Fear

This is why you're afraid.

DaVinci Vancouver

I’ve been quiet on the social media front for a while, and I’d like to say it’s because I’ve entered a new realm of self-awareness, but in truth it's been busy.

A few months ago, I successfully launched my group coaching program and what started out as a project to make life coaching accessible to the wider community, became an eye opening realization for me.

Imitation = Fear

Imitation is an expression of fear, because we imitate to blend in, to be accepted by society, and for others to notice that we fit in and that we belong. We imitate because we’re afraid of being rejected should we ever reveal our truest selves.

Many of us, predominately in the West I feel, are searching for that sense of belonging from a very early age. Think about how a toddler behaves, they walk around confidently, wearing the rawest version of themselves. Forever curious, they’re always in search of answers. Although it may not last too long, toddlers are also very compassionate, incredibly loving and confidently expressive.

I think as conscious awareness develops, there comes a time when we become curious about ourselves and our place in this world, and I think it’s at this crucial point when fear of expression starts to develop. It’s like we spend most of our lives slowly breaking free from a cocoon and once free, we’re very quickly misguided.

As we develop some independence we turn to the world around us for guidance on this human experience. However, the world is still very much an unequal place and as we receive its messages, predominantly through mass media, the majority of us feel underrepresented. When we do not see ourselves being represented, we quickly learn to feel that this is a world in which we do not belong, so what do we do? We imitate.

We buy into popular trends, we follow false idols, and we mimic those who are presented as most-self-actualized. We often do this so blindly that it becomes normal, until the distance between who we really are and who we’ve presented ourselves to be is so wide, that we become afraid to face the truth, and/or unsure of it.

It develops an anxiety of sorts, an uncertainty about the future and thus the quest for happiness continues to be a trivial pursuit. We feed fear each time we deny ourselves the opportunity to be liberated.

Creating a safe space.

In just under 8-weeks my group members had shown phenomenal personal growth. The majority of my clients started out the program feeling insecure and unsure about their future. Towards the end, they all reported feeling happier and unafraid to explore their potential, and reported feeling sure about where they’re headed in life.

I think the success of the group coaching program, was largely due to being a safe space for participants to reconnect with and explore their truest selves, and realize that they’re not alone. I think for many it was the first time they understood how their identities became so blurred and as the weeks progressed, participants became more expressive and compassionate toward one another.

The program became a safe space for them to freely explore their potential without limits. For example, I had one participant who started out as this rigid, hyper-masculine character and he joined the program wanting to learn how to be more productive, and maximize his earning potential. Towards the end, we learned that his procrastination and lack of fulfillment were down to pursuing a path he did not align with, nor particularly enjoy. He had spent so much time imitating an identity attached to confidence and wealth, that he became afraid to pursue something he was actually passionate about and good at, which was art. He learned how to set goals mindfully and how aspirations are achieved, and now he’s enrolling in design school alongside his 9 to 5, to pursue a career where he can do what he loves and impact social change.

In my trial group, I had a participant who joined the program to learn about her place in the world. She was uncertain about her relationships and felt anxious about pursuing her independence. In the program, she learned to trust her emotions for guidance and it turned out, she didn’t fit the image of conventional relationships, of which she was afraid of:

What are you afraid of?

I suppose we can measure fear by how much of our lives we spend imitating others. The world accepting us for how well we imitate it, is not the world accepting us. We’re merely helping the powers at be reinforce their egos. If we want to be represented then we must show the world who it is that needs representation. However, chances are we’re all one of a kind and when we accept this we probably won’t care for representation, because instead we’ll be seeking only inspiration.

Remember the key to fulfillment, in any aspect of life, is a strong and affirmed identity.

Be you. Be inspired. Be Inspiring.

Protecting the Pride: Understanding How Advice Works

Lion

Only when the Lion has evaluated and reflected, will the path he must take become highlighted. Although he may be uncertain, the lessons he carries with him will uphold his identity and keep him protected. Only once he has discovered all that lurks beyond this point, can he invite his pride along to join him.

Our emotions guide the direction of our lives, but recently I have found myself at a crossroad feeling completely numb. When I feel my emotions slipping away I write, because it freely allows me to be completely honest, forcing me to confront any inner or outer conflict.

Although meditation, exercise and being surrounded by passionate and positive people helps, I feel more like me and more free when I write. If I can’t rely on emotion to guide me at this present time, then I need to process what I’m thinking and face my thoughts.

