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Happiness Articles

Test Your Emotions And Outside Stimuli

(category: Happiness, Word count: 402)
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How much are your emotions affected by outside stimuli? This will be a difficult question to answer for anyone - Are You Happy? If yes, how much? Are you happy under all circumstances? At all the times? Are you happy even if you meet an old enemy? Are you happy when you have no money? Are you happy filing your Tax returns? Are you happy when you find your favorite candidate losing? No. We are happy or unhappy depending on what is happening to us and around us. happiness is only one of the emotional state. all our emotions get affected greatly by what inputs we get from outside. We have no control over our emotions most of the times.

What is happiness? Happiness can be defined as a feeling of satisfaction, feeling good and feeling joy. Why we become happy within event and unhappy at the other? A good news makes us happy and a sad news robs us of our happiness immediately. We fluctuate between the feelings of happiness and unhappiness throughout the day.

Are we so controlled by outside events that our mood gets affected easily? Can we not ignore whatever is happening and be happy always. Can we not look at everything with equanimity and say - I will be happy always. If we can do that, it will be really good for us. We will not be at the mercy of stimuli from outside to make us unhappy . It is not only stimuli from outside, but also from inside. Any bad memory can turn our mood upside down. We are in control of our own emotions.

Happiness is a boon. Things will always be going wrong. Memories will always come. But if we decide to keep ourselves happy, we can surely progress slowly to a state where unhappiness can not touch us easily. Happiness is only one emotion. We are affected by different emotions - Anger, Love, Hatred, compassion and so on. What applies to happiness also applies to all other emotions. Emotions batter us at all the times. We are like a ship freely getting beaten by the roaring ocean of emotions at all the times. That is not good, because we are not in control.

Try some fun quizzes to find out how much you get affected by stimuli and what is your control over your emotions.

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Happiness And Health Are The Two Most Important Things In Life

(category: Happiness, Word count: 354)
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The world is becoming obsessed with money and all things material. From the size of your house, the type of car and even where you travel on your holidays, some people are trying to go one better do their friends and family.

For me these people are quite sad. I have a friend who is similar to the people above, he is always thinking of money, always talking about money. How to earn it, how to spend it etc. He is part of a lottery syndicate, there are about fifty people in this syndicate. When he goes out on the Saturday evening, he always takes with him a piece of paper with the numbers on and a little pen. At around nine o'clock he phones his girlfriend and she tells him what the numbers are for that particular night. He then spends around twenty minutes checking the numbers, and then re-checking to see if he has any winning lines.

He then returns from the toilet area and is asked by other members of the group about how much he has won/lost. He has yet to have any major win to this point, this does not deter him however and for the next hour, he will start a debate, asking different people how they would spend their winnings, if they ever won the lottery.

For me the two most important things in life are health and happiness. These are two things which money can not buy. A number of years ago, my father became very ill. He had to spend around five months in hospital and he was only fifty seven. I feared the worst, even though I was trying my hardest to think and stay positive. I remember thinking, if I could give those doctors everything I own in the world, it still would not help him.

Happiness is the same, at times I have had lots of cash in my back pocket, however have been quite depressed. At other times I have had next to no money and have been extremely happy.

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It Costs Nothing To Smile

(category: Happiness, Word count: 293)
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I like to be around positive people, people who tend to be happy, who look on the bright side of life. Far too many people walk around in what seems like a depressed state. Come on people, it costs nothing to smile.

I must admit, I used to be one of the ones who walked around in a depressed state. I had many things on my mind, many things I was not happy with, I used to feel so sorry for myself. Even when I write about it now, I laugh about how pathetic I used to be.

Things were about to change however. At the time a new employee joined the company where I worked, his name was Stuart. Now this may seem cruel but Stuart did not have a lot going for him. I won't go into details but lets just say I did not feel jealous of his life. I became quite good friends with Stuart and we would go to lunch together. I would meet him in the canteen at 1pm and would be waiting in my gloomy state of mind for him to arrive. Arrive he certianly did, always with a beaming smile on his face. We would sit down and talk whilst eating our lunch and he never had a negative word to say. When he talked, he talked with passion, about sports and films. One day it dawned on me, if Stuart (who from what I know of him, seemingly has nothing) can always be positive, happy and smiling, why can't I?

