Rated “Z”

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

Have you ever watched a “Z” rated movie before? Ok, some of you may not have heard of the term “Z rated movie” or “Grade –Z Movie”.  The term arose in the 60’s as a description of movies that were made with very little money on the fringes of the film industry. Consequently their scripts were poorly written, error prone and the actors who acted in them were nonprofessional “unknowns”.


Because they had a budget that suffered from acute poverty, one that was way below the budget of B rated movies, their lighting and editing was horrendous! They suffered from technical incompetence and portrayed story lines that were often characterized by meaningless violence and explicit lurid sexual content that held little or no artistic interest and value. In most cases, they were labeled as “exploitative”!


The movie Plan 9 from Outer Space by Ed Woods is often labeled as the “worst movie ever made”, a “Z rated” movie, as it featured an incoherent plot, crude acting, intrusive narration, cheap side effects and cardboard sets that actors kept bumping into! Stock footage was used through out its shoot, whole sequences were repeatedly used, boom microphones were visible and the actors appeared reading from cue cards! (Source: Wikipedia)


Now, have you watched a “Z rated” movie before? Better still, would you choose to invest your time and resources to take your family or significant other to watch a “Z rated” movie? I guess not. Why? Simply because the movie would have little or no entertainment value, carry no meaningful story line, offer no inspiration or value, would be rationally and emotionally bankrupt and be a source of substantial discomfort!


But what if I told you that most of us love and are addicted to our very own personalized “Z rated” movie(s)? Would you believe me? Ok, some of you may now be shouting in protest, “No way”! But what if it was true? What if we are the director, producer, actor, special effect crew, editor and of course audience of these personalized “Z rated” movies?  What if most of us are so addicted to these movies and scripts that we have come to believe that they are true and, consequently, view them unconsciously, everyday; reaping the negative benefits of depression, anxiety, fear, anger, shame, guilt, helplessness, hopelessness, uncertainty and insecurity.



“We have met the enemy and he is us.”

- Walt Kelly


As ridiculous and insane as this sounds most of us do this. From the perspective of Neuro Semantic NLP, we run our brains or rather the way we think and emote, are in the form of visuals, sounds, feelings, smells and taste. These are called sub modalities and together, they function very much like a movie show. Whenever we think we are using these modalities or a combination of them with our own internal narration or internal dialogue on the “movie screen” of our mind. Now the movies that we run are determined by the meanings or beliefs or scripts or values or presuppositions that hold them, in other words our Neuro Semantics – the meanings we have formed and which we feel in our entire body, our neurology. Together these determine the quality of our lives; our performance and the “mind – body and emotional states” we experience form a day to day basis.


Now take a few moments to do this simple exercise. Recall a time when you felt totally confident and unbeatable. Once you access this time, fully associate into it and feel the emotions of “confidence” and being “unbeatable”. See what you see, hear what you hear and feel what you feel. Now amplify these as much as you like until to feel these positive emotions explode all over you. Enjoy.


What just happened? You guessed it right. You ran a “movie” in your mind of an experience that you had which made you feel confident and unbeatable. This movie or experience that you recalled in the “theater of your mind” was in the combination of some or all of the modalities of visuals, sounds, feelings, smells, taste with its own internal dialogue. It was framed in the Semantics or meaning of “confidence” and “unbeatable”; and is this frame that determines the quality of the movie. Thus it is our meanings that determine the quality of our lives.


The next thing that you did was that you played the role of movie “editor”, you began to amplify what you saw, heard and felt and this increased the positive state you were in. So to put it in a nut shell, you were the director, producer, actor, special effect crew, editor and of course the audience of this movie in the theater of your mind!


“The greatest revolution of our generation is the discovery that human beings,

by changing the inner attitudes of their minds,

 can change the outer aspects of their lives.”

-William James


Such a movie like the one above can be labeled as an “Oscar” grade movie which carries high quality semantics. As such, they produce empowering states within us and this in turn produces high quality performance or behavior.


