I’ve just made myself a HUGE pot of fresh turmeric, ginger and lemongrass tea, because this might take a while. So let’s begin: I did the Hoffman Process about a month ago and cannot tell you how much it has affected so many areas of my life, most of all my relationship with my parents and also the way I feel about myself. You see, I’m a mindset coach. I work with Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP) and help people get rid of their demons, traumas, anxieties and limiting beliefs. Now why would I of all people have to undergo such intense psychological treatment myself? The answer is simple: I’m a human being. I have an upbringing. I have a story. I am conditioned just like everyone else on this planet.
And this is where the Hoffman Process comes in: It’s about becoming aware of and break with your past conditioning. It’s about how you relate to your parents and what lessons you took from your relationship with them that are controlling your life today. Because, naturally, we all run on auto-pilot ALL THE TIME. Our brain would go crazy if they had to invent everything anew every moment in time. So it learns patterns: When A happens, then B follows. And it scans the environment according to these patterns to give meaning to our everyday life’s happening.
For example, if your dad was a noise-sensitive guy and grumpy in the morning while you’re a morning happy-go-lucky kind of personality, eventually there might have been a morning where your dad simply freaked out. You might have been singing or chatting at the breakfast table when he suddenly flipped and screamed at you to stop that terrible noise! As a 4-year-old you’re feeling punished, you’re feeling wrong, you’re feeling bad about yourself because you’ve upset dad. And this very moment might determine how you judge your own nature, your singing, or raising your opinion for the rest of your life! Because at this very moment in time you might have learned: When I sing or speak my mind, punishment follows. This means: I’m a bad person. I’m not good enough and my opinion doesn’t count. I’m wrong.
Of course objectively none of this is true. But it FELT true to you in the moment it happened. And this feeling can follow you around into your every relationship. I might come right into the office with you where you’re not speaking up against your boss, because you’re afraid of being punished. Because your opinion never mattered, and who would listen to you anyways?! You see, children up until the age of 7 are mainly FEELING beings. They feel very closely connected to their parents, naturally, because their very existence relies on them. Instinctively they fear abandonment, because abandonment means death in nature.
This is why they are super sensitive when it comes to their parents’ every emotion, because their life literally depends on it. So for a child ‘upsetting dad’ feels something like being death threatened. It’s existential. And so, as children, we’re naturally wired to do anything to please our parents, so that they won’t abandon us. It’s our natural instinct of survival. The rational mind isn’t that far developed at this age and even later on in life: It’s secondary. Because all that we’ve learned in these early years is securely stored in our subconscious mind. It drives our very behaviour when we’re angry at ourselves for not following through, not speaking up, or always getting involved with the ‘wrong’ partners. This childhood wiring literally affects ALL aspects of our lives without us even noticing. All day, every day! And once we begin to understand, we can also begin unwiring it. We can then get closer to who we truly are as individuals. Not who we became as a response to our parents, but our true essence which is our true power. It is where you shine YOUR light and nobody else’s!
Now many roads lead to Rome. You can do a lot of self-development this day and age. The internet is full of it. You can also get guided help by coaches or practitioners such as myself. Obviously, I believe that NLP is a wonderfully efficient tool to deal with childhood anchors, and to gain new perspectives to open up to new behaviours. That’s why I do what I do. But then there’s something else, and that’s the Hoffman Process. In hindsight, I’d say, it’s probably the most dense, profound and effective kind of psychological work I’ve ever done, and I’ve done a lot! I tried Hypnosis, Systemic Work, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Somatic Work… you name it. And all of those are good in their own right and helpful, yet none of these individually can even come close to what the Hoffman Process does in a week’s time! Not even NLP, haha
The secret is that it doesn’t let you get away with your sh*t! It makes you face it every waking moment during these 7 days. And this is where the importance of the group comes in: It’s CRUCIAL to your development! The group holds space for you in all that you’re going through in the process, and it also holds you accountable to yourself and your learning at all times. So you cannot but begin acting and responding differently than your former auto-pilot told you to. You’ll change your behaviour right then and there. You’ll instantly feel a difference in your emotional experience of self and other.
On top of it, the Hoffman Process literally is what it states to be: It’s a process. Making use of a multitude of different therapy methods combined in a way that one step builds upon the other, you’re guided through an experience that facilitates a most effective learning and healing journey. I remember question marks popping up in my head and I wanted to talk to a trainer about it. Yet every single time I wanted to walk up to her, my question was answered in the following exercise. The process does this. It raises your awareness and questioning of yourself, and it also helps you come to your own answers. The methods are drastic and all I can say is: Trust the process. At times you might think it absolutely insane, but if you’re really committed to changing something in your life, you take it on and roll with it. Because you’re doing it for YOU, and no one else. You give 100% for YOU, no matter how it looks to others. You’re doing it, because YOU ARE WORTH IT! And this is why it works.
Now, a month after the Process, so many things have changed. Especially the way I relate to my parents and all of us with each other has dramatically improved to a degree I’m not sure it’s ever been that good. There’s so much love flowing all around us now. At the same time, I feel much more independent from them. It might not seem it on social media, but the reason I went was because I found it difficult to stand my own ground or take position in life. There was a huge internal barrier that no other therapy seemed to address thoroughly enough for it to ‘go away’. Now don’t get me wrong: Your problems won’t go away through the Process. What happens is that you’ll begin to see and experience yourself differently so that you’ll begin responding to your problems in a different way. I sometimes almost feel an urge now to raise my opinion against someone else’s when before I was more of a conflict-avoidant type. It’s really interesting to see how things have changed and keep changing.
So after the Process, the process isn’t finished. It goes on. There will be good times and there will be bad times. But you’ll stand much stronger through all of it, because you have changed to become more of YOU. This in itself gives an enormous feeling of security and power. And the group stays with you on the way, which is the beauty of it. You’ve gone through such an intimate time together and rarely in life do you get to show yourself so purely and with all guards down to other people. This is why, naturally, you can make friends for life.
I wouldn’t hesitate a moment to recommend the Process to anyone, because it is near to impossible to walk out unchanged. It’s also a very challenging experience. You need to be ready to really open yourself up and be honest. No more BS, no more putting up a face. It’s all about stripping it down to your very core essence. Because only here can you find your REAL power and shine your true light. You need to be absolutely and 100% ready to make that change, not because someone told you to, but because YOU WANT TO. If you’re not ready, you’re likely not making it through and that would be a waste of money. It’s intense. And that is why it works. So if you’re ready to make a real commitment to yourself, then GO!