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Monday, April 29, 2013

Are You a Relationship Saboteur?

Some people sabotage their relationships without even realizing it. They start fights, leave out important details when telling their loved one something important or don't say what's on their minds and get angry that their needs aren't being met. If you're a relationship saboteur, try these techniques to help you release the need to break your own heart.

Check Your Expectations

One way some people sabotage relationships is by setting unrealistic expectations and then being angry that the other person failed to meet them. If you're constantly upset or angry with your partner, ask yourself what your expectations are. If your expectations include your partner "never" or "always" doing something or knowing how you feel about an issue without you saying anything, those expectations are probably unrealistic. 

Take Responsibility For Getting What You Want

Sometimes we fall into a victim mentality in which we see our partner to blame for conflicts and think we can't do anything about it. If you're sabotaging your relationship via anger, try asking yourself, "What can I do to resolve this problem?" When you feel empowered to solve relationship problems, you feel less of a need to self sabotage!

Remind Yourself Who Your Partner Is

Sometimes we sabotage our relationships because someone in our past has hurt us. It can help to stay in the present; your current partner isn't necessarily going to react the same way as your ex or your parents did. So if you're upset because you expect your partner to act like someone else did, it can help to ask yourself, "If my partner isn't <past person's name>, how might I react differently now?" 

If you can't seem to stop sabotaging your relationships, you may need help overcoming a negative life script. Please register for Rewrite Your Life Script today and see your relationship success change this summer.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Three Ways to End Self-Sabotage

Have you ever lost a promotion, a job or even a significant other because you just couldn't stop doing things that you knew would probably get you into trouble? Self-sabotage is frustrating, especially when you feel out of control because you can't stop doing it. You may feel entirely alone with this problem, but don't despair. The majority of people get in their own way at least part of the time, and many people do it on a regular basis. Fortunately, there are things you can do to help yourself end this type of behavior and get back in control of your life.

Change Your Self-Talk
If you're struggling with a self-sabotage issue, you can get some relief from changing how you talk to yourself. Many people beat themselves up, saying to themselves things like, "I always mess things up!" or "How could I have been so stupid?"

Not only do these thoughts hurt, but they cement into your identity things like self-saboteur, mess-up and failure. If you believe you're a saboteur, you will always sabotage yourself. So be gentler on yourself. Say things to yourself like, "I wonder why I made that mistake." Actively look for solutions instead of focusing on the problem.

Prepare Yourself in Advance
If you're trying to achieve an important goal, you may be at risk for self-sabotage, especially if you have a habit of messing yourself up. So it can be helpful to prepare yourself in advance. For example, when you sit down to apply for a job you really want, ask yourself, "If I were to be at my worst, how might I mess this up?" Answering this question can give you an idea of behaviors to look out for.

Remind Yourself How It Feels
One way to help yourself avoid self-sabotage is to focus on your emotions related to a goal. First, on one sheet of paper, make a list of all the ways you will feel when you achieve your goal. Then, on another sheet of paper, write how you feel when you get in your own way.  When you feel tempted to act in a self-sabotaging way, read your lists over. Sometimes that reminder is enough to get you back on track.

If you still feel out of control after trying these techniques, you may be dealing with a life script that interferes with success. Register for Rewrite Your Life Script to get focused coaching around improving your self-concept and eliminating self-sabotaging behaviors.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Exorcising Ghosts From Your Past

 Whether you recently broke up with someone who constantly belittled you or you didn't get along with a sibling or parent, your past can affect you in ways you don't even realize. As you're trying to move forward on a project, create a new relationship or live a better life, you may find yourself feeling anxious, depressed or lonely and not even know why.  If you've been challenged by fear, pain or anger as you try to achieve a new goal, you may be dealing with a "ghost" from your past.  

