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How to Curb Anxiety and Paranoia

Anxiety is a mental health issue which affects over 40 million American Adults, 1 in 4 Canadians, 4.1 per thousand in Indians, 6 million in the UK, and approximately 100 million people in China. That’s already 200+ million people worldwide! I became curious about the global statistics as I seem to be dealing with more clients here in Vancouver and The Lower Mainland, who are battling this mental disorder on a regular basis.

Many of my clients visit my office looking for an alternative way to manage their anxiety and reduce paranoid thoughts. Imagine feeling like, believing even, that the whole world is already against you, and then being able to trust someone who hands you pills to numb these feelings. Though anti-depressants work for some they don’t work for all and let’s be honest, they don’t cure the disorder, they just suppress it.

Until I entered Life Coaching, I hadn’t realized how many different types of people this disorder affects. From business professionals and entrepreneurs, through to students and the everyday family member, it would appear that any of us can fall victim to severe panic and fear.

I’m a “look at the bigger picture” sort of guy, in fact, that’s how I help my clients step out from under their insecurities and march on forward toward the lives they’ve always dreamed of. So, when I started getting clients seeking support for their paranoia and anxiety, after having tried many other traditional routes, such as psychiatry for instance, I had to understand how mental illnesses fit into the picture.

One of the most remarkable things I’ve learned about people, is that we’re all living in different versions of a mutually shared reality. We’re all experiencing life through our own senses; we literally only see the world through our own eyes. Therefore, we can only interpret the world through our own senses too, for example, what one person sees as an opportunity, another can view as a threat. And with access to so much information and knowledge at the very end of our finger tips, we’re discovering how differently each and every single one of us interpret the world. So no longer are we alone in the way we think, it’s not so easy anymore to just dismiss our troubled thoughts.

Is it any wonder we’re becoming a more paranoid and anxious people? I mean, with so much contradicting information thrown at us on a daily basis, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to trust anything completely. Only just the other day I had back-to-back sessions with clients who were feeling anxious over the decision to go to college vs. independent online study. Back when I was growing up, obtaining a higher education from a recognized institution just made sense, and if you had the grades and could afford it, you seized the opportunity. Whereas today, it’s definitely not the only way to secure your future, in fact, in many cases it’s becoming detrimental because of the amount of debt one acquires.

I even remember back when Trump was elected president of the United States, I literally had clients concerned about this representing the beginning of the end of the world. Looking at what’s presented in the news today, it seems I can’t easily convince individuals to dismiss these feelings as paranoia. For all the information that is out there, there’s enough to justify and fuel our paranoid thoughts. From “Fake News” to Political propaganda, who and what can we have faith in today?

Perhaps this is what conscious evolution looks like? Maybe we’re in the midst of a shifting paradigm? Or maybe we’re just overworked and exhausted? Whichever way we look at this, we must learn to deal with our troubled mental processes more effectively. Otherwise, they’ll consume us to a point where we’ll start exploring more harmful ways to shut them out, because we are unable cope.

When you come across a paranoid thought, I wouldn’t be so quick to try and dismiss the paranoia. I think if your mind has entered into this perception of reality, then perhaps it’s drawing on information that you’ve consumed but have not yet processed. Almost likened to the evolutionary theory of dreaming.

I suffered from anxiety and paranoid thoughts when I was younger, and the only vice that worked for me was meditation. However, this is not what I’m suggesting to you (though I do recommend you try it), it’s how learned to interpret these thoughts through meditation, which enabled me to detach from them and keep them from infecting my conscious experience.

Each of us are experiencing the world differently, no two beings (not yet anyway) can occupy the same conscious or physical space at the same time. Think about when you go out for dinner with a friend, you sit at a table across from each other, or side by side. Though you’re having a mutually shared experience, how it is experienced physically is already quite different. Through your eyes you see your friend, but your friend through their eye is seeing you. So already our individual experience of the world is very different from each other.

Now think about all those individual experiences across a lifetime, what each of you have seen, heard, tasted, touched, and smelled, it’s all going to have an impact on the way you think and operate. So not only is your physical experience of the world going to be different, your conscious experience of the world is going to be very different from anyone else’s too.

Therefore, if you think about it, there are an infinite number of ways to experience the world, and an infinite number of way to interpret the experience. It’s so easy for an innocent dinner between two friends, to turn into a nightmarish experience for either one of them. It’s common to feel threatened by something that was said, or something that was seen for instance, simply because of how something was interpreted. No one believes that they're the bad guy and I think this is why, because our experiences justify our view of world.

When you look at paranoia and anxiety objectively, and a lot of other mental illnesses for that matter, you realize that these troubling feelings can only grow, based on how much you invest into a perceived thought. The validity of which, is based on a collection of individual experiences you’ve already had. So, one way to break the grip of paranoia and anxiety, I’ve discovered, is to develop objectivity over them.

How do you develop objectivity?

1.     Acknowledge and Accept

The first step is to acknowledge that these thoughts and feelings a quite real, after all, you feel them as if they are. Whether you believe the world is laughing at you, or you feel like the world is rigged against you, you have to accept and acknowledge that you feel this way. Don’t bury it, don’t dismiss it, acknowledge and accept that this is how you feel. This will then ease the pressure of trying to protect yourself from the thought and give you the energy to actually investigate its validity, and help you decide what to do next with more clarity.

However severe it may be, accept how you feel so that it doesn’t go unacknowledged. The reality that your mind has constructed is very much present and to deny it, only causes you to distrust your own mind and weaken your self-belief.

