7 Ways To Control Your Programming

By Ellesse

Since realizing that I was unconsciously “programming” my little niece, I’ve been pretty wary about how I’m interacting with her. Young children are just like sponges and will absorb almost anything we feed into them. They don’t have the filters to differentiate what’s right and wrong and having to correct those improper ones when they’re grown up can be quite an excruciating experience. Not to mention the embarrassment at times.

I used to have this University ex-hostel mate. A brilliant straight-As student. When she was still in junior high school, she got this impression – most likely from her parents – that if a boy and a girl “slept together”, the girl would be pregnant. Well, theoretically she was right, wasn’t she? But apparently her parents omitted the “important prerequisite” for the pregnancy. One day when she went to a school camp, she was so worried the whole night if she would be pregnant the next day that she didn’t sleep well! The whole class of boys and girls slept in the same vacated classroom! Ha ha!

anchoring self hypnosis affirmations positive selftalk profiling
Not many people can be so upfront with their improper beliefs like she did. Talk about it to her friends. Laugh it off as a joke. And develop new beliefs to replace it. Most chose to ignore and let the issue snowball. Some, like my sister, wasn’t even aware of it.

In my opinion, revamping our deep seated negative beliefs and thoughts is necessary. But what’s even more important, is to curb the inflow of lack programming. Otherwise, no matter how much correction you do, you’ll constantly find yourself in a continuous, never ending truckload of negativity & lack.

So what else can you do besides watching what you say or do, censoring your information sources, reviewing your habits and be mindful of the people you hang around with? Here are some other ideas.

(1) Anchoring

This is the same approach I’ve used to condition my niece. It associates a stimuli – either an action or sense – with a particular thought or emotion. In the case of my niece, my rummaging in the bag is a stimuli. The lingering sweet taste of the candy is the thought. In the 1890s, Nobel Laurette, Ivan Pavlov did a similar experiment. He rang a bell as some dogs were given food laced with chilli powder and the moment the dogs saw it, they salivated. After a couple of repeated actions, Pavlov was able to induce the dogs to salivate just by ringing the bell alone!

Now, if anchoring has the power to make my niece run across the hallway for an imaginary piece of candy, chances are you can create your own feel good designer anchors and activate them whenever you want. Especially if you’re in need of a positive boost.

Let’s use an example. Assuming you want to recreate the rush-in-the-adrenaline “ah ha” feeling you often get after reading an inspirational story,

  • First, decide on an anchor to activate this feeling. Such as clutching your fingers into a tight fist.
  • Refresh your memory of the “ah ha” feeling. If you have problems recalling it, pick up an inspirational story book and re-read it.
  • As the sensation gets vivid and reaches its peak, immediately clutch your fingers
  • Then release the tension on your fingers as it begins to wear down. Otherwise, you may be also associating the anchor to a draining adrenaline loss if you keep holding on to the tension.
  • Once the feeling is totally gone, relax in a count of 10.
  • Repeat the steps above to make sure the anchoring stays.
  • Test it out!

I was giving this anchoring method a test drive at the point of writing this article. During the anchoring process, I was constantly practicing it with my right hand and it works wonderfully. When I tried the same using my left hand, hey but I don’t get the same feeling at all. Interesting.

Go ahead. Give it a try.

(2) Affirmations or Positive Self Talk

By constantly repeating a positive statement to yourself everyday, you hammer a thought, condition or feeling into your subconscious mind, inducing it to believe as true. To do this, you need a piece of paper, a dash of creativity and not to forget, a continuous flow of emotions and persistence :

  • Write down the phrase “I am so happy “ on the paper.
  • Continue writing the condition or feelings you want to achieve. Something like this :
    “I am so happy that I am now achieving total success in every aspect of my life. Good health, true happiness and money flows into my life in an easy, relaxed and positive way.”
  • Feel free to add your goals into the statement if you want. Some people gets very positive vibes whenever they dream or talk about their goals. You may be one of them.
  • Take out this piece of paper and read the statement to yourself loudly and emotionally every morning and evening

I had a chance to play around with affirmations many years ago and frankly, I didn’t have had much good results with it. Reading the statement out loud every night felt like a chore as I wasn’t able to summon strong emotions and feel for the words. Sometimes, I even forget to read them! Spicing up the process by listening to motivational music helped, but over the course of the year, I’ve found an easier and more effective way to work with affirmations. That is, reading it via Dr Lens’ approach, also known as the Hoponopono method. I’ve briefly mentioned this method in a previous article.
Through the use of 4 simple phrases during my daily chanting prayers, I was often able to invoke positive emotions pretty easily. I guess reciting the phrases towards someone with a spiritual connection allows me to take accountability for my problems, seek forgiveness, express gratitude & love at the same time, all of which are pretty powerful sensations. There were times when I could literally feel a shudder running through my spine. You’ll feel as if you’ve just confided in someone, letting go of the truckloads of negative emotions within you to make way for the positive ones. And yes, I usually get pumped up and reinvigorated afterwards.

