Change Your Unconscious Thoughts to Change Your Life

The thoughts you have on a daily basis either propel you forward or keep you stuck.

A father brought his 7 year old son to see me because he was having panic attacks and missing lots of school. He had been to a psychologist for a few months, but nothing had changed, and he had not improved. And the panic attacks continued.

Can you predict what your next thought will be?

Making Relationship Struggles a Thing of the Past

What You Are About to Remember…

Is that your past behaviors, interactions and reactions to your partner are ruling your relationship today.

For better or worse.

That’s a lot of ingrained, unconscious habits and patterns that you have with each other if you have been together a long time.

If you want to improve your relationship, you must lighten and soften your approach with your partner.

Are You Emotionally Free Enough?

What REALLY Pushes Your Buttons?

Have you ever been in an argument with your partner and maybe it escalated into something ugly but later on, you couldn’t remember what that argument was about?

You’re not alone. I have been there myself.

Isn’t it true that no one can push our buttons like our partner?

More New Year Nonsense…and the Path to Unhappiness.

What do you vow will be different in your life this year?

Did you know that of the people who set New Year’s resolutions, by the end of the first week of January 25% of them will have given up?

By the end of January almost half have decided that whatever it was they wanted to change was no longer important so they quit pursuing it.

People’s commitment continues to melt away like the spring snow as the months go by.

Thanks for Nothing

This is Thanksgiving week, and the official beginning of the Holiday Season. A very special time of year…at least for many of us. But for others, this same Season is just a trigger to remember their unhappiness. Thanksgiving is supposed to be a reminder to be grateful for the good things we have in our lives.
But….

3 Things You Need to Do Right Now to Have a Happier Relationship

If your relationship has been struggling for a while, you’ve probably tried a number of things to improve the situation and feel happier and more connected to your partner. In our experience from working with couples, even the best intended efforts can fall short when key ingredients are missing. Here are the three things we find to be absolutely essential to making a lasting, loving change:

1. Tell Yourself the Truth – Are you bitter, feeling angry, hurt or carrying resentment towards your spouse? If you are, any of those things will prevent you from giving fully to the relationship. You may not realize it, but you are actually withholding love, compassion, understanding and the chemical energy the builds connection.

None of us is perfect, and we all do things from time to time that disconnect us from our partners: argue, defend ourselves unnecessarily, put the relationship last behind other priorities, get self- absorbed, and unintentionally neglect our partner…

Now that you’re being honest, stop doing anything that is getting in the way of deepening the love and connection with your partner.

2. Take 100% Responsibility – While it might seem logical to take 50% responsibility for the relationship, in our experience that’s a recipe for disaster. That usually means you are keeping score of what you did and he or she didn’t do. Are your efforts based on what you think your partner is or isn’t doing? Do you wait for them to go first because they owe you?

Decide today what you want your relationship to ultimately be like. What do you want the day to day interaction with your partner to feel like? What type of deep connection do you want to experience with them?

Own your vision and take 100% responsibility for making it real. Don’t wait for your partner. What you do will inevitably shift the way he or she responds to you.

3. Be Courageous – Nothing great in your life will happen if you are living in fear, and the same is true for your relationship. Are you afraid to give fully because it might not work, afraid of initiating connection and being rejected, or in fear of trying something new because you don’t know how your partner will respond? You tell yourself that things aren’t really that bad… right?

Or are you just stuck, and numb?

It takes courage to create something special. It takes courage to ignore the nonsense that other people tell you about relationships. It takes courage to dump your story about what your partner did or didn’t do. And it takes courage to create a deeply connected, loving relationship.

We can sit all day hoping for our partner or our relationship to spontaneously change, but in the end, we can only control our own actions. Your relationship will always reflect what you decide to do, and what you fail to do. These decisions will always create the future Happier Relationship or unhappiness of your relationship.

*We will be inviting you to join us soon for an upcoming live webinar on the Secrets of Happy Marriages, Thriving through the Holidays and answering many of the questions you have sent us. Stay tuned.

Is Your Happiness Paying the Price for Frozen Feet Syndrome?

frozen feetWhat’s your standard for love and passion in your life?  Don’t just settle.

Have you ever made a decision to change something in your life, and then gotten cold feet?

Some people get what I call “Frozen Feet Syndrome” where they become incapable of ever changing anything, because the fear and overwhelm seem too profound. Instead, they just blow off the pressure to change again and again until they become numb or just settle into a life of unhappiness.

Are you willing to settle?

Can you think back to when your relationship or marriage just began, and you could just see the future of how wonderful your life would be with this person? How does your day-to-day now compare to that vision you had in the beginning?

Does just thinking about it make you cringe?

Relationships and marriages need a vision.

Without it, people can get caught up in the smallness of busy, stressed lives and forget what really matters. They get stuck here for so long, they consider it normal, and they settle there.

Do you have a vision for the relationship you want to create? What are you working towards by being together? Your relationship is either growing in love or eroding at the edges.

People often hope things will magically get better without doing anything. That’s a recipe for disaster.

