Conscious Mind

Are there benefits to comparing yourself with others?

Do you have the ever alluring habit of comparing yourself with others?  Maybe you are envious of a colleague at work, who gets one promotion after another, while your efforts seem to be ignored. Or you wonder how your neighbor can afford that brand-new car, which makes your 5 year old sedan look like a beater. Or maybe you are stalking “the ex” on Facebook, only to find out that he or she has so much more fun since your relationship ended.  Isn’t it true that comparing ourselves with others is one of the surest ways to feel bad about ourselves and our lives? So why do we keep on doing it?

I don’t know about you, but when I grew up, my parents used to point out to me the kids that were better in school, played better piano, or were just nicer all around.  If they really wanted to get to me, they compared me to a boy from our little village, who was born in the same hospital just a few minutes after me.  They speculated, half-jokingly, there must have been a mix-up after delivery since this boy was so much politer, smarter and more diligent – you name it – than me. Thus early on I learned that in order to measure up and please those I cared about, I needed to keep an eye on the ”competition.”

I used to believe that comparing myself to those, who were doing better than me, would motivate me to work more and push harder.  Yet, since there was always someone who performed better than me, it was difficult to celebrate my own successes.  So not surprisingly, comparing myself with others, did more damage to my sense of self-worth and confidence than it helped building it.

I heard a man from India once saying that one of the reasons why people in the western world are more miserable than his compatriots was that we have learned to compare ourselves with those, who are “above” us, while Indians tends to measure themselves with those that are less fortunate.  I’m not sure if this kind of comparison is preferable, unless it leads to a sense of gratitude and also compassion for those, who are struggling.

However, what about using comparison as a way to learn from the mastery of others? Neuro-linguistic programming calls this approach modeling. The keys to successful modeling are open-mindedness, curiosity about the success strategies others are employing and most importantly a non-judgmental attitude. So next time, when you are tempted to entertain your mind with a round of comparing yourself to others, rather than letting yourself feel less than or inadequate, ask yourself, if there is anything about this person, you can learn from and model. I believe that we are here on earth to learn and evolve – which is why we are ultimately all students and teachers for one another.

Join me for my next empowerment radio-show and more about how you can use self-comparison as leverage for growth and empowerment.

Wednesday, July 15th, 2015 Conscious Mind, Consciousness, Emotional Balance, Personal Breakthrough and Empowerment, Self-Healing, Subconscious Mind Comments Off on Are there benefits to comparing yourself with others?

Can your intuition save you?

Towards the lightWhether you call it a gut feeling, inner voice or intuition, we all have an undeniable guidance system within us, which operates outside logic and reasoning. Did you ever “just know” that you should check on someone, only to find out that they needed your help? Or have you ever had a strong sense on your way to work, that you should go back to your house, and then discovered that you had forgotten to turn off the iron?

It was the 26th of September, 1983. Business as usual for Stanislaw Petrow, a high ranking Russian officer, who was in charge of a military section, which analyzed satellite images to detect and then if necessary respond to potential missile attacks from other countries. Then the unimaginable happened; a Sputnik satellite showed clearly that several rockets had been launched from the East Coast of the US, heading straight towards Russia. This was the sort of crisis situation Petrow had been prepared for and he knew what was expected of him: to immediately push the infamous red button and launch a nuclear counter-attack.

But something inside of this highly trained officer told him that they were dealing with a false alarm. He realized, that if he was wrong millions of his fellow countrymen would die – but he also knew, that a counter-attack would cost the lives of millions of innocent Americans. Nevertheless, he chose to trust his gut—his intuition.  After 13 minutes of anxious waiting he finally received confirmation that no hostile rockets were visible in the Russian sky. It turned out that reflections of the sun on low hanging clouds had created the false alarm.

There are many stories of people who are convinced that their inner warning voice had saved them or others from disaster. The problem is, how do you know when to listen to your intuition and when to listen to your rational mind? And how do you distinguish between your gut feeling and the anxious voice, which has been crying wolf way too often?

