Narcissism is a personality disorder characterized by a grandiose sense of self-importance, a need for admiration, and a lack of empathy for others.
Narcissists often believe they are superior to others and entitled to special treatment. They can be charming and charismatic at first, but their behavior can quickly become manipulative and destructive. In this article, we’ll discuss how to recognize a narcissist and how to avoid them.
General Signs of Narcissism:
Narcissists can be difficult to recognize at first because they often present themselves as confident, charismatic, and charming.
They can be cunning, manipulative, controlling, deceitful, pathological liars, paranoiac, and have a strong right-to-be-right. They don’t like to be questioned or bucked. Gas-lighting – making everyone else around them feel crazy is one of their fortes. They twist, spin, and distort information and create stories for their sole benefit. They also have no qualms about lying or don’t care who gets hurt in their path. And lastly, they always portray themselves as either the hero or victim. Somehow, they seem to innately know who is a good match for them and who they can control. This is accomplished under a veil of being charming, likeable or the life of the party.
Some detailed signs that can help you identify a narcissist:
They have an inflated sense of self-importance. Narcissists often believe they are better than others and deserve special treatment. They may exaggerate their achievements, talents, or abilities and expect others to recognize and admire them.
They lack empathy for others. Narcissists have little concern for other people’s feelings or needs. They may dismiss or belittle others’ problems and expect others to cater to their needs.
They crave attention and admiration. Narcissists need constant attention and praise from others. They may seek out attention by being loud, flashy, or provocative.
They are manipulative and controlling. Narcissists often use manipulation and coercion to get their way. They may lie, guilt-trip, or threaten others to get what they want.
They have unstable relationships. Narcissists have difficulty maintaining healthy relationships because they prioritize their own needs over others’. They may be quick to anger or become hostile when they feel criticized or rejected.
How to Avoid Narcissists
If you’ve identified a narcissist in your life, it’s important to take steps to protect yourself from their harmful behavior. Here are some tips on how to avoid narcissists:
Trust your instincts. If something feels off about someone, trust your gut. Don’t ignore red flags, even if the person seems charming or charismatic.
Set boundaries. Narcissists often try to push past boundaries and get their way. Be firm in setting boundaries and don’t be afraid to say no to their demands.
Don’t engage in their drama. Narcissists thrive on drama and attention. Don’t engage in their arguments or try to reason with them. It’s best to disengage and distance yourself from their toxic behavior.
Surround yourself with healthy relationships. Narcissists can be draining and destructive. Surround yourself with positive, healthy relationships that prioritize mutual respect and empathy.
Seek professional help. If you’ve been involved with a narcissist, it may be helpful to seek professional help. A Life Coach can help you process your experiences and learn how to protect yourself from future harm.
In conclusion, recognizing and avoiding narcissists can be difficult, but it’s important to protect yourself from their harmful behavior. Trust your instincts, set boundaries, and surround yourself with healthy relationships. Remember that you deserve to be treated with respect and empathy.
We are available to assist you to either end or to heal from narcissistic relationships in your life. Contact us for you complementary empowerment session. Contact us.
When you think of ‘manly’ emotions, what do you imagine? Is it fatherly love? Loyalty, trust, honor, and compassion? Or do you think of anger, rage, the ‘right to be right’, sarcasm, or jealousy?
In America, at this point in time, there is a very short list of ‘approved’ male emotions. Men are allowed to be angry, but not vulnerable. They are allowed to be ambitious and self-serving, but not nurturing. How can anyone truly thrive when being held to such narrow standards that work against everything that Life is supposed to be?
As coaches, we share with our clients that Life is composed of love, joy, inspiration, creativity, and expansion. There’s nothing inherent, or even natural, about living a life that is rooted in anger or fear. None of us are born that way, but we learn to be that way.
There is a ‘Chain of Pain’ that connects members of the newest generation to the dysfunction and self-sabotaging habits of their parents and grandparents. Somewhere along the line, we started teaching our sons that anger was acceptable, while certain expressions of love were not. As a result, men grow up feeling isolation, worthlessness, and a deep longing for the kinds of relationships that can only come from unconditional love.
Gillette ran an adnot long ago that stirred a lot of debate and controversy. The ad showed clips of a boy being chased through the street by a pack of other boys, until a father intervenes while his son watches. The ad urged men to abandon the excuse of ‘boys will be boys’ for violent and exploitative behavior, and adds the tagline ‘we believe in the best in men.’ Some men reacted with anger to this ad, as though they felt threatened by its message. When we feel threatened, it indicates that a vulnerability is in danger of being exposed. Vulnerability may come as a result of the fear of rejection that keeps us from experiencing love fully, or it may come as a resistance to change. By embracing vulnerability rather than shrinking from it, we can transform our lives.
‘We believe in the best in men’ is an interesting tagline. ‘Best’ can be a loaded word–when we strive to ‘do our best’, we tend to inevitably come up short of others’ expectations. But when we learn to BE our best–to release others’ expectations of us, and live empowered in the knowledge that we honor our authentic selves–we can live the lives we were always meant to have.
Some men live without allowing themselves to fully experience love, because they are afraid of vulnerability, afraid of rejection, and afraid of ridicule. The violence shown in the ad, then, does not stem from a political problem, but a spiritual one. Do you want to live in love, or in fear? Do you want to be confined by others’ expectations of what a man can feel and how he should act, or do you want to experience life as your authentic self?
The true process of life is one of ease, of ebb and flow, of peaks and valleys.
Over a decade ago, we both read a small paperback book called ‘Life Was Never Meant to be a Struggle’ by Stuart Wilde. In it, Wilde calls struggle “a programmed response, natural to many who often find themselves struggling without realizing they’re doing so.” He cites that the first step in reducing and eliminating struggle from your life is to identify how it appears in your life.
According to one of our favorite authors, Eckhart Tolle: “When you say ‘yes’ to what is, you become aligned with the power and intelligence of Life itself. Only then can you become an agent for positive change in the world.” Essentially, he is saying that if you resist saying ‘yes,’ then Life will be an endless series of struggles and, in response, it will not say ‘yes’ to you.
As children, most of us can recall hearing statements like, “You have to work hard if you want to be the best or want to succeed!” “Life isn’t easy, that’s just the way it is!” “You gotta do whatever it takes to make it happen!” “No pain, no gain!” The list of messages goes on and on. Inherent in all of them is the underlying theme of struggle. Beliefs about life and what we are to expect from it, have been passed down to each of us from previous generations. Each of us has his or her personal recollections of how the struggle mentality and belief system was instilled in us at a very young age.
Are you struggling today just to get through the day itself? Does struggle have a significant presence in your life? Are you stressed, anxious, irritable? Do you greet each day with excitement and anticipation?
Your responses to these questions are excellent indicators of whether or not you see life as a daily grind that contains the component of struggle in it.
Here, in America, our beliefs about life are deeply rooted in a set of standards called the Puritan ethic. The basis for this ethic is that if you’re not hard at work, miserably toiling away, you are living an immoral, impure life. The value and worthiness of everything we do or don’t do, say or don’t say is measured by this standard.
When we are conditioned by a set of standards such as these, we are voluntarily committing ourselves to having struggle present in our life. For many, struggling has actually become a habit, an addiction.
Believing that life is hard, a challenge, a constant uphill, upstream battle, we set ourselves up for a less than joyous life experience.
Here is how struggle may manifest itself in someone’s life: pessimism, sabotage, setting unrealistic goals, playing the victim, the martyr, or the damsel in distress.
Here is a coaching tip that allows you to objectively witness and begin to let go of the presence of struggle in your life. Be open to noticing if any of the following aspects of your life have a component of struggle built-in to them: 1. your emotional state, 2. your physical body, 3. your relationships, 4. your finances and/or career, 5. your attitudes, beliefs and habits, 6. your ability to handle challenges and 7. your spiritual connection.
Thriving is an “inside job.” Incorporating it into your life experience requires you to possess the willingness to add it to your of your daily routine once and for all!
Understand that struggle, whatever form it currently appears, is inherently linked to the past. Early on we were somehow convinced that struggle was natural and had some special value that must play a significant role in our life.
Any struggle, be it with finances, health, relationships, whatever, possesses an underlying negative emotion that justifies the struggle mentality. We can all create a new habit by asking ourselves, “What is the underlying emotion that I am experiencing now that is enabling me to feel like a struggler in life?”
Like any unhealthy behavior, struggle can go undetected for an entire lifetime. By identifying and acknowledging its’ presence and the unhealthy purpose it serves, we are shedding light on it. This is how we can begin to thrive.
We are all intended to thrive, be optimistic, joyous and open to all the good that the Universe, in its’ infinite abundance, has to offer. May you thrive and enjoy!
If you are experiencing any type of struggle in your life, know that you are not alone. We can assist you to move through your struggle and get to a point where you flourish and thrive! THAT is how life was meant to be lived.
How do you measure success? What are your parameters? Do you focus solely on your finances, status and getting and having “things?”
If you do, then it is likely you spend much of the time feeling stressed, disappointed and anxious. Perhaps it is time to experience a life that is more balanced and harmonious?
