Self-Improvement

Erika Slater headshot photo 300x300Self-improvement can mean many things to different people. Here are Free At Last hypnosis we are big on this topic because in our experience hypnosis can be an effective tool to help people make significant changes to improve their lives.
This can range from overcoming an unhealthy habit to breaking down barriers holding people back from achieving their goals. We’ve found in one way or another if we can help people change their habits it can help them with their personal growth aims.
Peter Sacco Ph.D. has written a comprehensive library of articles on self-improvement for us – I’ve added a few myself – and these include expanding skills in sports performance, mental toughness, test taking, speaking, motivation and much more.
A truism today is if you’re standing still, you’re really losing ground. Always striving for self-improvement keeps us moving forward and we experience the wonder of growth both for ourselves and those we care about.
Enjoy the articles.

How to Improve Mental Toughness – Tips and Using Hypnosis

By Erika Slater
Mental toughness pills in a bottle

Mental toughness pills in a bottle

In this article you’ll discover:

  1. The importance of quality self-talk and how to reverse the damage you’re doing to achieve mental toughness.
  2. Changing your beliefs and thinking patterns to support the outcomes you desire.
  3. Practical tips and actions to build-up your mental toughness muscle.
  4. Further reading, studies and resource links around increasing mental toughness.

There are all kinds of toughness and the most visible is physical toughness, but I’d argue the more valuable is mental toughness. Physical toughness reminds us of athletes with tuned muscles that allow them to run faster, hit harder, endure or lift more. But mental toughness is what they use and need to get them to be master’s of their own bodies and thinking.

As a simple example for you my experience with smoking cessation clients who achieve their goal of quitting and remain smoke free, those who’ve a high degree of mental toughness are most likely to succeed.  This is also why my programs embed reinforcement of mental toughness into the hypnosis sessions.

Physical toughness can deplete over the years as we get older, but mental toughness can endure until our last breath. But getting it doesn’t come easy, and it can mean shaking off ghosts of attitudes and perspectives that undermine how we view ourselves and the outside world.

Our type of self-talk is an excellent indicator of where we are in our mental toughness campaign.

Psychologists and neuroscientists estimate individuals engage themselves in self-talk at an average rate of 150-300 words per minute. That’s a lot of words running through your brain everyday – 45,000-51,000! And depending on the type of self-talk it can directly impact your ability to develop mental toughness [1].

You see your brain is set up with neural pathways which create highways as you take in new information or talk to yourself? That’s right! You have ‘self-talk highways’ in your brain you become familiar with over time. In fact, you become so familiar with them they get imprinted in your mind!

By engaging in your ‘self-talk’, these prominent neural pathways become etched in your brain whether they’re positive or negative. If you have positive thoughts, they get stamped on the positive highway. Conversely, when you have negative thoughts they get engraved on the negative highway.

You get so good at this over time you literally put your thoughts on autopilot. Your ‘thoughts’ self-drive you onto the neuropathway you’re accustomed to using, albeit good or bad. Just as you can become a creature of habit with your driving, so you can also become a creature of habit by the way you think.

The bottom line here is which lane of the road you choose to ride your thinking onto: the good, or the bad lane? Negative thinkers automatically drive in the negative lane of the highway without even realizing they’ve crawled onto the ramp. This is because they’ve developed negative thinking patterns for so long.

On the other hand, positive thinkers know how to control their thoughts by scrutinizing and recognizing their negative thoughts, and heading them off before they lead them astray. They take control of the wheel of their mind and imagination at all times, and choose to drive in the positive lane.

Just as you build muscles in your body, you build ‘mental muscles’ by exercising them with the way you continually think. These ‘mental muscles’ get stronger over time and possess a ‘muscle memory’ or mental toughness.

 

WHAT IS SELF-TALK AND MENTAL TOUGHNESS?

Woman talking to her reflection in a mirrorMental toughness can best be described as you being the ‘master of your mind!’

There are different views on how and what constitutes mental toughness. Some experts on positive thinking might assert mental toughness is having the ability to control your thoughts. When a negative thought flows into your mind, you quickly identify it and remove it before it can take root, and lead you to a chain of negative thinking patterns. You might call this ‘taking your thoughts captive’, in that you control your thoughts.

It sounds simple, “Hey, what is so difficult about controlling my thoughts?

It’s actually more difficult than most people think because many people become ‘lazy thinkers’, they just casually go with the flow of thoughts as they pop into their heads. But mental toughness asserts one must take direct control and inventory over their thoughts. You just don’t let them free-flow as they come into your mind. Instead, you notice them as being active, assess them, and make the proper change to them. Since this takes work, almost like going to the gym and building physical muscles, most people shy away from making this change because it takes time and effort on their part.

Interestingly, what they don’t realize is it took time and effort in the beginning to put them in a negative mind set. If they apply the same principles, but reversing the way they think for a short period of time, then they can change the way they think for the long haul.

Mental toughness is becoming aware – an awareness of your continual thinking patterns – of unfavorable or negative ones. To be mentally tough, you need to engage yourself by creating awareness of your self-talk. What are you telling yourself about through your thoughts and actions?

All thoughts we have can best be described as ‘self-talk’. We speak to ourselves in microseconds before we even speak out loud. In fact, most times we don’t even speak out loud what we’re thinking, especially when we’re alone, or in a situation where we’ve to remain quiet. Even though we don’t speak, we still think – we continually talk to ourselves visa vie by the thoughts we have.

This is self-talk!

 

SELF-TALKING TO OURSELVES:

At the beginning of this article I said psychologists estimate people engages in self-talk roughly at the rate of 150-300 words per minute?

What is the quality of the words you’re continually speaking to yourself about? The more you engage in self-talk, the more prominent the neural pathway becomes etched in your brain. So, choose your words wisely! You’re either your biggest advocate… or your biggest enemy, depending on what you’re are telling yourself. Psychiatrist Grant Brenner feels there are six hurtful labels we use in describing ourselves and others, and which can become themes to our self-talk [2] – these are “Lazy, Bored, Hypocrite, Spoiled, Stupid, and Selfish.”

Too many people are perfectionists in their self-talk. They’re constantly criticizing themselves for thinking, acting or ‘being’ a certain way. This undermines mental toughness as they become their own worst audience, constantly listening to their deprecating thoughts. It never seems to let up, rather they keep the cycle of analyzing – criticizing going on in your head… keeping the negative neuropathways alive by constantly “burning rubber” on them!

Are you familiar with the term, ‘Paralyses by Analysis?’ This means you continually brow-beat, over-think, analyze until your “blue in the face”, or ponder things to a “pulp” until your brain/mind is tired of thinking about it. Often times this leads to mental burnout. Before it ever gets to the mental burnout stage, it leads to, and creates, negative thinking patterns based on the rehashing and mental rehearsal of negative thinking. Perfectionist thinking ironically then undermines mental toughness, rather than, as perfectionist-thinking talk goes, strengthens resolve by being “tough” on themselves.

Interestingly, the more you try to be ‘the perfect thinker’, the more you seek out flaws or negative aspects for the way you’re thinking. It becomes a vicious cycle as you get caught up in a ‘thinking loop’. You’re like a dog chasing its own tail, and you go around in circles in your mind. The wise dog knows its tail belongs to them and identifies it as such and moves forward.

The same should be done with thoughts and choices. Once they’re made, you move forward. This is a sign of mental toughness!

 

ARE YOU A PERFECTIONIST?

Recovering perfectionist written on a napkinHow do you know if you’re a perfectionist or not?

For starters, do you include the following words when you are self-talking; should, must, better, always, have to, one hundred percent, only one way, when referring to yourself and how you should be? If you do, then you’re using absolute terms to define you, and how you should speak, act, or perform, in front of others, including yourself.

What you’re doing is setting up potential ‘mental/emotional breakdowns’ because you believe you need to be perfect all of the time, as after all, you start irrationally believing your thinking is perfect. You’re in essence setting up a self-fulfilling prophecy for yourself which says, “When I’m not achieving 100% and being perfect, I’m failing, as there is no room for errors.”

This creates an immense amount of pressure on yourself! When you engage in this type of thinking, it’s hard to let the tiniest of mistakes go. You may like to think you’re ‘mentally tough’ by thinking about something over and over, however it’s quite opposite. In this situation though you’re not mastering your thoughts but instead your thoughts are ‘mastering’ and controlling you.

You become the dog chasing its own tail around in a circle!

 

HABITUATED THINKING PATTERNS:

Break bad habits written on parchment paperThe root cause of lacking mental toughness is individuals becoming fixated in their negative, habituated thinking patterns. Over time the thought process becomes etched in stone on negative neural pathways. These places an individual in a position of weakness when it comes to their own thinking patterns and styles.

Does habituated thinking have to be this way in your life?

Absolutely not! It’s one thing to notice and admit the way you’re thinking isn’t productive, or getting you what you want, or where you want to go in life. It’s another to actually say to yourself (remember self-talk) “enough is enough and I’m ready for a different type of self-talk!

Only then, will this motivate you to produce the changes you want!

In an earlier article “Pattern Interrupt – Breaking the Habit” [3] I talk about a method of overcoming habituated thinking patterns using pattern interrupt. It’s a common technique used to change habits. Examples of natural interrupt which happen on a daily basis are unexpected noises, movements, other people talking, or when we engage in activities that relax or calm such as working out, going for a long walk, meditating, or even taking a different route to or from work. Basically, anything that helps get us out of a rut our current thinking has us in.

But doing it deliberately is more difficult because it requires monitoring of your own thoughts and when you detect yourself slipping into a thinking pattern you want to change, catching what you’re doing, and interrupting it by “reversing direction” or doing an activity that forces you to concentrate on something else.

Practice makes pattern interrupt a viable solution for helping with mental toughness when it comes to changing the way you think.

 

MENTAL TOUGHNESS – TIPS TO IMPROVE IT!

In order to become mentally tough, you’re going to have to change the way you think, which will create changes in the ways you feel and behave. This can and will be achieved in a variety of ways, but will only come about when you’re committed to making these changes!

You need to own your thoughts!

  1. Always remember you’ve the right to think whatever you want. The truest mark of mental toughness is learning to think for yourself. True, many of us are influenced by what others are telling us on a daily basis, especially messages from loved ones, or those closest to us. At the end of the day, you have to live with yourself, what you think and the outcome of the decisions you make. Make decisions based on the thoughts you choose!
  2. Always keep things in their proper perspective! Too many people live with ‘end of the world” mentalities when something goes wrong in their lives after making a decision. Everyone makes mistakes and even the strongest thinkers with the best mental toughness will make mistakes. Mental toughness is about keeping things in perspective and then moving on. Don’t let mistakes define you, or dictate your future!
  3. Always do your best to live in the present! Remember, the only thing you’re in control of is the present moment. Thinking and worrying about the past won’t change it. You can only focus on what and how you’re thinking about in the present moment. See yesterday as the past no matter what, and move on to tomorrow as you will always have things to do, with places to go and people to see!
  4. Focus on the positives! There have to be things you’ve done well in your life throughout. You didn’t get as far as today because you made a ton of mistakes and never learned from them. If you’re going to focus on anything from your past, focus on your successes and achievements. Use them as inspiration and motivation to move you toward achieving new and better successes!
  5. Deal with your setbacks in a positive manner! To be successful, you need to overcome your setbacks and learn from them. Everyone will make mistakes at things they try. The key is to re-define and label your ‘setbacks’ as feedback or learning experiences. Use them as opportunities to change the way you think and act. Remember, as Thomas Edison put it best while inventing the light bulb – “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” Too many people don’t realize how close they are to achieving goals or dreams, when it’s truly within their grasp!

