“Compulsion Blow Out!”

Posted by: admin  :  Category: Neuro Semantics, NLP, Personal Development

Last Tuesday morning I awoke “on the wrong side of the bed”. OK, specifically, I woke up in a pretty bad mood: in a negative state of mind! As I crawled out of bed to the bathroom, I began wondering how I had arrived at such a state. I recalled that I had got up a few times during the night, twisting and turning and this, I guessed, deprived me of the quality sleep I had hoped for. Nevertheless, I began to realize that something else was amiss.



I recalled that I had got to bed the night before feeling tired and with a load of “things I must get done” for the next day. Though I had managed to whisper a few words of thanksgiving to my Higher Power, I was almost instantly invaded by fatigue and sleep minutes after I had hit the sack. Then what followed was a night of restless sleep but I did notice one thing; every time I awoke, my mind and my emotions was crowded out by worry, anxiety and a compulsion to get what I needed to get done the next day!


 “Pain of mind is worse than pain of body.”

- Publius Syrus


This was the real cause of my restless sleep and the cause of my bad mood! Have you had one of those experiences? Has this ever happened to you before?


What followed was the gestalt state of the combination of these three elements,  worry, anxiety and compulsion, for half a day; in short I was obsessed! I wanted to get things done quickly and perfectly and at the same time I was afraid to make mistakes and this in turn made me anxious about the task I had to do and to worry; soon I was back to step one,  hurrying myself to get things done with a critical and compulsive voice!  What was even more stunning was that this “loop” soon engulfed the entire focus  of my thinking and emoting and the tasks themselves soon began to feel heavy,  burdensome and unappetizing!!!


“When you attempt to eliminate risk from your life, you eliminate along with it, your ability to function.”

- Fred Penzel


Man, this is a sure way to turn any thing you love doing; be it your work, a craft, a hobby, a sport or passion into a lifeless and dreadful task!


The next thing I did was to take a step back and study this habit of mine: to  study my unconscious mental – emotional strategy of getting things done.


Here are some questions that I asked myself:



How  long have I been using this strategy?

Was this strategy useful and productive?

Did it generate the kind of creativity, innovation and resourcefulness that I wanted?

Did it make things fun, exciting and engaging?

Or did it leave me feeling tired and stressed: causing me to dread the very things that I was passionate about?

What were the meanings, beliefs, conclusions and understandings behind this strategy that kept it in place and operational?

(This was the most important question as it held my neuro semantics about the strategy.) 


How long have I been using this strategy?

What I discovered was that I had used this strategy since my college days and that had slipped into my unconscious! In other words, it had become my default frame of mind whenever I had an important task to get done. No wonder I felt stresses!


Was this strategy useful and productive?

I guess that at one time it was or may have been…or so I thought! You see, the answer to this question had a lot to do with the last question, about the

meanings, beliefs and understandings that held this strategy in place: my higher frame of meanings about it. So I’ll answer that last question now….


You see, as a little kid, I wasn’t that bright in school. I was the “average Joe” and my dear parents, with only good intentions in mind, desired me to be a “top gun”. The only way they knew how to help me achieve this was through the practice of negative affirmations, comparing me with other “bright kids” and by “should-ing” and “must-ing”: I should do better, should work harder, must be smarter, must …should….must….should….etc! Now the conclusion that I drew as a kid, who had the mental development for a kid and not an adult like my parents which was able to decipher their higher intentions, were pretty self depreciating and discounting! Of course, they had presented me the “hard evidence”, from their comparisons and my results, which framed me as “not being bright and good enough”


“The general root of superstition is that men observe when things hit, and not when they miss, and commit to memory the one, and pass over the other.”

- Sir Francis Bacon


This is how beliefs are formed; from the “hard evidence” presented to us and the evaluative judgments and conclusions we draw from them, no matter if they were false, biased, screwed, misleading, unrealistic, demeaning or even based on poor parenting skills even if they were based on the best of intentions.


So, I walked away believing that I was not smart, slow and clumsy…..heck, I believed that I was kind of “stupid” and “blur” too. These meanings became my unconscious and non – contested conclusions about myself, my ability,  capability and identity. As a response, I constructed a strategy for learning and doing almost that was based on perfection while berating my fallibility. With such a strategy against a back drop of limiting and self depreciating beliefs, worry and anxiety walked in while self efficacy got suffocated!


