The Secret of Inner Strength, Part 1

If you've ever wished you could change, and thought you couldn't...

If you've ever wondered why some people seem to blast right on through problems or criticism that leave you stuck and bleeding at the side of the road...

Then, this video is for you.

It's the first video from my Secret Of Inner Strength DVD, and in it, you'll discover the five things we do that sap our inner strength and make us defeat ourselves... and the four things to do instead.

So watch it, do the exercise, and then click on "Add new comment" below and leave me a note to share what you learned, and what you're going to do next!

(Note: if there are no videos showing up below, you may have JavaScript or Flash turned off; both need to be enabled for the video to show and play.)

(Remember: as soon as you're done, scroll down to the bottom, click on the "Add new comment" link, and leave me your feedback. Thanks!)

PJ Eby
Mind Hacking Instructor
Founder, The Mind Hackers' Guild

Wow - I mean WOW!

Apart from telling some great truths, your way of telling them makes me just go WOW!

I am a fan!

The monkey example is genial - it's accurate and hilarious. I'm speechless.

Hi, thanks for this video,

Hi, thanks for this video, that monkey story is a great example :-) Only it seems that to stop punishing and call myself names will take not less work than to actually change something. I've tried for a few days, it's exhausting to watch myself, and now I'm only tracking where is this all coming from. I could never live up to the way this punishing will stop. Thanks again, you got me thinking!

It's only hard to stop punishing if... are punishing yourself for punishing yourself. ;-)

Constant vigilance isn't necessary: what actually needs to change is your belief that you DESERVE the punishment. Use the belief change video I sent previously, and/or the feeling elimination technique from Chapter 7 of Thinking Things Done, to remove the feeling that you SHOULD punish yourself.

If instead you just try to monitor yourself and stop it, then you will indeed find yourself doing a lot of work and not changing. Take the energy that you were using to try to do that, and redirect it into understanding why you think you deserve to be punished and called names, and then directly address the underlying belief so that you realize it's not true.

Make sense?


Part one has been interesting with homework that has been revealing. Where do I find part two?


It's only available to members of my private subcription programs; the full set of four videos was part of those programs last August. I'm putting together a new program now, though, and the full set of videos from this particular mini-course will be a part of it.

Beliefs and clearing out

Thanks for the slides and audio, PJ -- nice presentation, as per your usual. The first big negative belief that came up was "I'm afraid I'm lazy" closely linked to "I'm afraid I'll fail at writing this master's paper, doing my part-time job, etc." The latter fear arising because I feel I'm too lazy to do the work, preferring to distract myself. Following on the heels of those were "I'm a fraud," because people help me and compliment me without knowing that I'm really lazy and a failure. So, I pulled out the eliminating negative beliefs handout and will now work through "I'm lazy", since that came up first.
  1. The input: a mental image of myself playing a computer game, watching YouTube, instead of inputting the data for my paper or performing productive work at my job. I'm looking out from my eyes and seeing my hands doing these frivolous things instead of working.
  2. Physical feeling: sadness, heaviness in my chest/heart/diaphragm area.
  3. Predictions: I WILL FAIL! I will be exposed as an imposter, a fraud. My inaction proves to everyone I'm not to be trusted or relied on.
  4. For this to be true: I have to believe that I will NEVER do any actions that will get things done, that I have never succeeded or completed things in the past. I have to assume that I will be publicly dressed down, that if I fail in this single course of action then no other avenues are available. I have to believe that I need to punish myself to get things done. I have to believe that it's all up to me and that no one else can help me.
  5. Are these assumptions false or can be made false? Yes, I can prove them false. I have finished things in the past, people believe in me and offer to help me all the time, even when I have "failed" I've never been publicly censured and the failure was no big deal to anyone else. I know there are multiple ways to get these things done, I just have to decide the price I'm willing to pay to do them and then pay the price (which honestly is not that high). Also, I've never treated anyone else in my life this way and no one has ever treated me this way, so I have no evidence that these beliefs have ever helped me.
  6. If I fail what happens? I recover. I discover what didn't work and actively start doing what I know will work better. I'm the only person keeping track of these "failures", no one else is. They just want to know when things will get done. And I have a history of always getting things done for other people. So, really, nothing much happens afterward except I may discover a better way to do things.
  7. For the prediction to come true, I would have to do absolutely nothing on any of these projects, no measureable daily progress. Yet, I have been making small daily progress every day. But I don't see the progress, I see only what has yet to be done. I would have to be absolutely irresponsible, and I'm not that. I could certainly do things earlier than I've done them in the past and this would cost less wear and tear on my schedule and my emotions -- for some reason, I choose not to do things that way. But yes, I can change the prediction simply by working a little bit every day.
  8. What if I worked on inputting 20 surveys at a time with my music playing real loud? What if I chose to put off my games-playing and YouTubeing till just before suppertime, instead of whenever I have a break? What if I finished these things ahead of time -- how awesome would that be? What if I succeed beyond my wildest dreams? What if I treated this stuff as a game instead of as a chore? What if I saw this as a simple chore instead of high drama? What if I just relaxed into it and let it happen?
Thanks for reminding us about this great tool, PJ!


