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?

Time to Surrender

rock climberIt is happening so quickly, that I still can’t fully wrap my mind around it. But this week I will celebrate my 50th birthday. I can vividly remember when my father turned fifty and I started to see him as an older man. Not because he looked or acted like it, but because at that age most people have fewer years left in front of them than behind them. For me aging brings up an important question– should we resist the forces of nature or should we surrender?

Whether you like to be in control and freak out when things aren’t going your way, or are known to bang your head against the wall until you break through it, surrendering may have never felt like an option for you. Personally, I believed for a long time what I was taught as a child: no matter how high the obstacles and difficult the problems, I should be able to reach my goals. And most of the times I was able to succeed, which gave me a great deal of confidence and satisfaction. However, what I didn’t consider was, whether there could have been an easier way to success or even more importantly whether my goals were worth pursuing.

Over the years I learned to let go a bit of my “dog with a bone” approach and to listen more to my wife Danielle, who has been a great proponent of the “ease and grace” approach to life. Have you ever noticed that things frequently unfold more smoothly and quickly, if we give up control and allow them to happen instead of making them happen?

To surrender isn’t defeat, giving up and admitting powerlessness. When we surrender we stop paddling upstream and no longer battle ourselves and our lives. To surrender is to let go of resistance to the circumstances we can’t and shouldn’t change, and instead focus our attention and energy towards that what flows more easily and naturally. This doesn’t mean that we should become inactive and complacent, to the contrary. As we are yielding to the flow of life, we still need to do our part to stay on course and pursue our dreams and goals. However, being in alignment with the natural current, allows us to get there faster and with much greater ease.

Hitting fifty will not stop me pursuing my passions and purpose, from working out and eating healthy. And I am sure that at times, I will still take that bone and clamber over obstacles, rather than letting the current take me around them. Yet, I am committed to practicing the art of surrender by embracing more the pause between my intentions and their manifestations; by choosing trust over control and acceptance over resistance; by cherishing more mindfully the present moment and being openly receptive to how the next 5 decades will unfold for me.

Or in the words of Joseph Campbell: “We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us.”

Join me for my next empowerment radio-show and how surrender can be the greatest gift in your life.

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2015 Personal Breakthrough and Empowerment, Self-Healing Comments Off on Time to Surrender

How Do You Know You Have an Anxiety Problem?

10982316_sWhen was the last time that fear and anxiety made you feel vulnerable, unsafe and out of control? Being anxious can feel so intense and overwhelming, that all you want is to suppress or get rid of it. But how do you that? Chances are that neither your parents nor your teachers in school showed you how to deal with anxiety. And like most of us, you had to figure out on your own, how to respond to being anxious or insecure. The problem is that you may have become so good in managing your anxiety, that you don’t even realize that you’re just surviving every day, rather than finding joy and purpose in your life.
There are 4 major survival patterns, through which most people try to consciously and subconsciously control their fears and anxieties. If you are finding yourself using one or several of these survival patterns on a daily basis, you know you have an anxiety problem.

The Avoider

If you are an avoider, you are probably very sensitive to criticism, rejection and failure. You try to escape potential hurt through making yourself smaller or even invisible. You hide in a small and controllable comfort zone and preemptively loath and criticize yourself, before anyone else can do this to you. Outside of your refuge, you vigilantly scan your surroundings for any signs of judgment or danger. As an avoider you deny yourself any sense of empowerment, because in your mind feeling confident and positive only increases the risk of getting hurt.

The Pleaser

As a pleaser you believe that your best chances to avoid painful rejection or abandonment, is to make sure that everyone is “ok” with you. You may be the care-taker, who feels overly responsible for others; the chameleon, who is able to fit in everywhere; or the jokester, who tries to win people over through being the life of the party. In pleasing mode you try to manage your anxiety by not being alone, which is why your sense of safety and worthiness depends on the approval of others.

The Controller

If you have the constant need to control every aspect of your life, you may not realize that all you are doing is to manage your fear of being powerlessness. You may even take on the role of being the authority and strictly enforce your ideas and rules through anger, threats and punishment, just to avoid feeling exposed and unsafe. By controlling others through instilling a sense of insecurity and powerlessness, you 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 your childhood.