This was the beginning of a new era in my life. An era of being positive, appreciating what I have got and more than anything else, plenty of smiles.

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The Secret To Happiness And Maslow S Hierarchy

(category: Happiness, Word count: 983)
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"The secret to happiness is contentment"

(Dali Lama)

If we are content with what we have, and where we are, then we are happy.

This means not grasping for attainment of material objects or even spiritual understanding, but being content and just allowing life to happen.

How does this help us to achieve the things we "want"?

I'm glad you asked! This brings me to Maslow's theory on the hierarchy of human "needs", the answer to that question is revealed within the following explanation and its accompanying story.

Maslow, was an eminent Psychologist who developed a theory on the psychological need of humans; it is often demonstrated in the form of a pyramid, and referred to in relation to Education, Motivation and Sales training.

A summary of his theory would be: that we humans have "needs" that must be satisfied in an order of priority, before higher ideals can be achieved the lower ideals MUST be met.

The order of these needs doesn't change from individual to individual, they are as follows:

1.PHYSIOLOGICAL NEEDS, air, water, food, rest, exercise, etc

2.SAFETY NEEDS, shelter, job security, retirement plan, insurance

3.LOVE AND BELONGING, children, friends, partners

4.SELF ESTEEM (1), fame, recognition, reputation, dignity

5.SELF ESTEEM (2) Confidence, achievements, FREEDOM

If we don't meet all the needs in the lower levels we will always be in deficit and be trying to meet them before we can obtain the highest levels of complete self actualization and FREEDOM.

Here's a story I wrote to illustrate Maslow's theory in a practical situation, it's illustrated in a negative context because most of us will understand it better this way. Note: (L5) means level 5 as per above.

The following is based on a true story; some details have been changed to allow for publishing here.

A Person's car breaks down on an old dirt road in the Barclay plains it's a scorching 44 degrees in the shade, but there aren't any trees to provide shelter, he's in the middle of nowhere, outback, Australia.

He was on his way to Darwin to give a lecture on Self Defence. He had been giving these talks for some time now and really enjoyed sharing his knowledge, not for the respect that others gave him, but because he is a master of the subject and it felt good doing it. (L4/5)

At first he wasn't concerned about the situation and he allowed his mind to be free and 'take in', the beauty of the landscape, he started to reminisce about his friends and family, wondering what they're doing at that time, then he turned on the radio and drifted off to sleep.

When he woke up he realized that he was feeling lonely and would love to have someone to talk to. (L3)

After a few hours he started to feel a little uncomfortable and realized that he could be in some danger so he tried to think of a plan for his safety.

After some time he decided to head off in search for help.

It started getting dark and he became really worried; his senses were tuned into every sound. (L2)

Then he realized that he hadn't eaten since breakfast and that he was hungry and thirsty. (L1)

After two more days his only thoughts were about finding water to stay alive, he wasn't concerned about eating because his body knew it could survive for weeks without food, but only a few days without water.

So then his immediate concern was for the basic need of water.

SUDDENLY!! Someone jumped on him from behind, and started to choke him he couldn't breathe! Then his need for air was stronger than his need for water!

It was only a joke; his best friend had come looking for him when he didn't show up in Darwin on time.

He found the car then tracked his mate to where he found him, looking pretty rugged. Then as all good mates do, he decided to play a practical joke to give him a fright! They are still good friends today.

The end

The simple lesson here is this:

This story shows a person who had met all his needs and was at the highest level. He had truly manifested his dream into reality and how he quickly went into "Needs Deficit" (ND)

Clearly we must walk before we can run, If we can't breath we aren't worried about water, we NEED air, our ND is air; this is a very basic example.

To look at it another way we could say that; trying to be a highly regarded successful whatever (4/5) will not be possible if we are in ND of (1, 2, or 3).

Our ND needs attention first; this doesn't mean that if we don't have a house and family we can't achieve our dream ambitions.

On the contrary it means that we should, let go of our graving, yearning and striving to achieve success at any cost type of attitude, and maintain our lower levels of needs so that we can open the path to the higher levels.

Many of us, myself included have been guilty of forgetting about our needs for friends and family when we are trying to obtain the higher ideals of success.

