I Try To Walk Away But I Stumble

*Guest Post*

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Sometimes, through no fault of our own, we all end up in situations that aren’t good for us. We’re in unhealthy relationships, living with our parents again or stuck in dead-end jobs that, even though we want to, we just can’t seem to find the motivation to leave.

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Stop And Think

When the going gets tough, the tough tend to go on autopilot to cope with whatever issue is causing them grief. We shove it, like an old sweater, to the back of our minds and carry on with our day without actually unpacking our feelings. If you’re waking up each morning feeling sick, unmotivated and depressed then there’s definitely something wrong but what can you do about it? If you’re not sure where all the sadness is coming from the best option is to get creative. Take a ten-minute break, turn your phone on silent and get down to the business of figuring out the problem. You may find it weird, or silly to write about your feelings at first but you’ll soon find yourself scribbling manically as you try to find the source of your unhappiness.

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Go Deeper

Imagine you’re describing your current situation to an alien that knows nothing about human beings and so for him not to attack Earth you have to share everything you can about what’s making you miserable. Try to avoid vague, sweeping statements and make it as detailed as possible, so you’ll be able to see exactly what’s going on. Make sure you’ve included what you would do if someone else were in that situation, what your usual response would be and who you can turn to for help right now. Examine how you got to this point and try to understand the decisions that you made to find the one that’ll extract you from whatever mess you’re in.

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Play Pretend

It’s now time to have a little game of make-believe, yes it sounds a bit weird but don’t worry we promise it’ll help you come to a firm resolution. Allow yourself to take a few deep breaths, close your eyes and think about what your dream solution would be. If you’re stressing out over your career maybe it’s being offered a brand new job, or a fantastic promotion in your current company. Having marital issues? Instead of worrying about Divorce Mediation and how much everything’s going to cost think about what it would be like to be in a happy, loving relationship again.

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Don’t Look Back In Anger

We’re not saying things are instantly going to get better but remember mighty oaks grow from small acorns! Do one thing that’ll instantly make you feel better about your situation in the next five minutes. Followed by three more little things that would help move you closer to that dream goal. Don’t get bogged down with what ifs just focus on those three little things and spend time achieving them. Then rinse and repeat steps two and three, make bigger decisions and before you know it, you’ll have left the bad situation far behind and be on the way to living a happier, healthier and  more fulfilling life.

Introducing Integration

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“In my work, I define the service of integration as helping people integrate an awareness of two or more ‘systems’, for lack of a better term, into one. These systems can be likened to an individual connecting with different truths; ideas; beliefs; ideologies that cause an unsettling. Being aware of each system causes the individual to question one, or the other, or all systems, in order to seek a truer understanding of themselves and/or the world around them.

I like to refer to integration as finding a healthy balance, or middle, by merging very distinct life experiences into a mindful one. After all, it’s our experiences and beliefs that shape and navigate our identities, and we shouldn’t dismiss parts of who we are just because it doesn’t fit with a certain life model. Perhaps, you could consider my integration service as helping you develop your very own life model to live by. A safe process that allows you to accept and explore each system openly, to understand and utilize them, and encourages you to be your best self, and to live your best life.

Our minds are designed to think openly and without restriction, and when we shape our lives to the minds design, we realize our human potential.”

 

Trying to Understand Depression

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“Our life experiences should invigorate our identities. We should be constantly learning new things and expanding our zones of comfort to learn more about ourselves, and what we were put on this planet to do. This is how we strengthen our minds against negativity. Most of us know when we’re in a situation or environment that isn’t right for us and restrict us from developing who we are. When we go against the feedback from our minds and physically remain in restrictive situations or environments, we stunt our human experience.”

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How to Cope With Isolation

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You may notice that I tend to disappear for a while and I hope that the message in this post will help you understand why.

