In my long career as a therapist, thousands of people have walked into my office for thousands of different reasons. But of those thousands of clients, you may be surprised to learn that there are really only three types of people. That’s right—only three.
It doesn’t matter what the initiating problem, behavior, or issue is that a client has come to me to seek help for. It doesn’t matter if they’re a billionaire, an Olympian, a social hermit, a disabled veteran, a movie star, or just a regular 9 to 5 office worker. It doesn’t matter if they’re British, Japanese, or Namibian; gay, straight, or transgendered; a high school dropout, a musical genius, or tax accountant. In spite of all these variables, by the end of each session, I have usually figured out which of the three archetypes they are.
Isn’t that striking? That of all the diversity of human experience that people have today, we can all be boiled down to just three types. You are probably wondering what those types are, but before I tell you, I want to tell you something more important. I want to tell you why that’s true.
The traditional field of psychology likes to make things complicated. However, in my experience, there has been one core tenet which has informed my practice as an internationally-renowned therapist, and it is incredibly simple. This laser-sharp focus on simplicity often goes against the grain, clinically speaking. However, I can tell you with certainty that it’s been the reason why I’m commonly referred to as the “therapist’s therapist”—or the person that other practitioners send their clients to when they’re struggling to get results with them. It’s also the reason I’ve gained a reputation for helping clients in one or two sessions, rather than years of repeated visits.
So, what is this insight I’ve spent 30 years and thousands of hours of practice learning? It is my understanding that humans come onto this planet with two powerful emotional needs: to find connection, and to avoid rejection. If you dig deep enough into the emotional problems of almost anyone, you can trace their issues back to a lack of fulfillment of those two needs. It’s really that simple because that truth is so powerful and part of its strength is its simplicity.
If you want proof of just how fundamental these needs are, our society provides plenty of extreme examples. Take a look at someone in the most extreme form of social isolation we’ve come up with: solitary confinement. Numerous studies in the United States have shown that solitary confinement is one of the most damaging and irreversible punishments to bestow on a criminal, no matter what they’ve done. Symptoms that are known to be caused by solitary confinement include hallucinations, panic attacks, depression, loss of memory and mood swings. Tellingly, the four percent of inmates in American prisons who are subjected to solitary confinement make up 50 percent of the total suicides in the incarceration system. All of this tells us that a human can have no direct threat to their survival in terms of their biological needs—food, shelter, oxygen—but if they feel rejected by society and are unable to forge human connection of any kind, they are in the worst kind of poverty we know. It is a poverty of the spirit.
Similarly, if you ask a homeless person what the worst part of being homeless is, the answer they give often isn’t what you’d expect. They don’t say that they miss having their own bed or a steak dinner (though I’m sure they do miss those things), they say the constant feeling of being ignored and rejected by society at large is too much to bear. Walk into a soup kitchen and you’ll often find people are there for a chat with someone even more so than for the soup. It’s also been proven that one of the major factors causing drug addiction and alcoholism is the feeling of not belonging and one of the successes of AA is that it allows addicts to feel a sense of connection with each other.
You see, to a certain extent we all still have the mindset of tribal times. When we lived in interdependent tribal structures, it was imperative that we didn’t get rejected by our brethren as no human could survive in the wilderness out on their own. In that case, rejection really did mean death and connection meant survival. That is why this fear is so deeply rooted and at the cause of so many of our modern problems.
As I’ve developed my rapid transformational hypnotherapy methods—which now form the basis of my international course for my Rapid Transformational Therapy, or RTT, method—I’ve always come back to this fundamental truth: more than anything else we need connection and we avoid rejection. And when I’m trying to figure out which of the three types my client fits into, it’s always through the lens of these dual desires.
Three types of clients
You are probably wondering just what are the three categories that I’ve managed to separate my clients into, without much deviation. The first type of client is a person who would love to have it all—loving relationships, a great job, financial security, and self-love, confidence, and inner peace—but can’t manage to attain any of it, let alone hang on to it. The second type of client is one who has many of those things described above, but is sabotaging them in major or minor ways such as addiction, workaholism, or cheating on their spouse. And the third type, the rarest type, of client who does manage, through working on their mindset, to attain it all—relationship, health, career calling, well-being, inner peace—is working on their ability to share it with other people.
