Category Archives: Uncategorized

Video Blog! What is Hypnotherapy?

Through my Facebook page, I was recently asked, "What is Hypnotherapy?"

The definition used in my training at the Institute of Interpersonal Hypnotherapy is, "The use of therapeutic techniques or principles in conjunction with hypnosis. Treatment utilizing hypnosis."

So, when I meet with a client, we're using hypnosis to help them to achieve their goal of making a change in their life. Maybe it's to stop smoking or lose weight; maybe they have a have a loop of negative internal self-talk that is holding them back from realizing their ambitions.

Why use hypnosis?

Hypnosis allows us to engage directly with the subconscious where emotions and beliefs are held. Through this direct access, the client can realize their results faster than through other methods such as psychotherapy or behavioral therapy.

Interested in learning more? Contact me and set up your free consultation. (Skype sessions are available for clients around the world.)

Together, we'll create your Whole. New. YOU.

Abundance Mindset and the United States Election

How to Take Responsibility for Your Own Future, Regardless of Election Results

Remember wayyyy back when I wrote an article on the Reticular Activating System? If you don't, I'll link it here for you to go back and re-read.

Then there was my article on Winners and losers. I'll put that right here for you.

Then there was my article on shifting from a negative to a positive mindet. It's here.

What does this all have to do with the United States Presidential Election that took place yesterday?

http://www.nytimes.com/elections/results/president

Everything.

At this moment, the US is experiencing a polarization of mindset between winners and losers, between those who are fearful of the future and those who are hopeful.

I've watched my Facebook feed become overwhelmed this morning with anger and sadness over Clinton's loss. I've seen “nanner-nanner-boo-boo” posts from those who supported Trump.

I disagree with both. One is based in victim-hood, while the other is grounded in hubris. Neither is useful.

I've read updates that are swimming with fear about what the next four years will bring.

Here's the truth: We will actualize that which we focus on.

If we choose to focus on division, that is all we will ever see. If we place blinders on our vision so that we are only perceptive to a narrow mode of thinking so immersed in ego that our belief is that “Only I am right, only my perspective matters,” then we are in for a long, tumultuous time.

I know there are divides, deep divides in this country. While there are two sides to every card, we have to realize that they are still the same card. Somewhere, those two seemingly separate perspectives are really just two poles of the same thing.

Just as the North Pole and the South Pole are, literally polar opposites, they are still points upon the earth on which we live. They are necessary opposites bringing balance to the planet.

As my practice becomes increasingly about the concept of Abundance and living in a positive, abundant mindset, I find that my perspective is shifting from the old rants of my ego where I constantly wanted attention and validation toward a mindset of finding lessons and growth in any situation.

In that old mindset, I was much like a child looking for approval.

Today, I take a much larger perspective.

The sun rose today, the waves continued to caress the beach where I live. The people whom I saw on my daily run were smiling and relaxed. They were gracious toward each other and to strangers who passed.

This is what the bigger picture looks like. This is what is eternal in the human condition. We consciously choose our perspective every day. When we focus on gratitude, the other seemingly negative events do not matter, because they are temporary and will change again.

Perceived as good or perceived as bad, they will change. All temporary things do.

Take a deep breath and find something to be thankful for today. Wash, rinse and repeat tomorrow and the day after, and the day after...

Look for the bigger perspective, find what you can learn from your feelings: WHY do you feel hurt that one person lost or won? What's under that feeling? Go deep – ask yourself hard questions.

You may find that it's not about the candidate, possibly not even directly about their ideology, but truly about your own need for ego validation.

Then ask yourself why it matters.

Allow yourself the grace to forgive yourself and others.

Do not wallow in the mindset of a victim. You are better than that – you have the choice to move forward or remain stuck.

Choose wisely.

Daniel Olexa, CCHt

Daniel Olexa Hypnotherapy

www.danielolexa.com

daniel@danielolexa.com

Be Aware of What You Wish For

Move forward with positive intention, without forecasting regrets

 

How many times have you been told, “Be careful what you wish for, you may receive it”?

What was happening at the time?

Had you just achieved a goal, only to find unexpected consequences to your success? As you discussed these challenges with friends and family, did they share this particular bon mot with you?

Or maybe, you were in the early stages of chasing your dreams. As you outlined your lofty goals, someone decided to ground you a bit by tossing out a predictable and trite witticism.

What did you take away from this conversation, when it occurred? What is the underlying message of “Beware what you wish for…?”