(3) Self Hypnosis

Even though I’ve yet to achieve great results with self hypnosis, many people have reported huge success with it. They use it to lose weight, quit smoking and some even use it to increase their self esteem! Sounds incredible, isn’t it?

Self hypnosis can be pretty similar to affirmations in that you run suggestions and positive statements through your mind everyday. The difference is, you do it in a sleepy or trance like state often conducted via the hypnotist’s voice in a tape. It’s believed that the mind is less likely to resist the suggestions during a semi conscious state, making it easier to alter one’s consciousness.

Sometimes, the hypnosis can also put you into an imaginary setting so that you’re able to draw certain observations from your interaction with the situation. For example, I remembered listening to a hypnosis tape to help me predict how I would fare 10 years’ later. The speaker led me into an imaginary woods to locate a house and asked me to describe it to myself. “The house will be your home in the future” he said. I was subsequently asked to step into the house to greet the future “me” and my family.

And you know what I saw? I saw myself dressed in a house dress with my “husband”. Gee, I thought I really looked like a housewife. The other funny thing was, the guy who was supposed to be my “husband” looked like someone I was admiring at that time! Ha ha. Though I can’t imagine myself being a housewife and the “husband” whom I was supposed to be with is now happily attached to someone else, the whole self hypnosis experience was quite fun.

However, it’s important to note that no one can be “hypnotized” against his own will. That means, if you’ve bought a self hypnosis tape thinking that it wouldn’t help, chances are, it wouldn’t. Because, the effect of hypnosis really depends on your motivation, willingness and faith to make it work for you.

If you’re interested to learn more about self hypnosis and find out if it works for you, try signing up for this free 5 day online eCourse to get free hypnosis lessons, audio samples, worksheets and even a trance script in your email.

(4) Profiling

I’m sure you’ve heard of this. If you want to be successful, emulate the ones who are there because success leaves clues. That’s the principle behind profiling. Say you want to play tennis as well as Roger Federer, you can read his autobiography, watch his every matches, analyze his strokes and factor them into your own practice. While reading and watching more about him, you begin to adopt as many of the habits that lead to his success as an accomplished tennis player. In other words, you play copycat.

Profiling can be a rather powerful programming technique. But like all approaches described, it’s also a double edge sword. Drawing a line between picking up only the good habits versus idol worshipping can be a challenge for people who constantly like to use profiling to program themselves. I know that’s ironical but it’s true. For example, haven’t you seen young people smoking pot because their glamourous celebrities in Hollywood do it as well? Or young achievers sinking into complacency because their idols fall for it too?

(5) Vision Board

Many people thought Vision Boards are just for physical goals. But if you recall my Vision Board experiment, positive emotions can also be included in it as well. For example, under the Health & Fitness section of my Vision Board, I’ve used a picture of a man jumping into the air to signify the vitality associated with good sleep and regular exercise. To make that feeling even more obvious, I attached the affirmation “I Feel Healthy and Energetic After Sleeping Well and Exercising Regularly” to that.

I’ve personally derived a lot of fun from my Vision Board experiment and would strongly recommend this approach to anyone who’s keen to give add a little positivity in your life without losing all the joy. Do refer to one my earlier articles How I Create My Vision Board – Revealed! if you need help with creating your own Vision Board.

(6) Gratitude Journaling

Do you know that being grateful for the little things you possess in life can actually increase your happiness level by 25%? In an exclusive interview with, Professor Robert Emmons revealed this finding in his 2003 paper.

In his research, more than a hundred people were asked to keep a journal and subsequently separated into 3 different groups. The first group was asked to write about anything they felt grateful about. The second, on issues that they felt disturbing and irritating. And the last, on matters that had a great impact on them. After 3 rounds of experiments and analysis, people in the 1st group were concluded to enjoy a higher level of general well being than the other 2 groups! They slept better, exercised more and had better expectations of the week ahead.

On hindsight, it’s not difficult to understand why. When one’s always complaining, he’s constantly engaging his mind to think of how life has been unjust to him, totally clouding the possibility that he can breakthrough this with a bit of effort. Sometimes, sticking your head out for a breath of fresh air by just focusing on your “haves” rather than your “don’t haves” will let you see things in a totally different perspective. Remember, when you start changing what you see, the things you see change.

I don’t keep a personal gratitude journal but am seriously tempted to do so now!

(7) Masterminding

When I first wrote The Beginner’s Guide To Mastermind Groups, I belong to 2 teams which were more of the open and communicative style. One was structured as a members only forum and whoever has a question, can raise it to the floor. The other was confined to email correspondences. Even though both groups were very much dormant now, during the times when they were active, one of the first things I would do everyday was to login to the forum or my email to check if there were any new ideas or case studies reported by the teams.