I grew up feeling segregated because I didn’t feel connected to the world the same way my peers did. I remember my insecurities developing because of an eagerness to fit in and become like everyone else. I would find myself trying to adopt trends I didn’t agree with and personas I didn’t I identify with, just to associate myself with what felt like a herd heading towards their own slaughter. Each day I denied myself the opportunity to be me and do the things I wanted to do, I restricted my potential and kept my aspirations at bay.

Although I found success through traditional pursuits, the success never felt genuine. It felt more manufactured and less actualized because it lacked authenticity; it lacked me and my presence. As I followed the rules and marched on like a good corporate soldier, I could feel my identity slipping away.

Living a life I was unhappy with, I began feeling the negative burden of isolation quite quickly. Mentally, my thoughts would always wander into a depressive abyss. Always reasoning with negative thought, I would convince myself that I was alone in feeling this way and that I should feel more grateful and fortunate for my situation, even though I felt like crap.

Physically, I’d become incredibly aware of my isolation. When we’re physically alone it’s hard not to face the emotions we shy away from, so naturally I filled my time with as many distractions as possible: going out and connecting with the wrong type of people, binging on alcohol, fueling my body on the worst kinds of food and indulging on unimaginative TV and media. These were the vices I funneled my misery into.

Needless to say I was becoming increasingly frustrated with the way I was living my life and decided to neglect many aspects of it. From my health through to my relationships, I felt like there wasn’t a reason to take care of any of it. When we face struggles like this in life, awareness and acceptance of the truth is what we must face.

I remember being offered a promotion, or at least the option was on the table and I thought to myself “This is it. This is what my life is going to represent.” There was no excitement, just expectation. There was no passion, just resistance and I’d never felt more disconnected from the aspirations I once held for myself. I’ve always wanted my life to mean something, I believe we all do, and I just felt like I couldn’t dishonor my own existence anymore.

What turned my life around and helped me nurture the confidence to make the bold decisions that drastically altered my destiny, was my relationship with isolation. I figured, if the world I’m living in doesn’t understand the way I’m feeling, and I’m feeling like I don’t fit in, then my isolation will be the safe haven to exercise my identity.

Rather than reason with my negative thoughts I embraced them, I lifted up the rug and faced the emotions I had swept under it. At first, trying to cope with them internally felt crippling so I started to externalize my thoughts by writing them down. I would end up writing thousands of words about how I felt and without really noticing, I was developing and facing an awareness I had long spent avoiding. Upon reflection it was like writing a tragic novel and it was about my life! Seeing my misery displayed back to me was incredibly awakening, and I could foresee where my life would end up if I continued to perpetuate a life I was unhappy with. Whenever I would return to my life and exit moments of, what I started to call ‘therapeutic isolation’, I’d feel uplifted.

Slowly I started feeling like myself again and although I wasn’t ready, rather unsure about the next step I should take, I knew I wanted to continue down this path I had embarked on. I started to make use of my isolation to research and construct my next move and change the course of my story. The first step was quite simple and it was to stop fueling my own misery, first thing to really change were the people I surrounded myself with.

In my isolation I felt empowered and excited. I was always exercising my own identity and connecting with stimulus that encouraged me to think freely and openly. I felt my isolation also acted as a form of measurement, of who I am against the reality of who I was becoming. Eventually I began falling in love with the freedom I felt when alone, so I began gravitating towards a life that felt the same way.

I felt encouraged to connect with people who allowed me to think and live as freely as I could on my own. Anything less than acceptance and understanding wasn’t enough for me. I eventually started to move into places I connected with and in these places I seized opportunities that truly spoke to me. Through honest challenges, I eventually found success that did feel genuine.

Today my isolation is my sanctuary: a mental and physical space to explore the depths of my identity and engage a state of flow. Moments to set myself free and exercise my own potential. A time and space to explore and develop my ideas so that I fully understand them first, then prepare myself to confidently present them to the world.

You don’t need to feel trapped when you feel isolated, nor do you have to view isolation as a negative aspect of your life. Use moments of isolation to refuel your identity and realize that you can develop a life worth living.

