Thursday, December 23, 2010

9 Tips To Focus Better and Affirm Your Life

Here is a list of things that you can do to focus better on outcomes and get your life working the way it should. Here is a list of things that you can do to focus better on outcomes:
1. Think about the result you want before entering the situation. As you go to work mentally play out how you want the day to go. Repeat it out loud over and over again. Hear yourself affirm it;
2. When phoning others or when your phone rings, say out loud that you intend and expect for the best, most positive out come. Keep your tone upbeat.
3. Put on a good song that gets you feeling good and sing the words. Some songs have just the right lyrics for affirming how we truly feel.
4. Use a general mantra like, "This is a great day!". Practice saying this over and over with a smile on your face. Practice it when you're physically moving like walking or exercising or dancing to your favorite tune. Practice it in front of the mirror. Every time you get to a red light, look in the rear view mirror and repeat, 'This is a great day!" (I like to follow up with "I love my life!". Smile at yourself and mean it.
5. Think of a positive moment. Before going into the office, think of something funny. Tell yourself a joke or incident that made you laugh. Repeat it out loud.
6. Make a list of the things you want to get done that day in the morning. The read it out loud to yourself. Use your top three items as a manta, "I gotta get milk today!"
7. Take a few minutes to use the all-in-one, "THANK YOU WORLD!" affirmation each time something you life happens in life. thank the moon, sun and stars for everything that makes you feel good.
8. Preset your day before going to bed and making a list of the things that you did do today and give yourself a pat on the back. Repeat your intentions out loud.
9. As you drift off to bed, see yourself waltzing through your day. See the good conversations flowing. See the nice interactions with others. Affirm out loud just how well tomorrow really is going to be.
Think of something good, speak it out loud. Affirm it. In time you'll see that the more you say it, the more you believe it and the more you believe it, the more you will see it.
Anne Dessens is the editor/founder of Anne the success website through personal development in the major areas of life: diet, exercise, health, self-improvement and universal laws. Improve your your life by mastering your emotions and personal growth through journaling:
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Sunday, December 5, 2010

How to Acheive Your Goals

I have addressed many aspects of goals in my posts; how to achieve goals, shared my long term goals, my short term goals and how the law of attraction plays a role in all of this.  One thing I realized I do not do is give updates and in this case I feel I have to in order to illustrate how quickly when focusing on your goals doors open up for you that you never knew were there.

In my last post I named a new goal to improve my verbal communication skills in addition to the long term goals I often speak about.  To loosely quote myself I stated that the Law of Attraction is constantly at work and if we consistently keep our goals in mind the opportunity to achieve them will find a way to present itself in our lives.  I spoke specifically of my goal to overcome anxiety when using verbal communication, finding a mentor or someone knowledgeable in this area that is willing to share their knowledge or lend advice and finally put all of this into practice.

In the couple days since I have posted this new goal an opportunity has not only presented itself to help me on this goal but also ties into my other long term goals of creating enough passive income to work for myself online in the next 5 years.  Soon after posting an online venture came about that has the potential to not only generate multiple revenue streams but it is centered around communication.  Best of all this venture involves a partner who happens to be an excellent speaker.  So I will be living, eating and breathing this venture for the next few months which ties all of my current goals together but with it I will have the opportunity to find my voice again, or perhaps develop my voice s a better way of putting it.

In addition to this opportunity coming along there was another instance in which some wisdom was shared with me which has really given me some insight to think about regarding my frustrations that I have aimed at not being able to do many of things I used to be proficient at prior to getting sober and it has really allowed me to develop strategies or at least an understanding as to why I have lost so many skills I had when actively using drugs and alcohol.  My substance abuse began at a young age when in elementary school and everything I have learned from that point on I learned to do while functioning as a practicing alcoholic/addict. Well unfortunately I have had to or will have to relearn everything all over again as a sober individual.  This is just about everything in my life and looking back at when I first came out of the hospital it is so true.  I met my family sober for the first time and have had to learn my role and where the new me fits in.  But that is very high level and this relearning process goes even into the finite detailed areas of my life, such as basic motor function which I have written about before not having any control over for some time after getting sober, also I wrote about discerning sounds and their point of origin, determining whether a voice was male or female.  This is best suited for another post of it's own as I would like to give this topic the justice it deserves but wanted to point out that just this understanding of why I lost so many abilities such as verbally expressing myself efficiently is helpful for me because just like I got my motor functions back, my hearing re-calibrated, my family role defined, these other abilities will come to me as I learn to do them sober and of course I am not going to be able to do many things at the level I once could without practice and it was foolish of me to think otherwise.

I realize nobody was on the edge of their seats waiting for any updates as to the goals that I have set for myself but really felt the need to share the amount of opportunity afforded to me in just the last two days since originally setting my latest goal.  They are not gimmes and are going to require much work but anything worth having in life always does.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Finding Voice - Barriers to Effective Communication

Today has been a constructive day for me.  I have refocused, taken inventory of where I am at, where I need to be and the next steps to take.  My mind is still going a mile a minute but I am not letting it get too far ahead of me.  I am eagerly awaiting word as to whether a few pieces of work I have submitted will be published or not, I am obviously hopeful and optimistic but if rejected I will at the very least receive valuable criticism on my work. 

