Dr Matt James http://www.drmatt.com NLP Training & Huna Training Blog Tue, 15 Jul 2014 13:45:30 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.3 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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Get Rid of Procrastination Once and for All http://www.drmatt.com/2014/06/12/chaining-anchors-procrastination/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=chaining-anchors-procrastination http://www.drmatt.com/2014/06/12/chaining-anchors-procrastination/#respond Thu, 12 Jun 2014 13:45:14 +0000 http://www.drmatt.com/?p=2614 Get Rid of Procrastination Once and for AllAloha,

I wrote a Huffington Post blog this week on how to stop procrastinating.

Just in case you’re one of those people who doesn’t participate in the universal sport of procrastination, let me define it for you:

• to put off intentionally and habitually
• to put off doing something that should be done
• to delay doing something until a later time because you do not want to do it

The thing that’s so weird about procrastination is that everybody knows it doesn’t get you where you want to go — yet we still do it!

That’s why I wrote this blog about a NLP technique called chaining anchors. It also includes a video demonstration from one of my students on how to do this technique. Click the link below to read the article:


Dr. Matt

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Happy vs. Successful: Are Your Goals Making You Miserable? http://www.drmatt.com/2014/06/10/nlp-successful-goals/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=nlp-successful-goals http://www.drmatt.com/2014/06/10/nlp-successful-goals/#comments Tue, 10 Jun 2014 13:45:49 +0000 http://www.drmatt.com/?p=2606 Happy vs. Successful: Are Your Goals Making You Miserable? Aloha,

Everybody and their grandmother (and probably your grandmother) will tell you that setting goals is the key to success.

I was taught goal-setting at an early age and I’ve taught goal-setting and goal-getting to thousands of my NLP and Huna students.

And for the most part, students get really stoked as they work with goals and see the amazing results they can create.

But every once in a while, a student approaches me and says that they hate goals, and that goals just make their lives miserable and stressful!


How could pursuing something you want make you feel lousy?

I’d never had that experience so I wandered through some books and articles to figure it out.

Read my latest Psychology Today blog to learn 7 goal-setting mistakes that are costing you your happiness and success, and what to do about them!

If this article helps you, please share it on Facebook and help us get the word out. :-)

Dr. Matt

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5 Scientific Studies that Prove Hypnosis Works to Stop Smoking http://www.drmatt.com/2014/05/29/science-hypnosis-stop-smoking/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=science-hypnosis-stop-smoking http://www.drmatt.com/2014/05/29/science-hypnosis-stop-smoking/#comments Thu, 29 May 2014 13:45:37 +0000 http://www.drmatt.com/?p=2566 Picture of man crushing a cigaretteAloha,

One of my favorite questions asked by my students is, “Are hypnosis and NLP validated by science?”

As I’ve stated in previous articles, we at The Empowerment Partnership don’t teach any techniques unless research has been done. That’s why our graduates are so successful. In fact, our QS60 (Quit Smoking in 60) Specialists are so successful they’re averaging a 95% success rate!

Hypnosis works, and we have proof to back it up. Here are 5 scientific studies on the effectiveness of using hypnosis to quit smoking.

Unfortunately I can’t post the scientific studies online because the information is copyrighted by their journal publications. Instead, I created a table that gives you information on what’s in the study, where to view the abstract, and how to purchase the journals for your own records:

Performance by Gender in a Stop-Smoking program Combining Hypnosis and AversionDavid L. Johnson and Richard T. Karkut. Psychological Reports 1994: Vol. 75, No. 2, pp. 851-857
A Meta-Analytic Comparison of the Effectiveness of Smoking Cessation MethodsChockalingam Viswesvaran and Frank L. Schmidt. Journal of Applied Psychology1992: Vol. 77, No. 4, pp. 554-561http://bit.ly/15Scp0g
Guided Health Imagery for Smoking Cessation and Long-Term AbstinenceChristine A. Wynd. Journal of Nursing Scholarship 2005: Vol. 37, No. 3, pp. 245–250http://bit.ly/13DQrf0
Freedom from Smoking: Integrating Hypnotic Methods and Rapid Smoking to Facilitate Smoking CessationJoseph Barber. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis 2001: Vol. 49, No. 3, pp. 257-266http://bit.ly/18ldufh
Clinical Hypnosis for Smoking Cessation: Preliminary Results of a Three-Session InterventionGary R. Elkins & M. Hasan Rajab. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis 2004: Vol. 52, No. 1, pp. 73-81http://bit.ly/1h0Sijl

Here are a few interesting notes about the content in these journals. Remember, these are not the abstracts, instead these are my reviews:

Performance by gender in a stop-smoking program combining hypnosis and aversion:

A field study of 93 male and 93 female CMHC outpatients examined the facilitation of smoking cessation by combining hypnosis and aversion treatments. At a 3-month follow up, 86% of the men and 87% of the women reported continued abstinence from smoking. Click here to read the abstract.

