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How to Obliterate Limiting Beliefs and Open Your Life up to New Possibilities

Career & Business, Life Coach Library, Personal Growth & Spirituality

Your limiting beliefs aren’t doing you any good. In fact, they’re keeping you from living your best life. Learn how to get rid of them! 

Our beliefs define who we are. For better or for worse, what we believe dictates our behavior, thoughts, and reactions.  

If the belief is strong enough, it can carve out our entire destiny. Limiting beliefs included! 

Our beliefs serve many purposes. They keep us safe, reflect our self-esteem, and maintain our social status. To step outside these beliefs means we risk rejection and loss. Believing we will lose something if we strive to meet a goal makes us fearful and avoidant. 

Beliefs are also kept intact because of a psychological concept is known as belief perseverance. In belief perseverance, our brains persist in weeding out evidence that contradicts our belief. Our brains focus on reinforcing memories, thoughts, and actions related to the belief while leaving out evidence to the contrary. 

Giving up a self-limiting belief isn’t easy. The unknown and the fear of being wrong is scary. These beliefs are familiar to us even when they are unhealthy or self-defeating. 

But, there is a way to obliterate self-limiting beliefs once and for all!  

If you want to live your best life and let go of limiting beliefs, then read on to discover how to let them go. 

Finding Freedom by Obliterating Limiting Beliefs 

Beliefs provide us with a sense of certainty. We all need certainty, but we also need to progress and grow in life. Explore the following ways to let go of self-limiting beliefs so you can open your life up to new possibilities.  

1. Truth and Reality 

The truth can be translated in a variety of ways. As we switch from one news channel to another, we know this to be true! One news channel focuses on one aspect of a story making it positive or neutral and the other focuses on another part of the story to make it seem negative.  

Which news channel is “right”? It depends on who you believe and what you believe already! 

To open ourselves up to other beliefs, we need to lovingly turn our attention inward. We need to gently ask ourselves questions about our limiting beliefs.  

Author Byron Katie created a method for questioning strongly held beliefs and judgments in order to accept reality. She calls it “The Work” which includes “The Four Questions.” 

These questions are: 

1. Is it true? 

2. Can you absolutely know it’s true? 

3. How do you react, what happens, when you believe that thought? 

4. Who would you be without the thought? 

The key message to Byron Katie’s questions is that we can never know for sure if one belief is absolutely true. We may believe it to be true, but that doesn’t mean it’s actually true.  

You discover this by turning around the initial statement you made using opposite statements. These statements could be about yourself, another person, or the world. When you turn around these statements, you’ll discover that they are just as truthful as your initial statement.  

We discover holes in our beliefs when we consider that other truths may be just as true, if not truer than, our original belief or judgment. When we accept that many “truths” can exist at once, we open up our minds to believe in other possibilities and discoveries.  

2. Change Your Story 

Beliefs are usually a part of a story we tell ourselves. In the case of self-limiting beliefs, these stories provide us with a detailed explanation as to why we can’t do something. 

For example, imagine a young man who believes he can’t go to college. His story says that he can’t go to college because his family can’t afford it, no one in his family went to college, and his grade average isn’t good enough. 

Imagine another young man with the exact same background who believes he must go to college because of his upbringing. What’s the difference? One used his background to form a self-limiting belief whereas the other created a story to use as fuel to overcome his struggles.  

Ask yourself how you can use the past to create a motivational story. How can your story be changed from limitation to overcoming obstacles? Has someone with the same background as you created a different ending to their story? 

Find a spark of inspiration such as another person’s story and never look back! If they believed it, so can you! 

3. Build on Success 

We normally aren’t composed of only self-limiting beliefs. We also have beliefs which have served us well! We can use these existing beliefs to give us the confidence to overcome self-limiting beliefs.  

Take out a pen and paper and write down all the times you’ve succeeded in life.  

Did you graduate from high school? Do you have a job? Are your relationships successful? 

What strength and beliefs would someone need to accomplish these tasks?  

For example, to get a job, you would have to be brave enough to apply and be qualified in some way to do the job. To graduate from high school, you would have to be persistent in getting your work done and intelligent enough to pass exams. 

