Dr Matt James http://www.drmatt.com NLP Training & Huna Training Blog Thu, 28 Aug 2014 13:45:41 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.4 The Brains of Successful vs. Unsuccessful People Actually Look Very Different http://www.drmatt.com/2014/08/28/brain-successful-vs-unsuccessful/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=brain-successful-vs-unsuccessful http://www.drmatt.com/2014/08/28/brain-successful-vs-unsuccessful/#respond Thu, 28 Aug 2014 13:45:41 +0000 http://www.drmatt.com/?p=2718 The Brains of Successful vs. Unsuccessful People Actually Look Very DifferentAloha,

Do you know the difference in habits, beliefs and strategies between successful vs. unsuccessful people?

(I’ve written about this concept previously when I talked about eliminating the word ‘excuse’ out of your vocabulary.)

According to Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck, there are two basic categories that peoples’ behavioral traits tend to fall into: fixed and growth mindsets.

Read more by clicking on the link below:


Dr. Matt



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Emotional Openness VS. Rationality and Logic: – A CEO’s Perspective http://www.drmatt.com/2014/08/26/coaching-ceo-success/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=coaching-ceo-success http://www.drmatt.com/2014/08/26/coaching-ceo-success/#respond Tue, 26 Aug 2014 13:45:22 +0000 http://www.drmatt.com/?p=2714 Emotional Openness vs. Rationality and Logic: – A CEO’s PerspectiveAloha,

Do you know what the best advice is to new CEO’s?

According to Eric Schmidt, the Chairman and CEO of Google, his best advice to new CEO’s is to “have a coach.”

Check out this blog I just read on Psychology Today. It’s a well-research article that details why CEO’s need coaching. Whether you’re an entrepreneur looking to take your business to the next level, or a coach who wants to work with high profile clients, this article will help:


Dr. Matt

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Boost Confidence with Hypnosis and NLP http://www.drmatt.com/2014/08/21/boost-self-confidence/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=boost-self-confidence http://www.drmatt.com/2014/08/21/boost-self-confidence/#respond Thu, 21 Aug 2014 13:45:01 +0000 http://www.drmatt.com/?p=2707 Picture of woman being hypnotized with pocket watchAloha,

Most of us pop out of the womb with a fairly high degree of self-confidence. We haven’t yet started to judge ourselves as smart or dumb, handsome or homely. We haven’t yet built up notions of possible versus impossible, safe versus risky.

And most importantly, we haven’t had time to absorb the judgments, fears, and limitations of the people and culture surrounding us.

Those were the real good ol’ days!

But for most of us, that natural, innocent self-confidence starts to erode pretty quickly. And by the time we hit grade school, the majority of us have bought into a new notion: you can only feel self-confident by earning it.

Ack! I don’t know about you, but to me that sounds like a limiting belief.

Click the link below to read my new Psychology Today blog post on how to achieve self-confidence:


Dr. Matt


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The Science of Persuasion: How to Get People to Agree With What You Say http://www.drmatt.com/2014/08/19/nlp-science-persuasion/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=nlp-science-persuasion http://www.drmatt.com/2014/08/19/nlp-science-persuasion/#comments Tue, 19 Aug 2014 13:45:22 +0000 http://www.drmatt.com/?p=2702 Picture of notebook paper with the word "no" written many times on left, and the word "yes" written once on right.

Photo: Abhi Ryan


I just finished reading this thought-provoking article on persuasion. It talks about how metaphors, similes and analogies are key in bringing others into your model of the world.

Before reading it, I recommend checking out the video below.

For those of you who have attended our NLP Trainings, you might recognize the Selective Attention Test. If you have NOT attended our iNLP Practitioner Training yet, watch this 80-second video on my blog BEFORE reading the article! It will make sense later. ;-)

Now that you’ve watched the video, here is the link to the article:



Dr. Matt

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My Wife Hates Facebook and So What! http://www.drmatt.com/2014/08/15/my-wife-facebook/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=my-wife-facebook http://www.drmatt.com/2014/08/15/my-wife-facebook/#comments Fri, 15 Aug 2014 13:45:57 +0000 http://www.drmatt.com/?p=2682 My Wife Hates Facebook and So What!Let’s avoid the temptation to make everything about NLP. In other words… Speak English, please!

