9 Rules - Success and Happiness

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We all seek happiness. Add these 9 rules to your life and watch your dreams become reality.

Rule 1:  Know who you are - Be true to yourself

 There is no one just like you.  Your path to success is uniquely yours.  Let go of your  dated ideas about yourself that you may have adopted from the past, especially if they keep you from evolving into your best self.  Bring meaning to your life through intention and choice.

Rule 2:   Hold a clear vision - Follow your NorthStar

Reflect on what you envision for your life, aligning it with what inspires and feels meaningful to you. The more clarity you have about the kind of life you want and the person you want to be, the easier it will be to stay motivated.  Take consistent steps forward making your vision a reality.

Rule 3: Understand your mind. - Unleash your true self

Much of your perception and beliefs grew out of your earliest experiences and  interactions with your families, culture and the media. Learn to distinguish between the beliefs and ideas that support you and those that limit you. Perception does not always reveal truth.

Rule 4: Take control of your thoughts - Thoughts become matter

Thoughts are among the most powerful creative tool you have. Therefore, it’s crucial to be aware of negative thoughts before they take root and develop into destructive patterns or behavior. Through awareness, conscious choices and determination, you can redirect your life by releasing disempowering self-limiting thoughts and cultivating positive ones.

Rule 5:  Choose what is essential - Life is built on choices

Be aware of how you spend your time and energy, as every decision you make influences the direction of your life. We are all born with gifts and talents as well as challenges and limitations. The way we choose to work with these blessings and trials determines our success.

Rule 6. Be consistent. - Baby steps lead to big results

 Consistency will help build momentum and form new habits for success. Break your bigger goals into smaller tangible ones that are time sensitive.  Turn your smaller goals into monthly, weekly, and daily task to make them all doable.  Checking off daily goals not only gages progress but also increases confidence, resulting in motivation to continue.

Rule 7.  Surround yourself with inspiring influencers - Lift each other up.

You are influenced by the people you choose to spend your time with. Surround yourself with individuals who encourage you to be and do better. They should be people you look up to and trust, people who help drive you forward on your personal path to success.

Rule 8. Live mindfully -The power of the present

 We spend much of our time on auto pilot, missing the depths of our precious life. Living with more mindfulness requires you to observe and participate with awareness and without the filter of judgment. The more present you can be from moment to moment, the deeper the connection you will make with yourself and others, enabling you to live life more skillfully and with greater appreciation and wonder.

Rule 9. Stay the course - Tread the path daily

Success isn’t something you attain - it’s something you live. While working toward your outer goals, it is necessary to be aware of who you become internally  in the process that’s more important. Stay focused on cultivating the inner qualities of success; living with integrity, self-discipline and patience; valuing yourself and others; reserving judgment; practicing compassion and having gratitude towards the gifts already present in your life.

Total Wellness offers a variety of tools to help you take each of the above rules from concept to real life application.  We would love to become a part of your success. Let us knowhow we can help you - simply fill out the form below and we will respond promptly. We answer all inquiries.

Wishing Success,

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Science, Health, Faith - Conflict or Harmony?

Conflict or Harmony?

For the first time in recent history, we are experiencing a reverse in life expectancy even while medical science is advancing at a furious pace.

According to the latest report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, the overall life expectancy in the U.S. was 78.6 years, down .1 from the previous year. Men can expect to live 76.1 years, down from 76.3. Women held steady at 81.1 years.

But the real question is what is the cause of this downturn? According to Dr. Caroline Leaf, noted research Psychologist, there are two main causes for this reversal in American life expectancy. The first is the American diet which consists of highly processed and nutritionally inadequate foods which simply do not supply the nutrients that are needed to maintain the body’s health. The second reason is the mental state of our nation. We have become a nation of relationships without intimacy, information without wisdom and activity without purpose which has left us more depressed, anxious and stressed. These mental/emotional disorders have been proven to be contributors to a number of serious health problems including, high blood pressure, stroke, and cancer.

Dr. Leaf’s conclusions are supported by recent studies of the general state of unhappiness in our society. During the last decade, the state of happiness in the USA has been steadily declining.

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“I really do believe that people are increasingly hopeless …”
— Dr. William Dietz, a disease prevention expert at George Washington University

One more correlation is significant here – that is the state of interpersonal relationships.

The symptoms of hopelessness are drug abuse, suicide and a host of stress-induced diseases that our medical advances can not treat for what we are experiencing is a sickness of the soul. However, this has not stopped medicine from making an attempt.

The current response to these ailments has prompted an increase in psychoactive drugs, both legal and illegal, in an attempt to alleviate this suffering. This has led to a 446 billion dollar psychopharmaceutical industry which is clearly not addressing the core issues of the problem.

Finding novel treatments for mental illness has become so discouraging that several pharmaceutical companies have shut down or reduced neuroscience research.
— Edmund S. Higgins in his January 1, 2017 article in Scientific American

Mental health experts must make major changes in their strategies to address this crisis. Simply applying the same ineffective remedies to this current crisis will not curb the downturn in mental health or produce greater well being. There must be a commitment to using every healthy and empirically proven tool to bring wholeness to those who need help. That quest leads us to the crossroads of science and faith. Merely seeing the body as a predetermined biological mechanism that is genetically predisposed to mental and emotional illness is not the answer. Clearly, there is another dimension to humans that reside in our thoughts and beliefs and this area has profound consequences upon our mental, emotional and even physical wellness. Study after study has affirmed that when the spiritual aspect of humanity is attended to it increases the overall health of individuals. It may indeed seem strange to some that scientific studies have validated the spiritual dimension of humanity. But we are seeing with ever-increasing clarity that it is a false dichotomy that makes science and faith opponents.

The argument between faith and science

For centuries a competition has existed between science and religion for the hearts and minds of the people. There has been a long-standing feud over who will wear the mantle of the prophet to our society. Some atheistic scientists have contempt for faith write it off as mere fantasies of undisciplined minds, while at the same time many religious leaders find the devil in every new scientific discovery and are deeply suspicious of any who advocates a science-based approach to mental health.

Physicist Stephen Hawking famously pronounced himself an atheist in 2014 and went on to describe his rationale.

Before we understood science, it was natural to believe that God created the universe, but now science offers a more convincing explanation.
— Stephen Hawking

Does it need to be this way? Or did Augustine speak correctly when he said: “all truth is God’s truth”. We can also turn this phrase around to say – All truth is a revelation of God. To this end, We need to lay to rest this false dichotomy and find incredible synergy when we both acknowledge God as the source of all truth and purpose to pursue this truth in every area of our experience.

An example of how faith and science coexist is a foundation for all scientific inquiry. Understanding the cohesiveness of the universe allows scientists to connect each piece of research to the other so as to form a unified whole. In order for this to happen, there must be a basic ontological belief that the universe has a logical order and consistent regularity. In other words, the laws of science are always in effect unless superseded by another law. For example, this principle is the basis for airplane travel – where the law of gravity is superseded by the law of aerodynamics. This metaphysical foundation for science creates the framework for all scientific discovery.

Likewise, the foundation for theology is that God has certain unaltering attributes that never change. It is this fundamental belief in the immutability of God that allows us to trust in his promises and rely upon his goodness.

I the Lord do not change
— Malachi 3:6

Another area where God’s immutable character is seen is in the area of his desire to communicate. God is love and the true definition of love is to seek the best for the object of that love. No greater good can come to a creature than to meet and experience its creator and that is exactly what God has offered us. These are the words of Jesus in the prayer to his Heavenly Father.

I have made you known to them and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.
— John 17:26

Francis Collins, Director of the National Institutes of Health, believes that scientific inquiry and faith in the personal God of the Scriptures are mutually compatible and in fact can produce the same awe-inspiring connection.

The God of the Bible is also the God of the genome, God can be found in the cathedral or in the laboratory … science can be a means of worship.
— Francis Collins

As W. Mark Richardson of the Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences says, "Science may not serve as an eyewitness of God the creator, but it can serve as a character witness."

Marian Westley in her Newsweek article entitled “Science Finds God” said;

Once, science and religion were viewed as two fundamentally different, even antagonistic, ways of pursuing that quest, and science stood accused of smothering faith and killing God. Now, it may strengthen belief. And although it cannot prove God’s existence, science might whisper to believers where to seek the divine.
— Marian Westley

What is God’s truth and what is scientific truth?

R.C. Sproul said: “you will not find the circulatory system in the Bible”, but neither will you find the incarnation of Christ in Science.” Science can help us explain how God made the universe but science will never lead to the why. And it is the “why” that is causing such an existential crisis in our culture. We were created for a purpose and when we lose that purpose we no longer can put in context the experiences we have nor can we find healing for our trauma. Our health (emotional and physical) is directly tied to our spiritual beliefs. We are like meaning-making machines and when we no longer can make meaning out of our circumstances we break down and cease to function properly. In other words, when we lose our purpose we also lose our happiness. In our practice, we have seen many examples of those who have what the world would consider a great life (ie. money, possessions, family, health etc.) only to be in an existential crisis because they have found that none of those things can provide them with the meaning they desire.

Why is this? Simply because we were not meant to live outside the purposes and plan of our God. This means that our physical, social and emotional lives function best when they are in harmony with God’s truth. Likewise, when we learn how our body functions at its optimal level (scientific truth) we are able to integrate these truths into our daily lives. Therefore, the study of nutrition, the brain, and behavioral science are all able to help us develop healing strategies that can bring about total wellness.

Practical ways of deepening your spiritual vitality and improving your overall wellbeing

Toxic, fear-based thoughts are at the center of producing negative effects upon health. Therefore the most effective way to being growing spiritually is to replace these thoughts with those that will promote wellbeing. The brain has neuroplasticity which allows us to shape it with the very thoughts we think. Therefore, carefully monitoring our what we are ruminating on is essential to developing sound health. Is it no wonder that Scripture specifically address our thoughts as a means of growing spiritually?

… Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things
— Philippians 4:8

Our thoughts is where the battle is found. When we are able to grow in our ability to set our thoughts upon what will build healthy structures in our brain we will increase all the beneficial properties a healthy brain can produce. This is not easy, for some of us we have spent many years teaching our brains to focus on negative, unhealthy thoughts. Trauma, broken relationships and other events in our lives have produced default neuro networks that lead to anxiety, depression and fear. But the good news is that we can create new networks that produce peace, joy, hope and joy. Dr. Leaf has outlined this process in her book “Switch on Your Brain” which I encourage you to read for those who desire to see real and lasting change.

We at Total Wellness Resource Center are committed to offering the very best empirically proven science-based methods that are informed by our commitment to our true purpose found in God’s revelation of truth through the Bible. We will not compromise either for in them both we find a successful strategy for providing healing and hope for our clients that touches every area of their lives and produces the discovery of true success.

If we can be a resource for you on your journey please don’t hesitate to reach out.

The Total Wellness Team

Where Exactly Do Healthy Relationships Start?

In Your Brain, Not Your Heart

I am not here to throw cold water on the glorious feeling of being “in love”, but there is fallacy concerning our emotions that needs to be reexamined – this fallacy has caused intense pain and relational strife with millions of individuals just like you. Over the ages we have been handed down false depictions of love from poets, songwriters and is currently propagated by much of our present-day entertainment world.

Does this sound familiar?

“I can’t help feeling this way anymore than I can control the rotation of the earth or halt the movement of the planets.”

And when it comes to the feeling of “love” this is what most people believe, whether they feel “in love” or “out of love” they think this emotion is heart based and is out of their control

In counseling it is common to hear reasoning behind their state of emotions, such as;

  • “He isn’t good for me but I can’t help but love him”

  • “I know I am “in love” with her because I can’t control the need to hear from her every hour”

or when we think we are falling “our of love”

  • “I can’t help it we just out grew each other””

  • “They didn’t make me feel loved”

All the above statements are based on a feeling, one that can come and go based the the actions of the other.

