NLP Ecology Check

NLP ecology check is the most ignored and most important of all NLP techniques from the very beginning of NLP.

The credit for creating the NLP ecology check goes to John Grinder and Richard Bandler. 

What is NLP ecology check?

NLP ecology check is there to confirm that whatever the changes we are making are congruent with you, your environment, and others.

NLP ecology check allows you to take a step back and see the changes you are making and do not have any negative consequences in the future.

I have observed this so many times with people, they want to change without knowing the effect of it on them. This can be dangerous.

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For Example,

I had a friend who wanted to get rid of his habit of an afternoon nap, while doing an ecology check we found he was not taking enough sleep during the night. Imagine if we have done some NLP techniques to get rid of his napping habit. He would look restless or groggy every time.


This is very important for all NLP practitioners as well, make sure to check the outcome needed by the client is congruent with all aspects. If the client is not clear your hard work will go in vain.

NLP Ecology Check

NLP Ecology Check Process

How to perform an NLP ecology check? Here is the process for performing an NLP ecology check and confirm that outcome expected by the client is congruent.

Step 1-  Get into an Objective state and see yourself

To begin the process, use any method to get dissociated from the situation and take an objective state, think about your life as a whole or you can use a timeline method.

In simple words, Imagine, you have achieved the outcome you wanted to achieve. And try to see from the point of view of a third person.

The key point here is to see the outcomes more objectively and from the viewpoint of others. You can use the third position of perceptual position exercise as well to perform this step.

Step 2 Ask proper questions to perform NLP Ecology Check

The most important step in this process is to ask proper and relevant questions to yourself to perform an NLP ecology check.

In some cases it is not possible to go through the whole procedure, there you can just ask these questions to confirm the ecology check.

  • What are the benefits I am going to get with this belief?
  • What is the probable loss of this belief?
  • How would I know if I have achieved the outcome?
  • Is this really what I want?
  • Who else will also be affected by this outcome?
  • What changes will it make for me and others if I achieve this outcome?
  • What will be the immediate impact of this belief?
  • What will be long-term results of this belief?
  • Will I be happy with this outcome?
  • How will it affect my environment?
  • Will it hurt some area of my life or others if I achieve this outcome?
  • Am I feeling totally assured that this is what I want to achieve in my life?

These questions are enough to check whether the outcome or the changes expected by the client is congruent with the ecology or not.

Step 3 Give this thought a time

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The NLP ecology check can be even more powerful if you give some more time to it. Like sleep over it.

You can give this outcome a thought everyday before you go to sleep while working, relaxing, or any other everyday choir. When you take time to decide your brain gets relaxed at it and solves the puzzle for you.

You will get thoughts, dreams or something like that whether to pursue the outcome or not which you are planning to. Do not ignore this 

Step 4 Evaluate

Once you have asked a good question and given a sufficient amount of time, note down all the answers you get and evaluate each one of them as part of the last step in the NLP ecology check process.


To take further deep dive you can ask two more questions to yourself.

  • What do they mean about the outcome you are targeting?
  • Do you need to change the course?

These are now like tools of experts, asking these two questions will give you more insight whether to pursue this outcome or not.

If you are pursuing these outcomes what will be the course of action necessary to make?

starBonus step – Apply Cartesian Coordinates 

You can apply cartesian coordinates to check ecology, whether the outcome you are targeting is worth pursuing.

This is simple and I do it all of the time when I need to make a decision, you can directly do step 2 and this bonus step to do ecology check quickly.

Here are the question of cartesian coordinates

  • If I do this, what will happen?
  • If I do this, what won’t happen?
  • If I don’t do this, what will happen?
  • If I don’t do this, what won’t happen?

These additional sets of questions will guide you to put things into perspective. Sometimes it brings up the point which you may have not thought of.

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Why is the NLP Ecology check important?

The NLP ecology check confirms the following factors whether to pursue this change or not.

  • Does this change have conflicting outcomes with other processes?
  • Does this new change take away existing benefits and choices?
  • Does pursuing this outcome serve the individual or creates new problems?
  • Are there any parts within the person making change that may sabotage the NLP process?

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When to use NLP ecology check?

The NLP ecology check should be used with every subject and every case. I prefer to do it before deciding on the NLP technique to be used. 

This process can be useful to make important decisions, like financial decisions, relationships. The decision which can change your life.

You can adapt this NLP ecology check, in your thinking style as well. I use cartesian coordinates in my day to day life. This helps me stick to my goals and not to violate any of my values.

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