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Posts Tagged ‘mentality’

Pain can be your friend

July 19th, 2016 No comments

If you have never experienced emotional pain – you just landed here from another planet. In this article I am only going to discuss emotional pain and not physical pain. Let me say at the outset that you may find it hard to accept some of my rationale, I know writing it, no, as believing it has not always been easy for me either.

But first a definition – Pain – severe emotional or mental distress. Now mine – A negative emotional feeling that fills your heart, mind and gut that impacts you’re every thought, action and/or decision.

Ever been there? I’m sure your answer is yes. The loss of a loved one, the loss of a job, an unexpected negative experience that takes over your entire being, and an event that causes you to lose hope, faith or trust – this list could go on for pages.

I have experienced emotional pain many times during my life and on each occasion, until I finally grew up – my first reaction was always – blame, guilt, anger, resentment or some other negative reaction. In every case this response did not help me deal with the pain or its cause in a constructive way. I almost always felt like a victim and I do not have a victim mentality but this pain took me out of what I knew was a better way to handle the situation. I had to change my mindset about pain.

The journey of redefining pain in my life has not been an easy one as I still now and then fall prey to the implications and outcomes of a pain circumstance but I am making progress and thought I would share with you some of what I have learned.

There are degrees of pain depending on our attachment to a situation, expectation or person. These degrees can be from mild to totally devastating – causing us to lose much of who we really are.

Pain is a teacher but we have to be willing students and we have to do the necessary inner work if we are to come through this pain emotionally, mentally and even physically whole or in one piece.

If you have experienced any emotional pain I don’t need to remind you of the feelings that you experienced or the difficulty of dealing with the circumstances that caused the pain but I would like to share a few things you can consider to help manage or even eliminate the pain. Having said this, nothing, absolutely nothing I can say or anyone else can say for that matter can cause the pain to leave until you are ready to let it go.

This doesn’t mean that there won’t be memories of the person or event, that there won’t be some lingering effects of the pain, only that you are able to go about your life with this cloud no longer hanging over your every minute and causing you stress, to lose sleep and not be able to find inner peace with what happened.

I believe that most emotional pain is caused by disappointment, expectations not realized, people who behave in difficult ways or circumstances that bring you to your knees.

Pain is a normal part of life as we all experience it sooner or later due to some situation or circumstance we couldn’t control. The key to using it in a positive way is determined by what you do and how and when it strikes.

All emotions are created in the brain and then transmitted to your cells and organs via your neural system. So to deal with emotional pain that manifests in various parts of your body; your heart, stomach, lower back or other places you must first address it in your mind as this is where it begins and continues to impact you until you redirect your thoughts and therefore your actions and better manage this pain.

There are a number of things to consider;

1) There are some things in life you can control and some you can’t – the trick is to know and accept the difference and then control the things you can and let go of the things you can’t.

2) There are many ways to interpret events and people. No two people will see an event, person or situation the same. The key is to be willing to accept that there are other ways you can interpret what is happening and why.

3) Don’t let old baggage or history rule your present moments.

4) Regrets weigh tons and there is nothing you can do to change past events or circumstances but you can learn from them and then act accordingly in the future.

5) Feel the pain, admit the pain, experience the pain, get in touch with the pain and then let it go.

6) Life is short – you can live it filled with remorse, grief, guilt or you can admit mistakes, accept circumstances and move on.

7) Create some mental anchors/distractions to keep you focused on other circumstances.

8) Count your blessings – no matter what you are losing or have lost you still have more than you lost – I guarantee it.

9) Never let go of faith, hope and the will to live life to the fullest no matter what.

10) Get busy. Start a new activity, make some new friends, get

involved with a new group, take a trip, pray more, meditate,

volunteer, start to journal, start a new hobby, read inspiring

books – something.

This is just a short list of ways to deal with your pain. One way I have found that helps me a great deal is to read more and routine grateful prayer.

In the end emotional pain can be the only way to finally get in touch with who you are, what you want, what’s important and who you want to become, what needs to change and how you want to live your life. Let it teach you. Be a willing student.

By Tim Connor

Why me . . . Why now?

August 21st, 2013 No comments

Why me . . . why now . . . Why is it that people only tend to say this when things go bad? Ever heard anyone say "why me or why now" when life was going great? I haven't. Have you?

Life happens. No one can predict what lies around the next bend in the road but we can do now what we can to learn, grow and prepare ourselves for both opportunities and challenges in the future. I would like to focus on both and not just the negatives when people say – why me. . . why now!

Let's take a brief look at just a few of the areas that contribute to today's challenges and opportunities and why they are showing up in your life now and how you react to them or can change how you react to them.

