Archive for the 'Mindset for Success' Category

The Power of Intention

Posted by Holly Stokes on July 12th, 2014
Anna was living in Colorado and was tired of being a sales rep for health food stores.
She was tired of working for other people. We were talking one day about her plans.

Anna said, “I want a job that is fun and creative. I want to work with people. I want variety, I want it to be different everyday. I only want to work a few hours every day. I want to be in charge of my schedule. I want….” She went on with her list.

In the back of my mind I was thinking, “Oh honey – I don’t think you can find all that.”

But the Coach part of me knows not to limit a person’s dreams. So I stayed supportive.

A few months later, she called me from Las Vegas.

She said, “Guess what I found everything I wanted. I dress up as Tinkerbell and walk up and down the Las Vegas strip and people give me money to take pictures with them. It’s fun, it’s creative, it’s different everyday, I work just a few hours in the evening and I love working with people.”

And Tinkerbell was born.

She went on, “I decided what I wanted and I wrote it down everyday in my journal for a month. Then when I moved to Las Vegas I was looking for part time gigs and found a temp job dressing up as a chorus girl in front of the casinos. I figured out if I had my own costume, I wouldn’t have to work for anyone and I could keep all my tips.”

When you create an intention, you tune your brain to be open to that possibility. As you focus on your intention you tell your unconscious mind to be on the lookout for what you desire.

You don’t need to know the how, all you need to know is the essence of what you want.

Then your mind becomes more aware of the opportunities that match and fill your desire. And you’re more likely to take action when the opportunity shows up.

What would you like to see in your life? How will you use intention?

Now the problem with intention is that it only works if you don’t have unconscious mental blocks.

If Anna had the mental block, “you can’t do what you love” it’s quite unlikely that she would have found the answer to what she was looking for.

How do you know if you have unconscious mental blocks, because they are unconscious – right?

I’m glad you asked. These unconscious mental blocks are the reason we stay stuck or struggle with the same goals over and over again. If you are not getting the results you want, you probably have an unconscious mental block.

Because these are unconscious – outside our conscious awareness, I recently developed a series of quizes to help you identify your unconscious mental blocks.

In the next month I will set it up on the website, but for now, you can read more about mental blocks and unconscious programs on my homepage:

Sign up for my email list and you will get the Beliefs Quiz free as a way of identifying your unconscious programs.

Take the Beliefs Quiz and then call me for a free consultation.

Here’s to Your Health, Happiness, and Success,

Holly Stokes, The Brain Trainer

Positive Communications Pattern with NLP

Posted by Holly Stokes on December 11th, 2013

With the holidays and festivities also comes more time with family. Family is great when you all get along, and it’s of course difficult when your communications are less than stellar.

Try this NLP process for creating a habit around your communications so that you can come from a healthy space with your communications, creating more fulfilling relationships.

Line out a square of 4 spaces on the floor in front of you, one space for Self, one for Other, one for Observer, and one for Higher Self.

Think of a difficult conversation you had with a person.

Step into square 1: Self, and state your point of view.

Step into square 2: Other and get into the frame of the Other person, take on their view of the world and state their response or point of view.

Step into square 3:Observer, and take the view of an Observer. What is it like seeing the interaction between the two of you?

Step into square 4: Higher Self and imagine a white light shining through you and imagine being your Higher Self, feel the wisdom and insight and notice what you might change in this interaction.

Step back into Self and notice what has changed.

Repeat the process 5 or 6 times going through each of the steps, ending back in Self. Repetition will turn this into a new habit, making it an automatic response for you. This is a great process for difficult conversations, family, friends, and even coworkers!

You can also use it in preparation for difficult conversations to better understand the other’s view and maintain your own equilibrium throughout the conversation.

NLP Tool Motivation: Change your Mental Pictures

Posted by Holly Stokes on December 4th, 2013

Motivation can range from simple to complicated. At the simple level, we need to change how we are thinking about the thing we’d like more motivation on. Use this simple tool to boost your motivation on something.

A simple level motivation is to pay attention to your mental pictures. Think of a thing you are highly motivated to do. Now notice how you picture that in your mind. What is the location of the picture, what is the color, the brightness, the contrast, the sharpness of the image?

