It’s a strange thing.
Sigmund Freud is the famous one, but do you know which master of the unconscious mind has effected your life more?
His lesser known nephew Edward Bernaise.
Eddie, as he was known, was a devious, manipulative little shit.
He realized that by using his uncles theories he could devise masterful ways of selling people crap they didn’t need, that damaged their health, wasted their money, and took control of them like puppets.
Remind you of anyone?
I’m taking about you and me.
Take the following example:
In 1929 the American Tobacco Company hired Bernaise because they had a problem. Only men smoked cigarettes. Women didn’t.
They were losing 50% of their entire potential market.
And they wanted it.
So they asked Bernaise to devise a marketing strategy that appealed to the unconscious mind of women in America by creating a campaign that went to the heart of what they were truly passionate about.
The campaign that resulted from this re-branded cigarettes as, wait for it …
Torches of Freedom.
I was co-facilitating a group a few years ago when a woman came in who was stuck in a job that she hated and wanted desperately to leave. Within several minutes I knew that she was fighting an unconscious trauma from her past.
But I could also tell that she was not ready to go there.
Over the course of several weeks I watched other members of the group all attempt to coach her out of her fear so that she could transition into the life she really wanted. As people spoke, she nodded her head, said she understood, went back and forth, gained hope, lost it, and then fell back into offering excuses for why she couldn’t quit.
From the outside, it didn’t make sense. People were exasperated. Eyes rolled. Some participants, I could tell, just thought she was plain stupid. But I knew this wasn’t true and that something much deeper was at play. From the very beginning I could see that this transition point in her life was triggering a significant trauma from her past that was creating a powerful, undeniable emotional signal within her that screamed: “Stay put, and suffer in silence!
Because if you don’t, the consequences will be worse!”
What to do?