Liberation from You

Liberation

Bob Marley (photo by Euli Frey)

Liberation. The word is inspiring and filled with history and meaning.

Look up the phrase “independence”  on Wikipedia and you’ll get a definition about countries, nations and states and self government.

Look up the word liberation, and you won’t get much. As a definition, three words, actually.

Why so much about freedom but so little about liberation?

I think it’s because when we’re in a prison cell, or in a dictatorship where we’re unable to travel freely,  we know it. Those things are obvious to see and easily trigger a desire to be free from them.

What is not so obvious is when we are a prisoner to our own mind.

Liberation: What we really want but don’t know it.

People can get comfortable living in a dictatorship. Prisoners can become accustomed to and even comfortable with prison life. “This is how it is. We just have to make the best of it” is how we might come to acceptance of these conditions. But we don’t deny the fact that we aren’t free.

Not so when it comes to our minds. We have the capability to live our whole lives imprisoned by our beliefs, thoughts and feelings, and believe the whole time that we aren’t. This is called delusion.

This is what we all truly desire: liberation from the things that keep us from happiness, health, and prosperity, including the inability to see them for what they are.  We seek liberation from unhappiness, unease, discontent, and discomfort. We want liberation from emotions such as sadness, anger, guilt, regret, and fear. We want freedom from bad habits, patterns of thinking that don’t serve us, and lack of self worth and self esteem.

At our core, we all seek liberation from what holds us back from what we want. What is required is liberation from being blind to the fact that the biggest thing that holds us back is ourselves.

The problem is that we can get pretty chummy with those things that imprison us. We can become so comfortable and so accustomed to living in fear, anger and sadness that we come to accept it as how it is.  This way of being can become so pervasive that if given the key to our own liberation, we will give it back and say no thanks. Then, we will blame something or someone else for our inability to step through the door.

True liberation, true freedom, is being able to see what is true and act accordingly. The truth will set you free.

The truth is that most of us will never completely  escape the emotional landscape that surrounds our humanity. We will be subject to  grief and sadness, anger and resentment, guilt and regret, unease and discomfort.

Our liberation comes from seeing this truth with stark clarity and exercising our freedom to choose how to respond. To be liberated from ourselves is to see clearly that we don’t need to be slaves to our emotions,  desires, regrets, or habits. We can at least acknowledge that the chains that bind us to an unfulfilled life are illusory, and like wisps of smoke, can be blown away at any time.

But it’s not easy. Most people need some help. The best that most can hope for is to achieve liberation from the heaviest chains, and only you know what they are.

“Emancipate yourself from mental slavery. None but ourselves can free our minds.” 

~Bob Marley, Redemption Song

Ted

You can hear the podcast of this blog at TedMoreno.com, or Soundcloud, or iTunes.

 

Once Upon a Time, There was You, Making Up Stories…

Making up stories

Do you have a habit of making up stories? We know some people who have a tendency to exaggerate the truth. We think we know what is real. But do we really?

Something that happened to me this morning:

  1. I was out for my morning walk when a police officer pulled up alongside of me in his car. He asked me my name and for my ID. He said that they had been looking for a missing person that had the potential of hurting themselves and that I fit the description. I gave him my ID, told him I wasn’t the one he was looking for and he drove away.

Now, let me tell you a story.

  1. I was taking a walk, minding my own business, when a police car passed me. I nodded to the officer. A few minutes later he came back because he had nothing better to do and decided to harass me. He demanded my ID, and made up some story about looking for a missing person. I know he just wanted to mess with me because I nodded to him and they don’t like when you do that.

What really happened?  Which is real? What is reality?

We can spend days talking about reality, so why don’t we just try to stay in touch with reality. We want to deal with what’s real don’t we? We don’t want to waste our time dealing with what’s not real. Yet, the truth is, we do that all the time.

I would suggest that that #1 is a description of what happened and that #2 is a story of what happened. See the difference?

Those who study quantum physics have concluded that there is no objective reality “out there.” That means, that for there to be reality, there must be you to describe it.  (Check out this video about the paradox of Schrodinger’s cat.)

So we could say that reality is what we perceive, or experience. However, is it possible for two people to perceive the exact same thing, but have a different reality of that thing? Absolutely.