Your history –

Every choice and decision has a consequence. Some are negative and some are positive, some happen short term while others can take months or years to manifest. The history of your choices, decisions and actions could be a major factor in what is in your life now. Maybe it took years for these to mature or maybe a simple action yesterday contributed to today's circumstances but it doesn't matter – you can't escape the consequences of previous decisions and actions. Their results will show up sooner or later- like it or not. Think for a moment – how has your history contributed to what is going on in your life now? What previous decisions or actions have had an impact on today's events? Did you see them coming? Did you make some poor choices in the past that have contributed to them? Did you adequately prepare yourself for what is showing up now? Keep going ask yourself some other introspective questions.

Your attitudes –

There are a variety of attitudes you can have when it comes to adversity, problems or challenges. You can choose to see yourself as a victim and not responsible for your circumstances. You can see adversity as a necessary step for personal growth. You can feel you don't deserve the opportunities that have crossed your path. Or you can stay stuck in the middle not sure how you feel or what you can or should do. In the end your attitudes will tend to be a major driver in how you handle both negative and positive circumstances.

 

Your experience –

Experience can be a great teacher but it can also cause us to default back to previous responses to similar situations. The difference in your approach – to look at a circumstance with fresh eyes or clouded by events of the past will depend entirely on your ability to stay focused in the present, bring emotional maturity to the challenge and leave old emotional baggage in the past. None of these will happen automatically and are not always easy given our human nature however if we want to learn from what is happening we must be willing to try and keep trying. A victim mentality never contributes to effectively handling problems, failure or challenges.

Your mindsets –

In many of my articles and books I discuss the concept of mindsets. Let me just say here that they are the primary motivator of all actions, choices, decisions and behavior. If your life is not as you would like in any way or for any reason I would urge you to spend whatever time necessary examining your; mindsets and their origin, power and influence over your thoughts, attitudes and ultimate consequences. A mindset is simply a consistent way of thinking about something whether positive or negative, good or bad or driven by love or fear.

Your expectations –

The number one cause of all disappointment is unrealized expectations. An expectation is a desire, need, want, goal or a way of looking at a person or experience. Fail to manage your expectations in a mature and realistic way and you will always set yourself up for frustration, stress, anxiety and disappointment. The key to managing expectations is to simply let go of what you can't control. I know this is not an easy task but it is necessary if you want to eliminate disappointment from your life.

Your spiritual development –

I will admit that for the past two years I have been on an accelerated spiritual journey – reading, praying, thinking, meditating and just listening for God's guidance. Sometimes it comes and sometimes it doesn't, well from my human perspective it doesn't but that's not to say that He isn't trying to get my attention in some way, through some circumstance or some person.

We are human, we are stubborn and we all want to have a peaceful and happy life without drama, tribulations or troubles of some kind but that's not real life. Real life has its share of failure and disappointment and triumph and victory. We all need to grasp that even in trouble there can be victory and that in victory there can always be trouble.

I have been fond of saying for years that, "God never gives you anything you can't handle." Well I have been wrong, He always gives us stuff we can't handle but he never gives us stuff He can't handle. The secret is letting go and trusting Him that all is working out in this life for His purpose. Some of you may not be there yet. Some of you may be far beyond my learning but regardless of where you are the fact remains that sooner or later we will need to learn to surrender.

"You cannot run away from a weakness; you must sometimes fight it out or perish. And if that be so, why not now,
and where you stand?"

Robert Louis Stevenson

In His service,
Tim Connor

Struggling with anything today?

April 16th, 2013 No comments

Struggling with something now?  Had more than you share of struggle? Had a struggle-free life (I seriously doubt it)?

Why is it that all of us sooner or later struggle in life with; our careers, our relationships, finances, health or a myriad of other life circumstances?  Cause it’s normal, yes struggle comes with life and I can personally attest that as one who has spent his life learning, growing and living with optimism and hope that we can never avoid struggle of one kind or another sooner or later – I know I have not been able to avoid it.

So, if struggle is a normal part of life why do so many people wish they had fewer struggles?  Cause struggle is a pain in the A___, that’s why.

Is there a reason for struggle? YES!

OK Tim, I don’t buy it, but for now I will listen so tell me why the struggles I have faced are good or good for me?

First of all some of us face more struggles in life than others and we all face different ones.  Some may struggle with money while others have more of it that they could ever spend but they struggle with some other life circumstance.  Money, luck, hard work, optimism or good genes will never eliminate struggle from your life.

Struggle like any other life situation gives us two simple choices – whine, complain, blame, feel like a victim or let whatever is happening cause anger, resentment or guilt.  OR, we can; grow, learn, say thank you or accept what is happening that we can’t control and make the best of it.