By believing in, and placing our faith in the commonly accepted version of success, we are bound to suffer. Success defined by money, status and materialism places happiness outside ourselves. This continuously puts us at the mercy of hoping that we will get what we want so we can finally be happy. When we don’t, unhappiness, disappointment and despair become the normal and dominant emotions we experience.
We can also suffer when we tend to live our lives based on the parameters set by others. The result is an eventual disconnection with our authentic identity. It is this authentic self that defines success for each of us. It is more than likely that no one ever asked you, or recommended to you, to define success for yourself. Left to your own devices, you may have simply “followed the herd” or “threw in the towel,” or still trying to figure it all out. When we live our lives by the rules and devices set down and invented by other people, we suffer.
So few of us will ever achieve this kind of programmed success for a variety of reasons. First, by the time most of us reach adulthood our sense of self-worth tends to be at low levels because we have been meticulously brainwashed to strive for a level of success that seems unreachable and unattainable. We are told to ‘do your best.’
By the way, has anyone ever defined ‘the best?’ It is the longest running mystery in man’s history. Hint: There is no way to define “the best.” The best does not exist. It is an objective abstraction based solely on individual opinion of constructed in the mind.
It is also highly likely we have spent much of our formative years with individuals (namely our family members) who are already disenchanted and tarnished by the so-called inequities and injustices of life. The message here is ‘life isn’t easy, let alone fair.’ From these perspectives, success becomes some far-off destination not likely to ever be reached. The chance of achieving success with this model is slim to none and results in disappointment for most.
The two of us were fortunate enough to awaken to the possibility that the so-called way to achieving success and the symbols of success were not necessarily success at all. On many occasions, for example, we have coached clients who seem ‘to have it all,’ yet at the deepest emotional and spiritual levels, feel truly unsuccessful, as well as unworthy, undeserving and inauthentic.
Years ago we developed a new model of success, incorporating other areas of your life where you can be successful such as having good health or a loving relationship. Our model suggests that success is a process and not a payoff. More so, it is a state of consciousness: success is emotional!
By shifting success from a payoff to a process, we have witnessed real transformations of individuals who committed to what we call ‘the process of creating success from the inside-out.’
When we feel successful first we are able to define success on our own terms. Success becomes a state of being. Feeling successful becomes your dominant emotion. When you feel this emotion you will truly wonder where it has been hiding all these years.
Here are some ways to get you started with creating your own personal internal blueprint for feeling successful:
Know your intentions! To feel successful and receive what you want requires the use of the power of intention. Behind each and every intention, clarity, discipline, resolve, commitment and an action plan must be present in order to achieve what it is you desire. Your intentions are the fuel that energizes the process of achieving results. Know your intentions!
Truly successful people focus on what they want, rather than what they don’t want. What you focus on expands, so consciously be aware of who and what you give your attention to as often as possible.
To feel success is about “tricking” your mind that you already have what you want to achieve. There are a variety of techniques that allow you to do this. One way is to begin a new healthy habit of speaking in the present tense when referring to the results you want. For example, if you’re looking for a new career that you love, affirm: “I am so happy and grateful for this incredible career that I absolutely love!”
Successful people never worry about the “hows” of life. They always focus on the “whys.” The “why” is why you do what you do in life and why you want to achieve the results you say you want. This gives you clarity.
Embrace a new level of thinking that is more willing to create positive change. You can never create positive change with the same identity that creates negativity and undesired results. “Attacking” your “problems” with the same mind that created them will never get you the results you want. A quick way to initiate positive change is by asking yourself “heart-felt” questions like “What would it feel like to me to be happier and more successful in all areas of my life?”
True success is about envisioning the results you want and less about setting goals. When you can actually feel the result and re-enact it in your mind on a regular basis, your likelihood of physically experiencing it increases dramatically.
According to the late Art Linkletter, success in any life is defined as “finding what you love to do and then spending your life doing it with people you like to be with.” Can you imagine living your life with that kind of success?
Being successful and balanced requires you to nurture, treat and feed your mind and body with love and respect and becoming your own “best friend.”
Is it possible that the power of love can be a business solution? We believe it can.
Most business solutions are geared to increasing the bottom line: more profits that create supposedly bigger and better outcomes.
If you are an entrepreneur or would like to be in the near future, it is important to understand why people buy.
Most customers, clients, or consumers purchase products or services on an emotional level.
Purchasers expect something in return. Yes, they are buying goods and services; however, underneath it all, they are emotionally buying YOU! They are buying your energy. They are unconsciously buying a feeling that they get when they interact with you or your product or service.
Yes, we are all in business to create financial security. Money is the energy used by most people on our planet as a means of exchange for goods and services; however, if money is your ‘why’ for being in business, then we suggest you re-think your position.
Most people believe that to be successful in business requires us to make it happen. To do this means we must buy into a belief system that says success requires long hours, hard work, staying ahead of the competition and doing whatever it takes to increase the bottom line.
The truth is that motivation for profit alone is a major contributing factor to Entrepreneurial Burnout, anxiety and failure.
The truly successful business owners and entrepreneurs are those individuals who have a variety of common traits and characteristics. These traits and characteristics typically carry a high quality energy that says ‘love is my business solution.’ Some prime contemporary examples of this love energy are Richard Branson of Virgin Atlantic, Bill Gates of Microsoft, Oprah Winfrey and the late Steve Jobs of Apple.
Here is a short list of some of the traits and characteristics that ultimately created great success for each of these individuals. Realize that they each used love, consciously or unconsciously, as their business solution.
1. Make ‘being of service’ to others the first priority.
If you are focused on ‘making money’ and ‘my reputation’ then your business and entrepreneurial experience is going to be stress-filled and problematic at best. True, you may get high marks at first; yet in the long-term you will find yourself running out of both financial and emotional steam.
By giving with a loving heart; be it yourself, your product or your service, you are establishing yourself and your business as someone who wants to be happy and fulfilled and share those feelings with others.
To genuinely be of service requires us to genuinely love people. Not in the romantic sense; more in the spiritual, humanistic way that embodies the idea of ‘loving thy neighbor as thyself.’
To reframe this concept from a business perspective, it’s about putting people first ahead of profits. People intuitively pick up when someone makes it all about the money. Businesses motivated only by money have a higher chance of failure. Greed, along with a lack of ethics and integrity, don’t sit well with most of society. Today’s pharmaceutical industry exemplifies such a state of consciousness.
Love, as a business solution, requires each of us to put people first by being of service to others, rather than focusing on what’s in it for me.
2. Doing what you love and loving what you do. Richard Branson has said that if he isn’t having fun he stops whatever it is he is doing. When we do what we love and love what we do, the money always follows. We have found both personally and through coaching countless others, how true this statement really is. Being passionate about what you do is a key solution to business success.
If you don’t love what you are doing, ask yourself why? Are you living your dream or someone else’s? Are you in business or a particular career to please another person or get their approval?
When we are not doing what we love and loving what we do, we are in some way denying our authentic self. When we deny who we are, and this includes are true passions, we cut off the life flow that permits us to create magnificently on the physical plane.
When you infuse love into your business or career, people feel that energy. Love, like its’ opposite, fear, is infectious. Remember, people buy people. If love isn’t your guiding power then you will not experience a life well-lived. Your business, like your life, will also fall short of its true potential if love isn’t its’ one and only business solution.
3. Leading by example.
Leading by example is contrary to what most people see as strong leadership qualities. Most people confuse leadership with managing. Whether they’re business owners, business management or high profile public figures, chances are they are not exemplifying true leadership. More likely, they are running a baby-sitting service.
True leadership is about leading by example. People will do what you do, not what you say to them. It is about being an open book that allows people to discover your inner contents. This requires you to have courage and vulnerability, which are aspects of love. It is not about power struggles and always being right. It is about being honest, caring and willing to surround yourself with people who perform in the same high quality, high energy manner.
Leading by example is also about putting people first. It is about taking the focus off yourself and letting people know how much you care about them. It’s using love as a business solution because there is an understanding of the power of vision.
“When multiple individuals lead by example and have the same vision, business growth naturally occurs at a rate that far exceeds expectations.”
Leading by example doesn’t mean you neglect yourself either. Be willing to focus on self-care both physically and emotionally. Remember, you can’t be sick enough or poor enough to assist the less fortunate. Enhance what is going on within you and be open to helping others do the same.
4. Expressing a real sense of gratitude and appreciation toward people.
When others feel genuinely appreciated they want to be around their source of appreciation. Genuine appreciation for others, be it clients, customers, employees, and even so-called competitors, sends a clear message that you are using love as your business solution.
Here are some tips to get you started to employ love as your business solution:
=> Take your focus off of the bottom line and money. Money isn’t your problem. However, your relationship with money may be unhealthy and standing in your way of creating a real business solution.
=> Ask yourself if your business or career is in alignment with your values and true passions. If what you are currently doing is not in alignment with who you truly are, then perhaps it is time to re-evaluate your life’s journey and make some changes. It is never too late to change course.
