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Personal Transformation

5 Steps To Getting Out Of Your Own Way

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Have you ever felt like you get in your own way? That, when working toward your goals, your path always follows the frustrating sequence of one step forward, two steps back?

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We all get in our own way at times, particularly when it comes to the areas in life that we struggle with the most. Getting in your own way can make it difficult to take the actions that will improve your situation.

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For example, if you struggle with your weight, you likely get in your own way by not exercising regularly or eating well. If saving money is the problem, you likely have adopted a mindset that isn’t conducive to creating long term wealth.

Whatever your struggle is, getting in your own way suggests that you may not have a healthy relationship with yourself in that area of your life. As such, taking action toward the goals that you set will feel difficult (at times, impossible), and you’ll often struggle to find the motivation necessary to get things done.

Below you’ll find five suggestions for getting out of your own way. Commit to improving in one of these areas, and you will likely upgrade the others as well. Self-growth is a whole process, greater than the sum of its parts, and improvement in one area will lead to transformation in another.

1. Eliminate negative self-talk.

 You’ve probably heard before that negative self-talk can inhibit your ability to achieve a goal. There are many reasons this is true, but here’s one of the most important.

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All human behaviour is the result of you choosing to either avoid pain or seek out pleasure. Think about any behaviour you engage in regularly, and you likely can deduce which one it is for you.

It’s important you understand, then, that negative self-talk is painful on a level that only we can create for ourselves. When you demand perfection, or when you berate yourself because things didn’t go perfectly or how you imagined they would, your brain associates these negative feelings with your experience.

This could be why you avoid the activity that will help you reach your goals. Show more compassion to yourself and remember that achievement is a journey. No matter who you are or where you’re from, you will experience failure at some point, but failure is necessary for growth and, as such, should be embraced rather than feared.

2. Take a new approach to stop doing things you know you shouldn’t be doing.

Have you ever found yourself doing the thing you had, just moments ago, said you wouldn’t do? Most of us are all-too familiar with this scenario.

If that’s the case, I encourage you to flip your own script and take control in another manner. Instead of focusing on the things you shouldn’t be doing, focus on the things you should. Begin referring to these things as your “non-negotiables.”

For example, if your goal is to build a business, your non-negotiables each day might be:

  1. Cold call or cold email five prospective clients
  2. Spend one hour developing or growing your business
  3. Write one new blog post for your social media outlets

In this scenario, you take the focus off the minutiae that you sometimes get distracted by or caught up in — checking social media, answering emails, improving your website, etc. — and place it instead on getting your non-negotiables, the things you SHOULD be doing, done first. Whatever happens after that happens. You’ll have peace of mind knowing that you moved the needle and advanced yourself on that day.

Apply this to any area of your life and watch how this shift in focus destroys your tendency to do exactly what you think you shouldn’t.

3. Wisely choose the people in your life that you spend time with and take advice from.  

It’s a simple solution, but if you feel like you are getting in your own way, take a look at the people closest to you. If you find that your social circle enables you to make bad choices or live in a manner that is out of alignment with the vision you have for your life, you need to change that. Going out several nights a week or doing things that violate your values or beliefs for the sake of convenience is not doing you any favours.

While I’m not suggesting that you dramatically delete anyone from your phone who isn’t helping you reach your goals, I do recommend you start consciously limiting the time you spend around them. As with suggestion #2, your goal is to achieve peace of mind. What level of exposure to your friends and family will give you peace of mind and keep you effective at the same time?

Like it or not, the people that are closest to us influence our moods, beliefs, and actions. The people around you can help you reach your goals or can be a major reason why you never get there. Only you can decide what is right for you. Just remember, when it doesn’t feel right, it’s time to make a change.

4. Negatively perceiving your past failures.

 A surefire manner of getting in your own way is to believe that the future will be just like the past. When you think about it, it’s kind of a dumb belief. If we were all doomed to repeat our mistakes, why would we ever bother trying to improve ourselves?

Deep down, you know it might be similar. There’s a good chance you’ll struggle with the same one or two things that beat you up last time. But the outcome can always change. Achievers understand that failure is a form of feedback. When you fail, you’ve learned another way that isn’t going to help you reach your goals, and that it’s time to move on and try something else.

Make it a goal to give yourself a clean slate for your new journey every time you start something new. Stop associating past failures with new ventures. If anything, look deeply into what went awry last time and seek solutions that are specific to those problems before you get started again.

5. Getting ‘unstuck’ from the cycle of stress and self-doubt.

This last one is for people who have chronically struggled with something — weight loss, making money, breaking bad habits, improving their personal lives, etc. If it’s been years and you still haven’t gotten results no matter how hard you’ve tried, you might understand what it’s like to feel like you’re in a “cycle” of failure.

  Typically, the cycle goes like this:

  1. Something external motivates you to get started again.
  2. You make a grand plan that you’re sure is going to be the solution to your problems.
  3. Day 1 comes, and you’re confident in your abilities and excited to get moving.
  4. Day 3 hits, and you’re not as confident as you were when it started. Things get hard.
  5. Day 4 comes, you fall off the wagon, slip up, or don’t take any action.
  6. Days 5-7 are typically spent feeling depressed, upset, or stressed. For some, they are also the times when you binge.

 Wash, rinse, repeat. Three to four weeks go by, and you start the cycle all over again.

The solution here is this: Break your pattern by taking bold action toward your outcome. What could you do that would prevent you from turning back? Book a spot at a workshop? Throw out all the junk food in your pantry? If excuses were not allowed, what would that action be? Leverage that understanding and do all that you can do make it happen.

You’ll be surprised at how quickly you realize that the old cycle you were stuck in no longer seems as inevitable.

Final Thoughts

While getting out of your own way can’t be solved overnight, it can be eradicated over time if you strive for small advancements in the areas you struggle most. Consider it a win if you catch yourself before falling into old habits even once.

Be objective with your experiences and don’t get upset, even if you’ve never seen anything other than nominal success followed by failure. The truth is, you are entirely more capable at this point than you’ve ever been before because of what you’ve been through. With that in mind, strive for continual 1% improvements each day. You’ll be surprised how quickly the transformation comes.

Ultimately, it’s up to you to have the difficult conversation with yourself that will serve as the catalyst for progress. Don’t be afraid to pull up the hood and look for the problems. For all of us, that’s the start of getting out of our own way.

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Consciousness

Manifesting Your Vision Through “The Law of Attraction”

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The Law of Attraction is based on the principle that all matter is made up of pure energy, which is in a constant state of vibration and spin.

The LOA implies that thoughts and emotions are also energy, each having a unique energy signature. Every energetic frequency is in a constant state of attraction or repulsion with all others. With the recent emergence of quantum mechanics, this notion has been largely supported at a micro level.

The Law of Attraction states that “like attracts like,” and we are in a constant state of creating our reality through the energy we emit in the form of thoughts and emotion. We continuously interact with the fabric of reality (or quantum field), through thought and emotional energy, and whatever we focus on is likely to manifest. We are each creators of our own reality, and what we put out is what we will attract.

3 Things You Need to Know First

1. A key factor missing from the LOA is that we are creating on both a conscious and subconscious level. This accounts for the seeming contradiction between “opposites attract” and the major principle of LOA, “like attracts like.”

We are still attracting the part of the whole that has been splintered and repressed into the subconscious mind. Basically, the actively repressed traits within ourselves are still charged, and this suppressed energy is also a point of attraction. Until we acknowledge and integrate it, it will still play a role in the creation of our external reality.

2. Our belief systems alter our manifestation process. If you want to manifest $10,000 in one week, but your underlying beliefs are largely identified with a state of lack, you will only manifest more lack.

This is because Law of Attraction works with both thought and emotion, and if you try to think your way into something that you don’t believe, your emotional reaction will support your unconscious beliefs more than your conscious thoughts.

If you try to affirm, “I will be abundant,” but don’t believe it, those beliefs will surface via an emotional response that insinuates the opposite feeling. At that point, you are literally putting the gas and the breaks on at the same time, making manifestation very difficult.

One great tip to overcome this, as stated by Abraham Hicks, is to “start general, and then get specific” with your manifestation process. Start with what you can believe, and continue to expand as you see evidence of your manifestations taking place. This allows your thoughts and emotions to be in resonance rather than dissonance.

3. We are always manifesting according to our highest values. Renowned behavioural development specialist Dr. DeMartini (who was also featured in The Secret) discovered that we all have an inherent set of values that is largely governing our behaviour. DeMartini is quoted as saying, “All of our actions are strategies to align with our values as efficiently as possible,” along with, “all of our positive and negative emotions are feedback as to whether or not we are living in our highest values.” Essentially, the things we value the most filter our perception at a subconscious level. They are governing the way that we manifest, and the reasons we do.

This is why, for example, someone might set a new year’s resolution to lose weight and never achieve their goal. If one of their highest values is social connection, their unconscious will perceive that taking the time to exercise and eat right actually conflicts with the time they would rather be spending at social events with others.

The trick, then, is to change your perception by tying in how exercise and diet actually support your high value on social connection. For example, you might feel more confident meeting new people when you are healthy and strong. Or you can approach it from the other end by tying your value into your goal. In this case, you could try to engage your value of social connection by going to the gym or to nutrition classes with your close friends.

What You Need to Know During Active Manifestation

These are some useful tips if you are meditating on your vision, or practicing visualization.

Clear your mind. To speed up the process of manifestation, presence and focus are key. If your attention is scattered, your manifestation will be too. Write down on paper whatever is bothering you, and vow to leave it outside of your visualization. This will help you stay present.

Open your heart for the process. Connect with the feeling of gratitude as you begin. This can be done by writing a short gratitude list, or by thinking of people/events that you are truly grateful for.

According to the HeartMath Institute, “The heart generates an electromagnetic field roughly 60 times greater in amplitude than brainwaves do.” This field is measured by an electrocardiogram (ECG), and brainwaves were measured using an electroencephalogram (EEG) during these findings. The heart is a major point of attraction.

Be clear. The law of attraction is described as a law. This means it responds to everything, without exception. If you are mixed in your emotions or vision, it will slow the process. The clearer and more detailed you are, the faster your vision will come to life.

Engage your senses. Did you know that the brain can’t actually tell the difference between experience and visualization? This is why visualization is so useful for athletes. This principle applies directly to the LOA. What do you see, hear, smell, touch, and feel when you have arrived at your vision? Feel each sense distinctly, and don’t be afraid to sit with each one individually.

Engage emotion. This is how to charge your vision. Emotions are the driving force behind manifestation.

Align your intention with your values. Tie what you want to manifest into your highest values. More simply put, make sure you can see how your goals support the things that matter most to you in life. This will help you manifest congruently from both the conscious and subconscious mind.

Don’t be desperate. Try to imagine that you are gently requesting. If you are being needy or desperate in your request, you are coming directly from an emotional space of lack. The emotional feeling of lack will counteract your thought-energy, and you are more likely to stagnate.

What You Need to Know After

Take action. Taking action will create momentum, while also building evidence toward creating the belief that your manifestation is unfolding.

Act as if it has already happened. “I AM” is a creative, powerful phrase. If you conduct your behaviour as the person you have already become, you are more energetically aligned with your goal.

Be aware of your internal dialogue. Remember, you are in a constant state of attracting or repulsing what it is that you want to achieve. Your internal dialogue is always creating a point of attraction, along with the emotional reactions it produces. Be congruent!

Allow! You must fully release your vision in order for it to manifest. If you are too attached to it, your need for control can actually stunt the process. Faith and belief in the process are key. It can be helpful to think in terms of being at a restaurant. Once you’ve placed your order, you have to give it time to be cooked up and served to you!

We are all creators, and we all deserve to live an inspired life. The Law of Attraction is a beautiful tool that enables us to consciously put our creative powers to use! In the words of George Bernard Shaw, “Life isn’t about finding yourself, it’s about creating yourself.”

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Consciousness

My Thoughts On “Spiritual Narcissism”

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Narcissism, in a nutshell, is self-absorption to the extent that it will adopt any set of rationale to protect the ego which often includes a degree of self-deception. Is this happening to many in spiritual trends?

  • Reflect On:

    There is authentic being, and then there is self-absorption which pretending to be authenticity, are we aware of the difference?

We humans often have a hard time finding middle ground. We may be drowning in lack of self-worth one moment, and trampling over other’s with our own self indulgence the next as we struggle to find balance. Narcissism is not simply about enjoying selfies in our social media-saturated world, it goes deeper than that.

It appears as liberation but is a trap that can ruin relationships, increase personal suffering, and keep a person from their true spiritual aspirations. Not surprisingly, increased mindfulness and compassion for this tricky human quirk is the best way to heal it.

What is Spiritual Narcissism?

The capacity to become overly self-indulgent is within all of us, and it becomes increasingly dangerous when we confuse it with spirituality. In many ways it is easy to see that all of humanity is dealing with a certain degree of self-absorption while we desecrate forests and oceans, causing plants and animals to go extinct on our material quests. In his famous book, Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism, Chogyam Trungpa gave a good foundation for westerners to navigate the pitfalls of our materialistic abundance.

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The capacity to become overly self-indulgent is within all of us

We do not have to be ashamed of what we are. As sentient beings we have wonderful backgrounds. These backgrounds may not be particularly enlightened or peaceful or intelligent. Nevertheless, we have soil good enough to cultivate; we can plant anything in it. – Chögyam Trungpa, Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism

There is a difference between ego-self and the deeper universal soul within us, differentiating the two is important. Sadly, we have spiritual philosophies and religions that have been constructed to feed the ego, inflate self-righteousness, and create division while giving justification for all manner of activities including killing, exploitation, and oppression. Ethical conduct, regardless of spirituality, requires honoring the other and the self as one with each deserving to be respected, heard, and seen with compassion.

No matter what the practice or teaching, ego loves to wait in ambush to appropriate spirituality for its own survival and gain. – Chögyam Trungpa, Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism

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There is a difference between ego-self and the deeper universal soul within us

Finding the Antidote to Self-absorption

Narcissism, in a nutshell, is self-absorption to the extent that it will adopt any set of rationale to protect the ego which often includes a degree of self-deception. Ego is an important aspect of our selves, it is part of self-preservation but when it becomes out of balance it actually has the ability to destroy us and harm relationships.

Many spiritual practices seek to increase our ability to witness and bring mindful awareness to ego drives which allow us to master, instead of being enslaved by our ego. When ego gets too big it can be hard to swallow, yet spiritual liberation invites us to expand our sense of self beyond the ego, beyond time and space.

The goal is to find a balance between the inner experience and the outer reality. How do we embody healthy self-love without becoming an ego-maniac and hurting personal relationships? Meanwhile, self-loathing, and low self-esteem are also manifestations of ego out of balance. Selflessness can often be quite selfish, over-engagement can be as problematic as disengagement socially. Luckily we are here to find this balance through living fully, from making mistakes, and evolving our sense of self-awareness. Healthy self-awareness is the only antidote to self-absorption.

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How do we embody healthy self-love without becoming an ego-maniac?

The Story of Narcissus and Echo

One day Narcissus was walking in the woods when Echo, an Oread (mountain nymph) saw him, fell deeply in love, and followed him. Narcissus sensed he was being followed and shouted “Who’s there?”. Echo repeated “Who’s there?”. She eventually revealed her identity and attempted to embrace him. He stepped away and told her to leave him alone. She was heartbroken and spent the rest of her life in lonely glens until nothing but an echo sound remained of her. Nemesis, the goddess of revenge, learned of this story and decided to punish Narcissus. She lured him to a pool where he saw his own reflection. He didn’t realize it was only an image and fell in love with it. He eventually recognized that his love could not be reciprocated and committed suicide. -Wikipedia

Since intention is subjective, a person is often understood within their community by their actions or image. This becomes extra tricky in our age of social media and the materialism that has found it’s way into yoga, meditation, and spirituality. It is possible to put on a good act, to fool those around us and ourselves (temporarily).

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Narcissus mesmerized by his own reflection

We can have the latest yoga clothes, read the right books and hang out with all the “cool” people, but if our actions are not grounded in a deeper spiritual practice, basic consideration for others, and respect, it is still hollow. A common analogy is the guy who everyone likes but then goes home kicks his dog, or is rude and unaccountable to his wife.

