A recent internet storm about a photo of Leonardo DiCaprio as a baby is a beautiful example of how we are driven by Unconscious values and beliefs. In this specific photo Leonardo is sitting on his mother’s shoulder and she is holding his hand with her armpit exposed. And that bit of hair in the armpit caused an uproar with a bigger roar than Simba the Lion in ‘The Lion King’. Thousands of comments with an either ‘against it’ or ‘for it ‘ were still going on while I am writing this.

Every internet controversy or any difference of opinion is driven at a deeper level by unconscious valuesand beliefs. And discussing these topics is good for exchanging views perhaps but is usually quite meaningless. Why? It is because ‘beliefs’ are mostly unconscious and at a deeper level driven by ‘values’ and to the greater extent it ‘fixed and programmed’; usually from a very early age. Discussing it won’t change it. Most discussions are just an emotional outpour and affirmation of these unconscious beliefs and won’t change it. Let me explain.

Someone comments: “Women’s bodies are their own and they are free to decide what they want to do with their bodies and how they want to present it.” At an unconscious level the belief is stated: Women should be free to do with their bodies as they please. And the unconscious value on which it is based is ‘freedom’. We all just have 5 to 6 core values which drive all our attitudes and behaviours. Values are things like freedom, love, power, connection, growth etc. And these unconscious values are programmed in the unconscious mind in a hierarchy of importance. The most important or highest ranking value will have the most driving energy. Let’s say for example a child was brought up in a very authoritarian home with very controlling parents. For that child ‘freedom’ might become the unconscious driving force which drives all other behaviours. As an adult this person might be over sensitive to anything that just remotely resembles ‘control’ or ‘authority. We can say that the value of freedom is out of alignment with the other unconscious values and also the beliefs linked to this value.

Coming back to the DiCaprio example and hairy armpits; the other side of the comments are based on how women should behave and be as women. It will be driven by values of ‘approval’ and/or acceptance etc. I often see clients who have a desperate need to feel loved or be valued which is often based on childhood experiences of a caretaker (parent) often showing disapproval or disappointment. As adults these children and can become be the ‘pleasers’, the conflict avoiders, always focusing on others needs to make them happy; because they are still looking for that approval and validation. Sadly it is a bottomless hole which empties out as quickly as it is filled.

During my years as a NLP coach I have found that the stronger an opinion is, it is usually an indication of an out of alignment or overheated value as well as all the accompanying beliefs. Very strong opinionated people are often making a desperate attempt to fill an unfulfilled unconscious value. Extremities in religion and politics can be good examples of this. Out of allignment unconscious values can cause wars, make people divorce and commit murders. Just think of Nazi Germany where ‘control and power’ was an unconscious value driving a whole nation.

The question is: Can beliefs and values be changed? And the answer is: Yes. Sometimes a big life event like a serious illness or experiencing the death of a loved one can automatically restructure values and beliefs. We all know how people surviving a serious illness can have a complete turn around in their life views. Another way these unconscious values and beliefs can change is by using mind reprogramming techniques. First it will take an awareness of the person/s that an out of alignment value is affecting their lives negatively and then by using mind reprogramming techniques like NLP and hypnosis and some Time Based Techniques a new belief can be reprogrammed and an unconscious value changed.

When seeing any client these (unconscious belefs and values) are usually what I am looking for. Having different opinions about hairy armpits are perhaps not that important but when it becomes more radical where a client has no or very little control over disturbing behaviours, then it is time for action and reprogramming.

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