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Failed the bar exam? Or have other test anxiety problems?

 I can help you pass your bar exam, nursing license exam, chiropractic license exam, acupuncture license exam — or any other exam.

Usually, when someone does badly on an exam, or a series or exams (maybe even in childhood), he/she develops internal issues that make taking exams, or sometimes, even studying for exams, extremely difficult — with awful results. I can help with these issues, so that you prepare calmly and walk in to the exam calmly and confidently.

If you’d like to talk with me about this, call me at 888-4-hollis (888-446-5547).

Hollis Polk is a personal coach (www.888-4-hollis.com), who has been helping people create lives they love for 15 years, using neurolinguistic & hypnotherapy techniques, decision science, clairvoyance & the common sense learned in 20+ years of business. She is an NLP Master Practitioner, hypnotherapist & has a BSE in engineering from Princeton & a Harvard MBA. She is also a successful real estate broker, investor & business owner.

What to Do on Your Birthday

It’s that birthday time of year, at least in my circle of friends and family. In the last 10 days, both my husband and I have had birthdays, along with 6 friends and family members, and a number of acquaintances so big I’ve lost count.

My family never made a huge deal of birthdays. One year, when I was around 10, my mom got a supermarket apple pie, stuck a candle in it and told me it was my birthday cake. (To her credit, I was so upset she never did that again.)

But I always kind of thought they should be a big deal — without having a good reason for thinking it. I mean, really, it just marks another trip around the sun for your physical body. So of course I asked my guides, “What is there to celebrate on a birthday?” What they said kind of suprised me:

Birthdays are supposed to be celebrations of incarnation. They are a time to enjoy all the pleasures of the physical world, and to indulge the body: the beauty of nature, good food, good sex, a massage or something else to pamper your body.

For some reason I don’t quite get, it’s important to do this while the earth is in the same position in relation to the sun that it was in when you were born. The more planets that are in the same relation the better.

And all those wishes of “Happy Birthday”? Those are supposed not only to gladden the day, to help you celebrate incarnation more, but also to impel you to make that next trip around the sun, to give you some extra oomph to do it.

What does Happy Birthday mean to you?

Hollis Polk is a personal coach (www.888-4-hollis.com), who has been helping people create lives they love for 15 years, using neurolinguistic & hypnotherapy techniques, decision science, clairvoyance & the common sense learned in 20+ years of business. She is an NLP Master Practitioner, hypnotherapist & has a BSE in engineering from Princeton & a Harvard MBA. She is also a successful real estate broker, investor & business owner.

Declare Your Independence!

We all think of the Declaration of Independence as a famous document that is an important part of American History — and that’s about it.  Here’s how it begins:

When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

But change the pronouns, and see how much it applies to YOU right now:

When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one…  to dissolve the… bands which have connected [her] with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature’s God entitle [her], a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that [she] should declare the causes which impel [her] to the separation. 

That is, YOU are entitled to a ‘separate and equal’ place in life as anyone else is. And you are obliged to be clear about that.

Maybe you’re being treated badly in a relationship — perhaps by a boss, or a significant other. Maybe you believe you are stuck, and that there’s no way to change it. What if you believed you weren’t stuck — that you could change it or leave the relationship? What would that open up for you? You might begin to look for ways you could change yourself, so you react differently in the relationship. Or perhaps you’d begin to line up the resources (money, a new job or a place to live, transportation, etc.) so you could leave. Who knows what that would lead to? It might lead to a whole new life.

You also depend on your belief system. You believe that say, gravity exists, or the internal combustion engine works. In this physical reality, it’s all unquestionably true. Yet there are many  beliefs you could question, beliefs about yourself or how the world works. What if you believed something different? What would that open up for you? 

Perhaps you believe you lack some ability, like the ability to carry a tune (okay, this is one of mine), and that means you can never sing, at least not in public. But what if you believed that the ability to carry a tune was something you could learn? What would that open up for you? You’d search for a singing teacher who specialized in teaching people who ‘can’t sing’ (in a few seconds, I found this) — and then you might actually go take lessons. And then you’d probably feel a lot less embarrassed singing ‘Happy Birthday”, and more a part of a group when they burst into song (e.g. the national anthem), instead of really separate from it.

