“I have a bone to pick with you, so YOU are on the hot seat today!”
Interesting way to start a first session with a new client who was wagging his finger in front of my face.
“Last week when you were talking about the layers that might bury the best parts of ourselves (our Champion) …I wasn’t really paying that much attention. My fiancé drug me into that talk with her!”
He continued in a direct tone of voice.
“But when you started reading my mail and talking about my life in front of the whole group…I was livid that my fiancé had set me up for this.”
I was totally present and focused as he struggled with his emotions. I waited.
“I leaned over to her and told her that it was not funny! She looked at me like I was crazy and whispered back: ‘What are you talking about?’”
He said he’d whispered back to her with a hint of angst: “How long have you known her and what did you tell her?”
“She responded: ‘I’ve never seen her before in my life. She’s giving this talk and I needed continuing ed credits, and I told you that you didn’t have to come!’”
With a big grin on my face, because clearly, I knew neither one of them, I responded: “Well you said I read your mail…so apparently you didn’t leave?”
With his finger wagging once again, he demanded: “Are you one of those palm readers or fortunetellers?”
I just could not hold it back. I laughed hysterically!
I retorted: “So I guess you’re the person who I had the nanny cam installed in their home so I could watch?”
We both laughed as he rolled his eyes and continued sharing his perplexity.
“Seriously, you can’t leave me hanging. You nailed me to the wall with all that talk about what life is like with people who have the best parts of them, buried, under layers. I think I have the first layer you talked about. The layer about disempowering messages and crazy families or something like that…”
It’s not unusual when people read about, or hear me talk about, the inner champion being buried beneath emotionally undefinable layers…that they feel like I’m speaking directly to them!
None of us with buried champions are ‘exactly’ the same. But usually there’s enough similarities to what I say that someone in that situation becomes, at the least, very curious.
I assured him I wouldn’t leave him hanging and I’ll not leave you hanging either. This week I’m speaking about the layer involving disempowering messages, and what is installed on your hard drive.
What we believe, our world view, our struggle to choose and focus and to truly know what we want, was installed on our hard drive by the time we were six or seven years old! Then we do life with scrambled pieces of downloaded misfiring software. On an already messed up hard drive.
So…one more time…by the time we were 6 or 7 years old…WE were pre-programmed!? YES!
This hard drive was installed by parents, coaches, teachers, babysitters, by any significant person in our lives. And guess what … they didn’t even consult us!
What is on that hard drive runs everything we say or don’t say. Everything we do or don’t do. Every decision we make. And we don’t even know what’s on it????
Well, let’s fix that! Just like I helped my client who came with a bone to pick with me! It’s time to reboot and install new software on a cleaned up hard drive with new ‘real-you’ downloads, guaranteed truths, to resurrect the champion still and forever – in you!
I’ll encourage you to do all 5 of these steps. Even if your champion is in full bloom and the best parts of you are shining…Doing the steps will make those parts of you shine even brighter!
1. ACCESS THE MESSAGES.
Things they said.
Things they modeled.
By whom? Your parents, extended family, coaches, teachers, etc. All firmly downloaded and installed before you were ‘double-digital’ (10 years old)!
I coached my client:
“You simply must take the time to access the messages that were spoken to you directly, those that were imposed upon you without words and those that were modeled to you.”
I told him that there were probably some excellent things said, imposed, and modeled. And that we did not want to miss those either.
I begin asking him series of questions. I will write the questions for you here, and share his answers, hoping they might inspire you to think through your own.
What awesome things were said to you by your parents, teachers, coaches, extended family, etc. from age 10 and under?
He looked puzzled, and deep in thought. I knew that meant he was having trouble accessing them, so I waited.
Finally, he began:
- You’re pretty good at puzzles
- You’re sweet when you’re asleep
Another long pause. Finally:
- That’s a decent report card but you could do better!
I asked him if he realized that all, except his first one, came with a disempowering implication?
He nodded and said, “Yea, I think hearing that I was good at puzzles had something to do with forming my career as a strategic consultant.”
We moved onto the next question.
What disempowering, shaming, or negative messages did you hear before age 10?
He looked at his watch and asked: “How much time do we have?” I was not surprised.
- You don’t have the sense that the good Lord gave a goose
- You have diarrhea of the mouth and constipation of the brain
- You’re such a selfish boy that it’s no wonder you don’t have any friends
The list went on and on and on.
Then I asked the next question:
What disempowering things were imposed upon you even if no one said them?
He was a bit puzzled, so I gave him an example.
I shared how one of my Master Coach graduates had shared about an experience in his early life.
