Interview with Dr. Mark Goulston – Unconditional

You will hear more from me about the incredible Dr. Mark Goulston.Today, I had an interview with him that I consider so valuable that I want to share the goodness with you right away. Interview with Dr. Mark Goulston - Unconditional

Podcast Episode with Dr. Mark Goulston

This week's episode is crowned by the incredible Dr. Mark Goulston.Be prepared: He will tickle your brain and touch your heart.He will share stories that will make most people want to act on the nuggets of wisdom and implement them into their lives.As a best-selling author, business consultant, psychiatrist, social skills expert, his mission is: Helping the world heal - one conversation at a time.In this 1 hour episode, we speak about - Why people are angry and how to deal with them - Dealing with pain and managing your own hurt - An unexpected client - Why he receives letters from inmates and much more.As valuable are the topics we did not speak about but that Mark displayed during this interview: - True vulnerability - The power of gratitude - Depression & Co are nothing to be ashamed ofMark is a contributor to so many publications from Harvard Business Review, Business Insider, Huffington Post, Psychology Today to Fast Company that it would be difficult to list them all.He has appeared on CNN, The Phil Donahue Show, The Today Show and Oprah. After listening to this, you will probably want to learn more about and from Dr. Mark Goulston.His books on Amazon: http://amzn.to/2wrqlLsWebsites: http://markgoulston.com https://www.bizjournals.com/bizjournals/bio/34052/Dr.+Mark+GoulstonThe prison letter series we referred to: On Apple: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/prison-letters-with-dr-mark-goulston/id1265298229?mt=2 On Stitcher: https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/great-love-media/prison-letters-with-dr-mark-goulston On Player.fm: https://player.fm/series/prison-letters-with-dr-mark-goulston 

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6 Signs You Have A Low EQ

6_signs_you_have_a_low_eq
 When artificial intelligence and automation are on the rise, social competence is more important than ever. Cognitive flexibility and a high EQ are competitive advantages - not only for managers and sales people.Emotional intelligence is the set of skills and character traits that most successful people have in common.6 signs you have a low eqI'm sure you know of a few very successful people who don't have extensive technical skills. And I'm sure you also know many people who have incredible technical skills but they are unsuccessful.Many experts say a high EQ is more important for your career than a high IQ. I think a healthy combination of both is desirable.To support the well-being and success of their employees, companies invest more and more in topics such as emotional intelligence, mindfulness, and meditation.If your career is at a standstill, you have more conflicts than your colleagues, or you do not receive a fair amount of recognition for your achievements, you could check if a low EQ could be the reason.The following characteristics are typical for people with potential for increasing their EQ:

6 signs you have a low EQ

    • It is difficult for you to control your emotions. You might say things you later regret or you overreact. Establishing and nurturing positive relationships is difficult for you.
    • People with a low EQ have a lot of conflicts. Often disputes are not constructive and end in deadlocks. The inability to understand the emotions and motivation of the conversation partner and to adapt to the situation leads to misunderstandings.
    • Not being aware of the impact of their own words is another sign of people with a low EQ. They are regularly surprised by the strong reactions of the other person who perceives that as insensitive. "I didn't mean it that way" is a sign of a lack of emotional intelligence. Emotionally intelligent people know the impact of their words.
    • People with low emotional intelligence rarely know why they are sad or angry. They don't understand the trigger for their negative emotions. In business and in life, they often have to repeat unpleasant experiences. "This always happens to me..."
    • They have less influence. It's harder for them to persuade others. Influencing change is difficult when you don't understand the motivation and emotions of someone else.
    • In consequence, they are not good at stress management. They feel stressed easily and the lack of success and problematic relationships further add to the problem.
If you show one or more signs: no worries. It is possible to increase your EQ. The training itself isn't even difficult. Truth be told, to form new habits and for lasting change, you will have to repeat and train for a duration of about nine weeks.The reason for that is that EQ training, in fact, is brain training. Neuronal connections that do not serve us have to be replaced with new ones.While you do not have to invest hours of your time each day, you will have to repeat exercises until information turns to knowledge, knowledge turns to skills and skills turn to habits.
But what are a few weeks if you can wreak in the rewards for the rest of your life? In business and in life.Would you like to learn more about my personal coaching or digital emotional intelligence training? Just click on the call button to request a callback, or drop me an email (EQ at aurorasa dot com).Once a month, I host a free webinar. Just sign up to my newsletter to learn about upcoming webinars.
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5 Natural Ways To Reduce Stress

