Category Archives: Anxiety

Obliterate False Fears

How To Deprogram Yourself

I read an interesting history book a while back.

It’s premise was that all of human history could be described as a timid, lazy people.

All of the major historical events were driven primarily by two goals.

One to make things less scary, and two to make them easier.

Scared and lazy people making things easier and less scary.

Now, this is just one way of looking at things. One thing about NLP is you learn that “meaning” is pretty flexible.

Sure, if you’re measuring how many grams something is in a laboratory, there’s not much room for coming up with different meanings.

But any time you have anything related to the human experience, or even a biological experience (trees growing, etc.) meaning really IS flexible.

Which is good news when we’re talking about things that scare us.

I’m sure you’ve heard the popular “self-help” description of FEAR:

False Enemies Appearing Real.

Sounds cool, sounds like you know what’s up, but just coming up with smart sounding sayings like that doesn’t really help much when you’ve got to stand up in front of people and give an impromptu speech.

You can tell yourself that your fears are false until you’re blue in the face, but when you stand up, everybody gets quiet and looks at you, it’s kind of hard to logic your way out of being petrified.

So, how exactly do make that “truism” real?

How do we actually FEEL that our fears are false, rather than pretending we’re all that?

Practice, that’s how.

One of the things about being human is we are all born WAY before we are fully developed.

Meaning the first years of our lives, our brains are a sponge.

Unfortunately, we tend to soak up both TRUE things about the world around us, and FALSE things.

Since our brains were designed for a much different time, being “safe” rather than “sorry” makes our young brains a lot less discriminating.

So we learn that a lot of things are scary, even when they’re not.

Problem is that here we are as adults, with those learned experienced programmed into us like they are instincts.

So they those “false” fears FEEL just as real as the REAL fears.

Luckily, we can slowly dismantle the false ones, and keep the real ones.

By focused visualization, mental exercises, journaling and other “tricks.”

It’s not magic, and it does take time.

But imagine what you’ll be able to do when you’re ONLY afraid of things you SHOULD be afraid of? Like escaped tigers and jumping out of airplanes.

Learn How:

Fearless

Eliminate Social Anxiety

Eliminate Social Anxiety

One of the ideas from NLP is something called “meta programs.”

These are these semi-rigid filters we all have in place through which we see the world.

For example, one of them is how we are motivated. On one end of the spectrum are people who are motivated externally. Other people. Praise, validation, etc. On the other end of the spectrum are the people who are motivated internally.

They don’t really care what others think or do. They only do something if it “feels” right to them.

Of course, most of us are a mix of both. Few people are completely one or the other.

Another “meta program” filter is “sameness or difference.” When you look into an unfamiliar situation, do you automatically find things that are the same as what you are used to, or different?

Again, most of us are a mix of both.

And while these do operate largely unconsciously, you can bring them up to the conscious level.

For example, when meeting new people, some of us automatically feel nervous, shy, anxious. So we see others as somehow “better” than us. Otherwise it would be impossible for them to “reject” us if we approached them to start a conversation.

One thing that can help is to consciously look at them, before you approach, through the filter of “sameness” rather than “difference.”

Meaning force your monkey brain to think of all the ways you two are similar, rather than different.

If you were walking up to somebody that was TOTALLY the same as you, rejection wouldn’t even come up.

The more you can practice this, the more the fear of rejection will vanish.

Another powerful way to do this is to imagine all of your similar “fears.”

Since ALL HUMANS have a HUGE collection of irrational fears, this is pretty easy.

And since most of our fears are similar, it won’t be much of a stretch.

EVERYBODY doesn’t like to be put on the spot. EVERYBDOY fears rejection. EVERYBODY has deep fears of social exclusion.

Just take a few minutes to think of “that person” (whoever they are, boss, lover, friend, business partner) as having the SAME FEARS that you do, and hold THAT in mind when you think about talking to them.

You don’t even have to approach them. You can do this sitting at the mall watching people walk by.

Just choose people you’d LIKE to approach, but would otherwise be too nervous to.

And then do this exercise. Imagine them being terrified of public speaking, or getting left behind, or anything.

This is one of DOZENS of exercises in the Interpersonal Resonance book.

Do them daily and you’ll be a social magnet in no time.

Get Started:

Interpersonal Resonance

Assertive Communication

Calmly Speak Your Desires

Most people wish they were more assertive.

In fact, most people misunderstand being assertive.

They often confuse it with being aggressive, or being belligerent.

And as I’m sure you know, all of us have shades of both passiveness and aggressiveness.

However, what really IS assertive behavior?

Well, it’s being able to “assert” something.

And what does THAT mean?

Simply stating what’s on your mind, or asking for what you want.

But it ALSO means allowing the OTHER PERSON to be assertive as well.

Say you see an interesting person. You’d like their phone number.

An example of assertive behavior would simply be to walk up, express that you think they are interesting, and ask for their phone number so you can get in touch with them later on. To know more about them. Because they are interesting.

