Every person feels anxiety sometimes. It is a natural reaction to what is perceived as danger – an evolution of the “fight or flight” response. While for most people, experiencing anxiety in small doses is normal and healthy, for others, feeling anxious about the future or about situations over which they have no control may cause real interference with daily living. It is the frequency of the fear and the perception of danger, when in fact there may be no real danger, which causes anxious people to avoid participating in “normal” activities.
Unlike “right and wrong”, which are viewed as absolute and indisputable, there are cases where someone controls the situation and simply enforces his or her personal preferences. It is a subjective type of black and white thinking.
If you think about it, from the day you are born, everyone around you tells you what is right and what is wrong. In previous generations, parents used “the carrot and the stick” to teach kids about right and wrong. Anger and punishment were the stick and smiles and rewards were the carrots. Some parents, following the example of their own parents, even used real sticks, belts and denying of physical touch as punishment, while using physical gestures like a hug and a kiss to say, “You’ve made me proud”.
Whether we like it or not, problems are part of life. Success is not about what happens to us in life, but about what we do with it – the good and the bad. One of people’s irrational rules of living is the expectation to be able always to find a solution to a problem, […]
Everyone has rules for establishing self-worth. Just like the need for approval forms in our early years, due to our relationship with people who are significant to us, our definition of self-worth comes from them too. Parents and educators are the main source of our thoughts about our self-worth.
Most people do not like to talk about their rules, but they have them for everything. There are rules for living, rules for dying, rules for work, rules for home, rules for riding the bus and rules for eating in a restaurant.
When I was training to be a life coach, our instructor said to us that our level of disappointment is related to the gap between two things – our expectations and the facts. Although this may sound simple in principle and you may be saying to yourself, “Well, of course”, stop and think about real-life situations where you find yourself disappointed and you will soon see the problem.
I went out to lunch with a few other future life coaches, and one of them, Sarah, told me about some challenges she was having at the time with her teens. Sarah was married for the second time and had two teens of her own and two teens who were her husband’s kids. Most people would already cringe at this stage, right?
Anyway, Sarah said that her kids were well organized, but her husband’s teen daughter was “very messy” and kept leaving her clothes on the floor, which drove Sarah bonkers. When Sarah tried to confront her stepdaughter about tidying up her room, she got the “You’re not my mother” treatment.
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Kids are like fish. No, not because they are pretty and cute (although they are pretty and cute) but because their ability to grow depends on their environment, much like fish.
Did you know that fish will grow to the size that will be supported by their surroundings?
If you put a fish in a small bowl, it will grow to fit the size of the bowl. If you take the same fish into a small pond, it will grow bigger. If you move it to a lake, the same fish can grow to be big, really big.
Kids also have this fishy characteristic. For them, life is a fish bowl and they depend on the grown ups in their life to find a good size bowl to call home. They also depend on the grown ups in their life to “clean the water” and supply them with “food”.
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