No one ever said to him, “Don’t touch anyone because you’re disgusting…” But that message was imposed upon him. He shared how that he had been to some friend’s houses when he was a boy and realized that a lot of families hugged one another.
He worked up his courage for quite some time and then went to the kitchen where his mother was. While she was standing at the sink, with all the courage he could muster, he put his arm around her.
While shoving him away, with disdain and disgust, she demanded in an angry voice: “What the hell are you doing?”
The message of not touching was firmly installed on his hard drive, and he has always struggled to initiate and receive any touch that was non-sexual. That message was on his hard drive.
My new client responded:
“Oh, I think I get it.”
Then he began:
- Boys are disgusting and girls are cute
- Dads get no voice in things
- He who talks (or yells) the loudest wins
The list went on.
Then I asked the next question:
What disempowering things were modeled to you? Not necessarily stated in words, but modeled loud and clear?
He began again:
- Don’t talk about your problems
- Don’t trust anyone
- Good boys don’t cry
Because I’d done a brief history before we began, it made perfect sense to me why the engagement with his fiancé had been on and off and on and off. And, why he raised his voice with her. And, why he had trust issues.
We all start the same with our hard drive being programmed for us. We get zero choices.
Someone chooses our name. Where we’ll live. Someone teaches us to talk and walk. Someone picks out our colors, our clothes. Someone chooses our likes and dislikes. Someone shows us how to love or they don’t. Someone affirms our uniqueness, or they don’t, or they can’t, or they won’t. Someone recognizes that champion within, or they don’t or they never do.
Then, we’re sent out to do life with our own ‘unique’ layers of babble (the good, the bad, the ugly) playing in our hearts and heads. But, buried under these layers of mixed signals, is also the truth about you, trying to loop on the hard drive of your thinking.
But just like pure gold that can never change or dissolve, and just needs to be unearthed to shine and gain worth and value … the same is true of your Champion! Now you get to choose who to trust, who to follow, who to be!
What about you?
What messages were spoken to you that were empowering?
What messages were spoken to you that were disempowering?
What messages about how life was supposed to be done were imposed upon you?
And what disempowering messages about life were modeled to you?
Access them! You must know what they are to remove this layer.
Refuse to allow this layer to bury the best parts of you!
We all need those very best parts of you!
IT’S TIME TO UNRAVEL THE BABBLE…AND DOWNLOAD ‘YOUR’ CHAMPION SOFTWARE ON A CLEANED UP HARD DRIVE!
2. MARK EACH MESSAGE AS EMPOWERING OR DISEMPOWERING.
Here is the definition for empowering for this exercise:
Things that inspire and encourage you to become all and the best you, that you were created to be!
Here is the definition for disempowering for this exercise:
Anything less than empowering. There is no neutral for this exercise!
Although I only listed a few of his messages under each question, he had quite a long list.
I’d given him a purple-colored pin to check those that were disempowering. He flipped through the pages on the tablet where he was writing and just put a huge purple checkmark on each page.
Even on the page with what we had identified as empowering ones in the beginning.
As he was making the checkmarks, I could tell that there was a change in his demeanor.
I asked him: “What happened inside of you as you drew those big checkmarks on each page?”
He explained: “You know how some people say when they have a near fatal accident that their whole life flashes before their eyes?”
I nodded. I wasn’t quite sure if what I was seeing was anger or sadness.
He said, “What kind of parents would do that to a kid? I mean I wasn’t a bad kid. I didn’t get in trouble much. Never at school. Why didn’t they make me believe I was something?”
I responded to him the way I try to respond to most clients asking that rhetorical question.
“I don’t know your parents, but likely it had to do with the way they were raised. Most parents are doing the best that they can but are riddled with their own unresolved issues and messages.”
In the safe but tense silence, I continued.
“But whether it was accidental or purposeful, you’re not under any obligation to keep what they installed on your hard drive. It sounds like there was a lot of toxic things going on in your home, and perhaps there was some ‘toxic ‘emotional virus’ installed on your hard drive. Now lying dormant in you, waiting for the right emotional exchange to manifest, that you’ll most likely face, adding yet another piece to this puzzle that’s become you?” I asked in such a way, that he knew I could relate.
Then I encouraged him with this: “The truth is, it’s ‘your’ hard drive! Yours! And, you have complete ability, power, and (hopefully) desire to change it!”
It seemed that in him, the anger had now softened and had morphed into sadness.
I leaned toward him and inquired gently: “What’s happening in you right now?”
