Time for the crazy story you were promised.
It’s Fred’s origin story. How his head got flattened and became “Sir Fred, The Flat-Headed Flea.”
As you can see, Fred didn’t always have a flat head.
In fact, he use to be happy, healthy, and free. He lived a good life.
It all changed. Fast!
One minute he’s just minding his business, skipping down the street, soaking up the beautiful weather on the first day of spring.
And the next?
He did not ask —nor did he deserve— to be locked-up. He did nothing wrong. Wasn’t his fault.
The only thing he was guilty of? Just being in the wrong place, at the wrong time. That was all.
Yet, sometimes that’s all it takes, isn’t it?
Life can step in, and you get turned upside down like an unwitting victim because of an unfair twist of fate, right?
Didn’t really matter who’s fault it was, did it?
Fred was still stuck.
However, he was raised to be self-reliant. “I can free myself,” Fred reminded himself.
That was the sound of Fred exercising his force of will to jump for freedom with all his might…
…smashing his head into the lid… screaming out in pain on the way down… and falling flat on his ass with the thud of humiliation!
Over and over. Again and again.
Obviously, he wanted out of the jar. Like, who wouldn’t? Nobody volunteers to be held against their will, do they?
Plus, Fred’s so pissed (and wants his freedom more than anything), that at first, he plays through the pain. He’s so focused on escaping, that the blood trickling down his forehead goes unnoticed.
All he sees… all he hears… is his dad.
And dad’s tough love keeps him from going “soft” as his words boom out and echos through his mind:
“I raised you better than this. Don’t make me ashamed you’re my son!”
Fred would rather die than disappoint dad, right?
So just like mom, dad and…
…coach did hundreds of times, Fred gives himself a good talking to:
“Hey, stupid. How dare you? Where the hell do you get off? You deserve to be trapped in here.
“God isn’t answering your prayers because you haven’t paid your dues. You should be ashamed of yourself. Nobody ever said life was fair. Idiot.
“You haven’t suffered long enough to prove you’re worthy of freedom yet. You disgust me. Suck it up!
“Put on your big boy panties, asshole! Get off your pity potty, and dust yourself off. You just need to dig deeper because dad was right,
“Winners never quit and quitters never win,”
Fred yells to motivate himself.
And you know what?
Fred’s no quitter…
He didn’t start this, but he sure was going to end it to make his father proud, or die trying…
Why should he sit still and suffer this injustice? He wasn’t perfect, but he didn’t deserve this. It wasn’t fair…
He’d show ‘em. One day he’d be free. And payback’s a bitch…he’d get his revenge.
After all, right is right. And he was right. So,
fueled by righteousness, Fred gathers his courage, calls on all his remaining willpower and forces himself to work even harder…
He steels himself, and…
Digging deeper, Fred gives it ALL he has (much more than he ever gave anything, or even thought possible, for that matter)…
Because after all, nothing worthwhile ever comes without deep sacrifice, right?
Picture this, if you can:
With each slam into the lid, Fred’s bloody head caves in a bit more. His future becomes smaller and smaller too. He doesn’t know it but the beating his headspace is taking is way worse than his skull.
Hopelessness seeps in.
And it makes a meal of what was left of Fred’s confidence. The “realness” of his situation implanted deeper and deeper in his psyche with each leap.
Soon, Fred’s fear outgrows his desire for freedom. He discovered something worse than being trapped:
He can’t ignore it anymore.
Now the pain is ratcheting up to unbearable levels. Why? Well, it’s like the punishments Richard Pryor got from grandma:
WARNING: If you’re offended by foul language, then you should skip this video. On the other hand, if you love to laugh because it makes learning fun, then hit play now!
See, Fred’s anticipation of the future pain he fears is way worse than what he feels now…
And once that negative spiral takes control, he can’t pull out of it. Because now that he’s aware of the pain and focuses on it, what happens?
It expands, doesn’t it? Intensifies. Becomes all consuming. Soon, it’s the only thing he gives attention to.
He resents all his hard work because it hasn’t he’s still trapped. Still in pain. Which makes him feel like an even bigger failure.
Sucked deeper down. Pain consumes him still more.
Rinse. Lather. Repeat.
That’s the cycle, is it not?
However, Fred has a pain motivated epiphany:
“Eureka!” he says, “that damn lid is the problem. If I never slam my head into it again, my pain goes away,” reasons Fred.
Five jumps is all it took…
That’s all Fred needed to condition himself to avoid the pain of hitting the lid when he jumps!
Sure. He’s still trapped. Yet, now captivity is bearable because his brain-damage isn’t getting worse… and, at the same time…
…he can still justify the situation (and his behavior).
See, Fred can honestly tell dad he stayed strong, did all he could, never gave up the good fight, can’t he?
