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Do You Know 8 Ways To Identify Your Parent Part?

If you’re one of those rare people who was never shouted at or nagged by your parents, you are truly blessed! For the rest of us it pretty much goes with the territory of having parents and even being one.

This means there’s a part of your brain that holds all the recordings of things your parents and significant carers said or did to you. Only trouble is today you probably think these negatives are coming from you.

For most of us the ‘parent part’: –

  1. Criticises
  2. Judges
  3. Has expectations.
  4. Makes demands
  5. Shouts
  6. Nags
  7. Say’s “you should”
  8. Seems negative.

Whilst the above list is pretty universal, your individual parent part is specific and personal to you. Have you wondered why, without warning you can suddenly morph into some unrecognisable version of you? And find yourself shouting, nagging or demanding?

Have you ever wonderedwhere you’re coming from’?

If you’re lucky you may have a glimmer of reason from the adult part of you who thinks eh? What happened there, why did I suddenly flip! If you stay in the parent part you’ll just justify your behaviour. But if you dislike feeling like that and would prefer to be calm, rational and ‘adult’ the following exercise will help you to recognise the behaviours of this part sufficiently to avoid them in the future.

be your best self

In your journal write the heading The Parent Part: –

Now scribble down as many messages as you can remember receiving from your parents when you were growing up. We’re only looking for the negatives here because obviously what isn’t broke doesn’t need fixing!

These messages make up your early programming, so if for example your mother tended to be meek and passive but your father had an explosive temper and shouted a lot, your list will look something like this.
IMG_2853
Mixed up isn’t it! You can see that it isn’t always easy to understand what makes you tick. However by making an exhaustive list of your parent part messages you start to understand your programming and as a result stand more chance of being able to choose a different way of responding in the future.

So many people feel beaten up psychologically and lack self love and self-confidence. I believe one of the reasons for this, is due to old programming. Naturally unless you’re introduced to this way of working you would have no way of separating out some of the negative messages in the back of your mind. Once you’re able to allocate this thought process and that behaviour to the parent or child part, you’re free to build on the ‘adult’ aspect of you and be the person you feel you’re really meant to be.

If your ‘parent part’ shouts a lot and is also passive and meek as in the example above, what would the opposite of these behaviours be? Reasonable, rational, assertive? So your adult part might start to look like this.IMG_2851 (1)

Remember in an earlier blog I said the Adult is the only place where we can set goals? You may not be being assertive, relaxed, confident and calm just yet but it’s a goal and if you don’t have a goal you can’t get there!

Until next time enjoy working out where you’re coming from!

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SHUT THE F*@/ UP!

Years ago I did some additional NLP training with Dr Richard Bandler one of the two originators of Neuron-Linguistic-Programming or as I like to think of it Positive Psychology.

Among other things NLP looks at ‘Modelling on Excellence’ so when we find something that we want to do well, or to have, the aim is to “model on’ or copy the behaviour or steps that allowed others to achieve that outcome, with the expectation that we will achieve similar results.

So what’s this got to do with my headline?

Finding out what naturally happy people do to feel happy helps others to model on that behaviour

smiling-kids-facesPeople who are happier in life tend to be self-nurturing, kind and loving to themselves. They have learned to live with and accept their limitations, which doesn’t mean they don’t strive for things or have goals, more that they have reached a place of self-acceptance.

Happier people have also learned how to quieten the negative chatter in their minds.

How often are you aware of that nagging voice in the background of your awareness? That demanding, negative part that criticises what you’re doing or how you’re doing it?

People give this part many names from the devil, the ego, to the parent part. However you choose to label your ‘gremlin’ is your business. But do you know how to stop it from droning on and eroding your efforts to feel okay about yourself?file000727125552

There are loads of clever therapeutic interventions for quietening this unhelpful inner voice, but for a quick fix, try Bandler’s advice who told us in training “Tell it to Shut the F**! Up! I did! It did! It does work!

Don’t take my word for it, try it yourself.

I’ll be honest and say I prefer the words ‘That’s enough! Be Quiet Now” Which I find works just as well. Choose your own wording, but next time you’re having a bad day and your parent part or inner critic is giving you a rough ride, you might want to try this until you close it down.

As you become aware of the negative chatter, mentally and silently shout Shut The F**! Up several times. Follow this up with several days of ‘reprogramming’ by listening to something like Super Charge Your Confidence, my hypnosis program that helps build self-esteem and notice just how quickly your adult part bounces back into control.

Enjoy and let me know how you get on.

 

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Is It Okay To Be Selfish?

We Teach Others How To Treat Us

ME MYSELF I!

Why putting yourself first can be a good thing.

Do you put other’s needs and desires before your own and find yourself going along with what everyone else wants to do so that you don’t rock the boat?

Do you struggle to say No?

Do you hear yourself say ‘yes’ before even considering your own feelings on the matter?