Join me for my upcoming empowerment radio show and learn more on how you can strengthen and harness your intuitive sense to navigate through life with greater ease and confidence.

Monday, May 18th, 2015 conscious awareness, Conscious Mind, Consciousness, Mind-Body-Spirit, Personal Breakthrough and Empowerment, Subconscious Mind Comments Off on Can your intuition save you?

The Empowered Self: The Self-Commitment Issue

balance near waterWhen was the last time you played hooky, because you didn’t feel like going to work? And how often do you forget to pick up your kids at school or feed your beloved pets? I bet almost never. Yet, how is your follow-through when it comes to reaching your personal goals or just taking care of yourself? If you’ve ever tried to lose those extra pounds or get into better shape through exercise, you may have had this experience.

Once you’ve reached your goal, amnesia sets in. Somehow, all the knowledge and positive habits you’ve acquired through hard work are pushed aside, making room for a pint of ice cream in the shopping cart or excuses for why you can’t work out that day. Lo and behold, the pounds reappear, the muscle tone disappears, and you find yourself right back where you started. Or you work through an empowering self-improvement program. At first, you’re energized, motivated, and committed to diligently apply all the insights and tools you’ve learned. But a couple of weeks later, you have a bad day, your energy dips, and your thoughts become negative. Eventually you give up, because “obviously” the program doesn’t work for you.

Why do we stop using the tools and empowering strategies that can help us to reach our goals and make us feel better? And why is it easier to stay committed to supporting others than ourselves? The word commitment may give you night sweats or cold feet.

Although you understand you need to commit to your health and happiness, you have a hard time subscribing to a specific routine. Life is too busy and your plate is already too full, and you can’t imagine adding one more chore to the have-to-do list.

On a deeper level, your subconscious mind may apply self-sabotaging patterns to prevent you from changing, since change and its unknowns can be scary. Or your subconscious blocks your efforts to protect you from possible failure, true to the motto: “you can’t fail if you don’t try.” All very understandable; however, there is a reason why self-commitment is the key to a growth and success.

Let’s say you work with a contractor, who assures you that the costs will definitely not exceed X amount of dollars, and he’ll easily complete the job in X amount of time. But along the way, your contractor tells you, that due to somehow unforeseeable complications the job will cost more and take longer than estimated. And then maybe one day the workers don’t show up, and the contractor doesn’t return your inquiring phone calls. How quickly would you lose trust and confidence in the person you’ve hired? When you decide to improve yourself, whether it is by going to the gym three times per week or starting to meditate for ten minutes before you go to bed, but then quickly discard your plans and abandon your good intentions, you are creating the same level of disappointment and distrust – just with yourself.

Don’t feel too bad, because most of us have been guilty of letting ourselves down. But we need to realize the damage we cause ourselves by doing so. Every time we go back on our word and break our self-commitment, we lose confidence and faith in ourselves―consciously and subconsciously. Our word holds no power. Since we don’t appear reliable and trustworthy to our subconscious mind, it may reactivate old, self-sabotaging patterns, which consequently make us feel even more stuck and insecure. Now the good news is that the opposite is also true. Consistency and commitment are some of the most potent forces for healing and growth. They signal to your subconscious mind, that you take control of your life and that you are serious about your goals. As your subconscious mind gains trust in your conscious decisions, it gradually shifts from its protection mode, into the wanting-to-please-you mode. In other words, it will provide you with its full support to reach your goals.

Commitment is the bridge to confidence. After all, confidence comes from the Latin word confidere, which means “to trust and have faith in.” And who better to trust and have faith in than ourselves? However, it’s difficult to commit to yourself if you consider it a chore or a sign that there is something wrong with you. However, if you approach your growth, self-improvement and well-being from a place of love and appreciation, you’ll open your heart to yourself more and more and, thus, make commitment the most precious gift you can give to yourself.

