Psychological ‘Junk Food’ – or a Healthy Diet?

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As you probably know, Powerchange focuses not merely on external behavioural change, as the standard life-coaching and CBT models tend to, but on the underlying Auto-Response systems of a client’s life. Whilst much of the ‘Success’ industry feeds its ever more desperate junkies with addictive ‘success fast-food’ and turns its back as they become psychologically obese, we’ve been taking a different tack, digging ever deeper to uncover more of ‘how human beings are designed to work’, as we put it. We spend time explaining to our clients HOW thinking works, HOW it is that they have been unsuccessful in the past, and HOW it is that they were unable to follow through despite being so committed, determined and motivated. Consuming psychological junk food will make you fatter and hungrier, but not happier.


Just like the ‘burger meals’ on the street, psychological junk food is very expensive, with people forking out huge sums for what they believe to be ‘the answer’, only for their success to be sabotaged by another part of their psychological system – and the unnerving suspicion that they’ve been taken for a ride.

We’re not alone.

We recently were introduced to the work of Dr Robert Kegan and Dr Lisa Lahey at Harvard’s Graduate School of Education, and found that many of the principles they and we have been working to over the last decade are highly complementary. Whilst having a conversation over lunch with Mary Orr, Professor in Southampton University’s School of Humanities, we were again aware of the importance of working collaboratively with those deeper inner drives that make us human beings what we are. Mentally healthy people honour the essential ingredients, the staples of psychological long-term health, the fresh vegetables of human well-being. Among other key qualities of character, we deem these to be the pursuit of truth and integrity. Without these essential vitamins, individuals – and the societies they make up – become diseased, corrupt, poor and sick. The subjection of that natural desire to live with the freedom self-sustaining truth and integrity brings eventually means that the essence of our communities dies of a kind of ‘values starvation’. People stop believing and trusting one another.  When seeking truth goes, trust goes too – and society with it. Noticed?

I guess none of us would pretend that we know it all, but we do know that confidence and self-trust are wrapped up in knowing deep down that we are trustworthy, that YOU can trust YOU, a key foundation stone for a truly successful future. People who have high integrity levels experience massive inner strength, and they can use that to power their own change.

Do I always live with integrity? No.

Although seeking truth and living with integrity are pursuits, in order to meet my own current standards of integrity I must answer ‘no’ to that question. No, not always. Am I always truthful?  I’d like to say yes, but no, not that either. Am I pursuing those as desires for my life. I can say an honest YES to that one, and am pleased to say that I’m getting more honest at a deeper level, not least with myself. Do they work as foundation stones that help me to feel secure and safe – a trustworthy launchpad for what I do and teach? Absolutely. Unlike my physical body that is naturally weaker than when I was twenty one, the core of my psychological life is probably stronger than it has ever been.

What about you?

My clients live more fulfilling and successful lives because of my invitation to discover the truth about themselves through Powerchange coaching. For many it is a very rewarding positive ‘shock’ to find out just how valuable they are! The coaching we provide will take you into a much better place personally, regardless of whether you end up with the touted millions deemed to be evidence of success by other coaches using other methods. The people we are now working with suddenly realise that they can live a healthy psychological life free of the ‘junk food’ that has become embedded into the mental eating habits of their life and work. They may have consumed much of it over the years and are fed up with it. They are redefining success. And yes, we DO discover those well-intentioned assumptions, attitudes and behaviours that are pulling them away from where they sincerely want to go.  Together we sort those out too, so that those inner values become an unstoppable vibrant engine of personal power and freedom.  If that’s what you want really, you know what to do!

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