You Are Not A Victim; You Are Not Alone

If you don’t feel good about yourself, you have to fix it. There’s no other way around it. You can’t raise confident kids, have a healthy relationship, or get satisfaction from your job if you don’t. This comes from someone who didn’t, for most of her life, feel worthwhile. Many books come from the perspective of an expert, someone who already has a healthy sense of self-worth, which I believe immediately sets up an alienating perspective between them and us, those who “know” and the rest of us who struggle with this issue.

They assume they know better. They may think they know better, and have a worthwhile plan, but we know what it is really like, we have experienced and not just judged our self-defeating behavior.

We all have varying degrees of self-doubt. A person can be wildly successful in their life, and still have deep-seated feelings of worthlessness. There is a fear of discovery that others will come to see what’s behind the curtain in Oz. So we strive to accomplish more and more, climb to greater heights, yet it’s never enough. You may try to hide it, this low sense of self-worth, but like the alcoholic who wants to keep his drinking a secret, but staggers nonetheless, it is a visible illness. To continue the analogy, I want to be sober. In this case sobriety equals integrity and confidence.

Here is where to begin. It’s the Victim Thing. The most tragic or toxic aspect of victim hood is that victims don’t know they are playing the part of the victim. They see all around them evidence of betrayal, duplicity, and injustice so their victim status is validated and for the most part goes unquestioned. This is why I say, be careful, or the discovery that you have been wronged may be the last discovery you make. We all have injustice and dysfunction in our lives. We have to come to understand that these are just events that come and go. Again, It’s not the circumstances that define us; it’s how we react to them.

Some of us could and do spend many hours, years, in therapy or in our rooms trying to figure out how we got to be this way, but—this is essential—none of it matters. It truly doesn’t matter how we got to be damaged goods, or rather, it may matter to you, but it is not the solution; it is simply part of a very long and complicated story. You may very well know how and when you got to this point, but leave the blame for now and ask instead what comes nex?

Life is about choices. I can feel trapped in my life, but I can choose to begin writing this. I can choose to eat a healthy meal. I can choose to go for a walk. I can choose how to respond to my significant other. Every conscious choice I make brings me that much closer to the integrity I seek, or makes it less likely. The consequence of choosing is to remove myself from the victim role. Victims don’t create their lives; they react to them.

Acceptance is central to the process of coming out from under our victimhood. I would say that it is one of the basic tenets of all spiritual traditions, one that we can use in our everyday life, in the mundane and tragic circumstances within which we find ourselves. Like making conscious choices instead of reacting, it takes practice. I am stuck in traffic. I have lost my job. I am sick. One alternative is protest, anger, and bitterness. A person with low self-worth takes these things personally. A person with integrity and confidence accepts and adapts.

The key question in any adverse circumstance is, “What do I do now and next?” Sometimes all you can do is breathe deeply. Other times you can take definitive action, but again, you are making conscious choices instead of reacting, you are accepting your circumstances. Everything changes. This applies to the good situations as well as to the negative. That is why the phrase, “This too shall pass,” is so powerful. Peace of mind comes from accepting yourself, your life, wherever you happen to be at any given time.

Acceptance is the bottom line. Good choices grow from acceptance. There will always be someone better or worse off than we are. Good and bad things happen to us and to others and can happen at any time. Our life may have been difficult or a breeze. Who’s to say? You are. I am. To say that something is unfair is to return to the victim mode. Don’t live a life of protest. You’ll miss so much of what is given. Think of the world and it’s mysterious ways as an impersonal agency, so there is nothing served by anger and resistance. We only succeed in restricting ourselves further. We are worthwhile in our own shoes, where we stand. Practicing and believing this is so brings the part of ourselves that we love to the surface, and then the way gets easier and clearer.

What Creates Self-Esteem?

We all want to feel good about ourselves but many of us go about this in the ways that will never create self-esteem.

Do you believe that you will have high self-esteem when:

• You make a lot of money?

• You achieve a high position in your work?

• You have an expensive car or an expensive home?

• You are famous?

• You find the right relationship?

• You receive approval from the important people in your life?

While all of these can result in momentary good feelings, none of them create a deep and abiding sense of self-esteem.

Self-esteem actually has nothing to do with your achievements or with other people. Self-esteem results from two things regarding your inner relationship with yourself:

• How you see yourself

• How you treat yourself

Richard, a client of mine, is a very successful businessman. He is wealthy, lives is a big house, has expensive cars, a lovely wife and three children. But Richard consulted with me because of his low self-esteem. He was perplexed that he continued to feel so inadequate in spite of all that he had achieved and all that he had.

