The Courage Found in Creativity

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Our imagination can take our minds to places we never thought possible. We all have this beautifully engineered component which gives us the capability to, safely and securely, explore alternate realities and ideate to our hearts content.

It’s through exercising this ability we’ve been able to progress and evolve as a civilization. Many of the things we take for granted today, are the result of someone courageous enough to pluck an idea from an obscure reality and make it real.

One of my favorite pieces of advice to share with people who lack courage – is to create. Creativity is the key to unlocking our minds and understanding our own identities. It’s the opportunity and freedom to be ourselves as we explore the world within.

Being creative; that first brush stroke or note, that first idea or theory,  that first movement or moment…it’s like switching on an engine, shifting into first gear and beginning that journey towards courage.

Engaging in our creative abilities allows us to confidently explore the truth within and explore the depth of our potential. As we shift into higher gears and really begin to indulge our identities, as we navigate through the limitless multiverse that is our imagination, we’ll begin to see sense in our creations and stimulate a unique purpose for our own lives.

We all start our lives living on instinct and raw emotion. As children we have that confidence and courage to explore and be open and expressive. As children we yearn to be understood and accepted, yet as we grow older, the paradigm shifts as we climb into a box and try to fit in; in fear of being different.

As we nestle into these boxes, a dilemma soon arises when we become increasingly aware, of how lonely it is living life boxed in by perception and the classification of normality. They limit creativity and curb our opportunities to innovate and express ourselves, because we continue to play within a space which we naively consider to be harmless. Yet it weakens courage and dwindles confidence.

They also limit our connection to others. They restrict how much we are willing to share and how much others have available to explore. Eventually, stepping outside of our proverbial boxes becomes a nonsensical notion, as we deem those living blissfully free from these restraints: brave, inspiring and/or foolish.

So if you’re sitting there reading this with hopeful desires, wishing and waiting for that one day, that one opportunity to lead your life into greatness. Then let your imagination soar and express your creativity and as you continue to create, you’ll find the courage to step outside of your box and showcase your identity.

VanCity

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How to Move On From Resentment

Resentment

Image Credit: Nikko

Resentment is an internal pressure. It’s easy to forget that as you direct your emotions towards the cause of this bitter feeling.

I think back to moments in my life, where I’ve resented people and situations in my past and often enough, my own difficulties moving forward stemmed from an internal battle.

When you resent, your emotions clash with rationality. You find yourself in a state of bitterness because your identity has become compromised. Things like putting your life on hold for another and repeatedly leaving your vulnerabilities exposed, can cause you to repeat negative behavioral patterns that go against what you truly desire from life. As you begin to find it difficult to break through negative emotions, resentment makes you act in ways that truly aren’t in your nature.

The way to move on from resentment lies within your will to change.

When you’re steered away from your own pursuits and desires in life, your identity becomes confused. From my own experiences, resentment tends to arise when this realization occurs.

Rather than face and process the internal battle, you’ll often find it’s easier to cope by emotionally projecting your issues onto others and/or certain situations, like getting angry.

Remember, this is your life and if you’re facing any resentment, it’s up to you to take charge and direct change. Although it may ease the pressure by getting angry and attempting to have others feel your dismay, take it as an indication that your identity has risen to the surface and that you’re ready to take back control over your life.

This is a crucial time to be pro-active, rise above the cause and reconnect with who you truly are.

Take this awakening to re-establish your self-worth. Your feeling this because you’ve discovered that there is something better for you to find. Be it a better life, partner, career, lifestyle…whatever the circumstance, a little shift in perspective can turn resentment into a motivational trigger.

Whatever the case maybe, if you are facing resentment, take time away from the cause and thrust yourself towards things that make you feel like you. Connect with your passions, engage in activities that motivate you, do something that you want to do (I personally enjoy a short trip away). As you engage in blissful activities that spark your spirit, you’ll begin to take back control over your life piece by piece, until your identity is fully restored and you’re prepared to move on from resentment.

Vancouver Relationship and Life Coach

Betrayed by Success

I’m fortunate and grateful to have met success throughout different parts of my life. From my achievements through to overcoming struggles, I can definitely say that I’ve ranked some wins over the last few years.

However, I was reflecting on moments in my life when success felt more like a deception. A time when I was chasing a dream that never reflected who I was nor what I wanted for my life.

Prior to embarking on my own journey and following my own aspirations, I was on a track that society had laid out for me. I did exactly what we’re “supposed to do” and I got the education, I got the job that came with prospects and with all that in place, I was en-route to accumulating everything I anticipated to acquire.