So outside of my goals I speak of daily I have a new one to work on that has nothing to do with my current projects but such is an invaluable tool in life, often it separates the have(s) from the have-not(s), the revered and the  ignored…and this is finding my voice.  Not my writing voice but rather how I verbally communicate and express myself to others.  I know this is difficult for so many of us with different forms of anxiety but we must recognize verbal communication importance.  Although what may be going on inside of our head is a very intelligent, well thought out million dollar idea we are unable to vocalize it the way we would like simply not doing  it justice and the idea or statement simply falls flat.  Perhaps this is more prominent when there are too many people, around authority figures, perhaps an overbearing personality.

In my previous employment I was the Lead Structural Planner & Estimator over Government Contracts for a large shipbuilding company.  Being the youngest to have ever held that position or one of equal responsibility at that particular company meant that I was often aggressively challenged by others so I had to know my stuff, know it well and be willing to go toe to toe in a moment’s notice either defending a position, plan or idea.  Contract negotiations were quite interesting and in many instances grown men cried out of frustration or anger, I was never one of these men due to the confidence I had in myself and my abilities.   Often during the course
of these aggressive business dealings certain people   that knew just  enough to make themselves and by throwing around a few buzzwords (most of us have met the type) they tried passing themselves off as knowledgeable when arguing how long they thought a particular operation should take or the requirements that went with that operation.  I had to use my voice of confidence, reasoning and finesse to run verbal circles around them, poke holes in everything they said and then restate what in reality had to take place.  Although I am very glad the tone of business where I am currently employed is a much different environment and does not require me to constantly be on the defensive but it was also challenging and exciting to know the business in and out and truly be a subject matter expert. 

Reading back I sound like a pretty confident guy with all priorities in order, the only problem is that I have yet to reveal the small detail that during this entire period I was abusing and eventually became physically dependent on opiate based painkillers originally because I liked the way it made me feel fearless and quick-witted.  When on these I had no inhibitions as they took away any and all anxiety or doubts that I had and with them I knew how knowledgeable I was. I was often referred to as a “walking encyclopedia” in regards to any structural requirements when it came to Nimitz Class Nuclear Powered Aircraft Carriers (CVN) because I was able to quote chapter, line and verse of the particular Military Standard that was the Governing Document we were working to. 

Then everything for me changed in one night after having had a very close call and nearly died from an accidental overdose where I am told I stopped breathing and had no pulse (according to my wife who saved my life I literally was dead for a short while). After that event and with the help of a Doctor I managed to kick this habit, although I was still not clean and sober I was off of that particular drug. 

When I left this drug behind I also seem to have left my voice, my confidence, my ability to easily structure thoughts into intelligent well phrased sentences that projected any substance.  This drug obviously did not make me smarter, but I felt without as if I was projecting myself as someone with much less to offer.  I decided I had to move on as roughly half of the people employed there used painkillers recreationally and I began to look for work elsewhere which I eventually  found and although I have a standing offer to return anytime I do feel as if I left having lost.  Being seen for who I was when anxious and no longer the whiz kid, or certainly did not feel like any whiz kid was a humiliating experience for me. 

So how can I regain that voice of confidence and fearlessness?  How can any of us that have this problem?  I know in my case it is there waiting to be tapped into but this time I need to find it without the aid of drugs or alcohol, perhaps you are in the same situation or maybe you have never found your voice but realize the value it has in life. There are several ways we could go about doing this, of course only through healthy means as nothing in this world is worth trading my sobriety for. Therefore I am going to use every tool at my disposal, which most of us have more than we realize.     

Like any other goal in life we need to have a plan.  First thing I am going to do is to try and find a mentor, somebody that speaks with confidence and authority that I would like to emulate. I can explain the situation and it is important to be completely honest about how anxiety is robbing me of this very important tool and work with this person whenever possible, anyone that would make a decent mentor should be more than willing to help if they have time.  Chances are the person you would pick as a successful speaker is also an authority figure and therefore has the means to coach you and most likely get you in front of an audience, if and when you are ready.  I am going to try and do this first chance I get, the larger the audience the better.  By being forthcoming up front with the audience about our fears or troubles speaking, should make for a supportive and very attentive audience, wanting you to do well and willing to give constructive feedback as this fear is by far the most common form of anxiety and if you have an audience larger than one person then odds are someone in your audience has the same problem. If none of these options are available hen there are always local Community Colleges that offer Speech Classes and if taken seriously the return on invest would be immeasurable.

Since I am big on Positive Affirmations I am going to include this goal when writing my daily affirmations. Visualize the success you will have and how good you will feel afterwards.   Do not do this just once and call it good,  recognize verbal communication importance and if at all possible do it again while that feeling of success of speaking to the supportive audience is still fresh because if you are anything like me the self-doubt will start to sneak back into your psyche and before you know it you can be right back in the old frame of mind fighting and fumbling your way through speaking trying to remember a simple word or phrase.  

Most importantly like any other goal it has to be taken seriously and not something to put on a to-do list and file away but we must pursue it immediately through any of the means mentioned or as opportunities present themselves on their own.  Which, if taken seriously and something we truly desire a situation will present itself as the Law of Attraction is always at work.  As always thank you for reading and I hope you were able to find something helpful in these words.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Rough Day

I had a difficult morning that got to me a bit and really felt torn down by somebody, so rather than the direction my post was going I am instead sharing this affirmation I wrote.  I truly feel better and peaceful since having written it.

