(Note: This article intended to help anyone struggling with self-love, depression, acceptance, and much more who are curious about The Hoffman Process. It is for informational purposes only and simply a reflection of my own personal experience.)
“You have a negative love relationship with your dad. That’s the problem.”
“Yeah… You have a lot of buried anger from your dad that you haven’t dealt with. Have you heard of The Hoffman Process?”.
No, I haven’t.
“You should look it up and go. I highly recommend it.”
How It All Started
It was July of 2022 when I was attending a VIP coaching day with Steph Tuss and David Neagle of Life Is Now Inc. I was giving them the backstory of my life, trying to help uncover “the thing” that has been plaguing me for years of my life.
For those of you who don’t already know my story, when I was 19 my dad was paralyzed in a hunting accident when he fell from a tree, and then five years later took his own life. At the age of 23, I was also paralyzed in a motocross accident. I fortunately did have the chance to learn how to walk again and ultimately ended up competing in sledge hockey at the Paralympics in Sochi, 2014.
Between my dad’s and my “trauma”, you’d think that had something to do with why I went to see David and Steph, but that wasn’t “the thing” I thought was plaguing me.
Within the year after my dad was paralyzed, I had my first girlfriend. Everything was going smoothly for three months until out of the blue she broke up with me, and like many 19-year old’s, I felt like my life had been shattered.
Since then, that experience has plagued me and as result, for the last 20 years I have always found myself in short term relationships never able to fully commit and while I was approaching 40, this has been a pattern I was sick and tired of constantly reliving.
I always thought “that thing” I had to deal with had something to do with the breakup. I had no idea it had more to do with my father.
Insert “daddy issues” joke here… lol.
When I was explaining to David my past and the things that I felt had plagued me, it wasn’t the breakup experience that caught his attention, but the anger that surfaced from me when I began speaking about certain negative memories of my dad and I fighting… and that’s when the truth bomb of “You have a negative love relationship with your dad.” showed up.
What is The Hoffman Process?
I went home and immediately Googled The Hoffman Process.
It is a 7-day spiritual retreat designed to help you uncover what in 1967, the founder, Bob Hoffman, described as “Negative Love Syndrome”.
(As a heads up before you watch this video below, in my opinion, I don’t think this video comes close to doing the experience justice. If I would have watched this video before going I probably would have felt skeptical, but I’m glad I trusted my gut and went.)
Basically, as a child, most of us experienced a lack of love (often unintentionally) from either one of or both of our parents and as a result, we have unconsciously adopted negative patterns and behaviours that were created in order to “receive love”.
These patterns and behaviours may have been helpful as a child but have carried on with into our adult lives and no longer serve us in a positive way.
As an example, during your intake process one of the questions they ask is “As a child, when there was a fight in your household, how did your father react, how did your mother react, and what did you learn as a result of what you saw?”.
Hmm… That’s interesting to think about, isn’t it?
When there was a fight in our house, it was “dad’s way or the highway” and my mom would shut down, be quiet, and leave the room which taught me to avoid conflict, don’t say what you mean, and “keep the peace” or leave.
You can imagine how that plays out in relationships and business!
Throughout the Process, you participate in a series of exercises both as a group and individually to help reveal what those patterns and behaviours are. Then after writing everything down, you go through a series of exercises and visualizations to help you let go of what you have been holding onto and set yourself free so that you can be your true and authentic self, going forward.
What Do You Do There?
Have you ever seen the movie Fight Club? In it, there’s a rule which states, “The first rule about fight club is that you don’t talk about fight club”.
The Hoffman Process is kind of like that.
More so, I think, because if someone tries to explain to you what you do it can sound corny, silly, and spoil the experience if you truly want to go, but I can tell you a few things.
There are several visualizations throughout the week. Some are 5 to 10 minutes while a few are 30 to 40 minutes. You do a lot of journaling, spend a lot of time in reflection by sitting alone in silence, and there are expression exercises where you bash a pillow to “release” what you have been holding onto.
From my experience, you actually don’t want to know anything prior to going in because if you knew all the things you would do you might very well chicken out or pass on it because it sounds weird.
Just trust me on it. It works.
Who Is This For?
The Hoffman Process is certainly not for everyone, and you will get so much more out of the experience if you want to be there.
For example, to try and fix “the thing” I’ve been struggling with, over the last 20 years I have attended Landmark, Tony Robbins seminars, multiple other 2-3 day retreats, worked with a world class dating coach, hired two “Life Coaches”, and this was like none of those experiences. It’s its own unique experience and is for people who truly want to make a change and improve their lives.