Post by Vancouver Life Coach:

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How to Make Decisions

Post by, Vancouver Life Coach

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Life is full of choices, and it’s the choices we make that shape our lives. Therefore the question remains, how do we make the right choices?

I’ve been asked this question over and over again. At first, I couldn’t give anyone a definitive answer because mindful-decision-making stems from the root of your identity. To know if you’re making the right choices in life, you must first evaluate your own identity:

  • Do you feel liberated and free to be yourself?
  • Are you restricting your identity just to fit in?
  • Are you struggling to open up about your problems and restricting yourself from seeking support?
  • Are you making meaningful connections with others?
  • If you’re in a relationship, does your partner see you for who you are?

In summary, are you yourself completely?

Before making a decision in your life, reconnect with yourself. Become self-realized and aware, and establish how much of your life is being experienced by you, versus a version of you that appeals more to your influencers. Think of influencers as things in your life that restrict, or have the potential to restrict, who you are and the great things you’re capable of. From people through to places – are you a product of your environment, or is your environment an extension of your identity?

Work to understand and unleash your identity and you’ll realize how to make the right choices. Whatever decision you’re faced with, you must always side with the choice that keeps your identity intact.

For those that have a responsibility to others such as children, ask yourself if a positive impact on your own life will strengthen your relationship to those you’re responsible for. You shouldn’t make your decisions out of obligation, but rather so that you can fulfill your obligations happily.

Many people come across this blog seeking answers, but the answers readers seek are buried within themselves. Hence its purpose is to encourage readers to be themselves; tune in to who you are, and you’ll find all the answers you’re looking for. Tune into your identity and you’ll begin to recognize happiness as an emotion waiting to be set free, rather than an aspiration to work towards.

Vancouver Life Coach

The Key to Maintaining Health and Happiness

Post by, VanCityLifeCoach.com

Awareness

Sometimes we find ourselves in a state of lasting bliss when all aspects of our lives, have reached a level of fulfillment we’re satisfied with. Although we may not be exactly where we want to be in life, health and happiness will seem to flow easily and we’ll begin feeling assertive and aligned with our aspirations.

When we arrive at these blissful moments in life, we’re prone to complacency and avoidance because moving forward may involve risk, which could disrupt this new equilibrium. Therefore it’s crucial to develop a healthy awareness of self, others and the world around us, in order to continue our pursuits to that dream life we’ve always envisioned.

Awareness is an extension of mindfulness and it teaches us to pay attention to how we impact our own lives. Whether or not we’ve reached a stage of fulfillment, our choices have dictated this destiny that’s currently being played out. Awareness helps us upkeep involvement and control over life; paying attention could be the difference in feeling like life is falling apart, and feeling like life’s falling into place.

Awareness begins with honesty. The first step is to focus on emotion, because it’s the emotions we feel that highlight the truth. When we hurt ourselves physically, we’re often very quick to notice the imbalance and work to resolve the pain as effectively as possible. However, how many of us can honestly say we do the same with our own state of mind.

As a relationship and life coach, I come across many broken souls living life irritated and insecure as a result of avoidance and complacency. On the other hand, I have clients that feel great within themselves but struggle to pursue new opportunities, in fear of losing something deemed safe and secure. The next stage of awareness, after uncovering present emotion, is to look back on the journey up until this point in time.

Many of us may not realize it, but our pasts hold many of the answers we seek to find about ourselves and our lives. How did I end up here? Why do I put up with this? How can I move forward? Why am I…? However poignant the question, the answer could be lurking within a previous moment in time. Investigating the past will help develop an awareness of motivation, uncover the triggers to motivation and we’ll learn how to avoid or promote certain behaviours.

If you’re looking to maintain health and happiness in your life, or if you’re looking to secure it, assess your current level of awareness and you may just realise where your life is headed. Today choose to take control, choose to eliminate fear and choose to overcome the insecurity you live with; Pay attention to how you contribute to your own misery and bliss, and you’ll become aware that you own your life.