A few opportunities have risen in my life and I feel I’m being pulled in several different directions. I feel that I've come to a cross-junction of opportunities and I’m unsure which one will guide me closer to where I want to be in life. Unfortunately, the longer I linger here the less I feel and I fear this numbness will lead me astray, triggering complacency and forcing me to venture down the safest and most predictable route.

Living life having found a reason to actually live is a life worth living. There’s something I’m becoming more and more aware of: it’s that there’s no breaking away from passion. Once we've found that thing that fulfills our every particle, it consumes us and we get lost in development as we become more of the person we’re supposed to be. We become so sure of ourselves that in this self-assurance we forget that our journey always has a new beginning; that life and progress is never limited to just one route.

Before I used to just write The Lion’s Life, now I’m becoming it. I find myself wondering where an advisor goes for advice. I’m feeling stranded at this crossroad because I’m unguided, yet I am unafraid and completely aware. To guide myself I must be completely honest with myself and externalizing this honesty is giving me insight as to why I’m feeling this way.

As a coach, consultant, advisor or whatever title I’m given when guiding others, I feel nothing but passion. I’m assertive, expressive and in my element when engaging others. I don’t do it for any sort of self-assurance either, I continue on because it feels easy, because it feels natural.

In one way or another, every interaction and connection I make with people tends to lead to coaching, I find myself blissfully on duty. It’s the best addiction I've ever experienced and the fulfillment I receive knows no bounds. Every beam of hope or jolt of passion I see people experiencing; seeing their identities unfold and ignite makes my life worth living.

As I’m working on this post, it’s helping me realize that potential remains uncapped if we continue to experience these crossroads in life. The emotional numbness we experience is the result of feeling like we've exhausted our current abilities and life begins to lose its challenge. We've reached this point because it’s time to progress and we’re required to venture into new territory. This threatens to our affirmed identities which is why it is so easy to linger.

It’s these moments we must learn to become honest and seek guidance in order to grow and continue onward towards self-actualization. It’s about improvement and becoming better in every possible way.

I don’t want to be another advisor spitting out the same advice over and over again even though it’s easy to hold onto this peak. There’s coming a point where a lot of those I work with are becoming more affirmed, they’ll need a coach that grows with them, not someone who can only guide them so far.

I sometimes forget, all advisors need advice, all teachers need to be taught and all Gurus still need to experience.

Vancouver Relationship and Life Coach

CliffNotes Guide to Kick Starting a Life of Fulfilment

Rocket launch

Repression, frustration, doubt, uncertainty, anxiety, fear and insecurity are just some moons that orbit around a lifeless planet called Judgment. Today is the day to climb into your rocket and take off to rediscover your world, a world that is simple and exciting.

To help launch your life into fulfillment, here are 5 of my favorite lessons that may help ignite your identity…

  1. Love and cherish life.

Life is incredible; it’s completely wide open and available to be explored. There’s nothing really holding you back from anything you wish to achieve. Negative thought is your only restriction. Start by appreciating life by finding gratification in small and simple things, things that are available to you naturally.

Remember to maintain your desire for freedom, fun and fulfillment and define them in your own way.

  1. Let go.

So many people are fed up with life because they’re living life constricted. You may not even realize that you're holding onto chains of perception, onto an idea of how others perceive you without any quantifiable evidence. It causes you to box yourself into walls of comfort, fearing the freedom on the outside.

I would bet that most things you wish you could do are completely possible; the only thing keeping you from your potential is judgment. Let go and stop torturing yourself with words and ideals created by man. Start living and start feeling, listen to the heartbeat of emotion and let your feelings guide your destiny.

  1. Say "yes" more.

Embrace the spontaneity of life and expand zones of comfort. Get comfortable with confidence; share your deepest desires and discover them. Experience and explore curiosity.

We’re all artists. We have many skills and abilities lying dormant just beneath the surface of our conscious awareness, don’t be afraid to access them, fear will limit your potential.

  1. Work hard.

Life is hard, living is easy. The harder you work to live, the less you live to work.

Consume knowledge, test knowledge and challenge it. If what you learn doesn’t make sense then don’t be afraid to ask questions. Work hard to expand your horizons; don’t idly accept what you’re told as fact.

Also remember, the great things we have in our lives today are thanks to the hard work and boldness of great people before us. Work hard to leave behind a legacy, work hard to reach self-actualization, pay homage to greatness and pay greatness forward.

  1. Embrace others and build a community.

There’s a reason why we have emotion, not only do they guide our lives; they connect us to one another. We’re all beings connected by the very things that make us human, invite people into your life should they graciously want to enter and be there for those you can help.

