Games for Mastering Fear
How to Play the Game of Life With Calm Confidence
L. Michael Hall, Ph.D. with Bobby G. Bodenhamer, D.Min.
This is a book about developing your own emotional intelligence about mastering your fears. To achieve that, we have made this book about NLP and Neuro-Semantics. To that extent, this is a book about state of the art techniques (patterns, processes, “games”) for developing an intelligent, courageous, and informed way for handling fearful objects, events, people, and ideas.
This book is also about learning the art of accessing the best kind of mind-body states so that your fears can be appropriate, useful, and empowering. Then you can use them to enrich your life and eliminate all those that only put you into a spin.
What will you learn in this book?
What new insights will you discover?
What new skills will you develop?
You will learn that emotions are just that–emotions. They are not absolute messages from Heaven about what to do. They only tell you the difference between how you have mapped the way things should go and your experience of the way things actually go. You will discover that you are more than your emotions. They make up a valuable part of you, but you are more them what you feel. And, feelings can misguide you.
You will learn about how to Quality Control your brain. After you detect an emotion, check out its accuracy and validity, then you still need to explore it in terms of its “ecology.”
* Does it really serve you?
* Does it enhance your life?
* Will it empower you as a person?
If not, then you will discover in these pages, how to turn down, minimize, reduce, or even eliminate unuseful, unproductive, and dehumanizing emotions. You will discover how to take control of the internal cinematic Feature Movies that you play in your mind. And there’s a lot more. You’ll learn the process for using your own mind and emotions for becoming more resourceful, courageous, focused, and congruent with your own values and visions. You’ll discover the sneaky and subtle way that “talk” (how you language things) can make life a living hell or a glorious paradise. You discover the structure of how to make life full of meaning and how to develop a great relationship to ideas.
How Do We Know this Approach Works
Does this model work? Has it worked in our lives? Does it work in the lives of those with whom we have worked?
The history behind Games for Mastering Fear began fifteen years ago when Dr. Bob and I first learned the NLP model. That’s when we first discovered some of the magic-like techniques in this book for vanquishing fear. Actually, it was my discovery that life-long fears and phobias could be resolved in a few minutes which took me into the field of NLP while still in a state of disbelief.
When I was first introduced to the so-called “Phobia Cure,” I didn’t believe it. Though a cognitive-behavioral psychologist, I really did not see how the process would work in the way described. When I first ever “ran the pattern” with a client, a delightful lady suffering from a phobia, I told her that I had recently come upon a new process and that I didn’t know if it would work, but if she was game, I’d like to give it a try. She was game. A few minutes later I asked her to get the phobia back, she could not. At that moment I’m sure that I was more shocked and surprised than she!
That continued for the next half a dozen times that I used the pattern. Each time I was sure that it would not work, not this time. Yet each time it did work. The individuals consistently experienced a transformation before my very eyes and would be unable to get the phobia back. Though I was still unconvinced, I was also totally captivated by the process. I had to know, “How does this work?” “What explains this incredible transformation?”
Those were the questions that originally led me to study NLP, to read everything in the field, and to be certified in NLP as a trainer. Bob had a similar story. He tells about how the field of NLP similarly entranced him and drew him forward to learn about the “magic” within the human mind and nervous system that could produce these kinds of results. His fascination even led him to change careers and to head off on an entirely different path, all the while seeking repeated demonstration that it works and that the transformations last.
Some years later, I discovered yet another model about the way the human mind and body creates its “realities.” It happened one day when I was researching resilient people who had the magic-like ability to bounce back from any trouble or trauma without getting traumatized in the first place. I called that model, Meta-States. Bob and I eventually initiated the creation of the field that’s now known as Neuro-Semantics( www.neurosemantics.com ).
Later, with Bob’s constant encouragement, I reformulated Meta-States (1995/2000) into Frame Games(2000). This refers to how we play the Games of our lives (what we say, feel, and do) with ourselves and others and how we do so according to our mental understandings of the Rules of the Game (the Frames). This has led to various application trainings and books, Games Business Experts Play (2001), Games Slim People Play (2001), and now this third one in the series of frame game books.
We tested the original materials on mastering fear using NLP and NS specifically through Bob’s presentation of this material at Gastonia College in North Carolina. He presented this material to adults under the course title, “Mastering All Your Fears.” Then I took it and formatted it into the Frame Games structure. That’s the story in a nutshell.
Who Should Read This Book?
We have written this book for anyone who struggles with fears, phobias, anxieties, or other negative emotions which keep one feeling worried, apprehensive, intimidated … afraid of life, afraid of yourself, afraid of your emotions. We have written it so that you get to continue the story as you discover and experience the “magic” yourself. That’s our hope. We hope for you that you will refuse the old Games and enter into new Games of Vitality and Courage and Confidence that will make all of your life an exciting adventure.
Do you need to know NLP or Neuro-Semantics to use this book to eliminate fears? No you don’t. Even though that would help immensely, it is not necessary.
Now on to the Games… to refusing the Old Games that have undermined your success, happiness, and resourcefulness, and onto the New Games that will make your life more magical and blessed!
Several people have helped to bring this manuscript into this present form. We thank them here for their insights and improvements. They have made the work clearer: Jim Polizzi, Debi Stevenson, and Cheryl Buffa. We are indebted to their passion for this work and their generosity.
Table of Contents
Preface – 5
PART I: Figuring Out the Games of Fear & Their Structure
Ch. 1 Games for Mastering Fear – 7
Ch. 2 Introducing the Fear Games – 19
Ch. 3 The Games of Fear – 39
Ch. 4 The Fight/Flight Game – 51
PART II: The Frame Games Model
Ch. 5 What in the World is a Frame Game? – 65
Ch. 6 Frames that Drive the Games – 105
Ch. 7 How to Play and Master Frame Games – 91
PART III: Resource Games for Mastering Fear
Ch. 8 The Relaxation Game – 105
Ch. 9 Leverage Games – 121
PART IV: Mastering Games for Transforming Fear
Ch. 10 Games for Producing New & Better Movies – 141
Ch. 11 Mastery Games to Make Fear Games Redundant – 171
Ch. 12 The Nominalization Game – 187
Ch. 13 Games for Mastering Meta-Fears – 195
PART V: Advanced Language Games for Mastering Fears
Ch. 14 The Games of Language for Mastering Fears – 225
Ch. 15 Games for Mastering Semantic Reaction Games – 347
Let the Games Begin – 263
Bibliography – 267
Glossary – 269
Trainings Available – 272
Authors – 274
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