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Each of us has views and beliefs that we accept as our own and as we go through our lives we use them to guide us around situations that arise. As we grow into adults and are presented with a wider range of responsibilities, sometimes we find internal conflict getting in the way of a peaceful life. Usually that is when my clients find me.
I often am told ‘it is just the way I have always done it’ or ‘my parents did it that way so have done the same.’ Depending of the symptoms that appear as a result of ‘always doing it that way’ I can be told that it is hereditary. For example I may be told that ‘worrying is in the family’, or ‘everyone in my family is stressed’ or ‘all my family are overweight.’ So although you may use relaxation tapes, or go on every diet under the sun, nothing seems to work because in the back of your mind you have this belief that it is part of your DNA and therefore unable to do anything to change it.
When I first mention to my clients that these are learnt behaviours and if you can learn how to do it, you can learn how ‘not do it’ and do something else instead, my clients are indignant that they are powerless to change it. So many of them have asked; ‘Why would I be doing something to myself when I don’t like the side effects?’ I explain that they did not learn it consciously or deliberately, it was something learnt by the unconscious mind. Normally this is followed by a puzzled expression and a pause and then a ‘How?’ And this is what I tell them.
Imagine two cogs in your brain. A very large one that represents the unconscious mind as that is about 95% of you mind, and a smaller one for the conscious part of your mind. While you are developing inside the womb you are not conscious of growing as you are doing it unconsciously. So when thinking about these two cogs the large one is going round but the small one is not moving because it is not being used. When you are born this is how the cogs are working. Then as you grow you become more aware of what is going on around you. This awareness happens because your small cog starts to work, slowly at first and as the months and years pass it speeds up more. However, in those few years, the large cog has been unconsciously absorbing information, and now it has the benefit of being able to learn things outside of itself. It can learn about things that happen in the big wide world. Also the unconscious mind uses the peripheral vision so when you are laying in your crib looking at your mother making baby noises at you, your unconscious mind may be seeing something negative. For example your father looking annoyed because he is being ignored. So whatever is going on behind the scenes, so to speak, is what your unconscious mind will be noticing and because of the size of it, it is cleverly putting together all the different parts of what we call body language. By this I mean watching what the eyes are doing, the tilt of the head, the posture, voice tone and many more. This is a scientific fact that the police are now using to help them in solving crimes by using Hypnotherapists. The police want to know the whole picture and not just the part you saw.
Because the people around us have flaws and our unconscious minds are so tuned in to acute details and can learn others beliefs and views, and at the same time we are still learning about life and are dependent on those around us, we then start adopting others views and beliefs as our own and without question.
This is just an analogy and not scientific but it gives you an idea of how clever our brains are.
A little bit of advice on helping yourself is to start looking at your beliefs and views and check if they are really yours and you are happy with them. Remember nothing is written in stone. You can change whatever you chose to. You may find it easier to get a professional to show you how to do this as very different from what you have been doing. But once you have learnt how, you can easily do it with whatever crops up for you.
If you want more information please email; Barbara@equinox-coaching.co.uk or ring 01279 831165 and leave a message. I will get back to you as soon as I can.
Thank you! I hope you enjoyed the read.
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Often when we have a problem that is impacting on our lives, we would really like to get help to deal with it but we feel too fragile to face all the questions that we know the therapist will be asking.
I have good news! When you work with an NLP Coach, there is no need to be asked so many painful questions. Obviously the more we know the better but initially as long as we get a basic idea of the problem, we are able to work with that.
As a Master Practitioner in NLP who held a Tutor position in London for six years, I am able to read your body language, so can see when things are becoming too uncomfortable for you.
My first task is to help my client understand how the mind and body communicate to create the feelings that can be so painful. When unhappy or negative thoughts rattle around in your head, taking over your whole life and stopping you from sleeping and eating, it is reassuring to find out that although you may have physical symptoms, nothing has actually gone wrong. It can also be quite distressing as these thoughts seem to be totally out of your control and happen automatically making us believe that we can do nothing to change them. This belief is untrue as the symptoms can be easily explained and a process of how you can change them can be quickly learnt and mastered.
