Is Your Life A Do It Yourself Project
We all know life is full of choices. The most powerful choice you have to make is how you view your life.
Choice #1: Life happens, you react
Choice #2: You are the director of your life
The wonderful thing is that there is no "wrong" choice. Since it's your life, you decide which is best for you. However, each option produces extremely different results. Perhaps the best approach is not to choose which option you like, but choose the option that has the end result you believe is best for you.
End Result of Life Choice #1 - Unknown
It's impossible to determine the outcome here. Why? Because you're letting everyone and everything else determine your life's outcome. The one constant is that you will spend your life reacting to events around you.
But beware: many who choose this road end up considering themselves a victim of life. It's easy to spot a Life Choice #1 individual - they are full of excuses and are quick to blame others. Like why they're late every day to work ("traffic is horrible"), why they have no job ("nobody will hire me"), why they don't have supportive relationships ("my parents didn't teach me who to look for"), and in general, why they just can't seem to get ahead.
End Result of Life Choice #2 - Known
The outcome here is much better defined because you are in charge. Essentially, your life is a movie, full of main characters, supporting casts, dramatic events, and even a few twists in the plot. The exciting part about Life Choice #2 is that you are also the director in your own life. What do directors do? Edit. Review. Revise. Add comedy, love, action - whatever it is that makes the movie best.
It's easy to spot a person who's chosen Life Choice #2 - you take responsibility for your actions and accept the consequences, both negative and positive. The end result is that your life is yours.
Who's Your Life Director?
You...or everyone else? (Remember that not making a choice is not an option - it's a passive way of picking Life Choice #1 - letting life happen.)
Now is the time to actively take control of your life. What path do you choose?
The Secret To Making Lasting Changes
Think you can't change? Many of us already know that we need to improve our state of well-being in order to extend our lives as we age. Making changes are traditionally difficult, but the good news is that it's never too late to make changes for the better. The first step is to understand what's important to you, and then determine the choices and decisions that represent where you want to be. Maybe you want to start a new career, lose weight, stop smoking or start exercising. Whatever the change is, be sure you understand why you want to make the change.
Take a moment to think about a time in your life when you made a successful change or developed a new habit. What was your motivation for the change? What was your attitude at the time? What obstacles or barriers did you have to overcome? Your level of readiness to change will determine how successful you are, and how much time it will take. Once you make the decision to change, you must practice that new behavior one day at a time until it becomes a habit - a lasting change.
What allows some people to change, while others don't? According to Dr. James Prochaska, developer of the "Stages of Change Model," people cycle through a very distinct set of stages when making changes in their lives - from not being interested in making any changes, all the way through to maintaining a change after it's already been made. This is the real challenge for everyone, because resistance is always the initial response to making a change. Sometimes people don't see the positive side of change until it's shown to them (or until they are forced to realize it on their own). Change is a choice. It's something we decide to do. The same goes for wellness - it's a choice, and once you have decided to change, you'll feel better.
Embracing the concept of change is a big thing, because interestingly, many people think they don't have a choice when it comes to change. Why? For some it's fear, guilt, love, pain, time management or even a court order. What motivates one person may not be the same thing that gets another person to act. Everyone reacts differently to changes weather voluntary or mandatory.
To start making a change, let go of certain assumptions or ways of doing things, to make room for new ideas. Work on this one day at a time until you feel comfortable. This often comes into play when I work with sedentary people to increase their activity level (people who work a lot and don't have a lot of time to exercise). One of my clients' complaints was, "I don't want to take an hour or 30 minutes to walk." My solution was to suggest several two-minute intervals that would equal 30 minutes throughout the day
The Stress Of People Who Stutter
Many people become affected by different levels of stress. This stress may be caused by worrying about money, work, relationships, health, family, holidays, moving house or many other daily issues. For certain people who live life with a stuttering problem, stress can have an altogether different meaning. As well as worrying about all of the above issues they have many other things to stress about, things that fluent people just take for granted and see as very simple tasks/events.
I will take as an example a young man who is eighteen years of age, I will call him Peter. Peter has had a problem with his speech for as long as he can remember and has what is known as a stutter or stammer. Despite attending regular speech therapy classes, Peter has continued to be affected by this form of speech impediment and is starting to become very concerned about the future.
The first area of concern for Peter is his career prospects. He worries that quite a lot of employers may be reluctant to employ somebody who has a speech impediment and even if he is able to gain employment he worries about how he will cope in the workplace when he is unable to talk fluently. Routine tasks such as answering the telephone, having a conversation with a colleague, having a meeting with his team leader are things that cause Peter a lot of stress. This stress is affecting Peter before he has even got the job, what will he be like therefore once he has one.