Life can be great when explored alone but phenomenal when shared with others. It’s never been easier to meet new people and expand your reach; you have access people across the world at your fingertips. Network.

I guess the message in this entire post is: don’t spend your life creating moments and memories of regret just because someone else’s judgment held you back. Success is reserved for the brave and the bold, be fearless to find fulfillment.

Vancouver Relationship and Life Coach

Stop Playing the Blame Game

Blame

Productivity and a proactive, positive mindset are crucial when formulating the outcomes you desire from life. If you’re engaged in a game of blame to make sense of failures or undesired results, then you run the risk of losing key identity traits that keep you on track with your aspirations.

Responsibility is not a selfish notion, it’s a collective one.

Everything I’m going to mention in this post is instilled within each and every one of us. You can either spend your efforts playing the blame game, which does nothing but distract you from reaching any level of fulfillment. Or, you can take responsibility for your life and let your aspirations power your determination to succeed.

You are solely responsible for your own life, despite what you may believe, you are in full control. You just have to ask yourself how badly you want the life that you crave. What sacrifices are you willing to make? What challenges are you willing to face? Even if it means being ridiculed and judged, are you able to take responsibility and stand up for your passions and your beliefs?

Responsibility transcends beyond your immediate needs, it’s ensuring that you pay a lifetime of duty to yourself, to live life optimally and take advantage of every opportunity you seek. It’s trusting your instincts and maintaining a healthy balance between your mind, body and soul.

Responsibility is understanding that every undesired outcome in life can be rehabilitated, so long as you strengthen your will and become incredibly aware. It’s overcoming fears and doubts by regularly consuming knowledge and accepting fact. It’s overcoming hesitation and raising your hand to ask a question.

You’re a being of uncapped potential and if there is something in your way that you wish to challenge, then develop and test your ideas. Turn your senses off from trending desires and create, and innovate by allowing your imagination to turn the gears in your mind.

For those you’re responsible for, it is your obligation to set prime examples of what responsibility looks like. Maintaining pride and upholding traditions of no value is not responsible. You must ensure that you create an environment for yourself and for others to be open and honest, in order to feel safe and secure.

When you feel that you have tried absolutely everything to succeed or feel deflated from a lack of achievement, you’re presented with an exceptional challenge. It’s the challenge of perseverance and yes, you do have what it takes.

It’s easy to blame the world and everyone in it for your problems, or the lack of present achievements/opportunities. Although you may have bigger hurdles to jump over that others perhaps do not, don’t allow this to be an excuse to lose control over your own life. Remain in the driver’s seat and take responsibility for the journey you embarked on.

So go on, trigger your motivation and feel the energy of that dream life you’re going to make a reality; navigate your mind into a state of ultimate responsibility!

Vancouver Relationship and Life Coach

How to Avoid Giving Up: A Formula Tried and Tested

wheel-of-fortune_2011_a_l

Facing a crisis

My life began to get pulled into different directions as my mind kept pacing from one aspect of it to another. I was trying to balance day-to-day motions and emotions, while constructing the next chapter of my life. I found myself losing control because I was motivated by fear.

I had built up a level of success that I feared losing. Rather than deal with these feelings, I sped passed them and missed certain cues telling me to slowdown and evaluate. If I had just taken the time to understand what this new area of success meant and what I should’ve been focusing on, I could’ve re-organized my life and continued on attentively. I would’ve done what I did much sooner…

My priorities were mixed up, my mind couldn’t sit still and it all became overwhelming. It was like my life was stuck in a game of Wheel of Fortune: blogging, completing my book proposal, ‘Feeding the Lion’ videos, consulting, running a home, finances, family, friends, me time? Exercise, meditation, reading, dating, query letters, researching agents/publishers, writing, more errands to run and so on. I was never certain where the wheel would stop, I needed an indication of what I should be working on in order to keep progressing successfully. I just felt compelled to always "spin the wheel" because I was afraid of losing momentum. I just kept on going and did a bit of everything; unfocused and unsure, my aspirations were beginning to get blurry.

I became hesitant of what goals I had to accomplish and what aspects of my life I was supposed to be focusing on. I remember trying to write a blog post but kept trailing off topic because I wasn’t in the right frame of mind. I felt like an actor playing many roles at once; I became disordered and almost went on stage wearing the wrong costume.

Life was unclear because I was motivated by the fear of losing success, rather than the reasons for pursuing it. I firmly believe that fear is a response to the lack of control, and that’s exactly how I felt. That loss of control caused me to crash. It caused a lot of anxiety as one deadline loomed after another, and if I’m being completely honest, the thought of giving all this up crossed my mind.


