Tag Archive | core belief

How to gain Confidence

I’m passionate about the topic of confidence and there are so many different aspects to it and so many different levels.

The first point to look at is around your focus. If you feel that you are lacking in confidence, my guess would be that your focus is on what you can’t do, where you failed, and how you feel that you’ve got things wrong. What would happen if you changed your focus? What would happen if you shifted your perspective from where it was into a new one, which you maybe have to your imagination with, but what if you focused in on what you have achieved, things that you have been successful in, and things that you have done? So for example, what if you started to think about all that you’ve achieved in your life from learning to talk, learning to walk, learning to pass an exam, swim, ride a bike, drive a car? The list I am sure is endless of all the things that you really have done. What would happen and how do you think you would feel if that was your focus on a daily basis?

The second aspect to look at is around your language. How are you actually talking to yourself both internally and externally because that’s a real key indicator of how you feel about yourself? If you want to grow your confidence then if you make a mistake and then you’re telling yourself what an idiot you are or how stupid you are.., then really is that going to inspire confidence in you to have another go or even have an attempt at something new? Look at how you’re speaking to yourself, language is so important. Start to use kind language, give yourself a break, and actually be nice to yourself.

Would you really speak to a best friend or a family member or even a child the way you speak to yourself currently? Yet you would probably want them to have confidence in themselves so because you want them to have confidence, you speak kindly to them.

How about if you turn that around and started speaking kindly to yourself? I know the difference that it’s made in my life and I’m sure that if you started to put that into practice you’ll gain even more confidence in yourself, which again is what you want to do, is it not?

My final thing for you to think about is rather than thinking about what’s gone wrong and thinking about the mistakes that you’ve made, think about the lessons that you’ve learnt. Every single day we’ll trip up, fall over, say the incorrect thing, and get something wrong. All of those things are there to help us learn so instead of focusing on getting it wrong and being a bad person, why not stop and at the end of the day ask yourself what have I learnt today? What have I have learnt today, and not only that, how can I use that information in the future? I know that when you learnt to walk as a child you would have fallen over at some point yet you didn’t sit there and stop. What you did is you decided to learn and use the information from falling over to get back up again and have another go, and you use that information to inform your next step. So at the end of every day, take a moment to think about how you can use the information from that day, those lessons, to help you in the future.

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How to give up victim mentality

