How do you change someone? Or how do you make someone else happy?

Or “How do you help someone who is unhappy…?”or “How do you convince someone that they need to be grateful for X…”

Well, here is the thing. You don’t. You can’t and you won’t. Not even with hypnotherapy.

Like the mum saying: “Oh, you’re a hypnotherapist… I want you to stop my 16 year old daughter from smoking.” To which my answer always is: “does she really want to…?” Of course not. Great so let’s not waste any time on the subject…

Back to happiness.

Happiness is something that you do on the inside. It is something that everyone does on their inside. 

With regards to friendships and partners I highly recommend working out how to make yourself happy first. Once you got that bit sorted, then fo and find someone who also has worked out how to make themselves happy. Bingo… 

Failing that option: Start with yourself. Always.

Because if they don’t want to set it out… You got nowhere to go.

The person might even be getting something out of having the problem. They might feel cared for, loved or like they matter when you fuss over them… Or it might seem that it’s easier to stay the same than to change.

In case you haven’t guessed it already: You can’t change other people! 

It is impossible. Unless they want to!

You can lead a human to knowledge but you can’t make them think… 

Unless that person realises that they have a problem and they are willing to do what it takes to change, there really is not much you can do. Most likely the more you push, the more they close off. 

Which is why it is totally useless when people come to see me solely because they have been sent by someone. Or they come in so they get the nagging person off their back.
Unconsciously it’s like: “See, I tried and it didn’t work, will you leave me alone now…?” (It’s not what they’re thinking consciously!)

Even the best hypnotist on the planet will never get anyone to do anything that they don’t intrinsically want… Sorry, no magic here.

Once the person gets to the stage where the real pain of staying the same far outweighs the perceived pain of making a change… Then we got somewhere to go… Before that. No.

Yes, you can help them get there when you know the questions to ask. When you know what to do and more importantly what not to do. (I can help you with that…)

In conclusion: All you can do is get on with your life and your happiness… Make yourself happy! Sort out all the stuff that takes away from your happiness. Sort it out enough so you don’t feel that it’s your responsibility. Sort it out enough so you can be happy and calm within yourself even around unhappy people.
That should be enough to keep you busy for a while… ;-)

So what makes you happy…? How much happiness will you create for yourself this week? 

Sunflowers are such happy flowers…

Sunflowers are such happy flowers…

More limitations of the conscious mind 7+-2

Here is another quirky difference between your conscious and your unconscious mind. At any given moment in time your conscious mind can only be aware of between 5 and 9 pieces of information. It’s also called the 7 plus / minus 2 rule. Anything more than that overwhelms your conscious mind. However, you always have a vast amount of information streaming in through your five senses.

If you were consciously aware of all that data you’d be in constant overwhelm. To stop that from happening you automatically block out certain bits of data. You do it unconsciously which is why you are not aware of it.

While you have been reading this... You may have completely forgotten to notice what your hand feels like…. Or you may have completely forgotten to notice what your feet feel like….

Now that I mentioned it, part of your conscious awareness switched. And you are now consciously aware of it again.

That information has always been available to you. It just wasn’t deemed to be important at this moment and hence you filtered iy out.

To make this super clear. Your unconscious mind is aware of everything that is happening around you. At any given moment in time.

Maybe you hadn’t noticed certain sounds around you…

And now once again your attention has switched to those and you are now aware of them…

Why is this important for you? Firstly, so called reality.... It’s always useful to know that we are very limited in our ability to perceive and interpret so called reality. Be aware that lots of information always gets filtered out. Hence what gets through into our conscious awareness is a tiny slither. What gets through depends on the values, beliefs and other unconscious rules of the individual.

When seven different people watch the same accident you get seven different explanations about what happened. Conversation along the lines of: “I was there, that is not at all what happened” are utterly pointless. Because as humans, the best we can do is try and create a big picture out of our 5 to 9 pieces of the puzzle.