Now, back to the “Z rated” movies that we run. Most of our states of helplessness, uncertainty, fear, guilt, shame, insecurity and hopelessness, the “blocks” or “difficulties” that we experience, are caused by the “Z rated” movies that we either consciously or unconsciously play in our minds. Many of us have played these “Z rated” moves repeatedly that we have become so accustomed to them and believe them to be true, as being our reality.


“We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts, we make the world.”

 - Buddha


Take for example, a person who grew up in home where he was brought up by parents who had little or no parenting skills. Perhaps he had suffered lots of pain, abuse, abandonment and neglect as a child. These experiences leads him to conclude, to create meanings, that life is painful, that he is worthless and “good for nothing”, that most people cannot be trusted and  want to exploit and take advantage of him.


Just how does he do this? By “negative self reflection”: which simply means thinking about his experiences and forming thoughts and beliefs about himself, others, the world, his future, etc. and from them, abstracting meaning, and then proceeding to think again about these thoughts and beliefs and drawing further conclusions, evaluations, beliefs – attaching further meaning to them. In Neuro Semantics we call this our self reflexive consciousness, self reflexivity, which is how we create our meanings.


“You see, it’s never the environment; it’s never the events of our lives, but the meaning we attach to the events – how we interpret them – that shapes who we are today and who we’ll become tomorrow.”

 - Tony Robbins


Consequently this becomes his “created” script; his toxic beliefs, judgments, evaluations, values and presuppositions, his Neuro Semantics, and it in turn produces “Z rated” movies in the theater of his mind: memories from his childhood of pain, abuse and neglect which are in time “negatively” edited and spiced up!



Having come to believe that this is “reality” and due to repeated “play time” in his mind; he continues to “negatively self reflect” on them and this produced in him states of helplessness, incompetency (constantly discounting himself), insecurity, uncertainty, “choicelessness”, fear, anger, distrust and victimhood. In time it became his frame of mind, his frame of reference and canopy of consciousness, coloring his perception and expectation of future events, of others, the world, his potential and the possibilities for him. Needless to say, this would become a major “block” or “difficulty” for him!


“Beliefs have the power to create and the power to destroy. Human beings have the awesome ability to take any experience of their lives and create a meaning that disempowers them or one that can literally save their lives.” 

- Tony Robbins


Now, the questions that we need to ask: Is this perception of his truly “reality”? Is it a true reflection of his value, potential and worth? Is it a true evaluation of others and the world? Certainly not, not by a long shot. Wouldn’t you agree? But for him, due to his lack of awareness, it is his reality!  That, in a nut shell is how all of us creates our “Z rated” movies and come to believe that they true and real.


“Every man takes the limits of his own field of vision for the limits of the world.”

 - Arthur Schopenhauer


Are there areas in your life where you are currently experiencing “difficulty” or “blocks”? Do these experiences produce negative states of anger, shame, depression, fear, guilt, uncertainty, “choicelessness” and insecurity in you? Do these states produce poor performance or behaviors that are not productive? These “blocks” could be in any area of your life; be it in the area of work, exercise, in relationships; how you are relate to your spouse, children, parents and even with yourself.


Now, here’s the thing about such “blocks” that we experience. They remain embedded, seemingly “real”, in our neurology because of a combination, if not all, of the factors cited below:


  • We are unaware that they are caused by the low quality Semantics we have formed and which frames these movies that we run in the theater of our mind.


  • We are unaware of the movie that the above produces in the theater of our mind. In fact, most of the time they run at lighting speed and we erroneously believe that it is “cause” by something is outside us!


  • We buy into these toxic meanings and continue to negatively “edit” these toxic meanings and movies until they become highly “Z rated” and “exploitative”. By this I mean that we continue to “negatively self reflect” on these toxic meaning and in turn     negatively “edit” them.


  • We do not question the quality of these meanings and movies and take them to be  “true”, as our “reality” and world view. This in turn effects the perception we have about ourselves, others, the world, our personal power, our potential, abilities, our future, our intentions and motives.