=> Seek guidance and advice from someone you admire and respect. If you are struggling financially, physically or emotionally, do not seek help from your broke brother-in-law. Collaborate with someone who you feel has attained a high level of mastery when it comes to life, career and/or business.
Pick their brains. If they employ love as their life and business solution, then they will be more than happy to share their wisdom with you.
Be open to realizing that your business success is directly affected by the energy you give it.
Whether you accept it as truth or not, love is the greatest power there is anywhere. It is the energy behind all creation. Your business is your creation! Consider infusing it with love as your one and only business solution.
As The Possibility Coaches™, Jon Satin, MBA and Chris Pattay, BBA mentor and consult with Solo-Preneurs, Entrepreneurs, Executives and Upper Management. They provide a unique and even radical approach to business success. If you are seeking a non-conventional, out-of-the-box approach to running your business or company, contact them for business coaching, consulting, mentoring or keynote speaking. To learn more about their approach and to contact them for a consultation, visit: https://www.possibilitycoaches.com/business-coaching.html
Being your best is truly about living life fully, with a sense of worthiness, direction and empowerment. Being your best is totally different than ‘doing your best.’ Doing implies action and ‘doing your best’ is based on a variety of contingencies rooted in day to day activities. ‘Doing’ also means there are external causes (action steps and results) that directly measure and determine whether you are ‘doing your best,’ and are worthy of recognition.
The idea that ‘doing your best’ will get you to the ‘Promised Land’ of achieving your goals, getting what you want and looking good to the rest of the world, is a flawed belief and a huge assumption at best. And why is that?
Ask yourself this question: ‘How would I define my version of ‘doing my best?’ Can you define it in real measurable terms? Have you ever achieved your perceived level of ‘doing my best?’ Or is it some unattainable goal far off in the future and even out of reach?
Does your ‘best’ even seem impossible because you believe you are unworthy of succeeding and shining?
When another person says to you ‘Do your best!’ do you know what they want from you? More important, ask yourself, ‘Do they know what they want from me?’
They know exactly what they want from you when they say ‘Do your best!’ They are really saying, ‘Make me happy and don’t disappoint me!’
The world has taken the term ‘do your best’ and turned it in to a form of manipulation resulting in never feeling good enough, smart enough or even loveable. Just hearing the words ‘do your best’ engulfs us in feeling guilty, worried and anxious and sets us up for on-going disappointment. It is the reason why we procrastinate, suffer from paralysis of analysis, and unwarranted perfection.
If you have spent much of your life focused on ‘doing your best’ in the name of making others happy and getting their approval, then consider stopping now! Stop focusing on ‘doing your best’ and shift to ‘being your best.’
Here is how you make this shift and know that you are ‘being my best.’ Get in-touch with how you really feel about yourself and your life in general. Review how you feel about your career, your business and your personal life. Write these feelings down.
Do these feelings bring up positive or negative emotions? Are they empowering or exhausting?
“Understand that being empowered is a feeling and a state of being. It has nothing to do with what you do or ‘doing your best’ or not. Being empowered, and feeling it, means you are being your best. Why? Because when you feel good about yourself everything you do exudes that sense of empowerment from within.”
‘Being your best’ results in taking inspired action. Inspired action is a demonstration of who you authentically are. It feels easy and effortless, and gives you a true sense of aliveness and purpose. It also means that you choose not to live your life for the sole purpose of making other people happy. Continuing to buy in to ‘doing your best’ means you will continue to define yourself and how you live your life based on how others see you and what they want from you.
Moving away from ‘doing my best’ to ‘being my best’ is a paradigm shift that results in true self-empowerment. Being your best requires you to become more inner-focused. This is not being selfish! It is actually about becoming quite generous!
Being inner-focused, so you can be your best, is about taking care of yourself first. Recall the quote “Be the change you want to see.” This is about living the life you choose! Not your parents’ vision for your life, not your spouse’s vision, and not your boss.’ This is about living life on and with purpose. Selfishness is when someone attempts to get you to live the life they choose for you. This is unhealthy and sets us up for a lot of suffering and disappointment.
Being your best means you love and appreciate yourself. It does not mean you don’t care about other people. When you really understand that being your best is the same as being empowered, you will actually give more and have more.
Let’s face it, if you don’t become your best you are withholding your greatness from the world. To be your best, begin to nurture yourself and all your gifts and talents. Allow yourself to explore your innate creativity. Be open and willing to shine simply for the sake of the experience! Author and publisher Robert Collier said it best when he wrote, “All power is from within and therefore under our control.” Look within, be your best, and watch your life transform!
To learn how to ‘be your best’ contact The Possibility Coaches™. They offer a 30 minute complementary coaching session by phone or Skype. Inquire about your session here.
Goals. Having them and getting them. We are all so conditioned to believe that having goals and getting them are essentials to our happiness and success.
For nearly 40 years, I had this belief. Over the last ten years however, I have learned that having goals and goal setting are not necessarily prerequisites for happiness or success. In fact, I have come to the conclusion that for most people the idea of having a long list of goals and achieving them is a prescription for disaster. This prescription is laced with anxiety, worry, chaos, procrastination and stress. And the end result is one that is lackluster, filled with disappointment, discouragement and despondency.
From personal experience, I have also learned that in order to achieve the results that we each want for our life, we first and foremost do absolutely nothing. Yes, you read correctly! Here’s why…
Have you ever written down a list of goals you wanted to achieve? I have and I must say it was usually a complete waste of time and emotional energy. Why? Because at the time when I wrote them, I did not feel worthy of receiving these goals, nor did I believe that I could realistically achieve them. In other words, when we set goals that are not in alignment with our personal belief systems, the likelihood of getting the results we want is relatively low at best.
Obtaining the results we want, are much more readily achieved when our mindset is in alignment with those goals. This requires creating a new belief system. One that projects to the world a sense of worthiness, wholeness and self-respect.
For example, feeling happy and successful is far more beneficial than setting goals. Especially if we are convinced that these goals will make us happier and more successful. You see, most of us live life backwards. I call it the ‘I’ll be happy and successful when’ Syndrome.
This leads to another reason why setting goals is a waste of time: they psychologically put all of the ideal situations and experiences we desire in to the future. This mind-screwing game, beyond all aspects of goal-setting, is what sets most people up for letdowns, rather than receiving the results they want. Happiness and success, as a result of this approach, are always some future destination.
Now, here’s a ‘kicker’ about goals, goal-setting and goal-getting that will make it easier for you to achieve exactly the results in your life that are the ‘best fit’ for you. It is what I call ‘goals made easy.’
‘Goals Made Easy’ is a different kind of prescription for experiencing the perfect results, for the perfect life, for the perfect person that is you.
It is not giving up the idea of goals. It is about using goals in your life from a very different perspective. It is about no longer looking at goals as an ‘end’ resulting from working hard, so we can ‘make it happen’ and be happy and successful.
What I am suggesting is that you still have goals. Only two goals specifically and using them as means, not as end results.
These two goals, to be effective, require you to give up all other goals. If you are an avid goal-setter this can be challenging and even a bit scary. In addition, these two goals can only be 100% effective if you consciously believe that the first goal is all you want to have for yourself and the second goal is what you are willing to give to the world.
The two goals that I am referring to are (1) the goal to experience inner peace and (2) the goal to be of service to the world in some shape or form with the intention to provide that service for the highest good of all concerned (and that includes you).
I guarantee that if you are open and willing to adopt these two goals; not as end results, but as means to only positive results, you automatically and spontaneously will be happy and successful.
I have found that in Life, when I am at peace and when I put service to others above all self-motivations, I receive exactly what I need so I can enjoy my life experience to its fullest.
Stop wasting time and energy setting goals that are outside of you. Understand, there is nothing wrong with ‘things.’ Money, homes, cars, clothes are neutral. Yes, I know, we need our basic needs met! However, when we place value on them as necessities for our happiness and success, we inevitably set ourselves up for misery and disappointment. Have you ever been on a hamster wheel. Do you get the picture?
Interestingly enough, I have found that truly happy and successful people are those individuals who live life from a place of inner peace and who put service to others first. They always seem to be living the life that is best suited for them. A life that meets all their wants and desires and is in alignment with who they truly are. ‘Goals Made Easy’ is created by only having two goals in every moment of every day.
Remember this: the most powerful possession you will always have is your peace! To achieve inner peace you must be willing to let go of all external goals other than being of service to the world. Your results may astound you when you live life with two goals in mind. How much easier can it get?
Personal growth. What does it mean to you? Does it scare you? Is it a place you rather avoid or not even deal with at all? Is it some type of process or cure that will make you a better person? Is it a journey that in the end will give you happiness and fulfillment? Or perhaps, it’s a destination that when you arrive, all your desires, wants and needs will be waiting for you?
If you, like most people, believe any of the scenarios I have just described, then you do not understand the meaning of personal growth.
The truth is, that the essence of personal growth is not personal at all. Nor does it require any growth on your part physically, mentally, emotionally or spiritually.
There is no ‘adding to’ with personal growth. There are no course requirements or educational courses. No certificates and no degrees.
The true nature of personal growth is really quite impersonal. The experience is the same for you as it is for me. No matter your background, who you are, where you come from, the titles you hold, the possessions you call ‘mine.’ All of this is irrelevant.
