Episode 15: The Brain Untraining Process with Rik Schnabel

How do you live your dream and become successful? What’s stopping you from reaching the pinnacles and profits you deserve? Rik Schnabel, Australia’s number one brain untrainer, is a highly respected coach who specializes in removing unconscious blocks that stand between you and success. Stressing the importance of having a prosperity mindset, Rick also touches on neuro-linguistic programming and breaks down the nine-step brain untraining process, discussing how it can help transform your career or business.

Listen to the podcast here:

Episode 15: The Brain Untraining Process with Rik Schnabel

Are you ready to take control of your mind and learn how to create the life of your dreams? In this episode, I have the pleasure of speaking with Rik Schnabel, one of Australia’s most highly respected coaches and an expert on helping people master the power of their minds to create their ideal lives.

I have the distinct pleasure of speaking with renowned life coach Rik Schnabel, an expert in helping people get their minds out of their own way so they can live the life they were innately designed to live. One of the many things Rik is going to be sharing with us is his powerful brain untraining process, which can truly start changing your life. Rik, it’s a pleasure to be speaking with you.

Thank you, Lisa. It’s great to be on the show.

Rik, let’s start by having you tell our audience a little bit about yourself and how it is you came into coaching.

The best way to start is my identity. Our identity has got a lot to do with how we perform as a human being. I came from migrant parents and they were postwar immigrants who had an incredible amount of poverty mentality about them. They started off in the depression and then a war occurred. This was World War II. They were thrust into that and from that, they finally immigrated to Australia. I was born in Australia. I was the first child of four of their children to be born in Australia and the youngest. As I was growing up, my model of the world mirrored my parent’s model of the world. They kept telling me with frequency, almost like an advertising campaign, that they were poor. I’ve believed them. I was associated with the family I believed that I was equally poor.

When you think of the concept of poor, what happens is there’s a lot that goes with that such as your whole identity. It’s about who you are, what you can do, the opportunities for you, where you are in the hierarchy, the social order and so forth. I grew up with low self-esteem. I spent most my life up until my mid-30s regretting life mostly. What I found was I was working at News Limited, one of Rupert Murdoch’s companies. A journalist marched into my office one day, threw an envelope on the desk, pointed to it and said, “That’s you. Congratulations.” I’ve finally made it up to the hierarchy. I’m now on the envelope. I said, “What’s in the envelope?” She said, “There is this new industry that I’ve been doing a story on. It’s called life coaching. You’re a life coach.” I was amused and I said, “What is a life coach?” She told me all about it. In all truth, I resonated to it. She said, “You like helping people solve problems. You enjoy asking questions, you’re curious, you’re the perfect profile from what they said that makes a great life coach.” To cut a long story short, I kept that oval up shut for several months. I never even opened it because I knew that the moment I would, something told me that I’d want to be a life coach. I had no idea how I was going to survive financially as a life coach.

At this point, I’ve got a poverty program running. What happened is I eventually got out of that job. I jumped into sales. I was the worst salesperson in the history of the company who was an American and Australian company. I was the worst salesperson in all of America, in all of Australia, in their teens. I was almost about to lose my job when I had started life coach training. A seminar that happened the night before was on poverty mentality versus a prosperity mentality. It was right up my alley. What happened when I was at the seminar was all these bells and whistles were going off. I started to realize that my thinking, my whole identity was completely flawed and it was causing me to create lots of problems in my life financially.

At this particular point, I was also learning neuro linguistic programming. I discovered that I had a thing called complex equivalents. It’s what they call in NLP the meaning that you place upon two different words. The associations, for example. Forgive any salespeople who are reading this. You need to read until the end to get this because I’m not going to insult you, but it’s going to sound that way. I used to believe that salespeople were sleazy that sell their own grandmother. They were lowlifes. Here I am in sales. When you think about the identity that we place on things, the meaning that we place on words, I began to believe that salespeople were sleazy in essence and that sell their grandmother.