Imagine the relationship of your dreams and fantasies. What does it look like? Describe that in detail. How alive does that vision make you feel?

Why settle for less?

We all have reasons why we do and don’t do things. We rationalize the most self-defeating things. They add up and keep us small. We lie deeply to ourselves.

Finding courage stops that, fast.

The missing ingredient in most stressed relationships is courage, not love.

It takes courage to go first and do the things that seem difficult, like apologize when you and your partner are at odds. It takes courage to give when you don’t want to. It takes courage to put your relationship above your own interests. And it takes real courage to make your relationship incredible, because there will be many times for you to choose not to.

We honor the people who have the courage to reach out to us by giving them a totally free, confidential Relationship Review.  Yours is waiting.

We invite you to join us for a conversation that just might change your love life, forever.  Simply Email jeff@peakresultscoaching.com referencing Relationship Review to schedule yours today.

 

 

Are You the Untested Ferrari?

A Ferrari 458 Speciale car is covered before its presentation during a media preview day at the Frankfurt Motor ShowYes your life is fine, but is that enough?

Many years ago they built the most amazing Ferrari.

It had a uniquely beautiful design. A highly sophisticated instrument panel with touch sensitive controls. Its handling system was run by the most advanced technology that ever existed. The most luxurious custom interior ever created. An amazingly powerful engine that produced multiple G-force acceleration and the most riveting full throttle sounds

A record breaking, award winning race car potentially…

It was truly one of a kind. There has never been another car like it.

They kept it hidden in the garage under cover.

Why?

Someone got scared.

They decided that it was better not to test the car because there could only be disappointment. If they put the car out there for people to see and hear, then there might only be criticism and potentially rejection.

And that was unacceptable because so much time, effort and energy were put into the car. And for this car, to not be enough…well that would be devastating.

The overpowering thought became “If we never test it, we can never be disappointed.”

As time went by, that thought would change to one of regret.

Are you the untested Ferrari?

Have you decided to hide who you really are to the world?

Can you be yourself fully and completely in your work and with the people you care about?

Yes maybe you have all kinds of reasons… and stories… that make it feel ok to keep parts of you hidden…

Will you be asking yourself, “Who am I?” in a few years, or has it already started?

Are you playing small because it feels safer than to be the real you, expressing fully the unique gifts that you have to the world? Living your purpose, and a life of meaning.

Are you afraid of going after what you really want with everything you’ve got? Risking failure, rejection and ridicule?

Have you settled into the comfortable life where things are fine?

How’s the job? “Fine.” How’s the relationship? “Fine.” How’s your life? “Fine.”

Will you live the life of unimagined possibilities never tried?

Yeah, but things are pretty good now aren’t they? I mean things are ok right?

If you only knew how fierce you really are, and how much more you are capable of, and the depth of creativity, courage and effort that exists within you.

There are treasured memories waiting to be created…magic moments…the possibilities of living more fully are endless. And you deserve them all.

You could start today…even right this moment.

All change happens when you make a new decision and then go do something different.

Or you could decide that it’s ok to not know what you are capable of and never give yourself the chance.

Decide! Not a big deal, just a very personal choice.

Your tomorrow is waiting. What’s it going to be like?

 

How to Avoid the Relationship Destroying Escalation

In the Relationship because of fearIs it the beginning of the end, or a new beginning?

Many years ago I had a conversation with my wife that could have ended our marriage. And I have seen many couples engaged in the exact same cycle of relationship destruction.
Here’s what happened:

My wife said something to me and I responded back. She accused me of having a “tone”. Who, me? So now I am defending my “no tone”. She now says something back with a “tone” in her voice. So I escalate with more of the same. She responds raising her voice and now I respond raising my voice even more. She raises her voice and says something not so pleasant to me. So I raise my voice further and say something not so nice to her. Now we are in a real heated argument. About what? I have no idea.
This conversation is almost at the threshold of relationship destruction. And fortunately I realize it.

What typically happens at this level is that someone says something they wish they didn’t say, and the other person says something that can never be forgotten nor forgiven. It is devastating to trust and respect in the relationship.

When escalation occurs regularly, the connection can be severed so completely that it cannot be repaired without outside help. While trust and respect have been thrown away, intimacy also vanishes and the relationship begins to die.

Here’s how to escape the escalation:
In my situation above, I had the presence of mind to realize that if this continued that “we” were in trouble. The relationship “we”, and that if we continued down this path, I wasn’t sure I could turn it around. That was a defining moment. I made a decision that I didn’t have to be “right”. My willingness to engage her differently also made the relationship more solid in an intangible way, because we both knew that type of escalation would never happen again.

The strategy:

I thought about why I was with her, why I loved her, why I wanted to be with her, and what I wanted our relationship to be about. I immediately began to think about my vision of our relationship. And maybe it saved us.

I immediately softened my “tone”, and said “I love you so much, I don’t want to argue with you.” Did she escalate further? Of course not. She immediately softened her tone to match mine. The argument was over. It could have easily gone the other way had I wanted to continue to prove that I was more “right” than she was.