As we worked together, it became apparent that, no matter what the outer truth was, Richard continued to see himself as the inadequate child his father told him he was. His inner dialogue was often self-critical, just as his father had been with him. And not only did Richard constantly judge himself as his father had judged him, he treated himself as his father had treated him – ignoring his own feelings and needs. As a result, Richard was always looking to others for the attention and approval that he didn’t receive from his father and was not giving to himself. Instead of being a loving parent to the child within him, he was a harsh and inattentive inner parent.

Jackie, another client of mine, is a very successful actress. Yet fame and fortune have not given her self-esteem. No matter how many people tell her how beautiful and talented she is, she still feels inadequate and insecure most of the time. This is because, on the inner level, Jackie is constantly telling herself that she is stupid. “How could I have made that stupid remark!” “How could I have acted so stupid?” Mirroring her mother’s own self-judgments and her judgments toward Jackie, she is constantly putting herself down. Until Jackie learns to see herself through eyes of truth rather than eyes of judgment, she will continue to feel inadequate and insecure.

It might make it easier to see how you create your own high or low self-esteem if you think of your feeling self as a child within. No matter how much you achieve or how much approval you get from others, if you are treating your inner child badly – by ignoring your feelings and judging yourself – you will continue to feel inadequate. If you continue to see yourself through the distorted eyes of your parents, siblings, peers or teachers, and continue to treat yourself the way they treated you or the way they treated themselves, you will continue to have low self-esteem. If you open to seeing the truth of who you really are – a beautiful divine soul who just wants to love – then you will treat yourself as you would treat anyone whom you saw as a beautiful divine soul. When you take loving action in your own behalf, you will feel valued rather than inadequate. Loving actions might include:

• Speaking up for yourself with others and telling your truth without blame or judgment in conflict situations.

• Taking care of your body through eating well, getting enough exercise, enough sleep, and so on.

• Creating a balance between work, rest, play and creative time.

• Treating yourself and others with respect and compassion rather than with judgment.

• Attending to – rather than ignoring – your own feelings and needs.

• Taking the time to pray and meditate.

• Choosing to notice your thoughts and practicing inner self-discipline regarding your thoughts.

When taking loving action in your own behalf replaces your inattentive and judgmental behavior toward yourself, you will feel high self-esteem.

Using Your Body To Strengthen Your Mind

For thousands of years, physical disciplines like yoga, Tai Chi and Sufi Dancing have been said to increase mental and spiritual powers. If this is true, how might one explain this, and even better, how can we use this fact, practically, to enhance our lives as artists, business people, parents, and partners?

First, we have to strip away the mysticism from the activity. Not that these activities have no esoteric aspect, but rather that we have to approach them on the most down-to-earth level. The higher the tree, the deeper the roots. The taller the building, the deeper the foundations. If you want to soar, be certain that your tether is strong. So we need to start with a simple, physiological explanation (if possible!) and then suggest a way that this ties in to advanced artistic accomplishment, relationship skills, intellectual clarity, and spiritual growth.

My own enlightenment in this regard came from studying the work of Coach Scott Sonnon.  . There, they found movement and wellness concepts equivalent to anything in China or India. They shared many of these concepts with Sonnon, and invited him to share them in turn with Americans. Over the years, Coach Sonnon has created hundreds of books, videos and essays on his interpretations of this core knowledge.Perhaps the single most important in terms of Body-Mind is what he calls the “Flow State Performance Spiral.” In order to relate this breakthrough thinking in such a short essay, we’ll have to condense considerably:

1) All physical technique is composed of three aspects: breathing, movement, and structure.

2) Each of these aspects is controlled by the other two (breath is created by movement and structure, etc.)

3) Stress “dis-integrates” this structure. In other words, when you are under stress, the physiological signs will manifest in your breathing rate or shallowness, your posture, your muscle tension. This is why lie detectors work!

Before he died, Hans Selye, the creator of the “stress” concept, said that he had misspoken himself, that it is not stress that hurts us, it is strain. Stress is the pressure we are under. But strain is the degree to which that stress warps us out of true.

Stress is not the enemy. In fact, when handled healthfully, it is the primary trigger for growth. So the key is to avoid strain.

Let’s skip around a bit to a truth about artistic and intellectual pursuits: your ability to utilize your intelligence, education, skills or talents will be in direct proportion to your ability to maintain “flow” under stress. Or to put it another way, in life, we are rewarded for how much stress we can handle without folding. Writer’s block, for instance, is nothing but a poor reaction to performance stress.