Today is a day that I realize how far I have come rather than the distance ahead.  I will let go of any anger that I usually hold in so tight and I will breathe.   There is only room in my life for positive thoughts, results and attitudes.  I cannot control the attitudes, outlook or opinions of others but I can quickly adapt mine to try, regardless of  results, negativity cannot affect me today.

I am meant to be happy and when someone speaks ill of me I will find something kind to say about them.  If they succeed in hurting me then I will find a way to make them feel good about themselves.  If they speak of my past I’ll silently celebrate my present. 

This peace comes from within so external factors have no effect.  This is how I choose to live my life today.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Why am I Alive?

One commonality people have that suffer from multiple forms of anxiety is an irrational fear of death often coupled with obsessive thoughts of their own mortality.  Yet us that use drugs and alcohol to mask these feelings engage in behavior that invites death directly to our front door on almost a daily basis.  I don’t know if there is such thing as Guardian Angels but if so mine has been working overtime since I was a young child.  Although in all my close calls in life the official cause of death would have been classified as drowning (few occasions), overdose (couple times), struck by train or car accident the root cause truly would be the anxiety.  Although my own stupidity led me to engage in these dangerous activities, it was stupidity driven from desperation, desperation to escape these overwhelming fears, emotions, memories, the future.  A person in this state of mind truly is a walking paradox in regards to what we fear versus how we act.  This is something that only somebody that has been there will relate to and probably sounds like more foolish justification coming from somebody that can’t handle their liquor.  This is okay, we are so used to being misunderstood that it makes it that much sweeter when we find somebody or their story that we relate to because we have been there and lived perhaps not an identical situation but at the very least one very similar.

This makes me curious about the random news stories you hear of those who have not made and passed away from any number of ways.  Usually they are small little snippets that go in one ear, register in the normal person’s mind as another idiot dying by the sword and then out the other, never to be thought of again.  But what stories that person had leading up to their death.  Their struggles, fears, outlook and how they chose to deal with their surroundings is fascinating.  Each little snippet is a best-selling novel filled rich with hard knock life lessons and mistakes followed by a moment of clarity in which that random person changes their life for the better and passes it on for others to learn from.  But, that didn’t happen in their case, instead their story goes untold and as far as the public is concerned their legacy is the ends and nothing of the means, such wasted treasure troves of knowledge. 

So, why am I alive?  Is it really as random as my wife deciding to roll me over to check on me when she thought I was taking a nap prior to her going to bed and find me purple not breathing, that I just happened to have the additional second to be able to dive off the train trestle to beat the oncoming train, that I for whatever reason just woke up after having supposedly drowned, that I just happened to be exhaling vs. inhaling when the gas can I was huffing from ignited, that my abductor was physically too weak  to hold me down long enough in the Pacific Ocean or is there some larger reason that I was able to fight a riptide drunk for four hours and out of simple frustration rather than any knowledge decide to swim parallel to shore and get spat out onto land and live on to someday write this blog post?              

It is absolutely mind boggling to me because I cannot be that lucky, but at the same I am in no way any more deserving than all those in the snippets of news that some people chuckle at.  So as survivors how are we supposed to comprehend this?  I apologize as I do not have the answer but wanted to pose the question as it definitely worth discussing and meditating on.  I do not know if we have purpose that has yet to be fulfilled, perhaps there are Angels, perhaps….the list of possibilities are endless.  But I write all this to honor all those that for whatever reason did not survive their demons and for us that have to really look at how miraculous it is we are alive.  We survived the ridiculous paradox of Anxiety and Panic and we deserve to take a moment and bask in the euphoria that this momentous accomplishment gives us.  If you are reading this and are still in active use or addiction and you are able to relate to anything I have written, I beg of you to consider perhaps this is your wake-up call that your luck is about to run out and you need to turn, face your demons and please get help now, regardless of how inconvenient or scary it may seem, the only alternative is what we all fear so much meaning death, although it is inevitable it is not meant to be from the means of our self-medicating or the subsequent behavior that comes with it and that is the absolute bottom line. 

I am not sure why, but I felt compelled to write this today for my post and have not stopped typing to think for a second until now.  I truly hope this reaches those that can be helped by it, unless of course this was my purpose and meaning and this post will inspire somebody to go get help, they go on to cure cancer and now the universe is done with me and I die from a hangnail infection. 

For those who have been interacting with me regarding my posts I always love to hear your feedback and any thoughts, opinions, theories or stories regarding this topic please let me know because as I stated I am at a loss for an explanation as to how or why I survived when so many others, many of which had much more to offer the world than myself did not.  As always, thanks so much for reading and my positive affirmations I am going to focus on are that I am grateful that the upcoming work week will go well, I am grateful that the correct audience is going to read this post.  I am grateful that my web store business will pick up and be the busiest it has ever been this upcoming week. I am grateful that the new advertising company for this blog will provide ads that will be much more appealing to the readers and prove to be a profitable decision.  I am grateful that I will have a calm and relaxed state of mind in all that I do.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Rejoice! You're Not a Fruitfly

Happy Black Friday for those of you brave enough to go shopping…I am not courageous enough to tackle something like that.  I have been practicing balancing some time for myself and my projects like I wrote about in the last post and have found myself fighting a bit of depression since slowing down which I am sure my small audience can relate to, there is a Buddhist concept I want to share that I ponder on when feeling down and hopefully if you are not already familiar with the precept then you will also find it useful and inspiring.  