The investment is currently $5,995 + travel, so it’s not cheap, and I would also forewarn you that there will be many moments where you feel vulnerable in front of others. You are never forced to share anything you don’t want to, but the more willing you are to be open; I reckon the greater your experience will be.
Many celebrities have completed The Hoffman Process including Katy Perry and Toms Shoes founder, Blake Mycoskie. Justin Beiber also attended but found that he wasn’t ready to be so vulnerable and left after a couple of days.
Their process is dialled into a science. Especially in today’s corporate world where psychological safety is so frequently talked about, I was blown away at how they are experts at helping make you feel safe to share only what you want to share.
All those things said, if you are someone who struggles with a lack of self-love, depression, anxiety, past trauma, self-worth, repeated negative patterns and beliefs that show up and cause problems in your personal or professional life such as “I am not enough”, or if you just want to better get to know yourself, I am certain you can benefit from The Hoffman Process.
What Was My Experience?
I went into The Hoffman Process hoping to learn and understand more about what happened with the breakup when I was 19 years old. However, what I learned through The Hoffman Process is that I have been living for the last 20 years with the belief that “I am not enough”.
Growing up as a kid who wanted to ride and race dirtbikes, my dad used to say things such as “You’re too old to race dirt bikes.”, “You’re too tall”, and “You started too late.”
Or following my motocross accident he would say things like “You don’t know what I am going through! You have no idea how I feel!”, despite the fact I was sitting across the kitchen table from him also paralyzed in a wheelchair.
No matter what I did or how hard I tried, dad always made me feel like I wasn’t good enough and that belief showed up in my life in so many ways.
- I would sabotage healthy relationships by making up silly reasons why the relationship won’t work out
- I would leave a good relationship early before I could “be hurt” by the other person
- I would avoid conflict because I wasn’t confident that I knew how to handle it properly, which showed up in my personal life and business
- I would constantly talk negatively to myself when doing work such as making sales calls, creating social media content, creating keynote and workshop presentations, or speaking to clients
- I would wake up dreading the day and being thankful when it was over because unless I was busy and keeping myself distracted from the present moment, I always felt like I should be better or doing something else that was more important
It wasn’t until sometime around day three of the Process while I was mid-visualization I experienced a somewhat “euphoric moment” where I could feel the weight of life being lifted off of my shoulders.
When I came out of a visualization, I felt like for the first time in my life I could truly said that “I love myself”.
You read that right… for the first time in my life I can say to the deep inner core of my soul and my being, I LOVE MYSELF, and it feels fucking amazing!
Now, as a result I no longer spend my days with that feeling inside that I am not enough. I now have such a “full cup” that:
- I do not get down when a relationship doesn’t work out (personally, or professionally)
- I’m no longer afraid of having difficult discussions
- I no longer dread waking up to take on the day
- I have silenced that inner critic, that inner voice that used to take over
- And so much more!
I simply know that I AM ENOUGH and it has liberated me from fear, anxiety, and worry as I life my life every single day.
It was so life changing that when I came home, I decided to create an entire tattoo sleeve on my left arm as a reflection about my experience.
Nearly the entire sleeve is all a reflection of the exercises I did at The Hoffman Process, the places and activities where we spent time together as a group, and a massive reflection of the self-love I have for myself and others in my life.
Click here to watch a video of me explaining the entire tattoo sleeve on my Instagram account.
Interested? Here Are Resources:
If you are interested in learning more, I encourage you to simply go and experience it for yourself. If you feel like it is calling you, you should go.
Here are a few resources to check out:
I would also encourage you to listen to this episode with Blake Bycoskie on the Tim Ferris podcast talking about his experience. They specifically begin talking about it at the 19 minute mark of the episode.
As a result of the pandemic, there is now an online version of The Hoffman Process, but personally I would never want to do this online. The in-person experience brought so much that I can’t imagine missing out on connecting with other people and going through the Process in-person, together.
At the end of the Process they remind us, “There are many ways to enlightenment”, which I completely agree on. You need to find what works for you.
But if you’re anything like me, after 20 years of trying everything under the sun to fix “the thing” that continued to plague me in my life, The Hoffman Process was “the thing” that finally helped me fix “the thing”.
Whenever you are ready, if you would like to learn more, here are the best ways I can help you:
Connect with me on LinkedIn – This is where I post my best content to help you shift your mindset to drive results and embrace change. Click here
Hire me as a speaker for your next event – Watch my keynote demo reel on The Hero Mindset to see me in action. Click here
Work with me privately – If you would like to work with me and my team privately to help strengthen your commitment towards the change you are experiencing, increase your mental resilience, and perform with relentless stamina, just send me a message here and let me know the important details about your business and we’ll take care of the rest.