This area can be a particular problem with the internet, because it uses up so much of our time and attention.

If we maintain our basic needs we will be able share our dreams and talk about them and believe in them and be content and happy about them.

Thus allowing our dreams to manifest into reality.

Doesn't it make sense that with this kind of thinking we will all be able to move on to the higher levels of self actualization?

Maintain your ND and believe in your DREAMS the rest will happen!

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Emotional Baggage

(category: Happiness, Word count: 495)
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We all have them. It has many faces.We carry them around us, We store them in the remotest part of our brain, in the deepest chambers of our hearts.We have them in our extensive database of memories. Some are so close to the heart, it brings out tears at the slightest provocation. Others may feel anger, very deep resentments and may exhibit anti-social or antagonistic behaviours.

Shadows follow and haunt many, in their dreams or waking hours, in unlikely places, unexpected and intimidating. Uncontrollable anger that can lead to violence can explode without warning.

Others will live in denial and spend their lives disconnected with the real world. Some will find blame in everyone except themselves; it's always the other person's fault. What about victims and the victimizers?

Many are lost searching for something, they can not identify. Something is missing. A mass of lonely faces line the crowded streets, sit in public places, in schools, agonize through the day in the workplace, gather at churches perhaps to seek solace. Everyday.we see a vast sea of sad , depressed and unfriendly faces. Our roads are open avenues to lash out their frustrations, thus uncontollable road rage. Scary.

Emotional excess baggage demands a high price at times. There are those who succumb to the weight of this burden, it gets too much to bear. They find no further reason to keep up the fight. Life loses its lustre, they find the world cruel, their existence meaningless.To them, the fight over, if there ever was one.

There are many who go through life like a driftwood,l et the current take them wherever, it does not matter anymore. Is our world this cruel?

What causes these emotional suffering?

Broken dreams, broken relationships, failed careers, lost hopes, betrayals, violations, childhood trauma, or other forms of trauma ,add to this health issues. Social disgrace, financial disasters, poverty and addictions cast deep emotional scars to the most vulnerable members of the family and society.

Is our fast-paced society to blame? Add to this the pursuit of material success, endless toys,gadgets and exponential advances in technology. Fragile relationships, weakening family ties, unreasonable expectations of self

and of others add to the already overstuffed emotional baggage.Some carry them for a long, long time.

All is not lost,if we take a moment to listen to our deeper needs, beyond the physical. There is a flood of information, organizations, professionals and other resources most communities offer. Deep emotional suffering is a critical

issue that can no longer be ignored, by society and by those who suffer. There is more to life.

Wisdom of the ages from different cultures and beliefs are revived or revised to suit the present psyche of society. It offers a holistic approach , involving the whole person's mind, body and spirit.

The wonders of medical and scientific research are vast,although pill-popping is not always the best answer.

Take stock of the weight of your emotional baggage .

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Change Your Mind And The Rest Will Follow

(category: Happiness, Word count: 825)
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"Progress is impossible without change, and those who

cannot change their minds cannot change anything."


Change has a very negative connotation for most people. On a deep emotional level we are creatures of comfort and we automatically seek out that which feels good in the moment. We long for comfort and this usually comes from that which we know; that which is familiar to us. Once we can comfortably deal with and "know" all the "unknowns" we can "relax" - because your nervous system and your mind is designed to find and attach a meaning(s) to everything and therefore something new is always a confrontation between that which is and that which will be in your mind.

The unknown is always something that your mind and your nervous system has to "unravel" afresh and this very process feels uncomfortable on many levels. When something becomes comfortable you get used to it as you remove all the "unknowns" and your automatic behaviour can take over again. Our nervous system works primarily by conditioning and by repetition we notice and assume patterns that are consistent. This system is really there to serve us in helping us being more efficient and to be able to do more, more efficiently. Your mind is designed to always look for the best way. Through repetition we learn certain orders and sequences in which things happen and we learn to recognize and respond according to these sequences. Every emotion you experience, for instance, is nothing but the result of a sequence of events and reactions triggered by your unconscious awareness that generates and creates the actual feeling which is nothing but a sensation in your nervous system.

To change anything you must first of all become aware of these patterns. You must become aware of what goes on under the surface of your conscious awareness. This is not difficult and everybody can do this. You need not understand everything about the human nervous system to use it. Simply be aware of the fact that there is a part of you that responds and acts "automatically" based on your past experiences and associations. The challenge is to go from one pattern, one that does not serve you, to one which does. You quite literally would have to change your mind in that you have to change the way you perceive yourself and your life. Doing things differently will feel uncomfortable at first, but you can rest assured that the "uncomfortable" will become "comfortable" as you start to form new associations and new patterns of association.

The process of making the "uncomfortable" comfortable or making the "unknown" known is the way we grow as human beings. What you are comfortable with represents your comfort zone which includes all the experiences that you can comfortably deal with. If you don't expand this "zone" then you simply won't expand yourself as a person. The need to grow and become more as a person, is a deep emotional need that all humans have. Without growth you simply won't be happy. All growth, although it feels uncomfortable in the moment always feels immensely fulfilling in the long term and it is this feeling that we all really crave for; the feeling that we call "good". You can do something that feels comfortable and "good" in the moment by staying with what you know, but true fulfilment comes from pushing beyond your comfort zone and creating a sense of pride in yourself. Growth means change and change involves risk and risk is the process of stepping from the known to the unknown.

The truth is that all of life is constantly in a process of change. Nothing ever stays the same. It is the nature of all of life, including you. Even if you do nothing life will still change. For you to progress, you have to decide to consciously initiate and create the change. You have to consciously put yourself in the uncomfortable place where you can grow and as you do this you progress. Progress is by choice while change is automatic. To be in control of your life you have to consciously choose to change and to keep changing yourself to become the person you want to be.

All change starts with a change of mind. You have to start by changing your thoughts about want you want to change. In changing the way you think about something you immediately change your perception and consequently the way you feel about it. When you change the way you feel you change your behaviour and that is how you progress. Constantly trying to change behaviour will rarely create long term and lasting change. Change your mind and the rest will follow! If you don't change then you simply won't grow and if you don't grow you are not really living.

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Don T Be A Slave To Your Things

(category: Happiness, Word count: 401)
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Do you have things like a bicycle, jetski, or swimming pool that sit unused? Is it that you don't have time to use them because you have to work so much just to pay for them? Sometimes it seems like all the things we own somehow own us.

The bad news is that it's often true. We have to arrange our lives around our things. You get a new truck that can go anywhere, but you're too busy working to go there. Someone is out fishing while you are putting in overtime to pay for your fishing boat. You use your large-screen television a lot, but does it sufficiently reduce the debt-stress that came with it?

Break The Chains!

The good news is that there's a better way. Actually, there are three better ways. First, know what you really value. Second, use cash instead of debt. Third, learn how to look at costs and benefits.

Will you really enjoy that $2,000 mountain bicycle enough? Maybe. This isn't about right or wrong desires. It's a question of truly seeing your own values. Think back to things you've bought but not used, or not used enough. What truly enjoyable things could you do with that money if you had it now? You've got to be self aware and honest.

Cash is king. The price may seem the same, but put those things on a credit card and, with interest, you'll pay a lot more. Cash means you have to save and wait a little for things, but you can buy more and have less stress. Credit cards provide the illusion of a richer life. Escaping debt gives you the reality.

Finally, learn to understand costs and benefits. A friend once came to the realization, using pen and paper, that his jetski cost him $300 for every hour he used it the first year. Loan interest, gas, insurance, depreciation, repairs, licenses - these things add up. And he thought it was too expensive to pay $100 per day to rent one! Consider the real costs of things, and look for a cheaper way, or at least make an honest decision that it's worth $300 per hour to you.

Your things should be making your life better. If they aren't, you need to start looking at them differently. Don't let your things own you. Change your approach.

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Reframing With Nlp For Enhanced Happiness

(category: Happiness, Word count: 1963)
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I used to work for the Independent National Newspaper in Canary Wharf, London. I can remember in the build up to Christmas, my department was having a large and expensive new computer system installed because the newspaper was being relaunched, it was when Andrew Marr and Rosie Boycott were becoming joint editors, I digress.... The system was being put in just before Christmas, but it was a massive task, with numerous issues & overruns. As Christmas approached, there were still a number of teething problems, which led to stretched relations between the system supplier and the newspaper staff.

At one meeting about the integration of the system, my director had been trying to get more time investment from the installation company, only to be told that their people weren't going to be available on Christmas day. My director was frustrated and furious, asking "What are you doing that's more important than sorting out our system!?" Without hesitating, the guy from the installation company said "Delivering Christmas hampers to the elderly." The impact was immediate; everyone in the room started laughing & my director joined them, realising that he'd perhaps been a bit unreasonable. Everyone knew that the story about the elderly wasn't true, but that didn't matter - the statement had changed his perception of the situation, instantly, & he started behaving more reasonably.

Changing the contextual frame:

There was an advertisement for the Guardian newspaper, which showed a set of still photographs arranged in a particular action sequence. The photographs showed a large framed man with very little hair on his head, wearing jeans and boots, running along a pathway with a real purpose.

In the first frame he is running towards an elderly lady; in the second frame, you see him knock her violently into the street; in the third frame you see him make his escape, obviously and seemingly this is another thug terrorising the elderly.

Then, when you turn the page, you are presented with some wider angle shots. In the wide-angle shots, you see the elderly lady casually walking beside a building that has building works being carried out upon it and where a cement mixer is about to topple from a scaffold. An alert pedestrian notices the situation and heroically runs towards the lady, pushing her clear of the building area. A moment later, the cement mixer falls to the ground in the spot where the lady was standing. The initially perceived 'thug' has in fact saved her life.

By changing the frame, the creators of the advertisement had changed the context of the man's actions. Suddenly, what was perceived as typically criminal then became valiant and altruistic. His actions were transformed in a moment as they were reframed. I am sure you know of many other examples of this.

One of the presuppositions of NLP and something that fascinates and tests me, is that every behaviour is useful or valuable in some context. Upon learning and reading about this in the embryonic days of my learning, I did do my best to do the opposite! I wracked my brains for things that I just could not reframe. Of course, I could not do so for long. It's just a matter of stretching your brain and finding a context that makes it useful; I have not always found this easy. This process is referred to as context reframing.

Every behaviour is useful in the right context:

Now here is a challenge for you. For any behaviour, no matter how frustrating or apparently without use or value, see if you can find a context where it's useful. Once you find such a context, a subsequent act of presenting the behaviour in the new context is reframing it. If it was originally a behaviour that was treated very seriously or was problematic, you may then also want to think about adding humour or a playfulness in the way it is re-presented;

Firstly, identify a complaint, either about yourself or someone else, a simple structured to begin with, for example; "I'm too [x]." or "She's too [y]." (Eg. "I'm too impatient", "He's too selfish.", "She's too messy.")

Next up, ask yourself "In what contexts would the characteristic being complained about have value and/or usefulness?"

Thirdly, create several answers to this question, and then craft it into a 'reframe'.

For example:

"I'm too impatient"

Example answer: "I bet you're quick-thinking in an emergency."

"She's too messy"

Example answer "She'd be good to have around if we were trying to make our home look like it had been burgled." (I don't like to be too serious!)

"He's too selfish"

Example answer: "We've had so many problems with people not taking care of themselves, it's often good to make sure you look after yourself to be in a better position to help others ."

Now, I know these are a bit lame with some of my own tongue in cheek-iness added, but they don't have to be that useful at this stage; it's more important that you give yourself the freedom to be creative so your brain gets the pattern of what you're doing. What's more, when you have to do that and develop better reframes for yourself, your learning is far more comprehensive than if I were to spoon feed you responses to regurgitate.

The next step is to come up with reframes for any complaints that you (or others) have about yourself. This can be a lot of fun if you do it with someone else. (ie. you say "I'm too [x]" then they generate reframes.)

By the way, the example of "I'm too sexy" as in the 90s Pop Band "Right Said Fred" chart topping hit is not really appropriate

When reframing something someone says, rapport is important (otherwise reframing can seem like a very focused & deliberate attempt to annoy someone.) If you present someone with a reframe, ensure that you have a good level of rapport with them, best start with friends and/or family (assuming that you have rapport with them!)

Fifth, once you get the hang of it, start looking for opportunities to use context reframing each day, starting with the less challenging ones.

In a business context for example, one of the most powerful ways to use reframing is when people have objections (whether you're selling a product, a service, an idea, or yourself.) reframing is a gentle method of working with someone as opposed to having to sell which many people are uncomfortable with. When you reframe someone's objection, you can remove or alter its power. I once read the objection "I'm worried - What if I train my staff and then they leave." The response: "Even worse, what if you don't train your people and they stay."

When you discover and create a way to change the context of someone's objection, it alters the way they perceive it. This has been know to be an extremely effective way to overcome objections entirely.

Finally, for these initial steps of reframing, write a list the objections you get most frequently in business or complaints made in your life and generate a number of context reframes for each one. Then, look forward with a sense of anticipation to the next time someone offers that objection. Please bear in mind that you are opening up options here, not covering things up, if a particular problematic issue is occurring, sometimes it may not be appropriate to just reframe.

Both my Grandparents on my fathers side were 80 two years ago and we had celebratory family gatherings. As I walked into one of the celebrations I asked the standard question "So, what's it like waking up on your 80th birthday, Grandad?" To which he replied "Better than not waking up on your 80'th birthday".

Now, I'd like to start playing with 'content reframing.' If a footballer kicks the ball into his team's net, it's called an "own goal", but if a soldier accidentally shoots one of his fellow soldiers, it's called "friendly fire" (Sounds kind of cuddly, doesn't it? But you would not want any coming your way.) George Orwell's 1984 had plenty of examples of content reframing (eg. the ministries of peace & truth) that live on today in many forms (a peacekeeper missile, anyone?)

So, content reframing involves changing the meaning of something.

Right, to develop this further, follow this procedure; identify a complaint a complaint or issue with the structure "I feel [X] when [Y] happens." (Eg. "I feel angry when he does not help" or "I feel frustrated when I make mistakes")

Next, ask yourself "What else could this (Y) mean?", "What else could this (X) mean?" or "What else could this situation mean?", or ask "How can this (X) or (Y) be interpreted?

Then, you can come up with several answers to these, and then create a 'reframe'.

For example:

"I feel upset when I see the mess these kids have made"

Example answer: "It's good that they can be 'in the moment' without worrying about a few things being out of place."

Alternate example answer: "A little untidiness is a small price to pay for happy children."

Another example answer: "The fact that it's messy means they're expressing their creativity."

Obviously, if you were to offer these reframes to someone who is annoyed or frustrated, I would suggest that it would be a good idea to get in rapport with them first and of course to select your words carefully.

As with my previous examples, these aren't the most amazing reframes in the world, but they don't have to be that useful at this stage; it's more important that you give yourself the freedom to be creative so your brain gets the pattern of what you're doing.

Now, you can come up with reframes for any complaints or issues that you can identify for yourself or others. This can be a lot of fun (honestly!) if you take turns doing it with someone else. (ie. you say "I feel [X] when [Y] happens" then they generate reframes.)

Then, once you get the hang of it, start looking for opportunities to use content reframing each day. For spreading good feelings around and helping people to lessen the easy natural way that they can sometimes get "bogged down" in the trivial. Depends on what you consider trivial though, be careful and thoughtful.

Once again, in a business sense, content reframing is also very powerful for dealing with objections of all sorts. For example, a reframe I sometimes use when someone objects to the price of consulting with me (I am sooooo expensive!) is to respond with something along the lines of:

"If you are after a cheap consultant or therapist, then you are right, I am not for you. If however, you want to invest in your future then maybe I am. If your child needed a serious operation, would you look for the cheapest surgeon? Then why look for the cheapest way to make changes in your life that are important enough to seek help with?"

Again, I do have my tongue planted in my cheek as I write that riposte, however, I am sure you see where I am coming from here.

Then finally, list the objections you get most frequently & generate a number of content reframes for each one. Then, look forward with a sense of anticipation to the next time someone offers that objection. Remember to keep rapport with people when doing this! Or in jargon-free speak, relate, empathise, connect, get on with.

Good luck with your reframing and creating more harmony.

