Hey there, it’s Graham here. Now, if you’re interested in making some serious inroads into boosting your self-confidence, then you’ve come to the right place because what I want to do is talk about the number 1 factor that undermines our self-confidence the most. And it’s an interesting one because very, very few people are even prepared to talk about it. So you’re probably wondering, “Well, what is it?” Well, it’s very simple. In one word, the problem is shame. Now, you probably recognize shame as a feeling of embarrassment or as a feeling of inhibition that holds you back from doing things sometimes, and it’s often accompanied by the thought in your head of “What are people going to think? If I do what I want to do, if I act on my impulses, then what are people going to think?” http://youtu.be/lzpAVL9TBNs (more…)
Hey, it’s Graham here again with another confidence building idea for you. And today I want to talk about a serious subject which is the weighty topic of getting some emotional healing, if you need it. Now what tends to happen to us in life is invariably we go through a series of events, some of which are great and some of which are not so good, and some of the ones which are not so good can be so heavy that they’re really traumatic and they leave us with some kind of emotional scarring deep down in our psyche that hangs around and affects us for the rest of our life until we get to the point where we’re ready to deal with this stuff. Now, the way that your subconscious works and that your emotions work are that any time you have a event that happens with a strong emotional response, in particular an emotional response that’s too strong for you to deal with at the time, we end up with a traumatic memory stored deep in our subconscious. And what happens is that any time in the future that we’re in a similar kind of situation, we’ll have the same emotion arise because we’ve been programmed for that by the traumatic event that’s happened back in our past. http://youtu.be/vLbR4sbow38 (more…)
[caption id="attachment_1988" align="alignright" width="258"] Holistic Counsellor Peter Saxon[/caption] Emotional wounds from early life can have a profoundly detrimental effect on our self confidence and our ability to be successful in life. Even wounds that we're unaware of or reluctant to acknowledge can still strongly effect us because they operate on the unconscious or subconscious level. These wounds can lead to self-sabotaging behaviour that may be obvious to other people, while we remain oblivious to what's going on. Yet we keep encountering similar painful experiences in life over and over, unable to pinpoint what's causing this pattern or how to break out of it. Often deep emotional wounds that we may be unaware of are at the heart of our ongoing suffering. Fortunately my good friend Peter Saxon is an expert on dealing with exactly this problem in men's lives, and I recently seized the opportunity to interview him on the topic. My favourite quote from this interview is:
“When we really get to experience our feelings directly without avoiding or grasping or going to the emotional drama of the feeling, and are actually be able to sit with it, and then look to identify what the need is underneath that feeling, and getting help to meet that need: life changes dramatically.”(more…)
Do you ever experience situations where you suddenly feel really bad in response to something happening around you, and have a compelling urge to withdraw or shut down? If so, you've probably been emotionally triggered. I've been doing some acting training lately with a local theatre company which does shows based on Forum Theatre. This style of theatre is highly interactive: The actors perform a play in which things end badly for one or more of the characters; but then instead of leaving it there they go back and replay some of the scenes using suggestions from the audience as to what the characters could do differently that might change the final outcome. We even get members of the audience up on stage to role play their suggestions while the other actors remain in character to see how the ideas from the audience play out in practice. The role I was being trained for was to act as the Joker: a kind of cheeky M.C. whose role is to liaise between the actors and the audience, asking for suggestions from the audience and encouraging them to get up on stage to play those suggestions out. While the introduction to this part of the play was scripted, the audience interaction is all improvised based on the suggestions that the audience offer. Some suggestions will be worth running with while others may need to be modified or combined depending on everything from the values of the organisation presenting the show to the time constraints imposed by the venue. (more…)
Want to talk to someone about how you can become more confident? Are you in a rut, needing some encouragement? Do you have a specific issue you're stuck on? Have you experienced traumatic or emotionally overwhelming events in the past and can't seem to move on? Or are you unsure what the problem even is, and need some help sorting it out?
If so, you could probably benefit from some personal coaching and therapy with me.
"I wish I'd had that conversation with you twenty years ago Graham"
- Paul, Chatswood Australia
I offer one-on-one coaching via Skype to men (and women) anywhere in the world so you get help tailored to your specific needs. Confidence is a social skill, so your confidence will grow faster when I coach you in person. You get support, understanding and direct feedback on your situation which will enable you to gain confidence and deal with the issues in your life much more quickly than you could on your own. I can help you pinpoint and deal with the troubling emotions that underlie a lack of confidence and low self-esteem because I know from personal experience how helpful this can be.
Many people are looking for the answer to the basic question: how to be happy?
