How to Master Your Own Mind: 5 Ways to Maintain Control

post by, VanCityLifeCoach.com

Mind

Over the last few weeks I took a break from writing and I spent time with family whom had visited me from England. I wanted to be present during each moment as they were only here for a short while. I didn’t want to escape a moment to experience gratitude. Life is about balance and prior to them arriving, I had spent most of my time working towards my own passions and building my career; I had severely separated from a crucial part of my identity and neglected the very support that kept me grounded. My family visiting me was an opportunity to reconnect.

The last time I had spent this much time away from my writing, was when I suffered a severe case of doubt and fed the belief that I wasn’t really good enough. The difference this time, I was in full control of my own mind, I mindfully stepped away from work because I knew what I needed to. When you become so passionate about something and push through the negative infiltrations, fear transitions from not feeling good enough, to the fear of losing what you’ve built. Spending the last few years developing my own mindset and pulling myself out of unprogressive thoughts, has taught me that I can’t live life motivated by fear. I can harness it to trigger motivation, but I cannot allow my life to be driven by it. Today I proclaim to live life awake, aware and in abundance; I’m learning to master my own mind.

#1.  Objectify your Thoughts

A habit I’ve been getting into, is evaluating and reflecting negative and destructive thought. Whenever my thoughts turn sour, whether it’s about myself or negatively towards others, I dance around it with thoughts of understanding. I’m not simply replacing negative thoughts with positive ones, as far as I’m concerned, there’s a long line separating the two. What I choose to educate myself with to interpret thought, is what keeps my mind balanced and still.

When a thought enters my mind that causes me personal conflict, I acknowledge it. I make myself fully aware that I’m experiencing some sort of disconnect with my own identity and it’s time to evaluate and reflect. I personally externalize the thought, put it on a piece of paper and begin to understand how I came to such a negative assumption. When you decode these thoughts, you begin to weaken their impact, almost like repeating a word over and over again, until it no longer sounds like a word.

We often give certain thoughts more power than others, usually the negative ones get the most attention; like how a baby gains more attention by kicking and screaming. By making yourself aware of thoughts, you begin to question them, you’ll circle around different thoughts with questions; theories and ideas, until you stumble on the truth. And you’ll know when you’ve reached this “aha” moment, because you’ll feel very much empowered.

#2. Conceptualize Perception

Nothing feels more real than entering a flow state. When working on something you’re passionate about, the world around you seems to flutter away as you engage your inner genius, as your heart, mind and body is working in full synchronicity. If you regularly engage a flow state, you’ll become increasingly aware of how blurry perception can be. This is my 123rd blog post, I’m 7 chapters into writing my first book and I have invested countless hours a day talking about what I’m passionate about. Each time I come out of a state of flow, the world around me seems that much more distorted.

I’ve learnt to conceptualize perception, for one, I don’t waste time on what people think. It’s impossible for me to know what thoughts are motivating other people’s perception of the world, without spending time to get to know and understand them first. When you’re negatively impacted by others, you’re often focused on one recurring, internal thought. You’re boomeranging your own thoughts as you convince yourself that everyone shares it.

Don’t be naïve, focus more on doing the things that engage your passions and fill your life with bliss. If at every moment you’re engaging in an activity or thought that doesn’t fulfill you, you blur your perception of reality even more. Life becomes complicated and you’ll find yourself scrambling to understand why you don’t fit in.

#3. Experience Detachment

For the longest time I’ve been trying to understand the term detachment, that I failed to practise it. It’s not letting anything have rule over your life that’ll steer you away from truth. In my opinion, detachment is more of an experience rather than a practise, it allows you to experience liberation like never before. Imagine; complete and utter freedom and no rule from thought, desire, emotion, people and even your own possessions.

I always say detachment feels the same as taking your clothes off in public, you have nothing left to hide as you strip away everything you’ve ever held onto, that kept you from exposing the most vulnerable part of who you are; your truest form. Detachment finally allows you to exist, uninterrupted nor influenced. Detachment guides you to peace of mind.

To start experiencing this today, begin to understand your relationship with everything you give meaning to, starting with your material possessions is the easiest way to begin. Evaluate your desire for these things, ask yourself why? Question the very purpose of how things define your life, not your lifestyle. The more rule you have over your life, the more rule you have over your mind. The more you latch onto things, people, desires, and thoughts and so on, you weaken your mind because you deter from what’s truly meaningful.

