What if? The Secret to rediscovering your true identity.

What if? The Secret to rediscovering your true identity.

A Chapter by tshigg

The better you kow thyself and act in accordance with this knowledge the more successful and happy you will be.






Chapter 14









What if you could build a strong foundation by developing a pattern of self discovery that allowed you to uncover unresolved issues and beliefs that got in the way of your success?














 I had a dream one day (no not as profound as Dr Martin Luther King, but a dream none the less). In my dream I was at work in an office. Which is interesting in and of itself because I have never worked in an office so to speak. Anyways, I was sitting at my cubicle in a room of about ten other people who were all in cubicles too. I had just gotten to work and turned on my computer. After the computer booted up I clicked on an icon on the desk top for a video game. The game was setting up and the theme music for the game began to play. I remember being a little concerned not wanting my co-workers to hear. You know that sense of slight panic you get when you open the inappropriate e-mail at work and you do a quick 360 scan to see if anyone else sees it. Well, that is what I was feeling. I finished my reconnaissance and no one had seemed to notice or care that my computer was belting out the theme song to my video game. So, I figured I had some time to get it under control. I accessed my speakers and adjusted the volume. I turned it all the way down and nothing happened, the music kept playing. In my mind the music was getting louder, although I knew that wasn’t possible because I had not done anything to turn it up. Now, the lump in my throat was getting bigger and the slight panic was bringing on a mild sweat. I looked up and here comes my boss. Damn, I rush to do something, anything. I reached over and turn off the monitor. That helps, I reasoned to myself, at least no one can see the screen and see the picture for the game. The music is still going as my boss walks up and mentions to the group that we have a meeting to go to downstairs. I am thinking he’s gotta hear that music. But my boss says nothing about the music and everybody starts moving their way towards the stairs to go to the meeting. I stay behind thinking it should just take me a minute to get this music to stop. Everyone is gone to the meeting downstairs as I fumble around trying to get the game to stop. I finally get frustrated and unplug the computer thinking this has got to do it. But, no the music keeps playing. Now, I am late for the meeting and I have a video game stuck on my computer. I decide to chance it and just go to the meeting. I figured no one has noticed to this point they probably won’t notice it before I get back and if they do maybe they can get the damn music to stop.

I speed walk to the stairs and get downstairs. It is a conference room and some of my co-workers are standing and some are sitting. There are three executives in the front of the room going over the mission of the company and what the future plans are. No one seems real interested. I get the feeling we have all heard this speech before, maybe not from these three but from other executives. It was like a quarterly pep rally to let the troops know what was going on and how we fit into the “big picture.” Anyway I am listening to the speech and thinking of anything I can to keep me from dozing off and what do I hear. It is the music from my game on my computer upstairs. I can’t believe it; the music is coming through the walls all the way from my computer upstairs. No one says anything but I am still panicking waiting for someone to find out I was playing a game on the computer. Just as I hit full panic mode my alarm goes off and I wake up.

I look over at my computer on the side of my bed and I can hear that music playing. The saying goes through my head of “Sometimes you can’t change the music because you put it there.” The music I was hearing in my dream that I could not turn off was playing on my computer I had turned it on before I went to sleep. I had to laugh out loud at this one.

The saying holds true though. You can interchange the word music with behavior or thought or belief or issue. We are our own worst enemy at times. We keep ourselves stuck with limiting thoughts and beliefs. We hinder ourselves by telling ourselves we can’t do something. We self sabotage because we have engrained the thought in our head that we are undeserving of success, happiness or love. We continue to live our life according to rules we established when we were children to deal with situation that made no sense to us at the time. One such situation could be we must be undeserving if we were abandoned by our parents. Why else would these people we never met not want us? We allow people we have never met and have never met us the power of controlling our opinions of ourselves. Well no more this next portion we are going to discover how to uncover these unresolved issues and deal with them so that they no longer manifest themselves in ways that are detrimental to our lives. These unresolved issues plague our lives until as the term implies we resolve them. Those detrimental ways could be addictions, abusive relationships, poor relationships and unhappiness.