Assume you have team meeting and someone doesn’t seem to be paying attention. It could well be that their conscious mind is overloaded with thoughts. On the inside they are too busy doing: “What if they ask me something and I don’t know the answer?” “If they ask this… I’ll say that… but what if they ask me that…? Oh, my heart is pounding…”. That person can not pay attention to you anymore. Because their conscious mind is already busy tracking 5 to 9 bits of data. You know those meetings where everyone has to stand up and introduce themselves and what they do? Newest research shows that up to 75% of the population have a fear of public speaking! This means: three quarters of the people are paying ZERO attention to what is being said by the others!

They are too busy trying to mange their internal state in the only way they know how to, at this moment in time. Obviously everyone can learn to be calm and at ease in those situations.

When I hear the neighbours dog barking its poor neglected little head off, I have a choice. For one I have already reframed it, because I am sorry for him.

And the rest is: 5-9 bits of data. As soon as I start to focus, really focus on 5 - 9 other bits of data I can no longer pay any attention to him. So I focus on my writing and what I am wanting to say. ..

Conscious & Unconscious processes

When you are aware of what you're doing... That's your conscious processes at work. Like logic and rational thinking

Your unconscious processes are the things that mostly happen outside your conscious awareness, you know the stuff that happens automatically whether you think about it or not. Like when you let go of a hot frying pan. Or your head just moved out of the way of a ball flying past. You didn't decide that, it just happened. Well it didn't just happen, your unconscious processes, who's job is to keep you safe, made you move. You just weren't consciously aware of it...

Your unconscious is always at work in the best way it has learned up till now... Which is not necessarily the very best way, it’s just the best way it has learned. So it might simply be time to upgrade your software…
Your unconscious loves learning, especially in a fun and memorable way. Which is why hypnosis works so well!

Water-jugs, stress, overwhelm..

Overwhelm, anxiety, stress are all in the same ballpark and one of the main issues I help clients with on a daily basis.

When stressed the body is tipping out way too much adrenaline and cortisol. That was really useful when we were running away from a saber-toothed tiger. Back then we really wanted our brains to direct all our energy into running and through running we used up all the stress hormones.

These days we just end up with a lot of useless hormones running around in our body creating havoc… Plus many people engage in overeating, smoking, drinking and other not so resourceful habits in an attempt to cope with stress. Needless to say that prolonged stress can have serious implications for our health.

So learning to deal with it can only be useful. 

People often say: “But you can’t change my situation!” That’s right. I can’t! However there is a lot I can help you with… So read on.

So what is stress?

It’s like when you have a jug of water and a number of glasses you need to fill. This water jug represents all your coping mechanisms, understanding, skills and resources… 

Normally you are filling the glasses just fine. Let’s say the glasses represent job, finances, health, fitness, kids, partner, family etc… 

And then more and more glasses keep popping up. These glasses could be things like low self esteem, lack of confidence, a promotion with new responsibilities or a sick loved one, loss of a job or a loved one, an unforeseen big bill, an injury or illness, grief etc… 

And all of a sudden you just have nothing left in the jug. No matter how much you shake the jug, it’s simply just empty. 

You really only have three options: 

  1. Check if you may be able to get rid of some of the glasses ( => Values) 

  2. Determine which glasses are actually your job to fill, often some glasses can be handed over ( => Boundaries)

  3. Get a bigger jug (Hence more resources, skills and coping mechanisms => Resilience) 

Values, boundaries and resilience are all unconscious behaviours which can be learned. Experience shows that learning happens easily when done subconsciously. 

More on self-worth

Thanks to everyone who sent in some questions, feedback or shared their own struggles with self worth. Let me answer it in the best way I know how.

Some feedback / questions from you:
1) But doesn’t our self-worth go up when we get a promotion at work? Earn more money? Win a race? Our kids do well at school? We are liked? 

2) I really don’t feel that I have any worth when I stuff up at work, my kids go off the rails, lose my job or health, don’t qualify in a race I was expected to win, (the list goes on)… 

3) But we have been taught form early age that your better when you win the race / coming 2nd is the first loser, have to be in the top x% of the class, get the “with honours”, the ‘better’ title on the business card… (again, the list goes on) 

Okay, here is my first question: if your best friend lost her job would she be worthless to you? What if she had no money? What if his kids went of the rails? What if your best friend never graduated from anything other than Kindy? Worthless, right? 

