Personal Development

Mastering your internal voices

I’ve worked with many people on eliminating the inner voices they have. In a recent talk that we did, we had 20 people sheepishly raise their hands as they admitted that they too sometimes didn’t say the nicest stuff to themselves.

What happens when you take that voice and move it to a different location? Really tune in to where it is and just move it. See how it works over there and what the change is. And is the voice a deep tone, or is it high pitched and scratchy?

Basically, map out all of the submodalities. Is it near or distant? Are you awake or are you starting to become drowsy? Take that sound and imagine that you are putting it in a sound-proof box, and before you close the lid make sure that you can live without it for a couple seconds. And close the lid and see what that feels like.

And maybe that voice is very powerful. Maybe it has you think about things. And if it is that powerful, why not put a different set of words for the voice. Change it to a happy tonality. And find out if you can turn this into a positive experience.

Now… forget all of that… and lets go for an adventure.

Imagine your eyes are closed and that your hearing can become more sensitive and you may remain conscious of your breath and remain unconscious of another part. And I want you to start out with some very loud bass drums with a steady beat, and feel them in your body. Notice what happens when you move the drums closer to you and this sounds good.

Now. Add in some sound effects from mother nature – an earthquake that your unconscious can step into the big screen to fully immerse yourself in this experience. And since you feel that powerfully you can begin to feel the adrenaline of being faced right in the wake of the tornado, and the deep-seated rumble from the belly of a giant thunder storm.

Hear the CRACK of the lightning and how it impacts you… and do you remember when you could figure out how far away it was by counting the seconds? Until your trance, feel that beginning and if you could see the sunshine and the sound of some birds.

Notice what that’s like … and this should be your every moment experience.

Take control of your voices, crank them up, and change them however you’d like. Hear what Yoda would sound like inside of your head. And then hear Goofy, giving yourself all that bad advice.

The basic process is to elicit your own submodalities (find a list of them and go through how your own voice relates to that), figure out if the voice is positive or negative and if you want it, throw it in a box or in someone’s pocket. And do all of this in a sufficiently deep state.

Since you have attained that by now, you may have already started to make these changes. 😉

Suggestions for new YouTube videos?

Personal Development

Bursting through your previous limitations

From what I have seen, most people do personal development or self-improvement only when it’s convenient. They do it only when they’re “on the money” and then when they aren’t feeling like it, they slip back into their own habits.

“Adults seem to want to learn everything at once. This approach will not work.” – Milton H. Erickson

It is said that we all teach what we most need to learn, and for this one, I need to learn it too. It’s a continual lesson for me. My guess is it’s a lesson for all of you too – can you stick to your goals when you are tired, cold, hungry,  and sick?

I think to myself, what would some elite military guy like a Navy SEAL do in this situation? They don’t know failure. They literally don’t consider stopping. They just keep going until they’re dead.

When I was doing martial arts hardcore, this is one of the lessons I learned – you don’t stop until it’s time to stop. Maybe you’re doing pushups and you can’t do another pushup – that’s fine but you need to keep working at that next one until you get it.

If you’re like most people, you don’t stop to think about why you are here and what you’re doing. You just go through your life, a mysterious combination of motivations and loyalties and drives and desires.

We’re all here on this planet (RIP Pluto) and we all have these things we want to achieve. What are your top 3 goals? For most people it’s a health goal, a wealth goal, and a relationships goal. In order to achieve these goals we have to do certain things and we have to do them consistently.

What stops us all from having our goals? Chiefly among them is our desire for consistency and comfort within ourselves; if we change then we might become inconsistent and we certainly will experience some (temporary) discomfort.

As a hypnotist I’m taught that the reason people don’t stick to their goals longterm is that they rely on “willpower” which is kind of like mental adrenaline – it gives you a burst in the moment but doesn’t last over time. To truly change our goals, I’m taught, we need to change the underlying subconscious programming that is there.

Is this accurate? I don’t know. It’s certainly just a model and all models have their limitations. I’m beginning to doubt it. Because this “habit change” process is a HUGE part of solving people’s problems. If we can get people to change a habit, then we are very much on the way to success.

