The inability to say "no" or handle negative feedback are often the result of conditional love.
What is conditional love
Someone who is very close to you, like your life partner or parents, keeps giving you the feeling that you have to behave in a certain way or achieve certain results to deserve to be loved. They punish you by (playing to) taking their love away if you do not comply.
It´s emotional blackmail and very unhealthy as it harms a person severely and haunts them for the rest of their lives - or until they take action to remove the damage.
What are the effects of conditional love?
Very often victims of conditional love also have enormous problems in their careers. They take criticism personally, and it´s devastating for them. After all, they have been conditioned to believe that they are only worth being loved if they fulfill the conditions. When they were young criticism used to be very personal.
If you criticize anything about them, they understand: I say "no" to you. I don´t love you. You´re no good.
Consequently, they fear that if they say "no" they might lose the person they reject. And they think they hurt the other person way worse than they actually do.
I have been exposed to conditional love by my parents as well. Probably because I started reading pretty heavy (intellectual) books at the age of 9, it could not harm me in that way. I understood that someone was trying to manipulate me and that it was to my disadvantage.
But I showed an adverse reaction too. I did not listen to authority and orders. I investigated every order and everything someone told me:
- what´s their motivation
- what´s their agenda
- does it make sense
Only if I was ok with the motive, I did or accepted something. You can imagine that this is not a great attitude when it comes to attending school. I did not attend classes I felt made no sense. At the age of 12, I stopped having notebooks.
I always had the reputation of being very intelligent; that´s probably why the school never called the police on me for staying away. I don´t think that this is the case by the way. When you ask a lot of questions, you are automatically perceived as intelligent.
Learn to say "no."
As you all know, I do not believe in psychologists very much. I do believe in neuroscience. While you were exposed to conditional love, neural networks have formed in your brain.
Our brain has the job to protect us from harm and pain. It tells us to remove ourselves from dangerous situations (danger = can hurt or kill). That applies to emotional pain as well.
So if our boss tells us "You did not do that task right," in most cases all he means is: "You did not do that task right." But you might react as back then when you were a kid. When "not right" meant = you do not deserve my love.
That might cause you to overreact in a way that can lead to a problematic situation and disadvantages.
The best thing about our brain and the neural networks is: They might be stubborn, but they can be retrained. At any age.
I do not need to tell you that it is necessary and healthy to say "no." The intellectual part of your brain knows that. Just you react before you have the chance to evaluate a particular situation.
Nobody who loves you will stop loving you for rejecting a task or being of a different opinion. In your career, as a grown up, you are expected to set boundaries and signal when you cannot take on additional tasks.
People who cannot take criticism well or create drama are not very well received. So if you feel that your individual situation can be improved - get started right away. The damage of being exposed to conditional love can be reversed. Feel free to contact me for support.
Check if one of those applies to you:
- Criticism hurts me deeply
- I often do things for others I don´t want to do
- I take on extra tasks I do not want to do
- Sometimes I think "Why did I say that?/Do that?"
- Saying "no" is very hard for me
Many more helpful posts can be found in the blog archive (on the side), and you can also use the "search" function.
You can learn more about the impact and long-term consequences of pain on your brain in this free training: http://phoenix.braindiamonds.com
We all have one. You have one. I have one. Even my pet bunny has one. I am talking about
The Basic Motive
To know your basic motive can be like finding the holy grail.
It´s the epiphany. Enlightenment.
Because it makes you understand your key driver. What motivates you, what inspires you and makes you shine sometimes. And at the same time is a source of your problems.
Coming back to my pet bunny: In his case it´s easy. Food. Well, it´s a bunny. Bunny's are known for ...... and for loving food.
I love to eat too but my basic motive is of a different nature.
What is the basic motive
What I mean is the key driver that we align our decisions, our thinking and our actions with.
An example of a basic motive is security. Many people try to always be safe. Not risk anything. "Never change a running system". "A bird in the hand is worth two in the bushes".
Sadly, the price for security is liveliness.
Another basic motive is control. Not my personal favorite. There are loads of people who try to control everyone and everything. That can be exhausting for the people around. If you tell a control freak: "just let go" you will see a painful expression on his face.
Variety is another basic motive. People with this key driver are like butterflies. Bored after 15 seconds they flutter from flower to flower. Or job to job...relationship to relationship. Without ever mastering anything.
To belong to is a basic motive you will find often as well. People with this key driver will not last long on a deserted island and are constantly at risk of losing themselves in the necessities of complying.
There are many more: Harmony, Challenge, Competition, Adventure, Helping, Comfort, Indulgence ... and so on.
If you have already thought about this you probably know your basic motive. If you can guess mine: drop me a note.
A key for a great life is handling your basic motive skillfully:
Find and understand your basic motive (self-awareness)
Understand the danger and negative sides of your key driver (each has some) and handle it in a constructive way (maturity)
Find your place in life where your basic motive is a strength and you can score (fulfillment)
Now, the biggest success blocker, source of your problems and blockages is and will always be fear. Fear plays into any other source of problems I have and will ever describe and offer solutions for.
This post is a tad shorter than normally.....the reason for that is that I am working on another huge post for you: 10 hacks to motivate yourself.