With a real tenderness in his voice, he almost whispered his answer: “I guess I’m asking myself what kind of dad I am/was. Have I, too, installed similar messages in my kids?”
I waited as he mustered up enough courage to speak the next words: “I guess my daughters are okay because I had the message that girls are cute installed. But I think I said similar awful things I’d heard growing up, to my son.”
It felt like regret poured out of every cell in his body.
I told him it was never too late to change his hard drive, and then perhaps he could share it with his kids and mentor them to change theirs.
With great conviction, he almost begged: “If I do well on mine, will you help me help them with theirs?”
I assured him I’d be honored to do both.
What about you?
How many of your messages were empowering? How many of them were disempowering.?
Remember the purpose of this is not to blame, and certainly not to hate your parents, teachers, coaches, and other people who had influence on your young life.
The purpose is to see what is installed on your hard drive so we can install the things that’ll welcome the best parts of you to come forth and champion your heart!
Yes! No matter how deeply the best parts of you may be buried, we can help those parts shine through! It’s that difficult. It’s that simple. It’s that one thing that you desire to know and become! It’s that ‘go for it’ call that never goes away … and you know it never will.
That’s your buried unmentored and unaffirmed ‘champion’ spirit, calling longing for you to see, to know, to embrace the ‘real truths’ about you.
YES, it’s everyone’s unseen heart tug that knows:
- That the pursuit and fulfillment of this kind of desire …
- Always leads and guides to all the power and freedom to choose anew
- All that anyone will ever need!
Why is that heart tug there?
So that you/me/us will rise-up and pursue every ‘next right step’ in discovering our champion spirit and life!
It’s our ‘one thing’ that’s always been within us, waiting, calling, saying NOW is our time to live our uniqueness. This inner champion spirit and life was, is, and will always be yours, mine, and our-destiny!
3. SCRAMBLE THE DISEMPOWERING MESSAGES.
I share this information often when I speak to groups and when I write. After hearing what I’ll share with you here, some people roll their eyes as if saying: “That’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard of.”
But before you make that judgment, hear me out on the research.
We all know that if you take an LP 33 1/3 record (which are now coming back into vogue) and if you hate one song on that album…You can identify where the grooves are for that song. Then you can scratch all those grooves up, and your record will no longer play that song.
The concept of neuroplasticity is one of the most amazing discoveries we’ve made about the brain. We know from great research that you can absolutely accomplish that same thing regarding what’s installed on the hard drive of your brain.
You can scratch up messages that you no longer want running your life.
Yes! They run your life.
Yes! They run your life. You’re not even aware, but every moment of every day your life is driven by those messages you have possibly never even brought forth to the front of your brain.
We know how to create discord in the brain that’s the SAME concept of scratching out the grooves in a record of songs that you do not want to hear.
How is that done?
I explained to my client (who I could tell was nervous about what was coming) the three things that could remove these things from his hard drive:
- Brain dissonance
His comment made me laugh: “Oh my goodness? Are you going to hypnotize me and make me act like a chicken?”
Interesting that those kind of scenes on sitcom’s that portrayed hypnosis (and connected it to people acting like a chicken) are still in/on people’s minds! (Proof of programming!)
I told him that chicken clucking was not necessary unless he thought that would be helpful to him. I added that I didn’t think that he needed to be hypnotized to do that.
I asked him if he had ever been to a party where the chicken dance was done? With a red face, he replied, “Yes I have. And I did it! But…I wasn’t sober!”
I told him that although there would be no clucking here, research showed that when our energy level was increased with movement, our heart rates were raised … which makes the brain more receptive. So, we must use energy.
I told him he needed to choose a movement, whether it was the chicken dance, jumping up and down, running up and down stairs, or whatever else he chose. He chose jumping up and down.
Then I told him there had to be volume. When we project our voices, the reptilian part of our brain that holds old memory is activated. And the louder the voice of the person doing the scrambling, the more attuned the brain becomes.
I asked him if it would help him, like it does most people, we could have music playing so that his voice was drowned with the music instead of just sounding like he was being loud. (This is especially important to people who’ve been told they talk too much or talk too loud!)
He chose to use music. I asked him if there was a song that might have at least one line in it that might help him scratch up some of these messages.
He chose the song: “Hit the road jack, and don’t you come back, no more, no more, no more, no more!”
Finally, I told him we needed to create some dissonance in his brain. There are various ways to do it, like speaking these old disempowering messages out loud in your best “Donald Duck voice”. Or singing them to the tune of a funky or silly song. Or by writing them out and speaking them backwards over and over with an elevated voice.
For example, we took his message:
“You don’t have the sense that the good Lord gave a goose.”
