Tag Archive | motivated

Dating and the modern man

with love

Nothing is ever what it seems but everything is exactly what it is. B. Banzai

Today I want to tell you about my experience with men. You may think at first I’ve just had really bad luck … but this is a pattern. So am I just unlucky or do I really just “know how to pick ‘em”? And either way, is what I see acceptable?

I’m flinging open the doors for what it is like to date in the modern world, and why so many women feel like they’re trapped on the set of The Hunger Games as they enter this scene: they don’t want to be there, but if they’re not, the chances of the happily ever after are at zero.

Before I begin, you should know something about me: when meeting men, I always make it clear that I’m not the type to sleep around. That’s not a challenge – I’m just not interested in becoming that type – and if that’s what they’re after then they shouldn’t waste their time. I’m not saying all men are like this. I’m also not saying that women can’t be like this. I’m saying I’m firm in my values and the fact that there are predators out there trying to break down those boundaries makes me feel disgusted. But this may also influence my story today because I’m on such high alert for these signs and I won’t be used.

I want to share a story with you that happened to me recently. As you know, I’ve been offline for a couple of months and the reason was I was deciding my way forward as I recovered from domestic violence and narcissistic abuse which wrapped up with a narcissistic smear campaign.

During my time out I was exceptionally conservative when it came to dating and spending time with people in general. In fact, I was completely off the market. I was off all social media, off dating sites and I didn’t go out … except for with work colleagues. I didn’t trust anyone. Not my family. Not my friends. Not the postman. No one.

Anyway, one day I felt ready.

Really ready!

It was the first time I’d felt really ready to date again since my destructive experience last year where I was constantly lied to, the lies were then manipulated if I called my abuser on it, I then got abused for not accepting it, then there was more manipulation – he would tell me it wasn’t as I said, thought or felt, then I was lied to again, and further manipulation and I was hit down when I didn’t accept it, and hit down, and hit down again. This kept cycling in my life until my abuser had actually exhausted all fight power from me. So dabbling back into the dating scene was a really big thing for me, I just wanted to buy the ticket in the lotto and to have the chance to meet the man who I was meant to be with. This is my experience…

After a bit of consideration I decided Internet dating would be safest for me. I could get to know someone properly first that way. I eventually hit up a dating site that is the latest craze among people my age – mostly professionals – here in Sydney. Although nervous, I went ahead with caution.

I started chatting to this guy – we’ll call him Alex – and he seemed to tick some boxes. He owns his own real estate company. He drives a BMW. He lives in a luxury apartment nearby. He’s successful. He’s charming. He’s good looking.

I told him a bit about my experience last year and my general business plans to keep people not only informed, but safe, from the abuse I suffered. I also told him I’m talking to politicians to have our laws adjusted to ensure “protection” is not manipulated and used as “punishment” for victims.

Alex and I spoke for three nights and he seemed like a great guy. Eventually, on the third night, Alex complained that his fingers were “blistered from typing” to me and he wanted my phone number. Cute. Right? We were getting on well, and I know how to block people from my life since my experience, so I thought “OK … I’ll give it to him”. At that point, I invited him to call me – as his fingers were blistered from typing. That was the point, right?

He didn’t call. In fact, he said he couldn’t call because he had no credit on his phone.

Instead, he started texting me.

The conversation continued and was perfectly amicable – not flirtatious – just chat.

He mentioned that he had a dog. And he rustled up a photo of this gorgeous black dog. It wasn’t your average iPhone picture, it looked almost professional. It was also a date-stamped screenshot – taken in October – who knows what year. This raised suspicion for me, because as a pet owner, I have a million photos of my dog … and most pet owners would show a recent photo of their pet. In fact, if the pet lived with them, they would show a photo of it at that moment, sleeping or doing whatever it was doing just to show it off.

Despite this little feeling inside telling me it wasn’t right, I get a bit excited because I love dogs!

He starts talking about how he loves his dog. And I tell him I have two dogs.

At this moment another image comes through.

It wasn’t part of our conversation or as though our conversation was heading in that direction – it just came out of nowhere. It was a photo of him in his budgie smugglers. You know, the small Speedo swimsuit type things for men? That’s what he was wearing. And it was a selfie.

He proceeded to ask me if I was his type.

At first I sent an awkward face. I literally didn’t know what to say…

And then I responded: “No … unfortunately my type wouldn’t take his clothes off to take a selfie … sorry”.

He responded. Three texts:

“It’s old but all good”

“Good luck in your search then”

“Thanks for the text chat it was fun”

There was a silence. The end – right? I sat in some kind of shock. The nice guy I was getting to know … wasn’t at all as he had appeared.

At that point, he tried to call.

I ignored it.

When he didn’t get through … he text me a frowning face and asked me to call him back.

I replied: “I thought you were out of credit? No – that’s ok – I’m going to call it a night” *smiley face*

That would be all there is, right? What could he possibly have left to say?

Then I received this:

“You are a little strange but ok. It’s one pic big deal”

To which I replied this:

“I’m not sure what bothers me more now:

  1. The picture
  2. The lie about credit in your phone
  3. The attempt to manipulate this into my problem.

GAME!”

And at that point – I blocked him.

Thankfully, Alex has made no attempt to contact me since.

