Have you been caught in someone else’s mist?

I first heard this concept of being in the “mist” from an interview with Jamie Foxx. Basically, he was referring to how much more attractive you are to women when you are famous, like you are in a mist that makes you look better, sound better, feel better, like you can do no wrong. Then once the fame fades away, so does the mist.

This concept can be used in a multitude of ways. I have certainly been in someone else’s mist and it can be a very disempowering place to be. It equates to putting someone on a pedestal or seeing someone as “better” than you.

Clearly the mist shows up in our obsessive interest with fame and famous people. It can also show up with many people in our lives, starting when we are young with our parents.

Here are some common places where you may find people who carry the mist quality: 

  • Actors
  • TV & Radio personalities
  • Teachers & Mentors
  • Speakers, Authors & Experts
  • Doctors
  • Religious leaders
  • Political figures
  • Authority figures
  • Relationship in the honeymoon phase
  • Anyone who is in a leadership role

What can become disempowering and even abusive in this scenario is when the person in the mist takes advantage of knowing that you are in their mist and wants to keep you in their mist. It can get to the point where it can become dangerous when the person in the mist is a narcissist and uses certain manipulation techniques to purposefully disempower you and influence you to need them for your so called own good.

The latter is what I would like to discuss today. Being an empowerment coach, teacher, author and speaker whose mission is to empower people, I’ve always been very careful to make sure that those I work with are feeling more empowered over time, not more dependent upon me. However, there are some teachers, mentors, coaches, etc. that do not operate from that same belief. If you have found yourself in this type of mist, it can be a very tricky situation and here’s why.

Whenever you seek help, especially in your most vulnerable and darkest of times, and you find someone who genuinely helps you out of that darkness, you feel a sense of deep gratitude. That is normal and natural. When the help you find is on a professional level, you may find yourself spending a fair amount of time with that person depending on what your circumstances are. In my experience, the majority of clients I work with are clearing issues that have been present their entire lives, so it takes some time. I have found that a minimum of 9 months is usually necessary to not only change the trajectory of their life, but to keep them firmly planted on that new trajectory so they don’t go back to their old automatic ways. I’ve also worked with clients longer than that and also had clients return due to new challenges that have come up for them.

My goal is not to keep someone in coaching so I have a steady flow of income, that would not be in line with my values and integrity. My goal is to assist as long as I’m needed and progress is being made. Let me reemphasize the latter, that progress is being made.

Now here’s the catch… if you are in someone else’s mist, they will continue to emphasize how important it is to keep seeking their help, and you believe them because you have made progress in the past. After all, they brought you out of your darkness, they’ve got your trust and you believe they have your best interest at heart. Yet, your progress seems to have slowed down and you find yourself stuck on the same issues and not getting past them.

There are many tactics that can be used to keep you in someone else’s mist. Here are just a few of those tactics that are often used in the world of personal development. 

    1. You start to question whoever you hold in the mist. You might even think to yourself, “What if they aren’t who I think they are?”
    2. You start to feel taken advantage of and even used as you are asked to do things outside of your own healing, but are not fairly compensated, if at all, for your time and effort. They may even ask to borrow money or try to partner up with you if they see a financial opportunity.
    3. They are great at finding talented people and then reigning them in with stories of past life connections and soul contracts so you feel special. Now helping them becomes your soul purpose.
    4. They put off an air of having other-wordly wisdom. They may grin like a cheshire cat with a sense of, “I know something you don’t know.”
    5. You feel you are obligated or expected to show up for any and all events offered.
    6. The one in the mist might spend a whole lot of time edifying themselves and how great they are.
    7. They may tend to move around and create new “followers” because eventually the old ones see through the mist.
    8. You notice they embellish a lot or just downright lie.
    9. They tell tall tales of outrageous experiences they’ve had. Yet, you never see any proof or meet anyone who can collaborate their stories.
    10. You start to question yourself, “Is it me or is it them?”
    11. They act as if they have all the answers for you.
    12. They act as if they hold the magic, that they are special and have powers you don’t have, which is why they need you.
    13. You feel inferior, that the person in the mist is superior to you.
    14. They seem above reproach.
    15. They talk negatively about other spiritual teachers.
    16. They are always looking for others to go on and on about them to build them up.
    17. They act as if they have some sort of secret information that they keep to themselves.
    18. If you confront them, they are masters at manipulation, and you walk away feeling like everything just got turned around on you. You may even think to yourself, “What just happened?”
    19. You feel like you are being scolded from the front of the room.
    20. If YOU are challenged with something in your life, it’s because there is something you are to be looking at about yourself or learning from. If THEY, the one in the mist is challenged, they say it’s because some mystical thing is happening to them, they deflect and find other reasons why it’s happening other than themselves.
    21. You are guided to seek some state of perfection, which means you always have so much further to go. 

Everything just seems to be about them, and for good reason, you’ve gotten caught in the mist of a narcissistic mentor. The real conflict comes when the mist starts to clear. You were genuinely helped – in the beginning. But at some point, the tables turned, and now you are feeling less empowered and more reliant on always needing more help. You don’t want to feel this way about them because of all they’ve done for you, yet you feel betrayed. The further you move out of the mist, the more betrayed you feel. Now not only do you need to continue to work on yourself and whatever issues you got stuck in that were yours, but now you need to clear the betrayal and pain of the experience created by being in this web with this person that had all been covered by the mist.