I actually counted the number of pages I needed to process, ran a test to see how long it took to process a batch, binder-clipped them into batches of 20 (each batch=~45 minutes of work), turned up iTunes loud, and finished them in bits and pieces throughout 2 days, with a final 90-minute push last night. I now have the data in a spreadsheet and ready for analysis. The analysis -- another gate, another monster! Time to pull out the handout again! :)

You have an absolutely

You have an absolutely wonderful way of putting things that we already know on a subconscious level into applications that we can relate to on an everyday level. I have been living in a fog since I was about 9 years old. They call it attention deficit disorder. I am 54 years old, and I have been trying to lift this fog as long as I can remember. I keep trying to "break through it", and sometimes I seem to make progress. But most of the time it's like swatting myself with the newspaper. I had it done for me so many times as a child, I became an expert at doing it myself. The feelings that I have about myself are much stronger than the self talk. I married a reinforcer and finances prohibit any change to that right now. (along with not wanting to devastate my kids). I use the help I get from things like this to keep me going. Thank you.

P.J great post. I am writing

P.J great post. I am writing all the way from Kenya, Africa. Really thankful for the stuff your doing...this video was great...don't know why you stress about how you sound on video...I am wowed by the content. Would appreciate hearing the second part of this...and eventually join your guild. Are the calls on skype?

The thing that struck me most

The thing that struck me most about this video is that the number one item on the "Learning" list, acknowledge your feelings, is related to the most important skill taught by Faber and Mazlich in their justly famous parenting book "How to Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk". In that context, one learns to acknowledge the child's feelings so that communication can take place. Others and I myself also found that skill very important for interacting with adults, not just children.

The mental 'walkthrough' you

The mental 'walkthrough' you provided was extremely intuitive, and I'm actually having difficulty thinking of any helpful criticism. I have been deriving immense value from your approach and efforts, and I want to thank you deeply for the help! Best regards, Topher Berley

Inner Strength Video Pt. 1

I really appreciate the style of your presentation-your speech, vocabulary, and personal, inviting approach. Clear, precise questions and purpose. Thanks for your time and preparation. The questions were simple and profound at the same time. Fun theme of the monkey, newspaper, and window.

Freaking out

You have a way of identifying core issues for me. Thank you. When you talk about what to DO, it's invigorating. Give me more! I loved -- (1)"It's about how you treat yourself." (2) WHY I should acknowledge my feelings. (3) Asking myself, "what do I need that will help me to grow and/or accomplish what I want to do". (4) The Monkey story was great! And, (5) identifying those things that "freak me out". "Freaking out" is a perfect phrase, it hits the feeling right on the head.

Exercise Comments

I did this exercise. What came up for me on question 3 about the feelings didn't seem to have much to do with what I originally thought my problem was. There were some strong feelings, however, so I am guessing I am getting closer to finding something I can get rid of and free myself to be more successful.


Now just use the technique from Chapter 7 in the preview chapters, or the one from the video with Bruce I sent out earlier this week, to get rid of what came up.

What next?