Initially NLP had very bad press which put many people off from seeking help from NLP Coaches. However, as years are progressing the general public are becoming more familiar with NLP and it is becoming more widely accepted. It is important that you seek a practitioner who is well trained and has high ethics, so you are able to feel confident in their company. You need to be able to trust them.
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to email me at Barbara@equinox-coaching.co.uk or to leave a message on 01279 831165.
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If you could switch your stress off just think how you would feel. There would be no tight feeling in your stomach, chest and head. Your appetite and energy levels would go back to normal, and you would be able to sleep better. You would be able to think clearly again so you could make rational decisions because your head would not be spinning around. Any decision you would make would be easy just like those you make when you are on holiday.
So how could you make that happen? The first step is to understand how you get the symptoms you experience when you are stressed. What is happening inside and how it is triggered. This doesn’t mean that you would need a crash course in Biology and Psychology, all it means is that you would need to improve your understanding. When you understand this, you are then in a position to do something about it.
We each have the power to change how we feel. All we need is the knowledge of how to do it.
The symptoms we know as Stress are all triggered by the way we think and how we respond and react to what is going on around us. I appreciate that we are told that only about 10% of our brain is conscious but that does not mean that we are unable to change the things that just seem to happen automatically, like Stress, Anxiety and Depression.
Sometimes the symptoms can become ‘all consuming’ and we feel we are a victim of our symptoms, but life does not have to be like this. It would not be human to have ‘no feelings’ but it would be useful to be able to control their intensity so we could function in a way that was practical, comfortable and helpful.
When you attend sessions held by Equinox Coaching you are listened to as we need to get an understanding of how you are affected by your life and your symptoms. Then we explain and demonstrate how your symptoms started and are being maintained. Every single aspect of Stress is created from our unconscious mind therefore you cannot take any responsibility. What you are able to do is learn to be more aware, learn new strategies and apply them so you can then be in control of your future.
Our feelings are governed by how we respond to the things that happen in our lives. To us, we just respond normally and don’t think or investigate any further. Why should we? It is just the way we are. It is what we have always done. It is probably the way our parents or guardians did things too.
This is fine if everything in your life is running smooth, but what can you do if you suffer with Stress, Anxiety or Depression or anything else that bugs you and is stopping you having a GREAT life. We all know that if we go to our General Practitioner we will be given anti-depressants and I believe that this is the right course to take for the short term. I believe that sometimes when Stress strikes it can knock you sideways and we are unable to think straight or work out what to do. At times like this we are at our weakest and most vulnerable.
Because we start taking medication doesn’t mean that we should stop there and be on it for the rest of our life, although if that is a choice you make then that is up to you. But most of us want to get back to enjoying our lives again and feeling light about the stuff that is going on, and this very often means thinking about how we can make changes so we can come off the medication.
I have heard clients say that it is in their genes and it is just the way they, and their family, are. They are resigned to being ‘off balance’ for the rest of their life.
Let me tell you that I know, for a fact, that this belief is WRONG. I know because that is how I used to believe, but in my nearly 20 years of being a Life Coach, I have changed and nearly all of those I have worked with have changed too. There are SO MANY things you can learn that help you to help yourself and they are all easy.
If you have symptoms that are getting you down and taking the shine out of your life AND you are a person who is prepared to authentically look at what you are doing and why you are doing it without blaming yourself and thinking that you are doing it on purpose, then why not speak to a Life Coach and find out how, by working as a team you can both CHANGE YOUR LIFE?
You can find out more if you arrange to have ‘Coffee with a Coach’. Look on our web page for more information.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or Ring: 01279831165
This week we will be looking at what I call ‘Beat me up Language’.
Take a few minutes and think about the language you use when you think to yourself. For example when you do something wrong, what do you say to yourself? Do you say things like ‘You idiot, what did you do that for?’ or could it be even worse. Think about what you say when you have things to remember to do, do you tell yourself that you ‘need’ to remember or that you ‘must’ remember? If you suddenly remember something that you should have done do you tell yourself that you ‘should’ have remembered?
For a moment think about the kinds of things you would say if you were telling a child to clear up the mess they had made in their bedroom. You would probably be saying very similar words to what you have said above. Very often when you are being firm with a child, your instructions are usually accompanied with a pointing finger. Over the years you have been corrected and instructed by parents, teachers and important adults in your life, they would have used the same terminology that you use now, and because of that, it is fairly safe to say that your unconscious mind has linked these words with being ‘told off’.