I was living what I thought was an Ideal life; gradually becoming the envy among my peers and looking more and more like the successful people I saw in magazines and on billboards.  Sad thing was, people we’re only noticing my possessions and the way I looked, which crippled my identity and my ability to be myself.

I felt betrayed because I did everything I believed I had to do to be successful.

Turns out I was yearning for a success that wasn’t mine. I was trying to live up to an image of success that wasn’t defined by the life I actually wanted to live.

There’s a major fault with the way society defines success; we’re bombarded with pictures and images, information and content that defines what success should look like. From the way we should look and behave, to what we should have accomplished by a certain age. I was seduced by the generalized messages, targeted towards millions of individuals, to live generalized lives.

The pressure to look successful overpowers the journey you really want to take, and you end up on a trivial pursuit of happiness. To experience and achieve true success, it should be defined by your own aspirations, shaped by a dream you’ve always envisioned.

A lot of us end up blurring our aspirations because we’re too focused on living by the ideologies we’re presented with, when in fact it should be the other way around.

I have clients and friends today that choose to cling onto the same life that I was living and still waiting for that feeling of fulfillment to arrive. I won’t lie, giving a lot of that up to proceed with life by my design was difficult. Although I did feel rebellious and I did feel like I was moving in the wrong direction, the payoff soon came when I unlocked the potential that was held back by desiring a life I didn’t connect with.

I no longer feel betrayed and I emit the energy of my aspirations and my identity. Every day I get closer to living the life of my dreams is a successful day. I have all the perks of success: I feel confident, I feel happy and I feel fulfilled by my achievements.

Determine your own success today and embark on that journey towards your dream.

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

6 Rules You Can Follow, That Will Help You Believe In Yourself

Self Belief

One of the biggest hurdles to pursuing your passions is believing in yourself. Here’s some rules of mine to help you overcome that.

Rule#1  – Start your own path

For the longest time I put off pursing my passions to follow a path that others dominated. I saw other people take certain steps towards their aspirations and rather than developing the mind-set of starting my own journey, it seemed to make more sense to follow/mimic somebody else’s.

I was wrong. I needed to stick by my own passions if I truly wanted my own success. I didn’t want to follow the path of the family man, or the big shot corporate guy, nor the broke artistic guy nor did I want to fit into any stereotype. I didn’t want to be so easily defined so I took a vow to set out my own rules with my own identity and let that guide my success.

Rule#2 – Drop everyone’s expectations

Shed the expectations people have of you. Shed the burden of living up to someone else’s design of your life. I place emphasis on, more than anything, the importance of living life your own way. Here’s why: if you live life by living up to someone else’s expectations then you relinquish control to someone who can never understand what you truly want, because nobody can.

Be sure to expect the best for yourself and determine what would make you happy and take charge of your own life. Yeah sure by all means accept help and guidance when you need it, but know when you need it and when you don’t. You want to believe in yourself? Get to know yourself.

Rule#3 – Learn how to handle challenges

Challenges vary, but consider all things that you find difficult, all things that make you feel inadequate and all the negative impacts from life as your challenges to overcome, not burdens to live with. You need a positive way to work through them, faced with a tough task? Perhaps break it down into small easier tasks. Finding it difficult to handle negative comments? Then use that negative energy and drive it in your passions; there is nothing wrong with wanting to prove people wrong, so long it’s with your actions.

How you handle each and every challenge life throws at you will determine your ability to actually succeed. Trust me on this one, challenges are like tests, how you handle them determine whether you pass or fail.

Rule#4 – Overcome your problems – learn to fight

People always have two options when dealing with issues and problems. It’s the classic fight or flight, you face them and deal with them head on, or you avoid them and run away from them. If you choose the latter you will never feel like you believe in yourself, because each and every problem needs a solution. Fix them, you may not even want to, but you have to, failure to do so will only further prove you can’t handle what it is you want from life.

Rule#5 – Consistent activity – engage in your passions

There is something you want and you probably believe you won’t get it. Put that belief aside for now and just carry on. If you want to pursue something and you believe it won’t happen, just continue to engage in your passion regularly. The more knowledge you gain and the more you throw yourself into the world of your passions, that glimmer of hope you hold onto, will get brighter.

You will slowly tip the balance from self-doubt to self belief. You’ll notice that your haters will not be able to challenge you as much and that your disbelievers can’t deny you anymore because each time you engage, your closing that gap between yourself and your dream.

Remember –  LEARN, IMPACT, FULFILL and ENGAGE (L.I.F.E).