If I was going to be super successful at sales, it would have meant that I would’ve sold anybody’s grandmother and I would’ve been super sleazy. What happened was it was an epiphany for me and I had quite a number of them. I was being coached at the time utilizing a lot of neuro-linguistic programming techniques and I felt my life was changing. I felt my mindset changing, my thought patterns changing. Right at this point in my life, I owe the company $35,000 because they pay me less my sales. At this point, I’m in the red with the company. I paid about $30,000 for my own training to learn life coaching and NLP. What was happening is I was $70,000 in debt. I was down to my last $27 in the bank and I had gotten married and had a child. Here I was in this horrible scenario. I decided at this moment that my life was going to change. I was in a tall building on the 46th floor. I was overlooking Melbourne. I put my hands on the glass and I thought, “What would it feel to be a multi-multi-millionaire? What would I be feeling now? What would I be thinking? What would I smell?” I asked myself these questions. What it was doing is it was starting to open up new neural pathways for me. Pathways I’ve never explored before. The fascinating thing that happened was almost like a miracle.

My phone rang and it shocked me. I turned around, answered the phone and in that phone call I made half-a-year’s income. It was a sale and I was earning 10% at the time. It was a large sale. It was an advertising media sale. We’re talking hundreds of thousands of dollars. What happened was I got curious. I thought, “What happened at that moment? Why did I all of a sudden get this phone call after doing this process?” What I did is I did the process again and I got another phone call. This next phone call was the difference between the first amount I made and the second amount was exactly $1,000. I thought, “This is strange that I’ve got an entire year’s income.” This happened over a couple of weeks, a whole year’s income. I went through this process again. What happened at that moment is the same thing.

GYTM 15 | Brain Untraining ProcessThe phone rang, I picked up the call, but this time I had earned twice as much and my whole life had completely changed. Within three months of doing the coaching, changing my neurology, changing how I thought and felt, my entire identity began to shift. The thing that happened is I went from the poor guy, the guy who was about to lose his job and at the bottom of the sales ladder to becoming the history’s best salesperson they had ever had in this company. They investigated me, they thought, “He’s got to be doing something illegal.” I remember the sales director flew over to have a meeting with me and he said, “What are you doing?” I started telling him about how I changed my thought patterns, how I changed my meanings that are placed on people and things. In all honesty, he didn’t want to hear that. He wanted to hear that I’ve been making more calls or something logical.

He’s not tapping into the power of your mind.

He wasn’t interested in that at all. He was interested in the bottom line. The thing was it was fascinating. At this point in my life, I’m now earning more than the prime minister of Australia at the time and I’m doing less work. I realized something truly magical had changed in my life. A friend of mine said to me that he wanted me to document the process and I did that. I documented the process and I taught him how to do it. He started doing it and he started getting all these incredible results. They almost seem like miracles. He said to me, “You need put this in a book. You need to write this.” I wrote a book. It was originally called A Life Beyond Limits. It’s now called A Richer Way to Think. It changed my life. My life changed enormously. Before I knew it, I had people coming from everywhere asking me to help them to change how they were thinking. It was around the polarity of my identity, which was essentially the poor kid or the poverty mentality.

Many of the people I was teaching were people who had the same program. They were struggling financially. They never seem to get ahead, those patterns and programs, which opened my mind. I began thinking about, “Imagine what you could do with this.” Any stage that invited me up to do a talk, I gladly said yes. Any soapbox I would jump up on. I want to teach the world this because my life has changed in many amazing ways. I was earning an incredible amount of money now. My tax bill was as big as my typical annual salary. Things changed magically.

You had thoroughly broken free from that programming.

Our strategies to create success quite often are very naive and flawed in a lot of ways. Click To Tweet

That’s what it felt like. It felt like I was incarcerated for most of my life and then all of a sudden someone had put an ax through the chains. It did feel incredibly liberating. I was high as a kite for years after that and then I simmered down a bit and brought it down to some level of normality. It felt like such an incredible epiphany. It was like the gods had opened up the heavens to me.

In my own work, I talk about breaking free from the database of our mind, which is what you’re talking about in terms of the programming. The other thing too is when you were talking. You decided your life was going to change at that moment. The thing I love about your story is it’s about an example of you taking conscious control of your life. At least from my perspective, most of us are going through life subconsciously or unconsciously. Based on that programming that we adhere it and it seems like in your own journey, you were saying, “Time to stop here. There’s a better way to go through life here.”

It’s almost essentially moving from the effect side of the equation over to the cause. Instead of saying, “My life is like this because,” and usually we’re pointing externally from ourselves. It was a moment of completely taking charge of my own life. They were many of the concepts that I was taught particularly in NLP. I love the life coach training, but the NLP was putting coaching on steroids. It seemed to resonate with me. It made much sense and it helped me to form and create various tools that help us to change our identity. Quite often, I’ve worked with people who have been depressed or had anxiety or have some particular issue that is like, “I have this because,” and then it’s, “I am depressed. I am anxious.” The I am statement becomes a point of ownership where they have completely invested in the identity.