As an experiment I would like you to get in tune with your body and say out loud, ‘I must remember to do that’. Now I would like you to say out loud, ‘I will remember to do that’. So out of those two statements, which one felt the lightest. Because this is new, you may have to say each of them a couple of times and really feel the difference. You will find that it is the last statement that feels the lightest because the word ‘must’ is a pressure word. There are six very commonly used pressure words and statements, and they are, have to; got to; should; ought; must and need. If you used any of these words to instruct someone, they can easily be accompanied with a pointing finger, so if you think of your internal dialogue, you are using quite pressured language to communicate with yourself. It is very useful to remember that it is more beneficial for you to be nice to you, as it makes you feel better and that allows you to be more productive and achieve more.
Words that you could replace the pressure words with are words like, will; can; may; choose and want.
You may think that this information is so small and even stupid that it wouldn’t make any difference but if you take some time and think about how much you think and use these pressure words you will definitely find that you feel happier with yourself. Each feeling may only be small but a lot of them make a big difference – just think, grains of sand are very small but a lot of them can make a beach.
Don’t forget to let me know how you are getting on as I would love to hear from you.
Best wishes. Bx
Let us remind ourselves how we left things. I left you with something to think about.
‘I would like to leave you with a powerful thought to start you thinking, and that is – Everything we do is driven by a feeling and every thought we have gives us a feeling. Please spend some time and think about that statement and we can start exploring it more next time.’
We will have a look at those two statements in a little more detail. So let’s look at the first one. ‘Everything we do is driven by a feeling’. We make choices all the time. Even if we have to do a job, we decide how well we are going to do it, how much effort we are going to put in. We decide if our conscience will allow us to do it at a lower standard than our best. If we have hobbies, it is because of how they make us feel when we do them. If we think about doing something that we don’t enjoy, the feeling is different, and that is where the second statement comes in. If you think about anything, you have an accompanying feeling that appears in a particular area of your body. The same goes for every decision and every choice we make. The feelings are usually very small and we have been having them all our lives so are so used to them we don’t consciously recognise them, but they are there. It is really useful to revisit this and start to become aware, again, of the feelings that we have.
When I was working as a tutor in London, I was putting a programme together with another tutor. I was on the laptop and she was walking around thinking and we were batting ideas to each other. I made the statement that whatever we were creating would be a challenge. What happened next blew me out of the water! My colleague just lost it. She was shouting at me saying that we could not use the word ‘challenging’ we needed to replace it with ‘hard’. I was definitely not happy with the word ‘hard’, and we ended up have a very heated (at first) discussion about how we responded to each word. We realised that we felt each word very differently and I set up a table of how we felt words. I rated them on how ‘Hard’ or how ‘Do-able’ we found words. For me ‘challenge’ was an exciting word that indicated potential whereas ‘hard’ was like a ‘brick wall’ word that stopped there. So for me, HARD was 80% hard and 20% do-able and CHALLENGE was 30% hard and 70% do-able. For my colleague HARD was 60% hard and 40% do-able but to my surprise she felt that CHALLENGE was 100% hard. I have since worked with clients using this chart I have come across another 4 people who felt about ‘Challenge’ in the same way as my colleague. We then looked at how we felt the work ‘Difficult’ when we compared them with ‘Hard’ and ‘Challenge’.
I would like you to explore how you feel words. It is useful to do this experiment with someone so you can compare. Then get words that have a similar meaning and make a table to compare them with and see how they change for each person.
When you give them numbers, go with the number that feels right not the one that you think is right.
I would be really interested to hear what you discover!
Next week we will be looking at what I call ‘Beat me up Language’.
Do you ever find that you react to things in a way that you don’t like? Or have you realised that you continuously make the wrong choices when it comes to people or partners?
You may find that you can’t resist certain foods even when a part of you is telling you that you shouldn’t have them. You may find that certain people wind you up when they don’t seem to do anything different than anyone else. It may be that you have very strong beliefs about religion, politics or society and you find you voice your views easily. Or you may find you have views that you wish you had the courage to voice out loud.
There could be many things about ourselves that we would wish to change if we had the opportunity and the know-how.