Sunday, April 12th, 2015 conscious awareness, Conscious Mind, Consciousness, Mind, Personal Breakthrough and Empowerment, Subconscious Mind Comments Off on The Empowered Self: The Self-Commitment Issue

Free teleseminar and last chance to save $100 on your breakthrough

People often ask me, why I left my career in cardiology and chose to focus on fear and anxiety. The short answer is: I know how bad it feels to be stuck in these emotions. Since I was a child I had been struggling with anxiety; I tried to manage these intense feelings by being a good boy, who is first in class and meets everyone’s expectations. I became a perfectionist and micro-manager, who didn’t want to leave anything up to chance. And when I felt completely powerless, I even tried to gain a sense of control through obsessive behaviors, which of course only made the anxiety worse. If you have been stuck in being anxious and afraid, you probably have been feeling at times as confused and overwhelmed as I did. And since most of your energy is dedicated to protect yourself from this feeling, you find yourself often exhausted and easily irritated; you may lack enthusiasm for life and feel disconnected from the people around you. You may start dealing with insomnia, chronic pain or other physical symptoms. Some studies suggest that more than 70% of doctor visits are due to anxiety related health issues. So why does fear and anxiety seem so difficult to overcome? In my practice and research I found that most people are held back from taking charge on healing their anxiety by a few misconceptions.

ANXIETY IS:

  • A biochemical problem, which requires medication
  • Genetically passed down from mother or father
  • Hard-wired in your brain and will never go away
  • A disorder or weakness, which needs to be fought
  • Very difficult to overcome

Join me for my Free Breakthrough Fear & Anxiety Teleseminar,

Saturday, March 28 from 10:00-11:30 AM PT /1:00-2:30 PM ET

LEARN:

  • The truth about fear and anxiety
  • Why you have what it takes to transform your life
  • How to use your subconscious to heal & empower yourself
  • An effective process to stop anxiety in its tracks
  • How you can breakthrough fear and anxiety in just 3 months

Here is your call-in information for the Free Breakthrough Teleseminar on
Saturday, March 28 from 10:00-11:30 AM PT.

Call 1-712-432-3066 Conference Code: 400386

Looking back at my childhood, I wish somebody would have explained to me then, what I know now about why and how our mind is creating fear and anxiety and showed me tools to overcome these challenges. So if you are ready to end your struggles with anxiety and create a stronger foundation of confidence and inner peace, take advantage of this free teleseminar.

If you are ready to overcome fear and anxiety for good then
Register by Monday, 3/16 for the upcoming Breakthrough and Empowerment
3 Month Video Webinar Intensive and save $100.

Click here for more information.

Monday, March 16th, 2015 Conscious Mind, Consciousness, depression, Mind-Body-Spirit, Personal Breakthrough and Empowerment Comments Off on Free teleseminar and last chance to save $100 on your breakthrough

THE EMPOWERED SELF SERIES PART 13: IS IT TIME TO UPGRADE YOUR BELIEFS?

Closeup Mirror Reflection of a Woman's FaceYou probably have heard the saying: “What holds us back isn’t who we are, but who we think we are.”  Whether we perceive a situation as “failure” or just “feedback,” “obstacle” or “opportunity,” “no” or “not yet” depends largely on our beliefs. Some beliefs give us wings, unleash our creative genius and help us to dig deep when the going gets tough. Others can be the prison walls of our mind, which keep us locked in our imagined limitations. Don’t you admire those people, who exhibit a relentless drive towards reaching their goals and don’t even blink in the face of a set-back?

Take Russell Wilson as an example. Being only 5’11” he was told that he was too small to be successful player in the National Football League. Yet, he ignored the nay-sayers and continued to focus on pursuing the dream of his life. Last year, after only two years playing professional football, he became one of the youngest – and shortest– quarterbacks to win the Super Bowl with his team. In interviews he often credits his positive outlook, daily visualizations and his unwavering belief that despite his physical limitations he would be able to achieve greatness as the keys to his success.