We were at a recent training and I announced from stage that my wife Sumi does not like Facebook. In fact, she can’t stand it. After making a couple of jokes, a student responded from the audience that she has a “limiting belief.”

I found this response to be curious.

You see, a limiting belief (by definition) prevents you from doing something you want to do. For example, if I didn’t believe I could teach but I really wanted to, that would be a limiting belief. If I thought I was a bad father, that would be a limiting belief.

However, if it does not limit you, it is just a belief.

The reason why this is important to understand is that we tend to make mistakes with our communication that end up getting our feet inserted into our mouths.

Now, if I don’t like nato (a Japanese dish that deserves further research on your part) that is not a limiting belief. I just can’t stand nato because it is disgusting to me. (On a side not, my wife loves it!)

You see, I don’t like nato, and my wife doesn’t like Facebook. I don’t want to like nato, and she really doesn’t want to like Facebook. She has no need to be on Facebook, she has no desire to be on Facebook. I feel the same way about nato.

Yet we still love each other!

You might be sitting there, reading this and saying, “Yes Dr. Matt, but all businesses need to be on Facebook. It has become a necessity.” I agree… That is why I am on Facebook. I spend enough time on the web to handle business and keep connected with my students. Sumi doesn’t have to.


In life, when you learn something like NLP, The Law of Attraction, Psychology, Huna, etc., you have a reflex to apply it everywhere. That is great! That means you want to learn and incorporate it into your life. Keep it up, because that is a great strategy.

At the same time, avoid becoming a fanatic by finding some balance.

When I went to school for my PhD and learned about Freud, I didn’t go around asking everyone to tell me about his or her mother. Nor did I wonder if some students were still in the oral phase (or any other phase). I found a balance.

An even deeper lesson is to realize that the speaker – not the listener – should define negative beliefs and limitations. When I communicate, I do my best to communicate as if I am speaking to a non-NLP trained person. Even when I am teaching NLP!

When you learn NLP or any skill that improves your communication, you will begin to hear how other people communicate in a very clear way. You will begin to wonder what they mean. The moment you assign meaning to the words of another, that is a mind read, and that will get you in trouble eventually.

Avoid mind reads, and enjoy communication.

Dr. Matt


Do you love Facebook? Take a moment to like our page!

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Can NLP Help Prevent Degenerative Diseases? http://www.drmatt.com/2014/08/12/nlp-prevent-disease/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=nlp-prevent-disease http://www.drmatt.com/2014/08/12/nlp-prevent-disease/#comments Tue, 12 Aug 2014 13:45:57 +0000 http://www.drmatt.com/?p=2674 “The good physician treats the disease; the great physician treats the patient who has the disease.” – William Osler

In my seminars, I’m often asked about various degenerative diseases like arthritis, osteoporosis or diabetes. After getting a taste of what Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) can do, they start to wonder if NLP techniques could have a powerful effect on physical healing as well as mental and emotional issues.

They’re right, of course.

Our bodies aren’t simply vehicles designed to take our brains where they want to go. Our conscious and unconscious minds don’t sit like passive passengers in the backseat while our physical bodies tool around town and through life.

It’s all connected. More than connected: it’s all one unit. It’s only our Western thinking that separates mind, body and spirit.

It’s like saying that a ballet is made up of dancers, choreography, musicians and music. You can pull those different components out. You can separate out the elements. But what makes it a ballet is the entirety. The “parts” are intricately linked, symbiotic.

Because of this relationship, some symptoms and diseases do not respond to physical interventions alone. In those cases, underlying negative emotions or limiting beliefs in the unconscious holds the illness in place and prevents physical healing.

