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


Since the release of “The Fear and Anxiety Solution” people have been asking me, when I will offer a seminar on overcoming fear and anxiety. Many told me that while the book gave them new insights and tools on how to overcome their emotional challenges, it has been difficult for them to navigate through the maze of their minds on their own. I understand that and I agree, which is why I am excited to now offer The Fear and Anxiety Solution Live Video Webinar – Break Through to Healing and Empowerment in 95 Days, which will start on April 8.

Does this sound familiar to you?

  • You feel overwhelmed by fear and anxiety
  • Your worries and insecurities prevent you from doing what you really want
  • Your life is becoming smaller and smaller
  • Your negative emotions and panic attacks make you feel powerless and stuck
  • You’ve tried everything and nothing seems to work

If you have been struggling with anxiety, worry, insecurity or stress, you know that your natural reaction is to try to just get rid of these uncomfortable emotions. But you have probably also noticed that the more you fight your anxiety, the stronger it seems to get. Why? Because, similar to physical pain, you can’t just suppress the symptom –the solution is that you need to address its cause.

In this 3-month program you will learn how to identify, understand and heal the deeper subconscious root causes of your fear and anxiety, so that you can live your fullest potential. Are you ready to…?

  • Be free from past traumatic events
  • Create a new foundation of confidence and self-empowerment
  • Be calm and centered no matter what the circumstances
  • Have a deeper understanding and appreciation for the truth of who you are
  • Overcome oversensitivity
  • Experience a greater sense of wholeness and congruency
  • Enhance your relationships, career, health and overall well-being

Why this live video seminar can give you the breakthrough you’ve been waiting for? You probably agree, that one of the biggest challenges with fear and anxiety is, that it can make you feel isolated and confused. While everyone else seems to be able have it together, you are feeling more and more helpless and alone. And no matter how hard you try to make yourself feel better, your own mind seems to be too complex and confusing to make sense out of it. I have been helping thousands of people all over the world with my personal breakthrough and empowerment program to overcome their fear and anxiety. In this 3 month seminar, I will guide you step-by-step through this program and teach you how to take your power back and grow beyond your perceived limitations. And as you are working together with a group of people, who have been going through similar struggles as you do, you realize that you are no longer alone. In between sessions, you will connect with empowerment partners, so that you can support each other to implement what you learn in each segment and stay on track. What’s included in this 3-month program?

  1. Six 90-minute live interactive video breakthrough sessions (Wednesday 9 AM PT, noon ET)
  2. Preparation and integration exercises and self-empowerment tools
  3. Monthly 30-minute Q & A sessions (Saturdays 9 AM PT, noon ET)
  4. Recording of all seminars in case you can’t make it live and so you can revisit as often as you’d like
  5. 40 day empowerment….

Bonus: Be Free: Release Stress and Anxiety MP3 Price: $595 – If registered before March 15 $495 Are you ready to break through your fear and anxiety and create a strong foundation of confidence and inner peace? The click here (link needs to be added) to start your breakthrough. I am looking forward to helping you transform your life.

Thursday, February 12th, 2015 conscious awareness, Consciousness, Emotional Balance, Mind, Personal Breakthrough and Empowerment Comments Off on BREAK THROUGH TO HEALING AND EMPOWERMENT IN 95 DAYS

Stress Solutions Summit

With all the distractions of today’s busy modern culture and the fast pace of our life styles, stress has become an all too common influence upon our health and well-being. It is often the primary cause of physical, mental and emotional dis-ease, and that is why a summit like this is so relevant and important in these times.

Friedemann-Schaubb-600x400-Affiliate-Stress-Solutions-Summit I will be joined by some of the most knowledgeable relaxation and stress management masters on the planet, including Dr. Norm Shealy, Mary Manin Morrissey, Derek Rydall, Donna Eden, Dr. Mario Martinez, Dr. Theresa Dale, and others. Along with these guests and Lisa Garr, I will present inspiring and practical techniques for minimizing stress and the harmful disorders it can cause. This Summit will help you to transcend your current challenges and move to a lasting peace, increased abundance, longevity, health and contentment. My interview will broadcast on Thursday, December 4th, at 1:00 PM Pacific Standard Time, and I sincerely hope you will tune in. If you have a desire to create a better life, that stems from a calm cool center within yourself, you will be delighted with this practical information that we’re going to bring you! Reserve your seat by clicking here.

