What’s the Deal with the Confidence Off-Switch?

Confidence is a great thing to have.

In fact, that’s understating it.

It’s amazing for your career, whether you’re climbing the ladder or building an empire.

And your social life. Quality people like hanging out with confident folk.

Not to mention your love life. If the meek inherit the earth, you know they won’t find their soulmates there.

None of that is shocking to you, I’m sure.

Though it does raise a question:

If it’s so useful is so many different ways… why don’t you have high confidence all the time?

How could your own mind sabotage you with anxiety, the jitters and feelings of unworthiness?

What’s the point of turning confidence off?

The answer is simple:

You have to earn confidence.

That might sound like I’m being mystical. It’s a common trope in religion and fantasy that you can only gain powerful magic by giving up something. If you want clarity of mind, then fast. If you want wisdom, then cloister yourself from the world.

But that’s not what’s happening here.

It’s not that you need to sacrifice something great in order to score more confidence.

It’s that unearned confidence is dangerous.

Imagine a clumsy swordsman, bragging about his skill. How long would it take for him to attract a challenger?

Or a more contemporary example: if you’ve worked in an office, I’m sure you knew someone who talked a big game but couldn’t deliver. If they got ‘normal’ projects, they’d do well. But they brag so hard they get given something they can’t handle, then everyone loses.

And to go uncontemporary… a hunter-gatherer needs to know their place in the tribe. Anyone who fakes high status is gonna get a pummelling from the actual high-status hunters.

Confidence attracts attention. If you can back that up with action, great. If not, it’s less a spotlight and more a volcano.

But if you think I’m telling you to be awkward and meek here, I’m not.

Because chances are, you aren’t acting too confident for your abilities.

Most folk go the other way and act not confident enough.

The truth is, you’re amazing. I don’t care who you are, how young or old you are, how ugly, slow or uncoordinated you think you are:

You are your harshest critic.

You’re far better than you give yourself credit for.

Which is where confidence affirmations come in handy. Simply by raising your confidence to the level you deserve, you can change everything.

The moment you let yourself be kind to yourself, you see just how much confidence you’re entitled to.

From there, it becomes easier to tell yourself every day you’re worth it.

Check out Affirmation Bivouac – my tough, ruthless and effective guide to affirmations – here:

https://guided-thought.com/books/

Lie to Yourself to Create Your Truth

One of the assumptions behind affirmations is this:

Your unconscious beliefs and patterns become true.

By writing or reciting your affirmations, you change these unconscious thoughts. Even if what you say isn’t true now, it can become true in time.

But hang on…

Is that actually true?

And if so, how come? Why would evolution shape us to believe unhelpful things? Surely natural selection weeded out anyone who thought anything less than amazing thoughts…?

It’s true that natural selection is merciless.

And it’s true your unconscious wants you to survive and thrive.

But it’s also true that what helps in one context will harm you in another.

One thing many folks wish for is greater charisma. More confidence, more charm and better social skills. But what you might not realise is charisma isn’t always good.

Western society loves outspoken, innovative risk-takers. Our heroes are the entrepreneurs who change the world, defying authority and shattering the status quo.

It would be great to be even a little bit more like Elon Musk.

However, most of us learn at a young age not to.

If we spoke out and defied authority, someone shut us down. Maybe a teacher, a sibling, a guardian or even a friend. It felt terrible to be ridiculed, so the unconscious learned to conform, to keep your head down, to not make waves.

This becomes an unconscious pattern. Doing what others want or expect from you is safer, so do that.

Later in life, that flips. All the happiness, opportunity and glory goes to those who speak out.

If you want the promotion, the date or the Series C funding, you better ask for it – with confidence.

But your unconscious is still playing by the old rules.

It doesn’t know your old patterns aren’t useful anymore. In fact, they’re downright harmful.

My favourite analogy for the mind is it’s like a tree. It can grow in any direction, but it can’t grow in every direction. Early on, you learned to grow one way but not another.

If that sounds terrible – if it sounds like you’re locked in a prison designed years ago – then I have good news.

Your unconscious is clever.

Above all, it’s flexible.

It can let go of the old patterns and embrace new ones. Not only can it, but it happens all the time. You aren’t the same person you were even a year ago, and most of that growth happened automatically.

Unconsciously.

But it’s not enough to simply want to change. It takes a process to retrain your unconscious.

And when you use them right, affirmations are one such process.

Check out Affirmation Bivouac – my tough, ruthless and effective guide to affirmations – here:

https://guided-thought.com/books/

The Hypnotic Origins of Affirmations

Most folks see affirmations and hypnosis as two separate things.

Sure, they have some stuff in common. Depending on how well-versed you are, you might see them both as quackery or useful psychological tools.

If you’re reading this, I might guess which category you belong to.

But I’m not most folks. I’m a certified master of hypnosis. I use my training and insights into the mind so help clients bring about deep, lasting and meaningful changes.

(Sound familiar?)

And whenever I look into the historical figures – the pioneers who helped bring the art and science of hypnosis to the world – one figure pops up:

Émile Coué.

I don’t need to ask if that sounds familiar. If you’ve done any reading on affirmations before, his name shows up. Many folks see him as the father of the modern affirmations movement.

No arguments from me.

As an apothecary in the 19th and early 20th Centuries, he encountered plenty of folks who were unwell.

He also would have sold many things that were, shall we say, snake oil. I’m not blaming him – he was working with the sciences he had at his disposal. And I’m not claiming modern Western medicine has all the answers.

Still, the point is he dealt with more illness than he had the means to treat.

Just like every healer.

But he found he could enhance the effectiveness of any medicine.

Even medicine that, unknown to him, wouldn’t have done much.

With nothing more than some positivity, he could completely change a compound’s power.

Whether through a kind note added to the order, or his firm belief everything would work out for the customer, he saw people recover from things they – to put it bluntly – shouldn’t have.

This is what we call the placebo effect. Someone’s attitude, beliefs and expectations make a huge difference in medicine. Optimistic doctors heal better than pessimistic ones, and optimistic patients do better too.

It’s all proof of the mind’s power over the body.

(Which, by the way, is a key part of hypnosis.)

It took folks a long time – and with a lot of undeniable data – to accept that positive thinking can help the body. Back then, the mind and body were two mysterious and separated domains. This finding helped show how interconnected they really are.

But even if you doubt the mind-body connection…

There’s no doubting your thinking influences your mind.

Coue realised that with positive thinking – “every day, in every way, I’m getting better and better” – you can recover from mental injuries, not just physical ones.

Check out Affirmation Bivouac – my tough, ruthless and effective guide to affirmations – here:

https://guided-thought.com/books/

When the Problem is with Affirmations, Not You

Can something this simple really be so powerful?

No one doubts that simple things hold power. Water is chemically simple, yet as the power to reshape the earth. Smiling more often is a simple strategy, that can make you happier and seem more friendly.

But there’s an undertone to that question that the above examples don’t touch:

If something as simple as affirmations work…

Then why doesn’t everyone use them?

People are complex, but here are a few answers.

Some folks don’t want to change. They lack all ambition, in the broadest sense of the word. Being happier or better off, in any way, doesn’t appeal to them.

Others don’t want to change because they think they don’t deserve to. They carry crippling self-esteem issues wherever they go. If only they knew how much more they were worthy of, they’d realise their greater truth. They’d see every insult and belittling remark against them for what it is: irrelevant, untrue, misdirected.

Others still want to change, but believe growth only comes from hard work. They sprout ‘no pain, no gain’ like it’s a universal law.

These people don’t understand how much work goes into affirmations – at least, when you do them right.

Or how dramatic small changes can be.

