The “X” File

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

“I just don’t seem to be able to control this feeling of being betrayed every time I meet him!” she barked. “Ok, what do you mean that you “don’t seem to be able to control this feeling of being betrayed”? “It just takes control over me whenever I see him, talk to him, hear his name or even see his picture…and he’s my brother!” “Seems like you know what triggers this “feeling” but have no control over it?” “Yes, that’s right, it’s almost like an “X file” experience, and it drives me crazy, and I feel the pain of betrayal all over again. I thought that I had dealt with this stuff but…..” “Ok, how long has this been happening” I asked her. “For the past 15 years!”


I liked how she referenced her experience as being “X File” like: as something mysterious, unconsciously overwhelming, controlling, and unexplainable; perhaps bordering on the “unexplainable”: and that the “truth” of this phenomenon was somewhere “out there”, beyond her understanding and comprehension. One thing for sure, it left her deeply conflicted, as though parts in her were at odds, between “feeling betrayed” and having “dealt with this stuff” and her relationship with “her brother”.



Have you had such an experience before, an “X” file like experience?


As human persons, many of us may have had such experiences, where we feel unconsciously driven or “trapped”  by a set of emotions, meanings, understandings and conclusions about a person, an event or even about ourselves that seem to work at a unconscious level, outside of our control, even after we have “dealt” with it. We may have made repeated conscious decisions to resolve the issue but despite our strong intentions, we feel pulled and programmed by old meanings, understandings and emotions which seem to have “a life” of its own.


Have you had such an experience before, an “X” file like experience?


As a semantic class of life (Korzybski, 1933/1994), human persons live, emote, experience, enjoy, suffer and feel conflicted, “controlled” and miserable because of our meanings, our Semantics: meanings that we formed in our heads from an event or experience that is embodies in our neurology. Meaning does not exist out there, as the famous “X Files” catch phase may suggest that “the truth is out there”, a thing produced in the world that “acts” on us mysteriously. Meaning is something that we do in our mind through the dynamic process of self reflection or “self reflective consciousness”: thinking about something and then have a second and a third and a fourth, etc. thoughts about that first thought, all the time extracting, adding and developing higher meanings. We then assign validity to it and it becomes our meaning, our reference for that person, event, etc.  


“As in human affairs, it takes a human mind or consciousness to create meaning. The original term goes back to the German word that designates “holding” something like an idea or representation “before the mind.”

 – L. Michael Hall, PhD, The Source Book of Magic


“Man – a being in search of meaning.”

- Plato


Take for example, a young boy is told by his mother that he is not allowed to cycle on the street after 5 pm and if he does so, something “bad” will happen to him as a punishment from God. Later the boy, out of excitement by the invitation of his friends, sneaks out after 5 pm and takes a ride down the street. Just as he turns the corner, he stumbles and falls, breaking his left arm. Wham, the words of his mother echo in his mind and he starts the “self reflective” process, abstracting meaning from the accident, the event out there, inside his mind.



He says to himself, “Wow, Mum was right. Her words are so powerful. She just told me and I went against it and got punished by God. God is Mum’s best friend. No, God must be like Mum. O my, God is always watching me and will punish me the minute I make the slightest mistake. I am doomed; somebody is watching me and keeping score. Between Mum and God, I have no chance. I am a bad boy and God does not like me, etc.” Now this process and the conclusions he draws can go “higher and higher” and each one validates the other and produces his meaning about his Mum, God and himself. This then becomes his higher “meaning frame” of mind which sticks with him into adulthood, habituating and dropping out of his consciousness or conscious awareness, but fully operational!


“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


Then he starts to have those “X” file like experiences. Whenever he goes to church, he feels as though God is waiting there with a score card, waiting to punish him. He just can’t help feeling guilty, ashamed and “bad” all the time even though he consciously believes other wise. He keeps to every word that his 85 year old mother says, even in her advanced stage of Alzheimer’s disease, simply because he feels compelled to, afraid to even consider any alternative. So he keeps asking himself, “Why am I like this?”                 


Have you had such an experience before, an “X” file like experience?


There’s really nothing wrong with that poor guy, with you and with me. This is just how our Neuro Semantics works, how we consciously or unconsciously “abstract meaning”, “give meaning” and “connect the dots” in our heads while referencing an external event, happening, person or experience. To the degree of the emotional intensity involved, it gets programmed in us and over time and through repetition, becomes part of the ecology of our minds, as our basic frame of reference and automatic response – an “out consciousness” reaction. 


Now as we develop, grow into adulthood and start “dealing with stuff”, many of us start to make new “adult” meanings, assuming our powers of responsibility, self efficacy and meaning making powers to change our old meanings and create new empowering ones that serve us. But sometimes, the old programming, simply because they have become “hard core habits” and “out of consciousness” responses get triggered produces an “X” file like experience, generating responses in us that goes against our better judgments! This can leave us “conflicted”, wondering if something is wrong with us or if we are “bad” persons. Has that ever happened to you?