Tuesday, November 25th, 2014 conscious awareness, depression, Mind, Mind-Body-Spirit, self-esteem, Stress Comments Off on Stress Solutions Summit

The Empowered Self Series: Part 10-Healthy Boundaries Start From Within

boundariesDo you have boundary issues? For many people setting boundaries is more uncomfortable than enduring the pain of getting disrespected or walked all over. The desire to please and the ensuing fear of rejection can thwart any efforts to speak up, push back and stand up for oneself. However, the challenge with boundaries isn’t only how to enforce them, but also to recognize when they are invaded. There are three ways in which your boundaries can be breached.

The first and most direct one is, when people simply disregard your limits. A part from physical and verbal abuse, there are many less aggressive ways in which others, consciously or unconsciously, can step across your boundaries. For example, some people don’t accept your “no“ for an answer; they continue to bombard you with probing questions, although you indicate that your uncomfortable answering them. Others assume that you are always available for them and ignore your need for privacy. Or you may have encountered those, who expect you to fulfill their needs and if you don’t punish you with rejection and blame. You know that your boundaries have been aggressively broken, when you feel small and powerless.

The second more subtle boundary invasion occurs when people don’t accept you and the choices you are making. Let’s say, you just start feeling good about the positive changes you have been making, but your family seems to prefer the “old” you. Or your excitement about your new interest gets squashed by your colleague’s eye-roll. And when you get together with your friends, they usually get a kick out of making fun of you, no matter how embarrassed you become. These subtle ways in which boundaries get overstepped often hurt the most and leave you feeling insecure and ashamed of yourself.

The third breakdown of your boundaries occurs purely on an emotional and energetic level. Perhaps you routinely feel overwhelmed and drained after going to the mall or a social gathering. A colleague having a bad day can leave you feeling deflated and depressed as well. Or you find yourself still thinking about work on Saturday morning, because a difficult conversation with a client from a few days ago is still weighing on you. If you think about yourself as being sensitive, you are probably familiar with this form of boundary breakdown. You tend to absorb and become entangled with the emotions and energies of others and thus lose touch with your center. As result you feel easily overwhelmed and unsafe in the outside world.

But no matter how your boundaries get invaded, your natural reaction may have been to either attack or avoid those, who crossed them. However, are confrontation or retreat really the best ways to strengthen your boundaries? Let’s take your health as an analogy; the most effective way to avoid getting a cold isn’t chasing bugs with disinfectants or stop leaving the house, but to strengthen your immune system.

Monday, October 13th, 2014 Healing Team, Human Body, Mind, Personal Breakthrough and Empowerment, Positive Thinking Comments Off on The Empowered Self Series: Part 10-Healthy Boundaries Start From Within

The Empowered Self Series: Part 9 “How to Expand your Mental-Emotional Flexibility”

As babies we heavily relied on our innate mental and emotional flexibility. Birth alone already required us to quickly adjust to the dramatic changes of our environment and “life-style.” After nine months of free-floating in the cozy womb, the shock of suddenly having to deal with gravity, glaring lights and noisy people must have made many of us want to crawl right back into where we came from.  And that was only the beginning. New experiences of hunger, cold, hard surfaces and full diapers didn’t help to make this new reality more inviting. Yet, even though we may have felt rather helpless and dependent on others, our mind didn’t just give up in the face of these huge obstacles – and our obvious limitation. Tirelessly computing and analyzing the massive amount of internal and external information, we quickly figured out that we can use our voice to get attention, that we can move and alter the position of our bodies just on our own, and that we aren’t just an extension of our mothers, but that we have our own, separate identity. All of these tremendous accomplishments are testimonies to the innate emotional and mental flexibility of our minds. But then somehow most of us loose touch with this powerful inner resource.