The fact is that we each have our own individual reality. The reason that our personal reality can be so very different from someone else’s reality is not because of what we perceive, but because of what we make it mean. The meaning comes from us, making up stories. One of the defining characteristics of human beings is that we give meaning to just about everything by making up stories about it.

In my work as a hypnotherapist, I help people see that we are all making up stories about what what happens to us. Because we are always making up stories, we believe them, and we can become “hypnotized” by them.

Our reality consists of two parts:  There’s what happened, and then there’s us, making up stories about what happened. There is perception, and then there is interpretation.

In my case, there’s what happened, (a police officer stopped me and asked my some questions) and then there’s my story of what happened (a police officer harassed me). The problem is, it’s really easy to get the two confused. We believe that our story about what happened is what happened, and that becomes our reality. Then we make decisions based on a story that for the most part, is made up.

Meaning Making Machines Making Up Stories

The fact is, humans are meaning making machines. We are always  making up stories about what happens to us, we can’t help it. That’s what gives each life its unique flavor. What that flavor tastes like will depend on what kind of stories you are making up. “My business failed, that means I’m a failure” has a pretty bitter taste. On the other hand “Because my business failed  I learned something that will help me succeed next time” is a little more palatable, as well as being infinitely more useful.

Stuff “happens” all the time.  Most of the time, we can agree about what happened. Up to a point.

We can agree that the weather is hot. But we’re not going to stop there; we are always making up stories about the weather!  We have to make up a story about what happened, it’s our nature to do so. For example:

  • What happened: The temperature outside is hot.
  • Your story of what happened might be: I’m going to suffer today because I hate the heat. Or, if you are a kid, you might make up a different story: It’s hot so we get to swim in the pool!

Sometimes though, the stories we make up can be really lousy:

  • WH (What Happened): I asked mommy to buy me a pony and she didn’t.
  • SWH (Story of What Happened): Mommy didn’t love me.
  • or
  • WH: I don’t live in a mansion like the people on TV.
  • SWH: I’m a loser!

One of the biggest obstacles people have to personal happiness is that they are making up stories that are really crappy about what happened to them!

It’s very easy to believe that what happened and the story of what happened are the same thing, but they rarely are. And if we tell this story over and over repeatedly, we can “hypnotize” ourselves into believing that the story is what happened, and that our story is reality, when all it is us making up stories which may or may not be accurate.

If that’s not bad enough, we act as if our stories are real. In other words, we base our behavior on a made up story, sometimes with dire consequences.

For example:

  • WH: Mommy didn’t buy me a pony
  • SWH: Mommy didn’t love me.
  • Behavior based on your story: I resent my mother and we don’t talk. (I want to make it clear that this is just an example. Of the eight kids my mom had, I’m her favorite. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!)
  • WH: I don’t live in a mansion like the people on TV.
  • SWH: I’m a loser!
  • Behavior based in your story: Since I’m a loser, I’ll break the law to get what I want.

One of the most important skills we can learn is to distinguish between what happened, and our story of what happened, because the stories that we make up will affect our lives, for better or worse.

The quality of our lives is not determined by what happens to us, but by the stories we tell about what happens to us. What we do in our lives will in a large part be determined by the meaning we attach to our life’s circumstances. If we can become aware of those stories and how they affect our lives, then we have a choice. We can begin making up stories that empower us, instead of making up stories the dis-empower us.  The meaning of our lives is made up by us, so it’s all invented anyway. We are the creators of our lives. The only question is, what do you want to create?

Much of my work with my hypnotherapy clients involves helping them identify stories they are telling themselves that are disempowering and downright scary. These stories rob a person of confidence, self esteem and aliveness, while perpetuating fear, doubt and unhappiness. The first question I ask of them is: “Ok, something happened to you, but what’s the story you’re making up about that, and what is that doing for you?”

I help people to stop making up stories that do nothing for them and I use hypnosis to help people’s minds become comfortable with making up stories that speak to their courage, strength, intelligence and ability to overcome challenges.  It doesn’t take that long to start telling a new story. It all depends on how invested you are in your old story.

 So the next time you feel anger, or fear, or doubt or sadness, ask yourself: What is the story I’m telling that makes me feel this way? You can choose to tell a different story, or you may want to keep that story for now, and that’s ok. It’s your story, after all. We all have one.

In conclusion, let me suggest that you don’t believe a word I’ve written. It’s just my story, and it works for me. I hope at least some of it works for you as well.

