The Wright Way

The Wright Way

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Thought Allergy

My Runny Nose

When I was young, between the ages of around 6-23, I suffered daily from sinus problems. It was like having incessant common cold symptoms but without the sneezing. I had the moist eyes, the blocked-inside and runny-outside nose – it was like I couldn’t ‘dry up’. Of course, when I really did have a cold, I had it full on and ‘with interest’.

I had a great aunt who’d been a nurse, and her judgement every time I was in her company was “that child should have his adenoids out.” She lived and worked in times where children would “have things out” as a matter of course – things like tonsils and adenoids. Her era was the same generation that still administered corporal punishment to left handed children in schools to beat right-handedness into them. She put the fear of god into me every time she noticed my sniffling.


My Dad suffered from hay fever at certain times of year, and I noticed that when he did, his daily suffering was rather like mine. Now whilst I didn’t make the connection, I did notice that he used honey to help alleviate his symptoms. I must have been aged 20 when I was reading a science fiction short story in which the inhabitants of a particular ‘world’ only had honey as a sweetener. Something in me set off a train of thought and I wondered what it would be like to have honey instead of sugar. Consequently I experimented by having honey instead of all the times I had sugar – in tea, coffee, on cereals etc. Some of the tastes were a touch challenging, but I really allowed myself to be engaged in being my own ‘laboratory rat’.

Very soon I noticed something different – my daily nasal problems eased dramatically. When, eventually, the honey fad wore off I went back to my usual eating and dietary habits, the sinus symptoms, runny nose et al returned. So I stopped the sugar and went back to honey – and they eased off once more.

These were the days before the noticing and understanding of food allergies was in the public domain. However, I had stumbled across a food allergy that was blighting my daily life and had also found what would be a suitable alternative to sugar. Eventually, after some more trial and error, I discovered that when I had brown sugar it was almost as effective as having honey. So, given the taste challenges (and cost!), I switched to brown sugar – realising that I had an allergy to white sugar. I then deduced how many other things I was eating used refined sugar in their making or processing and either cut them out or reduced them from my food and drink intake. I’d been able to take control of that part of my life.

It is still working for me to this day. Around Christmas time, with the excess of sweets, confectionery, and cakes in my diet, I have nasal trouble every year from late December for about 2 months. This is also a very bad time for colds and ‘flu anyway, so my issues are amplified!

“Hell on Wheels”

The thing is – I know what effects these ‘toxins’ bring for me. Having a ‘sweet tooth’ doesn’t help – however I do know that my own (nasal) destiny is in my own hands and that it is my choice if I have some sweets, cakes, biscuits, or not.

Now what would my life have been like if I’d just endured and lived on with the symptoms, daily, for over forty years? If I’d lived on, totally unaware that my own solution was actually in my own hands! If I’d lived on oblivious to knowing that by changing one ever-present, innocuous - yet influential - substance in my diet that I could and would bring about such an enduring change for myself. It would have been a variety of “hell on wheels” cocooned in spent tissues and wet handkerchiefs!

Thought Allergy

There is a huge degree of similarity between my white sugar allergy and its effects, and errant thinking, mistaken beliefs and warped and irregular ‘maps of the world’. There is a great deal of truth lying around the idea of ‘toxic thought’ – thought that is harmful, thought that does us no good and causes symptoms within us that we would happily avoid if we knew what it was happening.

What if we could see and come to understand what, for each of us, were our particular Thought Allergies?

All of our emotions and emotional reactions come from our thinking. When we experience anything it doesn’t come in a box with a warning on the side saying “Danger – this experience contains X,Y,Z and E(motion).” – No, the emotion is added by us, by our thinking. We carry around a vast palette of emotion, ready to add whatever colour we feel driven to do, to enhance our experiences. Whether those experiences are good, neutral or bad we have the ability – through our thinking – to amplify them, by dabbing (or daubing) bits of emotional ‘paint’ onto everything.

Now if some of this dabbing and daubing involves some thought we have an allergy to – then the outcome of the experience is not going to be very good for our wellbeing. Added to this – every time we encounter this (and any similarly generalised) experience, then the allergy starts to kick in.