Next, picture something you want more motivation on, how do you picture that in your mind? What is the quality of that picture, the colors, the location, the contrast, sharpness of the image?

Now change the qualities of the picture, add more light to the picture of what you’d like more motivation on and change the qualities to match the picture of what you are highly motivated to do. As you change the mental picture, you’ll feel more motivated. Change the light, add brightness and vivid color. I like to add a pinch of pixie dust for good measure.

Now how motivated are you to do it?

Changing a Habit with NLP

Posted by Holly Stokes on October 27th, 2013

Sometimes making a change is simply about remembering to do so.

When you have enough healthy habits, you can enjoy lasting weight loss success. Use this Neuro-Linguistic Programming process for making a new habit.

Think of a change that you’d like to make and think of the context, where does it fit in your routine? For this example we are going to use adding exercise into the schedule after work.

What are you doing now? I come home from work and I sit down in front of the TV.

What change do you want? I want to come home from work and put on my workout clothes and go to the gym.

What is the cue that tells you to run the new habit? Coming home from work.

Read the rest of the blog post here:

Peace, love and joy

Posted by Holly Stokes on September 10th, 2013

All our motivations boil down to wanting more peace, love or joy in our lives. You may think I don’t know what I’m talking about, but here’s how it works.

Think of something that you desire, it can be anything. Now ask yourself, if you had that, what would that get for you? Think of the answer, now thinking of the answer, ask the question again, what will that get for you? And keep asking yourself the question of each answer you get.

Here’s an example. Suppose I want to get more clients.

I then ask, what will that get for me?

Answer: relief

What will that get for me?

Answer: I don’t have to stress as much, I can relax

What will that get for me?

Answer: I can enjoy life more

What will that get for me?

Answer: I can really engage with life

What will that get for me?

Answer: I will be fulfilling my life purpose

What will that get for me?

Answer: I will be at peace.

What will that get for me?

Answer: I can relax.

As you ask yourself the question, what does that get for me, you’ll find that when you get to the peace, love or joy, it will loop on itself. You know you’re done asking the question when the answer starts to loop back through the sequence.

So here’s the secret. You don’t have to wait for peace, love or joy to happen to you. These are feelings and you can feel those feelings just by thinking about them.

It’s as simple of thinking of your memories. Think of a time when you felt really peaceful. Imagine being there vividly, let yourself be back in that time and place, and allow yourself to feel what you were feeling, see what you were seeing, and hear what you were hearing. Let the peace once again wash over you from your head to your feet, then let the feeling wrap around you and become larger, let it radiate out into the space around you. Let yourself just soak up the peace.

Then go about your goal with the new feeling, and you’ll find you flow better with the task at hand. Rather than struggling and fighting the goal, like trying to swim upstream, you’ll find a better feeling in accomplishing your tasks.

Peace, love and joy don’t make your goal go away, but it gives you a better feeling to work from, which allows you to be more productive, insightful, and open to inspiration.

Motivation tip #1: Give your Mind Clear Directions

Posted by Holly Stokes on July 25th, 2013

As a life and business coach, I often ask my clients what they want. In response I usually hear a long list of what they don’t want, “I don’t want to be overweight anymore,” “I don’t want to stress at my job anymore,” “I don’t want to feel like I’m lacking purpose anymore.”

But knowing what we don’t want isn’t useful as useful as knowing what you DO want.

As a white water raft guide, I learned the value of staying focused on what you do want. We had a saying, “where you point your boat, that’s where the river will take you.”

We were on a three day trip down the Deschutes River, it was day two of our expedition and we came up on White Horse Rapid. Now White Horse is a class four rapid. To give you an idea of the rating system; class one is still water, class two is bumps and giggles, class three is you can dump your crew and pick them up at the bottom, class four is you better know what you are doing, class five – nobody runs a class five, except drunk and on a dare, and class six – well, it’s un-runnable.

Before we run the rapid, we park our boats on the bank and walk out to the overlook. As guides, it’s our job to check the flow of the water, pay attention to the current, and pick our path through the rapid from a safe vantage point. So as guides we are mentally marking out our path down the river and talking about the flow of the water.

