The tools for personal growth

These are the tools used in PDS (personal development school). Published by permission of Thais Gibson. If you want to do a deeper dive (as Thais would say) into these tools, I highly recommend for you to join PDS. There are four live webinars a week, lots of social webinars, and many different pre-recorded courses to dive into.


BTEA (Beliefs – thoughts – emotions – actions) explains the basics of how our (core) beliefs lead to thoughts, (negative or positive) emotions, and the resulting actions. Start here when you are new to your personal growth journey, to understand this basic mechanism.

Core Wounds and belief patterns

Core wounds are negative beliefs about self and others at the core, which keep driving many painful thoughts and emotions in our lifes. A major focus of self-development work is to reprogram these using autosuggestion. Before reprogramming them, however you need to identify them.


Autosuggestion is the way we work on updating old beliefs to more productive ones, to empower us in our life. Emotion + repetition of proofs does the trick. Read more here.

Emotional Processing Tool

The emotional processing tool can be used whenever you are upset, angry, annoyed, sad, etc. about something. It’s main function is to equilibrate you into a state from which you will be able to see clearer what you actually need in the situation, and how to give it to yourself. A secondary function (which will be prominent over time) is to reprogram you into being less reactive and more relaxed – which leads to a healthier, more balanced life.

I have my own spin of the tool based on Thais Gibson’s teaching, which works very well for me as a process. Be aware that Thais teaches this a bit differently, I can vouch for my own version – using it successfully for about two years now!

This is one of the most important tools for a better quality life! That is why this blog post goes in depth, and also gives you a commented real example of me doing the emotional processing work (as a downloadable PDF).

Relationship needs and expectations

Every human is different. We all have different needs and expectations, and interpret the world in our own ways. Therefore it is absolutely vital for you to take your needs into consideration when making decisions, to communicate about them, and ensure that they are met. Your subconscious will be looking for ways to meet these needs in the most effective way it knows, which might not necessarily be the best way overall.

Your needs are valid. The more you show up for them, the more amazing your life will feel. It is important that you proactively identify your needs and develop and execute strategies to meet them daily.

Here’s a little secret: the relationships you enter are all designed to meet one or several of your needs. So make the most out of this knowledge, and seek out the relationships which are truly fulfilling, instead of projecting your needs on other people and then being disappointed if people with other need structures are not willing to show up for them. So many life years can be wasted by expecting penguins to fly. They are not born for that … ! But they can swim beautifully.


Boundaries, and vulnerable honest communication about boundaries is important for every relationship. Boundaries are what actually keeps you (emotionally) safe, and they are vital. Giving up on your own boundaries in order to be close to someone is a recipe for resentment and instability of the relationship!

Cost/Benefit Analysis

We react to emotional associations. When making decisions, and consciously preferring a (healthier) solution for yourself, you can look at costs of the solution you “feel” more for, and at benefits of the solution you actually prefer. This also works if you are stuck in any particular situation – for example in an unhealthy romantic relationship. Associating downsides to the relationship you are in currently, and upsides to moving on will put you into a better position to be able to let go.

As always with this work, repetition + emotion are the keys to making it work!

Coping mechanisms

When we are stressed and upset we frequently resort to a series of coping mechanisms and behaviors we have picked up and discovered over time as being effective to return us to emotional equilibrium. These include positive coping mechanisms, like journalling or taking a walk to calm down, but might also include mechanisms with a destructive component like drinking, or bullying other people (to regain the sense of power).

It is important to examine the coping mechanisms you use, and update them with healthier strategies to meet your needs, where necessary.

Nervous system regulation work

Your nervous system has two main states: “rest & digest” (parasympathetic) and “attack and defend” (sympathetic).

Both states are necessary – that is why you have them both! The key is to have a good balance between them.

The nervous system regulation work helps you to become active, when you need to be active – and become calm when you need to be calm, for example at bedtime.

Being able to self-regulate your nervous system instead of relying on external factors (e.g. alcohol, people, … ) will give you another invaluable tool in your self-development toolbelt.

This is achieved for example by doing breath work, yoga, but also emotional processing tends to return you to calmer states.

Shadow work

Shadow work is an advanced tool which can be used to discover traits, behaviors and patterns you are not aware of. It starts with being triggered by someone (shadow work) or infatuating with someone (golden shadow work). Many golden nuggets of wisdom (as Thais would say) are to be gained here!


I offer one on one coaching services, if you want a guided experience and some extra support. Read more about the coaching services for personal development and growth here, including my hourly rates and discount possibilities. The first session is always free!

Additional Useful Resources

Attachment styles