All phobias are highly virulent thought allergies. All embarrassments are thought allergies. When we become red-faced through certain experiences, it is our body’s allergic response to our own particular thinking. If we don’t like something a certain person has said to us, then that “don’t like” has come from our thinking, and our response is to dab how we’ve experienced that remark with a blob of particularly coloured emotional paint! Then, every time we hear a similar remark we match it with the memory of the experience and notice, “Oh look there’s a blob of X coloured emotional paint here. Perhaps this is the way I should respond?” And most times we do just that. More repeats – more daubs and blobs – building up the conditioning on that response.

So how can we change, once we know about these allergic thought responses? Well, rather in the same way we might do it for a food allergy – we can choose to keep that particular thinking out of our diet, keep that train of thought off our railways, look at our menu and decide to have the ‘vegetarian’ or nut-free choice today.

“I can’t help myself”

I am confronted by a lot of people who say “I know what I should do, but I just can’t seem to help myself.” Now, this might be their response to dietary issues, choices they need to make when they are endeavouring to lose weight and gain fitness, issues with self-esteem and confidence, the need to enjoy better health, deal with stress and anxiety, and a whole range of negative experiences big and small – as they just look for and hope to bring more wellbeing in their lives. And we often find ourselves in this “just can’t seem to help myself” kind of situation.

If we don’t have any idea that it’s an allergic response to our thinking, where our processes of recognising our toxic thinking or our thought allergies, have become clouded by highly painted emotion, then we’ll just plough on regardless – probably using more toxic thinking to help deal with toxic thinking! Even if we do know the cause – i.e. realise it’s an allergy – we can still “eat the sugary stuff” and suffer the consequences. The thing is – ONCE we know what’s causing things THEN we have a choice, and once our recognition isn’t clouded any more, then we can easily make the RIGHT choice.

Take a response to something our partner has said or done – whether it is appropriate, justified, or not. We can paint it with emotion and allow it to smoulder or catch fire or we can recognise our thinking and put down the emotional paintbrush. If we choose the former, we can then let it blaze on unabated, or we can dampen down the fire and let it go out – by again realising what is really causing the fire. Not the original response even – but the fire that has resulted from it. Now for as long as we think we are always right – or we ‘kid ourselves’ that they think we are always wrong, our relationship is going to be blighted. And the common denominator here is we think. This we think is an allergy for us, especially when it causes in us a response we don’t like.


I’d invite you to look into The Three Principles, and watch, listen to and read about the inside-out nature of Reality. One of those Principles is Thought – and it is from here that I am able to draw a distinct metaphorical parallel with the allergies of my youth. There is a growing number of accessible means of discovering information on The Three Principles, which is a very straightforward and yet fundamental approach to our day to day psychological wellbeing. There are also a growing number of teachers, guides, mentors to help us all gain an embodied understanding of these Principles. The thing is – there is no extensive learning that needs to take place! It is more about opening ourselves up to an intuitive understanding – rather in the same way I did when I chose the honey route with my, then unknown, white sugar allergy. Fortunately for me, I dared to take the honey route long enough to get the insight about white sugar.
The thing about thought allergies, rather as with food allergies – once we know what they are, then life becomes much more what it should be for us all. Something to be enjoyed!

Once my nose stopped running day after day, the days became much more pleasurable, much more of an opportunity to enjoy everything that was going on in my life. Once I recognised my thought allergies, the days and everything and everyone in them got better and better. That recognition gave me a whole, new and multi-dimensional perspective on reality. For me there were many years between seeing white sugar and thought for what they really are! Mind you, that was how it turned out for me – which doesn’t necessarily mean it’s that way for you or everyone else!

And for the rest of my days I’ll have a lifelong understanding of thought allergies and the real meaning behind the phrase “Who Dares Wins”!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Who am I to judge?

When I coach I'm doing what I love. It is part of my identity, I have a large number of beliefs associated with coaching, I have an acquired and experiential range of skills that support my work, and my working behaviour follows a set of well defined patterns. It's not something I do - it's what I am.

As a sports coach dealing with a lot of young players, part of my heart goes out with everyone I have ever worked with. It's an associative relationship. As a result there are many pleasurable instances upon seeing, and hearing of, players' successes and advances. There are downsides of course because that's human nature - and so the disappointments have to be borne alongside the satisfactions.

