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The 4 Thought Patterns

that
Your
Happiness & How to
Change Them

by Woody Haiken

The 4 Thought Patterns


that Block Your Happiness
& How to Change Them
by Woody Haiken

Contents
The Four Patterns

Limiting Beliefs..................................................................................... 2

Interpretations...................................................................................... 3
Assumptions........................................................................................ 4

The Gremlin.......................................................................................... 4

Why do you have these patterns?.............................................................. 5


How to change your thinking

Goal Setting......................................................................................... 6

Awareness............................................................................................ 7

What is keeping you from achieving your goals?................................ 8

Copyright 2014, Wounded Child Coaching www.woundedchildcoaching.com

The Four Patterns:


Limiting Beliefs
Assumptions
Interpretations
The Gremlin

Limiting beliefs
Limiting Belief: Something that you accept about life,
about yourself, about your world, or about the people in
it, that limits you in some way
Limiting beliefs can be cultural. For example, until Roger Bannister ran a
mile in less than 4 minutes, it was believed by all that a 4-minute mile was
impossible. There was a time that everyone thought the world was flat.
Limiting beliefs can also come from ones family. These are the most
damaging because they usually begin in early childhood. For example,
I was told by my father that I was stupid, that I would never amount to
anything, and that I had no ability in math. This affected me throughout my
life. I never believed I could do well academically, and therefore I didnt.
I did poorly in college after high school and dropped out after one year. I
was very surprised, when I returned to college more than 25 years later,
that I did well in every subject including advanced math. I did so well that I
graduated from Rutgers University with a 4.0 GPA.
Just like me, there are many people who have limiting beliefs about what
they can accomplish because a parent, a relative or teacher told them so.
What messages did you get from your childhood? Is there anything you
have always wanted to do or be, but were told that you werent good
enough or capable enough to do?

Copyright 2014, Wounded Child Coaching www.woundedchildcoaching.com

Interpretations
Interpretation: An opinion or judgment that you create
about an event, situation, person or experience and
believe to be true.
The following story is from Steven Coveys The 7 Habits of Highly Effective
People :

I remember a mini-Paradigm Shift I experienced one Sunday morning


on a subway in New York. People were sitting quietly -- some reading
newspapers, some lost in thought, some resting with their eyes closed.
It was a calm, peaceful scene. Then suddenly, a man and his children
entered the subway car. The children were so loud and rambunctious
that instantly the whole climate changed.
The man sat down next to me and closed his eyes, apparently oblivious
to the situation. The children were yelling back and forth, throwing
things, even grabbing peoples papers. It was very disturbing. And
yet, the man sitting next to me did nothing.
It was difficult not to feel irritated. I could not believe that he could be
so insensitive to let his children run wild like that and do nothing about
it, taking no responsibility at all. It was easy to see that everyone else
on the subway felt irritated, too. So finally, with what I felt was unusual
patience and restraint, I turned to him and said, Sir, your children are
really disturbing a lot of people. I wonder if you couldnt control them
a little more?
The man lifted his gaze as if to come to a consciousness of the situation
for the first time and said softly, Oh, youre right. I guess I should do
something about it. We just came from the hospital where their mother
died about an hour ago. I dont know what to think, and I guess they
dont know how to handle it either.

For victims of abuse and bullying, it is very difficult to avoid interpretations.


Our world has always been hostile towards us. We have become overly
sensitive to the point of finding offense where no offense exists. How many
times in your life have you misread a facial expression, or been hurt by a
comment that was actually spoken with no ill will?
2

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These are remnants of a time where every comment, every facial


expression, every interaction was a trap set to humiliate and hurt you.

Assumptions
Assumption: An expectation that, because something
has happened in the past, it will happen again.
Growing up, we were taught by the words and actions of our abusers,
our bullies and those observing our torment, but doing nothing to stop it,
that the same thing was going to happen again and again. The abuse, the
bullying, the humiliation were there the moment we let our guard down.
Then, when we became adults, we still lived with the same world view:
the only things certain in life were pain and disappointment, ridicule and
embarrassment.
Assumptions are one of the main reasons we dont take risks in life. Why
apply for the position you want if every other time youve applied for a
similar position you were not hired? Why ask someone out on date if every
time in the past you were rejected?