Rule#6 – Find supporters and surf the wave of encouragement…

…even if it’s your Nan, or your dentist or some random stranger in a coffee shop that struck up a conversation because of mutual interest- there are plenty of opportunities to find encouragement. When you do come across it, accept it, don’t deny it..it is totally OK to let others believe in you if you might not do so right now. Don’t disprove them.

The energy you receive is based on the energy you put out there, so if your focused on your passion and its evident, people will eventually notice and start believing in you, even if you might not right now. Follow this rule and watch your confidence grow and you will begin to believe in yourself the sooner you accept that others do.

Vancouver Relationship and Life Coachhttp://www.vancitylifecoach.com/

How to Overcome the Illusion of Having Zero Confidence

Confidence

Society today is blurred by what it means to be confident. People often associate the term with appearance and/or one’s ability to socialize and meet new people, but I reckon confidence is what you gain from mastering a skill, which of course takes practice.

I see confidence in everyone, just observe anyone doing what they’re good at. I watch a mother who struggles to interact with new people, yet oozes confidence when it comes to supporting her family.  An introverted computer genius may feel inadequate to ask a random girl out on a date, but put that same guy in front of a computer and watch his confidence transmit.

Every single person has confidence and you can find it in those “time to shine” moments of life. Everyone is an expert at something, therefore when you want to tap into your confidence, look to moments when people turn to you for advice and guidance. Where your skills and abilities are strongest is where you’ll find your pool of self-belief and what it feels to be confident.

Confidence issue

If you feel you lack confidence, the first thing you need to do is be unambiguous.

I always get asked “how do I become more confident?” I tell you now there’s no switch that you can turn on which will make you strut down the street, with your head held high taking on the world. The question needs to be specific, ask “how do I build more confidence in…”

People who miraculously appear confident can never hold onto it. Certain things you change in your everyday life may help you feel more confident, but only for short while. You need to build confidence piece by piece until  specific skills are acquired, these skills will help you overcome your confidence issues in the long run.

Just like when you learn a new sport, you have to train and the more you train the better you get, the better you get your confidence grows.

So don’t live life by the illusion of having zero confidence when you really do have heaps of it stashed away. If you ever feel inadequate, timid or unsure it’s probably because you haven’t acquired the skills you desire yet. Remind yourself of that now and again and build confidence with plenty of practice.

 

Vancouver Relationship and Life Coach

Become More Confident: The Confidence and Curiosity Cycle

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Curiosity boosting confidence – the most enriched people I’ve come across show signs of being able to boost confidence by delving into curiosity. Confidence grows as you continue to understand who you are and what you want, therefore when curiosity is explored you learn that much more about yourself, what you like and don’t like, if you are good at something or not – curiosity opens areas of your own person you never thought or believed existed. The scary part is you need to have the guts to plunge into it first, which is how confidence allows you to be more curious.

Achieve a result: When you finally dive into exploring curiosity, the biggest challenge is seeing it through; people fall at the first hurdle and it tends to negatively impact their confidence. So even though you may have just begun to explore, you need to push yourself until you achieve some sort of result in order for you to gain confidence. Otherwise, you may end up letting yourself down, leading to self doubt – which is how curiosity can negatively impact confidence.

 Confidence allowing us to be curious – Think about when you embarked on something new for the first time: like a job/new business, an extreme sport, even travelling on your own for the first time. Certain triggers led you there, the fears and anxieties often spark your curiosity, maybe it sparked an interest, maybe you saw someone else’s courage or maybe, you know what it will do to your own self-esteem if you ventured into curious territory. These triggers open up your mind, you want to learn and know more so you build confidence by gaining a level of understanding first – often leading to research and assessment. Others, on the other hand, can jump right in based on what they may already know or have experienced. Either way, you go through these steps in order to ease the pressure of the pursuit. As they say – knowledge is power and with this confidence you’re more likely to take a chance.

Take action: When you build your confidence to a level of allowing yourself to be curious – be curious and discover. I’ve noticed I can only build confidence when I pair it with action. You’ll notice that when you bump into people who only appear to be confident, it’s because they cannot pair action/evidence to what they appear to know.

The drawback and gain: When the cycle is fully deployed and you didn’t gain the results you had expected, you can still leave with the peace of mind of knowing you had explored unknown/unfamiliar territory. Relishing in the fact you gained some sort of knowledge and understanding something you may never have understood before – be it about yourself or anything else. Although you may struggle to repeat the cycle again so soon, you will do so with more caution and preparation. Going through the whole cycle with a positive outcome, you will only become more curious and more confident or vice versa, and as you repeat the process over and over you will gain knowledge and understanding of whom you are which can only work wonders for your own self-esteem.

Vancouver Relationship and Life Coach