Make a list of skills and beliefs needed for each accomplishment. Then return to your self-limiting beliefs. 

Have you used skills in the past that contradict your self-limiting belief? Do these skills directly contradict your limiting belief? 

For example, imagine your self-limiting belief is that you can’t lose weight because you’re not disciplined enough. Define what “being disciplined enough” looks, then turn to your list of accomplishments. 

If it’s true that you aren’t disciplined enough, then how did you graduate from high school? Going to high school means getting up early and getting homework done for four years. Would you agree that that takes discipline even if you didn’t see it as a discipline at the time? 

Perhaps the biggest problem is that your discipline “muscle” is just out of practice! Does that mean you can’t lose weight? No, it means you’re going to have to re-learn how to be disciplined so you can lose weight.  

Your belief that you can’t lose weight isn’t true, you just are out of practice in believing in yourself and following a plan.  

4. Avoid Comparisons 

When you think about your accomplishments, try not to compare yourself to others. When we compare ourselves to our peers we can instantly believe we can’t do something. The reasoning goes, “if I could, I already would have been successful like them.” 

Life, however, is not linear. The people you are comparing yourself to also may not be as successful and happy as they appear. And if they truly are, then ask them what their recipe for success is! 

We can all use someone to look up to. If they did it, then so can you! 

Obliterating Limiting Beliefs, Gaining Back Your Life 

To obliterate limiting beliefs, we must nurture our strengths. We have to feed the good in ourselves by shifting our focus and changing our stories. 

We can do this on a daily basis. We can set small, manageable goals for ourselves. We can allow the truth to overpower our beliefs by being open to other interpretations.  

It takes courage. It takes persistence. But, you made it this far in life, and that isn’t by accident.  

You made it this far in life because something inside of you believed you could. Build on that belief and you’ll open yourself up to a whole new reality. One where you believe in yourself more than you believe in your fears.  

Feel like you need a life coach to help you overcome your limiting beliefs? Find a life coach today and open your life up to endless possibilities! 

Author | WENDY COPE 

About: 

I was a rebellious teenager and at the age of 20 found myself in a recovery program for drug and alcohol addiction. That was 30 years ago and I have been passionate about the pursuit of personal-growth ever since. At one point in my recovery, I felt really “stuck” and need to do something different. That was my first encounter with coaching. I completed a 12-week program and the changes I experienced were profound. Like more than 5 years of therapy profound. 

That triggered a deep passion and desire to help others. Anyone can get “stuck” at some time in their lives. I work with people of all walk of life although my area of expertise is the recovery community. Helping people get “un-stuck” brings me deep satisfaction. I felt inspired to create a platform that serves both coaches and clients and that’s how Life Coach Library evolved. Educating people and getting the message to them that they CAN reach their goals while providing a practical means for great coaches to grow their business is what Life Coach Library is all about. 
 

Education: 

I hold a bachelor’s degree from Hawaii Pacific University in Justice Administration and have 25 graduate level credits in professional counseling from Walden University. Later in my career, I completed a career switcher program and hold a professional teacher’s license in Virginia, Delaware, and Maryland. Additionally, I am a certified hypnotherapist and reiki master. I am presently training with the Coach Training Alliance and while I will complete this module in February 2019, I am committed to personal-growth and life-long learning in the coaching profession. 

How to Unlock Your Passion and Find Your Life Purpose: It’s Never Too Late!

Career & Business, Life Coach Library, Personal Growth & Spirituality

Are you wandering around life without knowing your life purpose? That’s not truly living. Learn how to unlock your passion in this guide. 

You may be content with your life, but are you happy? 

According to the most recent findings from the Harris Poll Survey of American Happiness, the answer is most likely no. Only 33% of survey respondents reported feeling happiness. 

One of the biggest reasons why people feel unhappy is because of a lack of direction. They feel that their life has little purpose, and thus, no aim. 

While that may sound rather dour, not all hope is lost. It’s never too late to find your purpose! 

Read on below for a guide on how you can unlock your passion, reach your potential, and find your life purpose. 

Appreciate the Value of Childhood 

As we grow up, we’re told to put childish things away and grow up. To conform to society and everything we believe we’re supposed to be. 