It’s this: Achievement just brings trouble. Don’t bother.

Ask yourself, “Have I taken this message to heart?”

Have you secretly, and probably unintentionally, allowed yourself to be programmed to fear success?

Have you created a self-fulfilling prophecy for yourself that results in failure when you take action to achieve?

When you think about attaining your goals, do you think of all the challenges that will come not only on the path to achievement, but also as the new norm to your success?

Another, more sinister way to say this message is, “BEWARE what you wish for.” Now maybe you can better sense the monsters lurking in your dreams.

Let’s make a slight alteration to that sentence: Be Aware of What You Wish For.

How does that sentence resonate with you?

What’s the difference in the message?

To beware is to fear. It is to sabotage, or not even start on your path. It is to be a victim.

To be aware, is to know the challenges ahead. It is to create a roadmap of expectations. It is to plan. It is to be responsible.

Awareness brings self-empowerment.

Seemingly innocent messages such as “Be careful what you wish for, you may get it” impact our subconscious beliefs through repetitious exposure. After hearing this sentiment repeated over years and years and years, we can unconsciously take it to be a truth.

Add a few attempts at failing to meet a goal and that unconscious belief is reinforced.

You do not have to live with this programming. You can choose to erase this, and other, negative messages that are controlling your ability to achieve happiness.

Hypnotherapy can help to uncover these limiting beliefs, heal them and reprogram them into positive, empowering beliefs.

Contact me to change your programming. We’ll work together to create your Whole. New. YOU.

Daniel Olexa, CCHt

daniel@danielolexa.com

www.danielolexa.com

 

White-washing Via Hypnosis: A Review of the Get Out Trailer

White-washing Via Hypnosis: A Review of Jordan Peele's Get Out Trailer

Yesterday, this trailer for Jordan Peele's upcoming film “Get Out” appeared on my Facebook news feed.

If you've read my earlier posts on the misconceptions of hypnosis, you probably heard my head explode at the images and suggestions of hypnosis as it will seem to be used as a plot device for mind control and behavior modification in the movie.

DISCLAIMER: I admit that I am basing my reaction on the trailer. I am drawing my own conclusions from the imagery presented and character interactions suggested by the editing of these snippets. Trailers are designed to entice viewers to see the film – they are not the whole film.

So, what did I surmise from the trailer?

It seems like Catherine Keener's character has experience as a hypnotist. We can make this conclusion because he husband, in a nice little piece of convenient exposition, tells the main character that his wife can help him to stop smoking via hypnosis.

I hesitate to call her character a hypnotherapist, because we do not know the basis of her background. Read about the distinction here.

As the playwright Anton Chekov noted, “Remove everything that has no relevance to the story. If you say in the first chapter that there is a rifle hanging on the wall, in the second or third chapter it absolutely must go off. If it's not going to be fired, it shouldn't be hanging there.”

With that in mind, the inclusion of hypnosis in the trailer suggests that it is an important plot device in the film. In this film, at least based on the information in the trailer, hypnosis is our gun on the wall. But to what end?

As we move through the trailer, we see images of the main character presumably being placed, without his consent, into a state of hypnosis by Keener, who is stirring a cup of tea, presumably to create a rhythmic pattern and touchstone for the main character's state. She is heard telling him to “Sink into the floor,” and he then finds himself waking up bound to a recliner.

The other African Americans in the universe of Keener's home appear to be acting oddly. Blank stares, maniacal laughs, bloody noses when they appear to wake from a trance... the list of tropes goes on. One presumed victim of Keener's programming seems to realize what is happening to him after the strobe of a cellphone camera frees him from his Stepford-like state.

The implication to these events, the conclusion that I draw about the film is that Keener, and possibly her husband and the town, are complicit in conducting behavioral modification on these characters to make them “safe,” essentially white-washing the scary black man into behaving like a caricature from the 40s (complete with straw hat).

Peele has said that this film “... is one of the very, very few horror movies that does jump off of racial fears. That to me is a world that hasn’t been explored. Specifically, the fears of being a black man today.”

I applaud him for making that leap in storytelling. Racial fears are fantastically fertile ground for a new age of horror/suspense films, particularly given the current perceptions of division in the US.

I DO NOT commend him for using hypnosis as a tool to conduct what appears to be brainwashing. Even the CIA has disproved that theory.

Misguided and ill-informed presentations of hypnosis make my job more difficult. I resent them.