It’s to the degree that they know the posture. They know how to show up with their posture. They know how to dress. They know how to speak. They know the pace of how to speak. They know what stories to bring out. It becomes them. I see that the first transformational point is when we say, “No more. I am doing this from now on.” It sounds yang. It sounds forceful. Quite often, we’ve got to get to that point where we change up the energy within ourselves. We make a real decisive point where we say, “No more,” and we draw that line in the sand. That was what I saw at the beginning of the transformation. It’s a real decision and you nailed it in one day, Lisa.

One of the other things I noted when you were speaking about your story was when you said, “They know I am depressed because,” and they have the body language and all of that and the posture. When you said, “What would it be like to be a millionaire?” It seems from the way you described it that you immersed yourself fully in that.

GYTM 15 | Brain Untraining Process

Brain Untraining Process: People cannot find success by following a logical formula because success, at the end of the day, is so illogical.


It was the first time in my life that I tried it on. The way that I see it, it’s almost like in the morning when we get up. We go to our wardrobe and we choose the costume we’re going to wear. Equally, we sometimes choose the mask that we’re going to wear as well. I’m writing a book about this. This is all fresh in my neurology at the moment. I feel that like a knight who puts on armor plating over his or her body traditionally, it was the men that did that. The thing is that the moment they do that, there’s a conclusion made that I am weak unless I have the armor. In our modern day lives, going into our offices and doing our work, many people are doing exactly the same thing. They have to put on a face. It’s not specific armor, but it’s a face that they put on. Every time they put on that face, what they’re saying is, “I’m not that face. I’m a fraud. I’m something else.” That’s pertinent.

I work with a lot of executives and many people that often you would think, “Why are they seeing a coach?” Some people still think coaching is therapy, which is not. What I find is many successful people have taken on this mantle which they call, “Fake it until you make it.” That can be an effective strategy to get you there, but it’s not an effective strategy to stay there. Many of my clients in the early sessions, you’re focusing on the fraudster. You’re focusing on the guy or the woman who are successful but feel nothing like that within themselves. They’re putting on that mask.

They’re not able to bring their genuine self forward.

They’ll put on the bravado in the meetings and the talks and so forth, but when they’re sitting in their quiet moments alone, they’re thinking to themselves, “How can I keep doing this? How can I keep up putting up this show?” Our strategies to create success quite often are in fact naive and quite flawed in a lot of ways because identity disrupts.

I can easily see how you’re familiar with the concept of imposter syndrome. They have that fear underneath that they’re not good enough or other people are thinking they’re more capable than they feel.

Every single problem trains us and teaches us something. Click To Tweet

In essence, I started focusing my work to a point where I was willing to go as deep as possible. What I saw, in essence, was who we are or who we determined that we’re going to be largely based on our history. Much of our history, we think about where does that information go? Where does our history go? We can recall it. We can remember times. We can even remember smells and we can remember tastes and all those things. That stuff has got to go into our neurology somewhere. The way that I see it at my job is when a client comes to me and says, “I want to get over this anxiety or this depression,” or a client says, “I want to achieve this goal and I haven’t been able to get there,” then I’ve got to work out where in the neurology is this data.

As you put this database, where is this database in their brain? My job is to access it, find out exactly, run it and see what happens. See what happens when you run it and then work out how you disrupt it. How do you disturb it? How do you break it? How do you snap it? How do you convert it to another pathway? Much of what I’ve been doing over these years is about that. At first, it feels destabilization and you can see it on your clients’ faces quite often. They’re looking confused. Confusion is a good signal that you’re doing the job and it’s working because we get logical about life. We run into patents quickly. You were talking about the unconscious patterns that run us. This is why many people cannot find success by following a logical formula because success is illogical. Why can two people with the same skill, same talent, same DNA, same hereditary or pedigree, one achieves brilliantly and the other one doesn’t? It comes down to that self-talk. It comes down to that neurology. It comes down to what do these people believe that they are as an identity?