When we did his scramble work, jumping up and down, and playing “Hit the Road Jack”, he said with a louder than normal voice:
“Goose a gave Lord good the that sense the have don’t you …”
I know, I know! You would rather do anything than this! But if sitting and thinking it through would accomplish the mission, you would have already done it. You have to do something slightly outside your comfort zone.
So … Do it anyway! (BUT…We’re talking about knowing real truth, real freedom, from what’s given you the reasons to now do whatever it takes to find the truths to finally live the life YOU KNOW you were meant to live…YES…me too!)
Do not allow old messages that are running your life and keeping the very best parts of you buried to continue to run in the background.
You deserve better!
Warning: this next step will NOT take root if you don’t do this step first.
Don’t be skeptical like my client was initially and look with doubt and apprehension at me while you read this.
Yes! We fired up his music, I got up and jumped up and down with him, I said along with him all his disempowering statements backwards.
And as much as he didn’t want to admit it, he reported later that it was a very powerful experience.
(The science is in and the energy surge that these kinds of…simple but strange…exercises create inside the inner most parts of the brain, is a regrouping and remapping of neurons that begin the process of ‘giving us back’ control over ‘our true’ version of us!
If you’re afraid someone will hear you or see you, drive out to a country road!
Just do it!
We ALL need that BEST part of…YOU!
4. WRITE EMPOWERING STATEMENTS TO REPLACE THE DISEMPOWERING!
Remember our definition of empowering for this exercise:
Things to inspire and encourage you to become all and the best you, you were created to be!
Take each statement and replace them with the most empowering, true statement you can.
My client struggled with this one. In the beginning I had to help him quite a bit. For example, we were looking at an empowering statement to replace: “Don’t talk about your problems.”
He just couldn’t see a way to turn that into something empowering.
Because he really was drawing a blank, he said “Like what am I supposed to say? Tell all my problems to the greeter at Walmart?”
We both laughed! But I knew he was struggling. You may struggle with this too. So let me help!
I asked him if there was anyone that he’d seen do this in a way that seemed to bring a positive result?
He thought for a bit and finally said, “Well maybe like on the night of your talk, when you mentioned your first-grade teacher, telling you that you weren’t smart, and you weren’t educational material.”
I shook my head in affirmation as he continued.
“You said that moment had plagued you, but somehow you’ve gotten all of these letters behind your name. You talked about getting help with that from some ‘love’ person. Maybe something like that?”
To clarify what he was talking about, I often tell the story about my first-grade teacher telling another teacher that I was, “Not very smart…She’s not educational material…and…Ordinary at best.”
I heard that and it was instantly installed into deepest grooves on my neuro digital hard drive! I had to …I was what…6…?! Instantly, at that moment, survival mode kicked in, sick self-talk took control, and I was now stupid and doomed to never be anything!
We all know that survival mode, at best, is no way to live. But the only way this mode can grow deeper and take over more control of you, is if you give up on ‘rewiring’ the horror of these messages … of these re-looping ridiculous lies you had NOTHING to do with. Yet the lies become your truth.
I talked about how I grew up believing, that I wasn’t smart at all because of what … first grade messages? So much that I turned down college scholarships, full ride scholarships, because I didn’t think I was smart enough.
(I finally went to college and had a major professor, Dr. Pat Love, who was astounded by me thinking I wasn’t very smart. She mentored me and poured different messages into me while I was still working on my bachelor’s degree. Because of those new empowering messages, I went on to get my masters, and dual doctorates)
Back to my client … I asked him if he believed that it was the right time to share my problem with Dr. Pat Love? And was it the right place? And did it bring good results? He nodded very firmly to all three.
I suggested: “Would it be empowering to you to say that you would like to have the courage and wisdom to share problems like I had, and get great results for your life?”
The bright smile that covered his face told me that for him, we’d found an empowering belief that was true
Assess what’s missing and fill in the blanks.
What does that mean? Make sure you take the time to ask yourself: “Where do I need encouragement, courage, or confidence in my life? Maybe there are no negative messages there. But there are also no good models?
For him, he filled in an important blank. He had no messages or models for being a good husband, so he wrote:
I can learn to be the great husband that I desire to be and have a great marriage!
What about you? What messages are missing that you KNOW you need, to become the very best version of you?
Don’t just think about it!
Write your new empowering messages!
You’ll not be able to do this on the fly when you move to the fifth step. So, make sure you write them all.
PS. I’ll suggest that you add the magic touch that I added with my client.
After he had come back with some really good…empowering messages, I told him to choose at least five and make them even more empowering.