#4. Awaken your Imagination

Ever had a crazy thought, idea or put together an insane, out of this world theory and shrugged it off as silliness because you’d think people would think you’re insane, paranoid or just stupid? Yeah me too, but there is so much fun to be had if you just let your imagination roar. Regularly exercise your mind by freeing it from the shackles of reality, I always note down my “insanity” and store it in a folder called “Chaos”.

Your imagination is vital to unlocking your potential, eventually one of your ideas, or crumbs from several ideas will guide you to self-actualization. If you let your mind regularly do its thing, you’ll eventually stumble across something you’ll feel confident expressing.

Why compartmentalize your imagination to fit in with the current trends and ideologies when, the advances we have in the world today came from the individuals often once thought to be insane. The world isn’t flat, the earth revolves around the sun and society is finally coming to terms with the fact that, we may not be the only ones living in this universe.

Imagination leads to discovery.

#5 Open your Mind

Last but not least, be curious, because when your mind opens up, you give fear the opportunity to escape. Connect with engaging stimulus; read more books, listen to more people and accept more fact. Try new things daily and test old practises rigorously. If you want to advance your mind, you need to stimulate it with something new. Expand zones of comfort and never be afraid to understand something by asking questions.

I grew up around warped cultural traditions that caused prejudice and inequality, the moment I moved away from it, was the day I began to discover my identity and my place in the world. And never hold anyone else back either, especially if you haven’t gained the experience or exposure to conceive any genuine opinion. This is your life remember, it’s up to you to discover what it’ll be about.

VanCity

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A Message to My Peers: Fitting In Is A Scam

Fitting in

Recently I’ve been researching Sikhism, a religion I was born into but never really adopted. The lines between religion and culture were always blurred. Making the entire idea seem like one big contradiction.

My mother’s been trying to teach me the true meaning of what it means to be Sikh for years. Until now I was always too stubborn to listen. However, I’m finding stories of defending for what’s right, equality and breaking free from oppression inspiring, because of the much-needed change in the world we live in today.

The more I learned, her teachings didn’t feel religious. It felt more like a common sense guide on life and humanity.

I’m understanding more than ever, the requirement for equality, serving and contributing to society, awareness and the balance of body and mind. I know it sounds a bit hippie-ish, but when you filter out the crap messages that dominate our society, you realise how many of us are led away from our very own fulfilment. You realise how many people are frustrated with the way of the world right now, and how we contribute to it.

Reflection: A Quarter of a Century

February, 2013. I was approaching my 25th Birthday. Life was high and love came in abundance. I was on the verge of completing many goals I had set to achieve at this age.

As deadlines loomed, I was also closer to figuring out my passions. I was employed and earning money to live comfortably within my means, and I had secured my permanent residency abroad. For the first time, I felt like I was on track with a life I had set out to live.

However, I felt like I was on the verge of losing control over it.

After turning 25, it seemed the pressure was on to settle down and to start taking “life seriously.” To find a career and begin to live life just as the world expected me too. Ideologies became the framework for my life and all of a sudden everyone around me seemed to make my love life and my career a point of discussion.

It was all too overwhelming, it was like society was prepping me for adulthood. An adult life I never envisioned as a child.

Where I thought I’d gain control, the world wanted me to change and navigate the rest of my life for me. Before harnessing that control for myself, I shifted control and guidance away from my parents and almost handed it over to an unfulfilled, judgmental and overbearing society.

There I was, 25 years old, trying to fit into a world crippling under prejudice and inequality: socially, economically, culturally and politically.

As my innocence wore off I felt the colour of my skin illuminated. My gender had influence in society, my social status; from where I lived to how much I earned seemed to influence many outcomes too. My age, my personality, my aspirations, my hobbies and interests…It seemed that the world would pick apart my identity piece by piece. Until I became insecure enough and conformed to social norms, in order to “succeed” in an unequal world.

Behind curtain #1

It’s ironic; adulthood. I spent my younger years being told to dream big. That I can be anything I wanted to be. Believing it will happen one day if I worked hard enough and remained dedicated. Furthermore, I was taught how to be good and to act responsibly among society. Simply put, I was taught to be something and to discover my passions until I found fulfillment in life.

Sounds unrealistic right? Well that’s my point, I began believing that to.

I almost moulded myself into a society that shuns you for being different and dismisses you for having the guts to dream. Pretty much making you feel like an outsider for going against social norm. I realised that my decisions at this point in time we’re crucial to my well-being.