It’s never easy to live with mistakes, especially when they impact you and loved ones in a significant way. Dealing with your own thought process and self-talk is extremely important for determining how fast you’ll bounce back, and also for dealing with mistakes you may encounter in the future.

This is mental toughness!

 

CAN HYPNOSIS WORK TO CREATE MENTAL TOUGHNESS?

Hypnotherapist holding patient wrist in her office during sessionTraining your thinking to be mentally tough can be challenging. Most people grow comfortable and even stagnant in their negative thinking patterns, which do more damage than good. Using hypnosis to create mental toughness can help you break free from the patterns that weaken your thinking!

How does hypnosis work then? It stimulates the mind to create a new set of cognitive scripts by tapping into your unconscious mind. One’s unconscious mind goes on autopilot and takes you down the same neuropathways. Hypnosis has the ability to disrupt your ‘auto pilot’ negative thinking patterns. It’ll help to create new positive pathways. These new pathways will help create positive thinking! It pushes you in a new direction in which the thoughts you now create will be different!

Benny Johansson and Lars-Eric Uneståhl2 performed a study “to examine the effects on health and stress, measured by an alteration in plasma cortisol and DHEA-S, in connection with proficiency after mental training, among healthy individuals in job involvement at the same work unit” [4]. “Integrated Mental Training (IMT), developed by Uneståhl in the early 1970s, is a systematic and long-term training of mental processes (thoughts, images, attitudes, emotions) aiming for peak performance and wellness. The training develops ‘Alternative Systems of Control’ by using ‘Alternative States of Consciousness’, mainly self-hypnosis.”

The findings of the study “indicate that implementation of integrated mental training in everyday life offers a practical tool having sustained impact on physiological and psychological well-being. By managing and conditioning changes in perception and emotional responses, a substantial affective balance in cortisol/DHEA-S ratio can be achieved with considerable effects on stress reduction, emotional stability, performance and health outcomes” [4].

This scientific study provides insight into the benefits of mental training and how it can impact our body chemicals which help with mental toughness training. The use of self-hypnosis in the study demonstrates a method of helping to implement a mental toughness program.

Self-hypnosis can be learned, and most professional hypnotists can teach it. Contact some local hypnotherapists and discuss your goals with them and choose one with experience in developing mental toughness in others and you feel is a good match for you.

 

CONCLUSIONS:

Building mental toughness is about exercising your brain muscle. As physical exercise grows our body muscles so we get stronger and can run faster for longer, so, challenging your thoughts and beliefs supports mental growth and provides the basis for increasing mental toughness. High performing athletes adopt training for both physical and mental toughness.

The quality of our self-talk is critical to turning an attitude steeped in negative talk to one of achieving positive outcomes by changing the words we use in self-talk. Learning from mistakes and looking for improvement is positive but looking for perfection for most if us usually translates into “trashing ourselves”, and makes us mentally vulnerable instead of tough.

Changing our self-talk to be more positive is one step, but equally important step is our beliefs and patterns. Constant negative self-talk is usually an outcome of beliefs as this leads to patterns of talk and behavior impacting our growth of mental toughness. So, beliefs about ourselves and changing those to be more supportive of our “new you” will in turn change our self-talk. The link between beliefs and self-talk is strong and each compliments the other in an interactive process. At first change can be small but expands exponentially as self-esteem and confidence grows.

Achieving mental toughness can be a life changing experience and this article suggests attitudes and ways to support moving towards it. Become a student and study and learn from others who model the kind of toughness you want to achieve. Hypnosis can also help you achieve mental toughness and because I believe it important to succeed at making significant changes it’s part of most of my in-office and online Special Hypnosis Services Programs which you can learn more about here >>>.

 

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES RELATED TO MENTAL TOUGHNESS:

[1] How to Construct Effective Self-Talk – Psychology Today >>>

[2] 6 Hurtful Labels to Stop Using on Ourselves and Others – Psychology Today >>>

[3] Pattern Interrupt – Breaking the Habit >>>

[4] Stress Reducing Regulative Effects of Integrated Mental Training with Self-Hypnosis >>>

Library of Self-Hypnosis Downloads Products >>>

 

Erika Slater CH
Free At Last Hypnosis
Massachusetts

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Strategies to Long-Term Motivation and How Hypnosis Can Help

By Erika Slater
Long-term handwriting in coffee cup for motivation

Long-term handwriting in coffee cup for motivation

In this special Hypnosis Brief I want to discuss long-term motivation, and how hypnosis can help you stay the course to get to your prize.

First-off I’m not a motivational speaker but I’ll share what I’ve seen from people I’ve helped achieve a long-term goal and what it took for them and include some current research on the topic as well.

Motivation comes from within. You can’t buy it in a bottle, or order it from Amazon, or watch it in a movie. Can you be inspired to get motivated from a book, or a movie, or even a speech? Yes, you can. But it’s short-term, and even then, I’d argue, it still comes from “inside” you.

Getting motivated is a conscious decision, but keeping it going is an unconscious decision. To achieve long-term motivation, you need to engage your unconscious mind. This can be done in various ways where the things you do to achieve a short-term goal become habits to help you achieve a long-term goal.

There are various things at play when it comes to motivation and understanding them helps you, so, I’ll cover them for you today.

 

GOALS AND MOTIVATION:

First, we have to separate goals from motivation. They’re not the same, but people often confuse the two.

Being a non-smoker can be the goal of a smoker, but it rarely provides the motivation to stop on its own and the long-term motivation to stay a non-smoker for rest of their life. There’s a reason for the goal, and it’s the “reason why”– motivation – that determines their attitude and motivation level. This could be wanting to stay healthy, live long, a life event, or financial reasons.

Likewise, for a person wanting to lose weight and stay fit and healthy, they have a goal – usually a weight in mind or a clothes size – that personifies success to them. Again, there’s usually a reason for the goal that keeps them going – resilience – when the going gets tough.

People who don’t have a strong reason to make a change struggle with achieving a goal as they lack the basis for long-term motivation. For example, they may be able to stop smoking for a day, or even a week, or eat healthy foods for a month, but not be able to sustain it after the initial surge of excitement has subsided and real-life starts getting in the way.

 

SHORT-TERM GOALS VERSUS LONG-TERM GOALS:

Long-term vs short-term goals signEveryone sets goals for themselves, often times more of the short-term variety. Many do so because they believe shorter-term goals are usually easier to achieve.

This is true… they are!

Making a commitment to go to the gym every day for the next month is more doable than committing to go each day for the next year!

But what about those who possess foresight and want to achieve bigger and greater things, you know the kind of “far-off into the future” goals? These are the kind of goals that take time to reach, sometimes years and even decades. How do you keep you desires alive and burning to keep the yearning to achieve those kinds of goals going?

You have to live one day at a time and constantly be able to keep your ‘eye on the prize’, knowing and expecting it to be yours to take ‘one day’! Elite athletes are able to do this because they’ve developed a mindset that constantly provides them the motivation to stay the course, and accept getting to where they want to be requires dedication and long-term commitment.

Most dreams people have, ‘die’ because they take too long to achieve. Even though they know certain dreams won’t come to fruition until sometime in the distant future, they pack things in early because they lose motivation to get to their prize.

Let’s face it! Today we all live in a world of entitlement and ‘in the here and now’ society. If it doesn’t come to us as quick as fast food, or at the “speed of the internet”, then, it makes us ‘crazy’ with waiting, or we just don’t wait but move on to something else that does come quick, or we take short-cuts that impacts quality of our life.

 

STRATEGIES TO LONG-TERM MOTIVATION:

Just keep turning up motivational quoteDo you have a goal that inspires motivation in you? I’ve already discussed motivation comes from within, and goals that fit into one of these four categories is a good candidate for a high-level of motivation: possible futures, possible selves, near-term gratifications, and task interest [1].

Research on this topic conducted by University of Virginia professor Thomas Bateman [1] concluded you can tactically think about these four categories as you work towards long-term goals by asking the following:

  1. What would the future hold if I achieve this goal?
  2. What would it mean for me personally?
  3. How can I build in short-term gratifications?
  4. How can I build in and appreciate the most interesting and fulfilling parts of what I do?

Bateman also suggests for any personal or professional goal you include what he calls self-regulation strategies to keep you motivated:

  1. Have a mix of short-term goals hitched to your long-term goal. Staying motivated by having relevant but attainable short-term goals provides incentive to keep things going over the length of getting to where you want to be.
  2. Receive feedback over time and evaluate progress toward your long-term goal. So, if your goal is to lose 100 pounds over a year then this breaks down to approx. 2 lbs. per week or 8 lbs. per month. Weighing yourself regularly can provide this feedback and reset expectations on progress.
  3. Maintain focus on how actions will impact your goals and do not attend to distractions. We live in a world of distractions these days, whether it is constantly checking our email, or social media, or bombarded with thousands of marketing messages a day. We need to ignore that which doesn’t help us focus on our goals and this can be as simple of “blocking” time on our calendars for ourselves to do the work!
  4. Elevate the attractiveness of your goal by thinking about how risks and work will pay off. Words are mighty and so spend the time wording your goal in such a way that it excites you even when you know it encompasses a ton of work, commitment, and more than fair share of hardship and risk. Anything worth achieving involves some adversity so plan for this and keep your eyes on the prize!
  5. Diminish negative emotions and focus on what you find interesting and amusing in your work. Your goal(s), and work needed to get to it, can be a marathon run and not a sprint and during this time its natural you’ll feel emotions like fear, anxiety, frustration and disappointment. So, during these times it’s important to remember your reasons why you started out on the goal and what you enjoy about the journey to achieve it.
  6. Use failure as a basis for improvement rather than allowing it to leave you feeling discouraged – or worse, devastated. Failure is a harsh word but the point here is that one bad meal choice doesn’t mean your whole diet and weight loss goal is “down the drain” and you’re a failure and back to square one. It’s another form of feedback and no more and no less. Scientists doing experiments expect failure and use it as a motivation to keep discovering. Remember the Thomas Edison experiment where he discovered 10,000 ways a light bulb would not work!

 

LONG-TERM MOTIVATION AND HYPNOSIS:

Sometimes getting to goals requiring long-term motivation can require more direct intervention than just willpower alone. People get stuck or challenged in various situations, and seek help in any way they can get it. I’ve written about resilience and persistence before [2] [3] and these articles discuss how having the right mindset can provide that extra bump to transform your dreams into reality.

