Why you shouldn’t avoid your inner victim

Dr Friedemann inner victimNo one likes to be called a victim or seen this way, but let’s be honest, how many times during the course of a week do you feel like a victim?  As our lives are overtaken by busyness and obligations, and our to-do lists get longer and longer, a sense of uneasiness creeps in.

Regardless of how hard we try, the mountain of unfinished tasks seems to grow only larger, increasingly overshadowing our lives. At some point everything becomes too much and too difficult to handle, and we don’t know where to begin or what to do. From there, we’re just a hop, skip, and a jump away from feeling we’re a victim of circumstances. We interpret small mishaps and incidences—spilling a glass of milk, misplacing a bill, being cut off in traffic—as personal attacks by life or the universe that push us over the edge into the abyss of despair and powerlessness.

The inner victim, which is a part of our subconscious mind, gets triggered, when we feel powerless and unable to change the situation we’re in. We may feel victimized by our jobs, the economy, the government, the dog next door, our parents or our kids. Even our own emotions or our body, if they don’t comply and change, can become perpetrators, who assault and imprison us. It could be argued that there is a difference between imagined and real victimization. Every day countless people become the victims of child-abuse, domestic violence, bullying, harassment at work etc. The millions of refugees, who desperately search for a safe place to exist, are victims of brutal regimes that have no regard for human life.

Considering the suffering of others, it may be tempting to ignore and dismiss the victim aspect of our psyche as weak and pathetic. But assuming that our mind has evolved to serve us, the victim part must also have some purpose. The fact is, that no matter how easy or difficult, how safe or traumatic our lives have been, the intention of the inner victim is to protect us. It avoids danger by making us appear powerless and small, similar to a puppy that is rolling on its back to show its belly in the hope this gesture of submission will stop the aggressor from harming it. The victim can turn us into pleasers and martyrs, securing safety and acceptance through overdoing and over-giving to others. And it can protect us by quickly judging others as perpetrators that need to be pushed away through defensiveness, blame and accusations.

The problem with these protective patterns is that they can ultimately lead to self-victimization. We continuously give our power away to the past and those, who did us wrong. We become rigid and righteous in how we treat others and ourselves. We stay stuck in the notion that life isn’t fair and that we are bound to get hurt and betrayed again. Eventually, we may lose trust and hope for the future. Yet, the good news is, that if we identify and address its core-needs, we can to transform, empower and integrate the inner victim.

Listen to my Empowerment Radio Show and learn more about how you can heal this integral and yet often rejected part of your subconscious mind.  Call in at 888-418-6890 or use the chat box to ask any questions or share any insights you may have.

Monday, February 29th, 2016 Consciousness, Dr. Friedemann, Mind-Body-Spirit, Personal Breakthrough and Empowerment, Subconscious Mind Comments Off on Why you shouldn’t avoid your inner victim

Are there benefits to comparing yourself with others?

Do you have the ever alluring habit of comparing yourself with others?  Maybe you are envious of a colleague at work, who gets one promotion after another, while your efforts seem to be ignored. Or you wonder how your neighbor can afford that brand-new car, which makes your 5 year old sedan look like a beater. Or maybe you are stalking “the ex” on Facebook, only to find out that he or she has so much more fun since your relationship ended.  Isn’t it true that comparing ourselves with others is one of the surest ways to feel bad about ourselves and our lives? So why do we keep on doing it?

I don’t know about you, but when I grew up, my parents used to point out to me the kids that were better in school, played better piano, or were just nicer all around.  If they really wanted to get to me, they compared me to a boy from our little village, who was born in the same hospital just a few minutes after me.  They speculated, half-jokingly, there must have been a mix-up after delivery since this boy was so much politer, smarter and more diligent – you name it – than me. Thus early on I learned that in order to measure up and please those I cared about, I needed to keep an eye on the ”competition.”

I used to believe that comparing myself to those, who were doing better than me, would motivate me to work more and push harder.  Yet, since there was always someone who performed better than me, it was difficult to celebrate my own successes.  So not surprisingly, comparing myself with others, did more damage to my sense of self-worth and confidence than it helped building it.