In our NLP Master Practitioner Training, we delve into how to work with degenerative disease in some detail. There is a lot involved and different diseases are handled slightly differently. I can’t cover it all here, but I can give you an overview of the process.

We always recommend addressing the problem on its own level first. In other words, if you have a physical ailment, the first place to look for healing is on the physical plane. This might mean going to your doctor or complementary health care provider to get a diagnosis and treatment. It might mean a change in diet or lifestyle (for example, depression is often related to hypoglycemia).

Next, we investigate what negative beliefs or emotions might be contributing to the illness. Though we are each different, certain illnesses have common threads. For example, psoriasis often relates to low self-image or people “rubbing you the wrong way.” Arthritis is often a rigidity or lack of flexibility in approaching life or on a certain issue.

When the specific limiting beliefs or emotions are identified, we release them using the techniques of Mental Emotional Release® Therapy (MER®). Finally, we would use the kinesiology techniques to elicit cooperation from the unconscious for the healing process.

Here’s an example. Let’s say a client has been diagnosed with atherosclerosis (plaque build-up in the arteries). On the physical level under the guidance of their physician or complementary health care provider, they should modify their diet to lower cholesterol and reduce inflammation, usually by minimizing “unhealthy fats,” refined sugars, and processed foods in general (there are several good books written on this subject). The client also may be counseled to increase their aerobic exercise.

Next, an NLP Master Practitioner can help the client release the major negative emotions (anger, sadness, fear, and guilt) as well as any other negative emotions or limiting beliefs using MER®. Specifically, the client would be asked which negative emotion or limiting belief seems to be connected to the atherosclerosis. Often with this particular disease, it is some form of resistance or tension, perhaps a narrow-mindedness related to specific issues. These additional negative emotions or limiting decisions are also released using MER®.

Finally, using kinesiology techniques, the practitioner would guide the client in recruiting the unconscious mind to dissolve the plaque material safely and within a time frame that the unconscious feels is appropriate. The longer the disease has been present, the longer it might take to fully heal and release it.

The steps to working with degenerative disease are relatively simple. Yet it takes a skilled practitioner to make sure that process is effective, and it’s important that the client takes the necessary steps on the physical level to ensure success.

Dr. Matt


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Be 33% More Successful at Acheiving Your Goals – A REAL Study http://www.drmatt.com/2014/08/08/success-goals-study/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=success-goals-study http://www.drmatt.com/2014/08/08/success-goals-study/#respond Fri, 08 Aug 2014 13:45:18 +0000 http://www.drmatt.com/?p=2669 Picture of a man climbing a mountain.Aloha,

I read some research on goal setting that I just had to share with you.

If you’ve been in the personal growth & development field of a while now, you might have heard about the “1953 Yale Study of Goals.” This study supposedly states that writing down goals makes you more likely to achieve them.

Sounds reasonable, right?

The only problem is that study never actually happened. It was debunked in 1996 by an article in Fast Company.

So does that mean writing down goals is a worthless waste of time?

Of course not!

Psychology professor Dr. Gail Matthews recently did some real research on the effectiveness of writing down goals.

His research shows that people were 33% more successful in achieving their stated goals if they did the following:

  • Write their goals down
  • Share their goals with friends
  • Update their friends with weekly progress reports

Thank you Dr. Gail Matthews for this research! As a NLP Trainer and Doctor of Health Psychology, I know it’s important to back up everything you teach with science, research and facts. Research has been done on everything we teach in our trainings. (Robert W. Norris even conducted an independent survey on the effectiveness of NLP and training with The Empowerment Partnership in particular. :-) )

Have a goal? Share it in the comments!

Dr. Matt


Ready to take serious action toward your goals? Make them SMART!