We go to school to gain knowledge that helps us interact with the outside world. We learn things like how to find a career or a job that suits us and how to communicate effectively with others using a whole variety of different methods. These are vital tools to help us progress through our lives but I believe our knowledge falls short in one, very important, area. We are taught very little about what drives us, how we make decisions or how we can deal better with the pressures that are put upon us in our modern lives.
Nearly twenty years ago I started learning where I had been going wrong with my life. I started learning that it is what goes on automatically that has the greatest impact on us. These automatic responses and behaviours are triggered in our unconscious mind and I believed that because of that, I was stuck with them for the rest of my life. I now know that belief is wrong.
I signed up to do a course of Life Coaching, NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) and Hypnotherapy. I was mainly interested in the Hypnotherapy part of it and stupidly thought I could just not use Coaching or NLP. I did some research after signing up and before actually attending the first module, and read a lot of negative information about NLP. By the time I was due to attend I was questioning if I had done the right thing. Eight years later I had become a Tutor.
I realised that the negative information I had read had been written by people who had little understanding of NLP. What I now believe is that the basics of NLP should be taught in schools as it would benefit the next generation immensely. I have had teachers as clients and every one of them has said the same and asked if the Education Boards have ever been approached. From the research I have done I believe that the authorities have tended to believe the negative information and are now not prepared to rethink their decision.
As we all know, to try and sway the authorities would take forever and too much wasted energy, I have decided to go through some of the basic information with you. It has helped me and it has helped my clients. I would love to hear if it is helping you too.
I would like to leave you with a powerful thought to start you thinking, and that is – Everything we do is driven by a feeling and every thought we have gives us a feeling. Please spend some time and think about that statement and we can start exploring it more next time.
How many times have you said to yourself ‘If only I had stayed with my original decision’?
Well that is a perfect example of a time when you have thought yourself out of the right decision. If you stop for a moment and think about this, it is very easy to think yourself out of anything. Your desire can easily feel like the right choice and the more you think about it, the more ‘right’ it feels.
There are two ways of looking at what a ‘gut’ feeling is. It can be seen as the desire to continue doing things the way they have always been done, so that you feel comfortable about doing it. Or it can be seen as a decision made by the non-conscious brain, which is by far the largest part of the brain and so therefore a majority vote. If you owned a factory and you put an idea to all your staff and it came back with a 95% majority, wouldn’t you go with it then? Over the years, and believe me – there have been many of them, I have learned that when I am guided by my ‘gut’ feeling, it is very seldom wrong. Notice I use the word guided. This does not mean that I go forward blindly, it means that I am strongly influenced and I consciously look at the disadvantages of doing what my ‘gut’ is telling me.
Very often my ‘gut’ feeling is not really what I want to do, or it is telling me to do something that is more risky than I am comfortable with. At those times when I have ‘bitten the bullet’ and done what is not comfortable and scary, it has turned out to be the best thing to do. In my experience, it is those times that I have thought and thought about something and have thought myself into doing what I want instead of what ‘my core being’ feels right with, is where my biggest mistakes have been.
Our non-conscious brain can only communicate with us using feelings and our conscious mind is not all that good at noticing and listening to what those feelings could mean. Let us use the factory analogy again and let us call it a biscuit factory. The job of the Owner/Manager is to sell his biscuits to whoever he can and to do that he communicates using words – so this is our Conscious Mind. The factory foreman relays messages from the Owner/Manager to the body of workers, then from the body of workers to the Owner manager. The problem is that the body of workers (our body) does not speak in words; it uses sign language (feelings). The Foreman (our non-conscious brain) also uses sign language which is images and smells that then connect to feelings. As the Owner/Manager spends the majority of his time thinking through processes and communicating with others, there is very little time to listen and learn to what the foreman and the workers are trying to tell him.
It is extremely beneficial to learn how to listen to what your body and non-conscious brain is communicating to you, as together you are a whole person and make a formidable team when working together.
Come and hear more about this and other life enhancing strategies that could help you at one of my Become the TRUE You Seminars. More information is on the landing page of my website.
Until next time – have the Faith, Belief and Guts to take Action.
Procrastination is something that we all do at some time in our lives, but for some it becomes something that really gets in the way of you living the life that you want to live. There are many reasons for it and for everyone it is different.