In my experience, a lot of those core beliefs that we acquire from the way we grow up are recorded subconsciously. The tricky thing about our subconscious mind is that it’s this powerful part of our mind, but it’s not the smart, rational part of our mind. This is why I use the phrase database because it’s similar to a computer. A computer, once it’s programmed, it’s going to create an output that fits the way it’s programmed. I find that the subconscious mind, once it’s programmed like yours was programmed with a poverty mindset saying, “You’re supposed to be poor.” It doesn’t have the rational evaluative component to say, “That’s not the greatest programming. Let’s try something different.”

When you start bringing it to the conscious awareness, which is part of what you’re doing. The thing when you say if there’s confusion, it’s because what a lot of people don’t understand about the subconscious mind is that once it’s programmed in a certain way, it likes the world to be predictable. It likes the world to make sense even if it’s not constructive for you. When you’re saying, “No, let’s develop a more prosperity mindset here,” the subconscious mind is going to be like, “That’s not how we do it.” I see that angst or that confusion is where the value of a coach comes in importantly.

Over the years, I’ve had a lot of people who’ve said to me, “If I learn how to coach or if I learn neuro-linguistic programming, can I do that on me?” The answer is yes, you can. However, in truth, in the application, what we won’t do is we won’t go as deep as we would as an outsider would. We won’t see things outside that we might see or hear them because they’ve got a different reference point. They’re not in the emotion or they’re not in the thing that’s happening far and off at the time. They’re the observer.

GYTM 15 | Brain Untraining Process

Brain Untraining Process: We have to be sad, angry, or frustrated in order to know what happy is.


There’s an aspect that I understood where I started to realize that we can’t solve problems by one-dimensional thinking. This equals that in type thinking. What we have to do to solve the problem is we’ve got to bring in multidimensional thinking. The moment that we have a problem, whatever that problem might be, let’s say we have a drinking problem. That seems to be the prime problem. We want it gone. We ask the person, “How do you get rid of it?” The client would probably say, “If I knew how to get rid of it, I wouldn’t be here talking to you.” If we can get to a point, for instance, if you could ask that client and to be respectful to religion, I’m going to call it the universe. You can put God, Muhammad, Allah and Buddha in there.

If you simply said, “I want you now to look at this problem from the perspective of the universe,” and then you add in an extra bit of data in there and you might say something along the lines of, “There is no such thing as a problem. Every single problem trains us, teaches us something. If we don’t learn from it, then it truly is a problem because we’re not getting the learning. We’re getting the outcome of this unruly problem. If we get the learning, then the problem will disappear. I want you to think of this problem but take a different perspective. What would the universe be saying about this problem?” The moment you ask that question if your client then truly tries that on, they’re going for the first time to look at a situation or hear a situation in a completely different way. In which it creates the opportunity of a breakthrough such as that point that I was up against the glass in that building.

I asked myself a different question. I used to ask myself, “Why am I poor? Why do I struggle? Why is life tough for me?” Questions such as why your unconscious is only going to answer it truthfully. It’s going to give you all the answers you don’t want. Instead, I said, “What would my life be like if I was a multimillionaire? What would it be like?” I remember feeling this sensation going through my body. It was a sense of calm but confident. It was an idea. It was a concept and an idea that I tried on. The fascinating thing was that my life started to move when I was thinking in multidimensional ways instead of thinking the same old way that I used to think. Using the same patterns, the same database, I had to tap into a different database.

The different questions you were asking opened up different possibilities. Rik, I know you have a formal process called the brain untraining process. Is this the brain untraining process some of these techniques or is there another way you’d like to describe that?

There is a nine-step process that I take people through. First of all, I’ll give you a bit of background. I was called the brain untrainer by a client of mine back in 2003 or 2004. This particular client had Multiple Sclerosis or MS. He’s a proud gentleman and embarrassed by the problem. He kept it under wraps. He was at the point that he had ataxia with sway and they have difficulty controlling their muscular function, but he hid this problem. He was a high-level executive in a company and he didn’t want anyone to know that he had multiple sclerosis because he thought they’d give up on him. What happened was one day he was going to get his medication and he fell through a display. He was hugely embarrassed, and he gave me a call and he said, “Rik, I made a decision. I want this gone. I wouldn’t put this pressure on you because I’m sure you haven’t ever worked within anyone with MS before. Would you be willing to work with me?”

Working with someone with depression is challenging because the moment they've got depression, all eyes are on them. Click To Tweet

I said, “I would be willing to work with you if you are willing not to be yourself anymore. That you’re willing to be the person that needs to be the person at the end of the problem that is at the solution end.” He said, “I’ll do whatever you say and I will do whatever it takes, but I want this gone.” By the time we finished our work together, he had gone from having the symptoms of MS to being completely confused as to whether he even had MS in his lifetime. He believed at the finish that he made it up in his head, it wasn’t real. The truth is I don’t care whether it was real, and it disappeared or whether it wasn’t real, and he was acting as if it was. My job was to get rid of it. He came up to me one day and he said, “You’re not a trainer and you’re not a coach. You’re a brain untrainer.” That’s how I got the title of brain untrainer and it stuck.

I’ll take you through the process. Essentially, there are nine points. The first part of the process when I first work with a client, the first thing and the obvious thing is what most coaches will do, which is to establish a goal or a problem. Determine specifically what you’re looking to achieve. One little key in that area is that the reason a lot of people don’t achieve their goals is that they chunked them up too high. What I mean by that is they make them too broad. I’m unhappy is an example or I want to be happy. In truth, happy is such a broad concept. What we have to do is we have to break that down and come down by asking questions similar to what does happy look like, what does it sound like, what are you doing when you’re happy and those things.

The first part of the process is establishing what they want, why they want it, then it’s about bringing it into an actual behavior or action. It’s something that’s quite measurable, something that you can say, “That’s fantastic.” You have achieved it because it’s clear and it’s obvious. Whereas it’s a bit difficult to calibrate something like happy, for example, because people can go in and out happy. It’s subjective. The truth is I’ve discovered in life that no one is happy 100% of the time because you quickly lose your relationship with happy. We have to be sad, we have to be angry or we have to be frustrated in order to know what happy is again. From that perspective, the first step is establishing the goal. The next step is the relevancy step. What we’ve got to do there is work out where they are now in relation to their resolution such as, where are they now in the context of their goal or where are they now in the context of their problem. What is the urgency of that resolution? How quickly do they want to move? That might sound like a dumb question.

You would assume that most people would want to reach their goal as quickly as possible or to get rid of their problems as quickly as possible, but that’s not always the case. I’ve been doing this now for a few years. Something I’ve learned is that some people you’ve got to be careful to go too quickly because their whole world can unearth. A classic example of that is depression or any ailment or issue that there are a number of other people in the family that walk around on eggshells around it or respond to it. You can’t have a client walk in one day depressed and walk out the next day not depressed because that creates a huge problem for their family. It changes the whole dynamic, the whole environment. The actual speed is also something that you measure at the beginning where you’re asking questions of your client. This completely disappeared within new problems. That might sound like an odd question, but you do need to have the answers to those questions. We’re working at relevancy where they are in the context of their actual goal or problem.

The third point that I’ll look at is assessing their past progress and their commitment. I want to get a sense of what client am I working with. Is this the client that is going to be fully committed to getting a result or is there some secondary gain, which they get as a result of keeping the problem? The depression example I gave you, I often found that it was sometimes more challenging working with someone with depression because often you would get someone in the family who was ignored. The moment they got depression, all eyes are on them. They’re getting all this extra attention. You’ve got to assess their level of commitment. You’ll want to find out what they’ve done to resolve the issue or obtain the goal. What have they done? This will give you an idea of commitment.

GYTM 15 | Brain Untraining Process

Brain Untraining Process: Quite often, it’s difficult for people to see outside of their own thinking in a very conscious state.


Quite often, I get a lot of clients who will say things to me like, “I’ve done this. I’ve seen that person. I’ve seen this person. I’ve done that. I went on this retreat.” That tells me that there is a person who hasn’t gotten through it, but it also tells me that they’re quite committed. They’ve tried lots of things. It can also tell me that there’s a huge secondary gain there as well because not all of these practitioners could be bad. Not all of these practitioners didn’t do their best. I find anyone that works in this industry, regardless of what therapy you apply. We will care about what we do and who we serve. I want to find out what’s worked, what hasn’t worked, why it hasn’t worked. I want to find out how well do they understand their issues or how well do they know their goal. How intimate are they with that? It starts to give me a bit of a profile of the person. I can get a good idea of who I’m working with and that’s important.