However - should this go for their off-field as well as on-field actions?

There are occasions when I find my work being judged for both - which is misguided I know, but it has had an effect on clients both current and potential. Now, whilst I'm not saying whether this is a positive or a negative effect...I'm sure you can reach the conclusion that, when the world is viewing the activities of "The Good, The Bad and The Ugly", it is not "The Good" stuff that leads to a loss of business!

Dealing with the effects of Judgement

The other effect of judgement is where, in the scheme of things, is it likely to hit us the most?
This is where an understanding of the logical levels within NLP is really useful in making changes to how we are dealing with something like this. The logical levels (developed by Roberts Dilts) follow a hierarchy from low to high along the following range of categories:-
Environment - Behaviour - Skills & Strategies - Beliefs and Values - Identity & Mission - Spirituality & Purpose

Since part of my coaching lies at the level of identity, then any judgement of it will have an impact at that level. So when such a misguided judgement impugns who I am, then I have a tendency to take it badly or "take it to heart" you might say.
And this leads me to going through the process of questioning myself and some of my associations.

At the end of the day I return to my beliefs, one of which is that people are not their behaviours.

History has shown - both above and below the threshold between being visible or anonymous - that those who are judged as doing 'good' things are not necessarily 'good' people and vice versa.
We should all remember there are sometimes gulfs between peoples' identities, beliefs, skills and behaviours. As witnessed with dictators, priests, pickpockets, saints, and the rest of us 'mere mortals'.

Fortunately for me this belief is strong enough to counteract the effects of the misguided judgement at all levels - though ONLY after I have considered the belief and the judgement side by side. Before I make the connection however, I get to process the full force of the judgement upon myself.


To be fair, knowing the logical levels actually channels the few judgements I do make into the appropriate area, the proper level. It helps me understand people's actions, behaviours and motives in a much clearer way - and that includes myself.

There are two 'cultures' within society today that are particularly embraced by the young - one is alcohol and the other is selfless altruism. This week, having found myself associated with people whose actions embrace both cultures, it would be very easy to judge them accordingly!
But I won't - because ultimately Who Am I To Judge?

Monday, February 13, 2012

Off The Wall

I’ve written a number of articles about pre-match and half-time team talks and strategies – their contents and effects both conscious and unconscious. It’s a fascinating area, and to be honest, there’s always an observable difference in the way players are behaving as a result, when they get into competition.

For me this is quite satisfying. However, my dilemma with the rugby team I coach on a voluntary basis is that this is now the fourth season I’ve coached them and, although the mixture of team personnel has changed through these years, I’ve probably done about 50 team talks – all different. All of them different and, as I’ve been told quite often, all very much “Off The Wall”.

For our most recent game my idea for the talk came from what most binds them together as a team, and what is likely to have the biggest impact on a disparate group of eighteen young players mostly aged 19-25. The other main idea was about how to present this to engage their interactive compliance – or in other words how to make it work!

The Archetypal Team Talk

There’s this notion that the archetype of every team talk involves one person doing all the talking, sometimes in the style of Henry V before the Battle of Agincourt, and everyone else just listening – like dumb sponges.

So, are they listening? Evidence has it that not everyone IS listening – and even when they are, how they are interpreting what they are hearing is anyone’s guess, given that there are 18 players I’m talking to, each with his own perception of reality, his own understanding of what I’m saying or implying, or trying to get across as a message. Finally, even when the grasp of my message has been received and translated, the players then have to go out into the match and interpret with their actions during the course of play, the whole focus of what we are collectively trying to achieve.

How difficult is this for them?

Even at international level we see teams’ performances fluctuate and ebb and flow through a game, a series, a season. These are elite professionals, at the top of their game. To bring some positive things to bear at a grass roots level is much more of a challenge – and to make it happen consistently multiplies that challenge.

So, coming from a different direction I decided to let the players do their own pre-match talk, rather than have me ‘spout’ at them yet again!