Far from verbatim and I will do my best to not butcher the message but the basic concept is for us to meditate on how fortunate we are to have been born human.  Of the countless forms of life in the universe from the mosquito to a blade of grass to algae in the sea, against all astronomical odds we came into this world as human…the mere fact that we are able to communicate this concept to one another and understand is amazing enough in itself due to the gift of human consciousness. What we do this gift is not only to be taken with the gravity it deserves but to also be aware how quickly this gift may be taken away from us.  We could easily die tomorrow and following this precept never be born into human consciousness again but much more likely to be born as one of the billion forms of bacteria rather than as human if we go simply by mathematical probability.  Whether you personally agree with this religious outlook really is not my point but rather the concept that it illustrates.  What will you do with this gift?  Spending it being depressed and joyless or by celebrating the fluke in which we won the ultimate life lottery of being born human and make the most of every moment we have been given in this present form?  I am far from doing the original text justice but I hope the point still comes across and you can find this concept helpful in your life.

So why am I suddenly turning religious?  I assure you I am not, I am not trying to sway anyone to a particular religion or anything along those lines, simply share a bit of what I have picked up as useful during different periods of my life, usually periods of change where I have done soul searching, wondering why I am here, searched for meaning or purpose in life and most importantly what that purpose is.  This lead me to read bits and pieces of several different religious texts out there, just as I have read other non-religious text such as “The Secret “ to which I commonly refer to.  I have found all contain many beautiful concepts, insight and moral values in which to live our life by.  I certainly do not consider myself a religious person but I do consider myself spiritual.  This comes from personal experience and feelings, many situations I should not have survived but due either to dumb luck or some higher intervention I always managed to beat the odds, and in some instances the odds were far from in my favor.  These experiences coupled with something inside me that just screams I have a purpose in this life I have yet to fulfill although I don’t have the foggiest clue what that might be or perhaps everyone has this same feeling inside them.  Please feel free to share whether or not this feeling is inside of you as well as I am personally fascinated by this.

Prior to writing my positive affirmations on this post I would like to explain the concept again as I have received a few questions regarding their meaning.  If you read my post titled  Positive Affirmation I explain it in more detail and how it has proven to work for me in the past when I needed it most. I focus on what I want or need from life, I believe it will happen,  become so certain that it will happen and that it will manifest into  reality that I treat it as if it has already happened.  One of the ways I do this and what has worked for me in the past is stating I am grateful for whatever I am trying to attract into my life  (please read The Secret as I do not come near to giving the concept justice).

I am grateful that I am enjoying taking time to relax and am not struggling with not working.  I am grateful that this blog has become successful and has hundreds of followers.  I am grateful that this blog brings comfort to those that read it. I am grateful that when I continue on my projects they will be successful and generate revenue to help achieve my goals. I am grateful that I am calm and anxiety free.  I am grateful to be filled with joy and have no depression.  I am grateful that you as a reader will try this and see how it will positively affect your life.

Thank you again my friends for reading, although I hear there are still issues becoming a Follower of my blog with Yahoo, people with Google accounts seem to have no problem signing up as a follower, unsure of AIM or the other means listed. 

Thursday, November 25, 2010

When Do Goals Become an Obsession?

Happy Thanksgiving all!  I apologize that I have not posted in the last few days.  My focus has been on my many little projects I have spoken about on previous posts.   It has been a frustrating, hair pulling, teeth grinding adventure the past few days.  I have caught myself many times having to remind myself of what I spoke about in the post called Re-Defining Failure as well as Positive Affirmations.  I have felt that I have failed at a good amount of what I have worked on lately, but like we talked about earlier it is not really failure if any new skills are learned or if headway is made; which in this case, although it seems like a limited amount to me but new skills have been acquired as well as making some headway.  I simply hoped in vain that I would be able to teach myself to write code, implement it and see instant results, which as I write this it becomes clear how foolish this line of thinking is and how far I’ve come in the past couple days, I even have a website created completely from HTML code, published and ready to generate income.  I suppose I considered myself failing due to the fact I cannot get it tweaked exactly the way that I want and some other details that will bore you all as readers if it hasn’t already.  It’s amazing how therapeutic writing can be by putting things in the proper perspective.

The reason I said it also made me think of the post Positive Affirmations post is because I was not following the examples I have written about regarding positive thinking that I know work for me and was allowing myself to focus on failing rather than success.  For those that have not read the post I’m referring to a quick synopsis of what it contains is a very specific example of how I was able to deal with one of the hardest and most anxious times in my life which was detoxing from drugs and alcohol by using positive thinking I basically focused on a lie I told myself over and over which was that I was so grateful I did not feel the pain, did not feel the anxiety, did not feel  basically everything I was feeling and by doing that I was able to get this to manifest  into reality almost instantly could physically feel the calm come over me.  But in that post I only addressed the manifestation of positive thoughts and did not mention the flip side of that same coin.  In the Law of Attraction it is very important to realize the same is true for negative thoughts. If all we focus on or think about is negative, like so many of us with anxiety and panic disorders tend to do and sometimes obsessively, then all we are attracting into our lives are those negative things and something we consider bad will eventually happen or manifest in our life as that is what we are attracting when we focus so intently on negative thoughts although it is not intentional.  So it is definitely a double edged sword, whether we choose to use it or not the law of attraction is always there and ready to serve up whatever we are attracting into our lives.   