For some people, these categories may seem crude or too simplistic. But because I’ve seen the transformation of the first two types after applying my methods, I’m confident that it really is this simple. It all goes back to that fundamental truth I shared. Feeling disconnected or rejected can lead to all sorts of issues that manifest in the types of clients who belong in groups one and two. That rejection and disconnection can come from parental estrangement, being bullied, having a disability or never feeling that you were safe. It can manifest as a fear of intimacy, an inflated ego, or an addiction to eating, alcohol or drugs. Indeed, It doesn’t matter where the rejection or lack of connection comes from, it almost always leads to a person who feels as though certain things in life will never be available to them. And many modern-day ailments are a function of humans trying to fill the resulting emptiness or gap that they feel.
In about 2012, it became so apparent to me that the third group of clients—the ones who had it all and wanted to share it—were operating on a different level of consciousness and self-love. They didn’t just feel, they knew, that everything was available to them. This wasn’t because they had experienced perfect, trauma-free lives. Quite the contrary. It was because of how they had changed their mindsets.
I was so struck by the stand-out nature of this third group, that I resolved to find a way to teach not just the first two groups of clients, but all my followers and readers all over the world, how they could become the third type. This book, along with my RTT course, is my attempt to do just that. I want everyone to know that it’s not only possible to get over their problems, issues, and hang-ups to live a full and happy life—it’s theirs for the taking once they can get their mind on their side by effectively dialoguing with it.
When you like yourself, your life is extraordinary
As I said before, there are many reasons why people from all walks of life feel disconnected and rejected. In a lot of cases, these reasons start very early on in life, before we are even aware of our own consciousness. Maybe your father was never home and, when he was, he commented on your weight. Maybe your mother could only be pleased if you were perfect, and so you never felt you measured up despite your hardest efforts. Or maybe you were the victim of trauma or abuse before you even knew what those words were. All of those represent rejection to varying degrees. As we age, we wonder why we have the same stubborn problems like relationship sabotage, addiction, weight problems, lack of motivation, or fear of commitment following us around. In a great many cases, these issues turn into a kind of self-loathing, a resignation to the fact that we will never be who we want to be. Our conscious mind just assumes it is our own fault: that we are lazy, we aren’t good enough, we simply can’t change it, that this is how life will always be. Meanwhile, our harder-to-reach subconscious mind is often still stewing in the deep root causes of rejection and disconnection, agnostic to what is going on up at the surface level.
As a therapist, I meet so many people who don’t like themselves and, by extension, they create lives they don’t like either. The third group of clients are the ones that do like themselves. That’s not because they are perfect, or had perfect parents, or have experienced no adversity; it’s because they have learned how to self-dialogue and redirect their insecurities and fears around rejection and disconnection into a tremendous self-belief.
This isn’t the same as ego or narcissism; it’s a sense of radical self-love. It’s a stated, embedded, unshakable belief in the worthiness of one’s self. With it, I truly believe you can do anything. Without it, you will stay in group one or two, with your subconscious mind sabotaging you every step of the way, always feeling that you are not quite good enough no matter what your accomplishments are or how many other people value you.
The chapters of this book are devoted to teaching you how to attain that unshakeable belief in yourself—the radical act of simply liking yourself—so you can join the third group of clients. This isn’t so you can be superior or better than everyone else, but rather, so that you, too, can help spread this message of self-love that can change the world. It’s information that I believe everyone should know, but it isn’t taught in schools because so many educators haven’t yet learned it themselves. I like to think it is my purpose in life to spread it to as many people as possible because I have seen the life changing effects of this method in my practice, in emails from my readers, on stage when I speak at conferences, and in my training course.
The chapters will take you through various techniques which you can apply to your everyday life, starting right away. They aren’t bizarre or difficult to implement, and they don’t cost money or require special equipment. All you need is a willingness to change and to address the mental habits you’ve been stuck with for ages.