The strategy was now completed and I used it during my college days. The results I experienced were phenomenal! I slowly climbed the “ladder” of intellectual capability and soon became an “A” student: the crème de la crème, the elite 5% club of “the few and the proud”. While the applause was loud and the admiration ego stroking, my internal reality was the opposite. I still felt nervous, uncertain and “not smart” enough. The results did not become evidence of my real ability and capability but instead, it became a pressure to keep performing as now, my entire sense of self esteem depended on it! Now, I had effectively created a “dragon state” by turning negative energy against myself, putting me at odds with myself! I was now effectively saying to myself that “I did not trust myself, I had no real value unless I attained perfection, etc.” So the Obsessive Frame Game got created; my strategy of getting things done.


This unconscious strategy was still operating today! Man, I need a mental map and strategy upgrade as the current one did not match the true territory of my intellectual capability, ability and real God given identity!


“I can feel guilty about the past, apprehensive about the future, but only in the present can I act. The ability to be in  the present moment is a major component of mental wellness.”

- Abraham Maslow


Was  this strategy useful and productive?

Heck  not anymore!


Did it generate the kind of creativity, innovation and resourcefulness that I wanted?

No. It killed creativity, stifled innovation through the practice of my “ritualized  set of behaviors” and it was certainly not resourceful with the pressure of perfectionism, worry and anxiety!


Did it make things fun, exciting and engaging?

No. It was a “fun” killer! It slowly turned anything exciting, relaxing and engaging into a dreaded and painful activity that needed to be perfectly performed and “failure” meant personal “Armageddon”. Experimentation, adventure or curiosity flew out of the window!


“Our doubts are traitors, and make us lose the good we oft might win, by fearing to attempt.”

- Shakespeare, from Measure for Measure


Did it leave me feeling tired and stressed: causing me to dread the very things that I was passionate about?

Yes, yes, yes. In fact it was so “infectious” and persuasive; it could ruin my whole day and night, pushing me out of bed on its wrong side! Feeling stressed, tired and “heavy” was the norm! It was not ecological and was not based on “new” evidence of my true ability!


Now, if you have similar problems or issues, no matter how intense or persuasive it may be, you can do something about it. First, just accept the current situation, second practice emotional awareness as much of the stuff lies in your unconscious which can be detected through your feelings and emotions. Once you have tracked them, work back words with the coaching question cited above. Remember to be gentle with yourself and be prepared for a mental map upgrade.


Once you have done the above, you can proceed to create a new strategy for learning, working, completing a task,  attempting  something new, solving a problem, facing a new challenge, exercising or even relaxing and enjoying your favorite past time.


How can you do this?


Firstly by going through the coaching question above, tracking the strategy and most importantly, the meanings, beliefs and conclusion you have created and which keeps it operational is essential. This will revel to us how we have created our Obsessive Frame Games: the negative frames of mind, the conclusions and beliefs which we have abstracted and which drive them, creating anxiety, worry and the compulsion for perfection and which drive us off the “wrong side of the bed”.


Remember that unless we discover our operational “neuro semantics”, we’ll never be able  to exercise our inner freedom to make new choices by exercising our God given powers of thinking, feeling, speaking and behaving, while actualizing our highest and best from a an ecological frame of mind.



Once you have done so, you can proceed to do the following pattern:


Step One:

Accept your current strategy as just being an outdated mental map and strategy. If you learned your way into an unproductive and compulsive habit, you can do the reverse and unlearn it while learning a new one.

Remember that our mental maps create our internal reality, that’s why they seem real.


“Habit is habit, and not to be flung out of the window by any man, but coaxed downstairs a step at a time.”

- Mark Twain


Step Two:

Once you have done so, access new evidence of your real capabilities, abilities, resourcefulness, creativity as well as your own “unique genius”: the unique way you express your talents and gifts.


What are some of the things you have done and achieved or accomplished that makes you happy and proud?

How did these make you feel and think about yourself?

What did it reveal about your real potential, abilities and capabilities?

With such evidence and results, what NEW conclusions, beliefs and meanings can you draw about yourself, your ability and capability?

What would these mean for you?


Step Three:

Do you like these new beliefs about yourself and your abilities and capabilities?

Will they create more resourceful states in you?

Are they ecological? Do they cause any disharmony in you?

Do you want them?

Do you like to keep them?


“It is never too late to be what you might have been.”

