Leslie's Story – "I am second best"

Part of my work with people involves helping them free themselves from old identities, ideas and feelings about themselves that are no longer useful. This extract from a client session describes the Identity Relief process that I use as part of that work.

I have been working with Leslie (not her real name) for a little while on issues to do with her lack of self acceptance and powerful inner critics. As part of our ongoing discussions she told me that a lot of her time was spent comparing herself to other women and finding herself wanting. At one point she said: "I feel second best", because she said this with such intensity I asked her to say it out loud to have a sense of how true that statement was and then I asked her to say "I am second best" out loud.

There is a big difference between feeling something and being something, our feelings can pass but who we think we are forms the bedrock of our attitudes and behaviours.

She told me that "I am second best" had a 10 out of 10 score for her. If you have the fixed idea about yourself that you are second best it is not surprising that you spend a lot of time comparing yourself to others.

When someone has a strong and unhelpful identity belief (sense of I am …) like this, I use the Identity Relief process to update this collection of ideas, thoughts and feelings about ourselves to something more realistic. The Identity Relief process identifies the time when this idea about ourselves was formed, often in early childhood, and uses a visualisation of that younger self and EFT to neutralise the strong negative feelings associated with that time, finally, that younger self is immersed in the compassionate acceptance that was probably missing at the time that these ideas were formed and is invited to update that understanding in the light of new experience.

When I asked her to say "I am second best" she told me that it scored a 10 out of 10 as truth.

Then I asked her: "How old is the 'I' in I am second best".

She immediately answered: "Tiny … pre-talk"

I asked her to imagine that "tiny" self outside herself on the other side of the room.

When she nodded that she had done so, I asked her: "What is going on for that tiny self?"

"There's a feeling of awfulness …"

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Belief Flip in German

A big thank you to Michaela Thiede who read a copy of my Flipping Beliefs With EFT article and very kindly offered to translate it into German. As far as I know this is the first article of mine ever translated, which makes me very chuffed (don't know what 'chuffed' would be in German).

If you are a native German speaker and would like to read  Belief Flip – umgedrehte Glaubenssätze just click on the link.

Vielen Dank Michaela (I hope I got that right)

NLP Café – Trait Squares and Time Lines – July 20th

In this month's NLP Café, Andy Hunt will demonstrate two process to help you adopt the qualities you would like more of.

There may be times in our lives when we could really use some more strength, awareness, joy or some trait that we don't seem to have enough of.

In the first process of this month's NLP Café you will learn the Trait Square, a simple way of accessing more of the qualities you need.

You can adopt more confidence, enthusiasm, determination – whatever quality you would like to have more of in your everyday experience.

In the second section using Time Lines you will have a chance to test drive this new trait into the future, a thorough mental rehearsal, so that it will be available to you whenever you need it.

You don't need much experience of NLP to attend this workshop, all you need is an idea of what attitudes and aptitudes you would like to have more of and a willingness to join in.

The NLP Café is on Wednesday 20th July at 7pm in St Oswald's Hospice, Teaching Centre, Gosforth.

Phone Andy on 0754 700 9116 or email andy@practicalwellbeing.co.uk for more information.

The NLP Café meeting costs just £10 and includes refreshments.

Note: The NLP Cafe is a low cost NLP practice group in Newcastle upon Tyne it is run by myself and Nigel Hetherington of Communicating Excellence. It is open to all regardless of experience or training.

Image courtesy of loop_oh

How To Neutralise Limiting Beliefs With Exception Tapping

ExceptionsWe all believe things about ourselves and our world.

We need beliefs, they are a simplification, a rule of thumb about how the world works and what things mean.

If we didn’t have them we would have to re-invent our understanding of the world everyday.

Some of these beliefs are helpful:

  • If I speak up then people will respect my honesty.
  • People will be interested in what I have to say.

And some of them are less than helpful:

  • If I speak up then people will criticise me
  • Speaking about what I do is just bragging

What beliefs have in common is that they are generalisations. They are a distillation of past experience. What appear to be common factors in our experience are boiled down into a rule which we use as a guide to action in the future.

The good thing about a belief is that it is a generalisation. It is a simplification that usually works and saves us a lot of time when dealing with the complexities of life.

The bad thing about a belief is that it is a generalisation. There are times when it misses out the important complexities in our experience. Because beliefs are often formed at an early age they only take account of those experiences.

When our lives and circumstances move on our beliefs often stay locked in the past. It is unlikely that a belief that you formed when you were six years old will work well for you in adult life; many of our beliefs may be out of date.

Unfortunately, our beliefs are difficult to upgrade, once such a generalisation is in place we tend to ignore, distort or not even see contradictory evidence.

If we can challenge the generalisations and let the contrary evidence in, then, we can soften the belief and allow it to be updated by new information. The more accurate our generalisation the more likely it is to serve us.

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Choose A Therapist You Can Be Uncomfortable With

I was talking with a knowledgeable friend about how people choose therapists or counsellors to work with from so many options.

At one point she said: "They have to find someone they are comfortable with."

I agreed and then it occurred to me that it is more than that.

We can be comfortable with all sorts of people, friends and family, the people at work or in the pub, but therapy needs a different kind of comfortable.

For a good therapeutic experience you need to find someone you are comfortable being uncomfortable with.

If you are going to change how you think and feel about things – and why else go for therapy – you are going to feel uncomfortable for a while. The therapist needs to be able to be fully present with your discomfort and you need to be able to allow your discomfort to be present with them. If you can't trust them, or they can't cope, with your discomfort, it's not likely to go well.

If I think through all my acquaintances, there are many that I feel comfortable with, but only a few that I would be comfortable being uncomfortable with. I think it's a rare quality. If you can find a therapist (or a friend) who has that, you have found someone worth talking to.

EFT Cafe – July 13th – The Belief Flip

Ok, I know it is ridculously short notice but this month's EFT Cafe is showing you how to use The Belief Flip process I've developed for undoing limiting beliefs.

The EFT Cafe is at 7pm on Wednesday 13th, July at St Oswald's Hospice Teaching Centre, you can find out more at the EFT Cafe website. Hope to see you there.

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