Entering into my thirties, I didn’t see the value in being flexible. Who needs flexibility when you have a clear plan? And I had my life figured out. I worked in a well-known cardiology department at the University of Munich and aimed on steadily climbing the career ladder all the way to eventually becoming a professor there. Since basic research was a requirement to advance in academia, I was about to spend the next two years in a post-doctoral fellowship at the Max-Planck Institute in Munich, which to be honest I didn’t particularly look forward to. But you do what you have to do, right?

Well, two unexpected events wrecked my well thought-out plans – and changed my life for good.

One night, after an especially stressful day in the hospital, I suddenly got yanked out of my sleep. Drenched in sweat, heart pounding, barely able to slow down my breathing, I heard from somewhere deep within a somewhat pleading voice asking me: “Are you sure you want to do this for the next 35 years?”

In that moment I realized that I had been so rigidly aiming towards my ambitions, that I had completely dismissed and suppressed any emotional awareness around whether I was truly pursuing the right path. The truth heals – and initially it can be hard to swallow. Despite my best efforts to dismiss this event as simply a sign that I was a bit stressed out and overworked, I couldn’t shake off the question on whether I was truly on the right track in my life.

Interestingly enough, a few weeks later, I received the news that my research position at the Max-Planck Institute was no longer available due to funding issues. From one day to the next my career had come to a screeching halt. I could neither go back to the hospital, since I was about to start my two-year research break, nor did I have anywhere else to go.

So I went with my best friend to one of Munich’s famous beer-gardens to commiserate with her. It was there, sitting under ancient chestnut trees, sipping sadly on my stein, that all of the sudden the flexible part of my mind kicked back in. “What about going to America?” – was the thought that bubbled up seemingly out of nowhere, placing itself dead-center into the forefront of my mind.

How about you?  Do you consider your mind flexible or did it become rather rigid over the years? Since you may have not thought about this question until now, here are a few questions, which can give you an idea on whether your mind could use some “stretching” to gain its innate flexibility back:

Are you attached to your routines (how you get to work, where and what you eat, when and what you watch on TV, when you work out, what you wear…..)?

Do you get nervous or frustrated when things are not going to plan?

Are you afraid of trying out something new (because you may fail – or what others may think of you?)

Are you aware of your comfort zone – and does it tend to get smaller with the years?

Do you get easily bored?

Do you feel quickly overwhelmed when dealing with problems?

Do you resist life changes (aging, new job, kids growing-up, moving…)?

Do you have a strong sense of right and wrong – with not much room in the middle?

Were you ever told that you are judgmental or righteous?

Do you have a hard time forgiving others or letting go of the past?

Do you avoid taking risks?

If you agreed with more than 5 of these questions, chances are that your mind could use some stretching.

Listen to my next interview on empowerment radio and learn how you can regain mental-emotional flexibility, so that you can shift more easily from problems to solutions, from boredom to creativity, and obstacles to opportunities.

Sunday, September 21st, 2014 conscious awareness, Consciousness, Mind, Personal Breakthrough and Empowerment Comments Off on The Empowered Self Series: Part 9 “How to Expand your Mental-Emotional Flexibility”

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 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”

The Empowered Self

We are born with sheer unlimited potential to grow, adapt and succeed. Just the fact that we learned how to crawl and then to walk, that we figured out how to use our mouths and vocal cords to form words others can understand, and that we developed skills to relate to the world around us proves that we are innately powerful. However, considering that more and more people are struggling with anxiety, insecurity and depression, it appears that at some point we are forgetting or losing touch with our personal power.

Let’s face it – how often do you feel powerless in the course of just one day? You are stuck in traffic and worry that you will end up late for work. Your boss pushes an unreasonable deadline on you, which means less time with your loved ones during the week-end. And at home your kids once again refuse to go to bed when they are asked to. The more life appears out of our control, the more powerless we feel.  Yet, is personal power defined by how much we can control other people or the circumstances we are in?