The first chapter will explore how your speech and outer dialogue affects what your mind thinks it wants you to do, while the second chapter will explore visualization and how imagery affects our beliefs. The third chapter will elucidate how to forever alter your feelings towards things you don’t like, such as phobias, dieting, or hard work. Chapters four through six will share some of the simple but effective habits that almost all successful people I’ve treated over the years practice in their everyday lives. Chapter seven will reveal the mantra that I believe can heal people , and Chapter eight will explore how to operate in a world that will not always be kind to you even if you’re kind to yourself.
As you can see, none of these techniques are about avoiding adversity or making your life conflict free. None of them are quick fixes, based on bogus ideas, or New Age woo woo either. Rather, they are all about equipping your brain to deal with what life hands you in a way that is self-directed, filled with gratitude, and not at the whim of your minds worst habits. It’s important to accept that we very often cannot change the external events that surround us, we can only change how we respond to them. Fortunately, though, changing how you feel on the inside will change how you feel about your external events more than you could ever imagine.
I can’t tell you how many people’s lives I’ve seen change by adopting these techniques. To the outside world, they may have lost a ton of weight, started a wildly successful business, finally found a loving relationship, and patched up their relationship with their parents. But in all those cases, what’s really happened is that they’ve changed how they relate to themselves. Their inner world has become a lot more loving and, in turn, their outer world has changed for the better. I’m here to teach you the easy but effective methods that will lead you to this ‘I am enough life’. It’s not magic, but it will have a magical effect on your life.
There is a metaphor I love to use when it comes to training your mind to work for you, not against you. I want you think of your subconscious mind as a wild horse. It’s running through fields, without restraint, letting its power and might overpower any impediment or barrier. Meanwhile, your conscious mind is the horse trainer. It is possible to train a wild horse like this to become obedient and docile, but you would need an extremely experienced horse trainer to do it successfully; an amateur just won’t do. The same goes for your mind. Most people go through their lives as an amateur horse trainer with a wild black stallion on their hands. For those people, the wild horse—their subconscious mind—controls them, not the other way around. They wonder why, over and over, they struggle with the same hang-ups and bad habits. The reason is that you simply can’t control your mind unless you know exactly what to do with it. With this book, I intend to teach you exactly that, and in turn allow you to have everything, keep everything, and enjoy and share it, too.
A note about how to use this book:
This book encapsulates much of what I’ve learned in my thirty years as a therapist, author, and speaker, working with thousands of clients, and reaching many more readers, followers, and audiences all over the world. Working with, and hearing feedback from, all these unique people over the years, I have learned that while different things work for different people. A single, simple mantra such as “I am enough” can be the life changing ingredient to forever alter their inner dialogue. For others, establishing a new habit around how they approach tasks they hate doing can be the difference between finding wild success for their business, or not.
That’s why the best way to use this book is the way that feels right for you. If some chapters speak to you more than others, then I encourage you to read and re-read those until you have fully instilled their teachings into your subconscious mind. Occasionally, throughout the book, I will refer to hypnotic audio recordings that you can use to help bolster and strengthen the teachings in these pages*.
If you’ve never been hypnotized before, don’t worry. The instructions are quite simple. As a recording works for you, you should endeavor to listen to the recording daily over at least a three-week period. Please try to make time each day to listen, and you’ll create the opportunity for my messages to get to work in your mind.
If you’re worried about falling asleep during hypnosis, or you feel it makes you sleepy, don’t feel stressed about that, either. Hypnosis and sleep are actually quite similar, as in both states your subconscious mind is working more than your conscious mind. All you need to do at the outset of a hypnosis session is make sure you’re comfortable, in a quiet place, with the phone disconnected or your mobile phone switched off. To begin, simply close your eyelids but try to have your eyeballs looking up towards your eyebrows. You will notice your eyelids start fluttering, which is exactly what you want. Take deep breaths and simply relax into the recording and follow what it tells you to do from there.