So if beliefs can make the impossible reachable, why doesn’t everybody use empowering beliefs as leverage to success? On my personal journey and in working with my clients, I found that there are three common obstacles that can make changing limiting beliefs into empowering ones difficult:

We don’t know that we are trapped in a limiting belief

Beliefs are anchored on the level of the subconscious mind and act as filters that shape and usually distort our sense of reality. For example, if you have a belief that “you are a loser” you are more likely to interpret any obstacle in your way as a reason to give up. Or you may believe that “the world is harsh and unfriendly”; as a consequence you take every little criticism as a huge rejection, and ignore those people who love and adore you. If you have been seeing yourself or the world around you through these limiting filters for quite some time, you may not even realize that you are dealing with a warped perception of reality. I often hear people saying, “I don’t have any limiting beliefs; I just know that I can’t have what I want.” One way of identifying your limiting beliefs is to write down all your negative thoughts in the course of one week. You will notice that most of your thoughts circle around only two or three different topics. Ask yourself what you need to believe about these topics to think so negatively and you will have identified some of your limiting beliefs.

We don’t know how to choose a new belief

As a belief can shape our reality, it can also become our identity. And when you see yourself as a “loser” or the world as a “harsh and unfriendly place” it can be challenging to envision a more positive perspective. If you would choose to believe “I am a winner” or “everyone is friendly and kind” your subconscious mind would probably reject those beliefs as unrealistic fantasies. This is why it can be helpful to gently stretch your belief-system, rather than deflate yourself with too lofty ideas. So instead of calling yourself a “loser” you may decide to consider yourself as a “learner,” who is eager to grow and empower himself. And in regards to your relationship to the world around you, how about believing that “you will be a positive and healing force in it”? The goal is to expand your perception and stretch yourself out of the familiar comfort zone, while feeling motivated and excited to grow into the next bigger version of yourself.

We don’t feed our new beliefs

The greatest obstacle between an idea and its execution is doubt. Although you have decided to focus on a new, more empowering belief, you may doubt the validity of the new belief, while the familiar, limiting perspective of yourself appears still more realistic. The best way to alleviate this doubt is to collect supportive evidence that shows you that you possess the potential and inner resources to truly become the self you envision. For example to reinforce the notion of being a “learner” you can write down ten skills you acquired throughout your life, or ten times you have been facing challenges and what you have learned from dealing with them. In regards to being “a positive force in the world” you could ask the people that know you and care about you, what they love and appreciate about you. In looking for such supporting evidence, you will likely gain a broader, kinder, and more complete perspective of yourself and your potential.  

Having said all that, when it comes to changing our limiting beliefs, the single most important step is to accept that that nobody but ourselves can hold us back from growing into our empowered selves.

 
Friday, January 16th, 2015 conscious awareness, Conscious Mind, Consciousness, Emotional Balance, Positive Thinking, self-esteem Comments Off on THE EMPOWERED SELF SERIES PART 13: IS IT TIME TO UPGRADE YOUR BELIEFS?

THE EMPOWERED SELF SERIES: PART 12 “HOW TO TRUST YOUR NATIONAL RHYTHM”

Woman listening to musicThe holiday season has just started. Are you looking forward to celebrating with your family and friends? Or do you dread this time of the year, because it means more obligations, business and stress for you? One of the most common reasons why you may feel more stressed and overwhelmed during the holidays is that you are not honoring your internal rhythm. Your personal rhythm consists of the mental, emotional, physiological and behavioral patterns, which allow you to move through life in the most effective and sustainable ways.