They reinforce fears and misconceptions in a public whom is uneducated about the benefits of hypnosis. These fears prevent people from seeking out a tool that could help them to live a happier, healthier life.

These incorrect beliefs lead people to be afraid of me when I tell them I am a hypnotherapist. They jump to a conclusion that I have the power to control them.

Not only do I not have that power, I do not care to control anyone.

The purpose of my practice is to help my clients to live their lives more fully: The lives they choose to live, not some fantasy of white-washed behavior.

By all means, if this film intrigues you, see it. Please just realize that it is a work of fiction and as such, contains elements that are not entirely truthful.

Five Reasons You Do Not Need Hypnotherapy

Five Reasons You Do Not Need Hypnotherapy

Let's face it, to some people, the thought of hypnosis and hypnotherapy is spooky and unnerving.

They have fears about what could happen to them - being controlled, divulging personal secrets, not being hypnotizable and of course, acting like a chicken.

I've addressed all of those issues here and here and here and here.

Whew!

Yet, some people just LOVE their problems sooooo  much that they would never consider trying a different path in life.

If the following five statements resonate with you, then you do not need hypnotherapy.

1.  You like your problem.

Let's face it, you say you don't like to feel stuck in your life, feeling like you can't get ahead, feeling unloved or unlucky in relationships. Maybe you have a pattern that tells you that you can't succeed, someone always takes your ideas or you just can't get ahead.

What good comes to you from talking with your friends and family about these issues?

Maybe your family agrees with the pattern of lack, because that's what they've experienced.

Maybe your friends tell you that it will all get better and they take you out for drinks to drown your sorrows.

What have you gained? You've gained a few moments of recognition, of compassion. A few moments that reinforce your secondary gain.

Secondary gain?

A secondary gain is a positive that comes out of having a negative. You continually get hurt in relationships, but your friends are there to console you. You get support from having a destructive cycle.

You can't seem to get ahead financially, so a family member bails you out on a bill or two. You're free and clear for now... Until you repeat the pattern because it is what you are familiar with.

And because of the temporary relief that you feel, you stop looking for long-term, permanent answers.

If this is you, stop reading now. There's nothing more here for you. Go ride your behavior cycle.

2. You're secretly afraid of being successful

Success sounds great. You're rich, you're comfortable, you're admired.

But what about the responsibility that comes with that realization of your goal?

Maybe you'd own a business, but have no idea how to run one; maybe you'd get a promotion at work, but the new job requires learning new skills; or maybe you've found the perfect partner for a relationship and you feel undeserving of their attention.

What do you do? You self-sabotage.

You find a way to not go into business; you talk you way out of the promotion, or you make a number of critical mistakes that take you out of the running for it; you act like you are not interested in being in a committed relationship and chase the other person away with your attitude.

What have you gained?

You have reinforced your idea of yourself. You've stayed in your comfort zone.

As uncomfortable as it may be, you know its walls well. It's home.

You don't need hypnotherapy to enjoy the view from home. Mom's there, I'm sure. Enjoy the apple pie. Three squares and a bed.... kinda like prison.

3. You have no negative inner dialogue

Why would you need the help of a hypnotherapist if you've never experienced negative self-talk?

You have no fear. You never question yourself or your abilities. You KNOW you are going to succeed.

Failure and self-questioning are for chumps.

4. You can stop smoking or lose weight whenever you want to

You've said you can stop whenever you want. You can choose to eat better and exercise – you know how to accomplish that goal of fitting into a certain dress for your class reunion or wedding.

But you haven't done it yet.

Yeah. It'll happen tomorrow.

Keep telling yourself that.

5. You're perfectly happy with every aspect of your life

Your life is absolute bliss. Everything falls into place perfectly, every day, every time.

You know that everything will always be this way and you will never, ever be blind to the silver lining in those storm clouds.

If you can answer yes to all five of these criteria, congratulations, you have achieved a life that others only dream of. You don't need a hypnotherapist.

If on the other hand, you had a moment of agreement and realization with any of these points, you can reach me at my website: www.danielolexa.com/contact.

It's your life. You choose.

Daniel Olexa, CCHt

www.danielolexa.com

daniel@danielolexa.com

Setting and Achieving Goals

Writing Powerful Affirmations for Personal Success in 2016

***This is an updated post from New  Year’s Day 2016****

Here we are. The middle of another year.

How are you doing at accomplishing the goals you set for yourself this year?

Did you accomplish the goals that you set for yourself at the beginning of 2015? Did you set goals for yourself to accomplish in 2015?

How would you like your life to be different this time next year than it is right now? New job? More savings? Better relationship(s)?

If you don’t set a goal for these dreams, it is unlikely that you will achieve them in the next year. Actually, without committing to making changes, it is unlikely that you will achieve your goals, period.

Why is that? Well, put simply, if you don’t know where you want to go, how do you expect to get there?

“I’ll know it when I see it” is not a good enough answer. This response takes away all of your personal power (except for you power of observation) and places you at the whim of any and all elements that can derail each of our lives everyday.

Without setting an endpoint in the future, you leave yourself directionless in the present.

Let’s take a simple example, one that is common in New Year’s resolutions: “I want to lose weight”.

OK. Great. Now what? Where do you go from here? What exactly does this statement mean?

Does it mean that you’ll forego that dessert when it is offered by your friends at the next party, or are you more inclined to be social and accept an extra 300 empty calories into your body rather than standing up for yourself and your health? Which driver is more important to you?

Be honest with yourself now. There is no wrong answer here, just a realization to accept. To what are you more committed, friendships and socializing or standing for your goals and winning for yourself? If you answered the former, you can now see why previous attempts at weight loss may have failed, possibly multiple times.

Make this year different. Choose to win for yourself.

Here are five key points to affirmation writing to help you be successful in your New Year’s resolutions. We’ll look at each individually and then add them together so you can create powerful resolutions for your success.

  1. Be Specific/Measurable – The example above, “I want to lose weight,” is not specific. How much weight do you want to lose? It’s a good starting place, but doesn’t tell us where we want to be in the end. If you lost one pound, you would be successful with this goal, but that’s not what you want is it?

State your goal clearly. “I want to lose ____ pounds” or “I want to weight _____ or less.”

  1. Be Positive – Don’t write your affirmations in the negative. Our subconscious mind tends not to hear the words “no” or “not”.

In our hypothetical example of losing weight, let’s say you choose to remove cake from your diet.

Do you say, “I will not eat cake”?

Read that sentence again. What’s the first thing you think of doing after you read it?  Probably eating cake.

By writing in the negative, we focus on the thing that we wish to remove instead of focusing on where we want to be in the future.

A more powerful statement would be, “I choose to eat healthy desserts such as fruit”.

  1. Be Present – Write affirmations using the word “Now.”

If you write, “I am going to lose 20 pounds in 2016,” when exactly are you going to lose it?

Will you do it over the course of January and February, then slowly gain it back over the rest of the year? Technically, by the affirmation, this would be success – you did lose the weight; you said nothing about remaining at your new baseline.

Or, will you stay at your current weight until October, then cram all of you dieting in over the last 10 – 12 weeks of the year? Again, this is technically a success. But what happens in 2017?

Make your goal present, “I am now on my path to losing ____ pounds,” or “I am now actively taking steps to weigh _____ or less.”

  1. Be Timely – Not only do we want to be present, we also want to have an endpoint so we hold ourselves accountable.

Set a realistic end-date for your goal.

A healthy rate of weight loss is 2 pounds per week. In the example above, 20 pounds would take 10 weeks. Look at a calendar and count out the time it will take to reach your goal.

Circle that date and commit to it.

“On or by _______, I will weigh ___ or less.”

If your goal seems to large to accomplish, break it down into smaller, manageable benchmarks.

Let’s say you want to lose 60 pounds – that’s 30 weeks of time, over half of the year. That is a big goal and one that can easily be derailed because the end date is so far out in the future.

With your eye on that larger goal, set smaller benchmarks of 5 or 10 pounds at their dates so you can hold yourself accountable in the short-term and still have an eye on your long-term success.

  1. Be Bold – Shoot for the stars. You can achieve anything you believe about yourself.

Consider this, there are no unrealistic goals, only unrealistic time-frames.

Looking at the example above, if your goal is to lose 60 pounds, and you start on
January 1, 2016, it would be unrealistic (and unhealthy) to set a your target date as March 1, 2016.

If in 30 weeks, you have lost 50 pounds rather than 60, be proud of you achievement. Do not worry about those remaining 10 pounds, you’ve accomplished five times that already. Those extra 10 don’t stand a chance over the coming month.

How do these five points all come together in creating powerful affirmations for your success? By using these keys, your affirmations will read something like this:

“I am now on my path to losing ___ pounds by ________”

“I now choose to eat healthily.”

“On or by ______________, I will weight __________.”

“I am now actively taking steps to weigh _____ or less on or by _____________.”

Use the outline to create your affirmations for your specific goals.

If you need additional help in reaching your goals, consider hypnotherapy to overcome any blocks to your success. How do you see your Whole. New. YOU?

Visit my website, www.danielolexa.com to see how I have helped others achieve their goals.

Write to me at daniel@danielolexa.com and let me know your plan for achievement in 2016.

How to Learn if You Are NOT Ready for Hypnotherapy

confined by walls rev

Eight Simple Questions to Ask Yourself Before You Begin Hypnotherapy

I recently wrote a series of articles about creating a non-smoking mindset. I gathered these ideas and additional information together into an e-book that is available on my website.

On the day I finished writing the program, I reached out to two family members who are smokers and asked them if they would like to participate so that they could reduce their intake of cigarettes or quit entirely. I wanted a smoker’s perspective on the ideas presented.

The answer from each was, “I’ll try.”

When you are faced with someone you love consuming a deadly product; partaking in a habit that is shortening their time on this earth with you and their response is, “I’ll try,” then you know that their habit, the cigarettes, are more important to them than their family.

It’s a heartbreaking realization.

“I’ll try” is a cop-out. It leaves the door open for them to just give up because they didn’t truly commit to the program.

“I’ll try,” says, “I expect to fail, because I failed before and I would be embarrassed to fail again.” This perspective does not even acknowledge the possibility of learning something new and growing. It is not about making a commitment to the possibility of a new future, it’s about fear of repeating the past.

“I’ll try” says “When it gets too hard, I’ll just stop the program because my goals for life do not extend beyond my next cigarette craving.”

“I’ll try” says “I’m not really interested, but I’ll say something that sounds like I am.”

“I’ll try” says “I have given my personal power and identity to a cylinder of leaves. This is who I am, that is all I am.”

I cannot make anyone change their ways. My profession is not one of control, this is a common misconception that I have addressed in the past.

I am here to help individuals grow and discover their true identity and personal power.

Depending on what they are going through, it may take many sessions and much emotional release. Sometimes it’s as easy as a simple hypnotic suggestion session to get them on track to finding their true nature.

This article is presented as a series of questions, a make-shift flow-chart, if you will, to help you decide if you are up to committing to changing your life with hypnotherapy.

The only answers to the questions in this article are “yes” and “no.” Unacceptable answers include, “I can try,” “maybe,” or “I don’t know.” The most honest of these responses is “I don’t know.” At least from that perspective you can choose to learn more or stay stuck. The other answers are excuses for staying where you are not happy, healthy or growing.

In the words of Yoda, “There is no try. There is only do or do not.”

Hold a pencil in your hand. Now try to drop it. You either dropped it or you did not; you did not “try” to drop it.

If you are a smoker, ignore your next craving. It will go away. Do not “try” to ignore it; simply choose to ignore it – find something else to engage your attention or to relieve your perceived stress.

No challenge is insurmountable. Our only barrier is our belief in our ability to achieve a goal.

If you truly want to achieve a goal, you will find a way to do it. It may be a hard road to success, but your drive will keep you moving forward every day. On some days you will achieve many proverbial steps on you path, other days you will inch forward as if you were a snail.

The important thing is that you commit to moving forward.

1. Do you want to change your life?

If your answer is “yes,” then read on. If it is “no,” then stop reading now and find something better to do with the next few minutes of your life.

2. Are you willing to make potentially drastic changes to your life? (For example, if you are a smoker, are you willing to find new friends who don’t smoke; If you are in a one-sided, bad relationship, are you willing to take responsibility for yourself and move out of it?)

If your answer is “yes,” then read on. If it is “no,” then stop reading now and find something better to do with the next few minutes of your life.

3. Are you willing to take responsibility for being in your situation, for you life being exactly where it is right now, doing what you are doing right now, surrounded by the people whom surround you right now? No excuses, no blaming others or mysterious forces for your position. Are you ready to take responsibility for yourself?

If your answer is “yes,” then read on. If it is “no,” then stop reading now and find something better to do with the next few minutes of your life.

4. Do you have a vision or a feeling that you are destined for something bigger in this life? Do you have a dream of accomplishing something more than what you are currently doing? Do you feel like you are wasting your time being stuck?

If your answer is “yes,” then read on. If it is “no,” then stop reading now and find something better to do with the next few minutes of your life.

