Face Your Inner Demons

by Dr. Steve Taubman


Not all that long ago, I was spending most of my professional career performing hypnosis shows throughout the U.S. and the Caribbean. One of my great pleasures was performing for MTV Spring Break in Jamaica, Barbados, and the Bahamas. I know, you're thinking, "You poor soul!" Yes, it was tough...but someone had to do it!

As part of my show, I had volunteers believe they were rock stars, dancers, and Martians. I'd have them think they were watching the funniest movie they'd ever seen, and then suddenly it would change into the saddest. The audience would howl watching their peers go from hysterical laughter to sobs in a matter of seconds. I even had one guy think he was pregnant, while another thought he was the father. Crazy, hilarious, complete mayhem!

One day, in the midst of my show, I decided to try a new routine. I had one of my subjects believe three things: 1. that when he opened his eyes, he'd think he wasn't hypnotized; 2. that this was the worst show he'd ever seen; 3. that there was an invisible wall about three feet in front of him. He awoke and began to complain loudly about my show. I offered him an opportunity to leave, and he got up to storm out. Suddenly he hit the "invisible wall" and stopped dead in his tracks. Puzzled, angry, and frustrated, he continued to push on it to no avail, finally giving up.

When I asked him if he was enjoying the show, he said, "No!" When I asked him if he was hypnotized, he said, "No!" And when I asked him why he wasn't leaving, he thought for a moment and finally came up with this answer. "I'm not going to give you the satisfaction!"

In that moment, I realized something profound. That hypnotized person represents ALL of us. We all have places we want to go. We all have invisible walls that stop us. We all believe we're wide awake and capable of complete choice, while in reality we're bound by hypnotic programming that defines the limits of what we accomplish. And, we all make excuses for why we stop trying, which are plausible and sound good, but aren't true.

When I coach network marketers to overcome their blocks, the first thing I charge them with is complete honesty and courage. They have to be willing to dig deeper than the excuses they've made for why they're not as successful as they'd like to be. As long as they hold on to those excuses, they never get to face the hidden, invisible forces that prevent their growth. Full self expression and a joyful life demand a willingness to let go of our excuses, our perceived reasons for failure. We need to go deeper and make the unconscious programming conscious.

The philosopher Gurdjieff said, "The first step for escaping from prison is realizing you're in prison." Every one of us must admit to the prisons of our own minds. What are your real obstacles? When you consider your path, what's really gotten in your way? Is it a lack of self-belief? Is it an old mental program pertaining to success not being noble? Are you tethered by the level of financial wellbeing in your family of origin? Are you deathly afraid of confrontation or rejection?

Each of those obstacles are mental, and the ones with the most power are the ones which are largely subconscious. Experience shows that when people take the courageous step towards unearthing the deeper beliefs which restrict their movement, all their other "excuses" just vanish.

Ask yourself if there are any external reasons you're giving yourself to explain where you're stuck. Then resolve to take away all the power you've given them. Decide if you're willing, through self-inquiry, reflection, contemplation, coaching or any other means, to face courageously your inner demons. The beauty of this approach is that once you've done the work, not only will you become more successful, but you will have grown enormously as a person and be an inspiration to many!


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