Step 1: Emotions, Limiting Beliefs and Fear
Emotions or feelings are regulated by a group of structures in the center of the brain called the limbic system. They can be positive or negative. Some positive emotions: happiness, joy, optimism, bliss. Some negative emotions: anger, sadness, guilt, fear.
Our emotions alert us when our needs are not met. We feel lonely when our need for love and connection with other people is unmet. When we feel rejected, our need for acceptance is unmet.
Our emotions help us make decisions. Our feelings are also useful in helping us predict our own, as well as others’ behavior.
When we feel uncomfortable with a person’s behavior, our emotions alert us. If we learn to trust our emotions and feel confident expressing ourselves we can let that person know we feel uncomfortable as soon as we are aware of our feelings.
This will help us set our boundaries, which are necessary to protect our physical and mental health.
Our emotions help us communicate with others. Our facial expressions, for example, can convey a wide range of emotions. If we look sad or hurt, we are signaling to others that we need their help. Using communication we can express our emotional needs in words. If we are effective at listening to the emotions of others, we are better able to help them feel understood, significant and cared about.
All emotions are normal. They affect us adversely when they are excessively or persistently negative over time. They can affect our thinking, concentration, motivation, energy, hope, confidence and self-esteem.
Practice awareness of your emotions. Seek help if your emotions are overwhelming you.
1) Talk to a professional such as your doctor, therapist or coach. Talking lets out the steam of emotions, and can help release some of the heated pressure you feel.
2) Practice aerobic exercise for 30 to 40 minutes several times a week. Testing and research has shown this improves mental health.
3) Reframe your thoughts and the way you look at a situation. For example, if you have lost a job view your situation in a more positive frame, such as an opportunity to apply for a better job.
4) Visualize a new scenario. For example, picture a moving belt and the negative event or situation as retreating on that belt into oblivion. Create a successful event in its place and visualize it on the belt moving toward you, growing bigger and brighter as it comes closer.
5) Neurons that fire together wire together. Constant preoccupation with a negative event creates negative neural networks, whereas disuse of those same pathways weakens those neural networks. Create new healthy neural pathways by engaging in new activities such as gardening, walking, playing sports, solving puzzles and so on.
Step 2: Eight Steps to Breaking Through Fear
1. ‘Do the thing you fear to do and keep on doing it …That is the quickest and surest way ever yet discovered to conquer fear’
1. Learn to understand fear. Talk to a therapist about your unique experience of fear.
2. Model others who have control over fear rather than allowing fear to control them.
3. Practice Mindfulness: A calm awareness of one’s body functions, feelings and consciousness leaves no room for fear.
4. Embrace, rather than fight, your fear.
5. Break through by doing the very thing you fear or by engaging in something that challenges you to step beyond your limits.
6. Remember that fear is “false evidence appearing real.”
7. Challenge fear-based thoughts or assumptions by visualizing their opposite. For example, if you fear illness, visualize illness as a clown in a colorful costume.
8. Improve Creativity. Find a quiet place – your garden, balcony, or favorite chair. Practice breathing and mindfulness techniques. List your stress factors, and breathe them away, one at a time. Create a new list of projects in its place.
So, create a visual image of what it would look and sound like, what you would see when you don’t have this fear. What is the contrast situation?
Step 3: Training Your Subconscious
Your subconscious mind is that part of your mind which you are not consciously aware of.
The subconscious mind holds memories of past emotions, both painful and happy, especially of events which have had significance in you life.
Your subconscious mind can be trained to serve you; it learns best in a relaxed state.
Letting go of past unhelpful negative emotions assists you in clearing hidden mental blocks.
Hurt to you caused by others can be observed in a new way, understood as behaviors over which they have no conscious control or harmful intention.
Step 4: The Six Essential Human Needs
Humans have psychological needs. Identifying them and meeting them can help you live a more flourishing life.
Dr. Abraham Maslow identified these needs in a hierarchy with the more basic needs at the bottom of the pyramid.
When needs are not met one can experience a range of negative emotions such as frustration, irritability, anger, upset and sadness, spiraling into stress in relationships.
There are three Steps to meeting the needs of the mind:
1. Identify your emotions in relation to your needs. For example, if you are feeling irritable ask if it is because your basic needs are not being met. Is it safety needs, love and connection needs, esteem needs, or need for growth and contribution?
2. Identify different options and ways to meet that particular need. If it’s the need for love and connection, for example, review current relationships and people in your life and how your need for love and connection is being met, or not met, through them. If relationships have changed then become aware of how that has happened, and what needs are now being, or need to be, met.
3. Take action to enable current relationships to become more meaningful and identify ways to start new relationships through new activities and hobbies.
Step 5: Personality
Personality is comprised of the pervasive patterns of an individual’s emotions, thought processes, and behaviors.
Personality has two components: temperament, which is innate and determined at birth, and character, which is influenced by environment.
We are often not aware of our own pattern of behaviors while others are. When our personality malfunctions we manifest behaviors best described as thorns carried by us but felt by others.
It is possible to modify unhelpful personality traits and learn beneficial strategies to manifest our potential to make life work for us. Too many broken bridges? Then it’s time to rebuild our behaviors, using the steps described above.
Understanding differences in personality styles helps us communicate effectively and find happiness.
The DISC profile is a simple and easy way of understanding different personality styles.
changingminds.org eloquently explains DISC personality styles.
DISC styles Description
|Dominance; Direct, Driver, Demanding, Determined, Decisive, Doer||Independent, persistent, direct.Energetic, busy, fearless.
Focus on own goals rather than people. Tell rather than ask.
Ask ‘What?’ They can be hard on others and easy on themselves
|InfluentialInfluencing, Inspiring, energetic, Interacting, Interesting||Social, persuasive, friendly. Energetic, busy, optimistic, distractible. Imaginative, focus on the new and future.
Poor time managers. Focused on people than tasks.
Tell rather than ask. They can be easy on themselves and easy on others
|SteadyStable, Supportive, Shy, Status quo, Steady||Consistent, like stability. Accommodating, peace-seeking.
Like helping and supporting others. Good listeners and counselors.
Close relationships with few friends.
Ask, rather than tell.
They can be hard on themselves and easy on others.
|CompliantCautious, Compliant, Correct,Calculating, Concerned, Careful, Contemplative||Slow and critical thinker, perfectionist. Logical, fact-based, organized, follows rules. Don’t show feelings. Private. Few, but good friends.Big-picture, outlines. Ask ‘Why?’ and ‘How?’ They can be hard on themselves and hard on others|
Myers-Briggs personality profiling focuses more on the thinking process while the DISC identifies personality differences based on behaviors.
Here are a few tips on successfully handling the different personality styles.
With Dominance style people:
* Garner respect to avoid conflict
* Focus on facts and ideas rather than the people
* Have evidence, facts and information to support your argument
* Ask what not how and at work show them how they can succeed
* Talk about how problems will hinder accomplishments
With Influence style people:
* Be social and friendly with them, building the relationship
* Listen to them talk about their ideas
* Help them find ways to translate talk into useful action
* Don’t spend much time on the details as they get bored easily
* Motivate them to follow through to complete tasks
* Recognize their accomplishments
With Steady style people:
* Be genuinely interested in them as people
* Create a human working environment for them
* Give them time to adjust to change
* Clearly define goals for them and provide ongoing support
* Recognize and appreciate their achievements
* Avoid hurry and pressure
* Present new ideas carefully
With Complete style people:
* Warn them in time and generally avoid surprises
* Be prepared. Don’t ad-lib with them if you can avoid it
* Be logical, accurate and use clear data
* Show how things fit into the bigger picture
* Be specific in disagreement and focus on the facts
* Be patient, persistent and diplomatic
© Dr. Caroline Manuel