5. Have you tried other avenues to change your life? Seminars, counseling, new jobs, new relationships and/or new friends? Have you moved to a new town or state to create a new life, but found that it’s all the same, “Wherever you go, there you are.” You just brought your baggage with you.

If your answer is “yes,” then read on. If it is “no,” then stop reading now and find something better to do with the next few minutes of your life.

6. Are you ready to drop your bags, the ones that you no longer need and create something new? Let go of the past that holds you back and move forward with strength from the foundation of what works in your life?

If your answer is “yes,” then read on. If it is “no,” then stop reading now and find something better to do with the next few minutes of your life.

7. Are you willing to try hypnotherapy as a tool to help empower you to reach your goals?

If your answer is “yes,” then read on.

If your answer is “no,” then you are probably not a good candidate for hypnotherapy at this time. When you are ready to answer “yes,” then please contact me.

If you are on the fence, reach out and we can discuss it – no pressure. I promise to listen and give you a fair assessment.

A “Yes- attitude” is important for your success. I will not accept your business unless you are committed to yourself.

8. Are you ready to move forward now?

If your answer is “yes,” then contact me and we’ll schedule a free 30-minute consultation. Online sessions are available for anyone, anywhere in the world. We’ll work out the time zone differences, I am here to help you reach your goals.

Daniel Olexa, CCHt

daniel@danielolexa.com

Whole. New. YOU!

 

Shifting Gears: Going From Negative to Positive Mindset

gearshift

What We Think About Ourselves Is What We Achieve

The voices in my head were overpowering.

“You suck. You’re not good enough. Who do you think you are? What are you trying to prove?”

I listened to them for years. I lowered my expectations of myself based on these critical inner voices. My Inner Critic was berating me and I was letting it win.

How did I turn my biggest adversary into my biggest supporter? I took three critical steps to changing my mindset and I began to see my world in a different way.

1. I believed in myself. I knew that my dreams could be realized.

I felt that I would not be presented with a challenge that I could not overcome or a goal that I could not achieve. It just seemed natural that if the Universe was going to present me with a perceived barrier, it would also supply me with a wrecking ball.

Finding that wrecking ball, or sometimes even a crowbar, wasn’t always easy. It seemed that the harder I looked for the tools, the more difficult they were to find, but I still felt that they were there.

Sometimes the more effort we put into looking for something, the more it eludes us. Ever lose your car keys? Under stress and looking everywhere, you’ll never find them, but if you slow down and let your mind relax, you’ll find them in moments.

I took this approach to my goals. Instead of frantically trying to make them happen NOW, I stepped back and let them develop at the right time with the right amount of effort on my part.

All things happen in their proper time. The best thing we can do for ourselves is get out of our own way.

2. I forgave my inner voices.

I recognized them for who and what they were: internal dialogue on a repeating tape loop that actually wanted to protect me. In the mind of my inner critic, if I didn’t achieve my goals, I was a failure. Being a failure was bad. By some strange logic, it followed that if I didn’t try, I couldn’t fail; therefore I was a success for not trying.

In the view of my Inner Critic, it was best to do nothing and just be safe. Its job was to deter me from trying to further realize and actualize my life. In its own way, it was showing me that it loved me and was trying to protect me from being harmed by my drive to grow.

Strangely, while I was listening to these voices and lowering my expectations of what my life could be, I was succeeding academically, growing into a marketing professional and finding that I did have a purpose and a true talent for finding solutions to problems.

I was often the smartest guy in the room, but in many ways saw myself as the least successful. I wondered why I wasn’t achieving my goals when I had the intellect to be successful.

I was in my own way because I didn’t think I could be successful in monetary terms. Programmed by years of messages of lack, messages of hard work not paying off, messages of only cheaters getting ahead, I picked a path that allowed me to maintain my morals yet I was financially challenged.

It was a classic false dichotomy: Be honest or be prosperous. I could not find a way to be moral/ethical and wildly successful financially. I was acting out the programming I had been given that said it was better to be honest than rich – and you can’t have both.

When I became aware that my inner voices where echoing the phrases of my parents, I stepped back and listened more closely. I realized that they, like my parents, were just trying to protect me from failing. They wanted me to be the best person I could be. They wanted me to be safe. Their desire for my safety came from love.

Once I realized that key element, I knew that my inner voices were not berating me to hurt me and make me feel badly; they were trying, in their own strange, critical way, to make me better. That outlook I could accept from a position of strength and feel empowered to move forward to manifest the life that I dreamed of living.

