Thursday, 8 December 2011

Tips For Improving Your Self-Esteem. Article One.

Low self-esteem is the root cause of many of our problems. Poor self-esteem can sabotage relationships and careers, cause self-destructive patterns and habits, hamper self-improvement and hold us back from achieving our full potential. Poor self-esteem usually has its origins far back in our childhood, but it can be knocked again in our adult life by ridicule, criticism and trauma.

High self-esteem is the most important element in human performance. The person with healthy self-esteem likes him or herself. Not in a vain, conceited or big headed way but they simply like and accept themselves for who they are. These people perform at higher levels. They are calm, positive, purposeful, open, expressive, assertive, self-reliant, sociable, co-operative, energetic, optimistic and always looking for ways to self-improvement. When you are in the company of someone with high self-esteem you feel better about yourself, not worse. Here are a few tips for developing higher self-esteem. There will be more to follow in another article.

1. “Nobody can make you feel inferior without your permission”, Betty Ford. Don’t give that permission to anyone. No matter how much people knock or criticise you in your life don’t let anyone put you down.

2. Make lists of all your good qualities, abilities and all the achievements that you are proud of and really congratulate yourself for all of them.

3. Take care of you appearance. Always be clean and look as neat and smart as your budget will allow. The way you dress does make a difference in helping you feel confident.

4. Read stories about successful people and those who have triumphed over adversity. Find out how they achieved their success and use the information to help yourself towards self-improvement.

5. Listen to and learn from motivational speakers either in person on CD, tape cassette or video.

6. Move towards what you want to achieve in small easy steps. Don’t try to take a big jump all at once. Achieving the small steps will encourage you to press on towards your goal and self-improvement.

7. Join the smile, firm handshake and compliment club. All these things matter, nobody trusts someone who doesn’t shake hands properly. If you see someone without a smile, give them yours. Complimenting someone when they deserve it not only boosts their self-esteem but yours as well because you have made someone feel good.

8. Always finish what you start. When you complete something people pay you compliments and you feel better about yourself.

9. Do something for others, especially those who can do nothing in return. “No one is useless in this world who lightens the burden a little for someone else”. Charles Dickens.

10. Break bad habits. Stop smoking, drink alcohol only in moderation or stop altogether. Cut out junk food and eat a healthier diet.

11. Make friends with your enemies. Life is too short to have people in it that you don’t get along with. That will really help your self-improvement.

12. Choose your friends and the people you mix with carefully. Mix with positive people whose influence will help you to improve. Stay away from negative people and those who may influence you to do bad, negative things.

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Fear of the dentist. Overcoming dental phobia.

Huge numbers of people are afraid when they go to the dentist. In Britain 40% of the population is so afraid that they just don’t go and in the United States 30-40 million people either receive inadequate dental care or avoid going to the dentist altogether because of the fear of dental procedures. This is clearly a massive problem.

A person in the grip of a terrible fear or phobia is suffering and it may ruin their whole life. My own terror of the dentist was so extreme that it was almost painful. I couldn’t look at the outside of a dental surgery or at pictures of them in newspapers, magazines or on the television and if someone suggested I should go to the dentist it could result in a huge row.

When one of my front teeth broke and looked really horrible I was finally forced to go to the dentist. I was lucky because I had trained in Hypnotherapy and self-hypnosis. Using the techniques I had learned I was able to overcome my fear to the point where I actually liked my dentist. In the past I would never have thought it possible that I could ‘like’ a dentist. I wrote the techniques I used down in a small book so that others may use them too. The techniques I used are simple and very effective.

There are various techniques and treatments available to help you overcome the fear of going to the dentist and other phobias. The unorthodox ones that I recommend include: Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP), The Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) and Hypnotherapy, either from a qualified therapist or using self-hypnosis.

Neuro Linguistic Programming works on the supposition that our brains run programmes and that a phobia is simply one of these programmes. Other programmes you will have include a programme for driving a car, riding a bicycle, brushing your teeth and so on. By changing the programme, either with help from a NLP practitioner or by using the techniques in a book, you can overcome your phobia.

The Emotional Freedom Technique is one of the Meridian Therapies and is also known as psychological acupuncture. By tapping on certain acupuncture points whilst using a set up phrase and repeating affirmations you can create great beneficial changes for all sorts of problems including trauma, phobias and addictions, etc.

A Hypnotherapist may use various techniques and also, whilst you are in trance, NLP to help you overcome your phobia. With self-hypnosis you can use the power of suggestion and visualisation to help free you from your phobia.