5 Natural Ways To Reduce Stress

Simple Stress Relief Tools


Stress is everybody’s business. You could think you have it under control, but the truth is that stress has a way of creeping up on you, and causing drastic health repercussions. We live in a hectic world, one which requires our stress hormone, cortisol, to work overtime. However, this is far from the way this hormone was meant to act.

The body’s stress reaction was supposed to be called into play when man’s survival was threatened, not when he or she was 5 minutes late to work. Today, regardless of what your stressor is, you need to find effective natural ways to reduce it. Do not rely on prescription meds, or consider them, as even though they may offer short-term relief, they will make things worse very quickly.

Try the following tips and see yourself better for it:

1. Exercise


Exercise has numerous benefits on physical health, but can also help regulate emotional wellbeing, and reduce the negative results from a stressful lifestyle. Exercise elevated levels of beneficial brain chemicals, known as endorphins, which elevate mood, promote relaxation and counter stress. In addition, exercise also increases testosterone levels, which shares an inverse relationship with cortisol (as one goes up, the other goes down). For best results, exercise a minimum of three times weekly, making sure to include weight bearing exercises.

2. Eat Dark Chocolate


Eating any chocolate makes you feel better, right? However, we’re not looking at milk chocolate varieties, which are loaded with sugar and not much else, but rich dark chocolate, which contains a compound known as epicatechin.

This compound is highly sought after, as it has multiple beneficial effects on improving heart health, brain function and more, but also the ability to reduce the effects of stress, and perceived stress. Perceived stress is defined as a relative level of stress since what affects one person may not affect another. Improving your threshold that causes negative effects is extremely important.

That said, the goodness comes from the cocoa and NOT the sugar. I love cocoa in combination with spice, for instance in sauces.

3. Try A Massage


Why is it that people often opt for massages when feeling stressed? Simple, because it works! Stress is much more than “psychological”, as its effects manifest throughout the body; muscular pain, tension, inability to sleep and much, much more.

A massage can help address some of the manifestations of stress, such as pain and tension. Some massage therapists are also trained in the art of acupressure, which is using focused pressure at specific acupoints in order to get “chi” flowing once more. Chi (or qi) is believed to be life energy, with blockages of it resulting in many maladies that we cannot fully explain. Acupressure isn’t merely wishful thinking, as it has been documented to have a profound effect on reducing stress levels in the real world.

4. Meditate


Meditation should be taught in schools. There is likely no other technique that has a more profound effect on many facets of human health as meditation, yet most people do not practice any sort of.

Meditation does not need to be made into a complex science, but at its core involves focusing the mind on absolutely nothing beyond the immediate present. Anxiety surely worsens your stress burden, and meditation perfectly helps to eliminate worry of the future or past.

5. Laugh And Have A Good Time


The number one enemy of stress is fun. Laughter is the best medicine after all, as it can do miracles, ranging from reducing blood pressure, mediating pain responses, and helping to manage the negative effects of the stress hormone cortisol. Stressed individuals rarely take time out to smile and have fun, which only feeds the flames of a downward spiral. Make time for memories, have fun with family and don’t take yourself too seriously.

Isn't that the best reason to be silly ever?

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6 Signs of People with a high EQ


My new article has been published on EI Hub:





http://ei-hub.com/6-signs-of-people-with-a-high-eq/


Emotional intelligence might still be a highly underrated and yet the most important set of skills and character traits.

EQ stands for emotional quotient. Opposite to “classic” intelligence, emotional talents are not related to mathematics or physics. It describes the ability to deal with our own emotions and the emotions of others. Goethe called it: “development of the heart.”