I heard a man from India once saying that one of the reasons why people in the western world are more miserable than his compatriots was that we have learned to compare ourselves with those, who are “above” us, while Indians tends to measure themselves with those that are less fortunate.  I’m not sure if this kind of comparison is preferable, unless it leads to a sense of gratitude and also compassion for those, who are struggling.

However, what about using comparison as a way to learn from the mastery of others? Neuro-linguistic programming calls this approach modeling. The keys to successful modeling are open-mindedness, curiosity about the success strategies others are employing and most importantly a non-judgmental attitude. So next time, when you are tempted to entertain your mind with a round of comparing yourself to others, rather than letting yourself feel less than or inadequate, ask yourself, if there is anything about this person, you can learn from and model. I believe that we are here on earth to learn and evolve – which is why we are ultimately all students and teachers for one another.

Join me for my next empowerment radio-show and more about how you can use self-comparison as leverage for growth and empowerment.

Wednesday, July 15th, 2015 Conscious Mind, Consciousness, Emotional Balance, Personal Breakthrough and Empowerment, Self-Healing, Subconscious Mind Comments Off on Are there benefits to comparing yourself with others?

Can your intuition save you?

Towards the lightWhether you call it a gut feeling, inner voice or intuition, we all have an undeniable guidance system within us, which operates outside logic and reasoning. Did you ever “just know” that you should check on someone, only to find out that they needed your help? Or have you ever had a strong sense on your way to work, that you should go back to your house, and then discovered that you had forgotten to turn off the iron?

It was the 26th of September, 1983. Business as usual for Stanislaw Petrow, a high ranking Russian officer, who was in charge of a military section, which analyzed satellite images to detect and then if necessary respond to potential missile attacks from other countries. Then the unimaginable happened; a Sputnik satellite showed clearly that several rockets had been launched from the East Coast of the US, heading straight towards Russia. This was the sort of crisis situation Petrow had been prepared for and he knew what was expected of him: to immediately push the infamous red button and launch a nuclear counter-attack.

But something inside of this highly trained officer told him that they were dealing with a false alarm. He realized, that if he was wrong millions of his fellow countrymen would die – but he also knew, that a counter-attack would cost the lives of millions of innocent Americans. Nevertheless, he chose to trust his gut—his intuition.  After 13 minutes of anxious waiting he finally received confirmation that no hostile rockets were visible in the Russian sky. It turned out that reflections of the sun on low hanging clouds had created the false alarm.

There are many stories of people who are convinced that their inner warning voice had saved them or others from disaster. The problem is, how do you know when to listen to your intuition and when to listen to your rational mind? And how do you distinguish between your gut feeling and the anxious voice, which has been crying wolf way too often?

Join me for my upcoming empowerment radio show and learn more on how you can strengthen and harness your intuitive sense to navigate through life with greater ease and confidence.

Monday, May 18th, 2015 conscious awareness, Conscious Mind, Consciousness, Mind-Body-Spirit, Personal Breakthrough and Empowerment, Subconscious Mind Comments Off on Can your intuition save you?

The Empowered Self: The Self-Commitment Issue

balance near waterWhen was the last time you played hooky, because you didn’t feel like going to work? And how often do you forget to pick up your kids at school or feed your beloved pets? I bet almost never. Yet, how is your follow-through when it comes to reaching your personal goals or just taking care of yourself? If you’ve ever tried to lose those extra pounds or get into better shape through exercise, you may have had this experience.

Once you’ve reached your goal, amnesia sets in. Somehow, all the knowledge and positive habits you’ve acquired through hard work are pushed aside, making room for a pint of ice cream in the shopping cart or excuses for why you can’t work out that day. Lo and behold, the pounds reappear, the muscle tone disappears, and you find yourself right back where you started. Or you work through an empowering self-improvement program. At first, you’re energized, motivated, and committed to diligently apply all the insights and tools you’ve learned. But a couple of weeks later, you have a bad day, your energy dips, and your thoughts become negative. Eventually you give up, because “obviously” the program doesn’t work for you.