Ted

To here the podcast version of this blog, go to www.Tedmoreno.com/podcast or www.tedmoreno.com/soundcloud.

Stop It! 43 Things To Stop Doing NOW

stop
  1. Stop saying “I hate _.” That makes you a hater.
  2. Stop acting like you’re the only one with problems.
  3. Stop complaining to people that can’t do anything about it. They don’t want to hear.
  4. Stop complaining if nothing can be done about it.
  5. Just stop complaining, already!
  6. Stop wishing that what is, isn’t and that what isn’t, is. Deal with what is real.
  7. Stop watching so much television.
  8. Stop calling yourself bad names. You are what you say you are.
  9. Stop comparing yourself and your situation to others. Compare and despair.
  10. Stop buying crap you don’t need.
  11. Stop equating your self worth with your net worth.
  12. Stop  caring what other people think about you. Most of the time, it’s none of your business.
  13. Stop trying to get more done in less time. Life is not about doing.
  14. Stop being so attached to who’s in what political office. Most of the time, it doesn’t matter.
  15. Stop acting and talking like your favorite celebrity or tv character.
  16. Stop caring about what happens to Kim, Lindsay, Justin, JayLo, or any other celebrity. You have more important things to worry about.
  17. Stop worrying so much.
  18. Stop believing everything you hear.
  19. Stop believing everything you read.
  20. Stop believing everything you see.
  21. Stop believing everything you think.

  22. Stop pretending you don’t care about that thing that you say you don’t care about. Because you do care.
  23. Stop wanting today to pass quicker than it is going to. That just makes it take longer.
  24. Stop believing that it’s either this or that, black or white, right or wrong. It all depends on who you are, where you are and what year it is.
  25. Stop eating so much junk.
  26. Stop being so mean to your beautiful body. Yes, you.
  27. Stop arguing for your limitations.
  28. Stop believing that there is nothing you can do about it. There is always something you can do about it.
  29. Stop believing that what always was will always be.
  30. Stop saying that you will try. Yoda said “Do or do not. There is no try.”
  31. Stop trying to change people. Change yourself instead.
  32. Stop believing that God is interested in punishing you. She told me last week that you’re good at doing that all by yourself.
  33. Stop thinking that you deserve to be punished.
  34. Stop shoulding all over yourself.
  35. Stop being so fearful. Fear is False Evidence Appearing Real.
  36. Stop pretending that you have nothing to offer or contribute. If you’re still above ground, then you do.
  37. Stop being so afraid of other people. They are just you in a different body.
  38. Stop hanging out with people that want to keep you down. “It’s hard to soar like an eagle when you are running around with pigeons.” -Les Brown
  39. Stop holding back what you need to say. It’s bad for digestion.
  40. Stop holding on to your stuff so tightly. It’s making you constipated.
  41. Stop worrying about money. That’s why you don’t have more.
  42. Stop worrying that people will find out how smart, talented, gifted, funny, weird, nerdy, sentimental, warm and fuzzy and what a freak of nature you are. It takes all types, and it’s all good, my friend.
  43. Stop hiding your light under a basket. We need it now more than ever.

p.s. Don’t believe anything I’ve written here. 

Ted

Want to hear the podcast version of this? Go to www.tedmoreno.com/podcast

 

Happiness and The Hypnosis of the Culture Part II

Happiness

Here’s a parable that I think speaks to the topic of happiness and the hypnosis of the culture.

One day a monk stopped by the house of a wealthy man and found the owner busily filling a large steel chest  with gold and silver coins. Puzzled, the monk asked him what he was doing.

The man replied, “Sir, you have no cares. The faithful feed you, and if they do not, it doesn’t matter because you don’t care what happens to your body. But it is different with us householders. We must hoard some of our wealth so that we will not go hungry in time of need.”

The monk’s reply was to invite the rich man to visit him the next day in the hills outside of the city. When he arrived he found that the holy man had dug a pit in front of his hut and was busily filling it with small round stones. He had been working since dawn and had already amassed quite a pile.

“What are you doing, sir?” the man asked. “The mountain behind your hut is covered with these smooth, round stones. Why are you collecting them?”

“For time of need,” the monk replied. “It might happen that all these mountains are washed away, and so I am collecting these stones and hiding them in case I need them.”

“That’s crazy,” the wealthy man replied. “It is not possible for this mountain to be washed away.”