Taking my own advice

When you find yourself stuck in a theme of uncertainty and insecurity, you find yourself in an identity crisis. You’re lost between two worlds, between you recurrent reality and the life of your aspirations. Comfort ZoneYou end up swaying between motivation and procrastination. You’re either sitting around procrastinating, waiting for motivation to come along, or your motivated to work just so you can feel better about procrastinating. Your mind faces an aggressive wrecking ball of doubt, as it breaks down the confident spirit you were once plugged into.

…I started to read through my own blog posts and it was like I was talking to myself. Evidently I was reading my own journal. My aspirations were communicating to me right there on the screen, but my conscious thoughts were not relating. For the very first time I started to question my own advice to the point of disbelief.

It was a very threatening thought process but it was that exact eye opener I needed. I’ve been blogging for some time now and these lessons that I had already learned and shared, lessons that led me to my current accomplishments in life, needed to be retested. The answer was right there in front of my own eyes.

I needed to prove myself, to myself. There was no way I could continue guiding others if I was struggling to guide myself. It was time to take my own advice and rebuild my spirit back to the level I had maintained for so long.

I turned to my aspirations and reminded myself of where I was aiming to be in the next few years. Almost instantly, I noticed how taking the time out to evaluate and reflect allowed me to focus on where I was going wrong.

I was entering a new chapter in my life and I had forgotten what it took to get me here. I needed to remind myself of my identity. I needed to reaffirm my aspirations and listen to that little voice inside my head. I needed to re-align my responsibilities with my dream. The list kept on building as I read through my blog, I realized how many cues I missed out on.

With the intention to uphold the lessons I had shared through this blog, I constructed a plan that resonated with this new chapter I started. As I plan to move to Los Angeles, CA in the next four years, everything I was trying to complete contributed towards this next major goal in my life.

So I flew out to L.A. and connected to my goal emotionally to face what I had almost turned away from.

Alone

I went alone to escape any zones of comfort I had nestled into. I rebooted my identity as I was forced to speak to people about myself and my aspirations. I connected to my environment and completed the goals I had set myself. I networked, I motivated people, and I helped a couple out in their relationship. Then others started to approach me for guidance and motivation. I knew there and then that I was on the right path, because I felt fulfilled doing it, I naturally felt like myself as I was in my element.

I worked and I had fun too, I even did things I felt I never had time for. Not only had I rebuilt my spirit, I raised it. I returned home having accomplished several goals that I had struggled to focus on and complete. More importantly, I returned home having strengthened my identity, with a rediscovered sense of self-assurance.


The Formula

Identity and DreamRemember success is a series of different levels, when you reach one level it doesn’t grant you access to the next. You need to re-establish yourself and familiarize yourself with the new platform from which you’re working from. Once you become aware, you will discover what you need to do to make it to that higher tier and avoid giving up. You declutter your mind and refocus your energy.

The best thing is that the formula for this is quite simple because your identity and your aspirations are forever interconnected, they can help each other out.

If you ever find yourself at a loss of identity, remind yourself of your aspirations and allow yourself to psychically connect with a small piece of it. Whether like me you book a short trip to somewhere you aspire to be, or something totally random. Whatever you decide to do, make sure it’s doable and that it connects directly to your aspirations.

On the other hand, if it’s your aspirations you’re struggling to remember, do something that makes you feel like yourself and connect with your identity. There’s nothing better to remind yourself of what you want from life, than to immerse yourself within your own identity.

Good luck on your ventures and never let fear lead you astray.

Vancouver Relationship and Life Coach

Escape your Comfort Zone

Comfort Zone

Over the last few (many) years I’ve gone from an uncomfortable person with low self-esteem to a confident being with self-belief. This had a lot to do with escaping my comfort zone and pushing the boundaries of my identity.

For the longest time I thought that “the comfort zone” was a safe place. A place where I can be myself and find peace within the life I’m living. The more I accepted this notion, the more I felt trapped by it and I realized that it’s a place that keeps us all from opportunities waiting to be captured.

You nestle into feelings of safety and familiarity so much, that you become afraid to step outside of it to explore the possibilities of your potential. It sort of reeks of agoraphobia and you enclose yourselves within your own prison.

I love it when people experience liberation, as they tell me about overcoming challenges and how they broke down the walls of comfort to achieve something they considered awkward and agonizing. They feel the excitement and thrill of a new experience that came from overcoming a fear of doubt - they develop a power of self-belief. Many think it’s a transformation of identity when really it’s your identity just breaking free.