For example, on his missing message, about learning to be a great husband, I encouraged him to add some descriptors to the kind of marriage he wanted.
He changed “great marriage” in his first empowering statement on something that was missing and made it more empowering!
I can learn to be the great husband that I desire to be and have a hot and happy marriage!
Go back and make a few of your even more empowering!
The more empowering they are, the quicker they’ll take root!
The science is in…you have the power to literally re-shape (neuroplasticity) our brains into the way we desire to think, be, believe, and become. That’s why I’m so excited and adamant about the details you should give to your empowering proclamations.
Find them, say them, rewire them, rewrite them into YOUR truth, YOUR redemption!
But don’t let any overwhelming thought like:
- How I can do this…
- Where do I start…
Cause you now to second guess this ‘champion spirit’ calling you.
To the life you’ve longed for. Shift this ‘champion desire’ into…all you ask…all you want…all you need…in your every ‘NOW’ moment. That IS…your next step…to your next truth…to your next step, to your next truth, etc!
Just by reading and allowing me to share these truths, you’re living in ‘next step’ at a time thinking! Remember…it’s one step at a time…to one truth at a time…to rewire each lie…about you!
Let me help…WE CAN DO THIS!
You and you alone control every new truth, or the power, to rewire your life and live out the champion in you!
5. INSTALL THE NEW EMPOWERING MESSAGES WITH A VENGEANCE!
When my client had done a great job on writing his new empowering messages, I told him it was time to install them … with a vengeance.
With the roll of the eyes and a snide comment: “I’m assuming it’s chicken dance time again”…I could tell by his expression that he was ready to let it rip!
He said before I could even set it up: “I’m going to dance because my fiancé is taking me for dance lessons…That’s my energy!”
“And … I’ve got the song! That…and my voice are my volume!”
“But do we do brain dissonance here?”
I loved the question and told him that the third thing was different from the three things required to scramble. The third thing was repetition…until it dropped from his head to his heart.
Usually when people have had a great experience with the scrambling, they know that it will be even better with the installing process of empowering entries.
Whether you feel that way or not, don’t skip this powerful step!
The song he chose was:
Tim McGraw’s “I like it, I love it, I want some more of it!…”
And because he’d had a dance lesson on the Fort Worth shuffle, he was going to dance with the three quick steps per beat (because he’d been practicing his rhythm to surprise his fiancé).
I told him, and would like to share with you, you must repeat it again and again:
- Until that moment ‘you know’ what you’re saying goes from your head deep down into ‘your heart’
- Until that moment that you know you’re ‘actually believing’ what you’re saying
When I do this exercise in Coach Training, I do a seven-minute song on the first new empowering message. Altogether, students are declaring aloud their new empowering beliefs, all at the same time. And they get to use my installation song for it!
(If you’re one of those people who would message me and ask me about my song, feel free to choose your own song. But if you just don’t have one…This is my installation song that I use.)
And yes, I still find disempowering messages along the way. And I still identify them, scramble them, and write new empowering messages and install them with a vengeance!
I, actually, got up and danced with my client and echoed his new empowering beliefs.
Your brain responds to your voice, but the resonance and echoing from another voice of someone that you trust or respect, is even more powerful.
So rather than doing this alone, ask someone you trust and respect to do it with you. And it’s OK to tell them you’re only doing this because a crazy therapist in Texas said it was necessary!
We began with the one that was most important to him about learning to become a great husband and having a hot and happy marriage.
I want to share what happened with him because it might help you.
The first few times he said it, although we were doing the Fort Worth shuffle together to his song, and I was echoing him, it was like he had to choke it out.
With each repetition it appeared his struggle became less. I would guess it was somewhere around 25 times when “the moment” came and I could see it all over him! The moment that it dropped from his head…deeply, powerfully into his heart!
The installation was complete.
Although we were not done, he fell to his knees and sobbed with incredible joy that he believed that he could truly be the husband that his fiancé desired and deserved.
As is the case for most, it didn’t take very long or many repetitions with the ones that followed. Some of them dropped from his head to his heart in one powerful statement.
I hope that becomes and is your experience.
Although the first one may be difficult…as you move down through the list, whether you’re doing the Fort Worth shuffle or something else…Or listening to his song or something else…Your hard drive will be one that will call forth the very best part of you. You deserve that my friend!
The world needs ‘every’ very best part of you!
The very best version of you-become your champion!
Deal with this layer, and over the next few weeks, we will address what to do with each layer.
I know you will show up for that with one less layer.
Because you, my friend, are a Champion!