I have been focusing and getting frustrated on my failures, so what am I attracting?  More failure, so I actually read through some of the posts that I have written as I must practice what I preach or walk the talk as a good friend and follower of this post will like seeing J  but I have come to the realization that in order keep my thoughts in check and stay positive I need to take time for myself and for my family outside of my financial aspirations in order to try and keep a healthy balance of working towards goals without being consumed by them.  So I am going to try and enjoy the moment as there will always be a new goal and without this balance we will never be able to enjoy the fruits of our hard work and our personal and family lives will self-destruct. This actually was not my wise thinking but came from a discussion from my wife today who asked me when the last time I took any time off to just relax….after really thinking about the answer I realized how badly I need balance in my life.  Not just to keep a positive attitude and attract good things into my life but to realize it is okay to have time for myself and family and this does not mean I am letting my goals slip away. Rather, it is the healthy non-obsessive approach that "normal people" not suffering from any anxiety disorder or addictive/obsessive personalities, so even if it pains me to do so at first I will take a break from the 24x7 lifestyle and it will actually be interesting to see if the amount I am able accomplish is able to stay the same or perhaps even increase due to a more relaxed and healthy state of mind.  I will be sure to keep you all posted on how I am doing regarding all of this.  Here is something you should find useful How to Set and More Importantly Acheive your Goal

So today not just because of the Thanksgiving Holiday but rather because I said I will end every post this way I am grateful for the headway I made this week.  I am grateful that I am calm.  I am grateful that I have found the perfect balance in my life.  I am grateful that I have that I have a firm grasp on how to achieve my current goals.

Thank you all for reading as always.  I have contacted Google and I believe I got the Follower Widget working so please if you would like sign up as a follower of the blog it should allow you to do so now.  Happy Holidays!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Being Courageous, So Simple a Child Could Do It

Let's talk a bit about courage, what it means to us and think of the part of our lives stored into our long term memory banks as children where we knew no fear even if it was a very appropriate situation to feel it. Many of us that suffer from anxiety would never consider ourselves as courageous and usually far from it, but we all have the capability of being courageous as I will talk about a little later. Most of us know or at least know of people we consider as heroes or courageous individuals. Typically people would think of our Armed Forces, Firefighters, Law Enforcement and of course the many brave people and their actions taken on 9-11. Us that suffer from anxiety may consider people courageous for much less, such as being able to speak comfortably in front of an audience, or for simply looking as if they feel comfortable in their own skin. Not often would anyone think of a five year old child when courage comes to mind, as it is so easy to forget the fearlessness that came so naturally with being a child. Here is an amazing excerpt where a 5 year old boy is faced with a difficult decision resulting in tremendous courage on his part in which he is willing to make the ultimate sacrifice to help his little sister.

“Many years ago, when I worked as a volunteer at Stanford Hospital, I got to know a little girl named Liza who was suffering from a rare and serious disease. Her only chance of recovery appeared to be a blood transfusion from her five-year-old brother, who had miraculously survived the same disease and had developed the antibodies needed to combat the illness. The doctor explained the situation to her little brother, and asked the boy if he would be willing to give his blood to his sister. I saw him hesitate for only a moment before taking a deep breath and saying, ‘Yes, I’ll do it if it will save Liza.’
“As the transfusion progressed, he lay in a bed next to his sister and smiled, as we all did, seeing the color returning to her cheeks. Then his face grew pale and his smile faded. He looked up at the doctor and asked with a trembling voice, ‘Will I start to die right away?’
“Being young, the boy had misunderstood the doctor; he thought he was going to have to give her
all his blood.” Dan Millman, Chicken Soup for the Soul

What an amazing and inspiring example of courage shown by such a small child! "It's So Simple Even a Child Can Do It" is a phrase often used to describe a task that requires little to no skill, but we never look at the flip side of that coin as "It's so Simple that Only a Child Could do it" , again a simple task that should require little to no skill, but why are we as Adults incapable of the courage this small boy has shown? It is all there stored in our long term memory banks all the actions, some of which we now consider fool-hearty but how we acted when we were children with little to no thought of any possible consequences we might face let alone irrational fears. If we could now, as adults be able to summon even a small portion of this courage we held as children then think of all the amazing things we could accomplish! Well beyond beating our anxiety/panic and not just in our lives but also how we could affect the lives of those around us.We all are given opportunities to be courageous in life, sometimes by small and seemingly insignificant acts and other times by actions requiring major sacrifice or risk to one self. It is up to us when or if we will ever be courageous, but let's all at least try to tap into that brave child within ourselves when confronted with our next scenario in which we may feel fear or not so brace. Here are 3 great ways to overcome fear each focusing on different but common aspects of fear; Erase all Fear in Your Life by Eliminating the Root CauseEliminate all Social Fears with Help of Hypnosis and Make your Public Speaking Fears Disappear Today
I hope you all found this excerpt as inspiring as I did.  Today I am grateful that my current research is not overwhelming and that I have a solid grasp on exactly what needs to be done.  I am grateful that I am calm and that today is going to be a productive and enjoyable day.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