Peter also stresses about love and marriage. He has yet to have a girlfriend, which he puts down to his lack of overall confidence and ability to chat them up. He would however dearly love to meet a woman with whom he could call his own girlfriend but worries that no girl/woman would want to date somebody who has a stutter. Even if he were to meet a girl, he then worries about all of the social aspects that go with having a girlfriend, such as meeting her parents and friends. Peter has never been one for socialising and prefers to spend time on his own relaxing. When he is on his own Peter never has a problem with speech and can say any word without the fear of stuttering.
Marriage is something Peter is almost certain he will not be getting involved with. The thought of having to stand up in front of a crowd of people, to give a speech, fills him up with dread. Peter can not imagine himself ever having the courage or confidence to be able to do that.
For people out there who are stressed about something, spare a thought for people who stutter as they have probably got it a whole lot worse than you.
Be Confident Do Not Let Your Boss Drag You Down
People we meet and have to see on a regular basis can have a negative affect on your life and self-confidence, but only if you let them. I am a person who would get dragged down by any negative comment made from a friend or by my boss for example. This article is about how to deal with these situations and how to not let these people and their comments make you feel like a second class citizen.
A few years ago I met a client(Ian) who described a similar scenario to me. He had been very successful in business and had reached the level of director in the company where he worked. We were discussing this very subject and he admitted that he had an over-aggressive boss who I think was the chairman of the company. I can not remember the chairmans name, however for the purpose of this article I will call him John.
Ian thought that John played a kind of business game, where he wanted to be seen as the boss and where he wanted everyone to be scared of him.
This was the situation Ian described to me. John would e-mail him in the morning with a question asking why the north-west of the country had not been as profitable in the last quarter compared to its usual levels. He would ask Ian to meet him in the afternoon to discuss his findings. Ian would then contact his line managers and would then write a report before attending the meeting with the chairman.
Ian was a person who had a slight speech impediment, a stutter. He would be able to talk fluently most of the time, however if he felt nervous or if he felt under pressure, he would then start having problems getting his words out and would stutter. Ian also had words he thought of as difficult and would often avoid these type of words. He was very careful when writing his report only to include words he felt confident he would be able to say.
In the afternoon who would go and meet John and present his report to him. He stated that he would have no problem with his speech at this stage and that the presentation would be delivered smoothly and fluently.
On hearing the report, John would not make any comment and would instead basically just stare at Ian, slowly nodding his head up and down at the same time. Ian described this as making him feel very uncomfortable and was just praying for the silence to end and for his chairman to say something. The words from the chairman would not come and so to break the silence Ian would then continue speaking giving more reasons which were probably not correct and that were certainly not planned. These words were also not spoken fluently but with Ian struggling and stuttering.
I had a little think about what Ian had told me and felt angry at John.
I eventually came up with a suggestion. I advised Ian to end his presentation with a question, for example, this is what I believe are the reasons, however I would value your opinion as chairman of the company.
He can then nod and stare for as long as he likes, it is his turn to talk next and Ian can sit there comfortably and just be patient.
It is very important that we do not let people like John drag us down. It is time to be strong and to stand up to these people.
Mentoring And Coaching For Professionals
In recent years there has been a significant rise in the demand for mentors and coaches. The driving forces behind this are: executives, managers and other specialists are increasingly expected to demonstrate that they are undertaking significant professional development; the workplace and business employment environment is becoming even more competitive; the influence of the emerging industrial nations is forcing radical changes in the skill mix required of managers and other professionals in the developed countries; the diversity of personal and professional skills, knowledge, and expertise needed to be successful in today's global business environment. As this demand has increased, so has the diversity of roles played and the range of services offered. Indeed, there are so many variations and combinations of mentoring and coaching, that it is increasingly difficult to differentiate between them and almost impossible to categorise the variations available.
Workplace mentoring is, despite appearances, a structured, organised, element of the organisation's training and development activity. It is, however, usually quite separate from organised training activities and from the formal appraisal process carried out by the line-manager. This formal, hierarchical relationship that exists between a person and their line-manager is usually not a suitable vehicle for a mentoring relationship. Mentoring generally takes the form of a confidential, one to one relationship, where a more senior person, at least one position higher than the line-manager of the person being mentored, helps a more junior one to make progress, usually as part of a planned development programme, such as management fast-tracking, preparing for a more senior post, or leading a phase of workplace activity, such as a project. The mentor offers guidance and advice, in a supportive and non-threatening manner, but in a format and style which is designed by the organisation's human resource department and then monitored by that department. The aim is to provide the recipient with support that will enable them to move forward confidently and to achieve their personal workplace objectives and also the objectives set for them by the organisation.
