Masculinity

How To Take Your Mother Off The Brake Pedal Of Your Life

Many of my coaching clients grew up with a critical, controlling, domineering mother. They come to me because I've experienced this myself and know how challenging it can be to overcome on your own. Despite the challenge they face, I find my clients often make huge breakthroughs in their lives once they start addressing their mother issues both in Skype sessions with me and by taking assertive action towards their goals in the real world. When they stop living to just please their tyrannical mother and silence the inner critic they internalized as a result of their unhealthy emotional attachment to her, they can finally start living their own lives on their own terms.

In one session recently a client summarized his progress by saying:

“I've feel like I've finally taken my mother off the brake pedal of my life”

I am so inspired by many of my client's rapid progress that I want to share with you some of the specific things that we've all found helpful for taking our mothers off the brake pedal of our lives:

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By Graham Stoney, ago
Life Skills

You Never Know Where The Confident Man Program Will Take You

One of the confidence-building activities that I recommend in The Confident Man Program guide is learning to play a musical instrument. Learning to play music is awesome because it's fun, it teaches persistence which is a valuable life skill, and it means you can ultimately join a band and jam with other musicians. Plus artistic skills like musicality are very attractive to women for evolutionary reasons; which is another way of saying that they make you an interesting, well-rounded man. You never know where learning a skill like music can take you. In my case, I learned to play music as an adult and my chosen instrument was guitar. Sure, it's taken a long time, but like any valuable skill the rewards lie waiting for the man willing to rise to the challenge of giving it a serious go. This year I even put on my first solo show, at the 2017 Sydney Fringe Comedy Festival. If you've checked out my story, you'll know that I used to be paralysed by anxiety in front of people; so for me to put together a full hour of original material and let go of worrying what the audience might think of me was a huge achievement. If you're looking for some inspiration or are just wondering what's possible for you, I think you'll enjoy watching the video here: (more…)

By Graham Stoney, ago
Relationships

How And When To Go No-Contact With A Narcissistic Parent

One of the best things I've ever done for my own self-confidence and for my relationship with my parents was to go “no-contact” with my narcissistic mother for over a year. Narcissistic parents create a family dynamic which is all about putting their own needs ahead of everyone else. This becomes a real problem when we become adults because we can end up trapped by the unconscious belief that our parent's needs and desires must always come before our own.

[caption id="attachment_3326" align="alignright" width="640"] Going "No Contact" With A Narcissistic Parent Can Give You Space To Heal.[/caption]

Because the emotional dynamics of the parent/child relationship is so strong, this will keep us perpetually stuck as an emotional child emotionally even though we are physically adults. Since our unconscious mind projects our experience of our parents onto everyone else and onto the world at large, the limiting impact of being trapped in the role of a child who must always please their parents restricts our whole lives.

Going “no-contact” with a narcissistic parent is one way to grow up emotionally by breaking this unhealthy parental relationship dynamic.

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By Graham Stoney, ago
Dating

Learn Advanced Secrets To Dating Beautiful Women

One of the defining moments of my life was realising that I needed help when it came to attracting and relating to women. Back when I worked as a computer engineer, I was a smart guy with a high income; but I just didn’t know how to relate to hot girls. I knew that there were these guys called “pickup artists” who could do it, but for me it was just impossible. I had had a few girlfriends and while they were lovely people, they just didn’t feel right for me. Rather than having the freedom to choose the women I dated, it seemed like I had to settle for whatever came my way. I felt like something was wrong with me or was missing. Perhaps you can relate. Ironically my stubborn pride was getting in the way. I thought I should be able to sort this out myself. "I shouldn’t have to get help just to be able to meet, talk to and date women", I thought to myself. I mean how hard could it be, right?

Well for me, it was very hard.

All that started to change the day I decided to seek help in learning the secrets of how to attract women. The “secret men’s business” if you will. In an ideal world this is the sort of thing my father would have taught me; but I didn’t grow up in an ideal world. My passive father was absolutely clueless when it came to women, which is why he ended up marrying my controlling mother. I was determined not to make the same mistake but didn’t yet know how. (more…)

By Graham Stoney, ago
Emotions

Overcoming Anxiety, Stress & Burnout with Emotional Intelligence

One of my most helpful mentors when it comes to learning to manage anxiety is a guy named Nicholas de Castella. I did his brilliant breakthrough workshop Passionately Alive, and I always remember a private session with Nicholas where towards the end he said to me:

"The reason you're anxious is because you don't know who you are"

Nicholas is an extremely compassionate and genuine guy who gave up his previous career as an architect to teach emotional intelligence to other people for a living. Since then he has helped thousands of people go from feeling stuck, blocked and frustrated to creating a wonderful life, relationship, and career of their dreams. If you happen to be feeling anxious, burnt out or overwhelmed and would like to ignite some energy and move forward in your life, then Nicholas has an exciting opportunity for you. Nicholas is holding a complimentary emotional intelligence webinar called:

IGNITE: Energy for Life! (more…)

By Graham Stoney, ago
Communication

How To Help Your Adult Child With A Mental Illness

I often meet parents whose adult children who are suffering from a mental illness such as anxiety, depression or anorexia, or who are suicidal. When I hear these parents talk about how they're dealing with this situation, they often appear very stoic. They say things like “I need to be strong in order to support my son”, or remark that “I've told them that they are very strong”.

At the same time, I often notice my own feelings of emotional disconnection around these same parents during our interactions. They often talk a lot about themselves in great analytical detail but without much real emotional engagement, and rarely ask me about my own life or how I feel.

[caption id="attachment_3249" align="alignright" width="300"] Empathy is the key to helping your adult child with a mental illness[/caption]

I sense that they're avoiding something in our conversations: a sense of emotional connection.

Unfortunately these behaviors are exactly the opposite of what a person with a mental illness needs in order to feel the sense of emotional safety, love and support that could potentially heal their brain and help them through a time of deep crisis.

While all parents instinctively love their adult children, mentally ill people need to be surrounded by love and support that they can actually feel.

This means being empathic rather than being stoic.

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By Graham Stoney, ago
Self Esteem

How I Healed My Boys High School Choir Bullying Trauma

I went to an all-boys high school where the first grade rugby team enjoyed the highest social status. Anyone who wasn't into aggressive body-contact sports got their head kicked in other ways, and boys on each level of the social hierarchy boosted their flagging self-esteem by bullying the boys on the level below. Any innate sensitivity in a boy was crushed both in the classroom and in the play/battle-ground.

Although I was highly intelligent and generally got good grades, this wasn't valued as highly as sporting prowess at my high school and being a thin, nerdy kid who was the youngest in my year, I didn't do so well at school socially.

I spent my lunch times singing in the school choir or hanging out in the computer room learning to use the new machines that the teachers didn't know what to do with. This was a couple of years before the computer revolution went mainstream and decades before Big Bang Theory made nerds hot prime-time-viewing commodities.

[caption id="attachment_3288" align="alignright" width="300"] Childhood bullying can leave our adult selves feeling self-conscious and hyper-vigilant to criticism from others.[/caption]

Since I was a late developer my voice didn't break until well after high school. It was embarrassing still being in the alto section of the all-boy choir as I headed into Year 11 so I quit and joined the lighting crew in the hall instead where I could feel good about solving technical problems backstage and wouldn't have to perform in front of people and end up feeling so self-conscious.

Fast-forward 30 years to 2017 and I'm studying music full-time at a local tertiary college. My dream is to use a combination of music and comedy to teach the principles of trauma awareness and emotional intelligence to the masses. I think that would be great fun for me because along the way I'll get to overcome my remaining insecurities in terms of freedom of self-expression, and it would also give an extra dimension of meaning and purpose to what I'm doing. (more…)

By Graham Stoney, ago
Therapy

How To Choose An Effective Therapist

Many of my coaching clients often complain to me about their previous experience with psychologists, psychiatrists, counselors and therapists who just "don't get it". I'm often impressed that they even persisted to find me after having such unpleasant experiences. So I created this series of videos to explain How To Choose A Therapist: (more…)

By Graham Stoney, ago
Therapy

What To Look For In A Therapist

Effective therapy heals emotional trauma in your brain and central nervous system by providing a safe environment for you to express your true feelings, with the support of an empathic non-judgmental connection between you and the therapist. The three main things to look for in a therapist are:

  1. You feel emotionally safe to share your feelings with them
  2. They communicate empathically so you feel understood
  3. Ability to handle strong unpleasant feelings without criticism or judgement
It's normal to feel nervous when seeing a new therapist for the first time, but trust your instincts to tell you whether these three things are present. If not, look elsewhere. Here's a video explaining this in more detail: (more…)

By Graham Stoney, ago