Waking Up the Inner Coach Inside of You
Originally posted on my blog as separate posts - here as one article.
Story and Hypnosis - The Art of Thinking Differently
You are built from story. This is how your Inner Architecture™ is constructed - you experience something and that forms a neurological connection. It’s called neuoplasticity - you wire your brain from the experiences you have.
These are experiences you have externally out in the world - you are frightened by a large dog as a child so you build the connections to be afraid of dogs.
And these are experiences you have internally - what you think about, the stories you hear from other people and the stories you tell yourself.
The key is they have equal validity in your internal architecture - they are both equally real - because they both build neurological connections. And the more you reinforce and continue to build and strengthen those connections the more real you make them.
So YES - the more real YOU make them.
So if you were traumatised, abused, suffered - the more the focus of your attention is on what happened in the past the more you wire your brain to reinforce that trauma, abuse and suffering. The more the focus of your attention is on the future and what can be different the more you wire yourself for those new possibilities.
This is a controversial and difficult statement for many people. Particularly if you have been traumatised, abused and suffered.
But what helps is to understand you are built from story as I’ve just described. Because then you can choose to tell yourself a different story. To change your focus from the past and what happened then and instead to focus on the future and what you want to be true of you then.
When I’m working with clients I understand they are built from story so because of that they are literally built from LOTS of stories and some stories will conflict with other stories.
Each story has it’s own logic - what is true in that story.
So the more stories you are made from the more conflict you will have because you both intentionally and unintentionally pick up new stories.
You intentionally choose books to read, you choose what movies you go to see, you choose what you watch on TV.
But you also probably channel surf on TV and just watch whatever catches your attention. You overhear a conversation and incorporate that story. You watch the news on TV and believe the story you are told.
The logic of these stories pulls you in different directions.
You want to move towards the stories you like and move away from the stories you don’t like.
And our previous experience has set us up to notice for particular stories. Whatever experiences you’ve had you are wired to notice for those experiences.
And it’s also natural to have a negativity bias. Our caveman ancestors wired us to look for the predator hiding in the shadows because those that looked and ran away survived to pass their genes down to us.
So we naturally look for the bad stories - and of course the news media know this, they know that the bad story sells the newspaper, it gets the viewers.
So we are naturally looking for problems - even if they aren’t there.
Part of my job is to listen for the stories that clients don’t tell - where there is gap in their reality. Where they have literally wired themselves to not have certain experiences.
So their reality does not include certain stories.
It’s not that they can’t do certain things - but more that they just don’t think about certain things so can’t ever get to a result that would include that experience as a prerequisite for success.
I work conversationally with clients - it sounds like very normal conversation and I’m good at getting them to talk and at some point we get to what I call “honest conversation” where we’ve gone beyond the surface level chat to access the deeper structure of their reality.
You could say this is conversational hypnosis and I’ve written about this before here.
It’s about entering a system so thoroughly before you act that you are not an ego separate from the system but part of the “weave of the total complex”. And therefore your techniques arise from within that weave and harmonise with them. This is entering their inner architecture and exploring with them their world of stories.
It’s helping the client become more coherent.
So instead of them being led in all different directions by the logic of their stories and getting nowhere they begin to become more and more coherent, more focused on being who they are becoming so can make progress in the direction that they want.
It’s about making the distinctions in the stories that they have that open new realities to them. It’s NOT that the client has all the resources they need, it’s much more like they have bits missing from their map - vast areas of undiscovered country where they fear to tread because monsters still lurk there.
But that is the Hero’s Journey which we’ll come to at some point but we’ve made a start for now…
Building Your Own Happy Ever After - Why Success Can Be Worse Than Failure - The Secret Nobody Wants You To Know.
You have to disrupt yourself or others will do it for you - Steve Jobs. In a world where disruption is the new norm are you building your own happy ever after?
What?? Isn’t that where the story ends?
You know the story - boy meets girl, or girl meets boy and he’s really a prince or she’s a princess in disguise and everything works out and they fall in love and get married and then they live happily ever after…
But if you’ve done that - you’ve met your prince or princess you get that the story really starts after the fairy tale ends in real life. Maybe she doesn’t look like such a princess first thing in the morning or when she’s ill and you have to look after her. And as for him - what on earth were you thinking?
It’s the same in business. You have the great idea, and do the work to bring it to the market and the customers love it and you make lots of money. And you live happily every after…
It’s the quote from Joseph Campbell that people climb the ladder of success only to find they have placed it against the wrong wall.