“Don’t believe everything you hear, even in your own mind.”

 - Daniel G. Amen


  • We run these movies so frequently that they become such a part of our being, our consciousness, that they become our automatic behavior: they have become muscle memory!


  • When the above happens, we make these toxic frames of meaning as a reference for     all our future experiences. Hence it becomes our perceptual filter, the criteria we use to evaluation and give meaning to future external stimulus.


  • Finally, when we do all the above, it now functions as our attractor frame of mind, a self fulfilling prophecy! Hence we believe that we are our meanings and toxic movies! It becomes our identity! (Which of course is not true, we are more than our meanings, beliefs, presuppositions and experiences!)


“Whatever I hold in my mind tends to manifest itself in my life. What we believe and assume creates most of our reality and our experience.”

-David Emerald


Are we to blame ourselves for the above? Certainly not, for that’s the way our brains work! We were just not given a user manual for our brains and for our meaning making powers at birth. Now, however, we can learn to take charge of our semantics and the movies we run in the theater of our minds!


“All the resources we need are in the mind.”

-Theodore Roosevelt


So, are you interested in removing these “blocks” and live unleashed? If so, then take a pause now and access one of your “block” states.



Now, mentally, take a step back and become aware of the meanings that you have formed and the movies that you run in the theater of your mind in this “block” state.


Become aware at this very moment, that it is you who are its producer, editor, actor, special effect crew, scrip writer and audience, all rolled into one; nothing outside you is influencing, causing or controlling this experience ( meaning that there’s no external stimulus causing it).


Become aware of the state it puts you in – the thought and beliefs you are having and emotions you feel in your body.


Become aware of the potential behavior it produces and has produced, its ensuring consequences and the perceptual filter it forms which colors the way you perceive all future similar events/ relationships/ possibilities/ opportunities/ circumstances/ situations.


Now, do you like what you are producing? Do you love the “Z rated” movie and the toxic meanings and frames that you have formed, scripted, edited and enhanced? Does it serve you well? Does it serve you intended outcomes? Does it help you actualize your highest and best intentions? Or have you got so addicted to your “Z rated” movie that you would defend its contents and believe the toxic beliefs and frames it carries?

“Only your mind can produce fear.”

- Course in Miracles


Here are some liberating facts that can help empower to break away from your “blocks” or “Z rated” movies:


  • Nothing outside you can make your feel “bad” or cause you to think “negatively” about yourself. You are your own meaning maker and what meanings you choose to make is entirely up to you. This is a God given faculty which you can either use for good or bad, to make your life a celebration or a living hell.

You have the freedom to choose what to think (to choose your thoughts), what to  feel (to enjoy the emotions you want), what to say ( to have your voice) and do ( and behave in the way you want) – this is your God give four powers, your greatest gifts! Use it or loose it!


“There is nothing from outside a man, that entering into him can defile him: but the things which come out of him, those are they that defile the man.”

- Mark 7:15


  • You have the power of choice. Use it to empower yourself and to create meanings and movies that serve you highest and best. Give up this power and you’ll be at the mercy of the behavior, values, opinions, insecurities and toxic meanings of others; in other words at the mercy of their own “Z rated” movies and semantics!

 As a child, we may have been at the mercy of the “Z rated” movies and meanings of others but as adults, we have full access to this life transforming power: the power of choice.


“When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me.”

- 1 Corinthians 13:11


  • Embrace your fallibility and the fallibility of others. Forgive them and yourself, learn    the lessons and let go of the toxic experiences. This will clear your neurology of any toxic meanings and movies as well as stop you form “negatively self reflecting” (meta stating) on them; which eventually leads to the creation of “exploitative Z rated” movies!


“So be it. God created profoundly fallible creatures on this earth, and human history is mostly the story of error and accident.”

- Michael Ledeen


“Wisdom is keeping a sense of fallibility of all our views and opinions.”

