How does life work?

 

Advertisements

How to Tame the Ego

Success is like a drug, and like drugs it comes in many forms: a return on investment, a fulfilling experience, or even reaching a higher state of consciousness. And just like drugs, success can develop into an addiction, and the only way to sustain the addiction is to feed the ego. The ego is the only thing that can convince you that the success (the drug) is all you need to live for.

My ego has fought for dominion over my conscious experience my entire life, and with each success, my self-awareness weakens and becomes a window of opportunity for my ego to reign.

puppet-1406906_1920.jpg

This week has been a series of wins and with each ‘hit’, I could feel my identity escaping me. When you succeed, in the very traditional sense of the word, the world starts to take notice and sort of validates your self-worth with every like, comment, congratulatory call or text. Each validation enhances the ‘high’, and it’s a difficult feeling to escape. I mean, who doesn’t like being validated by someone else?

Over the past few years, I feel my biggest accomplishment has been developing my self-awareness, and when my behaviours started mimicking that of my ego, it was time to put it back in its place. I found myself constantly checking my phone for red notifications, replying “thank you”, to comments from people who don’t really give a sh*t, and allowing myself to believe that only I can do what I do, which I know for a fact isn’t true. That’s not the life I want to build, that’s not the life experience I want live, and nor is it the life I want to share.

Praise is like positive reinforcement, the behaviours (the successes) I was being rewarded for (praised for), we’re reinforcing the idea that if I repeat these same behaviours, I can expect to be rewarded again. Soon, my purpose is replaced with the desire for more praise and validation. This entices the ego to come out and play, and to take control over my life in order to sustain this rewards based system.

monkey-2418851_960_720.jpg

If I let this happen I restrict my potential, because it’ll only motivate me to do enough to keep others happy and keep my ego satisfied. It also places an overwhelming expectation, an unnecessary pressure which’ll distract me from being able to just, be. It’s a difficult behaviour to undo, a difficult behaviour to defeat, when this is what we’re taught from a young age. That the only reason to do anything, is for the reward.

We rarely praise each other for feeling completely content with where we are in our lives. Rarely are we impressed with people who are just happy on their journey, wherever it’s headed. It’s always a sort of “that’s nice” or “good luck” or “you’ll go far”- a compliment that suggests we should be doing more for a reward/better reward. I remember these praises, because I got them a lot when I started blogging. It was only when success grows, do people feel compelled to reach out and say “well done” and “Congratulations!”

Where’s the appreciation for just existing and being you? Why does being you and doing what you do naturally, have to be worth something in terms of “success”, before you’re appreciated at all?

monk-1409820_1920

This is what years of feeling insignificant does to us, when we grow up feeling insignificant any experience of validation becomes a high, just like a drug, because the experience is so surreal to us. We want more of this unreal experience. We’re rarely taught that who we are is enough, so a lot of us spend a lifetime chasing the high for no other reason than to just feel worth something. Forever trying to prove our worth, and less time developing and learning from it.

We all have a reason to exist, we all have worth from the moment we’re born, and I think the ego is tamed when we accept that. When we accept ourselves life becomes this wonderful journey of discovery, instead of a mission to know and have things just to justify what we think we know, which is often very far from the truth.

When we equate validation to acceptance, to love, and to appreciation, we lose sight of our own capacity to accept, love, appreciate, so we blindly validate ego.

Without the attachment to traditional affirmations of success: the nice house, the flashy cars, the perfect relationship and all the other trimmings sold to us on social media, who are we? I think it’s a reason why so many relationships tank, why so many great ideas fail, and so many of us give up on things we’re passionate about so quickly. It seems if we don’t get the validation it’s not worth the experience, so we give up or do the minimum to sustain whatever we’ve built.

man-2548156_1920.jpg

All I did was start expressing my truth and once I got comfortable with it, I navigated my truth to different experiences, and the experiences taught me how to share it. Living more authentically gave me the courage to explore the things that truly interested me, and the more I learned, the more I invested my life into it. I was developing my passion and as my passion grew I identified my purpose, all because it just felt right, natural even.

