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Here we go again! Ever wondered why you’re back in the same situation?

Take steps to care for yourself as if you were something special to cherish, something valuable.

Whether consciously or subconsciously, we recreate scenarios around us that are familiar. We do this in an effort to feel safe and comfortable.

In the extreme, we may be driven to consistently select undesirable partners who are unkind and abusive. You might hear people say things like “she/he was so nice in the beginning and couldn’t do enough for me. I had no idea she was violent!”

On a more superficial level we may always go to the same café for coffee each morning, taking comfort in seeing the same people and repeating that pattern. It’s warm and cosy, safe and familiar.

Have you noticed that we are subject to recurring themes and patterns in our lives?

These patterns continue to generate the same thoughts, emotions and behaviours that bear out our personal stories, our themes.

For example people who are insecure and have a deep-rooted sense of rejection, will often find themselves in situations that seem to confirm the very thing they most fear. Rejection. At a subconscious level they constantly recreate dramas that ‘prove’ their beliefs.

There’s a bizarre comfort for them in this. A sort of ‘there we are I knew it. No-body loves me’ story, which allows them to be right!

Unaware of the subconscious patterns, they allow their inner chatter to dictate to them, building stories based on negative thoughts. The negative thoughts subsequently stimulate unpleasant emotions. The emotions act as drivers that impact their behaviour. This in turn often provokes the very thing they are afraid of, rejection and the whole cycle starts again.

These recurring themes are often reinforced year after year. Even when there’s clear evidence of the behaviour that is hurting them, such as a string of failed relationships with a similar vein (like choosing that type of partner again,) they continue to act out in the same way because it’s familiar. Like a pair of comfy old slippers!

So how can we change?

Even when we are conscious of our patterns and behaviours and want to change, it takes a fair bit of mental and emotional discipline to avoid the same mistakes.

Let’s take someone who is feeling insecure, it’s likely they will have a program running in the subconscious mind that says ‘you are not loveable, worthy of being cared for, or deserving’. The good news is, that it is possible for thoughts and feelings like these to diminish in the face healthier ways of thinking.

Counselling and psychotherapy can help to explore the recurring themes and the subconscious desire to revisit them (repetition compulsion). There are other things you can do to help yourself and here’s a couple of suggestions.

Take steps to care for yourself as if you were something special to cherish, something valuable.

Exercise

Self-nurturing is imperative. Write down seven ways you can nurture yourself,

It may range from a fundamental:

1.) Cook proper warm meals for myself.

to a more intense

2.) Dump the abusive partner.

It will have taken years for the maladaptive behaviours and patterns to emerge so there’ll be a fair bit to combat. The quickest, and most painless approach I know to changing how we think and feel, is with hypnotherapy and hypnosis programs.

Stress Free with Confidence or Supercharge Your Confidence is one of the easiest and ways to reprogram your subconscious mind.

Discipline yourself to listen a minimum of once a day. An ideal time is last thing at night as you settle down to sleep and requires minimal effort. Within a month of listening you will notice a huge shift in how you think and feel. As you retrain the brain you’ll notice new patterns that will lead to a more relaxed, positive productive way of being. This then impacts your behaviour and finally your patterns begin to change.

Because the subconscious mind believes whatever it’s told your self-esteem has to grow stronger at the very least this prepares you to look more deeply at your modus operandi with a view to making change.

Let me know how you get on

Sue xx

oh and by the way, if my example of the unsuitable partner has a resonance for you, go over and have a look at Natalie Lue’s ‘Baggage Reclaim’ site which is brimming with good advice.

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Get Ahead Of The Times! Try this amazing technique if you need advice or support

Arnhem Market Sep 20 2013 (51)Last week I asked you to write a letter to your younger teenage self offering guidance and support,  or words of wisdom. Some of you wrote telling me how good it felt to get that encouragement. Thank you for the feedback!

Don’t underestimate the power of engaging with yourself in this way.

I can’t say it often enough that your subconscious mind is not time bound and does not judge.

With that in mind here’s this week’s challenge.

Continue reading Get Ahead Of The Times! Try this amazing technique if you need advice or support

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What would you say to your younger self if you had the chance?

walk-1March 8th is International Women’s Day and YouTubers and Twitter users are part of the #DearMe campaign that aims to ‘empower young women everywhere’. Women all over the world are writing and recording messages of advice and wisdom to their younger selves, to drive the message home.

Many psychotherapists offer similar techniques when aiming to empower clients. Having people close their eyes and imagine connecting with a younger part of themselves, then offering support, love or protection to that younger part can be an incredibly empowering and healing intervention.

This is because the subconscious mind cannot tell the difference between something real or imagined.

It lacks the power of discernment and will readily accept a new and improved version of an event (it’s a bit more complex than that, but that’s it in a nutshell). The subconscious mind is not time bound so doesn’t really recognise past or future, it just IS. As such, rescuing a hurt inner child and comforting it really does make that part of you feel better.

A lack of self-esteem partly arises from us rejecting ourselves at different points in our lives

If we have ever felt isolated, guilty,  lonely, bullied,  blamed or shamed we  may reject that part of ourselves in an attempt to feel better. By banishing that aspect we aim to feel worthy and more loveable. That may work as a temporary measure but we are likely to feel empty and unloveable as adults unless we heal and empower these parts.