2.     Investigate and Learn

Remember, you’re reacting to a perceived reality which hasn’t manifested around you, it’s just present in your own mind, for now. Right now, in this moment, are you literally being laughed at? Are you literally being stopped from seizing an opportunity? If so, then you’re not being anxious or paranoid, it’s actually happening. If not, then investigate the world that your mind has created. Raise questions within until you get an answer, and with each answer, you raise another question until you develop a pathway back to conscious clarity.

The questions are a series of, who, what, when, where, why and how? Most of the time, we only ask one or two questions in this series, and then give up when we cannot arrive at any conclusion. To know the answer, you have to raise the right question. If you want to know the source of your fears, then you need to dive in and investigate the fear. Like a good reporter, you keep digging until you unveil the truth, also like a good reporter, you detach yourself from the story you’re investigating.

The answer may not come from the question, “Why am I being paranoid?”, nor may it come from “How have I become paranoid?” but it may just arrive from, “Where have I developed this paranoia?” or maybe even, “Who is making me paranoid?” – When you feel you’ve stumbled on a fragment of truth, you’ll have connected something you feel to something you’ve actually experienced, then start the series of questions again with this new information. However, this time, you’re learning how you arrived at the experience and as a result, you’re learning about the way you navigate through your life; you’re essentially developing your self-awareness.

As you explore your conscious experiences, you become aware of your conscious experience, thus, you arrive at conscious clarity.

3.     Take Action and Regain Control.

When you feel like your mind is once again clear, and you have successfully eased your troubling thoughts, you must make a decision. A decision supporting a truth you have uncovered about yourself/your life, so that you do not continue to fuel an insecure fate, or, continue a life of ignorance. If you have discovered that it’s something you’ve done, or taken perhaps, then you stop it. If you realize there’s a person in your life who is causing you to feel this way, then you move your life away from this person. If you realize that the sum of all your fears comes down to a behavioural pattern, take it as an indication to change behaviour. If you’re still unsure as to why you feel this way, then take it as an indication to seek support and maybe someone else can help you develop objectivity.

If all else fails…

…enact what I call “The Fire Drill Theory” which is something I derived from spiritual teaching. Basically, the higher-self; your imagination; the subconscious mind; or whatever other function of consciousness is at play, is working/are working together to create a ‘sub-reality’ of sorts. A reality of which you need to prepare for in case this sub-reality becomes your actual reality. Therefore, similarly to playing a virtual reality video game, you’ll need to enter your mind and successfully navigate yourself through this nightmare world, that your mind has created. For example, if you feel as though the world is laughing at you, then how are you going to do to deal with it, in a way which reduces most harm? Similarly, to the reason we have fire drills, how are you going to handle the situation and make it out alive? Preparation is confidence, so take your anxiety and paranoia as an opportunity to prepare, as a way for your mind to increase your conscious tolerance. Sort of like a contingency plan, if you will. Should ever this nightmare world become a reality, at least mentally, you’ll be ready to handle it.

Are you ready to reach your true potential?

How I keep my Ego from controlling my life.

Feeling like I'm on top of the world...

Feeling like I'm on top of the world...

Vancouver is a wonderful place to call home, and I've found a lot of success here. However, I can sometimes lose sight of who I really am, when the "success" is all that my life becomes. I'm a great Life Coach, I can say that confidently, but it's not all who I am...

Click here to learn about how I keep my Ego from taking over my life, and what you should start doing to navigate your life into a happier, more fulfilling direction.

How to Measure Happiness

post by, VanCityLifeCoach.com

happy

Happiness isn’t exactly the easiest emotion to grasp; I used to believe that people were either happy or not, I used to think that happiness was as clear as night and day. However, I’m learning that happiness is a development just like every other emotion that we experience, we have to contribute to our own happiness and it lies within the choices we make.

I’ve found those that contribute more to their own well-being and work on developing a purpose, tend to be happier than those who work to accumulate things to define their value. When we start to free ourselves from conformity, we begin working with our own emotions rather than against them and as a result, we live life more truthfully and with less compromises.

When I gave up trying to conform and began following my own desires, I also realised that it was easier to communicate and understand others. I also began connecting with like-minded people who actually appreciated my identity and my own pursuits, and vice-versa. I had inadvertently created a positive environment for myself that stimulated the courage and confidence to pursue a life worth living.

When I think about the happiest moments in my life, I’m reminded of liberation and feelings of complete detachment, I feel like I can take on the world and there’s not much that can keep me from blissfully embracing the present moment. Contemplating these memories and feeling untethered to my everyday responsibilities, I began exploring ways to measure happiness in a world where responsibilities command our lives, impact our emotions and often cause us to overlook our own well-being.

Psychology and Spirituality teach us the importance of maintaining balance... Even the cosmos need to maintain a certain balance to ensure we continue to exist on this planet. Most of the problems we face in our lives can be a rooted back to some sort of imbalance: when we’re overworked, overindulged, lacking empathy, emotionally numb/sensitive, over thinking and even struggling to sleep, these problems and many others stem from an imbalance within our own psyches.

Measuring happiness is to assess our lives in terms of imbalance, to assess how much of our lives are being spent satisfying our responsibilities (super-ego) versus, how much of our lives are spent indulging our inner desires (id). Too much of one or the other will lead to and fuel misery, therefore sustaining happiness is to ensure both parts of our psyches are equally valued (ego), if not, then we must work to restore balance in order to feel happy.

Delving into this Freudian theory has made me realize why so many of us struggle with the lives we’re living, and why many often feel overworked and underappreciated. In a society where we schedule our lives around work and responsibilities, I started measuring happiness by asking my clients the following question?

“If you could make a decision for yourself, consequence free, what decision would you make?”

If answered honestly, I found this question allows us to gain insight into our own imbalances. It allows us to essentially measure and restore happiness by understanding how much of our inner desires are being fulfilled, or rather how much we restrict this significant part of who we are. It also helps us understand the difference between setting goals and mindful goal setting. If our inner desires aren’t expressed nor fulfilled, the less happier we’re likely to be.