It was very inspiring to hear of any successes. Especially those that came about as a result of the group. Because it proved one thing. If they could do it, so could I. The only question was, how? And my mind would be so focused on brainstorming the followup strategies that I didn’t have much bandwidth left for brooding over negative stuff.

** Photo By Derrick T


12 Responses to “7 Ways To Control Your Programming”

  1. Erin Melnick - Modern & Millions Maven at 6:37 pm

    Dear Ellesse,

    Thank you for this post – it’s a great recap of many of the tools recommended by many of the top personal development coaches.

    The subconscious mind is a powerful manifester though, a creator of present reality, which holds tightly onto the limiting beliefs that we all have about ourselves, our circumstances and our capabilities. It’s these limiting beliefs that cause us to self-sabotage and stand in the way of our own achievement of our goals and dreams.

    It’s one thing to recognize what some of these negative beliefs are that we have about ourselves (and perhaps how we acquired them), but quite another to learn how to release them. Simplified, it’s a decision that we make not to carry our stories forward any longer … but this is easier said than done, especially without personal coaching.

    There is one great free resource that I know about in this regard, but this is not the proper avenue for an introduction to it. Instead, I’d like to tell you the question that I ask myself multiple times per day to keep motivated, focused and in the “I can” mindset, rather than the “why I can’t” mindset, and here it is: “How can I be my most powerful right now?”

    Try it … the answers that come will surprise you, and maybe even intimidate you, but whatever the answer, go for it!


    Erin Thoms Melnick
    Modern & Millions Maven

  2. Andrea Hess | Empowered Soul Blog at 1:18 am

    All excellent suggestions, Ellesse! I think one of the most important things, though, is to become aware of our programming so that we can change it … otherwise, we’re just putting new programs on top of old, right?

    How much do you think consciousness of existing programming plays into our ability to “reprogram” ourselves? Do we have to understand the existing beliefs? Where they come from? Or merely know they exist within ourselves? I’d love to hear your take on this!


  3. Ric Franzi at 2:16 am

    I agree with your points and have found that people program themselves to negative self images. It may start as external stimuli but once it takes root in your own self preception it is very hard to change.

    Surrounding yourself with positive people who know you and support your growth is a key to changing.

    Ric Franzi
    Executive Forums North Orange County

  4. Ellesse at 5:39 am

    @Erin While it’s true that knowing about our limited negative beliefs and learning how to release this can be a totally different matter altogether, I’m glad that you’ve offered a great tip for our readers to start off with. Thanks! And feel free to quote the reference to the resource. I’m always happy to introduce great, especially free resources to my readers!

    @Andrea Oh boy, can I always count on you to add some valuable insights in the comment sections! I absolutely agree with you that one of the main reasons from knowing about our programming and its origin is to help us change it. There’s no question about it. And I do wish to correct myself if my article has given any indication that it’s not crucial at all. BUt a very important issue that I think should be considered as well is whilst such negative beliefs are being replaced, are we curbing new negative beliefs from forming that may well sabotage the replacement process?

    Let me quote an example. Assuming that Peter is aware that his negative beliefs about money (is that he had to be underhanded and play office politics to command a higher salary) is kind of sabotaging him from negotiating better pay packages with his bosses. He’s deploying approaches to correct them, as per recommended by his coach. At the same time, he’s constantly surrounded by friends who’re earning good salaries at the expense of time with their family. Wouldn’t it sabotage his efforts to replace his negative money beliefs if he’s very much a family man? What if he’s connected to a mastermind group (not necessary an official one) who’ve the same focus to work for higher salaries and they’re constantly sharing success stories with each other?

    In a way, negative beliefs are like computer viruses in our brains. To remove them, we’ve to turn off the Internet or sources that could introduce new viruses and then do a through scan. The turning off of the Internet or sources, in my opinion is the gradual limiting the sources of lack programming. Alas, in real life, it’s seemingly impossible to totally cut off such influences. For example, I can’t refrain from talking to my mother even if I know she’s has a part to play in introducing some negative beliefs in me. Haha. So, what I can do is to inject more positive programming through the use of the hoponopono method or the Vision Board.

    Thanks for your great comments! I’m loving the discussion…

    @Ric Welcome! You’re right, a good start to changing is to surround with positive friends. I noticed Executive Forums and it seems to be a good platform for that. Can you give us a brief introduction about it? Is it something like a mastermind group?

  5. Erin Melnick - Modern & Millions Maven at 1:13 pm

    Dear Ellesse,

    I am so thankful to you for taking the time to personally respond to all the people that post comments, Ellesee. You are 1st class, and though I’d never presume to speak on behalf of the rest of your readers, please know that your personal attention is so appreciated.

