The Link Between Our Actions & Stress…

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It’s not often that we can be honest, in its most raw form. Honest that is, with our own selves. Of course, the world outside is increasingly fraught with social regression and a form of self-imposed recidivism (we are going backwards into groupthink). The level of stress placed on our shoulders, the expectations we carry, the lack of time and patience. These are all creating a ‘loop’ of constant tension, be it for arbitrary or profound issues alike.

Now this may sound a little OTT, but the gist is as follows; it is becoming a more stressful world and the term stress has many meanings and associations with other behaviour patterns such as tension, lack of confidence and direction.  For this piece, I wanted to focus our attention on a type of stress that we bring to our own door. The type we create with bad ideas and even worse decisions. Admittedly, this is a tough pill to swallow, but if you truly have a desire to improve your sense of self and develop your abilities, then this form of self-reflection is essential to that exact progress you seek. So let’s dive in and examine in short and easy to understand statements, how we bring stress to our selves.

How self-created stress emerges…from the actions of others to my own:

  • Created when I lack control over my environment (things that I directly influence)
  • Arises when others do not take responsibly for their actions and choices and neither do I 
  • Arises when I make the wrong choice or action but deny it
  • Created when I promise too much to myself or someone else and can’t fulfil 
  • Proves that I’m still ‘living’ but most likely have things worked out in a less effective fashion and this has impacted on me
  • Proves that I still matter to someone or something enough for it to create ‘meaningful’ dilemmas, but I might be approaching matters incorrectly
  • Something that happens when you want something too much (unrealistic expectations)
  • When you need a break or rest (but refuse to acknowledge it)
  • The natural environment of modern society and its processes (I just accept it and don’t fight back with passion and vision)

Interestingly, the last one is very strange, because it is as much about stress as it about or own inability to recognise how much ground we concede to norms and values without questioning them. Slowly, they build a wall of passive acceptance in us despite our own path becoming difficult. We end up taking on the stress because we don’t feel we can resist these conventions and therefore by default, we accept change is not a realistic option for us.

Stress is about manageable emotions and feelings that have been allowed to manifest themselves as more. They become like bullies, like a ignorant person you meet who you know should know better, yet they don’t. Stress arises from normal mundane matters that have become more siginificant due to our own lack of will, time or understanding in how to handle them originally.  Stress nags your mind, preys on your weaker thoughts and exacerbates existing negative perceptions we may hold. Showing greater will, determination and awareness generally results in you being more able to address matters and make decisions. Nerves are different to stress and anxiety is different to it also. If we can learn to separate the nature of the emotion being felt, we have a chance to work on its root cause or least put in place steps to help limit impact.

Thanks for reading !




Where Does Strength Come From?

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How do we engender will and power?

  • Accepting our unique differences and limitations as part of our reality 
  • Learning to work with these limitations to the best of our ability
  • Stop comparing ourselves to others 
  • Realising that the ego is not always our ally
  • Knowing which thoughts to trust and which to ignore 
  • Seeing weaknesses as a part of a learning process and not something to be ashamed of
  • Accepting individual responsibility for your decision and life’s outcomes 
  • Learning that being strong is different to being angry or aggressive
  • That sometimes what you don’t say gives you better levels strength and fortitude than reacting without thought    

#strength #resilience #lifecoaching

Why is Change Scary?

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Feelings that make it seem scary can include…

  • Because you know its inevitable but you still want to believe you can prevent it happening 
  • Because you can lack control over change sometimes and that makes you feel vulnerable, which is far from an ideal feeling
  • Because change involves adapting to things you may not like or want to accept 
  • Because sometimes the result of change may affect you in ways that you perceive to be negative before it even occurs 
  • Because we get used to how things are and don’t like the idea of them being different
  • Because sometimes, even if we are suffering, we may fear the consequences of change so much that the feelings of suffering appear to be more manageable than confronting their root cause
  • Because the unknown makes us uncomfortable so we tend to stick with the familiar, including bad routines for example 
  • Because it may involve sacrifice which is something that sounds dangerous 
  • Because the meanings associated with the word ‘change’ has been fed to us through modern cultural narratives to mean something either simple (change of clothes) or something profound (change in health) and such extremes make our minds uncomfortable with the notion of accepting it as something that sits right in the middle of the human condition
  • Because deep down, without change, there is no life and when life seems like it’s on hold, we start seeing change as something that can wait too, but the truth is….it can’t

#change #life #coaching #mindfulness

Glamour and Character

It takes a certain type of journey or path to build character. Often it is the less desired route one must take into order start to appreciate the more serene efforts of success and achievement. That is not to say that once you reach your destination, the effort can stop or that character is not required. What is evident from history is that the more difficult the path, the greater the character building and once the path is easier, then a different type of character is needed; an appreciative one.

What’s Wrong With Being Real?

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We live in a world that is constantly moving the boundaries between reality and fantasy. We are almost at the point where the two have merged into an ever-present networked, interconnected and ubiquitous sensory ‘rush’. People are quick to point out that they have the ‘right’ to define ‘real’ as they see fit, but you see the trouble with this is that if what you have defined as your ‘real’ doesn’t then manifest that way, your sense of loss, despair and hopelessness is generally ‘off the scale’.

This sounds serious no? I mean, you are bombarded with narratives, images and social norms that condition your mind to accept that being real is now connected to being anything at any given time. Being real could be thinking you can climb a mountain while sitting on your couch, it could be sailing around the world from your bed or being a movie star from your desk at work. Our imaginations have always been powerful arbiters of our desires, dreams and ambitions. There is nothing wrong with that at all, but what happens when external forces start to wrestle away our sense of imagination and replace it with what they think we are thinking? 