Personal growth is not about becoming better. It is about recognizing who you already are and letting go of everyone and everything that you identify with as being part of the person you call ‘me.’
To experience personal growth is to experience a diminishing or lessening of identifying with your past and how over a lifetime, you have been conditioned to see yourself and your world in a particular way. You can call that ‘my story.’
Personal growth is about letting go of your story. Now you will ask me, ‘Who am I without my story?’ Great question! To truly experience the essence of personal growth it is necessary to know the answer to that one single question.
Imagine yourself, if you can, living life without your story. No more sad endings. No more unhappiness. No more conflict. The end of searching for the perfect life, the perfect partner, the perfect job, house, car, etc.
Without a story, there is no past and no future. There is only now. You give up being a victim. You stop victimizing others. You live from one moment to the next as who you truly are: a spiritual being enjoying your human experience.
Spirit is our essential nature. When you understand this and I mean really ‘get it’ within every fiber of your being, you are living life authentically.
To live life authentically simply means to be real. Who you really are is not the roles you play. Personal growth is about coming to that realization. Who you are is not your name, your appearance, your possessions. The truth is personal growth begins and ends with not knowing who you are at all.
If that thought scares you or even makes you feel threatened, be okay with those feelings. It is quite natural.
Personal growth is about awakening to who you always have been and always will be. We each awaken through awareness. Through awareness we begin to understand that who we think and believe we are is part of the human condition. Over time, we became convinced that we are defined by and dependent upon all things physical: people, possessions, experiences, events and situations.
Personal growth is a diminishing of who you think you are and an arising of becoming consciously aware of your essential, changeless nature. And what is your essential, changeless nature? It is the same as my and everyone’s essential nature: unconditional love.
Now you know what personal growth is and is not. From this vantage point I would like to give you some hands-on applications to assist you to live your life through your essential, changeless nature of unconditional love.
If any of these applications challenge you, then partner with someone who can guide you through the process. This can be a close friend you feel is truly grounded and feels comfortable in their own skin. Or you can mentor with someone who has gone through the transformational experience of true personal growth.
Applications to Experience Personal Growth:
1. Question every belief you have about yourself. Write these beliefs down. Share them with someone you trust. Are these beliefs absolutely true? If they aren’t, let them go!
2. Write a new story for your life. The story you keep telling yourself is the story you keep on living through and experiencing. Do you want a different ending? Then, write a different story!
3. Give up being a victim of life. This includes letting go of being a victim of other people’s ideas, beliefs, words and behavior. Take responsibility for your own life. Focus on your ideas, your beliefs, the way you express yourself and your behavior. Focus on being a kinder, more loving person.
4. Let go of the past and the emotional pain associated with it. The only way to accomplish this is through the power of forgiveness.
5. Cease worrying about the future. You have been conditioned (as was I) to endlessly worry about tomorrow. Begin to allow the power of trust to dominate your nature. Your breathing as you read this. Trust you will be breathing tomorrow!
Personal growth is about being authentic. When you are authentic, you will feel comfortable in your own skin.
I will close by quoting one of my ‘tips’ from my book I co-authored with Chris. It reads, ‘Be authentic today! Authenticity is more than being real, honest and upfront with others. It is about being true to you. It is also about creating an outer, physical world that reflects who you are at your core…the heart and soul that is you! Do not deprive yourself any longer of the experience of being authentic. It will block you and the world around you from evolving both physically and spiritually. Free yourself and the world by practicing authenticity today!’
Once you do, I promise your life will be totally magnificent! Now you know the true meaning of personal growth!
Addiction manifests in a variety of ways. Addictive behavior and how to overcome it has become an integral part of the human experience over the last century. From 12-step programs to rehab centers to electric shock therapy, there have been a variety of approaches to curing them.
Though some of these approaches have resulted in eliminating the substance from the addict’s life, the cause itself has rarely been addressed. As a life and relationship coach, I have observed over the last decade that addictive behavior, in varying degrees, is innate in all human beings. We are, by definition, creatures of habit. We are Pavlov’s dog. The big difference though between us and the dog is that our habitual behaviors can have life-altering and even life threatening effects on us.
Healing an addiction requires us to move away from examining the symptoms (the drinking, the drugs, the eating, the gambling, the working, the shopping, the sexing, the sugar, the chaos and even the drama to name a few prominent examples) to the cause. The cause for any addiction is the same for all of us: an addiction is a representation that there is within the addict, an absence of love.
Healing an addiction through the door to peace and happiness, is achieved solely by introducing the presence of love in to the addict’s life. I know, you may be thinking, ‘get real’ now and ‘smell the coffee!’ Friends, if you are thinking this, then I say to you that you have addictive behaviors that are (or an addiction that is) controlling your life (through addiction) and denying you the peace and happiness that you deserve to experience.
An addiction is simply a repetitive behavior that is a substitute or replacement for an emotional void that we are feeling at our core. I have discovered that an addiction, no matter what shape or form it takes, is a symptom of what I call a spiritual disconnection. The key to healing an addiction is reconnecting ourselves to who we are spiritually.
Healing an addiction is about creating a new life story. All addicts have one thing in common: they all habitually lie to themselves. Their self-talk is one unsubstantiated story, fable and tall-tale after another. The content of these stories is always negative, emotionally draining and debilitating and in some cases can become life-threatening. A footnote here that is sad, but true: most Americans are addicts. When there is an absence of real love for oneself you will always find an addiction.
At this point, you may very well be saying that your story is sadder, more horrific than others and that is why you experience an addiction. To this, I say, excuses, alibis and playing the victim are the significant symptoms of addictive behavior. Peace and happiness can never exist in anyone’s life when excuses, lies, playing the victim and living in denial exist. Living in denial about ‘not feeling lovable’ or ‘not feeling good enough’ are the typical root causes for people to medicate and numb themselves through substances and negative behaviors.
Ending any addiction begins with knowing the root cause of it. Why do you do what you do? Why do you drink that fifth of vodka? Why do you smoke marijuana day after day? Why do you shop when your closet can’t hold another stitch of clothing? Why do you secretly watch pornography night after night? Why do you always end up with men who physically and mentally abuse you? Why is your life filled with drama day after day like a television soap opera? Why do you go into the fridge and eat that cheesecake when everyone else is asleep?
The answer is simple. You have been lying to yourself for so long that the stories you have been telling yourself over and over have become the person you believe you really are. It is as if you are a propaganda specialist. A person who specializes in propaganda is someone who knows that by telling a story over and over again to the same audience, they will, in time, begin to accept it as gospel truth. Think of television commercials. Joseph Goebbels, the head of German propaganda during World War II said that if you tell a lie often enough the people will begin to believe it as truth. Sadly, and perhaps this is a rather strong analogy, this is what we do to ourselves.
When the stories we tell become the experiences we have through the notion that ‘as we think, so shall we be’ the pain can become overwhelming and potentially intolerable. This is when we look for diversions. Again, some diversions such as internet surfing, can be trivial and simply wastes of precious time and others like substance abuse can have unfortunate and even disastrous effects.
Healing an addiction requires uncovering the truth once and for all. One of the most shocking truths I assist people uncover when they decide to heal an addiction is that most, if not all of the beliefs they live by, are lies. This can be a bitter pill to swallow. When I went through this process I became extremely angry. The realization that I had been lying to myself habitually and living through one addiction after another, was quite an eye-opener to say the least.
Another key component for healing an addiction is NOT to identify yourself with the substance or the behavior. If you do, this perpetuates the same identity you have been holding that is rooted in victim-hood. This causes the continuation of addictive behavior. For example, if you drink alcohol and say ‘I am an alcoholic’, you are identifying yourself AS the addiction. This can lock-in the addiction because you are making it your identity. You are NOT your addiction. Identifying with the symptoms aligns you with behaviors that keep you stuck. If you have been identifying yourself for quite a while AS your addiction, know that there is more to you than your addiction and your addictive behavior. To heal an addiction requires YOU to create a new identity by releasing negative emotions that no longer serve you. This is accomplished through the process of emotional healing. It requires you to tap into the greatness that lives within you and is waiting to come out!
Healing an addiction requires each of us to take our power back. When I speak of power, I speak spiritually, and not physically. In psychology, the term self-actualized is used to describe the end result of being empowered. It is the ultimate destination of one’s life journey: to be comfortable in one’s own skin! This my friends, is called self-love. This is the door that opens to a room where peace and happiness await you.
One of the greatest gifts you can give yourself is to begin to tell yourself a different story. You can do this by first questioning every belief you have. This may sound daunting and even insane, yet I have done this and I will tell you that it gets real positive results. Prior to the new story, is an old story line that at some point in time you will have to be willing to surrender and let go forever. This is about letting go of the past once and for all. This includes the regrets, the guilt, the shame and playing the victim. It also includes letting go of the ‘should haves,’ ‘wished I hads’ and ‘why didn’t I’s.’
Healing an addiction is also about giving up the notion of having to be perfect. Perfection to me is like the tail the dog chases and never seems to realize that it is his tail he is chasing. Perfection is your tail. It is part of you already. Stop chasing it!