You might be a person, who needs to gently approach the day and doesn’t want to talk to anyone before 10 AM. You might be someone, who needs to eat a light meal four times per day, or follow a consistent work-out routine to feel centered and energized. Or your inner introvert might require you to spend a few hours every day quietly by yourself, before you feel ready to engage with others again. You may rather burn the mid-night oil, than leaving anything on your to-do-list undone. You may sleep better when you go to bed early or you may need a nap in the middle of the day. When you are tuned into your internal rhythm, you feel in sync with your life. Work, appointments, taking care of the family, friends and yourself all happens without struggle or resistance.

We all have a personal rhythm, we just don’t always pay attention to it. The holidays are especially challenging, because we tend to focus more on the desires and expectation of others, than listen to what feels “right” to us. We tend to throw off everything that keeps us balanced and sane; we stop working out, spend more time in the shopping malls than at home and usually eat and drink way too much. Any personal needs get quickly pushed aside to attend to those of our loved ones. No wonder that after weeks of overextending ourselves, come January the “annual post-holidays hang-over” sets in.

Losing your internal rhythm usually doesn’t happen all at once, but goes through different stages. It may start with a simple worry of not being able to get everything you are supposed to do done; you compare yourself with others and find them so much more proficient and capable than yourself. To compensate for these “shortcomings” you make your to-do-list longer, your plate fuller and move faster through the day. Being busier makes you neglect the routines and habits that keep you centered and grounded; you may stop meditating, skip your work-out and cancel your massage appointment. Instead you push yourself harder, sleep less and fuel yourself with sugar and caffeine. You no longer move at your own pace, plan ahead and feel in charge of your day. Instead you franticly run around playing catch up with life and although you completely exhaust yourself, you don’t feel that you get anything accomplished. Soon you feel wired-tired, overwhelmed, cranky and snap at everyone around you, which only makes you feel more anxious, insecure and disconnected from yourself – and your life.

So how can you first of all find and then stay in your natural rhythm no matter what the circumstances?

Listen to my upcoming empowerment radio show, and learn how you can use your authentic rhythm to stay in the flow of ease and joy during this holiday season.

I wish you a happy, peaceful and heart-filled holiday season and a blessed 2015.

Sunday, December 7th, 2014 conscious awareness, Conscious Mind, Mind-Body-Spirit, Personal Breakthrough and Empowerment Comments Off on THE EMPOWERED SELF SERIES: PART 12 “HOW TO TRUST YOUR NATIONAL RHYTHM”

The Empowered Self Series: Part 5 Owning the Past – How to Outgrow Your Emotional Baggage

5024174_sYou’re probably familiar with the encouraging saying “my past does not determine my future.” However, like for many people you may have also found that the opposite appears to be true. Traumatic events, disappointments, betrayals or embarrassments, no matter how long ago they occurred, can stick like superglue to your mind and keep you trapped in the past.

Wouldn’t you agree that most of your current anxieties and insecurities are rooted in experiences of your early years? You still feel small and nervous, when you talk to an authority figure. You don’t like to open your heart again, because you have been rejected too many times. Or you don’t fully commit to pursuing your goals, because your prior “failures” still haunt you. Emotional baggage can be one of the greatest obstacles and power-drains in our daily lives.

So why do we hold on to the past in the first place and why is it so difficult to let go and move on? Rationally, it would make more sense to be able to just focus on the present and if necessary plan for the future. However, it isn’t our rational, conscious mind, but our subconscious mind, which is in charge of filing away and storing all of our memories. And this deeper part of our mind firmly holds on to the past for three reasons:

1) To protect and to please:

The memory storage capacity of the subconscious mind is sheer unlimited. Countless moments during the course of our lives are registered, recorded and sorted away. Yet, obviously, not all of our experiences are “memorable,” otherwise the accumulation of data on the past would eventually overwhelm us. What makes the difference are the emotions that are attached to the memories. Negative emotions, such as anger, sadness, anxiety or shame indicate to the subconscious mind, that similar situations needs to be avoided in the future. If you have been bitten by a dog as child or got made fun of during a presentation in grammar school, chances are that petting “Fido” or giving a talk in front of your peers still cause you heart-racing and sweaty hands.