This is why I wrote this post today, to save me and the future me from my own ego. It may not be well written, nor will it ever be perfect, but it’s me, and so long as I continue to express myself honestly, I’ll continue to develop and grow me into the best version of me I can ever be.

I think if we all work hard to develop self-awareness and actively help each other keep our egos in check, relationships will inspire, passions will be pursued and life will become a freer experience to live.

cropped-sidhu_terry-logo_smsq.png

I Try To Walk Away But I Stumble

*Guest Post*

pic 1

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.

man-relax-couch-study

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.

pexels-photo-210661

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.

pexels-photo-254069

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.

pexels-photo-261501

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.

The Pursuit Of True Love: How To Increase Your Chances Of Finding The One

*Guest Post*

It’s Christmas time, and many of us are looking forward to spending time with loved ones. For some, this means enjoying quality time with a partner. For others, it may involve visiting friends and family. Some people love being single, but others hanker after finding true love. If you are on your own, the festive period can be a stark reminder of just how single you are. If you’re desperate to be in a relationship, don’t worry. Just because you’re not with somebody now doesn’t mean that you’ll never find your perfect match. Here are some tips to help you increase your chances of finding the one.

silhouette-1183062_1280

Give yourself a chance

Are you working all the time or do you spend every available minute with friends or family? Sometimes, love doesn’t come to you. You have to go out there and give yourself a chance of finding it. If you’re not meeting new people, there’s a very low chance that you’re going to stumble across the man or woman of your dreams. Try and be sociable, and cast your net wider. You can learn something from every person you meet. If you don’t have time to date a lot, try taking up a new hobby. Go to evening classes and learn a language, join an art class or play team sports. Internet dating is very popular, but be careful. There’s a perception that many people are looking for something casual, rather than trying to locate their soul mate. If you are talking to somebody, take things steady. Get to know each other before you meet.

It’s also really important to learn and appreciate your value and worth. It sounds cliche, but if you don’t love and respect yourself, you’ll find it tougher to find somebody that does. It’s very easy to zone in on your flaws. We live in a critical society where we’re under scrutiny all the time. Try and concentrate solely on the good points. Everyone has imperfections. You wouldn’t be human if you didn’t.

Adopt a positive mindset

If you’ve been knocked back several times, it’s easy to go to dates with a negative mindset. Why should this one be ay different? Is there any point in putting yourself out there only to be rejected again? The truth is that if you have negative thoughts, this will affect your mood, and possibly the outcome of the date. Think positively. Why can’t this be the day that changes your life forever? What’s to say that this person isn’t completely different to all the others? The beauty of human relationships is that every single one is different. What works for one person won’t for another. If you’re focused and you’re persistent, you can attract what you want in life. A positive mindset is much more appealing to other people, and it will help you to feel more confident.

love-message-2

If you’re single, you may think that finding the one is impossible, but don’t give up. Give yourself chances to meet new people, and appreciate what you can offer other people. Learn to deal with knocks, and try and stay positive. Don’t put pressure on yourself. You may find that you stumble across love when you least expect it.

cropped-sidhu_terry-logo_smsq.png

Why Do People Breakup?

why do people break up?Relationships are the assembly of individual identities. They’re about support, equality, balance and most importantly, acceptance. – vancitylifecoach.com/about. Preserving these types of values keep relationships alive, and help us rise above a lot of relationship challenges. However, if these core values are neglected, communication starts to breakdown, intimacy begins to dwindle and we’ll no longer feel understood by each other. Which then establishes the foundation for every disagreement and difficulty that soon proceed. Indeed, it’s drifting away from core relationship values which carry us into ‘breakup’ territory.

We’re all conscious beings full of complicated emotions, and we’re driven by what we desire from life. When two of us decide to align our lives together, we do so because we’re enthralled by each other’s identities. As we explore each other’s physical and metaphysical worlds, an intimate bond develops, and makes it easy for our emotions to intensify, and for our personal desires to get blurred. In these moments, we become very present and nothing else matters but the here and now. We want nothing but to hold onto these feelings for a lifetime; we want nothing to change because of how we feel within ourselves.