Now, imagine doing that. Imagine walking up and saying that.

“Hi, I just noticed you standing there, and I thought you looked pretty interesting. I’m pretty busy right now, but how about if you give me your phone number, so I can call you later and we can meet up and hang out?”

Or something similar.

Of course, most people wouldn’t THINK of doing this. That is TERRIFYING!

But on another level, you probably realize that if you DID do this, and could say it with complete calmness and confidence, you’d get a lot of good results.

So how can you get to this level of calmness and confidence?

(And in case your wondering, you can substitute sales, or talking to your boss, or discussing difficult things with your partner, etc.)

The GOOD NEWS is that “assertiveness” is a transferable skill.

Like your chest muscles. If you work your chest muscles, ANYTHING physical you do, that involves your chest muscles will be easier.

Assertiveness works the same way.

To get better, all you’ve got to do is practice.

Any time you have an idea, an opinion, a desire, simply state it. Don’t force it on others. Don’t be belligerent with it, just state it as a FACT.

It’s raining out.

Today is cloudy.

I ate a cheeseburger last night.

I grew up in a one story house.

I’d like your phone number.

I didn’t like that movie.

I think that mustard and pizza go great together.

Don’t EXPECT agreement, but don’t EXPECT disagreement.

After all, you’re saying something that is ABSOLUTELY TRUE. For You.

Always look for opportunities to “strengthen” your assertiveness muscle.

Keep score. Write how many times you did it per day.

Try and keep a slightly increasing daily average.

And watch how easy it gets.

Learn More:

Mind Persuasion Ebooks

How To Communicate Clearly

Are You A Secret Agent Dog Catcher?

I took this acting class once.

I heard it was a good idea for a lot of reasons.

Kind of like going to Toastmasters.

You build self-confidence, develop communication skills, and meet some pretty interesting people.

We did a lot of goofy exercises. A lot more than I’d anticipated.

One was where we each had this slip of paper with a made up profession.

Not normal ones, but out of the ordinary ones.

Dog catcher, coffee taster, toy tester, etc.

Anyway, we had to walk around pretending we were at a cocktail party.

We had to talk about our jobs, but only without saying anything that would give a clue of we do.

The purpose was to convey meaning without giving any specifics. Kind of how like actors are supposed to convey complex emotions while saying simple sentences.

It was fun, but it was also frustrating.

Like you wanted to say, “I drive around all day and catch people’s pets,” but you weren’t allowed.

It was much more difficult than most people realized.

Unfortunately, a lot of us live our lives like that.

There’s certain things we want to say, we need to say, but we just can’t say them.

We hope somebody “guesses” what we really mean.

What’s worse, when they don’t correctly “guess” what we mean, we get angry.

As if they are supposed to be psychic or something.

Of course, this has a lot to do with the difficult and LONG process of transforming from childhood thinking to adult thinking.

Children are just given what they need.

Adults have to verbalize what they need, often times more than once, and often times to a lot of people.

This can be tough. Especially when your “inner child” is expecting to be handed stuff “just because.”

If life were only as simple as walking up the counter and telling the staff what kind of sandwich you want!

Luckily, it can be.

You can learn to speak more effectively, more confidently, and more assertively.

You don’t need to overcompensate with aggression or overwhelming dominance.

And one of the amazing things you’ll realize is that no matter WHAT you want, when you just casually express it like it’s no big deal, everybody else will think it’s no big deal as well.

This requires you do some digging.

Into your emotions. To find out WHY some things are difficult to express.

This necessarily involves going back into your personal history and viewing things a little differently.

When you view those childhood incidents with your adult mind, it’s a lot easier to leave childhood thinking behind for good.

Learn How:

Emotional Freedom

The Outside Is Not Always What Is On The Inside

Significantly Reduce Social Anxiety

The other day I was at this burger shop at the mall.

I was going to see a movie, and doing some journaling in the food court.

The picture of the burger looked really enticing.

But then when I got it, I was a little underwhelmed.

A lot of products are like this. Big and fancy on the box, not so much when we open them up.

Other products are the opposite. Like this one hole-in-the-wall, hidden behind some furniture store steakhouse where I used to live.

I didn’t even know it was there until somebody told me.

But the food was AWESOME.

When things BEAT our expectations, we feel like it’s the greatest thing in the world.

But when things fall BELOW our expectations, they are the opposite.

Even if the same thing can be AWESOME if we were expecting it to be crap. Or we’ll think it’s crap if we were expecting it to be awesome.

This is one the reason sales and marketing can be really hit or miss.

Since most of us carry around a vague set of ideas, wants and desires, those that come up with sales slogans are always guessing what’s going to work.

If you’ve ever been in involved in any marketing campaign, you know it’s ALWAYS risky.

Even when talking to somebody one on one, when you’re getting ready to “close” it starts to become nervous time.