The problem is perception, you often look at your comfort zone as a place you can return to. “I stepped out of my comfort Zone” something you’ve all said at some point I’m sure, but what if today you redefine it? As a place to break free from or rather a zone that you can expand until you no longer see limitation.

To build confidence or to even experience it, as is the case for a lot of people, you need to first learn to be comfortable with being uncomfortable. Until this routine becomes normal and you learn to share your aspirations and “putting myself out there” is just a way of life, until you demand attention from the world, rather than shy away from it.

I believe it’s more foolish to not have tried than to fear looking foolish, although at times it feels embarrassing or silly but who cares? Seriously, who really cares? “Emancipate yourself from mental slavery, none but our self can free our minds” Bob Marley had a point.

You are your own betrayer, you’ll relive memories of ridicule and then criticize yourself harshly based on the perception of others to silence the sound of possibility and live with frustrating echoes of “what if.”

There’s never any satisfaction of not knowing, it closes your mind and keeps you from reaching your full potential.  You may believe that straying away from what you’re used to is a dangerous mission, but one thing I’ve learned is vulnerability feeds confidence.

So long as you’re exposed there’s nothing to hide from, either people will pay attention and support you or forget about you in time. The moment they forget is the moment you evaluate and become aware of your complacency and reignite your brand and escape from comfort.

If stepping away from your comfort zone is difficult, remind yourself that the world will move on with or without you. You have the choice right now, to decide if what you want is worth putting yourself out there for or choose to become numb to your aspirations and stop yourself from becoming the best that you can be.

Rather than turn your back on fear, turn around and face it. Children are taught to stand up to bullies - a lesson that somehow gets lost in translation, perhaps with age, because the “real world” is the biggest bully I know. Eleanor Roosevelt had a point too “do one thing every day that scares you” and with each day you’ll build up your identity to withstand anything.

Remember the comfort zone is only just a tiny part of your identity you’re ok with. The moment you put yourself out there, you’re not giving the first f*** about what the world thinks, it’s with that attitude you learn about yourself and become more at peace with all parts of who you are.

You’re an individual [insert your name here], be one.

Vancouver Relationship and Life Coach

 

Deterring from “Default Success” to Join the “Happy Elite”

Happy Elite

Growing from strength to strength has a lot to do with the ability to see past what you believe is your limit.

I was sitting in seat 24E on a flight from Spain to England, we had finally ascended above the clouds and the plane had settled as it continued to cruise through to its destination. I thought to myself “how many people set their limits to a certain point, that they go through life not experiencing the calm and stillness that comes with being self-actualized.

I find that many people never get a chance to experience their own potential because they set their limits based on the actions and achievements of other people in similar situations. Furthermore, so many people struggle to think beyond the clouds because they allow their success to be default. Success that is expected by following a standard pattern of living – default success.

The idea of default success halts their imagination and constricts their ability to be the best that they can be.

Rather than working to their own potential, they work towards the potential of other elements such as their education, their environment and perhaps their money and upbringing. I find that the majority of people aim for ‘default success’ because it is safe and it is easy, yet they fail to realize the loss of control: finding it difficult to pursue something they really want because of the fear of failure.

Problem is, safe and easy gets safer and easier and there’s nothing wrong with that,  until there is, when their entire belief system is turned upside down. The moment they've realized that they have missed out on huge opportunities, those moments they reflect on life wishing they had spent more time investing in their passions. Those moments they've realized that they have no idea of who they are. Moments like these affect so many people negatively because life was never truly lived and turning back or starting over feels like an even bigger risk than continuing on an unfulfilled  path.

This happened to millions around the globe during the economic crisis and it won’t take you long to find an example of the many people that chose the securer option, only to lose the very security they believed in.

The annoying thing with people stuck on the belief of default success, is that they repeat the behavior when things hadn't gone to plan, for example: returning to school to obtain a skill, to secure another position they don't really want.

The chase for default success restricts you from joining what I call the ‘happy elite’.

The ‘happy elite’ are people who have the guts to really dream and put that dream into action, even if the investment to begin with is minimal. Those that aren't intimidated by another person’s possessions or monetary wealth. Those only concerned with living life confidently the way that they want to. Investing time in the things that make them happy and surrounded by positive attitudes. Working and determined to make their dreams a reality and free from the fear of failure. Those in the happy elite would only return to school to obtain skills to pursue a passion, with an eagerness to learn and participate.