“And it is not possible that Life will fail to lay your food before you,” the monk replied, jumping out of the pit. “It is foolish to waste your precious time hoarding gold and silver. Your task in life is to know yourself at every level. Hoard your energy for accomplishing this noble purpose instead of frittering it away  on petty cares and anxieties.”

I’ve had this little parable for years on a page of magazine print. I can’t even remember where I got it from. I’m surprised that I kept it because it didn’t make a lot of sense to me at the time. Was the message that you shouldn’t be concerned about the future? That saving for a time of need was not important? How can you have happiness without abundance?

I found this filed away recently and I read it again, but now, I get it.  Let me tell you what happened in 2009 that allowed me to understand this story.

In 2009 my wife and I had just purchased our house in the middle of the great recession. House prices were down and so was my business. Many people were losing their homes at the time.

Shortly after moving into my house, I became very afraid. Most of my life I’ve had no desire to buy a house because of the commitment. Now I had a big commitment in the form of a monthly mortgage. I started to worry that if business didn’t pick up I might lose my house just as quickly as I bought it.

The fear began to grow. My business phone was deathly silent. I started to have pictures in my mind of packing up our stuff and moving out.

One night, as I lay in bed unable to sleep, I looked back over my life. I realized that most of my life, I had been without any substantial amount of money or material goods. This made me feel even worse.

But then, something else occurred to me. I have never been homeless. I had never lacked for food. When I needed a car, I was able to get one. I was always able to buy clothes if I needed them. Yet, in spite of all this, I had always been worried about money.

That night, for the first time in my life, I knew I could always count on myself to get by, but more importantly, that Life would provide for me. If we lost the house, we would always have a place to stay. I realized that worrying about it was paralyzing me and keeping me from doing the things I needed to do to attract business. And this worry was stealing my happiness.

My key to happiness was to transform doubt and fear into faith and gratitude.

To break free from the hypnosis of the culture and fully understand that who I was is not defined by my house, my car, or my bank account, but instead, by who I declare myself to be and how well  I am able to live up to that declaration.

I felt gratitude that for the fact that at least that night, I was sleeping in a house that I owned. That my two children were healthy and strong. That my wife was healthy and had a good job which she enjoyed. I felt happiness growing within me as I fell asleep.

I like nice stuff as much as the next guy.  I don’t want to just get by, I want to thrive and I am. But I’ll tell you this, I’ m ever vigilant of the hypnosis of “more and bigger” and it’s ability to infect me. My goal is to explore what it means to be human and  to be present to and grateful for the opportunity to live in this place at this time.

I’m not sure that I could write this if I was homeless, or suffering a tragic loss.  I am not arrogant enough to assume that whatever blessings or good fortune I’ve had is soley the result of anything I’ve done.

In addition,  I don’t know why I got so lucky as to own a home, have a healthy family and a job that I love. I’d like a mansion and Ferrari but I sure as hell don’t need one.

But if I am able to manifest that, it’s not going to happen by looking with envy at what the other guy has and feeling like a failure or less than. It’s going to be by declaring myself incredibly wealthy and blessed right now. These thoughts bring me happiness.

Shortly after that night, the phone start to ring again and my business picked up. I got some  help from coaches and mentors, some who were very generous with their time. The economy seemed to be getting better. Or maybe the only thing that was getting better was me.

Ted 

To listen to a podcast of this blog, go to www.tedmoreno.com/podcast

Photo by Skye Moorhead

www.skyemoorhead.com

Happiness and the Hypnosis of the Culture, Part I

happiness and hypnosis of the culture

You might’ve heard the story of the guy walking down the street and sees another guy looking for something by the side of the road. “Hey” the first guy says,”What are you looking for?”

“I’m looking for my keys”, says the other guy.

“Let me help you! Where did you see them last?”

“In my house.”

“Um, so why you are looking for them out here?” Read more

You, on The Hero’s Journey

 

Untitled-12

I like Star Wars. “The Empire Strikes Back” is my favorite movie. When I hear the word transformation, I think about Luke Skywalker, and unless you’ve been living in a cave since 1977, you know that he is the hero of the first three Star Wars movies.

Here’s a guy that goes from being a whiny, irresponsible young farm boy to becoming the powerful Jedi Knight that brings peace to the universe by bringing down the evil Galactic Empire. Only in the movies, right? Well, not quite.