Vancouver Relationship and Life Coach

Why Personal Advice from Friends and Family Is Often Biased

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As a Relationship and Life Coach, guiding others is a job I find incredibly fulfilling and I’m always eager to support my clients. I coach passionately and as a result, what I do has sewn itself into my identity and has become a part of who I am. As this becomes more evident, I’ve noticed more people within my personal network are coming to me for advice, albeit their intention or not.

It’s difficult for me to ‘switch off’ from what I call “Coaching Mode”. I’m often like a child who has discovered something new about themselves and I’m eager to share it with everyone I run into. Therefore it can get difficult leaving “The Coach” behind, when connecting/reconnecting with people within my personal network.

Think about the number of times friends and family have come to you seeking your advice or opinion. Now, for instance, think about the number of times you’ve had to lie or bend the truth in order to protect their feelings.

Before stumbling onto this path, I never had an issue with saying and doing the appropriate thing in order to protect the people I care for from getting hurt. However, what I’ve learnt about myself and other people through my work and professional experiences, the appropriate thing to say and do, isn’t necessarily the right thing to say and do. It’s a fine line that I’ve become weary of in recent years, as I continue to connect with people in my personal network both past and present.

As a coach, I’m hired to give my honest and professional opinion. I’ve been hired for a specific reason and to achieve results, complete, and sometimes brutal honesty is required at all times. As a neutral party, my only concern is the well-being of my client and his/her actual responsibilities. However, in my personal network, whereby I’m emotionally tethered, maintaining neutrality is very difficult. In some circumstances where I’m asked for advice, support, guidance or even just an opinion, I find myself facing the following dilemmas:

Do I, a. Compromise my work and what I know and do well, just to keep those nearby happy and content? Or, b. Advise with complete integrity and run the risk of stirring up conflict within my personal network?

I’ve learnt that the answer to either question often depends on how I’m regarded among those close to me. For instance, to my parents, as their youngest child, I’m still very much the “baby” in their eyes. Fortunately my clients don’t see me that way, otherwise I’d make a terrible coach, however this entire adjustment has made me aware of two prominent biases that arise when advising friends and family. Biases we should all be aware of when seeking or giving advice.

Bias #1: Personal Gain.

Most of us probably won’t admit it, but we run the risk of advising friends and family based on personal gain. Or, to avoid the perception of personal gain and potential blame and conflict, we also run the risk of sharing biased advice.

It’s often difficult to offer an unbiased perspective when we’re personally involved. For example, think about the people in your life today and how convenient it would be for you, if they changed certain aspects of their lives? Changes although convenient for you, could result it disastrous consequences for them.

Personal gain is something to be very aware of with advice you offer or receive, as there are a number of ‘sub-biases’ that can lead to erroneous advice. Biases such as: personal insecurity, strength of relationship, trust and access to multiple connections within the same personal network, are to name a few.

Bias #2: Nondisclosure.

Full disclosure is important when seeking or offering advice. It’s important for the advisor to develop a complete awareness of the problem or dilemma and it’s the responsibility of those being advised, to make the advisor fully aware. Therefore, complete honesty and openness is required in order to understand and to be fully understood.

If you feel restricted or reluctant in any way, then already you’re adding layers of bias to advice. For example, think about asking your parents about relationship advice, but leaving out all the intimate details of your desires, because it feels too inappropriate or awkward to discuss. Again many of the ‘sub-biases’ that arise with personal gain are also relevant here too, especially when sharing advice among an established peer group.

In conclusion, to avoid, or at least limit bias when exchanging advice with friends and family, both parties must learn how to emotionally detach in order to establish mutual understanding. However, keep in mind that you also run the risk of jeopardising the personal connection too, because once something is shared, it cannot be taken back, and you have to rely on and preserve trust in order to maintain the relationship.

Therefore in summary, establish authentic trust before seeking or giving advice and be aware of these prominent biases.

Vancouver Relationship and Life Coach