Instant Confidence: The Power to Go for Anything You Want by Paul McKenna PH.D. (2016)(2016)/index.html#calibre_link-48">SECTION THREE
CONFIDENCE IN THE REAL WORLD
Leaving a Bad Situation
When Is Enough Enough?
I am wondering if you are the person I’ve written this chapter for—the person in a situation so bad that if anyone had told you it would happen to you, you would have laughed or been insulted.
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do.”
But, somehow, you’ve wound up here. Maybe you’re depressed or stuck in a dead-end job, wondering whether you’ll ever get sick and tired of feeling sick and tired. Maybe you’re in an emotionally or physically abusive relationship, wondering how in the hell something like this could happen to someone like you.
It happens the way any unconscious pattern happens—bit by bit and day by day. If you throw a frog into a pot of hot water he will jump out. Put it in a pot of cold water and heat it up slowly, and the frog will stay in there until he’s dead.
But I’ve got some good news—the way out is fast, direct, and immediate. Even if you’re not quite ready, your new life can begin just a few minutes from now …
Taking Yourself over the Threshold
Richard Bandler has a friend who runs a shelter for women who have been abused by their partners. His friend couldn’t find a way to persuade the women to stop giving their partners just one more chance. Many of them went back again and again, and got abused again and again.
Eventually one of the women was killed by her partner. That’s when Richard was asked to help. He started by going and interviewing women who had successfully left abusive relationships.
He wanted to find out what exactly had taken place in them that allowed them to leave. He made a fascinating discovery. They all ran a similar pattern in their minds. They would think about all the bad things that had happened to them again and again, one after another until the bad memories began to join up so there wasn’t any space between them.
The more the memories joined up, the more intense and uncomfortable the feelings got, until whenever they thought about the situation they used to feel stuck in, all they could remember was the pain and fear. Any thought of the “not so bad” times was gone.
The cumulative effect of all these negative memories at once broke their attachment to the idealized view they had of their partner. It was the straw that broke the camel’s back. They had crossed a threshold. They simply couldn’t go back to thinking of their ex-partner as a “nice guy with a temper” anymore. From that moment on, there was no longer any question of whether or not they would go back.
Richard decided to teach the other women in the shelter how to remember all the bad times strung together, so that they could feel their full effect. Essentially he used a psychological mechanism that is already in us. However, rather than wait for months or even years for it to activate, he showed them how to activate it immediately, before any further injuries.
The following is Richard’s technique, and many of the people I have used it with have said that it was the single most powerful action they took to free themselves from their attachment to an individual or situation that was causing them harm. They have said things like “I don’t have any feelings towards my ex now,” “My ex feels like someone I used to know a long time ago,” “Okay, it’s turned off the overwhelming feelings, I can handle it now.”
One client reported back to me that doing it just one single time had wiped out his overwhelming feelings. That gave his confidence a real boost, because he knew that even if any feelings of longing did return, he had a surefire way to get rid of them.
Here is the technique in its entirety. Part of its power comes from the speed at which you run it. So it is especially important to really take the time to read through it properly before you do it. If you have to stop to figure out the next step, you will lose momentum. So decide now whether you are ready for a radical change in your feelings and read it through carefully before you start.
THE THRESHOLD TECHNIQUE*
Read through the exercise before you do it for the first time …
1. Call to mind a picture of yourself with your ex when you were in love. Look at it as though it was a photograph and notice how it affects you now. Then just imagine putting it to one side so you can check it again in a moment.
2. Next call to mind four negative experiences with your ex-partner where you felt very definitely upset, or repulsed by them. Perhaps you will think of times when they did something that really offended you or did something that you found hurtful. Make a list of them so you can easily call them to mind.
3. Now run through those four negative memories one at a time in detail as though you were inside each of them reenacting the moment. See the things you saw, hear the things you heard, and feel completely the negative feelings you felt all over again, like you are actually there.
4. Now spend some time going through the memories again and again, one after another, each time making the images a bit bigger, brighter, and more colorful so they are more and more intense. Go through them faster and faster, until the events are overlapping, until there is no break at all between all the worst parts happening over and over again.
5. When you have generated a really strong negative feeling throughout your body, add that picture of yourself when you were in love with your ex alongside all those horrible times and keep running the negative memories.
6. You will feel very different now. Ask yourself how attractive that picture is in this context.
7. When it is no longer attractive, imagine stepping out of all the memories and imagine all the pictures and feelings to do with your ex floating away from you and going off into the past.
* Reproduced with the written permission of Dr. Richard Bandler
Many people only need to do this technique once to feel totally free of their attachments to their old relationship. But if you want to, you can do it carefully and thoroughly again in order to reinforce the effect.
Use the Hypnotic Trance Daily
I was once contacted by a lady who had suffered from agoraphobia for many years. She hadn’t been out in public on her own since her mid-20s, and she was living in a violently abusive relationship.
A friend gave her one of my confidence CDs, much like the hypnotic trance you can download along with this book. After less than a week, the powerful mind-programming techniques had begun to do their work. A few weeks later she flew to Australia on her own. When she returned she had decided to leave her husband and start a new life in another part of the country. She has never looked back. And neither will you …