Test Self-Talk for Truth or Error

Do you talk to yourself? Are you kind or critical? Do you argue with yourself? Do you win? Or do you find yourself exclaiming, “This is driving me crazy!”? Could it be that the thoughts are going over and over in your mind without ever coming to a conclusion?

The science of Epigenetic says that a cell can only be in one of two positions: open for growth or closed for protection. The brain, based upon messages the body sends, gives command to the cells to flow (growth) or to fight-flight (protection).

"Man's greatest instrument is his psyche and is little thought of
and often directly mistrusted and despised." Psychiatrist Carl Jung

The key to “self-talk” is self. Quit beating yourself up; it is counter-productive. Growth comes in a safe, nurturing environment. A state of flow awakens one to the truth of your own nature. Fight assigns consent to stand up for your legitimate needs. Flight grants the freedom to be the best you that you are created to be.

Become your own best friend. Take responsibility for your actions without judgment or blame. Do not use your words against you through guilting and shaming. Do not use your words against others by blaming, criticizing or gossiping. When you have a legitimate issue to confront, address it from a place of victory not from a victim stance.

Overcome the “Yeah, but” syndrome. Self-esteem and self-honesty go hand-in-hand. Instead of being critical, angry or upset, send love to the problem. Practice the command to, “Love your neighbor as yourself”. In the midst of acknowledging your own flaws, send love to you. Armed with a healthy dose of self-love, rather than nurse ugly thoughts of another, send love to the troublemaker.

Mirror images. Negative attitudes play a color-blinding role. It blinds one to powerful self-truths and dismisses positive character traits. One born with the gift of leadership becomes a dictator unless exposed to the eye-opening light of self-reflection. Without self-knowledge a polite response to an offender may be judged as being weak.

Muscles are meant to tense and relax, to close and open, and to hold and release as needed. Unfortunately, many hold residual tension in muscles that hinders relaxation. Tension remains in the body through the failure to release and let it go.

Become aware of the times you hold your breath and allow it to be a springboard to reflection.

Monitor your self-talk for criticism. Rather than beat you up, practice self-compassion and strategize self-improvement steps. Rather than mentally berate another, practice other-compassion and strategize self-improvement steps that will bring personal growth, health and peace.

Mona Dunkin is a Motivational Speaker, Corporate Trainer and Personal Success Coach. Read past articles at www.monadunkin.blogspot.com. Contact her at mdunkin@flash.net.


The Freedom of Anger Resolution

Life hurts. A physical wound heals through proper attention of cleansing, ointment and time. So too with an emotional hurt. Only the proper attention is not to nurse, curse and rehearse.

Thought is reflected in the body as emotion. Thoughts may not be conscious, but emotions are. As the negative thought is replayed, one stays emotionally overwrought (raw). Lack of perspective unconsciously causes one to identify with his emotions and that emotion becomes “you”.

Emotion is the body’s reaction to thought. Hostile thoughts build up energy in the body that is experienced as anger. The more one identifies with his thoughts (likes, dislikes, judgments and interpretations) the stronger the emotional energy charge.
An important function of the mind is to remove emotional pain, thus the confused flurry of mental activity and the need to deny reality. Some things are so painful the only way to handle it is through denial.

Emotional pain is lessened through reflection that brings resolve. Resolution involves opening the mind to consider all sides of an issue; to be willing to see the pros and cons of all parties involved. Resolution brings things to an end. Problem solved. Resolution declares the conflict is over.

VERY IMPORTANT NOTE: It takes one to resolve, two or more to reconcile.
The resolution within yourself frees you in several ways.

1) It frees you to be civil toward the offender.

2) It frees you to be open to your part in the conflict.

3) As your attitude sets a gracious atmosphere, it frees the offended/offending party to be receptive to your insights.

4) It paves the way for reconciliation.

5) It strengthens you to live peacefully with unresolved issues.

6) It promotes overall spiritual and physical health.

7) It gives you courage to set boundaries and/or to respect boundaries.