Why do we stop using the tools and empowering strategies that can help us to reach our goals and make us feel better? And why is it easier to stay committed to supporting others than ourselves? The word commitment may give you night sweats or cold feet.

Although you understand you need to commit to your health and happiness, you have a hard time subscribing to a specific routine. Life is too busy and your plate is already too full, and you can’t imagine adding one more chore to the have-to-do list.

On a deeper level, your subconscious mind may apply self-sabotaging patterns to prevent you from changing, since change and its unknowns can be scary. Or your subconscious blocks your efforts to protect you from possible failure, true to the motto: “you can’t fail if you don’t try.” All very understandable; however, there is a reason why self-commitment is the key to a growth and success.

Let’s say you work with a contractor, who assures you that the costs will definitely not exceed X amount of dollars, and he’ll easily complete the job in X amount of time. But along the way, your contractor tells you, that due to somehow unforeseeable complications the job will cost more and take longer than estimated. And then maybe one day the workers don’t show up, and the contractor doesn’t return your inquiring phone calls. How quickly would you lose trust and confidence in the person you’ve hired? When you decide to improve yourself, whether it is by going to the gym three times per week or starting to meditate for ten minutes before you go to bed, but then quickly discard your plans and abandon your good intentions, you are creating the same level of disappointment and distrust – just with yourself.

Don’t feel too bad, because most of us have been guilty of letting ourselves down. But we need to realize the damage we cause ourselves by doing so. Every time we go back on our word and break our self-commitment, we lose confidence and faith in ourselves―consciously and subconsciously. Our word holds no power. Since we don’t appear reliable and trustworthy to our subconscious mind, it may reactivate old, self-sabotaging patterns, which consequently make us feel even more stuck and insecure. Now the good news is that the opposite is also true. Consistency and commitment are some of the most potent forces for healing and growth. They signal to your subconscious mind, that you take control of your life and that you are serious about your goals. As your subconscious mind gains trust in your conscious decisions, it gradually shifts from its protection mode, into the wanting-to-please-you mode. In other words, it will provide you with its full support to reach your goals.

Commitment is the bridge to confidence. After all, confidence comes from the Latin word confidere, which means “to trust and have faith in.” And who better to trust and have faith in than ourselves? However, it’s difficult to commit to yourself if you consider it a chore or a sign that there is something wrong with you. However, if you approach your growth, self-improvement and well-being from a place of love and appreciation, you’ll open your heart to yourself more and more and, thus, make commitment the most precious gift you can give to yourself.

Sunday, April 12th, 2015 conscious awareness, Conscious Mind, Consciousness, Mind, Personal Breakthrough and Empowerment, Subconscious Mind Comments Off on The Empowered Self: The Self-Commitment Issue

Free teleseminar and last chance to save $100 on your breakthrough

People often ask me, why I left my career in cardiology and chose to focus on fear and anxiety. The short answer is: I know how bad it feels to be stuck in these emotions. Since I was a child I had been struggling with anxiety; I tried to manage these intense feelings by being a good boy, who is first in class and meets everyone’s expectations. I became a perfectionist and micro-manager, who didn’t want to leave anything up to chance. And when I felt completely powerless, I even tried to gain a sense of control through obsessive behaviors, which of course only made the anxiety worse. If you have been stuck in being anxious and afraid, you probably have been feeling at times as confused and overwhelmed as I did. And since most of your energy is dedicated to protect yourself from this feeling, you find yourself often exhausted and easily irritated; you may lack enthusiasm for life and feel disconnected from the people around you. You may start dealing with insomnia, chronic pain or other physical symptoms. Some studies suggest that more than 70% of doctor visits are due to anxiety related health issues. So why does fear and anxiety seem so difficult to overcome? In my practice and research I found that most people are held back from taking charge on healing their anxiety by a few misconceptions.