Without the pain now he can jump day and night, 24/7.
Jumping is now Fred’s job. In fact, it’s become an obsession. His reason for living.
Jump faster. Jump more.
Jump, jump, jump
No rest for fast Freddie. No naps, or sitting down on the job, either. “Sleep when you’re dead,” he tells himself.
Yes, it’s insane. And, oddly enough, unconsciously, Fred knows he’s burning himself out needlessly.
Yet, jumping is who he is. His identity. Without it, he feels worthless. With it, he can pretend he’s too busy, and doesn’t have time to feel lost, shame or guilt.
Jumping for the sake of jumping becomes his “purpose” and so-called “passion.”
Plus, by jumping Fred tricks himself to believe he can control the situation, that he calls the shots.
So Fred continues working hard at his job: Jumping, while nostalgically longing for the good ole days before getting stuck in the jar…
…when he was free, loved and happy. And that’s not even the craziest part.
You see, the real insanity is what happened next…
Because just when it looks like Fred’s situation couldn’t be any more heartbreaking (or his future any more limited), check this out:
Once again, the fickle finger of “fate” stepped in. Only this time it unlatches and flips the lid open, and…
Freedom is Fred’s for the taking…
Are you wondering what’s so horrible about that?
You’re right, nothing is wrong with the situation itself.
So, now that the cause of all Fred’s trouble is suddenly gone, of course, he spots his chance to escape and immediately leaps out without a second thought, won’t he?
Nope. Not even close.
Wait! Why the hell not?
I mean, Fred’s more than capable of jumping out, is he not?
He knows he’s got the skills, will and ability to hop out without breaking a sweat.
Shit, his flat head battle scars is evidence of that, isn’t it?!
What more iron-clad proof is there? It’s black & white. Not even a hint of gray in sight. Indisputable.
So, why not just do it?
Because Fred is now being controlled by something more powerful than his desire for freedom. And it’s worse than the pain that flattened his head in the first place. He’s worried about…
Reliving His Past
In His Future
You remember all that anticipation of pain we talked about a few paragraphs back?
Well, because of that, any time Fred even has a passing thought about jumping higher, he relives the pain. And reliving the memory of ramming his head into the lid, hurts more than the actual experience.
It’s like PTSD.
Fred recorded the whole traumatic experience. And he can’t stop it from playing on an endless loop.
Only, now he’s not just watching it. He’s so immersed in it, he feels it. No longer is it just a memory because with each replay he experiences it again as if it’s happening to him for the first time.
Memory or really happening? Fred can’t tell. And it doesn’t matter anyway, because the mind makes it real.
(Yes, that’s a nod to The Matrix. Mad respect, Morpheus.)
Look, of course, consciously, Fred still wants to escape more than anything else. In fact, Fred believes everything is as it’s always been:
- He’s still pissed and hates being trapped…
- He still resents the crappy hand life’s dealt him…
- He’s still sick of feeling stuck and powerless…
- He’s still motivated… still driven by (obsessed with) the desire to prove himself… still wants his freedom…
- And, therefore, still works his ass off, jumping day and night.
However, Fred ain’t never gonna jump higher than where the lid once sat. Game over. Thanks for play’n.
That’s because something has changed. Even though it’s a blindspot, he is different, and…
…Fred’ll never be the same again because…
His unconscious mind was unknowingly conditioned. He doesn’t know how it happened (or, even that it did happen), and YET:
Fred’s beliefs about possible and impossible inside his new “reality” was reprogrammed
You pick’n up what I’m lay’n down?
Two very sneaky (and, if you don’t look too deep, almost reasonable) associations wormed their way in, and took control of Fred’s destiny:
First, his flat head experience conditioned him to associate mortal pain with the act of jumping “too high.”
Can you guess what Fred’s second association was to the whole experience? HINT: It ain’t close to rational (it’s where his sanity train derails).
Think you know? Let’s see.
Second, Fred’s “cause and effect” wires short-circuited. See, because he relived the pain so many times, he now believes jumping out will kill him.
Did you catch that?
The experience rewired him. It tricked him. He was so sure, absolutely “certain” that the ultimate effect of leaving the safety of “his” jar means a brutal and unavoidable death!
How nuck’in futs is that?
It started when he conditioned the belief that the cause of his pain was jumping too high, and…
…then, he irrationally linked up that his life is the price he has to for freedom. Escape is suicide.
Fred can’t see the truth, however. He doesn’t know it’s all,
And, the sad part is, it doesn’t matter, anyway.
Because here’s the rub:
Believing a lie doesn’t make it true, and yet, it still limits us just the same. We behave as though the lie is the gospel!
