Most of us have challenges in our lives — some may be small and some may be fairly significant. These challenges can lead to a great deal of stress. Maybe it’s a relationship problem or maybe you’re struggling financially. Maybe you feel conflicted about your career or maybe you have self-esteem issues that get in the way of you succeeding. Maybe you feel stuck, depressed, anxious…..

You might have tried different therapeutic options — traditional therapy or alternative forms of change work. And maybe they’ve made a difference, but still the problem lingers on to some degree.

In each of those areas of your life that aren’t working, you might wish you could just get to the root of the problem, pull it out at its roots, rather than have it keep showing up and undermining your life?

What Is the Root of the Problem, anyway?

From the perspective of traditional therapy, the cause of deep-seated problems in our lives is what someone did to you or some circumstance that happened to you in childhood. The idea is that whatever happened wounded you, scarred you, or damaged you in some way.

The NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) process, called TimeLine, comes from a very different perspective. From that perspective, once that event is over with, it doesn’t exist anymore. What does exist is how you keep the pain and distortions of that experience alive moment-by-moment, and that can be changed.

When that original, traumatic event occurred, you, as a young child, didn’t have the conscious tools to make sense of it. Your whole experience of what is real (in that area of your life) was upended. You were thrown into an unstable, chaotic state — a state of shock. Your conscious mind stopped functioning and your unconscious mind took over. This is a hypnotic state.

In this very impressionable unconscious state, in order to make sense of what occurred, you decided on a meaning for what just happened. You might have decided, for example, “This means I’m bad,” or “This means I’m not wanted,” or “This means men can’t be trusted,” or “This means I’m not good enough.”

This interpretation or meaning you gave to what happened is called a “limiting decision.” Limiting decisions are always some form of deciding that life doesn’t work and usually that there is something inherently wrong with you.

Even though the limiting decision is negative and painful, it does give you some way to interpret what happened. It gives you a sense of stability. Without stability, there’s no way to function. For that reason, your unconscious mind is very invested in proving that decision is true.

As a result, your unconscious mind starts acting like a background computer program, just looking for excuses to prove the limiting decision is true. This causes you to be attracted to, and attract to yourself, people and situations that prove the limiting decision is true, and filter out what doesn’t. None-the-less, limiting decisions are never actually true!

This results in a distorted and limited experience of what reality is and causes you to bring into your life what you don’t want and what doesn’t work. This is how negative patterns get formed, such as getting into dysfunctional relationships, failing in business, or undermining whatever is really important to you.

The limiting decisions you made are the root of whatever problems or challenges you are experiencing in your life.

Limiting Decisions Can Be Cleared!

It’s important to understand that the problem is not what someone did to you, the problem is the meaning you gave to what happened. That meaning you gave it was based on a limited and unevolved interpretation of how life works, made at a young age.

This is where the NLP TimeLine Process comes in. The purpose of NLP TimeLine sessions is to get to what the limiting decisions are that are holding in place whatever isn’t working in your life and release them. 

NLP is the study of the language of the mind — how we form our subjective experience and how that can be changed. The NLP TimeLine process is set up in a very particular way, according to how the brain works and memories are formed, in order to facilitate change. It works with the building blocks of how experience is formed. It is a a form of hypnotherapy.

The objective of the NLP TimeLine process is to clear limiting decisions. When that happens, the limiting decision is no longer distorting your experience of reality. This allows you to shift from the limited and unevolved interpretation you originally made into a more expanded, evolved understanding in which life does work. A limiting decision is usually cleared in each session. Once it’s cleared it is gone.

Author’s Bio: Jane Ilene Cohen, Ph.D. is an Intuitive & Transformational NLP Counselor, and an NLP & TimeLine Master Practitioner and Hypnotherapist, with a private counseling practice in San Diego North County (Encinitas). She also works with out-of-town clients (using Zoom or Skype video).

However, during the pandemic, Dr. Cohen works with all clients using Zoom or phone sessions.

Dr. Cohen works with adults, children, couples, families and other relationships, and facilitates groups and workshops. She is also the Founder of the “Life is Designed to Work” thought system.

For more about Dr. Cohen’s counseling services, go to: . For a free phone consultation to decide if this is right for you, or to make an appointment, call Dr. Cohen at (760) 753-0733.

I invite you to leave any questions or comments in the below comments field.

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