If you are having a hard time conceptualizing this process for yourself, ask yourself this question: “Would my parents want me to be a failure or would they want me to succeed in life?” Just because they may have been critical does not mean that they wanted you to fail or stop growing. They just wanted you to be safe because that’s their job.

Forgive those critical inner voices. Look at them with love and tell them, “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.”

Remind them that your life, your path in this life is yours to choose. You choose it with or without their support. Lovingly tell them that their views are not your views and they have no place. Thank them for their advice and move on with your life.

Or, if you’re like me, drop an F-bomb on them when they act up.

3. I learned a key phrase that changed my outlook on life

“What did I learn from this?”

One of the most powerful phrases that I have learned to apply to my life came from a lawyer. He saw that I was doubting myself and beating myself up for perceived failures.

He told me a story about how he learned to re-frame his perceived defeats. Instead of beating himself up over a lost trial, he framed the situation as an opportunity for learning. How could he learn from this event and use that lesson to create a win the next time?

So many times, we frame a failure as a final outcome. However, in reality, so many things hinge from that event. It really isn’t a final outcome at all, but just one point on a journey or in a series of events.

Free yourself to make changes. Free yourself to see your positive future possibilities. Give yourself permission to fail and feel good about it.

It means that you are trying, you are growing and you are learning. Let the process unfold and be kind to yourself.

What steps have you taken to break old belief systems that held you back? How are you going to shift your life into high gear?

Send me an email at daniel@danielolexa.com. Let’s get you going in high gear.

 

 

Letting Go of Attachment to Outcomes (interlude)

Young Girl Kayaking at Bacalar, near Cancun, Traveling Mexico. B

Sometimes You Just Gotta Let Go

Before we go too far down the path of goal setting and creating your perfect life, there is an important discussion that we must have.

It’s about letting go. Letting go of your attachment to a specific outcome.

Don’t get me wrong, having goals is critical to creating success. Without a goal or vision to set your path, you will be wandering aimlessly through life wondering why you can’t get ahead; why life happens to you instead of you happening to it.

We’ll do some deep work in goal setting later, for now think big and think broadly. What is your passion? What do you love doing? Where do you want to live? How much do you want to earn? What kind of life do you want?

If you are having difficulty with any of these questions, then you need to read Black Hole Focus by Isaiah Hankel. This book will change your life and get you on the right path for creating your future.

Go ahead, go to Amazon. Check it out. The link is right there. I’ll wait…..

Now, let’s move ahead.

I imagine that you are familiar with the concept of SMART goals? If not, here is a brief summary.

SMART is an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound. When setting a goal, it is important for it to be clarified using these five calibrations.

1. Specific – Consider who, what, when, where, why and how in developing the goal.

2. Measurable – Include a numeric or descriptive measurement.

3. Achievable – Consider the resources needed and set a realistic goal.

4. Relevant – Make sure the goal is consistent with the mission.

5. Time-bound – Set a realistic deadline

(*Special thanks to Bright Hub Project Management for these bullet points.)

I add one more criteria to these directives. My acronym is SMART-ER.

ER = Emotional Relevance. How do you want to feel about this life you’re creating?

If you aren’t feeling a way that empowers and fulfills you; a way in which you are excited to wake up every morning, then what is the point of achieving the goal and living that lifestyle?

Using these criteria, let’s say that you’ve set a goal of being happy as you are the most successful _____________ in the city/state/country of ___________ by December 31, ________. You want to earn $_________ annually working for the company of ___________ (or for yourself). You study your competition and create your path to success.

Sounds like a great goal. Get a clear vision of it in your head. What does that future look like? See it and feel it as though it’s real.

Let’s go conquer it!

Here’s where so many people get tripped up on the way to accomplishing their goals. They don’t allow for flexibility in achieving them.

To use and artistic metaphor, these people paint in the details without having the broad brushstrokes in place to create the full experience of their image.

What happens to your goal if the company you work for goes out of business? What if you find that earning your target income is much easier than you anticipated? Do you set a new, higher goal or just live in comfortable complacency? What if you decide to live somewhere else because the weather is better there?

That’s where flexibility comes in.

You may discover that the goal you THOUGHT you wanted is no longer what you desire. What if this golden lifestyle is not fulfilling to you? What if along they way, you also built a family and the demands of your occupation are stressing your relationship with those close to you?

While we are living and achieving our goals; while we are happening to life, life still has a way to happen to us. We change as we achieve and grow. In six months of working toward your outcome, you may decide that you want to make changes to it or do something else entirely.