The Achiever

Are you known as a go-getter, who always exceeds everyone’s expectations? Do you continue to strive for the next achievement, never taking the time to enjoy the one you just reached? Or maybe you call yourself a perfectionist, who can’t accept mediocrity. As an (“over-“) achiever, failure and second-place aren’t an option, because your identity and worthiness are defined by your successes. However, although this form of drive and competitiveness may have got you far, deep inside it is still the deep-seated fear of not being good enough, which keeps you running and striving. All of these survival patterns have one thing in common: they don’t lead to a true sense of inner peace and happiness. As you become more and more dependent on these strategies to cope with your anxiety and insecurity, you drain your energy and power, which only increases the likelihood of feeling stressed and anxious. Because no matter how many people you have avoided or kept successfully at arm’s length; and no matter how many you have “wowed,” made happy or controlled – in the end you may still end up feeling powerless, because you have been defining yourself through circumstances and people around you, and thus making them more important than yourself. The good news is, that you can overcome these fear and anxiety patterns faster than you may expect, by discovering and addressing their subconscious root causes. If you are ready to stop fear and anxiety from running your life and tap into your true potential, join me for my upcoming

Breakthrough & Empowerment Life-Video Webinar

What’s included in this 3-month program?

  • Two monthly 90-minute live interactive video breakthrough sessions
  • Preparation & integration exercises and self-empowerment tools
  • Monthly 30-minute Q & A sessions
  • Recordings of all sessions, so no worries if you can’t make it to the live calls
  • E-mail support in between sessions
  • 40 day customtailored empowerment program to solidify the breakthrough results

Bonus: Be Free: Release Stress and Anxiety MP3 Price: $595 If registered before March 15th only $495

If you are ready to start your breakthrough CLICK HERE I am looking forward to helping you transform your life.

Monday, March 9th, 2015 conscious awareness, Emotional Balance, Self-Healing, Subconscious Mind Comments Off on How Do You Know You Have an Anxiety Problem?

The Empowered Self Series: Part 11: How to Make Trust the Antidote to Fear

Do you find it hard to trust?  Trusting is defined as “firmly believing in the reliability, goodness, truth, or ability of someone or something.”

Trust is a natural ability, which we are all born with. Maybe we learn to trust in the warm and soft environment of our mothers’ wombs, where we can feel completely sheltered, held and nourished. The shock of entering into the “real” world is probably buffered by the belief that we will continue to be looked after. At first our trust in ourselves grows tremendously, as ever little step we take and every word we utter is met with great applause from our parents. However, since we still remain rather powerless and dependent, our mind, especially our subconscious, soaks up all information from the outside that appears relevant to our sense of safety and comfort. Negative messages, criticism or disappointments infiltrate our subconscious and affect us deeply. It doesn’t take major trauma for us to doubt and wonder whether we can really trust to be safe, loved, or good enough.

For many people, who have encountered betrayal, let down, failure and hurt trust is just another word for foolish naïveté. The problem is that not trusting can lead to a vicious cycle, causing us to believe that hyper-vigilance, micromanaging, and even obsessive behaviors are the only way to maintain some sense of power and control when, in actuality, it is fear and anxiety that control our lives.  In other words, we are living in continuous survival mode. In order to overcome our fears and switch into thriving mode, we need to build a strong foundation of trust, which ideally rests on three tiers: Trust in ourselves, trust in others and trust in life or a higher power. But how can we establish such a foundation despite the disappointments and hurt of the past?

Listen to my upcoming show on Empowerment Radio and learn the keys on how to build to trust – and let go of fear and control.

Sunday, November 9th, 2014 Mind-Body-Spirit, Personal Breakthrough and Empowerment, Self-Healing, Unconscious Mind Comments Off on The Empowered Self Series: Part 11: How to Make Trust the Antidote to Fear

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.