Call it what you will – mindset or attitude – one method to help you achieve these mental changes is using hypnosis. Hypnosis can be a powerful resource in helping you achieve long-term motivation by overcoming thinking habits keeping you from reaching your success. These habits can be caused by fear, procrastination, feeling overwhelmed, or that critical voice in your head reinforcing why you’ll never be able to sustain the motivation. Hypnosis can help you overcome self-destructive habits and replace them with positive versions in your unconscious to sustain you.

Hypnosis is a great way to keep a passion burning inside of you as fresh, frequent and new post hypnotic suggestions are implanted into your unconscious mind which will help you keep your ‘eyes on the prize’ and help you going forward with resilience and persistence. It can provide a fresh start and outlook for you. If you’re interested in working directly with me then discover all my online and in-office Hypnosis Services here or you can check out our Library of Self-Hypnosis Downloads Products here >>>

In my clients I’ve seem different paths to achieve the motivation they needed to make a significant and long-term change. It’s an individual journey and finding your own triggers for long-term motivation can feel like a journey on its own, but it’s one worth the effort, and with indirect or direct help of others can make the difference between dreams and reality.

Let me know how you enjoyed this article and how I can improve it.

 

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES RELATED TO MOTIVATION:

[1] Research Reveals Keys to Sustaining Long-Term Motivation >>>

[2] How to Strengthen Your Resilience, Perseverance and Grit to Get Success in Your Life >>>

[3] The Importance of Resilience in Overcoming Life Challenges: Ways to Make it Stronger in You >>>

Erika Slater CH
Free At Last Hypnosis
Massachusetts

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How to Reinvent Yourself with Hypnosis For Next Phase of Life

By Erika Slater
Reinvent yourself handwriting on chalkboard

Reinvent yourself handwriting on chalkboard

In this Hypnosis Brief I look at common problems people facing retirement encounter, or in a job they know is not their calling, and resources and tools to help them make their next step.

Are you at the point in your life you’re looking to do something new?

Maybe you’ve been doing the same job for decades, or you’ve been with the same company as long. Perhaps you’re now tired of doing what you’ve been doing and you want a change.

As with many people today the company you’ve been working for could be forcing you into an early retirement of sorts, and you need to find something else. Maybe your job is for a younger person and your physical body can no longer handle the rigors of what you’ve been doing and you need to find something kinder to you and your body. But you also know if you just ‘retire’ you’ll just go crazy!

You sense there’s a yearning in your soul to do more, and be an active contributor to society rather than just live for the next installment of your favorite TV show. You know you need to do more for who is most important… yourself!

Whether you’re in your early thirties and in need of a major change, or approaching retirement, you’re thinking it’s time to ‘reinvent’ yourself and start fresh, living the next or second phase of your life in a way you want to live it – on your terms!

But you need help discovering what you want to do in this next phase.

 

“WHAT DO YOU REALLY WANT TO DO WHEN YOU GROW UP?”

Kids and different career costumesWhen we were children, we were asked by family members or friends of our parents, “And what do you want to be when you grow up?” When we reach high school, we are asked by guidance counselors, teachers and parents, “What do you want to do with your life after high school?” And when we reach retirement, we are often times asked by colleagues, “Now what? What do you plan on doing with yourself now you’ll have all this free time?

For many of us, this can be a deep troubling question as the truth is we usually haven’t put much thought into it. We’ve been doing the same ole for so long we’ve became a creature of habit and become complacent in living our lives.

For many, life, at some point, became mundane, and less challenging as we operated in a comfort zone of complacency. And here you are now having once again to determine, “What do you want to do now you’re all grown up?

For those facing retirement we live in a society that discusses and encourages preparation for the financial aspect. Often times, it’s a financial investment commercial that comes to mind with seniors playing with their grand kids, or sipping Pina Colada’s on a beach as the sun sets in front of them. These are the stereotypes for how retirement is perceived by many.

Unfortunately, this isn’t how it plays out for most and it isn’t rosy at all! There are no beaches or Pina Colada’s… rather there is utter boredom for them.

Years ago, research showed when some folks retire, even from a job they’d despised, it wasn’t uncommon for them to get sick or die within a year or two thereafter? Basically, when they no longer had their jobs or careers, they believe they’d “lost” a large part of themselves. In their mind, their life’s identity was tied to a job, after all they had engaged in it for 30 or 40 years, and now what did they have? It wasn’t long before depression would set in for many, a greater sense of helplessness or haplessness, and they’d literally believe they were ‘useless’ and no longer served a purpose to the world.

Obviously, this is a misconception and a wrong way to think, especially when at any age you always have something meaningful to contribute to life – your own and others. The key point is, what is it you want to contribute, in your second career?

Everyone has at some point in their lives wondered, or they still wonder, what would my life have been like if I’d only chosen a different path or career. “What would my life be like if I had chosen the career I really loved with my whole heart?

Does this sound at all familiar to you?

Perhaps the question you hear yourself asking is, “What can I do, or what will I do now that I have all of this free time, as I don’t know what my passion is at this point?

 

WAYS TO START THE SECOND PHASE OF YOUR LIFE:

Change career wording with scrabble lettersHere’s some suggestions to get you started.

First, get clear on what it is you want to do! For those who’ve figured out what it is they want to do, but are perhaps nervous or hesitant about pursuing it due to fear or confidence, they need a gentle push to get them going in the right direction.

The best way to figure out your future in the second part of your life is sometimes easily accomplished by discussing it with someone as you did in the first part of your life – a career counselor. A counselor can listen, make suggestion and point you in the right direction.

There are tests you can take such as Myers Briggs [1] which is a personality test and the results can be used by professional counselors to suggest careers or other changes to help you decide on a new direction. There are other personality tests you can take but the Myers Briggs has held up over many decades as the preferred choice.

Richard Nelson Bolles book “What Color is Your Parachute?” remains as relevant today as it did decades ago and helped many folks with a career change, or new insights into the next phase of their life. For a small investment of time and money you could find the words, or nudge, that moves you to reinvent yourself. It’s updated almost yearly and you can find it at your local bookstore or Amazon. Bolles also has his own website supplementing his book and offering tools and resources to help [2].

But what happens if you’re still stuck not knowing what your inner “passion” or “purpose” is? This isn’t as uncommon as you think. A lot has been written about “live your passion” and “find your purpose,” and the reality for many is… they just don’t know. Frankly, you may also have many passions and purposes [3] and trying to focus on which one to choose will drive you crazy!

Relax. Take a deep breath and realize despite what you’ve been told the next move will not ruin your life if it’s the wrong one. Take baby steps. Try things out and see if “the clothes fit.” If it turns out not to be for you, move on.

If you get frustrated and really are struggling then consider your next line of action is to see a hypnotherapist.

Hypnosis is an excellent way for helping individuals get ‘in touch’ with themselves. A hypnotherapist can help by asking you questions and tapping into your unconscious mind, truly awakening or recognizing dormant passions.

If you have uncertainties, hypnosis can help you gain greater insights and clarity. If you’re nervous, apprehensive or lack confidence in starting a new life, hypnosis can help you gain the confidence you need to get going on the second phase of your life and make it even better than the first part.

Resistance is a major contributor to why we don’t try new things, and this is usually caused by fear that manifests itself in many ways. Resistance is insidious. It seeps into your life and stops you achieving your goals. It stops the writer from writing. It stops the painter from painting, and the musician from playing music.

It can stop the amateur from turning pro as Stephen Pressfield [4] often writes.

But it doesn’t just affect the artist or the creative. It stops us all. It stops you from losing weight or keeping on a healthy diet. It gets in the way of a smoker quitting. It stops us from doing our life work – you know… the things you were put on this planet to do!

Again, hypnosis can help you move forward despite resistance or your fears. Seek out a local hypnotist who has helped others with their second phase of their life, or can teach you self-hypnosis as a tool you can use to help make any significant changes in your life.

 

LAST WORD:

Reinventing yourself is an opportunity to discover and execute on passions and purposes to make not only your own life fulfilling but help others as well.

Most of us need help in uncovering what we want to do after we decide the first phase of our life is ending and we are ready for something new. We may, or may not know, what that life change entails. If there’s a blockage discovering it or we keep wandering around in circles, then, likely we are experiencing resistance.

Now, you may or may not need help to overcome this resistance. Regardless, it’s time to get serious about those goals you have. Whether it’s writing a novel, volunteering for a charity you admire, changing careers, or shedding that spare tire around your middle that’s been following you around for most of your life… it’s time to overcome resistance, and conquer your internal enemy.

Consider hypnosis if you need help getting unstuck. Hypnosis can help you understand what makes you tick. What sort of activities do you enjoy doing and never have to struggle to motivate yourself to do? What talents have you got or can you develop? What kind of people do you like to be around? If you’re interested in working directly with me then check out my online and In-office Special Hypnosis Services here.

Alternatively, you can Check out this self-hypnosis session around career change here >>>

 

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES RELATED TO REINVENT YOURSELF:

[1] Myers Briggs Foundation >>>

[2] Dick Bolles Job Hunter Bible Site >>>

[3] Why Finding Your Passion or Purpose Can Leave You Frustrated and Depressed… and What To Do Instead >>>

[4] Stephen Pressfield >>>

Library of Self-Hypnosis Downloads Products >>>

 
Erika Slater CH
Free At Last Hypnosis
Massachusetts

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Stop Worrying How Others See You and Be an Effective Communicator

By Erika Slater
Man looking into mirror on self-reflection

Man looking into mirror on self-reflection

Do you spend time thinking and worrying over how others see you?

Does it impact your job or relationships? Friends, family, lovers?

Paying attention and understanding what others think about you is important and healthy. It allows us to grow and mature. But it can also get in the way of who we are and what we can become.

So, finding an equilibrium between watching for how others perceive you and focusing on being who you are is a tricky balance.

In this short article today, I’m going to explore some simple ways you can reduce the impact of other’s perception of you on your life.

 

LOOKING GLASS SELF AND YOUR SELF-IMAGE AND SELF-CONCEPT:

Speaker at conference with audience listeningLearning about how others see us can help and be a hindrance. Caring about how we are seen is socially important to us, and there are definitely people we care more about their opinion of us than others.

But worrying too much about how we are perceived can lead us to make changes that aren’t always authentic and positive to us, so taking feedback and processing it to validate before deciding what/if to change is important.

The famous American sociologist Charles Horton Cooley came up with the concept of ‘Looking Glass Self’ which helps people develop a better understanding for how others see them based on how they react or don’t react.

In fact, Cooley discussed how Looking Glass Self can create insecurities and low self-esteem for social interactions over repeated time if you start to believe in your perceptions of what others think of you.

When you start to use the Looking Glass Self as a measure for how you feel about yourself around others, it’s not so much believing in who you are, rather how you believe others see you.

Of course, everyone has a need to be liked, wanted or desired by others as people are innately social. Interacting with others can greatly influence your self-image and self-concept.

Your self-image comes from the reflections of others – how they respond to you and how they evaluate you. This process begins in childhood and continues into adulthood. Who you believe you are is how you’ll project yourself to other people, good or bad. Judging on how others treat you or respond to you will most likely reaffirm your self-image and how you’ll continue to act in social settings.