  • A biochemical problem, which requires medication
  • Genetically passed down from mother or father
  • Hard-wired in your brain and will never go away
  • A disorder or weakness, which needs to be fought
  • Very difficult to overcome

Join me for my Free Breakthrough Fear & Anxiety Teleseminar,

Saturday, March 28 from 10:00-11:30 AM PT /1:00-2:30 PM ET


  • The truth about fear and anxiety
  • Why you have what it takes to transform your life
  • How to use your subconscious to heal & empower yourself
  • An effective process to stop anxiety in its tracks
  • How you can breakthrough fear and anxiety in just 3 months

Here is your call-in information for the Free Breakthrough Teleseminar on
Saturday, March 28 from 10:00-11:30 AM PT.

Call 1-712-432-3066 Conference Code: 400386

Looking back at my childhood, I wish somebody would have explained to me then, what I know now about why and how our mind is creating fear and anxiety and showed me tools to overcome these challenges. So if you are ready to end your struggles with anxiety and create a stronger foundation of confidence and inner peace, take advantage of this free teleseminar.

If you are ready to overcome fear and anxiety for good then
Register by Monday, 3/16 for the upcoming Breakthrough and Empowerment
3 Month Video Webinar Intensive and save $100.

Click here for more information.

Monday, March 16th, 2015 Conscious Mind, Consciousness, depression, Mind-Body-Spirit, Personal Breakthrough and Empowerment Comments Off on Free teleseminar and last chance to save $100 on your breakthrough


Since the release of “The Fear and Anxiety Solution” people have been asking me, when I will offer a seminar on overcoming fear and anxiety. Many told me that while the book gave them new insights and tools on how to overcome their emotional challenges, it has been difficult for them to navigate through the maze of their minds on their own. I understand that and I agree, which is why I am excited to now offer The Fear and Anxiety Solution Live Video Webinar – Break Through to Healing and Empowerment in 95 Days, which will start on April 8.

Does this sound familiar to you?

  • You feel overwhelmed by fear and anxiety
  • Your worries and insecurities prevent you from doing what you really want
  • Your life is becoming smaller and smaller
  • Your negative emotions and panic attacks make you feel powerless and stuck
  • You’ve tried everything and nothing seems to work

If you have been struggling with anxiety, worry, insecurity or stress, you know that your natural reaction is to try to just get rid of these uncomfortable emotions. But you have probably also noticed that the more you fight your anxiety, the stronger it seems to get. Why? Because, similar to physical pain, you can’t just suppress the symptom –the solution is that you need to address its cause.

In this 3-month program you will learn how to identify, understand and heal the deeper subconscious root causes of your fear and anxiety, so that you can live your fullest potential. Are you ready to…?

  • Be free from past traumatic events
  • Create a new foundation of confidence and self-empowerment
  • Be calm and centered no matter what the circumstances
  • Have a deeper understanding and appreciation for the truth of who you are
  • Overcome oversensitivity
  • Experience a greater sense of wholeness and congruency
  • Enhance your relationships, career, health and overall well-being

Why this live video seminar can give you the breakthrough you’ve been waiting for? You probably agree, that one of the biggest challenges with fear and anxiety is, that it can make you feel isolated and confused. While everyone else seems to be able have it together, you are feeling more and more helpless and alone. And no matter how hard you try to make yourself feel better, your own mind seems to be too complex and confusing to make sense out of it. I have been helping thousands of people all over the world with my personal breakthrough and empowerment program to overcome their fear and anxiety. In this 3 month seminar, I will guide you step-by-step through this program and teach you how to take your power back and grow beyond your perceived limitations. And as you are working together with a group of people, who have been going through similar struggles as you do, you realize that you are no longer alone. In between sessions, you will connect with empowerment partners, so that you can support each other to implement what you learn in each segment and stay on track. What’s included in this 3-month program?

  1. Six 90-minute live interactive video breakthrough sessions (Wednesday 9 AM PT, noon ET)
  2. Preparation and integration exercises and self-empowerment tools
  3. Monthly 30-minute Q & A sessions (Saturdays 9 AM PT, noon ET)
  4. Recording of all seminars in case you can’t make it live and so you can revisit as often as you’d like
  5. 40 day empowerment….