A Meta-Analytic Comparison of the Effectiveness of Smoking Cessation Methods:

Meta-analysis was used to cumulate the results from 633 studies of smoking cessation. This involved 71,806 smokers who reported whether or not they were able to quit.

The effectiveness of hypnosis effectiveness was:

  • More than 2 times greater than self-care methods (self-care involved quitting by themselves, reading self-help books, and more)
  • More than 2 times greater than nicotine gum
  • And 3 times greater than physician interventions where the physician offered more than counseling. Click here to read the abstract.

Guided Health Imagery for Smoking Cessation and Long-Term Abstinence:

A study of 71 smokers showed that, after a 2-year follow up, people who quit smoking using guided imagery were twice as likely to remain smoke-free than those who quit using counseling and educational sessions. Click here to read the abstract.

Freedom from smoking: Integrating hypnotic methods and rapid smoking to facilitate smoking cessation:

Of 43 smokers undergoing this treatment, 39 reported remaining abstinent from smoking at follow-up (6 months to 3 years post-treatment). This represents a 90.6% success rate using hypnosis and a Rapid Smoking (RS) protocol. Click here to read the abstract.

Clinical Hypnosis for Smoking Cessation: Preliminary Results of a Three-Session Intervention:

Thirty smokers enrolled in an HMO were referred by their primary physician for treatment. Twenty-one patients returned after an initial consultation and received hypnosis for smoking cessation. At the end of treatment, 81% of those patients reported that they had quit smoking. Click here to read the abstract.

Dr. Matt

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How NLP Helps Me Reach 80% of My Goals (and Actually Enjoy the Process) http://www.drmatt.com/2014/05/27/nlp-achieve-goals/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=nlp-achieve-goals http://www.drmatt.com/2014/05/27/nlp-achieve-goals/#comments Tue, 27 May 2014 13:45:55 +0000 http://www.drmatt.com/?p=2556 Picture of hand holding money

Photo: Steven Depolo

Everyone talks about setting and achieving goals. But I’ve been thinking lately that the goal-setting process is getting a bad rap. It’s becoming like flossing your teeth or creating a budget or “creating an eating plan.” Boring.

No! Goals are the juice of life!

Goals don’t have to be only the shoulds/obligations/responsibilities/burdens. Goals aren’t only about fixing what is broken or getting what we lack.

When we set a goal, we’re saying, “Hey! I came to this planet to be something! I am a unique expression of life! Here’s what I’m about and here’s what I will create!

Pardon all my exclamations points – but life can be like that. Exclamation points! Excitement! Passion! Fun!

Goals are aspirations. Becoming more than we are now. Reaching above and beyond. So it’s not just about “getting there.” It’s about the process we go through as we’re on our way and who we become. As I often say, “Whoever you think you are, you’re more than that.”

And that’s where Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) has made such a difference to myself and my students and our ability to achieve our goals. Using the techniques of NLP, we are able to become the person for whom this goal is achievable.

Let’s take an example. Say, I want to be wealthy and I’ve defined that as making over $200,000 per year. I’ve written out my goal using the SMART acronym, and determined that it will happen one year from now. And I start taking massive action toward it. Great!

But if underneath I continue to perceive myself as someone who is unworthy of making that kind of money, somewhere along the way, I’ll sabotage the process. I’ll miss the meeting, forget to make the phone call, not see the prime opportunity – I’ll do something to make sure that my external world stays in tune with my self-image. As that old comic strip, Pogo, said, “We have met the enemy and he is us!”

However, what if I become more confident? What if I believe that making $200,000 is not only possible, but in fact natural for me? What if I walk around feeling certain that opportunities are waiting for me and that I’m fully prepared to take advantage of them? Can you see how that person has a much better shot at success with their goal?