It’s the idea of golden handcuffs or that you are trapped in a gilded cage. It’s when the dream of success happens but somehow it’s not what you wanted. And in many ways success is worse than failure when you realise you don’t actually want that success, and all the work you’ve done to get there was a waste of your time and your life.
I work with a lot of successful people - they’ve made their millions. Their business is successful. They’ve worked their way up to a position on the senior executive team or even to leading that team. They’ve gotten the world record and been told: “You are the best in the world at this sport”.
But somehow life isn’t “happy ever after.”
I know this is something you just don’t want to hear. The other story is SO much better isn’t it? That you win the lottery of life and everything works out and then you are happy.
But the success you’ve worked so hard to get is the same thing that limits you.
And often that hard work has left you burnt out, broken your marriage almost beyond repair, alienated your children from you. And you wonder what was it all for? Because you were always told get on the ladder of success and keep climbing and now you're stuck with nowhere to go feeling miserable with an empty hollow life.
You’ve been living a story that was never yours.
This is the realisation to have - who sold you on this story?
If your parents were lawyers you are likely to be a lawyer - it’s the same for doctors and many other professions because what you learn at home as you are growing up wires your brain and literally sets your filters for what to notice for as you grow up. It sets the expectations for how you will do at school, at college, at university, and what job you’re expected to get.
So you start on the hamster wheel of success and you’ve been fabulous as a hamster running on your wheel. But what do you really want?
This is the magical question.
What do you really want?
Because you haven’t asked yourself this question for a long long time.
The last time you did what you wanted was as a child when life was magical - it was magical because you were creating your reality.
If we’d stuck you in a MRI to see what your brain was doing we’d have seen there was no difference between fantasy and reality. The stick that you are imagining as a sword or magic wand really is a sword or magic wand in your mind.
You were living your happy ever after.
But you left that behind for the story you were sold.
And you can’t go back to those golden years - you can only build the future you want to be living into.
Story is powerful - either you control it or it controls you.
You disrupt yourself by starting to tell yourself a new story - the story of what you really want.
This is the journey we are on together - stepping up to be the Hero in our own lives. Becoming whole and complete in ourselves and by doing this being the change we want to see in the world.
Primal Stories - Death. Food. Sex. The stories that unconsciously drive you - How you are so out of control.
If there were no social control, if society didn't exist or if you've had a few too many drinks the primal stories take control. But in reality they are in control all the time anyway and most of the time you don't know it you just respond and react. The primal animal in you responds.
You respond like a primal animal to the five F's:
Am I going to FIGHT?
Am I going to run away (FLIGHT)?
The involuntary response of FREEZE.
Am I going to eat it or will it eat me (Is it FOOD?)
Do I want to FUCK it or does it want to FUCK me?
This is our biology responding it's the Feeling part of the Feeling Thinking Loop™ driving.
It's the primal animal reality hiding just below the surface social programming.
It's how you really respond and justify it logically later to be comfortable with the decision you've already made.
You want to have sex with him or her but you are already in a relationship or married so you put yourself in a situation where it is likely to happen rather than less likely. Because desire is in control of you - you want to FUCK.
Chocolate - you know you shouldn't. But you do anyway because you deserve it, you deserve FOOD.
You are late and someone pushes you out of the way when you are rushing to get on the train and the inner caveman or woman in you wants to kill the fucker (FIGHT).
Some mean looking angry arsehole is trying to push in the queue for the train in front of you and you raise your hand to ward them off and quickly get out of their way (FLIGHT).
You are at the station on the train and all these bad tempered miserable people are arguing and pushing and shoving and you are unable to move not knowing what to do (FREEZE).
These are just some of the stories that control you.
The primal stories running just below the surface of your awareness.
And because you are human you react like humans do you react based upon how you feel rather than how you think.
The Feeling Thinking Loop™ is running unintentionally with your feelings driving and priming your thinking.
As I’ve said before to create success for yourself you intentionally operate the Feeling Thinking Loop so you set yourself up to win before the game starts.
If you are letting the Feeling Thinking Loop run you, you are living in reaction rather than choosing and deciding for yourself.
This is the value of understanding the Feeling Thinking Loop and understanding not just at the thinking level. Remember it's a loop.
So the more you pay attention to your somatic process - how you are doing the feeling part of the loop the more up stream you can start to notice when you are starting to respond.