No! of course not! Your friend still has worth… 

Second question: Ready?
How come those same rules don’t apply to you…? 

Ponder that…

Yes, I agree, those things above, it’s what we grew up with, it’s what we learned, which is why we believe it… Repeat: “we believe it”… 

More often than not people attach their sense of self worth to how well they are doing in life… 

In that model of thinking: When we are doing well our self-worth goes up and when we are not doing well our self-worth goes down.
Wow, what a constant rollercoaster… 

Okay, first of all: “doing well”… According to whom…? Compared to what? 

I’m sure we all have a different definition of what “doing well’ means: Earning X dollars, being liked, having a certain title on the business card, having a book published, being a good mum (good luck measuring that or waiting for your kids to thank you), behaving to a certain standard, being healthy or fit, the kids doing well… And on and on the list goes…

You do not have any control over many of the contributing factors, which make it possible for to reach your goal or not. 

You can’t control who the kids meet, what other people think, whether the supplier delivers on time, whether the boss has already decided on someone else, nor a global financial crisis, the weather and most certainly not what other people think… 

Of course, there is a lot you can do, to stack the cards in your favour. You help the kids learn great values, you do great work, you apply yourself, you put good systems in place, install the firewall, use common sense, you eat healthy and work out, you take time out for yourself and still… 

No matter how much you try to control life there will always be things you have no influence over whatsoever. Sorry to be so blunt.

The only thing you can control is how you respond to whatever life throws at you. (Which is a learned skill and we can get better at it.)

So would you agree that it’s not a great idea to attach your self worth to something that is largely outside of their own control…? 

Would you want your kids to live like that? Can you imagine how much pressure that would put on them? 

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not about being under achievers… Not at all! Quite the contrary.

Of course you want to do well! Of course you want your kids to do well! Heck yeah! 

But do it for no other reason than because you want to! You want to see just how fast you can run… How far you can push the envelope… How well you can treat people… How you get to the point where your kids thank you for being a great parent once they’re in the thirties… See if you can get that promotion because it’ll make you grow and learn and contribute… If you can win that gold medal… 

Yessss! And yes!! Go for all of that!!! And more!
And do it because you want to! 

Can you imagine what a relief it is to go for it just because you want to? Knowing your self worth is a given no matter what. How much more fun it’ll be going for it only because you want to?

Don’t ever fall into the trap of believing, your self-worth depends on reaching that goal. It doesn’t!

Never hang your self-worth on that hook. It’s a trap. 

Of course I want you to read my emails and think about them, talk to friends about the ideas I put out in this world. And I am stoked when you forward one of my emails to someone you care about! Or hit reply and share your thoughts on the matter with me. Of course I am!

But do I attach my self worth to that? 

I make sure I don’t (and when I catch myself doing it, I have a stern talking to myself.) 

Then I use any and all feedback I get, to learn and improve. Which is why your feedback is so valuable to me! It’s the fastest way to improve. 

So, if you have any comments or questions, just let me know! 

Today I am grateful for every single person reading this. And for everyone who has given me feedback. Any feedback. 

And I am eternally grateful for my old girl sleeping under my table, making sure she’ll wake up should I move… So contented, so in the moment… I bet she doesn’t apply her self-worth to anything. She just knows she’s got it!
And now I’m off to take her for a swim…

Yours in happiness and wellbeing

Silke

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The often elusive Self-worth

Are you ready for this?

Your worth is a given! 

You can’t earn your worth and you can’t lose your worth.

That’s all! Your worth is a given. 

Thank you for reading. 

Write it on a card and carry it with you everywhere. Write it on your mirror.

Your worth is a given, you can’t earn any. And you can’t lose any!

Today I am grateful for constantly being reminded of this, often times through the work I do with my clients. It’s the single most simple lesson to understand and one of the more complicated lessons to feel, live and breathe. Do it anyway!