Is true love really that fickle? Can we be in love one day and not in love the next? Can anyone stay in love for a lifetime?

The Science of Emotions

Our emotions are caused by the way our brain develops responses to the events we experience. In short, our brains are always attempting to predict the outcome of present situations and uses past experiences to help us understand and bring meaning to our current situation. Some of these predictions are known to us (our conscious thoughts) but most of these predictions (and the accompanying emotions) are unconscious. Psychologists call these triggers. (i.e. they trigger an emotional response that is a part of a memory that was built from a past experience.)

Psychologist and Neuroscientist Dr. Lisa Feldman Barrett has studied emotions for over twenty-five years and has come to this conclusion.

The brain is not pre-wired with an emotional circuit … emotions are not built into your brain at birth, they are just built
— Dr. Lisa Feldman Barrett

This is not to say that emotions are not real, they are very powerful and influential. Emotions are the primary means for most of our decision making. As any good salesperson will tell you people make buying decisions primarily based on feelings, not facts. How we feel about something is far more predictive of our behavior than our rational processing of information. In other words, we buy the sizzle, not the steak.

So, if our brains were not prewired to experience emotions where do these emotions come from? Our minds use past experiences to predict what is happening now and what will happen in the future. These experiences are held in the amygdala which acts like a reference library to help us interpret information that is being received through our five senses. Emotions are connected to these past experiences and then filter our perception of our present circumstance.

For example, have you ever had a bad experience with a certain food? Let’s say you got food poising from a serving of Kung Pao Pork and as a result, you had an all-nighter hugging the porcelain throne. Now let’s say several weeks later you walk into a restaurant and yes, there is a serving of the vile pork on the table next to you. What are the chances that you would be ordering Kung Pao Pork at that restaurant? Zero! Why? Because your memory of that experience has attached to it the traumatic feelings associated with your recent experience. Because that memory was fresh it was probably no problem connecting the dots between the sick feeling you had in your stomach and the food poisoning incident but what of other traumatic events that happen in our life that we don’t remember?

According to cognitive neuroscientists, we are conscious of only about 5 percent of our cognitive activity, so most of our decisions, actions, emotions, and behavior depends on the 95 percent of brain activity that goes beyond our conscious awareness.

Our brains have been taught to attach emotions to certain situations and when our brain recognizes this situation as similar (whether it is or not) the accompanying emotions are felt. We teach ourselves to think and feel in certain ways that create these patterns of behavior which can be detrimental to experiencing life and finding success. In short, we get stuck in these patterns and often don’t even know it. How many times have we told ourselves that we aren’t good at something because we had one bad experience with it? We then go on to accept that negative belief as truth which then subsequently reinforces that belief and then produces new negative experiences. The opposite can also be true. research has shown that when we enter into a new experience with a positive, optimistic attitude we are far more likely to experience a successful outcome.

We are not biological automatons doomed to experience our negative emotions over and over again. We have the power to change, even if it doesn’t feel that way.

When you recognize how powerful your thoughts are and how much control you have over them you activate the most significant human process for transforming your life.

And that is where we come to building loving relationships.

Building a Love that Lasts

I’m going to share some basic truths that may bust your bubble regarding intimate relationships (that is unless you are in one then this is not new information)

  • All intimate relationships are hard

  • All intimate relationships experience conflict

  • All intimate relationships become stagnate

  • All intimate relationships cause emotional wounds

  • All intimate relationships need renewal

  • All intimate relationships occasionally drive you crazy

Intimate relationships can cause the greatest pleasure and the greatest pain … that’s because they are INTIMATE. In other words, you allow another human being close enough to bless and/or curse you and sometimes at the same time! However, you are in control as to how you are going to allow your brain to interpret your experiences. If you harbor anger, unforgiveness, fear, resentment and a host of other toxic beliefs about the relationship then you will experience a cascading effect of these beliefs which will produce all the accompanying conditions – depression, anxiety, hostility etc. On the other hand, if you are able to process any trauma that occurred and create a positive memory and perspective about the experience you will not be burdened by years of conscious and unconscious emotional “tagging” of future events. You will be free from the emotional scarring that comes from ruminating on the pain and free to experience your present situation without all that harmful baggage.

Recently I was meeting with a client who had a very painful break up with his former girlfriend. He told me he ruminated on this break up about 6 hours a day and it was causing him a lot of pain. I then asked him to tell me three things that were positive areas of growth from this “failed” relationship. He sat for a while and couldn’t come up with one. This is because he had trained his mind to think only negatively about the relationship and was blind to any positives. Finally, I told him I’d give him the first one – “he was no longer in this toxic relationship and it didn’t take him years of pain to get out” This seemed to open the floodgate as he then found many positives about the relationship. “So”, I said, “now your goal is to stubbornly think of these positives whenever you are tempted to ruminate on the negatives of that relationship.”

Instead of his thoughts tearing him down and demotivating him from going forward in his life he now can take the same experience and make more positive, healthy and empowering structures in his brain. And that is one of the great mysteries and miracles of the human brain. Our very thoughts create structures in the neuron cells of our brain. These structures are called dendrites and they hold the key to producing health and happiness. When our thoughts are loving and positive they create cell structures that tell our endocrine system to produce the hormones that will cause us to have euphoric feelings of emotional well-being - and yes even love.

This is how you stay in love, you steadfastly refuse to allow the tough parts of a relationship to kill your commitment to the other person. This is not to say that there aren’t certain aspects of any relationship that need work. Areas like:

  • Learning how to enter into non-toxic conflict

  • Developing “rituals of connection”

  • Creating the ability to compromise

  • Finding a deeper appreciation for the inner life of your partner

These are critical to growing and deepening your relationship. But that will never happen unless and until you are able to control the flow of negative thoughts that come out of you.

So here are some key ways to change your brain concerning relationships and how to maintain positive, healthy emotions toward your partner … and yes even deepen love!

  • Find something to be thankful for in the other person every day

  • Forgive the inevitable emotional wounds (unilaterally if need be)

  • Replace critical, demanding and unaccepting thoughts about your partner with thoughts of appreciation

  • Become increasingly present to your unconscious triggers and find reconciliation and healing for them

  • Refuse to allow hurtful, corrosive, demeaning words from your mouth. (these types of words are products of our thoughts and those thoughts should not be reinforced!)

  • Practice monitoring the garden of your thoughts like you were a master gardener and don’t allow the ugly and destructive weeds and thorns to choke out the flowers

So, it is your brain and the way you choose to think, that remains the starting and finishing point to all healthy relationships.

We at Total Wellness Resource Center are committed to helping you become the best version of yourself through our commitment to empirically based truth shared in a loving, spiritually attuned atmosphere. If we can help you along your life’s journey don’t hesitate to reach out to us.

Sincerely;

The Total Wellness Team

Your Free Life Plan Template

MANY PEOPLE CHOOSE TO SPEND MORE TIME PLANNING THEIR VACATIONs THAN THEY DO THEIR LIFE. BUT….

‘A GOAL WITHOUT A PLAN IS JUST A WISH’

So, if you want to make 2019 the best year ever, completing this free Life Plan template is an amazing way to start. Happy New Year !!!

What is a Life Plan?
Writing an annual Life Plan is an opportunity in which you are able to focus on yourself and your personal / professional dreams. It is a time to explore and discover your core values, goals, and your sense of purpose.

Why is it important to create a Life Plan?
I always tell my clients, “If you don’t know how you are getting to where you are going, , the chances of you getting there are slim to none”. In the coaching /consulting industry we use a lot of metaphors and storytelling to get our point across. When I initially meet with one of my clients in Life Coaching or Business Consulting, I always ask to see their plan. More times than not, they point to their head and say, “It is all up here”. When I press further, I find that they have many fragmented thoughts in their head with no true action plan to drive results. Could you imagine planning your vacation this way?
Let’s take a moment and visualize it:

Your Sweet Vacation:
You are sitting behind your desk at work when you realize that you have two weeks paid vacation coming up. Immediately you start daydreaming of warm beaches, sand between your toes, and an empty to-do-list on your smartphone. You start counting the number of days to when you can silence your alarm, pull the sheet back over your head, and “if so desired” eat breakfast at 2:00 PM. As the day gets closer you find it hard to focus on work because you are going to have the best vacation ever. Finally, the day arrives … your alarm goes off, you wake up to the howling winds outside your Chicago apartment and click on the news to learn that it is 30 below “Wind Chill factor” and all you can think about is getting to the warm beach. But then you realize, as if the cold wind just hit you in the face, that you never put action to your dream. There is no airline ticket, no hotel room, in fact, you never even saved a cent for the trip. Sound farfetched? Not really, it happens every day to millions who have “ideas” with no plan.
“A goal without a plan is just a wish

How can this Plan help you achieve different results?

This template is structured to help you organize and optimize, and take control of your thoughts and destination. Do you know that no two people’s brain works exactly the same? Yes, it is true. Out of all the billions of people who have come before you, lived beside you, and will walk this earth after you – no two people’s brains operate identically – not even identical twins. The way your brain interprets sight, sound, taste, smell, and touch, as well as your perceptions are unique to you. To take it one step further – neuroscientists now recognize that your mind is separate from your brain. No longer do they believe your brain controls your mind, but rather your mind controls your brain. What does that mean? It means that you CHOOSE the way you think. You are not a preprogrammed robot with limitations - but rather a unique individual who can think and choose the direction of your life, resulting in unlimited potential.


By now you may be wondering why I am giving you a brief lesson in neuroscience since you logged on for a FREE Life Plan Template. Well, because I believe that in order for you to make your plan succeed you must first understand that you have the ability to Think and Choose Success. Once you fully understand that you have a choice on how you think and respond, you can start making positive choices that will silence the “self-limiting thought patterns’ and open your mind to the possibility of living your dream life.

So, Lets Get Started You can do this!

Come Discover Your True Idenity in 2019

Join our Team on Facebook, Instagram, Blogs, and Tweeter to learn how you can live the life you are created to live.


Your Brain / Mind Connection is unique to You - Learn How to Discover the True You.

Your Brain / Mind Connection is unique to You - Learn How to Discover the True You.

Total Wellness Resource Center is an elite team of Licensed Therapists, Certified Coaches, Knowledgeable Spiritual Advisors, and Experienced Professional (Career and Business) Consultants. We combine our years of experience and research to bring you imperially proven processes, backed by neuroscience, that gives you the tools need to live the life you are created to live - one of love, harmony, peace, and balance. Our team specializes in the following areas:

  • Individual Emotional Health

  • Personal Growth

  • Mindfulness

  • Relationships

  • Stress Management

  • Conflict Resolution

  • Parenting

  • Identify / Purpose

  • Career Development

  • Small Business Sustainability

  • Leadership

  • Goal Setting

  • Time management

  • Nutrition

  • Longevity

  • Total Wellness

Just to mention a few

We invite you to start on this exciting journey so you can make this New Year your Best Year.

Sign Up Today FREE and receive updated information from our blogs, Facebook, Instagram, and Tweeter

Warmly,

Total Wellness Team









Start Your Own Business Workshop

SOLD OUT

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Come Join Our Workshop

Presented by Total 360 Academy

Date: January 05, 2019

Time: 8:45 AM - 11:45 AM

Location:

Old Town Temecula

28693 Old Town Front Street, Suite #300

Temecula, Ca 92590

COST: $49.96

ONLY 20 SEATS AVAILABLE

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Who Can Benefit From this Workshop?

Anyone who has ever dreamed about becoming their own boss. You do not need an MBA or even Business 101 - ALL you need is the right MINDSET.

The Mindset for Success

 

What Will be Covered in this Workshop?

In 2019 over 1 million new businesses will open their doors in hopes of generating success. Unfortunately , over 800,000 will close their doors within the first 12 months. Sadly, many of these businesses could have experienced success had they avoided three key start up mistakes. This interactive workshop will walk you through each of the three stumbling blocks while providing the tools needed to avoid them.

