Post Type ArchivesPodcast

#46: Affirmations can backfire



Sometimes people get poor results with affirmations. When they say positive things about themselves the dialogue of thoughts in their head pushes back with harsh negative comments. Those harsh criticisms cause them to feel more negative emotions than were produced with the positive affirmations. The overall result of the affirmation process is to end up feeling worse than before one started. This is what I call pushback from our ego’s belief system. This is also known as the “Backfire Effect”.  The net effect of this affirmations attempt is that our self-image and self-esteem is pushed down instead of up.

The same kind of backfire effect, or pushback, happens when other people give us compliments. Often the automated response from our ego’s belief system is to dismiss or contradict the compliment. Our mind effectively minimizes or dismisses their kind uplifting words and expressions people give us about our self. In this unconscious manner of speaking, our ego does not allow to fully receive positive thoughts of our self that would improve our self-image and self-esteem. The first step to solving and changing this dynamic is to be aware and mindful. Before we can change this pattern of dismissing and countering positive thoughts and expressions we must first be aware of what we are doing. Once you are aware, you can then begin to intercede with a more positive response in that moment. Without that awareness you won’t notice the critical moment to change your response.

For more insights you can read my book MindWorks.

#45: The Hero’s journey



The Hero’s Journey was outlined to me through the works of  Joseph Campbell years ago. It is the classic tale often told through movies and stories going back to The Odyssey by Homer and many modern versions including Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter and The Matrix. It’s appeal is that it represents our journey to create peace and happiness within our self and our own mind. The “Dark Forces” that we are challenged by our our inner demons of false beliefs, false self images, unpleasant emotions, fears and those loud voices in our head that spew negative thoughts.

The challenge is to make a commitment to claim the kingdom of your mind and put order to all the contradicting voices and create peace and harmony in your mind, and in your heart. Until you do that, you will not find peace within.

#44: Persistence and resistance



Jamie is one of the most persistent people at doing personal change work that I know. She also resists change, happiness and unconditional love more than just about anyone I know. What does resistance look like and how do you navigate around it to make changes in your self? In this interview you have an opportunity to get a good look at it. There are also some clues on how to be aware of resistance so you can move through those fears and limiting beliefs faster.

Jamie’s approach to dealing with her resistance to unconditional love and being happy was and unrelenting and persistent drive for the Truth. In the process Jamie is completely re-writing the story of her life. It’s an inspiring story of change, and one that she is not finished telling yet.

It will be interesting to see where it goes.

#43: Overcoming insecurity and develop confidence



Attempts to develop confidence often fail because they revolve around projecting a positive self image or achieving success. Unfortunately these two things don’t eliminate other beliefs causing feelings of insecurity. To overcome the feeling of insecurity effectively it is necessary to identify and eliminate the beliefs that generate feelings of unworthiness, fear, and anxiety. It is not enough to just cover them up with positive self images. That won’t achieve a solid feeling of confidence as long as the beliefs connected to insecurity are still intact in our mind.

More on this topic on my article about Overcoming insecurity 

For practical steps to identify and change the core beliefs causing insecurity, use the exercises in my Self Mastery Course.


#42: Stop beating your self up



Due to an internal dialog of negative thoughts you can really beat your self up. If the self berating thoughts are strong enough it can induce feelings of inadequacy, hopelessness, and even depression. People often try to remedy this by willing their negative thoughts to stop. I’ve never seen this work, and with very good reason. To effectively change the thoughts and beliefs we beat our self up with it is important to look at the problem differently. That’s what I do in this free audio on what specifically happens when you are “beating yourself up”.

This audio helps clarify what is going on in your mind when you do this. Once you understand this situation better, you will see why trying to will it to stop is a set up for failure. You will also have other practical solutions available to you in the Self Mastery Course.

The reason you can’t stop the “beating your self up” with shear will power is that those negative thoughts aren’t being directed by you. They are being driven by a part of the mind that has taken on a life of it’s own and is not under your control. But you can get it under your control.

#41: Meditation for beginners



This simple meditation lets anyone begin to enter into a state of mindfulness using a very common sense practical approach. What our mind construes as a deeply mystical thing like meditation doesn’t have to be so esoteric.

This free audio explains a simple way to begin using meditation for relaxation and stress reduction. It also covers what to expect when you begin to meditate so that you can avoid being surprised and become disappointed or frustrated. This will help you continue with your practice and become more successful and mindful in the process. It also explains suggested guidelines and what they are for so you don’t become distracted by what rules to follow or not follow.

#40: Self awareness and mindfulness



Understanding how your mind creates emotional reactions is key to making personal change. This understanding of the mind is done through mindfulness, also know as self awareness. In a basic level of awareness you might notice how someone’s mood changes. A deeper level of awareness allows you notice your own mood, and how it affects your behavior and interactions. A deeper level of awareness will allow you to perceive the factors affecting your mood and change them.

Self awareness, also called mindfulness, is an important step to permanently changing your negative thoughts, emotional reactions, and self destructive behaviors.

#39: What is a belief?