These people will struggle to grow, always taking the hard path over the correct path. To them, life is an exhausting mountain climb – steep, dangerous assents punctuated with plateaus. They can never rest, relax and enjoy what they’ve earned, because they see rest and growth as different things.

There’s a lot to critique about these mindsets.

The funny thing is, they need something like affirmations more than anyone.

Their beliefs hold them back every day and changing them would transform their lives.

Oh well, though. They aren’t asking for my help, so there’s nothing for me to do but wish them well.

But just because you don’t fall into these common mental prisons, that doesn’t mean affirmations will work for you.

The reason not everyone uses them is some folks try them and it works. They swear by the process, shouting it from the rooftops.

Others follow all the instructions and get nowhere. They do everything ‘right’ but it doesn’t work, so they write off the entire process.

And others still see affirmations as too passive, touchy-feely or wishy-washy.

What’s interesting is… they’re right.

Affirmations, done casually, are too vague and passive to work for everyone. Chanting words or writing the same phrase over and over – in itself – doesn’t do much.

If you do it ‘right’ and it doesn’t work, maybe the instructions were wrong.

So think about ways to make it right.

Check out Affirmation Bivouac – my tough, ruthless and effective guide to affirmations – here:

https://guided-thought.com/books/

The tough and merciless affirmations guide

This isn’t the advice you’ve heard before:

Write down your goals, stick them on your monitor, then pretend you’ve done something.

That’s a recipe for feeling good but not results.

If you want the outcome – wealth, a fulfilling career, love, enriching relationships, happiness…

… then it’ll take time and work.

With real affirmations – like Deep Wave Affirmations – you don’t skip the discipline. You simply ensure your hard work gets you closer to your results.

With this book, you’ll learn:

  • The annoying thing politicians do that’s essential for affirmation success,
  • How a bane of medical research is your secret weapon towards transformation,
  • The surprisingly surreal breathing technique that crams weeks of affirmation practice into half an hour,
  • Ways to use an arbitrary social convention to keep affirmations fresh and interesting,
  • A simple way to enhance your affirmations’ power while alleviating your boredom of them,
  • The hypnotic origins of affirmations and how to hypnotise yourself daily into success,
  • How your mind is like a guitar – and how to play it,
  • The basic grammar principles of affirmations (which aren’t the same as how you speak),
  • What compels folks to spend fortunes and decades building a life they hate – and how to avoid doing the same,
  • Why using affirmations isn’t taking the easy way out,
  • The word that almost never shows up in an affirmation,
  • What stops you from feeling happy, no matter your circumstances,
  • The ways affirmations are like movies,
  • How to hallucinate your future into existing,
  • The frustrating and demoralising corporate cliché you should do to yourself every day,
  • How affirmations don’t work for most folks who try them – and what to do to make them work for you,
  • Psychological profiling tactics that show you what you really want, not what you think you want,
  • The unconscious logic behind confidence – and how to cultivate it,
  • What affirmations have in common with Norse mythology,
  • How to avoid ‘the dating app trap’ in your career and love-life,
  • The crucial difference between a real affirmation and an empty wish,
  • How to lie to yourself – and get away with it – to change your life,
  • Ways to use the Moon and dice to stop affirmations getting boring,
  • The reason so many rich folks still feel and act poor,
  • Why “it’s the journey, not the destination” is wrong,
  • How to cultivate inner trust, so your mind listens when you ask it to do something,
  • What stops new knowledge and new skills translating into new results,
  • Why dating someone who isn’t your type can help you find true love (whether or not it’s them),
  • When stubbornness is the best approach,
  • Affirmation strategies that prevent you becoming discouraged or bored with them,
  • A simple secret to chasing your dreams without risking it all,
  • The reasons affirmations ‘don’t work’ – and what you can do about it,
  • What makes writing an affirmation harder than you might expect (and how to make it easy),
  • Why positive language is more important than positive thinking,
  • How to stay motivated, even after the excitement wears off,
  • Ways to stay flexible and adaptive, despite having firm goals,
  • Why I struggled to write (or even think) a simple, four-word phrase,
  • What makes suffering easier than changing,
  • Nine hypnotic ways to change even your most stubborn thoughts,
  • The only essential ingredient in affirmations… that’s missing from most of them.