End of Year

It is a common perception that the older we get the faster time is rushing by. So like many others, you may have found yourself once again rather surprised that 2013 is over. Where did all the days and months go? Of course the pace of time hasn’t changed this year – an hour still consisted of 60 minutes, a day of 24 hours and the year of 365 days. However, what may have gradually changed is your awareness of what you have experienced in the course of a day. For some of you the year may have dashed by in the wake of an insanely busy schedule; others may have experienced 2013 in a blur, through boredom or the grind of their daily routines. Or you may find yourself among those, who couldn’t wait for this year to be over – because for you it was filled with difficult challenges, painful endings or draining uncertainties. So you just want to forget about it and hope for a better 2014.

The question is, can we really afford to be so “generously” careless with our time? Shouldn’t every passing year remind us of the inevitable impermanence of our existence? Part of the problem is that we don’t take the time to acknowledge our successes, appreciate our blessings and embrace the growth we have made. So what if 2013 has been an incredibly rich and meaningful year for you – you just have not yet noticed it? But it is never too late.

As a part of our New Year’s eve tradition, Danielle and I spend some time reflecting back on the past year – and setting our intentions for the coming one. Reflecting on the last 12 months will give you a greater sense of completetion and resolution. And when you set clear intentions for the coming year something magical happens. Even if you don’t look again at what you have written until the end of 2014, you will be amazed about how much of what you have been intending actually came to pass – whether this is a testimony to the power of intentions or the law of attraction, or whether you have just programmed your subconscious mind for you to find and create what you want.

So take a time out, grab a pen and paper and contemplate the following questions. Don’t overthink it but write from your heart.

  • What were your highlights of last year?
  • What accomplishments did you create?
  • What lessons did you learn?
  • What were the blessings you experienced?
  • What are your desires and intentions for 2014?
  • What are your top 5 goals for this coming year?
  • What is your theme for 2014?

By ending this year acknowledging its gifts and learning opportunities and entering the new one focusing on your goals and desires, you are taking ownership on what you have and on what you will experience during that time.

I wish you and your loved ones a happy and blessed 2014,

Friday, January 3rd, 2014 conscious awareness, Consciousness, Positive Thinking, Self-Healing Comments Off on End of Year

Done with love? How to break-through the fear of getting hurt again.

Are you afraid of falling in love? Maybe you have been disappointed or wounded one time too many and are no longer willing to make yourself vulnerable. Or maybe you felt suffocated and controlled in your previous relationships and decided it is better to be alone than unfree. So you are pushing people away to keep yourself safe from getting hurt again. But at the same time you are feeling lonely and unwanted and long for someone else to make you feel better.

Love is one of the most enjoyable and powerful energies we can experience and share with others. Love in itself is healing – and neither hurtful nor damaging. What causes the emotional suffering isn’t love but what falling in love can bring to the surface. Whether we are consciously aware of it or not, whenever we open our heart to someone, we also get in touch with how we relate to ourselves. Unresolved insecurities, limiting beliefs and the lack of self-love and appreciation are the most common reasons why it may appear so scary for you to let others get close– and why you may have been so negatively affected by past relationships.

Listen here and learn how to heal and grow from past heart aches and make falling in love enjoyable and fulfilling again.

Thursday, April 5th, 2012 Personal Breakthrough and Empowerment, Self-Healing Comments Off on Done with love? How to break-through the fear of getting hurt again.