The power to achieve what you want to achieve is all in the mind, specifically the subconscious. If your subconscious holds a belief that is in opposition to your goal, you’ve got an uphill battle and will likely miss whatever target you’ve set. But once your subconscious is on board with your goals, you’ve got a powerful ally who is fully motivated to see that the external world conforms to your new self-image. Pursuing your goal is no longer drudgery or a battle, but it actually becomes fun!

NLP works to bring your subconscious on board with your goals in a couple of ways: First, to eliminate limiting beliefs and decisions that hold you back from achieving our goals. And second, to instill the natural behaviors, feelings and beliefs that make your goals accessible. Using the language of our minds, NLP allows us to consistently achieve our specific and desired outcomes.

It’s like preparing for a great garden. First, you eradicate the weeds and pull out the rocks and any bad dirt. Next, you prepare the plot by adding in fertile garden soil. Only then do you throw the seeds down and plant seedlings. And if you skip the first steps? Well, you might grow something, but odds are that it won’t be the lush garden you had envisioned.

To have what you want to have, and do what you want to do, you must first become who you need to become.

Dr. Matt


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How to Stay Happy Around Negative People http://www.drmatt.com/2014/05/22/how-to-stay-happy-around-negative-people/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=how-to-stay-happy-around-negative-people http://www.drmatt.com/2014/05/22/how-to-stay-happy-around-negative-people/#comments Thu, 22 May 2014 13:45:52 +0000 http://www.drmatt.com/?p=2549 Happy woman holding stop signAloha,

I’m pretty sure I don’t need to tell you how important being happy is to your well-being.

In our NLP Trainings we teach that negative emotions are directly related to negative physical conditions. These include hypertension, impaired immune system, cardiovascular disease, digestive disorders, and infection.

Bottom line? It’s better to stay happy!

But what do you do if you run into someone negative? Maybe you have a friend, family member, or a coworker who always seems to be grumpy. Every time you bring up something happy and positive, they find a way to turn it around.

Even if you’re well versed in NLP and know how to deal with negativity, it can be difficult when it comes from a loved one or someone you care about.

Read my recent Psychology Today blog to learn how to stay happy around negative people. It will teach you the critical thing you must do before confronting a negative person:


If you like the article, please share it with a friend!

Dr. Matt

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Stop Letting Negative People Drag You Down http://www.drmatt.com/2014/05/20/stop-letting-negative-people-drag-you-down/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=stop-letting-negative-people-drag-you-down http://www.drmatt.com/2014/05/20/stop-letting-negative-people-drag-you-down/#respond Tue, 20 May 2014 13:45:59 +0000 http://www.drmatt.com/?p=2539 Picture of sad woman at home.Aloha,

Do other peoples’ moods affect you?

Many of my NLP and Huna students say that they feel tired and drained around negative people. It’s almost like they get sucked into other peoples’ negativity against their will.

Like hanging out with people who are sick with a virus or cold, it takes a strong immune system to ward off the effects of negativity.

That’s why I’ve written a blog for The Huffington Post on how to deal with negativity. In this article you’ll learn 3 steps from NLP and Huna on how to remain positive and happy. Click the link below for the full article:


Dr. Matt

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NLP and Huna for Wealth, Prosperity, Money and Energy http://www.drmatt.com/2014/05/06/nlp-huna-webinar-wealth/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=nlp-huna-webinar-wealth http://www.drmatt.com/2014/05/06/nlp-huna-webinar-wealth/#comments Tue, 06 May 2014 13:45:21 +0000 http://www.drmatt.com/?p=2527 Headshot of Dr. Matt that says "NLP and Huna for Wealth, Prosperity, Money and Energy"Edit: We are postponing the webinar to take place two weeks from now! The webinar is scheduled for 5/28/14 at 7:00pm PDT.  I look forward to talking to you then. Mahalo!


Money is an area of life that keeps too many people feeling dissatisfied. That’s why I’m so excited about our next NLP and Huna webinar! On May 14th at 7:00pm PDT we will cover how to create wealth, prosperity, money and energy.

The way you think about money affects the amount of money you have. In this webinar series of ‘Empowerment Time with Dr. Matt’ we will explore the following:

  • Understanding the foundation of prosperity
  • The relationship between money and energy
  • Discover the beliefs of successful and wealthy people
  • Discuss the steps to discover your wealth strategy
  • Finding purpose with money and wealth

Plus there will be a live Q&A where I will answer your questions! Click on the link below to RSVP:


See you there!

Dr. Matt

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