Life is no longer a rat race, and it definitely isn't about “catching up” to peers nor where I should be on society’s timeline. I’m in full control and I’m piloting this plane straight to the destination I have in mind. The day I decided to really invest my life into what I really wanted from it, also including the process it took to understand and discover what that really was, was the day I became a part of this extraordinary minority.

Vancouver Relationship and Life Coach

You've Got The Power! Pay Attention To What You're Telling Yourself.

Reflection  

Everyday you'll be reminded of where you are in life. Sometimes you might miss the cues, but at some point in your day you'll definitely feel the energy of your very existence and that little voice in your head will begin to raise questions.

Your presence will even stare you blank in the face during a phase of procrastination and during moments of depression too.

Moments of sentiment, moments of joy, moments of neglect and stress, there are so many opportunities in your day to really listen to what your aspiration is trying to ask you.

Whether your present moment in life is where you intend to be or not, you should pay attention to it.

The energy you feel and the questions you raise can be your answer to the very things you desire from life: what is it you want more of? What are the things you want to erase? What parts of life are missing on that canvas you envisioned yourself painted on?

How much of this energy do you use to fuel your drive to win and/or keep on winning? Or How much of this energy is ignored and that little voice in your head silenced, in fear of failure?

Use these short awakening moments to give you the push you've been waiting for. It was by paying attention to these moments I rediscovered my ambition. It gave me the spirit to leave a 'safe' life I had no desire for, into a life filled with passion and fulfillment. Dare I say it, I'm actually close to living the dream.

I sit here now working on the very life I want to be living, I sit here now, with the confidence to say what exactly it is I want from life and I sit here richer in more ways than anyone could ever imagine.

My dreams and aspirations may not fit yours and what makes me feel rich won't be the answers you're looking for. Determine your own success today, decide what it is you really want and leave behind anything you feel unnecessary.

Every individual has the power to go  above and beyond their borders of comfort and engage in strength of mind. Your will is already leaving clues for you to pick up, your emotion is already giving you the answers you seek and your reflection is pointing you in the right direction...don't let fear suppress your identity and allow you to lose sight of where you want to be in life.

Vancouver Relationship and Life Coach

5 Questions I Asked Someone That Let Religion Hold Them Back...I'd write the 5th question on the front cover of all religious texts.

You'll be judged regardless of which path you choose, the best way to ease the pressure is to take a page from your beliefs and take a page from your dreams and allow them to guide one another. Religion is a big part of society and I know some of my followers, as well as some very close friends of mine that cannot seem to shake off certain religious teachings that hold them back from what they truly want from life.

My motivation for this topic came from an email I received today, I was presented with the following question:

"...I love your blog, however how am I supposed to live my life the way I want to, if my religion beliefs suggest that everything I do is wrong?" - Anonymous

I spent so much time constructing my response to this email, I felt I'd share it publicly because I think it may help others that also struggle with this issue. I know it's not my typical post but the essence is definitely there.

Dear Anonymous,

Thank you for your email and your support. Religion is such a tough topic and having been brought up within a culture centered around religion, I can understand it's burden. I have always refrained from writing about religion and its impact on my life, but your email inspired me to go for it.

I believe all anyone should truly learn from religion is how to be a good person, both to yourself and to others. I've read texts by different religions and despite the obvious differences the common theme is still centered around how to be good. I think that's how I've always saw religion, I'll live my life exactly how I choose, but I'll always try to be good.

People are very quick to dismiss religion and on the other hand people are very quick to disagree with fact. However there are things that religion has probably taught you that you can't learn in a classroom and things you learn in a classroom that dismiss things within your religion. For instance; I don't think I have ever had a lesson in my school that taught me about equality like my religious teachings as a child definitely did.

I'm not devoted and there are a lot of religious teachings that I disagree with, but I can't deny the positive impacts it has made on society either. I used to believe for the longest time that religion had nothing to offer as Science has advanced our understanding about the world and because religious extremists have completely blurred perception. Yet I look at Mother Theresa and the Dalai Lama  for example and other amazing people, that have done wonderful things because of their devotion. I feel the issues you face with religion lie within the final question I'll ask you.

Here's 5 questions you should think about that may help your perspective.

1.       Who or what are you living your life for?

Help yourself before helping others is a lesson I've been taught numerous times. It sounds selfish but it's far from it. If I gave advice to help other people before figuring out my own goals first, it would put me in a compromising position. How would I be able to inspire others to aim for their dreams if I wasn't aiming for mine?