Do I work towards building a life of my own choosing? To realize my passions and figure out what I’m all about. Where fulfillment is mine to discover.

Or

Do I follow a template that will grant me access to an example/idea of fulfillment?

Either way I’ll be lead down to success, how much time and effort required will significantly differ, but which one would be worth it in the long run?

Regaining control

Over the last couple of years, I took my blogging and writing seriously and decided not to give up on my newly discovered passions. I decided that I want my own life.

As tough as it was going against the grain of society, I decided to stop taking promotions in a job I wasn’t comfortable going to. I decided to stop getting into relationships that offered nothing but physical affection or meaningless companionship. I wanted to work for myself and do something I enjoyed. I simply didn’t want to waste my life nor fill it with anything that I wasn’t fulfilled by.

However it does get difficult and sometimes, I get irritated because of the time it takes. I sometimes think about giving up writing altogether. Giving it all up in fact, coaching others, my book and turning my back on the aspirations of positively impacting society.

As I have the skills to earn more money in meaningless jobs available to me, I could have it much easier.

Then I remember, I only turned 25 in February 2013. The journey from then to now has been phenomenal. Even though I haven’t earned a penny yet from my writing, I’ve learned so much about the world and about life. By simply not adhering to societal pressure, I’ve grown immensely in confidence and in self-belief.

In the unlikely situation that all odds are truly against me and I don’t manage to fulfill my aspirations in this lifetime. Then my words will remain until they inspire someone who will. If I get hit by a car on my way out of this coffee shop, or if like my father, I develop an illness that rapidly prepares me for the inevitable. My life won’t have been lived in vain.

As I live or when I die, what lessons will my nieces and nephews learn from me? What will my peers appreciate about me? But most importantly, what would I have done in my life, or tried to do in my life that I was truly proud of and fulfilled by.

To gain fulfillment is to take back control

If you think of hate, judgement, fear and negativity, these problematic frustrations stem from a lack of fulfilment. Frustrations build up overtime, because we systematically close the doors on our natural motivations, to reach self-actualization. We keep that door firmly shut and perpetuate this broken society, because it’s easier to progress that way in this unequal world. To gain fulfillment is to take back control.  Regain control and you’ll no longer fear the world.

And for the first time in my life, I’m taking some lessons from my religion. Don’t get me wrong I still don’t believe in a deity judging us from above and you won’t catch me rocking a turban. Nor will you ever find me preaching any holy manuscript either.

I’m writing my own life’s story with some help from some quality teachings (that’s the biggest lesson we can all take from religion). I’m progressing in life by understanding what makes sense and disregarding anything outdated, pointless and defective.

F.Y.I. If anyone is searching for a God, then look within yourselves for any voice of hope, which tells you to do something with your life. Don’t sit there and pray or hope for a miracle. Take your life in your own hands and awaken your inner God.

Whether I’m facing an ounce of doubt or a crumb of judgment I’ll look back on the words that fill these pages. I’m glad I chose to discover my own purpose, an early adopter of a better world and a chance at true fulfillment.

Don’t blind yourself to what you truly want in life. F*** what anyone else thinks about you or your aspirations. Have the guts to go out into the world and do your own thing. Take a chance on yourself, don’t let society (or religion for that matter) dictate your actions. Don’t believe everything you’re told – you’re smarter than that, embrace research. Take from them the lessons you require but ultimately navigate your own path and live your own life. Lastly, make your life one to be lived.

Vancouver Relationship and Life Coach

Deterring from “Default Success” to Join the “Happy Elite”

Happy Elite

Growing from strength to strength has a lot to do with the ability to see past what you believe is your limit.

I was sitting in seat 24E on a flight from Spain to England, we had finally ascended above the clouds and the plane had settled as it continued to cruise through to its destination. I thought to myself “how many people set their limits to a certain point, that they go through life not experiencing the calm and stillness that comes with being self-actualized.

I find that many people never get a chance to experience their own potential because they set their limits based on the actions and achievements of other people in similar situations. Furthermore, so many people struggle to think beyond the clouds because they allow their success to be default. Success that is expected by following a standard pattern of living – default success.

The idea of default success halts their imagination and constricts their ability to be the best that they can be.