The story of Luke Skywalker is a story as old as time. (as is the story of the Hobbit Frodo Baggins) It is known as the Hero’s Journey, and it is found in  myths and legends from around the world. The roots of the hero’s journey go back to the ancient wisdom teachings from the earliest of civilizations.

George Lucas, the creator of Star Wars, has acknowledged that he owes a debt to mythologist and author Joseph Campbell, whose theories about the hero’s journey have influenced numerous writers and artists.

Here’s a chart from Wikipedia under “The Hero’s Journey”:

398px-Heroesjourney_svg-298x300

In his book, The Hero with a Thousand Faces” Joseph Campbell describes the hero’s journey. (Click here for a really cool video regarding the Hero’s Journey and “The Matrix”)

According to Wikipedia: “Campbell describes a number of stages or steps along this journey.”:

  • A call to adventure: The hero, in the ordinary world, receives a call to enter an unusual world of strange powers and events.
  • A road of trials: If the hero accepts the call, he must face tasks and trials.
  • Woman as temptress: The hero will be tempted and must survive a severe challenge. If the hero survives, the hero may gain a great gift, which often results in the discovery of important self-knowledge.
  •  Return to the ordinary world: The hero must then decide whether to return with this gift , often facing challenges on the return journey.
  • Freedom to live: If the hero is successful in returning, the gift may be used to improve the world.

What’s interesting is that this chart looks very similar to another diagram that I am quite familiar with:

TheoryoftheMind1

Coincidence? I think not. Any substantial change or transformation means stepping into the unknown and facing the enemy inside.

Let’s examine the hero’s journey from the perspective of Theory of Mind. The top part of both  circles  is the ordinary world,  the realm of our conscious minds.

As we mature, we are called to adventure. This call is to take responsibility for our lives. This may involve going away for school, getting married, starting a career, or having children. This is a call most of us are willing to answer. Of course, there are challenges, sometimes major.

At this point there is a threshold to cross. We can choose to play it safe, sticking with the known and familiar, stuck in behaviors that don’t serve us, stopped by fear of the unknown. Or, we can choose the path of growth and transformation in an effort to create our lives.

We can choose to delve into the unknown, making a conscious choice to continue along the road of trials in search of a life that is meaningful and worth living, even if the path is unclear. We may realize that we cannot do it alone, and search for guidance in spirituality or religion, seeking out mentors, or being open to help from powers unseen.

In our  journey to create a life, we encounter the road of trialsloss of innocence, loss of love, rejection, disappointment, failure, intense pain, illness. At this point we may be made aware of our own character defects that brought us to this rocky road. These defects can be bad habits or addictions,  mental or physical laziness, or values that are lacking, not clearly defined or not adhered to.

Now we are in the abyss, the realm of the subconscious mind. We may have to fight demons that arise to keep us from moving ahead. We come face to face with our fears and doubts. Our primitive mind will kick in with fight or flight as a last ditch attempt to protect us from the unknown. We will want to turn back or quit altogether.

If  we choose to continue on the path to transformation, a part of us must die. Campbell calls this “Atonement with the Father”. Luke Skywalker,  in his battle with Darth Vader (“Dark Father” representing the evil part of himself) loses his hand and throws himself into the abyss, choosing death instead of surrender to the Dark Side. What dies in us is our identification with our ego, who we think we are, our limitations, our physical bodies.  We become present to who we really are: infinite energy, light, spirit.

We can now enroll our subconscious minds as a helper, as we work to get comfortable with new ways of thinking, behaving, and relating to ourselves. Our true powers are revealed to us: trust, faith, intuition, courage. We have acquired the gifts of wisdom and  foresight. We’ve developed clearly defined values that guide us and that are not negotiable.

We are now transformed, born again, and as such, we may seek to share our learning (the gift) to the world as we incorporate and synthesize our wisdom back into ordinary life.

The hero’s journey is humanity’s struggle to bring order out of chaos. Each of us walks the path of the hero’s journey, whether we realize it or not; in our daily lives, we seek transcendence over the mundane, the petty and the ordinary.

We are all continually called to action, to be great, bold, courageous. We will shy away from this call, yet it is unceasing. Transformation happens when we go boldly where we have not gone before, to quote a phrase, and trust that the universe conspires in our favor.