A belief begins as a conceptual idea in our mind. Then our imagination turns it into something like a dream, or virtual reality. A belief, particularly a false belief, has the capacity to create an illusion in our imagination that seems like reality. We then react to that illusion emotionally as if it were real. The emotions we feel as such as fear, anger, jealousy or insecurity are real, but the illusion we are reacting to in our mind is not real.

Beliefs not only alter how we see the world, but also how we see our selves. Within a belief we can create a false identity of who we are; an ego identity. We then falsely believe that this character of our imagination is us. This is how we end up believing and feeling that we are not good enough, broken, unlovable, or that there is something wrong with us. In reality there is nothing wrong with us. At the central core of it all you are fine. However you may not feel fine because you are having emotional reactions to all the negative thoughts in your head and false beliefs.

The Self Mastery program provides you a process to identify and change your false and fear based beliefs.  The first few sessions are free for you to sample.


#38: Self Mastery Course results interview



David served in the Army and National Guard. After responding to the World Trade Center and Afghanistan he came home and discovered that his emotional reactions were out of control and inappropriate. In this interview he shares how the Self Mastery course has helped him.

David first signed up for the free sessions in July and purchased the Basic Self Mastery series two months later in September. When we did this interview in March he had only received the last of the Basic Series sessions about 2 months prior. That’s not a lot of time to put all the tools and techniques together. However he was making personal change in his emotional reactions and was feeling much better about being in the world as he learns to become more efficient with the tools he is learning.

David shared with me that when he came back from Afghanistan he didn’t feel like himself. His emotional reactions weren’t appropriate. The  “thing” that gets turned on in your mind in a war zone that helps you to survive doesn’t just turn off when you get home.  His emotional and physiological systems were still operating in that heightened state for survival even when he was walking into the grocery story, the gas station, or going to the gym. He realized that he needed to make some changes and found that the Self Mastery Course Exercises has helped.


#37: Confusion about love, compassion, hope, integrity and loyalty



Love, Compassion, Hope, Integrity, and Loyalty are the subject of this audio. This is an excerpt from a talk I gave at a Spiritual Retreat in 2010. Our mind has the ability to imagine in a myriad of ways. Because of this it also has the ability to distort, confuse, create chaos, and emotional drama as well. One of the ways that this happens is through the mis-use of language. Even the basic building blocks of language such as words can be distorted and made confusing by how the mind alters their meaning when we are not aware.

If you want to implement changes in the way your mind works, how you feel emotionally, or negative behaviors, start by downloading and listening to the free audios from the Self Mastery Program

#36: Anger management



I don’t think we should just manage our anger. I believe in eliminating anger. Trying to control triggers, circumstances, and other people so we don’t become angry is too much work. It is much easier to identify and change the core beliefs causing our anger. In this episode I outline what the process of managing and eliminating anger looks like when you do it with awareness.

If you want to eliminate anger, and the core beliefs that cause anger follow the step by step process outlined in the Self Mastery Course.

#35: Sexual performance anxiety



Sexual performance anxiety can cause a lot of stress in a relationship. It creates guilt, shame, and  fears, that corrupt the emotional connection and can lead to and disconnection. In this podcast I outline what goes on in a man’s head and some of the core beliefs at the root of the issue.

At the core of sexual performance anxiety are fear of failure, rejection from our partner and self rejection. These expressions take place in our mind and affect our emotions. When we are caught up in these core beliefs of rejection our attention becomes so focused on these beliefs and emotions that we are no longer present with our partner and sexual experience. At that point it is difficult to get aroused when what you are focused on is the beliefs in your head and the emotions they are producing.

In order to change this dynamic it is necessary to identify and change the beliefs causing projections in our imagination, and to unhook our attention from them and focus on what we are doing with our partner and our self. This shift in our mental state is all parter of better awareness and mindfulness.

#34: Spiritual journey interview



Carolyn shares her experience on the 7 day Spiritual Intensive she took with me to Teotihuacán Mexico. She discovers what it is like to shed fear based self judgments from her childhood and embrace the experience of unconditional love. It’s no longer an intellectual idea that she reads about in books. It is a tangible way of living life that is now a very real possibility for her life.

She discovered that the journey wasn’t about the place, the mythology, or the history. The important focus of the journey was her and the process for transforming the emotional quality of her life.

You can find out more about these spiritual journeys and retreats on my events page.

#33: Inception and the life of an idea in the mind



The idea that ideas are alive has been around a long time. Careful observation reveals that  ideas, thoughts, and beliefs behave as if they are alive in the mind. When ideas grow and link together with other ideas they become big stories and can have multiple points of view and tangents. Large story ideas intertwined with emotion act more like dreams. There are daydreams when we are awake, and dreams in our mind when we are asleep. The key to changing these ideas, stories, dreams, and the emotions they carry is for the dreamer to wake up.

Richard Dawkins term for ideas that live like parasites in the mind and have a life of their own is meme. I suggest watching this video first.

This video from Dan Dennett on Memes and dangerous ideas that direct their host to kill the hosts of other meme’s is worth watching.

Scientist and author Richard Dawkins published “The Selfish Gene” in 1976. Some background is provided here on this Wikipedia page.