In an organisational setting, coaching has traditionally been part of the supervisory role played by line-managers, or more experienced employees, who show less experienced colleagues how to carry out an activity, or set of activities, competently. This is by default part of the cyclical process of developing an individual's skills, evaluating their performance, appraising their progress, carried out by the line manager. If the line manager does not carry out the coaching personally, they will have arranged for an experienced employee, usually within the same team as the person being coached, to deliver the coaching. In this context, coaching is, in effect, the teaching of a skill until the skill is learnt and can be consistently performed, independently, to the required standard. Although the majority of this type of coaching is delivered by people who are more experienced, it is not always the case that they are more senior. Often, because the coach is explaining or demonstrating a skill, or process, the coach can be a younger person, but someone who is capable of passing on their skills to others who are less experienced in that activity.
Today, the traditional roles of mentors and coaches can still be seen in action. However, in many organisations, and particularly in most business sectors apart from the heavy industries and manufacturing, there has been considerable change. The main changes have been in the widening of the range of coaching approaches and the merging of mentoring and coaching into one approach, generally under the title of Coaching. Despite the best efforts of some academics and management gurus, senior managers in some organisations, and the human resource purists, the terms mentor and coaching, and the roles, are now used interchangeably in many business sectors. The main reason for this is that individuals are demanding and expecting their mentor-coach to have a wide range of skills that encompasses the best features of both categories. Many organisations are also establishing mentor-coaching systems that also combine the best practices of both. The result is that, increasingly, the terms are in effect synonymous, and what one individual or organisation will label as Mentor, another will label as Coach.
Also, many individuals are arranging to work with a personal coach, whose role is a combination of mentor and coach. This is similar to the relationship between a sports person, for example athlete, and their persona coach, and that between individuals and their personal fitness trainer. In the business and professional development world, the result is a hybrid of mentoring and coaching that most people now label as Personal Coaching.
The ideal mentor is a person who has been trained in mentoring techniques, and has a blend of appropriate work experience, qualifications, and general business knowledge, that can be used to guide and advise a particular mentee. In addition it is very important that the mentor is a person who has an enthusiasm, if not a passion, for helping others to develop, fulfil their potential, and achieve their and the organisation's objectives.
The ideal coach is a person who has been trained in coaching techniques, has a broad range of experience and expertise, has knowledge and understanding of current business activity and trends, and an understanding of how an individual's career and professional development should be tailored in order to assist that person in being successful in achieving their development objectives.
As can be seen, there great similarities in the two roles, and, as a result, the differences are virtually indistinguishable and they are now frequently combined. Both are expected to have appropriate knowledge and experience, both must be skilled in: listening actively; communication techniques; being able to understand the work and personal environment of the person being coached; building a rapport and developing a relationship; asking appropriate questions; directing the coachee to other sources of help when appropriate; identifying, agreeing and setting goals; helping to devise action plans to achieve the goals; helping to monitor and make adjustments to the plans; and finally, knowing when it is time to end the relationship.
A coach works with individuals and organisations to help them to achieve higher levels of performance and-or specific goals. The coach will, by necessity, take into account past performance and events, but focuses on actions and goals for the future. The approach is action oriented, focusing on where the client is now, where they want to be in the future, and how best to get them there. This framework is familiar to those involved in strategic planning or project management, as it is the foundation of both. The coach takes this simple, structured approach, and builds on it to develop a plan of action that will enable them to help their client achieve their objectives.
For individuals, the benefits can be many, including helping the individual to: avoid making mistakes in their business or personal lives; achieve more, in less time; minimise current problems; effectively prepare for potential difficulties; be happier with their personal and-or work life; achieve career or personal development targets; change career or career direction; become more effective and influential in all areas of their life; be more attractive to others, in their career and professional development and-or their personal life.
For organisations, the benefits are similar. They include: learning from a person who has a broad range of knowledge; obtaining independent, unbiased, objective, advice and guidance; gaining improvements to productivity, quality levels, customer satisfaction, shareholder value; gaining increased commitment and satisfaction levels in operational and management staff; improved staff retention; supporting other training and development activity; visible evidence that the organisation is committed to developing and improving; establishing an effective process for organisational development.
The role of mentoring and coaching has changed radically over recent years. However, the changes are generally accepted as being positive ones, and today coaches are accepted as an integral feature of the development process, both for individuals and for organisations. As always, great care must be taken to ensure that the coach and any process that is undertaken is appropriate for the particular client, but with this caveat, it is now clear that coaches have an important role to play in the development of individuals and organisations in today's business world. As the pace of change and the complexity of business activity increases, it is certain that coaches will continue to play a key role in helping individuals and organisations manage that change and complexity more effectively.
Transformational Counseling is a process of assisting others to transform their lives. Transformational Counseling is a process of assisting others in their reinventing themselves, of creating a life that they love and living it powerfully. Transformational Counseling is a process of creating a space for others to get present to or become aware of their self limiting belief, to create or invent a possibility for themselves and their life that could not have existed before and to learn how to be in their possibilities as opposed to being that which has always stopped them in the past.
The development of transformational counseling has been the result of my work in counseling, psychotherapy, coaching, hypnosis, neuro linguistic programming, the work of Louise Hay and especially Landmark Education. To understand and be able to utilize the technology of Transformational Counseling with others, of being able to make a true difference in another person's life, requires that one understand or get certain concepts or distinctions about what it is to be a human being and reality itself. While the distinctions of Transformational Counseling are initially presented separately, it is in their practice or communication with another that a true synergy is reached and it's potential or power actualized for the client. For the counselor as well as the client the synergistic learnings that take place within Transformational Counseling is nonlinear in nature.
The clients that I work with are all experiencing a loss of power, freedom and full self-expression in one or many of the various domains of their life. The clients that I see are all being stopped in living a life that they love and living it powerfully. If they continue being as they have been being nothing will change, life will be as it has always been. They will remain stuck and unable to reach their true potential in life. The clients that I coach or counsel know that something needs to be different in their life but are unsure of what that something is all about, of what is not working, of what is missing, of what needs to happen. It is in assisting a client to discover or become present to that which has been causing their depression, sadness, anger, frustration, etc. and to learn how to create a new way of being that the work of Transformational Counseling is all about.
One of the fundamental distinctions of Transformational Counseling is that our thoughts are very important, if not the most important component of what it is to be a human being. We tend to believe that the external world, or what we commonly believe to be reality, is that which is truly important. As a result of such a belief, we are constantly engaged in trying to change something in the external world, constantly believing that this type of activity will bring us true happiness and contentment in our life. Within Transformational Counseling, it is our thoughts or thinking that is of immense importance to us and our process of living. It is our thoughts and thinking patterns that literally shape or determine our feelings, behavior, experiences and our reality. More specifically, it is our thoughts that we have about ourselves that tends to create or shape our experiences, that forms the background of our life and our sense of reality. It is from the thoughts that we initially create about ourselves that we subsequently develop into a belief about who we think we are, our self-image, of how we define our very being and it is from this belief that we live our life. A belief is merely a thought that we think is true or real, that expresses some sense of ontology.
Inside the conversation of Transformational Counseling it is also important to understand that we are truly responsible for the thoughts that we have, including and especially those that we have about ourselves. We literally invent or create all of our thoughts including those that we have about ourselves and with them our feelings and behaviors. To truly get our responsibility in how we create our experiences or reality is to also get how we create or invent all of our thoughts about ourselves and with it our reality. Reality itself has no meaning outside of what we give it. We are, as human beings, meaning making machines, beings that wrap meaning around everything in our life, including and most importantly about ourselves. Being responsible for our thoughts, getting it that we create them, is completely different from the experience of guilt or blame. It is not that we are to blame for our experiences but merely that we do create what we think about ourselves, who we think we are, how we feel about ourselves and how the world appears to us. There is a distinction between responsibility and blame or guilt.
What we tend to think about ourselves has at its core what can be referred to as our self-limiting belief. The self-limiting belief is a thought that we have about who we think we are, that defines our identity at its core, a belief that was developed between the ages of three to six approximately. During this time frame in our journey through life something happened, an event took place and it is from that event that we developed or created a thought or belief about ourselves. The original event is not so much of importance as the fact that we created a belief about ourselves, a belief that has actually limited us in life. The self-limiting belief is a sense of inadequacy, an idea or thought that something is wrong with us, that something is broken. Once this self-limiting belief is created or invented we tend to live our lives as if it were true. Our self-limiting belief is a fundamental, core belief that we have about ourselves, about who we think we are, that creates our feelings about ourselves, affects our behavior and determines our experiences.
Our self-limiting belief affects our behavior in that we are constantly trying to fix it. For example, if ones self-limiting belief is that the individual is "not enough", that person will constantly try to be "enough", constantly be doing things to compensate for what or who they think they are. While an individual is constantly attempting to fix it, the self-limiting belief is also in the process of fulfilling upon itself, of becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy, of causing the person to be "not enough." Given the fact that ones self-limiting belief is hidden from them, from their view, we are not aware of its existence or its affect on our life, of its influence or impact on our life. Even though it is not true, not real, we believe it to be so and as a result the self limiting belief is that which keeps us stuck, keeps us living in the past, prevents us from living a life that we love and living it powerfully. Our self-limiting belief is in a very real sense our personal affirmation, an affirmation that is embedded in our "self talk", an affirmation that determines how we tend to feel about ourselves, an affirmation that guides and determines our behavior in life, that defines our very way of being and how we appear to the world.
The first goal of Transformational Counseling is to assist an individual in becoming present to his or her self-limiting belief, of bringing it into ones awareness. It is this distinction or awareness of ones self-limiting belief that is crucial to his or her transformation. Without such awareness ones future will be as it has been, will be what can be referred to as the "probable almost certain future". Without such awareness, ones future will merely be the past and even with a constant attempt on the individual's part to fix the self-limiting belief, his or her life will merely be to continue with its fulfillment and actualization in their experiences and life. Awareness of ones self limiting belief can be gotten by the person experiencing its genesis or the originating event and with it the belief that the person invented or created about themselves at that time. An individual can also become present to the self-limiting belief by monitoring his or her spoken word. The self-limiting belief exists in our language, in the words we say or speak. Mirror work will also facilitate this type of awareness as ones self-limiting belief exists inside the feelings that one will become present as the individual observes his or her image. Regression can also be utilized to assist one in getting the genesis of his or her self-limiting belief.
Once one becomes present to his or her self-limiting belief, the opportunity then exists, possibly for the first time in the person's life, to invent a possibility for his or her life, to begin to reinvent his or her life anew. An individual's possibility is how that person will be in the present, free of the constraints or barriers of the past, a creation from nothing. Within Transformational Counseling, an individual's possibility is a new or different way of thinking about himself or herself, of who they are, of who they will be. Like the individual's self-limiting belief, a person's possibility is a personal affirmation or declaration. Like a person's self limiting belief, an individual's possibility also exists in language, and once generated by the individual, will begin to create or invent his or her experiences and sense of reality through the power of his or her thoughts and word. Unlike a person's self limiting belief, an individual's possibility will allow him or her to create a life that they truly love and be able to live it powerfully.
The third component of Transformational Counseling has to do with the individual learning what Landmark Education refers to as the process of enrollment. Given that a person will either live life as his or her possibility or their self-limiting belief, there will be a tendency for a person to go back to or stay in his or her self-limiting belief. This is what is very familiar to us, that is, being our self-limiting belief in our daily life. Learning the process of enrollment will assist the individual in being able to get out of his or her self-limiting belief and back into their possibility. When we have a breakdown, we have gone back into being our self-limiting belief and as we do so will truly experience a loss of power, freedom and full expression that is from the past. It is in our breakdowns that we are being inauthentic, that the self-limiting belief becomes hidden again. The process of enrollment allows the person to become authentic about how he or she has been being inauthentic, to again become present to his or her self-limiting belief, and in the process to continue generating his or her possibility or invent a new one for themselves and their life.
The implementation or practice of Transformational Counseling with a client takes place inside a conversation about integrity. Integrity is simply planning your work and working your plan. Clients are encouraged to develop a written plan, a plan for their daily life. A written plan allows the client to take on creating or reinventing themselves and their life in a new way that supports their wellness. Implementing ones plan also allows them to confront that which has always stopped them in the past. As clients begin the process of fulfilling on their plan, of working it, of living the life that they desire, they will have a tendency to get stopped, to have a breakdown and as they do so will develop an inauthenticity, living life as they once did, from the backdrop of the self-limiting belief. It is in working with a client and his or her plan through the enrollment process that he or she has the opportunity to learn how to get out of their self-limiting belief and back into their possibility and truly transform their life. For the client the process of enrollment is the practice of continuing to experience a true sense of power, freedom and full self-expression. It is through staying in and working with ones integrity that a person will have the opportunity to stay committed to living a life that they love and living it powerfully.
The conversations that take place with a client are conducted within the language used through my personal training and development with Landmark Education. These conversations are done so by design. While it is important for a client to begin to act and behave differently, it is crucial that they begin to think differently too. The language used in Landmark Education is unfamiliar and tends to create a space, at least initially, of confusion. This confusion acts as a pattern disruption for the client, causing him or her to start to seriously question what is being said, the meaning of the conversation. It is through this confusion and questioning by the client that they will have the opportunity to become present to their very thought process, to that which has been the true cause in the matter for them, to that which has been creating their experiences and their sense of reality, especially as it applies to how they have been thinking about themselves, the basis of how they have been being and way of life.
As the client begins to live a life of transformation it is also important that the counselor or coach be very present to the client's tendency to acknowledge or thank them for their assistance. As a counselor or coach I let the client know that I can not fix or help them, that they must do this work if they are to live a life that they love and live it powerfully. In my work with clients I make a stand for the client to assume total and complete responsibility with true empowerment as the goal. To step over the client acknowledging the coach or counselor is essentially the same as encouraging a client to use a blame pattern. As with blaming, thanking another for this type of work does not allow the client to truly get it that he or she is the cause in the matter and in both instances the client will not experience his or her true sense of power, freedom and full self expression. The client is truly responsible for transforming their life and it is vital to the process that they get this completely.
Transformational Counseling is an extremely powerful technique for assisting others in making a true difference in their life. For a client it is a gradual awakening to that which has truly been the cause in the matter, to that which has created and shaped their thoughts, feelings, behavior, experiences and sense of reality. To assist a client in being able to stand in their possibility, of being the possibility of "acceptance, freedom and creativity", as opposed to their self-limiting belief, of being "not enough", will allow that individual to live a life that they love and live it powerfully. When used in conjunction with other techniques, such as mirror work, positive affirmations, therapeutic relaxation music, self-hypnosis and NLP patterns, a space is created for a client to transform his or her life forever.
In addition to learning the fundamental distinctions and process of Transformational Counseling, it is also important for the counselor or coach to have an experiential understanding of this technology. To truly make a stand for a client and be able to make a difference for another will necessitate that the counselor have gotten his or her self-limiting belief, have invented new possibilities for himself or herself and also to have learned the process of enrollment. Being able to assist another in the process of transformation can only be achieved when the counselor or coach is in his or her own personal transformation. For me this journey started when I enrolled in the Landmark Forum. It was through experiencing the Forum and the curriculum that followed that the process of transformation began for me as a counselor and more importantly as a human being. Within the conversation of transformation we are merely human beings assisting other human beings to transform their lives, to live a life that they love and to live it powerfully.
Harry Henshaw, Ed. D., LMHC http://www.enhancedhealing.com
All of us would love to have personal power - the power to manifest our dreams, the power to remain calm and loving in the face of fear, the power to stay centered in ourselves in the face of attack.
Our society often confuses personal power - "power within" - with "power over," which is about controlling others. There is a vast difference between personal power and control.
Personal power comes from an inner sense of security, from knowing who you are in your soul, from having defined your own intrinsic worth. It is the power that flows through you when you are connected to and feel your oneness with a spiritual source of guidance. It is the power that is the eventual result of doing deep inner emotional and spiritual work to heal the fears and false beliefs acquired in childhood.
Without this inner work to heal the beliefs that create our limitations, we are stuck in our egos, our wounded selves. The very basis of the ego is the desire for control, for power over others and outcomes.
Our ego is the self we created to attempt to have control over getting love, avoiding pain, and feeling safe. We created our ego self in our attempt to protect ourselves from the losses we fear - loss of self, loss of other, loss of security, loss of face. As children, when we didn't get the love we needed, we decided that our true Self must be unlovable. In our attempt to feel safe, we buried our true Self and created the false self - the ego, our wounded self. The ego self then went about learning how to feel safe through trying to control others and outcomes. The ego believes that having control over how people see us and feel about us, as well as over the outcome of things, will give us the safety we seek.
Even if you do manage to have some control through anger, criticism, judgment, or money, this will never give you personal power. This will never fill you with peace and joy and an inner sense of safety. Control may give you a momentary sense of safety, but it will never give you the deep sense of safety that comes from knowing your intrinsic worth, the worth of your soul. As long as your safety and worth are being defined by externals which can be temporary - your money, your looks, your performance, your power over others - you will feel anxious. We feel anxious when we attach our worth and happiness to temporal things rather than to eternal qualities, such as caring, compassion, and kindness.
For example, Walter is a man who has tremendous power over others but no personal power. Walter has made millions as the president of a large investment company. He has a lovely wife, three grown children, and two beautiful homes. Yet Walter is often anxious. He worries about losing his money. He is easily triggered into anger when things don't go his way and people don't behave in the way he wants. Because his heart is not open, he is a lonely man.