Your self-concept will be based on your understanding of how others perceive you or expect you to be. Based on these experiences, you’re likely to pattern your thoughts in certain situations around certain people and develop consistent feelings.

Over time, you’ll start to act that way with repeated experiences until eventually ‘becoming’ that way socially. Basically, you become condition to act and react a certain way.

Now comes the tricky part…

Are you willing to pay more attention to the feedback others are giving you?

What are their non-verbal cues and body language telling you?

This requires some work on your part and willingness to invest in an understanding of others. We’ll discuss some ways to do this in the next section…

 

NON-VERBAL CUES AND HYPNOSIS:

Man and woman discussion showing body languageMore than 70% of all communication is non-verbal. This includes:

  • Body Language.
  • Tone of voice.
  • Facial Expressions.

As they say “less is more.” Which means we can say as much with body language, our voice tone and our facial expressions – pausing for dramatic effect, etc. – than rambling on for hours expelling words and information and boring our listeners or partners to death.

Pausing to allow for feedback is important. It gives us a chance to see how we’re doing and let’s us adjust what we say moving forward.

For example, people love stories, and if there’s a lot of fidgeting going on in the audience or with your partner or friend, then it may be time to change the information flow, and interject a few stories to make your point more real… and interesting.

By being a little observant when sending out your message to others you can determine quickly how it, and you as the messenger, are being received.

Funny enough many people develop their own body language, tone of voice and facial expressions when delivering communications but fail to observe these traits in others. They don’t stop to observe but assume people are hanging on their every word.

Sorry, but they are not! Some are thinking about what they’ll eat that night, or which film they’ll watch.

If you want to know how others see you, then you need to pay attention to their non-verbal feedback. Once you become aware of it, you can learn to speak differently as well as carry yourself differently.

This is a large topic and I wrote an article about “What’s Your Body Language Telling Others – Positive Body Language for Success” and have place a link to it in the additional resource section below.

But this article is also about how to stop worrying how others see you. We can become obsessed about how others perceive us and for most of us we can quickly become ensnared in negative perceptions when none are really there.

And also this is isn’t just about speaking in from of groups or business setting. For example, instead of being fully present in a relationship, we start obsessing about our partner’s opinions, to the point where we neglect our own.

If you struggle with these interactions then hypnosis can help.

When you’re immersed in what you’re doing, it’s still possible to be aware of your surroundings, in a peripheral way. And this means you don’t neglect your tasks, your goals, and who you are as a person.

Using hypnosis, you can become better at reading people, stop worrying so much on what others think of you, learn to communicate with others more effectively, and thereby understand more clearly how other people see you. If you’re interested in working directly with me then check out my online and In-office Special Hypnosis Services here.

Alternatively, if you’d like to check out a self-hypnosis session that’ll help you to develop your insights and live by your own values with the help of hypnosis then check this out here >>>

 

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES RELATED TO STOP WORRYING:

How Others See You – David Ludden >>>

What’s Your Body Language Telling Others – Positive Body Language for Success – Erika Slater CH >>>

Looking Glass Self >>>

Library of Self-Hypnosis Downloads Products >>>

 
Erika Slater CH
Free At Last Hypnosis
Massachusetts

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How to Achieve Stellar Success in Work and Life to Get to Your Dreams

By Erika Slater
Man on mountain top with arms raised above head in success gesture

Man on mountain top with arms raised above head in success gesture

Happiness is not a by-product of success.
Success is a by-product of happiness.

In this article you’ll discover:

  1. Tons of common themes and character traits from successful people so you can model them and save money and time.
  2. Ways to kick-start your own personal journey to achieve better success in all aspects of your life.
  3. How hypnosis can help change negative habits and instill positive habits to overcome past failures and barriers to your success.
  4. Further reading and resources for help in understanding and achieving success in life and work.

I’ve worked with many people over the years who came to me looking to overcome a negative habit. I ask my clients one important question as it helps them get focused on why they’re doing something:

The question is “How will your life be different when you achieve your goal?

I get them to explain in detail the difference they think it’ll make to their life. People come to me with significant changes they want to make in their life, such as quitting smoking, or losing weight, or overcoming a phobia.

The reasons behind change is nearly always a bigger goal. Getting them to think about how it will make a difference in their life starts to uncover that goal and provides the motivation and direction for them when the difficult times come. And they will.

Nobody has ever achieved great success in work and life without taking knocks and setbacks along the way, and having a healthy dose of resilience and perseverance, and even grit to stay the course and achieve their dreams. (See my article about this topic and linked to in the additional resource section below.)

Whether you’re trying to achieve success in life or in business doesn’t really matter, the underlying themes are consistent. How you do anything is how you do everything.

Success doesn’t have to be, nor I’d argue should it be, at the expense of others. But of course, we are rarely told this growing up. In fact, most people feel, at least in business, success is measured in a way that directly puts you in competition with others, and in order for you to succeed they must fail.

But of course, real success is about inner success and not just about sales quotas or how many friends you have on social media, or even how many dollars are in your bank account. It can be all of these but if just one then lasting happiness is going to be a long way behind. And this gets at the heart of why I ask that question to my clients. “How will your life be different when you achieve your goal?” Because in essence the question being asked is really “What will success look like for you.”

And, this is different for each of us and what I’m going to explore with you today so you can discover “How to Achieve Better Success in Work and Life.”

If you’re ready for that journey and sitting comfortably, then let’s begin…

 

COMMON TRAITS TO BE SUCCESSFUL IN LIFE AND BUSINESS:

Sticky notes saying set goals make plans type messagesBrian Tracy is considered by many to be the guru when it comes to advice on achieving success. I’ve heard Brian speak at a few events I attended back and he’s a compelling speaker and thought provoker.

Brian is all about the journey as he feels it teaches us the qualities required for success. Here’s a thought from him about this…

You will change your life by achieving just one important goal, you create a pattern, a template for personal success in your subconscious mind. You will change your life and be automatically directed, and driven toward repeating that success in other things that you attempt.

In an article from his blog called “How To Be Successful in Life”, which you can read in its entirety at the link in the resource section, he lists four keys to success:

  1. Decide exactly what you want and where you want to go.
  2. Set a deadline and make a plan to get there.
  3. Take action on your plan; do something everyday to move toward your goal.
  4. Resolve in advance that you will persist until you succeed, that you will never, ever give up.
    Copyright Brian Tracy.

This is sage advice from somebody who has been there and done it.

Interestingly, people engage me at key step #3 when they’ve either taken action on their plan and it hasn’t worked, or they realize before starting they’re the type of person who needs help. Frankly, this is good and not in my book a weakness. Accumulating the wisdom to be successful on your own is expensive and time consuming. There are plenty of others who have gone before and you can model and get there quicker by avoiding their mistakes.

Where people fall down is usually in key step #4. Having a plan is good but then life gets in the way. You not only have to be flexible but you have to have… wait for it… resilience and perseverance, and grit to stay in the game. Sound familiar?

These qualities can be learned, but you have to have a big enough “why” you want success, and you need to think of resilience and perseverance just like a muscle and exercise them regularly. You’ll find this a recurring theme as we continue.

Katherine Hurst is well known in the “Law of Attraction” community. In a nutshell this community subscribes to the notion you attract towards yourself that which you think, and that how you act. So, if you think and act successful then this is what you’ll attract into your life.

My experience is at some point environmental factors enter into the equation and this tends to get overlooked by this community. However, this isn’t to say we can’t learn from their enthusiasm.

Anyways, Katherine Hurst has compiled a solid list of “101 Ways to Achieve Success” and I’ve provided a link to the complete list in the resource section.

I’ve pulled out just a few to quench your thirst; consider these:

  1. Don’t be afraid to take risks. You will never be 100% ready when an opportunity arises.
  2. Surround yourself with positive people.
  3. Make a plan or a blueprint for success. Imagine in your mind the steps you need to take to achieve your goal. (sound familiar?)
  4. Know your distractions. Make a list of things that keep you from staying focused and make sure to get rid of them when you are working on your goal.
  5. Get rid of limiting beliefs and false ideologies. Stay open-minded.
  6. Accept you mistakes and learn from them.
  7. Be persistent. Keep going no matter what and develop a relentless motor. (sound familiar?)
  8. Be flexible. (sound familiar? – okay I’ll shut up!)
  9. Make sure you know why you are trying to be successful. Do it for the right reasons and never forget what these reasons are. They will keep you motivated.
  10. But don’t be afraid to say NO but also don’t afraid to say YES to gain new experiences.
    Copyright Katherine Hurst

The poster child for success for many entrepreneurs remains Bill Gates. Often touted as the richest man in the world – which he’s not, and most likely never has been – but certainly beyond accumulating wealth Gates is successful and continues to be in life after Microsoft.

So here are some wisdom’s from Gates that support the other traits of successful people.

Life is not fair – get used to it!

If you mess up, it’s not your parents’ fault, so don’t whine about your mistakes, learn from them.

Television is not real life. In real life people actually have to leave the coffee shop and go to jobs.

Sure, these quotes are all around business and come from speeches given at schools and colleges. But the fact remains they all capture the spirit of accepting that to be successful in life and business you need to be prepared to do whatever it takes and not make excuses if you fail.

Because you will fall down – if you don’t experience knocks you’re not trying hard enough! But what will determine your success is your response to set backs.

I’m going to leave my last pieces of quoted wisdom in this section to Kaila Proulx. Kaila has shared a number of useful tips for success in life, and you’ll see they’re remarkably similar to those business ones you’ve already seen – surprise, surprise! These tips will keep you moving forward, and though I’ve excerpted a few here you can find them all at the link in the resource section below.

  • See the big picture, but take baby steps.

When you set smaller, more attainable goals for yourself you are more likely to stick with whatever you are trying to achieve because you can consistently see progress. The success acts as an encouragement, and a motivator, which keeps you going.

If you want a Big Hairy Audacious Goal (BHAG) then this can be longer term. But you still have to take it down to smaller bite-sized steps. While originally promoted for business goals, BHAG is applicable for life goals as well. After all, living until your 100 years-old may take you a few years unless you’re age 99 now, and you’ll have a lot of in-between goals to make it there as well, like eating well, staying fit, and keeping your brain active.

  • Don’t get discouraged by small setbacks.

Obstacles along the journey are inconsequential as long as you’re moving in the direction of your goals. Consistently making positive efforts to accomplish what you’ve set out to do is all that matters. You won’t achieve your dreams overnight. However, by starting to make decisions that feed that long-term vision for your future, you’ll see them come to fruition over time.

Copyright Kaila Proulx

Of course, by now you’ve heard these common themes but reinforcement is always good. But now it’s time to make this personal and real for you.

If you’ve read down to here then I’m guessing in the past you’ve set goals for success in life and/or business only to see yourself give up on them. When trying to achieve them becomes too difficult, you just decide to give up, and try again at a later date. You “kick that can right down the road.”

Your next step today then is to decide no more “can kicking.” No more putting off success in life and business until some unspecified time in the future.

 

GETTING YOURSELF STARTED TOWARDS YOUR SUCCESS:

Stretch goal concept with words on road rising up in shape of arrowIf you’re trying to achieve ‘stellar’ success in your career, business, relationships, health (weight loss, getting fit, quitting smoking), then it’s important to get clear on what that success means to you.

