Reinvent Yourself: How to Rise Above the 15 Critical Traps of Self-Illusion

Agnes Lau

Just fully consider, if your life is not working the way you want it to work – what is stopping you? Look at the nature of your traps, which block you.

According to Dick Sutphen “Reinventing Yourself“: “If you’re not happy with the way it is, reinvent yourself!”

  1. Decide clearly what you want. Set self-contained goals.
  2. Discover what trap is blocking you. You can’t change what you don’t recognise.
  3. Rise above the effects/negativity of it.
  4. Choose wisely between realistic and unrealistic behavior
  5. Make the time and exert the effort. Remain determined, with self-discipline.
  6. Remain focussed on who and what you are becoming. You create yourself by how you invest your energy—organise your time and efforts around your higher priorities.
  7. Always act in ways that support your self-esteem, as you can only attract into your life what you feel worthy of.

Reinventing Yourself

The key to reinventing yourself lies in Step 2 above, ‘discovering what trap is blocking you.’ We must first become aware of self-defeating attitudes and behavior, intellectual ruts, beliefs and notions, which no longer serve our current situation, and convictions that are restricting our lives. Our problems stem from one or more of these 15 Critical Traps:-

1. Beliefs

Based on past programming, we forget that our fear-based beliefs are just that—beliefs. But often we accept these beliefs as ‘facts’, which set up self-defeating blocks, eg. ‘people cannot be trusted’.

Also, look at what you resent, as you cannot become what you resent. Eg. you’re seeking financial success, but believe that ‘rich people are snobs’. Scrutinize all your core beliefs regarding who & what you are, and how they relate to your success, health, weight, relationships, career etc. Once you recognize undesirable beliefs that are not logical in your current life situation, recall the source of that belief, forgive yourself and anyone else involved in creating that belief; release the effect and liberate yourself.

2. Assumed Limitations & Faulty Assumptions

First, you need to become aware of your mental self-limitations, before you are able to rise above them. These could be limits on your self-image or the size of your vision. Know that these self-imposed beliefs are not real.

To rise above any restrictive thinking, be clear on exactly what you want, why you want it, and what are you willing to do to get it. Value what is right and true for you more than what other people think. Also, we all need to feel worthwhile to ourselves and others. If your conduct is below your standard And you don’t correct it, your self-image suffers, pulling you down.

3. Blaming & Victims

Blame is self-pity, a negative programming which is destructive. Realise its futility, and that you are the one harmed by this illusion. It is easier to be a victim and blame others than to take responsibility for your life. Learn from your experiences, thank those whom had victimised you for such opportunities to learn, and release them.

4. Negative Payoffs

You could block your desired goal as there is a payoff in maintaining the status quo. Some people play life as a game of struggle, sickness, poverty, being a victim, miserable relationships etc. Negative games can be great attention getters, and they often protect you from blame.

If your games were not bringing you some kind of payoff, you’d stop playing. Ask yourself: “If I get what I say I want (eg. perfect relationship, level of career success, or healthy & attractive body), what will change?” and “What are the potential undesirable changes?” i.e. find out the negative payoffs which keep things the way they are.

5. Masks Or Acts

Some of us wear masks to avoid pain or loss. Perhaps you think the real you is not good enough, or you may hurt someone’s feelings by being you. Masks are repressed feelings or fears, which will always come out in other ways eg. as an illness or affect other relationships.

Understand why you wear that mask, and what is the underlying fear. Think, the reason for wearing that mask may no longer be valid. Analyse the cost of wearing your mask, i.e. how is the repression manifesting in your life? (Masks keep out joy.) Realise that you can choose to remove your mask and be direct and honest with others.

6. Incompatible Goals & Values

List your goals in order of importance to you. Do the same with your values. A great difference in importance will indicate a conflict, which needs to be resolved.

7. Resistance To ‘What Is’

Recognise what you cannot change, accept it instead of denying reality, and stop wasting time or energy attempting to change what can’t be changed. Frustrations only generate negative programming. You have a choice in how you respond to what is.

8. Mirroring

What you see in others (positive or negative qualities) are a reflection of the same qualities within you. See the people you dislike as mirrors instead of adversaries. Examine your reactions to others and search for a corresponding trait in yourself. Reflect how this negative or positive character trait works within you.

9. Fear

All disturbances between people are rooted in fear. Fearful emotions encompass anger, selfishness, jealousy, hate, prejudice, possessiveness, repression, guilt, insecurity, depression, inhibitions, vanity, resentment, blame, etc.

Discover the cause of the fear, rise above the effects by examining it in the light of reality. Fear will prove to be a delusion. Confront the fear by gathering the courage to act. Consider common blocks such as fear of success, failure, being overwhelmed and fear of finishing. What is the worst that could happen if it actualized? A full awareness of your potential loss will clarify your anxiety. Where would you go to for help? How would you cope? Explore how you can reduce the likelihood of it happening. What could you do to increase your safety? The more you can do, the less fearful you will be.

10. The Need To Be Right

The subconscious mind is programmed for your survival. To be “wrong” is perceived as a threat. Learn to be aware so you can detach from buttons that, when pushed, causes you to need to be right even when you’re not.

11. Expectations

Expectations of other people or a forthcoming experience will never serve you. You’re very likely to be disappointed. No one can change someone else. When you insist that someone act according to your rules, they are forced to repress who they really are, and long-term repression is not possible. Accept people as they are without resisting what is. If you expect a loving relationship, ask yourself are you the lover you would want to love? If not, work on loving yourself and being lovable first.

12. Clarity Of Intent

If you don’t know what you want, how do you expect to get it? Are your wants really yours, or based on what you think you ‘should’ want or what your family or friends want? Be honest about what you really want, discover what is blocking you (a subconscious fear, a negative payoff, or a totally unrealistic goal), then decide what you are willing to pay (time, effort, money or sacrifice) to get what you want.

13. Lack Of Aliveness Or Motivation

The best way to generate aliveness, excitement, joy, stimulation, pleasure and motivation is to do what you really want to do, making life worth living. Do what really interests you before your mind makes life ‘interesting’ for you, such as fights with your partner, an illness or accident.              

14. Lack Of Self-Discipline

Self-discipline is the basis of all self-change. Do what you need to do, when you need to do it, and stop doing what doesn’t work. Change negative thoughts influencing your actions into positive ones, saying: “I freely choose to do it, I love to do it, I have incredible energy to do it.”

15. Misplaced Passion

You have great energy and enthusiasm for something that doesn’t serve you. First, explore the emotional needs that your misplaced passion is fulfilling. There is more than one way to satisfy those needs.

Like a stone tossed into a pond causing the effect of ripples flowing out & back, your thoughts, words and actions create vibrations that flow out into the universe & back to you. You are responsible for everything that happens to you. There is no one to blame for anything! We’re here on earth to learn to let go of fear and express unconditional love. As part of the process, we learn that LIFE IS WHAT WE MAKE IT’. Life is to be enjoyed!

Reinvent yourself in Mind Transformations’ Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) Practitioners Program, including goal setting, changing beliefs, releasing limitations, empowering your mental and emotional states, modeling the successful strategies of those you admire, generating new behaviors, and other powerful techniques.

For an individual assessment of your own unique critical traps, get an Enneagram Personality Profiling Report or make an appointment for a Personal Consultation.

About Agnes Lau
Agnes Lau
Agnes is a trainer and coach at Mind Transformations. She works with clients to transform their lives, where her coaching talent is complimented by her deep knowledge in applied psychology, personality profiling and complementary health.


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