People with a high EQ are able to assess and influence their own emotions as well as the emotions of others.

In line with this, they are often successful in their jobs, even though they might possess limited professional qualifications. They are able to form and nurture positive relationships better than people with a low EQ.

Emotional talent is a huge advantage for anyone in a leadership role and especially everywhere where diplomacy and the ability to communicate with people is needed (for instance: negotiations, employee management).


How to identify people with a high EQ


Have a look at your professional and personal environment. Do the characteristics listed below apply to someone you know—or even yourself? If so, it is safe to assume that these people have a high EQ.

People with a high EQ…

1. Have a realistic self-image


They understand their needs, emotions, motives, and goals. They are self-aware and know their skills, strengths, weaknesses, and emotions.

They neither under- nor overestimate themselves.


2. Can control their emotions


They are good at influencing their mood and emotions and are in control of both. That strength comes to play when they are angry or do not want to show that they are disappointed.

The ability to self-regulate (react appropriately) is helpful in a professional and personal environment.

3. Can motivate themselves


People with a high EQ are able to self-motivate and develop passion. The ability to motivate yourself is especially helpful in difficult situations and when they don’t go according to plan.

Also, emotionally intelligent people have a higher frustration tolerance.

4. Are empathic


It is easy for them to understand the emotions and point of views of others. They accept different opinions even if they disagree. In addition to that, they can motivate and comfort people and make them feel good about themselves.

Empathy is considered a leadership skill. Empathic managers are able to understand and therefore motivate people better than those without empathy.

Empathy must not be mistaken for compassion (see: 5 common misconceptions about empathy).


5. They are socially able


Emotionally intelligent people can easily create connection. They are able to nurture and maintain relationships.

Emotionally skilled people are good at conflict- and relationship management. Generally, they are able to keep long-lasting positive relationships which helps them in their professional and personal environment.

6. Are good communicators


People with a high EQ are skilled listeners. They listen without judgment and have the intention to understand the other person’s emotions and motives.

That makes their interlocutors feel taken serious and understood.


To influence people, we have to understand their emotions and how we can transfer emotions. All of us constantly influence (or attempt to) others. The CEO who “sells” to his staff that everyone has to work overtime just like the mother who persuades her kid to be home by midnight.

Learn how you can increase your EQ HERE

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Positive vs. negative Motivation

Positive vs negative Motivation

Why positive motivation is better for your brain


I just scrolled through my LinkedIn news feed and noticed plenty of negative quotes. You find them on all social networking sites. 

Motivation is the sum of motives for our readiness to act which means our pursuit of goals or targets based on emotional and neuronal activity. 

Today we will not look at the topic in its complexity, but just pick out one factor constantly in front of our eyes. We will neither look at sources for motivation nor different models.

"Negative motivation" can be defined as something we do out of fear or to avoid certain consequences, but we will further simplify today and use the term for:

Negative motivation on social media


What's the problem with that?

You can hate to lose or love to win.

The word "hate" is a strong word that triggers reactions in your brain. Feeling hatred towards someone, especially in a professional environment, is rare. 

I think most of the time people who post quotes about jealousy, haters and such are not aware what they are doing to their brains. 

Our small minds cannot process everything around us. Our brain pick which parts of the infinite plethora of things around us it will show us. Our brain ignores negations.

We might not even be serious when we post about "the sum of our haters" - but tell that to our brain. 

Does that mean that negative motivation should never be used? 

When to use negative motivation


Negative motivation can be helpful if you are dealing with a disaster. If something happens that is so painful that we don't know how to move on, negative motivation can be a good short-term solution. 

When to use negative motivation
Picture Credit: TheOdysseyOnline.com


It is helpful to avoid and damage and deal with disaster. To that extent, and that extent only, it is a fabulous tool to help us survive disaster. 

It does not serve us long-term, though. It will not be long before it feasts on its host. Negativity is exhausting. The satisfaction of proving someone wrong does not last long. Doing something "because they said I can't" will not be strong enough to keep you going for a long time. 

We give people that hurt us and situations that were painful power if we substitute our higher goal with negative motivation and keep reminding ourselves on all the negatives.

To sum things up


Both forms of affirmations, negative and positive, can give you power for that moment. Positive motivation is side-effect free. Negative motivation is an energy thief because part of your attention shifts to all the negative things and people around you.

You will see more of that and a shift in your expectation will lead to you getting more of that. The same is true for positive words like "love" "support" "help".

Instead of "Punishing your haters with your success" you could "reward yourself". The strongest goal is a positive, higher goal.

Let's not give negative people too much credit by giving them an importance they do not have. Focus on yourself!


YOU are worth it!

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The Price of Intuition

The Price of Intuition

Intuition is the result of suffering

I had what people call a violent, abusive father. My mom told me that he became like that after a car accident that left my father in a coma for 6 months and 1 week.My mom also told me that it's my fault she ever had to marry him because she was pregnant. Therefore, I took that statement with a grain of salt and learned to form my own opinion early on.The dirty divorce war lasted over seven years and was fought mostly at my expense. One parent blaming and accusing the other while my father sometimes tried to kidnap me from school.Trust me: If the school director summons all students, shows them a picture of your father and instructs the kids how they have to call for help when they see him, the unwanted limelight burns through your scalp.When I was 9, I learned how to pick a lock and broke into my mom's room when she was at work. The room with all the books. Grown-ups were sure: It's not normal for a 9-year-old to read Kafka and Hesse.At the age of 10, they brought me to a psychiatrist to decide if I had suffered lasting damage.They put me into a room with a lot of toys and left. I was damaged back then. What's there even to "decide" when a kid has been beaten and emotionally abused for all of his short life?My instinct was to throw away the first toy I grabbed and take the next. And the next. I could not concentrate on a task back then.For some reason, I "knew" I had to pretend I play happily with one toy. I did so until the doctor and my mom came back.The result was negative. I was considered a healthy kid.You develop the senses you need to survive. That's all your brain is about: Survival. I had developed intuition. Because I had to. It was important to "feel" when danger (my father) was imminent and also find truth (to sort out statements that could have made me feel guilty for being alive.)

Our senses

I do not believe in witchcraft. I believe in the power of our brains and our senses. We have a 6th sense - or call it intuition. Some stronger, some not so much.For instance, it used to be pretty common that a mother would "feel" that something happened to her kid before we had telephones and modern communication. The sense became weaker when it was less needed.Also, our lives became less dangerous.Just like a blind person develops a stronger sense of smell, a kid in chronic danger will develop a stronger "6th sense."That might be a simplified explanation and I admittedly made it up myself, but, so I believe, accurate.

Reseach Facial Expression

In his best-seller "The Tipping Point", Malcolm Gladwell speaks about the teachings of pioneering UC San Francisco psychologist Dr. Paul Ekman on face reading. Ekman and several colleagues created (FACS), a Facial Action Coding System, which identifies facial expressions created by slight shifts in the facial muscles.It turns out that children of addicted parents (drugs, alcohol) are far better at detecting even the slightest change in facial expressions.I read similar research (for the German police) years ago (but couldn't find the source) that came to the conclusion that kids with a background of abuse are superior at detecting lying suspects and criminals from their facial expression.

Each of us is blessed

Everyone receives blessings. And there are two sides to every blessing. There is no light without shadow.The rich kid you envy might have had less chance to develop "fighter" skills. He might struggle later in life.The kid with the wonderful parents and the ideal loving childhood might break, unprepared for when it first faces the ugly, dark side of life.The intuitive kid has developed his skills at the price of suffering.Envy is such a waste of time.The Universe grants its blessings on its own time. Not ours.  And for everyone who still lets whatever happened centuries ago limit their amount of success = happiness:Consider emotional intelligence training.We are all blessed. But sometimes we need someone to teach us how we can remove the stains on our blessings caused by third parties.Please do not ask me what's the blessing of a child in Africa that dies from hunger. I could not answer that. But I will say: The more we manage to focus on our blessings and realize our potential, the more capacity we have to give to others.

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8 Hacks For More Confidence

8 Simple Hacks For More Confidence
Confidence is self-trust. How far we trust ourselves decides about our results.A former trainer of mine, Lester Karrass, famously said:
"In business and in life - you don't get what you deserve, you get what you negotiate."
The less faith you have in yourself, the weaker will you negotiate. You will settle for little. We ask for what we feel we are worth.People who lack confidence will neither ask nor get much from life.I put together for your 8 simple tips that allow you to increase your confidence and start re-negotiating with life.I will admit that the "simple tips" are a comprehensive collection of self-growth exercises. "Comprehensive collections of sometimes difficult exercises that require persistence and effort" was just too long for the headline (;Perhaps I even smuggled 2 tips in 1.Then again ... flashy one-liners rarely take you places. My guide has the potential to do something for you - if you allow it.I have made a video version for you as well, in case you prefer that.

8 tips for more confidence, self-esteem & feeling of self-worth

 

1. I can afford to make mistakes (self-acceptance)

 
"I am good the way I am, even though I am not perfect."
Self-acceptance means to embrace yourself with all of your mistakes. The price question is: How can you implement a mindset of self-acceptance into everyday life?I have an effective exercise for you, but it will take practice.Think of something about yourself you strongly dislike and that bugs you regularly. It could be
  • outwardness (a big nose, too much weight ...)
  • features such as shyness, slow learning, huffishness
  • other things like being unemployed, childless, lonely or poorly educated
You can use everything you dislike about yourself. And here comes the trick: Please say:
"Even though I .................... I am ok and right and worth the good things in life."
With "good things" I mean for instance: love, respect, abundance, recognition. The sentence reflects a fundamental fact of life that should be internalized to increase your feeling of self-worth - and achieve the results you want.If only perfect people deserved the good things, nobody would deserve them. Because nobody is perfect. You're not. I'm not. The person you look up to the most is not. Richard Branson is not. Not even the Dalai Lama.An example of a self-acceptance mantra:
  • Even though I am shy and have trouble approaching people, I am ok as a person and right. I deserve the good things in life and I am worth them.
You can reword it. Your own words are the strongest. Just do not weaken the message.
Even if you would stop reading right now: Just by practicing this little exercise you already take huge steps forward.

2. I can grow (confidence)

Confidence is faith in yourself. It's the belief you can master hurdles, challenges and whatever else life throws your way.It's the belief that persistence, hustle and the right way of thinking enables you to achieve anything you set your mind to.
Confident people have faith in their abilities and their power to master familiar and unfamiliar situations.
They trust they can handle challenges that are in line with their current skill-set and also those that require skills they currently don't possess.
Maybe you want to take on a job that comes with a lot of responsibilities. Or you want to end a relationship, change jobs and you trust you have or can develop the skills needed to go through a hard time, painful break-up and such.
To have confidence means to have faith in your ability to grow as a person. That you can learn what you need as you go along. And that you may make mistakes, yes, even that it's an important part of the journey and source for learning.
Naturally, there are limits. I, for instance, could not become the youngest person landing on the moon.
But because I allow myself to learn and fail and grow, I have faith that I can achieve a lot of things.
Even things I never did before.
If you want to develop confidence, the best way is to grow. Prove to yourself that you can learn. This is also the learning goal of "Project Confidence".
You could learn a new language or skill. But the best is to learn things related to your desires, goals, and needs.
Learn business skills if you want to start your own company. Learn communication skills and increase your EQ if you want to meet a new partner.
Showcase that you can grow. Your confidence will grow with you.