In fact, the very idea comes about in the Bible

But what does it mean to be “childish?” Is it such a bad thing? 

It’s quite the opposite. 

Think back to when you were a child. Chances are you were quite happy most of the time. You most likely felt loved and safe and secure, living each day with a new sense of wonder. 

But as we grow up, many of us lose that sense of wonder. 

It’s a shame. Our childhood selves have so much to teach us, from exercising unbridled passion and unconditional love to the curiosity we found in even the simplest aspects of life. 

It’s time to stop quelling your inner child and get in touch with them once more. 

Start viewing life through a new lens, where creativity and curiosity rule. Let yourself be happy and the rest will flow. 

Ask the Tough Questions 

Imagine a world where you have access to anything you could ever want. Money isn’t a concern, so instead of slaving away at your 9-to-5 job, you’re off living your best life. 

What does that look like for you? What is it that you really want out of life? 

For many of us, that question is so unfathomable we may not be able to come up with an answer right away! 

If you can’t come up with anything right away, that’s alright. Give the idea space to grow. 

Congratulations, you’ve just answered one of life’s toughest questions, and as a result, you now understand your purpose and passion in life. 

Visualization may not seem like it has much power over our lives, but doctors and social scientists are discovering that visualizing success is highly influential over our decision making. 

From ‘Why?’ to ‘Why Not?’: Living a Life of Purpose 

The biggest thing holding you back from a life of purpose isn’t money. It isn’t your job. Nor is it your looks. 

It is, however, your attitude and your approach to life. It’s time to reframe your thinking into something more positive. 

For a great example of what living a ‘Why not?’ lifestyle looks like, let’s look at an unexpected source: Filmmaker, podcaster, and entrepreneur Kevin Smith. 

By all accounts, Smith could have ended up as another statistic. 

By the time his first film, “Clerks,” made the rounds at film festivals, young Smith was a film school dropout living with his parents and working a dead-end job at a convenience store to pay off his massive credit card debt. 

And then something astonishing happened. Critics and audiences loved the candid nature of “Clerks.” So much so that the distribution rights were purchased on the spot, launching Smith’s career. 

It’s because he followed his passion that he found his success. 

Years later, Smith would go on to write, “…there is little sense in not at least trying to accomplish all of your wildest dreams in life. 

Now he travels the world telling his stories and working with his friends — all because he said ‘Why not?’ to shooting a small film at the very convenience store he worked at. 

But you don’t need an award from the Cannes Film Festival to live your dream. A life of purpose is following your passion, even in the face of adversity. 

You owe it to yourself to try and follow your passion. 

Life Is Tough — Be Tougher 

You might wonder why, if a life of passion is easy to lead, more people aren’t out there living their dream. 

It boils down to an answer that tends to scare most people: Work. 

Indeed, to be happy and successful requires more — more than many expect. 

Success doesn’t happen overnight, nor does it happen in a bubble. It requires long hours, sacrifice, and above all else, drive. 

And as a result, you’ll need to be patient with yourself along the way. 

There will be days where following your dreams may seem pointless if not outright impossible. Don’t let that negativity overcome you. 

Persistence is key, even when it comes to something like unlocking your dreams. 

Be tougher than those negative thoughts telling insisting you can’t do it. Push through and do it anyway. Soon you’ll be so happy you did. 

Ask for Help 

Too many people view asking for help as a sign of weakness. 

They believe that, because they need some assistance, they’re incapable of accomplishing their dreams on their own. 

The truth, however, is that it takes a great deal of strength to ask for help. 

If you can’t seem to unlock your dreams or find your passion, there’s no harm in reaching out. 

Consider finding a life coach in your area who can offer one-on-one coaching and personalized advice. 

Finding Your Life Purpose: Final Thoughts 

Finding your life purpose is something anyone can do at any point in their life. The trick is to want it. 

If you have the desire, drive, and passion, you too can achieve your dreams. 

If you need a little help getting there, don’t forget that we can put you in touch with a life coach. 

Contact us today to learn more about finding a life coach who can help you unlock your full potential. 