On a very, very minor scale, that disturbing exchange was almost a replica of the abuse I had been through just the year before:

  1. He put me in a situation I didn’t choose or want to be in. I didn’t want to see that photo. I had no interest in seeing him like that.
  2. Then he lied to me … or maybe not? Let’s give him the benefit of the doubt and say he recharged his phone – though it seems odd someone so successful would have a phone with credit.
  3. And once caught out, and I’d changed my mind and I thought we were amicably separating, he manipulated it into my problem.

I haven’t attempted to date since. It’s too dangerous.

Here’s what I’ve learned from dating the modern man though: No one can save you. No one can force you to hold your boundaries or knock them down. But you can save yourself. If you’re educated enough to know what to look for and to know what you don’t want or what you will not tolerate, you will be in a position where you can protect yourself.

To conclude, if you have time to do some further reading, I want to point you in the direction of this blog post – Dear #notallmen by Lauren Ingram – and think about her very powerful message. Well done, Lauren.

How do you ensure your safety when dating?

Removing limiting beliefs

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Conquer your limiting beliefs and nothing can prevent you from achieving success in anything you want. Jerry Bruckner

What we can or cannot do, what we consider possible or impossible, is rarely a function of our true capability. It is more likely a function of our beliefs about who we are. Tony Robbins

Beliefs have the power to create and the power to destroy. Human beings have the awesome ability to take any experience of their lives and create a meaning that dis-empowers them or one that can literally save their lives. Tony Robbins

All personal breakthroughs being with a change in beliefs. So how do we change? The most effective way is to get your brain to associate massive pain to the old belief. You must feel deep in your gut that not only has this belief cost you pain in the past, but it’s costing you in the present and, ultimately, can only bring you pain in the future. Then you must associate tremendous pleasure to the idea of adopting a new, empowering belief. Tony Robbins

I often tell people, if you want to succeed at something, if you want to improve an area of your life, one of the things involved is taking a risk, being able to step outside your comfort zone. What have you done this year that is outside your comfort zone? If the answer is nothing, why have you not had the confidence to step outside the comfort zone? Clint Ebbesen, Entrepreneur

Limiting beliefs are our little subconscious voice arising when we’re ready to take a risk that stops us from moving forward. Recently I was having a reading and healing session with the delightful Nandini Kumaran and she was talking to me about my dreams for the future and what was to come. (Perhaps this is a bit alternative for some of you, but stay with me, this is leading somewhere!) I want to dedicate this post to Nandini – she was one of the kindest souls I connected with while I was in the darkest place.

Nandini made a suggestion about my future that I was actually currently working on, but at that moment I thought to the failure of that product. At that moment she said “Wow – I just felt your heart shut down when I said that, just be open, have faith in your ideas because it will be a success, and your new direction is right for you”. From that moment, I promised myself I’d be more conscious of my limiting beliefs and work at being open to all possibilities. This week, Happiness Weekly looks at how you can shift or remove your limiting beliefs to realise your full potential.

 

What is a limiting belief?

A limiting belief is a belief that is held consciously or subconsciously that serves only as obstacles to manifesting and attracting what you want. They become filters to our reality. Initially they are there to protect us, particularly after we have been hurt or had a negative life experience, but ultimately they only hold us back.

 

Where do limiting beliefs come from?

A lot of the work I completed over my break in May and June this year was to do with removing limiting beliefs. For a long time I had some massive stories in my head that included Blame, Excuses and Denial … and I needed to put them to BED (see what I did just there?)! During these two months, I had a full life clear out. I reassessed friendships, my career, my health, my very being. Once I was finished clearing my closet, I decided on my clear direction, I set goals and I am so excited because I have started moving in the direction I want to be.

Once I did all that I stopped. What if my limiting beliefs returned? It’s possible. This can be the hindrance of having conservative parents who only want the best for you, and don’t want to see you getting hurt, because if you don’t say it to yourself first, they’ll be sure to tell you – right? Not just this, but your mind draws links to events and assumes the outcome based on past experience.

The pattern will go like this: the event will happen, you draw false generalisations based on that specific event, then assign questionable meanings to that event which leads to disempowering interpretations of what happened. Consequently, your mind blocks you from taking certain actions even though they may be reasonable or intelligent.

The good news is, you have control over your limiting beliefs. You create and manifest them, but you also have the power to eliminate them. Rest assured, if you don’t do this consciously, your ongoing behaviours that are holding you back will force you to reassess and there will come a point when the frustration will force you to change.

 

The best way to eliminate limiting beliefs

Working with a life coach and taking part in Schema Therapy are both fantastic for assisting in permanently removing limiting beliefs, particularly if they are linked to our core beliefs. But not everyone can afford this kind of help, so how about trying this:

Once you’re conscious of the limiting belief…

  1. Question the limiting belief

When you hear yourself think something limiting, stop and ask yourself – Really? Does it always happen? Consider the last time it happened and that outcome occurred … now consider the time before that, and the time before that … did it always happen exactly the same?

  1. Stop identifying with the limiting belief

Many of us subconsciously use our limiting beliefs to harshly define ourselves. “This happened, so that means I am this!” We almost use it as evidence for why we think and act the way we do, and then it becomes an excuse as to why we keep going down that path. In order to permanently remove your limiting beliefs, it’s essential that you stop identifying with the belief, because in doing so, you’re giving it power.