No matter what current situation you are in; if you do not love yourself simply because you exist, then healing an addiction will always be an ongoing challenge. Self-love is the ultimate and permanent solution for living a life of peace and happiness. The symptoms are irrelevant. It does not matter if it is chemical or otherwise. If you cannot do it on your own, seek support and guidance.
When you are able to create a new storyline and see ‘you’ as you truly are, all addictions melt away as if they were ice cubes sitting out in the summer sun: here one minute and gone the next. Healing an addiction is a process.
You are not an alcoholic. You are not a drug addict. You are not an over eater. You are a human being who is experiencing emotional pain because of the negative thoughts and beliefs that you have about yourself and the world. To ease that pain, you have been reaching outside yourself for relief. Instead, consider that true healing results from releasing emotional pain from within.
You must turn the knob, go through the door and be willing to create a new environment for yourself. This place is within you. It is your personal shrine of emotional well-being. Feel peace and happiness! After all, it is your birthright!
I’m willing to bet the farm (even though I don’t own one) that emotional resistance plays a major role in your life and you may not even know it!
Just say the word ‘resistance.’ Now say it slowly. The word has a heaviness to it. To me it is reminiscent of when I’ve stepped onto a piece of already chewed gum on the street and it sticks to my shoe and I am voraciously attempting to pull it off. No matter what I seem to do, it seems that the gum just wants to stay where it is. There is a resistance because it likes being stuck to the bottom of my shoe. It wants to come home with me.
That is what emotional resistance is like. It will follow you around, stick to you like gum to a shoe sole and create a whole lineup of negative emotions that gradually wear us down. I call this energy ‘The Resistance Factor.’
The Resistance Factor is quite simply the underlying current that dominates and controls how most of us navigate day to day through life.
So, what is it that most of us resist? For starters, we create resistance to Life itself. Life gives us gifts, free of charge, however we often resist accepting them. What does Life give us? It gives us a whole litany of wonderful goodies like love, beauty, opportunities, change, personal growth and expansion. And yet, we create resistance to many, if not all of those ‘goodies.’
I, for one, spent most of the first 50 years of my own life dominated by this energy of resistance. I experienced resistance to love. Why? Fear of rejection, fear of abandonment, unworthiness of experiencing it, to name just a few reasons. The result for me was emotional isolation. That can be a very lonely place to be.
When we are resistant to Life itself, we miss what’s in front of us. The beauty that Life provides for us daily becomes non-existent when we have ‘gum on our shoes.’ All that tugging and pulling and we’ve missed the beautiful people, the relationships, the trees, the flowers, the moments. They whiz on by because we are so preoccupied with crisis after crisis. You wake up one day and you say, ‘I feel like life is passing me by.’ If you have ever said that, then you are a victim of ‘The Resistance Factor.’
Not only do we miss out on love and beauty when resistance to life is the dominant force in our lives; we miss out on opportunities. I have said and written on many occasions that opportunity doesn’t knock once or twice in a lifetime. It knocks every moment of every day. You just have to be consciously awake to its’ presence. When you live in resistance, it is impossible to hear opportunity knocking on your door.
Then there is resistance to change. This is the number one symptom of ‘The Resistance Factor.’ This symptom has so intrigued me over the years as I’ve grown and expanded personally and as I’ve coached hundreds of people. There is a built-in paradox to change: we say we want it in a positive way; however, when ‘push comes to shove’ we resist what it takes to create it.
Why do we resist change? Because we are creatures of habit, and creatures of habit will repeatedly do what is familiar to them, regardless of the outcome or results. This is why so many people resist personal growth and expansion. Resistance becomes a habit. It is a lot easier to stay stuck, miss out on love, beauty, opportunity, creativity and expansion than to emotionally let go and see and experience what life really has to offer.
Believe me, I have been there and in some aspects of myself and my life, I still am. I still experience resistance; however, through dedication to positive change, growth and expansion, it plays a much smaller and less significant role in my life than it did five or ten years ago. I am now consciously connected to Life which is the life force within me and all other beings including you.
It can be said that ‘The Resistance Factor’ is an emotional disease that prevents us from living in the crystal clear stream that represents the natural flow of life. Look around you. Look at nature. There is no resistance in nature. Trees and flowers don’t resist Life. In fact, they take advantage of Life and all it has to offer them so they can show off and share their beauty. They do it unconditionally and they do it for us. Observe our pets. There is no resistance to Life where they are concerned. Love, opportunity, creative expansion through play are as natural to them as breathing. That’s why we love having them in our lives. They represent that state of mind which we seek to return to.
I know you’re asking, ‘How do I remove resistance to Life from my life once and for all?’ The answer is: being open and willing to remove it from your life. I’m smiling as I ask this next question: ‘Are you feeling resistance?’
Know that removing resistance to Life and all the wonderful attributes it offers us during and through our human experience is a process. For a very small percentage of us, we can let go and live life in the ‘hands-free’ zone instantaneously. For most of us, however, it requires consistent focus and effort.
Here are some tips that can assist you to eliminate emotional resistance from your life:
Tip #1: Right here, right now, no matter what is or isn’t going on in your life, stop! Stop, and in this moment accept what is. Don’t judge it, criticize it or analyze it. Just accept it! By accepting ‘what is’ allows you to release the resistance and actually opens the space for positive change and opportunity to come in to your life.
Tip #2: Focus on what’s right with your life and what you really want to happen. Stop focusing on what’s wrong! Be willing to give up playing the victim! That only reinforces and perpetuates resistance.
Tip #3: Take an inventory of how resistance is present in your life. Write it down. Resistance is only a symptom of fear, so you will now become aware of what it is you are really afraid of. This is a good thing because you are now shedding light on something that can only exist in darkness.
Tip #4: Become a risk-taker. Now, I’m not suggesting you sign up for sky-diving tomorrow, although you can if you want to. What I am suggesting is to ‘go out on a limb’ emotionally and do something that may be just a bit uncomfortable for you. This is essential if you want to experience quality positive change in your life.
Tip #5: Embrace change. Change is the only constant in Life! Either you flow with it, or you constantly go against the tide. Personally, I found that flowing with change is a lot easier than acting like a salmon going upstream all the time.
Remember, ‘The Resistance Factor’ can only play a role in your life if you give it permission to do so. Like me, you have likely done so unconsciously for many years. Use my tips and see if you achieve some positive results. Let me hear from you. I love hearing good news!
Living an inspired life. Life is a journey. Becoming self-empowered. Just being happy. All of these simple statements have received so much press in the self-help circles that it’s enough to make anyone spiritually dizzy.
The older I get, the less I know. In fact, the older I get, the less I need to know. It is not about knowledge. I have awakened to the truth that it is all about wisdom. Knowledge is facts, figures, science, logic and reason. Life, and living an inspired life, has nothing to do with facts, figures, science and least of all logic and reason.
Based on this non-factual, non-scientific, illogical and at times unreasonable experience called Life, Chris and I have penned our experiences that somehow, miraculously, without explanation, led us to living an inspired life. A life that gives a real feeling of empowerment and is more than not, joy-filled. We share these experiences in the form of 365 daily tips in our new book “The Possibility Coaches Guide to Living an Inspired, Empowered and Joy-filled Life.”
These tips are based on feedback Chris and I received during the first 50 years or so of our personal life journeys and how we used the feedback to our own personal advantage to now spend most of our waking days grounded, at peace and just feeling good about being alive.
The intent of these tips is to assist you, the reader, to contemplate and if willing, to apply them to your daily experiences with yourself and the people in your life. If you are willing to use them in your life you may begin to notice some miraculous changes. These tips may also enlighten you to witness some life patterns that you may be living with, and exhibiting, that do not serve you or those you love in a loving way. This ultimately can begin the process of guiding you to make some real, positive changes.
Recall that I suggested that these tips are not based in fact, logic, science or reason. This may irritate you at first, and that’s a good thing. It is a signal that you are awakening a piece of you that perhaps has been dormant for a very long time. Picture a volcano that has not erupted for eons. Now don’t associate yourself with the eruption portion. Picture what happens after a volcano erupts and how over time changes the landscape around it. That landscape typically becomes incredibly fertile and life flourishes in a variety of magnificent forms. In a very real sense, we are all volcanoes. We all have the capacity to create wonderful, beautiful and beneficial situations, experiences and realities for ourselves and those we really care about.
We are confident that our new book of 365 tips will assist you to begin to awaken and register who you truly are on the Richter scale of life. All that is required of you is openness and willingness. Even just a bit of each can get you started as you read one tip per day. It doesn’t matter who you are, where you live, what you do for a living or whether or not you have some printed piece of paper that says you graduated from some institution of higher learning. All that matters is that you say ‘yes, I want to live an inspired life!’
In an instant, and I can personally attest to this, your life can change dramatically. However, the only way that can happen is if you decide that you and only you are in-charge of you, your life and the direction you want to travel.