My Dark Passenger

I currently write for a Financial Newsletter at the Company I work for.  Most of it can be pretty dry but I was able to share this story that was given to us in rehab and I just realized that I had not yet shared it with you all.  I hope you all can really think a bit beyond the obvious moral of the legend but realize how the demons we fight inside of ourselves, whether anxiety, depression, only a small portion of who we are and it is important that we do not let that portion consume our being as it easily can. So here is the story, which is a Native American Legend that actually has several different variations out there but here is the one that I like the most;

 "The Wolves Within"

An old Grandfather said to his grandson, who came to him with anger at a friend who had done him an injustice, "Let me tell you a story.
I too, at times, have felt a great hate for those that have taken so much, with no sorrow for what they do.
But hate wears you down, and does not hurt your enemy. It is like taking poison and wishing your enemy would die. I have struggled with these feelings many times." He continued, "It is as if there are two wolves inside me. One is good and does no harm. He lives in harmony with all around him, and does not take offense when no offense was intended. He will only fight when it is right to do so, and in the right way.
But the other wolf, ah! He is full of anger. The littlest thing will set him into a fit of temper. He fights everyone, all the time, for no reason. He cannot think because his anger and hate are so great. It is helpless anger,for his anger will change nothing.
Sometimes, it is hard to live with these two wolves inside me, for both of them try to dominate my spirit."
The boy looked intently into his Grandfather's eyes and asked, "Which one wins, Grandfather?"
The Grandfather smiled and quietly said, "The one I feed."

Is that true or what?  My own worst enemy is by far myself and a dark part of me so badly wants me to fail and to self destruct...even though I have starved this side of me for some time now it is still there just waiting to be fed.  I am quoting "Dexter" but it is my Dark Passenger.  So to end this post with a positive affirmation or the law of attraction (please read "The Secret" or at least my blog titled "Positive Affirmations" if you have not already done so) I am going to try and do this in every post as it will be a good way for myself to never lose sight of this tool at my disposal.

I am grateful that the portion of myself I am going to nurture today is the portion of me that wants to succeed and to strive to improve who I am.  I am grateful to feel calm and that I will have a fruitful and anxiety free day.

Thank you my friends  for reading and as always I hope there is something here that you found helpful.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Breaking Out of Fight or Flight Moments

As promised I am following up on my last post about Re-Defining Failure in regards to the subject of being stuck in the state of mind where we feel that we are struggling at simply surviving the moment let alone planning for the possible pitfalls of any long term goals which  would be like concerning yourself to perfect your breast stroke while being sucked out to sea in a rip tide. 

My heart aches for those of us stuck in this horrible state of mind.  I suggest if you are please read my post titled Positive Affirmation in which I spoke a lot about the tools I used surviving moment to moment during my stay in the hospital to detox and it is such a shame that our brains can get stuck in this fight or flight mode like it does and finding that off switch can be extremely difficult.  I know that my mind was stuck in this mode for years without mercy or any sign of letting up which is what lead to my substance abuse and subsequent addiction.  I know it is much easier to write it then to actually do it, but if you are in this mindset and have not seen a Doctor it is imperative that you do and find a treatment that works for you, identify and be wary of your triggers. Instant Panic Relief Techniques comes highly recommended from it's users and does address coping techniques as well as a lot of data regarding triggers which is key in how to avoid the attack in the first place. I know what just took me ten seconds to write may take years to accomplish so I do not mean to over simplify it at all nor am I trying to discourage those who have recently started treatment and just honed in on the use of the word “years”.  Every aspect of anxiety for each individual is different, so treatment of this disorder may be as simple as your first prescription drug bringing relief, to your struggle not being a lifelong one but rather just a small chapter in your journey through life.   Whatever the case may be I truly hope you are able to get out of the moment to moment survival and get to the point where you can begin to look long term again.

With my particular anxiety falling into the category of Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) stemming from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder the way it was treated was slightly different than say someone who has a sudden onset of Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD) or one of the countless other forms  that exist but I can tell you each treatment is very different and varies quite a bit and although some General Practitioner Physicians are quite knowledgeable about the different treatments out there a specialist (often the one’s with couches) are really the best way to go in finding the right treatment that works for you.

I'll share a bit about my story which may be helpful especially if it sounds familiar and the treatment you receive is not as helpful as you would like then you may want to seek out or at least learn about other treatment options and providers available to you. As I stated previously my anxiety stems from PTSD which I got following an abduction experience as a young teen.  Some of the specific events that took place during the abduction I have been told is what triggered the PTSD and follow on anxiety/panic.  So over the years of being treated for my disorder some if not most of the treatment providers I have seen assume that I have unresolved issues and that the best form of treatment for me is to address the root cause rather than the panic which some say is a symptom rather than the disease. 

Again, I am not a Doctor nor in the Mental Health Field but simply stating my opinion and I am able to tell what helps me and what does not.  But if I am going to talk about my disorder with a professional then I prefer to talk about my feelings or needs today as an adult and my day to day struggles that I have now rather than focus on one event over and over in hopes that someday my episodes will suddenly cease, don’t get me wrong that would be wonderful but I think it would have taken place by now, and the treatment I currently receive is geared like this and as the disorder is a chemical imbalance in the brain it is the imbalance that through pharmaceuticals and lifestyle changes we focus on correcting and if I need to talk about what took place when I was a kid then great, I could do so if I wanted but is far from my only option to help get me out of  the fight or flight state of mind and back in control of my life

Thank you for reading and as always I hope that somebody finds any of this content helpful and please feel free to leave feedback or questions.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Re-Defining Failure

First of all I would like to sincerely thank all of you have been reading the blog so far and especially to those of you who took the time to contact me to share your stories and how you were able to relate to what has been posted so far and I am humbled by any inspiration you took away from the posts.  The feedback received has surprised me but was my intention when creating the blog which is still so young that I truly hope the content and/or experiences shared will continue to yield positive results.

