Change Your Life in Seven Days

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9780593066614: Change Your Life in Seven Days

Success and happiness are not accidents that happen to some people and not to others. They are created by specific ways of thinking and acting in the world. Paul McKenna has made a study of highly successful and effective people, and distilled core strategies and techniques that will help the reader to begin to think in the same way as a super-achiever. You can learn how to master your emotions and run your own brain, how to have supreme self-confidence and become the person you really want to be. Paul McKenna's simple seven-day plan really will change your life for ever. Reprogramme your mind and become successful, healthy and happy!

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About the Author:

Over the past twenty years, Paul McKenna, Ph.D. has helped millions of people successfully lose weight, quit smoking, overcome insomnia, eliminate stress, and increase self-confidence. He is Britain's bestselling self-help author, having sold 3 million books in 3 years, and his TV shows and live appearances have been watched and attended by hundreds of millions of people in 42 countries around the world. Paul has famously worked his unique brand of personal transformation with Hollywood movie stars, Olympic gold medallists, rock stars, top business achievers, and royalty. He has consistently astounded his audiences and clients by proving how small changes in people's lives can yield huge results, whether it's curing someone of a lifelong phobia, an addiction or clearing up deep-seated issues in a matter of days... Now, it's your turn!

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

WHO ARE YOU, REALLY?
Discover your true potential and become the person you truly want to be


Imagine you woke up one day in a land populated almost entirely by giants. At first you would no doubt be terrified, and the deafening roar of loud noises and the uncomfortable sinking feeling when you fell would stick with you for a lifetime. After a time, you would realize that many of the giants seemed friendly, and that one giant in particular was taking a special interest in your safety and well-being.

Then imagine that one day, for no reason whatsoever, the giant you had learned to trust completely yelled at you, threatened you, even hit you. How could you ever feel safe again in a land of giants? There must be some laws of the land or rules that you could learn to help you survive.

One day, you meet some other little people. They appear to be like you, and in their company, you instantly feel more secure. Some of them claim to know the laws of the land, and share them with you. Combined with the insight you've gained from observing the giants and listening to them teach you in their booming, godlike voices, you begin to figure out what you need to do and not do to stay safe.

Do as you are told. It's easier to get along if you go along. Don't cry. Don't fight. Study hard. Get a job. Do as you are told. Get married. Have children to support you in your old age. Do as you are told.

The list grows longer as your once tiny body grows larger (nurtured no doubt by the special food produced in the land of the giants), and eventually you come to realize that there are no giants left.

And then one day you wake up, and there is a tiny little creature staring up at you. She has awakened in a land of giants. And because you love her, you begin to teach her everything you've learned about how to survive in this land of giants.

And so the cycle continues. . . .

THE POWER OF BRAINWASHING

During the Korean civil war of the late 1950s, the Chinese Koreans successfully converted an unprecedented number of American POWs to the "religion" of communism. They didn't do it through threat of torture or even promise of reward—they did it by simply changing the soldier's self-image.

What the Chinese understood was that our behavior is a direct result of the person we believe we are—our self-image. Think of it like a loop—we are constantly confirming to ourselves that we are the person we think we are, but the system we use to interpret our behavior and feedback is our own self-image. It's a catch-22.

So the Chinese interrupted the loop. You might think it was a big task reprogramming men who had been highly trained only to give their name, rank, and serial number, but the Chinese did it bit by bit.

During an interrogation, prisoners were persuaded to make one or two mildly anti-American or pro-communist statements. (For example, "The United States is not perfect," or "In a communist country, there is less unemployment and crime.") Once these apparently minor statements had been extracted, the prisoner would then be asked to define exactly how the United States was not perfect. When he was worn down and weary, he would then be asked to sign his name to the list of reasons he had come up with.

Later, the prisoner would be made to read his list in a discussion group with other prisoners. The Chinese would then broadcast his name and list of reasons during an anti-American radio broadcast not only to his own camp but to all the other North Korean POW camps and the rest of the American forces in South Korea as well.

Suddenly, the prisoner found himself labeled a collaborator, someone who participated in the kind of behavior that helped the enemy. When fellow prisoners asked why he had done it, he couldn't claim he had been tortured. After all, he had said those things and signed his name to them.