The Gremlin
Gremlin: Your inner critic that tells you, in one way or
another, that youre not good enough.
The most insidious and damaging of all thought patterns is our inner
critic. It is rarely silent, and it echoes all the messages we heard growing
up, I will never amount to anything, What makes you think you can
accomplish anything? Im just kidding myself, Dont bother, Ill just be
disappointed, Im a failure.
The gremlin voice is harsh, sometimes as harsh if not more harsh than
those voices we heard growing up. If we said to others what we say to
ourselves, wed be labeled as abusers. Yet with the inner critic, we are
subjecting ourselves to daily abuse.
Copyright 2014, Wounded Child Coaching www.woundedchildcoaching.com

Why Do You Have These


Thought Patterns?
The main reason we have these thought patterns is survival and selfprotection. While they may limit our power in the world, as well as keep us
from reaching our fullest potential, they also kept us safe while living in an
unsafe environment. This is true especially of assumptions and gremlins. If
we did not take a risk, we were less likely to be hurt or disappointed.
Many people go through their entire lives living by these thought patterns.
They never take risks, and they never accomplish much. They never reach
their fullest potential because they do not believe that they have potential
for anything but getting through another day with the least amount of pain.
If this is true of you, know this: Your life can change. It can change
dramatically. It can change quickly. It can change for the better. But only
you can make the change. The only way to make the change is to desire it
and choose it.

How to Change Your


Thinking
Goal Setting
The first step to changing your thinking is to decide what you really want
out of life. What childhood dreams have you never realized? What would
you be, have or do if there were no limits, and anything was possible? Have
you always wanted to write a book? Have you always wanted the perfect
relationship?
Exercise 1: What do you really want out of life?
Directions: Get a piece of paper and write out answers to the following
questions. The more detail and thought you put into your answers, the
more you will gain from the exercise.
4

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What do you like about your life?

What do you want to change?

If your life was perfect in every way, what would it look like:

Where would you live?

What would your house look like?

What possessions would you have?

Who would you be with?

What career would you have?

What would your finances look like?

What would your health and wellness be?

What would family and friendship relationships be?

What would you be doing for personal growth?

What would you be doing for fun and recreation?

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Copyright 2014, Wounded Child Coaching www.woundedchildcoaching.com

Awareness
The first step to change is awareness of what needs to be changed. Of
course you know what you do not like about your life, and you just wrote
out what you want your life to look like. But it is not your life that needs
change, it is the thoughts that are keeping you from the life of your wishes
and dreams.
Exercise 2: What are the thoughts that hold me back?
Directions: Look at the list of what you want out of life. With each item on
the list, ask yourself, What is keeping me from having this? Write down
your answers.
Now, look at your answers. Mark each answer L for Limiting Belief, I for
Interpretation, A for Assumption, or G for Gremlin.
Exercise 3: Challenging your thought patterns.
DIrections: Next answer the following questions for each type of thought
pattern:
For Limiting Beliefs, answer these questions:
How true is that belief, really?
Where did you get that idea from?
How has that belief affected you?
How can you let that belief go?
How can you put that into action, immediately?
For Interpretations, answer these questions:
Whats another way to look at that?
What might be the completely opposite point of view about the
situation?
Name 5 other possible interpretations.
What would someone else say about what happened?
6

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For Assumptions, answer this question:


Just because that happened in the past,why must it happen again?
For The Gremlin, answer this question:
What is the inner critic saying?
How is this serving me?

What is keeping you from achieving your goals?


By now, you probably realize that it is your thoughts that keep you from
getting all that you want from life. Of your thoughts, the ones that will either
keep you from your goals, or will propel you towards them are your beliefs.
From the brief time you spent with the above exercises, you probably
noticed that it is very difficult in the short time you spent doing them, to
uncover all that is holding you back, and all that you want changed in
your life. Having someone to guide you through the process can make the
difference between wishing for change and having a transformed life.
Until you have experienced Life Coaching first-hand, it is hard to imagine
the power it has to change your life. That is why Wounded Child Coaching
is offering you a Bonus Complimentary 45-minute Discovery Coaching
session for doing the work in this eBook (These sessions are usually
only 30 minutes). Please click the button below. You will be taken to a
questionnaire, which upon completion you will be brought to an online
calendar where you can schedule your free session.

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Copyright 2014, Wounded Child Coaching www.woundedchildcoaching.com

Woody Haiken, CPC, ELI-MP


Woody founded Wounded Child Coaching to help
others, who have experienced chronic childhood
bullying and child abuse, as he did. His recovery
from the damage took decades. He found that
psychological counseling and other conventional
means did not help, because their focus was on
the damage and deficiencies, and placing blame.
His greatest breakthroughs came from the
coaching process, which saw him as sufficient,
and the past as a teacher. Coaching has helped
Woody release those things in his life that no
longer serve him, and embrace those things that keep him growing.
Woody now shares his wisdom with others through the same coaching
process that has revolutionized his life.
He received his coaching training through the the Institute for Professional
Excellence in Coaching (iPEC), and is a Certified Professional Coach and
an Energy Leadership Index Master Practitioner.

Survivors of bullying and abuse


transcending from victim to inspiration

WoundedChild
C

* Covey, Stephen R. (2009-12-02). The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People (p. 30).
RosettaBooks - A. Kindle Edition.

Copyright 2014, Wounded Child Coaching www.woundedchildcoaching.com