And that’s OK. Give yourself permission to do it. Be flexible. Examine your situation, re-evaluate your location and course, then make changes as you move along.

Evaluating and correcting your course along the way allows you to arrive at the perfect outcome rather than to arrive at one that is not ideal and realize you are not where you want to be. Flexibility in navigation is the key.

One of Stephen Covey’s Seven Habits of Highly Effective People is to “Begin with the End in Mind.” Know where you are going so you can get there most efficiently.

It’s OK to decide in midstream that you no longer want to go to a certain destination. Just pick a new place to land your boat. Keep going. Don’t stop unless you want to. Or, you may decide after a few years in one location that where you have landed no longer meets your needs. Feel free to get back in the boat and continue downstream to find the next location that looks fitting.

Rinse. Repeat as necessary.

This is your life. You decide how you want to live it in every way. Go do it.

I’d love to hear about your goals and your experiences with achieving and changing them.

In my practice, I help people to actualize their dreams and clarify their goals. How can I help you?

Contact me at daniel@danielolexa.com

 

What’s on Your Radar? How the Reticular Activating System reinforces our beliefs and impressions.

Radar

What’s in Your “Sphere of Awareness”?

In my previous article, we addressed mindset. Specifically, what things do you tell yourself when you undertake a challenge?

Do you believe in yourself or do you apply limiting beliefs that reduce your effectiveness (or possibly keep you from making an effort at all)? In catchy terms: What we believe, we achieve.

The Reticular Activating System (RAS) is a key component in creating these outcomes. Understanding how it functions and how we can re-train it to work for us is critical in taking control of our lives.

The RAS is a cluster of nerves in the brain stem. It is believed to control many unconscious actions such as breathing, sleep and your heartbeat, among others.

It also acts as a filter for our consciousness. It blocks out unwanted stimuli while focusing on those things upon which we wish to direct our attention.

Many people experience the effects of the RAS when they buy a new car. Prior to the purchase, they may have only seen the car on TV or ridden in one driven by a friend. After buying the car, they suddenly notice that the car seems to be at every street corner and traffic light.

This is because the car is now in what I call our Sphere of Awareness. What is in our Sphere of Awareness, or on our radar, is what we perceive about our world and ourselves.

Just bought a new car? Now you see it everywhere.

Just got mad at yourself for making a mistake? Now you focus on all of your other short-comings as they take hold and loom over you.

Just closed a new business deal for millions? Now you only see your successes and look for the next challenge to conquer.

Remember the quotation from Ford, “The man who thinks he can and the man who thinks he cannot are both correct…” Our thoughts about our ability to achieve are directly linked to our ability to be successful.

We develop these beliefs in ourselves at an early age, then reinforce them with our behaviors. Beliefs that are possibly initiated with a dramatic, shocking event in our youth are secured in our psyche through repetition as we prove to ourselves that we are right about ourselves… Over and over and over.

Punished and told you were bad as a child for voicing your opinion to your parent? You may find that later in life you have a difficult time speaking up for yourself or adding your expertise to a discussion.

Take a few moments and examine how you talk to yourself internally. Listen to your inner voice, your inner critic.

Do you tell yourself you are a loser or a winner? How do you feel about being more successful than you currently are?

If you find you are answering in the negative, there is hope. Your RAS can be re-trained to see success instead of limitation. Consider it to be like the purchase of another new car: the old one just wasn’t fun to drive, so you traded it in for a sportier model.

To begin the process of retraining your RAS, you first need to focus on your successes every day. No matter how small. One of my favorite books for this process is The Five Minute Journal.

In literally just five minutes per day, you can retrain your brain away from overly negative thinking.

When I used the journal, I noticed a perceptible difference in my mindset within 10 days. I was focused on my strengths, my belief in myself was stronger and the negativity that surrounded me no longer had any lasting power.

I haven’t looked back since.

Through this process, hypnosis was a key for me. Bypassing the negative thoughts in my conscious mind, I was able to work directly with my subconscious to reframe my focus from self-doubt to self-confidence. Hypnosis also helped to secure that feeling in my mind.

As you control what is on your radar, you can take the next step, which is to chart a clearer path to your goals. Not only will you make your path easier by removing obstacles, but you will be more motivated to begin new tasks because you will be entering into them with a success mindset.

Next week: More on refocusing to the positive.

Contact me at daniel@danielolexa.com to learn how hypnotherapy can be instrumental in shifting your mindset to success.