If you’ve answered yes to any of the above, then you’re running a People Pleasing Program. This program is negative to your self-esteem and damaging to your confidence. More importantly you may even be in danger of completely losing yourself in that role.

Getting lost in one of life’s roles can trigger a variety of problems such as anxiety, addictions, depression, phobias and sleep problems to name but a few.

Have you ever wondered why? Why the need to please?

The need for approval from others is usually borne out of fear. For example as children we have a natural need for the love and approval of our parents or significant others and if this is less than forthcoming it can leave a child feeling scared and heartbroken. As a result they try harder and harder to win approval in order to feel that they have a right to breathe and exist.

There are other reasons why the People Pleasing program can be triggered too, such as experiencing bullying. Many people bullied at  school or work find themselves dealing with an emotional residue of fear and shame.

At what point does this need for approval stop?

It doesn’t.  As I’ve said in earlier blogs, although we grow up chronologically and intellectually, we can get ‘stuck’ emotionally. So unless we pay conscious attention to our uncomfortable feelings and learn to become assertive we may stay stuck for a long time.

The People Pleasing program dictates that the needs and desires of others are more important than our own. In which case it will seem really hard be clear about our own boundaries.

On occasions and in a rather dramatic attempt to have clients pay more attention to their own needs, I’ve been known to get up in the middle of a session and casually prop the door wide open!  It’s a rare client who challenges this odd behaviour of mine and I’m usually left squirming with discomfort for a while before asking “Is it okay that the door’s wide open?” The response is often about me and  my comfort levels, rather than about their feelings or right to confidentiality. This is a good starting point to explore how it really felt to have  the door wide open (it’s closed by now) and to look at their comfort levels and boundaries.

I then bang on with my mantra ‘ We Teach Others How To Treat Us We Teach Others How To Treat Us We Teach Others How To Treat Us’

The effort and energy involved in pleasing others before considering your own needs can be tiring and frustrating, because the deeper recognition of not being true to yourself can leave you feeling like a fraud.  The lack of authenticity can lead to dissatisfaction with yourself, your relationships and  life in general.

So how can you avoid this cycle?

One of the ways I worked on overcoming my own people pleasing program was by giving myself space, sometimes through my yoga practice or in meditation, just allowing myself a bit of time for reflection.  Sometimes re-running an imaginary scene of  how I would  like to have handled a situation, gave me an opportunity to ‘try on’ new behaviour.

What can you do to give yoIMG_2734urself space and time for reflection?

With time for  reflection try working with the notion of filling your cup first.

Let me ask you, if your cup is full and you have absolutely everything you want, you’ve taken care of your needs and desires to the best of your ability, what do you then want?

The answer most people give is  for the good of others

It might seem selfish to put yourself first if you’re used to looking out for others but think of it in the same light as an oxygen mask in a plane, how can you help your children or others  to survive, if you can’t breathe yourself!

Once we become more comfortable taking care of ourselves, we are in a better position to ‘give’ authentically and unconditionally to others.

Write down 5 things that you could do now to nurture yourself. Leave your comments below you never know they could be really helpful to someone else.

Thanks for reading.

 

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You’re As Sick As Your Secrets.

Our good sense of self depends mostly on how much we love and accept ourselves. If we feel bad because we have some secret lurking in the back of our minds about something that happened to us or something we did last week, last year or twenty years ago. It will continue to churn out bad feelings too.

Find at least one person to tell your secret to.

Finding one person who you have some measure of trust in, to share with, could make the world of difference to you.file561270689520

If there really is no one, go to see a counsellor or therapist. If you can’t afford a therapist, go to your Doctor and explain that there is something that you believe is having a detrimental effect of your overall wellbeing and health and ask to be referred to a psychiatric nurse, or counsellor attached to the practice. Maybe there is a spiritual or religious elder you feel you could trust.

It sounds corny doesn’t it … ‘A Problem Shared Is A Problem Halved’ but this adage really is true for many.

You have to tell someone. I can’t stress how much better most people feel when they ‘disclose’ something that they have felt shameful or guilty about. In therapy this disclosure is often seen as a major breakthrough and the start of positive healing and a healthier mind-set.

I’ve said in previous blogs, that when we bring something out of the shadow side of the personality, the dark side, we are bringing it into the light and as a consequence, we become more enlightened. We simply start to understand ourselves better and this is the beginning of a journey of self-acceptance and self-love and we can literally lighten up a bit more.

Look, if you don’t out for you who do you think should? If you don’t look after you, why should anyone else? We teach others how to treat us. As we begin to take care of ourselves others follow our lead.

Just Can’t Face Telling Anyone Yet?

If this is where you are you may find the following exercise helpful to do.

Stresshack

Choose a time when you don’t have to rush off anywhere such as to work. Make sure you wont be disturbed and sit with a note book and write as if you are writing to an older wiser you and tell them everything.

