By: Preston Braathen, Director of Strategic Partnerships at The Greenhouse

The Pits of Personal Development

How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie was the starting point for me. One pass through that book and I was hooked. Why had no one shown me this before? My personal development journey was underway, and I had no idea where it was going to take me.  

After countless books, podcasts and recommended videos, I was simply spinning my wheels. What was the point of reading all of this and listening to these great speakers if it did not translate into any real-world changes? I was consuming with no plan of action and was getting upset by my lack of results. I had no idea what I wanted.  

Start with Why by Simon Sinek blew the cap off of my understanding of personal development. You have to start with the Why behind everything you do, otherwise, you will lose track and become upset with your results. That is where I was, upset with the results but still doing things and expecting new outcomes. I think someone said that was insanity, but I kept going. How in the heck do you figure out your Why? We have so many stimuli in our lives, how do we know for sure what we really want internally rather than what sounds good in a world of consumption? What if we could figure out ourselves? What if we really could develop a good relationship with ourselves? I think that might be where we need to start.  

Outside the Box

It was not until I truly stopped consuming and started thinking that I began finding the real results I was looking for. I dug deep and found that I needed to let go of the idea that personal development was going to allow me never-ending knowledge and an all-powerful persona. Nope, what allowed me to make the best changes in life was when I decided I didn’t know s?!#!. It may seem counterproductive, but it was so relaxing to sit with that idea.  

Why would you want to take the stance that you will never be the smartest person in the room? Being the smartest, the richest and the best is how you get power, respect and success! Is it not? I agree, all those things will come with knowledge, but so will unwanted pressure. The kicker is, the pressure will be created by you and you alone. If you come up with an issue that you do not have the slightest clue to solve, you will press yourself to find the answer and develop a plan of action. The more you press, the more you feel the heat. Nothing wrong with pressure, but if you are not willing to be wrong, life will find a way to show you that you are, and that leads to problems.  

Inside the Brain: What is NLP?

Question: What do you think is the starting point of every problem? 

Answer: Your mind. 

Have you ever thought of how you talk to yourself? Is it productive? Is it helpful? Most of the time it is not. Usually, we are asking ourselves Why did I do that? Why didn’t I do better? What can I do better next time?, or ol’ reliable, Why did they do that? We love to find blame in others. Why is it so easy to answer problems like this? A large problem with blaming others like this is that we lose all control of the problem. Yes, that is right, once you blame another person for your shortcomings you have effectively convinced yourself that you cannot do anything to fix it. That is why knowing how to talk with and to yourself is so crucial. 

NLP defined: NLP is how to use the language of the mind to consistently achieve our specific and desired outcomes.  

Neuro – The nervous system (the mind), through which our experience is processed via five senses: 1. Visual 2. Auditory 3. Kinesthetic 4. Olfactory 5. Gustatory 

Linguistic – Language and other non-verbal communication systems through which our neural representations are coded, ordered and given meaning. 

Programming – The ability to discover and utilize the programs that we run (our communication with ourselves and others) in our neurological systems to achieve our specific and desired outcomes. 

To put it in simple terms, we have two versions of ourselves at battle every moment of our life and if you don’t know what each one wants, it will cause… well… life as you know it. You have a conscious mind (the goal-setter) and an unconscious mind (the goal-getter) that are always working for you. If they are not working in tandem, you can be feeling like you are progressing with no actual progress. With the ability to improve your communication and knowledge of yourself, you set yourself up for drastic improvements in a short amount of time. This is all done through what we call a Breakthrough Session that I facilitate with clients.

Overnight Success: What is a Breakthrough Session?

In anything you do, if you want to see a change in your life, there are 4 requisites you must know: 

  1. Get Rid of Negative Emotions, Limiting Decisions, Parts Integration, Negative Values, Etc.
  2. Create the Future with Goal Setting 
  3. Take Action, Including Enforcing Your Boundaries 
  4. Focus on What You Want, Your Evaluations Become Suggestions to the Unconscious Mind

5 Steps To Breakthrough

Step 1: Cause vs Effect 

Before you get to a conversation about a Breakthrough Session, a few things have to be agreed upon. First, YOU are the cause of all your problems. Next, your perception is reality. Lastly, what you believe has happened to you will indeed affect your thinking. If you are in the mindset of Effect you must shift your mindset. You have to get to the mindset of Cause. You are the cause of the problem, not the effect of them. By making this mindset shift, you empower yourself with the ability to take control. Once you allow yourself to get to this stage, it is all within you to change.  

Step 2: Root Cause 

What is your biggest issue right now? How is it holding you back? Whatever that core issue is, it will have emotions that have been positioned within it. How do we attempt to move past it? We find the root of the issue that is making you act that way. By finding the root cause of the issue, you will have the opportunity to face it head-on and leave it in the past, where it happened.  

Step 3: Release Emotion 

Yes, I said emotions. Even if you are highly in touch with your emotions or not, you will feel the most change from doing this. Going back to the emotions that are wrapped up in our issues, we will find the root cause of your feelings. Just like an onion, we will peel back the emotions that hold the root cause tight, then we allow it to simply be. You will still remember all the things you have done, but the emotions that were placed on these situations will be left at the time of the situation and will allow you to not hold onto them in the now. Ultimately, you let go.

Step 4: Set Future Goals 

Now that you are in a haze of thoughts and are beginning to feel the changes occurring. This is when, together, I help you capitalize on this state and imprint your goals onto your mind. We use the simple SMART goal format and write it out so you can envision it. The reason I’ll have you write your goals out is because your mind works in pictures. If you can envision it, you will actively work to get it. What you see is what is in front of you. Reading this might sound too easy to work and you would be right. All the greatest things in life are easy, you just have to put the right effort in.  

Step 5: See Change 

Lastly, you live your life. Yup, you have to go back into the world that brought you here. However, you now have a different view of yourself and the world around you. What that does is it allows you to see things that might have held you back as now just things – mere happenings without significant impact. Life is just a combination of things. Your reaction to those is how you perceive your life. Now that you have changed the way you think about your past, you have full control of your future and the ability to direct it how you see fit.  

Purpose in life comes from the battle of who you are now to who you want to become. This is a chance for you to stop battling with yourself and work in tandem with your mind. The road is much smoother when you stop sabotaging your own car.


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