Bonus: Be Free: Release Stress and Anxiety MP3 Price: $595 – If registered before March 15 $495 Are you ready to break through your fear and anxiety and create a strong foundation of confidence and inner peace? The click here (link needs to be added) to start your breakthrough. I am looking forward to helping you transform your life.

Thursday, February 12th, 2015 conscious awareness, Consciousness, Emotional Balance, Mind, Personal Breakthrough and Empowerment Comments Off on BREAK THROUGH TO HEALING AND EMPOWERMENT IN 95 DAYS


Closeup Mirror Reflection of a Woman's FaceYou probably have heard the saying: “What holds us back isn’t who we are, but who we think we are.”  Whether we perceive a situation as “failure” or just “feedback,” “obstacle” or “opportunity,” “no” or “not yet” depends largely on our beliefs. Some beliefs give us wings, unleash our creative genius and help us to dig deep when the going gets tough. Others can be the prison walls of our mind, which keep us locked in our imagined limitations. Don’t you admire those people, who exhibit a relentless drive towards reaching their goals and don’t even blink in the face of a set-back?

Take Russell Wilson as an example. Being only 5’11” he was told that he was too small to be successful player in the National Football League. Yet, he ignored the nay-sayers and continued to focus on pursuing the dream of his life. Last year, after only two years playing professional football, he became one of the youngest – and shortest– quarterbacks to win the Super Bowl with his team. In interviews he often credits his positive outlook, daily visualizations and his unwavering belief that despite his physical limitations he would be able to achieve greatness as the keys to his success.

So if beliefs can make the impossible reachable, why doesn’t everybody use empowering beliefs as leverage to success? On my personal journey and in working with my clients, I found that there are three common obstacles that can make changing limiting beliefs into empowering ones difficult:

We don’t know that we are trapped in a limiting belief

Beliefs are anchored on the level of the subconscious mind and act as filters that shape and usually distort our sense of reality. For example, if you have a belief that “you are a loser” you are more likely to interpret any obstacle in your way as a reason to give up. Or you may believe that “the world is harsh and unfriendly”; as a consequence you take every little criticism as a huge rejection, and ignore those people who love and adore you. If you have been seeing yourself or the world around you through these limiting filters for quite some time, you may not even realize that you are dealing with a warped perception of reality. I often hear people saying, “I don’t have any limiting beliefs; I just know that I can’t have what I want.” One way of identifying your limiting beliefs is to write down all your negative thoughts in the course of one week. You will notice that most of your thoughts circle around only two or three different topics. Ask yourself what you need to believe about these topics to think so negatively and you will have identified some of your limiting beliefs.

We don’t know how to choose a new belief

As a belief can shape our reality, it can also become our identity. And when you see yourself as a “loser” or the world as a “harsh and unfriendly place” it can be challenging to envision a more positive perspective. If you would choose to believe “I am a winner” or “everyone is friendly and kind” your subconscious mind would probably reject those beliefs as unrealistic fantasies. This is why it can be helpful to gently stretch your belief-system, rather than deflate yourself with too lofty ideas. So instead of calling yourself a “loser” you may decide to consider yourself as a “learner,” who is eager to grow and empower himself. And in regards to your relationship to the world around you, how about believing that “you will be a positive and healing force in it”? The goal is to expand your perception and stretch yourself out of the familiar comfort zone, while feeling motivated and excited to grow into the next bigger version of yourself.

We don’t feed our new beliefs

The greatest obstacle between an idea and its execution is doubt. Although you have decided to focus on a new, more empowering belief, you may doubt the validity of the new belief, while the familiar, limiting perspective of yourself appears still more realistic. The best way to alleviate this doubt is to collect supportive evidence that shows you that you possess the potential and inner resources to truly become the self you envision. For example to reinforce the notion of being a “learner” you can write down ten skills you acquired throughout your life, or ten times you have been facing challenges and what you have learned from dealing with them. In regards to being “a positive force in the world” you could ask the people that know you and care about you, what they love and appreciate about you. In looking for such supporting evidence, you will likely gain a broader, kinder, and more complete perspective of yourself and your potential.  