What I wanted to talk about in this post is the fear of failure and our perception of what failure is. I realize that this crosses boundaries into those that do not suffer from a type of anxiety disorder but in my opinion or at least from my personal experiences the fear of failure is compounded into the realm of unhealthy or irrational for many of us that do suffer from anxiety.  But this is something I feel that I have recently been able to really put into a healthy perspective for myself and have had to in order to meet my goals I have set.

So, what are people remembered, recognized or classified by?  It is always their achievements or successes that they have had in life, never from their failures or attempts that fell short, for instance you never see an e-mail signature block that states a name followed by “Mediocre Father” or “Failed to get my Real Estate License” or “Holy Balls I think I’m Dying” (for those in the midst of an attack) but of course you see what they are defined by are their successes, such as the fact they are an MBA or DDS or whatever they have accomplished and it is almost a guarantee that they experienced many mini “failures” in getting that title. But when we dwell so much on these little failures that we shut down immediately at the first road block rather than analyze the situation, see what went wrong and then move on logically to the appropriate step we get nowhere and will always look back at the experience as something else we cannot do or are not good at.  This can be due to the self-esteem and the misguided perception one has of themselves when suffering from forms of anxiety, it can also be that we are just so overwhelmed by the anxiety in our life that we can’t take on any new goals as our current goal is simply to survive the moment.  Both of these are crippling to achieving what we want out of life.  Let’s talk about the first instance of self-esteem and fear of failure in this post and then I will go back to the 2nd of getting through the moment to be able to start thinking about what you want from life.

In order for me to achieve my goal for instance of financial independence is going to take being diversified enough to generate many different revenue streams to make a living from.  This is a path filled with what could be considered failures which I have already had my fair share of, a good example of this is building websites that have flopped and gone nowhere for many different reasons.  These could be considered failures but six months ago I had no idea how to build a website as I am not naturally a technically savvy person, but now through these failures I am very comfortable with creating websites of different types and templates as it’s just a matter of trial and error, it’s through these failures I now have a website that has far surpassed my expectations and would have never achieved this without the previous failures and the skills I picked up along the way.  In my particular goal this is a vital tool needed in my journey but if I had given up after my first flop it would have all been for nothing.  The current project I am tackling is the mobile app market and this has a high probability of failure.  I have zero programming knowledge and have just begun to read about the programming skills required and it is going to be a battle BUT even if I do not get to the point where I am able to create an app on my own that generates income I will however be familiar enough to know which parts of programming I am incapable of doing on my own and hire a freelance programmer to just write the portions of code that I cannot do which will be much easier I assume then handing over my entire idea, and all the legal paperwork involved.  There is actually an ad that I put on this blog today that can most likely be easily spotted now that I have mentioned it….but I put it up by writing my first HTML code…it’s far from impressive but I did not know how to do this 48 hours ago.  

 I hope that hearing of my floundering but still having the ability to stay resilient towards my goals is helpful to those of you that are like me and want to avoid failure at all cost, even if that cost means staying in your comfort zone and not taking a shot what brings you real happiness in life.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Anxiety, Addiction and Withdrawals: How Positive Affirmations Got Me Through the Darkest Chapters

A few years back I never would have thought I would be writing a blog regarding Positive Affirmation as anything considered self-help did not fit my personality, I probably would have told you it is because that was for the weak minded but the truth is I was the weak one, always living moment to moment, feeding my body any cocktail it craved to keep an even keel and calm demeanor.  I never thought long term as it was too scary of a concept to tackle because I knew in my heart I was in a sinking ship, years of alcoholism and pill use to keep my anxiety at bay was starting to really take its toll on my health and the lie to myself of cleaning myself up "someday, just not today" had become apparent was never going to happen.  I would die in my 30s and anxiety for once really was going to kill me but for me this was easier to accept than to strip away my tools and face the world sober, it was difficult enough in the mornings to get down enough toxins to get me going. I was fully aware of the demons just waiting for me every time if my body ever caught me sober.  What changed all this and motivated me to change is for another post but what I would like to share is my darkest days and how applying affirmative thinking became my only tool.        

On the night of 10/09/09 I entered into a detox/rehabilitation center.  People who suffer from anxiety know that the thought of their next encounter with anxiety is enough to trigger an attack.  Well, this was no different for me and I was already in full blown panic mode just knowing what was in store for me prior to going into my 5 day long, for lack of a better description, strange& nightmarish land of detox from alcohol, benzos and painkillers.  Thanks to my insurance not wanting to pay for any of this I was brought out of the heavy sedation I was under several days early and moved into the rehabilitation half of the program.   This was my re-introduction to life and I had not felt panic so strong since I was a young teenager when my episodes first began.  Confusion, uncontrollable tremors, disassociation, auditory & visual hallucinations were my life and the scariest part was I knew that it was not all withdrawals but I was facing my new reality and since giving up was not an option I tried my best at functioning with the senses I had working.