3. I know myself (self-awareness)

"I know who I am and where I stand."
Self-awareness helps to stay calm and relaxed in a difficult situation. Self-aware people can act sovereign.They handle negative feedback in a constructive manner. Also, they act more than they react.When they consider something important they will make it a subject of discussion.Why can they do it? Because they know:
  • Who they are (self-understanding)
  • What is important to them and
  • They know their boundaries and if they consider behavior acceptable or encroaching
This knowledge leads to internal stability. If you have clarity, you are rock solid and can't be thrown off-track easily.
  1. Find out who you are
  2. Find out what is important to you and where you are willing/unwilling to compromise
  3. Define your boundaries. Decide what you will allow people in the future - and what not
You might find that these questions are difficult to answer. They are worth spending the time to look at them in-depths.
That leads to sovereignty.

4. I am real (authenticity)

"I am how I am and that is how I am."
The better we can accept and embrace who we are the more authentic we become. In combination with confidence and self-esteem, it allows us to show more and more often who and how we are.Without being ashamed of ourselves and that we are how we are. It becomes easier to say: "What you think about me is your problem and not mine."Authenticity directly results from self-acceptance. It works the other way around too. If I dare to show how I am, my self-acceptance will increase.If this concept is frightening you, you can start out small. Start by showing the real you to a selective group of people you trust. Own your fear, weakness, mistakes, and things you wished were different. Talk about your feeling of shame and display your vulnerability.You quickly see that you feel a new dimension of connection with your counterparts. Showing vulnerability creates a connection that could not be deeper. But careful: Start with people you trust.The more often you practice authenticity, the more you will learn to accept yourself.Another trick: Write a list of all the things you feel ashamed of. Put the demons on a piece of paper. That has a cleansing effect by itself.Then sort the list from "less terrible" to "most terrible". Practice moving more and more items to the "less terrible" section. Admit how you are and accept it more and more.In conversations, you will notice that many people deal with the same issues you do. Commonality creates connection and has a healing effect.I will not lie to you. That takes guts and not everyone will appreciate you. But you will earn respect from the people that matter and learn to accept yourself which will lead to more power and happiness.

5. I accept my needs and am kind to myself (kindness, need-awareness)

 
"I deserve the good things in life."
We all have needs.
  • The need for physical and emotional security
  • The need for abundance and well-being
  • The need for love, togetherness, and connection
  • The need for freedom (of choices) and autonomy
  • The need for success
Our needs are individual. For some people, freedom is of uttermost importance while others strongly need to socialize.
We are all different. But then again, not that different.
Having needs is not a problem. It only becomes a problem if we believe that we don't deserve the good things.
Many people have a hard time standing up for their desires, interests, and needs. They think they are not good enough, not worthy of them.
 
Here is the good news and difficult message: Only one person can give you permission to grab the good things. And this person is you. 
I could tell you: "Hey, you're a wonderful person and you have my permission to pursue your goals and fulfill your desires."
But my permission is meaningless. The permission of your parents, partner, your boss is meaningless.
You and only you can give yourself permission. Because you also have to believe you're worth it.
Changing your feeling of self-worth will not happen overnight. It's a journey of many small steps, missteps, and steps back. But sometime you will arrive.  The journey is rewarding like no other - you will reap the fruits of your work for the rest of your life.
The first step could be to listen to your needs.
  • What do I need at this moment?
  • Do I give myself permission to fulfill the need?
Try to reply more and more often "YES". Give yourself permission to go after the good things in life. More and more.
That goes hand in hand with:

Self-care

"I treat myself like a good friend."
There is one more thing that helps us to increase our feeling of self-worth and genuinely accept us: kindness towards ourselves and self-care. It means nothing else than treating yourself with care and kindness. Just like you would treat a good friend. For instance:
  • We speak to a friend with respect
  • We listen to a friend without judging him
  • We lift our friend and encourage him if something went wrong
  • We tell him and show him that we like him
  • We forgive him if he was a jerk, for we know that people are not perfect and everyone has bad days
That's how we should treat ourselves. With care and respect. Non-judgemental. Eye to eye. Without accusations and cruelness.
We empower and comfort ourselves in difficult situations and lift ourselves up. We allow ourselves to make mistakes or even be jerks sometimes. We forgive ourselves.
The easiest way to be kinder to yourself is to identify when you are not. You could write a journal, set a timer on your cell phone or use good old post-its.
Hold yourself accountable and track your progress.
  • "I was kind to myself when I burned the sandwich today. Normally I would have insulted myself. But not today. Good job."
 

6. I consider my strengths (realistic self-assessment)

"I know what I can do and what I cannot do (yet)."
Difficulties with self-acceptance are most often related to our focus. You know about the half-full and half-empty glass. Even optimistic people can be cruel and unforgiving to themselves.Every person has strengths and weaknesses. Ugly and pretty features. We have no problems accepting this duality in others.Many of us focus primarily on our ugly spots. Our shortcomings, imperfections, and weaknesses.Take off your glasses and put on a better pair!You need glasses that allow you to not just see everyone else in a realistic light, but also yourself.The first step is the realization that you are wearing glasses that make you look ugly. Glasses that prevent you from seeing your wonderful and pretty features.The glasses have perhaps been built by signals from your childhood, past relationships - painful experiences of all sorts.Every person has talents and strengths.Your task: Switch glasses and go on a hunt. The hunt for what is great about you. A few questions that can help:
  • When do I have self-limiting thoughts? For instance: "That's nothing.", "That does not count.", "Everyone can do that"
  • What did I achieve in my life so far? And which features, skills have helped achieve it?
  • What is dear to my heart? And which of my positive character traits does that point to?
  • What do others compliment me on?
You can also take a minute at the end of the day and ask yourself: What did I do well today?
This way you focus on every achievement of yours. The small and the big.

7. I live my values (self-actualization/self-realization)

"I am true to myself."
Earlier you read how important it is to know who you are. Part of this is to know what is important to you because that provides you with inner strength.It's not enough to know your own values. You also have to live up to them, live them and defend them. If we don't do that we will soon lose self-respect.If I live my own values as good as I can, my self-respect will grow. It's important to live what is important to you.But how do you know what is of crucial importance to you?If I refuse to produce plastic waste, support Greenpeace and march against environmental pollution, "environmental protection" is one of my values.If I take care of my loved ones each day, focused on making everyone's life as good as I can, "family" might be one of my values.There are so many values. Tolerance, togetherness, fairness, autonomy, success, harmony ... and, and, and.We all have values. But we are also confronted with situations that make us question our values. That tempt us to compromise or even give up on them.It's only human to buckle from time to time - and to forgive yourself for it. It is even better to hold up your values and adjust your life accordingly. 100% is not always possible, but we should strive for it.That is the way to go. How can I achieve that? Ask yourself:
  • What is important to me?
  • How does someone act who considers these things of importance?
Then try to bring your actions in line with your values and beliefs.
That enables you to look in the mirror and say with pride: "I am true to myself. I live according to my values."

8. I solve my problems (problem-solving competence)

"I take charge of my life."
People with a high level of self-esteem solve their problems. That does not mean they are invincible superheroes but that they attempt to find solutions to their problems. They are accountable. They don't put their head in the sand and wait it out.They don't wait around for a hero to rescue them and make their problems go away.They tell themselves: "Dang. That s .... and can't continue like that. Therefore, I will take action."If you take care of your problems (starting with simple ones for quick rewards) your self-respect will increase. Because you are doing something for yourself. Because you are important enough to yourself to stand up for yourself and hold yourself accountable.Starting with the problems that are simple and easy to solve: take care of your problems. One after the other. That creates confidence and self-respect. 