So just try this simple process on a number of beliefs:

  1. What do I believe? Identify it as best you can. Usually this will be a simple, declarative statement.
  2. What might I believe instead? Nothing too weird, but rather a change you can accept.
  3. What actions can I take based on that new belief? Even one is a good start.
  4. What might that lead to? You don’t have to know — and what you expect may well be wrong — but the possibility of a better situation is often highly motivating.

Please let me know what your experience is from this!


Hollis Polk is a personal coach (www.888-4-hollis.com), who has been helping people create lives they love for 15 years, using neurolinguistic & hypnotherapy techniques, decision science, clairvoyance & the common sense learned in 20+ years of business. She is an NLP Master Practitioner, hypnotherapist & has a BSE in engineering from Princeton & a Harvard MBA. She is also a successful real estate broker, investor & business owner.

Ever feel afraid? anxious? Here’s how to deal…

When I went to see “Avatar“, I saw it in 3D in an iMax theater, sitting in the sweet spot, which is slightly above the very center seat of the theater. At one point, an actor threw a handful of pebbles at the camera — and I literally jumped out of my seat! My body sensed that these rocks were coming at me, and flinched before I could think about it. (Btw, I have yet to meet a person who remembers this in the movie — if you weren’t sitting where I was, it made no impression on you whatsoever.)

It turns out that this flinching is normal behavior — we evolved with it as protection. If a black bear shows up as you’re enjoying a picnic, you want to have the adrenaline rush that fear creates so that you begin to run, or freeze, or whatever you should do. This is so important that the neural pathway directly to the amygdala, a part of the brain which registers fear, takes just 12 milliseconds, while the neural pathway to the cerebral cortex, which allows you to consider the information that a bear has appeared, takes 30 – 40 milliseconds, or 3 times as long. So watching “Avatar”, my body literally did jump before I could think about it. Researchers call this amygdala reaction “fear“.

By contrast, though, most of what we refer to casually as”fear”, isn’t. It’s really anxiety, which is the projection into the future of an expectation of pain. You project that your presentation is going to go badly — you vividly imagine yourself stuttering, or forgetting crucial statistics, or flubbing your PowerPoint deck — and you feel a bodily reaction akin to fear.

Fear is a blessing; anxiety, maybe not so much. Anxiety is useful when it prompts you to do every question at the end of each chapter in your math text in order to prepare for a final exam. Anxiety is counterproductive when, having done all that, it prevents you from remembering all the techniques when you’re sitting in the exam room.

How do you deal successfully with anxiety? There are techniques that can transform anxiety quickly. One is an NLP technique called the Fast Phobia/Trauma Cure, which works with a traumatic event and changes it so you no longer experience it in the same way. (It’s a little tricky to do on yourself; if you want some help, please call me at 888-446-5547). Another experimental one uses drugs to stop those painful memories, which later generate anxiety, from forming in the first place.

Or you can use repeated exposure to whatever makes you anxious, so you learn a normal, useful reaction to it, along with mindfulness.  This is simply noting your bodily and mental states — and letting them go. It means staying in the present — while anxiety is all about the future. [If you want to read more, try the book, Nerve, by Taylor Clark.]

Hollis Polk is a personal coach (www.888-4-hollis.com), who has been helping people create lives they love for 15 years, using neurolinguistic & hypnotherapy techniques, decision science, clairvoyance & the common sense learned in 20+ years of business. She is an NLP Master Practitioner, hypnotherapist & has a BSE in engineering from Princeton & a Harvard MBA. She is also a successful real estate broker, investor & business owner.

On BlogTalk Radio in a few minutes

I’m a guest of Vanessa Scotto’s Map2Self, whose show is all about empowering women. We’ll be talking about developing your intuition. You can listen online or download later.
Hollis Polk is a personal coach (www.888-4-hollis.com), who has been helping people create lives they love for 15 years, using neurolinguistic & hypnotherapy techniques, decision science, clairvoyance & the common sense learned in 20+ years of business. She is an NLP Master Practitioner, hypnotherapist & has a BSE in engineering from Princeton & a Harvard MBA. She is also a successful real estate broker, investor & business owner.