What are the three Business killers? Mindset, Viability, and Cash-flow

1. Mindset : The number one catalyst in success or failure is your Mindset.

In this module we will discuss what a successful Mindset looks like, evaluate your own strengths and challenges, then learn how to grow your brain and build the Mindset of a successful Entrepreneur.

2. Viability: Believing in your business idea is critical, but even more importantly - your customers must believes in your idea.

In this Module we will walk through the steps needed to determine the viability of your idea through market research technique, competitor analysis, identify your target audience through creating an avatar, and developing a marketing matrix.

3. Cash-Flow: Starting a new business can be similar to remodeling your home. It always take more money then you first expected.

In this module you will learn to complete a basic start up budget which will break down key areas, such as; legal fees, marketing, equipment, utilities, inventory, and don’t forget calculating taxes.

In addition, you will learn how to create Mind Maps of your ideas , as well as creating SMART GOALS with key actionable items to move you towards launching your own business.

*Participants are encouraged to bring their ideas into class for in class exercises and to develop a more personalized post-class action plan to take their business ideas to the next step. This class also includes exposure to one on one coaching should you choose to take you Idea to the actual launch of your business.

 

Your Instructor: Cheri Tillman

  • MBA Harvard Business School

  • 30 Years Business Experience

  • Business Owner

  • Operated For Profit and Not for Profit Organizations

  • Held Executive Position for $6 Billion Company

  • Certified Professional Business Coach

  • Certified Career Coach

  • Certified Life Coach

  • Certified Wellness Coach

  • Certified Longevity Coach

  • Currently Studying Neuroscience

Start building your dream business and creating your ideal future. If you have any questions please call our office at (310) 461-4107

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THE TRUE ALTERNATIVE TO FEAR

I am getting to that age when one is tempted to look back more than to look forward, to get lost in our memories more than to endeavor to create new memories. In short, it is easier to just float downstream carried along by the current of habits and predispositions rather than forge ahead and find undiscovered lands and challenge sedentary tendencies. I feel like Ulysses hearing the siren calls to cease the quest and find comfort and rest. But like Ulysses, I know that there is a greater mission within me and my journey is not yet accomplished.

But as I reflect back upon my life I now realize I have always had a tendency to “shelter in place” from the threat of change making it difficult to move forward. My impediment to growth has not been any external obstacle or internal deficiency but simply I have allowed fear to limit my progress. The product of fear is stagnation leading to death and it has usually taken experiencing a trauma or disaster in my life to give me the impetus to move forward.

I don’t believe I am alone in this predisposition. There is an axiom in the counseling world that goes like this: “We don’t change unless the pain of remaining the same is greater than the pain of change.” I see it all the time in my practice.

  • A man has lost the job that he hated and is now forced to consider another profession more suitable to his abilities

  • A couple’s relationship is falling apart and now must seek counseling to find new, healthier ways of relating to each other

  • A woman has lived with debilitating depression and only when her world is falling apart is now willing to look at her beliefs about herself to escape the pain

This is fear-based motivation and it is grounded in escaping or avoiding pain and we use it all the time.

  • I go on a diet because I don’t want to be fat

  • I exercise because I am humiliated by the way I look in a bathing suit

  • I work hard at my job because I’m afraid of being fired

  • I go back to school because I’m afraid of not finding a good job and ending up homeless

Does fear-based motivation work? Yes, of course, it works but the problem with fear-based motivation is that it is not sustainable and it doesn’t go away. When we reach a place of stasis in our life and we no longer have a reason to fear we also don’t have a reason to grow. If fear is our primary motivation then we will need to make up a reason to fear (irrational fear) or we will lose motivation for growth and enter into stagnation. What is even more important, fear is toxic to the body and spirit. Living in a continual state of fear will produce stress and stress is one of the leading causes of physical and psychological ailments.

I want to propose another, healthier and more positive motivation for change. This motivation can be summed up in one word.

Love

  • Love Heals

  • Love connects

  • Love inspires

  • Love’s motivation is applicable in all situations

  • Love is unending, unceasing and unconquerable

We live in a world where there is so much spoken about love but very little on its practical application. What we need is to somehow learn to apply love to the nitty-gritty of life. In many of us, fear is our default and even the thought of making love our primary motivation in our life is inconceivable. So here are some practical ways to transform fear-motivation to love-motivation.

Focus on those you love

When faced with a task or a job that is something that you would rather not do think past it to something that is an object of your love. A perfect example of this might be of times when we experience a difficult work environment. We all encounter times when we’re slogging through an arduous schedule or are involved in tasks that we have no desire to do. At times like these stop and ask this question, “can I dedicate this job to someone or something I love?” If you are working to provide for your family then think of them and consider your work as a way of providing them with food, shelter, and a future. Many a man and woman leave their home early in the morning and return late at night for the love of their family. I believe there is no more noble motivation than sacrificing for those we love.

Find something you love within the difficult work

Every job, no matter how it perfectly fits our personality, has elements that we find tedious. If we focus on these negative elements, we diminish our passion for the work and reduce our overall career enjoyment. So take a few moments and fill your heart with what you are passionate about and stop obsessing on those few things that you don’t enjoy. When you do you will find that the difficult parts of your job will cease to be so discouraging.

Focus on being grateful

Gratitude is a close relative of love and when it is regularity expressed it increases our capacity to experience joy and reduce anxiety.

What are you afraid of? What gnaws at your heart and keeps you up at night? Instead of allowing those fearsome future scenarios to dominate your thinking try to finding something

When faced with fear, chose the loving alternative.

When I look back on all these worries, I remember the story of the old man who said on his deathbed that he had had a lot of trouble in his life, most of which had never happened.
— Winston Churchill

Here are some loving alternatives to fear:

  • Choose to believe in your resilience and ingenuity

  • Choose to trust in an all-powerful and loving God

  • Choose to develop and execute a strategy

  • Choose to not catastrophize – reflect on times when you persevered through similar or even worse situations

  • Choose to reach out to loving family and friends for help

  • Choose to get up and do something creative, productive, kind and compassionate for someone who needs to be loved. Because love flourishes in us when we choose to give it to others.

What do you love? Make that the cornerstone of all you do, say and think. Tie this passion to your work and you will find extraordinary energy in your career. Tie it to your relationships and they will grow deeper and more satisfying. Refuse to do anything that is not somehow intrinsically tied to love and you will never run out of motivation for living.

If this seems impossible then challenge your internal programming, because someone, somewhere fed you a lie that life was not meant to be lived in love. It can be done, I know because I get up every morning with the desperate need to renew my commitment to love and every morning love is renewed.

If you want to discuss this or have any questions or concerns where we can help you don’t hesitate to reach out to us. Because our love-inspired motivation is to see true transformation happen in your life.

Why Good Relationships Are Good for You

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Somehow we have been sold a “bill of goods” that relationships should be natural, always fun and make our life easier. We have been conditioned by watching artificial relationships on TV and Movies that depict intense love and an idealistic romantic experiences that set unrealistic expectations we can never meet. Please don’t get me wrong – I believe that relationships are the most rewarding and deeply satisfying experience a human is capable of having. But a rich and rewarding relationship is NEVER easy. That is because it requires each party to be willing to set aside their own preoccupation with comfort and convenience and think what is best for the other person. Good relationships do not thrive in an atmosphere of personal self-interest and individualism.

There was a time in my life when I was single for seven years. Was I lonely? Occasionally. But mostly I was content because I could eat what I wanted, go where I wanted and pretty much lived my life without having to think of anyone else’s feelings, desires, wants or needs. It was not that I was isolated, I still had friends, but I always knew that when I was done visiting my friends I could go home and live exactly the way I wanted to. I owed no one an explanation for my tastes or preferences.

What I didn’t realize is that I also was stunting my growth as a person. “Why?” you ask, “it sounds pretty much like you had an ideal life”

Yes, it was ideal if I wanted to become an emotional and relational pygmy but if I wanted to expand beyond my own boundaries and effect change in my life then I was greatly limited. Let me explain by identifying the fundamental character qualities that make for truly great individuals.

Love

Love: How do you grow in love? I don’t mean the romantic, touchy-feely kind of love that is depicted in our media. (Though there is definitely a place for that) I mean the kind of love that seeks the best for another no matter what the cost is to us personally. This kind of love does not grow in the soft, fertile soil of the lazy valleys but in the lofty mountain peaks that take exertion to reach. Love grows where it is hard to love and sacrifice is needed. True love blossoms in the light of self-sacrifice and a willingness to take the higher, steeper road of self-denial. Love means that I place you before me and seek your best even if at a high cost. This character quality cannot be found in isolation but requires intimate relationships. In my seven years of being alone, my heart was growing cold because I was not challenged to love like this and I knew it.

Forgiveness

Forgiveness: Now we have all experienced times when we have been hurt, lied to, and treated unjustly. But nowhere is this experienced more than in intimate relationships. I often say that relationships are the place where we are most wounded and relationships are the place where we are most healed. Becoming a person who can forgive means that we must go where we can be hurt. The deeper and more intimate the relationship the more vulnerable we are to being wounded. I found that I was becoming a person who was neither hurting others nor was I being hurt and therefore my growth in this area was being restricted. No one needed to forgive me and I was not required to forgive anyone else.

Kindness

Kindness: Where do we most grow in kindness? Well, ask yourself where is it hardest to be kind? That’s easy, when we are faced with someone who is repulsive. I don’t mean that we should go out and find the most abhorrent person available and marry them. What I am saying is that in every intimate relationship there will come a time when something is said or done that is deeply offensive and intensely painful. How are we to respond? If we want to grow in this beautiful character quality then we will choose kindness. Kindness flourishes in the presence of transgressions just as light is more brilliant in the presence of darkness. Want to learn to be kind? Find yourself another human to love and kindness in you will be refined as through fire.

Peace

Peace: Here again someone might say, “James, when you lived alone you had ultimate peace, right?” To this, I say it depends on what kind of peace you are asking about. If you are speaking of peace as an absence of conflict then you would be right. Isolation offers a certain kind of peace that is beautiful but unsustainable unless we choose to live a hermit existence. If you are speaking of the kind of peace that is present in conflict then you would be greatly mistaken. The kind of peace that really matters is the internal peace that can bring calm to your soul even in the most stressful situations. This is the peace that Jesus spoke of:

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
— John 14:27 NIV

This kind of peace is more powerful than hate and overcomes conflict. In order to have this kind of peace, you must be exposed to places where personalities clash and dreams are in conflict. This means being in relationships. It was too easy for me to just walk away from people who bugged me or those with whom I disagreed. But when you are in a committed relationship that is not possible so this deeper type of peace is essential.

Patience

Patience: We develop patience in places where we are tempted to be impatient? A muscle will never grow strong unless it is tested and patience will never grow unless we have opportunities where our expectations are not met and our plans are thwarted. Do I really need to explain how being in a relationship leads to times of growth in this area? Relationship thy name is patience!

This is the bottom line. If I wanted to be a better man I must commit to being in a relationship that demanded I be a better man. I know, it is possible to be in a relationship and still not develop these qualities. I witness it all the time in my profession as a Marriage Counselor. But that attitude can’t continue if they want to find a more satisfying marriage. At some point, they need to realize that the person they are married to is not there to thwart their dreams and make their life miserable but rather they are an instrument of personal transformation so that they can become a better version of themselves.

I love the movie “As Good as it Gets” Starring Jack Nicholson and Helen Hunt. Jack plays the part of a neurotic, OCD, paranoid, anxiety-filled man (yes, this is therapist candy) who falls in love with a beautiful, kind and normal woman. In this scene, he has just said something hurtful to her (again!) and she has made a demand, “compliment me or I am leaving”. So this is what he said.

And so it is with me and one of the main reasons I reached out and opened my heart to marriage. I knew that I needed Cheri to become a man who truly loved, who was learning to be kind, who could find peace in the presence of conflict and learn what it meant to forgive and let go. I’ve got to say that she needs to do a better job at making me do all these things because it’s way too easy to be with her. But even so, I’m sure God knew that I needed someone as truly good and kind as she because I’m a pretty slow learner.