Thoughts? I know I haven’t spelled out the answer to this one, but I’m still figuring it out myself. Maybe that’s the best place to be in the cycle 😉

Personal Development

12 ways to stick to your goals

Here are some things I do to ensure I stick to my goals:

  1. Think about your goals all of the time. Wake up and think about them. Think about them drinking your coffee. Think about them driving. Print out your goals on a piece of paper and take them with you wherever you go. Whenever you have a spare minute, review them and mentally imagine them being successfully completed. Dream up just how good you want it to be and then follow through.
  2. Make lists. One of the things I fill out every night is a plan for the next day which has blocks available for scheduling activities and contacts, along with the major objectives that I want to achieve.  By filling it out the night before, it both clarifies the goal and programs your brain to think about it while you are sleeping.  Once you wake up you will be ready to get into action immediately. This is a very helpful practice.
  3. Journaling. Start to use a journal on a daily basis. And have specific things that you journal about, make it structured. Most people journal like “Well I had a good day today and X Y and Z happened.” It’s better to journal in terms of your goals. Have a structure and stick to it. Ask yourself how well you’re doing on your goals, every day. Where in your time line to get your goal are you?
  4. Routines. Get in a routine of doing personal development every day. It’s the most important part of your day. Personally I prefer very early in the morning (like 6am) but some people work also well at night. If you can do it at night and stick to it, then fine. Otherwise schedule it when you know you’ll follow through.
  5. Map out your goal completely and continue to map it out as you go. Review the goal constantly and update it. This is easy for guys who for example have a weight training schedule, you’re always moving up in how much you can handle. It’s continuous. Do that with all of your goals.
  6. Time trials. Steve Pavlina recommends doing 30-day trials in which you adopt a behavior pattern for only 30 days. This is a great approach that represents chunking down and time blocking.
  7. Organize as much as you can. It’s possible that it’s just me, but I feel much more motivated when I know exactly where everything is and what is going to happen. To give you an idea, right now I have a stackable inbox in my office on 4 different shelves; I have a filing cabinet and an expandable folder. I use Appigo’s ToDo app for my iPhone to schedule everything I need to do (”next action items”) and I have a calendar on there of what I expect to have happen.

    I also have a tickler file, a bunch of virtual documents, and different notebooks filled with information and things to remember about the most important subjects. My organizational system has developed over years of practice, so you don’t have to start like I am all at once. Gradually build it up and get a workable system. That’s what you want to develop.

  8. Think long-term. Have a running list of the things you want to accomplish this week, this month, and this year. Most people only do daily planners, but how can you possibly make a plan for your day without knowing what you ultimately want to achieve? Make long-term goals and review them. Review your monthly goals once a week, and your weekly goals once a day. Make a routine out of it and you will be solid.
  9. Clean off your desk constantly and consistently. I don’t know about you but my desk is clean for about 30 minutes. Develop the habit of continuing to clean it. Before you leave the office or go to bed, clean off your tables and desks. When you return you’ll be more inclined for productivity because you can work easier.
  10. Put reminders of your goal everywhere. If you work at a computer, put a note on your computer monitor. If you have a bathroom, put your goals right where you can look at them when you have nothing else to do. Hold a copy of your goals with you at all times.
  11. Use time blocking. If you hesitate even slightly about starting on a new project, give yourself only five minutes to start it. When you know that you will only have to work for five minutes in order to make some progress, it becomes much more likely that you will follow through. It’s important to train yourself to just get started on whatever it is. Ask the question, “What is the very next physical or mental action that needs to happen on this for me to get completion?”
  12. Take action. Your subconscious mind only believes what you put into action. Conscious mind chatter is going on all the time and while you might think that your thoughts are important, there is a part of you that only believes what you actually do.  When you put your ideas into action, you make it much more likely that you will stick to them. There’s a big difference between knowing what to do and actually doing it. If you aren’t in action, you don’t know it. You might understand it, but you don’t know it.

In summary, use what works for you. I’ve found that sticking to your goals requires some discipline and stiff upper lip, but it also requires flexibility.

The main thing to remember is to persist through your hurdles and keep going even when you think it’s not working and you are getting no external rewards. Most people quit when they are right of the doorstep of achieving their goals. Persistence in the face of adversity is the sign of a master. Being persistent yet flexible is not easy but it will teach you life lessons that are as important as the goal itself. If you follow my suggestions, you’ll find that your goals are getting met faster and with more clarity.