So here’s my challenge to you this week

(Oh and it isn’t just for women since I know I have some male readers too). Sit down with a pen and paper (you know my rule about being creative away from the computer) and write a letter from you now, to your younger self. Offer words of support, love and compassion.

If you really could step back in time and re-write the script and tell yourself not to worry, to recognise your skills and talents what would that letter look and sound like? Give it your best shot, imagine that you really are sitting there with the younger you, who most needs help and encouragement, try asking what that part of you really needs to feel positive and confident then take a few moments to listen, really listen to the inner response from that part. You might be surprised what comes up.

Here’s a clip from my letter to a younger part…” continue to care about others, Sue, that’s a really nice aspect of you, and make sure that you care about yourself just as much too. It’s okay to put yourself first sometimes.”

Let me know how you get on. If you need extra help try Stress Free With Confidence or Super Charge Your Self Esteem from the shop.

Suex 

 

 

 

 

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How Can I Mend My Relationship? Why hearing is not the same as listening

How can I mend my relationship
I asked Adrian Blake my friend and co-author of our book “I Just Want to be Happy” to share some of his wisdom from his years of experience in counselling couples.

Communication is the golden key to a better relationship. Communication is as much about listening as talking.

And remember, hearing is not the same as listening.

Children with attention deficit disorder, for example, may have very good hearing but their listening capabilities are poor.

They find it difficult to attend to what is really being said, and subsequently communication and relationships are difficult.

Here is an example of an exchange between a couple who are hearing but not listening:

Karen: The house is a mess. Why don’t you ever clean up?
Jamie: You can talk, you left it in a state this morning. There was loads of washing up in the sink. Anyway, what do you think I’ve been doing all day? I have my own work to do.
Karen: That’s not the point. You have more time than I do. It only takes a few minutes just to do a bit to help. You never do anything. It’s typical.
Jamie: I don’t do anything to help? If it wasn’t for me we wouldn’t even be able to live here. Who do you think pays most of the bills?
Karen: The bills! For heaven’s sake don’t talk to me about bills…

Here we see an argument rapidly starting to escalate. In the end, when the shouting stage is reached, one or the other will depart the scene, possibly slamming a door.

There is no conclusion, no resolution to the issue. Instead there is an open wound. Nothing is healed. Neither is really listening to the other because each is too busy thinking what they are going to say in reply.

Both are intent on defending their position at all costs, and launching counter-attacks. It starts off as a skirmish and escalates into warfare.

So how can they get a better result? Let’s replay it, but differently:

Karen: The house is a mess. Why don’t you ever clean up?

Notice how Karen feels angry and is taking one example – ‘the house in a mess’ – and accusing Jamie of not ever cleaning up. Karen wants to be heard but suspects that won’t happen, so is making as big an impact as possible to try to force Jamie to really listen.

Karen wants her feelings acknowledged, to be valued.

Importantly, this does not mean Jamie has to agree Karen is right. But for there to be progress, it does mean that Karen must feel listened to.

Jamie: (different response) It sounds like you feel really upset? Like perhaps you feel I don’t care enough about you or the house?

Here Jamie is reflecting back to Karen what he senses Karen is feeling. By doing this, Jamie is providing evidence that Karen is being listened to. Evidence carries weight. Jamie is saying in effect that he can see Karen’s feelings are real.

Jamie also takes it a stage further by responding with questions. This invites Karen to respond, so Karen gets the message that Jamie really wants to hear what she has to say.

This approach is likely to get a very different response from Karen. Compared to the “That’s not the point. You have more time than I do….” response there is likely to be a calmer, less retaliatory response.

Now that Karen feels listened to, there is less need for her to feel angry or to shout.

So K’s response might now be:

K: Well, yes, I do sometimes feel you don’t care enough about me or what I want.

(Still some anger, but less of it. Being listened to starts to defuse the anger. It starts to open things up. There is the beginning of communication).

So J might now respond:

J: Maybe it’s not just me not doing enough in the house, but it seems to you that I don’t value you enough either?

(Again J reflects back and again by using a question invites a response from K).

There are no accusations so there is no need to defend or counter-attack. We see the beginning of hope for this relationship. It will need practice and support from a third party, e.g. a counsellor, but it can be the start of something different and better.

Bear in mind, most partners do not want vengeance. They want to be heard,  listened to, to be valued, basically to love and be loved. As ex-Labour Minister Claire Short once said: “We’re all searching for love. Some of us are wise enough or lucky enough to find it”.

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Oh Grow Up! Do you know someone who still behaves like a child?

arthurThe parent, child or adult? Where are you coming from?

In the iconic film ‘Arthur’ starring Dudley Moore, there was a fantastic line where the butler played by the inimitable Sir John Gielgud says to his charge “Oh for heavens sake Arthur, grow up.” Dudley Moore who was around 5ft 2in (1.9m) and plays a spoilt, reckless, playboy drunkenly replies, “that’s alright for you to say, you haven’t got 10 pairs of short trousers hanging in your wardrobe!”

Arthur is a man who has never grown up. His childlike lack of responsibility, whilst endearing, doesn’t bode well for his taking over the family business and its fortunes.

Have you ever had a situation where you think you’re having an honest adult conversation with someone – your spouse, partner, friend or colleague – to have them suddenly turn it around on you and play the victim, the martyr or the child?

Continue reading Oh Grow Up! Do you know someone who still behaves like a child?