At some point in life, everyone has had to do something against their will. Everyone has experienced a difficult time when he felt humiliated or betrayed in some way. Many of us have experienced the loss of a loved one, or even of our own health. Some of us have been victims of violence – at home, in school, or in life…
But while some manage to cope with pain, self-pity, anger and guilt, others come to see themselves as a victim. The victim mentality is formed not only as a result of sustained violence or humiliation, but also by the environment. Often people do not recognize and do not even realize that they are acting the victim.
What is the victim mentality?
Seeing yourself as a victim does not necessarily mean that you have been subjected to physical or psychological abuse. A victim is a person, who believes that something or someone is externally controlling his life. Victims see themselves as impotent, believe that external factors control their life, and see life as a wall of insurmountable circumstances.
They feel compelled to do things against their will. They might complain, but they will still do what they do not want to do, thinking that there is no alternative. It seems like that the whole world is against them. Victims always feel dependent on the mercy of external forces and blame them for everything that happens in their world.
The victim mentality can be seen in all areas of our lives:
Relationships: When victims are led to give up their priorities, aspirations, dreams and desires, they lose self-esteem and self-confidence and give up power. Imagine, for example, a man, who gave up the job of his dreams to please his loved ones. He will feel internal resentment that this happened, and anger at a perceived lack of appreciation and gratitude. Even if he feels offended, humiliated or unappreciated in the relationship, rather than take control of his own life, he will instead complain about how he has been treated. In this way, he assumes the role of a victim.
Everyday life: Even in the most minor situations, some people manage to make themselves a victim of circumstance. For example, you might ask a colleague for a small favor – say, getting you a cup of coffee. He might complain terribly, saying that people are freeloaders and lazy and live off of others and so on… In the end he will do you the favor but continue to complain internally about the “injustice.”
But the reality of the situation is this – he has been asked for a favor, and he has to make a choice. He could say – “I’m sorry, I’m not passing by the coffee machine;” he could say he is too busy or he could even say that he forgot. There are many ways to respond. In this case, however, he chooses to feed the feelings of self-sacrifice – “I’m so pitiful, people are always taking advantage of me… ” – This is a victim mentality.
The person with a victim mentality has a habit of complaining about everything – for example, he/she always has to cook, he/she is forced to work for that terrible boss, traffic is always awful… These complaints are hiding something – that he/she waits and hopes for someone else to fix things. The person doesn’t realize that it was all the result of their own choices.
Often, people with a victim mentality will not say anything directly to the friend, who manipulates them or to the boss, who insults and humiliates them. Instead, they go to someone else to complain and to vent their anger with dramatic tales about their rude and arrogant boss, or their selfish and ungrateful friend. People, who see themselves as a victim of circumstance are always complaining and whining. Rather than taking political action, they vilify political leaders and blame them for the problems in society.
Victims are constantly asking WHY: “Why me? Why are people are so evil? Why won’t the boss give me a raise? Why did he/she leave me?” As they look for answers to these questions, they torment themselves and their resulting self-pity only reinforces their identity as a victim. The question they should ask themselves is: ” Why did this happen now? What can I learn from this situation? How can I avoid this in the future?”
How can you give the victim mentality?
First, it is important to understand why we take on this mindset – what benefits does it bring?
The victim mentality brings :
Attention – when we are in the victim position, we get attention, sympathy and support from people.
When we are a victim, there is no need to take risks or responsibility.
Being a victim gives us an excuse to explain our life circumstances. It is an excuse for the fact that we have not achieved anything. We continue thinking that other people have held us back, they haven’t seen our potential, etc.!
Sometimes being a victim makes you feel part of a community. This community grows out of the very sense that they – the others – are ” bad” and you’re on the “good ” side. Your anger about the injustice of their speeches gives a dramatic and even heroic sense to your suffering.
“Poor Me” gives you a sense identity (albeit false). It makes you feel special. This gives you a passive power that calls people to give you attention and pity.
To be able to part with your victim mentality, you must give up the benefits that it brings.
You should also know that creating a new pattern of thinking and behavior takes time, effort and discomfort. Furthermore, when you first begin to change, you may feel unstable, insecure and vulnerable…
But you have to go through this period if you are to regain power and change your life!
Are you ready to give up the victim mentality and live with confidence?
If the answer is “yes,” you can start taking the first steps now:
1. Release the pain of the past.
To overcome your victim mentality, you must release the pain of all those past experiences, buried deep inside. You need to release negative feelings – fear, guilt, hate, anger, self-pity – because they keep you in captivity and reassert your identity as a victim. Forgive those who have hurt you. As I have written elsewhere, forgiveness does not mean justifying the actions of others. It is a purely internal act of letting go of painful feelings. Only when you forgive will you be free.
2. Take responsibility for your life.
The main thing you need to do to regain power is to take responsibility for your life – for the feelings, thoughts, and reactions you choose to experience. Realize that the complaining, unhappiness, and blaming does not solve your problems. Think about what you personally can do and take action.
3. Remember that you always have a choice – we can always, in every situation, choose how to react. At any moment we can regain power by making the right choice.
4. Change your vocabulary.
Change the words in your vocabulary that make you feel like a victim. For example, instead of ” should,” think ” choose to;” instead of “I hope,” say “I will;” instead of “There’s no way out,” think “I know there’s a way and I will find it;” instead of ” I can’t” say “I will try.”
5. Learn to say “no.”
People who have a victim mentality, often have difficulty saying “no.”
6. Change your attitude.
Change the focus – from what you don’t have or what makes you feel wronged – to what you do have and your strengths. Keep a notebook, listing everything good in your life and practice being grateful about it.
7. Taking small steps outside of your comfort zone.
Begin with just one small step outside your comfort zone, and you will begin to change from a victim into a confident and self-respecting person.
The floor is yours – are you ready to gain more awareness as to when you are slipping into the ‘victim mentality’? What do you usually do when you catch yourself doing it? How do you take responsibility for your own creation? You can share your insights by joining the conversation in the comment section below :)

Reasons You Have Nothing to Prove to Anybody

“You alone are enough. You have nothing to prove to anybody.” ~ Maya Angelou

Most of us walk through the world with the sole agenda of proving our self worth and purpose for being on this earth. While I know we all want to make a difference, and it’s becoming harder and harder to stand out in today’s crazy world of social media, I feel it’s my duty to remind you of why you have nothing to prove to anybody.

I’ll start by saying it simply.
YOU ARE ENOUGH.

A hard concept to grasp I’m sure, but it’s very true and only you can deny it. No one can tell you how much value you have to offer, and there are certainly to “guidelines” by which we can measure a person’s worth.

Where we all run into problems with issues around self worth and value is when we attach our sense of self to what we do and how well we do it. We incessantly compare ourselves to everyone else, which leads to feeling less than, and insufficient.
We learn that if we are attractive enough, smart enough, funny enough, nice enough, giving enough or talented enough that we will be accepted and belong.