How about you? Do you see your relationships as opportunities for personal growth? Or are you longing for times when you can go into isolation? Nothing good grows in the darkness (unless you are fond of bacteria) so get out into the light and realize that relationships are the school where your character is developed.

As always, if we can be of service to you or you have any questions or comments, don’t hesitate to reach out to us!

Who You "Thnk" You Are Matters

In Fact, It Matters A Lot

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“What were you thinking!” shouts the angry parent as their child stands before them crestfallen. They had just discovered their child doing something foolish and now comes the third-degree interrogation.

“You weren’t thinking, right? Because if you were you wouldn’t have done something so stupid”

And so punishment is handed out and the child is sent to their room to “think” about what they did. And so there they sit trying to figure out what they were “thinking” but drawing a blank because they’re a kid and by definition, they often don’t think before they act.

Which begs the question; does thought proceed action? Are there some actions where thinking is not a prerequisite? It sure feels that way when we make a mistake or succumb to a “knee-jerk” reaction.

But it is a proven medical fact that thought proceeds all actions, even if these thoughts are unconscious.

For example, a solder on leave from the battlefield is walking down the street, he hears a car backfire and dives to the ground. Is he conscious of his thought at the time? No, he is reacting and his reactions are a logical consequence of the unconscious belief that he is in danger. Even though he is not aware of the thought it is still there. If you asked him he would say he did not choose to fall on his face in the middle of the sidewalk, still the thought of danger proceeded the action. Over time as he is exposed to the sounds of the city he will become more aware that no real danger exists and have a greater ability to choose so when he hears a similar sound he can ignore it.

Therefore our thoughts control our actions. Some thoughts promote health and cause us to act in a way that produces such emotions love, joy, and peace, and some thoughts produce anxiety, fear, and anger. Some thoughts propel us toward success and some are toxic and lead us toward failure and frustration. The challenge is these toxic thoughts often feel like they are a part of us – they become our dysfunctional normal. We are blind to them as they become the “operating system” that controls our everyday lives. Therefore it is critical that we make them visible so we can replace them with what will ultimately produce a more productive and happy life.

How do we know if our unconscious thoughts about ourselves are toxic? There are two ways:

  1. We experience toxic emotions – anxiety, phobia, depression, unreasonable fear and uncontrolled anger are examples of toxic emotions that are the result of toxic thoughts

  2. We experience repeated unwanted experiences – you have heard the old saying “insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”. When we continually experience failure in certain areas of our life it is a good indication that we have a toxic belief that is sabotaging our success.

A client once described to me a long series of failed relationships that she had experienced. At the end of her story of heartache and brokenness, I asked her this questions: “What do all those men in your life have in common?” She thought for a while and named a few of their worse attributes but then stopped and grew quiet. Finally, she said, “me”.

“Yes, that’s right” I responded, “so if you ever want to make a difference in your relationships you will need to make a difference in how you see yourself and how you understand healthy relationships”

Our actions and our emotions will lead us to our core beliefs as surely as a drug-sniffing dog leads its handler to a stash of illegal drugs. Follow the trail of toxic emotions and shattered dreams and they will lead to the doorstep of a toxic belief about ourselves and the world. The more you understand your core beliefs about yourself the more control you will have in the way you act. Your actions follow our thinking just as day follows night. And this is how we acquire our identity.

Our Identity is the sum total of our beliefs about ourselves that are confirmed and reinforced by our experience.

When believe something is true about ourselves, we act on that belief and that action then confirms and reinforces that belief. This becomes a powerful “feedback loop” that us gives us our identity.

Identity Feedback Loop

Identity Feedback Loop

So the question is what do you believe about yourself? Because that belief will ultimately determine your destiny.

Recently I met with a client who was struggling with what he called an addictive personality. He said he was susceptible to being addicted to pretty much everything, alcohol, drugs, extreme sports, gambling, he even said that he could be addicted to jeeps. So I went to the whiteboard and drew this illustration.

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I pointed to the middle circle and asked, who are you? He couldn’t answer that. So I explained that nature (and our psyche) abhors a vacuum. If we are unsure about our identity then we will fill it with whatever distracts us from the pain of living with that vacuum. The outer circles represent all the areas of our life and these too will be defined by the inner circle. So if we have labeled our self an addict then these other areas will be contorted to reflect that definition. The inner circle thinking will be expressed through the outer circles.

If you want to change your experience of life you must change the way you think about yourself.

So what beliefs should fill that inner circle? What is ultimately true of me? This depends on where you find your authority. If what you believe about yourself is solely a product of your own invention then you can pretty much make up any “truth” and put it in that inner circle. The problem with this method is we have no real assurance that what we are saying about ourselves is true and functional. In essence, we are making it up as we go along with no confidence that it will ultimately lead to a meaningful life. Another challenge is that many of us have been “programmed” with beliefs about ourselves that are decidedly dysfunctional and cause us a lot of pain. Separating ourselves from these toxic beliefs is very hard and made even more difficult if we don’t have an objective reference point to work from.

It is like the man said at the end of his life; “I have spent my whole life climbing the ladder of success only to find out it was leaning on the wrong building”.

An authoritative reference point is essential for developing an identity that will produce the best possible life. But what reference point should we choose? There are many religions and philosophies vying to become the prophet of truth to our generation but I propose that there is really only two at the present time that has risen to the top and is presently locked in mortal combat. This is the Judaeo Christian World View and the Humanistic/Autonomous World View. The latter worldview is grounded in Darwin’s theory and taught in our public schools and universities while the former worldview is the foundation for our nation and western culture. Let me briefly compare and contrast the two.

The Humanistic model is derived from Darwin’s theory and assigns value to an individual in proportion to their ability to adapt to their environment and successfully propagate. (Survival of the fittest) Success is measured by the ability to pass our DNA to another generation and therefore overcome rivals. If we lose this ability to adapt or help others adapt we decrease in value. There is no higher purpose or authority to which we can appeal and find our worth beyond the “law of the jungle”. Therefore, compassion, kindness, and empathy are not preferred traits unless they in some way serve to further the species and can be argued (and often is) a weakness that must be eliminated. (see Nietzsche) We ultimately are left to scratch and claw to the top of the value heap and hope we can remain there. But this is a tenuous philosophy because inevitably, someone stronger (and therefore with greater utilitarian value) comes up the other side to knock us off.

In contrast, the Judaeo Christian view is that worth is intrinsic to man because we were made in “God’s image” and therefore our value is independent of our utilitarian purpose. The smallest and weakest of us has as much value as the greatest and strongest. Our performance does not define our value, rather our performance is an expression of our value. If our performance ceases due to injury, mental incapacity, or any other circumstance it does not diminish our value one iota. Our country was founded on this premise – “All men are created equal”. It is the foundation of our jurist prudence and the cornerstone of our culture. Is it perfectly enforced? No. But it is the ideal with which we built a great and beautiful society. I believe it works because it is true, not it is true because it works. For there are times and places where the powerful seem to have greater value and societies have relegated groups of people to inferior status simply because they don’t conform to group norms or have the necessary qualifications for being a benefit to the community.

With what do I fill the inner circle?

If you accept the Judaeo Christian view of a human’s worth then that circle must be filled with truths that are derived from the revelation given to us by our Creator – the Bible. This is the only reliable and authoritative source for creating a true identity and it must supersede all other opinions, beliefs, feelings, thoughts or ideas. There are many “Christians” and “Jews” who give lip service to the Scriptures and choose to base their identities on other things such as money, power, public opinion, attractiveness, and a myriad of other qualities but all of these fail the most critical test. Do you still have value when they are gone? If you lose value when you grow old or become incapacitated then that is not a true foundation to derive your worth. If you cease to appreciate yourself if you become bankrupt then you have placed your worth in the wrong thing. Why is this important? Because of the first principle I referenced which is your actions will reflect your beliefs. If you think you think these external things are the basis for your worth then you will live in constant fear of losing them and desperately seek happiness in the pursuit of them. We were made for so much more! We were made to find our hope in the eternal unconditional love of God and experience ultimate security in the joy of being in a relationship with him. Every other pleasure pales in comparison with this great purpose.

There is a God-shaped vacuum in the heart of each man which cannot be satisfied by any created thing but only by God the Creator made known through Jesus Christ.
— Blaise Pascal


So who do you think you are … really?

It is a hard battle to secure your identity in absolute truth. Our present culture has sold out to relative truth evidenced by emotions carrying more weight than facts and opinions based simply on feelings. We have all been infected by these lies that want to mold us into thinking we are lesser than we were meant to be. Our culture tells us if we don’t have this, possess that or are following the latest popular craze then something is wrong with us. Many of us grew up in homes where appreciation was only given to us when certain performance standards were met – or in some cases never at all. Maybe you were in a relationship where you were loved only when you met the other person’s needs. All of these examples are insidious lies undermining the absolute truth that you are worthy of being loved for who you are, regardless of performance or conformity to a set of standards. When this truth is absorbed into the fabric of our soul it changes us from the inside out and endues us with a power that not only transforms our thinking but also our actions.

I have created some affirmations that you can use to begin bringing about change in the way you think about yourself. All these affirmations are biblically based with Scriptural references that you can look up. If they don’t “feel” right that’s okay. Often the last bastion of the lies in our life is our emotions. Don’t make truth conform to your feelings. Rather, make your feelings conform to the truth.


Click here to download a 30 day affirmation calendar

If there is anything we at Total Wellness Resource Center can do for you don’t hesitate to reach out to us.

Do You Dreeam of A Better Relationship?

Key Steps to Help Make Your Dreams Come True

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Many couples come to me with a belief that if they can just get their mate to change then their marriage problems will be solved. Oh, I know they will rarely come out and say that, they usually couch that belief in phrases like; “I know that I’m part of the problem but he …” or “I’m not perfect but she …”

It seems to be a human trait to make someone or something the “reason” for our not being happy. We immediately look outside ourselves to find the source for our misery. As a result, we may change our circumstance but we rarely achieve our objective.

Am I saying that our environment does not affect us? No. We can greatly benefit by creating healthy environments but our internal beliefs will always be a more powerful influence on us than our external situations. In fact, we will invariably mold our external world to conform to our internal reality. We then point to what we have created as the cause of our problem. This is a bit like digging a deep pit, jumping in, and then cursing the pit.

This attitude is demonstrated by words such as, always, never, can’t won’t and other self-limiting declarations.

“He will always …”

“She will never …”

“We can’t …”

“This won’t …”

When I hear these statements I ask a question (in my most understanding tone of voice), “Are you omniscient?” In which (if they understand the term) they reply

“No?”

So I press on with my questions.

“So you can’t see into the future, right?”

No” they respond in their confusion.

So why are you so willing to shut out the possibility that something good can happen in this case”

As long as we make certain negative outcomes our reality, we will refuse to see anything that may remotely contradict them or any possibility that change can occur. This negative filter will block what does not conform to our belief and so we create a self-fulfilling prophecy.

The opposite is also is true. If we tenaciously hold on to a positive belief then we are almost certain to see it come true.

In 1962 President John F. Kennedy said, “we choose to go to the moon”.

It was a fanciful idea at the time. We had neither the technology nor the experience to accomplish such an ambitious goal. Those who were sitting in the audience, who would be tasked with fulfilling this declaration, must have experienced a range of emotions from exhilaration to terror as they assessed the challenge of fulfilling this “dream”. To date, the sum of their accomplishments was to put a single astronaut into an orbit three times around the earth. But the seed was planted, the commander and chief gave an order. Send Americans to land on the moon and successfully return and do this within eight years.

Some say I must see then I will believe, I say believe and only then will you see

“Okay, James thanks for the history lesson, but how does this apply to my life and my relationships?”

This is how.

