Maybe You’re Looking for Trouble (Like I Was)

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trouble ahead, signpost warning for bad times and misfortune, alarm for hazardous future, text on road sign, isolatedI didn’t realize it at the time, but a mentor once made sense of my entire life.

I was complaining. My wife wouldn’t cooperate and was making my life a living hell. My job wasn’t going well because the system was stacked against me. And I was broke.

My career dreams were fading, and I was wondering if I was cut out to make it in this world.

He said, “Maybe you’re just looking for trouble.”

Of course, I was offended. What?

He persisted, “You know all those things you could do to make your wife happy with you? Have you done them?”

“No.”

“And have you taken steps to get your business off the ground?”

“Not exactly.”

“Are you at least taking care of yourself like we talked about?”

“Not yet.”

“Tell me how you’re not looking for trouble?”

I still couldn’t admit it. But deep down, I knew it.

And it was so frustrating. Why wasn’t I doing things to begin, slowly but surely, taking my life in the right direction?

I was miserable. I felt annoyed and resentful each and every day. Deeper within my heart, I felt helpless. And I would not do anything about it. Mind you, I was anything but helpless. Rather, I was clung to a feeling of helplessness and despair as if I deserved to hang onto it.

In a way, these negative states were like a familiar hideaway for me. I couldn’t imagine life without the comfort of my emotional burden. This was just me. In fact, the idea of becoming a powerful, happy person was terrifying. I had never been powerful and happy before. I didn’t think I could handle it. Who knows what I might do?

Over 20 years later…

I am so fortunate to have continued my personal work, year in and year out, and discovered ways of thinking that have allowed me to set down the burden and free myself from chronic emotional catastrophe.

The chronic inner negativity is simply not there anymore. Life isn’t perfect and I’m still human, but so many of the stuck emotions and chronic negative thought patterns have vanished. Discovering NLP at a young age was a huge step in the right direction.

Some absolutely critical skills I’ve learned since then…

lightbulb-icon-hiI learned to step back and look at my life objectively – a shockingly valuable skill.
(NLP Association and Dissociation)

lightbulb-icon-hiI learned to communicate in harmony with others’ style so that I could connect well.
(NLP VAK Model)

lightbulb-icon-hiI learned to thoroughly take others’ points of view – a true revelation. (NLP Perceptual Positions)

lightbulb-icon-hiI learned to take any problem, find the good in it and discover viable alternatives that made my life easier. (NLP 6-step Reframing).

lightbulb-icon-hiI learned that the meaning I was giving life was not set in stone. Everything is open to interpretation, so why not interpret things in a healthy way? (NLP Meaning Reframing)

lightbulb-icon-hiI learned how to ask myself and other questions that get to the root of problems and  open new avenues of exploration where solutions can be found. (NLP Meta Model)

lightbulb-icon-hiI learned the structure of my thoughts. And I learned how to change that structure so that bothersome thoughts transformed into neutral thoughts. (NLP Submodalities)

Perhaps the biggest revelation of all…

…was when I realized that I was seeking out trouble. I clung to my negative emotions subconsciously. In other words, I was not doing the very things that would help me improve. Instead, I stewed on negativity and found every excuse under the sun to continue stewing.

I grew up on negativity. And I feared letting it go. So, I persisted in the poor relationships and poor decisions that kept me stuck in life. This is what psychological attachment is all about – mentally, emotionally and physically sticking with the familiar, even (or especially) when it is miserable.

Stepping out of that broken down emotional hideaway was the best move I’ve ever made. Of course, I still sabotage myself. It happens. Yet, it’s not a way of life for me anymore. Making the transition from chronic self-sabotager to occasional self-sabotager has catapulted my life into the success that I once dreamed of.

And you know what? Happiness isn’t so bad after all:)

Well, I didn’t actually mean for this article to be all about me.

It just came out that way. I hope you’ve found something in it for you.

Here some points to consider:

1.  There is always hope. If your life isn’t going as planned; if you’re miserable, as I was, then you’ve got your work cut out for you. Do the work with persistence and change will happen. Get support from key people. Get moving. Keep moving!

2. Skills are critical. If you want to build a house, you’d better have building skills. If you want to build a life, you’d better have self-management and communication skills. NLP is my skill set of choice. There is nothing else as broad and deep and applicable out there.

3. The chronic emotional troubles you’re having? I almost guarantee that you are helping them stay around. You’ve simply got to consider that self-sabotage is playing a part. Learn how psychological attachments and self-sabotage work in your subconscious. Learn how to stop. That process can begin by watching this free video.

Mike Bundrant is a retired mental health counselor, life coach and co-founder of the iNLP Center.


AHA solution coverThe A-H-A Solution: A Program to End Self-Sabotage

The A-H-A Solution is a unique personal change program that expands and further defines the A-H-A Process video (if you haven't watched it yet, click here). It works by showing you specifically how negative attachments apply to you. Then, we give you real life examples and tools that guide you through the process of change. With this online program, you’ll have the tools to free yourself from self-sabotage and negative thoughts or feelings. Read more...

About Mike Bundrant

Mike Bundrant is a retired psychotherapist, Master NLP trainer, and practicing life coach. He and his wife, Hope, founded iNLP Center in 2011. For information on coaching with Mike, please visit his coaching website AHA System.

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