I am grateful for being me, warts and all…

Stage hypnosis vs professional hypnotherapy

Often people contact me after they have seen some stage hypnosis or hypnosis performed on TV.
Some years ago lots of had seen the TV show 'You're back in the room'... So let’s clear up the great misconceptions of stage hypnosis vs professional hypnotherapy.

Here is the short version:

The question is not about what you saw on TV... The far more interesting question is what you didn’t see on TV...!

The application process people went through to become one of the lucky contestants, the auditions, the selection of the final candidates, the vast amount of applicants who didn’t get to perform on TV, the hypnotic inductions, the setting of post-hypnotic suggestions, the seven hours of recording it took to create approximately 45 minutes of net viewing time (translates to the six and half hours you didn’t see) and much more... 

Here is the longer version:

In order to become a contestant people needed to apply and audition. As with all auditions and applications there is a screening process in place to find the most suitable candidates.   Once a person has applied, they have given consent, once they are chosen they will have signed a model release form and an agreement has been reached. An agreement is not mind control... 

I don’t know how channel 9 selected their candidates but here is what I would do: 

Before I even get the applicants in the room I’d check for their motivation and I’d only invite the ones who really really really want to be on TV... 

Then I’d have the applicants in the room and I’d run them through a few tests, how well are they using their imagination, who is already very good at going into hypnosis since only a small percentage are naturally very good at it. Everybody else can learn how to go into hypnosis... In the same way that some people are naturally very athletic, others are naturally academic and yet others are naturally good at something else... That’s normal. 

I’d then select the best candidates and have them go in and out of hypnosis a few times, give them suggestions and see how they do. If they are having a great time and they are loving it, they’re a one step closer to getting on camera. Then I’d also give them the suggestion that every time I say ‘sleep’ they go into a deep hypnotic trance and make it look like they are falling off their chair in a spectacular but safe way... Because after all we’d be doing it for TV so it needs to look spectacular. Who’d want to watch people just sitting there going into a trance...? Boring! 

After a few people were selected out of all the applicants we’re good to go into the recording studio. Daryl Somers said it took 7 hours to record the show... I don’t know about you but maybe there is a reason why this show wasn’t live?

So, here is the drift: 

“You’re Back In The Room” has one purpose and that is TV entertainment. As such it may or may not have anything to do with reality. It certainly doesn’t have much in common with professional client focussed and solution based work.

Even if you are not one of the absolute naturals you can learn how to go into hypnosis, also you don’t need to go that deeply to make changes and you too can learn how to engage your unconscious processes in a way that works for you. 

Also keep in mind in every session you will learn how to use your brain for yourself, you will learn Mind Training tools and go into naturally occurring hypnotic states whether that is with NLP or hypnotic processes...

If you are after a quick fix or some form of TV magic, this is not for you. If you are interested in learning how to make your brain and mind work for yourself and are committed to making lasting changes then please call 5471 2201 to book your first appointment. 

If you or someone you love is grieving you need to read this NOW!

Short version: grief case studies wanted!
Super discount for those accepted into the project!

Long version: Over the last ten years I have assisted 100s of clients successfully overcome grief, find closure and move forward in a way that works for them. Later this year I will be presenting at an international world conference on the subject of overcoming grief.

Grieving is to a large extent a subconscious process. Logically you know so much but your subconscious processes very much run the show. 

If you know someone who needs some help to overcome grief please send them link to this page right now!

- It doesn’t matter whether you lost a loved one, a friend, your beloved dog, a donkey or a pet…

- It could be that you know you will be losing someone soon and want to be more resourceful now… 

- It doesn’t matter when it was - it could have been 2 weeks or 40 years ago…

Please apply to be part of this completely anonymous study. 

This is a massive opportunity and here is the deal: 

Successful applicants will receive an up to two hour long individual & personalised grief resolution session for only $150 (incl. GST) with me, Silke Herwald. That’s a massive saving of more than 50%… Should you need a follow up that will also be at a 50% discount.

