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Time Travel to Success – a case study

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David Hanby

Autumn 2015

Time Travel to Success

I met with a new client, ‘Mr. Business’, who’d expressed an interest in how I might help improve his performance as a director within his company.

We’d scheduled in ‘a good few hours’ to investigate, in-depth, his problem, and his desires.

His medical history? Medication, none. Mental health issues, none. And for the clinical standard anxiety and depression self-scoring tests, he scored a zero on both. But something was up.

Time to put on my Sherlock hat…

So began our investigation.


My super sophisticated questioning skills drilled deep to unearth the inner layers of his situation… “So, what’s going on?”

‘Mr. Business’ spoke of a problem. It occurred whenever he needed to orchestrate groups of his employees, particularly during new projects, or when money had to be spent. Essentially, whenever he needed to truly lead…

His experience: a ‘yucky feeling’ in his stomach. A fear of embarrassment. A feeling telling him he shouldn’t be ‘teaching’, as it may end up incurring far too much cost.

So he procrastinated. He’d gather far more data and notes than necessary, before acting.

As if they were the source of his effectiveness. Sometimes he’d procrastinate until the requirement to lead had disappeared, or was postponed. Other times, in contrast, rather than organizing his staff to handle certain work, he’d end up just doing the work himself — work below his pay grade.

Frustration would set in. He knew he was achieving less. Projects took longer and were more expensive than they should be. “…I should be tackling bigger challenges, being stuck at this level means less success for everybody.”

It was strange. Mr. Business wasn’t a shy character, and he didn’t have the problem when directing groups of peers, such as when playing rugby or working in the theatre.

So what’s different? “…In sports I feel like part of the machinery, part of a team. In an authority position I get this feeling that ‘you’re not the teacher, that’s not your job’.”

The picture was becoming clear. So now I wanted to find out: if, as he said, he hadn’t always had this problem, where had it come from?

He mentioned experiences in his youth, in particular a ‘ring leader’ situation where he ‘mislead’ other kids and was told off. “…before then I used to feel less self-conscious when leading others’.

The dots were now all beginning to connect in our heads…
To clearly established his mind’s “cause” and “effect” I asked him to define his problem in a single ‘I am’ statement. “I am not supposed to tell people what to do”. He said.


“Because they might do bad things.”

Which means…

“Which means I’ll get into trouble, and it will be costly or embarrassing.”

Now we’ve got it. We’re there! No need to dig deeper. So it’s time to switch, and explore the experience he wants instead…

So I asked him now to define his ideal experience in a single ‘I am’ statement.

“I am comfortable with telling people what to do.”


“Because my business vision is good, so what I tell people to do is good.” Which means…

“Which means I’m more successful and they are more successful too.” Excellent! And what does success look like?

“…My teams are humming with contentment. I feel part of the team, like I do in rugby. And I’m comfortably delegating and mentoring more, which then frees me up to spend the rest of my time seeking new opportunities, and initiating them to grow the company. The result is more success for everyone.”

I’d captured a lot about him, his language, characteristics and tendencies. We both felt we had a clearer understanding of the problem he was experiencing, and of the experience he wanted instead. We’d fulfilled the purpose of our first session: direction. So we arranged to meet again in a week…

After our session I spent some time contemplating Mr. Business. Then I crafted for him a bespoke suggestion piece, entirely from his own language and the vision he designed around his goals.


For our second meeting, because Mr. Business had spoken of likely related childhood memories, I suspected he’d benefit from giving new meaning to them through a reconsolidation process.

I began by explaining the idea of imagining his past and future along a line, and asked him which direction it seemed to go for him. He pointed forward and said “that’s my future, and my past is behind me”.

Now, with his eyes closed, we proceeded to have him picture his timeline, float above it, and get a sense of being able to move along it.

Once fluent in time travel I asked him to find the earliest event related to the problem. “I’m between 5 and 10 years old” he said.

“OK, floating above the event, look down on it. Explain what you can see…”

He explained that he was being told off by his parents for getting other children to do things which they weren’t supposed to. He was like the ‘ring leader’ of the kids messing about being naughty, so he was receiving the telling off. He said there was a bad feeling with it.

I then asked him if he could see a connection between this event and his current problem and, if so, what would it be. “Yes… this event below gives me the same feeling as when I go to orchestrate my employees.”

OK, time for some magic… I proceeded by asking: “If you could pass down any lessons or insights to your younger self at that time, so he can see things differently, what would they be?” He said “That it’s OK.”

“…Great… And if the child were to know that now, would there be anything else?” By recycling through this question several times he had the following insights:

“Some people will not always like it but again, that’s OK” and “I’m a good person and how I orchestrate people is good” and “Those being led like it, I like it and if anyone else doesn’t like it that doesn’t matter.”

So I said “That’s excellent. Now you can pass down all these learnings using your imagination in whatever way you’d like, so you can see the younger you knowing those things now.” And he did.

We then moved a little further back on his timeline, to just before the event, and I asked him “…from that position, where’s the problem now? That bad feeling, has it gone?” He wasn’t sure… so I asked him if it had changed. He said “it’s definitely reduced, the sting has gone from it”.

Not a full resolution… yet… So I said “Great! …Could there be an earlier event related to the problem?” He said he couldn’t remember any earlier events… Hmmm…. So I asked him if there was anything else that the younger him could learn which could help him let go of it completely. He said he couldn’t think of anything.

Hmmm…. If there’s nothing else to teach his younger self to transform the memory, where else is there to go? Time to ramp up my favourite superpower: creativity. Ah! Lightbulb.

So I asked “…from that position on your timeline before the event, if there are any qualities you would restore back to the older you — qualities that the younger you has before the event occurred — what might those qualities be?” He paused for a few moments, then he said “innocence”. We we’re both quite happy with this.

Basking in the progress we’d made, we proceeded by having him float down into the original ‘ring leader’ event, in first person, to notice changes. He said “Yes, it feels different now. And better.” So I had him imagine the impact this difference would make on the child’s life, in each related future event, letting go of the problem, all the way until we returned to the present moment.

I had him then imagine a future event where, if the event had happened in the past, the problem might have occurred, so we could see what’s different. He said it felt different, in a good way. I then got him to attune to all the differences so his unconscious mind would clearly know now how he wants to do things in the future.

With our time travel complete, we naturally flowed into the bespoke linguistic wizardry I had prepared in between our session. We recorded this bit, so Mr. Business could listen regularly.

Since these first two deep sessions together, Mr. Business and I have had a few further supportive coaching sessions where we explored concepts like emotional intelligence and its impact within business. He tells me he’s listened to his bespoke six minute hypnotic Wordweaving recording many times, and that our sessions have made a real difference.

The results are proof.

Mr. Business’ company has since hired many extra staff members, expanded into an additional property, and grown considerably overall.

“Pleasure in the work puts perfection in the job.” Aristotle