As a life coach, I encourage people to stay in the present rather than rehashing their past over and over. Sometimes, though, the challenge of staying focused seems impossible. You may be dealing with a ghost if you experience obstacles such as:
  • Anxiety about a current relationship or project that doesn't seem realistic. For example, you might be constantly worried that your new girlfriend is secretly angry at you or that you're about to lose your job. If these fears aren't based in reality but keep reoccurring, it might be based on a past relationship or situation.
  • Negative emotions that become more intense as you become more successful. You may be anxious about success because it conflicts with a life script that says you must not succeed.
  • Conflicts that occur based on what you think is happening instead of on what's really happening. If you get into arguments or otherwise create problems because you expect someone to treat you badly, you definitely are dealing with a ghost.

What to Do

It can be difficult to overcome this challenge; however, if the past still has a hold on you, it's because you haven't resolved something. You may need to understand and forgive the other person from your past -- and yourself -- in order to move forward.

Here's a couple of things to try next time you encounter a ghost:
  • Make a game out of finding compassion for the person from your past. Set a timer for two minutes and write down as many reasons you can think of for why they did what they did. 
  • Ask yourself, "If <new person or situation> isn't <old person or situation>, how might I see things differently?" Continually remind yourself that this is not your past and that it doesn't have to work the same way.
  • Write a letter to yourself acknowledging your pain over the past and explaining why this time is different. Read it over when you feel down.
If these ideas don't completely exorcise the ghosts of your past, you may be dealing with a life script that is blocking your ability to move forward. Register for Rewrite Your Life Script in order to work one-on-one on overcoming limiting beliefs about yourself and free yourself from the past.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Your Relationships Reflect Your Self-Love

When I was single, I used to spend a lot of time wondering whether I would find the woman of my dreams or not. I was constantly dreaming of her and wishing she was dreaming of me, unsure she existed, longing for her, and lonely. I was preoccupied with finding her, but love seemed as elusive then as it did during my long years of invisibility, when I tried to be the woman I was not and dated three variations of the same man and was equally miserable alone and with a partner.

The reason love didn't work for me then is the same reason it may not be working for you now:

Your relationships are a reflection of your love for yourself. You can't succeed in love if you're using it to fill a void or heal broken self-esteem or convince yourself you are loveable.

Many people make the mistake of getting into a relationship because they are in love with the idea of being in love and not with the person they are with. You may think your partner is as good as you'll ever do or that anything is better than being alone or that he or she is the answer to your problems. But the truth is that if you are in a relationship for any reason other than your love enhancing your life, you are bound to make yourself and your partner more miserable instead of less. You may try to change the person into something he or she is not or hold back parts of who you are to keep the relationship going. Either way, you are not basing your relationship on reflecting your most authentic self.

You may have heard this before and may even know it on some level, but not be sure what to do about it. Sometimes people get "stuck" in relationships and don't know how to get out. There are always a ton of reasons not to leave. Untangling your life from your partner's can seem painful or impossible, even when logically it seems like the best thing. So what do you do?

Coach Jack's Four-Step Process
If you don't know how to get out of a relationship that's dragging you down, here's some questions you can ask yourself.
  1. How do I feel about myself in this relationship? Many people focus on how much they love their partner. But caring about your partner isn't enough if you don't feel loved yourself. Look carefully at how your partner is affecting your self-esteem. Do you feel worn out, tired, incompetent or useless after a day with your partner? If you do, you may be outgrowing the relationship.
  2. What am I getting from staying? There are reasons you're in this relationship -- what are they? Write down everything positive about your relationship.
  3. What do I fear if I leave? Make sure your decision isn't fear-based. Sometimes people stay in relationships because they fear their partner will hurt themselves or they don't want to face being alone. Write down your fears.
  4. What price am I paying to keep my fear at bay? It's okay to decide to stay -- but what are you giving up?  Ask yourself if the emotional or other costs are worth it.
Answering these questions honestly can help you decide what to do. Writing your answers in a journal only you can see can help you face feelings and facts you were reluctant to see.

If you still don't know what to do after answering these questions or don't know how to begin answering them, you may be tied to your partner because of negative beliefs about yourself.  I specialize in helping people overcome these types of negative beliefs. Please register for Rewrite Your Life Script today so that we can begin working together to change your self-image.