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Emails to my Therapist

My New Year’s Resolution (and Subliminal Power Strategy)

My ambitious resolution for this New Year:  I'm dropping the habit of self-berating and switching to what's known in the psych biz as "positive self-talk." 

I've long felt that berating one's self is the only true waste of time.   And I waste a lot of time that way.

I've made efforts before to drop this pernicious destructive habit.  They didn't take, or at least not for long.

But now the campaign has been elevated to the status of New Year's Resolution.  It will take this time.  I declare it here.

And how do I plan to do this?  First tactic:  I'm using a gizmo, a bit of software I bought last spring. This is going to sound like snake oil, I know, but it has worked for me.

The gizmo is: subliminal messages on my computer.  Little flashing messages that I can program myself or choose from a list.   I bought the software, called Subliminal Power, after I'd read an article elsewhere about the subliminal message phenom.  The studies indicated impressive effectiveness.   Being married to a psychologist who does clinical hypnosis, I'm also a pretty good subject. 

On the other hand, wrestling as I do with a bit of obsessive compulsive disorder, I'm no champ at what's called thought-stopping.  Once a repeating thought gets started, it's damn hard to stop.

When I first tried the software on my screen, I could see tiny flickers here and there, one every few seconds. My first thought:  I can't put up with this; it will drive me mad.

After a couple or three minutes, I ceased to see them.   So I let the invisible flickers keep flicking.

After a few weeks of experimenting, I found that if I installed a  message aimed at mood improvement, my mood improved.  I also found I was better able to concentrate when that was my intention.  Et cetera. 

Some of the messages you can choose are pretty emphatic, having to do with being a man magnet, developing outrageous charisma, blasting depression and unleashing life.  Or even losing a few pounds.

As far as I know, no one has been outraged by my charisma since I dropped $39.95 on this software, but in important ways it's working for me.

And so, this is my number one tool in this year's positive self-talk transformation.    I'll figure out more tactics if I need them. 

In the meantime, it's 11:25 p.m. on the last night of the year.  I have 35 more minutes of this life in which to finish the business of giving myself a hard time.

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  • January 1, 2012 at 4:58 am Reply

    Keep us posted on how this goes Peggy! I've struggled with a negative replaying tape over the years and once even had to say out loud to myself in the middle of traffic: STOP. That was a turning point and things have receded since then but haven't really replaced it with anything else…. but the business of being busy.

    • January 1, 2012 at 4:44 pm Reply

      I’m impressed that a single action was so powerful, mohadoha. Well done!

  • Mamie
    January 1, 2012 at 2:51 pm Reply

    Good luck, Peggy!  I've got a plan of my own…. 🙂

  • Frances
    January 1, 2012 at 8:43 pm Reply

    This sounds like a grand experiment. On my computer I have a focus-timer, a procrastinators-clock, a day-planner that dings every 15 mins and ask me what I am doing, and a program that tracks everything I do on the computer and reports on my productivity. Maybe all I need is this?

    • January 2, 2012 at 7:59 pm Reply

      Your computer must be exhausted, Frances. I don’t know how to work that many things on mine. The tracker does sound interesting though; I have trouble picturing how it would measure productivity. Maybe you program it with info on how and what to count?

      Anyway, yes, I like my one-shot approach. It’s marvelously passive and benign.

  • January 2, 2012 at 9:17 am Reply

    WOW, How can this be anything but good? I’m signing up and spreading the word! Thanks, and Happy New Year.

    • January 2, 2012 at 7:59 pm Reply

      I’d love to hear how it works for you, Frances S. And Happy New Year to you.

  • January 2, 2012 at 9:22 am Reply

    Greetings Peggy & Happy Belated New Year! You know research shows that, we believe more of what we say about ourselves to ourselves than anything  or anyone else says.

    • January 2, 2012 at 8:01 pm Reply

      I guess that’s both the good news and the bad news, Eileen. I’m finding it helpful to have a subtle reminder of what to say to myself. (Your book really is sad and funny)

  • January 2, 2012 at 4:18 pm Reply

    to Moha..  your excellent response to your direct suggestion "Stop" !, suggests you may have been in a naturalistic altered state, like "highway hypnosis"– whatever, your self-regulation & self-esteem sure benefited !
    P,  if this Intention & software helps , let us know in a few months what software to buy.  Aiki

    • January 2, 2012 at 8:02 pm Reply

      I’m glad to have that explanation, aiki; sounds entirely probable. And if you hit the link on the post, it will take you to the site where you can buy the basic program that I got.

  • Anna Ball Hodge
    January 3, 2012 at 5:13 am Reply

    My Weavers bookclub read your first long ago…Google Christ Episcopal Church Raleigh and go to Worship section, listen to Jennie Brown's sermon on Christmas Day.  She reminds us of God making us for good and why.  She describes a day in her life.  
    Good luck to your computer program. Even though you are a writer, would suggest stepping away and walking with whatever wonderful message it generates on a card and repeating it.  
    Take care.   

    • January 3, 2012 at 8:46 am Reply

      I will certainly go listen to Jennie Brown’s sermon, Anna. Thank you! Does your Weavers bookclub continue?

  • January 3, 2012 at 7:34 am Reply

    Thought for all of us if you please: What would our lives or the rest of our lives be like if we could get it all together in 2012?

    • January 3, 2012 at 8:44 am Reply

      Interesting to think about, Eileen. People’s different visions of the ideal getting-it-together are so diverse. If I got it together, would I read less celebrity gossip? never oversleep? Or guiltlessly lie abed with a bag of snack-size Snickers and all the latest grocery store mags? I’m not even sure.

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