We all want to enjoy life and avoid suffering, but there's more to it than just that. So here are my 10 secret keys to happiness:
#1: Make A Difference To Other People
No man is an island. We're all biologically wired to live in community, and to make a contribution to the greater good. Of course we're also wired for self-protection and to get our personal needs met, but millions of years of evolutionary development living in tribes means that we can't do this in isolation. Loneliness is one stark reminder of this that motivates us to reconnect with our fellow man.
If you make yourself the center of the universe, and your life solely about meeting your own needs, you create personal misery. At the other end of the spectrum, martyrdom will make you bitter and resentful. The primary key to happiness is to find ways to make a positive difference to other people in a way that energizes you without depleting you.
#2: Use Your Gifts, Talents and Passion
To be energized in the long haul while you're busy making a difference to other people, you need to be utilizing your unique gifts and talents in ways that you feel passionate about.… Continue reading…
Perfectionism will undermine your self-confidence like nothing else. Trying to maintain a facade of perfection all the time and holding yourself to unachievable standards is exhausting; I know, I've tried. But before you can do anything about perfectionism, you need to be able to recognize it.
Here are some clues that you might be suffering from perfectionism:
A deep fear of failure, and sense of devastation when it happens
Getting upset when you don't win all the time
Feeling ashamed of your thoughts and emotions
Holding back on expressing how you really feel
Fear of what others might think of you
A sense of self-consciousness
Using sarcasm or passive aggression when relating to others
Being driven to high achievement all the time-to-time
Any of this sound familiar?
Ok, so now we can see the problem, here are two different ways of looking at it:
- You're not perfect, and never will be. Neither is anyone else. Pretending to be perfect when you're really not is living a lie. It cuts you off from relating deeply to other people, because they can't relate to your facade of invulnerability. As a result, you sometimes come across as distant or aloof.
Growing up with a controlling and/or domineering mother can suppress your masculinity and leave you stuck feeling and acting like a boy in a man's body. My mother was the dominant figure in my family of origin, and with a passive-aggressive father and two relatively dominant older sisters, it was a disastrous recipe for my developing masculinity.
A controlling mother creates a relationship dynamic that will undermine your confidence in yourself as a man unless you take steps to counter its effects. So here are some steps to take to help you recover from growing up with a controlling, dominant mother:
Recognize that Your Mother is Controlling
The first step to dealing with a problem is to recognize that it exists. It took me a long time to even see that my mother was controlling. It wasn't until I did The Landmark Forum in my mid-30s and they started talking about how controlling most of us are that I had this insight.
When I was a child, my mother used a physical leash to control me; partly for my own safety, and partly for her convenience. As I got older, verbal stoushes with my father made it very clear that the masculine point of view wasn't welcome in our household.… Continue reading…
When a fellow recovering-computer-engineer friend of mine SMS'd me saying: “I've worked out what the problem is... it's shame.”, I knew immediately what he referring to. The perpetual self-consciousness and lack of confidence that kept plaguing me, the low self-esteem, the anxiety and awkwardness around other people, the fear of embarrassment, the worry about what other people thought when I asserted myself, the vague feeling of inadequacy and the sense that I somehow wasn't good enough all came down to one underlying emotion: Shame.
I knew instantly that my friend was right, yet it took me over a year to get around to John Bradshaw's best-selling book on the topic. That's the insidious thing about shame: we avoid it like the plague, even though it's at the root of many of our emotional, psychological and behavioural problems. We hear an increasing amount these days about stress and depression, but very few people are talking directly about the underlying problem of shame that man men face in their. As Bradshaw points out in his book, we're even ashamed of our shame.
Shame is a sense that we are bad or wrong; that we are defective in some way. It causes us to live in constant fear of being exposed; of being revealed to other people, who might just happen to see through the façade we present to the world and discover what we're really like.… Continue reading…
Many of you may have heard of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD. Whilst there is no standard definition of PTSD, it is generally agreed that PTSD is an anxiety disorder that occurs when a person sees their life flash before their eyes. For example they are involved in, or witness, a near death incident, or a series of events resulting in them having the perception that life as they know it, is about to end.
Emotional overload in these circumstances causes the primitive region of the brain called the limbic region, responsible for brains involvement in emotions, to recalibrate in order to cope. PTSD occurs when the brain doesn’t go back to normal operation of its own accord.
So why talk about PTSD here?
Well it gives a great extreme example of emotions at play within us. You may not suffer from it, but you may demonstrate some of the same characteristics. This is very normal, and has occurred for the same reasons as someone with ‘the bug’ (I use the term bug, because it highlights that you can get over the disorder to live a normal life) – self defence.
There are many elements involved with a person suffering from PTSD, but one of the major ones is their emotions.… Continue reading…