On the other hand, memories, which made us feel happy, excited or loved, are used as reference points to find and create more similar positive experiences.

In other words, the subconscious uses emotionally charged memories as filters to sift through the massive amount of data, that surrounds us at all times, to either keep us safe or bring more happiness in our lives.

2) To obey our instructions:

We all are provided with an innate ability to free ourselves immediately from “negative” feelings. As infants and toddlers, we don’t hesitate to strain our little vocal cords and vehemently express our discontent. As we grow up and learn that we’re more accepted when we control, suppress, or at least hide our feelings, we gradually “unlearn” the natural instinct to release emotional pressure. By the time we enter adulthood, most of us have lost sight of how to handle these feelings, other than shoving unpleasant emotions under the subconscious rug. Because our subconscious supports us like a faithful servant, it patiently continues to execute our conscious decision to shove our emotions underneath the proverbial rug, until we instruct it differently―or until we have stuffed it to capacity, and it forces us to address those emotions.

3) To make us learn and grow:

It’s a basic evolutionary principle: only when we continue to learn and grow can we survive and thrive. Since there isn’t yet much to grasp from the future and learning on the fly while dealing with the present may be too much to ask from most of us, our subconscious considers the past as the vast library of life. An interesting phenomenon we’ve all observed is that the lessons we learn from a negative event can be more profound than those learned from a pleasant or neutral encounter. From an evolutionary perspective, this makes sense. When it comes to sheer survival, experiences that cause us to feel anxious, hurt or ashamed are simply more important for our subconscious to store, process, and learn from.

However, while the protective aspect of our subconscious mind wants us to simply avoid similar negative experiences, another part continuously nudges us forward to grow and evolve – which is, for example, why we eventually succeeded in learning how to walk and talk, despite all the frustrations and pains we had to go through to get there. Many of the emotional charged events of the past, contain a deep-seated confusion about whether we are powerless or powerful, whether we need to just avoid certain circumstances or are able to grow beyond them.

So what has felt like emotional baggage from the past has actually a much more important purpose than to just haunt us and weigh us down. Unresolved anger, sadness or anxiety serve as signals, red flags marking the memories that still require our attention. Our subconscious mind holds onto these emotions until it’s safe and we are ready to address and resolve these events. Then we can understand the lessons and claim the growth potential that has been enclosed within these memories. Taking this notion further, you’ll come to a very empowering conclusion: the more unresolved emotional baggage you’ve stored in your subconscious, the more untapped potential awaits you.

When we understand how and why the subconscious mind keeps track and holds on to our memories, it becomes obvious, that we can’t just ignore our past, because it does determine our future. However, whether we repeat the patterns of the past or grow from them, is up to us.  Listen to my upcoming radio show and learn more about how you can use the power of your subconscious mind to heal and resolve the emotional baggage of the past. Listen to my upcoming radio show and learn more about how you can heal and resolve the emotional baggage of the past by growing from and beyond it.

Sunday, May 11th, 2014 Conscious Mind, Consciousness, Mind, Mind-Body-Spirit, Subconscious Mind Comments Off on The Empowered Self Series: Part 5 Owning the Past – How to Outgrow Your Emotional Baggage

The Empowered Self Series: Part 4 – The Essential Principles of Empowerment

empowerment

If you have been feeling stuck and powerless for quite some time, you may have wondered, whether you have what it takes to create the positive change you desire or if this is just your “lot in life.”  Although playing the role of the invisible, the pleaser or micromanager may have provided you with a sense of safety and comfort, it also kept you in continuous survival mode. However, is the purpose of life to just get through it, or are we here to thrive with purpose, joy and fulfillment? Countless of my clients, who have been struggling with anxiety and insecurity, have proven to themselves that shifting from survival mode into empowerment isn’t a privilege for just a few chosen ones – it is our natural birthright.