Don’t worry if you feel like you’re not doing it “right.” There is no wrong way. Just remember that hypnosis won’t send you to sleep—it will wake you up. Just relax and you’ll find you get more comfortable as you go.
*Recordings are not included.
“Hell is not your morning commute”
When I was training to be a therapist, I was challenged when my teacher said to me, "The mind is really complicated and very complex. It takes a lifetime to understand and to master." I immediately thought, "Well, how is that going to work then? No one has got a lifetime to master their mind." Furthermore, what is the use of being 80 years old and having finally worked out your mind? That is not helpful. And guess what? It's actually not true either.
The truth is that the human mind has one simple job: to keep you alive as long as possible. To do that, our mind is an expert at helping us avoid and flee what causes us pain or danger. When we were living in tribes in the bush, this job was actually quite difficult. We had to flee predators, find water and food, and protect ourselves from the elements constantly. We were under physical threat far more often than we are today, and we were designed to respond to those stressors. Our bodies developed “fight or flight” responses which informed how we responded in times of stress, which usually involved large animals, angry tribesmen, or natural disasters.
The physical world has changed a lot since then. On a daily basis, most people in the modern world don’t have a direct threat to their physical well-being. But there’s a fundamental design flaw here: our brain hasn’t changed much at all to reflect our new, safer and more tame reality. We are still primed for fight or flight responses to the stress and adversity life throws our way. The difference now is that the stressors and roadblocks are less primal and more mental. Nevertheless, when we come onto the planet, our mind still believes in its one, singular job: keeping us alive. And how does it do that? By listening to the instructions we give it about what causes us pain.
This is why, when we’re sitting in traffic in the morning, running late to work, and we spill our coffee all down our white top we say, "This commute is killing me. This traffic is a nightmare. My boss is stressing me out. I'm dying under the pressure" our brain actually believes us. And so how does our body respond to these instructions? Well, it’s been told we’re under threat—something is killing you! Your brain wants to keep you alive! So your heart rate goes up, your cortisol levels increase, your body surges with hormones and you feel angry and lash out at your kid sitting in the back seat and send a rude text message to your colleague. We tell our brain that it’s stressed and that we’re under direct threat, and lo and behold, it believes us. Hour after hour, day after day, our brain uses the language it hears us using to inform how it should feel.
This is the first important lesson I want you to learn: Your mind does what it thinks you want it to do and what it truly believes is in your best interest.
In the moment you’re sitting in traffic and allowing yourself to feel immense stress, your body is desperately trying to get you out of that situation because you are giving it all the indicators that sitting in the car is causing you great pain. You are giving your mind instructions, through your words, that are triggering a physical fight or flight response. But the truth is, being 15 minutes late to work in a stained white top doesn’t actually cause you any pain. Inconvenience, perhaps, but not the kind of stress one feels when their house is burning down or they’re being chased by a wild boar. But your mind doesn’t care. You’ve verbally expressed that you’re in pain and under threat, and thus your brain gives you all the symptoms and responses to help you flee it. The result? You just end up stressed and miserable.
Like all my teachings, this truth is based on science. Muscle testing is a technique that comes from the field of applied kinesiology. In a sense, muscle testing is like asking your subconscious mind a question with words and getting a physical answer from your body. If you ask a question or test a statement that is untrue such as, “My name is Eric” when your name is not Eric, your body will have a “weak” response—that is, your arm will not be able to resist the person who is administering the test. If you say something true, however, your body will have a strong response and will be able to resist. Muscle testing proves that our bodies respond to things in a way we’re not always conscious of, or in control of, similar to what happens when we’re sitting in traffic that we verbally call “hell on earth.” Remember that words are powerful, and your mind is always listening.