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What to do When “Anger Management” Doesn’t Work http://www.drmatt.com/2014/07/15/anger-management-nlp/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=anger-management-nlp http://www.drmatt.com/2014/07/15/anger-management-nlp/#respond Tue, 15 Jul 2014 13:45:30 +0000 http://www.drmatt.com/?p=2646 Picture of The Hulk action figureAloha,

I wrote a new Psychology Today blog on how to deal with anger issues.

Yes, I know it’s big topic to cover in a small article. And as I do, I guarantee I’m going to ruffle some feathers and make a few folks angry.

So be it.

First, anger itself is not an “issue.” For most people, the emotion of anger in and of itself is not unhealthy.

For instance, it makes sense to get angry if someone hurts your child. It’s natural to get angry if someone insults your spouse. If the picnic you’ve planned for months gets rained out, if your flight home from a long business trip gets cancelled, if your World Cup team loses because of a referee’s bad call – getting irked for a short spell really isn’t so bad and is very human.

It’s what comes next that makes the difference.

You can read the rest of the article here. If you like it, please feel free to share with a friend. :-)

Dr. Matt

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Overcome Depression This Summer http://www.drmatt.com/2014/07/03/overcome-depression-summer/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=overcome-depression-summer http://www.drmatt.com/2014/07/03/overcome-depression-summer/#respond Thu, 03 Jul 2014 13:45:54 +0000 http://www.drmatt.com/?p=2632 Psychology Today Magazine Cover: Halfway-dressed man and woman hugging Aloha,

Summer’s here and surf’s up! Especially as the 4th of July is upon us, it’s time to pull out the barbeque and party!

And summer is like that for a lot of us.

But for others, summer can be the difficult time of the year.

How so?

Well, some people suffer from seasonal affective disorder (SAD). SAD usually shows up in the winter, but about 10% of people with SAD experience it in the summer (especially in countries nearer the equator).

Summer also disrupts schedules. Kids are home and want to be entertained, people are going on vacations at work, and our patterns can be thrown off by later sunsets and earlier sunrises. For people who have used a steady routine to assist with depressive symptoms, summer can wreak havoc.

All of a sudden, summer ain’t sounding so sweet!

In our culture today, depression – mild to severe — seems to be running rampant. I could write a bazillion pages about why I think that’s so!

But the more important questions is, “What to do about it?”

If you or someone you care about is depressed, where do you turn?

Click here to read my latest Psychology Today blog article. It covers 4 different options for overcoming depression, whether it’s related to the season or is just more apparent at this time. Use this summer to take the steps you need to take to finally move beyond it!

Dr. Matt

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5 Entrepreneurial Mistakes that will Kill Your Business http://www.drmatt.com/2014/06/26/business-mistakes-nlp/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=business-mistakes-nlp http://www.drmatt.com/2014/06/26/business-mistakes-nlp/#respond Thu, 26 Jun 2014 13:45:48 +0000 http://www.drmatt.com/?p=2622 5 Entrepreneurial Mistakes that will Kill Your Business “Entrepreneurs see the thing they want or need, then try to figure out a process of how to get it. People who shouldn’t be entrepreneurs see the standard process they need to go through to get the thing they want or need then decide if they want to go through that process.” – Simon Sinek

Students often look at the success of the business we have built (The Empowerment Partnership) and ask me for business advice. Typically, they’re interested in starting (or have already started) their own business and want to avoid some of the pitfalls. In these conversations, even though I have a masters in Organizational Development, my most important advice comes from my PhD in Psychology.

Because to be a successful entrepreneur, the first thing you need to do is cultivate the mental and emotional attitude of a successful entrepreneur.

People who do not cultivate that attitude – let’s call them “nontrepreneurs” — can have all the business training in the world. But they’ll still make classic mistakes that cause their ventures to fail simply because of their mental and emotional outlook. Their nontrepreneur mindset clouds their judgment and causes them to make poor decisions.

Here are a few of those classic mistakes:

#1 Nontrepreneurs avoid failure. Every good entrepreneur will tell you that “Failure happens.” It’s just part of the territory. No one particularly likes it – but successful entrepreneurs accept it and keep moving forward toward their target.