Topics covered in this podcast include, ideas the the mind, how they act as parasites, references to the movie Inception, how ideas spread, have a life of their own, go viral, how our ideas control what we do. Our mind is a host of ideas.

#32: The most important thing for your happiness



The process of overcoming fears, identifying and changing core beliefs, dealing with emotions, meditation, being present with your emotions, and all the other myriad of steps you can take towards living a happy and fulfilling life can be overwhelming. So sometimes it helps to take a step back and have a sense of humor about the process.

For details on how you can take practical steps towards some of these most important things you can do the exercises in the Self Mastery Audio Program on my site. The first few sessions are available free for you to sample.

#31: Miguel Ruiz and The Fifth Agreement



Interview with Miguel Ruiz about his book The Fifth Agreement 
Don Miguel Ruiz talks about the book, The Fifth Agreement. It is a follow up and completes the teachings he started in The Four Agreements. In this interview he talks about how the belief system of the creates a virtual reality, judgment day, human sacrifices going on today, how we distort love, having respect for your self, how to use doubt to question your beliefs.

Miguel also shares about the development of his son, Don Jose Luis, and his intense passion for the truth that inspired him to write the book together. As well as how they both experienced his heart attack and how we was facing death without fear.

In short the Fifth Agreement is “Be skeptical, but learn to listen.” However just having this agreement doesn’t serve you as well unless you have the context of why it will lead you towards inner peace and happiness. In The Fifth Agreement Don Miguel explains the structure of language, and how from language we create symbols in our mind to explain experiences of life with our rational mind. He calls it knowledge. Over the years that language of symbols becomes alive in our mind and takes on a life of it’s own until we can not even stop our own thinking. We end up with a voice in our head that we can not control. In the process we lose the experience of inner quiet and peace. When you learn to be skeptical you take your faith out of all those symbols and recover the joy of peace and quiet in your own mind.

A link to where you can purchase a copy of The Fifth Agreement

#30: Overcoming anger using the Self Mastery program



I interviewed Joe who used the Self Mastery course to overcome his anger and anxiety reactions. He’s started to be aware that some of his emotional reactions are completely gone. At other times he finds it enjoyable to experience emotions that used to be unpleasant. He’s still working towards emotional mastery but is well on his way. In this interview he shares how the course has changed his anger reactions in traffic, relationships with his wife and kids and experiences at work.

After the interview I share some insights on why I think Joe’s approach is successful. He’s not approaching his emotional change with a sense of urgency. Rather he’s consistently addressing what’s going on in his belief system  10 and 15 minutes at a time. The fact that he’s working through things without being in a hurry means that it has a much larger strategic importance to him than just something you need to do in a hurry. When we are trying to change things in a hurry it’s usually because there is a fear driving our urgency. When you are trying to change an emotional state like anger or anxiety, and fear is driving you to do it, you are really only adding fuel to the fire.

An urgent approach is what you use when fear is driving your solution path. And you’ll probably give up working on the change when your emotions cycle again. A consistent approach is what you do when change is important enough to work at it long term.

Related Articles

The Self Mastery Course

Understanding Anger

What Causes Anger

PS. Joe is a lawyer by trade. If a lawyer can make embrace love, forgiveness, and happiness, then there’s hope for everyone. Either that… or we just got the whole lawyer stereotype completely wrong.

#29: Faith: the power behind your beliefs



Faith is more than a set of beliefs there is no evidence for or a doctrine of religious beliefs. Faith is a force. It is an aspect of your personal will power that you can use in various ways. One way to use the power of your faith is to invest it in conceptual ideas. In don Miguel Ruiz’s book The Fifth Agreement he outlines a more impeccable use of the power of your faith.

We’ll be delving deeper into the insights in don Miguel Ruiz’s new book, The Fifth Agreement, in future audios. I think this one help fills in some gaps about the concept of faith and perhaps makes it a little less abstract.

#28: Conscious awakening



Waking up to the unconscious beliefs in your mind is an uncomfortable and disconcerting realization.  Realizing your unconscious beliefs have been leading you in a dream world of unnecessary emotional reactions, and sabotaging behaviors, all based on illusions in the mind is confusing and we often react with judgment and denial. It can also create a reaction where you feel powerless because you see these things controlling your mind and you can’t stop it.

In this podcast I outline what is happening so you can keep the process in a larger perspective. When you wake up you have no control over this and it takes some work to develop control over your attention and begin dismantling beliefs. The specific steps in how to do this and what to do are in the Self Mastery audio program.

#27: Reasoning your way out of fear



Most fears are not rational. When we apply some skilled common sense and awareness to them we can detach. However applying reasoning skills to overcoming fears is an uphill battle. That’s because the emotions we feel push us against accepting truthful reasoning. That’s because our fictional, or false beliefs often make us feel better emotionally. This doesn’t mean that our false beliefs make us happy. Rather they just make us feel a lesser degree of bad. Our effort to overcome fears is furthered hampered because part of our reasoning mind is more concerned with just having an answer than it is with knowing the truth. When you direct your attention and intent towards knowing the truth, the truth will set you free from your fear based beliefs.