But where to begin? I found that by simply understanding and accepting the following principles, you can already take the first step on the path to empowerment.

  • Our subconscious mind runs most aspects of our lives. Although we rely heavily on our intellectual, conscious mind, most of our daily activities are determined by our habits, our emotions and our beliefs, all of which stem from the subconscious mind.
  • The protective function of our subconscious mind is often based on programs and imprints from our childhood. When we are living in survival mode, our subconscious mind employs the same protective patterns it developed during our early years. These patterns, which are designed to keep us safe through avoidance, pleasing others or control, determine the boundaries of our comfort zones.
  • Self-empowerment and growth require for us to expand our comfort zone. Just as we wouldn’t take a road trip with a map from 1965, the journey of empowerment requires us to update our subconscious programming – and thus the boundaries of our comfort zone. Ultimately, it isn’t the size of our comfort zone that keeps us safe but the trust in our abilities to handle whatever life brings us.
  • Our subconscious mind needs a trusted leader and guide to change and evolve. Like a loyal servant our subconscious will continue to faithfully support us in the same proven ways that kept us safe for most of our lives, until it is instructed to do something different. It needs our conscious guidance to be able to In order to shift from survival into empowerment mode and thus fully utilize its potential.
  • Our subconscious mind responds to our thoughts with emotions. Negative self-talk is the most common reason why we are feeling anxious or insecure.
  • Our emotions determine how we perceive our reality. We can choose to switch from survival to thriving mode, when we are in charge of our thoughts and our emotions. This is why true empowerment requires the harmonious collaboration of our conscious and our subconscious mind.

Listen to this upcoming radio program and discover how these principles can help you to shift out of survival mode.

 

Sunday, April 13th, 2014 Conscious Mind, Consciousness, Personal Breakthrough and Empowerment Comments Off on The Empowered Self Series: Part 4 – The Essential Principles of Empowerment

The Empowered Self Series: Part 3 “Dynamic Awareness – How to shift from autopilot”

5826069_sOur reality is largely determined by our awareness.  Let’s say you wake up in a good mood, the sun is shining and spring feels right around the corner.  You enjoy the smell of freshly brewed coffee and warm toast; the radio station seems to play only your favorite songs and on your way to work all lights are on green.  You feel in the zone and are confident that your boss will be excited about the new ideas you are scheduled to present to him today.

But at work, as you prepare yourself for a meeting with your boss, you notice a coffee stain on your shirt.  Your confidence starts to waver a bit.  You wonder if your boss will think less of you when he notices the stain.  After the meeting you could be content, because you were able to eloquently deliver your proposal. However, your mind is occupied by one nagging question: Why did your boss yawn twice during your presentation? You doubt yourself again and wonder, when you will be laid off. On top of it, your colleagues went to lunch without you and your spouse forgot to buy your favorite cereal. How come, that a day that started out so well could turn into such a “disaster?”

Every second of our life, we’re surrounded by an incomprehensible amount of information. To make sense of the world and not become completely overwhelmed, we need to filter out a large portion.  However, it would be impossible to consciously distinguish between the small fraction of information that is at any given time relevant to us and the remaining input that needs to be ignored.  Therefore, our subconscious mind employs specific filters to make us aware of the details this deeper part of our mind considers as the most important for us right now. In other words, our view on reality is basically just “made up.”

The problem is that our subconscious mind decides what is critical for us and what can be ignored on the bases of programmings, which usually stem from our childhood.  Let’s say early on in your life you were dealing with judgmental parents or scolding teachers, which left you feeling anxious and insecure.  These imprints created a certain fear of authority figures, which makes you either avoid them or please them.  This explains why in the example above, the stain on your shirt and its potential repercussions with your boss become more relevant to your subconscious mind than all the positive and uplifting input you have enjoyed as the day started. These drastic changes of awareness can happen so quickly that we feel like the victims of our circumstances, although it was a part of a remind that distorted our perception and reality.

