turning over a new leaf
To bring about real change in your relationships, you have to have a clear understanding of who you are and how you relate to the world around you, this process is counter intuitive because you have to learn to accept yourself unconditionally, before beginning the process of change. This is because in any relationship you find yourself in, you are the only variable which you can control.
Life is about relationships, from friendships, work, to our more intimate relationships, it is easy to recognize flaws in others and how these flaws have played a role in the failures we have experienced in our relationships. In most cases where people readily point out the flaws in others they are usually accurate, unfortunately pointing out the flaws in others when it comes to evaluating our flawed relationships is really a small part of the equation.
Let’s say you have experienced a string of poor work experiences, and you have one horror story after another to tell about supervisors and coworkers from hell, it would then become a fair question for someone to ask you how it was you came to routinely find yourself in those bad situations? If you were cognizant enough to realize that these were bad work places then it stands to reason that you should have been cognizant enough to recognize that you were not fit to work at these places before applying for the job.
Perhaps it is you, pertaining to how you relate to the world around you and those to whom you are drawn to? Regardless, if you have found yourself in a string of bad relationships it is long overdue for you to recognize and accept your personal flaws.
When it comes to how we see ourselves, some people have a blindspot. This blindspot results from our innateness as social animals to fit in and belong with the larger group. So if you happen to have been raised in an environment where getting in line with everyone else was the expectation, the idea of who you are, is probably significantly different from who you really are. In today’s world, mass media plays a very influential role in getting others to embrace identities that don’t fit with who they really are. This is done by exemplifying certain types of people in a positive and flattering light, while barely mentioning others.
If you are a chronic consumer of media, and you want to see yourself in a positive light, if stands to reason that you will come to mold your identity after those being modeled. The problem with this is that you would be focused on trying to address problems that don’t pertain to you, which only creates more problems for you.
So how do you learn about yourself? Well, on a personality level you can take a personality test like this one, or this one. Secondly, regardless of the outcome of any personality test, learn to present yourself as you are to others around. Specifically, practice being brutally honest with yourself and others at all times. Being brutally honest doesn’t mean that you tell everyone about your private affairs, but it means that you should become more cognizant of the narratives you tell yourself and others in an effort to blend in.
Our subconscious always knows the truth, and this truth about who we really are is always nagging at us at a times. This is why when people are trying to run from who they really are, they make up these false narratives, regarding their past and present in an effort to impress others.
Ultimately, by getting to know yourself and accept yourself, you will find yourself successfully addressing the right problems in your life.
Ugo is a psychotherapist and life coach.
Why do people sometimes accept the cliche that they are not ready for to accept change that is clearly overdue in their lives? In this video, I discuss why you are more ready for change than you realize.
Ugo is a psychotherapist and life coach.
It’s the new year, and the time has come for most people to make a New Year’s Resolutions which about 85% to 90% are going to break. The truth is that most people who make New Year’s Resolutions have no intention of breaking them, they truly want to turn over a new leaf and experience a new chapter in their lives where they hope and intend to find some level of happiness and fulfillment. So why do people break their New Year’s day Resolutions?
The answer is not a simple one but it starts with the subconscious. The beliefs maintained by our subconsciousness, represent the foundation for our belief system, regardless of what beliefs we hold in our consciousness. The reason for this is that most of our core beliefs are learned from our immediate care givers during our early life experiences. As you can imagine, children aren’t exactly known for their sophistication in thinking, so this translates into latching unto anything you hear from parents, guardians siblings and peers, you name it, it’s probably going to stick, even if it makes so sense. The role of a child is to fit in, no matter what, as a result children rarely critic the information they receive, they simply encode the information and act out on it if necessary.
Take for example, beliefs about violence. You can publicly state that you do not believe in violence, because as an adult, you have come to learn that violence solves nothing. However, what if you grew up in a violent family and community? Chances are your knee jerk reaction to feelings of disrespect from someone is a violent urge, despite your commitment to renounce violence. This is because our subconscious is more influential than our conscious, and in order to rid yourself of those violent urges for good you need to identify what your hidden beliefs are in other to change them for good. This applies to resolutions to lose weight, improve finances, improve relationships and so on. The reality is that if you have ever committed to a resolution, only to fail, it’s because you hold unto a hidden belief that contradicts that goal.
For example, I once worked with a client who was making good progress in losing weight. When she visited her grandmother who she had not seen in months, she was advised by her grandmother to stop losing weight. Now here is the sad part of the story, my client, in spite of the weight she had lost, was still overweight. When we processed this incident, we came to an agreement that given the amount of time she spent as a child with her grandmother, it stood to reason that she held unto a hidden belief that she should be extremely overweight.
This now leads to the question, how does one access and change unhealthy beliefs in the subconscious mind?
Before you make your New Year’s Resolutions, here are two techniques to assess and change how you view yourself in your subconscious mind.
Write 5-10 Minutes a Day
Write whatever comes to your mind for a period of 5 to 10 minutes every day. Do this for about one week, the goal of the exercise is to familiarize yourself with what truly motivates you. You might surprise yourself, with what thoughts come to mind. If you do this for one week you will come to observe a reoccurring theme with your seemingly random thoughts, and the entire process might trigger some long forgotten memories.
If this process brings to the surface some long forgotten trauma, please schedule an appointment with a therapist.
A recent Harvard research, provided evidence that meditating induces changes in a person’s brain, to the extent of positively influencing emotional regulation and access to memories. So what does this mean? It means that if the practice of meditation is powerful enough to influence change on the brain’s structure and functions, then no matter how ingrained a belief is in your subconsciousness, you can still change for the better.
With what you have learned about yourself with the writing exercise, the next step is to use meditation to begin the process of visualizing the changes you want in your life. For example, if you have come to learn that you see yourself as undeserving, based on your writing exercise, then you will focus on seeing yourself as being deserving from a place of gratitude. Once you have done some work on the theme of being deserving, then you can transition into meditating on your actual New Year’s Resolutions, diet, new source of income etc..
Ugo is a psychotherapist and life coach.