If you are ever to have something better than you have now, if you are ever going to achieve a life that is beyond what you are currently experiencing you must make that dream a reality in your head and heart before it will become one in your experience.

We are who we believe we are
— C.S.Lewis

When it comes to our own identity and our relationships this means you must hold out hope that it can be better before it ever will become better. Experiencing an intimate, loving, mutually nurturing relationship is absolutely dependent on whether you believe it is possible. If you don’t believe it is possible then you will simply reproduce the same failures and experience the same results.

It starts with creating the dream just like President Kennedy did for those men and women of NASA. You can recruit an army of resources that will begin working for you but first, you must be open to the new possibility that something beautiful and extraordinary can happen.

Self-limiting beliefs are like cancer of the spirit, if left untreated they metastasize and kill. What they kill is our dreams, ambition, hope, love, and faith. They camouflage themselves as being “reality” or “rational thinking” but when you strip away the mask they are lies fueled by fear. We fear loss, failure, being exposed as a phony, or the loss of being able to justifying our own misery. We also fear losing the dysfunctional comfort we derive from not challenging our self-limiting beliefs because it would require painful self-examination and necessitate difficult fundamental life-change. For some, this is too much and so we slip into our tepid pool of dissatisfaction and entertain ourselves with all manner of toys. But for a few, the passion for a higher calling lies deep within their soul and will not be satisfied with a mundane and feckless life. For these, the calling is to the road less traveled, the mountains beyond the furthest peak.

If that is you then obey this internal calling and begin shedding all that would hinder your upward climb. For the air is sweet at the top and few are those who are willing to experience it. Are you?

Here are some beginning steps:

  • Make a list of all the limiting beliefs that you can bring to mind. This may take a while for they are often so much a part of us that we can’t extract them from our souls. Focus on your true dreams, not merely what you want but who you want to be. This is where you will find your most powerful self-limiting beliefs.

  • Begin to create a list of affirmations that will produce “cogitative dissonance”. I have attached a worksheet on how to create Smart Affirmations that will help you.

  • Reach out to friends, relatives and/or counselors to help you. Ask them what they see and be open to their perspective.

  • If you are spiritual then ask God to reveal areas of your life that are hidden to you. This is a verse that has been very meaningful to me over the years.

Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
— Psalm 139:23,24 NIV

If we can ever be of help to you please don’t hesitate to reach out to us.

Key Tips to Developing Your Inner Entrepreneur


The Entrepreneurial Mindset -

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Some experts think of entrepreneurs as people who are willing to take risks that other people are not. Others define them as people who start and build successful businesses. Regardless of how you define an "entrepreneur," one thing is certain: becoming a successful entrepreneur isn't easy.

So, how does one person successfully take advantage of an opportunity, while another, equally knowledgeable person does not? Do entrepreneurs have a different genetic makeup? Or do they operate from a different vantage point, that somehow directs their decisions for them?

Though many researchers have studied the subject, there are no definitive answers. What we do know is that successful entrepreneurs/business owners seem to have certain traits in common.

·        Personal characteristics.

·        Interpersonal skills.

·        Critical and creative thinking skills.

·        Practical skills.

Most Importantly they ALL have an Entrepreneurial Mindset

What is a Entrepreneurial Mindset and do you have one?

A mindset is a fixed set of ideas that we all maintain about a certain subject. It determines how we will react to certain situations. For example, "I'm no good at languages so there's no point trying to learn French." With this attitude and state of mind, even if you were to try to learn French, how successful do you think you would be? The answer for most of us would be, very unsuccessful. We would have talked ourselves out of success before we’d even tried. And yet, many people successfully learn a new language. Why is that?

Successful and unsuccessful people do not vary in their abilities but rather vary in their DESIRES to reach their potential
— John Maxwell

Let’s look at these 10 qualities of successful entrepreneurs:

1.      Positive Thinking: No matter what happens, an entrepreneur can frame it in a positive light.  

2.      Learn from Failure and Move On: Entrepreneurs generally don't achieve success on the first try. But they try and try again. They're resilient and persistent.   

3.      Know the Moment to Give Up: Entrepreneurs also know when to stop pushing for something and wasting time and energy on a project that just isn’t working.

4.      Delegate to Others: They don't try to do everything themselves but reach out for help and designate tasks to those who are best equipped to do them.

5.      Love Learning: Entrepreneurs have a hunger for knowledge and new ways of thinking and embrace change.

6.      Take Risks: They are risk-takers, but not of random risks taken for no reason at all. The risks are calculated and considered.   

7.      Follow-Through: Entrepreneurs are always on the lookout for new opportunities, even when there is not necessarily an immediate result. 

8.      Remain Flexible: They are open to continuous change and improvement, and they are ready to adapt or change plans at a moment’s notice.

9.      Set Goals: People with the entrepreneurial mindset set goals as a way to focus on the future and motivate themselves forward. 

10.   Keep Good Company: Entrepreneurs surround themselves with other entrepreneurs, positive influencers, and like-minded individuals. 

As you went through these qualities of the entrepreneurial mindset, what did you think? Did you feel that some (or many) of them apply to you? Can you see areas where you could change or improve?

Don’t let your mindset interfere with your success.

If you believe you have nothing valuable to offer to anyone, then your negative mindset is going to prevent you from making a success of your business. What attitudes or beliefs do you have that could interfere with your success


Change Your Mindset and You Will Change Your Life

The good news is that your current mindset is not a blueprint for life. By taking a close look at your beliefs and asking important questions, you can change your mindset and set yourself up for success.

All successful people acknowledge the importance of having the right mindset in helping them succeed. Great athletes don't just have physical ability and training - they have the mindset to win. Renowned musicians don't just have talent and perfect pitch - they have the mindset to share their gift with the world. Pick up any book that tells you how so-and-so made two million dollars in their first year, follow their 'simple formula for success' and their strategies, and will you become successful? You might become successful, but many will not because they don't have the mindset of success.

Develop Your Entrepreneurial Mindset

Getting out there and acting like an entrepreneur will give you the challenges and learning opportunities that will transform your mindset.

What are some of the activities that you could use to cultivate an entrepreneurial mindset?

For example, you could:

What are some new skills you can learn and where can you learn them? Is there a particular risk or challenge your intuition is telling you to take?

Write down 3 actions you can take to help you to develop different aspects of the entrepreneurial mindset.

Do you want to learn more about starting your own business and becoming your own boss? Check out this amazing online “Start Your Own Business” course designed for all levels.

Get 50% off by applying

Coupon Code: MYFUTURE50

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We are here to help you be the best version of you. If we can answer any questions or guide you in any way please reach out to us at Connect@totalwellnesscenter.net

Climate Change: How to Change Your Personal Atmosphere

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Is there a dark cloud of negativity covering your relationships? Are your thoughts about the important people in your life generally anxious? Are even the “good times” in your life seen as temporary because you feel something bad will eventually happen? Then according to research Psychologist John Gottman, you are in Negative Sentiment Override. This is a state where we see our lives through a filter of negativity brought on by negative past events. In other words, we see the worse possible outcome in most situations and relationships. Left unchecked, this condition sabotages relationships and creates severe anxiety which and can lead to crippling depression.

It is caused by allowing our minds to get stuck in a perpetual cycle of negativity which inevitably produces negative outcomes which then produces more toxic beliefs.

Here’s the progression

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  1. An event happens. It could be something someone has said or did that has the potential of being seen in different ways. For example, Your spouse is late for a dinner.

  2. You give a negative interpretation to that event. You might say something like; “They’re disrespecting me and are completely unreliable”

  3. This causes hurt, anger, and resentment which is a result of your negative interpretation.

  4. This leads to an unhealthy confrontation that sounds something like; “I can’t believe you were so thoughtless and inconsiderate, you don’t care about me!” Negative Sentiment Override becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy in that we create the environment that we expect.

  5. This negative interaction puts the other person in a “no win” position by either agreeing that they are thoughtless and inconsiderate and that they indeed don’t care about you or they defend against your negative interpretation by trying to justify their actions. This interaction reinforces your belief because, in your mind, there is absolutely no justification for such thoughtless and inconsiderate behavior.

    And now we wait for another situation to “prove” our negative belief about them, therefore, repeating the cycle and putting the relationship into a toxic downward spiral where one or both partners can no longer see any positive aspects of their relationship.


I was speaking to a client who was currently in Negative Sentiment Override and she was describing her husband. She said, in a tone of disgust, “When he gets up in the morning the first thing he does is make his bed!” Instead of seeing that is a positive, or even as a neutral event she sees it as some kind of character flaw. I understand that there is a lot more going on in that relationship that has caused this unreasonable negativity but this is how irrational we become when we see our partners through the lens of negativity.

The most insidious aspect of Negative Sentiment Override is that when we are in it we don’t know it. This is because we think we’re being “realistic” or “sensible” and the other person is the one who is creating the problem. We have ceased to put their lives in any positive context and have become myopically obsessed with attributing the worse possible interpretation to their character, actions, and motives. This is where relationships hit that tipping point and the belief that life would be better without the other person becomes an ever-increasing option.

Negative Sentiment Override is not merely confined to relationships, it can become a pervasive way of thinking as represented by “Murphy’s Law”. Whatever can go wrong will go wrong – or as some modern-day Merphyites have quipped “Murphy was an optimist”. This is not just a “glass half empty” mentality but an inability to see the good and a concentration on the bad that puts a dark shadow over our lives and relationships. If this condition persists our brains develop neurological pathways that default to the negative which then makes it increasingly more difficult to escape anxiety and fear based thinking. It is as if the events in our lives trigger a negative response which then deepens our propensity to cast our life in a negative light.

And when we are in Negative Sentiment Override we often come across as …

What do I do to escape

Negative Sentiment Override?

Recognize you are in it and take personal responsibility

The very first step is to step back and objectively look at your response to the various things in your life. Is your negative focus obscuring the good and beautiful things in your life? If you are regularly experiencing anxiety, regret and resentment then chances are in Negative Sentiment Override. This is not about ignoring the “challenges” in your life or avoiding confronting problems in your relationship. It is about recognizing that you have a choice as to what you focus on. You can choose to look up or look down, believe the best or believe the worse invest in hope or despair. When we have been in negative default mode for a while it may seem like we don’t have a choice but we do and it starts by becoming responsible for our own feelings. No one MAKES you feel anything – you CHOOSE to feel what you feel.


Create a new positive neuro network

We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.
— Thornton Wilder

Yes, you can actually change your brain. It begins by refusing to allow your mind to ruminate on anything toxic and to meditate on health, uplifting, and healing thoughts. This all starts with developing an attitude of gratitude. It is clinically proven that those who cultivate gratitude in their lives live longer and have healthier and more satisfying relationships. Start with developing positive affirmations and increasing your daily dose of uplifting music and conversations. Turn off the news and media sources that are only about crime, conflict, and destruction. Limit regular exposure to anything toxic whether they be people, places or things. If you are finding yourself in Negative Sentiment Override it took you a long time to get there and you are not going to turn your brain around overnight – but you can change!

Create relational understanding

If I thought the way you think, I would feel the way you feel

Begin to seek to understand and create empathy for the reality of others. Here’s a statement that I have found very helpful. “If I thought the way you think, I would feel the way you feel. This sentence is a way of bridging the gap between our reality and the other’s reality. When we become willing to truly understand others we shed our prejudice and open up to understanding and connection. We still may have sincere disagreements but they are not tainted with criticism, bias, and resentment.


Turning our thinking around is never easy but very worth the effort. It may be helpful to look at your past and see if there are any negative messages that may be creating unhealthy thinking. These messages are insidious since we often don’t know they are there because they feel normal to us. Messages like, “you can’t trust anyone” or “you aren’t loved” cause us to distort our perceptions. If this is the case it may be helpful for you to get counseling to surface these toxic beliefs.


Our passion is to help you live the most successful life possible so If we can be of any assistance, please reach out to us.

Are We Training Our Daughters to be Circus Elephants?