The fourth point is a bit of a challenging point. It’s challenging because this is where you want to increase the level of commitment. If you’re working with someone that hasn’t got a high level of commitment, what you want to do is build that level of commitment. It’s not that I’m a big fan of the circuses and the animals, but what I’ll do to get the lion to jump through the hoop is the audience does not see all the training that happens before. All the ringmaster does is crack that whip or the lion tamer cracks that whip and the lion jumps through the hoop and the audience applaud. What they don’t see is all the priming, getting them ready to jump through that hoop. It’s increasing its commitment. The fourth step is key. This is something that most coaches, most therapists, psychiatrists, psychologists and counselors will not do because we care so much about our clients. This is where I call it sticking in the sword. What we’re doing here is we’re asking the client what the cost of the issue is? What does it cost them financially? What does it cost them mentally, socially, in their families, in their work, in their careers, lack of promotion and all this stuff?

You’re sitting there, you’re writing all this down and then you’re going to put it into the client’s face. You’re going to make them aware and sometimes you can put it into financial language. For example, there was a client that I was working with at one point and he wanted to increase his income. We did some work around that. When we got to the fourth step, he was super keen to do whatever it took to get there. We got to the point where I said to him, “How much extra do you want to earn? What is your goal here?” He gave me a figure. I can’t recall the figure exactly, but it was somewhere in the vicinity of around $60,000 or $70,000. I said to him, “If you do not succeed, this is going to cost you $60,000 to $70,000.” He said, “No, it’s not because I haven’t got that money yet.” I said, “What I’m talking about is potential. If you quit on yourself here, you are losing $60,000 to $70,000 a year potential.”

The moment he got that, he tried it on and it felt real to him. If he didn’t do this, he wasn’t going to earn that income. You want to find out what the true costs are of not resolving the issue or not reaching the goal and get a sense of how much do they truly respect and understand what this is costing them. Clients that I’ve worked within the context of relationships, I’ve said, “You do realize the cost of this, don’t you?” They’ll say, “Yeah, it’s painful. It’s horrible. It’s terrible.” I was like, “No. You do realize this could end in divorce.” They go, “It could and that would be horrible and terrible.” I said, “Do you realize you’re going to lose between 50% and 70% of your assets if you’re a male in Australia?” All of a sudden, it dawns on them particularly if their wealth or money is high on their values listed. It can kick in.

It’s a different perspective.

Calibrate the problem. Start working with invisible stuff such as anxiety. Click To Tweet

It does, but it puts a lot of importance on getting an outcome. Instead of you being the only one who’s truly invested in getting a result for your client, now your client is completely invested too. I often say to my clients, “My job is to put you between 60% and 80% effort in this process. You’re the one that’s going to put in the balance.” In truth, you should be the one putting in about 60% to 80% and I should be the one putting in 20% to 40%. In that way, you get a client who’s truly engaged. That’s quite key. The next thing that we’ve got to do in that step is to calibrate the problem. Particularly when you’re starting to work with more invisible stuff, issues like anxiety is invisible. It’s difficult to know other than the physiology that you can see or the behaviors that you can see. The actual mindset is always quite invisible.

The only time you see it is in the behaviors or the actions and the things that someone is doing and even speaking. I want to calibrate it at this stage where is it on a scale of 1 to 100. 100 is the worst it could be and one is the best it could be. In fact, zero might be perfect. You’re getting some calibration of where the problem is. This is a lot of preparation work. We don’t even get to do any change work for another couple of steps. The next thing we’ve got to do is separate the identity from the behavior. This is along the lines of what I was talking about, which is looking at things from a multidimensional way. You’ll be asking your client questions like, “What does your partner think about this? What does your mother think about this? What does anyone but you think about this?” What that’s doing is starting the fire of new neurology because the person now is having to look at it from different perspectives. Therefore, they’ve got to develop new neural pathways because quite often people are narcissistic, particularly when they have their own problems. It’s all about them and often they don’t even see other people outside and how they’re dealing with their problems.

We’re going to get then the client to observe the new identity and actual behavior. We’re going to get them to start offering advice and insights. The roles are now reversed. They’re like the coach and I’m like the client, they’re telling me what they should be doing. What I’m starting to get is I’m getting them out of the identity or the problem and that’s preparing them to now move to the sixth point. The sixth point or sixth step is to identify the actual cause and not the symptoms. Look for what is the behavior or non-behavior that is happening and then what is the historical cause of it. When did they decide that they were depressed or when did they decide they couldn’t reach that goal? When did they believe or feel that they couldn’t achieve it?