 - George Eliot


Step Four:

Based on your new beliefs, create a new strategy for learning, facing new challenges, completing a task, creating solutions and problem solving, learning, experimenting, exercising, etc.


What are the resources you’ll need in this NEW strategy that will enable you to attempt these activities productively and with sense of excitement and


Would it be a sense of curiosity, self efficacy, trust, fun, excitement, flexibility, creativity, persistence, patience, etc?



Access these resources now and step into them: for example if fun and curiosity are two resources you have picked, simply access a time when you had experienced “fun and curiosity”: see what you see, feel what you feel and hear what you are hearing.

Amplify them and then apply them to your state of learning, problem solving, facing new  challenges, completing a task, etc.


“Rule your mind or it will rule you.”

- Horace


Step Five:

Once you have done the above, stack them!


Have your new beliefs as your higher frame of mind, making them the canopy of your consciousness. Give it a new name, a Frame Game for learning, completing a task, experimenting, problem solving, etc.


For example, you can name this new game, “My Personal Genius Game”: this will act as your executive frame of mind, much like a “watch cap” that you’ll wear when ever you attempt a task, etc. (A watch cap is a tight fitting knit cap worn in cold weather, typically issues to navy personnel)


Once you have done this, stack the resources in this new game that you’ll be playing: for example it could be curiosity, flexibility to learn from mistakes, persistence, patience, fun and excitement. Step into each of these resources and “put them on” one by one, much like putting on layers of warm clothing, while your beliefs remain as your “watch cap.”


Once you have done the above, you have created a new neuro semantic and linguistic strategy for getting a task done.



Step Six

Apply. Step into this new strategy now and attempt a new task, experiment, learning, etc.

Do you like it? Does it provide you the needed resources to feel engaged and “turned on”?

Do you find it ecological? Are there any objections to this new strategy?

If there are none, do you want to keep it?

Would you want to give it away?


Step Seven

Keep using this new strategy until it becomes a new unconscious habit.


“Habit is overcome by habit.”

- Thomas à Kempis, c. 1420


The above not only helped me to create a new learning or task completing strategy but more importantly, it helped me clear out my old beliefs that were unconsciously pulling my strings and perpetuating in me a compulsive strategy that kept me stresses and anxious. Do give it a try!



Now, one last word on perfection: well, it does not exist in this world inhibited by imperfect and highly fallible human persons. In fact, it is the most over rated myth that’s perpetuated by our culture.


The opposite, imperfection, which is learning through experimenting and mistake making, is the true path of excellence: the path of continuous learning! Much of the important stuff we have today that feed us, enrich and  saves our lives have resulted from the mistakes of others. For example: the microwave oven, penicillin, LSD, Viagra, the sandwich, the chocolate cookie, silly putty, X- rays, brandy, artificial sweeteners, vulcanized rubber, potato chips, corn flakes, post–it notes, popsicles, Velcro, Teflon, coke, etc. were created by mistake. Now, if perfection was the norm, these things would not have been created!


“Life does not have to be perfect to be wonderful.”

- Annette Funicello


Nevertheless the question that should really intrigue us is this; what was the frame of mind of these individuals who created the above “by mistake”? What were their beliefs and meanings and their strategy for attending to their task, work or jobs? What game were they playing? Certainly not a mindless, obsessive and compulsive one filled with anxiety and worry: one which leads to stress, tiredness and a fear of making mistakes!

“Trusting yourself is the ultimate lesson. It’s where all the guidance leads.”

- Melody Beattie


I invite you to view this clip, a teaching by Yoda, which serves as a metaphor for helping us to relearn our beliefs and strategies for learning or attempt

any task, no matter what it maybe, in a more productive, ecological and empowering way!


May the force be with you!




Think  radically and stretch beyond convention!


Stay committed to transcending, transforming and transferring value back to your world!


Catch new blogs fortnightly at let us know what you think below.


Conrad Rozario is the founder of Alchemy Resources, a cutting edge human potential and peak performance development company in Malaysia. He has more than 15 years experience in people development from the diverse fields of Sales, Marketing, Customer Engagement and Service, Business  Management and Talent Development. He is a Certified & Licensed Neuro Semantics and Neuro-Linguistics Programming (NLP) Trainer from the International Society of Neuro – Semantics, USA, a Master Practitioner in Neuro Semantics and NLP (ISNS, USA) and a Language and Behavior Profiling for Coaching Practitioner.