Take a look at major philanthropists, the majority of them worked on their own lives and dreams, putting their own needs first before having any positive impact on anyone else's. Until you're living a satisfied and fulfilled life, you're not going to be much help to any cause.

People will judge you regardless of which path you choose, the best way to ease the pressure is to take a page from your beliefs and take a page from your dreams and allow them to guide one another.

2.       "God-fearing" Was it God's intention to have people fear him/her?

No one should live life with fear, it's unfair.

I put this question to a Catholic friend of mine after watching a documentary called 'Baby Bible Bashers' the debate got a little heated but it's a valid question. I'm pretty sure if there is a God out there his/her intention is not to have you fear him/her. It's incredibly stupid for someone to embrace somebody they fear, they'll forever struggle with controlling their own lives. (I came across this thought when reading about a woman who was getting battered by her husband - she used the term fear)

I feel God is how people characterize hope. Look to your hopes and see how you feel compared turning to your fears and uncertainties. Your hopes will carry you forward your fears will hold you back.

3.       Does your religion inspire you to do something or encourage you to do something?

Being inspired to act comes from the heart, being encouraged to act comes from the mind. Dwell on that for a moment and evaluate your teachings.

4.       If there is an afterlife, can you honestly tell others waiting for you on the other side that you lived a fulfilled life?

What impact did you have on the world? We're you happy? We're you free? Did you make use of free will and learn lessons from your mistakes?

I don't believe in an afterlife but I always think of the stories and teachings I would pass onto my future kids one day and most of them would come from my own experiences. I won't deny that I've learned a lot from my religion but it doesn't control my life, it assists it.

 5.       How much of your religion is blurred by outdated cultural practices?

This question I can relate to 100%. For example: as a man, my culture suggests women are inferior but it was religion that taught me men and women are equal. I'm Sikh and when I date a girl that doesn't belong to my caste, religion or even race it's my culture that tends to have a problem with it, never my religion.

You know that saying "only God can judge me" and remember what I said earlier on how I reckon God represents your hope. Put the two together and you'll realize who really is in charge of your life. It's you all the way!

 

Vancouver Relationship and Life Coach

Why Insecurities Develop When Used To Mask Doubts in Relationships

Image When a discussion topic turns to relationships, the term insecurities get thrown into conversations all the time. Many people I've spoken to tend to say that their insecurities are affecting their relationships. However during the course of discussion, the case is that people will use the term as an excuse to simply mask and avoid doubts and concerns - ultimately blaming themselves for an entire problem that they may never have caused. For example, if someone is concerned that they are not getting the attention they deserve from their partner, compared to at the beginning of the relationship; many people justify that as an outcome of one’s insecurities getting in the way, rather than investigating where the doubt stems from first. Unfortunately when left unresolved, these doubts begin to develop into actual insecurities that carry over into other relationships.

First of all, here’s what I know about feeling insecure: People rarely reveal their insecurities, if someone is truly insecure about something; they do everything to avoid highlighting it. Feelings of insecurity are internal, insecurities will affect one’s own behavior, personality and self-confidence and it’s a huge self-esteem knocker. Feeling insecure is psychological and often stems from trauma and not from unfortunate situations.

In relationships when things begin to go south we always try to find a way to reason them. We want to understand why a certain situation is occurring. However, what I have found from many people is that they use their insecurities as a reason, almost like a defense mechanism, to avoid understanding the actual root of their genuine feelings. Also, people don’t like to feel their making the same mistake twice, so when they feel that something iffy is recurring, they confuse their emotions and reason with insecurity. It’s easier to admit fault with our insecurities as they are difficult to overcome, than to face up and deal with a relationship that could be on the rocks or even failing. It’s taking the easy way out.

To define those points which trigger feelings of insecurity is to look at the doubts you have, which in most cases means to track changes in behavior, either of your own or your partners. If you’re still the same person in the relationship as you were when you began it, then most likely it’s not insecurities that are making you feel uneasy, listen to your instinct instead. If you had insecurities in your past which you felt were resolved but now feel have been triggered, then you need to define the moment things changed and resolve it, before you begin blaming yourself. If you feel you've never had insecurities in the beginning and now they've developed, then you need to define the moment they began; In many circumstances you will notice that it’s caused from a change of behavior in the other person within the relationship. When we can pinpoint changes, we can then begin to unveil the true reason.