“Don’t be discouraged.  It’s often the last key in the bunch that opens the lock.”




“That in man which cannot be domesticated is not his evil but his goodness.”

 - Antonio Porchia, Voces, 1943


The solution is to simply invite these “unconscious” or automatic, habitual and default “programs” of behavior, emotions, and ways of perceiving and referencing, etc. into a new reorganization; to realign “conflicting” parts in order to create integration, self appreciation and harmony. It is never to “blame” or put ourselves at “odds” with the old programming simply because it did serve a positive intention at one time, so we honor it and realign them.


“How do I do this?” you may ask. In Neuro Semantics, we do this through the Six Step Reframe Process. Yes, as you can guess, it involves six relatively easy steps and can be done as many times as possible for any amount of “stuff” that we have. So are you ready for the six steps? Ok, here we go. Just one thing, when you choose to run this process, pick a time when you are relaxed and a place where you can be with yourself.         


1. Identify an “X” file like behavior, one that you find troublesome, one that you would like to have more choice about.

 Example: I have decided to want to do “X” but feel stopped, something seems to get in the way.


2. Establish communication with the “part” that produces that behavior.

 As you go inside, ask yourself, “Will the “part” of me that generates this behavior communicate with me in consciousness?

 As you quiet yourself and notice how you begin to respond within, notice any internal responses: feelings, images and sounds. What did you find?

 Thank that part of you that has agreed to be in consciousness and ask it for an agreement and answer, “Yes” by a single tap of your finger or “No” with a double tap, if it has not agreed. Seek an agreement of “Yes”.

 If you get a “No”, then ask, “Would you agree to trust that your unconscious has some well- intentioned and positive purpose for you, even though it won’t tell you at this moment.”


3. Discover its positive intention. (Separate the intention from the behavior)

 As you go in, ask, “Would you agree to let me know in consciousness what you seek to accomplish that is positive for you by producing this behavior? Wait for a response.

The point to be made here is that the unconscious has a positive reason for the behavior it chooses. It is doing the best it can with the information it has.         

 Once you have this positive intention, ask, “Do I find this intention acceptable in consciousness?” 

 If you had other ways to accomplish this positive intent that would work as well as or better then this behavior, ask your unconscious if it would agree to try them out?

 Get agreement and thank your unconscious.

“People’s behavior makes sense if you think about it in terms of their goals, needs, and motives”

-Thomas Mann


4.  Access your creative side and find an alternative behavior.   

Ask your creative part to identify a behavior or behaviors that will satisfy the positive intention in some way that does not have the unwanted side effects that the unwanted “X” file behavior has.

Example, suppose the unwanted behavior is smoking. Then the positive intention might be to feel glamorous. The alternate behavior might be to treat yourself to a spa, facial or make over treatment.

Or the unwanted behavior may be being overly aggressive. The positive intention is to own and have your voice. The alternative behavior is to learn to be assertive and firmly but gently voice out your opinion, speak your minds and express your voice. 

You may create more than one alternative behavior. 


5. Get buy in.

 Ask the unconscious mind if it is prepared to try the new behavior, or choose one of the alternative behaviors if you have created more then one, for a fixed period of time.

 Get agreement.


6. Run an ecology check.

 Is there any part of you that objects to having this or one of these alternative behaviors?

 Are you fully aligned? If yes, thanks your unconscious.


 “I am Me”.

 In all the world, there is no one else exactly like me. Everything that comes out of me is authentically mine, because I alone chose it — I own everything about me: my body, my feelings, my mouth, my voice, all my actions, whether they be to others or myself.

 I own my fantasies, my dreams, my hopes, my fears. I own my triumphs and successes, all my failures and mistakes. Because I own all of me, I can become intimately acquainted with me. By so doing, I can love me and be friendly with all my parts.

  I know there are aspects about myself that puzzle me, and other aspects that I do not know — but as long as I am friendly and loving to myself, I can courageously and hopefully look for solutions to the puzzles and ways to find out more about me.

  However I look and sound, whatever I say and do, and whatever I think and feel at a given moment in time is authentically me. If later some parts of how I looked, sounded, thought, and felt turn out to be unfitting, I can discard that which is unfitting, keep the rest, and invent something new for that which I discarded. I can see, hear, feel, think, say, and do.

  I have the tools to survive, to be close to others, to be productive, and to make sense and order out of the world of people and things outside of me. I own me, and therefore, I can engineer me. I am me, and I am Okay.”

 -Virginia Satir


There you go, the Six Step Reframe Process. You maybe wondering what happened to the lady I spoke about at the start of this blog. Well, she stopped having those “X” file like experiences and she didn’t need the help of agents Mulder and Scully! The “truth” after all was right inside her.     


The clip below by the founder of Neuro Semantics, L. Michael Hall, PhD, gives us a clear understanding about the term “unconscious” that many of us use but few truly understand. It’s not so “scary” stuff after all, enjoy! 




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