It's adding your heart into the equation. But not just living by intuition alone. Yes that's part of the equation but things don't add up when you have part of the equation.
It's where good heart centred people go off track- they are all heart so don't think enough.
In their personal intimate sex life.
With family and friends.
And of course in business.
But with the Feeling Thinking Loop you are working with both heart and head in the equation so get a result that works. Things add up and you come up with the right answer.
It's how you make your story one you want to be living, by living intentionally, consciously aware the Feeling Thinking loop is running all the time.
So when you start to feel the effects of the start of the primal story affecting you - you take control of the story, you become the teller of the story not just a participant in it.
You are the designer of your life.
You are the writer and director.
You create the magic.
You make it beautiful.
Getting Unstuck using the Feeling Thinking Loop™ - The Story Making Process
Where people get stuck is they don't know there is a Feeling Thinking Loop™ and so get lost in a degenerative spiral. Something happens - things don't go the way you want, so you feel bad or unhappy about that. Those feelings then prime your thinking so now your next thought is negatively biased and you start thinking how it's going to make your life worse which creates a further bad feeling etc., etc....
This probably sounds familiar in that you recognise when you've done this.
The key here is that this is a story making process.
From the external event that happened out in the real world because of the Feeling Thinking Loop you've created directionality based on how you felt.
Narrative is by definition a sequence of events that happen through time - A story.
So an event happens out in the real world that either causes you to think about that event then feel and the loop continues, or you feel then think primed by that feeling and the loop continues.
But you also just think and then feel a particular way about that thinking and the loop continues.
And you just feel which primes your next thought and the loop continues.
So how you feel can be based on a thought or feeling.
And have no relation to any real event.
No relationship to reality at all.
But your thinking feels correct when that feeling of correctness is there.
And you feel right and justified in whatever action you take when you believe your thinking.
We believe the stories we tell ourselves.
They need to have no relationship to reality at all.
So how helpful do you think this is in getting the results you want, the outcomes, the success you want in the real world?
You're telling yourself stories that have no relation to reality, and because we all naturally have a negativity bias you are almost certainly telling yourself negative stories.
So who is the storyteller?
Is it the inner critic telling you how to not get what you want.
Or have you done the work to build an inner coach that's on your side, on your team, helping you to get what you want?
Defining and Designing Yourself - The Story of You
Your Inner Coach is the Future You that you have become that is fully realised in all dimensions. You are a multidimensional person yet we don’t think of ourselves this way.
Often we go I want to look great - that’s my dream. That’s the fantasy because if we looked absolutely gorgeous we’d be sexually desirable by other people.
And we have learnt to define ourselves more by what other people think that what we think. This is the natural process of how we grow up, we grow up dependent on our family to look after us, we are conditioned to be dependent at school, college, university. Then when we get our first job and we do what we are told otherwise we get fired from that job.
So we know we look great, we know we are sexually desirable when others tell us.
But this giving up of our power keeps us in bondage, a slave to other peoples desires.
When we learn to define ourselves and yes being sexually desirable is one of those dimensions we’re on the path to becoming who we want to be rather than what others want us to be.
So sexual desirability, looking good is one dimension, what are the others?
Well this is something I ask clients - What are you built from? What comprises you? What’s your Inner Architecture™? If being attractive is one dimension, what are the others for you?
And of course people come up with what is important to them, and sometimes it’s a struggle to think of more beyond the obvious visual - how I look. But it’s one of the most valuable things you can do because you are defining who you are. Most people put more attention on decorating their house, or rebuilding or even designing their new home from scratch than they do on designing themselves.
Here’s why this is so vitally important - If you don’t design yourself others will, and probably not in the way you want to be.
Do you feel unhappy in your life? Do you feel stuck and constrained? Do you hate or dislike your job? Are you miserable and unhappy in your life? Do you not have the relationship you really want to be in?
So how come some of these may be true for you?
What design decision did you make to get there?
Most people made little or no decisions at all and blame the other “designers” in their lives - their parents for the problems they now have.
Your Inner Coach is the architect, designer, director, writer - the creator of your story, your life story.
When you take control back you can start to build your own life.
This is why I’m insistent on not taking the role of “teacher” for the clients I work with - you need to be the authority figure in your own life, or learn to be. And I work as your advisor to help you.
So we’ve started talking about the visual dimension and this is a great place to expand upon because and this is very controversial for some people - you need to desire yourself.
You need to feel desire, love, sexual attraction for the future you that you are becoming.