Some people describe personal power as the ability to change the direction of our lives. Others believe that this power allows us to influence and direct those around us. From my perspective living in a self-empowered way goes far beyond forcing our will on our reality. I consider personal power as an energy, which is based on the harmonious alignment of mind, body and spirit and leads to a sound mixture of confidence, competence and compassion for others and oneself.

Although, you can’t measure your level of empowerment, you know that you have developed and are in touch with your personal power when you:

  • Feel safe and secure within yourself
  • Accept stewardship over your mind, body and spirit
  • Take responsibility for your life
  • Trust that you have the wisdom, knowledge and capabilities to deal with anything life brings you
  • Are confident that you can change, create and attract what your heart desires
  • Commit to continuously grow, learn and evolve
  • Allow yourself to discover and express your true, authentic self
  • Consider yourself as an integral part of the web of life
  • Are open to explore your spirituality
  • Have confidence that your mission and your purpose will continue to evolve and reveal itself
  • Practice appreciation, patience and compassion for the beings around you – and for yourself
  • Treat yourself how you want to be treated by others
  • Embrace the present moment with all its gifts and possibilities
  • Develop an open, flexible mind, which allows you to learn and let go of the past and recognize the growth opportunities from any obstacle you are facing

Of course, this list has plenty of room to grow and for you to add to it. I can imagine that you’re already thinking of aspects you associate with your personal power. Accepting your personal power and approaching life with a sense of responsibility, self-reliance and a deep desire to grow and evolve into your true, authentic selves is an ongoing process. It takes certain skills, time and commitment to harness your power; but once you do, you will experience greater peace, harmony and fulfillment in all areas of your life.

How can I stop my hyperactive and worrying mind?

We can literally talk ourselves into a state of stress and anxiety. In fact, when we pay close attention, we notice that most of the times we simply freak ourselves out. As Mark Twain once said, “I had a lot of tragedies in my life—most of them never happened.”

We’re not often consciously aware of the sequence of negative thoughts that lead to anxiety. The resulting feeling itself is what makes us pay attention. But how did we get there? The exercise below is a very powerful way of paying attention to the thoughts that often lead to a downward spiral into the dark pit of fear and anxiety. The descent can start with a “what if”, or an “I should have”, both mere assumptions, either about something that has not yet happened or something that we can’t change because it has already happened. Yet this does not stop us from entertaining these thoughts. These thoughts are often judgmental or critical in nature. We doubt ourselves and wonder what other people may think about us. And very quickly, thoughts pop up that seems to confirm the previous ones, which confirms or exacerbates the first one, adding to the raising feeling of gloom and uncertainty. The problem is that these thoughts seem to only partially enter our conscious awareness. They can be so quick and fleeting that we don’t really “catch” them. The initial idea is often immediately trailed by another thought, which confirms or exacerbates the first one – and so on.

I routinely ask my clients to watch their negative self-talk and actually write this talk down. Most of them are completely surprised when they find out how often negative thoughts float through their minds. But they are even more shocked by what they say to and about themselves. “How can I be so mean to myself?” is a very common reaction. Let’s face it, how often do we tell ourselves “I am stupid, fat, ugly, a loser,” etc., things that we would never tell anybody else directly to their face.

So why do we treat other people with more respect and consideration than we treat ourselves? Does it make sense that we don’t want to hurt others’ feelings and at the same time are our own worst critic? One of the most important components to breaking through fear and anxiety is to learn how to trust—especially to trust ourselves. Would you trust somebody who calls you “a loser” or tells you that “you don’t have what it takes?”

The following exercise is one of the most effective ways of handle negative, self-defeating mind-racing. However, there are a few considerations that are important to understand to use this tool most effectively.

One of the reasons this exercise works is because it interrupts the spiral of negative thinking before it gets us into the negative emotion. It is training our mind to not automatically follow this self-defeating train of thoughts, but to search for new options and ways to view the given situation. By considering the more positive angles, we are also planting seeds in our mind, which support the growth of greater confidence and self-esteem.

