There’s so much fear around at the moment and people are pessimistic

People say that there’s so much fear around at the moment and people are sad and pessimistic about the future. Events, issues and personal circumstances combine to give a negative outlook on life. In fact we can get completely absorbed in it. Is this how things are? Need they be? I’ve been struck how people are saying that everything seems really miserable at the moment. Maybe it’s the weather, repeated bouts of very cold spells when we’re weary with winter, even as spring is in the offing. For many, national and world events are troubling and there seems so much … Read more

How fear keeps you from the wellbeing you long for

Fear and being fearful, being absorbed with fear, is the great disconnect, keeping us from what we truly want, and keeping what we truly want from us. It is often said on these pages that love and fear are opposite sides of the same coin. From being absorbed in fear, you let it go, turn your attention, and you can have love instead. One obscures the other. By love of course I also mean contentment, joy, enthusiasm, positive passion and any one of the different ways our heart-centred connection manifests itself, if we put aside that oft-felt discomfort at saying … Read more

Being in the public eye can be terrifying but it needn’t be so

Despite the jokes made about Michael Bay’s exit from his own presentation, some might be surprised and some amused but others more sympathetic about a very common fear that is likely to have driven Bay away, the fear of being “upfront”, being in the public eye, in front of other people, vulnerable and exposed, as when something wasn’t working in his presentation. I would add to it, for many of us, the fear of being upfront in itself. We’re thankfully becoming more candid about such things, as witnessed by a well-known book, And Death Came Third, by Lopata and Roper, … Read more

Limiting beliefs can limit our outcomes

The mindset of pessimism and limiting beliefs can run deep. I was struck recently by a headline in the UK’s “Telegraph” that “We’ll never have it so good again“, with a report about the declining opportunities facing today’s middle class young. From the self-development perspective, it was the mindset and outlook on life of having disappointed expectations and also that the outcome was bound to be worse that grabbed my thinking. Whilst appreciating that young people are having a particularly difficult time in the current Great Recession and acknowledging that this is far from acceptable in public policy terms, it … Read more

What keeps you going despite the odds

“It doesn’t interest me where or what or with whom you have studied. I want to know what sustains you, from the inside, when all else falls away“.* What keeps you going? You might have all sorts of clever stuff, and make all sorts of efforts to look convincing to others, but what really lights you up and is your source of passion? What is your “rock of ages” that truly keeps you going and believing in yourself and putting your self out there or simply carrying on in your everyday world when the chips are down and nothing seems … Read more

Building self confidence can mean being more assertive

It’s common theme for those who are challenged by their self confidence that one aspect involves dealing with people more assertive than they are. A lot of people who are working on building self confidence find that they need to be more assertive. It’s often for many the really hard part, because it can involve them in standing up for themselves with seemingly stronger, more dominant people, and can involve conflict or the fear of conflict.Thus confidence very often has an interpersonal dimension. A part of this is how we think we are perceived by others. Will they be displeased, … Read more

Fear and anxiety about the news hides our real fear

Fear and anxiety have been stalking the land again. We’ve had another few days when the news headlines have been forecasting economic Armageddon and global crisis if the result of the Greek election was not what the euro’s survival needed. We’ve had more and more indications of a further economic decline, seemingly well-matched by pouring rain and storms at home. Now it seems people are taking a much-needed gasp of air as the election result has been seen as OK – for the moment. So what about the rest of us, who carry on our lives in the midst of … Read more

Self confidence can be elusive

Self confidence can be an elusive quality, one moment you’ve got it, the next you’ve lost it. I’ve often noticed how people can seem very uncertain about doing something and then suddenly the mists have cleared, they see clearly what they need to do and how to do it, feel strong inside themselves and away they go. By contrast someone who has for example a very successful career but then loses their job and find that in their efforts to get back into work have lost their self confidence. Another example is where a very successful woman takes a career … Read more

Light and dark both have something to teach us

A feature of the mind at the ego level is its tendency towards separation, seeing oneself as distinct and separate from others. One way this shows up is to think in terms of polarities, such as light and dark, good and evil, happiness and misery, wealth and poverty, fast and slow, positive and negative, and so on. One could say that this is a feature of how the mind operates, how we distinguish between things and make choices and preferences, except that we can get very invested in one polarity or another, make one OK and the other not, and … Read more

To keep going could be to have blind faith

Keeping going despite the apparent odds – that’s what life can sometimes seem to be like. It’s a moot point whether to decide to abandon what you’re doing because it’s getting difficult, or whether to soldier on, as they say, in order to somehow accomplish your goal. You might for example be really feeling up against it at the moment. You might be in a state of fear or panic and be really concerned that it’s all going to go belly up. People doing business start-ups, or people in a new product launch, would recognise this frequently at various stages … Read more

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