As always I am sending lots of light and my coaching offers are available to anyone in need of support.
Check out my other articles as well: ARTICLES. Or you can dig a bit (archive) - it´s worth it.
I was excited to check out Mind Movies latest release of Matrix because it is speaking about two things you always hear me talking about too: Emotional Intelligence and Neuroscience.
Now, we all know that many products that talk about something do not deliver.
So here is my evaluation of Mind Movies Matrix:
What is Natalie Ledwell´s Matrix?
Mind Movies is on the market for a few years now, and this is the 3rd annual release of Matrix. It´s a transformation program.
Matrix is a multi-sensory success system and comes with a combination of coaching calls, audio, video and sleep meditation audio.
What is new in the 2016 launch is that Morry Zelcovitch, an expert in brain entrainment has worked with Mind Movies on this product. For two years he helped create this latest, very advanced version of Mind Movies. Morry also has collaborated with the Brazilian military to train officers to achieve peak performance. Brainwave entrainment utilizes alpha, theta and delta waves and is a sound technology that is also used in Winning the Game of Money.
The claim is that the technology puts your brain on "autopilot" for success.
The goal is to help you to get rid of any blockages that result from past hurt and negative experience.
What exactly is included in Matrix?
Four new Matrix Mind Movies including brainwave entrainment
- Perfect Partner
Four subliminal Matrix Mind Movies without brainwave entrainment
From my personal experience as a coach (and also as a person) the problem is not how good a product is but how good it is at motivating you long-term to use it. So this is what I am judging here.
You might buy the best treadmill in the world or the worst. Your success will depend on how often you are going to use it.
Many personal development programs have awesome sales pitches and after watching their sales webinar, all you want to scream is: YES, TAKE ME ON THE TRIP, IT ALL MAKES SENSE!
But then they fail at guiding you through the process of transforming. Think of "The Secret" (movie or audio). While especially the movie might be overly simplified, the message and teachings are correct. So why is not everyone who watched the movie and was sold on it a millionaire today? You guessed it.
Just like with learning a new language for most it´s not enough to read a language book if the teacher is not okay.
For a) the quality of the material and b) the ability to help you see it through I rate this program a 9/10
If I had to say if the program appeals more to women or men I would have to say: women. For men I recommend to also check out NeuroGym (see below). Please note that I was speculating to whom it will appeal more. It works for both genders alike.
Other Success Coaching and Transformation Program Reviews:
This list only includes reviews for programs that have scored 8 - 10/10
Neuroscientists discovered how the "soul" can change the body and help to overcome illness. Meditation, yoga, and positive thinking have been seen as "esoteric stuff" for the longest time. They now have a place in conventional medicine.
22 depressive people were part of a study. One man (we´ll call him John) was a family father. During some phases of his illness, he was not able to leave the house for weeks. He just wanted to get rid of the brooding. No more setbacks, that was the goal of the study.
John and the other participants learned and practiced yoga and mindfulness. They tried to appreciate and apprehend the Here and Now. The first exercise was to find out: How is it when I see a raisin? When I feel it, smell it, taste it.
Once a week they had a group meditation and on the other days, they mediated 45 minutes at home.
John (who was a doctor) was very skeptical in the beginning. He believed in conventional medicine, yes; he even felt obliged to stick to it. He never dabbled into meditation and other "esoteric stuff". Now he was sitting in the lotus pose and asked himself: What am I doing here?
The more and the longer he was working with his mind, the more he liked it. "It was the best raisin in my life" he said later.
Meanwhile, he is back to his old job and is not on medication anymore. He meditates every day.
Can mindfulness change your brain?
When he came across an article in "Psychiatry Research" that discussed the study, he was a part of he finally understood. Meditation has changed the biology of his brain.
The brain's electrical activity has been measured before and after the tests. In addition to several neurophysiological tests, the reaction to individual tones had been documented.
The result? In contrast to the participants from the reference group the brains of the participants who trained and practiced mindfulness reacted much stronger to the acoustic stimuli. It learned to not constantly brood so that extra resources could be used on the sounds.
That fits perfectly to what John and the other participants experienced. Many of them felt that they can think clearly again. "Meditation helps to focus and direct attention," said another member. "You do not get lost as often in negative thoughts."
US American psychologist Bethany Kok also researched the healing capabilities of the mind. Her tests were focused on the vagus nerve. It runs from the brainstem all the way through the chest cavity to the gut, and it serves the ear canal, abysm, larynx, lung, stomach, bowel, and heart.
When we breathe in our heart often beats faster than when we breathe out. This difference is the stress condition of the vagus nerve. A high tonus guarantees a regular digestive function, says Bethany Kok. And it is also essential for social contacts. The look into the eyes of someone, the understanding smile, the agreeing nod - all of this is operated by the vagus nerve.
Wouldn´t it be awesome to learn how you can increase the tonus?
With her colleagues at the University of North Caroline, Kok started a 9-week experiment. 65 men and women wrote down the positive and negative feelings and happenings of the day. Half of them in addition to that attending a meditation class.
Bethany Kok presented her findings in "Psychological Science": The vagotonic of the people who meditated had increased.