You may need to stop periodically, you may cry and feel overwhelmed by emotions at times but know that this will pass. It’s part of the process of clearing some of the stagnation in your heart and chest that is created by holding on to such ‘heavy’ memories.

Say it all. Leave nothing out. When you’ve written exhaustively i.e. there’s nothing more to add, it’s all been said. Do something nurturing for you. Make a cup of tea, take a warm bath, perhaps go for a walk. Or just sit quietly.

An hour later take your letter to the sink where you will burn it (have water ready to douse any unruly flames) You may wish to do this ceremoniously with the following affirmation:

As I burn this letter, I let go of any negative thoughts and emotions attached to these memories. I let go of that past and from this moment on, I become stronger, healthier, wiser and more confident. I now heal from all of those things. I like, love and respect myself even more for getting through them.

Continue to be respectful of what you’ve just done by nurturing yourself in caring loving ways. Put yourself and your needs first by asking yourself “What do I want. What do I need” and aim to provide that for yourself.

You may revisit the content of your letter at a later date, by disclosure to a therapist or counsellor or confiding in a friend. You may decide there’s more work to be done around these memories, in order to feel even better about yourself. This is just a step in the right direction.

I must stress here how important it is to destroy the letter once you’ve written it. Fire has been used throughout the ages in ceremonies, as a symbol of renewal. By burning we are clearing the space for something fresh and new.

If you don’t want to burn your letter that’s okay, but it’s imperative that it is destroyed. It doesn’t matter if you’ve written volumes, get rid of it. You can always write again. Burn it, bin it, tear it up and bury it but get rid of it! This exercise dictates that the letter must be destroyed.

If this is a starting point for you maybe it’s time to delve into some self-help books, try You Can Heal Your Life  and I Just Want To Be Happy for starters.

As always I’m interested in your feedback.

 

 

 

 

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Panic Attacks. Help I Can’t Breathe!

Anxiety. You never know when you glance around a train carriage who is comfortably reading their book and who is actually near to passing out with fear and panic. Nowadays anxiety is becoming more and more common, in the extreme some people can’t even complete a journey to work because their fearful feelings are so intense.

file0002062790027Panic attacks often signify the beginning of all kinds of weird rituals. From changing carriages on a train, getting on and off at different stops, through to a cycle of altering journeys times, changing modes of transport, leaving jobs and even relationships, in an effort to quell the anxiety and feel better.

Having panic attacks can be both paralysing and draining, leaving you feeling physically weak and exhausted.

What makes it worse, is that it’s all happening on the inside and nobody else can see what they’re really going through, so there is little sympathy and understanding.

The reason for one persons panic attacks will differ from the next and that is why there is no ‘one’ cure for them. You can be sure though that there is an underlying reason for this level of anxiety.

For many who suffer from this paralysing condition, it is usually coupled with frustration. It’s annoying to be unable to understand why they are happening. “Why now and why me” is a question I’m often asked by clients and students.

When people feel angry because they are unable to understand why the panic attacks happen, they will often blame it onto something else. For example if the first time you experience anxiety or a panic attack is on the bus, it’s understandable that you might associate a bus journey with them. Unfortunately it isn’t that simple.

I’ve known people whose reason for a panic attack turned out to be a ‘nudge’ from their inner self to retrain in a totally different field, because they had been unhappy in their work for a long time.

People who decide to get to the bottom of the anxiety discover that working through old wounds, such as bullying episodes at school, provided the relief from their unpleasant symptoms.

Others have discovered that emotions from past losses or bereavements have been the underlying cause of their anxiety.

Traumatic events, can remain buried in the unconscious mind and also stored somatically in our physiology. We feel panic and anxiety, usually from the chin downwards somewhere in a body part such as chest, throat, hands, stomach. The Clean Language Grovian Metaphor approach that I have been using with clients since 1991 is a fantastic technique for reprogramming the mind and body. It’s a joy to see people relax and feel inner peace as they realise these feelings have cleared.

In my opinion anxiety and panic attacks aren’t normal and they can be addressed. Here are some tips:

The quicker you get help the better.

Regular meditation can help some people feel calmer.

Listening to hypnosis programs like Stress Free With Confidence and short meditation programs like     Seven Minutes of Zen the  Autogenic Relaxation Response can be really helpful resources. Have you signed up to receive your free program The Five Minute Powernap?  These programs help and at the very least allow you feel like you are taking some control the situation.

Find someone you trust and tell them what you are going through.

Physiologically, we forget to breathe properly when we’re feeling anxious and fearful.

Believe it or not it can help if you hum a tune. Try humming Happy Birthday to yourself quietly. The sound is actually an exhalation at the end of which, you will have to breathe in again. Each time you  breathe in, you’ll  notice that you’re breathing in a little longer and deeper  then work on making your humming the out breath, a little longer.

Happy Humming.