Notice I just said – control?  There are some things in life we can’t control and there are many things we can.  We can work hard and save money but there is no guarantee these skills or traits will give us immunity to those things we can’t control like; stupid drivers who slam into our trunk, weather that ruins an outdoor wedding or millions of other negative life circumstances.  But we can control our attitudes, life outlook, what we consume, what we do with our time and how we react to things we can’t control.

Simply put – struggle is a teacher.  We can learn from it or not.  If we do, there is a good chance we can avoid similar struggles again in the future. If we don’t, rest assured you will face another similar struggle again at some point in your future.

Yes, good habits, mindsets, values and behavior can help us avoid some of life’s struggles but not all of them.  And why not?  We are human, we make mistakes, we make bad decisions and choices and in life there are always consequences.  Save and spend wisely and you will most likely have a comfortable retirement.  Spend all you earn as you earn it and you will most likely have to work your butt of till the day you die.

Eat too many of the wrong foods and when you break the scale as you check your weight yep – you’ll have to go buy another scale.

Treat your body as a temple and you might live a long and healthy life – note I said MAY?  Lifespan is based on two things and two things only – genetic makeup and lifestyle choices. 

You can control only one of these so you have a 50/50 chance of a long life no matter how you live each day.

Struggle is never easy but consider – where you are, how far you have come, who you are now because of the struggles you have faced and how you dealt with them.

You either have a victim mentality and no sense of personal responsibility or you can look in the mirror and smile as you say to yourself, “I am better, wiser and smarter today because of the way I have handled my previous struggles.

Before I wrap this up, I need to say one more thing about struggle – if you are not struggling now or never have, I’ll bet it’s cause you have never tried anything new, stretched yourself or wandered into unchartered territory in life, you just have an apathetic life attitude or you just love staying in ‘blame or whine mode’.

I’ll leave you with a question – which is your life approach – to learn as you go and keep using what you learn to create a better future or to fail to take mature responsibility for what life puts on your plate? Guess which group tends to be the happiest, have the most inner peace and yes, has greater and enduring success?  Your turn . . .

“The important thing in life is not the triumph but the struggle.”

Pierre de Coubertin

What Keeps the World Alive

January 25th, 2012 1 comment
Weekly Quote
 
"Not truth but faith it is that keeps the world alive." St Vincent Millay
 
Weekly TimBit – Do you have a faith mindset?
 
Faith – belief in, devotion to, or trust in somebody or something, especially without logical proof, evidence or verification.
 
I want to make it clear that I am not talking here about religious or spiritual faith. I'm not really sure where or when the word faith originated, but I'm fairly confident that it has been used by a number of religions over the centuries. I understand that it may be hard to take religion out of the word faith for a few minutes, but that's what I'm asking you to do. To see faith as a mindset or attitude rather than a doctrine or dogma.
 
Do you have faith in – Yourself? Your future? Your ability? Your circumstances? Your talent? Your decision making? Your judgment? Your goals? Your ability to handle challenges or difficult times?
 
Faith is similar to trust as I could very well ask you the same questions above and just substitute the word trust for faith. However trust has some similar and yet different connotations things like – conviction, belief, certainty, confidence, reliance or dependence. Is faith the same as belief? Is trust the same as confidence?
 
We could debate these nuances all day. The bottom line is do you believe that you have control over every aspect of your life or do you sometimes see yourself as a victim in some life areas?
 
I'm also not referring to a – whatever will be will be mentality. We all have choices and we all make decisions. We do both based on any number of circumstances, conditions, mindsets, beliefs and expectations.
 
We can't control everything that comes into our life, but we certainly have control over how we choose to re-act or respond to those events, people or circumstances that cross our path. It is unfortunate that many people fail to realize, believe or act accordingly to this simple yet profound premise. Your life is in your hands. Having faith in life is having faith in yourself. Having faith in your future, that it will be better, is having faith in yourself. Having faith that you can overcome life's challenges and difficult times is having faith in yourself.
 
Lacking faith is to put your life, future and its outcomes and circumstances in the hands of fate or others.
 
I believe that everything that happens in life happens for a reason. We may not be ready to accept or even understand those reasons, but the stuff that comes to us, comes to teach us, help us grow and yes often to test our resolve, patience, commitment and beliefs. Self-reliance is a wonderful trait, but there are times when we need the counsel and listening ear of those we trust whether they are friends, relatives or even total strangers who have crossed our path.
 
Question for the week
 
On a 1-10 scale (1 poor, low or non-existent – 10 perfect, excellent or high) how would you rank your faith in yourself, your ability, your future etc?
 
Recommended Reading
 
Making Moments Matter, Dennis
 
In His Service,
 
Tim Connor, CSP