Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Lindsay Lohan Paradox

The Lindsay Lohan Paradox Steve Truitt, CHt. NLP Practitioner, Personal Success Coach I opened my news source to discover that again Lindsay Lohan had been arrested for assault due to an altercation in a nightclub at 4 in the morning. After multiple arrests, countless chances to redeem herself and hours of community service and un-tolled months of probation, she has found herself back in a legal and public relations morass that will continue to solidify her reputation as a person out of control. Without burying the lead, I’ll just spit it out… Lindsay Lohan is in trouble because she is committed to being in trouble. As a practitioner of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (The science of how the mind talks to itself and sees the world as a result) I have not only encountered hundreds of cases with similar patterns as Ms. Lohan’s, but have myself struggled early on with a paradigm personal failures in which I was never able to understand why I was trapped. How many times have you said this: “If I only had ___________________ then I’d be happy”? You could fill that blank in with just about anything and it would have meaning to you. A lot I imagine. We all believe that changing that one thing that’s getting in our way will bring about a happier life if only we could change it. But the fixation on happiness is a phenomenon best described in the sentence we all have uttered at one time or another: “This Isn’t It.” In my own life I have struggled with consciously wanting one thing, but unconsciously achieving another. The best example of this for me would be my relationships. By the time I reached 38 years old I was as yet unmarried, but deeply wanting to be in a loving, committed relationship that would lead to marriage and children.
Consciously I had spent years working on myself to become the best husband I could be. I attended seminars, learned from women in successful relationships what they wanted and needed from a man, and pointed myself in the direction of these positive habits so that when I met my true love, I would jump right in and be the best husband ever. But relationship after relationship turned out badly. I either picked someone I never respected or appreciated, or hyper-focused my attention on someone who was emotionally unattainable. Several times when I had a good woman by my side I would do something to sabotage it and eventually drive her away. One day I was at a party and met a guy who seemed like me but older – he was in fact 50 years old. We got to talking and I asked him if he was married. He paused a moment, looked down, and whispered sullenly “No, I’ve never been married.” Something about his face and tone, seemed to portray ME in the future, and his apparent regret got to me. “That’s going to be you,” I thought to myself, “50 years old and alone, no wife, no children, no legacy.” I was terrified at the thought that not only was it possible that I could end up that way, but that I was present enough to know myself at that point and understand that I was actually driving myself down that exact road. It was a watershed moment for me – the “ah ha” moment we all talk about. The awakening. That awakening was enough for me seek out the reasons behind my perpetual bachelorhood and not only get to the bottom of it, but change it. I sought out a talented coach trained in the same disciplines in which I am now trained and we went to work. The first thing I had to realize was I wasn’t destined to be single, I was committed to it. That was a hard pill to swallow! How could I be committed to being the thing that was making me so unhappy? It just didn’t make sense! “But you are committed to it,” my coach said, “otherwise you would have something else in your life.” He was right, it was a simple concept that I tried to make complicated because I was afraid to admit the truth of it. Once I faced it, it all became so clear for me. (Which by the way is why I now am a Personal Success Coach – simply because the results were so empowering for me, I chose to share it with the world!) Everything you have in your life right now you’re committed to. This is a fact. I realized through intense work, introspection, NLP exercises, and Timeline Therapy™ that my need for a relationship was a ‘fix’ for my parents’ terrible marriage that was at best turbulent 24-7. I grew up wanting consciously to have a better relationship than my parents did, but was driven by the unconscious belief (based on proven results right in front of me) that relationships = pain. Makes sense, doesn’t it? If you believe deep down that relationships are painful then it makes sense to seek out the best you can find to ‘fix’ that problem. Or you become the one who creates the pain, driving yourself back into the ditch of your unconscious belief because that is the core thought from which you proceed. My breakthrough was so unexpected and so mind blowing, it completely changed how I saw myself as an individual and a person in a relationship and in this world. Once I got clear that I would not be the same partner and parent I witnessed in my own family, (mainly because I am so different than my parents by nature), I knew that I deserved to have that kind of love in my life. I was lit up, free! For the first time in my life I realized I was worth being loved