For example, if you have a deep desire to travel someday, but your current responsibilities restrict this desire, then you’ll probably find that you’re not that happy with your current life, because your life lacks direction and purpose and a significant part of who you are is being suppressed. However, if you allow this desire to filter into your life, you’ll begin to navigate your life to fulfill this desire. Your responsibilities will have purpose as you'll set your goals accordingly. Furthermore, you’ll also find that you’ll gravitate towards connections that echo these desires, from obtaining the appropriate skills to meeting like-minded people. You’ll ultimately live a lot happier knowing that your life isn’t being lived in vain, and that you’re staying true to your identity and what you want from life.

Just imagine living life with a little angel (super-ego) and devil (id) on your shoulders, if you predominantly listen to the angel you’ll run the risk of losing sight-of-self. If you let the little devil have rule over your life, then you run the risk of losing touch with the life you’re trying to build.

Measuring happiness is understanding which one of these characters you’ve allowed to govern the majority of your decision-making. Let them both share equal amounts of control and you’ll live a much more balanced life, and a much happier one.

Vancouver Relationship and Life Coach

The Key to Maintaining Health and Happiness

Post by, VanCityLifeCoach.com

Awareness

Sometimes we find ourselves in a state of lasting bliss when all aspects of our lives, have reached a level of fulfillment we’re satisfied with. Although we may not be exactly where we want to be in life, health and happiness will seem to flow easily and we’ll begin feeling assertive and aligned with our aspirations.

When we arrive at these blissful moments in life, we’re prone to complacency and avoidance because moving forward may involve risk, which could disrupt this new equilibrium. Therefore it’s crucial to develop a healthy awareness of self, others and the world around us, in order to continue our pursuits to that dream life we’ve always envisioned.

Awareness is an extension of mindfulness and it teaches us to pay attention to how we impact our own lives. Whether or not we’ve reached a stage of fulfillment, our choices have dictated this destiny that’s currently being played out. Awareness helps us upkeep involvement and control over life; paying attention could be the difference in feeling like life is falling apart, and feeling like life's falling into place.

Awareness begins with honesty. The first step is to focus on emotion, because it’s the emotions we feel that highlight the truth. When we hurt ourselves physically, we’re often very quick to notice the imbalance and work to resolve the pain as effectively as possible. However, how many of us can honestly say we do the same with our own state of mind.

As a relationship and life coach, I come across many broken souls living life irritated and insecure as a result of avoidance and complacency. On the other hand, I have clients that feel great within themselves but struggle to pursue new opportunities, in fear of losing something deemed safe and secure. The next stage of awareness, after uncovering present emotion, is to look back on the journey up until this point in time.

Many of us may not realize it, but our pasts hold many of the answers we seek to find about ourselves and our lives. How did I end up here? Why do I put up with this? How can I move forward? Why am I…? However poignant the question, the answer could be lurking within a previous moment in time. Investigating the past will help develop an awareness of motivation, uncover the triggers to motivation and we’ll learn how to avoid or promote certain behaviours.

If you’re looking to maintain health and happiness in your life, or if you’re looking to secure it, assess your current level of awareness and you may just realise where your life is headed. Today choose to take control, choose to eliminate fear and choose to overcome the insecurity you live with; Pay attention to how you contribute to your own misery and bliss, and you’ll become aware that you own your life.

Vancouver Relationship and Life Coach

Live Your Dream: If You Have Time To Think, You Have Time To Act.

Clapper If I had the power, I would remove the need to require sleep, because just before bed my mind is always racing from all the ideas that I want to plan and put into action. I want to start researching and gathering information to make all my ideas a reality. If it weren’t for knowing that I have to sleep, I’d probably be up every single night taking action, making plans and igniting powerful energy towards a promising outcome. Nevertheless, I keep a pen and paper handy or my trusty Smartphone to jot down every idea that comes to mind, just so that my thoughts won’t run into a web of randomness and unorganized nonsense and so that I can get some much-needed shut-eye and look into my notes as soon as possible.

I overheard a conversation the other day, it was a couple of guys talking about a small business idea they had. It was just a simple idea that if researched enough, it could have proved successful for them. Here’s the thing, although spending all this time during their coffee break discussing an idea, they never spent one moment to act upon it. In that very short space of time they could have researched so much about their idea and they could have answered many of the questions they had. They could have looked into the feasibility of making their dream a reality; all it would have taken was a couple of Google searches to get the ball rolling. Unfortunately, like many others out there, they decided to pay for their coffee and return to work and ended off their conversation “if only we had the money” and walked away feeling intimidated by the very thought of making things happen.

I’m calling bullshit on this excuse. If they had 30 minutes to talk about an idea, dreaming up the potential lifestyles they could be living, they could have spent a good chunk of that 30 minutes looking into viable options towards making their dream a reality. Always remember, small actions that you take today can impact heavily on your future. If I had never opened up my laptop and wrote my first blog post, I wouldn’t be working on my book today. My excuse was always “I don’t have the time and I don’t know how to write.” Look at me now, I’m definitely a better writer now than I was then and now I can officially say to people “I’m a blogger!” I always anticipated that I’d be in this position today but never really expected it to happen and it all started out by taking small actions.

Many people forget that the most successful people they admire started off by taking small actions towards their dreams. Evidence can be found in the story behind any person you consider successful. Sir Allen Sugar started out selling products from the back of a van, Mark Zuckerberg started coding in his spare time, heck, even Beyoncé started out by singing in her back garden - look at where they are now and when the day comes to tell my story: I’ll say I started writing to kill time on a graveyard shift.