Walter operates totally out of his ego self, believing that having control through anger and money will bring him the happiness and safety he seeks. Yet he has achieved everything he believed would bring him happiness and safety and what he feels most of the time is anxious and lonely. Walter is empty inside. He has no sense of his true Self, no sense of the beauty within him, no sense of his lovability and intrinsic worth. His life is based on externals rather then on the spiritual values of love, compassion, honesty and kindness.
Personal power comes from embracing spiritual values rather than just earthly values. It comes from making love, kindness and compassion - toward oneself and others - more important than power over others. It comes from doing the inner work necessary to allow the soul to have dominion over the body, rather than allowing the animal instincts of fight or flight - the instincts of the body - to have dominion over our choices. When the soul has dominion over the body, you have the power to manifest your dreams, to stay centered in the face of attack, to remain loving in the face of fear. When the soul has dominion over the body, you have tremendous personal power.
Gain Confidence By Waging War On Your Inner Demons
This article is about how to gain confidence and how to increase self-esteem. I am a person who used to be a very negative thinker, I would always believe that I would fail in whichever task I was attempting to do. I have to say that I did not really like myself and seemed to be constantly down and depressed. I have managed however, to turn my life around and will explain in the article how I managed to do this. I hope you find it enjoyable to read.
As I was growing up through childhood into adulthood I felt that I was rather unlucky. I had a speech impediment (a stutter/stammer), a bald patch on my head which was the size of a ten pence piece, I constantly struggled with my weight (I was basically fat) and I am quite short for a male at five foot four. I looked at other people in my community and especially my friends and felt very jealous of them. I would often think and ask myself why I had so many issues to deal with.
The problems in life which I had, especially the speech impediment seriously dented my confidence and I became a bit of a loner. I felt uncomfortable mixing in groups and always believed that people were laughing behind my back and talking about me.
I had an inner voice which I call my demons. They would be constantly talking to me, advising me to avoid situations and to avoid taking on tasks which they said were beyond me. They made me feel very stupid and worthless. I would listen to these demons and would basically do or not do as the case may be, whatever they told me to. I agreed with them, that I was not good enough or able to take on those certain tasks. I often wondered what life would be like if only I get these horrible gremlins out of my head.
I was not happy with where my life was heading or how it had been in the past. I wanted to be successful, confident and free from these demons.
At the age of twenty-two I decided to wage a war on these demons, a war I was determined to win. I started to read many books on self-confidence, thinking positive and mind over matter. Progress was not exactly quick and it took me many months to start to make any headway.
I needed to basically think more positive, be more assertive, and far more care-free. I learnt that in life all you can do is to try your best. Life is very short and can end at any point, therefore I need to make the most of it and live life to the full and not as a scared rabbit, which is what I had been doing. Stressing or worrying about a situation makes it harder not easier, therefore why do I do it.
These are all easy to say and write, however are extremely hard to implement. Implement I must, I thought. During my war, there were many battles with these horrible demons, some of which I certainly lost. I kept on talking to the demons telling them that they may have won the battle but that they will not win the war.
I did eventually win my war after quite a long period of time. I now like myself and am pleased to report that I have also overcome the speech impediment.
The main lesson that I learnt is to do the opposite of what the demons tell you to. They are the devil and they lie therefore we have to stop listening to them.
13 Great Tips To Stamp Out Loneliness
What is LONELINESS? It is not about being on your own. Many people enjoy being on their own and would choose this for themselves for at lest part of the time. They enjoy having their own space. They do not feel the need to have other people around all of the time to validate them or make them feel more comfortable.
If someone experiences feelings of LONELINESS; it is usually not influenced solely by where they are or whether other people are around. It is possible to be in a room full of people and still feel very much ALONE. You can be part of a social gathering and feel LONELY as you are on the periphery and not fully involved with what is going on.
This suggests that LONELINESS is a state of mind. It is tied up with how you feel about yourself.When we have a low self esteem, we have a choice about whether to change this or not. The prospect of change can be daunting.The challenge of embracing this is however very worthwhile, with rewards not only in terms of how you feel bout yourself but also in the quality of your life.
The first task in changing our self esteem is to alter the way in which we view ourselves.
1.Instead of bombarding ourselves with an onslaught of negative comments, try to focus on the more positive aspects about yourself.This could include, PHYSICAL, PRACTICAL, PERSONAL, EMOTIONAL, ATTRIBUTES or things you are good at, PERSONAL ACHIEVEMENTS..
2.Try asking members of your family, colleagues, friends, how they would describe you. This may reveal a number of POSITIVE statements about you which are surprising and / or uplifting. (Note of caution, choose wisely!)
3.Write down POSITIVE AFFIRMATIONS about yourself (Please see article re POSITIVE AFFIRMATIONS.)