If we nourish our minds with positive feelings our tonus increases. That is related to better health and could lead to longevity.
It is the mind that builds its body
Said Friedrich Schiller once. More and more neuroscientists learn how right we was.
The mind can change the body.
With that knowledge meditation does not seem all that esoteric anymore, right? Many psychologists and doctors now combine the Buddhist and Hinduistic technique of meditation with conventional medicine.
Why not cure some diseases on the way to nirvana?
Nobody (at least not me .. ) is saying you can just think any disease away. But meditation influences health and it´s a side effect free way of healing that doctors and psychologists do not use often enough.
People would not need conventional treatment for years and years if the medication worked for everyone.
So why is mindfulness not more promoted and recommended?
There is just not as much money in the game. A lot of money is being made if you are ill and on some heavy and expensive prescription drugs. Or visiting a shrink for years. The side effects of most prescription medicaments will make sure that you can hardly leave the system.
What if I told you that you can probably achieve better results side-effect free? At no or low cost. I think it´s worth a shot.
Luckily, neuroscience made the topic more attractive. It´s now booming, and that is perfect for the people. Yoga, mindfulness, tai-chi, qigong - meditation is not limited to religious contexts anymore.
Another excellent resource is leading neuroscientist Mark Waldman's free email series "Enlightenment and the Brain". You can get it by clicking on the link HERE.
I hope you did enjoy part 1/4. The other parts will follow soon.
To sum up what we have learned:
Meditation aids in the healing of the body
Mindfulness is an effective practice
The mind can change the body
Most people can heal depression side-effect free
Here are some additional reads for you and a few tools:
A woman and a man meet at a party. After a few highly enjoyable dates she takes a heart and says: "I love you."
A young teacher finally receives the call she was urgently waiting for. She answers the phone full of joyful expectation: "I am sorry to inform you that we decided for a better-suited applicant."
A father is getting older. His physical impairments bother him. After climbing a few stairs, he asks his son: "Can you help me?"
Do you know what these moments have in common?
They all describe vulnerability.
Whether we need help from others, share our deepest emotions or face rejection. People are vulnerable. We live in a world full of vulnerability and we are faced with situations like this time and time again.
We try to avoid pain
Nobody wants to be vulnerable. We try to prevent moments of vulnerability as good as we can. We wait for the other one to say "I love you". We avoid situations where we might get rejected.
We try not to show our weakness and do not ask for help unless we have to. If we can avoid these situations, we will. Because nobody of us wants to be disappointed or feel rejected. We feel safer when we try to avoid pain. Avoiding pain is a natural reaction.
Alternatively, we try to hide our vulnerability. We pretend something did not touch us. We play it cool.
Or we try to control every uncertainty in our lives. To control and perfect it. And to not allow any more vulnerability into our life.
I recently watched a Ted talk of Brené Brown about vulnerability. She shared her findings from 10 years of research. I learned about Brené Brown through our Story Seekers® program.
I came to an important realisation (for life) that I would like to share with you:
Brené Brown interviews thousands of people and came to a surprising conclusion. The people she interviewed can be categorised like this:
People that feel valuable and loved. They feel deeply connected to others and live a fulfilled life.
People who constantly have to fight for love and the feeling of being connected. People that constantly ask themselves: "Am I enough"
What is surprising is that the main differentiator between the two groups is the level of vulnerability. The people who live a fulfilled live are far more willing to risk being hurt.
What characterizes vulnerable people?
These people have the guts to say "I love you" first. They are not afraid to ask for help. They continue to write applications knowing they might just get more refusals. They dare to present themselves just like they are: imperfect.
It´s not that being hurt pains them less. They just accept it as a normal and necessary part of life. And they believe that what makes us vulnerable is also what makes life beautiful and precious.
To be brave, vulnerable and imperfect. This way of life has another advantage: Others will perceive you as authentic. They feel they know who you really are and that creates trust and connection. It makes it easy to connect with us.
We like authenticity
Freely adapted from Brené Brown: Vulnerability is the source of fear and insecurity. But at the same time, it is seemingly the birthplace of love, connectedness, joy, creativity and luck.
Avoiding vulnerability, therefore, is the wrong attempt if we want to live a fulfilled life.
How to be vulnerable
Perhaps you ask yourself right now: "How are they dong it?" "How do they deal with hurt and accept that they are imperfect and vulnerable?"
Brené Brown found an answer to that as well.
The main difference between the two groups is that the first group has a great feeling of self-worth. That is the secret sauce. They are confident that even though they are imperfect they deserve to be loved.
That allows them to show their vulnerability and accept it as part of life. To be able to allow vulnerability you obviously have to have a healthy amount of self-esteem. And the belief "I am enough."
If you feel that could be a problem for you - do not worry. The feeling of self-worth can be (re)trained and (re)gained. Check out this free extensive webinar (do not let the name fool you - it´s just what you need to raise your confidence and feeling of self-worth).
It pays to allow vulnerability. Be brave and dare to show your imperfection.
Your reward will be love, joy, creativity and deeper connections with other people.
Being vulnerable in the end of the day just means that we are alive.