Consider doubts your warning signs, your mind and body will try to tell you if you’re beginning to feel symptoms of insecurity. If you notice yourself becoming more introverted, avoiding discussion and shunning away from the topic of relationships – these are signs of feeling insecure in your relationship, which then can be identified as causing the problems. If you’re openly talking about your relationship and trying to engage in discussion to resolve issues - these are your doubts. Feeling truly insecure in a relationship is very damaging, you open yourself to be controlled, manipulated and your identity can slowly get consumed. Justifying doubts as insecurities can lead feeling like every relationship you enter will ultimately fail because of your “insecurities” and you end up jumping over hurdles and compromises that can cause emotional harm.

Here’s some advice, if your partner isn't helping you feel more secure and comfortable, then clearly the relationship lacks a lot of the basics that make being in a relationship worthwhile. People forget the purpose of having another person in our lives - we need to feel empowered and encouraged by the people we keep close to us, to be surrounded with positivity and comfort and to offer this in return. Either way, you need to feel secure.

Vancouver Relationship and Life Coach

Understanding Fear and the Fear in Decision Making

Decision We’re always faced with making big decisions; decisions that shape our lives and decisions we make that affect others around us. In such situations we often seek out advice, but often enough our advisers turn into influencers. Just like consultants, we trust that their steering us down the right path because we lack knowledge or skill. So we can often get misguided by placing our trust in others or dismiss good advice completely because of past experiences...

...and on this other hand if we’re not seeking advice, we’re battling against our own experiences and instincts, we rely on what we already know to help aid our decisions. Good or bad, our past has a big influence over our future, previous failures and successes determine the size of risk we're willing to take. We play by odds and a battle between heart and mind commences.

All my life I’ve gone with my instinct and followed my passions - it's what I trust the most, but now and again my instincts get overwhelmed and my passions are taken aback when faced with big, often life altering decisions. I lose trust in my own instinct, or not notice what it's telling me because of all the uncertainty.

Now normally I would battle on and power through a swaying decision until I uncover the answer, but I've learned over and over that there is no time to sit and wait - by doing so major opportunities maybe missed and I’m to be left with regret.

Making quick decisions is a skill you develop when you trust yourself. If you doubt yourself you begin to lose that trust, you lose that trust then you'll live in fear; fear of failure.

To help me out I did what I rarely do, I took a break from my existence. In order to process my thoughts and figure out what I wanted, I had to escape everyone and everything for a moment so that I can re-enter my life definitive. Up until this point I was hit with so many persuasions (both internal and external), I didn't know whether to fight or flight or where to draw arguments from; it was intimidating.

So, I turned off my cell phone, packed a bottle of water and literally went on a hike. I didn't even pack my i-pod, music motivates my mood and I didn't want to be influenced by anything. I journeyed to a familiar spot so that I wouldn’t get distracted by a new environment and I hiked towards a solitary place overlooking the city. From there I just sat with my bottle of water and only had my mind to keep me company, something that is often difficult to do in today’s society, but I processed the hell out of my thoughts.

It was refreshing but it was difficult. For the first 20 minutes or so I kept thinking about all the time I was wasting, the time that could be better spent investing in more productive projects. Focusing on the stuff I needed to get done, thinking I should have brought my laptop along and missing my I-pod. It was like my mind was in rush hour and my thoughts were stuck in traffic; I wasn't getting anywhere but I was very eager to move on from them.

I continued to sit there and my mind eventually rested, I began thinking of the most random things, bizarre memories would just make their way forward and somehow I was taken back to the very first time I visited New York City; the excitement and the motivation that I felt back then. I remembered how ridiculously naive I was and how little I knew about the world and about life in general and yet, remember feeling like I could rule the world – I wasn't scared because I had no other choice but to take control and let my identity lead the way.

It was then I realized that my indecisiveness came from fear and my theory is: fear is a reaction to the lack of control. I had lost complete control over a decision, which is why I feared making it. Fear also starts a war between the physiological and the psychological which is why you’re only really presented with the fight or flight option and i choose believe that’s bulls***, therefore I present to you my loop hole.

When you’re struck with fear and a difficult decision, take the time to just escape for a moment, not completely but just for a moment, re-align yourself with your goals to regain control, to turn the situation around to your advantage and face your decision with your life insight.

Like me it may take some reminding of what you want or gained from life, others it may mean educating yourself more for a better understanding. Whichever way you can regain control, allow yourself to break away into thought to figure a way out of doubt. It allowed me to fully understand the decision I needed to make, it was as if I could see the light bulb flashing above my head and everything suddenly became crystal clear - I came to my own conclusion to overcome the conflict and made my decision. I restored trust back into my instincts.

Vancouver Relationship and Life Coach