8) It builds tenacity within to embrace a spirit of forgiveness to self and others.

When we cease to draw identification from the pain, we are freed to be free. We are freed to find resolve whether through action or inaction. We are freed to experience love, joy and peace. Love, joy and peace transcend emotions all the way to the state of being.

Mona Dunkin is a Motivational Speaker, Corporate Trainer and Personal Success Coach. Read past articles at www.monadunkin.blogspot.com. Contact her at mdunkin@flash.net.


Acceptance vs. Approval

“You may love in all infirmities and even in spite of,
but love does not cease to will their removal.” C. S. Lewis

We as human beings are prone to attempt to control our environment, thus finding it difficult, if not impossible, to accept things as they are. The inability to accept self, others or circumstances is rooted in fear. Fear rejects. Allow these thoughts to give you the strength give a positive response to what life hands you.

Acceptance is not approval. Sometimes to understand what something is, it is necessary to start with what it is not. One does not have to approve of personal flaws in order to recognize another’s good qualities. In fact, acceptance of self – flaws and all - gives freedom to honestly evaluate positives to enhance and negatives to work on. Accepting one’s self gives liberty to receive others.

Acceptance is not complacency. To agree does not mean to put up with as though nothing can be done. It is to look at the locus of control. Whatever is within your sphere of control – i.e. self – then you have something to work on. Whatever is not within your realm of control – i.e. other people, time, the weather, world events, your team’s score – is not within your direct control.

Acceptance has its roots in faith and trust. Faith looks forward to the fulfillment of that which has not happened yet – as in a positive change in the individual. Trust rests in the end results. Trust is being true to your part of the bargain while allowing the outcome to just be, whether according to your dictates or not. To allow is to resist control.

Self-evaluation helps. The human condition tends to be judgmental over anything we are ignorant of, arrogant over, or non-compassionate for. Asking and answering difficult questions is a shortcut to self. Conquer your veto by honestly answering the questions, “Why do I not trust the outcome of this situation?” “By failing to accept, what are you trying to hide?” “Is it panic over losing control?” “Is it trepidation that s/he will become more difficult?” “Could it be lack of self-trust?” “Is it the fear of giving another permission to be himself?” “Is it because I see her actions reflecting badly on me?”

An inflated ego comes from a fragile place. Disapproval puts us in protective mode rather than openness to learn and grow. Your goal may be to get the individual to see another way of doing something. But the receiver perceives it much differently. Criticism is seen as a threat and threats must be countered. At a cellular level, he goes into protection mode. The individual may give in to your demands, but has learned nothing, as the mind is not in a frame of learning, growing and changing.

Choose to embrace the individual in spite of the disparity of beliefs. It is through acceptance of his humanity that opens doors to communication. God does not force the Ten Commands; he allows truth or consequences.

Mona Dunkin is a Motivational Speaker, Corporate Trainer and Personal Success Coach. Read past articles at www.monadunkin.blogspot.com. Contact her at mdunkin@flash.net.


The Turtle's Edge

You remember the story, the turtle and the hare, and how slow consistency won over spurts of speed. Although I love those inspirational moments of quantum leap productivity, I am finding that persistent intermittent activity proves to be more sustaining of long-term success. Does persistent intermittence sound contradictory? Let me explain.

Decision vs. Circumstances: Words carry weight. To a hare, commitment is heavy, demanding onerous; with little or no fun. A decision is simply changing one’s mind from doing this to doing that. A decision is lighter, easier to handle, even energizing. The benefits of following your decision are such a blessing that one unconsciously slides into being committed to the goal.

Stretch/Grow/Stretch: The human body is equipped to meet challenges. Adrenaline may be released to power-up for a Herculean feat, or the parasympathetic system may be activated to power-down to preserve life (trauma in a fall, fatigue from overwork).

Small Steps: Ironically, speed walking is not in the length of the gait but in short steps. A health article predicted an individual’s longevity based on the time in which he completed a mile. The suggestion to increase speed was to take smaller steps. I tried it. It works. I am now applying this strategy to projects and receiving quicker results. As the task is broken down into small steps for quicker completion, energy is increased to keep on going.

