Tim Ervin, LCPC, BCC, CH

How did I get here?
After looking at my grades and ACT scores, my high school guidance counselor told me I had 4 choices in life-Army, Air Force, Navy, or Marines. I was told throughout my childhood that I wasn’t smart, and that college was out of my reach. I spent the first quarter of my life finding evidence proving this narrative to be true-that I wasn’t smart enough. After a summer working construction, I joined the Navy.

One day out at sea in the middle of the Indian Ocean I was jogging on the ship. The skipper (the captain of the ship), also running, started a chat with me as we circled the destroyer. First question, as expected, “so petty officer Ervin you ready to reenlist for another 4 years?”. I confessed that I’m ready to see what civilian life holds for me. He responded, “so its college then?”. I countered with my usual mantra of “I’m not smart enough for college.”. His rebuttal really stopped me in my tracks. With a commanding voice, the one he uses to inspire sailors when they have no juice left, “Ervin! I am completely certain that your now talking Bull Shit!”. He continued, “I have known you for 3 years. I have seen no evidence that this is true!”. Then asked, “Enlighten me. What evidence do you have that this is true?”. My usual belief process was totally disrupted. I had to reframe my self-belief patterns. Unbeknown of the U.S. Naval Captain he had just used a Neural Linguistic Programing technique; my first experience with NLP.

Although I have many stories like this where someone of authority disrupts a negative pattern replacing it with a positive one. I share this story because it was the first time my negative patterns of self-sabotage were challenged. It was also the most profound.

Fast forward 20 years. I’m now at a place where I have completed the course work for a Doctorate Degree and feel, finally I’m smart enough. Disclaimer, not that going to college lead me to this conclusion. It was the change in what I believed about myself that shifted my perceptions. I still remember that hot morning in the Indian Ocean when a controlling negative self-belief got “shit canned”.
I have since committed to a mission to pass on this experience to others. I have spent the past 30 years studying the processes of “self-belief correction”. I have found that Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), EMDR, and NLP are the best tools for the quickest results in this process.
Phobias, confidence, bad memories, relationship trauma, and other hindering states can all be addressed using these therapies.