Author | WENDY COPE 

About: 

I was a rebellious teenager and at the age of 20 found myself in a recovery program for drug and alcohol addiction. That was 30 years ago and I have been passionate about the pursuit of personal-growth ever since. At one point in my recovery, I felt really “stuck” and need to do something different. That was my first encounter with coaching. I completed a 12-week program and the changes I experienced were profound. Like more than 5 years of therapy profound. 

That triggered a deep passion and desire to help others. Anyone can get “stuck” at some time in their lives. I work with people of all walk of life although my area of expertise is the recovery community. Helping people get “un-stuck” brings me deep satisfaction. I felt inspired to create a platform that serves both coaches and clients and that’s how Life Coach Library evolved. Educating people and getting the message to them that they CAN reach their goals while providing a practical means for great coaches to grow their business is what Life Coach Library is all about. 
 

Education: 

I hold a bachelor’s degree from Hawaii Pacific University in Justice Administration and have 25 graduate level credits in professional counseling from Walden University. Later in my career, I completed a career switcher program and hold a professional teacher’s license in Virginia, Delaware, and Maryland. Additionally, I am a certified hypnotherapist and reiki master. I am presently training with the Coach Training Alliance and while I will complete this module in February 2019, I am committed to personal-growth and life-long learning in the coaching profession.

Live Your Next Level Life: How You Can Leap to the Next Level with a Life Coach’s Help

Life Coach Library, Personal Growth & Spirituality

Are you feeling like there has to be more to life? Or you have to be able to do more? Learn how to get that next level life in this post. 

Do you feel like your life is a bit stagnant at the moment? 

Would you like to be able to both recognize and take advantage of the opportunities life has to offer you?  

Sometimes, do you just feel like you need a little bit of a push?  

If you answered any of these questions with a “yes,” then life coaching may help you to get to the next level in your life.  

What’s your life like? If you’re like 70% of people, you might not be fully content with where you are at the moment. Ready to live your next level life with the guidance, encouragement, and honesty that a life coach can provide you with? 

If so, then keep on reading this post to learn more about how a life coach can help your life be as awesome as you’ve always wanted.  

Life Coaching Increases Accountability 

Sure, you’re accountable to your boss, your landlord, and maybe even to a few of your family members and friends.  

But in most cases, these people hold you accountable for the things you’re supposed to do for them. The real question is: Who in your life is holding you accountable for bettering yourself and achieving your dreams?  

If you work with a life coach, you’ll have someone that you have to report to — and get feedback from — when it comes to moving forward in your life. 

You’ll be able to make fewer excuses. You’ll also develop a real-life, actionable plan to make your goals a reality. Above all, you’ll learn the most efficient and even emotionally healthy ways to get what you want.  

You’ll Develop an Actionable Plan 

If you want to live your next level life, then you need to find a way to turn your dreams into reality.  

Sure, being a dreamer is wonderful. It’s one of the ways that we as people can remain optimistic, even in tough times. But eventually, you have to stop dreaming and work to make things happen.  

You can’t just “wait” for good luck and opportunities to come to you. When you choose to work with a life coach, you’ll learn how to find them for yourself.  

You and your coach will create an achievable, step-by-step action plan for turning your life around. You’ll research education programs together, look for new employment opportunities, and even talk about your dating life.  

In short? 

Whatever you want to improve in your life, you’ll need a map to get there. A life coach helps you to draw that map. Most importantly, they can also prepare you for the obstacles and setbacks that you’ll likely face along the way.  

You’ll Address Your Anxieties 

Think about the top things that you feel like hold you back in life. In other words, what’s preventing you from living your next level life?  

Is it the opinions of others? Is it your current living and financial situation? Is it the professional qualifications you possess, your work environment, or even your current mental health?  

Now, think about how much more you would be able to accomplish if these stressors and anxieties were absent from your life. Think about how much happier you’d be. In some cases, this might mean you have more time to spend on things you actually enjoy doing.  

Your life could change for the better. You just have to take that first step. 

What if you could develop real-world coping mechanisms? What if you could figure out which of these stressors you’re in control of, and which ones are worth changing?  

Life coaching helps you to do just that.  

In addition to identifying — and discussing the reasons for — some of your biggest fears, you’ll also learn how to better manage them.  

You’ll be surprised at what you can accomplish when you’re not standing in your own way.  