Neuropeptides and the Unconscious Mind

Twenty years ago a group of scientists discovered in the brain, a set of chemicals known as neuropeptides. Neuro because they are found in the brain, and peptides because they are protein like molecules. So every time you have a thought or a feeling, a desire, an instinct, or a drive, each of these affects our nervous system by means of specific messenger molecules called neuropeptides.
There are receptors to these neuropeptides not only in brain cells but also in cells of the immune system. So when the scientists began looking at the various immune system cells that protect us from cancer and infection (t-cells, for example), they found that there were receptors to these same neuropeptides in those cells. In fact, the word neuropeptide became obsolete, because they’re not confined to the brain. They are floating around in the bloodstream and going to all our different organs. Since there are receptors to these neuropeptides in cells in the immune system, then it becomes obvious that, as Chopra says, “The immune system is constantly eavesdropping on our internal dialog.” In NLP we would add the following comment, “The immune system is constantly responding to the pictures, sounds, feelings, smells, tastes, and the internal dialog that we hold in our mind.” 
The Unconscious Mind: Since the unconscious mind (also known as the “body mind”) is the controlling intelligence in the body, it is also the connection between the mind and the immune system. One of the major theories of Time Line Therapy® ™, NLP, and Hypnosis is that the unconscious mind can communicate with any part of the body at any time it so desires, and can, in this way, stimulate the healing process. It seems that there is, in fact, neurological evidence for this idea. 
Every thought, every emotion, every desire, every internal representation you have is monitored, overheard, viewed. Your immune system is watching, listening, feeling! It has been shown that grieving people have grieving immune cells. If the grieving goes on for a prolonged period of time, then the immune system has also the self talk of, “Leave me alone, I don’t want to be bothered.” Such people are, according to Chopra, susceptible to cancer and other infectious diseases.
That is why it’s so important to understand that negative emotions which are trapped in the body are not conducive to health, and why we release all of a person’s negative emotions when we do healing processes in Time Line Therapy® ™ techniques. 
Friday, December 30th, 2011 Mind-Body-Spirit, Self-Healing, Subconscious Mind, Unconscious Mind Comments Off on Neuropeptides and the Unconscious Mind

Establish More Motional Balance

Here are a few suggestions that will help you to establish more motional balance that can in turn support your healing.

  1. Take the messages from the medical field and others with a grain of salt—especially if they are limiting and disempowering. Avoid obsessive “Googling” on the Internet, which can often lead to more fear and discouragement.  
  2. Choose a medical support system and personal environment that are in alignment with  your beliefs about your healing.
  3. Focus on what you want, which is health and well-being! Rather than identifying yourself with a diagnosis, see yourself as a person who has the potential and the ability to heal and  create well-being.
  4. Find ways to regularly relax and bring your body into a parasympathetic state, which is the healing state. Meditating, listening to calming music, being in nature, and taking a bath are just some examples that can help you to achieve this state.
  5. Learn more about the mind-body-spirit connection and how to use it to activate your self-healing abilities. Remember that you are ultimately in charge of your body and your health. Whatever your body has created can be uncreated. Use visualizations and self-hypnosis as ways to utilize and activate your mind-body-spirit connection. Books by Deepak Chopra and Dr. Bernie Siegel can be excellent starting points.
  6. Identify and resolve the emotional root causes, inner conflicts, and significant emotional events that are connected to the illness. The work of Dr. Hammer, Dr. John Sarno, and Louise Hay can also provide you with more information on the deeper meanings and messages of illness.

Also call us for a free phone consultation. The Personal Break-through and Empowerment program is designed to support you with all of these important steps.

Friday, October 28th, 2011 Emotional Balance, Mind-Body-Spirit, Self-Healing Comments Off on Establish More Motional Balance

Keep the Faith

As a physician, I often felt that patients gave up faith in their self-healing abilities, completely  surrendering and trusting in the abilities and wisdom of the doctors.  Many young physicians are not prepared for this and don’t know how to deal with the power that is handed to them by their patients. The movie, The Doctor, should be a requirement for medical students.

William Hurt plays a doctor who realizes how little he knows about healthcare when he himself is diagnosed with throat cancer.  As a doctor he was mighty and all knowing, but as a patient he has to endure being treated as a helpless kid, without regard for his feelings and his dignity.

Unfortunately this is not only a Hollywood story; I am sure that many of you have had or are having similar experiences. Doctors and health care providers aren’t the only culprits. Family and friends can also be the source of “gloom and doom” messages. A colleague  of mine told me the story of a woman who was diagnosed with breast cancer. During their first session, she was feeling more and more encouraged and determined to focus on her  healing and get well again. As soon as she came home and told her family that she would heal, they warned her not get her hopes up, that she’d heard the diagnosis and should know that  there was not much that could be done. A few weeks later she died.

Tuesday, October 25th, 2011 Healing Team, Self-Healing Comments Off on Keep the Faith
Friedemann Schaub, M.D. Ph.D. e: [email protected] p: 1.866.903.MIND or 206.323.2762
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