The examples are endless but the key to living any dream is to take action. Small steps towards success can lead to giant leaps towards your dreams. If you have the time to think about it you have the time to act on it! Remember, a vital component towards achieving anything in life is taking the steps to make things happen.

Vancouver Relationship and Life Coach

A Little Bit of Carpe Diem - Feelings of Loss without Reason

Here and now I never felt I’d post this topic because it’s a part of life that I had never really understood before. Sometimes during moments of happiness, when I’m feeling most content, surrounded by loved ones or in moments of reflection, I experience some sort of emotional conflict. Even during some previous relationships, I’d encounter a feeling that my mind is drifting into an unknown alternate reality, where I’m overcome by a feeling of loss; sometimes hit with a slight panic or sadness, even though nothing has occurred to reason the emotion. It’s like I’ve disconnected with my present and it’s very bizarre.

I spoke to an old co-worker of mine, from my life in New York because I always remembered how spiritual she was and how obsessed she was with astrology. So to gain insight I sought out her advice. She suggested that maybe it was my past life trying to remind me of something, or perhaps a glimpse into an event that may occur in my future. Although an interesting perspective, it wasn't a reason I felt comfortable with. Call me a skeptic, but I had to come up with a more rational explanation. However, she wasn't totally wrong, her insight triggered my understanding; by looking into my past and confronting my hesitations about the future.

When I meet key moments in my life, when life seems to be working out and when things are simply right, I sometimes can’t help feel that I’m about to lose something. That somewhere down the line some sort of loss may occur: losing a loved one, losing money, losing control or even losing my passion for my work. There were many scenarios in which I could potentially encounter loss so my mind would trigger feelings associated with it, even though no loss had taken place. Loss was perceived, it was like I was anticipating some sort of universal balance as a result of things working out in my life.

I reckon this occurred because of one of the following two reasons:

1. Preparing for Contingencies (known): Every direction I take in my life I have carefully calculated, by doing my research and planning for any contingencies, things I know that could go wrong. I can’t help it, I’m a marketer so it sort of happens innately.  So experiencing emotions in anticipation for a loss became a coping mechanism. So if loss was to occur, I’d be prepared, I‘d be ready to handle it, because I was taking care of it emotionally, ahead of time.

2. Waiting for Failure (unknown): All of us have jumped hurdles in life, minor or major, every person knows that the road to success isn't a direct route; we hit dead ends, wrong turns and encounter forks along the way. My feelings of loss stemmed from my past experiences, causing the doubt and disbelief in my present and an uncertainty for my future. Not knowing all the details of what could occur made me look into my past losses and we all know that a trip down memory lane can trigger an array of emotions we can’t seem to understand today.

What I had to do was retrain my mind to think in the present. A “what will be, will be” sort of attitude. I may be able to construct and direct my life but there are definitely elements beyond my control. I had to be okay with that and learn the importance of accepting the moment. I continue to remind myself like many others, that life has its funny way of fu***** us around from time to time. Therefore I shouldn’t live my life failing to appreciate the present, because I’m idly waiting for loss to occur. It’s a waste of energy leading to a breakdown of my identity.

The funny thing I noticed was, only when we suffer loss do we generally motivate the spirit to “live in the moment,” why wait for loss to occur when we can make that pledge now and “seize the day.” I decided to beat loss at its game and continually remind myself to be present and to look forward to the positive outcomes of my future. A failure to be present today makes for a loss of presence in the future. Sometimes, as we work forward to the life we design, we charge so fast that we make ruins of the memories we create. We have to stop and capture every moment as it happens, rather than letting the fragments of doubt spoil our chances to live.

 

Vancouver Relationship and Life Coach

Celebrate a Legacy – Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela

Like many of us, I first heard of Mandela’s death through social media. It was like someone was throwing this huge celebration and everyone was tweeting live, shouting out about this legend that had just walked into the room. Rather than mourn the loss, people celebrated a legacy - a sentiment that struck me instantly. It was a celebration. I was inundated with inspiring quotes, thought provoking images and an abundance of love filled in each tweet, status update and post. It was nice to see people’s vulnerable side, each message held a true meaning, an honesty they could share through a voice that had impacted the world. It was unsettling to know that the world suffered a grave loss, but hopeful, that as a global community we kept his spirit, of which, will aid a movement amongst a new generation. I have confidence knowing that my young nieces and nephews will grow up unafraid to stand up for what they believe in. They will learn about this courageous man and others like him, who suffered and fought for freedom and civil rights.

So as we continue to celebrate his legacy, I shall continue to remember “There is no passion to be found playing small - in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.”Nelson Mandela

 Reference:

The Guardian - What did people tweet about Mandela?

 

Vancouver Relationship and Life Coach

Live Your Dream: Invest Your Time Wisely

make-a-splash.jpg

Make a Splash! Remember when we were kids and we used to aimlessly jump into puddles, I remember I used to go out my way to find these shallow patches of water to make the biggest splash that I could. I’d get so carried away until I had completely drenched my socks misjudging the depth, but I didn’t care. I remember it being so thrilling because I was doing what I wanted to do, regardless of being told otherwise and each time it felt like some sort of accomplishment. Recently this random thought had stuck with me for a while and I noticed how differently many of us live our lives today. How many of us can honestly say we seek that thrill and want to make that impact? Don’t get me wrong I understand that we have responsibilities now and commitments that we never had before, but surely there’s still enough time to jump into a puddle now and then; investing time into shaping the life we want to lead will positively impact on our lives.

Do we invest enough time towards building the life we want to live and the way we want to live it? We continue to follow the same routine daily only to realize how much time we could have spent investing into our true goals. Things had recently settled down for me and I began to feel incredibly uncomfortable; surely working everyday and paying bills on time every month isn't what people have evolved to. I know there is so much more I want from life because there's so much more that life has to offer. I’m at a point now where I've met a lot of goals and now I’m ready to aim higher. I’m ready to jump into even bigger puddles.