Gender Discrimination in  Today's Workplace

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As a little girl growing up in Kansas I found that most of my girlfriends were busy playing dress up or school teacher. As for me, I loved pretending that I was a powerful business owner.  Honestly, I don’t think I had a clue what being a business owner meant other than I knew I needed a large desk, which I constructed out of a few corrugated boxes and a piece of plywood my father let me use.  On top of my new desk, I placed a stack of paper from my Big Chief notebook, a variety of pens, and a calendar for keeping track of my important meetings of course. So why 45 years later am I sharing this childhood memory?  Because I believe it is relevant to today’s workplace and the false boundaries that have been drilled into the minds of women.

Recently, I was completing some research for a new eCourse I am teaching, “Girl Entrepreneurs Rock - How to Start Your Own Business” When I ran across an article written by PEW Research  (pewreaserch.org) “Gender Discrimination”. In the article, they claim that over 42% women “feel” they are discriminated against in the workplace.  Now don’t get me wrong, discrimination is still lurking in many industries - yes even in 2018. But sadly, you will find discrimination is not “For Women Only” but rather an equal opportunity dysfunction of some ill-informed business owners/managers that choose to discriminate against gender, race, religion, politics, and even the physical appearance of potential staff members. So, although I believe that 42% of women might “feel” they are being discriminated against, I strongly disagree that this is the reality. I believe that after decades of society telling us the lie, you know the one,  “all women will be discriminated against in the workplace” we as women have started believing the fictitious boundaries of limited opportunities. I compare this phenomenon to the old practice of training of baby circus elephants.
 

"The thoughts we think equals the results we get"     -  Unknown

Training Baby Elephants

A trainer places a baby elephant in an empty pen and drives a massive, 10-foot iron stake into the ground, drags out a thick, heavy, metal chain, and tethers it to the small elephant's leg. The shackled animal fights and fights to get free but regardless of how much the baby tries he can’t break free and eventually gives up.
Now fast forward 10 years. That elephant, now massive, mature, and strong, is tied by a thin rope and a small piece of wood shoved in the ground. The grown elephant could, with a small step break free yet it doesn’t. Why? Because long ago, when it was a baby, it learned it was not capable of escaping. Now as a full-grown adult, it holds onto that false belief that he doesn’t even attempt to break free.

No Lies - No Limits

So after reflecting on my childhood playtime and the latest article on gender discrimination, I asked myself why, as a career woman, (starting in the 80’s) I was able to achieve top executive positions in a predominately male industry? Why was I able to start up and operate several successful companies? Then it hit me, I was never told that women didn’t have equal rights in the workplace. I pushed past boundaries not because what I heard in the media or read in the latest article but rather what I believed to be true - I was capable. I am certain there were times discrimination presented itself but I refused to give it the power to hinder me.
In the business world, there is a plethora of individuals, both men, and women, that still want you to believe in the lie of your limitations due to their own fear of your success. But you, and only you are responsible for speaking your own truth - the truth that you are capable of succeeding in any career you choose. The 10-foot iron stake has been removed and the metal shackle has been cut.

What proof do I have to make such a bold statement? Simply by reading the latest stats on the power of women in business.

Today's Women


More than 224 million women impact today’s global economy, according to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, including the 126 million female entrepreneurs who have started businesses and 98 million women who operate established enterprises. Women also make up the fastest-growing segment of business owners in the U.S. – and the Harvard Business Review says they represent 37 percent of global enterprises. According to NAWBO (the National Association of Women Business Owners), combined they generate $1.5 trillion in sales.

Technology allows a work from anywhere lifestyle, making today’s economy especially well-suited for women to start and sustain a business.

Below learn how you can join this growing segment of women business owners.

Note: This opportunity is not gender bias. Our course is designed for anyone who has an entrepreneurial spirit.

Read More on how you can learn the fundamentals of being your own boss by clicking on the button below.

We love to hear from our readers so please feel free to comment at Connect@totalwellnesscenter.net

When Sorry Doesn’t Cut It!

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In my work, I witness the terrible consequences of weak and under-preformed apologies. This phrase is an example I often hear in my sessions:

I said I was sorry, what more can I do?

In essence what the offender is doing is minimizing the pain they inflicted upon another person by not taking full responsibility for their own actions. This leaves the offended party feeling like they don’t matter and their pain is not real. It also builds a wall of suspicion and mistrust through which they interpret all future actions. In other words, they are thinking; if they did it once and they didn’t seem to care what’s stopping them from doing it again?

This is why it is critical that old wounds be healed so that trust can eventually be restored and the relationship repaired.

Before I get into the details about developing a true language of apology I need to say something about forgiveness.

  • Forgiveness is always a choice. It may not “feel” like a choice but it is.  
  • Forgiveness is unilateral. One does not need an apology to forgive. (but it helps)
  • Forgiveness always benefits the forgiver more than the forgiven. I have seen people who choose not to forgive turn bitter and cold.
  • Forgiveness is the only true path toward reconciliation. Unforgiveness is cancer in a relationship it will always end up in death.

No matter how pitiful or beautiful the apology the one who has been hurt can decide not to forgive. This is tragic because unforgiveness grows into resentment and resentment always damages the one who has it.

Resentment is like taking poison and waiting for the other person to die
— Saint Augustine

So check your heart. If you have not forgiven someone then you are in danger of hurting yourself and that is very sad.

Learning the language of apology is about trying to create the best possible environment for healing a relational wound. Relationship wounds are similar to physical wounds, most physical wounds will heal over time but when they are cleaned, bandaged and tenderly cared for they heal much, much faster. And so it is with relational wounds when there is a true, honest and sincere apology the relationship heals faster.


Here are the five steps to making a good apology

Step One: Prepare Your Heart

True apologies come from a humble heart. The Bible says it like this.

God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.
— James 4:6

God is not the only one who opposes the proud. It is extremely hard to feel close to someone who is proud, much less forgive them. In fact, pride is toxic to a healthy relationship. Check your heart before you ask for forgiveness. Are you willing to humble yourself enough to admit your wrongs?  This does not mean that you were “totally” wrong. However, it does mean that you can admit to the part you had without blaming or excuses. It also means that you are not asking for forgiveness with the hope that the other person steps forward with an apology of their own. This may or may not happen, you have no control over that. What you do control is your own actions and taking responsibility for them.

Never ruin a good apology with an excuse
— Benjamin Franklin

Step two: Ask for permission to apologize.

The best time to apologize is when they are in a frame of mind to listen to your apology. That is not always immediately after you have hurt them. In fact, if you jump into an apology right away you need to ask; “Am I apologizing because I am truly sorry that I hurt them or am I apologizing because I don’t want to experience the consequences of my actions?” Ask for permission to apologize and wait until it is granted. In the meantime, act in a way that is consistent with your sincere desire to apologize. (i.e. don’t get bitter, passive-aggressive, distant or resentful.

Here’s something that you may say: “I would like to apologize for how I hurt you, is now a good time to talk?”


Step Three: State clearly what you did wrong and how you hurt them

This is the “meat” of the apology because it touches on the emotional damage that was caused by the offense. Often the offender doesn’t truly grasp the depths of the pain the other person experienced and therefore offers an apology that seems feeble and insincere. It is vital that the offender really understand the pain that was inflicted and just as vital that the one who was hurt feels like the offender empathizes with their pain. This means that the offended party needs to feel free to express their hurt until the offender hears, understands and acknowledges their pain.

Many a relational wound has gone unhealed because the offender has not taken the time and effort to truly understand the damage that was caused by their action. They trivialize it and reason it away and therefore never succeed in building a healing bridge which is necessary to bring about real reconciliation.

Here are a few questions that need to be asked when seeking forgiveness.

  • Can you tell me what I did that hurt you?
  • How do you feel about our relationship right now?
  • What was the worst part about the way I treated you?

When the hurt is expressed it is the job of the offender to paraphrase their feelings so that the hurt party can see that the offender truly understands their pain. Here is an example of putting this concept into words.

So what I hear you saying is when I [did, said, acted like I did] you felt [express the feeling here].

It is essential not to move on to step four until the offender is able to express the feelings of the offended to their own satisfaction.

Warning! Sometimes those who have been hurt also expect the one who hurt them to somehow read their minds and understand their feelings without expressing them. I have heard the offended party say things like; “well, if you don’t know, I’m not certainly not going to tell you!” This “logic” completely derails any hope of reconciliation and leaves the one seeking forgiveness confused, discouraged and even bitter. The relationship gap becomes even wider as the offender now becomes offended and both parties feel justified in their resentment toward each other.


Step Four: Tell them specifically how you intend to change

Step four is crucial, otherwise, what you’ve offered isn’t an apology — it’s an excuse. Ask them what you would like to see changed and offer your own suggestions for righting the wrong or changing a pattern of behavior. This is a time to get real about committing to change. There is an old word that is rarely used anymore (probably because taking responsibility for one’s own actions has fallen out of fashion in our present culture). The word is REPENTANCE.  What it means is to turn around and go in another direction. When we admit we have done something wrong it is not enough to simply be sorry for what we have done, we need to make a commitment to change. This means we need to repent. Does repentance mean that we will never do it again? No. What it means is that we are committing to the process of changing the way we are acting and therefore choosing a new path in the relationship. When you enter into step four be as specific as possible so that your apology has “teeth” and demonstrates your commitment to change.


Step Five: Ask them for forgiveness

This step comes after …

  • You have rid yourself of your pride and arrogance
  • You have honored them by allowing them to choose the right time for the apology
  • You have expressed your understanding of their pain and they believe you
  • You have committed to changing and have offered specific and tangible ways you are going to act differently

When all this has happened you have cultivated the soil to plant the seeds of forgiveness and reconciliation. In my experience doing this prep work will pay huge relational dividends.

It is important that the request for forgiveness be a sincere verbal request. Even if the offended party expresses their willingness to forgive before it is requested don’t halt the process. There is something very powerful in a verbal request and a verbal acceptance. It is a little like proposing. Usually, when the proposal is made it is a foregone conclusion that it will be accepted. But woe to the man who does not formally ask and wait for a reply. If that doesn’t happen a beautiful moment is missed and an opportunity to commemorate their mutual commitment is lost. No matter how weird it may seem, ask for forgiveness and wait until forgiveness is given. You will not regret it.  

When forgiveness is given that does not mean that emotional pain is immediately swept away. Sometimes it may take a while for emotional stability to return to the relationship. At a time like this, it is important for both parties to remember some vital truths.

The Offender: Let the other person heal. Just because they still feel the pain of the wound it does not mean your apology was not accepted. Be patient and kind, understanding that emotions often lag way behind our intentions. Forgiveness does not necessarily result in an instant normalization of your relationship, there is the emotional fallout which usually requires the rebuilding of trust. Stay the course and refuse to become discouraged. Depending on the severity of the offense, they may need to process the pain for quite a while until the wound heals.

The offended: Recognize that your decision to forgive is unilateral. It was your choice – and a very good one at that! If you still experience negative feelings it is not because you have not forgiven it is just a natural response to being hurt. Don’t let your emotions dictate your commitment to your relationship. Emotions are wonderful companions but horrible leaders - they get us lost every time.

One more thing; never use what you have chosen to forgive as ammunition for future arguments. When you forgive you give up all rights to punishing the wrongdoer for the hurt that was inflicted upon you. You have set the offender free and have set yourself free in the process.


Our passion at Total Wellness Resource Center is to see our clients experience transformation in their lives. We offer face to face as well as secure teleconferencing sessions in the areas of Life Coaching, Mental Health Counseling, Career/Business Coaching and Nutrition Coaching. Our comprehensive 360-degree approach helps our clients get unstuck and moving toward their dreams. If we can be of any help to you please reach out to us.

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Women Entrepreneurs: The Fastest Growing Segment of Business Owners

No Glass Ceiling Only Self Imposed Limitations

"The thoughts we think equal the results we get"

More than 224 million women impact today’s global economy, according to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, including the 126 million female entrepreneurs who have started businesses and 98 million women who operate established enterprises.