This sounds like something you heard before, right?

You should be able to vividly describe to others: What will your end goal look like and feel like when you get there? How will your life be different when you achieve your goal?

If you set the bar low and decide to call that success, then that’ll be your success.

You most likely will have an easier time achieving that success as you don’t have to stretch or push your limits.

Stretching your limits will make you feel uncomfortable because you need to produce change in yourself to achieve stellar success.

On the other hand, if you set your bar for success high or even super high, it’s going to require more effort and the need to do things differently – read that as… big change!

For most, change is uncomfortable and big change is very uncomfortable, and this is why they fold on their goals and dreams too early because it takes perseverance. Interestingly, if some would just hold on and push a little further with the change required to achieve their goals, they’d have soon experienced a ‘lasting change’ in their habits and way of thinking, which would have eventually brought them the stellar success they so much wanted!

When starting out, it’s okay to take ‘baby steps’ for change.

It’s okay to not set the bar too high, but not okay to set it too low. If it’s too low you’re most likely already there, operating from a mindset of mediocrity and status quo.

Can you set the bar too high?

Well, this depends on your ability to deal with failure, that is only seeing it as a learning experience as Bill Gates and others advocate, and the schedule you put on the achievement. My advice here is to take it beyond your comfort zone so you have to grow to get there, but not to the point of feeling overwhelmed and/or demoralized as you make the journey to get to your definition of success.

As you develop your resilience and perseverance muscles through practice then you’ll naturally go further out of your comfort zone, and accept the occasional failure as part of the journey.

Setting better than attainable goals will provide you with the opportunity to stretch your mental and possibly physical muscles and make you stronger, this way going for the ultimate stellar success won’t be as high up the ladder as when you first started your quest.

As I mentioned earlier don’t feel the need to figure this all out yourself but learn from those who have gone before and use the resources I’ve listed below to get you started. While it has worked for these experts on the topic just remember that point as well. It worked for them but doesn’t mean all their advice will work for you. Adopt, and modify, to fit your style, temperament, personality, etc. Be flexible, but also be prepared to try new things. After all, you’ll not achieve massive change by doing things the way you’ve always done them.

Earlier I’d implied success is an ‘inside job’. I believe this to be true. Beliefs about yourself and perceptions of what is happening will largely determine how far you’ll go in attaining success. Where your thoughts go, your energy will flow.

Even though you’re clear and feel what it’ll be like to have stellar success, sometimes it’s important to change the thoughts you have toward it.

I want to preface my final section here with one word… habits.

Habits are the key to achieving our success. They reside in our unconscious mind. Forget the mumbo jumbo about how long it takes for them to form, but think instead about forming success habits and the best way I know of doing this quickly is using hypnosis

 

HOW CAN HYPNOSIS HELP YOU ACHIEVE STELLAR SUCCESS IN LIFE AND WORK?

Helping hand on staircaseOur habits are controlled and resident in our unconscious mind (some call it our subconscious mind). We all have positive habits. Some of these positive habits are natural to us such as breathing and keep us alive when we sleep. Others are learned, such as driving a car where eventually we don’t consciously think about changing gears, or how to steer around a corner, or when to brake.

But we also develop negative habits. Those we want to change because they stop us achieving everything we deserve. Here hypnosis can help if the desire to change is strong enough. You can obviously change habits without using hypnosis. People have quit smoking or lost weight just by their own willpower and without help from anybody or drugs or surgery.

But the fact is many more people haven’t managed to change their habits because they only really changed the symptoms, and not the underlying habit.

So, eventually they got stuck again. It can also be a rocky path relying on willpower alone. So, moat people naturally seek help.

As I said earlier, I don’t see seeking help as a weakness.

Hypnosis helps us directly access the unconscious mind – where our habits reside – without our conscious logical mind getting in the way and distracting us. It quietens and relaxes the conscious mind to open up the subconscious mind to receiving thoughts, and suggestions, to change and replace negative habits.

In some cases, the results are instantaneous and in others it takes a few sessions with a qualified hypnotist.

Professional sport teams, and athletes, have long used self-hypnosis to achieve their own stellar success. Hypnosis isn’t about “going under” and your mind being manipulated by a hypnotherapist without your active involvement. Many hypnotists these day use guided imagery and hypnotic journeys to help people achieve the major changes in their life.

Hypnosis is an excellent way for changing negative thoughts and replacing them with positive ones. Furthermore, hypnosis can help you get clearer and feel what it will be like to be successful. If you’re interested in working directly with me on this specific issue then check out my online and In-office Special Hypnosis Services here.

 

CONCLUSIONS:

We discovered there are common themes in achieving stellar success in life and work and looked at what those are and what it takes to adopt those as part of our own traits.

Upfront you need to be clear on what success will look like for you. Ask yourself, and be able to answer, my favorite question; “How will your life be different when you achieve your success?

These common themes and character traits include persistence, resilience, and sometimes just plain grit to overcome barriers and short-term failure with no blaming of others. Goals leading to stellar success means taking risks and moving out of your comfort zone.

Have big goals (BHAG if you want) to get to your definition of success, but map out small steps that’ll move you forward and you can measure.

Seek help from others who’ve made the journey already and have achieved the kind of success you want. Model what they did to help shortcut your own journey. Consider hypnosis to help you overcome negative habits quickly to get the success you want and deserve.

If you’re got to here and hypnosis sounds like something you’d like to experience to see if it can help you achieve the success you want, then, check out this self-hypnosis session to help achieve your potential here >>>

 

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES RELATED TO ACHIEVE SUCCESS:

How To Be Successful in Life – Brian Tracy >>>

How to Strengthen Your Resilience, Perseverance and Grit to Get Success in Your Life – Erika Slater CH >>>

101 Ways to Achieve Success – Katherine Hurst >>>

Mind the Gap – Moving to the Right Side of Your Potential Gap – Erika Slater CH >>>

How to Reignite Passion for Your Job or Change Careers So You Can Do Your Best Work! >>>

How To Achieve Your Dreams: The Tips You
HAVEN’T Heard – Kaila Proulx >>>

 
Erika Slater CH
Free At Last Hypnosis
Massachusetts

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Slay the ‘Foot in Mouth’ Beast by Discovering These Ways to Think Before You Speak…

By Erika Slater
Timepiece with words on clock face saying time to think before you speak

Timepiece with words on clock face saying time to think before you speak

In this article you’ll discover:

  1. What is “foot-in-mouth” disease and what causes it to creep into and infect our lives.
  2. How the mediums we use today to communicate our opinions are driving up the frequency of making embarrassing or inappropriate remarks.
  3. 6 Simple ways to overcome ‘foot-in-mouth’ disease.
  4. Further reading resources for help in understanding and slaying this beast.

Have you ever been accused of having ‘foot in your mouth’ disease?

Yes, it’s a bit pf a pun on the outbreak of ‘foot and mouth’ disease that ravaged animal agriculture in England at the beginning of this century. And it was no laughing matter.

Thankfully, unlike the real disease, the ‘foot in your mouth’ made-up disease isn’t contagious!

If you’re unfamiliar with the term, it’s when you say something so inappropriate, the instant they leave your mouth you wish you could take them back immediately, or even better have “kept your darn mouth shut.”

In other instances, it can be something you said in all earnest you believed but because of the words, or vehicle you used to deliver those words, it had an unintended consequence which you ended up regretting and wished you could recant – like please ignore or press delete before it reaches your ears!

We all like spontaneity in our lives and its unrealistic to think we’ll never say something that we’re embarrassed about later, but if this is a frequent occurrence for you then it can have a lasting impact on what people think of you and your relationships.

Let’s explore this more and then how we can avoid this “foot in mouth” disease.

 

DID YOU REALLY MEAN TO SAY THAT?

Woman shocked at what she just said - could be dirty wordsOften times, people are so caught up in the moment, namely their emotions, they speak without thinking or just utter whatever comes into their thoughts without any filtering. Unfortunately, once something is spoken, it can’t be taken back.

Of course, now with all the instant communications we have at our disposal such as messaging, twitter, email, etc. we can offer our unfiltered opinions without a second thought. This happens way too many times with people posting rants and opinions on social media without any care for an ounce of decorum or protocol, or feelings of others.

Relationships and friendships often end over trivial misspoken words that cannot be unsaid.

We have a current climate of discussing important issues in full frontal view of the world and the less than stellar thinking, before saying, on topics and opinions such as women abuse in the entertainment world, and a current president that tweets his every thought not that he’s the only one doing this.

How many times have apologies been issued because the person realized what they said was an emotional outburst and not the right thing to say.

There is a great saying about communication, ‘Words do not mean, rather people do’!

Words are just words, they have in themselves no meaning or power. The person speaking gives the word meaning and power because of their intention or use of the word. Moreover, it’s the motivation for saying what you’re saying, how you say it, and why you say it that gives the feeling behind the words spoken!

Sometimes people say things because they believe it’s the right thing to say, or they’re justified in saying it in the moment, but it may do more harm than good if the receiver of the message is not ready or able to accept what is being said to them.

Furthermore, sometimes people say things sarcastically, or use it for humor but those listening perceive the message differently and are taken aback by what was said.

With social media; Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Messenger etc., the problem is people are posting messages quickly, randomly and while at work or functions (under stressful situations), and they’re either not getting the proper intended message out, or putting too much out there and end up insulting others.

The problem with using email and social media to deliver your message is you lose the feeling or the non-verbal signs often associated with a face-to-face discussion. The person receiving the message cannot read your message in the context of your body language or facial expression.

Texting, online social media, etc., has the danger to make you come off as sounding rude, ignorant, uncaring or callous when all along you never intended it to be so.

You may be putting your “foot in your mouth” and not even aware you’re doing it!

Since texting is so new and all age groups are using it and it encourages the sharing of instant and in the moment thoughts, it undermines effective communication plus there are no real ‘set’ protocols in place for how to ‘text’ or ‘Tweet’ messages properly.

For more about controlling your texting and those of your kids check out the article we wrote about this at the link posted below in the resource section.

This article isn’t about effective communication as there are plenty of smarter and more qualified folks than I to help you in that department. But there are some simple things you can do to help you overcome “foot in mouth” disease.

So, let’s look at a few…

 

6 SIMPLE WAYS TO OVERCOME ‘FOOT IN MOUTH’ DISEASE:

Stop sign saying underneath think before speakOne of the keys to not putting your foot in your mouth is to think before you speak. The other one is to think of the medium you’re going to use to deliver the message before pushing that “submit” button.

It all comes down to, as one article I read on the topic said, pushing your “mental pause button.”

1. Write a Letter:

In the days of writing letters to people we had time to think about the words and chose them carefully. There wasn’t the stress to get our remarks out there quickly or give our opinion or advice fast. While certainly, you could still say the wrong things in letters going snail mail we were as a society less likely to fall into the instant opinion quotes.

There is still a place for letters. Letters are personal and in themselves say more about you and your thoughts and convey caring about the delivered message and how it will be interpreted. In difficult times and when delivering a hard message, it can still be the most appropriate medium to use.