The idea of being accepted and loved for who we are without including what we “do” is a novel concept for all of us.

I’ll say it again in case it didn’t go in the first time.

YOU ARE ENOUGH.

I can say this without even knowing you because I truly believe that each and every person walking along side of me is worthy, valuable, perfect and enough.
Here are 5 more reasons you have nothing to prove to anybody.

1. Your standards are all that matter
Stop using others as a yardstick for what and who you need to be. Set your own standards for yourself, and if those are too high then check in with yourself about how you developed these unreachable ideas about yourself in the first place. Having realistic and attainable standards for who you are and how you want to walk through this world will keep you grounded in your own authentic worthiness.

2. External validation is fleeting
It feels good to get the gold star or affirmation from someone you respect or admire. No doubt that this is a good thing for anyone. However, this kind of validation is fleeting simply because it’s not yours to own. It’s on borrowed time, and if you don’t do your own work on owning your own value this goodness will slip away. You want to hold this part of yourself sacred so it’s always available when you need it.

3. You’ll never please everyone
There is a hamster wheel for everything in life, and that includes your desire to please others by proving yourself. There will inevitably be that one person who never really sees how great you are (usually a parent) leaving you going back to the empty well over and over. Know that your honorable acts of seeking approval will be futile with a few if not many.

4. You are good enough
You don’t have to be perfect or more than, you just need to be good enough. Good enough has to be determined by you, and you alone. Striving to be perfect or more than you need to be will exhaust you and ultimately leave you feeling defeated because it’s unsustainable.

5. Inadequacy is an internal experience
Recognize that your feelings of not being enough or needing to prove your worth are inside of you. You may experience the feelings when you are around other people, but it’s most likely a projection of your own internal struggle. Work on this in therapy or with a trusted mentor because feeling valued and worthy completely starts within.

What constitutes approval seeking behavior and why do you think so many people are after it?

I really want to know what are your thought on this. You can share your insights by joining the conversation in the comment section below 🙂

How to give up your inner critic

If you constantly tell yourself you how much you suck, how not pretty you are, how much smarter you should be, and how much more you should be doing, you are not alone. Every one of us has an inner critic, and success depends on breaking up with her and getting into bed with your true inner voice.
My inner critic shows up often and uninvited. Already, this morning, it told me I haven’t gotten enough work done yet (as I write this article), and that I should have had a healthier breakfast (when it was already healthy enough).
For most of my life, I believed that I was not good enough, that other people were smarter, prettier, more intelligent, more talented… I never acknowledged my successes because in my mind I could have done better. None of those accomplishments mattered because all I could hear was the negative chatter of not having done as much as everybody else.
The truth is, unless you learn to master this voice, you are never going to be satisfied with your life. This can lead to downright emotional exhaustion. You can become a doctor, earn millions of dollars, but if the voice inside tells you it’s not enough, you’re going to want to get another shiny degree, or become a billionaire and you still won’t be any happier once you get there.
Here are 5 ways to drown your inner critic and let the real you shine through.

1. Make a list of all your positive traits and successes

List 30 things that are positive about you. Then, list another 30 of your major successes. Keep this list close to you. Refer to it when your inner critic rears itself. Focusing on the positive qualities and successes helps you feel better about yourself, and feeling better about yourself makes you more productive, happier, and healthier.

2. Keep an inner critic page in your journal

Awareness is the key to beginning to curb your negative thoughts. Pay close attention to when your mind starts to trail off. Write down the thought in your journal so that you can begin to decipher thinking patterns and begin to shift them. A negative thought pattern may sound like “Gosh, I’m stupid. I’ll never do anything right. I can’t get it together. I’m a mess. I’m scattered. I’m not as good as she is. I’m a bad hostess.” Once you’ve got a list going, proceed to the next step.

3. Use thought rebuttals

We’re prone to making blanket statements about ourselves that aren’t true, hearing only what we want to hear when others compliment us, taking things personally, blaming ourselves for not being enough. We use ‘should’ and and ‘never’ without thinking of whether these things are true. Next time you write a negative thought in your inner critic page, ask yourself if it’s true? It most likely isn’t, so write down what is true. Learning to get in touch with reality will help your true voice come out.

4. Create 3 positive mantras from your list of positive qualities

Choose 3 positive qualities from your list. Create 3 positive affirmations you can recite to yourself. Or write them down on post-it notes and leave them on your bathroom mirror, in your car, or in your purse. Having a visual aid will help remind you there are some wonderful things about you even when you’re not feeling it.