  1. Resist thinking to the conclusion

A limiting belief comes into our mind and we go “Oh yeah, I’ve been here before, last time this happened it lead to this!” It’s like seeing the beginning credits of a movie and fast forwarding to the last five minutes – because we already know what happens, right? This is exactly what we’re doing when we immediately draw conclusions to an event. What ever happened to keeping an open mind? Consider this – in any given situation: you don’t know, what you don’t know. Don’t assume because it shuts off possibilities and opportunities. Every conclusion you draw is a limiting belief, ensure you question it before believing it.

  1. Put assumptions to the test

This is your opportunity to prove to yourself that this limiting belief is not serving you. Step out of your limiting belief head-space for a moment, suspend your judgement about what this event will lead to and challenge yourself to see what the outcome is by doing something slightly different to break the pattern. Trust yourself. Realistically assess the outcome. An action must be taken to put your conclusions to the test.

Jordan Gray Consulting has some more practical ideas for removing limiting beliefs that I recommend you take a look at. I always think doing is habit forming and in order to break a habit we need to challenge it by doing something different – it’s similar to what Einstein said “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

 

It’s what you do with your limiting belief that counts

Sometimes our limiting beliefs can be shifted to a positive. For example, one of my limiting beliefs following my abusive relationship was that no one could understand and therefore they just couldn’t help me. It was at this point that I stopped seeing counsellors and instead started learning how to cope through various courses and workshops so that I could help myself. Once I got those skills, I was able to help others – just like when a coach told me that it’s like the air mask in a plane, you need to help yourself before you can help others.

 

How can I be more conscious of limiting beliefs?

While growing awareness of your limiting beliefs is an important part of the solution, it’s not the entire solution – you need to put a little more conscious effort in than that. When you feel a limiting belief rise, you can stop and ask yourself: “If that wasn’t an issue or if it was resolved, what would I do?” That immediately helps you rise above your limiting belief for a moment to see what’s on the other side.

 

I still can’t shift my limiting beliefs

If you are still grappling with limiting beliefs in your life, I highly recommend you check out these empowering beliefs that you can use to replace your limiting beliefs by Tony Robbins. I recommend using these as affirmations each day to assist in driving you forward:

1. The past does not equal the future.

2. There is always a way if I’m committed.

3. There are no failures, only outcomes—as long as I learn something I’m succeeding.

4. If I can’t, I must; if I must, I can.

5. Everything happens for a reason and a purpose that serves me.

6. I find great joy in little things… a smile… a flower… a sunset.

7. I give more of myself to others than anyone expects.

8. I create my own reality and am responsible for what I create.

9. If I’m confused, I’m about to learn something.

10. Every day above ground is a great day.

 

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How do you challenge and/or remove your limiting beliefs?

Tips to a more patient you

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Never cut a tree down in the wintertime. Never make a negative decision in the low time. Never make your most important decisions when you are in your worst moods. Wait. Be patient. The storm will pass. The spring will come. Robert H. Schuller
Patience, persistence and perspiration make an unbeatable combination for success. Napoleon Hill

They say that the universe always provides for us – ask for patience, and you’re likely to find a line at the bank or you could just test yourself and head to the post office during your lunch break. Imagine the frustration you would encounter if every time you looked for patience you got tested in some way. Patience is a skill, that’s why often we hear the term to “practise patience” – we can actually practise it and strengthen our ability to be more patient in all circumstances! This week Happiness Weekly gives you some tips on how!

Know your triggers

If you know what makes you feel impatient, you can avoid it when you are already feeling irritable, but you can also use it to challenge yourself when feeling calm to strengthen your patience in various situations.

Let go

Letting go can be difficult, but once you’ve packaged everything in a box and handed it to the universe, trust your journey to guide you. If you find directly challenging yourself with frustration is too difficult, you could also get in touch with your inner zen and practise:

  • Mindfulness: a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.
  • Meditation: a written or spoken discourse expressing considered thoughts on a subject.
  • Affirmations: the action or process of affirming something.
  • Visualisation: a technique involving focusing on positive mental images in order to achieve a particular goal.

Look at the big picture

When you’re finding it difficult to practise patience, sometimes stepping out of the situation and looking at the bigger picture can make the discomfort feel more bearable. Remember your goals and direction and then decide if enduring discomfort is necessary or worth it for what you desire.

Don’t demand yourself be perfect

We can all be perfectionists. We all want to do the best and be the best. But what if for just one day it was ok to be yourself, exactly as you are and that was perfectly perfect enough? Sometimes when we’re on the brink of frustration it’s because we’re demanding too much of ourselves or expecting too much. Consider how you would treat your best friend in the same situation. Treat yourself accordingly. What you’ll eventually notice is that being hard on yourself won’t change the outcome.

Intentionally practise patience

Deliberately put yourself in situations time and time again where your patience is constantly being tested. For example you may:

  • Choose to stand in the longest line
  • Drive behind a slow driver when you’re in a rush
  • Take the longer route to get somewhere
  • Make yourself wait longer
  • Deliberately miss a deadline

Laugh at the problem

Laughing at anything is great at reducing stress. If you’re irritable and you laugh, you will instantly feel calmer about the situation and be able to feel more patient in your situation. When I can’t find the funny side in a situation, I have a lot of friends who will find it for me! If you’re having difficulty, talk to a friend and tell them their job is to find the funny side in your story. See how you feel once they find it and you’re both laughing.

Remind yourself what’s important to you

Is it really important that you achieve that goal exactly on time? What happens if you don’t? What is it about that particular thing that is frustrating you? How does it honestly affect you? Really think about it before you wind yourself up too badly over something. Sometimes simply reminding yourself what’s important to you is enough to practise patience.

In becoming more patient and practising patience you will reduce your stress levels, feel happier, make better decisions, be more empathetic and compassionate to others, and be better able to understand the process associated with growth.

How do you practise patience?

Why Happiness Weekly has been lacking in happiness

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Everybody wants sunshine, nobody wants pain, but you can’t have a rainbow without a little rain. Anonymous.

Loyal followers – who don’t know me personally – may be wondering why my blogs went from full happiness focus to a focus on happiness during times of adversity. It’s like one day I woke up and while the element of happiness was still there, it went from being happy and bouncy to tackling some pretty serious issues with a theme of maintaining happiness during tough times.

Two years ago, when I started Happiness Weekly, I was a very happy person. I was also very naive. I believed that there was only good in this world. Not only that, I believed that as long as you believed that there was only good this in this world then that’s what you would attract – just like The Law of Attraction, right?

Since then I’ve learned first-hand that psychopaths, sociopaths and narcissists exist. And even if you don’t want to believe it, they’re very real and they roam the planet just as a normal healthy human being. It terrifies me to not only know, but to have experienced first-hand, that some people feel empowered by making other people feel miserable.

I’m not tainted. I’m not jaded. I’m not bitter.

I’ve learned quickly to accept this.

But instead of promoting happiness as a way of life, I decided I wanted to equip people to survive times of adversity and to facilitate their happiness and assist their inner glow to shine through during these harder times.

Through surviving my own adversity, and getting back up, I finally know who I am. I stand tall. I’m confident. And I share with others from a place of confidence and sympathy.

So Happiness Weekly has evolved as I have.

My posts for the next little while will be filling in the dates I missed while I was away, as well as posting so that we’re back up to date. Each week I will try to release two posts until I’m back on schedule – I apologise if I miss a week, my priority is now on the next chapter. To stay on top of what has been released, you’re welcome to follow my blog by email, you can keep an eye on the Facebook page or you’re always welcome to contact me.

I want to leave you with this: never stop learning. Never give up. Once you think you know, you’ll discover there’s more to know.

Stay in the driver’s seat of life and keep moving forward.

Three reasons why victims of trauma should talk to themselves

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A man speaking sense to himself is no madder than a man speaking nonsense not to himself. Tom Stoppard

So there I stood, in front of my bathroom mirror, sobbing. It was May 2014. By this point I’d laughed at the consequences of what happened to me last year – but often I still cried over how it got to that point – and that’s the result of the trauma I suffered:

“I did everything right! But no one did anything to protect me!” I told my reflection.

“The police didn’t do anything. My parents didn’t do anything. The lawyer didn’t do anything.”

I stopped for a second and in complete frustration I screamed at my reflection:

YOU didn’t do anything!”

It was at that moment that I put the BED-time story to rest. Oh my god, I’m talking to myself – am I going mad? This week Happiness Weekly looks at why victims of trauma should talk themselves through it as well as seeing a therapist. AND! I share some good news about trauma with you.

 

  1. No one understands what you’ve been through better than you

I have a buddy who had a very similar experience to what I have had and she has been there for me every step of the way – and vice versa. The friends I have allowed into my life this year have all been outstanding – they’re consistently supportive and understanding and they listen to me, even when I repeat my story or go over aspects of the events. They’re very patient. But no one experienced what I did. No one was there except for me. And it’s when I realised that instead of bashing myself up for what I went through and taking too much responsibility for the outcome, if I started talking to myself as I would my best friend who went through the same set of circumstances and had the same complaints and upsets as I was experiencing, then I was able to be kinder to myself and help support and encourage myself in moving on. I decided to ditch any even slight need for external validation in order to get me through, but instead I shifted to a dependence on my intuition and internal validation. If I thought it or felt it, that was my reality and I’d respond accordingly instead of doubting myself. That conscious decision to start really listening to myself helped me to step forward and really focusing on my healing journey and tackling my trauma head on.

 

  1. You could have an epiphany that puts your BED-time story to rest

What happened in my experience mentioned above is that in talking to myself, I was able to acknowledge and drop the story riddled with blame, excuse and denial (BED) all at the same time. Instead, it made me realise it’s done. There’s nothing I can do to undo it or take it back. It’s not that I care about the consequence but I’ll forever be hurt by how I got forced into being “punished” in a way. It’s the way that I got set up that constantly reappears through nightmares and flashbacks. That’s what I go over and over when I speak to people or myself. Once I was able to recognise the BED-time story – I didn’t have to accept it – but I could make myself a promise for how I would ensure it would never happen to me again (which would test and hopefully regain my self-trust), I could start taking responsibility for my part in what happened to me that lead me to such trauma and I was able to start considering strategies for how I could move forward from there.

 

  1. The only way to overcome trauma is to release it

Talking about it will release it. Often victims of trauma will go over and over the same scenario. They will talk about it over and over to people. They’ll repeat the same story and the same facts. It’s almost like someone who is suffering from some kind of memory loss, only they know you know, but they can’t resist but talk about it. It’s not that the victim is looking for external validation but they’re doing it for the release. If you have a friend who is a victim of trauma and going over the same story, be patient – don’t stop them – and remain completely neutral about what they’re saying. Before you suggest anything, ensure it’s helpful.

 

The good news about trauma?

Trauma doesn’t have to be negative. Positive Trauma and Post Traumatic Growth have been established as ways of not only moving on from a traumatic event in a positive way, but actually being able to celebrate your achievements since suffering from the consequences of your traumatic event in taking control again. It’s a concept that was introduced by scholars in the early 1990s.

According to Wikipedia, Post Traumatic Growth is also known as “benefit finding” – there are so many different names for it – it refers to the positive psychological change experience as a result of the struggle with highly challenging life experiences. This is where you can actually use the power of choice to decide if you want your experience to make you bitter or better, and then use your time to move in that direction – but feel empowered that you do have a choice in what happens from here.

Although I continue to struggle with my traumatic event, fortunately for my love of being consciously optimistic, I have been able to focus on how I can make my negative experience to filter the most positive and inspiring outcome I could. Instead of returning to the baseline of where I was before I suffered, I worked hard to get qualifications that would help me assist others who go through what I just went through, and share my story with as many people as I could to provide education for others. And that’s what it’s about. Post traumatic growth is about using the experience to improve yourself and others. It’s the difference between surviving something and actually using it to thrive and be better than you were to start.

Emotional self defence

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The two most important things to do for self-defence are not to take a martial arts class or get a gun, but to think like the opposition and know where you’re most at risk. Barry Eisler

 

Recently I suffered to extremes after leaving a relationship riddled with narcissistic abuse. I look back and think I was a blogging contradiction – here I was writing all these blogs about helping people to stay strong emotionally and mentally through adversity, and there I am – the voice of authority – stuck in the worst, most manipulative and excruciatingly painful situation that I’ve ever found myself in. I’m an empath which according to Christel Broederlow means I’m “affected by other people’s energies and have an innate ability to intuitively feel and perceive others … Empaths can perceive physical sensitivities and spiritual urges, as well as just knowing the motivations and intentions of other people. “ Unfortunately for empaths, co-dependent relationships that often lead to abuse are common, so although I don’t see what happened to me as ok – I have certainly learned from it and I can understand it better now.

Having said that, in trying to escape my situation, it was made clear that my emotional self-defence was weak. If I knew then what I knew now – how different things would be! So this week Happiness Weekly writes for the sensitives, the empaths and the self-aware victims of domestic violence, to help build their emotional self-defence and help them when dealing with predators such as sociopaths, narcissists and psychopaths.

Decide what hurts you

Emotional manipulation is all about disempowering you so the abuser takes control. The good news is, you can decide what and who hurts you. This is challenging, even when you know someone is emotionally manipulative, but if you can stay strong in deciding this person is only out to hurt you, and detach from their words, you will be better equipped if they try for a harder blow – such as a smear campaign.

Trust your intuition

Let your instincts guide you on whether or not you can trust someone. You will actually hear yourself say it to someone or even directly to the person. Once you accept that you can’t trust the person, there has to be a reason for that. Find the deeper reason and the evidence within yourself as to why you feel this person is untrustworthy.

Let your conscience guide you

Don’t be bullied into making a mistake. If it feels right and good at the time, see how long it lasts. If it feels right and good hours, days, weeks later – it’s good. If it feels right and good at the time, but hours, weeks, months later it fades and returns back to bitter bad – drop it! Don’t try to punish or get even with your abuser, just concentrate on getting safe because it’s the people we trust the most who can be the most life threatening and dangerous if they don’t have a conscience.

Know your friends

Who can you really depend on? You’ll probably be able to count these people on one hand. Write a list of anyone who you know has your best interests at heart. These people are your friends. These are the people who will understand you and are possibly in the best position to help you. Once you know who your friends are, the people who you honestly trust, start talking to them to disempower your abuser and you’re handing some of the abuser’s power to them and they will take it and offer advice that could help to protect you.

Help others help you

Know when to ask for help and how to ask for help. If you are being abuse, it’s likely you’ve been groomed not to. In fact, you may have been groomed so well you’d stand in front of a speeding bus to protect your partner despite ongoing abuse which includes emotional manipulation. You need to allow others in and let them help you because at this point, you won’t be able to help yourself. If they see the signs, open up to them and be honest. Pushing them away or forcefully defending your abuser will only serve to keep you isolated which is what an abuser wants. End the silence on domestic violence. Talk about it!

Keep a diary

A diary won’t hold up in court. It won’t save you in any way. But what it will do is give you a complete sanity check. It will be a record of what happened, when it happened and how it happened, so if anything happens to you – it’s there.

Build a brick wall or cut the energy bonds

Build a brick wall between you and the person affecting or hurting you. Imagine a thick and high brick wall between you and the person hurting you. This will block the person. If you’re recovering from domestic violence, you may wish to cut the energy bonds to your stomachs. Literally visualise an energy connection tying you to your abusive partner, joining at the belly buttons and imagine yourself cutting the ties with a pair of scissors.

Know your boundaries

It’s no good other people knowing them if you don’t. You need to know your boundaries, be completely clear in them and respect them. If you don’t respect your boundaries, no one else will. Know when to say no. Know when enough is enough.

Know where to get help

Know where to get help. Sometimes authorities won’t help so you need to figure out how else to stay safe and don’t give up until you are safe. Here’s a frightening statistic for you: 70% of Domestic Violence homicides happen once the victim has left. This is often why victims who leave abusive relationships spend a long time following their situation watching their back. I am in the process of developing a website that will became an international hub for where victims of domestic violence can get help – from all around the world … without seeking intervention from authorities who can sometimes alert abusers rather than protect victims.

 

How do you protect yourself emotionally?

It’s not grief it’s trauma!

Kindermishandeling

There are wounds that never show on the body that are deeper and more hurtful than anything that bleeds. Laurell K. Hamilton

Recovering from narcissistic abuse is not your average break up. Comparing narcissistic abuse to a toxic relationship, is similar to comparing an adult lion in rage to a newborn kitten. Narcissistic abuse is difficult for the healthy mind or anyone who hasn’t experienced it to properly comprehend. The major difference between a toxic relationship and narcissistic abuse is that a toxic relationship leaves victim’s in control, whereas narcissistic abuse breaks down victims, and rapes them of their decision to stay or leave through continued lies, threats, manipulation, coercion and gas lighting. The tactics used by a narcissist to control their sources of supply are done to keep them hostage. This week Happiness Weekly identifies the difference between grief and trauma, so you can choose the most appropriate healing or therapy for your situation.

The difference by definition:

Grief is a multifaceted response to loss, particularly to the loss of someone or something to which a bond was formed. Although conventionally focused on the emotional response to loss, it also has physical, cognitive, behavioural, social, spiritual, and philosophical dimensions. While the terms are often used interchangeably, bereavement refers to the state of loss, and grief is the reaction to loss. Grief is a natural response to loss. It is the emotional suffering one feels when something or someone the individual loves is taken away. Grief is also a reaction to any loss. The grief associated with death is familiar to most people, but individuals grieve in connection with a variety of losses throughout their lives, such as unemployment, ill health or the end of a relationship. Loss can be categorized as either physical or abstract, the physical loss being related to something that the individual can touch or measure, such as losing a spouse through death, while other types of loss are abstract, and relate to aspects of a person’s social interactions. Wikipedia

Trauma, which means “wound” in Greek, is often the result of an overwhelming amount of stress that exceeds one’s ability to cope or integrate the emotions involved with that experience. A traumatic event involves one experience, or repeating events with the sense of being overwhelmed that can be delayed by weeks, years, or even decades as the person struggles to cope with the immediate circumstances, eventually leading to serious, long-term negative consequences, often overlooked even by mental health professionals: “If clinicians fail to look through a trauma lens and to conceptualize client problems as related possibly to current or past trauma, they may fail to see that trauma victims, young and old, organize much of their lives around repetitive patterns of reliving and warding off traumatic memories, reminders, and affects.” Additionally, psychological trauma is a type of damage to the psyche that occurs as a result of a severely distressing event. Wikipedia

Is it trauma or is it grief? Defining your issue

The reason I wanted to share this blog is that narcissistic abuse or any kind of abusive break up is far from your typical break up where people will often experience grief because they have lost someone close to them. Often an unqualified person will regard the sufferer’s symptoms as being associated with grief. Grief generally runs its own course and resolves itself, but trauma doesn’t. In fact, it’s important that if you identify yourself as traumatised from a life event that you do seek help from a qualified mental health professional in order to cope. The lack of treatment where trauma is the issue, can often worsen the condition. If you are still suffering after a significant amount of time (months), without feeling any progression and it feels surreal at the same time, the issue is almost certainly trauma.

Common in victims coping with trauma according to MDJunction – people helping people:

  • Talking about trauma is difficult initially
  • Guilt includes self-blame for what happened
  • Anger often involves violence towards yourself or another
  • Pain involves loss, terror, helplessness and fear of danger
  • Your self-image and confidence are distorted and undetermined

The easiest way to define whether you are suffering from grief or trauma is to concentrate on your emotions – are you feeling fear? Are you having nightmares about a person? Generally fear is the dominant emotion with trauma. Are you feeling sad? Are you dreaming of being back with the person you have lost? Generally sadness is the dominant emotion with grief particularly when it feels very realistic. If you’re experiencing these symptoms, the issue is likely to be grief.

The upside of grief according to MDJunction – people helping people

  • Talking about it can help
  • Your self-image and confidence remain intact
  • Symptoms decrease over time

It is as simple as that!

Moving forward from grief and trauma

Although their symptoms may initially appear similar, the approaches to recovery are completely different.

As mentioned above, someone suffering from trauma will need to seek professional consultation to address their issues. Whereas someone suffering from grief will eventually move through the five stages, and can generally feel their emotions move through each stage.

The five stages of grieving include:

  1. Denial and isolation
  2. Anger
  3. Bargaining
  4. Depression
  5. Acceptance

The Australian Psychological Society offers tips on managing trauma, but I still highly recommend that if you have identified this as your problem that you seek professional assistance as soon as you can. The sooner you deal with these fears and emotions, the faster you will be able to deal with them.

Before I go I wanted to share this cartoon on the five stages of grieving by Vinh.ly:

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Life coaching – alternative therapy a mainstream success

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Taking personal accountability is a beautiful thing because it gives us complete control of our destinies. Heather Schuck

There are three types of people in this world. Firstly, there are people who make things happen. Then there are people who watch things happen. Lastly, there are people who ask, what happened? Which do you want to be? Steve Backley

In a world fast moving towards alternative approaches to modern medicines and therapies, life coaching is becoming one of the fastest growing industries in the world. In fact, according to the Life Coaching Institute it has been the second fastest growing industry over the past three consecutive years! This week Happiness Weekly looks at what Life Coaching actually is and examines how this field of expertise can help you.

What is life coaching?

According to Wikipedia, Life Coaching is a training or development process that supports an individual while they achieve a specific personal or professional competence result or goal. Coaching differs from mentoring by focusing on competence specifics as opposed to general overall development.

Who can be a coach?

Anyone can be a life coach but it helps to have some life experience in the area you wish to go into. For example, someone over the age of 30 who has worked hard to lose a significant amount of weight and is passionate about sharing their knowledge to help others achieve the same results and success – this person may make a great wellness coach. In short, if someone has a passion and/or very loud, genuine message and have had solid experience in the area they wish to coach, then this would be a fantastic basis for looking into joining this field.

Benefits of seeing a life coach

You will come away feeling empowered and having the tools to take forward into the future with you which may prevent you from repeating the cycle. It’s about developing a person rather than imposing and it’s more reflective than directive as what you will experience with a psychologist or psychiatrist.

Not every life coach is completely alternative – it’s not all about the inner child, bright white healing lights, positive affirmations and meditation. Life coaches come from all walks of life. Many of them are known to be “wounded healers” who statistically are more beneficial to their clients when compared to a life coach, psychologist or psychiatrist who hasn’t had the experience in the area they’re supporting people. A ‘wounded healer’ essentially means the life coach has experienced the suffering in the area they’re now working in and have now healed, for example domestic violence or addiction. While some life coaches are really into natural therapies and remedies, others take a more practical approach to healing that all clients, including those who tend towards traditional therapies over alternative therapies, can appreciate.

A psychologist or psychiatrist understand the background, and will often have a general overview of psychological conditions, and issues associated, they’re fantastic at tracing back to the root cause of the issue and helping overcome trauma from the past that reoccurs through life, and while a life coach can also assist in this area, a life coach is generally better equipped to be able to assist clients to move forward from their experience in practical ways.

Generally it’s passion that drives someone to becoming a life coach. They may have experienced something that forced them to take on a big life change and they want to share their knowledge from their experience with others. It’s also a fast way to get qualifications and start assisting people from your experience. Coaching also has a forward-focussed model, so there’s no need to go over the scenarios that happened in too much depth, but instead concentrate more on what’s affecting you now and how you can move forward or get “unstuck”.

Finding the best life coach for you

Finding a good life coach who will be able to assist you in the area you need most guidance is essential. If you are looking to figure out which way to go with your toxic relationship but don’t know where to start, a life coach who specialises in a financial field may not be able to assist as well as a life coach who specialises in healthy relationships. Having said that, life coaches are generally connected with other life coaches and they may be able to refer you to someone if they can’t directly assist.

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The difference between confidence and arrogance

Confidence

The biggest turn-off for me is people who think the world of themselves. Arrogance is not a sexy quality, and it really gets on my nerves. Pixie Lott

I don’t usually follow up an article with an article on a similar topic unless they are directly related, but I had an incident that really stopped me and made me consider the difference between a confident person and an arrogant person. Have you ever seen Ten Things I Hate About You – I want to refer to the scene where the guy pulls out two identical modelling pictures of himself from his locker and asks the girl to choose her favourite one? My incident was so similar to this, it made me laugh! Yup, people can actually be like that!

So here we go … there’s a fine line between confidence and arrogance and those who are arrogant miss it. If you stand back long enough to observe someone, you will see it and be able to spot the difference in someone’s behaviour.

The definitions are similar but there’s a clear distinction:

Confidence: A belief in oneself and one’s powers or abilities. It’s based on self-reliance and self-assurance.

Arrogance: Having or displaying a sense of overbearing self-worth or self-importance.

My coaching perspective on the difference between the two:

Confidence is born out of light: the inner self.

Arrogance is born out of darkness: insecurity.

These images also detail the difference well:

The first is Confident Entrepreneur vs. Arrogant Entrepreneur (by Funders and Founders)

confidence-vs-arrogance-entrepreneur-chart

The second image was just something I came across on Pinterest but I think it’s still relevant:

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When communicating with people, step back and ask yourself if you truly value them. If you do, your communication will naturally come from a place of confidence instead of arrogance. It is someone who is arrogant who will take us for granted. You know who I’m talking about – they’re the ones that string you along, waste your time, keep you on the line…

Ain’t nobody got time for that!

My advice if you’re getting to know someone new and you’re trying to work out if they’re confident or arrogant but you just can’t figure it out – just observe. Don’t trust – just watch. Don’t act – let it be. Be patient. Don’t cross any of your boundaries for them. A confident person will have space in their soul to encourage and support you in an ongoing capacity. An arrogant person only has selfish intentions and these will surface in time. But it needs time, because anyone can initially appear supportive. I have a five date rule. If the personality remains consistent across all five dates and they maintain the same level of healthy confidence, then ok.

If not… then consider this:

We all have a choice in every given situation. Sometimes we find ourselves stuck and even trapped – I’ve been there – but now that I am unstuck, my freedom is a priority and a very important value to me and no one will take it from me ever again. In the process, I was able to value myself more than I ever have. It’s the greatest gift I’ve ever given myself and it enabled me to rely on self-validation for all situations. This doesn’t mean I was arrogant before, it just means I wasn’t sure of who I was, so if anything – I was vulnerable and insecure. And through really hard circumstances that I had to go through, I was ultimately able to create a space that enabled me to make decisions – good decisions, healthy decisions – based on my best interests.

Eventually, I realised this: Healthy people are confident. Unhealthy people are arrogant.

Perhaps you feel your life has room for both confident and arrogant people, healthy and unhealthy people – but generally, when we pick something up, we also have to let something go to allow space for it in our life. We also have to remember that everything is energy – including us – and you need to make a conscious decision as to allow positive or negative energy into your life because we are always vibrating something and what we focus on determines how we are vibrating.

So, in my recent closet clear-out, I decided if people were confident, I wanted them in my life – but if they were found to be arrogant – I released them faster than I could bastardise a goodbye down to a good ol’ Aussie “cya”! And since then, my life has had a lot more light, because – and this is the best part of all – confident people bring their light with them and they don’t mind sharing it.

Letting go – the easy way

Butterfly-letting-go

How does one become a butterfly? You must want to fly so much that you are willing to give up being a caterpillar. Trina Paulus

Look around you. Right now. What do you have in your life that’s important to you?

Now imagine that gone. Completely.

Generally even the thought of losing whatever it is makes us feel sad, overwhelmed or possibly even angry.

`While going throughout the journey in life, you’ll eventually come across a point where you need to let go. It may be letting go of a person in your life, it may be letting go of negative thoughts and feelings, it may be letting go of material things. Letting go is the steepest learning curve in attachment. This week Happiness Weekly looks at how you can let go the easy way!

 

Acceptance

Part of letting go is acceptance – acceptance that it is gone, acceptance of your feelings and acceptance of the feelings other people have around you about whatever is gone. For example let’s say we lose someone close to us through a relationship break up or death – there’s not a lot we can do about it, it is what it is – but we will have feelings about it and the people around us will have feelings about it. If we can accept what has happened quickly, then what other people think will bounce off us rather than consume us.

 

Self-validation

I’ve been talking about this a lot lately because it’s true – a lot of the time we look for external validation – but why? We live our lives! Stuff what other people think: What do you think? How do you feel? That’s what matters. Check in with your self and make your internal or self-validation a priority in your life.

 

Be conscious of attachment

If you know you are attached to something (dependent children are different) – let’s say we’re talking about a house, a spouse, a sports car or a romantic partner, start distancing yourself emotionally from whatever it is you are attached to. Practise thinking about letting go of it in the most positive way you can. This is key in recovering quickly if you are to lose it. Even if you just practise it as a passing thought rather than doing a deep meditation over it – if you are to lose it, your mind is prepared and your subconscious will return you with “Oh yeah, you prepared for this – remember when you were thinking this would happen and this is what you thought…” Don’t panic, it’s not the Law of Attraction, it’s preparing for what may eventually happen.

 

Challenge your limiting beliefs

If you were to lose whatever it is you’re attached to, what would it stop you from doing? What is it about that thing that you are so afraid of losing it? How does this thing make you a better person now than what you could be without it? If you lost whatever it is you’re attached to, what would it stop you from being? You’ll find when you start challenging your limiting beliefs about the thing you’re attached to, that you’re able to create distance from it. In fact, you may even discover the thing you’re attached to is holding you back.

 

Believe in yourself

When you believe in yourself, you know exactly what to do. The only way you can believe in yourself is to know who you are. Spend some time on your own exercising your self trust, self acceptance and self love, and learning about yourself and the things you love. Once you know all these things, you’ll be able to believe in yourself, your confidence will grow and you will be ready to face whatever challenge comes your way.

 

Break it down

Take it one day at a time, one step at a time, one moment at a time. You don’t need to let go all at once. But if you use each day to detach piece by piece, you’ll feel stronger because every time we let go of something, we give more energy and power to ourselves. If you are strong enough to let it all go at once, then more power to you – letting go quickly enables you to start your healing journey faster whereas letting go gradually can sometimes just prolong the pain.

 

Let it go

If it comes time that you need to put this into practise: give yourself permission to let it go. Consider other positive stories where people have been in your exact situation (or something very similar) and as a result, have gone on to achieve much bigger and better things. Focus on what you do have, not what you don’t have. Focus on what you can do, not what you can’t do. Read positive affirmations and encourage yourself to let the situation strengthen you. Allow it to make you better not bitter. And remember: When you’re going through hell, just keep going – keep going and going until you’re so far removed from that hell that before you know it, you’re floating with angels again. Remember: nothing can hurt us forever.

 

Finally, if you really want a lesson in letting go, try packing your entire life in a small suitcase and moving overseas to a completely different country … indefinitely. What’s stopping you? Remove the blocks and excuses – and go for it – it will be one of the most empowering things you ever do.

 

let-go

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