All I ask in return is that you agree to your session being recorded (Only for my own research, the recording will never be shared with anyone. It’s all anonymous.)
About a week later, we will record a short video testimonial of us having a conversation about what has changed for you.

All sessions will be taking place in Peregian, Birtinya and online. 

How to apply? 

I’m glad you asked! 
1) Send me an email NOW with the subject line ‘Silke Grief’ to silke@silke.com.au
2) I will send you a questionnaire, which you will need to fill in and return to me, please before Tuesday 12 Feb 6am.
3) Out of all the applications a variety of candidates will be chosen to participate.

Applicants will be notified individually and confidentially of the outcome of their application on Wednesday the 13th of February 2019.

Today I am grateful for you reading this and forwarding it to someone in need.

Yours in happiness and wellbeing

Silke

The line between reality and your vivid imagination is blurred

Get this: Your mind can not differentiate between a vividly imagined and a real experience.
That’s a fact! 

It’s the reason why scary movies are scary. Which is why your mouth can start to water when you think of your favourite food… Or why you can freak yourself out by thinking about something that happened in the past… Or you can equally make yourself anxious by thinking about what could possibly go wrong…
It’s also why you shouldn’t attempt to do a stunt before you can actually imagine yourself doing it.

The old saying “what your mind can conceive, your body can achieve” is true. The opposite unfortunately is equally true! “What your mind can’t conceive, you won’t be able to achieve!” When you have no idea what it looks like, well then you can’t give your neurology instructions what to do.

Visualisation, most people have heard about it. And this is why it’s so useful to daydream positively. When you imagine yourself doing something well, it is as if you are rehearsing it mentally. Athletes have been using this fo decades! Have you ever noticed an athlete before a race mentally going through the course? You sometime see them turning, moving as if they were on the course… 

And because your mind can not differentiate between vividly imagine and a real experience the more you practice, visualise, rehearse what you want the better you get at it. While daydreaming. It won’t happen overnight so give yourself time. Then reward yourself for every improvement from where you were yesterday or just a few moments ago. Your benchmark is not where you want to be, it is where you came from! This is so important… Because rewarding yourself for what works makes your mind and body deliver more of it.
Today I am grateful for powerful visualisations and goals. As I am writing this I imagine you reading it and I can imagine all the good things you can achieve by using the power of your own mind to your advantage!

Enjoy your daydream!

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SMART goals for 2019

Once you have set a goal it’s important to make sure that it fits the acronym SMART. I’ll explain it with two examples: A) weight loss B) Being successful in business

There are a few variations but basically they all come down to making sure your goal is:

Specific: get very specific about what you want to accomplish and why it’s important.
A) Get permanently rid of 17.5 kgs. Be able to keep up with the kids when they’re running up that hill behind the house. Be able to do three chin ups…
B) Turn over 20% more than last year… Make $93000 net profit after taxes… Get a job that pays 20% more than the current one…

Measurable: Both above examples are measurable. Not easily measurable would be something like: Feel good… Or make more money… Or help more people…
This makes it clearer and it stops you from moving the goal post on yourself.

Achievable: Is it achievable with the resources and skills you have now or do you need to learn something? Do you need to enlist the help of others to make it achievable? It also focusses on the motivation…
A) Do you need to learn how to prep healthy meals? Make being organised in the food department a priority? Get the significant other to look after the kids while you head off to the gym…?
B) Do you currently have the resources / skills / mindset required ? If not what needs to happen?

Realistic & Relevant: A realistic goal takes into account the practicalities of making it happen. The goal must be challenging enough to get you going but not humunguously challenging as to be demotivating.
And: is it relevant..? Do you actually want all the consequences that come with it…? Is this the right time for it…?
It aims to get to the objective behind that goal and will reaching that goal actually get you that objective.
A) To get rid of 17.5 kgs in three weeks is just not realistic…
B) Is it realistic to increase profit by 50% without hiring more staff?