Wherever you are right now, take a moment and ask yourself if you are really feeling like you are living an inspired life. If you can say that you are without any doubt then I am so happy for you! If not, ask yourself, ‘Why not?’ The truth about being happy is no longer a secret. Chris and I are happy to share it with you!
According to one of my favorite authors, Eckhart Tolle , in his book ‘Stillness Speaks’, ‘When you say ‘yes’ to what is, you become aligned with the power and intelligence of Life itself. Only then can you become an agent for positive change in the world.’
In other words, what he is saying is, if you resist saying ‘yes,’ then Life will be an endless series of struggles.
Are you struggling today just to get through the day itself? Does struggle have a significant presence in your life?
So, how do you behave from day to day? Are you stressed, anxious, irritable? Do you greet each day with excitement and anticipation? Or would you rather pull the covers over your head and go back to sleep?
Your responses to these questions are fairly good indicators of whether or not you see life as a daily grind that contains the component of struggle in it.
If you’re like me, you probably grew up in a household where struggle was a constant, underlying theme that played itself out in a variety of ways. Beliefs about life and how it is, have been passed down to each of us from previous generations.
Here, in America, our beliefs about life are deeply rooted in a set of standards called the Puritan ethic. The basis for this ethic is that if you’re not hard at work, miserably toiling away, you are living an immoral, impure life. The value and worthiness of everything we do or don’t do, say or don’t say is measured by this standard.
When we are conditioned by a set of standards such as these, we are voluntarily committing ourselves to having struggle present in our life.
Years ago, I read a small paperback book called ‘Life Was Never Meant to be a Struggle’ by Stuart Wilde. In it, Wilde calls struggle ‘a programmed response, natural to many who often find themselves struggling without realizing they’re doing so.’ He cites that the first step in reducing and eliminating struggle from your life is to identify how it appears in your life.
As a child can you recall hearing statements like, ‘You have to work hard if you want to be the best or want to succeed?’ ‘Life isn’t easy, that’s just the way it is!’ ‘You gotta do whatever it takes to make it happen!’ ‘No pain, no gain!’ The list of messages goes on and on. Inherent in all of them is the theme of struggle. I am sure you have your own personal recollections of how the struggle mentality and belief system was instilled in you at a very young age.
In our practice as Life Coaches, Chris and I can say with certainty that over the years nearly all of our clients have some type of struggle mentality in one or more areas of their life. For many, struggling has actually become a habit, an addiction.
When we believe that life is hard, challenging, a constant uphill, upstream battle, we are set up for a less than joyous life experience.
Based on years of assisting individuals with creating solutions to eliminate struggle from their lives, I have identified a list of predominant scenarios when you include struggle in Life’s equation. Review this list as it will assist you to create awareness and to see if you are a ‘struggle-holic.’ Awareness is the first step in healing this addiction which then leads you to creating new habits and solutions. Here is how struggle may manifest itself in your life
1. You are pessimistic and more often see the glass as half empty rather than half full.
2. You tend to give up on creating success before you even get started by sabotaging opportunities. You may possess a ‘why bother’ mentality.
3. By setting unrealistic goals for yourself, you may become a ‘workaholic’ because you believe struggle is moral and noble and validates your existence and worthiness. More struggle arises when you drive yourself to get to a destination that you never seem to get to.
4. You may spend your life playing the role of victim so you can justify your belief that you are suppose to spend your life struggling.
5. You may play the role of martyr that sees struggle as a way of receiving attention and love.
6. You may struggle simply because on a deeper level you want someone to ‘save’ you and prove that they love you.
To further witness the presence of struggle, you may do so by reviewing all aspects of your life. Identify if any of the following aspects of your life have a component of struggle built-in to them: 1. your emotional state, 2. your physical body, 3. your relationships, 4. your finances and/or career, 5. your attitudes, beliefs and habits, 6. your ability to handle challenges and 7. your spiritual connection.
Once you have identified how struggle is present in your life you can begin the process of eliminating it. Up until now, struggle has served some purpose for you. Know this: struggle, if unchecked, is a ceaseless, life-draining battle that you fight with yourself!
Eckhart Tolle describes struggle as ‘a constant undercurrent of unease, tension, and discontent.’ Struggle is essentially unnatural. Struggle is action laced with negative emotion. It is a habit, and like any habit that is unwanted, it requires commitment and due diligence to eliminate it from appearing as a cast member on your life’s stage. The elimination of struggle is therefore an ‘inside job.’ Removing it from your life experience requires you to possess the willingness to give it up as part of your daily routine once and for all!
Like most of life’s challenges, its origins and presence are based on the level of self-esteem we each live with. Most people who struggle possess low self-esteem. They struggle because they are seeking acceptance, acknowledgment and approval from others. They are constantly worried about what other people think about them. Our society is masterful at perpetuating and reinforcing the struggle mentality by constantly reminding us that ‘who we are’ and ‘what we have’ define our value and worth.
Be willing to look at the role struggle has and may still be playing in your life. Notice how it cuts off your natural ease and flow of life. See how it has been programmed in your mind and then acknowledge that struggling does not give you the results you truly desire for your life.
Understand that your struggle, whatever form it currently appears, is inherently linked to your past. Early on you were somehow convinced that struggle was natural and had some special value that must play a significant role in your life. Like most people, you adopted struggle rather than designing a life that represents a series of inspired actions and results that manifested with effortless ease.
Any struggle you are experiencing, be it with finances, health, relationships, whatever, possesses an underlying negative emotion that justifies the struggle mentality. Begin a new habit by asking yourself, ‘What is the underlying emotion that I am experiencing now that is enabling me to feel like a struggler in life?’
As a Life Coach, I have witnessed some incredible breakthroughs and transformations when a so-called struggler becomes clear about and identifies the function of struggling in his or her life. Like any dysfunctional behavior, it thrives in the dark. By identifying and acknowledging the presence of struggle in your life and the unhealthy purpose it serves, you are shedding light on it. This is how you begin to eliminate it from your life.
The true process of life is one of ease, of ebb and flow, of peaks and valleys. When we struggle, we cannot accept nor experience this natural process. Instead, we are challenged by the very nature of the process of life itself.
When we drop the struggle by letting go of our conditioned past, we begin to notice subtle changes in our life. Life becomes easy! You do the math! See what happens when you remove struggle from your life’s equation.
To learn more about the teachings of Eckhart Tolle, request a free coaching session by filling out the form on the right hand side of this page.
Recommended reading: The Power Of Now by Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle, Stillness Speaks by Eckhart Tolle
When success becomes synergetic and encompasses more than money, more than status and more than just ‘things,’ life becomes more balanced and harmonious. With this as our foundation, Chris and I developed The Synergetic Success Program in 2008 that was taught and continues to be taught in a classroom environment. We are now so excited to be able to offer the rich content and benefits of this program online so anyone, anywhere can experience and apply this information to create true, lasting success in their life.
I believe the reason for this was and still is because the most commonly accepted version of success is based on a general consensus handed down from generation to generation. To put it another way: it is likely that no one ever asked us or recommended to us to define success for ourselves. Left to our own devices, we simply followed the pack or threw in the towel.
In our world, success is defined solely by monetary gains, status, fame, accolades and medals. So few of us will ever achieve this kind of success for a variety of reasons. First, by the time most of us reach adulthood our sense of self-worth tends to be at low levels because we have been meticulously brainwashed to strive for a level of success that seems unreachable and unattainable. We are told to ‘do and be the best.’ Interestingly enough, has anyone ever defined ‘the best?’ Hint: the best does not exist. Second, it is highly likely we have spent much of our formative years with individuals (namely our family members) who are already disenchanted and tarnished by the so-called inequities and injustices of life. The message here is ‘life ain’t easy, let alone fair.’ From these perspectives, success becomes some far-off destination not likely to ever be reached. The chance of achieving success with this model are slim to none and results in disappointment for most.
Years ago Chris and I were fortunate enough to awaken to the possibility that the way to achieving success and the symbols of success were not necessarily success itself. On many occasions, for example, we have coached clients who seem ‘to have it all,’ yet at the deepest emotional and spiritual levels, feel truly unsuccessful.
This led us to believe that success, as society defines it, is exclusively about finances and career and at some point sets most people up (Chris and I included) for a less than gratifying or satisfying life experience. With our model of success, we also incorporate other areas of your life where you can be successful such as having good health or a loving relationship.
Success has been defined for centuries as a payoff. Know this: success is a process, not a payoff. More so, it is a state of being. Success is emotional!
With this realization, Chris and I developed a program that enables anyone to create emotional success for themselves and their life. It’s a new way to define success. We feel so strongly about this program because we have witnessed real transformations of individuals who committed to what we call ‘the process of creating success from the inside-out’. We call it Synergetic Success.
The word ‘synergetic’ comes from the word ‘synergy’ which is defined as the ‘sum total of the whole is greater than the sum of its’ parts.’ The sum total we are referring to is the result of applying the process of creating success from the inside-out to 5 key areas of your life: your finances, your career, your relationships, your physical and emotional health and your spiritual connectedness to yourself and the world. The ‘whole’ refers to you…the complete, well-rounded, grounded, balanced You!