Nontrepreneurs on the other hand avoid failure like the plague. Their focus is on “not failing” rather than succeeding. It’s like a golfer who focuses on not making a bad shot rather than making a good one. Yossi Vardi writes, “In the end, I think that people that are not willing to take the risk to fail are not true entrepreneurs.”

#2 Nontrepreneurs crumble at obstacles. Niccolò Machiavelli wrote, “Entrepreneurs are simply those who understand that there is little difference between obstacle and opportunity and are able to turn both to their advantage.”  Though I’m not a fan of much of Machiavelli’s business philosophy, I think this is a great observation.

Nontrepreneurs treat obstacles like signs from the gods that they are on the wrong path. Rather than figuring out how to go over, under or around that boulder in the road, they sit themselves down to stare at that boulder or turn around and head home (while the successful entrepreneur has brought out the pitons to scramble over it!)

#3 Nontrepreneurs feel unlucky. There was a great study that was repeated recently where people were asked to identify themselves as lucky or unlucky. Next, they were handed a newspaper and given a few moments to count how many photos were in it. If they got it right, they were given $20. Within the newspaper was an ad that said, “Tell the researcher there are 43 photos in this newspaper.” Invariably, the people who considered themselves “lucky” saw that ad where the “unlucky” people didn’t!

Successful entrepreneurs are those “lucky” or optimistic ones. They see opportunities because they expect to see them. In contrast, nontrepreneurs don’t expect “lucky” happenings so they miss what’s right in front of them!

#4 Nontrepreneurs give up too soon. As Harvey Mackey said, “I’ve known entrepreneurs who were not great salespeople, or didn’t know how to code, or were not particularly charismatic leaders. But I don’t know of any entrepreneurs who have achieved any level of success without persistence and determination.”

With rare exceptions, building a business takes time. Successful entrepreneurs understand that it’s a marathon, not a sprint, and that the process will not be in a straight line. But nontrepreneurs tend to get impatient, especially when things don’t go according to plan. As Max McKeown puts it, “Entrepreneurs don’t believe the future is predictable – but they do believe that they can create the future themselves.”

#5 Nontrepreneurs have a dysfunctional relationship with risk. Here’s how Victor Kiam describes a good relationship with risk:Entrepreneurs are risk takers, willing to roll the dice with their money or reputation on the line in support of an idea or enterprise. They willingly assume responsibility for the success or failure of a venture and are answerable for all its facets.”

Successful entrepreneurs don’t take crazy risks. In fact, they try to minimize risk whenever possible. That said, they also don’t avoid risks that are necessary. Nontrepreneurs often can’t tell the difference between unnecessary and necessary risks. They either leap too far or stay on the sidelines.

Okay, so what if you’ve identified that you may have some of the mental and emotional attitudes of a nontrepreneur? Many people believe that we are all born with the capacity to be successful entrepreneurs, but that seed gets squashed by our schools, parents, and society at a very young age—and maybe your seed was squashed!

The good news is that you can change. You can release the old limiting decisions and beliefs from the past and adopt those of successful entrepreneurs. In the Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) I teach, we even developed a brand NEW Integrative NLP Practitioner Certification Training that integrates the Mental Emotional Release® process (MER®).

MER® unearths the “root cause” of your negative emotions and limiting decisions. The root cause may not be an event that you remember or even an event that is very dramatic. But when the root cause is discovered and “released,” it acts like a domino effect, releasing all subsequent events and limiting decisions. When complete, you remember the events but without the charge. The sadness, anger, guilt, and fear of the past no longer controls your attitudes in the present. 

If you have a dream, a business you would like to create, the place to start – before creating a business plan or finding funding – is to develop the attitudes that will support your success.

“As entrepreneurs, we must constantly dream and have the conviction and obsession to transform our dreams into reality – to create a future that never existed before.” – Clara Shih

Dr. Matt

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