Dysfunctional families come in all shapes, sizes and mixtures.  It really doesn’t matter whether you are divorced or single parent or blended family, one of the results of being raised in a dysfunctional family is often an underlying lack of confidence, or lack of ability to feel good about yourself.  Despite high accomplishment in career or some other area of life, many coaching clients find Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) can make a huge difference in raising self-esteem and confidence.  Clients  push through old barriers to personal and professional success.

Beating the Dysfunctional Family Syndromes with NLP

Though coaching is not therapy, and therapy is a very important aspect of healing from issues of dysfunctional families, coaching is the avenue that assists people in getting out of the issues.  With coaching clients have the support to rise above what stopped them in the past.

Many very accomplished people have  benefited from coaching to raise confidence and self-esteem, as well as improve their productivity and fulfillment in many areas of life.  Despite high achievement, and due to the symdromes some suffer due dysfunctional family history, people you would think “have it all together” may actually be overcompensating for feeling inadequate on the inside.  In fact they minimize their achievements — don’t see them as important or any “big deal,” despite the fact that the respect, recognition and admiration of others continues to come their way.

Let’s look at some of the common characteristics of dysfunctional families are many, and what is written here (below) is by no means a thorough list, but it is a significant set of challenges often experienced.

#1 – Addiction of some kind (most often alcohol or drugs, but workaholism, food addiction and obesity, even gambling, over-the-top sexual activity and shopping into bankruptcy are included here)

#2 – Control of a specific family member exerted on others in the family – to the point of being unreasonable, sometimes even harmful, stunting and bordering on family members feeling like they are captive.

#3 – Unpredictability and Fear – often there is unpredictable financial matters, emotional blow ups and the common feeling that when things are good, it’s only a matter of time before the proverbial “other shoe drops” and Daddy gets drunk again.

#4 – Conflict – while many families experience conflict, in dysfunctional families conflict seems almost constant and heated.  There may be an ongoing sense of resentment that seems to pervade relationships in a dysfunctional family, and in some cases anger and resentment that cannot be expressed openly for fear of ruffling feathers may well be hidden in passive-aggressive types of behavior.

#5 – Abuse may show itself as either physical or emotional (put downs, name calling, criticism) or it may be both. Worse still is emotional abuse during the physical abuse.

#6 – Perfectionism bespeaks of expectations that are not realistic and often children in dysfunctional families may be A+++ students and “perfect little angels” precisely because they feel they need to be perfect to get their parents to love them.

#7 – Poor Communication – you would think it obvious from all of the above characteristics, and communication within dysfunctional families is often strained, or it may not even exist.  Issues (particularly those of abuse, disrespect, terrible arguments never resolved, and neglect) are often swept under the rug.

#8 – Poor personal boundaries.  Often clients will complain how they feel as though they are “people pleasers” and they don’t want to “make waves.”  Typically, because of so much conflict growing up in the family, they avoid conflict as adults and they seem to avoid it by continually putting their needs and opinions last.  This syndrome (an aspect of codependency) is insidious and most suffer from extreme resentments because they never really stand up for themselves.

So what is NLP?  How can NLP help you make changes?

NLP is a method, set of techniques, or personal development system first developed in the early 1970s by psychologist Richard Bandler and linquist John Grinder in association with Gregory Bateson (British anthropologist and social scientist).

NLP uses a toolbox of strategies, axioms and beliefs about human communication, perception and subjective experience. The core principle is that an individual’s thoughts, gestures and words interact to create their perception of the world. By changing their outlook, using a variety of techniques, a person can improve their attitudes and actions.

NLP teaches that a person can develop successful habits by amplifying helpful behaviors and diminishing negative ones. Positive change can come when one carefully reproduces the behaviors and beliefs of successful people (called ‘modeling’). It also states that all human beings have all the resources necessary for success within themselves.

NLP techniques may be used in group trainings, seminars, or individual consultations. Practitioners deal with personal issues like framing negative beliefs, dealing with stage fright and simple phobias or depression.  Adherents may take up NLP as a skill set for coaching, consulting, or counseling. Trainers may mix NLP techniques with ideas about motivational techniques, adult learning, management, and sales training.

As a coach trained in NLP I have seen some miraculous transformations within my clients.  Whatever your goals – whether personal or professional  – if the syndrome(s) from being raised in a dysfunctional family is stopping you from your achievements, destroying your relationships and holding you back from living all that you want to live, it’s time to break the barriers and push past the past.

Here is a tremendous resource

If you live in Tampa Bay, here is a terrific resource for you  if you have a loved one trapped in an addiction: http://www.tampabayalanon.org/.  Anywhere else in the Country you can find Al-Anon groups and organizations by simply searching on the internet for your location.

