Are Traumas Stopping Your Productivity

Last month my wife had an accident. A driver ran a red light and hit our Toyota Camry causing about $6,000 damage. But the real damage wasn't physical, it was mental.

When I came home Shirley was obviously shook up. She couldn't figure out what to do, so I got the insurance claim started. As I observed her, I noticed that she seemed to keep replaying the accident over and over again…from the moment the light turned green to a few seconds later when the driver hit her car. This repetition was "imprinting" the memory as well as re-traumatizing her.

From the KnowWare®, or Software for Your Mind, perspective, this accident created a traumatic memory. So I ran her through the NLP trauma relief process:

  1. Start at the end (accident) and run the experience backward in your mind as fast as possible, back to a point where you were safe and sound.
  2. Repeat step 1 at least three times. (The key to the effectiveness of this process is how fast you run it back, and how safe you feel at the beginning.
  3. Run the movie forward "as if" it had never happened. In Shirley's case, she hesitates before entering the intersection and sees a golden blur of Lexus fly by.

As soon as we did this, Shirley stopped replaying the event. She still remembered it, but it no longer paralyzed her.

I suddenly realized that the television media, in many ways, has been traumatizing the nation by repeatedly playing traumatic events captured on tape: 9-11, Iraq, even local tragedies in Colorado like Columbine and Jon Benet. The memories of these events can trigger a mental paralysis.

No matter how motivated a person is, when something triggers one of these memories, the mind replays the trauma and motivation flies out the window for a period of time. It may only be seconds or it may be hours or days. I've been watching this play out in the stock market during the Iraq war…wild bouts of euphoria and depression.

So I decided to do this with 9-11.

  1. I started with the towers falling down, and ran it backward to the point where I was having coffee at a guest ranch in Utah.
  2. I did this several times until the experience felt clear.
  3. Then I ran it forward and saw the planes fly by the trade center.
    I immediately felt better.

In my own office and the companies I work with, I can sense the paralyzing effects of this onslaught of traumatic imagery. Is the news getting you down? Try the trauma relief process yourself. Free your family. Free your coworkers. It's a great gift.

You can also use this on physical trauma. The process was originally developed by Tim Hallbom ( when he was hiking in the mountains of Utah. He twisted his ankle. Alone and far from any road, he wondered how he was going to get medical attention. Then he noticed he was running the spraining over and over again in his head, effectively reliving the event. He knew a similar process called phobia relief and tried it on his ankle-running it backward and then forward as if it never happened.

In a few minutes the pain and swelling subsided and he was able to hike out to his car.

Ever stubbed your toe? Use the trauma relief process. Teach it to your kids.
Ever gone through a difficult divorce? Use the trauma relief process.
Ever been fired? Use the trauma relief process.
Ever been rejected? Use the trauma relief process.

It's a powerful process for freeing yourself from the paralyzing effects of mental and physical trauma. And once you're free, it will be a lot easier to get motivated, won't it?

Rights to reprint this article in company periodicals is freely given with the inclusion of the following tag line: "© 2008-2024 Jay Arthur, the KnowWare® Man, 888-468-1537, ."