Category Archives: self esteem

Habits – How to Break Them and Make New Ones

Habitual Behavior

We all engage in forms of habitual behavior.  Unfortunately the ritualized, unthinking things we do create impediments to change and growth.

Instead of being preprogrammed and robotic in our daily lives, we need to get outside our comfort zones.  We must confront what we want to change or achieve.  We cannot be on auto pilot, we must be fully engaged.

Habits are nothing but repetitive behaviors that become automatic.  You don’t think about it, you just do it.  You feel a certain comfort in the practice of these repetitive actions which makes it more difficult to get out of the ‘rut’.

In many cases it is a false sense of comfort, offering you a cloak of normality, even when the behavior is considered abnormal.

Habits Enslave

They trap you into behaviors that hold you down and are self destructive.

There are strategies to change your habits and get on your way to happiness. Break free and you will achieve what you want your life to be.

Triggers and Cues

We receive many cues during our daily lives. These cues or ‘set ups’ trigger responses.  A basic example is the time we go to bed, where most of us prepare ourselves to go to sleep by brushing our teeth.  The cue to go to retire for the night triggers the response, we don’t think about brushing our teeth, we just do it.   Nothing prevents us from brushing our teeth after eating our last meal or snack of the day but the actions are cued right before going to sleep.

Actions to Take

In order to achieve meaningful change in our lives we must alter the reactions to the cues in our lives.  Here are the steps –

  • Identify a behavior you want to change.
  • Identify the cue for the bad behavior.
  • Find a response that results in achieving your goal.
  • Commit to it by writing down a planned response.
  • Think about & read your plan for a day or two.
  • Engage in the new behavior for 30 straight days,  it will become habit and you won’t have to think about it!

Critical Key

Identifying your triggers or cues are the key. What situations trigger your current habit? For the smoking habit, for example, triggers might include waking in the morning, having coffee, drinking alcohol, stressful meetings, going out with friends, driving, etc. Eating after dinner when you watch TV can be replaced with a cup of tea, exercise, a diet soda…

Most habits have multiple triggers. Identify all of them and write them in your plan.  The replace the habit with a new response to the trigger. It really is that simple!

Watch Out

Have strategies to defeat an urge to fall back into your bad habit. Urges are going to come — they’re inevitable and they’re strong. However, they are also temporary and beatable. Urges generally last a minute or so and come in degrees of strength. You need to ‘defend’ yourself, ride it out and the urge will disappear. Some strategies for making it through an urge: deep breathing, self-massage, eat something healthy and calorically light, take a walk, exercise, drink a glass of water, call a friend, post about it in a support forum.

I urge you to give this method, which has been universally successful, a chance today!

 

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Filed under confidence, improvement, insecurity, self esteem, success, Uncategorized

Supression of Chinese Dissidents and Activists

The suppression of the blind Chinese activist is just one of a hundred thousand incidents per year.  China is a repressive country trying to mask itself as a modern society.  No centrally planned, code word for socialism, economy has ever prospered for an extended period of time.  You cannot manage a billion people and hundreds of billions of activities.

The pot of water is one stove, the water is boiling and the problems inside of China will become visible to the world.

Check out Push Back, my latest novel, where the recent case of the blind activist mirrors what a main character, Timothy Lee does.

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Filed under Children and poverty, criticism, improvement, integrity, productivity, self esteem, success

Self Esteem

Self Esteem and Confidence

The lack of a healthy self esteem is a dead weight on your life.  It’s like dragging around an anchor,  and it relegates you to the dark shadows of existence.

Low esteem is simply a self created falsehood.  Plain and simple.  Unless you are a truly bad person (i.e., murderer, child abuser and the like) you are an important, valued human being.

The problem is you have let others or importantly, your perception, make you feel worthless.

Origins

The origin of such misplaced feelings of inadequacy, are varied (cruel treatment as a child, lack of support, embarrassment over a physical state, failure on a large stage…)  However, let’s not confuse these feelings with the reality that you are a special, unique person who adds to the vibrancy of the universe and is entitled to participate fully in life.

Let’s play devil advocate; Someone or group thinks you are stupid, not wealthy, incompetent, ugly, overweight, boring etc.

So f-ing what? You still have to get up in the morning, live your life, go to work etc.

Tell Them To Go to Hell

Can’t you muster the will to blow these people off? Remember you may think you are the center of their thoughts but I can guarantee that you are not.  If someone is rude or embarrasses you, rest assured you will be the only person thinking about it an hour later.

The perpetrator will go on as if nothing happened, forgetting or not even realizing what they may have done.  You must get past it as soon as possible.  Dwelling on it will doom you.

Fears Become Monsters

The fears and nervousness we all feel will be virtually impossible to overcome without the confidence in ourselves that comes with having a positive image of ourselves.

Steps to Take

Stop with the negativity! Self criticism is bad!  Negative thoughts have a way of feeding on themselves, growing something minor into a major issue.

Everyone has good traits, talk up your small successes to yourself  and build upon them.  Don’t allow yourself to define yourself by external forces (maybe you are stuck in a crummy job, or are unemployed, have no fashion sense, are out of physical shape, etc…)

These things have nothing to do with who you really are as a person.

You must look beyond any criticism that anyone levels at you or that you hear whispering in your own head! Start believing in yourself, you will be amazed at how life will change!

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Filed under confidence, criticism, improvement, self esteem, Uncategorized

Comparing Yourself To Others

Be Careful When Comparing Yourself to Others

There is a huge difference between using a role model or icon’s accomplishments as a goal and comparing yourself to that person.

One can be a motivational tool but comparing yourself to someone else can be deflating and inhibiting.

We always seem to be comparing our lives and situations against others.  This can be very dangerous leading to an erosion of our self esteem.

Comparisions Are Trouble

The problems and distortions they present are many fold, including these;

  • The media presents images they ‘sell’ as perfection causing you to be intimidated
  • You only see a small slice of the person’s make-up
  • Their flaws are not examined, only their particular area of excellence
  • They may excel in one narrow area and not be well rounded at all
  • They can be great at something but horrible as human beings.

As you can see it is incredibly superficial and best to avoid the practise.

You Are Unique

There is only one of you.  Agreed?  Therefore, comparing yourself to anyone else is a zero sum game.

Everyone is different, everyone has their own set of ‘pimples’ and plus and minuses, some you see while others are hidden or disguised.  Do not allow some unrealistic portrayal or image of someone to trick, intimidate or depress you.  Everyone, including you, has things they are good at and things they are not.

You are who you are, now try to improve yourself or reach a goal you have set.

Compare yourself to no one but who you were yesterday! It is the only measure that makes sense and once you get the hang of it, a confidence and self esteem builder.

A Word About Set Backs

The average number of failures people experience on the way to any success is four.  When you look at someone remember the struggles and failures they had to experience in order to achieve their success.

Be prepared for at least four set backs before you reach any goal.  It is a realistic way to insulate yourself emotionally when and if set backs occur.

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall… 

Set your goal and get moving towards it today.  Make progress each and every day by committing to doing something that helps to achieve what you want.  Get up each morning looking to improve yourself that day, making progress on your goal.

Remember to compete with yourself and to compare yourself only to who your were yesterday.

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Filed under confidence, improvement, pride, self esteem, success