Psychological research has shown that human beings can tolerate only a certain amount of discrepancy between their thoughts and their behavior. Like anyone unaware of the power of his own self-image, the prisoner felt he had to justify his actions in order to maintain consistency with his own internal sense of identity. He would say that what he had said was true. In that moment his self-image changed. He now believed that he was pro-communist, and his fellow prisoners reinforced his new identity by treating him differently. The loop was complete.

Before long, his desire to act consistently with his new self-image would drive him to collaborate with the Chinese even more, thereby further reinforcing his new self-image until he no longer even questioned it was true.

WHAT IS A SELF-IMAGE?

Your self-image is the way you see yourself in your imagination. The reason your self-image is so powerful is because your behavior will almost never deviate from this internal map. It acts as a sort of self-fulfilling prophecy, telling you how to behave or perform to act consistently with the kind of person you think you are. Yet many people don't even realize they have an image of themselves until they look.

We've all met people who are attractive but who think of themselves as ugly—too fat or too thin or too old or too young. If you truly believe you are unattractive, you will unconsciously sabotage any attempts to make yourself appear attractive. Because you won't represent yourself at your best, people will inevitably find you unattractive, and the prophecy is fulfilled.

Studies have shown that an extraordinary number of people who suddenly receive large sums of money through lottery wins or inheritance are likely to lose it again almost as quickly. Even people who earn their money are likely to lose it if what they are earning is more than they believe they are worth. They feel uncomfortable with the extra money, so they spend it, lend it, or find some other way to get rid of it.

Celebrities whose star rises too high too fast can also be brought back to earth by the gravitational pull of a limited self-image. In fact, so many celebrities suffer from self-destructive behavior brought on by feelings of unworthiness that psychologists have created a name for the pattern: the paradise syndrome.

How you think of yourself also affects how other people feel about you. Because more than 90 percent of what you communicate is unconscious, the people around you are continually responding to your body language, tone of voice, and the emotional signals you are transmitting. Even if the words you use sound positive, you may well find yourself conveying one message verbally and a completely different message with your body language.

Here's the point:

You are constantly letting other people know how to treat you by the way you treat yourself.

In the book The Mastery of Love, Don Miguel Ruiz shares the analogy of living in a restaurant where food was plentiful. If someone came to the door and offered you a pizza but you'd have to let them abuse you for the rest of your life, you'd laugh in his face. But if you were living in the street and hadn't eaten for days and that same person made you that same offer, you'd be likely to consider it. We settle for what we feel we are worth—that is, we will never allow anyone to abuse us more than we abuse ourselves.

SUCCESS AND THE SELF-IMAGE

Unfortunately, while each failure reinforces the self-fulfilling prophecy of your negative self-image, your outer successes rarely change it for the better. No matter how much you have on the outside—big house, big car, money—it will not ultimately satisfy you if you don't already feel good about yourself on the inside.

Over the years I have had the opportunity to meet and work with a large number of successful people. I am continually struck by how many of them create an outer veneer as a way of hiding personal feelings of inadequacy. For example, they project any number of things to compensate for a lack of inner self-worth, flouting their wealth, status, intellectual achievement, physical strength, social connections, or moral "superiority" in an attempt to prove that they are not as worthless as they feel inside.

Sometimes it starts out with a little lie or a small affectation, but over the years it develops into an entire outer persona that is the complete opposite of how they feel on the inside. They continually feel like a fraud, fearing that at any moment they are going to be "found out" and it will all be taken away from them. In fact, many people whom we consider in our culture to have everything are secret self-haters. I call this the "bling-bling factor"—the bigger the jewelry, the smaller the self-image.

However, the bling-bling factor is by no means exclusively a problem of the rich and famous. In fact, having worked with people from all walks of life, I have come to the conclusion that almost everybody is to some extent hiding or compensating for a part of themselves that they don't like.

For a long time I felt that if only I could be rich enough or famous enough, or date lots of beautiful women, then I would feel better about myself. I had been a nerdy kid, and my solution to that was to affix a veneer of success to myself so that no one (including myself) would notice how inadequate I really felt.

Over a relatively short period of time, I worked incredibly hard at achieving and did very well. I became famous, made money, and created all the trappings of a glamorous life. My TV shows were a huge hit; I had more money than ever before and a beautiful model girlfriend. Rock stars, movie stars, even royalty wanted me to work with them.

However, I kept thinking, "I have everything I have ever wanted—how come I still feel empty?"

SO HOW IS YOUR SELF-IMAGE FORMED?

While s...

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