by Sean Croxton
What’s holding you back?
All of us have that one thing that we set our sights on, yet its realization remains elusive no matter how hard we try.
Maybe you want to lose twenty pounds.
Maybe you want to save for that house.
Maybe you want to leave your stressful job and do something you’re actually passionate about.
For something that you claim to want more than anything else, it’s amazing how quickly you find yourself wandering off the path to its accomplishment.
You’ll start on Monday, right?
Or you’ll do it “someday”.
The last time I checked, someday wasn’t a day on the calendar.
There’s something standing between you and your life, the life that you deserve.
The question is: What the heck is it?
I had wrestled with this very question for years. However, at first it had more to do with others than me. I wondered how in the world could someone spend hundreds of dollars a week for personal training only to leave the gym and return to a life of sugar and alcohol binges.
How could a client pay top dollar for my coaching, run expensive lab tests, and set goals with such earnest enthusiasm only to commit unremitting acts of self-sabotage?
To say one thing and DO nothing.
My friend Blue has an awesome definition for integrity. Integrity is the diligence to do the deed after the emotion of the moment has passed. It’s doing what you said you’d do when no one is looking.
Emotion can be a flight risk, walking out without a moment’s notice.
Here today. Gone tomorrow.
It’s how we execute our action plans absent of emotion that sets the achievers apart from the dreamers.
This past year has been quite a journey. A lot of reflection and introspection has taken place. As I took a hard look at myself, I began to see a lot of what drove me up the wall with my clients resided within me.
Lofty goals without action.
Like they say, the things that bother you most about others have more to do with you than them.
Of all people I should be the last to judge another for not following through on their intentions. I can relate.
I’ll be honest. I have three unfinished e-books right here on my laptop. One is three-quarters done. The others are maybe 30-40 pages away from completion. I start. I stop. I start. I stop…
The closer I get to completion, the distance to the finish line moves further and further away. It’s weird. I’m like that weight loss client who drops five pounds, starts looking and feeling better, and then goes back to his or her old habits. But not by choice. I don’t think anyone actually decides to sabotage themselves. It happens unconsciously.
Realizing my shortcomings, I spent many days at seminars sitting on a rock hard chair for hours on end learning about my stories, rackets, strong suits, and act. You may know what I’m talking about. Maybe not. All I’ll say is that it’s not a cult. It’s actually a very effective method for moving beyond your own bullshit (pardon my french), getting complete with the past, and understanding that you are in control of the possibility that is your life.
Those seminars were a tremendous help in getting out of me and getting into we. They got me to realize that who I had become was determined a long, long time ago. Something happened. I made it mean something that it didn’t mean. And I built a wall to protect myself from it ever happening again. It actually has a lot to do with why I’m so good in front of a camera. But that’s a story for another day.
Although I had grown leaps and bounds from those seminars, there was still something missing. Sabotage kept rearing its ugly head. My pattern, which consisted of sitting down to work and eventually finding myself in bed sleeping, carried on.
On one of those long days in bed, I stumbled across the power of the subconscious mind in Bruce Lipton’s book The Biology of Belief.
Lipton writes, “The biggest impediment to realizing the successes of what we dream are the limitations programmed into the subconscious. These limitations not only influence our behavior, they can also play a major role in determining our physiology and health.”
Working with ill clients, you can understand why that passage resonated with me. I have often felt like the mind is the roadblock obstructing the realization of health. We can try multiple diets, run all the lab tests, and do all the coaching in the world, but if the subconscious mind is not congruent with the objective, success may be hard to come by.
According to Lipton, the subconscious mind is running the show 95 percent of the time and is dutifully engaging in self-sabotaging behaviors to assure your reality matches your program – and chances are that you don’t even know it’s happening. (Lipton & Bhaerman, 35).
When does this programming take place?
“The most powerful and influential programs in the subconscious mind are the ones that were recorded first. During the extremely formative periods between gestation and six years of age, our fundamental life-shaping programs were acquired by observing and listening to our primary teachers – our parents, siblings, and local community. Unfortunately, as psychiatrists, psychologists, and counselors are keenly aware, much of what we learned was based on misperceptions that are now expressed as limiting and self-sabotaging ideas.” (Lipton & Bhaerman, 34).
What I found most fascinating was Lipton’s discussion of brain activity as we move through our developmental stages. Between the age of two and six, our brains are primarily in theta (4-8 Hz of activity). In this state, we had an incredible ability to download prodigious amounts of information about our environments. It is also a time when we unconsciously assimilate the beliefs and behaviors of our parents.
Still wondering why you turned out just like your Mom and Dad?
Anyway, I don’t mean to get all Freudian on you, but if you really sit back and consider your limiting beliefs, you may realize that a lot of them originate at a very early age, likely when you were in that theta state. Many decades later, you are still running on the same program.
I certainly was.
The subconscious mind processes some 20,000,000 environmental stimuli per second. Meanwhile, the conscious mind can only attend to 40. Without question, the latter is outgunned. The subconscious dominion crushes willpower before it has a chance to take root.
How can you crush the subconscious restraint on your life?
According to Lipton, “Once programmed into the subconscious mind, they (our beliefs, behaviors, and attitudes) control our biology for the rest of our lives…or at least until we make the effort to reprogram them.”
Interesting, hypnotherapists drop their patients’ brain activity into theta (sound familiar?) because this low frequency brain wave puts them into a more suggestible, programmable state. (Lipton, 132)
Upon learning this, I jumped up (out of bed) feeling as if I had stumbled upon the Holy Grail of performance and achievement. I contacted Marla Brucker, whom I have known for a few years since taking her Energy Modalities course.
Since our first hypno appointment I have been a man of fire, as exemplified by all of the recent activity on this website. I no longer sleep the day away. I no longer wake up on Friday and curse myself for wasting yet another week.
I just GO.
Although I never feel like I’m “getting sleepier” or go into a trancelike state at our appointments, I know for a fact that it is working. I am a new person on many different levels. I am the person I was sabotaging myself from becoming for so many years.
Thanks, Marla! You too, Bruce.
If you’re skeptical, it’s okay. I can appreciate that.
If it works, it works. That’s my philosophy.
This past weekend, I realized that there was one remaining piece to this puzzle that I was missing, my circle of accountability. As rarely as it occurs, friends, family, and mentors are supposed to hold each other accountable. When you set a goal to lose 20 pounds, going at it alone can be an incredibly wearisome challenging. Your accountability circle should keep you on the path to achievement. They should check you when you fall off course. They should remind you of your objective and ask you how things are coming along.
In a nutshell, they should support you.
It’s unfortunate how often our circles assault us with their own subconscious acts of sabotage and negativity. Makes you wonder whose team they are really on. But they know not what they do.
Today, I have a meeting at noon with my new writing coach. He and I will lay out the plan for how we’re going to bring you the most rockin’ e-book every written in the history of e-books. I’m pretty jazzed about it.
I invite you to be part of my accountability circle. I request that you ask me about my book on Facebook. Tweet me. Email me. Leave comments. Please hold me accountable for what I have set out to do. I would appreciate that tremendously.
My goal is for the book to be ready and for sale on July 1, 2011. It will be done.
At the same time, start building your own circle. I’m in! In the comment section below, write what you will achieve and how you will achieve it. Leave your email or twitter address. Let’s hold each other accountable!
If you wish to explore hypnotherapy, I highly recommend it. I cannot promise that your practitioner will be as awesome as mine. But if you’ve been doing something over and over again with no results, it may be worth giving something else a try.
Time to get to work. Oh wait, I am working.
Life is good.
Marla Brucker may be reached at www.sandiegohypnosis.com. Phone appointments are available.