human brain and lock (clipping path included)
Have you ever noticed, as soon as you take your focus away (from whatever it may have been focussing on) that others eagerly step in, to take control? Normally for their own benefit. After days, weeks, months and years of this, that person becomes so reliant that they give up making decisions for themselves and become totally reliant on their ‘Controller’. Indeed, many start to express sympathy and are empathic to that person, which merely serves as strengthening the bond and dominance that they have over that person. You may have heard of this syndrome, widely known as ‘Stockholm Syndrome’ following the Swedish Bank Robbery in August 1973.

An excerpt from the BBC News Magazine by Kathryn Westcott explains the origin and symptoms of the phrase as follows:-

It was 23 August 1973 when the four were taken hostage in the Kreditbanken by 32-year old career-criminal Jan-Erik Olsson – who was later joined at the bank by a former prison mate. Six days later when the stand-off ended, it became evident that the victims had formed some kind of positive relationship with their captors, Stockholm Syndrome was born by way of explanation.The phrase was reported to have been coined by criminologist and psychiatrist Nils Bejerot. Psychiatrist Dr Frank Ochberg was intrigued by the phenomenon and went on to define the syndrome for the FBI and Scotland Yard in the 1970s.

At the time, he was helping the US National Task Force on Terrorism and Disorder devise strategies for hostage situations.

His criteria included the following: “First people would experience something terrifying that just comes at them out of the blue. They are certain they are going to die. “Then they experience a type of infantilisation – where, like a child, they are unable to eat,speak or go to the toilet without permission.” Small acts of kindness – such as being given food – prompts a “primitive gratitude for the gift of life,” he explains. “The hostages experience a powerful, primitive positive feeling towards their captor. They are in denial that this is the person who put them in that situation. In their mind, they think this is the person who is going to let them live.”

Stockholm Syndrome
Police snipers opposite Kreditbanken where Jan-Erik Olsson held workers hostage for six days.

Over many years this has been called ‘brain-washing’ or ‘programming’ but it is evident (and has been proved on many, many occasions) that it is totally reversible. Now, surely, that is good news? So why do people, and I’m not talking ‘hostages’ here, but everyday folk, still constantly rely and live their lives doing things that others want them to do, even though it is having (and does) have a detrimental effect on their life and well-being?

When you look into this further, the ‘controller’ has eroded the victim’s confidence and self esteem and in doing so, has promoted dominance and control, to such an extent, that even daily decisions, that people, perhaps like you and I may take for granted, feel a reliance on asking and ‘seeking permission’ until they can actually go ahead with the decision or task.

Albert Einstein once said, ‘Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results’.

So what we merely have to do is break the chain, start doing things differently, trying new ways. It is easy to keep going along with the way that it has always been, and many do this for an easy life. But if you really want to make changes in any area of your life, to perhaps have a career change, to step outside of that so-called comfort zone, then you have to start to break the chain and do things differently.

Ask yourself this: Am I 100% happy with my lot in life?

Now, let’s get in the real world, possibly very few people will be 100% happy all of the time, so I’ll take 85-90% of the time as being happy as a pretty good life! If you are, then fantastic, carry on doing what you are doing. If you want changes, then, as Mahatma Ghandi once famously said, ‘You must be the change you wish to see in the world’.

It is unproductive to keep slipping back into habit, into the ways of the past, into what you have always done. Be that change.

It is unproductive to focus your attention on things that you don’t want, use the energy of that focus to accelerate you into the kind of life that you do want. Be that change.

Be in control of your own mind. Be that change.

Ultimately that change can only come from you, from your thoughts within and your desire to get better and better, more and more successful and become a continual high achiever in whatever you decide you want to do.

If you would like assistance with that change and taking the first few steps, then look out for our forthcoming workshops, designed to really make the difference.

To register your interest at this stage, simply drop us an email at We look forward to hearing from you.