Coaching your Brain with the Power of Story

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Neurosummit Lisa Garr the Aware Show

Dr David Krueger

We all have stories that we tell ourselves. Whether its a belief or a fact, it is an anatomical reality in our brains, says Dr David Kreuger, my guest on today’s Neurosummit. “A visualization does the same thing as actually seeing it through the optic nerve,” he said.

After practicing as a psychiatrist for decades, he began coaching and mentoring high-level executives and professionals. What he found was that we all have two stories: our surface story, and our shadow story.

Our surface story is what we tell ourselves, and tell the world, consciously. But our shadow story may have a completely different agenda, and may go in the exact opposite direction as the surface story.

Dr Krueger demonstrated how he works with his clients, listening to their story, and how they construct their story, by giving me some coaching on something I am working on. I told him I always wanted to be one of those people who never got sick, but when I find myself coming down with a cold or a flu, everything comes to a halt in my life while I recover.

As a mother, and a wife, and the owner of multiple businesses, it is only when I get sick that I have a moment to stop and just rest. My shadow story is: I need to rest! And this goes in conflict with my surface story, which is that I am always busy, and I can accomplish everything in the world that I want to do.

The Pain / Pleasure Principle

There are two primary motivating factors in life, Dr Krueger says: pain and pleasure. We are biologically wired to avoid pain, and we like to seek out pleasure. If you are able to uncover your shadow story, you might find out that you are subconsciously associating pain with your surface story.


He demonstrated how powerful stories can be when he revealed a startling statistic: 95% of people who experience significant weight loss gain it all back. The problem, he says, is that they have not made the changes in their inner story about who they are.

This is one of the most powerful aspects of the human psyche: we always return to our core identity. If you make changes in your behavior, without changing your core identity, without changing your surface story and your shadow story, then you will go back to your old self.

This is the basis of his NeuroMentor program: uncovering your story, and incorporating your changes into your identity. He is offering it at a discounted price just for the Aware Show listeners. Click below to watch the interview replay, and you might make some lasting changes to your own story: