Archive for January, 2011

January 31, 2011

The tragedy of self-deception and the gift of honesty

by Dandy

One of the biggest challenges to obtaining happiness is by living in denial and by telling ourselves lies and half-truths.  This self-deception enables us to live in negativity and invest in people who help us to create illusions.  This means we are resistant to acceptance, truth, and change.  If we didn’t resist, whether knowingly or unknowingly, we would have to see things in reality and possibly have to make big change and most importantly of all – take action.

When we deny and lie to ourselves, we:

*  Focus on somebody elses problems to distract from looking at ourselves.

*  Act happier than we feel, that we eventually lose touch with who we are, how we feel, and what our values are.  Bad behavior is seen as normal.

*  Become defensive or even aggressive when people say what we don’t want to hear.  This can result in us isolating ourselves, because we’re not ready to hear the truth.

*  Claim we want to make others happy, because it’s easier to do this rather than put the work into ourselves.  We think our happiness will be a by-product, but we end up often trying to make the wrong types of people happy.

*  Hold onto anger, frustration, and indignation for a long time.  We replay and analyse the situation.  Brood over the woulda, shoulda, coulda, and basically holding on “it” or “them” as a security blanket.

*  Create obstacles to why we can’t change or improve, and use these as reasons to remain fearful, and spend more time worrying than experiencing the reality of these fears.

*  Claim that the reasons we continue to engage with someone or something is for reasons that it’s not. 

*  Say it’s them not us.

*  Become so distanced from our true selves, that we become inauthentic, acting out of sync with our values, doing one thing and saying another.

Denial and lies let us keep telling ourselves the “story” that rolls around in our mind about what we believe to be true about ourselves, about other people, life, love, etc.

If we really want improvement and change in our lives that results in happiness, self-love, loving relationships, we have to minimise the lies and have an honest inner dialogue with ourselves so that we can get back to our real self.

This gives us boundaries, lets us know what feels right, wrong, good, bad, and basically treats us with respect, trust, kindness, and love.

We have all seen people participate in relationships where there are obvious red flags, but they were so wrapped up in all the illusions that they just didn’t see ir, or denied it.  They decided there were no problems, or that the problem was less than what it really was.  That if they love enough the problems will go away.  They think the good in the person outweighs or cancels out the bad.

To put an end to these deceptive illusions means minimising the amount of dishonesty in our lives, especially what we have total control over – ourselves.  No deceptions, no rose-colored glasses, no normalizing bad behavior.  No pretending to be or feel things that we don’t.  We will then stop being participants in unhealthy relationships and situations.  We will be able to catch ourselves and say, “no that isn’t the truth.”  There will be no excuses.  We will be accountable and we won’t shy away from the responsibility that we have to ourselves.

By stopping the denial and lying and start being truly honest, we will be more likely to take action and do something about a problem and actually find a solution.  But we must acknowledge the reality of the problem in the first place.

We will get over relationships if we stop trying to deny who the person is, their issues, and the holes in the relationship.  We will get over the lost love when we stop lying to ourselves about who they are, the truth of the situation, and our own feeling and learn to accept even the uncomfortable truth instead of trying to control people and situations through denial.

If we allow positivity to take up our lives, we will make positive decisions, find ourselves in positive situations, and we’ll become authentic. 

In what ways have you been in denial?  How have you been lying to yourself?  Have you made the decision to be honest with yourself?

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January 24, 2011

5 ways to become patient and powerful

by Dandy

Hello everyone!  I would like to introduce you to the writer of this wonderful guest post, m. Farouk Radwan.  He is the writer and creative mind behind the very popular www.2knowmyself.com  Please check out his website.  It is filled with a wide variety of self-improvement articles.

 

 Did you get patience incorrectly?

5 ways to become patient and powerful

 While everyone knows that patience and persistence are the two skills that can enable anybody to succeed still most people get patience incorrectly as they perceive it as some kind of helplessness.

Contrary to common beliefs patience can make you more powerful provided that you understand it correctly and do it the right way.

In this post I am going to tell you about 5 ways that can make you patient and powerful:

1)     Patience is different than admitting defeat:  Some people think of patience as passive waiting or even admitting defeat while in fact patience is just a decision to not let the current events affect your mood because you know that sooner or later you will be able to fix things. When you decide to become patient know that you are not admitting defeat but you are just waiting for victory to come.

2)     Patience is not waiting:  Patience is different than waiting. In order to be patient the right way you need to be doing your best to change the situation you are in while controlling your emotions. If you have lots of bills that you can’t meet then patience in this case would be not allowing the bills to make you feel bad while working on another way to increase your income or to manage your expenses.

3)     Patience is optimism:  Some people think that patience is the decision the person takes when everything goes wrong and when he has no other options while in fact patience is a state of optimism where you decide that you are going to wait because sooner or later things will turn to the better. When you decide to be patient decide to be positive too so that your patience makes you feel better.