5. Visualize a time when you felt successful

Think of a time when you felt successful. Recall the smells, colors, and feelings you felt that day. Visualization is a surprisingly powerful tool that helps reconnect you to a specific feeling, and the more you can connect to that feeling, the more you begin to see yourself as perfect the way you are.
It’s easy to disregard the good parts of you and minimize your accomplishments. But the more you can make space to find the positive, the more you grow, thrive, and become the human you were meant to become. Breaking up with your inner critic and learning to listen to your inner voice isn’t easy, and takes real effort and work, but doing the work and breaking free is the most powerful thing you can do to become your best self.

Why do we hate our bodies?

In the previous article, I was talking about the obsession our society has with physical appearance. It is obvious that it is so. Now I want to go even deeper into this subject .

I think that these days our obsession with physical appearance is worse than ever. More and more 12-year-old girls are going on diets because they believe that your weigh determines your worth. But when all you see is a body type that only two percent of the population has, it’s difficult to remember what’s real and what’s reasonable to expect of yourself and everyone else.

Before social networks, we mostly had images of impossibly perfect celebrities. We would pass these images on billboards, watch them on TV, look at them in magazines, but we weren’t sitting around staring at them for hours every day.

I think that social media hurt because young people are now having their bodies judged online in addition to being judged in person, which causes them to feel trapped. People also say things they’d never say to your face. It’s like Facebook gives them a screen that totally blocks out their emotions…they don’t have to see how I’d react when they say something negative about me. We are relying on judgments from people we’ll never meet to determine our worth.

The standards that society has set on what we call “pretty” are very hard to meet. There are few people who are naturally pretty and all other people could probably be considered the uglier ones.

For years, we’ve acknowledged the fact that no matter how much we try to temper it, girls face immense pressure to look a certain way – from the media, Hollywood, and probably most of all each other – a pressure that many would say starts early and doesn’t ever really end.

Body image is no light subject. There are people who are suffering legitimate illnesses, mental and physical, relating to how they appear. 

I’ve read many stories of girls that want to kill themselves because they hate the way they look. They are in such a deep place of self hate.  I’ve heard of a girl that avoids mirrors and windows because whenever she sees her own face she wants to vomit. She can’t even stand people looking at her. People laugh at her all the time, boys teas her for being ugly. She cries herself to sleep at night and even cuts herself because she hates that she is not pretty.

It hurts me that we as a society are causing this suffering that people experience regarding their physical appearances. 

The question is, what do we do about it?  What is the solution to this problem? What can we do to stop this insane obsession we have with physical appearance?

I have been thinking about this for days and days, trying to come up with a solution. But the more I was focused on the problem, the more upset and angry I was becoming. I was casually walking on the street when I saw a billboard with a model on it. I instantly felt like I want to destroy that billboard for spreading the propaganda of plastic beauty. When I watched a movie, I was so angry at the fact that only beautiful people by society’s standards play leading roles and the normal looking people play the dorky ones in the background. Whenever I encountered good looking girls in a bus, I was getting more upset because I felt like society pressures us into uniformity.

I became so angry that everyone is obsessed with their appearance. But most of all, I was angry at myself. My hate for everyone was just a reflection of my own self hate. I recognized myself in all of these people I was hating on. I was just the same as all other girls. And I hated it about myself. I felt like it made me a shallow stupid person. I couldnt stand it about myself. When I wasnt dressed well and when I wasnt wearing any make up, I felt ugly and unworthy. And when I was dressed well and looking good according to society’s expectations, I felt like an attention seeking whore. I felt like because of me there are so many people suffering.

Then I asked myself, what the hell am I doing? It doesnt matter what I look like, I always find a reason why to hate my body. I obviously have a problem.

Then I have realized how ridiculous this is. The only reason why we all care so much about our looks is because we don’t feel good enough. We think that we must live up to certain expectations in order to be considered beautiful. And not to be considered as beautiful means to me that no one will love us, we will end up alone and rejected.

Therefore it’s only natural that for us females it’s so important to look good. Most of us have a similar belief, that to be ugly means not to deserve love. That’s why we care so much about our looks. From our perspective our entire existence is dependent on it.

We have to realize that it’s not about what we look like. It’s all about self worth. We don’t have to change our bodies in order to be worthy and loved. We just need to learn how to appreciate ourselves more.

In the next article I’m going to tell you more about what you can do to love and accept your body.

Sorry if this post was too depressing, I just wanted to explore the shadows that cause so much pain in our society. I think that it’s important to have a clear image of what’s going on and how many people are suffering because of our crazy beauty obsessed society.