Whether you’re asking for the date, asking for the sale, or simply getting ready to recommend a vacation destination for this year’s trip, it can be difficult.

Because we all fear rejection, AND we tend to imagine the worst case scenario on some level.

So when we throw OUR ideas out there, and HOPE they are accepted, it’s pretty nerve racking.

On the other hand, when we know a little bit about the person we are talking to, AND we structure our “proposal” in a way to BEST MATCH their “model of the world,” it won’t be nearly so hard.

That same idea of them having a bunch of vague dreams and desires can be used in our favor.

Just present your ideas so they can “fill in the blanks” with their own details, and YOUR idea will seem a lot more like THEIR idea.

Even talking to people that you’ll never see again will be a lot more fun and rewarding.

And they’ll remember you forever.

Get Started:

Covert Hypnosis

Do You Keep Falling Down?

Do You Keep Falling Over?

I was watching a friend of mine with her kid the other day.

They were having a conversation. Sort of.

My friend was talking, but the kid was only sort of talking.

Half sounds, half words. It was clear the mom didn’t really understand the words themselves, but she just kind of rolled with it.

Now, I don’t remember being that young, but I doubt the kid was too worried about making any mistakes.

If you’ve ever seen kids running on the grass, and they trip over their feet, most of the time they think it’s pretty funny.

Once I had this mountain bike. I rode it quite often, on the street, and decided to get those special pedals with special shoes so they can clip in.

First ride was going fine until I forgot I’d switched my pedals. It seems that getting out of them requires some practice.

I rode up to the top of this hill, during heavy traffic, to a big intersection. The light was red, and I coasted to a stop.

Only as I started to fall over did I realize my feet were stuck in the pedals.

And right next to me, was a car filled with cute girls.

Boy oh boy was that embarrassing!

On the other hand, it was valuable feedback. I spent the next ten minutes or so practicing how to get in and out of those pedals, in a parking lot without many cars.

I could have just as easily gone home and never ridden again.

This is the difference between how we “label” events that happen to us.

They can be valuable feedback, which can help us. (I ended up riding about 200 miles a week for a year or so after that.)

Or we can give up, thinking that “event” MEANS “failure.”

But nothing really means anything.

Sure, we have some instinctive, “go-to” meanings.

But if we depended on our instincts ALL THE TIME, we’d weigh a million pounds and we’d start bashing people in the head with rocks whenever we got into an argument.

How we label events plays a large part in how “scary” the events are, either as they happen, or as we imagine them BEFORE they happen.

If we imagine them the wrong way, we’ll IMAGINE something we call “fear” and that will keep us stuck.

But with some practice, you can learn how to imagine future events differently. So they’ll seem less scary.

You’ll be more likely to take action, which means you’ll get more good stuff.

Get Started:

Fearless

Do You Have Closing Anxiety?

Scared?

They Want You To Ask

​The hardest part of the sale is asking for the order.

The reason why is pretty interesting, even if you aren’t in sales, or don’t ever plan to be.

Imagine a salesperson, who knows his or her product very well.

They talk to the customers, find out what they want, and show them that the product is a perfect match.

Only when it comes time to seal the deal, they get nervous.

It’s kind of the same when meeting somebody socially, who you might think may make a decent relationship partner.

So when it comes time to seal the deal (ask for the number, lean in for the kiss, whatever) that same feeling of anxiety pops up.

You might call this “closing anxiety.” Many salespeople are fantastic at greeting customers, creating rapport, but when it comes to talk turkey, they freeze up.

Guys do the same thing. They approach a girl, get her laughing and feeling good, but for some reason they have a hard time asking for the number.

The problem is the same for both cases.

The fear of rejection runs very deep. It was built into our brains BEFORE we learned any words, so it only exists as a feeling. A raw sense of insecurity.

Here’s one trick that can help. Next time you’re going to “seal the deal,” whatever that means to you, think of it as an actual object.

Some imaginary “thing” that you’re holding off to the side. An idea that’s floating out in space.

So if they “reject” that “thing” they’re not rejecting you, just an idea that’s kind of floating off to the side.

If you’re getting somebody’s number, instead of saying, “Can I have your number,” or something similar, actually hold your phone off to the side, and say something like, “Why don’t you put your number in here so we can hang out later.” 

Same with a sales situation. Have the contract or the information on a piece of paper, off to the side. Look at your clients, and motion “over there” to the idea of buying the product. “Well, I think this looks pretty good, what do you think?”

Another way to think about this is that person you are talking to, whether it’s for sales or romance WANTS the conversation to end with the sale or the number.

Nobody likes going home empty handed, shoppers or otherwise. Nobody likes going from shop to shop only to find out that they can’t find what they want.

They WANT to come to an agreement with you. They WANT you to have the product they want, or you to be the person of their dreams.

Nobody goes shopping with the hopes of rejecting a bunch of salespeople!

When you understand the true meaning of money, and that people LOVE buying things they need and want, it will be much easier.

Learn How: