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Posts tagged ‘authenticity’

Inspiration Null

adult1

I simply have not had any inspiration to blog.

Hmm.  Just reading that sentence back: I know that’s not even slightly true. I think perhaps I’ve had way too much inspiration… and maybe simply not the energy to use it. Ever feel that way?

I felt that way A LOT when I was “awakening”- my term (and others’) for disengaging the auto-pilot switch powering perceptions of what life was suppose to be. Until my 30’s, school, jobs, money, relationships were programmed as “what life is”, not as I see them now: optional tools for me to explore the expansive and textured facets and depths of life – a wholly more fulfilling existence!! As I awoke to a consciousness that how I was living my life did not match my instinctual feelings both about the intent of life and the gifts I was here to offer, well… it was simultaneously excruciating and intriguing; confusing… and CRYSTAL clear.

My “revival” was infectiously stimulating; I found books, I found teachers, I found my intuition: inspiration, inspiration, inspiration! And then I found: overwhelming exhaustion. Mentally. Emotionally. Spiritually. Physically. Tons of inspiration… and no energy to use it.

be-you-role6It’s a lifelong process, growing your YOU-ness. A zillion things contribute to each of our journeys… no right, no wrong: just real life requiring a series of “course-corrections” (as life-coach Nancy Levin so validatingly puts it). Gratefully, as I began to connect with my “self” during those highly transformative third-life years, I naturally gravitated towards people, perspectives and activities that literally fueled my spirit. And though it took some blind faith as I navigated a whole lot of new folks, the more time I spent in “like-mindedness”, the more the scales of endurance and joie-de-vivre balanced. I found the key to perpetual energy: my ME-ness.

So today, as I take a hard look at my I’d-rather-have-dental-surgery feelings re: “inspiration” and the many failed attempts at writing this blog, I finally hear the proverbial bell clang way, WAY loud, and the bell tolls for thee… er, me… oh whatever:

Could I be further awakening??

Ahhh…(ding ding ding) me thinks so!!!For Whom The Bell Tolls

Tired: check  
 Profound yet equal frustration with life and intrigue for life: check 
Feelings of confusion… but a sense of absolute clarity: check and check.

Yup. More awakening.

As mentioned in past posts, it’s now well over a year since my Mom passed. I had no idea how that experience would play out in my life.  You can read more here, but in brief: emotionally and spiritually, the passing of one of the people I love most dearly in this life was… light– if not actually: fulfilling! WHEW, eh?!  As time goes on, it’s been more clear that instead of the classic “pain” of loss (a pain which I absolutely have experienced in the past and so have good reference for), with Mom’s passing, I felt more of an energy drain. Listless… flat: limited highs and lows… and NO time at all for drama and bullshit.

Which… actually makes perfect sense, when you think about it: Mom’s love, hugs and love-yourself-core-3chats were a consistent, reliable fuel for my spirit since inception- and unconditional love fills you up.  Now, in the transition period since her loss, the needle drops below full: just enough to choke my energy lines and threaten a stall. Re-sourcing said fuel, after decades of simply satiating in the ever-present Mom-flow, requires a new and deeper awakening. Core deep. And though “deep” is a word often conjuring weighty feelings of seriousness or complication, here: it feels far-and-away more simple… and more peaceful. Because now, what I know from my life journey so far is that, as my AUXILIARY (and much valued) love-fuel lines fluctuate, my INHERENT ones are primed to do the job they could… should… and actually were doing all along – had I stilled more often and truly took awareness and ownership of my own power:
Drive life from the depth of my soul- beyond the clutter of reactionary, inauthentic “expectation”.
Own it.
Show it.
Live it.
And to no surprise, this totally fits my life’s overall experiential pattern:
the more depth i.e. ME-ness I concede, the simpler life is.

Ahhhh…. and the SIMPLICITY of life is INSPIRING beyond words! I suppose to really make that point, I should stop writing here. 

 

choice-consequenceBut I need to connect a few dots. There are life experiences whose only job is to get us to stop and check in with our values, priorities and actions. What are you here for… what do you want – how do you want to do it?? Death is a pretty overt pivotal experience for folks, but really, the impetus could present much more covertly: yelling at baristas, clutter, Candy-Crush marathons, keeping money you just found in the mall, resenting friends’ holiday pics or new homes, dreading Monday mornings – not to mention health flags like chronic backache, IBS… some think even cancers. […Or pain, anger, disillusionment in humanity from an election??*]

You are responsible for you.
READ ON:
 Could being pissed at a botched Starbucks order really be a CRITICAL life “pivot-point?
 And what’s TRULY the culprit for my lethargic ” lack of inspiration”…

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Belief Systems: Big 5 Culprits

The Big 5 That Develop Your Belief System

by Cathy Campbell, Inspired Personal Developmentprincess frog

From the moment you come into the world, you begin developing your belief system. And just how do you do this?

That first sentence contains a major hint of a notable attribute of developing beliefs… your system of beliefs forms from irrational input as well as rational!

Obviously as a newborn you don’t have a well formed capacity for logical deduction, so developing your belief system is not necessarily a rational process. Rather, it’s a process based on your experience of the world.

Whatever information comes to you in a form that you can digest, (ie. you have the necessary perception to process it), you file appropriately into your fledgling belief system.

As you mature, your abilities and understanding expands, and ultimately you are developing your belief system based on 5 primary methods of gathering information. Note that: only one of these stems directly from your personal facility of critical thinking!

Five Main Reasons You Believe

It can be very helpful and enlightening to know why you believe what you do. You might be surprised to realize some of the shaky ground you have formed your belief system on.

The big 5 are:

  1. Evidence
  2. Tradition
  3. Authority
  4. Association
  5. Revelation

Evidence Based Believing

Evidence shows that one thing causes another. The understanding of causation appeals to the analytical and critical thinking part of your mind.

Developing your belief system through this method is very rationale and based on the use of logical thinking.

The skills associated with evidence based believing develop as we mature, and become more honed through education. In this mode you look for facts. You look at events that are measurable, and where one thing directly causes something else. Scientific studies supply results from research and critically tested hypotheses to support evidence based beliefs.

You can also establish beliefs based on your personal experience of cause and affect. You might continually witness a consistent outcome from your actions. For example:

  • If you drive a certain route at rush hour, you know you will be 10 minutes late and upset yourself and others. Therefore you believe it’s best to take an alternate route during rush hour.
  • When you make dinner for friends, they express their appreciation, and you feel great. Therefore you know you will get enjoyment by creating dinner for friends.

This method of forming beliefs is also responsible for ‘learned helplessness’. If you consistently perform a behavior, and always get a negative outcome, you may come to believe that you have no power or influence in creating what it is you are aiming for. For example:

  • Because you are always 10 minutes late when driving that certain route at rush hour, and it is the only route possible to take, you know you will be 10 minutes late. You will feel upset, and you will upset others. Therefore, you always feel distressed in this situation.
  • When you make dinner for friends, no one expresses their appreciation, and you feel like a failure. Therefore you stop cooking dinner for friends.

The trick in the learned helplessness scenario is to adjust the elements that you can, and accept the things you cannot change. This might possibly include altering the physical elements such as setting alternate meeting times or places, or cooking different meals or inviting different friends!

But certainly one thing you can change, through gaining understanding, is how you view these events. For example, you could say:

  • If that is the only route possible to take during rush hour, and I cannot change appointment details, I will be 10 minutes late. That is reality.

Therefore, I have 10 minutes in traffic to put to use as I wish by listening to relaxing radio, personal development recordings, or reviewing the things I’m thankful for today. I will explain this situation to any other people affected. Whether they decide to make the best of the situation, is up to them. I am not responsible for how they view reality.

  • If I cook dinner for friends, and no one expresses appreciation, I can ask myself exactly why it is that I want to cook these dinners. If you feel like a failure when no one expresses appreciation, then you are likely looking to others to reinforce your self worth. That shows it’s time to recognize that your self worth is something always with you. To tap into it, spend some time talking to a life coach for personal development.

Adopting Traditional Beliefs

The traditions perpetuated through families and societies are a major factor in developing your belief system. We are often showered with traditions day in and day out when growing up, so they can be extremely easy to adopt, without even questioning. When you believe in a tradition, recognize that they have served some generation well. Yet it does not mean they are based in truth, nor necessarily have continued usefulness for your life.

There is a funny and telling story about a woman from a certain family where the women always cut their roasts in half prior to roasting. The third generation daughter said she did it because she understood that it made the meat more tender. Her mother said that she learned it from her own mom and thought it was to reduce the cooking time and save on energy usage. When the oldest woman, grandma, was asked about it, she said that the oven she had when raising a family was very small and it was necessary to always cut the roast in half to fit it in!

So not only was there a belief being passed down that it was important to cut the roast in half, the reason behind the belief was totally lost, and no longer relevant to the women’s lives!

It is through family and cultural tradition that many people formulate their primary belief system. Social culture, family bias, and societal prejudice all strongly influence formation of:

  • global beliefs such as:
    • what God is
    • political theory
    • science
    • personal value
  • topic specific beliefs:
    • the specific religious practice to support
    • which political party to vote for
    • which sport team to cheer for

Ask yourself ‘what role has tradition played in developing your belief system?’.

“We are so conditioned, so heavily burdened with belief, with tradition, with the past, that this actually prevents us from seeing or listening.”
-J Krishnamurti

Authority Steers Beliefs

Many beliefs are adopted from people that have a role of authority in our lives.

Sometimes these figures of authority also fall in the category of tradition, as you can imagine. For example, your parents play a role of authority in your early life and they are regularly passing traditions down to you.

Other times authority figures are independent to tradition. Some examples of authority figures who may influence your beliefs (while theirs are not necessarily based on traditional beliefs) might be:

  • a new age religious cult leader that espouses having a special direct line to ‘God’
  • doctors who tell you they absolutely know best about your health and all conflicting ideas re rubbish
  • a school teacher who you look up to, whether or not they follow ‘tradition’

Beliefs by Association

Who do you hang out with?

Whether you run with the ‘in crowd’ or the ‘nerds’, you will be adopting compatible beliefs to your own, as well as reinforcing common beliefs that you hold with your group. It is pretty much a case of ‘what you see is what you get’. As you are continually faced with particular ways of thinking within the group, you start to adopt and reinforce those ideas as the ‘right way’ to think.

Basically, by sharing time and activities, you rub off on one another and mutually influence one another’s belief system.

If you associate with hard working people who feel they are short on time and money, chances are you will be developing your belief system based around those ideas as well. Alternatively, if you spend your time with people who feel they have a very rich blessed life spending their time for their own delight, your attitude will likely be quite different.

Revelations Induce Beliefs

The definition of revelation referred to here is “disclosure of information to man by a divine or supernatural agency”. Basically, this is the experience of attaining information through what you might describe as:

  • a feeling or sense about something
  • a hunch or an inkling of an idea
  • an intuition or premonition about something
  • an insight through your sixth sense
  • a gut feeling
  • your minds eye or imagination

There are two primary and common understandings of how you may have ‘received’ this enlightening communication of knowledge:

  1. the information has been fed into your subconscious through external stimuli. It was just bubbling below the surface, and then some obscure occurrence brought it to your attention.
  2. your developing intuition, a sixth sense of perception of our world that everyone has. It may be that this 6th sense is just as powerful and ‘real’ as our other 5 senses. It has the ability to tune into other aspects of reality that humanity does not yet fully understand, nor have accurate measurements to assess.

Such inspiration can strike at any time; in the shower, driving to work, gazing at the ocean. Where ever it might have originated from may be interesting to ponder. Yet, I think the really interesting question is, ‘is the information valuable to you and how can you use it’.

Certainly Albert Einstein asked this question of the wild ideas he came up with, and look where it lead him and the world. He ushered in a raft of new beliefs for humanity. Just some of Einstein’s words of wisdom on the subject:

“Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life’s coming attractions.”

“Imagination is more important than knowledge.
For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand,
while imagination embraces the entire world,
and all there ever will be to know and understand.”

The Art and Magic of Believing

It is widely understood that most beliefs you hold have not originated with you. Rather, you have primarily adopted what makes sense to your experience and understanding at the time. You continue in developing your belief system largely by agreeing with ideas that come into your awareness.

Once you understand this, it gives you great strength to:

  • review your beliefs, and ask with nonattachment, “do they have a solid basis and do they serve you well?”
  • drop any feeling of threat when your ‘adopted beliefs’ seem to fall short, or come under attack

You have accepted your beliefs based on what you knew at the time. As you learn more, it is reasonable that your belief system will undergo change and growth.

© 2008-2013 inspired-personal-development.com

The Mental Shift That Can Change Everything

…RESPONSE-ABILITY at work and at home.

adapted from Fred Kofman, PhD. April 2013

“Sorry I’m late.
Traffic was awful!”

How many of your meetings start with this lame excuse? You know it’s a cop-out, yet an irrepressible urge makes you take the easy way out over, and over, and over again. It is not your fault, I know. It’s the irrepressible urge that makes you do it.

In Control versus Out of Control There are two types of causes: those within and those beyond your control. You have a choice about where to focus. The latter makes you look innocent. You are not to blame. The former makes you powerful. It is your “response-ability.” Being “response-able” means focusing on what you can do to respond to a challenge. It’s about taking ownership, rather than assigning blame and playing the innocent victim. As I wrote here, the price of innocence is impotence.

You can explain any result as the balance between these two causes: the challenge versus your ability to respond. When your ability is higher than the challenge, you succeed; when it is lower, you fail. Think of it as weight lifting. If your strength is bigger than the weight, you lift it; if it isn’t, you don’t. There is a funny asymmetry, though. When you lift, you call yourself “strong.” When you don’t, you call the weight “heavy.”

Has anyone ever told you that he was not capable enough to do the job? Yet how many times have you heard, “the job is too difficult!” The missing terms at the end of the sentence, the most important ones to avoid the victim mindset are “for me,” as in, “the job is too difficult for me.

Both explanations are (partially) true. The victim story gets you stuck in resignation and resentment. Someone is harming you and there’s nothing you can do. Life is not fair! The responsibility story empowers you. The ball is in your court. How are you going to play it?

Why are they stuck? My colleague Andrés found himself under the gun. While he waited for his garage door to open in Buenos Aires, two armed thieves assaulted him. “Get out of the car!” they threatened. He did. “Open the door of your house or we’ll shoot you!” they barked next. Andrés teaches people how to be response-able. Shaking, he calmly said, “My wife and daughter are in the house. I will give you my car, my money, anything you want. But I will not open the door.” The thieves took his car, his money, his watch, his phone and his laptop, but they didn´t take his life. I asked Andrés what he thought at that crucial moment. “If these guys were going to shoot me for not opening the door, God knows what they would have done to my wife and daughter inside. If they shot me in the street, they would have had to run. I could have died, but I would have protected my loved ones.”

The ability to respond does not mean the ability to succeed. Response-ability does not guarantee that you win, or even survive. It only reminds you that you can choose how you play and how you live.

Asleep with the Enemy We all want to be liked, as Dave Kerpen writes. The problem is that rather than following Dave’s counsel, many of us attempt to be liked through Idiot Compassion. We collude with the person stuck in the victim mindset. We blame, we moan and we groan.

“I can´t believe they did that to you!” “They shouldn’t have!” “You deserve better than that.” “They should fix it right now!”

These comments are soothing – like a drug – and equally deadly. They calm you down with sweet protection and rev you up with righteous indignation. But they don’t give you a way to address the situation. You may think the person making them is on your side, but your drug dealer is not your friend.

Fight Back! I am always tempted to collude with my clients. They are in pain and I want to be compassionate. However, I want to offer them wise compassion. For example, a call center manager whom I coached had a bad case of victimhood. His automatic response when his boss asked him about poor customer satisfaction was to blame his employees for poor manners, the finance department for small budgets, and the training department for lack of skills. I listened to his story, feeling for him. I expressed my sorrow and then asked him if he wanted my help.

When he agreed, I challenged him with these questions:

  • What is the challenge you are facing? (Instead of “What did they do to you?”)
  • How have you responded? (Instead of “What should they have done?”)
  • How has that worked out for you? (Instead of “How are they wrong?”)
  • What could you do now? (Instead of “What should they do now?”)
  • If you need help, whom could you ask? (Instead of “Who should fix it?”)
  • What can you learn from this? (Instead of “How should they be punished?”)

The pattern is simple: turn “they” and “should” into “I” and “could.” Stop blaming them, but don’t blame yourself either. Ability to respond does not mean guilt. It doesn’t matter who is responsible for the situation. What matters is that you see yourself as able to respond, improve and learn when confronting the situation.

What my client found is less important than what your colleagues can find when you ask them these questions with intelligent kindness.

A final word of caution: Remember that to earn the right to challenge someone out of victimhood, you must first listen, acknowledge his or her pain and ask permission to help. I have seen too many relationships broken by eager friends and spouses who interrupt with, “Oh c’mon! Quit being a victim and start thinking of what you can do to solve this problem!

“The basic difference between an ordinary man and a warrior
is that a warrior takes everything as a challenge,
while an ordinary man takes everything as a blessing or a curse.”
— Don Juan, Mexican shaman (quoted by Carlos Castaneda)

Question for readers: What is your favorite victim explanation?

Fred Kofman, PhD. Economics, is Professor of Leadership and Coaching at the Conscious Business Center of the University Francisco Marroquín and a faculty member of Lean In. He is the author of Conscious Business, How to Build Value Through Values.

Who The Hell is “Society”?

“I am enough. I am not my history” – Melody Ehsani

This article’s theme area:
PERSONAL POWER, BEHAVIOUR PATTERN
S

From My Perspective: Sihle Mahonga January 22, 2013

Never did I ever think that I would be one of those ‘shamed students who take FOREVER to complete their degrees. I am now in my 5th year out of school and still have a year and a half to complete my degree. Now, you might be thinking to yourself “geesh whats taking her so long to finish a 3 year degree?” and this is what they DON’T tell you when you fail or you take another major or you simply want to take your time.

  1. The somewhat shame that is connected to an underperforming or ‘slow’ student
  2. The raised eyebrow every time you say your student number in relation to your year of study
  3. Your own voices telling you “LOSER” “STUPID” “WHAT WERE YOU THINKING” “I KNEW IT, ITS TOO HARD”

I know them all…but you see it isn’t all black and white between achievers and non-achievers.

There are those who, stifled by society, are pushed into the life of academia. Those who at 1am in the morning cut cloth, paint, draw, write music, update their scrapbook – only to get up in the morning and carry the never-ending flow of textbooks. Those whose parents pressure their children to do something that they never thought of themselves doing, all for a piece of paper called a degree.

I’m not calling down on academia but I am calling down on those who think academia is life. Right now I have applied to study Music and Fashion (depending on which one I am chosen for).

I wasn’t built for academia

I was built to create and inspire, to roll around in my imagination and bring forth life.

I write, I sing very well, I draw- what I can do with these hands and mind is enough.

My creative mind is enough.

My body (and the crazy things I adorn it with) is enough.

I am enough

I’m not my high school math paper (which mind you, was 23%). I am not what my friends think when I told them that I was on a different path to them. I am not my so called ‘lost years’. I am not my history.

I am going for it and I know somehow, I’m going to make it through. Don’t let doubt and deviant behavior of society define who you are. You who are fearfully and wonderfully made.

I am enough. I am not my history.

Fear Busters

This article’s theme area:
FEAR / SELF-DECEPTION

fear6


When you get stuck,
you have countless ways to free yourself. Here are five potent fear-busters from Dan Neuharth PhD MFT:

1) Measure Fear’s Track Record
2) Get Curious
3) When Fear Plays the Survival Card, Call Its Bluff
4) Check Your Assumptions
5) Recognize and Break Denial

Fear-buster #1: Measure Fear’s Track Record
Fear’s job is to get your attention, yet for many of us fear has a lousy track record. We worry about worst-case scenarios regardless of likelihood. To bring fear back into line, try this experiment: Write down everything you are afraid of or anxious about that might happen to you in the next week. Then put your list away and forget about it. Seven days from now, take out your list. How much of what you feared actually came true? Most people find that few of their fears materialize and, for many of those that do materialize, they aren’t as bad as you’d thought or you find yourself able to handle the situation just fine. And remember, you’re not alone in having self-doubts. Look what some others have said:

“I have offended God and mankind because my work did not reach the quality it should have.” – Leonardo da Vinci
“There will be no proof that I ever was a writer.” – Franz Kafka
“My life has been nothing but a failure.” – Claude Monet

Fear-buster #2: Get Curious
In the face of overwhelming feelings, asking yourself the right questions can move you from a reactive to a proactive stance. For example:

  • If you find that you tend to criticize yourself or others to excess, keep the question “What positive thing can I say at this time?” close at hand.affirmation courage
  • If you feel emotionally numb, ask, “What am I feeling right now?” or “What was the last emotion I recall?”
  • If you’re an overwhelmed overachiever, a question might be, “What would be most satisfying right now?”
  • If you’d like to improve the quality of your primary relationship, the next time you are around your mate, keep in mind the question, “What would she most appreciate from me right now?”

Creative questioning can give fresh perspectives and innovative solutions. For example, when faced with a perplexing challenge, look at it from several different angles. Ask yourself:

  • If this was my only problem, how would I solve it?
  • If this was my smallest problem, how would I handle it?
  • If I knew I could make a difference, what would I do?
  • How much will this matter in a year?
  • How would I assess this situation if I were ten years older or younger than I am now?

survival3

Fear-buster #3: When Fear Plays the Survival Card, Call Its Bluff
Our worst fears devolve into concerns about our survival. When your fears deal the survival card, play it out. Ask yourself:

  • Is my actual, physical survival at stake?
  • What is the likelihood that a life-threatening situation will materialize?
  • What are my options for action?
  • What have I done in similar situations in the past?

Fear-buster #4: Check Your Assumptions
Fear makes the leap from possibility to probability, and it does so on the backs of unrealistic and illogical assumptions. For example, you might think: “If this relationship falls apart, I’ll never find another love.” Such a fear is based on such unfounded assumptions as:

  • We only get one love per lifetime.
  • Whether I meet appropriate partners is completely outside of my control.
  • I don’t have the ability to mourn, heal, and move on.

Another example: “I could never tell my lover some of my negative thoughts about him.” The underlying assumptions:

  • If you love someone, you won’t have negative thoughts or feelings about him.
  • People who love you will leave you, retaliate, or fall apart when they hear a negative judgment.
  • There is something wrong with me that I sometimes think negatively about my lover.

When you recognize unrealistic assumptions, you have the chance to redefine your reality from a healthier perspective.

Fear-buster #5: Recognize and Break Denial
We all have a personal “Defense Department” designed to keep internal emotional and psychological peace. A certain amount of denial can be adaptive. Ignoring, forgetting, or pretending can help you through rough times. However, like a faulty circuit breaker, denial sometimes trips prematurely or stays off too long. We are not always aware when we avoid our feelings or overreact to events.

Denial is the glue that binds the parts of ourselves which disturb us. The good news is that if denial is the glue that allows for self-deception, awareness is the solvent that dissolves denial. Here’s an exercise to bring your denial into the light of day where you can dissolve it.

Think of a current or past situation that troubles or puzzles you. Then ask yourself:

1) Are any of my thoughts, feelings, or actions serving to . . .

  • Sidestep or camouflage more painful feelings?
  • Procrastinate or avoid something?
  • Assuage my guilt?
  • Pre-empt loss?
  • Take the focus off me?

2) Do I feel distracted or fixated?

3) How grounded and authentic do I feel right now? Is this how I want to feel?

4) If someone I deeply admire asked me what I’m in denial about, what would I say?

5) How would the best part of me handle this situation?

Feeling Insecure?

This article’s theme area:
SELF ESTEEM / MEDITATION

Feeling Insecure: How to Get a Self-Esteem Boost
-Ed and Deb Shapiro

Have you ever been to a party and 10 people tell you how good you look, but one friendself_esteem_whiteMirrorBLOG says, “You look weird,” and all you can think about is that one comment?

If lack of self-esteem has got you down, find out how meditation can transform your negative fixation and help you find the inner confidence you’ve had all along.

The Dalai Lama met with a group of Western psychotherapists and asked them what was the most common issue their patients came to see them about. We were told they were unified in their response: a lack of self-esteem. Apparently, he found this quite hard to believe because self-esteem was not a known problem in Tibet. Later, we talked to one of his translators, Tashi, who’s now living with his wife and child in London. Tashi told us children growing up in Tibet would be welcomed and loved by the whole village, which he found very different from the way children are raised in our more nuclear family–oriented culture.

Perhaps it is this culture that has contributed to confidence issues, because it can be difficult to develop a good feeling about yourself if your home life is conflicted or limited. Ed’s family of five lived in a three-bedroom apartment in the old Bronx, at a time when children were told they were to be seen, but not heard. This inevitably influences a child’s—and later the adult’s—sense of worth or self-respect.

We watched as an eager, young television reporter from CNN asked the Dalai Lama:

What is the first thing you think of
when you awake in the morning?

We thought the world’s most famous meditator would say something deeply profound or insightful, something along the lines of vowing to save the world from its own ignorance. Instead, the Dalai Lama simply replied,

 “Shaping motivation.”

He said everyone, including himself, has to be vigilant so intentions are focused in the right direction, and that shaping his motivation on a daily basis reminds him to extend loving kindness and compassion to all others. Such motivation takes you beyond yourself so you are not limited by a lack of confidence or self-esteem.

When we met privately with the Dalai Lama at his residence in Dharamsala, India, he held our hands tightly as if we were dear friends. It felt as if he was filling us up with that kindness and compassion, so that we were re-invigorated with self-belief and certainty.

2 ways meditation can give you inner confidence
There are two very specific ways meditation can help you transform a lack of self-esteem into inner confidence and self-belief. First, it enables you to meet, greet and make friends with yourself. You get to know who you really are, and to accept and embrace every part. You’ll soon find that your doubts, insecurities or fears are really only superficial, as you begin to connect with a deeper place of trust, dignity and self-worth.

meditation3Second, it awakens you to the inter-connection between everyone, the sense that you are not alone here. Rather, you are a part of this wondrous planet, and the more you extend yourself with kindness, the less you will be focused on your own limitations. Discovering your inter-connection takes you from a place of self-centeredness to other-centeredness.

As you bring acceptance and loving kindness to yourself, you may uncover the deeper belief that you do not deserve to be happy, that you do not believe you
are good enough—a sort of built-in self-destruction clause. As Oprah says:

“What you believe has more power than what you
dream or wish or hope for. You become what you believe.”

So you invite kindness into that self-negation and lack of self-esteem, until such uncertainty dissolves in love.