January 2014 (month review)

January has been a month of intense changes for me. I have never experienced such an exciting and challenging month. It also feels like the longest month ever – so many things happened that I can not believe that just a month ago I was a completely different person.

I have made lots of life changing decisions. At the beginning of this month I thought I was going to study medicine. Now I want to become a psychologist (see a previous post on how I chose my career for more details).

Besides the fact that I made such radical changes in my future career, I have also faced many different challenges. It feels like all of my fears that I was suppressing my entire life came to surface. I could no longer avoid them. I saw them clearly. Each day of this month I did some shadow work. I digged deep into my personality. I reconsidered everything that I knew about myself. I faced all of my fears. And the result from this process are astonishing. Things that were causing me to feel terrible about my life and myself no longer feel so bad. Actually, I started to enjoy them. I started to enjoy all the challenges because now I know that I am strong enough to achieve any goal.

For the first time in my life I can say “I love myself” and I really mean it. Nothing feels better than self love and self empowerment. It feels like you have your best friend with you all the time. And my best friend is myself. I no longer make myself feel guilty for things that I have done or have not done. I completely accept my past, I value it and appreciate it. Without everything I went through I would not be here where I am now. Every single experience, no matter how painful it was, served a positive purpose. And now I can see clearly why I chose to experience everything that I have experienced. I see why I chose to be born in this family, why I chose my appearance, why I chose this theme to explore in this life. I do not regret this decision.

I know that I have an infinite potential. My future is not set in stone. I know that it is a blank canvas and only I can decide what do I paint. I can feel the freedom to choose any perspective in any given moment. I feel the excitement that comes from knowing that I am the creator of my own reality. I know that whatever happens, I can always choose to experience it in a positive way. I no longer have any problems. I only face challenges. And every new challenge makes me even stronger and more aware of my true self. Life is really wonderful when you choose to see it in this way!

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How to change a belief

Last time I told you what beliefs are. Today I am going to tell you how to consciously change a belief. This process is based on Teal Scott’s teachings on how to change a belief. I find it really helpful and it works for me so I hope it will work for you too. The steps for changing a detrimental belief are:

1. Identify the belief. If you do not know how to do that, read the article on Shadow work that I wrote just recently.
It is important to work with a core belief. For example the thought “I hate speaking in public “is not a core belief. It is an emotional reaction to a core belief. A core belief can be “I am not good enough”. You always want to be working with the root belief when you are dealing with changing your beliefs. Because if you do not, it will just keep coming back.

2. Decide if the belief is beneficial or detrimental to you.

3. Decide what you would rather believe instead. Let your non beneficial beliefs be your inspiration towards beliefs you want to believe.

4. Determine the emotions that are holding you to the belief like glue. Decide if the emotional pay off is worth keeping the belief or not. For example: If I believe that I am not good enough, if I am being really honest about the emotional pay off it might look something like: I get pity when I feel like I am not good enough and that pity feels like people care about me. Or: when I think thoughts like I am not good enough, I give up the responsibility of having to try something new. You have to decide if the emotional pay off is worth the limitations of the beliefs which you are holding. If not, decide you are ready to let go of it. Nothing will help anybody to change something if they do not want to change it.

5. Seek out alternative evidence and alternative explanations which undermine the validity of your detrimental belief. Replace the evidence you’ve been using to back up and support your detrimental belief with evidence that undermines it! For example: If you believe that you are not good enough, this belief may be backed up by this kind of evidence: my mother always told my that I was not good enough. An alternate explanation may be something like this: When I made mistakes, it was an embarrassment to my mother. She was the one who felt as she was not good enough. I simply adopted this belief.

6. Look for evidence and proof to back up the beneficial belief which you would rather believe. And example would be: How am I good enough? I have had successes (you can list them). I have worth which is inate. The things that I have to say could really benefit other people. You want to look at as much proof and evidence that is possible. Make it your focus.

7. Use affirmations that work. These are affirmations which feel good to think, that you DO believe… NOT affirmations which make you more aware of where you aren’t and feel like a lie because they contradict your own sense of intelligence. Because when you believed for decades that you are not good enough and you say something like “I am good enough”, it sounds to you like a lie. You can use things like: I value myself because I care (if you do believe it).

8. Without immediately taking inventory of your reality (out of distrust of the process), simply giveyour self some time to let the new beliefs take root and ALLOW your reality to change. Soon after you change your thoughts, you’ll be looking at tangible proof in a reality that backs up your new thought to such a degree that the new thought will then become a firm belief. But this time, it will be one which benefits you and your life!