 - Gerald Brenan


  • Learn to take full responsibility for your happiness and outcomes. This ultimately means taking ownership of your current perceptions of reality and the meanings that you have given them.


It means taking ownership of the process of reframing these “toxic” meanings with ones that serve your best intentions and choosing to run the kind of movies in the theater of your mind that empower you. We do this by using our self reflexive consciousness, self reflexivity,  as described earlier in this blog.


“Man must cease attributing his problems to his environment, and learn again to exercise his will – his personal responsibility.”

 - Albert Einstein


Playing the role of the martyr, rescuer, victim or the self righteous attacker by blaming, scapegoating and “guilting” others only leads to the creation and maintenance of our “block” states and impasses: the “Z rated” movies and meanings in our neurology.


We need to discover the freedom of not judging ourselves and others, not judging our perceptions (mental maps) or the perceptions (mental maps) of others, to accept that there are many versions of reality ( and that ours is not the one) and gently working to create our own empowering meanings and perceptions.


This and only this determines our happiness, well being and empowerment!



“Like discipline, responsibility is one of those words you have probably heard so many times from authority figures that you’ve developed a bit of an allergy to it. Still, it’s one of the most important things to grow and to feel good about your life. Without it as a foundation nothing else here or in any personal development book really works.”

- Henrik Edberg


The above provides us the necessary resources for us to become aware of our internal representations and semantics, to renter our “Z rated” movies and semantic frames of mind and “reedit” them; knowing fully well that we have the meaning making and changing capability and powers to reproduce and re script our internal representation and meanings in order to create enhancing ones that serve our highest and best intentions.


Here’s a simple pattern that you can use to decommission a “Z rated” movie with its toxic semantics which you have had enough of:


  • Access a “Z rated” movie that you would like to decommission or take “off the air” in the theater of your mind; one that you have frequently aired, which is a “block” and which places you in an unproductive state, one that does not serve your highest and best intentions. Have you located it? Have you had enough of this “Z rated” movie? Good. Now put it aside.


  • Next, imagine that you are assembling a team of hilarious and crazy movie critics. These could be anybody who has a keen sense of humor, who just has the knack of turning anything into a joke and who has a humorous perspective, character and personality. These folks will be the invited guest of critics who’ll be viewing your “Z rated” movie, folks who will be commenting on it and cracking it up with ridiculous humor. Who could you imagine being on this team? (Eddie Murphy, Chris Tucker, Will Smith, Tracy Morgan, Sean William Scott, Jim Carey, Russell Peters, Bart Simpson, The Family Guy, Fred Flintstone, Popeye, Yogi Bear, etc.)



  •  Now view that “Z rated” movie in the theater of your mind with this “cracked out” team of movie critics. Imagine the humorous comments they will be making, with their own funny tone of voice, facial expressions and loud and boisterous laughter as they  make wise cracks on the contents, the script, production, actors and silly meanings of your “Z rated” movie. See and hear them doing this and simply feel how ridiculously humorous this movie is. Just get crazy with this and get cracked up!


  • Once you have had enough, think again of this “Z rated” movie of yours. Has it changed? Yes, you bet. It has been reedited, re scripted and decommissioned, taken off the air and made harmless.



Would you watch a “Z rated” movie? Better still, would you invest your time and resources to take your loved ones or significant other to go watch a highly “exploitative”  “Z rated movie”? If your answer is NO, isn’t about time you did something about the “Z rated” movies and meanings you keep running in your head? After all, you are the producer, script writer, actor, special effects crew and editor of them, not to mention the audience of them too!

(The above is adapted from “NLP going Meta” by L. Michael Hall, Ph.D)


For your entertainment, do enjoy a scene from the “Z rated” movie Plan 9 From Outer Space. May all your internal movies never “Z rated”! 


Plan 9 From Outer Space – Best Lines

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


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Conrad Rozario is the founder of Alchemy Resources, a cutting edge human potential and peak performance development company inMalaysia. 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. He holds a MBA fromGordon University,Illinois,USA.