We’re now starting to go into their history. There’s a specific way that we do this. At this particular point, we’re starting to do a lot of alpha type work. Quite often, it’s difficult for people to see outside of their own thinking in a conscious state. Sometimes you’ve got almost to bring them into a bit of an unconscious state to get to the cause of the actual problem. Quite often, it’s a closed eye process. Quite often, you’re using specific language to get them to identify the actual point of it. If you asked a person consciously, “What is the cause of the problem?” they’d say, “I don’t know. I’ve got no idea. That’s why I’m here.” You’ve got to then get them to tap into what it is that is causing it and you’re not going to get that from a conscious state.

That stage is the cause. Are you able to get them to the level that the cause is their thinking, the problems in their thinking?

GYTM 15 | Brain Untraining Process

Brain Untraining Process: Begin to see yourself as if your life is now working.


At this particular point, prior to that, you’ve separated their identity from their behavior. You’ve trained them to step outside of themselves already. When we’re at the next step and when we’re identifying the cause, they’re already outside of themselves and they’re looking at it like a doctor would or they’re looking at it like God would. They’re looking at it like someone else would, not how they’ve seen it. One important part of all of this is all memory is state-based. If we want to access a particular memory, what we’ve got to do is we’re going to get the person back in the emotional state when the memory was implanted. What we’re doing is we’re creating a disassociation pattern, which you’d be familiar with.

You’re getting them to see the event through their own eyes, not seeing the event as if they’re in the event. They see it as a witness to the event. Once they’re at that particular point and you’ve identified the cause, now it gets to the most technical part of all of this, which is the seventh step, which is doing the change work. We’ve identified the behavior or the non-behavior and we work on one part of the behavior at one time. Don’t try to fix all of it. Fix one bit at a time. If you do this well, what you’ll see is it’s almost like a ripple effect. It’s like dominoes all falling one after the other. You will see a person at this point change before your own eyes. An example of this is I was working with a client who was an executive of a Fortune 500 company. He’s a successful man, but he had that fraud syndrome thing going on. As a result of that, it showed up as anxiety. That’s what they called it. That’s what he called it. That’s what he believed it was.

He said to me, “How long is it going to take to get rid of anxiety?” I said, “That depends on many factors. These days, I don’t do one-off sessions. I got coined the magic man many years ago and it was a terrible title because people believe in all cases that I could help them in one session. That’s not always the case. You’ve got a lot of work to do. These days, I do eleven sessions.” He said, “Is it going to take all eleven?” I said, “You could be out of anxiety in one session, but the question is, is my fee worth getting rid of the anxiety?” He said, “Absolutely.” I said, “If we get rid of it in the first session, you’ve got another ten sessions. We can work on many other things.” With him, we got to the end of the first session. I asked him how he was feeling and he said, “I feel weirdly different.” I said, “Let’s touch base next session and find out how you’re going.”

In our next session, he said, “It was incredible.” He got a new role in a new company and he said it was 9:30 in the morning. The CEO said to him, “I want you to brief the team.” There were 120 people on the team. He’s 30 minutes into his new role or a new job and he has to stand up in front of all these people. He said it was incredible. He said, “It was like you put a metal plate in my head. Normally, my anxiety program would be singing to me. I would be in beads of sweat. I couldn’t access it. I couldn’t access the anxiety anymore.” I said, “What do you want to work on next?”

In some cases, you’re shutting off the neuro program so that neuro program doesn’t run anymore. The change work is getting in and doing the change work. Step eight is installing the changes. That’s all for work. It’s almost the elements of hypnosis and so forth where what you’re doing is you’re getting a person to close their eyes and they run through their lives without the problem. Notice what they notice as they’re doing that. What’s happening is the person is starting to reform new neural pathways. They’re starting to create new neural pathways. They’re an actor in their own movie. I see this as an important part to the whole process because you want the person to be able to rehearse success and see it in their mind eye and feel it and hear themselves saying, “I’m successful. This has worked fantastic.”

Don't try to fix all of it. Just fix one bit at a time. Click To Tweet

Finally, we’re at the point of review. I often see most processes as layers of an onion. You’re peeling off the first layer and testing to make sure that the problem is gone. If it hasn’t, there’s another layer and you keep stripping away those layers until that person is no longer identifying with the problems at all. That’s in essence and in a bit of a chunked up fashion the process. There are usually nine steps in it. When we do the review work, we’re usually going from step four through to step nine. We do not have to do one, two and three so much.

