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Do You Talk Yourself In Or Out Of Problems?

Written by: Mark D. Lakowske, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.


How are you labeling yourself? Are you “figuratively” wearing a “Hello My Name Is (Insert problem here)” sticker that says “I’m fat”, “I’m lazy”, “I’m no good”, “I’m not enough”, “I’m depressed”, “I’m anxious”, “I’m forgetful”, etc.

As humans, we have all said things like this. While we may not mean to entangle ourselves into confusion about who we are, what we want, what we deserve & what is possible, these repeated thoughts and words become affirmations to our minds. Convinced these statements must be true, our mind will often convey to the heart these ideas. This can lead to new beliefs about your personal identity & literally create a new physical reality.

The power of thought/language and its effect on physical reality was the topic of a scientific study conducted by Dr. Masaru Emoto. His research team took bottles of tap water and labeled each bottle with words. In one group, the bottles all were labeled with negative words: stupid, lazy, hopeless, depressed, angry, ugly, etc. The other group was labeled with positive words: love, gratitude, calm, joy, happiness, hope, etc.

One by one, the water bottles were concentrated on, and the word that was on the label was spoken with intention. Over some time, this continued, and then the bottles of water were frozen. High-resolution magnified photographs were then taken of the water crystals.

What they discovered was astonishing! The bottles which were labeled as bad or negative revealed ice crystals that were brown, blobby, misshapen, and resembled oil spills more than ice. On the contrary, the most beautiful crystals you’ve ever wanted to see had formed in the water that was exposed to the positive affirmations. Up to 60% of the human adult body is water. If such a drastic effect is occurring in water bottles, then what are we doing to ourselves by how we think and speak?

One night after a long but incredible day working with clients at my office, I stopped at the grocery store on my way home. There weren’t many people there, and I easily went through collecting what I needed. When I got to the checkout line, I noticed the clerk...He didn't look up, his posture was slumped, and his tone of voice was slow & low. Now it doesn’t take someone trained in body language analysis to notice something was upsetting him.

The clerk started to ring up my items and said, “How are you? Did you find everything okay?” I replied, “Yes, thank you, I did. I am really well, how are you?” I watched as his posture sank deeper, and with a big sigh, he responded, “eh...I am depressed.” “I’m sorry you are feeling like that,” I replied. He continued to talk about how depressed he is, and I recognized from his language patterns that he was taking on that state as his identity.

The thought of - Leaves people better than how you found them, came into my mind. As my mindset was still in coach-mode from the day’s sessions, I felt compelled to offer him some support & help.

“I’ve gone through moments of depression myself, and I help people. May I offer you something that may help?” I said. Looking up for the first time, he replied, “Okay”. I continued - “I hear you saying the words I am depressed. No, you're not depressed.” That comment surprised him, and with that, I got my foot in the door.

Stunned, he looked at me firmly and said, “YES I am, I AM depressed.”

“That is a limitation you can fight for if you’d like, but notice the words you are using. Is that who you want to be? Do you want to BE depressed?” I asked. “Well, no.” he shot back.

“Great! So let’s consider that YOU are NOT depressed. YOU are NOT depressed, are you?” I asked. “Well, no, I’m NOT depressed; that’s dumb. I’m me,” he said. “That’s right; you are you, and depression is depression right?” I inquired. He nodded. “So if depression isn’t who you are, then you must be currently experiencing a struggle or state of depression. Right?”

Confused and curious, he asked, “What?” His mindset was starting to shift with the introduction of a new idea. I replied with another question, “What is depression?” He thought for a brief moment and answered, “Well...It’s how I feel...I feel depressed.”

Did you notice the language shift in that statement? I’ll break it down for the people in the back. He went from I AM depressed to I FEEL depressed. It’s a lot harder to change who you are but easier to change how you feel. When you change how you feel, you can change yourself. The problem that was tied to his identity was losing as he was untangling his own knot.

“That’s right, and are feelings connected to thoughts?” I said. He replied, “Yes...” He was more curious now, and his mind was starting to consider something different. “Can thoughts be changed? Can feelings be changed?” I mused. “Well yeah, of course,” he said...he was standing up straighter; his tone was becoming brighter...I paused & let that seed take root a bit, and then I shifted gears…

“What did you have for lunch?” Did I inquire? “Um...some chips and pizza,” he said. “Was it pepperoni?” I wondered. “Sausage & onion” was his reply. “Yum!”

I quickly jumped the track again...“So what makes you happy? What brings you joy? What is it that if you were just to think about it, would make you feel good and free?” He thought for a moment, and I could see the corner of his mouth turn up as he started to smile, and then he said. “I really love to skateboard!”

“Great!!” I exclaimed. I started talking about skateboarding with him. I took an interest and started asking him all kinds of questions about it. Everyone just wants to be heard, validated, and valued, right? He started to light up and get really into telling me all about his passion.

“Where do you feel this skateboarding passion in your body?” I inquired, as he put his hand to his heart, he verified, “In my heart!” There was still no one in line, so I said. “Humor me. Close your eyes for a moment and remember the feeling you get when you are skateboarding. So fun, so free...can you feel it?” “Yes!” He said. “Notice that even though you are standing at work, you carry that joy with you always. Feel that feeling you get in your heart when you are skateboarding.” I proceeded to do a quick anchoring process with him to help him connect to that positive feeling as an inner resource state.

The depression was lying to him & infiltrating his identity. His mind & heart needed to be reminded of his joy, who he really was, and his own inner resilience. At that moment, he was able to shift his own perspective and put the depression in its proper place.

As the clerk was experiencing, I AM depressed will shape the reality of the experience. The thoughts & language we use upon ourselves are powerful. The “I AM” or “MY (name of the problem)” statements tell & reinforces in the mind that the problem IS you. It tells the mind to focus on that, personify it, internalize it, and like a tractor beam, it pulls into your present awareness all things that match, keeping said problem active.

What you think and speak about matters. How you label, yourself matters. Thoughts do become things. For better or worse, they will shape who you are & your reality. When you can learn to pay attention to the thoughts and words you are offering, you become aware of what shifts need to take place.

Just like how the clerk noticed, there is a distinction between “I am depressed” and “I am in a state of depression”. One keeps you in the problem while the other separates you from it enough so you can start to turn towards solutions.

You can begin to change this for yourself by becoming mindful and remembering that in the midst of our problems, we are NOT the problem. Depression is NOT WHO YOU ARE. Anxiety is NOT WHO YOU ARE. Hurt, Shame, Blame, Guilt, Anger, Sadness, Fear are NOT WHO YOU ARE. These are thoughts and feelings.

“I Am: Two of the most powerful words, for what you put after them shapes your reality.” — Gary Hensel

You might be going through a problem, but I encourage you to not take ownership of it but rather take ownership of your resilience.

Your Favorite Hypnotist,

Mark D. Lakowske CTC® CMHT®

For more info, follow me on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn, or visit my website!


Mark D. Lakowske, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Multiple award-winning & internationally renowned clinical hypnotherapist Mark D. Lakowske has trained practitioners worldwide in his groundbreaking methods. Through this and his own practice, he has helped improve the lives of tens of thousands of people in countries ranging from the United States to Australia & New Zealand. Mark is an author of three books & regularly tours the world, contributing ideas to the development of hypnotherapy practice. His passion & drive is assisting people to overcome the overwhelming & live with more confident joy & happiness!



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