I’ve spoken before about that you know you are connected to your future you by the flow of energy coming back from that connection to the future you. This is how you know you are on track, you feel the connection. You feel the flow of energy it powers you in the now.
And part of this energy is sexual energy. Desire, love, sexual attraction to that future you that you are becoming.
Some people are uncomfortable with this idea of desiring their future selves. And in particular most uncomfortable with sexually desiring their future selves. I’ve had clients say, it’s kind of gay, homosexual or lesbian and I’m not that way.
The confusion here is the discomfort with feeling attraction for someone of the same sex that some people have.
This distinction you need to make here is that it is not someone else it is you.
And one of the keys here is realising your capacity to love someone else is directly related to your capacity to love yourself.
If you don’t have the capacity to feel much love for yourself you have that same lack of capacity for others.
And it’s critical to understand here that most intimate relationships are dependent relationships because that’s the type of relationship we learn growing up. We learn to feel desirable, we learn to feel loveable because someone else desires and loves us.
I’ve had clients who were well known celebrity actors and actresses - desired by the people who watched them. So you’d think WOW I want to be just like them, I want to be desired by lots of people. And we live in a celebrity obsessed culture who largely feel this way. But it's not the real reality for those people who work as actors and actresses. Often they are extraordinarily good and being other people and where they need to do the work is on being as good as themselves.
We live in a culture obsessed by the visual image.
Smartphone manufactures now know that they have to build in more than one camera in your phone because you need to take pictures of yourself. You know you were happy at the event you went to because you took photos of yourself smiling and happy at that event. It doesn’t matter that you can’t remember much of what actually happened at the real event. The visual images you have are the reality that you have constructed for yourself. What you believe to be true. The story you are telling yourself.
And the more you have other people construct the visual images - the more you watch TV, the more games you play, the more magazines you look at, they more you are letting them define how you should look, the more you let them define what is attractive.
I find many clients have great difficulty constructing visual images for themselves because they’ve let this skill atrophy - the last time they drew anything was as a young child, the last time they intentionally made pictures in their head was as a child reading a story, or having stories read to them.
The default I find clients want to start from is using existing visual images to make a vision board or an online equivalent. But it’s the ability to do the construction in your head that you need to develop otherwise these are images of someone else, not images of who you could be becoming.
You create the Story of You by writing, designing, drawing, architecting, directing the creation of that story.
It’s the process of creating art.
The process of creating art is encoding your feeling in the art so when others experience that art they have those feelings.
What would you have to look like that causes desire in you? Yes sexual desire.
Who would you have to be that you love that person? What would you be doing?
Who is the Future You that viscerally arouses you in the most potent way that is almost beyond imagining?
Turning Yourself On - Becoming Alive to Possibility
Being charged with life energy is erotic - but that’s not the same as being sexually turned on. Many people haven’t yet learned to tell the difference between sexuality and sensuality. You can be turned on by someone’s excitement - they’ve just had some wonderful news and have shared it with you.
You can be turned on by an event you are experiencing - you are riding your mountain bike down an exciting trail, you’re at a concert, you’re making music yourself or expressing yourself in whatever your art is.
You can be turned on by the desire to be with someone - a good friend or find being with a pet or animal turns you on, makes you more alive.
You can be turned on by learning something new.
This is how you tell whether you are hearing from the Inner Coach or the Inner Critic - your thoughts that are charged with life energy are from the Inner Coach, your thoughts that have a negative charge that feel bad are from the Inner Critic.
This is how you calibrate your attitude - remember attitude is your angle of approach to life.
It’s your choice of whether you listen to the Inner Coach or Inner Critic - you wouldn’t listen to someone who was telling you to do stupid or bad things so why do you listen to yourself when you are doing the same thing?
For some people it’s just habit.
They’ve forgotten they have an Inner Coach so just listen to the Inner Critic.
But like becoming better at anything it’s about practice and doing the work to get the results you want. The more you pay attention to the Inner Coach the more you take action on those thoughts the more you get the results you want in the real world.
It’s wiring your brain - neurogenesis - so you think the way you want to be thinking.
For some people they need to work with someone to help them develop their own Inner Coach. This is the process I specifically work with, with clients. The process is designed to build the capacity and capability to develop the same benefits from talking to an expert like me into your own life. My goal is to make myself redundant in your life because you’ve built the capacity to coach yourself. And you become more and more able to make the choices that get you the results that you want.