Or contact me for a free consultation through www.Ferocecoaching.com

To Your Success,

Rev. Dr. Christina Winsey

Coach, Author, Speaker, Board Eligible Diplomate of the American College of Addictionology and Compulsive Disorders.


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“Surely a man needs a closed place wherein he may strike root and, like the seed, become. But also he needs the great Milky Way above him and the vast sea spaces, though neither stars nor ocean serve his daily needs.” ~ Antoine de Saint-Exupery

At first that quote may seem a bit confusing, but when you read it again the message is clear. The author is simply saying (in a more poetic way) that as humans we need to be both grounded and connected to the earth while at the same time we must reach for something greater within and beyond ourselves.

The spiritual energy channels of the chakras have two pathways; one to manifest (downward flowing) and one to liberate (upward flowing). As we see our dreams & charge up the energy flow to project us to higher states of consciousness; we are liberating.  And, when we take those dreams, visions, & feelings of euphoria into reality and make things happen in our lives; we are manifesting.

Where you are you today? Time to liberate or manifest? 

The energy in our root chakra helps us deal with tasks related to the material and physical world, the ability to stand up for ourselves and attend to our self care needs. With a healthy flow through the root chakra, we live more fully as we nourish ourselves, balance our spiritual wellness and allow good thoughts and situations to enter into our lives.

Yet, if we don’t have the proper energy balance in this chakra we will feel physically weak, experience fatigue and perhaps have a manifestation of physical ailments such as lower back pain or sciatica, frequent colds, and even cold hands and feet. Low energy in the root chakra can sadly lead to depression and feelings of insecurity and low self-esteem.

If you feel stuck in the root chakra, as a Reconnective Healer & Spiritual Wellness Coach I can help remove the energy blocks so you can move onto your dream vision life.   Contact me for a Free Life Coaching, Spiritual Wellness Coaching or Career Coaching Consultation today.

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Dare To Dream

Do you dare to dream or are you working for a living?  This is the time of year when we are all feverishly making our New Year’s resolutions or what I call the biggest to-do list of the year.  Yet, what are the odds of success?  Usually it is natural to decide that this is the year that you will make the big changes and create the life you’re destined to live.

Before you embark on this path, let’s review your past history.  Have you made New Year’s resolutions before?  If so, then how many have you kept?  If you’re like most people, it’s just another way to validate why your life and career aren’t working or living up to your expectations.

Let’s review these expectations.  Where do they come from?  Do you decide how you will rate your progress or is it defined by how you compare yourself to others?  Are you satisfied with the standards by which you measure yourself, or are you ready to take a look if this is really working for you?  If you are willing to peek under the hood, let’s explore how you can easily shift your focus to tune into your true vision.

When I was growing up, my father called me a “dreamer.”  Yet, without our dreams, how can we even get clear about what we truly want?  Take a stroll down memory lane and begin to remember when you were about 8 or 9 years old.

  • What were you involved with?
  • What captured your interest?  Your imagination?
  • List the activities you enjoyed.
  • Any similarities or differences from your later years?  Sometimes our early years may reveal your true interests without censorship or comparison to others.
  • Pay attention to your observations or insights.

If you’ve strayed away from your earlier interests and just fell into the work you’re doing, this could be the reason you’re no longer satisfied with your progress.  If that’s the case, even if you reach the pinnacle of your career and appear extremely successful to others, you still may not be happy.  In my book, 3 Brains for Success, I explain the model I developed for success and happiness.  It all starts with clarity.  Once you have clarity about where you’re headed, you can develop a personal strategic plan and move forward.  The key is to start with your true heart’s desires because otherwise you will be working hard and going through the motions but will never become satisfied with your progress.

According to the latest Gallup Well-Being Survey, the highest income earners and senior citizens reported the highest job satisfaction.  With age, satisfaction increases.  How do you define satisfaction?  Does it mean abandoning your childhood dreams and settling to meet your budget?  Is there a way you can discover your true heart’s desire and make a plan to slowly transition or integrate it into reality?  I’m not advocating quitting your day job or changing careers.  I’m just encouraging you to examine your true motives and where you would like to be at the end of your working life.  It’s never too late to start.

Take a look at my favorite example of someone who dared to dream, was very clear about her heart’s desires to become a professional singer and astounded the world.  Listen below as Susan Boyle sings, “I Dreamed a Dream” as she begins her dream at 47:

Are you ready to discover your dream?  Remember, it’s not what they say you are, it’s about what you know you are.