2. Wait 24-Hours:

There is also the wait 24-hours method.

When you feel emotionally charged about responding in a negative manner then wait 24-hours and see how you feel about it in the “clear light of day.”

Sometimes we feel differently about a topic by sleeping on it, or learn something new soon after that puts things in a totally different perspective. The wait may not alter your opinion but it could change the words you choose to respond to somebody or some topic.

3. Send a Thoughtful Email:

So, there’s nothing wrong with using email. But it should be composed in the same thoughtful manner as you would when writing a letter to somebody. It’s not a substitute for a face-to-face chat about a difficult subject or a way to argue about a topic.

My rule is if it takes more than 2 emails to offer or explain information, or a perspective about a topic, then a different medium should be used. Never try and argue over email – it’s a poor medium for this. I also put forum responses in same category, and even more so, because forum responses are there for the world to see… in many cases for ever!

4. Pick Up the Phone:

What’s a phone?

Seriously, difficult or complicated information messages warrant picking up the phone and calling an individual. While you could still say something on the phone you regret later the fact is, because of the medium, the discussion is usually more deliberate and less impulsive.

So, providing you approach the call in a positive manner you lessen the chance of being misunderstood or blurting out something without engaging your brain first!

5. Up Close and Personal:

Face-to-face remains the best way of hearing and understanding the spoken word. It’s not always possible I know but it’s the best filter and to understand the context of what is said and how it’s said. Body language and facial expressions communicate so much – yes, there is a nice way using expressions to say something difficult.

It still requires a filter for sure. But misunderstandings can be cleared up quickly or clarification on what was said and why. You get a chance to review the reaction and pick up on the impact of what you said immediately and correct even if once uttered it’s out there.

6. Hypnosis:

If you’re an individual who sounds off first then thinks later, consider hypnosis.

If you’re guilty of often being misunderstood or over-reacting, then hypnosis can help by putting you in a frame of mind to hesitate and take time before speaking your mind! It can automate your “mental pause button.”

A qualified hypnotist can implant in your unconscious mind post-hypnotic suggestions which will help deter you to act and speak before engaging brain! Most hypnotherapists will be able to help but if one is not local to you then there are resources available to achieve the same result through self-hypnosis.

For more suggestions on thinking before reacting, and speaking before you think, check out the links for further reading in the resource section below. If you want to consider working directly with me through my online and in-office sessions then check out my Special Hypnosis Services here.

Each of these simple ways can help in different circumstances. So, no one way is the best in all situations. But at least you know now you don’t have to be stuck with the “foot in mouth” disease. If you do, then you made a choice to be trapped in that bad spot.

 

CONCLUSIONS:

Foot-in-Mouth disease happens when you’re inclined to speak before you think and regret it almost immediately, wishing to take the words back or be able to make amends in another way. Unfortunately, once you’ve spoken the damage is done and remorse sets in and a desire to avoid repeating the same mistake in the future.

Our use of technology and desire to offer an opinion to an individual, or group, fast these days, overtakes our sense of empathy with others leading to a poor choice of words and how we say it. Words in themselves do not having meaning or hurt, it’s us who give power to words.

However, there are ways to overcome this tendency pf putting your foot-in-mouth before engaging your brain, and if it’s a common trait in you then this article discusses 6 simple ways to help with avoiding this “disease.”

One of these ways is hypnosis, as it can help you train your brain to pick up on and respond to your environment so that you can communicate naturally yet appropriately. Check out this hypnosis session to see if it can help you here >>>

 

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES RELATED TO THINK BEFORE YOU SPEAK:

Think Before Reacting – TinnyBuddha >>>

Become an Effective Communicator – Erika Slater CH >>>

Speaking Before You Think: Foot-In-Mouth Syndrome in Committed Relationships -Psychology Today >>>

 
Erika Slater CH
Free At Last Hypnosis
Massachusetts

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Why Finding Your Passion or Purpose Can Leave You Frustrated and Depressed… and What to Do Instead

By Erika Slater
Grow through what you go through quote

Grow through what you go through quote

If you’ve traveled far enough along the self-development track and listened to a few of the gurus who use this train as their journey for you – pun intended – then sooner or later they’ll talk about finding your passion and purpose.

Well, are you ready for an alternative view on this?

Forget trying to find any of these!

Recently I wrote a post about exploding the myth of finding your purpose , and so today I’m going to the do something similar for finding your passion.

Golly gee Erika, what right have you to do this, and what makes you think you know more than all those millionaire gurus who have thousands, if not millions, of followers to their name?

First, it’s not just me saying this but people much smarter than I on this topic.

Additionally, there are folks who do recognize their purpose and passion early on and follow it for the rest of their lives. But… and it’s a big but… did they find it, or did it find them? Were they searching for it, or did it just… happen naturally.

Do you really think Mozart at age 7 when he wrote his first music had spent years trying to work out his life purpose? Nope.

These smart folks who’ve studied the topic suggest for most of us our passion for something “grows” on us and this is what we’ll discuss today and ways of replacing this search for passion with focusing on something else that’ll help lead to passion and purpose.

You may also ask as I’m a hypnotherapist why do I care?

Well aside from the fact I’m curious, I’ve notice in many clients I see who attain their change through hypnosis, those who have a clear sense of passion and purpose then making significant positive changes in their life is helpful to them with clarity around their purpose(s).

Let’s begin our journey together by exploring what the terms passion and purpose mean in this context…

 

PASSION AND PURPOSE:

Embrace life's purposes quotePassion, in the context of emotion, “is a feeling of intense enthusiasm towards or compelling desire for someone or something. Passion can range from eager interest in or admiration for an idea, proposal, or cause; to enthusiastic enjoyment of an interest or activity; to strong attraction, excitement, or emotion towards a person.” [Wikipedia]

For this article we’ll leave “affairs of the heart” out and focus instead on activities and interests and things as it relates to passion.

Merriam-Webster dictionary defines purpose as: “something set up as an object or end to be attained: intention.” [Merriam-Webster] I don’t know about you but that sounds too general for me. So, let’s turn to Frederick Buechner who said: “Purpose is the place where your deep gladness meets the world’s needs.” [Wikipedia] I think this better gets at purpose in our context.

As I researched this topic I noticed that folks use the terms passion and purpose interchangeably. I’d argue this is wrong as they’re distinct from each other.

You can feel passionate about something without it being a purpose in your life.

For example, I love watching the Boston Red Sox play baseball and some would say I’m passionate about them as a team. But it doesn’t hook-up to any purpose in my life. So, if they lose the game I’m watching I’ve not that devastated about my life – well, not for long.

Being passionate about something doesn’t always mean its enjoyable either. For example, a High School teacher may be passionate about their topic but teaching High School kids can be hard and far from enjoyable at times. Taking an interest about a topic you’re passionate about can also take a lot of time and effort to get to a higher level during which time your passion can wane.

My point here is you may have multiple passions in your life and some of them may be interests and hobbies, but that doesn’t mean they have to hook-up to a life purpose.

Purpose on the other hand is different. If you have purposes in your life then you should also be passionate about them. After all, it would be a hard slog through life if the purposes you choose to pursue, you weren’t passionate about and found them enjoyable most of the time.

So, now we’ve “cut ourselves some slack” haven’t we?

We’ve defined passion and purpose and discussed the differences, and said its okay to be passionate about things without it being linked to a life purpose. But when we have purposes in our life then we’ll know because we’ll also feel passion for this purpose.

Now the hard part… how do we find our passion and purpose?

 

FINDING YOUR PASSION AND PURPOSE:

Stop searching signFirst of all, stop searching for passion. Passion isn’t something you find. It’s not like you’re doing a chore one day at home, or out for a walk with your dog, and suddenly you see fireworks and hear a thunderclap and there it is right in front of your eyes or in your head… you’ve discovered your passion!

Passion develops and grows usually from an interest. It’s not like its hiding from you.

It may take a while to grow and it most likely needs some cultivation. There’s no need to rush headlong into an interest to find out if you’re passionate about it. It will develop naturally.

You’re not born with your passion and the rest of your life is spent hunting for it.

So, can you have multiple passions? The answer is of course yes.

Now, certainly you’ll have different intensities of passion for activities and interests. For those you feel an intense passion for and can’t wait to “work on them” then this may be signaling a link to a life purpose to you. See where it goes.

So, what about purpose?

I’m not going to question anybody’s belief system here. We’re taught we’ve all been put on this planet for a purpose and so we’re encouraged to “find our purpose.” Again, this is a pursuit guru’s have expensive systems to help you find your purpose.

If you feel this will help you then go ahead and follow this road.

If it’s more of a spiritual quest for you, then also follow this road.

I subscribe, and suggest you look at an alternative to finding one purpose, and that’s to having multiple purposes in your life. I’d even say they may come and go, and morph into different purposes.

I’ve seen people invest years into what they thought was their purpose in life only one day to realize it’s not making them happy. Unfortunately, for these people they end up frustrated or even depressed as they feel they’re back at square one and can’t recover the time.

Don’t do this to yourself.

Instead, be open to new interests and activities and give them time to grow. Help cultivate them by taking those you have a passion for develop naturally with some attention and focused pursuit. As you make this journey pursuing your interests and passions then some will most likely develop into purposes.

If they don’t morph into one big purpose don’t despair but instead let me blossom into multiple purposes and bring joy both to you and others, then you’ll be closer to what Frederick Buechner was getting at with his definition of purpose… naturally.

Hypnosis is a tool that can help you to relax and open your mind to feeling more comfortable around pursing passion and purpose.

While I wouldn’t suggest one hypnosis session will uncover your purpose in life, it can help spur your powerful unconscious mind into helping you. As for some it can be a frustrating pursuit especially if attempts have been made to discover purpose and met with dead-ends, then hypnosis can help to quiet the mind of negative thoughts and instead open up to new avenues of passions and purposes.

If you’re interested in working directly with me on a specific issue related to stopping you get what you want in life then check out my online and In-office Special Hypnosis Services here.

Whatever you decide, the journey of your life should be enjoyable and full of discovery.

 

CONCLUSIONS:

Passion and purpose are often confused as the same thing but this is wrong. You can be passionate about many interests and activities but these don’t necessarily link to a life purpose you feel destiny has in store for you.

Passion isn’t something to find because its hiding. It’s not. It wasn’t buried at birth waiting for you to dig it up one day and exclaim eureka! Pursue interests and activities and let the passion grow naturally. Consider being passionate about many things and not just one interest in the hope this will lead to your single purpose in life.

Consider you’ll have many purposes in life and not just one. While for each purpose you’ll be passionate about it, accept each passion will not lead you to a life purpose. Be open to enjoyment in your life and, as the movie title suggests, “the pursuit of happiness.”