Playing at what I love

As they were sat in the changing room ready for the warm-up I asked them to work in pairs. They were to engage with the person next to them and one was to talk for a minute and the other was to listen for a minute. The listener was asked not to talk back, ask questions or get into conversation with his partner- he was to just listen. Then, after a minute they would swap roles. The topic I asked them to talk about to their partner was “What I love most about playing Rugby.” In other words – what brings me to this match today, and what do I get out of it the most.

This is a really generative process. It gets the talker to go inside to his thoughts, and then express himself to his partner. The unconscious process of speech formation is engaged with his thoughts through this, which is quite a distraction to any of those with pre-match nerves. The act of listening without having to talk back is also a good thing for mental warm-up. The swapping of roles then has the effect of switching off - then switching back on in a different way – thus double-distracting the internal dialogue and getting them more able to engage at an unconscious level.

With my explanation and their chat this took less than four minutes in total. The relevance was that they were all able to express to each other what they loved the most about this mutual activity – reaffirming to and for each other what makes them a team, what ties them together in a common bond.


What were the Outcomes?

Well, as one player said afterwards, the opposition didn’t quite know what had hit them. The team played as a cohesive unit, players were more focussed, and more committed, some of the individual and collective skills on show were exceptional, compared to previous performances this season.

The real and probable long-lasting effect is that they gained an embodied
understanding that they were doing it all for each other.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

The Magic of Podcasts and Sharing!

One of the really beneficial things about the Internet and social media is the level of sharing of ideas, experiences and data that comes about through building a great network of friends and followers.

I feel I'm particularly blessed with my extended network because although I live in a beautiful corner of the world it is a very quiet one, and if it was just down to interacting with those few folk whom I meet and work with in person, then my life would not be as enriched as it is right now.

Part of that enrichment came a few days back when a good friend Anthony Jacquin (who I have met) posted on Facebook a link to the website of Antonio Perez at Hawaii Hypnosis - who also shares a lot of mutual friends with me, but with whom I was not yet connected.

The link was about a podcast - an interview with Magician James Brown. I first saw James on the DVD of the Change Phenomena Conference 2010 presenting magically, both literally and metaphorically.
Knowing James (although yet to meet him) I thought, "Mmmm - this could well be very interesting," so I followed the link and first enjoyed the video of James on the Hawaii Hypnosis site before launching myself into the podcast.

When it started I noticed it was quite lengthy - "but no matter," I thought,"as I can pause and come back if I need to." Happily this need didn't materialise and I became really absorbed in the conversation, the fascinating exchange of ideas, the trains of thought, the useful nuggets for me to slot away somewhere in my referential library.
To be fair, I'm used to and fond of the interview as a listening forum, because there's so much more to be got than just ideas from the people involved. There's talking style, interaction style, and some real insightful clues that people give about the nature of how and what makes them tick.

At the end of my listening I just thought, "Wow - I must post this up for my friends and followers and so participate in the dissemination process of information sharing. For that's the very reason how I came to know about it."

So - many thanks to Antonio Perez for the podcast, connecting with me and continuing the chain of threads and strands of shared knowledge and information! The Link to his website and the podcast with James Brown is here:-

Beginning to See The Light

My story this particular day is all about certain event alignments, you could call them little bits of cosmic order, that seem to coalesce in terms of making meaning for someone. The ‘someone’, on this particular occasion, is me – which can be quite understandable since I am the one who noticed the event alignments!

Now the thing with these kinds of events, these messages of meaning, is that they are everywhere and happen all the time. However, they often don’t get noticed – there is no interpretation of their apparent randomness. There is too much hurly-burly going on in the mind. Or, to put it another way, there is a greater degree of attention being paid to certain things that diminishes our attention elsewhere.


The thing about hurly-burly is that it usually takes place within perhaps one or two of the senses at any particular moment. Within our five main areas of sensual input we should be able to deal with any overload (a euphemism for hurly-burly) on one and maybe two of the senses up to a point. However we also have our self-dialogue to deal with in this mix, and this is where we have the facility to amplify, diminish, and manipulate the sensual input – whatever its source – in order to enhance our ability to interpret it.

It’s what makes us good at doing what we do, good at noticing what is going on, good at being who we are.