Try a free coaching consultation with Wanda Ropa, your success coach, to get you started and get clear about where you’re going with your career, or with your life so you can develop a strategic plan that really works for you.  With clarity, success becomes a natural outcome.
Posted by Wanda Ropa, The Success Coach.



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One Step Forward

I want you to ask yourself,“what is the smallest step I can take towards achieving my life vision today?”

That’s right, not the biggest step, the smallest. What is the one tiny, smallest, littlest thing you can do today that seems almost silly it’s so easy?  But if you do that one thing it is moving in a direction that will put you a little closer to achieving your life vision.

Do you want to write a book? Go back to school? Start your own business?  If you wanted to write a book, maybe the smallest thing you could do today is buy a book about how to write a book.  Tomorrow the smallest step might be to read the first page of that book.

If you want to start a business maybe the smallest thing you can do is pick out one business in your competitive space to do research on.  Don’t actually do the research; just pick out the company you are going to research.

You might be saying to yourself, really Wendy?  If I only the read the first page of a book, I won’t ever get done. But the reality is you will get done, because you’ve gotten started, and getting started is the most important part of creating your vision life!

For those of you wanting to a new career, we are talking about pretty ambitious goals, right? We’re talking about changing our lives, discovering what we really love doing and building our lives around our passion! Obviously you’re going to love life a lot more if you’re spending your time doing what you love.

Unfortunately, I know for many of us we have so many obligations: kids, spouses, parents, family, work, mortgages, bills, etc., that it seems almost impossible to make radical life changes! After all, we’re so busy and exhausted just getting through the day how in the world are we going to have time to develop and implement an action plan for doing what we want in life? It’s just too much, right? Maybe it’s easier to just keep doing what we’ve been doing? After all, we’re getting by aren’t we?

Don’t buy into to that lie your mind is trying to sell you!  There is a reason you are reading this; you want more for your life. You want to live a life of passion but maybe you don’t know how to take that first step. Well you’re not alone. It wasn’t long ago that I was having trouble getting started myself in making part of my vision a reality.  I had seen a global yoga community; helping millions lead a Yoga Life.  I was so busy working though that I couldn’t think straight. I was moving so fast and realized I was creating too many big goals.  I didn’t know how to start. Well, then a coaching partner shared with me a concept called “Kaizen.”

This one concept has had a profound life altering impact on my life, and it’s what helped me take the first step to living the life of my dreams. If you aren’t familiar with it,Kaizen is the Japanese technique of achieving great change through small, steady steps.

There are lots of good books out there that explain Kaizen in great detail if you want to venture to the book store, but the essence of the concept is something we’ve all heard a million times: “A journey of a thousand miles must begin with the first step.”-  Lao Tzu.

The problem with this old saying is it really doesn’t help us in our everyday lives. Let me give you  a specific example from the book “One Small Step Can Change Your Life,” by Robert Maurer, Ph.D.   One example from Dr Maurer’s book really blew me away.   One of his clients had been overweight all her life and had tried every diet regimen known to mankind. Unfortunately, nothing had worked for her or if it had it was only temporary and she put the weight she lost right back on (sound familiar?).

The problem was that like most of us, this person wanted immediate change. She looked at magazines, watched the pretty models on the television commercials and wanted to look like them. When her body didn’t morph to satiate her need for immediate gratification, she became discouraged and gave up. She thought and planned in large chunks and did not break down her goals into small achievable tangible steps.

This is where Kaizen makes all the differenceDr. Maurer reset her expectations. He told her not to think about losing the weight, but he asked her what was the one smallest thing she could do every day that would be different than what she was doing and would be a step in the right direction.

They agreed that while she was watching television in the evening that during one 60 second commercial instead of sitting down, she would stand up and walk in place. Not run, not walk for 5 minutes, but just walk for one minute. He asked her to do this for two weeks, nothing more. At the end of two weeks she had no problem moving to two minutes. At the end of four weeks she had no problem moving to five minutes. You can guess the rest. That’s right, at the end of a year this client had totally changed her lifestyle and she didn’t even notice the difference! Her steps were so gradual she snuck right past any thoughts of resistance that might ordinarily have held her back.

If you’re having trouble getting started, don’t give up, scale back the size of your steps and make your steps so small that you can barely notice an effort.  According to Dr. Maurer: “when the steps are small enough, the mind will usually take over and leapfrog over obstacles to achieve your goal.” 

So, back to the beginning. What is the smallest thing you can do today that is a step towards your vision life? Make it so small you can’t help but accomplish it. Get started on your journey today!


Wendy (Adrenazen Coach & Co-Founder Yoga Guardian™…YES, my global yoga community has come to life!)

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