You’ll Develop Self-Confidence 

An astounding 85% of people currently struggle with low self-confidence.  

If you’re among them, then you know firsthand just how much your lack of an ability to believe in yourself can get in your way.  

Maybe you have amazing ideas that would improve the lives of others, but feel like you’re not “qualified” enough to share them. Maybe you have imposter syndrome and feel like you’re not “worthy” of the life you’ve been given.  

Perhaps you just live in constant fear of rejection. You feel like it’s just easier to avoid seeking new opportunities, because that way, you’ll be able to avoid feelings of failure.  

The truth is that a lack of self-confidence doesn’t just hurt you. It also deprives the people around you of wonderful, helpful ideas that could also make their lives easier and happier.  

Working with a life coach is an awesome way for you to remind yourself of what you’re capable of. You’ll recognize your talents, learn to advocate for yourself, and finally start taking risks again.  

Are You Ready to Live Your Next Level Life? 

We hope that this post has shown you how you can make your dream next level life a reality through life coaching.  

Whether you want to advance personally, professionally, or even physically, having someone to help encourage and support you can make all the difference.  

Are ready to connect with a life coach who will inspire you to grow — and to dream even bigger?  

If so, then learn more about the extraordinary life coaches we can connect you with. Don’t waste one more day not reaching your full potential. Instead, reach out to us to find a coach and level up in life. 

Author | WENDY COPE 

About: 

I was a rebellious teenager and at the age of 20 found myself in a recovery program for drug and alcohol addiction. That was 30 years ago and I have been passionate about the pursuit of personal-growth ever since. At one point in my recovery, I felt really “stuck” and need to do something different. That was my first encounter with coaching. I completed a 12-week program and the changes I experienced were profound. Like more than 5 years of therapy profound. 

That triggered a deep passion and desire to help others. Anyone can get “stuck” at some time in their lives. I work with people of all walk of life although my area of expertise is the recovery community. Helping people get “un-stuck” brings me deep satisfaction. I felt inspired to create a platform that serves both coaches and clients and that’s how Life Coach Library evolved. Educating people and getting the message to them that they CAN reach their goals while providing a practical means for great coaches to grow their business is what Life Coach Library is all about. 
 

Education: 

I hold a bachelor’s degree from Hawaii Pacific University in Justice Administration and have 25 graduate level credits in professional counseling from Walden University. Later in my career, I completed a career switcher program and hold a professional teacher’s license in Virginia, Delaware, and Maryland. Additionally, I am a certified hypnotherapist and reiki master. I am presently training with the Coach Training Alliance and while I will complete this module in February 2019, I am committed to personal-growth and life-long learning in the coaching profession.

What’s at Stake?

Health & Wellness, Life Coach Library, Personal Growth & Spirituality

Intuitively, many of us know the changes (or at least some of them), that we must make in order to get to where we want to be. Yet despite this, we still struggle to make those changes. We get caught up in the other matters of our lives. we lose sight of our goals, dreams, and aspirations. we get caught up in the machinations of our daily lives and inevitably stop pursuing them entirely.

So what gives? For starters, we need to make an obvious observation. Change can be uncomfortable. It usually is, particularly if it is a transformative change (Changing a habit for example). YET THESE ARE ALWAYS THE BEST CHANGES TO MAKE and still, we don’t make them.

Let’s make this real for you.

Let’s get in touch with YOUR reality:

What’s at Stake for you? If you don’t make this change, if you don’t take action, What’s at Stake for you? Let’s take into consideration both extrinsic and intrinsic consequences of not making that change.

Extrinsic: Is it a life half-lived? A horrible career or vocation? Is it a broken friendship/relationship or marriage? Is it poor physical or mental health? A potentially bad financial situation? A once in a lifetime opportunity missed out on?

Intrinsic: How do I feel about this now? How am I going to feel about this later? What Value does this have for me?

Hypothetically Speaking, if you were to continue down this path on Auto Pilot, changing absolutely nothing, what would your life look like:

  • Next Year
  • Three Years From Now
  • Five Years From Now

Are you happy with this? Are you being true to the God-given talents and gifts that were bestowed to you?