I have seen couples fight about who brought more baggage into the marriage and other truly silly things. If you are fighting about who is more right, the argument will escalate and no one will ever win. Even if you think you won, you’ll feel bad because they are miserable.  And certainly this will cause the relationship to suffer.

So if you find yourself in a similar situation; soften up, lighten up. Access the wisdom of your heart. Immediately shift your tone. Get out of that head of yours that wants to prove you’re “right, and get into your heart and why you love this person. It might just save your relationship.

Ready to get guidance and support for your marriage now? Email me for your PEAK Relationship Review jeff@peakresultscoaching.com

Emotional Fitness: The Key to Your Happiness

depressed stanceThis is my “depressed stance.” When you’re depressed, it makes a lot of difference how you stand. The worst thing you can do is straighten up and hold your head high because then you’ll start to feel better. If you’re going to get any joy out of being depressed, you’ve got to stand like this. ~ Charles M. Schulz

Last year in the USA over 255 million prescriptions were written for anti-depressants. That’s really quite an amazing number. According to the CDC, today more than 1 in 5 women age 40-59 are taking anti-depressants. At least that keeps the drug industry happy.

Every week you can read about the latest celebrity meltdown, divorce or overdose and realize that fame and fortune by themselves do not bring happiness? There’s much more to it. Happiness is much more than money or achievement. And an unhappy life is a life of suffering.

No one’s life is perfect and without challenges. We all have things happen from time to time that will shake us to our core. How effectively we handle them is what I call our emotional fitness. Are you emotionally fit enough to handle life’s major and minor stressors and upsets and still feel Ok?

Are you able to handle any adversity or negative emotions that might surface and still be productive in all areas of your life? That is emotional fitness.

Our busy, fast paced, plugged-in lives create stress which magnifies the emotion.  Feelings of anger, sadness, guilt, depression, overwhelm, anxiety, fear, and self-pity just to name a few, all seem to get bigger under stress.

Most people tend to want to run from their emotions and avoid feeling the negative feelings but in my opinion that will make them persist. Attempting to suppress emotions requires energy that might keep them down for a moment, only to have them surface in a more profound way later on.  That’s not effective.

Here are some things you can do to improve your emotional fitness.

Begin to understand your body’s connection to emotions. I look at emotions as being wired into our nervous system, so that by moving or engaging our body differently it will change the emotional experience.  In my private client practice, I work to disconnect the emotion from the nervous system.

I calibrate the emotional experience on a scale of 1-10. So if the emotion is totally overwhelming, it would rate a 10, not really feeling it would be rate a 1. Measure the intensity of the feeling before you do anything with it and then measure the intensity after. This will give you evidence whether the feeling shifts or not.

Here are some simple examples:

Breathing- If you are feeling most negative emotions, you are probably breathing up high in your chest. If you change your breathing into your lower abdomen, around your navel, the emotion will shift. Try it for yourself and see. Think of something that bothers you, and now breathe lower into your abdomen. Does the intensity change?

In order to be more effective in your life and feel better, all you have to do is shift the emotions that surface. You don’t have to eliminate them completely. If you can take a level 10 emotion and make it a 6, you will not only feel better, because the emotion is more manageable, you will have more energy to do what you want.

Posture– Many negative emotions will cause us to unknowingly shrink ourselves down and compress. If a person is depressed, they have to physically close themselves down in order to feel that way. If you make yourself as large as possible by spreading out your legs and arms, and opening up your chest with your chin up, the feeling will change. Again, it is simply about moving the dial on the emotion so that you can be more effective.

Try combining the deep breathing with a widening of your body, taking up more space, and the feeling will shift even more.

Welcoming- I like to have conversations with emotions. Notice what you are feeling and say “welcome my friend, thank you for stopping by”. It will frequently change in intensity just by that alone.What works is to embrace the emotion, make friends with the emotion, or at least understand the emotion.

Having a sense of curiosity about the emotion gives you an advantage over it. Emotions don’t want to hang out with you if you are curious about them. They tend to leave. My belief is that every emotion is here to serve us in some way so I am curious about them.

Inviting- Imagine in your mind that you have two chairs, one for you and one for the emotion. Yes this is silly, but it works. Invite the emotion to take a chair next to you and offer it a cup of tea. This is yet another example of making friends with the emotion. Be curious about it.

What does it do in your mind’s eye? Will it sit with you or does it flee? If it’s still there, thank the emotion for joining you. Tell the emotion “I’m here for you anytime you want to stop by. Thank you, I appreciate you.” Simply notice what happens and how you feel. You will feel better because the emotion can’t exist in the same form if you are initiating making peace with it instead of fighting it.

In any moment, we are either operating based on our past or based on the inspiration of something compelling to us. The more you make peace with and embrace your emotions, the more they will shift not only in that moment, but also in the future. Your mind will begin to recognize that you can consciously change the emotion anytime of your choosing, so future events will reduce in intensity as a result. You will be happier and feel like you are in more control of your life.  Try it for yourself.  People find this to be a pleasant surprise.