Now in the middle of this rapid, is a big rock jutting out of the water, and we call it OH SHMACK rock (but as guides we had another name for OH SHMACK). The goal is to find the current that will take you close to the rock, but will carry you around it. If you hit the rock, it could pin your boat against it, and it could cause you grief, it’s not a safe place to dump your boat. So, anyway, us guides are talking about the current and flow of water, and on our way back the boats, I hear our fearless leader Martin, muttering under his breath, “I’m not going to hit the rock, I’m not going to hit the rock, I’m not going to hit the rock.”  It was funny, we giggled, undocked our boats and headed out.

Martin, our senior leader had spent nine years on this river and he was the first one down. He had our gear boat, full of sleeping bags, the stove, and food supplies. He pushed his boat off the bank, sailed around the corner and what did we hear?  “OH SMACK!@!#$!”

We scurried around the corner to find Martin in a sea of gear spread across the water and trying to pick up his load.

So, what happened? Martin was a pro on this river, 9 years of experience. Think of the phrase, “I’m not going to hit the rock,” what does that phrase bring to mind? Hitting the rock! You see a mental picture of it, and maybe see the gear even fly about. 9 years of experience wiped out through one simple phrase.

What we focus on – that’s where our mind will take us. Martin had a clear goal, “not hitting the rock” but this goal speaks to what isn’t wanted rather than what you do want.

This has to do with how the brain works, it interprets our language through making mental pictures. Consciously we understand the word “don’t” but don’t doesn’t translate in our unconscious mind. I’m going to ask you not to do something, will you try not to do it? Don’t think of a yellow butterfly because as you do it will turn blue and fly out the window. What did your mind do? It pictured the yellow butterfly turning blue and flying out the window!

It’s these mental pictures that speak directly to our unconscious mind and primes our brain to focus on what we are talking about. So if you want to engage your unconscious mind to work for you, give your mind clear directions about what you do want rather than what you don’t want.

Think of the phrase, “I’m not going to eat sugar anymore” what does that tune your brain to notice? Sugar! Now think of the phrase, “I’m going to eat healthy with lots of fruits and vegetables” and what does that tune your brain for? Notice your mental pictures.

Cue your brain into what you want to focus on by giving your mind clear directions. Where you point your boat, there the river will take you. Where you focus your mind, there life will take you. You get what you focus on.

Top 7 Tips for Life Happiness

Posted by Holly Stokes on October 27th, 2011

How’s your life happiness? On a scale of 1-10, 10 being extremely happy, how would you rate your happiness? Happiness for some seems to be random, occurring as a result of what we have or don’t have. Happiness can seem to be a fleeting feeling, something that passes quickly when we’ve fulfilled a goal or accomplishment. Often we think of happiness as something that happens to us, seemingly at random, or we are happy when we get what we want, and unhappy when we don’t get what we want.

We all have ups and downs in life. But rather than letting our happiness be at random or dependent on what we do or don’t have, happiness is also a choice. Here’s my top 7 tips for greater life happiness, allowing it to be more predictable in your life, and allowing you to have more control over your happiness.

1.Accept where you are now. Whatever is going on in your life, its okay to be where you are in your life now, recognize that you are learning important lessons that you can grow from. Let the lessons grow who you are rather than caving into feeling defeated. And, recognize that even if you are in a difficult place, life will change – whether 3 months, 6 months or a year from now, you will be in a different place. Ask yourself, “What am I learning in this situation?” Even when life is tough, we can focus on the positive things that we are learning, and be thankful for the positive lessons.

2.Take Care of your Feelings: There are so many things in our culture that are ready to distract us from the negative emotions that we feel. Whether its television, food, chocolate, wine, movies, there are always things that seem more fun than listening to what we feel. Take some quiet time in your day to pay attention to what you are feeling. Recognize that emotions are only messengers, and the emotions will pass if you notice them and recognize them for their message. Ask, “What is this feeling telling me?” and then breathe into the center of the emotion and it will fade. I offer some NLP tools for transforming negative emotions in my book, Lighten Up Train your Brain to Lose Weight, or you can find them in my blog.