See yourself as the hero when you feel stuck, beaten, or paralyzed to move forward. You are fighting the same battle that each person fights, travelling the same journey as every human that ever lived. It is the struggle to become more than what we are.

Ted

 Photo by David Johnston
www.dk9studio.com

The Mental Bank Program: Rewrite Your Mental Script

mindcogs

 

So, has much changed since the New Year has started? If not, don’t be too bummed out. If you’ve been reading my blogs for any period of time, you know it’s all about your programming. If you want things to change, you need to change the programming.

So what if I told you that there is a system that takes five minutes a night that would program your mind for more money, more success and more happiness? Would you take five minutes a night and do it?

You might be saying “Sure, I’ll take five minutes a night to make more money, have more success and happiness!”

Well, the reality is, you’re wrong,  you won’t.  And even though you say you want to be more successful, prosperous, happy, that fact is… you don’t. Change can be the hardest thing in the world. Why?

Because of the most  powerful force in human behavior which is….. homeostasis. The innate drive to stay the same.

We see homeostasis in our physical body; if we get to hot, we sweat to cool down. If we get too cold, we shiver to bring our temperature back to where we are comfortable.

Same thing happens in our mind. For most of us, if we are short of money, out of a job, car soon to be repossessed, we become very motivated. However, when things are going well, we have a tendency to relax. Now, consider this: if things are going too well, we may even sabotage our success. Why would  we do such a thing?

Because our subconscious mind knows only two things: knowns and unknowns. What is known is familiar and comfortable, for example, the amount you have in your bank account. What is unknown is fearful to the subconscious, for example, a lottery winner of mega millions who very quickly finds himself back to where he started, wondering “Where did it all go?”

The subconscious mind makes up 88% of your mind. This is automatic behavior. This is your so called “life script.” And every day you wake up you see it: the car you drive, the house you live in, your bank account etc. This is the information that you receive every day that reinforces your comfort level, that is, your “knowns.

What do we do about our innate drive to stay the same?

The Mental Bank Program

We must work to change incrementally a little every day by sending the subconscious mind different information to get a different result. Putting new information into our subconscious mind can create new “knowns” that are in line with our goals. However, we must introduce this new information in a way that the subconscious mind can understand and take in deeply so that your “ceiling” of success begins to change. The most powerful and simplest way to do this that I have found is through the Mental Bank Program.

The Mental Bank program was invented by Dr. John Kappas, the founder of the Hypnosis Motivation Institute (HMI), the nations first accredited college of hypnotherapy and where I received my training as a hypnotherapist.

You can go to www.MyMentalBank.com and watch George Kappas, director of HMI and son of Dr. John Kappas, present the Mental Bank Program via streaming video. If you are interested in moving yourself forward and beyond your current level of success, performance, wealth or happiness, then I highly recommend this two hour video.

Only a small percentage of people reading this will bother checking out the Mental Bank video, which is why there are so few that are really enjoying the level of success that they would like. I challenge you to take the time to check it out. It’s interesting and informative and George Kappas does a great job making it fun to watch. Let me know what you think about the Mental Bank, OK?

Have a great week,

Ted

Under Pressure: Why You Need It

 

under pressure

 

I once had a job once working for tech support for a software company. This software needed lots of support, which the company charged for. My job was to collect credit card info from people needing tech support, then pass them along to the tech support person that would help them.

What they really wanted me to do was to sell plans that allowed people to call in for a certain number of times. All new hires were hired on probation, meaning they could let you go during the probation period. I was told my job security depended on selling a lot of these tech support plans.

So I sold like a fiend. I sold a lot of plans and felt like I was super cool.

On my first review, the boss said I was doing ok, but if I wanted to keep my job, I would have to do better.

I became indignant because I don’t like being under pressure. I felt I was doing great and they didn’t appreciate all the money I was making for them. I decided that if I was going to leave the company, it was going to be on my terms, not on theirs.

Even though being under pressure to perform made me grouchy, I sold even more. I made a bunch of money and when the next review came, they hired me on permanently.

“Wow” I said, “I was afraid I was going to lose my job.”

The boss (who I thought was kind of a doofus)  said “I knew you  were a keeper when we brought you on.”

“Why didn’t you tell me that at my first review?” I asked.

“Well,” he said, “You seem like the kind of guy who is motivated by being under pressure, and I knew I could get more out of you.” Turns out he wasn’t such a doofus after all.