Time based: When…? What’s the deadline…?
We all know how easy it is to procrastinate. Until you have a deadline. And all of a sudden you get going on it! Otherwise there is always tomorrow or next week.
A) Get rid of 17.5 kgs by the 5th of April 2019, by eating paleo and doing PT on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays… Something along those lines…
B) Increasing profit by 15% by end of the financial year…

Of course you can google more about SMART goals but this is a simple start to it. Simple and done now is better than perfect next year...

What do you want?

Have you ever thought that sometimes your mind plays tricks on you?

You know when you tell yourself to not think of something… Or you’re trying hard not to be nervous? Then you find you can’t stop thinking about it or you get even more nervous…? Even though you really, really, really don’t want to…?

Don’t think about a cute little squirrel, now… Please, no matter what, just don’t think about a squirrel with its button eyes and bushy tail!

Well, you can’t do it, can you? It’s actually called the 'Law of Reversed Effect'. Which means that whenever you use the word “Don’t” you get the exact opposite of what you wanted.

Why am I telling you all this? Because it’s useful!

Understanding the ‘Law of Reversed Effect’ is your first step to running your own mind more successfully.

So, bear with me. This is why it is not easy to not think of cute squirrels (especially while I keep reminding you, what they look like with their sweet eyes and bushy tails… Bahahaha).

This applies to different contexts too: The more you tell yourself “Don’t be nervous”, the more you automatically think about being nervous. You can’t help it. It’s the way your mind works…

Aaaand before you know it, you start to remember the last time you were nervous…

And if that wasn’t enough, you then proceed to tell yourself “Oh I don’t want that to happen again!” … And because your mind still can’t process the negation, you imagine exactly the same thing happening again… and you really don’t want that.

Whether you are consciously aware of all these unconscious processes or not, the effect is the same!

The first step to running your own mind even more successfully is understanding it. And now you are one step closer to that goal! The second step is using this for your own good!

So here is your 5-step mission, should you choose to accept it:

1) Stand guard at the gates of your own mind

2) Every time you notice thinking "don’t" instantly think about what the opposite of that for you is.

3) Always think about what you DO want! Start every day by writing down how you DO WANT yourself to be in certain situations. The more specific you are, the better!

4) Pay attention to how you are communicating with others. Make a habit of describing what you do want them to do, instead of what you don’t want them to do.

5) Have fun with it all!

Failure

Fear of failure is one of the big things I keep working with. Whether that is with a professional preparing for a speech or presentation, an athlete preparing for a race or game, someone training there dog or a mum raising a child. Heck, I even had people who so far didn’t quit smoking for the fear they might fail at it…

Fear of failure can paralyse you, throw you into overwhelm and stop you from doing anything. So let’s take it apart a little:

And then you had to learn to walk on different surfaces… Soft sand, phew!

And then you had to learn to walk on different surfaces… Soft sand, phew!

Failure is natural. It is the way we learn. Did you tell your child the first few times it couldn’t say mum or dad properly to stop trying cause it rather obviously failed? What about when after three weeks of trying it still couldn’t walk by itself?
Obvious failure that kid! Probably something wrong with it! Maybe not good enough…

No of course not!! You encourage. You celebrate every little win. You have a party with every progress. You know your child is learning. And you want your child to keep trying and falling over so that it keeps learning.

What would happen if for the next three days you stood guard at the gates of your own mind? And you reframed every ‘failure thought' into feedback. That’s all it is, just feedback. You always win either way. You win by learning and upgrading your software and you win by getting closer to your goal.

It’s just feedback!

Today I am grateful for all the feedback life has given me so far. It’s not always comfortable, it’s not always the feedback I want, but that’s the whole point! There is no growth in the comfort zone and as a life long learner I will continue to fall over and learn. I am grateful for getting up and doing it again! And this incredibly cute picture of my amazing big sister.

Genius quote

“There is so much that I don’t know , I will not apologise for what I do know!” - Bob Bailey, animal behaviourist and total genius!

So true. Know what you do know and know there is always more to learn so you can never know it all… Being totally okay with knowing that there is always more to learn has personally made a huge difference to the way I present or do public speaking or interact with people. It probably also made me more curious.

I truly am a life long learner.