Another major factor is that we are learning to directly address the deeper source of the negative self-talk. Negative self-talk is not a conscious, intellectual choice. It stems from the subconscious mind. Imagine that a part of your subconscious mind is merely repeating old “tapes” of negative messages you heard many years ago. Maybe when you were a child, being worried and hyper-vigilant may have served you by helping you to feel more safe. Maybe you had to make sure that you were not getting in trouble with your parents or it felt much safer for you to be invisible. The reason why a “younger” part of your mind is continuously playing these old themes and holding on to these patterns is because that part has never been properly encouraged and reassured. By either ignoring these now rather non-supportive messages or buying into them through anxiety and worry, this subconscious part will just continue what it has been doing for a long time. So how would you respond if a little child would tell you that he or she feels bad and frightened? Would you ignore her or tell him,“yes, you a’re right, you suck, and the world is an unfriendly and dangerous place?” Of course not, because not only would you frighten the child more, but also what will happen is that this child will start screaming louder and louder. What you would do is to comfort and reassure this child, not merely with intellectual reasoning, but with gentle kindness from your heart. And as a result, the child would most likely feel safe and at peace again. This is the context in which you need to place the following negative-positive / self-talk exercise.

 To get specific:

Get a little notebook that you will carry with you at all times. In this book, you will write down all negative self-talk immediately when it comes up. Then ask yourself: “Is this true?” “Does believing this serve me or anybody else?” “Does believing this help me in reaching my goals?” These questions help you to interrupt the negative thought spiral.

Then promptly, next to the negative thought, write at least three positive ones, which are counter-balancing the negative thoughts. As you write down the words, make sure that you are fully aware of the positive qualities. Feel good about what you are writing. In the past, you may have tried to change negative thinking through positive counter-balancing. The reason why most people who unsuccessfully tried to counter-balance negative-self talk failed is that they did not add positive emotions to the positive statements. The subconscious mind does not care so much about words; It cares much more about feelings. So rather than using this exercise as mental gymnastics, make sure that you can feel and stand behind the positive statements you make. This is why the image of talking to a younger, subconscious self is so helpful, since it is easier to talk kindly and comforting to a child than to an adult self. Be very diligent and committed to this exercise, and don’t let one negative thought slip by without counter-balancing it. By using this method, most people are able to reduce negative self-talk by more than 80 percent in just a couple of weeks.


Monday, August 6th, 2012 Conscious Mind, Emotional Balance, Mind, Stress, Subconscious Mind Comments Off on How can I stop my hyperactive and worrying mind?

Maximize the time between the dream and its realization

Since I was a child I dreamt of one day living in France. I am not sure where this fascination with France comes from – whether it was because I grew up just an hour from the French border or whether it is in my genes (my great-great grandfather was apparently of French origin). Something about this beautiful country makes my heart sing.

Four years ago Danielle and I discovered an enchanting little area in the South-East of France, called the Luberon. We immediately fell in love with the lush nature, the quietness, the sunny climate and of course the delicious “cuisine provencal.” We often thought: ”Wouldn’t it be nice to spend more time here?” After another visit it became clear to us – we wanted to grow this dream into reality.

This part of having a dream, which is not yet realized is often when the challenge for most of us really begins. It’s one thing to imagine what we want and another to create or manifest it. At first we wonder “how can we make it happen?” If we don’t come up quickly with a solution, doubt and insecurity may start clouding our mind, preventing us from finding more creative answers. Or we are taking action and move a few steps towards our dream. But then, when obstacles appear or we don’t see the results we hoped for, we become impatient – which is only a hop and a skip away from doubt and eventually giving up.

So how can we not only keep our dreams alive, but usher them into reality?  Listen here as I share some of the insights and valuable tools I have utilized while building the bridge between the dream and reality.

” Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you’ve imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.” ~ Henry David Thoreau

Sunday, June 3rd, 2012 Mind, Subconscious Mind Comments Off on Maximize the time between the dream and its realization
Friedemann Schaub, M.D. Ph.D. e: [email protected] p: 1.866.903.MIND or 206.323.2762
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