Muscle testing works best with a trained practitioner, but if you want to test out the truth that your mind responds to the words you tell it, try the following exercise;
Using your own fingers create a circle with your thumb and finger on one hand. I want you to start pulling against the circle with the thumb and finger of your other hand just to see that you're very strong. Keep pulling and resisting against the circle you made and at the same time say out loud "I'm super successful and extraordinary. I'm super successful and extraordinary." notice how the circle remains unbroken because your resistance is strong
Now I want you to say, "I'm a loser, and I mess everything up. I'm a loser, and I mess everything up." What happens as you say, “I'm a loser. I'm a loser. I mess everything up” is that you're losing your strength, losing your grip. Then go back to saying, "I'm extraordinary. I'm successful. I'm awesome." Every muscle in your body is responding to the words you make and the thoughts you think. The lesson, of course, is to be far more careful about what you think and the words you use.
Throw out your brain’s old instruction manual
So now that we know our mind is listening closely to our words to inform our physical actions and how we feel, what can we do with that information? The answer is profound. Think about something in your life that has always caused you conflict, pain, or stress. Maybe it’s losing weight, which you seem to sabotage no matter how hard you try. Or perhaps you become incredibly nervous at the prospect of public speaking, even though your failure to master it is preventing you from getting a promotion. Maybe you just can’t stick to a new habit like writing every day or exercising, despite the fact that your conscious mind loves the idea of establishing this habit.
The reason for these sticking points we all have as adults is most likely due to old instructions your brain once received. Let’s use the food example. Somewhere along the way in your life, perhaps you learned that food was scarce. You were admonished for wasting food at the dinner table, and you weren’t allowed to have the tasty and sugar-filled food and snacks you desired at home. Furthermore, your mom punished and shamed you when she found out you’d been buying sweets after school from the shop. This punishment and scarcity caused you pain—you wanted to eat yummy things but you weren’t allowed and got punished for desiring them. You felt embarrassed and full of shame from an early age. Then, the culture of food, thinness, and dieting that our media promotes further underlined your shame of having to “sneak” the treats and food you loved so you could be “good.” Furthermore, you always felt obliged to finish whatever was on your plate, even if you weren’t hungry, because you associated pain with wasting food.
Now you are an adult and your mom is no longer around to influence your decisions about food. However, your brain still remembers the pain that’s associated with deprivation about your favorite delicious treats. So, each and every time you start a diet, your brain sabotages you. It is operating on the outdated information that dieting (or scarcity, to be more specific) causes you pain. Of course, now that you’re an adult who can make your own decisions around what to eat, there is no scarcity. What really causes you pain now is your inability to lose weight, but your subconscious brain has not yet been told otherwise. It’s operating on outdated information.
We can use another example on the subject of public speaking. One of the things I’ve learned in my decades of private practice is that the fear of speaking in front of a crowd—whether it’s 20 people or 2,000—is the most commonly held fear among human beings. That’s because public speaking carries with it an inherent vulnerability: the risk of rejection and ostracism from the crowd. And remember what we’re all on the planet trying to avoid? Rejection.
For people who will do anything to avoid standing up in front of a crowd and making themselves vulnerable, there is very often an incident or series of incidences in their past where they felt taunted, teased, or rejected. Maybe they forgot the words to the play in the school talent show, and the school bullies teased them. Maybe they had a speech impediment as a child and were unfairly called upon by a teacher who hoped to cure it. Or maybe they simply never felt accepted by friends and peers early on in life, so as an adult they desperately minimize any chance they might be further rejected. Now, thirty years later, there are no school bullies and their inability to deliver a presentation without immense nerves, sweating, and stammering is the thing that’s actually causing them pain and preventing a pay rise. But once again, the brain is doing what it thinks you want it to do: avoiding the pain of rejection by avoiding public speaking at all costs.
Want more proof that your brain listens to your words for instructions? Just look at this behavior from a positive viewpoint. Think of the way that US Marines can run mile after mile in heavy boots, carrying weighty equipment, with a sense of ease and even enjoyment. They can do this because the camaraderie and positivity they create by chanting motivating slogans and songs while they trudge through the mud makes their mind believe they want to be there. All of a sudden, running ten miles in harsh conditions doesn’t cause them pain, but rather valor and honor. Similarly, look at the way that someone can happily sit to get their entire body tattooed. They ignore the pain because they’ve told their mind they want the end product. Their mind does not see this pain as a threat to their survival or safety, so it happily plays along and allows them to be punctured by needles without fleeing.