Today I am grateful for the inspiration, insight and understanding of Bob Bailey. I am grateful that through his understanding and amazing work, I can learn to become a better Mind Trainer every day. After all we are mammals too.

Confidence

People often say to me that they want to be more confident... But technically I know that it is to entirely true. It is a good thing not to be confident about certain things. I prefer not to be confident about flying a plane. I simply don't have the skill, the knowledge and the training for it. 

FOund this little guy hiding in my basil many years ago...

FOund this little guy hiding in my basil many years ago...

So what people actually mean is that they are not confident in a situation were they would like to be confident. 
Of course everybody has confidence. You might be very confident talking to the kids or doing a sport you love. Or you are very confident talking to a friend about something you know well or very confidently using public transport or driving a car.  

So you actually know how to do this thing called confidence. And this now becomes a resource. Because if you copied exactly the mindsets, behaviours, attitude, beliefs and so on from how you do this thing called "confidence" and applied it to another area of your life... Well, wouldn't that be awesome? 

Of course you can't do that consciously and by thinking about it! You need to do this unconsciously and if you could have worked it out by think about if, I bet you would have done that by now. Hand it over to your unconscious and become naturally confident!  

Yours in happiness, confidence and wellbeing

The Pause of fascination

Between every stimulus and response there is a gap...
What the means is that when something happens we can use that tiny little gap to make a decision. We can be a slave to our instant reaction... Which often doesn't work in our favour. Or we can take control, feel our feet on the floor, our butt in the seat and then pay attention to what's going on on the inside.
Pay attention to that feeling, that thought, that image or movie on the inside that was just triggered by that interaction.
And then go: Wow, that's interesting! Or: That is fascinating...! 
Find a moment of pause, get curious, be amazed by your own reactions and then you'll react in afar more resourceful way. A way that is probably more worthy of who you are today. 

There is always more to learn

It is what you learn after you know it all, that counts - Coach John Wooden

I remember that crystal clear sunny morning, about 10 years ago, as if it was yesterday. I hopped on my Vespa to attend my first ever Master course in Hypnosis and NLP. I was so excited because 'I knew' over the next days and weeks I was finally going to get the keys, the last missing pieces of the puzzle, and then I'd be ready.
Funny enough I never asked myself what I'd be ready for... Or what ready meant...

There were some new and some familiar faces amongst the intentionally small group. The room was buzzing with a cocktail of ten mental states, ranging from 'almost well hidden slightly terrified' to 'slightly over the top excited'. 

Without any introduction we were told a story:  
A few weeks after the young apprentice received his certificate he started pestering his Master to start his own Master training. "You're not ready yet, go back to work"
Over the following months the former apprentice applied himself to his work, observed and learned. The next year he asked his Master again, only to receive the same response: "You're not ready yet, go back to work" 
Again the former apprentice did as he was told and a year later he realised how much he yet again had learned. He had learned so much and now he knew he was ready. Surely the Master would now agree to start his training! 
This time he received a different answer: "You're not ready. Take your tools, travel, go and offer your services to the world." 

Begrudgingly the former apprentice did as he was told. He travelled. He met people. He used his tools and trade in unforeseen circumstances and often he didn't have what he needed so he improvised. When got stuck he though of his old master and wondered "what would the Master do now...?" Often he found an answer that way and sometimes it even worked. When it didn't, he asked the question again and did it in a different way.

After many years on the road he returned to his village to celebrate his sister wedding.
There he apologised to his old Master: "I am sorry for all the times I asked you to start making me a Master, for pestering you and thinking I knew it all. I now know that I have so much more to learn, there will always be more to learn for me and I don't think I will ever be ready to become a true Master"
The Master smiled and said: "That's right. True Mastery is knowing that there is always more to learn. Welcome to the start of your Mastery training."