3. Keep a Smile List – Think of all the things that make you smile, things you are grateful for, things that give you warm fuzzies. Keep it in a place that you can review daily. Smiling releases serotonin in the brain, the “feel- good” neurotransmitter. Smiling engages our brain to think of positive thoughts and memories, and when we are smiling, its more difficult to think of negative thoughts. Smiling also has health benefits like boosting the immune system and lowering blood pressure.

4. Be Social – Talking with friends or family members and engaging in social activity causes improved mental states, plus there’s the smile factor. We are more likely to smile while talking with others. Smiling is contagious, when we smile, others smile in response to us, and thus we smile even more. Being social has been found to boost our immune system as well.

5.Physical Exercise: Any physical exercise that engages the opposite sides of the body can help rebalance the hemispheres of your brain. Whether walking, biking or playing sports, physical activity can also work to release endorphins, the feel good brain chemicals. Some studies have actually found that cases of depression and anxiety cleared up with regular exercise.

6.Focus on What you Want. As a life coach, I often ask my clients about what they want. Typically, before I hear about what they do want, I hear a laundry list of all the negative things they don’t want. We get what we focus on, if we are focused on what we don’t want and the negatives in our life, then not only is our mood dour, but we are giving our unconscious mind directions to focus more on the negatives, and so our brain radar is tuned into more of the negatives, and so that is what we experience is more negatives. If however, we stay focused on what we want, we are tuning our brain into the positives, and so we experience more of the positives.

7.Get Help to Rewire the Negatives: Sometimes there is a part of our mind that gets stuck on a negative perspective. For example, this last week, I worked with a client who still carried feelings of loss from his divorce. As he thought about what he wanted in the future, he felt depressed, because this part of his mind was thinking, “what if I lose everything I’ve worked for again?” After we helped rewire that negative pattern, his mood shifted and he was better able to imagine creating the positive things he wanted for himself. When a part of your mind is wired into a negative thought pattern, it can be really difficult to shift it on your own. If you’ve experienced recurring negative thoughts or feelings, excessive worry or stress, you might want to try a “brain training” session. Try a Starter Strategy Session, only $25, See details here:

Here’s to your Health, Happiness and Success!

Holly Stokes, The Brain Trainer
I help you get more of what you want out life! Life Coaching gives you clarity in your life direction, purpose and goals. Brain Training rewires negative mental habits and patterns. Set up your mind with positive new mental strategies: greater focus, accomplishment, boost motivation and confidence and even eliminate self sabotage. Life Happiness * Weight Loss and Health * Love and Relationships * Business Focus

Change Your Focus, Change Your Life

Posted by Holly Stokes on September 27th, 2011

Whatever we focus on will grow.

If you are focusing on the problem—guess what? The problem gets bigger, if only in your mind!

A common perception is that we are at war with anything we don’t like. We fight cancer and disease, we have declared war on drugs, but these problems only get bigger. We fight with ourselves trying to control cravings, but because we focus on the problems, they get larger.

If I feel down about myself and reach for a comfort food and then berate myself for eating it saying “I am undisciplined,” I will most likely feel guilty. I then feel worse and reach for more comfort food, which causes me to gain weight, feel bad about myself and so I reach for more comfort food. . . and the cycle continues.

If I give myself positive encouragement, I feel good about myself. As I feel good about myself, I have more energy; as I have more energy, I feel more motivated to follow through on my goals.

Rather than focusing on what isn’t working, focus on what is working. As you notice what’s working, you can do more of what’s working so you can get the results you want. Maybe you have learned a lot about weight release and what doesn’t work for you, and with all the learning you’ve been doing, it will be so much easier to move forward in a new way!

If you give a child a bicycle, how many chances does he get to learn to ride? He gets as many as it takes.

And if he falls off the bike, would you say he failed?

Of course not. Even though the child may fall off, he is still learning. The mind and body are taking note of the adjustments that need to be made. The brain is making calculations about balance and coordination, and the next time the child saddles the bike, it becomes easier and he is more successful. The child gets as many chances as it takes to learn to ride the bicycle.

So, really, in the picture of learning and growing there is no failure; there is only learning and results. If you don’t like your results, it’s simply time to make some changes and adjustments.

Make these agreements with yourself now:

Failure doesn’t exist; there is only learning and results.

I choose to recognize my learning so I can get better results.

I agree to notice what is working for me so I can do more of what’s working for me.