Why Be Under Pressure?

“The only reason gasoline is useful is because of the controlled pressure it exerts within an engine. Likewise the value of water is when it is steam and under pressure in a steam engine. Even electricity is useless unless there is pressure measured in volts. One could come up with numerous examples but the point is that focused pressure is required for successful work… the right kind of pressure at the right time and place and the job gets done.”

~Jed McKenna

They train Army pilots by strapping them into a simulator that resembles the cockpit of an airplane.They are strapped in like they would be in a crash. They have to find their breathing device (a small bottle of air) clear the mouthpiece, breath normally, figure which way is out, release their seat belts, move to and open the door or window, and exit. Talk about being under pressure. Panic and you’re dead.

Don’t be afraid to put yourself under pressure. That is the value of deadlines, target dates and benchmarks. Get comfortable with being under pressure. Apply it at the right time in the right way.

Rock is transformed into diamonds  under extreme heat and pressure. Trees grow strongest under  pressure of weather and wind. The sharpest blade is crafted under pressure of hammer and fire.

How mentally tough can you become under pressure? You probably don’t know. The question is, are you willing to find out?

Ted

 

 

Fear of Public Speaking: Worse than Death?

Fear of public speaking is a fear worse than death

I’ll help you get out of that speech…

 

It’s been said that fear of public speaking is a fear worse than death for some people.

I’m not sure how many people have the fear of public speaking so bad that they would rather die, but many people do consider speaking in front of a group on par with a root canal on the list of their favorite activities.

Nobody is born a good public speaker. As with all fears, fear of public speaking is learned, and what is learned can be unlearned. When someone says “I have a fear of public speaking because I’m not a good speaker” all they are really saying is “I haven’t developed the skills to be an effective speaker.” Becoming comfortable in front of a group is a skill you can learn.

You may someday be called upon to speak to a group, maybe at a wedding or funeral. In today’s business environment, you will almost certainly be required to give reports or presentations to colleagues or clients. If so, consider learning to speak in public as necessary part of your personal and professional development.

If you are someone who gets the fight or flight response (sweaty palms, rapid heartbeat, shallow breathing, inability to think clearly) when asked to speak to a group, the good news is that you can learn to overcome the fear response and speak comfortably. It doesn’t  have to be  stressful. Many people who once suffered from fear of  public speaking  have gone on to become very good speakers.  Here are some other things to remember:

  •  You don’t have to be a master orator in order to be effective. You just need to be yourself. Don’t try to be or think of yourself as a “public speaker”.
  • The audience is on your side, wanting you to succeed.
  • The chances of you loudly passing gas, fainting, throwing up, totally forgetting what you were going to say or  the audience throwing stuff at you rarely happens and if it does, you can probably make a joke out of it.
  • You don’t need to memorize a lot of information or even impart a lot of information. That’s what notes and handouts  are for.
  • It’s ok to feel a little nervous, that’s natural.

Of course, there are different levels of fear of public speaking. On one end of the spectrum, you might be challenged by social anxiety disorder to the point where even talking to someone one on one is a problem. On the other end, you may feel  fear or nervousness that makes the prospect of public speaking just another stressful thing  in  your life. Either way, if you want some help, click here to contact me.

Tips for dealing with fear of public speaking

  •  Practice but don’t over- prepare. Have an outline for what you are going to say. Put your notes on 3×5 index cards that are numbered in order. Practice saying the words out loud. Practice in front of someone you trust that can give you some feedback is one of the best ways to deal with fear of public speaking. Record yourself to see what vocal tics you might want to work with. Practice in front of a mirror.
  • Don’t be boring. The worst sin you can commit as a speaker is making people wish they were somewhere else. Although there are many situations where one may need to speak, try to craft your message to your audience so that what you tell them has some impact on them.
  • Humor is good. People want to laugh, and when they do, you’ll  feel a lot more comfortable. Just use common sense to avoid offending your audience.
  • Humility is good. Don’t try to come across as an expert if you aren’t. Even if you are, remember, people don’t care how much you know unless they know how much you care.
  • Make sure you eat something. Diet and your level of anxiety are intimately related. Don’t go in front of a group on an empty stomach or over-caffeinated.
  • Monitor the conversation in your head so that it supports you. It doesn’t help to say things like “I just know I’m going to screw this up.” or “I have so much fear of public speaking!”. Be realistic in your expectations and show this in your language to yourself. “I can do this, it’s only ten minutes.”  or “This is a great opportunity to show my stuff.”
  • Do a little mental preparation before you speak. Psyche yourself up, see yourself doing great, give yourself some positive suggestions.
  • Use EFT to release anxiety.