Rather than working to their own potential, they work towards the potential of other elements such as their education, their environment and perhaps their money and upbringing. I find that the majority of people aim for ‘default success’ because it is safe and it is easy, yet they fail to realize the loss of control: finding it difficult to pursue something they really want because of the fear of failure.

Problem is, safe and easy gets safer and easier and there’s nothing wrong with that,  until there is, when their entire belief system is turned upside down. The moment they’ve realized that they have missed out on huge opportunities, those moments they reflect on life wishing they had spent more time investing in their passions. Those moments they’ve realized that they have no idea of who they are. Moments like these affect so many people negatively because life was never truly lived and turning back or starting over feels like an even bigger risk than continuing on an unfulfilled  path.

This happened to millions around the globe during the economic crisis and it won’t take you long to find an example of the many people that chose the securer option, only to lose the very security they believed in.

The annoying thing with people stuck on the belief of default success, is that they repeat the behavior when things hadn’t gone to plan, for example: returning to school to obtain a skill, to secure another position they don’t really want.

The chase for default success restricts you from joining what I call the ‘happy elite’.

The ‘happy elite’ are people who have the guts to really dream and put that dream into action, even if the investment to begin with is minimal. Those that aren’t intimidated by another person’s possessions or monetary wealth. Those only concerned with living life confidently the way that they want to. Investing time in the things that make them happy and surrounded by positive attitudes. Working and determined to make their dreams a reality and free from the fear of failure. Those in the happy elite would only return to school to obtain skills to pursue a passion, with an eagerness to learn and participate.

Life is no longer a rat race, and it definitely isn’t about “catching up” to peers nor where I should be on society’s timeline. I’m in full control and I’m piloting this plane straight to the destination I have in mind. The day I decided to really invest my life into what I really wanted from it, also including the process it took to understand and discover what that really was, was the day I became a part of this extraordinary minority.

Vancouver Relationship and Life Coach

Why Insecurities Develop When Used To Mask Doubts in Relationships

Image

When a discussion topic turns to relationships, the term insecurities get thrown into conversations all the time. Many people I’ve spoken to tend to say that their insecurities are affecting their relationships. However during the course of discussion, the case is that people will use the term as an excuse to simply mask and avoid doubts and concerns – ultimately blaming themselves for an entire problem that they may never have caused. For example, if someone is concerned that they are not getting the attention they deserve from their partner, compared to at the beginning of the relationship; many people justify that as an outcome of one’s insecurities getting in the way, rather than investigating where the doubt stems from first. Unfortunately when left unresolved, these doubts begin to develop into actual insecurities that carry over into other relationships.

First of all, here’s what I know about feeling insecure: People rarely reveal their insecurities, if someone is truly insecure about something; they do everything to avoid highlighting it. Feelings of insecurity are internal, insecurities will affect one’s own behavior, personality and self-confidence and it’s a huge self-esteem knocker. Feeling insecure is psychological and often stems from trauma and not from unfortunate situations.

In relationships when things begin to go south we always try to find a way to reason them. We want to understand why a certain situation is occurring. However, what I have found from many people is that they use their insecurities as a reason, almost like a defense mechanism, to avoid understanding the actual root of their genuine feelings. Also, people don’t like to feel their making the same mistake twice, so when they feel that something iffy is recurring, they confuse their emotions and reason with insecurity. It’s easier to admit fault with our insecurities as they are difficult to overcome, than to face up and deal with a relationship that could be on the rocks or even failing. It’s taking the easy way out.

To define those points which trigger feelings of insecurity is to look at the doubts you have, which in most cases means to track changes in behavior, either of your own or your partners. If you’re still the same person in the relationship as you were when you began it, then most likely it’s not insecurities that are making you feel uneasy, listen to your instinct instead. If you had insecurities in your past which you felt were resolved but now feel have been triggered, then you need to define the moment things changed and resolve it, before you begin blaming yourself. If you feel you’ve never had insecurities in the beginning and now they’ve developed, then you need to define the moment they began; In many circumstances you will notice that it’s caused from a change of behavior in the other person within the relationship. When we can pinpoint changes, we can then begin to unveil the true reason.

Consider doubts your warning signs, your mind and body will try to tell you if you’re beginning to feel symptoms of insecurity. If you notice yourself becoming more introverted, avoiding discussion and shunning away from the topic of relationships – these are signs of feeling insecure in your relationship, which then can be identified as causing the problems. If you’re openly talking about your relationship and trying to engage in discussion to resolve issues – these are your doubts. Feeling truly insecure in a relationship is very damaging, you open yourself to be controlled, manipulated and your identity can slowly get consumed. Justifying doubts as insecurities can lead feeling like every relationship you enter will ultimately fail because of your “insecurities” and you end up jumping over hurdles and compromises that can cause emotional harm.