When you’re creating those different neural pathways, then we go back to immersing yourself in that new way of thinking, a new way of being and bringing your brain to an early stage of a meditative state. They’re more welcoming to that new way of thinking and being.

The thing that’s key to training a person’s brain is the thing you’ve got to be able to stimulate. Your language has to cycle through. This is an NLP type frame. You’re creating visual elements, you’re creating auditory elements and you’re creating kinesthetic and auditory digital elements. Your languaging is things like, “I want you to look at your life now that it’s working.” Begin to see yourself as if your life is now working. Begin to notice the things that you notice, which digital auditory language is. Notice the things that you’re noticing as your life is starting to come together. Begin to get a sense of what that feels like, which is key. What that feels like as everything is working for you now is all coming your way. Begin to notice how you sound. Even your voice is different. Begin to notice these differences because these differences are your permanent self now.

Your language has to be careful as specifically produced and designed to make sure you are creating neural pathways in a person’s brain that are supportive of their progress. I got this from my first experience of breaking through my own financial corridor and opening up a new financial world for myself. The thing I like to bring into coaching are those opportunities of magic. The way I’ll introduce them to people because quite often I’m working with highly successful, intellectual, academically successful people. Your languaging has to be appropriate. However, what I’ll often introduce to them is I say, “You’re a clever person. We both know this, but sometimes we can be clever by half.” Sometimes we can be clever that there’s only one way for success to happen and sometimes we need to tap into another side about thinking the magic side. It’s the side that creates those synchronicities, those miraculous things, those miracles.

It’s not a logical part of our mind.

GYTM 15 | Brain Untraining ProcessThese days, I use that word purposely. We think too much. I believe what we’re going to have in the future is have some illness, which is called thinkivity or something. It will be overthinking. The thing I’ve found over the years is people are usually successful. They’re intelligent, but they take illogical risks. That creates an argument that says, “Are they highly intelligent?” I would say, “They are,” but a lot of people would say “No, they’re not,” because they do things sometimes which defy logic.

Rik, thank you so much for sharing your brain untraining process. I can see how powerful it could be to helping people take conscious control of their life. I like to use the term, “Become a conscious creator of their ideal life.” What is the best way for our audience to get in touch with you?

Our website which is LifeBeyondLimits.com.au.

You have a number of books. Can you mention some of the ones you have available?

The books I have available is my first book, which is A Life Beyond Limits. It’s documenting about how I got to that point where I blasted through my financial barrier. I wrote my second book, which is The Power of Beliefs. I discovered through therapy that it was seven beliefs that stop people from moving forward. My third book is a book called ROAR! Courage: From Fear to Fearless. I wrote that because I believe that many people needed a formula for courage. I wrote another book for therapists and coaches called The Life Coach Millionaires. It was many of the strategies that I created in my practice to create financial success in my life.

Rik, are all these available on Amazon?

If you do a search under Rik Schnabel, all my books will come up there.

Rik also has a profile on The Coaching Connector please check out that profile on www.TheCoachingConnector.com. Thank you so much, Rik. This has been a wonderful example of how to take control of your own mind. I can see how many people could be benefiting from your brain untraining process.

Thank you so much, Lisa. I hope I’ve been able to help.

Please remember to visit www.TheCoachingConnector.com for more articles on Guiding You Through The Maze to your best personal and professional life. Please remember to subscribe to Guiding You Through the Maze and share a link with anyone you think would benefit from the information we’re presenting. We’re glad to be part of your journey. Wishing you much success.

Important Links:

About Rik Schnabel

GYTM 15 | Brain Untraining ProcessRik Schnabel is one of Australia’s most highly respected coaches and is Australia’s #1 Brain Untrainer.

He has over 11,000 hours of clinical and business coaching experience. He specializes in removing unconscious blocks that stand between you and success.

His qualifications include Certificate of Life Coaching, NLP Master Practitioner, NLP Results Coach, and EFT.



  • Lentino, L.M. (2014). Constructive thinking how to grow beyond your mind. Sudbury, MA: Grow Beyond Your Mind.

Limits of Liability / Warranty Disclaimer

Web Analytics