In our Synergetic Success Guidebook, which contains nearly 100 pages of content, we provide a blueprint for achieving success by illustrating to you how to define success on your own terms. It’s as if success becomes a state of being. Feeling successful becomes your dominant emotion. When you feel this emotion you will truly wonder where it has been hiding all these years.
The Synergetic Success Online Program covers a variety of topics such as a guaranteed formula for creating results in any or all areas of your life, discovering or uncovering your life’s purpose, creating positive beliefs, habits and behavior for success, developing a daily method of operation and becoming a role model for success, to name just a few.
Achieving success is not intended to be a hard, laborious struggle which requires you to ‘claw your way to the top.’ Success Made Easy is achieved once you have our tools and you give yourself permission to experience it.
Our program provides you with the ability to gain clarity, focus, commitment and resolve to create the results you want in your life. It also opens up doors of opportunity time and time again for people who would otherwise walk right past success without even recognizing it while it was staring them right in the face.
Chris and I developed this program because we know in our hearts that talent and genius reside within all of us and that includes you. The only missing piece for most people is the tools and applications that will assist them to create success and most significant, to feel successful.
I know that success is certain when you are ready and willing to embrace it. Chris and I look forward to being a part of your journey when you decide to use this formula for success in your life.
During the early years of my career as a Life Coach and Emotional Healer, I was perplexed by the realization that some people emotionally heal and others don’t. After consulting with hundreds of clients, I noticed there are distinct differences between the people who emotionally heal and those who don’t. The ones that heal have followed through with all of the steps that I define as the Emotional Healing Process.
Over thirty years ago, I took a college course that dealt with death and dieing and the work of Dr. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross. Dr. Kubler-Ross was a pioneer in the support and counseling of trauma, grief and grieving associated with death and dieing. However, I realized that grieving can also be about grieving for the life we thought we should have lived or for the childhood we never had.
Life has the uncanny knack of coming around full circle when her ideas came back in to my life a few years ago. I once again came across her model for the stages of grief. I at once realized that this model and the stages of grief it describes are transferable and applicable to the process of emotional healing of any kind. In other words, it can be used during the process of creating personal change and transformation and the ultimate achievement of inner peace. Chris and I have adopted the model using the concepts in that model and enhancing it to develop The Possibility Coaches’ Model for Emotional Healing.
The stages of the grief model are denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. The additional stage that Chris and I have added is forgiveness.
Clients who have followed and experienced the six stages of The Possibility Coaches’ Model for Emotional Healing are the ones who have truly emotionally healed. These individuals are confronted with traumas of a less severe nature than the experience of death and bereavement. Some examples are relationship breakups, job loss, an illness, financial despair, etc. The most frequent challenge we see people face is the grieving for the life ‘I thought I should be living.’
As Life Coaches, this model became a worthy study and reference guide beyond death and dieing. The Possibility Coaches’ Model for Emotional Healing and its six stages, represent a ‘change model’ for assisting us to understand, deal with, and coach individuals and their reaction to the seemingly traumatic events and situations that occur in their lives.
Trauma and emotional pain are relative in terms of affect on people. While death and dieing may be the ultimate trauma, people can and do experience similar upsets when dealing with many of life’s challenges. This is especially true if confronting something difficult for the first time.
One person’s despair is to another person a non-threatening event. Emotional response and trauma must be viewed in relative, not absolute terms. The model recognizes that each of us has to go through his or her individual journey.
By applying the five original stages and adding a sixth and final stage of forgiveness, the process of emotional healing can begin. The result is a state of inner peace and it is inner peace that we all seek. By going through the six stages, and meeting the requirements for emotional healing I listed earlier, your life literally transforms and your authentic Self emerges.
Let’s look in depth at the six stages that lead us to emotional healing. Once again, the stages are 1. denial, 2. anger, 3. bargaining, 4. depression, 5. acceptance, 6. forgiveness. These stages do not necessarily occur in sequential order with one exception: forgiveness. It is important to release your denial, anger and depression before you forgive. If you forgive too soon i.e. before you release your anger, then you will lock in your anger and it will be a false, conditional form of forgiveness. Once you have experienced the process of authentic forgiveness, you will then move towards inner peace.
Notice as you move toward a more inner peaceful existence there will be overlapping of emotions and feelings. You may even feel at times like you are actually moving backwards and regressing to old behavior patterns. Understand, this is exactly what personal growth and transformation are all about.
Here is a brief definition and description of each stage:
1. The Denial Stage: Denial is a conscious or unconscious refusal to acknowledge and accept ‘what is.’ It is a defense mechanism. Some people spend their entire lives in denial. The result is staying stuck in relationships and situations that are unsatisfying and anything less than gratifying.
2. The Anger Stage: Anger can manifest in a variety of ways. It can be outward toward other people like rage, or inward toward ourselves resulting in isolation and negative emotions. It is important to acknowledge your anger. It is more important to be willing to let it go!
3. The Bargaining Stage: Bargaining never provides a sustainable solution. We bargain or seek a compromise when fear gets the best of us. This is when we sabotage progress and success in our lives and in our quest for inner peace.
4. The Depression Stage: The title of this stage is deceiving because it is truly an indicator that you are beginning to accept, with emotional attachment, your past and your present. At this point, you may feel sadness, regret, remorse, fear and uncertainty. You have begun to release and remove the barriers and blocks to peace.
5. The Acceptance Stage: This stage indicates that you have emotionally detached yourself from your past and its regrets, the present and what are your current circumstances and the future, with all that is yet to be. By accepting ‘what is’ you begin to take inspired action and see people and the world very differently.
6. The Forgiveness Stage: Experiencing forgiveness inherently means you are experiencing inner peace. Forgiveness does not mean you condone someone’s inappropriate behavior or stay in an unhealthy situation or relationship. Forgiveness is an act you do for yourself to set yourself free! Forgiveness is giving up the hope that the past could have been different. When you are able to finally see people for who they truly are and not for who they appear to be, what they said or what they did or didn’t do, you have awakened to live life in your natural state. You realize that we are all on the same journey.
This process of achieving inner peace through forgiveness is a very powerful process. If you doubt or do not know your life’s purpose, committing to The Emotional Healing Process will bring you true clarity of purpose.
Time is not your healer. You are! Scary? At times, yes; however, consider the alternative. I bless every moment of my life experience, be it ‘good’ or ‘bad.’ It has all brought me to where I am right here and right now in this very moment. Decide for inner peace now!
As Life Coaches, Chris and I have found that the most challenging relationship people encounter is not with their spouse, partner, parents or children, but with money. Money is emotional. It is the number one topic of arguments, disagreements and differences in relationships. It is the number one contributor to breakups, breakdowns and meltdowns. The subject of money brings up emotions of fear, anxiety, stress and worry. The truth is, money is neutral. It is nothing more than paper and coins. It is the value that we place on it that brings up emotions. Our emotional distress about money is how we give our power away. Money is not a cause of happiness, it is a result of our state of consciousness. Our consciousness either attracts money to us or it pushes it away from us.
As I stated in a previous blog post, prosperity consciousness isn’t only about money; however, money, the having it or not having it, is a result of your conscious and unconscious beliefs about it. Your emotional reactivity toward or response to the subject of money is very telling where your consciousness and more likely, your unconsciousness lies.
There is actually a line of communication that occurs between you and money. It is a running commentary likely comprised of habitual thoughts and beliefs. This dialogue you have with money will determine how much you attract or don’t attract. If you are uncomfortable asking for what you want (which includes the wanting of money), have a challenge with receiving or do not feel deserving, you will have challenges attracting money, prosperity and abundance. Your thoughts, feelings and words determine what you attract. If you have any guilt emotions associated with your experiences with money you will also find it challenging to attract it to you. To create change, you must let go and change how you perceive money. In other words, you will want to develop a strong positive relationship with money: a new alliance that can and will change the course of your life turning obstacles into opportunities.
When bills are staring you in the face and money is scarce, it is important to have vision. It’s important to see beyond your problems. No matter what you do in exchange for money, it is important to have a huge ‘why’ that is grounded in being of service to others. Your ‘why’ is what drives you. It is the energy behind the actions you take. It is why you do what it is you do. Know that this ‘why’ is bigger than any of your problems. Stay focused on taking inspired action and don’t give energy to what you can’t control. This is not always easy! The real value, which is priceless, is in the person you become through this process.
It’s also important to start to let go of control. Letting go of control is not anything you do or don’t do. It is an emotional release. Being in control means that you hold on emotionally – to control the outcome that you are emotionally addicted to. To transform, you become aware of your emotions so you know why you are doing what you are doing in any moment. Letting go of control is about changing your relationship with past emotional pain. Become aware of any pain you may have associated with money.
Money is an extremely emotional subject. Emotions are energy in motion and money is a form of energy used as an exchange for products or services. You can use money to purchase the energy (both mental and physical) of others as well as the products derived from the energy of others. You will earn more money by learning how to focus and deliver your own energy and its products to others in ways that are of service to them.