after years of telling myself behind my own back that no one could ever love someone who had the potential to destroy a family. Before I even had a chance to try, I had unconsciously convinced myself that I would ruin my marriage and kids and so I steered away from healthy relationships and toward toxic ones – all the time wondering why I couldn’t find true, lasting love in my life – blaming everyone else for my issue, never looking just over my shoulder for the answer which was right there. Once my coaching was complete, It took one phone call to a friend I had ignored for years because I knew she represented a ‘successful’ relationship to get me on the right track. She introduced me to my wife and we are still married today having just celebrated our 8th anniversary. We have two healthy and beautiful daughters and that demon I was so afraid of being to my family has never, and will never show up – because he was never there. But here is the rub: As a young person you are instructed by your surroundings to see yourself a certain way. Difficult, selfish, or out of control parents will always imprint on a child a toxic belief system that the child then carries on her own into adulthood. If, for example, a child is neglected by self-absorbed, narcissistic parents, and then used by those parents to expand their own perceived importance by pushing that young child into celebrity status – especially one where great success results from it, the child will benefit from the fame and fortune for sure, but likely suffer greatly under the unconscious negative belief that she is indeed a pawn and not worth the accolades showered upon her. Control over her thoughts, choices, and behaviors is never fully established and a sense of mistrust for her own instincts and feelings develops. In short, when you get hit by a truck at an early age, you either become the truck, or you stay the victim. Lindsay Lohan became the truck, do not mistake her for the victim. In order to wrest control away from a world perceived as always manipulating her, she takes matters into her own hands. She acts out, gets in trouble, gets in more trouble and so on and so on until the negative attention she is convinced she deserves becomes the only thing she understands, and the cycle continues. Observers may ask “How can someone who has it all throw it all away like that?” The answer is simple; Lindsay does not have it all. Money and fame have come easily to her and were extensions of her parents’ will for her – these were not constructs of her own ambitions and therefore she will sabotage the success she gains as a result because deep down she believes unconsciously that she doesn’t deserve it – she deserves worse. So she gets in fights, drives drunk, shop lifts, does drugs, rebels over and over and over to prove to the world – a world who wants to love her because she’s talented and famous – that she is indeed much less than is perceived, and not worth of that love. It’s her chance to finally be right. It’s her chance to let everyone know how she sees herself. It’s the one thing she believes she has control over. She has all the attention she could ever want, but she needs the world to attend to her true self – the self who destructs, proving to the world that they got her wrong, that she’s not worth all their love. And all of this is going on inside her head and nowhere else. Some call it a self-fulfilling prophecy, that if you believe you don’t deserve love, attention, success, or a sense of purpose in your life, then no matter how much the world tries to hand you that positivity, you will instruct the world in how you truly see yourself, and eventually the world will agree prompting you to then conclude: “See, I knew it, I am a loser and I now have proof!” And who among us doesn’t love to be right about our own vision of the world? This is our control – the one thing we can always control is our view of the world and how we instruct the world to see us. And this is where the paradox is revealed: Lindsay, a beautiful, talented, famous movie star who seemingly has it all is committed to being in trouble because that’s how she chooses to instruct the world to see her. It’s what she believes she’s truly worth. And as responsible, reactive citizens we obey… the media posts her troubles with the law and drugs and we buy into the picture of a spoiled, selfish kid acting irresponsibly. The headlines scream “More trouble for Lohan, how can someone who has so much be in so much trouble?” We’re taking the bait and she’s reeling us in. It’s not logical, and it’s not sensible, but it is how Ms. Lohan wants us to see her. She’s getting the attention she’s always wanted, and it’s in a form she believes deep down, way down in the darkness of her unconscious, she deserves. But it’s not unchangeable, she can change. You can change. I know because I did. True paradigm shifts in self awareness come when we are able to look deep into the dark basement of our minds, flip on the lights, and rummage through the old boxes we taped up all those years ago. You never know, with a thorough search, you could be surprised what you find down there. But the first thing that has to happen is you’ve got to understand that you’ve been living your life, making decisions that a child cooked up decades ago – you’re still operating on that original decision about yourself. This is why we get to a point and say to ourselves, “This isn’t the way my life was supposed to be… THIS ISN’T IT!” Here’s a real headline: This IS it. And until you realize that what you want isn’t always what you’re committed to, whatever it is for you… will stay it. Be your best, Steve

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