So don't suffer unnecessarily. Find out what therapies are available in your area or buy a suitable book and help yourself. Very soon your fear or phobia could be a thing of the past and you can look forward to a happier, less fearful future. You can do it so just go for it!

Thursday, 20 October 2011

The Power of Thought

As Napoleon Hill, the father of the modern Self-improvement / Personal Development movement said, “The creator gave us power over but one thing and one thing only, our own conscious minds”. Everything we ever do in this world begins with a thought and our thoughts can be either positive or negative. For some reason the vast majority of people are thinking negatively about themselves or the world around them most of the time. It is said that about 90% of the thoughts we think in the course of a day will be negative. We must turn that around because such negativity can be terribly destructive. You only have to look at the fact that suicide is on the increase to realise that. It all comes about because of our thoughts and how we mentally process things, how we perceive things. It is not what happens to us in our lives that can make us happy or unhappy it is how we perceive those events, how we process them.

Suppose a group of people were made redundant from their place of work. At one extreme some people will be thinking, “Oh no. That’s it, I’ve had it. No one will employ me now. I’m on the scrap heap, finished”. At the other extreme there will be other people thinking, “Wow! That’s great! I hated that job anyway so now I can get the sort of job I really want/start my own business/re-train/travel” or whatever. Of course there will be a variety of other reactions in between. The same event can happen to a number of people and they will all perceive it differently. Some will perceive it positively and some negatively. If those that perceive it negatively are not careful they could be totally destroyed by it yet that same event can spur others on to achieve great things. All of this is brought about by our thoughts. If we can change our thoughts from negative to positive our possibilities may be limitless. If we can’t then we may end up as another statistic on the list of suicides. If we can change our thoughts to positive we can change our whole lives for the better!

The brain is said to function like a highly sophisticated computer and negative thinking can be likened to negative programming. We must reverse any negative programming by constantly putting in positive programming. Positive or negative the mind can only hold one thought at a time. We must replace our negative thoughts with positive ones. As David J. Schwartz said, “The person who achieves controls his thinking. He doesn’t let his thinking control him”. Or, as Robert Holden said, “Unless we are prepared to think differently we will experience no difference. Thought is creative”.

So how can we improve upon our thoughts? The first way I want to talk about is to do as Brian Tracy says and to go on a positive attitude diet for 21 days. Every time we catch ourselves thinking negatively we must immediately stop that thought and change it for a positive one. Behavioural psychologists say that we should actually say “STOP!” inside our head and then think a positive thought instead. The reason we must do this for 21 days is that it takes that amount of time to form a habit so if we keep it up we will form the habit of constantly thinking positive.

The second method is my favourite. We have to RAPP.

“When you’re down and feeling blue

just remember what to do

you can RAPP, you can RAPP

you can RAPP now!!!”

So what is RAPP? R.A.P.P. stands for ‘Run A Positive Programme’, i.e. in your mind, your bio-computer. There are two types of positive programme you can use. The first is to recall the memory of a pleasant, happy and positive experience from your past. Think of several such experiences and then choose the best one. Once you have chosen one play the ‘video’, if you like, of that memory over and over several times to fix it in your mind so that you can easily bring it into consciousness whenever you need to. Make sure you really highlight all the positive aspects by bringing it closer, brightening up the colour, sharpening the focus and enhancing the sound or even add some appropriate music if it helps. Make sure you really feel the happy, positive emotions that go with your memory/video. Then whenever you are feeling depressed or stuck in any kind of negative thinking run your positive programme and really see it, hear it and feel the emotion of it. Within a few seconds you will be feeling happier and more positive!

The second, and I think, best technique is to run a positive future programme. In this method you run a programme of one of your goals. Decide which goal you want to use and create a video or visualisation of yourself having achieved it. See what you will see, hear what you will hear and feel what you will feel. Make a complete mind video of your goal from beginning to end making sure that you really feel the happy, positive emotions that go with it. Once again you run this video in place of any negative thinking. Using this method not only will you feel the positive benefits but you will help to bring your goals into reality more rapidly.

I shall leave you with a final quotation from Jack Black, another leader in the field of Self-improvement / Personal Development: “Your thinking determines all things. In other words, think negatively and you will attract negative realities. Think positively and the benefits you desire in life will come to you. It’s that simple. Whatever we choose to think we choose to have in our lives”.