Once you realize that your mind responds to the detailed instructions you give it through your own inner and outer dialogue, you can use that information to your advantage. However, I want to be clear: this is not about “the power of positive thinking,” where people are instructed to simply pretend everything is rosy and perfect in the wake of fears, phobias, and adversity. Rather, it’s about giving your brain more specific, direct, and up to date communication around those fears, phobia, and moments of challenge.
When this logic is applied, your “nightmarish, torturous” commute becomes “an inconvenient but surmountable challenge.” The Sunday afternoon you have to miss a party to spend at home working on your accounts or writing your book proposal doesn’t have to be “the last thing you feel like doing ever ” but rather “an opportunity to get ahead and feel ready for the week ahead.” The new dialogue you give your brain doesn’t have to be unrealistic or a fantasy—after all, nobody likes being in traffic or missing out on weekend fun—but it does need to be a reframing of your actual reality. Unless your life is actually under threat, don’t give your mind the cues that it needs to plunge into fight or flight mode each time something doesn’t go exactly as planned.
Let’s revisit the dieting example to show how you can communicate with yourself in a precise, detailed, and specific way to make it so that your mind will help you move towards your goals. If you’ve started a new eating plan and are trying to avoid carbohydrates or fried foods, and yet you feel yourself drawn to the pizza shop or the fish and chip shop, how should you respond?
The old information would go like this “I want that pizza so bad, but I CANNOT have it. I HAVE to resist eating pizza or I will fail at my diet.” Your brain sees that as a direct threat to its goal of avoiding scarcity—you’re basically reminding your brain that pizza is scarce!—so in response, it drives you to order the pizza and eat all of it in one sitting. Remember, your mind wants to avoid the pain of scarcity. However, if you say “I CAN order a pizza because I’m totally in charge of my decisions around food, but right now, I’m going to have fish and big, colorful salad instead. That pizza will always be there when I want it, but today, I’m making a different, healthier choice. I will be equally full and satisfied.” See what happens? Your brain doesn’t feel the desire to avoid that scarcity, because you’ve told your brain there is no scarcity. You choose the alternative with ease, because it doesn’t cause pain.
It can often seem utterly daunting to change the habits and thought patterns we’ve had our entire lives. I like to think of it as “updating our software.” Just as our laptops and smartphones have bugs and vulnerabilities that coders address with each new software update, so, too, does our mind. If you don’t update your laptop, it is vulnerable to viruses and begins running slowly and inefficiently. The same can be said of your mind. When you feel there is a sticking point in your life—and it doesn’t matter what it is—it is helpful to find the root cause, or the outdated information. Figuring out what that is allows you to update the instructions you give your mind, just as you update your software.
Hypnosis can be immensely helpful in this regard, as it can quickly and effectively take you back to the moment that you gave your mind these outdated, unhelpful beliefs and reverse them. For help with this, listen to my accompanying hypnosis for this chapter, It’s important to use the power of repetition to instill your new belief system and replace the old one, especially if you’ve held it for a long time. A useful metric when it comes to updating our beliefs is that it takes between ten days and twenty-one days to let go of an old belief and replace it with a new better one . In the grand scheme of things, that’s not so long for a belief you’ve held onto for thirty years. So, give yourself some leeway in instilling the new instructions you have for your mind.
For anyone who has struggled for years to overcome unhelpful belief systems that leave them feeling depressed, anxious, sad, and isolated, the knowledge that our mind is actually quite straightforward and quite easy to change, when you know how, is good news. Your life will never be perfect—nobody’s is—but the way you respond to the imperfections and adversity that do come your way can be more sophisticated than a caveman being chased by a saber-toothed tiger. Give your mind the intelligible, reasonable, and non-dramatic information it needs to keep your problems and challenges in perspective, and you’ll find your life will become much, much easier and so much more enjoyable . Never forget, you make your beliefs and habits—and then they turn around and make you. So, choose wisely.