If you need some help in discovering answers around purpose then check out this self-hypnosis session to tap into your unconscious mind to help discover the meaning of your life here >>>

 

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES RELATED TO PASSION OR PURPOSE:

Finding Your Life Purpose – Jack Canfield >>>

Get Your Life Priorities Straight – Busting the Purpose Myth – Erika Slater >>>

Stop Trying to Find Your Passion – Video >>>

Library of Self-Hypnosis Downloads Products >>>

 
Erika Slater CH
Free At Last Hypnosis
Massachusetts

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How to Strengthen Your Resilience, Perseverance and Grit to Get Success in Your Life

By Erika Slater
Goethe quote about perseverance

Goethe quote about perseverance

When discussing success and achievement, often time you’ll hear words like resilience and perseverance used to describe qualities associated with, or necessary for, one to be successful in attaining goals.

These may be business or life goals or both.

In recent articles I’ve covered Goals and Getting Your Life Priorities Straight and the Importance of Resilience in Overcoming Life Challenges but today I wanted to discuss with you the need for Perseverance in the overall life equation for success, and especially how it relates to its twin sister of Resilience.

Now people may get the terms resilience and perseverance confused as they’re usually paired together when discussing the ingredients for successful living especially for entrepreneurs.

Even though they’re needed in the equation for success, they’re different, but go hand in hand. Most recently, the term Grit has entered the vocabulary.

Let’s start by looking at a few definitions to level the playing field…

 

DEFINITIONS FOR PERSEVERANCE AND RESILIENCE AND GRIT:

Breaking Through Barriers ConceptPerseverance in a nutshell means keeping on keeping going, staying the course, not giving up!

No matter how many difficulties, obstacles or delays you face on your road to achieving your goals or dreams, you ‘persevere’ – you keep on going to the finish line!

To persevere means taking a ‘no giving up approach’, no matter how tough things may get.

Your dream or goal is all you can focus your mind on, and you’ll do whatever it takes to get there. You could say it’s akin to willpower in you resist the temptation to give up when barriers appear.

People also use the word steadfastness in describing this characteristic.

Resilience on the other hand is the ability to rebound, bounce back or recover from difficulties you may have experienced in your life. It’s about being able to manage and adapt to the situation, or stress, and want to plow on, forge ahead.

Often times there’s a toughness you possess that allows you to recover faster than most, and gets you back into living life the fullest or pursuing your dreams.

When you live with a sense of resilience, you live with a sense of purpose, and a drive to get to what you want.

Even though you have resilience, it’s the ‘perseverance’ component that makes you want to get back in the game and never give up chasing your dreams.

When you possess perseverance, you lock onto your goal like a heat-seeking missile.

No matter how challenging the obstacles or roadblocks look, you’re committed to chasing down your dream(s) because quitting isn’t an option, or at least that’s how you’re wired to believe.

Finally, grit is all about sustaining effort towards your long-term goals. It’s all about self-control and being able to sacrifice short-term gratification. To me it’s a subtle difference from perseverance, which requires grit to sustain and persevere.

When people are down, discouraged or even suffering from mental health issues or addictions, they may have greater difficulties in persevering, that is seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. Mental health issues or sudden ‘tragedies’ one may experience in life have a harsh way of derailing a person from achieving their goals and dreams.

For some, they give up at this point.

To be different requires mindset changes and exercising the perseverance and resilience muscles.

 

PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER AND GETTING WHAT YOU NEED FOR SUCCESS:

Diverging road one leading to growth mindset and other to fixed mindsetThe major difference between those who manage to keep going despite adversity and major challenges is their… mindset.

People who are able to persevere because they possess resilience, view challenges or barriers as opportunities, or view them as setbacks to allow them to make comebacks. They view these as occasions to overcome ‘tests’ in order to share their testimonies for success.

If you’re lacking in both perseverance and resilience then sooner of later one will take you out of the game.

But while your environment, either in the past or current, can cause your mindset to lack both, or one of these traits, they can be learnt.

You weren’t born with either characteristic and so if you recognize it as a deficiency then you can change. But it won’t happen overnight – be in it for the long-term and you’ll automatically grow the trait of perseverance.

But telling yourself or somebody else to persevere and get to your goal despite everything that could stop you is just words. We tend to be lazy and look for “short cuts” or give up quickly when we realize “this is going to take work.”

Mindset is the key to change.

One study conducted in England showed developing strategies to overcome being stuck and “dealing positively with challenges” changed the words kids used to feel about an issue. For example, before implementing strategies negative words such as “frustrated, angry, confused, nervous, worried, and sad” were used to describe feelings of being stuck.

After implementing strategies that overcame being stuck, the kids in the study, though still exposed to the same challenges, described their issues more positively using words such as “surprised, satisfied, tired, happy, and relieved.”

You can read more about this study with kids in a school environment in the resource section below where I’ve included a link.

But what does a study done in England with school kids have to do with you exercising your perseverance and resilience muscles?

Well, it teaches us if you think differently about a problem – or let’s call this mindset (or re-framing if you prefer that term)- then you’re more likely change your outcomes. So, even though this was a “lab” environment so to speak, and the problems may have been small, nonetheless the exercise is relevant to the wider world and longer time frames.

One of the qualities of a positive mindset is “belief.” Having belief in your abilities helps overcome those thoughts, and labels put on you by others of “you’ll never amount to anything.” For example maybe you’re trying to learn a new skill and its going to take a long time – a different language as an adult – and it’ll be difficult and not come easy.

A person with a fixed mindset that views their abilities as limited is more likely to quit when the going gets tough – geez after all mastering English is hard enough, right? But those who’ve developed a growth mindset welcome the opportunity to learn something new, and accept it won’t be easy but believe they’re in control of their own ability, and can learn and improve, and this is the key to their success through perseverance and resilience.

You can read more about the importance of mindsets in the link to an article in the resource section below.

If you’re lacking in the resilience and/or perseverance department, then hypnosis may be a great option for you to consider.

It can help you retrain your thinking and help rid the obstacles you perceive standing in your way and hindering you from getting the success you deserve.

Hypnosis can help retrain your mind and remove old negative thinking patterns, and replace them with new, positive ways of thinking. Instead of seeing road blocks and reasons to give up, hypnosis can recreate your thoughts to give you every reason why you should not give up. Resilience and mental toughness are two topics included in my own online and in-office Special Hypnosis Services Programs.

 

CONCLUSIONS:

Perseverance, resilience and grit are traits used to describe people who seem to be able to achieve their outcomes despite odds being stacked against them. But these traits are developed, or not, over time, and so if lack of these characteristics of your personality is stopping you reaching your success then changing your mindset will help you exercise and develop these “muscles.”

Develop a growth mindset to focus on learning to expand your abilities and think positively as challenges and opportunities arise, instead of a fixed mindset that gets stuck in negative self-talk on all the reasons why you can’t overcome barriers to get the outcomes you want and deserve.

If you change nothing, nothing will change.

Resilience and perseverance are traits of a confident person and if you’re interested in more information about my own confidence and self-esteem hypnosis program then click here or contact me here.
Enjoy!

 

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES TO HELP STRENGTHEN YOUR RESILIENCE:

Sorting Out Resilience, Perseverance and Grit >>>

Get Your Life Priorities Straight – Busting the Purpose and Goals Myth – Erika Slater >>>

The Importance of Resilience in Overcoming Life Challenges: Ways to Make it Stronger in You – Erika Slater >>>

Overcoming Addiction to Porn >>>

The Importance of Mindset – Skills You Need >>>

Library of Self-Hypnosis Downloads Products >>>

 
Erika Slater CH
Free At Last Hypnosis
Massachusetts

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Kick Starting your Personal Development and Self-Improvement Journey

By Erika Slater
Writing on blackboard saying if you change nothing - nothing will change

Writing on blackboard saying if you change nothing - nothing will change

Have you ever heard of the term ‘Personal Development?

Perhaps you view it as some cliché term or business concept.

In the past its been used “ad nauseam” for anything labelled under ‘bettering’ oneself for personal growth, and also in the business world as companies hope to bring out the best in their employees.

Regardless if its cliché or a business term the fact is most individuals need to work on their personal development to get out of their ruts, or entanglement of negative lifestyles.

Whether you’re reading this because you’ve decided to embark on personal development for yourself, or gathering information on what to expect on the “road to success” my aim is to give you some pointers towards your possible next steps.

But first let’s take a quick look at some hurdles along the way that could trip you up…

 

HOW PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT CAN FAIL:

Person running in circles going nowhereOften time personal development involves getting rid of the bad habits or even addictions that set you back from becoming your best self.

Most of us know we have to make changes in our lives, and wish we could, but often wait for change to come to us, or believe we’ll wake up one morning and magically be the person we’ve always wanted to be.

Unfortunately, that’s not how the real-world works!

Getting to the best “you” takes hard work, and sometimes professional guidance. Psychologists, Hypnotherapists and Life Coaches can all help people make significant changes in their life.

But you have to be a willing volunteer and not a passive bystander.

While the term personal development seems to imply it’s all up to you – and to a certain extent this is true – the fact is your environment can provide a barrier. Family and friends can keep you “running on the spot.”

Past negative thinking can easily slip into the work you’re doing to change, especially when life gets hard and throws a curve ball at you when you’re at your most vulnerable. Difficult as it may seem, when you change your life you’ll end up changing a lot of your friends. “Friends” who rather than support you in change want to preserve “you” in where “they” are today.

If you’re easily distracted from your goals in the past then this can be another stumbling block in your future. There are plenty of excuses out there to avoid meeting goals or changing a habit.
Another environmental aspect that could impact your success is what else are you going through at the moment?

Is there a crisis in your life you need to attend to first?

I’ve consulted with people who want to quit smoking but have more pressing issues they need to take care of first. Attempting to quit before this core issue is resolved would be a barrier for failing to quit.

There are many other things that can trip you up during your road to a “better you.” While most self-improvement gurus will tell you none of these should stop you if you have a “big why”, the fact is they often do: lack of money, wrong mindset or attitude, easily distracted or lack of focus, lack of commitment, health issues both physical and mental, obligations to others.

Wow! You might say likely most of us have a few from this list junking up our mind. It’s a wonder anybody reaches their “best self?”

You’re most likely to succeed at what you want if you recognize your strengths and weaknesses up front. We all have blind-spots and egos that get in our way, and some of these can be earmarked to work on as part of your personal development journey.

Enough on our own-making “minefields”, let’s move onto how to make it work for you…

 

THE BEST INVESTMENT YOU CAN MAKE IS IN YOURSELF:

Invest in yourself message appearing behind a torn out paper windowIt can’t be argued the best investment you can make is in yourself. Not get rich schemes or stock investments or the lottery… but in yourself.

Look at investments that’ll improve your overall psychological/mental quality of life.

In order for personal development to work you first have to identify what you want to change in your life, or decide what type of individual you’d like to become. Examples can be creating or developing new attitudes, behaviors and values.

It’s okay to have some career or job goals in mind but remember to have a balanced life. All work and no play….

If you’re at the beginning of your journey then its worthwhile to remind yourself the benefits of Personal Development and I’ve included a link in the resource section below to cover some basic benefits for you.

Personal development is an inside job, meaning only you can determine what, or who, you’d like to become.

If you’re changing for others, your attempts at personal development and character trait changes aren’t most likely going to be successful or sticky. You should never change for another person, only for yourself!