I help people  let go of the anxiety and  fear of public speaking that keeps them from getting ahead. If you want to excel as a public speaker, there’s a lot of instructional material out there including books, DVDs and audio programs.   Toastmasters is the most well known and respected venue for people to hone their skills, and I highly recommend that you check out your local chapter. Check out Barbara Rocha’s programs as well. If you have a fear of public speaking, you CAN learn to be comfortable whenever you’re called upon to “show your stuff.”

Ted

If you want to hear a podcast of this blog with a funny story, go to tedmoreno.com/podcast, episode 32.

Click Here For a Free Guide to Relieve Anxiety

 

Being Grateful for the Things that Went Wrong

 

Train_wreck_at_Montparnasse_1895

As we approach Thanksgiving, much will be written this week about gratitude, how to give thanks, counting blessings, how not to stuff yourself like a tick, etc.

I’d like to suggest being grateful for things in your life that went wrong. Things that didn’t go according to plan.

Now before I go any further let me say that, sometimes when stuff goes wrong, some really bad things can happen. It would be hard to be grateful for losing someone you love in a sudden terrible accident.

Still, many people that I speak with who have lost a loved one, often say that it was a wake up call for them; they realized that they were not being grateful by taking their lives for granted and resolved to live with more passion and love.

Recently, I was watching 127 Hours, the movie about Aron Ralston, the guy who survived a hiking accident by amputating his arm which was stuck under a boulder. Seems being grateful that would be really hard to do. Still, he gave a speech (he’s paid up to $37,ooo for speeches) “about how he did not lose a hand, but gained his life back.”

I had really bad back problems as a young man. Somedays I couldn’t get out of bed. But it got me into a habit of daily stretching that continues to this day that has kept me lean and mean (at least I think so). I’ve also been challenged by severe eye problems that necessitated shots in my eyeball. I asked the doctors “What can I do to keep this from happening again?” They said “Walk everyday.” Being grateful for those problems is easy because I walk daily and I love it. Better than a sharp stick in the eye.

Now when something goes wrong in my life, it’s a bit easier to ask myself “What is the lesson here? How can I grow from this?” Being grateful for the tough times is a little easier while they are happening even though the thanks sometimes comes grudgingly.

Can you look back and feel gratitude for:

  • The pain you’ve felt?
  • The disappointments you experienced?
  • The sadness you felt?
  • The loss you felt?
  • That time you got fired?
  • That time you got sick?
  • The times you got taken advantage of?
  • The time(s) you got dumped?
  • The time you were broke?
  • The time you lost your job?
  • The time someone told you the cold hard truth to your face?
  • The time you lost?
  • The time you failed?
  • That special once in a lifetime love who got away?

You might be thinking “How can I possibly be grateful for ____?”

Well, did you learn something? Did you become stronger? More compassionate? Wiser? More honest? More loving?

Did you find some tough stuff within that you didn’t know you had that still serves you to this day? Were you able to draw out  some courage or cleverness that allowed you to get to the other side?

Were you humbled? Did you get closer to God or your fellow man or woman? Was all the superficial, artificial, surface glitter and glam stripped away to reveal the real rock hard diamond deep down inside?

If so, then you’ve got something to be grateful for,  my friend. Doesn’t mean you liked it, or want to go through it again, it could just mean that you can say “It happened, I got through it, and I got something of value from it.”

If there is anything in you that is good, strong, right, and true, anything powerful and bold, any small measure of grit and bad- assedness, I’m not sure you would have it without those experiences.

It’s called a re-frame. You pull that dusty old stuff out of the basement, that junk that has been sucking your self esteem and self worth out of you, and you polish it off, hang it up and display it like a badge of honor, even if you’re the only one who sees it. You say to yourself “Yeah, I was flat on my back, I was down and out, I was crushed, hanging by a thread, written off, forgotten, humiliated, burned out and close to dead but dammit, I did not die! I am here to tell the tale! Yes it was tough but I was tougher!

That’s what I’m talking about. Being grateful for every little bit of it. It means you’re alive.

Ted