In this regard I use ‘good’ in the meaning of being efficient and proficient. A happy person is proficient at being happy. If you are easily upset then you’ve become good at it. Someone who can run fast has recognised that their body is efficient at that. In my case, whether it is useful or otherwise, I happen to have become good at noticing cosmic messages.

The Scene

My Dad (92) spends most of his waking moments doing either one of two main activities. The first is associated with his stamp collection, so he does what I describe as ‘things philatelic’. The second is he plays music on a harmonium, or small pedal organ. Although he has age related dementia which affects his memory, his musical recollection is very much unimpaired in terms of notes. As a result he’ll play a song he remembers without usually recalling the words. To help him with this I go on the internet and print out the lyrics for him. He now has a ‘library’ of about 70 printouts, and he goes through these on a daily basis, selecting ones he wants to play and now is able to sing along with the words to hand.

He does both of these activities in one room which is reasonably well lit and heated, although In the recent cold weather I’ve supplemented the central heating with a fan heater. In the evenings when he sits at the harmonium there is a lamp to help him read the words more easily, and the fan heater works off the same plug as the lamp.

The Cosmic Message

I woke up this morning pondering on recent events surrounding the England Cricket team and their difficulties in dealing with the Pakistan bowling attack and one bowler in particular. There is a solution, I considered, and it’s got to be bound up with their mental approach to their difficulties. Their current mental approach and the way that has been outwardly manifested into their techniques, has not been serving them well – I surmised.
At this point readers with any understanding of The Three Principles will stand up and wave flags at my resolution of England’s issues and lack of wellbeing as a competitive unit - as being all centred around Thought and the effects of their individual and collective thinking!

So with England’s issues (and certain other inner questions of my own) now resolved I came downstairs and started to prepare my Dad’s “study” for him to occupy later in the day.

I pulled the curtains and switched on the fan heater. Needless to say, the lamp came on at the same time – so I walked across to the harmonium to deal with the lamp. It’s old, and has no switch – so I unscrewed the light bulb. And at that precise moment my eyes came to rest on the top sheet of lyrics resting on the music shelf of the instrument...

And the name of the song was – “I’m Beginning to see The Light”

(This article is simultaneously posted in my other blog "Mind How You Go")

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Watch Your Own Performance

It’s a noticeable thing that generally, and In sport especially, watching a video of ourselves in action will often have a considerable effect on how we can best start to perform that action in a different way. Uncomfortable as it might seem at first, we often take the opportunity, when it’s thus presented, to become more objective and analytical about the “us” we are watching. It’s a very good way of honing skills, because within the video facility is the means of slowing down the film, in order to break down the various elements of a complex action into each link in the chain.

As a coaching aid within sport, video is a massively useful tool, both for players and coaches – and an astute and watchful observer can pick up an enormous amount of useful information about skills performance and also competition strategies. However, powerful as video might be, it is still just an audio-visual experience. In sensual terms it is 2 dimensional. Its abiding effectiveness lies in the fact that most of us within sport are visually oriented – i.e. we primarily work best at coding up visual experience and re-presenting it to ourselves in a similar fashion.


However, we are not robots – each and every one of us is unique. Not everyone is primarily visually oriented. In sensual terms we each make meaning of our experience in different ways, and across the sensual spectrum we each code up our experience in different ways as well. We are very good at recognising patterns, and this makes generalising a straightforward and common human propensity. We’ll regularly say that Fred is LIKE John, Ellie SOUNDS like Pam, and William BEHAVES similarly to Pete. In the detail though, there is no generalisation because Fred may look like John but he sounds and behaves in a completely different way – as do we all.

So, given the uniqueness of our various realities, is there a facility where we can add more sensual dimensions into observing our performance?

On the outside, the use of virtual reality has been a real advance. Starting with flight simulators right up to now, with adaptive motion software devices such as the Wii, we are able to replicate – and within that adapt – a whole range of actions, motions and emotions.

On the inside, visualization is widely used as a creative and re-creative mental facility for how we react to changes in our reality.

The Experiment

I’ve always had a fascination with running experiments with some of the players I coach – with throwing balls at targets with eyes shut being the most memorable!

