How Strengthening your FOUNDATION can change your life
By Laura Lohk
Cognitive Hypnotherapist & Coach
I remember when I decided to give up my good job as a lawyer and retrain as a therapist at the Quest Institute, London. I had been interested in self-development for a long time, but I wasn’t prepared for the amount of change and growth I was about to get myself into.
It was at the beginning of the Quest Diploma course when Trevor Silvester, the founder of Quest Cognitive Hypnotherapy, said that most people’s problems start with their relationship to themselves. The first time I heard that I was very sceptical. Surely, I thought, the issues I’ll be seeing are things I had been battling with like depression and phobias etc. How could these problems have anything to do with the relationship to ourselves? So, initially, I rejected this and continued my journey through the Diploma course and NLP Master Practitioner course.
After qualifying, I gave up my legal job, moved to the other side of the UK and opened my therapy and coaching practice. It became quite clear that Trevor was right. It didn’t quite click at first, but the more clients I worked with, the more I heard things like ‘I’m not good enough’, ‘I fear judgement’ or ‘I fear failure’. It almost always stemmed back to their childhood, and it really didn’t matter what types of problems or ‘labels’ my clients came to see me with. After ‘poking’ around a little deeper under the surface of their issues, what always came up were some limiting beliefs about themselves. I also noticed how unstable my clients were in their lives, their job and external relationships. This made me realise that there is one main thing people need to improve, which by improving, will have a ripple effect on other areas of their lives.
Firstly, I began educating my clients about it because let’s be honest, if I hadn’t seen the connection, then some of my client’s might also be sceptical.
I began explaining to my clients how our mind interacts with the outside world through a series of levels.Everything begins with an awareness of our Environment. We operate within that level through our behaviours. These are guided by our capabilities, which are organised by our values and beliefs, and these both organise and influence our sense of identity. I then explain how it flows both ways, with our identity and beliefs about our identity affecting our values, which affect the way we see our capabilities, which affect our behaviour and how we perceive our Environment. It was clear to me based on my studies and my experience with my clients that our identity and our beliefs about our identity is our FOUNDATION, and if our FOUNDATION is unstable, so are we.
I explained to my clients that when I begin my work clients often come to me looking like an upside-down triangle.
It was easy for my clients to see that if their foundation was the tip of the triangle, how unstable it would be; anything and everything could push them over. And that’s how most of us go through our lives. When challenges arise from our environment, we wobble over and then have to spend a lot of time trying to find the energy to get back up again. Life feels a struggle against the world and how we feel it treats us.
From then on, whichever problem my client came to see me with, if it became obvious that the root cause of their problem started with their unstable FOUNDATION, I’d educate my clients with the analogy of this upside-down triangle and how, by improving their foundation – which is their beliefs about themselves together with their mindset – means that they will not only be able to change their life and their problems, but will also strengthen their self-esteem and become more resilient to life’s challenges. Because if after our work together, they have a stronger FOUNDATION, they will look like this triangle instead.