Letting our subconscious determine how we perceive our reality is like moving through life on autopilot. But are we the victims of our subconscious programming or is it possible for us to consciously switch these awareness filters?

Listen to Dr. Schaub’s Empowerment Radio and discover how through the power of dynamic awareness you can choose your reality.

Saturday, March 15th, 2014 conscious awareness, Conscious Mind, Mind, Subconscious Mind Comments Off on The Empowered Self Series: Part 3 “Dynamic Awareness – How to shift from autopilot”

3 Most Common Ways We Give Our Power Away

ID-100210227How often have you felt powerless in your life – victimized by people or circumstances, drained by obligations and expectations, stuck in situations that felt out of your control to change? Feeling powerless can happen to all of us and it is one of the most common causes for anxiety and depression. 
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But although we feel as if someone or something outside of us has taken our power and is in control of us, in reality we are usually giving our power away, often without noticing that we do. Early on in our lives, when we completely depend on the adults around us, our subconscious mind develops three distinct survival patterns; to avoid, to please and to control. These deeply engrained patterns are the major reasons, even as adults, we still lose our power.  
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Avoiders are very sensitive to criticism, rejection and failure. They try to escape potential hurt through making themselves smaller or even invisible. They hide in a small and controllable comfort zone and preemptively loath and bash themselves, before anyone else can do this to them. Outside of their refuge, avoiders vigilantly scan their surroundings for any signs of judgment or danger. Being keenly aware of their surroundings, they often absorb other people’s energies and emotions, which makes them feel easily overwhelmed and even less safe.  Avoiders don’t only give their powers to the assumed threats from the outside, they also deny themselves any sense of empowerment, because in their mind feeling confident and positive only increase the risk of getting hurt.  
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Pleasers discover that their best bet to escape painful rejection or abandonment is to make sure that everyone is “ok” with them. Their pleasing behavior can range from being the chameleon, who is able to fit in everywhere; the care-taker, who feels overly responsible for others, to the perfectionist or overachiever, who needs other people’s approval and adoration to feel safe and secure. Pleasers give their power away by making their sense of safety and worthiness dependent on the approval of others. In contrast to avoiders, pleasers seek connection and are afraid of being alone, because on a subconscious level, they have no solid relationship with themselves, and therefore believe that they can’t make it on their own.
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Controllers want to establish a sense of safety, and strive to micromanage all aspects of their lives. In the extreme they can take on the role of being the authority and strictly enforce their ideas and rules through anger, threats and punishment. By controlling others through instilling a sense of insecurity and powerlessness, they feel more empowered and secure. However, underneath this dominating behavior often reside profound feelings of inferiority, vulnerability and pain, which stem from traumas and confusion from their childhood. Like avoiders and pleasers, controllers ultimately drain their power trying to manage their deep-seated anxieties and lack of self-worth through focusing on the world outside of them.
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Now, don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong per se with any of these patterns. In fact, most of us utilize them in various aspects of our lives. We may please our boss at work to increase our chances for a promotion; we may avoid the complaining neighbor next door; and we may feel the need to control our kids or the new puppy, when they don’t behave the way we want them to.
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The problem arises, when we are unconsciously relying on these strategies to cope with our own anxieties and insecurities. Because no matter how many people we have avoided or kept successfully at arm’s length; and no matter how many we have “wowed,” made happy or controlled – in the end we may still end up feeling powerless.  We have been defining ourselves through circumstances and people around us, and thus making them more important than ourselves.
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Listen to my upcoming interview on February 19 and discover how and why you give you still give power away – and what you can do to stop these patterns.

Friday, February 14th, 2014 conscious awareness, Conscious Mind, Consciousness, Positive Thinking, self-esteem, Subconscious Mind Comments Off on 3 Most Common Ways We Give Our Power Away
Friedemann Schaub, M.D. Ph.D. e: [email protected] p: 1.866.903.MIND or 206.323.2762
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