Self help books

One of the many reasons why self help books don't work is that they are telling people what they should be doing... We humans resent being told what to do!
But when we worked it out for ourselves then we have ownership and follow through. 
So my job often times is, to help people in a way that allows them to work it out for themselves in a way that works for them... Even if I had a fair assumption of what might be the answer for them I certainly wouldn't say, because it just doesn't have the same impact. I might give you a nudge in the right direction and guide you there but you will always be the one who has done the work. So you get to feel good and resourceful and accomplished about it. Plus you really own your solution, because it was your idea... Yay! 
It's like when someone comes to you with that what they believe is a totally genius idea and you go "hang on, didn't I suggest that the other day and you weren't having a bar of it...? And now that you believe you came up with it? Ans now you think it's genius...???"
Yep, that's the one.
Just smile and congratulate them on the genius idea (and yourself for planting that seed and watering it at the right time) 

Whatever the mind can conceive...

One of Napoleon Hill's more famous quotes is this one: “Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, the mind can achieve.”

The problem starts when your mind can't even conceive that things could be different... Too often I meet people, talk to people and they have just accepted that this is "just the way they are"  and then they also find a lot of explanations and reasons for it. 

Even though a certain behaviour, or a way you feel or what you say or believe or think, and no matter how much you feel it has been engrained in you, you can change it. 

Yes, you may have tried other ways before and it hasn't worked. That is because it is all happening at the level of your unconscious. Plus you have explored ways that didn't work and once you have explored all the ways that didn't work you will find the way that does work. Keep searching or start working with your unconscious now... 

Struggle & Progress

If there is no struggle, there is no progress. - Frederick Douglass

Mr Douglas, I disagree. It may have very much seemed so in the specific situation and in the times your quote comes from. But is it far to take it out of context and make it a universal truth? 

Action, yes action is needed for progress. But struggle...?
See struggle is a subjective label, isn't it? 

Have you ever met two people who go through a similar experience and one is upbeat, radiant and has a zest for life despite all that and the other one (who might objectively even be in the better position) is morose, desperate and glum? 

An athlete training for a dream... A mother... An Executive dashing in and out of meetings and planes... A landscape gardener... A fisherman... A surgeon in theatre for 9 hours straight... 
They all seem to have very different ideas what they consider routine, fun or a struggle... 

Occasionally things that used to be fun and exciting have turned into a struggle. Beware... Pay attention... 

The secret lies in the state of mind, the perception, the beliefs, values and in the resources the person can bring to the situation. 

How you perceive taking action, the breakthroughs and set backs is up to you. Let it be easy or let it be hard. That is just a state of mind and states of mind can change. Easily.
In actual fact easier and faster than you may have thought or given yourself credit for.

Sometimes you can even change your mind yourself. And if not, then it might just be a signal to let you know it's time to ask for assistance, so you can move forward with ease again. 

Oh, it's just like riding a bike

That's what people say when they refer to something they have learned and will now endeavour to do again. Maybe after a long time. Usually without thinking about it. It implies just hopping on and it will be okay. 

But what this expression doesn't relate is how 'riding a bike' was learned. You didn't learn it by reading about it, you didn't learn it by doing more research, you didn't learn it by watching yet another video about it. You learned it, by doing it. 

Actually, you learned by not doing it. You learned by falling off, by being wobbly, by falling off again and again and again. You may have learned with trainer wheels. And when you took those off, you had to learn again. You kept falling off, you kept getting up. You learned by persevering. The same with eating with a spoon. Or driving a car. Or cooking.
Or learning to walk. Just ask how long that took you... Did you ever sit down and say to yourself: "This walking business, just isn't for me...? I suck and I'll never be any good at it..." No. You didn't! You just got up again. And you learned from every single time you fell over.

It turns out changing any form of behaviour is much the same. You do it again and again and again. And eventually the new thing starts to stick more and more. But it doesn't happen over night. It would be lovely but it's not reality. 
Hence creating any kind of new neurological pathways in your brain starts with being willing to fall off a few times first. The key word is: being willing to fall off... 
Then you can start learning from every single time it didn't work. Well it did work, just not the way you expected it to. Or exactly the way you planned it. But it worked regardless.  

It seems this strategy for learning is true for most things in life.
So, go on, do it again. You'll get there.