Having said all that, when it comes to changing our limiting beliefs, the single most important step is to accept that that nobody but ourselves can hold us back from growing into our empowered selves.

Friday, January 16th, 2015 conscious awareness, Conscious Mind, Consciousness, Emotional Balance, Positive Thinking, self-esteem Comments Off on THE EMPOWERED SELF SERIES PART 13: IS IT TIME TO UPGRADE YOUR BELIEFS?

The Empowered Self Series: Part 9 “How to Expand your Mental-Emotional Flexibility”

As babies we heavily relied on our innate mental and emotional flexibility. Birth alone already required us to quickly adjust to the dramatic changes of our environment and “life-style.” After nine months of free-floating in the cozy womb, the shock of suddenly having to deal with gravity, glaring lights and noisy people must have made many of us want to crawl right back into where we came from.  And that was only the beginning. New experiences of hunger, cold, hard surfaces and full diapers didn’t help to make this new reality more inviting. Yet, even though we may have felt rather helpless and dependent on others, our mind didn’t just give up in the face of these huge obstacles – and our obvious limitation. Tirelessly computing and analyzing the massive amount of internal and external information, we quickly figured out that we can use our voice to get attention, that we can move and alter the position of our bodies just on our own, and that we aren’t just an extension of our mothers, but that we have our own, separate identity. All of these tremendous accomplishments are testimonies to the innate emotional and mental flexibility of our minds. But then somehow most of us loose touch with this powerful inner resource.

Entering into my thirties, I didn’t see the value in being flexible. Who needs flexibility when you have a clear plan? And I had my life figured out. I worked in a well-known cardiology department at the University of Munich and aimed on steadily climbing the career ladder all the way to eventually becoming a professor there. Since basic research was a requirement to advance in academia, I was about to spend the next two years in a post-doctoral fellowship at the Max-Planck Institute in Munich, which to be honest I didn’t particularly look forward to. But you do what you have to do, right?

Well, two unexpected events wrecked my well thought-out plans – and changed my life for good.

One night, after an especially stressful day in the hospital, I suddenly got yanked out of my sleep. Drenched in sweat, heart pounding, barely able to slow down my breathing, I heard from somewhere deep within a somewhat pleading voice asking me: “Are you sure you want to do this for the next 35 years?”

In that moment I realized that I had been so rigidly aiming towards my ambitions, that I had completely dismissed and suppressed any emotional awareness around whether I was truly pursuing the right path. The truth heals – and initially it can be hard to swallow. Despite my best efforts to dismiss this event as simply a sign that I was a bit stressed out and overworked, I couldn’t shake off the question on whether I was truly on the right track in my life.

Interestingly enough, a few weeks later, I received the news that my research position at the Max-Planck Institute was no longer available due to funding issues. From one day to the next my career had come to a screeching halt. I could neither go back to the hospital, since I was about to start my two-year research break, nor did I have anywhere else to go.

So I went with my best friend to one of Munich’s famous beer-gardens to commiserate with her. It was there, sitting under ancient chestnut trees, sipping sadly on my stein, that all of the sudden the flexible part of my mind kicked back in. “What about going to America?” – was the thought that bubbled up seemingly out of nowhere, placing itself dead-center into the forefront of my mind.

How about you?  Do you consider your mind flexible or did it become rather rigid over the years? Since you may have not thought about this question until now, here are a few questions, which can give you an idea on whether your mind could use some “stretching” to gain its innate flexibility back:

Are you attached to your routines (how you get to work, where and what you eat, when and what you watch on TV, when you work out, what you wear…..)?

Do you get nervous or frustrated when things are not going to plan?

Are you afraid of trying out something new (because you may fail – or what others may think of you?)

Are you aware of your comfort zone – and does it tend to get smaller with the years?

Do you get easily bored?

Do you feel quickly overwhelmed when dealing with problems?

Do you resist life changes (aging, new job, kids growing-up, moving…)?

Do you have a strong sense of right and wrong – with not much room in the middle?

Were you ever told that you are judgmental or righteous?