We are all learning and growing on this planet earth. No one is expected to be perfect, just like we wouldn’t expect a child to be perfect in riding a bicycle for the first time. The secret is, anything you want to feel you can access at any time even just by thinking about it. Keep your mind focused on what you do want.Practice loving who you are. If you feel positive about you, that positive energy radiates into all areas of your life.

This is an excerpt from my book, Lighten Up Train your Brain to Lose Weight, see more details here:

Self Sabotage

Posted by Holly Stokes on September 15th, 2011

Have you ever experienced self-sabotage? You may have felt, “It’s as if a part of me wants to and a part of me doesn’t,” or it’s as if the devil is on one shoulder and an angel is on the other and you find yourself caught between the two.

If you’ve struggled with the same goal or challenge over and over, it’s because a deeper part of your mind doesn’t want the change. When these automatic programs are working against our conscious goals, what we experience is self-sabotage.

By using the language of the unconscious mind and working with your deeper awareness, you can engage your deeper mind to work for you rather than against you.

I was teaching a healthy lifestyle class and it was week four. As my students filed in, I started class with the question, “So what are you doing for exercise?” I got blank stares. “It’s week four now, you know you are supposed to be adding in exercise.” More silence.

Suddenly, one of the ladies blurted out, “If we liked to exercise we wouldn’t be here!” My NLP ears perked up and I asked, “Okay, so when you think of exercise what comes to mind?” The ladies took turns: “Sweaty!” “Stinky!” “Hard!” “Yuck!”

Because of their history with exercise, these ladies had negative feelings attached to the concept of exercise. Our unconscious mind scans through the history, both positive and negative, and sums it up with a feeling. If we have negative feelings connected to an activity, we are less motivated to do it. Our unconscious mind usually speaks to us through feelings. It’s also active when we are sleeping and often uses symbolism, imagery, and metaphor while we sleep.

We can update the automatic programs our unconscious mind operates by speaking its own language: using images, pictures, symbols, and feelings more than words and logic. This is why guided visualizations work so well: we are speaking to our unconscious mind using its own language.

The next time you experience procrastination or self sabotage, start giving yourself positive mental pictures about what you’d rather be doing, the actions that you want to take, or even how you’d like to feel. As you picture it in your mind, it speaks volumes to your unconscious mind and you can get it working with you rather than against you!

The tools of applied psychology are expanding quickly and we no longer need to spend years struggling to create personal change. It’s easier than ever to update old habits and patterns and take charge of your health so you can enjoy living your best life!

This is an excerpt from my book, Lighten Up Train your Brain to Lose Weight, see more details here:

Wrap up 2010- Bring on 2011 Baby!

Posted by Holly Stokes on December 30th, 2010

As we close 2010, it’s a great time to review the year and look forward to a bright new future in 2011. Here is a wonderful New Year tradition. Write down all the things you want to let go of from the past year on strips of paper. If you are doing this in a group, let each person say what they are letting go of as you pass the bowl around the circle or you can do it in silence. Then, burn the papers either in the fireplace, or on a metal plate outside, and as you watch the paper curl up and the smoke ascend, this offers your unconscious mind great symbolism for letting go.

Then, write down all that you’d like 2011 to bring you in the coming year. Phrase it in the positive, so rather than saying, “No Debt” phrase it as, “Surplus Money.” Fold it up and tape it to the bottom of your pillow so that it doesn’t get lost. As you sleep at night, resting your head on your pillow, your unconscious mind is reminded of all the positive things you want to see in your life. As you (and your unconscious mind) focus on these things, you begin to notice the opportunities and synchronicities that show up for you.

Another wonderful way to cue your brain into what you want, is to create a vision board. Get a large cardboard piece, and cut out pictures from magazines that represent the things you want for yourself. Place it in a prominent place. These pictures give your brain a visual cue for focusing on the positives you want to create in your life, every time you see it – you are feeding your brain, and your dreams!

May the coming year bring you happiness, joy, health, love, wealth and all that you desire! Here’s to 2011 – Bring it on Baby!

Schedule a complimentary 2011 Vision Strategy Session. 30 min to help you get clear and focused for your coming year. Schedule online:   or call me 360-524-2657.