    The free resource that I mentioned about is a 4-part mp3 audio series (or perhaps I should say 4 recorded hours) and corresponding pdf workbook published by David Neagle, Million Dollar Income Acceleration Coach.

    It’s free to download from his site, and so many people that I have recommend this program to have emailed or called to thank me, because they finally begin to realize how they’ve been holding themselves back, and have been given the tools to identify and break free of their limiting beliefs.

    I suggest that people commit to listening to the first hour-long mp3, and ask themselves if it resonates with them. This way, you’ve simply committed to an hour, and if you decide not to continue, you will still have learned something about yourself. No need to feel daunted for the 4-hours, but I do love to recommend this resource just because it is soooo content-rich.

    The direct link to this program on David’s site is:

    Thank you for the invitation to post this resource Ellesse!



    Erin Thoms Melnick
    Modern & Millions Maven

  6. Ellesse at 2:58 am

    @Erin you’re so kind! Personally I really appreciate all my readers esp those like yourself, Andrea, Ric and many others who’ve taken the extra mile to leave a comment. The least I can do to repay your gratitude is to try to get back to each and everyone of you, as much as I can.

    No, I should thank you instead for introducing such an awesome free resource! I’ve already signed up for the audios myself. Hehe.

    Stay cool as always…

  7. make children successful at 11:39 am

    I am very much thankful to you Ellesse. Your words reminded me certain things of my past life when I was small. This is a story where we make our kids go wrong with certain activities we perform.

    We had a dog named “Scissor”, while me and my father was sitting on a sofa scissor got on to my father and started licking. My father kicked him and then I too did the same. This is how kids get reflected with our activities… I got a handful of CD’s and books where in I got a huge king of information as, how to make children successful. Train them during their childhood and much more…

  8. sterling | bizlift blog at 6:44 am

    Thank you for the tips. I admire how open you are about your, and wish everyone were as aware of their influence on children as you are.

    I purchased some hypnosis audio files from that I’ve been happy with. I also love my vision board.

    Haven’t tried masterminding, and look forward to learning more about it through the link.

  9. Ellesse at 2:25 am

    @Make Children Successful, you’re absolutely right on that! Whenever I heard my niece say hateful or rude words, I noticed that she was merely repeating what her mum or even myself said at times. Children are so susceptible to influences that the best time to inculcate good values and attitudes to them is when they’re very young. Sadly, a lot of people didn’t know the impact and often tried to “discipline” their kids when they’re into their teens. By that time, a lot of the programming would have gone so deep rooted that unless the teen genuinely wants to change, it’s much more difficult to influence them then.

    @Sterling, thanks for the kind words! I hope my article is able to raise some awareness on that! Btw, would you like to share some of your experience with self hypnosis? How has it helped with your programming?

    My short stint with self hypnosis was kind of hilarious. I didn’t know if that’s my deepest thoughts. That I actually wanted to be a housewife! Haha. I’m thinking of kickstarting a 30 day experiment on self hypnosis. So hearing about your experience will greatly help me and other readers who are keen to give this a(nother) go.

    Masterminding is very very highly recommended! Although these methods that I’ve mentioned in my article seems independent of each other, anyone can employ two or more of the methods at the same time. Personally, I use at least 3 of them together now.

  10. sterling | bizlift blog at 5:31 am

    @Ellesse, thank you for your interest. I tried a bit of self-hypnosis through a book/audio set several years ago, but lost it while moving. Now the tools I use are more “guided” than “self” hypnosis.

    I purchased a few audiobook from The first was “Deep Sleep Every Night” that definitely helps me fall asleep. Other titles include “Detox Your Mind” and “Create Unlimited Financial Abundance”.

    In the afternoons when I’m dragging and need a recharge, I’ll lie down and do a 30-minute session on my ipod. It’s better than taking a nap.

    Although the hypnotic suggestions are general like banishing fear, some of the sessions invite you to personalize the experience by picking your own issues.

    I love your idea of using multiple methods at the same time.

  11. Ellesse at 3:26 am

    @Sterling Awesome! You’ve given me a very good overview of the hypnosis process.

    One thing I’ve noticed with all the methods, be it guided/self hypnosis, masterminding or even anchoring is that it has to be done on a consistent basis to have any impressionable effect. More importantly, you’ve got to have the faith that it WILL work for you. Otherwise, you’ll just be jumping from one method to another, without experiencing any real benefits.

    And embarrassingly, I’m often caught up in such cycles too.

  12. Inspiring Stories at 10:32 am

    I tried listening to listening to affirmations while falling asleep. I think our subconscious still hear while we are asleep. Things seems to be working out. Since I started one month plus ago, things seems to be better.


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