Do you have a hard time forgiving others or letting go of the past?

Do you avoid taking risks?

If you agreed with more than 5 of these questions, chances are that your mind could use some stretching.

Listen to my next interview on empowerment radio and learn how you can regain mental-emotional flexibility, so that you can shift more easily from problems to solutions, from boredom to creativity, and obstacles to opportunities.

Sunday, September 21st, 2014 conscious awareness, Consciousness, Mind, Personal Breakthrough and Empowerment Comments Off on The Empowered Self Series: Part 9 “How to Expand your Mental-Emotional Flexibility”

The Empowered Self Series: Part 5 Owning the Past – How to Outgrow Your Emotional Baggage

5024174_sYou’re probably familiar with the encouraging saying “my past does not determine my future.” However, like for many people you may have also found that the opposite appears to be true. Traumatic events, disappointments, betrayals or embarrassments, no matter how long ago they occurred, can stick like superglue to your mind and keep you trapped in the past.

Wouldn’t you agree that most of your current anxieties and insecurities are rooted in experiences of your early years? You still feel small and nervous, when you talk to an authority figure. You don’t like to open your heart again, because you have been rejected too many times. Or you don’t fully commit to pursuing your goals, because your prior “failures” still haunt you. Emotional baggage can be one of the greatest obstacles and power-drains in our daily lives.

So why do we hold on to the past in the first place and why is it so difficult to let go and move on? Rationally, it would make more sense to be able to just focus on the present and if necessary plan for the future. However, it isn’t our rational, conscious mind, but our subconscious mind, which is in charge of filing away and storing all of our memories. And this deeper part of our mind firmly holds on to the past for three reasons:

1) To protect and to please:

The memory storage capacity of the subconscious mind is sheer unlimited. Countless moments during the course of our lives are registered, recorded and sorted away. Yet, obviously, not all of our experiences are “memorable,” otherwise the accumulation of data on the past would eventually overwhelm us. What makes the difference are the emotions that are attached to the memories. Negative emotions, such as anger, sadness, anxiety or shame indicate to the subconscious mind, that similar situations needs to be avoided in the future. If you have been bitten by a dog as child or got made fun of during a presentation in grammar school, chances are that petting “Fido” or giving a talk in front of your peers still cause you heart-racing and sweaty hands.

On the other hand, memories, which made us feel happy, excited or loved, are used as reference points to find and create more similar positive experiences.

In other words, the subconscious uses emotionally charged memories as filters to sift through the massive amount of data, that surrounds us at all times, to either keep us safe or bring more happiness in our lives.

2) To obey our instructions:

We all are provided with an innate ability to free ourselves immediately from “negative” feelings. As infants and toddlers, we don’t hesitate to strain our little vocal cords and vehemently express our discontent. As we grow up and learn that we’re more accepted when we control, suppress, or at least hide our feelings, we gradually “unlearn” the natural instinct to release emotional pressure. By the time we enter adulthood, most of us have lost sight of how to handle these feelings, other than shoving unpleasant emotions under the subconscious rug. Because our subconscious supports us like a faithful servant, it patiently continues to execute our conscious decision to shove our emotions underneath the proverbial rug, until we instruct it differently―or until we have stuffed it to capacity, and it forces us to address those emotions.

3) To make us learn and grow:

It’s a basic evolutionary principle: only when we continue to learn and grow can we survive and thrive. Since there isn’t yet much to grasp from the future and learning on the fly while dealing with the present may be too much to ask from most of us, our subconscious considers the past as the vast library of life. An interesting phenomenon we’ve all observed is that the lessons we learn from a negative event can be more profound than those learned from a pleasant or neutral encounter. From an evolutionary perspective, this makes sense. When it comes to sheer survival, experiences that cause us to feel anxious, hurt or ashamed are simply more important for our subconscious to store, process, and learn from.