Six-a-Day/Three-a-Day: The story goes that Ivy Lee proposed to Charles Schwab, president of Bethlehem Steel, a strategy to increase his company’s efficiency. Each executive was asked to take a few minutes at the end of each day to make a list of the six most important things to be done the next day; then number the tasks in order of importance. Early the next morning, they were to tackle number one and continue down the list until closing time. Whatever was left over would move to the top of tomorrow’s list. It worked.

This plan still works today. Pre-determine where your energy will go and start at the top. Feel good about marking off an accomplished task and proceed to the next. In my turtle’s edge frame, I go for three-a-day and anything else is a bonus.

Four/Seven: Release the popular 24/7/365 self-defeating attitude for performance. Decide to devote a minimum of four days out of seven to the newly formulated goal. I think back to a goal on my to-do-list that kept being moved to tomorrow until it became a drudgery to even think about doing it. So I marked it off. There. Forget about it. Go on to other things. Only subconsciously that goal was too important to mark off. Once I took it out of my have-to sphere of to-do, I found myself excitedly making plans and looking forward to doing them.

Just as the rising tide elevates all boats in the harbor, so, too, improvement in one area positively influences all. That is the power of decision; it creates a domino effect in the composite whole of your life.

Mona Dunkin is a Motivational Speaker, Corporate Trainer and Personal Success Coach. Read past articles at www.monadunkin.blogspot.com. Contact her at mdunkin@flash.net.


Becoming Whole

Everyone searches for identity, purpose, satisfaction and significance. We long for love, self-worth, meaning, fulfillment and happiness. We often come up short.

Life must be lived to be realized. Wholeness does not take place in a vacuum. Inner wholeness is expressed through relationships, work ethics, love and commitment. By God’s design, we were placed in community to rid us of the illusion that we are self-sufficient.

Only separate beings can engage in healthy relationships with family, friends, career, community responsibilities and civic duties. Whole individuals interact without becoming enmeshed. Without individuation, true relationship does not happen.

Take yourself out of the middle. Someone cannot put you in the middle of a situation without your consent. And no one can keep you from taking yourself out of the middle. Unless you are a trained negotiator that can analyze sides with impartial unemotional perspective, remove yourself from this middle position immediately. Minimizing your role in the drama.

Realize that you are neither the rescuer nor the protector. Yes feelings may be hurt. Yes blame may be placed on you. Interfere (i.e. justification and rationalization) keeps negative energy going and delays rational thinking that can resolve misunderstandings. A recovering client remarked: “Who knew that I needed to learn to say ‘NO’?”

Scarred yet whole. On a nature walk I found a pretty white rock. It looked as though a mower thrashed it, knocking out pieces. Even though it was scarred, it was pretty. The broken places showed its inner beauty and solid structure. I made the parallel to life issues. Although scarred, the individual has inner beauty; brokenness reveals inner substance and character.

Substance not stuff. When you do not need “stuff” or externals to prove your value, you shift to “I am enough.” This insight gives way to being thoughtful of self and others. As you respect yourself, you generate respect for you in others.

Emotions denied. Emotions can be so strong the only way to handle them is through denial. Denial is refusing to acknowledge facts. Think back on a hurtful situation and observe it from a place of detachment. See the offense from a place of disengagement. Truth hurts only when it is supposed to. Observe and let go. When we come to terms with truth – the good, the bad and the ugly – we are well on the way to wholeness.

Give serious thought to ways in which you may be your own worst enemy. Are your actions bringing relationships closer and more meaningful? Examine your attitude see if is the path of happiness and success or unhappiness and failure. Practice these suggestions first with those you are not so emotionally attached. As you become comfortable with your newfound behavior and attitude, begin dealing with family members in your new assertiveness

Mona Dunkin is a Motivational Speaker, Corporate Trainer and Personal Success Coach. Read past articles at www.monadunkin.blogspot.com. Contact her mona@monadunkin.com