Before I became a Life Coach, I was a personal trainer for over 7 years. Exercise, particularly martial arts, changed my life profoundly. However, I never quite got to the level that I really wanted to be with my body. I kept trying to “work harder.” At one point I had a routine where I would workout at least 2 hours a day, 5 days a week doing high intensity interval training combined with Kung-Fu AND Kickboxing. I was exhausted on those days. My body would feel destroyed. I was overtraining, Working way too hard. Trying to lose weight I would “eat less” but “more often”, and then I would have “cheat meals” on the weekend. I never got to my ideal weight or had the body I wanted to. Yet I was exhausted. I kept depriving myself so much that on the weekend I would PIG OUT and ruin all that hard work from the entire week. I stayed in that cycle for about 3 years, always trying the same thing. I had more up and downs than I can count.

During this time, I was also trying to grow my coaching practice. The beautiful thing about coaching is that it requires ongoing personal growth. I decided to prioritize growing my coaching practice, so I had to put aside doing 2-3 hours of exercise every day for a while. But I knew that something had to change, otherwise I would just keep gaining weight or at best, stay the same. I changed my nutrition. I updated my system. I tried the Ketogenic Diet. In one month, I lost almost 20 pounds and I was working out half the amount of time, all while eating foods that I loved but was scared to eat: Bacon, Cheese, sour cream, etc. (in a varied plan with eggs, greens, and other lean meats and fish like chicken and salmon). Later, I transitioned to a cyclical version of this lifestyle (5 days on/two days off) and I have kept the weight off. More than just that: I don’t have high and low energy spikes anymore. I have more energy every moment of every day, I don’t get tired in the afternoon, and I never feel that starving feeling if I didn’t eat for a couple hours.

Here’s some great information on this Lifestyle: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/ketogenic-diet-101

This is the part that really will rock your world!

I invite you to take the time to slow down and just think, write it down, journal it, whatever it takes to make it real. Ask yourself just this one question: If I don’t make this change, what is truly at stake?

…But wait Mauro!!! I already made this change and I am still not where I want to be.

Know this: If you have made the change, if you have been pursuing this path that you have set out for yourself, expect that there will be ups and downs. You may experience periods of tremendous growth and then suddenly, a hit a plateau, maybe even a sudden drop. There may be yet another rise and then another drop. That’s part of the journey. That’s what makes it exciting because it is in some ways the unknown. The unknown can be scary, or it can be thrilling. The best part of all of this is YOU get to choose what label you place on that. You get to choose whether it is fear or excitement. Every day brings forth a new opportunity for growth and change.

So here are some more powerful questions to ask yourself:

  • What systems and practices can you implement that will take you to the next level in your plan?
  • What do you need to do?
  • Who do you need to be?
  • Where can you find support and from whom?
  • Is the change you need to make deeper than this? Do you need to change so that you can change?

as defined by Merriam Webster, change in perhaps its purest and simplest sense is “to make different in some particular way.” The change you may need to make may or may not even have any physical manifestation in the onset but inevitably, it always will at some point.

“Being Defeated is often a temporary condition. Giving up is what makes it permanent.” -Marilyn vos Savant Blessings, Mauro Schiavo

Helpful Resources:

An Evening with Robert Kegan and Immunity to Change: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FFYnVmGu9ZI

How to Overcome Procrastination | Brian Tracy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UPcLkAqS_GE&t=123s

“Drive” by Daniel Pink “Time Warrior” by Steven Chandler

Bio:

Mauro Schiavo is a Certified Life and Career/Vocation Coach, and founder of Mauro’s Max Lifestyle He seeks to bring people’s wildest dreams into reality. As a child he was obese and often felt like an outcast. In his teenage years he made a bold decision to change his life. he trained for 9 years and obtained his black belt in Kung-Fu and Kickboxing. After graduating from Florida International University with his bachelors in Sports and Fitness Studies he became a personal trainer and started his own mobile personal training business. throughout this time, he was coached, not just in martial arts, but in every area of his life. This led to an insight much later during his own certification course in coaching from Fowler International Academy of Professional Coaching. This changed his life immensely and he decided to bring that change to the rest of the world.