However, while the protective aspect of our subconscious mind wants us to simply avoid similar negative experiences, another part continuously nudges us forward to grow and evolve – which is, for example, why we eventually succeeded in learning how to walk and talk, despite all the frustrations and pains we had to go through to get there. Many of the emotional charged events of the past, contain a deep-seated confusion about whether we are powerless or powerful, whether we need to just avoid certain circumstances or are able to grow beyond them.

So what has felt like emotional baggage from the past has actually a much more important purpose than to just haunt us and weigh us down. Unresolved anger, sadness or anxiety serve as signals, red flags marking the memories that still require our attention. Our subconscious mind holds onto these emotions until it’s safe and we are ready to address and resolve these events. Then we can understand the lessons and claim the growth potential that has been enclosed within these memories. Taking this notion further, you’ll come to a very empowering conclusion: the more unresolved emotional baggage you’ve stored in your subconscious, the more untapped potential awaits you.

When we understand how and why the subconscious mind keeps track and holds on to our memories, it becomes obvious, that we can’t just ignore our past, because it does determine our future. However, whether we repeat the patterns of the past or grow from them, is up to us.  Listen to my upcoming radio show and learn more about how you can use the power of your subconscious mind to heal and resolve the emotional baggage of the past. Listen to my upcoming radio show and learn more about how you can heal and resolve the emotional baggage of the past by growing from and beyond it.

Sunday, May 11th, 2014 Conscious Mind, Consciousness, Mind, Mind-Body-Spirit, Subconscious Mind Comments Off on The Empowered Self Series: Part 5 Owning the Past – How to Outgrow Your Emotional Baggage

The Empowered Self Series: Part 4 – The Essential Principles of Empowerment


If you have been feeling stuck and powerless for quite some time, you may have wondered, whether you have what it takes to create the positive change you desire or if this is just your “lot in life.”  Although playing the role of the invisible, the pleaser or micromanager may have provided you with a sense of safety and comfort, it also kept you in continuous survival mode. However, is the purpose of life to just get through it, or are we here to thrive with purpose, joy and fulfillment? Countless of my clients, who have been struggling with anxiety and insecurity, have proven to themselves that shifting from survival mode into empowerment isn’t a privilege for just a few chosen ones – it is our natural birthright.

But where to begin? I found that by simply understanding and accepting the following principles, you can already take the first step on the path to empowerment.

  • Our subconscious mind runs most aspects of our lives. Although we rely heavily on our intellectual, conscious mind, most of our daily activities are determined by our habits, our emotions and our beliefs, all of which stem from the subconscious mind.
  • The protective function of our subconscious mind is often based on programs and imprints from our childhood. When we are living in survival mode, our subconscious mind employs the same protective patterns it developed during our early years. These patterns, which are designed to keep us safe through avoidance, pleasing others or control, determine the boundaries of our comfort zones.
  • Self-empowerment and growth require for us to expand our comfort zone. Just as we wouldn’t take a road trip with a map from 1965, the journey of empowerment requires us to update our subconscious programming – and thus the boundaries of our comfort zone. Ultimately, it isn’t the size of our comfort zone that keeps us safe but the trust in our abilities to handle whatever life brings us.
  • Our subconscious mind needs a trusted leader and guide to change and evolve. Like a loyal servant our subconscious will continue to faithfully support us in the same proven ways that kept us safe for most of our lives, until it is instructed to do something different. It needs our conscious guidance to be able to In order to shift from survival into empowerment mode and thus fully utilize its potential.
  • Our subconscious mind responds to our thoughts with emotions. Negative self-talk is the most common reason why we are feeling anxious or insecure.
  • Our emotions determine how we perceive our reality. We can choose to switch from survival to thriving mode, when we are in charge of our thoughts and our emotions. This is why true empowerment requires the harmonious collaboration of our conscious and our subconscious mind.

Listen to this upcoming radio program and discover how these principles can help you to shift out of survival mode.


Sunday, April 13th, 2014 Conscious Mind, Consciousness, Personal Breakthrough and Empowerment Comments Off on The Empowered Self Series: Part 4 – The Essential Principles of Empowerment
Friedemann Schaub, M.D. Ph.D. e: [email protected] p: 1.866.903.MIND or 206.323.2762
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