Are you haunted by a painful memory?
Do you have a memory that brings back very ugly feelings?
Would you like to change that? Many years ago I had a painful memory that always put me in a bad state. I decided to take away its power. How? ...
My memory was that of a confrontation with a former boss. He was particularly abusive, condescending, belittling. Others heard the exchange and later told me they could not believe how badly he treated me, how stunned they were at the way he talked to me. I was upset enough that soon after I quit the company. A week after I left, another key employee, bothered by how I was treated, also left the company. Years later that company went out of business.
For more than a decade I avoided that memory because if I replayed it in my mind it brought back feelings of anger, outrage, powerlessness, helplessness, sadness. It put me in a disempowering state that tended to "shut me down" - a state that I did not want. My strategy had been to bury it deep in my mind and never think about it - to hide from it. I resented the power it held over me.
But then, I found and used a far more effective paradigm
In his best selling book Unlimited Power : The New Science Of Personal Achievement, Tony Robbins teaches a Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) technique called "Content Reframing". In his best selling Personal Power audio program he teaches it as the "Erasure Technique".
Imagine a CD or old vinyl LP record, take a nail and scratch it back and forth across the playing surface. Back and forth, back and forth, back and forth -- scratch scratch scratch. Pretty soon that disc is so damaged it can never play the same again.
That is what you do to your painful memory.
In my case, I imagined it was playing as a VHS tape in my mind on the biggest brightest screen I could show. (Today I'd imagine a DVD or Bluray disk instead, back then those didn't exist yet). I played that memory forward at normal speed with normal audio. It did still bring back the ugly feelings. Then I rewound the memory with the sound on -- garbled gibberish, events happening in reverse. Then I played it forward at double or triple speed - so fast the words sounded like they came from Alvin the chipmonk. Then I rewound it at that speed, more garbled chipmonk gibberish. Then I played it forward at 1/10 speed, with the words oozing out like molasses. Then I rewound it with that happening in reverse, words slowly oozing back into his mouth. Then I played it forward adding circus calliope music, I had his nose growing like Pinocchios's, ears growing into Dumbo elephant ears. I added psychedelic colors and animation like that done by Peter Maxx in the 1960's (no, I was not on drugs, but it looked like something I'd probably see if I ever took LSD). He had vines and flowers sprouting out of his nose, his mouth, his ears. By the time I was done it was such a distorted bizzare cartoon, I couldn't help but laugh at it.
To this day that memory is now a humor anchor. When I'm in a really bad mood, I play that memory and it makes me snicker or chuckle. When I'm in a good mood and play that memory, I laugh. That memory no longer has power over me. I redefined its meaning to be something that helps me, instead of hurting me like it used to do.
Head games? Sure. But they're always happening in your mind anyway, why not learn the rules and play them to your advantage? Now that I know how to content reframe, I choose the impact my memories have on me.
If you want to have that power, check out :
or other materials on Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP)
What experiences have you had with Content Framing or other NLP techniques?
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