Women also make up the fastest-growing segment of business owners in the U.S. – and the Harvard Business Review says they represent 37 percent of global enterprises. According to NAWBO (the National Association of Women Business Owners), combined they generate $1.5 trillion in sales.

Technology allows a work from anywhere lifestyle, making today’s economy especially well-suited for women to start and sustain a business. If you focus on customer empathy and delivering digitally, you are where business is going.

Below learn how you can join this growing segment and stop working hard to make your boss’s dreams come true - instead start working hard to make YOUR dreams come true.

Note: This opportunity is not gender bias. Our course is designed for anyone who has an entrepreneurial spirit.

Check it Out

Click on the button below photo

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Your feedback is important to us.  please submit any comments or ideas to connect@totalwellnesscenter.net

When Do I Confront My Spouse?

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“I can’t stand it anymore!” Says my client who is clearly distraught

“What can’t you stand,” I say in my most empathetic tone of voice, though I know from experience their next statement is going to strain my patience.

“They never put the cap on the toothpaste tube and it dribbles out all over the counter – I don’t think I can live with him anymore”

 

It may sound crazy but this is the substance of most of the conflict in our homes. We seem to turn seemingly trivial offenses into grounds for divorce. The underlying truth is these arguments are rarely about the toothpaste tubes in our lives? Our conflict is at a much deeper level. Here are some examples that I have seen:

  • He doesn’t clean up, therefore, he doesn’t care about me
  • She is late therefore she doesn’t think I’m important
  • He didn’t remember to pick up milk on the way home, therefore, he doesn’t love me
  • She bought an expensive dress, therefore, she doesn’t respect me.

All of these events are interpreted through the lens of our own insecurity regarding the relationship and therefore validate our underlying assumption. For example, did the husband consciously decide to make a statement about his lack of love for his wife when he forgot to bring home the milk? Or did the wife say, “I’m really going to stick it to him” when she bought that dress?  No! But we act like they did and therefore judge our spouse’s actions as if we were prosecuting a murder trial and have found the smoking gun. This leaves our spouse feeling misjudged and condemned saying things like … “relax, it’s only a toothpaste tube!”

But it isn’t a toothpaste tube … it’s much more, it’s how we experience relationships.

Let me propose an alternative. John Gottman in his 45 years of research into marriages has concluded that good marriages have the ability to default to the positive. This means that when something happens that could be interpreted negatively it is instead seen in the context of overall positive experiences and therefore overlooked as an isolated negative event. In what he calls “good enough marriages” this happens often. Couples just don’t make a big deal of all the little irritations that happen in their relationship because they are fundamentally secure in their mutual love for one another.

But this doesn’t mean that you should let everything slip by. Sometimes our spouse does something that we simply must confront for the good of the marriage (not to mention our sanity)

And here in lays the challenge, when should we confront and when should we just let it slide?

Below is a visual for what I refer to as the Tolerance Line.


The Tolerance Line.png

 

Those things that are below the Tolerance Line you let go but when something rises above this line that is when you must address it.

Some may be asking, “Why don’t we just let everything go?”

Because when happens that is at the core of the vision you have for your life or your relationship you must confront or be in danger of losing yourself. Healthy conflict is a golden door to intimacy because it is where you define your values, dreams, desires, hopes, and beliefs. In short, it is where you draw the boundary lines around who you are as a person. If you lose that, then you lose yourself, and if you lose yourself then you can’t possibly be in a healthy relationship with another person. This is because there is no authentic person to connect with the relationship. When we enter into a healthy conflict we allow ourselves to be seen and known because the situation we are addressing is in some way touching one or more of these vital areas. How are we to know each other unless we talk about the things that cause us distress?

The key to this type of healthy conflict is that we carefully consider what to let go and what to talk about. And if we choose wrongly (i.e. we fail to have the courage to confront) these are some of the consequences we experience.

  • Unresolved anger
  • Passive aggressive behavior
  • Isolation
  • Lack of intimacy
  • Loss of self

How do you know the difference? Here are some principles for bringing up issues that cross our Tolerance Line.

Is it trivial?

If it is trivial, then let it go. This means that we stop being oversensitive and realize that somethings just don’t rise to the level of confrontation. Let’s face it, our spouse is much different than we are (that is one of the main reasons we are in the relationship) therefore they are going to think and act differently than we do. This means there are going to many, many times when we just need to step back and say in our best French accent “vive la différence!”

Is it about me?

By this I mean, is this our issue and not theirs? Are my unhealed emotional wounds being triggered? Am I asking those in my life to walk on “egg shells” because I have a problem with crunching sounds? (yes, I am speaking metaphorically … I hope!) If this is your issue then you must not put the burden on them to accommodate your problem. This means you need to get serious about your own healing. I believe that part of the healing process is to let those closest to us into the process by telling them where we are struggling. But this is a far different conversation than the condemnation, shaming or otherwise controlling behavior we often exhibit when our insecurities are triggered.

Will this negatively affect our relationship?

Is this is something that will not go away, and will create distance between us if left unchecked? If so, then it has crossed the Tolerance Line even if you don’t want to confront it. Sometimes when the Tolerance Line is crossed it is not accompanied by our strong emotions. Sometimes, we need to become courageous and speak even when we are loathed to do so.

Will this negatively affect my spouse in other areas of their life?

We are our brother’s (and sister’s) keepers, and a part of the commitment to our marriage is a willingness to watch each other’s back. This means that when we see our spouse do something that will sabotage their life in some other area we must confront it. Not merely when our own comfort zone has been violated. This is love: “To do what is in the best interest of the other person, no matter what!”

Can I put aside my prejudice and judgments and listen to their side?

We are not ready to confront until we are ready to listen. Why is this when we clearly see that something they are doing is wrong? Two reasons come to mind.

  1. They will not listen to us if we don’t listen to them. Yes, what Teddy Roosevelt said many years ago is still true. “People don’t care how much you know unless they know how much you care.” One of the chief ways we show that we care is when we take the time and effort to understand their reality by listening to them. This shows ultimate respect and when someone feels respected they will most likely offer up the same honor.
  2. When we listen (I mean listen for understanding and empathy) to our spouse it helps us discern if we have been thinking wrongly. Yes, when we believe that someone has crossed the Tolerance Line we often can’t see ourselves clearly. We think we have a righteous argument but in reality, we are just being self-righteous. Confrontation with humility and a willingness to listen and learn is the greatest safeguard for this condition.

Am I willing to share my vulnerable emotions?

Nobody likes being confronted by an angry person. It is the surest way to end any chance of a successful compromise by creating a defensive response. We need to lead with an emotion that will draw them in and help create an atmosphere of understanding. In Gottman terms, this is called a “soft startup”. Think of it this way. If you saw a person on the street ranting and raving, waving their arms in anger would you walk up to them and ask them what’s going on? No! You’d cross to the other side of the street or even call the Cops. But if you saw someone sad and crying you’d probably be tempted to walk over and ask if you could do something to help. That’s the difference between soft and hard emotions? Sadness, confusion, fear, loneliness and the like draw others closer to us but anger, hostility, aggression repel them. Next time someone crosses your Tolerance Line lead with a soft emotion and see what a difference it will make to their receptivity.

The bottom line in all Tolerance Lines is forgiveness.

Forgiveness does not restore a relationship but it does empty the relationship of the toxins that keep people stuck in the revolving door of resentment and retribution. If you want to be in a relationship you will need to get very, very good at forgiveness. Even if someone has crossed your Tolerance Line there is still no excuse for not to forgiving them, no matter how many times they do it. Yes, you may need to confront them, and yes there may be no successful outcome but that does not mean that you have the right to remain in a state of unforgiveness. Forgiveness does not guarantee reconciliation but unforgiveness does guarantee continued conflict. Forgiveness is a gift you give to yourself that keeps your heart from growing cold and hard and allows you to grow in love, peace, and joy. 

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 Click here to download a free version of the Tolerance Line illustration

How To Boost Your Self Confidence

Training Your Brain To Be More Confident is Possible

We are on a mission to help our clients become more self-aware, more confident, and find balance in their lives.  Although our clients come to us for a variety of reasons,  we find that over 85%  are dealing with challenges within clarity of identity,  self esteem,  and/or  self confidence.  In addition to recently publishing an eBook  (see below free offer) to you  understand and improve self confidence, we also want to share any quality articles or science based findings to help you with your journey.   

Today I read an excellent article written by Bruna Martinuzzi for American Express that  is worth sharing:   

JULY 30, 2018 To succeed in business today, whether as a leader, manager or business owner, knowing how to boost your self-confidence is paramount. A lack of confidence may prevent you from pursuing opportunities or taking risks to help you grow.

Confidence is a strong sense of self. When you have self-confidence, you signal to others that you believe in yourself and your ability to deliver results. As a leader, confidence enables you to lead powerfully. When you approach others with confidence, you increase your chances to engender trust and respect.

If you're looking to improve your self-confidence, it's important to note that this is not something you can achieve overnight. However, there are some actionable steps that you can take.

 Pursue excellence, not perfection.

The definition of perfectionism is "the setting of unrealistically demanding goals accompanied by a disposition to regard failure to achieve them as unacceptable and a sign of personal worthlessness." Pursuing perfection can lower your ability to boost your self-confidence because you would be judging yourself against impossible standards.

By contrast, consider pursuing excellence in everything you do. Aiming for excellence means setting and meeting the highest standards that are reachable. Knowing that what you're doing matches the highest standards boosts your self-confidence. Chasing perfection, on the other hand, lowers your confidence because it creates doubt and anxiety as you try to reach unrealistic standards.

Do you have a tendency toward perfectionism? Consider these three tips:

  • Create a list of the services you provide to internal or external customers.
  • Consider what's required to be outstanding in each of these services.
  • Now create a plan to tackle each of these areas in a way that surpasses ordinary standards.
  •  Invest in your competence.

The adage "fake it till you make it" can lead to feeling like a fake rather than feeling genuinely self-confident.

Instead, you can boost your self-confidence by focusing on increasing your competence in the central areas of your work. Become good at what you do. It's one of the most direct ways to boost your self-confidence.

Moreover, once you reach a certain level of competence, consider raising the bar on yourself. Raising the bar leads to continuous improvement over time.

How else can you invest in your competence?

  • Be honest with yourself about what you don't know. Create a personal competency framework and spend time increasing your knowledge or skill in the areas that need attention.
  • Research your area of expertise to learn new trends and new ways of doing things. The world is dynamic and changing. Falling behind can erode your confidence.
  • Sharpen the saw by attending some online courses which are now available in almost any subject.
  • Read as much as you can—not only in your area of expertise, but for general business knowledge as well. Even if you're very busy, you can subscribe to a book summary service to improve your professional skills and boost your self-confidence are just a few of the services available.

Learn from your own experience.

  • After a significant event, such as delivering a major presentation or doing a sales call with an important client, reflect on the experience.
  • Take a sheet of paper, label it "lessons learned" and capture everything you've gained from the event. For example:
  • What part of your performance went well? That's what you don't want to forget so that you can repeat it the next time.
  • What didn't go as well? What do you need to avoid doing the next time?
  • What do you need to do differently or better to take yourself to the next level?
  • What do you need to abandon altogether?
  • Not taking the time to reflect and capture the lessons may limit your ability to learn from your own experience. Self-confidence is a quality we gain above all from repeated successful experiences.

 Stop the self-harassment.

Self-harassment is when we persistently berate ourselves for any failures, whether real or perceived. Instead of severe self-criticism, consider practicing self-acceptance which can help boost your self-confidence. How can you do this?

  • Start by raising your self-awareness so that you can exercise self-control. Just how many times in a week do you belittle your efforts, blame yourself for events, or speak harshly to yourself? Self-criticism becomes habitual, and we hardly notice it. Catch yourself in the act. Self-awareness precedes self-management.
  • Develop an accurate assessment of who you are. What do you do well? What do you do not so well? Notwithstanding this knowledge, accept yourself unconditionally. To achieve this, set an intention to appreciate yourself for who you are.