Artificial intelligence is artificial for a reason. Virtual reality is virtual for a reason. Our perception is linked to our personal experience and our perspective is shaped through this perception and that of the external world around us. There is very little left in our digitally controlled world that reminds our conscience of what the attributes of the word ‘real’ are anymore. Somewhat ironically, the conscience is the only unlimited gift we posses and it’s the exact thing that brands, products, advertisers and corporations are all chasing us for. The conscience expands as our understanding of realisation does and this is what is linked to the concept of self-actualisation. Therefore, the conscience is tied to the self and the self is our most powerful tool in our own hands. When this tool is at the mercy of external influences, its configuration (perception, awareness, hope, fear, doubt, certainty, pain, love etc.) is no longer managed by what is ‘real’. It is instead managed by a complex network of subtle and sustained influences that over time combine to form a ‘pseudo-conscience’.

If this all getting a little too ‘Star Trek’, then let’s bring to the ‘real’ (gotta love the irony). Ask yourself, what is ‘hype’ and what is ‘real’. Hype is what you build around something. Real is what you build, feel, sense, touch, taste, understand, know and be part of. You can of course be ‘part’ of hype, but what happens when hype wear off? This is the difference between ‘real’ as lived and understood by your own conscience and ‘real’ as sent to you by algorithms and hype. Real is what you are when you attach only the appropriate value to things as opposed to trying to ‘add value’ to things for the sake of it. Real is a state of mind. Real is a state of being at one with reality and perception. Real is the part of you that knows ‘you’ the best. Everything else is trying to convince you that ‘real is not really’ in your hand’s at all…this leave me to ask the question…are you real?

You May Be Someone Else’s Purpose…

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There may be someone directly or indirectly involved in your personal or professional life that needs you to be you and stay you. By this what is meant is simple; someone may find purpose in you. Purpose is often misunderstood as a concept and an even less well understood as a reality. At its most brutally simple, purpose is about why you do what you do. At its most complex it is the foundation of someone’s reality and journey. How then can someone else find purpose (simple or complex) in another?

The answer lies in the relationship between wants and needs. This may seem strange at first, but upon closer inspection, wants and needs are in fact interwoven with the idea of purpose. It is through learning what we want and what we need that we tend to end up with an idea about our sense of purpose. The issue that can arise is whether or not the purpose we have found is the actual one that will benefit us over time. When we engage and build understanding with others, a host of underlying issues come into play. Some of these are intention, action, awareness, want, need, motivation and situation to name a few. We can sometimes unknowingly project some of these onto others and as a result end up in an unofficial inter-dependent relationship. What we do and who we are can become a type of beacon to another who for a variety of reasons may be seeking the exact form of influence or direction that your own actions may be exhibiting. Both parties may never fully acknowledge this influence, but it slowly starts to take shape and as it does wants and needs start to converge into common understanding and expectations. 

This is why life can never be described as a linear journey. Life is a constant tangent of ups and downs, change and adjustment. It is during just such a journey that others grab a momentary sample of your essence. This ‘force’ becomes something that attracts deep lying needs and emotions in others that cause them to recognise your ‘flow’ and actually be overtly or subtlety drawn to ‘it’ through you. The key here is to understand for your own wellbeing and everyday life, what the actual intention behind this convergence may be. Naturally, some may be drawn to you for reasons that may cause you harm or negative outcomes and others for positive and life affirming reasons. This is where you have an important realisation to try and come to. You need to develop a sense of awareness as to what your own purpose is in order to then project the best elements of this purpose to the wider world. You see, what you project about you is at the same time projecting a part of your purpose as an individual. Be mindful of what you’re projecting and that way you will also know what is worth protecting. Purpose can be shared, but it can’t always be spared if used in the wrong way.   

The Other You…

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At some stage, place or point in your life, you have decided to seek recompense, fault or blame in another person. Regardless of whether this was intentional or as a by-product of circumstances, the ‘other’ has come into your view and caused you to think and possibly act upon what is nowadays part and parcel of how we seem to define ourselves. The process is referred to as ‘othering’. This term is attempting to define the spectacle of when one person creates a sense of self or identity that is dependent on there being someone else to compare or contrast their own reality to. 

In essence, this is not a new phenomena at all. In fact, from the very earliest human stories we see a process emerging in which the self has to attach its ‘being’ to the existence of another in order to find, attribute or align a sense of meaning. The issue with othering is as follows;

Too often othering is about blame, grievance or some of suffering. These three terms are powerful in their own right, but when combined with a physical entity (person) to manifest them in, they become immense drivers of what can only be described as ‘sub-human’ behaviour. We now have narratives, imagery and constantly rehashed information appearing on our screens every second, yet we also have less time to process this information. This odd duality of existence creates an imbalance in the favour of an ‘instant gratification’ model of life. Basically, we take in stuff and don’t often question why. We just need the ‘rush’ of consumption, regardless of its actual net worth or merit to us . 

So when things in your own life go array, it can be very easy to start looking around for someone or something to blame. There are situations when people do hurt us, abuse us and make us suffer. There is however, a difference between being a victim and deciding of your own volition that you want to be a victim of the ‘other’. The reality of the ‘other’ is that often we are looking for an easy win or solution to why we are not where or who we want to be. For this issue it is actually inside that you need to look. There is another, its true. This other is your ‘self’, ego or conscience. The other you don’t like looking into the mirror because of. Start there and look up at the mirror. Better still, look into it. The other is you. 

#change #personaldevelopment #othering