You will create financial prosperity if you understand that money is emotional. The world at-large tends to over-analyze financial problems. Most people procrastinate and hesitate until the perfect solution or situation comes along. Be open to being more decisive. Prosperity Consciousness includes trusting that all is well and will be well tomorrow. Prosperity Consciousness also includes the success habit of being certain and decisive. Making a decision will always create a result. If you don’t like the result, make a different decision! Your current income, business profits and net worth are the result of all the decisions you made in the past. The money that flows to you tomorrow is determined by the relationship you have with it today!
Over the course of our professional careers as entrepreneurs and as Life Coaches and Business Coaches, Chris and I have learned that creating true prosperity isn’t only about money. It is, however, about changing your mind about money. True prosperity encompasses all areas of your life: Financial, Health, Career, Relationships, Spirituality.
Prosperity is a consciousness! Prosperity Consciousness means that you move away from looking at yourself and your world as lacking in any way, shape or form. This is an ‘act as if ’ position that has you consciously feeding your two minds: conscious and non-conscious with the same information. From this position, you actually re-program your mind and act as if you are living the life that you want.
• Live in the present moment. To live in the present moment means to live in the ‘now.’ This requires you to let go of the past and stop worrying about the future. Most people use the past as the measuring stick for their worthiness and for evaluating everything and everyone in the world. Whatever you are doing in any given moment, if your thoughts are elsewhere (past or future), you can not live authentically.
• Focus on what you have. Prosperity Consciousness means focusing on what you have, not on what you don’t have. Shift your focus to the resources, intelligence, basic needs that you already have and be thankful.
• Focus on what you want. Along with the inclination to focus on what we don’t have, is the tendency to focus on what we don’t want in our life. For example, the focus by most people is on not having enough money. According to the Law of Attraction, what you focus on expands, so be extremely aware of where your mind is and what it is concentrating on.
• Focus on results and solutions. Here’s a fact: unsuccessful people find excuses, successful people create results! Being ‘results oriented’ does not mean there will be no challenges in life. It does mean that you are willing to stop looking at situations as problems. A prosperous mind looks at all situations as opportunities to learn and create results and solutions. What you make of each situation, expected or not, is up to you!
• Focus on abundance. The media and advertisers inundate us with the message that ‘you are not enough.’ All advertising is based on the premise that you feel you are lacking in some way. You feel impoverished: not good looking enough, not rich enough, not smart enough, not thin enough. You get the picture! The truth is that there is unlimited abundance in the world. Money, food, opportunity. It is all there in infinite supply.
• Be grateful and appreciative for all that you are, all that you do, all that you have. To create and attract prosperity in your life you must first feel gratitude and appreciation for all that you already have. Even if it isn’t a lot, be it money, a home, a car, an intimate relationship, it is likely more than most others have. An attitude of gratitude is a sure-fire way to attract abundance into your life.
• Accept ‘what is.’ In order to create positive change in your life and attract prosperity, you must be willing to accept ‘what is’ right now. By doing this you diffuse the power that the past has over you and you will cease carrying it forward into the future. This was a huge shift in mindset for Chris and me and is very self-empowering. By accepting what is, you begin to allow all the other parameters of Prosperity Consciousness to expand.
• Make service your ‘why’ in life. Sir Winston Churchill said, ‘We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.’ If what you do is only for personal advancement and satisfaction then you may want to consider making a shift to ‘being of service.’ Service isn’t only about your job or career. It is about all of your relationships, personal and professional, and how you contribute full-out to make them the best they can be. It is also about how you treat yourself in consciousness. This includes your mind, body and spirit. When you make service an integral part of your prosperity conscious program, you will be amazed at how many doors will open for you.
By following these parameters you can begin to create a positive shift for your life. Your mindset will create your physical reality. When you understand that you have unlimited potential and capability to create all forms of prosperity, you will be amazed at the results you achieve!
As Life Coaches, Chris and I always ask our clients, ‘How do you define success?’ and ‘How do you define happiness?’ If you’re like most people, you’re probably still defining and viewing success based on an antiquated model that rarely, if ever, results in success happiness.
This old model views success as a payoff. It is founded upon the premise that if you want success you will have to agree to and accept several fundamental rules to achieve what you want in your life.
The three predispositions to achieve success with the old model are: 1.’I have to work hard to get what I want because nothing worthwhile is ever accomplished without hard work and struggle.’ 2. ‘By working hard I will get the results I want and then I will be happy.’ 3.’My success and happiness are based on accomplishments, accolades, titles after my name, deeds I perform and the accumulation of material objects.’
Are these three predispositions of the old success model the foundation on which your life journey is based upon? Remember, a table with three legs can’t stand for very long!
This old model has one intrinsic flaw that Chris and I want you to become aware of: this idea of success and happiness is rooted in two emotionally debilitating components of your human mind. They are ‘seeking’ and ‘searching.’ If you are always seeking and searching it is likely you are also suffering from stress and anxiety. This is what we call ‘future addiction.’
A good pictorial that can really assist you to see the insanity of this is to remind you of the image of a horse with a carrot dangling three feet in front of its face. The horse wants that carrot so desperately yet he cannot figure out that no matter how hard he tries, the carrot will always be three feet ahead of him.
Friends, isn’t it time to give up this horseplay? Yes, there are successful people out there, or at least they appear to be. The truth is that only about one percent of the population possesses ninety-six percent of the financial wealth. Coincidence? Luck? God loves them more? The answer: none of the above.
Chris and I have mentored and known a great many financially successful people. Yet, within that group of individuals, only a handful really understood the true meaning of success and happiness. For them, hard work, struggle, status and the accumulation of things, were not the driving forces behind their success and happiness.
Throughout many years of our own personal transformations which resulted in establishing our coaching practice, we created what we know to be a new model for success for the 21st century and beyond. We feel so strongly about this model that we can state with the deepest conviction that if we, as a society do not adopt this model the future appears dim at best.
So, here’s the good news! The new model for success that Chris and I have advocated and taught for the last several years. We call it ‘Synergetic Success.’
Synergy is defined as cooperation; to work together as a team, creating even greater results than separate, individual effort.
Synergetic Success is a model based on a foundation of harmony and balance. This includes having harmonious relationships and balance in your interactions with other people as well as experiencing harmony and balance within yourself.
Chris and I have defined 8 essential tools that you can implement immediately to create synergetic success for your life. These are the key factors for the new model. Begin to use them today and witness dramatic change in your life personally and professionally.
Success Tool #1: ‘Define and acknowledge what and who it is you want in your life!’
We all know what we don’t want. It is always on the tip of our tongue and when given the chance we are likely to tell anyone who will listen about it. Be willing to shift your focus and define what it is you do want. Revive the power of your imagination you had as a child. Start dreaming again! Don’t leave this world with your music still inside of you!
Success Tool #2: ‘Know and acknowledge who you are at your core!’
Who you likely think you are is a misperception based on a bundle of thoughts, beliefs, ideas and conceptualizations you live by that are based on past experiences. Ponder this thought: ‘You have based your entire life up until now on situations you’ve encountered and experienced; however, is this who you are?
Success Tool #3: ‘Believe anything is possible!’
By changing your thoughts, beliefs, and habits you can change your life situations and experience to achieve the results you want. Create a new identity. When your thoughts, beliefs and habits are in alignment with your desires, miracles happen!
Success Tool #4: ‘Know your purpose!’
Each of our lives contains two purposes: an inner purpose and an outer purpose. For you and me, our inner purpose is the same: to awaken and contribute in some way to the elevation and evolution of mankind. For all of us, the outer purpose can change or remain constant over a lifetime. Unlike your inner purpose, which is a state of being and awakening, your outer purpose requires what we call ‘inspired action.’ Aligning your inner and outer purposes is the key to creating success with our new model.
Success Tool #5: ‘Become aware of your inner self!’
Thinking is not mankind’s greatest capacity or achievement. Awareness is! Awareness takes you beyond thought. It makes you conscious. You awaken through awareness.
The process of awareness requires due diligence on your part. It becomes a new habit for creating success. Awareness allows you to see that your thoughts, beliefs and emotions have controlled you up until this point in time. Through awareness, you have the power to change the results you achieve.
Success Tool #6: ‘Take full responsibility for your life!’
Know this simple, yet profound fact: you cannot create what you want, be on purpose, and have conscious awareness without the willingness to take complete responsibility for your own life.
Ask yourself: ‘Who and what am I absolutely, without question, responsible for?’ When you answer this question honestly you will simplify your life tremendously.
Success Tool #7: ‘Know you have the will and ability to choose differently!’
The gift we all have as humans is free will. This is the capacity to make choices in any given moment. If you don’t like the results in your life, begin to make different choices. How easy is that?
Success Tool #8: ‘Decide to be happy!’
A decision is a choice. Happiness is a choice or option always at your disposal. It is an inside job. This is intrinsic to our success model because happiness, like success, is at the level of being and feeling.
You now have 8 basic tools to implement to create success and happiness in your life. Remember, success is a process, not a payoff, so you are currently somewhere in the process. By following and using these tools you can certainly speed up the process of success for your life.
As Life Coaches, Chris and I always would like to say to you that you can either commit to creating success and happiness now or postpone it to later. Choose now! You’ll enjoy your life a whole lot more!