Loving Self-Meditation

  1. Find a comfortable and upright place to sit. Take a few deep breaths, and watch the flow of your breath as it enters and leaves.
  2. Bring your focus to your heart, and as you breathe in, feel as if your heart is opening and softening; as you breathe out, release any tension or resistance.
  3. Now bring into your heart either an image of yourself or repeat your name, and hold yourself in your heart, tenderly and gently. Silently repeat, “May I be freed from self-doubt, may I be happy, may all things go well for me.”
  4. Keep breathing into your heart, holding yourself with love and repeating the words. This will generate a deep, loving kindness and appreciation for yourself.
  5. When you are ready, take a deep breath and let it go. Then go about your day with a caring heart and a smile on your lips.

Secrets You Keep From Yourself

This article’s theme area:
SELF-DECEPTION

This is a HUGE subject, that will be discussed here in many forms and fromliar many perspectives – SL

Secrets You Keep From Yourself:
How to Stop Sabotaging Your Happiness

book by Dan Neuharth, PhD

“It’s as if a part of you doesn’t want the rest of you
to know what it’s doing.” – Dan Neuharth, PhD

“We lie loudest when we lie to ourselves.” – Eric Hoffer

“Truth is such a rare thing, it is delightful to tell it.” – Emily Dickinson

Self-deception is universal. Often harmless. At times humorous. But sometimes what you don’t know can hurt you.

You define who you are in every moment.
You can see yourself as big or small, smart or dumb, worthy or unworthy, winner or loser. Sometimes self-definitions are benign, even humorous. For example:

  • In an Australian study, 86 percent of workers said their performance was above average. 1 percent said below average
  • 80 percent of U.S. drivers surveyed rated their driving as better than average
  • 85 percent of people rated their own manners as good or excellent. Only 23 percent give the same marks to others
  • 94 percent of university professors ranked themselves better than average at their jobs
  • 25 percent of high school students rated themselves in the top 1 percent in leadership ability.
  • 87 percent of Americans surveyed said they expected to go to heaven. In the same survey, only 79 percent said Mother Teresa would go to heaven.

Other times you may define yourself and your options in counterproductive ways.

Examples of common self-defeating thoughts:

  • I must never quit
  • I must be successful
  • I can’t let anybody beat me
  • I can’t be alone
  • I am not competent
  • I must be different from others
  • I must be like others
  • I cannot survive arguments or disagreements
  • I can’t be happy when others close to me are not
  • I cannot break the rules
  • I cannot tell a lie
  • I cannot get caught in a lie
  • I cannot be bored
  • I cannot openly ask for what I want

Counterproductive self-deception
Negative self-deception can take many forms. Look through the following 12 examples and ask yourself: Do I recognize behaviors like these in myself or people I know?

  1. Repeatedly enter inappropriate romantic relationships, each time vowing that this one will be different
  2. Spend more time fantasizing about improbable financial windfalls, like winning the lottery, than working
  3. Overbook and overpromise so often that you no longer trust what they say
  4. Work hard to lose twenty pounds through various diets, then quickly regain the lost weight and then some
  5. Dwell on regrets or resentments and can’t seem to move on
  6. Endlessly take care of others’ needs ahead of their own but, in a candid moment, tell you how unappreciated they feel
  7. Procrastinate by submitting a job application late after hours of hard work, only to find the job filled
  8. Make major decisions without considering the consequences
  9. Automatically shun advice or a helping hand
  10. Ignore a romantic partner’s mistreatment, or stay in an unhealthy relationship even after deciding to leave
  11. Overspend wildly, but get a steady stream of new credit card applications
  12. Yearn to have children, but choose potential mates who send clear signals that they aren’t interested in being a parent

If you do recognize a pattern of self-deception or self-defeating behavior, it does not mean that there is something wrong with you, or that you are “bad” or “flawed” as a person. Self-defeating behavior is not anything to hide or feel guilty about. If you sometimes miss the boat, “step in it,” or trip yourself up, you are simply human. Self-defeating behavior is a habit reinforced by biology, culture, and your individual upbringing and development. Like any habit, it can be unlearned.

Secrets You Keep From Yourself: How to Stop Sabotaging Your Happiness A new psychology / self-improvement book published by St Martin’s Press and written by bestselling author Dan Neuharth, PhD

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