Check out Affirmation Bivouac – my tough, ruthless and effective guide to affirmations – here:

https://guided-thought.com/books/

The Triple Crossroads: 3… 2…

In The Triple Crossroads, I don’t just talk about your future – I give you real, effective, practice techniques to bring it to life. When you study it closely, you will learn:

  • What to do when your life is okay, yet still boring, frustrating and unsatisfying,
  • A 10-step process for making the best decision you can, no matter how complex the situation… with no regrets or second-guessing later,
  • The real definitions of change and how to finally embrace it,
  • 9 hypnotic tools that dismantle your resistance to change,
  • Ways to crush self-doubt and anxiety with only a thought,
  • A simple way to use meditation to move forwards in life – even if you ‘can’t meditate’,
  • Training techniques for cultivating what pioneering psychologist William James described as genius – and what makes Batman so formidable,
  • How to create a neurological state where you automatically seek out your truth,
  • A way to use sleep to hypnotically reprogram yourself, without losing a minute of it,
  • What one well-known author struggles with the most with writing – and five ways to overcome it,
  • What how your senses work teaches you about the real source of your inner wisdom,
  • Lessons from the history of science on how to master any field.

But I have to warn you:

Time is running out. The launch is almost over – and with it goes your discount.

If you haven’t picked it up yet, you have hours (not weeks, not days) before the discount ends and the price about doubles.

Here’s the link:

https://guided-thought.com/downloads/triple-crossroads/

P.S. During the launch of this, use the code TRIPLE to get about 50% off. Let using that be the first of your new and better decisions. Unless you’re a Phronesis Accelerator subscriber – then use the much better discount code included in the February issue.

Master anything in 4 simple steps

I’m not mucking around here.

If you want to learn the basics of any craft, you can find tutorials on YouTube.

If you want all the satisfaction, glory and success that mastery brings, though?

That’s harder to find. Books, courses, even a mentor can only get you so far.

The best course on how to paint won’t make you a master. It takes something else – something ineffable, that no simple book can convey.

Either that or it’s a simple four step process.

How could that be, though? If it were that simple, wouldn’t everyone do it?

Nah, because the usual filters apply.

It takes time and effort to master something. Less if you follow these steps, but it’s never a trivial amount. Most folks give up well before then.

There are no shortcuts on this path, but that doesn’t mean I can’t illuminate it for you.

Who illuminated it for me?

A thorough look at the history of science.

Most advancements come in increments. In almost every great scientific revolution, some inspired genius followed these four steps and changed our understanding forever.

When I realised how many expert martial artists followed the same process, I knew I’d found a process that works for anything.

And, sure enough, it’s how I mastered (and continue to master) hypnosis.

If there’s something you’d love to learn but don’t know where to begin, start with The Triple Crossroads. Your future self, with deep skills and knowledge in what you learn, will thank you for it now.

Here’s the link:

https://guided-thought.com/downloads/triple-crossroads/

P.S. During the launch of this, use the code TRIPLE to get about 50% off. Let using that be the first of your new and better decisions. Unless you’re a Phronesis Accelerator subscriber – then use the much better discount code included in the February issue.

3 types of change

Lately, I’ve written a lot about change.

I’ve talked about how it’s inevitable – and if it’s inevitable, it’s up to you to choose how it will happen. Whether or not you’ll change is a settled question.

What I haven’t mentioned is what change is.

That’s a silly thing to bring up, right? Isn’t it obvious? It’s transformation, it’s evolution, it’s decay and it’s growth.

It’s when a thing isn’t the same from moment to moment.

What could be simpler?

