The great Carl Sagan once said…

“Somewhere something incredible is waiting to be known”


Addressing your “Bully” (The negative voice in your head) is the most effective way to expose your belief systems or how you perceive yourself, your self-image.

Belief systems are the stories we tell ourselves that define our personal sense of “reality.”  Every human being has a belief system that they utilize and it is through this mechanism that we individually, “make sense” of the world around us.

A belief is just a thought we continue to think over and over.  Repetition deepens the impression or in other words creates a belief system, positive or negative.

“All behaviors are sponsored by beliefs.  You cannot make a long-term change in behaviors without addressing the beliefs that underlie them.  Seek to change beliefs, not behavior.  After a belief, the behavior will change by itself.  You can take whatever action you want to take to alter someone else’s behavior or to stop it, but unless you alter the beliefs that produce such behavior, you will alter nothing and stop nothing.  You can alter belief in two ways.  Either by enlarging upon it, or by changing it completely.”  – Neale Donald Walsch

How do you get yourself to a point of believing? Start make-believing or imagining. Be like a child and make-believe. Act as if you have it already. As you make-believe, you will begin to believe and feel you have it already. The Universe is responding to your predominant thoughts all the time, not just in the moment you ask. That’s why after you’ve asked, you must continue to believe and know. Have faith and believe that you have it and that undying faith will be your greatest power. When you believe, you are receiving.  So get ready and watch the magic begin!

To master yourself, to master your thoughts, you do not have to control your thoughts. If you try to control your thoughts, you will attract having to control your thoughts. If negative thoughts come, don’t resist them. Just let them be, and then use the power of your will to change the focus to thoughts of appreciation and gratitude. Worrying about negative thoughts or trying to control them just brings more of them to you. If you don’t resist negative thoughts they will diminish, and if you laugh at them and make light of them, they will disappear completely.

Did you know that research has shown that 77% of the average person’s self-talk is negative? 77%! That is why we need to pay attention to our self-talk to make sure that our inner voice is positive. Famous sports psychologist Denis Waitley states “Relentless, repetitive self-talk is what changes our self-image.

It has been said that the typical individual talks to him or herself approximately 60,000 – 70,000 times each day… and most of the things we say to ourselves are negative.  Consider that for a moment. Now imagine someone going through life with the small, ever-present idea that they are less than another, that they are just not quite good enough. This idea is their self-image. It is their idea of themselves.


At every opportunity, they are reminded that they aren’t good enough. When they don’t get the job they want, they use that as evidence that they aren’t good enough. When they look at social media and see everyone posting photos of all the amazing things they are doing, they feel sorry for themselves and think, “If I were better, then I would have all of these amazing experiences, too.”

The evidence solidifies this idea into a belief system. Belief systems are the stories we tell ourselves to define our personal reality.

Belief systems are the sponsors of actions. When we believe that we are “less than,” our actions mirror that belief. We carry ourselves as someone who is “less than.” We don’t look people in the eye when we meet them or give a confident, firm handshake. We hold ourselves back from situations where we can be great because we feel unworthy.

These actions prove to our minds that this belief system is true and they reinforce our self-image.  And round and round we go. Self-Image. Belief System. Actions. Validation.

So, Repetition deepens the impression. Every time these ideas are repeated, the belief system gets stronger and stronger. Every person on earth is subject to the belief prism. The amount of success or failure that any person achieves in life is exactly equal to his or her belief system — without exception.

It’s easy to see how our little thoughts about ourselves dictate, and even control, the outcome of our lives.


When coaching a new client, one of the first things I ask the client to do is read the bumblebee quote.

I ask my clients what this quote has to do with sobriety and the question often stumps them… at first. But after having a moment to ponder this quote, the idea almost always clicks into place, and my clients almost always respond with some variation of the following:

“The bumblebee doesn’t believe that it can’t fly and therefore, it can.”

It’s a simple idea – an idea that most of my clients have been unfamiliar with.

Typical recovery programs focus on controlling any and all exterior factors that might have an effect on a person’s addictions. The person who is struggling with addictions is labeled as an “addict.” This is a label they must live with for the rest of their lives, always reminding them that they are broken.

As “addicts,” they are told that recovery is going to be next to impossible – that their chances are “1 in 20.” If they do make it through recovery, they must stick to a precise schedule of meetings and maintain absolute and total control over their outside circumstances. Every time I speak with a client who holds these beliefs, I am reminded of how I felt during the first eight months of my sobriety… when I was merely enduring it. When I was “white-knuckling it.”

What if we had a different view of recovery and change? What if, instead of labeling someone as an “addict,” we reinforced the belief of being clean and absolutely dedicated to sobriety from the inside?

What if we acted like the bumblebee? What would be possible if we only believed that we could fly, instead of focusing on how small our wings are?

I have found the idea of the bumblebee to be the most powerful symbol for my clients in overcoming addiction. My clients that really learn the principle behind why the bumblebee can fly are always able to find a life free from addiction. If you believe that you need alcohol or drugs to get through your day, or you believe that your life is so stressful or painful that you couldn’t cope without them, or you believe that your addiction is a disease that you will never get rid of, then you will relapse. You will use again.

Have you ever heard someone say, “I just need my morning coffee so I can get my brain going?”

I have, just as I have worked with clients who believe they need to smoke weed or pop an Adderall to be creative. Or others who believe that they need a Red Bull or a Diet Coke to make it through the day.

Recently, a client of mine was getting ready to leave her six-week program. She was doing well but

I could sense some hesitation within her. When I asked her about this, she broke down and admitted, “I want this so bad, but I’m really worried about New Year’s Eve. I don’t think I can have fun without champagne in my hand.”

Does this sound familiar? 

All of the treatment in the world – any amount of positive thinking, reinforcement, and influence – will have no real power to change a person who fundamentally believes that he or she can’t have fun without drugs or alcohol.

I told this client that she may not drink again this coming New Year’s Eve or the one after that. But if she allowed that belief to stay with her then The Bully would use it against her. And, without a doubt, she would relapse.

If we want to rid ourselves of addictive behaviors, then we must change our underlying belief systems about those behaviors.

This is the key people to your deliverance.  Change your belief system that holds you back and you set yourself free and experience joy.

Thank you for reading. 

Todd Sylvester

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