So how do we do this? First I want you to think of yourself as an island. This island is a volcano that is mostly underwater. People sometimes compare people to icebergs. Meaning that most of what makes up a person is beneath the surface. I agree, but I like the volcano metaphor better because it gives you a vivid visual of what happens if you don’t deal with those underlying issues. Yes, you guessed it you explode and hot lava is spewed out burning you and those closest to you.

I like to refer to the island as “Sadistic” island. This may seem harsh but it is meant with all the love I can muster. I call it this because a sadist is someone who takes pleasure in pain. Our island represents our avoidance of painful below the surface issues so that we feel better. So in a way we are taking pleasure from our pain. It is even more evident when you see the self sabotaging behaviors others display. I say others because I know you wouldn’t do that to yourself. Anyway, these beliefs, behaviors and actions lead to something I call Paralysis by Proxy. Paralysis by Proxy is the act of being stuck in a belief or pattern of behavior because of what others say or think about you.

Here is a good example of this from my life. In my youth I as confronted by a young lady that told me “you think you are special.” This young lady was upset with me and expressed her displeasure by this simple phrase. A phrase that said to me I was arrogant, wrong, conceited and that I thought I was too good or better than her. This information was translated to me that I should and could not be to successful, because if I was then I would be proving her right. Fast forward many years later in my first marriage. One day my former spouse jokingly said to me “you want to be famous.” This was after I expressed my excitement abut an idea I had for a book. Again reinforcing that idea in my head that I was behaving arrogantly and thinking I was better than others. Now, don’t miss the message it is not the fault of these two people. It is my interpretation of the information. It was my action of burying these issues in my volcano that led to my self sabotaging behaviors and fear of success. I equated the success with the arrogance, conceited person who thought he was better than others I perceived being expressed by the young lady in my youth.

This issue stayed buried in my volcano for many years. I dealt with the surface issues of limiting myself and not taking too many risks because after all if I was successful or famous then they were right and I was arrogant. My self esteem, self confidence and self image were the real issues. Those issues led to my beliefs of worthiness. Meaning was I a person that was truly worthy of success? A physical representation of this would look like this.


Self sabotaging


Fear of success

Low self esteem




    by father

Fear of loss

Feeling unworthy



Now, the surface issues are creative in their manifestations. It could be different things for different people. That is what makes them so tricky. Those incidents or those statements may not show up that way for you. Your core issues could be something your parents implanted in your mind or a teacher or a best friend. It is amazing what we hold on to and what we discard. It seems to be indiscriminate, but its not. We take this core issues and we hold onto all the incidents that are similar. We remember the incident where we felt as though we were talking about ourselves to much. We have difficulty taking compliments because that does not fit in our character. That would make us arrogant. We discard the service and selfless acts we have done. The sacrifices we have made for friends and strangers alike.

This may seem like a daunting task to do for yourself but it is possible. The first step is to recognize and identify those surface issues and work backwards. Where did they come from? How did you come up with the ideas or rules you are living your life by. Are these rules helping you get what you desire or are they getting in the way?

Another good example from my life is the fact that I am a “pleaser.” I like to make others happy and I will sacrifice my happiness to ensure this for others. When I asked myself the question where did this come from I am reminded of an incident when I was about 6 years old. My mother and her friends were at the house having a party. Nothing spectacular but just having some drinks and sitting around talking. I wanted to be part of the group but I was too young of course. So, my way of getting their attention was to sing and dance around the living room where they were sitting. This was entertaining for them and I got the attention I wanted. This is one good example of how I wanted to be noticed and get attention. I was what was termed then a “latch key” kid. That simply meant my mom worked and there was no father in the house. So, after school I came home unlocked the door went inside and locked the door behind me. I was home alone until mom got off work or one of my older brothers came home. All of these incidents played into my issues of getting attention by pleasing others. I also had issues of abandonment since my father was not there. I discovered this by working backwards from my surface issues of self sabotaging my relationships and career.