After doing this exercise, I realized just how much I talk down to myself and try to convince myself I'm abnormal while at the same time harboring bad feelings toward the world for expecting me to be like everyone else. I'm so confused by feelings of wanting to fit in and wanting to be comfortable just being me. This exercise has given me some things to really think about. Thank you the advice here and in the other things you write.

Dont leave us hanging...

Hay PJ, So far so good...Tearing up my illusions, bringing my self disdain and dark thoughts to the surface...many bad what?? Can't wait for part 2 ;-)

Shining the light

Thank you PJ. I am grateful that you are putting forward these pieces of the puzzle for me to work with. I am incredibly eager to work through the next steps. What I've discovered from this lesson is that I've been harboring some very synonymous ideas that put themselves into the unopened mouths of others around me. What I mean is that my expectation of people's reactions to me are almost exactly the same as my own statements I keep saying to myself. After saying that last sentence, it's very obvious that its a self-fulfilling prophecy. However, I never stopped to think and listen to my own self-talk. I've been thinking something about myself as I'm approaching someone, imagining their reaction, seeing evidence of my prediction being right, then reaffirming my original self-talk. I had been aware that I was predicting poor reactions from people, but didn't pay attention to my affirmations before and after. No wonder I've been spiraling down lately. PJ, please, give me more!


I didn't work on these exercises because I can't find any Part 2 and it seems emotionally unsafe to dwell on something that makes me unhappy without being able to move from there towards some kind of solution. When the link shows up I'll probably give it a try!
    Also, I liked the monkey story!
      Also, the whole dynamic you're describing seems vividly similar to the contrast in Lakoff's book, Moral Politics, between what he calls a "Strict Father" reasoning framework (focused on discipline to cultivate strength and self sufficiency) versus a "Nurturing Parent" reasoning framework (focusing on environmental or empathic shortcomings that can be repaired to support the blossoming of innate potential).
        Lakoff points out towards the end of his book that child psychology studies appear to support the greater efficacy of Nurturing Parent child rearing over Strict Father child rearing when measured on various parameters that seem obviously good like intelligence and happiness and social skills and drug avoidance and such.

        Use this with the technique from the video with Bruce

        If you use the handout from Thinking Things Done and the process outlined in the video sent out earlier this week, you can address the fears surfaced by the first part here. (Also, chapter 7 of the preview chapters explains another technique for eliminating negative emotions.)

        Inner Strength

        The information was good enough to take notes, but I can't implement the information yet because I am under water with disorganization. Information overload. My office is a mess with hundreds of books, my desk in a mess with piles of paperwork. There are so many things I should do!

        Pretty mean :)

        Hi PJ, I went through the exercises, thanks for the suggestions. Now I am climbing up the wall for the solution. When do you plan on release the "fix"? Wayne

        Great video - like the focus

        Great video - like the focus of the questions especially!

        The Secret of Inner Strength, Part 1

        Hello PJ, Very good video. It was easier to come up with answers than expected. To choose 1 combination: "I need to learn to make a choice, and then stick to it" "This time, with the choice I make, it has to be successful" "If not, I'll be the biggest notorious looser ever, and they will be right about me indeed" Greetings, Mark Biemans The Netherlands

        inner strength part one

        Excellent! Im looking forward to part two....

        Made a list. Can't wait for

        Made a list. Can't wait for the part 2.

        IFS and EMDR

        PJ - having gone through some therapy, this is JUST LIKE Internal Family Systems (IFS) and EMDR combined. You pick a belief about yourself and you begin to work out what part of yourself believes that and why. I enjoyed this video a lot. Thank you!

        Great lesson again -- thank

        Great lesson again -- thank you! I've been doing this kind of error your talking about for a looong time... (Ivan)

        Good insights

        Thanks PJ! I loved the story of How not to train a monkey. It was spot on as were the additional insights.

        Hateful Negative People

        OK - I've identified the latest jabs that affect me - looking forward to part II!! Mary L.

        Great stuff, PJ! Love how

        Great stuff, PJ! Love how you're using your analytical mind to help us get at stuff that really makes a difference!


        I just wanna say thanks PJ, your stuff makes so much sense. I always feel a burst of excitement when a new email arrives, and just listening to your things without even trying them first already makes me feel so much better. Thanks!