I find it absolutely frustrating when I come across people who are willing to invest more time deciding on what type of partner they want before carving out an identity of their own. I find it disheartening when I see parents spend more time in a furniture store deciding on which coffee table to purchase rather than nurturing the minds of their offspring. I also find it bizarre how people can tell me more about other individuals, but can hardly piece two sentences together about themselves. At what point did this change, we start lives off so care-free and so individual to only have our identities consumed by the routines we follow. Somehow we decide to be a little more careful and take fewer risks; we find more time for the most insignificant decisions over investing time in shaping our own lives because we’re either afraid of failure or just learn that we simply can’t.

I turn to the people I admire today and am in awe of what they have achieved because it all started with a risk. Looking into a bold move and diving into a new challenge, they never allow themselves to become complacent and always aim higher. Never feeling they've hit their peak and investing their time wisely by seeking opportunity and focusing on goals by drowning out the pollution around them. My sister is probably one of the strongest willed people I know; a description of hell would probably sound like a vacation compared to the ups and downs she has faced in life, but nothing has stopped her from aiming higher to prove to herself, not to anybody else, that she can create a life that she is truly satisfied with.

Had a random conversation about the universe today and the topic lead to how minute our lives are in comparison to time and space, I thought to myself, f*** that! That notion doesn't work for me, I may be only one out of about 7 billion people on this planet but I’m going to make pretty damn sure that this “one” makes an impact on himself and actually lives. There’s already too many irritated souls filling this planet with doubt and negativity not realizing that the benefits of today came from the ones who made a big splash yesterday.  I’m not saying I want my name to go down in the history books and I don't adopt this mind-set purely for others to know who I am and what I’m about. I simply know what I can achieve for myself. Prove to myself that this life is worth more than a routine. Life shouldn't be wasted walking around puddles taking the safer route, just jump right in and make that splash!

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

Be Successful: Nurture Your Goals

Having traveled back to the UK for the first time after a couple of years, I never felt more motivated to really nurture the goals I had set myself. I sat at my old desk, the very same desk I sat at to research and plan my way out of frustration and the mind-numbing life I had been living. I had a flashback to when I booked my first ticket out of the UK and it woke me up to realize how far I had really come. I also came to understand the potential of how much further I can go if I continued to nurture my goals. Even when there was that small crumb of doubt that things wouldn't quite work out the way I wanted, my focused attention helped brush it off.

I met with old friends and past colleagues and many of them had set goals for themselves but had failed to reach them. They had set goals, but that was the easy part. Goals are the final result you want, you need to nurture a goal to make things happen. When I set a goal I look at hundreds of options before discovering how to do it, working on a goal regularly allows me to achieve it.

Research: probably the most important part of any goal set. Researching every aspect of your goal will start you off in the right direction. Research gives you options; it gives you ideas and will eventually open the door to a new opportunity. It may close the door on some ideas you thought would have worked, but upon further investigation you may realize that it isn't what you want. Research allows you fine tune your goals and allows your objectives to fall into place.

Act Now or Never: the time to start is now, that doesn't mean your end goal will be achieved right now, It means taking the first step: booking the ticket, starting the course, viewing the house...whatever the goal is you have many actions you can take right now that relate directly to it. If you don’t act now you delay the life you want to live. People often need reminding that it takes a lot of hard work, dedication and determination to get there and it won’t be easy! But the more you throw yourself into the world if your goal the easier it’ll get.

Adopt the right attitude: the biggest threat to you is yourself. Only you determine your failures and successes, I know this from firsthand experience. A lot of failures come from a weak state of mind, allowing yourself to follow the shadow of someone else’s success, allowing the first hurdle overwhelm your ambition and the fear of loss are common traits that can infiltrate an opportunists mind. One thing I can tell you is, no matter what level of success you achieve, hurdles are always going to be in your path, challenges will become more often than you think, but the thing that will distinguish those who succeed and will continue to do so, over those who won’t, are how challenges are met. Welcome them.

Repeat: as you progress to success remember to always go back to research and consider following through this advice over and over again. Each time set your sights higher and continue to build on your success, don’t get complacent. You can’t just stop at one achievement! I see my successes as stepping-stones, one just leads to the other. Your knowledge and understanding will develop, you’ll notice that you will want more and crave more. You’ll figure out a formula that works for you and before you know your life can surpass your dreams as you set more ambitious goals.

Wanting success is like a drug, I understand why many people say that once you've had a small taste you’ll want more and more. Its hunger, my drive and passion is practically linked to a physiological response because it’s just as important to me as eating. We only have this life right now and if we don’t live it we won’t have lived.

Vancouver Relationship and Life Coach

Avoid Becoming the Bad Apple - Break the Cycle That Breeds Irritated Souls

It still irritates me to see how many people are afraid to say or admit what it is they want or wanted out of life. They bury their dreams and continue on with life with the mentality that “it wasn’t meant to be” or that “it will never happen” and they will share this view with anyone else that has the balls to actually go for it.  The ones that adopt the same mentality will carry on this cycle and continue to fill the world with irritated souls with lost dreams. Adopting this attitude will only distance yourself from the life you’ve always dreamed of.

Despite what others have said, I had managed to push on and continued to pursue my goals and passions because I was never afraid to say what I would accomplish. Being able to say what it is I wanted got me to where I am today and to the distances I will go tomorrow. I remember my year 11 science teacher saying to me that I wouldn’t make it to sixth form let alone obtain a degree. I remember my friends laughing at me when they said I wouldn’t make it out of my hometown when I said I will be living abroad one day. I remember relatives saying my goals were too ambitious and that I needed to ground myself and live in the real world.