Recently I've been exploring the possibility of a player being able to mentally step out of what they are doing to become a ‘virtual observer’ of their own action – whilst at the same time performing that action. Although it is still relying on a lot of the Visual elements, I had an idea that something else useful would come along – not for everyone, but perhaps for certain players.

Whilst working with batsmen in cricket, I’ve invited them to find out whether they could project into an imaginary fielder standing close enough to be able to observe them as they bat. We used a bowling machine so that the ball delivered was consistent with one particular stroke in response. The players – already accomplished batsmen - were asked to play at between 6 to 10 balls received.

The range of reactions and their various abilities to “do the projecting” was as varied as I had expected. At one end of the scale the player said he couldn’t do it at all, or so he felt. (Incidentally, this lad finds visualization difficult and displayed the same characteristics in the “Eyes Shut Throwing” experiment some 3 years earlier!) At the other end of the scale, the player reported the following:-

“Not sure I did the watching bit very well, but I did notice a feeling that I seemed to be very tentative in what I was doing.”

Now it could be said that he was tentative because part of his attention was detached from concentrating on the ball. The thing is - in my view he didn't look tentative! It was his own conclusion.

However, what happened for him when we went back to him just playing normally - allowing full attention to be brought upon the approaching ball – was noticeably different.

Before the experiment he had been playing well – after the experiment AND his own INNER FEEDBACK, he played with much more authority and in a much more positive way. I hadn’t asked him to be less tentative and play in a more positive, assertive way. Tentative was his own description of what he felt he looked like – which made his inner adjusting process so immediate, ongoing and 100% effective. “Hard wired” is probably another way of describing it.

Given these criteria, could he have got this feedback any other way?
• This was a real-time experiment and a real-time response.
• The sensual information fed back was non-visual.
• It was his own information.
• Could a virtual simulator provide him with his own ‘2nd position’ observation.
• Could video provide the Kinaesthetic data as feedback.


This clearly works best with players with very good visualization and projection abilities. When it works, it works at lightning speed, and with immediate effect. By using the player’s inner resources, any cross-sense translation is their own - such as his virtually-observed Visual to an inner-Kinaesthetic. With this nothing is clouded by any coach’s interpretation or linguistic capabilities - nothing is 'lost in translation'. It could almost be described as ‘Clean Transformation’.

The experiment is an ongoing ‘Work in Progress’.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Internal Dialogue v Conscious-Unconscious Dialogue

Arguably they could be one and the same – and yet to my mind –

Internal dialogue is much more associated with the way we talk to ourselves on the inside; sometimes actually have audible conversations; very often presenting as the ‘second’ and every subsequent point of view; and of course that damning, “critical” voice.

Conscious-Unconscious dialogue is a much less tangible notion, where there is more of an integrated feeling about what is presented in consciousness; where there is less (or no) criticism and more intuitive acceptance. A felt sense of ‘you are clear to go’ – an embodiment of ‘trust the unconscious’.

In a sense, it’s all about how we interact with our thoughts. In this regard we can well understand how hard it might be to “sort our heads out” – if we are using our thoughts to deal with our thoughts! Rather like self-regulation, the regulation process might not always come up with a decent solution.
However, if our interaction with our thoughts is at an unconscious, trusted, intuitive level, then it’s much easier to spot the toxic stuff and not give it a second thought; easier to recognise some of our thoughts for what they really are.

So check out HOW you interact with your thoughts and give yourself an M.O.T!

So what are the beneficial differences of gaining a clearer understanding of how to best run our interaction with our thoughts?

In Being

With a clearly channelled conscious-unconscious dialogue we are grounded, comfortable with ourselves, objective about what we do, and have a deep sense of our authenticity. We understand our worth, are confident, and rarely have issues with self esteem.
If Internal Dialogue is dominant then we are likely to be less sure of ourselves, and whilst this might not be in all contexts we are prone to ‘peturbations’ (disturbances in our state of equilibrium). From this we can draw the conclusion that, especially at these times, we are less grounded, and therefore susceptible to ways that the outer world might impinge upon us.