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Free Tips To Increase Self Esteem

(category: Happiness, Word count: 1093)
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I have had many confidence issues in my life, all of which I have either dealt with or overcome. I have written about some of these issues below.

1. The Bald Patch

2. My height

3. My weight

4. The stutter

5. My lack of belief in myself

6. My career


Even though to some people it may seem trivial, I was born with a bald patch the size of a ten pence piece. As I went through childhood and especially the teenage years I became more and more self-conscious and paranoid about it.

It was especially noticeable when it rained or when I went swimming as my hair would become wet. People at school would ridicule me and I was forever trying to hide and cover the bald patch even though most people knew about it.

It hurt when people laughed at me and eventually I stopped going swimming altogether.


Out of all of my close male family and friends, I am the shortest at 5ft 4. This probably should not influence my confidence however with people continually looking down on me it did. I have been called many names, the nicest being "Shorty".

I was always jealous of other people taller than I was. I hoped that one day I might have a late spurt. This never came.

My height affected me with sport. I wanted to be a striker at football however the coaches only wanted people over 6ft tall. At snooker I am constantly have to use the rest which makes it difficult to play up to the best standard and at tennis I was constantly being lobbed. It also meant that I only felt comfortable dating women 5ft 3 and under which reduces the available market considerably.


During senior school I was very thin. This may have been the result of my parents turning vegetarian when I was twelve. At the time there were very few replacement foods and it seemed as though we went from having meat and two veg to just two veg.

As my parents cooked the food I had little option but to also turn vegetarian. After a few weeks I approached them and told them that I missed and wanted to eat meat. They were understanding to a degree and said:

"If you want it, you cook it"

At this age I could only really be bothered to cook properly a few days of the week and that gradually became less and less.

People at school would call me names like skin and bone and my weight became another area of paranoia for me.


At the age of four I developed a stutter. This became gradually worse as I became older even though my parents were told that I would grow out of it.

For what fluent people would class as simple tasks like reading from a book at school, answering questions, saying my name and address, ordering items at the bar or in a restaurant, and speaking on the telephone became a constant battle.

It was a very frustrating impediment, as I seemed to be able to talk quite fluently to people I knew well and whom I felt comfortable with, but at other times especially under any form of pressure could not say a word.

At the age of twenty two after about eleven months of sheer hard work and practice I managed to overcome the stutter and I now help other people who stutter to achieve fluency as well as helping people with confidence problems.


I always had a lack of belief in certain areas.

I would notice a female in a bar for example and would want to go over and talk to her but would have the negative attitude of I'm not good enough, why would she be interested in me? I stutter, I have a bald patch, I have a menial job and I am very thin.

Even if I approach her and am successful, I would then be expected to buy her a drink, possibly phone her, possibly meet her parents, and maybe even get married! The thought of attempting these things with a stutter and with a lack of social confidence was far too daunting for me.

I left school at sixteen mainly due to a lack of confidence and the stutter, but then had the problem of finding a job. Again my lack of belief came shining through. Who would want to employ somebody with a stutter, who has a lack of confidence and who is shy around people?


After leaving school at the age of sixteen I now had to find employment. Suffering with a stutter and a general lack of confidence meant that work involving the phone or regular interaction with other people were not really an option.

I decided that I could probably cope with filing duties in an office and eventually gained a position at an insurance company.

I started at the lowest grade, a grade two and the work was routine and mundane. The average time to stay at this level before being promoted was six months. The grade three post involved sharing a phone and this is something I found very difficult to use.

To become upgraded you had to apply in writing to the personal officer and then if you passed the interview were then promoted. My attitude was that if I don't apply I would stay as a grade two, which is what I wanted. I was probably the only person in the country who did not want to be promoted.

My boss would ask me at regular intervals why I was not applying and I would make up an excuse. To keep him happy I took the insurance exams. After three years I had completed the first qualification which was a set of five exams. To my horror my boss congratulated me by stating that he was upgrading me to a grade three starting Monday without the need of an interview.

This promotion should in effect have given me a confidence boost however with my stutter out of control under the pressure and some of my colleagues mocking me I became more and more withdrawn and depressed.

I would be invited to social events and would make up excuses of why I could not go as I had a lack of belief that I could cope with the occasion and all the socialising involved.

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