Now if I had listened to them I would have probably stopped believing in myself and end up as another irritated soul waiting for something to happen and trying to make ends meet in the ‘real world’. I may have just waited for someone to save me from an irritated life to just sit and wait until I venture onto the right path. Well that’s what I saw of the ‘real world’ and the people in it, what people said I shrugged off as hearsay, what right did they have to determine my life for me? I couldn’t understand their advice so I couldn’t adopt it. There’s this bizarre mistake that the majority of people make, they try to fit their lives into an idea of what success is and what success looks like because no one ever told them that we determine our own success. Not many people had the guts to say to me “that will definitely work” or “Terry, you will get what you want” for any support that I did receive there was always a slight hesitation with a concerned undertone and you’ve probably heard these words before, they go along the lines of “good luck” and “I wish you all the best”.

Whenever you dream and share that dream with others, voices of negativity will always tell you not to pursue it. Discourage you from believing and placing doubt on your passion. I had so much of that growing up; even to this day many people still cast this negative shadow, despite my successes. I have come to terms with what others do not understand and I have come to terms with why others have such opinions. However I will refuse to come to terms with closing the door to my ambition and turning my back on my dreams, to reiterate, they got me this far and they’ll carry me further and I urge you to follow your dreams and encourage others too. Break the cycle that breeds irritated souls and aim to live in a more fulfilled world.

Vancouver Relationship and Life Coach

A Simple Way to Stimulate Creativity and Inspiration

We sometimes struggle when developing new ideas and in that struggle we feel faulted by our own creativity. Pressure and stress begin to fill our minds because we feel we cannot successfully deploy or complete a project and soon enough, a looming deadline is all we seem to focus on. Whatever creative thought we had, is being blocked by a wall of doubt and uncertainty. The first mistake we often make is forcing creativity, we feel so pressured by getting something done that the end result turns out to be poor and of a lower standard to what we’re actually capable of. In the end, we’re left with the satisfaction of a completed project rather than the fulfillment of an accomplished one.

An 'original break' is something I started doing when I lacked focus, when I feel I have lost my muse and procrastination becomes a meaningful pastime. Generally if whatever project I’m working on isn’t flowing naturally and my train of thought is only just chugging along, then that’s my indicator to do something to get back on track.

An original break is about fueling the mind and trailing into fresh thought. An original break is not going out to grab a coffee and some fresh air. It’s first stepping away from what you’re working on and closing the entire project down and leaving it alone for some time. Just like your mind needs a break from the project, the project needs a break from your tired mind and poor input. Like the engine performance of a car running on standard gas versus premium fuel.

Your original break could be heading out to lunch in a different restaurant to break routine, like how you were when you first tried sushi.  It’s talking to a complete stranger to adopt a different point of view or even talking to people who disagree with your ideas. It’s going for a drive to that part of town you’ve always heard about but never visited; exploring new environments is always a good way to stimulate creativity. It’s reading a type of book that you wouldn’t normally read. It’s simply taking the time to discover something new, placing new thoughts and ideas into your mind to stimulate creativity when returning to an existing project.

It seems a little strange at first, but this simple formula helps break down walls that block creative thought. These small adjustments in your breaks could result in a wonder of opportunities for your work. You may not necessarily be inspired by anything you experience but you will leave with new thought(s).

Naturally we’re curious creatures and unlike robots we have a natural desire to learn and explore its how we've managed to advance as a species. Remember creativity and inspiration aren't timed to surge between the hours of 9 and 5 but if your need it then you have to find ways to stimulate it.

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

Live Your Dream - Understand the Energy Connecting Passion and Belief

Image There’s a strong connection between passion and belief and depending on where you start, the energy will transfer and ignite the other, carrying the motivations which aid your goals.

Passion Impacting Belief

Having passion is like having learning tools; it’s the stuff that generates desires, our wants and needs. When we’re passionate about something we want to know more about it, we instinctively progress and naturally understand it and it’s as if our body and soul already knows what it wants and how to get it. Then energy from passion drives itself directly into belief. A belief holds what is true and what is real; executing life with passion will generate and encourage belief.

Sometimes believing can connote the distance between you and your ultimate goal but you can bridge that gap by pursuing passions.  I speak to people every single day that find it extremely tough to talk openly about their aspirations, because of the fear of it not happening. They lack the belief because they can’t, won’t or don’t apply passion to what they currently pursue, so like the image above, their life is seemingly motionless. Pursuing passion gives you something to believe in; passion is the force behind the validity of a belief, it allows you to set goals in motion to attain success. If you notice people living their dreams you’ll notice they invested in their passions and made their passions their life, leading them to success and happiness.

Belief Engaging Passion

A failure to believe or weak beliefs tend to affect the impact on engaging passion. I found having a strong belief led me to something I was passionate about. I hadn’t discovered or even thought writing was an option for me, but what got me here was a strong belief in that I will one day be sharing what I know to guide others. I pursued many different avenues and I discovered my passion for writing. If you can truly believe in your dreams, then you’ll set the goals to shape that belief and it’ll lead you to your passion. It seems a bit radical but a belief is a vital tool to carry along with you on your journey towards success. It allows you to explore opportunities and overcome challenges.

To put this more simply, a belief is like the destination and passion is like the mode of transportation. If you know where you’re going then you need to source out the best way to get there. On the other hand, you may already have a way to get somewhere but you just need to consider where you’re going.

Motivation and Setting Goals

PGB

There’s an eagerness and interest that we hold in each passion and belief, it’s is why we’re motivated by them. Relating back to my previous post on motivation, passions and beliefs are great motivational triggers and when motivated, we’re inspired to set and work on goals.