Here’s some advice, if your partner isn’t helping you feel more secure and comfortable, then clearly the relationship lacks a lot of the basics that make being in a relationship worthwhile. People forget the purpose of having another person in our lives – we need to feel empowered and encouraged by the people we keep close to us, to be surrounded with positivity and comfort and to offer this in return. Either way, you need to feel secure.

Vancouver Relationship and Life Coach

Understanding Fear and the Fear in Decision Making

Decision

We’re always faced with making big decisions; decisions that shape our lives and decisions we make that affect others around us. In such situations we often seek out advice, but often enough our advisers turn into influencers. Just like consultants, we trust that their steering us down the right path because we lack knowledge or skill. So we can often get misguided by placing our trust in others or dismiss good advice completely because of past experiences…

…and on this other hand if we’re not seeking advice, we’re battling against our own experiences and instincts, we rely on what we already know to help aid our decisions. Good or bad, our past has a big influence over our future, previous failures and successes determine the size of risk we’re willing to take. We play by odds and a battle between heart and mind commences.

All my life I’ve gone with my instinct and followed my passions – it’s what I trust the most, but now and again my instincts get overwhelmed and my passions are taken aback when faced with big, often life altering decisions. I lose trust in my own instinct, or not notice what it’s telling me because of all the uncertainty.

Now normally I would battle on and power through a swaying decision until I uncover the answer, but I’ve learned over and over that there is no time to sit and wait – by doing so major opportunities maybe missed and I’m to be left with regret.

Making quick decisions is a skill you develop when you trust yourself. If you doubt yourself you begin to lose that trust, you lose that trust then you’ll live in fear; fear of failure.

To help me out I did what I rarely do, I took a break from my existence. In order to process my thoughts and figure out what I wanted, I had to escape everyone and everything for a moment so that I can re-enter my life definitive. Up until this point I was hit with so many persuasions (both internal and external), I didn’t know whether to fight or flight or where to draw arguments from; it was intimidating.

So, I turned off my cell phone, packed a bottle of water and literally went on a hike. I didn’t even pack my i-pod, music motivates my mood and I didn’t want to be influenced by anything. I journeyed to a familiar spot so that I wouldn’t get distracted by a new environment and I hiked towards a solitary place overlooking the city. From there I just sat with my bottle of water and only had my mind to keep me company, something that is often difficult to do in today’s society, but I processed the hell out of my thoughts.

It was refreshing but it was difficult. For the first 20 minutes or so I kept thinking about all the time I was wasting, the time that could be better spent investing in more productive projects. Focusing on the stuff I needed to get done, thinking I should have brought my laptop along and missing my I-pod. It was like my mind was in rush hour and my thoughts were stuck in traffic; I wasn’t getting anywhere but I was very eager to move on from them.

I continued to sit there and my mind eventually rested, I began thinking of the most random things, bizarre memories would just make their way forward and somehow I was taken back to the very first time I visited New York City; the excitement and the motivation that I felt back then. I remembered how ridiculously naive I was and how little I knew about the world and about life in general and yet, remember feeling like I could rule the world – I wasn’t scared because I had no other choice but to take control and let my identity lead the way.

It was then I realized that my indecisiveness came from fear and my theory is: fear is a reaction to the lack of control. I had lost complete control over a decision, which is why I feared making it. Fear also starts a war between the physiological and the psychological which is why you’re only really presented with the fight or flight option and i choose believe that’s bulls***, therefore I present to you my loop hole.

When you’re struck with fear and a difficult decision, take the time to just escape for a moment, not completely but just for a moment, re-align yourself with your goals to regain control, to turn the situation around to your advantage and face your decision with your life insight.

Like me it may take some reminding of what you want or gained from life, others it may mean educating yourself more for a better understanding. Whichever way you can regain control, allow yourself to break away into thought to figure a way out of doubt. It allowed me to fully understand the decision I needed to make, it was as if I could see the light bulb flashing above my head and everything suddenly became crystal clear – I came to my own conclusion to overcome the conflict and made my decision. I restored trust back into my instincts.

Vancouver Relationship and Life Coach