4.Pay more attention to your thoughts and feelings. When you are aware of these being critical, try challenging them or using THOUGHT STOPPING TECHNIQUES. (Please see article re THOUGHT STOPPING TECHNIQUES.)
5.Practise seeing yourself in particular situations when you feel CONFIDENT and good about who you are and the circumstances you are in. you are feeling comfortable. Feedback from others is POSITIVE. People are paying attention to you. You are maintaining good eye contact .Feed as much information into this exercise as possible. Pay attention to your body language and how you converse. Make sure you CHOOSE clothes to make the most of your physical attributes and feel CONFIDENT in them. Do you feel better wearing make up and perfume? (A question for the girls!) Remember how it feels to have a stronger sense of SELF WORTH, to get POSITIVE FEEDBACK from others and from your own reaction.
6.You can proceed to use the lessons learnt from this exercise to go into the situation for real. You can enter it from a more CONFIDENT and less threatened stance.
7.Try not to leave a situation because of feelings of discomfort or anxiety.This will only increase your fear of a situation at a higher level and give yourself negative feedback.
This can be difficult to do.
It may be helpful to remember that if you suffer from any symptoms of anxiety these are only an exaggerated form of how we all feel from time to time.They cause discomfort but are not life threatening. Placed in a difficult situation, your symptoms any increase but it will reach a peak and come down again. Try not to be afraid of this feeling and run away from the situation. If you need to, use BREATHING exercises to take control of the situation. (Please see article re BREATHING RETRAINING TECHNIQUES.)If you manage your situation effectively in this way, you will get POSITIVE feedback from the experience resulting in you being less fearful in the future.
Alternatively, PLAN ahead.
Think of what would make you feel more comfortable by REHEARSING the situation in your head.This may alert you to any possible difficulties. It is then your task to generate ways of overcoming these difficulties.
It can be useful to decide beforehand that you are only going to stay somewhere for an hour. Giving yourself a time limit may make it easier for you to relax and stay in a situation .Even if you are enjoying yourself, it still makes sense to leave at the time you promised yourself and when things are going well. This will ensure you achieve POSITIVE feedback.
8.Remember how you felt when you last heard a friend say something POSITIVE about you or when they did something which made you feel appreciated and liked.
Spend less time concentrating on negative thoughts about you. Instead be more focussed on others.
Do or say things to others which will make them feel good. You will in turn get POSITIVE feedback from this boosting your SELF ESTEEM.
Try bringing in your neighbours wheelie bin, buying someone flowers, pay someone a compliment, invite someone to lunch, simply say thank you more often!
9.Put more FUN into your life.eg.
Share a joke .Try recalling something which has made you LAUGH heartily.Watch a good comedy. Get out some old photographs. It is even better if you can share the experience with a friend. Share the LAUGHTER!
10.Get involved in some type of activity which will raise your CONFIDENCE. People often resist the suggestion to attend a confidence building class. There is a place for them but it is perhaps not the best or the healthiest option, to put people together with others who have the same difficulty.
Instead, try one of the following:
Join a drama, music, art, singing or art class, take up a contact sport, challenge yourself by commencing, rock climbing, canoeing, diving, etc.
You will benefit from having set yourself a GOAL or CHALLENGE and by the opportunity to express yourself in a different way.
You will definitely have something new and interesting to talk about.
If you have a family, you may choose an ACTIVITY which you can do together such as cycling.Dance has the added benefit of being good FUN and brings you into contact with other people. SKIPPING can help increase bone density so is great for all of us over 40.Beware you are more likely to do this on your own. You could however go for a really nice walk somewhere and have your ropes in your pocket.
If you find it difficult to fit EXERCISE into your day:
Try WALKING instead of using transport .If you must drive, park a little way from your place of work. If you take a bus, get off a few stops from where you need to. Use stairs not the lift.
If you have a sedentary job, make a point of getting out of your chair regularly and take a WALK in the building.Have a brisk twenty minute WALK at lunch time. Try to get others ROPED in too!
This will offer opportunity to make a new group of friends.You will have a new shared interest and a sense of camaraderie. You may need to trust and be trusted by others.You will have the opportunity to give and receive POSITIVE feedback and have
11.Exercise is useful in enhancing SELF ESTEEM and will also benefit you by lowering your state of arousal. This means that more stress will be required for you to be affected by it. Increased muscle tone can help you feel more confident with how you look. Pick an exercise to meet your specific needs.
12.Stop comparing yourself with others. You will only come out of this disfavourably.
13.Stop judging others. More importantly-Stop judging yourself!
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