  • Remind yourself that you're in control of your self-development. Work on ironing out any rough edges or doing whatever it takes to improve what needs to be improved.

Prepare, prepare, prepare.

Preparation is a key to boosting your self-confidence. When you're prepared, you tend to feel less pressure. Preparation gives you a feeling of being in control. It can give you a head start so that you can think and act your best.

Let's take the example of going to a meeting. Meetings are often events that can put a dent in self-confidence because you're observed and possibly judged by your lack of contribution.

To build your confidence in a meeting:

  • Never go into a meeting unprepared. Be prepared to contribute to the discussion even if you're not scheduled to speak.

  • Try to find out the meeting topics in advance, if possible. What are your ideas about the meeting topics?

  • Prepare a question or two that you might ask. Leaving a meeting with a feeling that you've contributed to the discussion can be a big confidence booster.

Beware of the comparison trap.

When you measure yourself against others, you may rob yourself of the confidence that comes from believing in your abilities. Cultivate an inner trust based on doing the right things for yourself, your staff and your business. If you look to the success of others, do it to learn rather than to measure yourself.

When it comes to comparing ourselves, self-comparison is essential. Are you better today than you were yesterday? Compare your progress with where you were when you started. By focusing on even small improvements that you've made in your skills and abilities from day to day, you may start to see your self-confidence surge.

Learn from the best to help boost your self-confidence.

  • Find out who are the best people in your line of business and study what they do. Think about them, read articles about them and watch their performances. Follow them on social media and research everything about them that you can.
  • What can you learn from these people that can help you reach the same level of success in your field? Once you've determined what they do, consider how you can even surpass them.

Even the most confident people can sometimes find themselves in situations where they doubt themselves. Everyone needs some tools in their toolkit to boost their self-confidence. Self-confidence is key to having the mental edge that helps you success.

Read original article at: American Express / Small Business

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Learn Why Eight-Five Percent of Us Struggle to be Happy

Research Shows that 85% of us are Living with the Effects of  Low Self-Esteem and a Lack of Self-Confidence, Resulting in Frustration and Unfulfilled Potential.

What's the big deal about self-confidence?

Confidence is hard to define but easy to recognize. With it, you can take on the world; without it, you live stuck at the starting block of your potential
— Katty Kay and Claire Shipman - "The Confidence Code"

The observation by William James, that most people live in a restricted circle of potential,  holds no less true today than when he made it over a century ago. The reason that so many people never fulfill their potential is not a lack of intelligence, opportunity or resources, but a lack of belief in themselves. Or to put it another way, too little self-confidence.  Without it, you can do little, with it, you can do anything!

 But what is confidence, anyway?

Often people think of confidence as something that the lucky few are born with and the rest are left wishing for, but that’s not true. Confidence is not a fixed attribute; it’s the outcome of the thoughts we think and the actions we take. No more; no less. It is not based on your actual ability to succeed at a task but your belief in your ability to succeed.

For instance:

  • Your belief in your ability to speak in front of an audience
  • Your belief in your ability to learn a new skill set
  • Your belief in your ability to be a leader
  • Your belief in your ability to handle confrontation or manage conflict
  • Your belief in your ability to change career path, or start a new business
  • Your ability to exit an unhealthy relationship
  • Your ability to live a healthy lifestyle

It's been long established that the beliefs we hold – true or otherwise – direct our actions and shape our lives. The good news is that new research into neural plasticity reveals that we can literally rewire our brains in ways that affect our thoughts and behavior at any age. Which means that no matter how timid or doubt-laden you’ve been up to now, building self-confidence is largely what psychologists call a volitional action. Or to use layman language: “By choice.” With consistent effort, and the courage to take a risk, we can gradually expand our confidence, and with it, our capacity to build more of it!

Of course, confidence can wax and wane throughout our lives. It’s boosted when we experience a win or receive praise. It takes a hit when our efforts fall short of the mark, we’re criticized, rejected or simply feel a lack of external recognition. We’re only human after all. It’s therefore vital not to become overly reliant on external affirmation to prop up our self-worth but to take ownership for taking the worthwhile actions needed to sustain it. Which begs the question:

How do you build the confidence needed to overcome your challenges and achieve your goals, particularly when you don’t first succeed?

The following FREE eBook "How to Boost Your Self-Confidence" will help clarify several common roadblocks and help you on your journey to being more confident.

Do you want to keep informed on tips and articles on Self-Inprovement? Sign Up for our newsletter and receive your FREE book "How to Boost Your Self Confidence"  

 
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The Total Wellness Team

5 Steps to Finding the Right Career for You

5  Steps to Finding the Right Career for You

I was one of the rare lucky ones to know what I’d be doing with my life before I turned 21. Although I was never a wiz in school, I could calculate numbers in my head faster then most of my friends could help with their calculators, and no I didn’t become an accountant. But I did focus on my love of numbers and realized I could calculate down to the decimal point regarding the cost of individual processes, and then figure out a more efficient and cost-effective way to make things flow. 

Read More

10 Steps to Create the Ultimate Vision Board

 Download the  FREE Ultimate Guide to Creating YOUR Board

(Bottom of the Page)

The Science that says "WHY" this Works.

Are you one who thinks a vision board is simply child’s play, then think again. They work, and there’s actually neuroscience along with other scientific studies that help us understand the power behind this simple tool.

First of all, visualization has been proven to be one of the most powerful mind techniques you can do. A vision board is basically an extension of your mind, it takes your thoughts and couples them with actions, driving a higher level of results. Olympic athletes have been using it for decades to improve performance, and Psychology Today reported that the neuro brain patterns activated when a weightlifter lifts heavyweights are also similarly activated when the lifter just imagined (visualized) lifting weights.

Vision without action is merely a dream. Action without vision just passes the time. Vision with action can change the world. - Joel A. Barker

What is a Vision Board?

A vision board is a tool used to help clarify, concentrate and maintain focus on a specific life goal. Literally, a vision board is any sort of board on which you display images that represent whatever you want to be, do or have in your life.

What can a vision board do for you?

Your vision board will function similar to a road map,  or more currently ”your online Google map”, as my husband likes to call it, ”His Nav Babe”. It works as a visual reminder of your desired destination and route.  In a way, it works as a primer for your subconscious.

Malcolm Gladwell, author of Blink shares examples of how simply reading lists of words designed to evoke a certain feeling such as aggression or cooperation can bring out that emotion without our conscious awareness, even if we know we’re being manipulated. It sounds a bit scary but it shows how powerful our mind works and the power of the words we feed it. That is one of the many reasons I am an advocate for using a lot of positive words, not only on my own boards but the boards of my clients.

Steve Harvey and Oprah discussing Vision Boards on OWN

 
 

Are you ready to start creating your

Vision Board?


 10  Steps to your Ultimate Board

Step 1: Clear your mind

The most important step to creating any goal or vision is to empty your mind of old thoughts, allowing it to be free to think without predetermined limits or boundaries. Why is this step important?  Because an empty mind is:

  • Aware—embracing the present moment and experience
  • Peaceful—it doesn’t dwell on the same thoughts
  • Intuitive—it’s receptive to input from higher sources
  • Free—from judgment and worry
  • Creative—allowing inspiration and new ideas to come in
  • Relaxed—it releases stress and fosters wellbeing
  • Energized—no effort is wasted on unwanted thoughts

I recommend meditation.

Meditation is the best way to calm your overactive mind. It’s simple and requires only a couple of things—stillness and your willingness to do it.

How to do it—find a quiet place, at your home, office or even outside in the midst of nature. Set a timer for 10 to 20 minutes.

Sit upright, on the floor, ground, or a chair, close your eyes and start focusing on your breath. Take a few breaths, in and out slowly, and follow your breath. Think of a few things that you’re thankful for and name them in your mind, then smile. As you continue to smile, follow your breath; inhale and exhale. Don’t worry if your mind resists in the beginning. Your mind may wander and you may lose focus on your breath. That’s normal. Awareness comes in waves. Just ride it as long as you can, then catch the next one.

If you have a hard time focusing on your breath, start counting with each breath. Once you are relaxed it is time to move to step two.

Step 2:  Today I Am

As in every journey, there is always a starting point. So, before you plan your journey forward you must understand where you currently stand in your life. Defining your starting point will help you set benchmarks and measurables. Grab your workbook (free download) and turn to page - "Today I Am” and answer the listed questions.

TIP: Answer the questions with your initial thought and keep them honest. Your journey forward will start to unfold as soon as you reveal your current location in life.

Step 3: What is on Your Bucket list

Webster states that a bucket list is:  "a number of experiences or achievements that a person hopes to have or accomplish during their lifetime." I agree with Webster except for the one word ..."hope".  I personally like to exchange "hopes to have" to "Will have".  Remember the power of words in the previous paragraph.   

Turn to the page in your planner "Bucket List" and write down EVERYTHING you dream of having and doing in your life. There are no limits to your dreams.  Make them enormous.

Step 4: Determine Your Theme

Determine a theme for your board. This can be as broad as “My Life” or as narrow as “My Career." Keep in mind; there are no ”Vision Board Quotas” so you can create as many as you want to make. In fact,

Warning; they can actually become addicting once you see the power of visualizations.

Step 5: Materials

Gather all the materials listed in your Planner on the page "Materials",  place them in the workspace you have designated to create your vision board. Keep in mind, some of the materials will need to be kept out of the hands of small children and away from quality furniture (i.e., glue, scissors, etc) but you know that already. In the business world, we call that CYA, so thanks for indulging my old corporate habits.

Step 6: Gathering Images

Your board is only as powerful as your images so choose wisely. You may find images, that at the moment feel perfect, but later you decide not to use on your board - don’t worry, I have never used all the images I ”thought” I would. Also, keep your mind open to all types of media, you can find great images in magazines, on the internet, in ads, or you may even choose to draw your own. All is fair in thought and vision. This is where “Go Bold or Go Home” is a good rule of thumb. The images you choose should move you and stir something deep inside.

Step 7: Inspirational Quotes

Now that you have gathered the images that reflect your future dreams, back them up with powerful inspirational quotes.

You’ve got to think about big things while you’re doing small things so that all the small things go in the right direction.” Alvin Toffler

 Even if you choose mot to put the quotes directly on the board, they are powerful when placed in areas you can see them daily. Take it one step further and write them in your Planner on the designated page for quotes. Another proven fact is; when we write your thoughts down vs. just thinking them, it activates multiple areas of the brain stimulating memory. so write, write, write ...

Step 8: Let the Creative Juices Flow

It is time to create. Cut out the images and plan their placement. You can place as many or as few images on your board. The key is to make sure it speaks to YOU. Since I will be suggesting that you place your board where you can see it frequently, you may want to choose primary colors that go with your decor (or not).

Great Tip: Once you’ve planned out your board, take a photo of it before you start securing the images into place. If you are using glue, you will need to remove the images in order to place glue on the backs and the photo will help you remember their placement.

Step 9: Place and Admire.

You can place your board where wherever you desire - but, again, the power in this board is ”seeing” it regularly. I have clients who take photos of the completed board and use it as the wallpaper on their tablets and phones. You can also do like Steve Harvey did and have a photo in dozens of key locations. Regardless of where you place your board or the photos of your board, you have just embodied your dreams in a visual format.

Step 10: To Do List - Once your board is completed you will need to create a list of  actions that will turn your dreams into reality.

Now, Get ready for great things to start taking place in your life. This is your journey - make it an exciting one.


Before starting your Vision Board, Download and read through this Ultimate Guide designed to take your Vision Board to the next level and reboot your brain to think BIGGER.  We would love to see the photo of your board, along with your success stories.  Please send to

connect@totalwellnesscenter.net or feel free to call us at (310) 461-4107

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