Personal Development

Associate into your goals

When you are imagining/visualizing your goals, most people make the mistake of seeing an image as if it were on a movie screen, so you are looking at it.

While that’s great for fantasy type stuff and it can perhaps be an intermediate step in adding in new resources, I believe it is most powerful when a person is fully associated into an experience. You should imagine it as if you are in the picture now.

When you are looking at it as if it were a movie, you have “gone meta” to the experience. Basically you are dissociated.

One of the keys is that we want to drive people back to the primary experiences. We want them to have real life experience, not to analyze real life inside of their own heads. The thought process is great for problem solving and analysis but it’s better to be able to shut it off.

Hypnosis and NLP Personal Development

Meditation versus Hypnosis

I’ve recently started meditating, and indeed it’s a very relaxing process. Once I’ve started talking about it, some people have wondered why I might do both meditation and self-hypnosis, or what the difference is between meditating and being hypnotized. What is the difference between a guided meditation and hypnosis?

The primary characteristic of hypnosis is that your experience and especially your auditory channels are being directed externally. You are taking input from an “other” that is outside of you, and the entire universe gets narrowed down to the sound of their voice and the things they are having you experience.

Meditation on the other hand is very internally directed. Some people meditate on specific ideas in which case the process is to concentrate on the idea so fully that the other-than-conscious can come up with an answer, and that answer will just pop into the mind. This process is very similar to self-hypnosis.

Other people meditate with the purpose of becoming “blank” and peaceful. Clearly this is very different from hypnosis where the objective isn’t to become blank but to actually have things occur – and what you’re aiming for is more to become *receptive*. Perhaps meditation also involves becoming receptive to the energies around you and accepting them and allowing them to pass freely.

For my purposes, I consider a guided meditation to be the same thing as hypnosis. It simply has a different connotation and people go into it with a different framework. But just because we call it a different name doesn’t mean that it’s not hypnosis.

I have personally been to several new-age meditation sessions where the intent certainly seemed to be to get you into a drowsy trance state before beginning anything – and yet the people certainly seemed to be unaware they were doing hypnosis.

My definition of hypnosis is establishing selective focus and suspending critical thought. I would add onto there that it is “other-directed.”  If you change it to internally directed, it becomes meditation. When we meditate we go into a trance state with a certain set of filters and guidelines – frameworks in which we can interpret the experience. We have selective focus and suspension of critical thought. The only thing next is to put in an external guide and you would have full-blown hypnosis.


Personal Development

Review: Jerry Stocking

Another guy who doesn’t refer to himself as a hypnotist but certainly uses a ton of it in his work is Jerry Stocking.

For people who aren’t keen on a “newage” slant, I’d suggest you give it a miss. However if you want to make the most out of your life and you’re open to some new ideas, I think it’s incredibly worth your time to go and get his Illusion Conclusion course – and then, when you like that, go attend his events.

If you get the course, check out the first bowling metaphor he uses. It’s excellent.

In short, I give a 10/10 recommendation to Jerry Stocking. He was trained by Dave Dobson (below), he’s a Master Practitioner in NLP, and so on. If you’re really interested in your personal development (or if you consider yourself a good enough hypnotist/nlper to deconstruct what he’s doing), you need to get his course.

His website is A Choice Experience. Also check out Jerry’s Bio.

Bryan Houck has another review of Jerry:

“Jerry who? Yeah, I thought so. This one is limited for those of you who are ready for some PhD level stuff to start working on. Jerry is one of those true masters, a genius who looks and sounds unassuming and sometimes even awkward. Don’t be fooled.

If my friend Brian Vincent hadn’t recommended Jerry, I would have turned off the CD after 5 minutes. Jerry taught me how we all run ‘patterns’ that define our consciousness, and how those patterns can interfere with and distort our abilities to live our lives the way we want to. He gets pretty deep into understanding auditory, visual, and kinesthetic energy.

His stuff isn’t for the average bear, but if you want to try some stuff that will kick your butt and change the way you see things forever, order up one of his Illusion Conclusion sets and hold on. I highly recommend it for those of you who are ready for it.”

So if you think you’re ready, check out A Choice Experience and hang on!