Combining these ideas, what we have is that mental and emotional balance under stress leads to excellence. Combine this with the fact that learning to cope with physical stress develops skills that are tremendously applicable to the mental arena. The most vulnerable portion of the “Flow State” triad (breath, movement, structure) is breathing. Proper breathing will be degraded by stress before you can detect it in posture or muscle tension. This is one of the reasons breath control is addressed in most religions and spiritual disciplines, whether this is through pranayama (yoga), exercise, hymns, ritual prayers, dance, or sacred postures.

A good yoga teacher, for instance, will place the student in a posture sufficiently extreme to force total concentration. When the student learns to relax and focus, that posture becomes relatively easy, and a more extreme posture is given. The point is to teach the student to monitor their own internal process. Fine martial arts or breathing meditation teachers use similar techniques.

The student learns to recognize the early signs of strain, and to dissipate them. NOTHING in life creates more stress than lack of oxygen, and learning to remain calm in the midst of oxygen debt will teach you to remain calm when the children are screaming, when your boss is on the rampage, when someone cuts you off on the freeway.

Or when you have a writing deadline, or when insecurity and fear hammers at the door of your resolve.

Deliberately practicing a physical discipline to enhance this quality of calmness and centeredness, while simultaneously working toward goals balanced in body, mind, and spirit, exposes you to the currents of life while helping you develop the skills and strategies necessary to excel. This, over time, leads to excellence, even in a purely mental arena.

There are numerous disciplines that will teach proper breathing under stress, and this article has listed a few. If you wish to reach your maximum potential as a mental, spiritual, and emotional being, seek one of these techniques out, and integrate it into your life. It is one of the best investments you could ever make in your future.

5 Quick And EASY Techniques To Help You Realize And Fulfill Your TRUE Goals In Life

This article explains 5 POWERFUL techniques to achieving and fulfilling ANY goal you wish in life.

Did you know that ‘Goal Setting’ is the secret to fulfilling ANY dream or desire you want in life?

Did you also know that SUPER Successful people use ‘Goals’ to attain the knowledge and wealth they have today?

Some of you reading this right now might agree and some of you might not.

That decision is yours to make.

The reason people find it too hard to achieve their goals is simple because they’ve set their Long-Term goals before setting Short-Term ones, or they just didn’t plan their goals out carefully.

Goal setting strategies are VERY important, especially for those who want to achieve Long-Term goals.

Well, your in luck because I’m going to share five ‘Goal Setting’ techniques to help you realize your TRUE goals today.

Your only requirement is to keep an open mind.

So, with that said, lets go to Technique #1.
Technique #1. Start with Short-Term goals.

Sometimes, people start with short-term goals unconsciously.

Why unconsciously?

Some of them may have considered the goals to be long-term at the time they planned them; and after achieving a goal, they realize that they are in fact, looking forward to a longer one.

Some are contented with their short-term goals, but after a while will realize that they also need to attain long-term ones.

Short-term goals seem to be our starting point for our Long Term ones.

They also motivate the person to plan for longer goals, which will usually take some time before achieving them in full.
Technique #2. Make sure you really want the goal.

By this, you have to ask yourself: “Do I really want this goal and will this goal give me a better life?”

Answering this ONE question will give you more passion and motivation to achieve your goal.

Some people often recall their past to find out Why and How they came up with such goal.
Technique #3. Speak up.

What I mean by this is you shouldn’t keep your goals to yourself only. By sharing your goals with other people it’ll help you get the support you may need in order to fulfill them.

The problem that usually occurs though is some people are just too shy to tell others about their goals for reasons like they are afraid they cannot achieve them in the end, or they lack the courage to speak their minds.

This is not a good habit to get into because when the time comes that you really need their support, you will have a difficult time getting it.

You’ll then be left to achieve your goals all by yourself.

Don’t make this mistake.
Technique #4. Write down your goals.

This strategy is critical and more advisable for those who have a long list of goals.

After writing them down in as much detail, it is advisable that you review them on a daily to weekly basis because this will encourage and motivate you to achieving them, plus, this will also keep that vision of your goal alive.
Technique #5. Stay on track and never give up.

Reviewing notes will help open your mind to see if you are on the right track. While on track, you may have to face challenges that might change your personality.

A person who is overconfident might suddenly feel depressed after finding out that he is going the wrong way in achieving his goal.

Thus this might lead to abandoning the goal.

Never be discouraged.

Facing obstacles is a test on how passionate one is to realizing his or her goals.
There you have it.

Give those a try and keep a visual picture in your mind everyday of you fulfilling that goal you desire so much.