Is your mind sabotaging itself?
Have you been trying to make some serious changes in your life for a while now, and it doesn’t matter what you do or have done, the changes you want are just not happening for you right now?
- Maybe the weight that you have been trying to lose for the last 5 years just doesn’t seem to go or if you do lose a few pounds, you always regain it quickly.
- Maybe you want to get to the next level financially in your life but keep on ‘sabotaging’ yourself.
- Maybe you want to recover from a long standing illness, yet it still lingers.
- Maybe you want to stop attracting the wrong kind of person in your life, but they keep on turning up.
- Maybe you keep on making life decisions that increase your burdens rather than solve them for you.
Some might say that self sabotage is at play, but that doesn’t help you very much. Let’s take a look at the major factor that prevents lasting change from happening that often appears to be self sabotage.
Secondary gains or hidden benefits
I use the concept of Secondary Gains across all of my therapy, be it NLP, Hypnotherapy or Age Regression. It’s the first place I look if an issue does not resolve itself rapidly with a simple intervention; or if a change only ‘half occurs’; or a change happens but then reappears by creating another behavioural problem in your life. In simple terms, a secondary gain is a hidden or unacknowledged benefit that is derived from having the current problem. Understanding and accepting this principle is the answer to making a change permanent.
Some Examples are:
A client had a phobia of spiders and was not responding very well to the usual therapy of NLP and Hypnosis. When asked what would change in her life or relationships if she lost the phobia, she responded that this as the one area in her life that her husband really took the time to make sure that she was OK.
No phobia, no concern from husband translates to the unconscious as ‘I’ll keep the phobia, thanks!’ Her need for attention was greater than her fear of spiders.
A woman broke her leg on the ski slopes, had a full cast and was immobile for a few weeks; the kids and husband did more around the house and treated her with greater care. When the cast came off, she started having ‘phantom’ leg pain. It would often get so bad she couldn’t move. After a year of this she ends up in hypnotherapy. The secondary gain was identified. Leg pain equals the desire for fairness in house duties. Once she took charge and set boundaries around the house, the leg pain disappeared.
An elderly man with a chronic illness that should have responded well to simple nutritional change made little to no progress. This meant that his daughter needed to spend more time helping him around the house during the week. He had been lonely before the illness. When undergoing therapy he was asked what he stood to lose if he got well. He caught himself saying almost immediately ‘I would be lonely again’. Losing his daughters attention was worse than the pain he suffered from.
Given the choice between being ill or lonely, he unconsciously chose the illness. Not being lonely was the hidden benefit.
If my back was fixed, I’d have to go to work.
If my rash/headaches cleared up, I’ll have to be intimate with my husband/wife again.
If my depression went, I’d have to take full responsibility for my life
Hypnotherapy may be very useful in helping you to reveal any of these secondary gains thus allowing you to identify the real problem why you have not been able to make the changes you want in your life right now.