That’s why the harder Fred falls for the lie, the more real his fears become.
Fred’s reality — his truth — is what he believes because fear rewrote “possible” with “impossible,” and…
…sadly, unless some stroke of “luck,” intercedes on Fred’s behalf and removes him from the situation altogether (or by some miracle sees and cures the root cause of this blindness) …well, you can be sure,
Fred will die in a prison that
only exists in his mind
Yes, I know that’s a dark story.
However, walking the iUnstuck path means you deserve to know why too many get and stay stuck, just like Fred.
You know, like life’s “repeat” button is stuck because each time the names, places and details of the story seem to change, and yet, the unhappy ending is all too familiar, frustrating and heartbreaking, ya dig?
See, most never discover how to get unstuck and deliberately manifest the success they seek.
Because it’s just quicker and easier to buy into the promise of a “hack” in hope of some instant relief. Best case, it’ll make the problem bearable until the painkiller wears off (i.e., it treats the symptoms).
Yet, like Fred, the truth is, until the problem is cured at its root, the “Snap Back Loop” dooms us to relive the same unwanted results.
Over and over. Again and again.
“Wait…Timeout! Slow your roll, there Joshie-Boy…”
Hey, you and me, we’re NOT Fred, right?
Or ARE we?
Now, I don’t know about you, but Fred’s story hits way too close to home. I made Fred look like an amateur!
So, yes, that’s my head on Fred’s body (above).
Can I confide in you?
Not exactly proud of this: I can say with almost 100% certainty that, even if you can relate, your “Fred Story” is nowhere near as bad as mine… yours will probably seem like a walk in the park when you see the shame I tried to deny and hide for decades…
…I should be a vegetable on life-support with as many blows I took to the head from what seemed on the surface to be completely different situations.
What gives? Was there some past-life karmic debt I had to pay before this curse would finally be lifted?
See, just like Fred, I kept getting stuck in unwanted circumstances. Situations I couldn’t control. Somehow always winding up with the shit-end of the stick (no matter what I did, especially trying not to repeat past mistakes)…
Yet, in spite of borrowing way too much to try everything (and I do mean everything),
“The Song Remains the Same”
😍 loves me some Zeppelin 🔥
The point is, as hard as I worked, with all the different things I dedicated myself to learning and burned-out on, and…
…no matter what I tried or how hard I fell for that old, “This Time, It’ll Be Different” Lie…
(You know the lie, right? It’s what I talked myself into believing… that this next one was the one where my luck turns and it finally works where all the others failed.)
And while I always started out feeling it was different, and each time I really did go into it with a positive attitude, excited and hopeful that the ”this” this time would finally crack the code…
…yet somehow, the Promised Land was still on the horizon. Always around the next corner.
Like a crackhead, I was on the hook. The promise of the pot of gold waiting at the end of the next rainbow was my addiction.
Screw the obvious flaw in my plan. The insanity cycle be damned! Any help (well intended or not) that threatened my Fred story would set me off like someone pissed in my corn-flakes.
Ever try to reason with an irrational (or delusional) addict?
It’s not recommended.
Point being, I wasn’t ready to listen. Because I couldn’t separate myself from the Fred story, an “attack” on Fred was personal. As a result, I didn’t have a clue that Fred controlled my fate.
(Which is, ironically, 100% opposite of my primary core value of freedom.)
Ever the seeker. Never the finder. All because I couldn’t see:
Horizons are unreachable!
Well, that big blindspot not only kept me on the hook, it cost me a marriage, my dignity and self-respect, and… I shit you not… over 7 figures trying to find the freedom that eluded me.
Oh, yeah, and let’s not forget about the 30+ fruitless years always chasing down the next horizon.
However, hard as it was to break Fred’s control, sadly, you don’t get “credit” for the amount of suffering you can endure. It just doesn’t matter how much you need or deserve a break.
Now, presumably the reason you’re still here is because you’re ready, willing, and even eager to avoid all my scars. If so, I’d guess that…
…right about now, your inner dialogue is probably racing with some spin on the following questions you want answered:
“Do I have a Fred Story? How can I ever find out if it’s unconscious? I mean wouldn’t this story be invisible if, as you say, it’s been conditioned deep in my UNconscious mind? How would I know?
“And, more importantly, if Fred *is* making me dance like his little puppet, how do I get rid of his story for good so it never forces me again to ever settle for anything less than the entire bigger future my family deserves and I want?”
Dude/tte, your inner dialogue…
Is. On. Point.
Fantastic questions. All of ’em. If we switched places (remember, it wasn’t so long ago when I was in your shoes), at this point that’s precisely what would be running through my mind too.
Well then… it’s a damn good thing that that’s exactly what’s next up on our agenda to unpack, is it not? 😉