Monday, September 28, 2015

Are your Instincts making good choices?

Are Your instincts making good choices?
"To find yourself, think for yourself."  - Socrates

You Hear It Everywhere  

"Listen to your intuition."
"Trust your gut."

But what happens if you’re not in tune with your instincts? Maybe you’re afraid of every little thing, or you’re so optimistic you think the fairy godmother will arrive on your doorstep this time.

It could be your true feelings, or those gut instincts are so distorted you can’t tell the difference.

What does an instinct or hunch look like? We’re taught our entire lives to overlook our intuition and that we should think things through logically. However, your instincts are thoughts, too. Your instincts are also feelings you have in a deep-seated part of you.

Learning how to recognize these feelings from the thought-based reactions will help you make good decisions for a happy, healthy life.

Instinct versus Thinking

Humans have been developing their senses for millions of years. Impulses we have from our instincts or gut reaction are often deep and the most likely to be what we truly want.

When you rely on your thoughts to make a decision, you might have a tendency to second-guess yourself.

The difference between thought and feeling is sometimes difficult to see. “I’m going to die” is a thought, while panic is a feeling or a sensation.

When you are faced with making a decision, you need to tap into your feelings or the sensations the decision is producing in your gut. Don’t look at the emotional reactions to your thoughts. Instead feel the sensation the decision gives you.

Recall a positive situation you’ve had in the past. Now, think about how you felt. Were you smiling and relaxed? Did you have a warm, fuzzy feeling you couldn’t explain? Those are feelings.

Of course, you want to make sure you aren’t under stress, pressured or in love when you are going with your gut to make a decision. You should always be in a calm, relaxed state when accessing your instinct so you don’t end up making a rash choice.

Tuning into your feelings, those gut-wrenching instincts that we all have, will help guide you into making good decisions.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Identify Your Self-Esteem Triggers

"Lack of something to feel important about is almost the greatest tragedy a person may have."  - Arthur E. Morgan

Most people experience different degrees of self-worth depending on what’s going on in their life. For example, you might wake up in the morning feeling great and then you get an email from your boss and the rest of your day goes downhill from there. Self-esteem isn’t something that remains static. It changes according to your experiences and mindset.

How much it changes depends largely on your awareness and your ability to let go of any injuries to your self-esteem. The awareness component is key. If you can identify your triggers, you can then learn to prepare for them and manage them without suffering a blow to your self-esteem. So how do you identify those triggers?

Step One: Evaluate Your Current Sense of Self-Worth

In general, how do you feel about yourself? Would you say that you have a healthy sense of self-esteem and self-worth? Do you feel like your self-esteem could use a boost? It’s important to understand your current sense of self-worth because you can take steps right now to begin to strengthen it. Additionally, your current sense of self-worth can impact how significant your response is to self-esteem triggers.

Step Two: Look to the Past

Reflect on the people and situations that made you feel badly about yourself. What happened and how did it impact you? For example, maybe you were overlooked for a promotion and it made you quit your job. Maybe you submitted an idea to your boss or a book to an agent and it was rejected, so you quit trying. Maybe you asked someone out on a date and were turned down, so you stopped going out.

Other examples might be more personal. Maybe you told a family member how you were feeling and they disregarded your feelings. You might have felt stupid or overly sensitive. It impacted your self-worth. Evaluating the past can help you prepare for and become aware of your present and your future.

Step Three: Pay Attention to Your Thoughts and Feelings

Learn to pay attention to how you’re feeling when you’re triggered. For example, if you receive criticism, does your heart hammer in your chest and you get angry, or do you hear the criticism without a significant emotional response? If you get rejected, do you feel sad and withdraw, or do you evaluate the situation and try again?

How you respond to different potentially triggering situation can help you see where your self-esteem can take a hit and where it is strong. You might feel very confident in your professional life and lack self-esteem in your personal life, or vice versa.

Learning to identify your self-esteem triggers can help you better understand yourself. It also gives you the tools and information you need to evaluate situations differently and manage your emotional response to them. You can control how much of an impact someone or something can have on your self-esteem.