There are ‘life-skill’ coaches who can literally coach you on helping you become the person you would like to be. They guide you on how to gain self-confidence, project a better version of you, help you overcome bad habits, help you improve on your time management skills, and teach you to become more aware of who you are already, and what you would like to become.

Some folks looking to improve on their personal development may actually see a psychologist to provide the same kind of ‘coaching’. Just remember the aim of a psychologist or life coach isn’t to tell you what to do. They’ll make suggestions but the final decision is up to you. Whereas a mentor is there to guide you on a path you agree with them to help you with.

It’s a fine distinction but make sure expectations are set if you’re going to invest in a life coach or psychologist. For more on how a Life Coach can help you check out the link in the resource section below.

There are any number of personal development or self-help gurus. One of the bigger name is of course Tony Robbins. Brian Tracy is also a powerhouse in the business personal development world. Before embarking on any of these programs work first on making sure your mindset is right so the help you get doesn’t “gather dust” on a shelf somewhere.

This can’t be an intellectual activity for you, so you’ll need to take action.

If you change nothing…. nothing changes for you.

If you’re looking to do this on your own, it may all be about a change in mindset, attitude and belief system, which can be helped by using hypnosis. Hypnosis techniques such as “pattern interrupt” can help replace bad habits with new positive habits that help in your self growth. I’ve included a link to more information on this in the resource section below.

By using hypnosis, you can modify beliefs you’ve held about yourself by re-working your unconscious mind. Perhaps it’s ‘beliefs’ about yourself that have held you back, thus creating low self-esteem and negative beliefs. If you want to consider working directly with me on your specific need through my online and in-office sessions then check out my Special Hypnosis Services Programs.

Hypnosis can help change these negative underlying thought patterns by reconditioning your unconscious mind and creating new ways for you to perceive yourself.

Within a couple of sessions, you’ll start to take on ‘new attitudes’ about who you are because your unconscious mind is no longer fixated on the negative ‘who you used to be’.

 

CONCLUSIONS:

Personal development and self-improvement is a lifelong journey. Recognize they’ll be many hurdles and obstacles during that journey that can distract you. Most of these miss-steps will be self-inflicted.

Working on yourself first before buying into expensive programs is key to having the right mindset, attitude and belief system, and avoiding old habits and thought patterns you possess getting in the way.

Consider getting professional help during the early stages. Help can be a Life Coach and/or working with a hypnotist.

If you want to sample a self-hypnosis program to kick start your personal development then check out this program here >>>

You’re always just one decision away from success.

 

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES RELATED TO PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT:

What is a Life Coach and What Do They Do for You? >>>

Pattern Interrupt – Breaking the Habit – Erika Slater >>>

What is Personal Development? >>>

How to Reinvent Yourself with Hypnosis For Next Phase of Life >>>

Library of Self-Hypnosis Downloads Products >>>

Erika Slater CH
Free At Last Hypnosis
Massachusetts

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Get Your Life Priorities Straight – Busting the Purpose and Goals Myths

By Erika Slater
Director's chair with concept of directing your own life

Director's chair with concept of directing your own life
Do you have the priorities in your life straight?

Are you doing what you’re supposed to be doing, that is the important things you should be doing?

Perhaps you’re wasting your thoughts, time and energy on pointless things that are robbing you of your productivity to do great things, or get the most out of your life.

Too many people today are skipping to the tune of others’ expectations.

Individuals are spending so much of their time sacrificing their dreams or goals for others, or to meet the needs of others, they neglect their own desires and core dreams.

Are you someone who’s put aside your life priorities because someone set their own on you?

First of all, this isn’t yet another self-improvement piece about finding your life’s purpose or setting your long-term goals to fulfill that purpose… and then you die. There’s plenty of books and courses out there that may help you do that if that’s what you need.

For most of us these are myths sold by gurus and just frustrate us so I’ll offer some alternatives to you and give you my thoughts for eliminating the clutter of priorities that can get in the way of your life priorities.

Let’s begin, though, by discussing what things can get in your way of setting those priorities…

 

LIVING YOUR LIFE BY PROXY AND HAPPENSTANCE:

bad day happened to woman feeling sad and unhappy what went wrongMost people have difficulties getting their priorities straight.

They either don’t know what they want, or they’re too vague when it comes to being precise or flexible for their goals.

Often times, people set priorities as they go along, changing them in mid-stream, compromising them for the needs of others, or tossing them aside when they become frustrated or bored with their lives.

When you do this your priorities become based on a ‘getting by’ mentality whereby you really don’t put passion or desire into them.

When it comes to prioritizing ‘things’ or activities in your life, it’s based primarily on perception, attitude and how you choose to respond to situations in your life. With that said, too many people set their priorities by ‘letting life happen’ to them and then choosing to respond.

When you respond out of happenstance, you’re letting only current circumstances dictate how you’re to live your life, rather than actively engaging life and setting the ground rules. It’s the classic “tail wagging the dog.”

When this happens, you’re living ‘by proxy’ in that you react to life, or you let others determine how and what you’re going to do. In essence, they’re doing your thinking for you.

Many of us are given the task to figure out what we want to do with our lives in high school. Effectively, deciding in your late teens what career you’ll choose, whether you’ll go to college, and if you do what your degree major will be. Would you, as James Altucher says, “put your life today in the hands of a 20-year old?

There’s empirical evidence that most of us will change careers at least seven times during our lives. So, the chances most of us have any real idea what our passion or purpose in life is, during our college years, is remote.

If you’re read any self-improvement book and/or gone to the mega rallies of self-help gurus then to a tee, they’ll discuss figuring out your life purpose so you can set goals and priorities in support of that purpose.

To some people this “life purpose” is there almost from birth. They have a passion for music and so their purpose is to join a band and entertain by brightening up people’s lives. Or they want to be a Doctor and help make people better. This is their passion and purpose and their priorities are set after high school: college, med school, residency, etc.

Unfortunately, there are more that struggle to grasp their purpose in life. Even at 40-years or 50-years of age their life purpose eludes them. And this bugs them because the world, and army of gurus, have told them they have to figure this out to be happy! OMG!

These means people go through life without “this purpose” and feel empty and aimless. Worse, they struggle to have goals without a purpose and so feel lost.

Time for damage control…

Buying into this purpose bandwagon isn’t the answer. There’s an alternative approach.

 

GETTING YOUR LIFE PURPOSES, GOALS AND PRIORITIES STRAIGHT:

Life of purposes saying written on chalkboardDon’t agonize over searching for the meaning of your life and its purpose. Your life has many purposes and much meaning not just one that everything must synthesize or relate to.

If you really think about it and set an intention you can “save a life every day.”

I’m not talking about super-hero activities here, but helping somebody by doing an errand for them.

Or brightening up somebody’s day by complimenting them on something they did that otherwise goes unrecognized. Showing gratitude to somebody.

You don’t know what folks are going through everyday and should never assume because outwardly they seem happy and contented, inside they are, and so don’t need a kind word.

A kind word can “save a life.”

You may have family or a special needs child that requires your support, but this doesn’t mean you can‘t also have a purpose to educate others with an expertise you’ve acquired, or been trained to share.

There may be volunteer work you’re involved in, or as an entrepreneur starting a business and providing work and jobs to others. Maybe you’re a entertainer or writer and can use your talents to create assets you can pass onto family or donate during your lifetime or in your will.

It’s time to look at your life as a chain of purposes you can recognize through your life. Focusing on finding one purpose in life means you’ll pass up opportunities to have multiple ones, because you’ll always be wondering if this is the “one” or should I wait until I know for sure? Spoiler Alert: You only have today so don’t wait… go for it!

Have an avalanche of purposes! (I’ve provided a link to a supporting view of this concept in the resource section below.)

So, your priorities should be based on your purposes along with values and principles you set for yourself, and not by others.

A word about values and principles…

Most of the values and principles you hold sacred were taught to you, or handed down by your parents, or role models.

Unfortunately, if they didn’t set good priorities for themselves and neglected to teach you what was really important in life, then you most likely may struggle with getting your own priorities straight.

When this happens, it’s most likely you may either, not take setting priorities properly, or letting others determine what will be deemed as most important for you. Let your purposes guide your life priorities and your goals.

Now a word about goals…

Firstly, I do believe in goals. I have run workshops on them and anybody working in business, either as a entrepreneur, or a corporate employee, knows goals get you to a target and are good for business and your career!

But when it comes to personal goals there’s growing evidence that focusing solely on outcomes invariably means, when you attain those goals you may not get the happiness in life you thought you’d get. (You can find the link to an article elaborating on this in the resource section below.)

Here’s an excerpt from the article referencing a study on weight loss – a topic I’m intimate with and follow for my clients…

“… If you’ve ever dieted, the findings of this study won’t surprise you: when participants who wanted to lose weight slipped up, they were more likely to say ‘I blew it’… and have another piece of cake. But when those who focused on the process of eating more healthily gave into temptations they were more likely to compensate afterwards. As a result, the people who focused less on their goal were more likely to meet it.

This isn’t saying don’t have goals… but what it does say is… don’t focus on them. Once you’ve set the intent of your goal then put blinders on and focus on the process and not the outcome.

This goes against the conventional wisdom of visualizing the outcome of your goal or posting a picture on your fridge of the weight you want to be.

Life priorities – not daily – have to take into account your purposes and goals, and not those of others. You’ll not easily be able to shed work commitments of bosses but be frugal with doing things for others you deem as an obligation.

Only when you’ve begun to connect the dots together can you begin to set priorities to achieve your goals

This is all your choice.

If you want to consider working directly with me on your life priorities and goals, or a more specific issue, through my online and in-office sessions, then check out my Special Hypnosis Services Programs.

I wrote a post recently I’ve linked to in the resources section below. This article will provide more help in setting expectations as you work through your own potential, and any gaps you may think you have, as this thinking will muddy the waters of recognizing your purposes and priorities.

 

CONCLUSIONS:

There are a number of moving parts I’ve discussed today: purposes, priorities, and goals. Let me try and tie it all together for you.

Ideally, your life priorities start with your purposes.

If your life purpose hasn’t appeared to you before college or even before 60-years of age don’t fret. Instead, accept you’ll have many purposes in life and this will make for a richer and more rewarding one anyway.

Pick up purposes as you go through life through: family, friends, causes, volunteer, business, personal hobbies, etc. Many of these will not only enrich your life but those of others you touch.

You may have specific goals attached to each purpose and this is fine but just make sure you don’t focus on the outcomes only, and end up dropping a “purpose” because you were too confining with the goals attached to a purpose.

Setting your life priorities becomes much easier when your purposes and supporting goals are in alignment. They become the beacons by which you make choices and help set your life priorities.

If you need help setting life priorities so you can focus on what’s important to you then check out this self-hypnosis session to help stop wasting your time here >>>

 

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES RELATED TO LIFE PRIORITIES:

Why We Should All Give Up On Goals Already – BBC >>>

Mind the Gap – Moving to the Right Side of Your Potential Gap – Erika Slater >>>

Your Life Serves More Than One Purpose – Odyssey >>>

Library of Self-Hypnosis Downloads Products >>>

 
Erika Slater CH
Free At Last Hypnosis
Massachusetts

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