Last but not least: Be patient

"I take my time and stay on it."
Yes, I know. This article has a lot of ideas.  And each of them is ambitious and cannot be implemented in a day.Therefore, one thing is important: Do not implement all ideas at the same time. Instead, pick a single idea and try it.When you played with it for a while and it becomes a habit, pick the next one. As they say: "The longest journey starts with the first step". And every step brings you closer to the finishing line. It's tempting to change everything at once.Sadly, lasting change does not work like this.Patience, discipline, realistic expectations and persistence are key when it comes to making impactful changes. We must not forget that implementing new habits and beliefs requires our brain to change, remove neural pathways that do no longer serve us and replace them with new ones.Therefore: Start small, stay on it, enjoy small successes. Change another small thing, continue to be persistent and enjoy your progress.Repeat until the changes have become habits, automatisms.Yes, that can take a few weeks and months. Things that crept in over the years cannot change in a day.It's understandable that we want to make changes quickly. "Change your brain in 10 days" will not work, just as "lose 20 pounds in 3 days".My advice is: Take the first step to more confidence, self-acceptance, and self-esteem. Enjoy the ride and you will see: It's worth it.And this will help you: PROJECT CONFIDENCE

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Boost your feeling of self-worth

Project Confidence is available now

"I want more from life! I would love to be stronger. More daring. I want to be myself. Not afraid of doing my thing. I want to be open to people. And, hey, while we're at it: I want to be more at peace with myself. I want to just say: I'm ok the way I am, no matter what others think."
Does that sound something like you?In my personal coaching sessions, I have the honor to serve people from different walks of life. If I had to define a common nominator, it would be a lack of confidence.Many of the problems of humankind relate to a lack of self-trust. It can be a manager that plays the authority card or someone who does not even try to demand the "good things" from life.Confidence and self-esteem opposed to common belief are not the same, even though they are similar. We can have a healthy amount of self-esteem but still lack confidence.If you want to learn more about the differences, watch the 6-minute video below:
There is a lot of truth in the old saying: "Be careful what you ask for - you might get it." That has to do with our feeling of self-worth and relates to confidence.

Dangerous feeling of self-worth

The goals you pursue have to be in line with your feelings of self-worth. Else you might put yourself in danger.If we get over 10% more or less of what we feel we are worth, it leads to problems. While we become frustrated if we get what we feel is less than we deserve, getting more can be outright dangerous.Have you ever wondered why lottery winners, Hollywood stars and other people who became rich and/or famous overnight engage in destructive behavior?Many lottery winners end up in poverty in a short time and the number of Hollywood stars with mental issues (depression, anxiety, phobias ..) and struggles with drug abuse is shocking.But why?Simple. They received more than they felt they are worth and it's messing with their brain. Therefore, they engage in compensatory or even compulsive self-destructive behavior.Ideally, we possess several traits:
  • self-awareness (realistic self-assessment)
  • confidence (trust ourselves, have faith we can grow)
  • self-esteem (positive self-picture, self-love)
  • problem-solving competence
  • a sense of self-care (treating yourself like a good friend)
  • the ability of self-acceptance (knowing and accepting who and how we are)
  • authenticity (being real)
 
I have put together information on how you can improve each factor. You can read the detailed article here: 8 Hacks For More Confidence

If you don't believe it, nobody else will

Check out my new self-learning program, Project Confidence.You will learn (at your time and at your own pace) to develop confidence, a healthy amount of self-esteem, self-acceptance and much more.
Following the principles of VARK (visual, aural, read/write, kinesthetic learners), it offers modules for every type of learner.Start your journey to a life full of self-acceptance and confidence today!Learn more here: Project Confidence

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The weight of life – A Short Story

Short Story The Weight Of Life

A short story


A student walked over to the wise old man.

"Sir," he said with a slow voice, "life is a heavy burden on my shoulders. It pushes me to the ground and I feel I will collapse under the weight."

"My son," the old man said with a warm smile "life is lightweight like a feather."

"Sir, with all due respect, you must be mistaken. I feel life pressing me like a load of thousands of pounds. Tell me, what can I do?"

"We put the burden on our shoulder ourselves.", said the old man still smiling.

"But ... " the young man started but the old man cuts him off by lifting his hand: "This "but" alone, my son, weighs 1000 pounds."


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How to not self-sabotage

In this 20 minutes video, I have put together for you practical tips that will allow to take your first steps towards self-case, self-love and putting an end to self-sabotage.

Let me know if you like the video format.

Check out my mindfulness and coaching specials HERE

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