I can’t argue with any of that. It’s right… and yet it’s also too simple.

When someone comes to me, hungry for change, I don’t just roll up my sleeves and get to work. There’s a lot I need to learn first about the person, where they are and what they need.

One of the things I need to figure out is what kind of transformation you want.

Someone who wants to quit smoking needs something different from someone who doesn’t know how to advance their career.

And they’re different from an expert in their field who wants to push their abilities to their limits.

You can think about there being three kinds of change. That’s still oversimplifying, but at least it’s a lot less simplistic.

I cover the three types of change in The Triple Crossroads – how to spot them, how they differ and what you need to do with each.

There are plenty of simple, practical exercises waiting for you right here:

https://guided-thought.com/downloads/triple-crossroads/

P.S. During the launch of this, use the code TRIPLE to get about 50% off. Let using that be the first of your new and better decisions. Unless you’re a Phronesis Accelerator subscriber – then use the much better discount code included in the February issue.

You’ve already had the epiphany

Take a problem you’re facing in life.

Any problem from any domain.

I reckon you’ve already heard what you need to do to solve it. Heck, it’s probably something simple like put yourself out there, take more chances and work harder on it.

So many folks struggle to exercise. The answer couldn’t be simpler: exercise.

So many folks struggle to quit smoking. That’s even simpler, since not doing something is easier than doing something.

Making money, finding love, conquering the world – it all comes down to doing basic, obvious things, with determination and discipline.

So… why don’t we?

Why don’t we do all the things we know we should?

A key obstacle?

Resistance.

If you could eliminate your own internal resistance to good ideas, you’d become unstoppable. Every piece of wise advice you hear would only make you stronger.

Enter The Triple Crossroads.

Part of it includes nine hypnotic tools that absolutely shred resistance. Use these and you’ll stop flinching away from what you know you need to do.

Each is simple to use on your own.

And each has a troubleshooting section, covering the common things folks need to know to really use them.

These tools aren’t the end of your journey, either. In fact, they’re just the beginning.

Here’s where to find them:

https://guided-thought.com/downloads/triple-crossroads/

P.S. During the launch of this, use the code TRIPLE to get about 50% off. Let using that be the first of your new and better decisions. Unless you’re a Phronesis Accelerator subscriber – then use the much better discount code included in the February issue.

Two simple (but not easy) questions

Do you know what to do with your life?

Are you doing enough towards it?

If you said no to either of those, consider this:

Let’s say you and I were in a room together.

Picture it.

Maybe there are other people around, or not. Maybe there’s a lot of noise, or not.

You come up to me and say you want to change.

I tell you, “so change”.

You tell me you can’t. You’ve tried before and, for whatever reason, it never sticks.

“Okay, I understand,” I say. “Give me 30 minutes of your time and you’ll get the change you want.”

Then I do it.

Does that sound like me bragging? Well, maybe I am. I’ll say this – I offer no guarantees that it’ll work… that fast. It probably will, but maybe it’d take a few hours.

That’s not because I’m special, ultra-talented or divine.

Any skilled hypnotist could do the same.

That’s the core of these techniques – using hypnosis to melt your resistance and finally embrace your evolution.

If you’ve never been hypnotised before, it might not be what you expect.

You’ll be in complete control the whole time.

You’ll remain awake and you’ll remember everything. Unless you stayed up all night, in which case you’ll dose off no matter what you do.

This is all simpler than you might think – and incredibly effective. It opens your mind to new ways of thinking in surprising, profound and intense ways.

What I cover in The Triple Crossroads will give you a taste of that.

It’s like a ghost pepper – sometimes just a taste is all you need…

Add it to your stew here:

https://guided-thought.com/downloads/triple-crossroads/

P.S. During the launch of this, use the code TRIPLE to get about 50% off. Let using that be the first of your new and better decisions. Unless you’re a Phronesis Accelerator subscriber – then use the much better discount code included in the February issue.

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