literally ” change your mind” about your life. In changing your mind you’re able to take control of your life. Withou you, anyone and anything could end up being in control of your life and Paul McKenna in this book gives you the tools to get you back into the driving seat.

Paul McKenna explains your emotional state and where feelings come from, using good NLP techniques like making movies in your mind and changing what’s called the ‘submodalities’ of them. In English this means changing how the ‘movies’ look and sound in order to change the way that you feel about them.


McKenna also introduces a technique called ‘anchoring’ in order to boost your confidence. He calls this the confidence switch and it is a way of associating all the feelings of confidence that you have ever had with a physical gesture, such as squeezing your fist, so that when you feel in need of a confidence boost, you simply squeeze your fist, or whatever you have chosen to associate it with, or “anchor” it to.  You then feel all the feelings of confidence that you have had in the past, thereby enabling you to tackle the situation that now presents itself with confidence.


Like all good NLP practitioners and life coaches, Paul McKenna suggests some useful questions to ask ourselves, which prompts us to think new thoughts and start to make changes about the way we think. These changes in the way that we think can begin to change our emotional responses, our habitual patterns of thinking and behaving and even to simply transform our lives as a new reality dawns upon us, as we try and answer a question that we have never heard before.

McKenna focuses on success and sets out 7 key beliefs of successful people, including several of the founding concepts of NLP and life coaching, such as ‘there is no such thing as failure, only feedback’, chunking down large tasks that seem difficult into small achievable chunks and to keep trying something else until it works.

Goal Setting

When we have the tools, we then need to know what it is we’re trying to build with them. In day four of Change Your Life In 7 Days, Paul McKenna introduces us to dream setting, his version of goal setting. He encourages us to dream big dreams to brainstorm and commit them to paper. He takes the well-known business approach of setting SMART targets (where SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and with a Timeframe) and applies it to our own lives, so that we set goals which we can achieve and so we will know when we are succeeding.

Another highlight is day five when he talks about health with an excellent exercise on imagining your immune system at work and how effective a power nap can be to make you more productive.

The last two days of the week review money and happiness to round off an intensive seven days of personal growth and development using Neuro-Linguistic Programming tools and techniques. Paul McKenna provides a very accessible mainstream book with the bonus of a CD to reprogram your mind and it is a great introduction to personal development and NLP.