Now, what do you do about it? One theory states that simply by being aware of something you change it. I believe this fact also. By simply becoming aware of your core issues you have changed them. They no longer have the hold on you that they had when they were hidden away in the closet. You can deal with them much more effectively now that you know about them.

You might be wondering what if I can not do that for myself. I don’t see my underlying issues. Then get some support. You can go to a good therapist, psychologist, pastor or good friend. You can meditate, contemplate or pray on the subject. Just be sure it is a safe place where you will not be judged and you can safely explore these issues. In other words make sure they adhere to the Hippocratic Oath of do no harm. Tell them to just listen without feedback unless you ask. If you are not ready for that much of a leap a good old fashioned journal would suffice. Write down your feelings on a daily basis and try to pinpoint their origins. It is a start and it is better than just ignoring these issues. These are some of the ways to get at the core issues. As you read on I will expose you to more ways to get at these core issues don’t be discourage. You will get there just read on.

Here are some basic steps you can try on your own or with the help of a trusted friend, counselor, pastor or therapist.

1.       Identify your self sabotaging behaviors or limiting beliefs.

These surface issues as like to call them are easy to spot if you stop and really think about it. Here are some common ones.

a.        Starting an argument with significant other over insignificant topics.

b.       Drinking too much or other addictions

c.        Jealousy

d.       Indebtedness

e.        Avoidance (of conflicts, people or places)

f.        Anger/ Violence

g.       Allowing others to treat you badly

h.       Reluctance to trust others

These are a few. I am sure you can come up with more. I know I can if I try.

2.       Work backwards and determine where do these behaviors stem from?

Can you recall incidents, places and people that reinforced the beliefs necessary for these issues to continue to come up? For me my avoidance and fear self sabotage came from my desire not to be arrogant. I was working to disprove a fact that did not exist. It was a statement that was made to me long ago that I interpreted to mean I could not succeed without believing or acting as if I was better that someone else. This can be better explained in the lives of several of my clients that have had the experience of making great strides in their personal development only to be told by those closest to them that they must think they are special now. This is another thing that makes personal improvement difficult for some. It is met with criticism and judgment of others many times. You must recognize that judgment is fear on both of your parts. Fear from the other persons perspective in that if you are making these changes it only reveals their lack of development even more. It is fear on your part that maybe they are right and you are arrogant to think you can undo all of your past by trying to change into something or somebody else. Let me tell you this and I hope if nothing else but this sticks with you it is of benefit. You are not undoing anything. You must take responsibility for all past actions. In taking responsibility you recognize that everything needed to happen as it did to make you who you are today. The strength comes in the knowledge that now you can shape your future in accordance with who you truly are. You can improve and be who you are meant to be and show others by deed and example the possibilities that lie within us all. Do not let the fear stop you from walking on this path.


3.       What is the lowest common denominator?

Is it fear? Is it loss? Is it the feeling of being undeserving? All of these are unresolved issues that will continue to cause surface issues until they are dealt with.


4.       Recognize you no longer desire these issues or rules to govern your life.

As I have quoted before it is believed by simply observing an object we change it. This is very true when it comes to our thoughts and feelings. By walking through these steps you have already partially disarmed the unresolved issue.


5.       Change the belief.

By now you have read several different techniques to do this but I will go over some of them as reminders


a.        Create a Time Travel Statement that confirms your new belief that the unresolved issue is now resolved. An example that I have used for the unresolved issue of feeling my success meant I was being arrogant is: “I know now that my mission to help others is genuine therefore I will do the work and more and more success will come to pass.” It is my way of giving myself permission to succeed and unblocking my paralyzing thoughts.

b.       Another rule I believe is that you change ideas by replacing them with better ideas. It is a paradigm shift or simply a change in your attitude. It costs nothing and takes as long as you wish for it to take. An example for me is that it is humble of me to commit my life to service and use my success to benefit as many others as I can. So as I succeed, I strive to do more so that I can serve more.

c.        One more is to think of four actions you can take very soon to reinforce what you want your new belief to be. After you list four things rate them from easiest to hardest. Then do the easiest one on the list. After you have done that one replace it with another action item and rate them, then do the easiest on the list and repeat as necessary.