When someone comes to me complaining that they ‘procrastinate over nearly everything’ I don’t just deal with their symptoms, I discover what is causing the symptoms and deal with that. In the same way that if you were experiencing a pain in the kidney area, and you took pain killers, that would not be addressing the possible infection in the kidney.
So let’s start by saying, your non-conscious mind is doing something that is stopping you and we want to know what as well as why.
I start by investigating what is going on inside when you think about the action you are avoiding?
This is probably a feeling of FEAR in one level of intensity or another. It could be:
Lack of Confidence
Consciously most people reject the possibility that it could be any of these, but in reality the conscious mind doesn’t know everything that is going on in the mind as it is only a very small percentage of our mind, something like about 5%. It is our non-conscious mind where these behaviours originate and you can bet your bottom dollar that it was created when you were really small, probably in the first 5 years of your life.
Now, when you think about this behaviour today, you probably feel annoyed and frustrated with it and think how stupid it is and also think about how much you could achieve if this was gone, and that is totally understandable. However, when you were really young, you must have been in a situation that the ‘little you’ felt uncomfortable about, so to help you get through it, your non-conscious mind came up with a solution that worked really well on that one occasion. It realised that it worked great and so whenever a situation arises that creates you to feel a similar feeling; your non-conscious mind does that behaviour.
Once I have found out what the feeling is, exactly and when it started, exactly, I am then able to use any of my skills to help you change that programme in the non-conscious mind to something that is more beneficial for you. We may find that once that behaviour has been tweaked, everything for you is easy and just the way you want it. On the other hand we may find that the old behaviour was covering something else which also may need to be tweaked, and that can be done at another session after a couple of weeks, once we have a clear picture of what you are experiencing and how it affects you.
So if you have a behaviour that is stopping you, then why not contact me so we can get it sorted. You can then live your life with the passion and the power that you want.
Until next time, experience the joy in every minute.
Over the past few weeks there have been many broadcasts referring to the amount of military staff that are and will be coming home from Afghanistan. I have heard that many are coming home with different levels of PTSD.
The symptoms can come in many different shapes and sizes because each individual is unique and so there cannot be ONE treatment for those suffering with this condition.
From my experience of working with Ex Military, one of the most traumatic symptom is the vivid flashbacks experienced at the most unexpected times. One of my clients was in a fast food outlet with his family when he experienced an incident which left him under the table, unable to move and being stared at by all the other patrons. He and his family were asked to leave because of his unpredictable behaviour and his shouting. These incidents had temporarily stopped him from driving because on one occasion he had swerved off the road into a tree, and he was fearful of this happening in an area containing pedestrians. He had a milder incident on a bus, so then felt he was a total risk to society and gave up using any form of public transport.
On top of that is the personality change, something you feel you can do nothing about. My clients reported to me, they could see the look in their loved ones faces as they tried to understand and be patient while hoping that this person would change back into the person they knew and loved.
I think the thing that drew my attention to the seriousness of this situation was working with my son who voluntarily left the RAF after 5 years and saw no direct battle, for which I will be forever thankful, but suffered severe depression for 4 months. Because we were living in the same house I could see the different stages he went through and could work with him immediately, and all of this was because he came from an environment where he had to make no decisions and was told everything, back to a life where he was responsible for himself. In those 4 months I often wondered what it would be like if he had seen action. I now know that he (we) had it easy!
The Falkland’s veteran I heard on Radio 2 said that he had managed to hold it together until revisiting the beach where he stood as he watched his ship being blown up. When he returned to the UK he sought and received help through the NHS for 22 months. As he didn’t seem to make the progress he needed he found an NLP practitioner and after 3 sessions (in his words) ‘I was sorted’.
The clients who came to me with PTSD worked with me for different lengths of time, the longest being 13 months and the shortest was 5 months. They are all now in full time employment and are still with their families and am told they are leading normal lives.
Take a few minutes to really think what your life would be like if these things were happening to you as well as being unable to sleep because you were afraid of where your mind would take you and knowing you would wake up screaming and sweating on a daily basis. So please, if you know or hear of someone who is suffering with PTSD, please suggest they track down an NLP & EFT practitioner who has the skills to work with their condition. It could really make a difference for them.
Best wishes, Barbara.