Lastly, whichever way we begin, passions and beliefs will always require action to be successful. Knowing this is just an insight and like Newton’s Cradle, to see it work, you need to take action for the energy to travel through. One will always continue to impact the other, so execute passion in all that you do and start to believe in what you can achieve. Allow your passion to encourage your belief and encourage your belief to pursue you passion.

 

Vancouver Relationship and Life Coach

Finding Motivation within Your Roots

Roots. My roots are important to me. It’s my foundation; they shaped the person I was, the person I am and the person I will be. That doesn't just mean my personality or character; it includes my motivations and aspirations too. What we will go on to achieve and what we already have achieved, stem from roots we have.

I speak to many people on a daily basis and when discussions progress to learning about peoples “journey” or “story” it’s amazing how often we overlook what was inherited. If you've read my other posts, you’ll notice a common theme around looking ahead and moving forward towards your goals - making notes on the importance of evaluation and reflection and most importantly; knowing your identity - roots play a big part in that, whether we’re embracing them or running away from them.

There are many factors that determine your roots; lessons are passed down from generation to generation which have often determined levels of success. Some traditions are upheld, some traditions get lost in translation and some traditions crumble as time progresses. Understanding the motivation behind traditions can help you understand why they exist. Not only can you discover things about yourself, your upbringing, or the lack of in some cases, delving into your past and understanding your history/cultural history can unlock answers in your past and present which may have streamed the course for your future. I for one have discovered this myself, learning about certain aspects of my roots allowed me to understand the passion for life I have today. One of the most imperative outcomes from looking into my roots was identifying the examples that were set. Whether good or bad, examples taught me about what I wanted for my life so I could avoid the things I don’t want and attain things I do.

I have very successful friends who have had very fortunate childhoods and have come up from picture perfect roots. I have very successful friends who have shared some very unfortunate stories about their past and where they came up from. Which is when I understood this concept more; there are powerful motivations that we can extract from knowing where we come from and what we inherit. We all grew up very privileged because we all have roots. Some were privileged to have wealth and fortune, some were privileged to have witnessed hard work and determination and some were privileged to have gone through a lot of pain and suffering which harnessed the motivation for them to become phenomenal people today. This is why I like roots, and learning about other peoples. We are all very different people yet can all achieve the same successes and share common goals - it takes a little understanding of where you've come from, to identify who you are and develop who you want to be.

Vancouver Relationship and Life Coach

Dare to dream – A message inspired by a 13-year-olds ambition.

Always in search of inspiration, I had overlooked the bright spark we had sitting right at home. We always encourage the younger generation in our family to visualise their dreams, take action towards achieving them and to dream big.

My sister had asked her children to work on their Vision boards and within the hour, my 13-year-old niece had finished the project (see below) and presented insightful results. Now the first thing we all noticed was her typo, she was so motivated and excited about the project, she had overlooked her spelling error. When her mother mentioned it, she candidly responded “I’m unique, I’ll spell it however I want!” as she defended her work.

tanya vision Tanya's vision board, focused around the Joel Brown quote “see the invisible, believe the incredible, achieve the impossible”.

After seeing this and hearing about her response, I had never been more in awe of the brilliant-ness that is this young teen. She, (now unknowingly, my honorary ambassador of the lions life) had made us as adults realise the importance of what we say and do around young people and the effect we have on young minds. The outcome of her board allowed us to also understand her as a person, the steps we can take to help her “achive” those dreams and how to guide her in ways she can help herself. I’m actually glad she didn’t fix her typo, A vision board is made to represent dreams and goals, the typo not only adds a splash of her personality, but it will act as a constant reminder that there are things she will need to improve upon.

Seeing this really emphasises the importance of knowing what you want out of life, it definitely made me re-evaluate a few things. It starts with a vision and where you see yourself. If a 13-year-old, with all the peer pressures and changes going on around her, can and wants to take ownership of her life by having the guts to dream, what’s our excuse as adults?

The secondary tone to this, is one for parents, older siblings or generally anyone who has susceptible minds/young minds around them. Be very careful of the energy and message you send out. Remember negativity breeds negativity, set a positive example – it’s important.

To Tanya,

Congratulations! You’ve managed to do what millions of grown-ups are afraid of and dared to dream. Now that you’ve set the destination, I know you’ll work hard on building the path to get there.

 Live it, Love it,

T

Vancouver Relationship and Life Coach

 

How to Set and Achieve Goals Using Simple Scavenger Hunt Rules

If you were ever involved in a scavenger hunt as a child, keep it in mind as you read on. For those who don’t know, you have a list of items to gather and the one who wins is the first person to complete the list. I’ve achieved many goals by following the rules of this game. It’s very simple, first have the goal in mind, then compile a list of things you need to accomplish to achieve it. And just like a scavenger hunt, attaining each item on that list will require further strategy and tactic, which you will naturally identify.

Small goals, achieving big goals: this technique worked because it allowed me to break up my larger goal into manageable steps, if one of these steps was proving too difficult to attain, I could break it down even further (this is where strategy and tactic came in).

The benefit of evaluation: think about at the end of the hunt, when everyone’s discussing how they won or learning the reason as to why they lost. This simple, yet effective technique has now become a fantastic tool for evaluation. Whether you succeed or fail, you will find yourself reflecting on the actions you took and/or the errors you made which may have affected the result. It will also become a learning tool; you’re identifying your own strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats; you’re building your very own SWOT Analysis.

Setting Goals: whenever you play out that dream life of yours in your mind, get a piece of paper and write/illustrate that dream at the top of the page. At the bottom of the page, write/illustrate the life you’re currently living. Now you need to make your way to the top, fill the blank space with steps you need to take, to get that life you want, when you’re done - the game has begun.