In Taking and Doing Action

For someone where their conscious-unconscious dialogue is well attuned, being single-minded is a straightforward process – as is also the acceptance that it’s fine to change one’s mind. Because of clarity in that inner space, there’s an openness, a realisation, that there are many ways of doing something and that one may not necessarily have seized upon the optimum way.
Being single-minded is not something that I see the same as having a ‘One-Track Mind’, or a closed mind. Individuals in this area are, for me, people who operate with a very dominant and conscious psyche. They are the people for whom the inner voice is almost ‘Internal Monologue’. They are the people who aver that “There is only one worldview and it’s mine; only one map of the world – and I’ve got it.”

Decision Making

With a broader sense of conscious-unconscious dialogue, decision making becomes a much clearer, snappier, tighter process. The weighing up of options seems to take place very quickly, sometimes with uncanny speed.
Those of us still with the Internal Dialogue dominant will take much longer to take big decisions, and be more habit driven with lower level activities. We may even struggle with what constitutes a ‘big decision’, and proceed to endlessly ‘dither’ or ask around for advice in the style of “What would you do?” Or, “What do you think should I do?”


Think of a time when you had a performance (in any context) where everything went right, every choice you took was the right one, every bit of action was executed superbly.
HOW were you being through this Performance?
For most it is a rather detached experience, where no thinking takes place, where everything just flows as if guided by some unseen and perfect hand – Was it like that for you?
Where was Internal Dialogue when all this was taking place? Silent? Unnoticeable? Was there any awareness of it within your consciousness?

It is no secret that optimal performance requires a clear and open mind without Internal Dialogue.

So, if you want consistently more performances ‘in flow’ then deal with internal dialogue by ignoring all the unhelpful thinking you’ve been investing there until now, evolve towards a better engagement with your unconscious, trust and be your true self and not the self that is prone to being undermined from within. Once you let go of that that’s not been working, then changes start and gather pace.

Someone once described their life to me, as being “ driving a car on a mountain road in a blizzard, with faulty brakes, smooth tyres, no windscreen wipers and no lights.” More than a bit dramatic I’ll grant you, but he had a very vivid imagination and talked a good story as well. The thing was, he ran his life via his Internal Dialogue. “What would happen if you stopped the car, got out and discovered that the weather outside was fine?” I asked him. “What if the windscreen was actually a cinema screen and you had been watching a film of your life? It would feel real and everything you said and thought to yourself would be real too.” We were looking at each other but our eyes didn’t meet. I was watching him - and he was watching something inside. It was a very long, silent moment and then he breathed a deep sigh.

The thing is, whenever we are being and we are AWARE of our Internal Dialogue then the warning signs are there for us. We know that here is the destroyer of our ability to engage all our processes at an unconscious level. When these red flags are waving, our concentration, our awareness loses focus – and all our abilities degrade accordingly.

For all of us, discarding a reliance on Internal Dialogue is a continual piece of ‘Work In Progress’. It’s always handy, therefore, to have some ready answers to the questions, “What can I do? How can I get out of my head?”

• Establish some distractive routines to break state and anchor these to a fast-track to the sense of that grounded centre. This can be breathing well, visualizing a calm place or colour, or having some handy kinaesthetic activity to engage the conscious.
• Take steps and build (or reaffirm) some realisations about keeping Internal Dialogue off your agenda for next time. Check the tread on your mental tyres!
• Acknowledge that performing intuitively at an unconscious level is the best way to be, and that evolving from Internal Dialogue to Conscious-Unconscious Dialogue will greatly enhance your long term improvement and consistency in performance, decision making, taking action, and life.


I spent most of my life talking to myself a lot. Increasingly over the last seven years or so, I have become accustomed to talking less and doing more. There’s still a degree of internal dialogue going on from time to time, and it’s OK and I’m comfortable with the nature of it – whereas before that it was definitely not my ‘best friend’.

How do I know I’m on the right path?
Well, there were certain 'traumatic' experiences in my early childhood that never became part of any of my internal dialogue. I know now that (thankfully) I accepted that these events were what they were, nothing more – nothing less, and were coded up with no emotional content at all. Had they been, they would have blighted all areas of life. However, I was much more disturbed on the inside by certain folk tales that my imagination was able to 'make real'.

Internal dialogue has the power to perpetuate a fragmented sense of self. For a full sense of holistic unity, sort out your thinking and go for conscious-unconscious dialogue every time!