d.       My favorite is a visualization technique. Visualize yourself somewhere peaceful. It can be a beach, a park or your backyard as long as it is someplace peaceful. Do this exercise someplace peaceful where you will not be disturbed. Now that you are relaxed I want you to imaging a cave in this peaceful place. Go to your peaceful place to relax seven different times, knowing your cave is there. Now, on the eighth time I want you to visit your cave. It is not dark there is a light in the cave. Inside the cave is someone you trust to respect and protect you. It can be Jesus, God, Buddha, Jon Smith, Oprah, Dr. Phil a trusted or imagined friend. It is your cave; just make sure you feel safe there. Go into the cave and talk to this trusted person about your unresolved issues. Ask them what they think and tell them what you think. Discuss what purpose the issue serves. Decide together you no longer need the issue to serve that purpose because you have learned to value yourself and can handle any new problems with your new tools and guidance. Thank them for the help and leave the cave when you are done. This is a great exercise. It allows you to access the wisdom of your soul. The answers you have that are deep inside will be discovered. This will empower you and encourage you for the future. You can visit the cave anytime and as many times as you like.


Now that you have learned to trace surface issues back to your unresolved issues or as I like to say as a parody of the credit card commercial. “What’s in your Volcano?” Now that you know, it is a liberating experience you can make informed decisions as to your future plans and goals. You can continue to strengthen your character because now it is not being affected by hidden issues. You are no longer the victim of Paralysis by Proxy. If the volcano erupts you can study it and determine what the cause was. You can plan for the future and ways to avoid further eruptions. This is one technique to shine some light on these issues.


Chapter Affirmation


I know now I can discover and neutralize past limiting core issues and replace them with powerful new beliefs that reinforce my true identity.

© 2010 tshigg

My Review

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I read about half and I do plan to read the rest later. I have to say, so far, your points are good--I am enjoying--and the form is very professional, but there are a lot of grammar mistakes and inconsistancies--such as with verb tense during the dream story. "I WAS doing this [past tense]... blah... Here COMES my boss [present tense]..." You see what I'm saying? If I weren't such a nitpicker, I could look past this and enjoy it SO much more. lol. But I do like this piece. The dream story made me laugh because it made me think of once when that happened to me. I was dreaming about being at church and the choir was singing "Hurt So Good", because it was on the radio in my room. lol. Anyway, your dream story is a great way to start the chapter. It drew me in. The only problems I spotted were the grammar issues and the informality with which this was written at some points, like using "Anyway..." as a transition word which I would peg as a no-no.

Posted 12 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


I accidentally submitted my review before I was done. =P I was just going to say that with some work, this could be extraordinary. Good start!

Posted 12 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

I read about half and I do plan to read the rest later. I have to say, so far, your points are good--I am enjoying--and the form is very professional, but there are a lot of grammar mistakes and inconsistancies--such as with verb tense during the dream story. "I WAS doing this [past tense]... blah... Here COMES my boss [present tense]..." You see what I'm saying? If I weren't such a nitpicker, I could look past this and enjoy it SO much more. lol. But I do like this piece. The dream story made me laugh because it made me think of once when that happened to me. I was dreaming about being at church and the choir was singing "Hurt So Good", because it was on the radio in my room. lol. Anyway, your dream story is a great way to start the chapter. It drew me in. The only problems I spotted were the grammar issues and the informality with which this was written at some points, like using "Anyway..." as a transition word which I would peg as a no-no.

Posted 12 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

this is good stuff, I would recommend this to others

thanks for sharing it here!

Posted 12 Years Ago

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3 Reviews
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Added on October 30, 2010
Last Updated on October 30, 2010
Tags: new techniques, success, self-help, psychology, spirituality



San Diego, CA

I am a writer on the path. I have just published my first book. I enjoy fiction, non-fiction, sci-fi, psychology and self help. more..

Hope Hope

A Poem by tshigg


A Poem by tshigg