4)     Patience is power: Instead of feeling defeated, crying or even becoming depressed you can make the choice of being patient. In such a case patience is a powerful state that allows you full control over your emotions and impulsive responses. The next time you decide to be patient remind yourself that you are being powerful too.

5)      Patience is wisdom: Sometimes doing the right thing in the wrong time can bring bad outcomes. Patience is not a passive state where you wait for the white knight to come and save you but it’s a state of wisdom where you wait on intention because you know that this might not be the right time to take an action. The next time you decide to be patient remind yourself that you are being wise too.

Now that you understand that patience makes you optimistic, in control, confident and wise you should never regard it as passive waiting

Written by m.Farouk Radwan

http://www.2knowmyself.com

January 17, 2011

Cognitive Distortions: Win against it

by Dandy

When you think about your negative thoughts do you see a possibility that your mind plays tricks on you?  Can you see how negative thinking can distort your view?  Cognitive distortions-where your mind puts a spin on the events we experience, and attaches a not-so-objective interpretation to what we experience.  These distortions of thinking happen all the time.  They are especially common in people with depression, anxiety, and other mood disorders. 

The theory of cognitive distortions came about in the 1960’s with Aaron T. Beck leading the way with his research.  Cognitive therapy has helped multitudes of people since then.

When we know to be aware of these thoughts, it becomes easy to see the cognitive distortions in ourselves and others.  Doing so in ourselves can bring lasting positive change in the way we experience stressors in our lives.

Here are the 10 most common (and officially recognized) cognitive distortions

  1. Overgeneralization: You see a single negative event as a never-ending pattern of defeat.
  2. Mental filter: You pick out a single negative detail and dwell on it exclusively so that your vision of all reality becomes darkened, like the drop of ink that discolors the entire beaker of water.
  3. Disqualifying the positive: You reject positive experiences by insisting they “don’t count” for some reason or other. You maintain a negative belief that is contradicted by your everyday experiences.
  4. Jumping to conclusions: You make a negative interpretation even though there are no definite facts that convincingly support your conclusion.                                                                                                               >>Mind reading: You arbitrarily conclude that someone is reacting negatively to you and don’t bother to check it out.
    >>The Fortune Teller Error: You anticipate that things will turn out badly and feel convinced that your prediction is an already-established fact.
  5. Magnification (catastrophizing) or minimization: You exaggerate the importance of things (such as your goof-up or someone else’s achievement), or you inappropriately shrink things until they appear tiny (your own desirable qualities or the other fellow’s imperfections). This is also called the “binocular trick.”
  6. Emotional reasoning: You assume that your negative emotions necessarily reflect the way things really are: “I feel it, therefore it must be true.”
  7. Should statements: You try to motivate yourself with shoulds and shouldn’ts, as if you had to be whipped and punished before you could be expected to do anything. “Musts” and “oughts” are also offenders. The emotional consequence is guilt. When you direct should statements toward others, you feel anger, frustration, and resentment.
  8. Labeling and mislabeling: This is an extreme form of overgeneralization. Instead of describing your error, you attach a negative label to yourself: “I’m a loser.” When someone else’s behavior rubs you the wrong way, you attach a negative label to him, “He’s a damn louse.” Mislabeling involves describing an event with language that is highly colored and emotionally loaded.
  9. Personalization: You see yourself as the cause of some negative external event for which, in fact, you were not primarily responsible.
  10. All-or-nothing thinking: You see things in black and white categories. If your performance falls short of perfect, you see yourself as a total failure.

Do you recognize yourself in any of these?  To conquer over negativity and depression/anxiety, we can and must stop these automatic thoughts and replace them with more positive ones.  We have the power to change negative thoughts.  We have the power to live a happier, more fulfilling life.

January 10, 2011

Live out of your imagination, not your history!

by Dandy

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January 3, 2011

Kiss my muffin top: A study in self-image

by Dandy

Ah, the holiday indulgence!  Yes, the past six weeks I’ve allowed myself ample amounts of fudge, cookies, cocktails, white chocolate chex mix (oh, baby), brownies, fancy hor dourves, the list goes on and on.  So all the work I put into last summer and fall to lose the 10 pounds that had really been bothering me was thrown out the window.  I had been so proud of myself when I got to my ideal weight.  I felt so good that I had really started to take great care of myself.  I have never been an exercise person, so I really took myself out of my comfort zone when I walked into a gym for the first time in my life and purchased a membership.  The exercise made my self-esteem soar.  I had no idea that exercise could do this for me.  I just wanted to whittle my waist a little.  I had more energy and stamina.  My mind felt clearer and sharper.  All these good feelings motivated me to eat healthier.  I had no more interest in the high fat, high calorie diet I had most of my life.  I bought a juicer and was pouring down the fruits and veggies.  My skin was glowing and my finger nails were really strong.  I started drinking green smoothies and made vegan lasagna

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