Martin Messier

December 16, 2023

The unseen authors of our thoughts

What if you read a book, rich with stories and insights, yet missing one crucial element – the author's name... It's like a narrative floating in our minds, persuasive and influential, but whose origin remains a mystery.

These are the beliefs and values we hold, often unquestioned, that shape our perception of the world. They whisper in our ears like an invisible mentor, guiding our choices, yet we seldom pause to ask, "Who the heck put these thoughts in my head?"

Understanding the source of these beliefs is akin to discovering the author of that nameless book. It doesn't necessarily change everything, but it might explain a lot. It’s not about debunking or discarding these beliefs, but rather understanding their roots. I've seen firsthand how this realization empowers individuals. It’s like turning on a light in a room that’s been dark for too long.

Let me share a quick story. A client once came to me, burdened by a belief that they were not worthy of success. This belief had no author. Through our exploratory sessions, we traced this belief back to a well-intentioned, yet overprotective parent. This revelation was a turning point. It’s not just about finding the source; it’s about understanding the why.

These authorless beliefs, which we call Lost Performatives in NLP jargon, often stem from well-meaning sources - parents, teachers, society.

As your guide in this journey, I encourage you to pay attention to and explore these unauthored books not only in your own mind, but in the minds of those around you. Look at them with curiosity, not judgment. Seek their origin.

Then, you can wonder whether a different author might be called for...

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