By Mauro Schiavo https://www.maurosmaxlifestyle.com/

Get “unstuck” with Association and Disassociation

Health & Wellness, Life Coach Library, Personal Growth & Spirituality

Written by Wendy Cope, Personal-Growth & Recovery Coach, www.healthytothecore.net

Have you ever noticed when a friend comes to you for advice about a situation it is so easy to offer great ideas and solutions to them, yet, when confronted with our own it is much harder to see clearly and come up with practical answers? The reason is we are generally observers for our friends and when we observe, we can think more rationally. We are disassociated with our friends’ challenges. In our own situations we often become our situations. We feel everything, and we get stuck. We are associated with our own dilemmas.

Disassociation:

When we disassociate with something, we are more detached. We have the ability to observe. It’s like watching ourselves on t.v. or from afar. We only see and hear what is going on. We experience feelings about the situation, but not like the characters we are observing who are feeling the powerful sensations.

Be mindful that disassociation has nothing to do with the mental health diagnosis of “dissociative disorder”. Dissociative disorder is characterized by:

* The splitting off from consciousness, as in amnesia or mental blocking.

* Not remembering or connecting to a feeling as a coping or defense mechanism.

Disassociation in this article means to observe a situation to gain a different perspective and decrease the intensity of negative feelings associated with it, both mentally and physically.

Association:

Association is when we relive an experience. We are in it and see everything around us from that perspective. We feel the feelings in what seems like real time. We have other sensory experiences. What we see, hear, smell, even taste, as if it were happening right now. Association is when we are being the active participant.

Try it….

Think of a time you were very happy, like a graduation. What pictures do you see? Are you watching yourself walking across the stage to get your diploma or are you walking across the stage to get it? Whichever one you answered, try to see it from the alternative perspective. Which one feels more intense? Is it happier? Does it feel different physically? Which feeling would you rather have? If you are like most people, association feels much happier. It is usually more sensory, and physically triggers endorphins that add to the emotional experience.

Now think of something that was disappointing, maybe not getting a job you really wanted. What picture do you see now? Are you watching yourself open the mail and reading some type of notice or are you standing there with the reject notice in front of you? Whichever you answered, try it from the other perspective. Which seems less intense? Is there a difference in how you experience it physically? If you are like most people, disassociation takes the sting out of rejection and makes it easier to look at it logically.

When is it best to be Associated or Disassociated?

Unfortunately, research has found that many people disassociate with happy memories and associate with unpleasant ones. That is backwards!!! When we are thinking of something pleasant, we will view it more positively when we are associated in it. It will create positive thoughts which will make us feel happier. When we feel happier, we physically become healthier. Our heart beat settles and our blood pressure calms. If we take a moment to slow down and experience other sensations, (sounds, smells, sights…) it will enhance the feeling even deeper. This can be a powerful tool when trying to get motivated.

Dissociating from unpleasant memories or experiences decreases the emotional pain, depression, and anxiety that often accompany them. When we become an observer (vs. participant) we can see things from an objective viewpoint, and release emotion attached to an event. In my experience, this release has a positive impact both emotionally and physically as well. I have combined this with other techniques to decrease the intensity such as “dimming the lights” and “lowering the volume” (heck, hit the mute button) and “making the screen smaller and fade out”. These tools are powerful because they decrease or eliminate the sensory connections, which is what the unconscious is more likely to hold on to.

It’s never wise to get stuck in one mode or the other. Pain is not comfortable, but it can be part of an important learning and growth experience. When person gets stuck in disassociated mode, they analyze everything rationally but will not experience a range of emotion and are not better off. They should learn how to associate into their feelings, at least some of the time. When someone is so associated with their pain, they relive it over and over, even if unconsciously, and it becomes problematic. It can increase anxiety, depression, and lead to self-destructive behaviors. They would then benefit from learning how to disassociate from painful experiences.

Brown, S.. Psychology Today. Retrieved fromhttps://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/pathological-relationships/201211/dissociation-isnt-life-skill

Hall, L. M. . NLP Mentor. Retrieved from https://nlp-mentor.com/association-dissociation/

Author unknown, World Trans. Retrieved fromhttp://www.worldtrans.org/TP/TP1/TP1-119.HTML

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