VanCity

Stand By Your Dreams

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ul-cZyuYq4]

Inspired by a track on the radio, it occurred to me that the best moments in my life were when I truly did my own thing my own way, fully aware with a free identity. The times I spent travelling, the bold moves it took to take control of my own life, and the risks I took to get to where I am today; this journey began when I gave myself the opportunity to follow my own aspirations. Going my own way has also strengthened my confidence too. It's encouraged me to overcome many challenges on my own and now I feel OK to say out loud "I'm proud of myself", and not feel guilty or ashamed of saying it.

Going your own way doesn’t necessarily mean leaving everything behind and set off on a mission to find yourself. Going your own way is instinctual, it means going with that gut feeling and trusting yourself. When most people ask me for advice, I say "do what your truest emotions are trying to tell you." I’ve said this before but it's worth mentioning again: doubt and fear come from a lack of understanding and a lack of control. So go seek out answers to establish control, and align the rest of your life with your identity. Do what you have to do to live a fulfilling life.

You're an individual with bags of potential, explore life your way to tap into it and take charge of your own life. Not one soul on this planet knows what’s best for you other than yourself. Everyone around you has an opinion, and yes, there is advice to be taken on-board, but ultimately it is you who chooses how you live. Don't allow your dreams to become shattered or forgotten about just because someone, who doesn't share your spirit and doesn't understand you, says otherwise.

Going your own way is simply living life empowered by your own identity, each day you become more aware and self-actualized. Some of the greatest people I’ve come to learn about were once deemed insane among their peers, but they went their own way and they made history. You can too!

Music - Artist: Feetwood Mac Track: Go Your Own Way

Vancouver Relationship and Life Coach

Become More Confident: The Confidence and Curiosity Cycle

Image

Curiosity boosting confidence – the most enriched people I've come across show signs of being able to boost confidence by delving into curiosity. Confidence grows as you continue to understand who you are and what you want, therefore when curiosity is explored you learn that much more about yourself, what you like and don’t like, if you are good at something or not – curiosity opens areas of your own person you never thought or believed existed. The scary part is you need to have the guts to plunge into it first, which is how confidence allows you to be more curious.

Achieve a result: When you finally dive into exploring curiosity, the biggest challenge is seeing it through; people fall at the first hurdle and it tends to negatively impact their confidence. So even though you may have just begun to explore, you need to push yourself until you achieve some sort of result in order for you to gain confidence. Otherwise, you may end up letting yourself down, leading to self doubt – which is how curiosity can negatively impact confidence.

 Confidence allowing us to be curious - Think about when you embarked on something new for the first time: like a job/new business, an extreme sport, even travelling on your own for the first time. Certain triggers led you there, the fears and anxieties often spark your curiosity, maybe it sparked an interest, maybe you saw someone else’s courage or maybe, you know what it will do to your own self-esteem if you ventured into curious territory. These triggers open up your mind, you want to learn and know more so you build confidence by gaining a level of understanding first – often leading to research and assessment. Others, on the other hand, can jump right in based on what they may already know or have experienced. Either way, you go through these steps in order to ease the pressure of the pursuit. As they say – knowledge is power and with this confidence you’re more likely to take a chance.

Take action: When you build your confidence to a level of allowing yourself to be curious - be curious and discover. I’ve noticed I can only build confidence when I pair it with action. You’ll notice that when you bump into people who only appear to be confident, it’s because they cannot pair action/evidence to what they appear to know.

The drawback and gain: When the cycle is fully deployed and you didn't gain the results you had expected, you can still leave with the peace of mind of knowing you had explored unknown/unfamiliar territory. Relishing in the fact you gained some sort of knowledge and understanding something you may never have understood before - be it about yourself or anything else. Although you may struggle to repeat the cycle again so soon, you will do so with more caution and preparation. Going through the whole cycle with a positive outcome, you will only become more curious and more confident or vice versa, and as you repeat the process over and over you will gain knowledge and understanding of whom you are which can only work wonders for your own self-esteem.

Vancouver Relationship and Life Coach

 

How to Deal With an Identity Crisis

It’s time to give doubts the finger and own your life. I started off this blog with becoming a brand because the message is crucial to success. I do firmly believe the key to living a happy and fulfilled life is to properly know yourself first, and as you become more and more familiar with who you are, you begin to realize what you want. By knowing what you want, you will begin to shed doubts and really take charge of your own life – a life not determined by others, nor directed by what you think, but rather by what you know.

I always live my life with my eyes wide open, observing life as it happens and it's how I've come to learn this concept. I've met numerous people who are consistently lost and lack direction because they lack identity. It affects relationships too. Sometimes it’s because we’re so pressured to stick by a timeline, that our identities get blurred in order to fulfill ideology. It’s naive and damaging to our self-esteem. I understand that there are some things we need to figure out at certain times in our lives; to enrich society and the community around us and to look onward toward our retirement yes. Consider making investments and securing a future yes and to build camaraderie and companionship yes. However to fundamentally achieve anything without figuring out your own identity will only make it more difficult to go through life.

I understand how difficult it is to put yourself back out there, to show the world what you stand for and what you represent - I remember this feeling when I first shared this blog. But look around you, look at the most successful people out there and I’m not only talking about successful folk with millions of dollars with big homes and fast cars, I’m shouting out to those making positive changes in the world, those achieving goals they never even dreamed of and those who are standing up for their own beliefs. Simply look at the people you aspire to – each of these individuals/groups have a firm grasp of their identity and I bet you can describe them well.

When you feel you’re having a crisis of identity and feeling like you've lost your way, it motivates doubt. Turn to your dreams and aspirations, they will guide you back to your goals and objectives, reminding you of the person you set out to be.

Vancouver Relationship and Life Coach