We all want to be completely understood and want to be accepted and embraced for who we are, and it’s never more realized than in newer relationships. When we meet people who make us feel this way, it’s easy to develop an attachment towards them. It’s about how we feel. We long for these traits because they help us believe in ourselves and help affirm our identities, and this is how we need to feel in order to fulfil our own desires. Being truly understood, accepted and embraced, these are the innate, underlying intentions we all share when pursuing a relationship, because they allow us to love ourselves. If we’re not feeling any these fundamental emotions within, love, generally, cannot grow and the relationship will struggle to fulfil its purpose. Instead, we can find ourselves holding onto an attachment that lacks substance, and that’s when the doubts and uncertainties start to arise.

We tend to forget, or pay very little attention to, our own contributions during the growth stages in relationships. In the beginning, everything is new and exciting, the future is brighter, we’re feeling good and if, by, some sort of sorcery, we manage to become just as valuable to our partners as they are to us, but it’s easy to lose sight of that for a number of reasons…

We become so mesmerized by the other person in the beginning, that we’re not mindful of the conscious exchange that’s at play. If the balance of the exchange is not maintained, and the scales tip in favour towards one person or the other – i.e. we receive more love, appreciation, understanding and acceptance e.t.c., than we give, or, give more than we receive, or, don’t give each other any at all – a pressure or burden begins to amount and that’s when we start drifting apart.

…for one, we live in a world abundant with messages that reinforce a certain ideology of love, and we get so caught up in these ideas and ideals, that our natural intentions get skewed. It’s a wicked conditioning that uses our motivations against us. We’re bombarded with associations of what love and belonging looks like, sounds like, tastes like and what it’s like to touch and smell love. These imitations reinforce a belief that love is limited to our 5 physical senses and as a result, we start moulding ourselves to appeal to these senses. It’s a reason why ‘profile dating’ even exists, and why it’s difficult to develop the courage to strike up a conversation and get to know somebody. It’s a reason why inequality is still a struggle today, because we’ve been taught to believe that love is not blind, that love is biased and that true, genuine and honest emotion can quite possibly be bought.

Political, social and economic conspiracies aside, we shouldn’t be entering relationships being understood, accepted and embraced, for qualities that do not represent who we are. Qualities that do not represent the conscious being within (our trues heart’s desire). Otherwise, we’ll find it difficult to sustain any emotional connection with anyone, because the core relationship values would’ve been built upon a fallacy. I think all of us can agree that no matter how hard we try, the truth of what we’re feeling will always find a way to surface. The weight of that truth will continue to get heavier and more unavoidable over time, and places a strain on our relationships.

If truth cannot reside within a relationship, how much longer an individual go on feeling misunderstood? How much longer can two people live with misaligned desires? How much longer can an individual live complacently?

However, there are still many of us who have managed to escape the influences of the world and have established and maintained very honest relationships. Breakups that do occur in these sort of bonds are the result of mutual understanding. If we’re constantly being honest about how we feel, and we completely unveil our truths as soon as they surface, then issues are given the opportunity to be resolved. We can avoid a lot of prolonged upset and heartache, if we preserve an environment where we can open up and communicate. After all, a lot of arguments and frustrations are the manifestations of unresolved problems.

In summary, relationships should empower us to explore life fully, so that we can each discover and/or fulfill our individual purpose. When we form a relationship, we enter a mutual agreement based on this very philosophy. We don’t enter them to feel restricted or suppressed, nor do we want that for our partners.  Therefore, if any of us are ever feeling this way in our relationships, we have duty to ourselves and to each other to open up about how we feel, and work towards a resolution so that we can each continue to progress our lives forward.

Vancouver Life Coach

How to Make Decisions

Post by, Vancouver Life Coach

right-way-wrong-way2

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

Why Personal Advice from Friends and Family Is Often Biased

post by, VanCityLifeCoach.com

Advice

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