Deep spirituality makes us more sensitive to the feeling of others, encouraging an open stance of courage where we can drop our protective shields and accept the vulnerability to be seen as we are. Narcissistic sensitivity, however, is focused solely on the subtle nuances one’s own internality, and resists looking at hard, uncomfortable truths that may upset the self image. One who is narcissistically sensitive is easily offended by the “coarseness” of others, seeks to make his environment change to align with the contours of his needs, and gets angry or offended when this does not happen. -The Allure of Narcissistic Spirituality, Huffington Post

How to Identify Narcissistic Behavior

The ability to identify narcissistic behavior in yourself and others is the best way to heal it. It is not your job to diagnose others or tell them they are narcissistic if they are not interested in hearing it or healing it. However, if you draw appropriate boundaries for them you will protect yourself and encourage them to become more mindful. This is a loving and compassionate way to handle narcissism.

Alt text hereThe ability to identify narcissistic behavior in yourself and others is the best way to heal it

It is always healthy to make boundaries and speak your truth in a loving and compassionate way. Whether the narcissist hears it or not is out of your control. Common responses from narcissists will include belittling your feelings, a hollow apology without effort to modify behavior, or ignoring you altogether. Basically, they will use any excuse they can in order to not look at it, or to make the situation your fault. This is your cue to make appropriate boundaries for yourself.

Within yourself be open and receptive when others tell you that you have been inconsiderate of them. Accepting constructive feedback from loved ones is a great way to keep a balance between internal needs and external relationships. This is also how we grow as individuals.

Common traits of narcissism courtesy of BPD Central.

  • Lacks empathy: is unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others
  • Has a grandiose sense of self-importance (e.g., exaggerates achievements and talents, expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements)
  • Has a sense of entitlement, i.e., unreasonable expectations of especially favorable treatment or automatic compliance with his or her expectations
  • Is interpersonally exploitative, i.e., takes advantage of others to achieve his or her own ends
  • Is often envious of others or believes others are envious of him or her
  • Requires excessive admiration
  • Shows arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes
  • Believes that he or she is “special” and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people (or institutions)
  • Is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love
Alt text hereLearning to stop keeping all the love for ourselves

Evolving Unhealthy Patterns

Hopefully, this will help you navigate tough interpersonal relationships and also better yourself. It is a beautiful thing that psychology is allowing us to have terms to identify and evolve unhealthy patterns emotionally. As we learn to live in community, we learn many aspects of love. This is how we help ourselves and those around us grow!

I’m republishing,  for the CE audience, this piece I wrote for Uplift Connect.

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Consciousness

A Guided Meditation To Help Overcome Panic and Anxiety

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    2020 has been filled with more social isolation than most of us would ideally like, and anxiety and panic (among many other mental health challenges) are on the rise.

  • Reflect On:

    How well do you cope with anxiety when it strikes? How often do you meditate to help keep your mind at bay and in a healthy place?

2020 has certainly been quite the year for most of us. From outbreaks to lockdowns to tragedies it should come as no surprise that an increasing number of us find ourselves battling panic and anxiety -and unfortunately in many cases without the in-person support and love of other people.

As most of us prepare for what is likely to be a winter filled with more social isolation than we’d ideally like, I decided to put together a 17 minute guided meditation designed to help overcome both panic and anxiety.

As a former severe anxiety sufferer, I know just how crippling anxiety can be, and it’s often in situations where we are left to ourselves that it can be the most challenging to overcome.

This meditation takes you through a bit of an unconventional yet powerful visualization designed to equip you with a healthier mindset to help beat both panic and anxiety.

While the circumstances of 2020 so far may be less than ideal, when it comes to panic and anxiety I encourage you to look at it as an opportunity to truly master them. If you can find a way to prevent your mind from going down a rabbit hole of unhealthy thoughts amidst this chaos, think of how simple it will feel to accomplish once the world restores itself to some form of normalcy or at least less friction than what currently exists.

While this technique certainly is powerful, it’s definitely not the only thing that I had to equip myself with on my journey to becoming anxiety-free. If you’re ready to put the necessary work in to properly conquer your anxiety for good, I encourage you to check out my online course The Hack Anxiety Toolbox on Udemy. The course is filled with over 3 hours of on-demand video and 20 downloadable resources that all share everything I used to successfully conquer my own anxiety. Take the first lesson for free and get lifetime access to the course for only $12.99 USD ($82 off the regular price) by going to THIS LINK before November 14th, 2020.

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Collective Evolution is one of the world's fastest-growing conscious media and education companies providing news and tools to raise collective consciousness. Get inside access to Collective Evolution by becoming a member of CETV.

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