 We were brought to nightly meetings and in these meetings I was unable to tell who was speaking as every voice had no beacon of direction from which it was coming and all voices sounded the same to me and had a sort of electronic feedback tone to it as if I was listening to a bad digital recording, this was something that lasted a few months and I remembered hearing people’s voices sound like this as a young teenager when my anxiety first began hitting me and was untreated.  There were a few things I kept hearing over and over again in these meetings however, they were mostly stories told from people who were supposedly once in our shoes and how they came out the other side.  The common denominator for most that spoke was that they were brought to the brink of sanity and when they had no other option they had thrown themselves to their knees and prayed.  A sense of calm came over them, all symptoms ceased and since that moment they have never lost this peace nor had a craving thanks to divine intervention they were given.  In my desire to escape what had become my twisted reality I would have tried anything, had it been suggested that being circumcised a 2nd time was helpful I would have been the first to sign up for round 2.  So, every evening after hearing this I would go into my assigned room and throw myself to my knees and since I was not only on the brink of sanity but I feel a bit past it I asked in all sincerity for help in hopes of this sense of calm to fill my body and mind. Well, something did happen…I hurt my knees, badly.  So for me there was no quick fix blessing.  But at this point I had yet to be introduced to the concept of Positive Affirmation.

I do not know how many days into rehabilitation I was when we were having a group session and the movie “The Secret” was played for us.  I am sure the majority of this audience is somewhat familiar with this movie or at least the underlying concept which is Positive Affirmation.  It talks about believing in something, visualizing it, attracting it and it will manifest.  It sounded as likely at the time as me being cured by throwing myself onto a concrete floor knees first, but since they had not yet suggested circumcision I of course tried it the first chance after our meeting.  It is at this point I am able to remember in much greater detail my experiences in the hospital.  I was the only patient allowed to take showers throughout the day as the rehabilitation portion is meant to teach structure to those who have none in life but it was apparent to the staff that I had been pulled from the detox unit pre-maturely and soaking in hot showers helped with my spasms and shaking.  Rather than visualizing the million dollar check that the movie spoke of doing I began to say to myself in the shower that I was so grateful I feel calm, I was so grateful I no longer had anxiety, I am grateful my body is not tense, it is so nice to no longer feel confused and so on.  This was my holy sh*t moment, because it was really working for me.  I did not feel like I could thread a needle or bob my head on beat but I felt myself take several steps back from that brink I keep mentioning.  The following morning when I woke I said the same things and the Nurse who was handing out meds in the med line noticed I was able to use one hand to put my meds in my mouth without having to guide it with other and was also able to drink from my Dixie cup to wash them down one handed.  I had actually not noticed myself that I had done that but it was my first time since arriving that I had some motor skill function back.  From that moment on multiple times daily I said these same things and pictured myself and the confidence I once had when medicated by my own devices, I said I was grateful for having recaptured that feeling sober.  Again, these were not leaps and bounds but it did have a drastic effect on my mind and body. 

Today, so grateful to be reflecting on these moments rather still living them but I still use this technique when feeling anxious as well as in many other aspects of my life such as my current goal to achieve financial independence and to not have to work for anyone other than myself.  Again, I am not there yet but I am so much closer than six months ago.  I know in the midst of a panic attack rational thought is hard, if not impossible to use but I cannot stress enough the effect it has had on my life for the better and I do not think I am an isolated case.  Please, if any of you try this then leave feedback as I am sure the readers would love to get other opinions or experiences weighing in on this or at the very least I would love to hear about your experience.  **I input a link on blog to order "The Secret" through Amazon if you are interested in having this book, I cannot recommend it enough..

Thanks again for reading and please feel free to hit me up with any questions, comments or suggestions you may have.   I am an open book on this forum and would love to help in any way possible. 

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

There is No Shame in Anxiety

Okay, Post #1…so assuming I managed to get any readers then welcome!  I will be posting links and tying to other feeds that you may or may not find useful here in the very near future as this post begins to grow.  I am excited to be able share about this topic and the daily affect it has now and has had in the past on my life with the countless of you out there who may relate to portions or perhaps all of what I say about my experiences.  I should also get it out of the way and let it be known that I am not a doctor, counselor or in the mental health field at all if you did not read my bio, so any and all advice comes from personal experience from having suffered from anxiety and panic disorder the last 18 years of my life.

There is so much in my life that has revolved and continues to revolve around anxiety, so much so that it is hard to know where to begin and without restating what I have already listed in my profile I will go ahead and dive right into what this blog is for to talk openly about anxiety and panic disorders; coping mechanisms whether healthy, legal or otherwise.  So the aspect of what I am going to focus on in this first post is that there is no shame in having anxiety, period!

Being human it can be very hard thing to admit if we have problems at all let alone with anxiety & is easy to fear that it will be perceived as some form of weakness or mental illness or that perhaps we are afraid it lessens our impact or presence that we need to maintain for professional or personal reasons.  I have struggled with hiding mine for years.  So let me go on public record and tell you that I have anxiety, panic attacks, irrational fears, obsessive thoughts and have in the last 18 years been convinced I am having a heart attack on at least 1,000 different occasions and often these feelings came on for no apparent reason at all (something I want to talk about in future blogs).  For many years I had an easy fix that consisted of 4 beers, 80 mg of oxycodone and a xanax bar for breakfast, then repeat as needed to mask or hide these symptoms but honestly, looking back at all the times I went a little too far and made nothing but a damned fool of myself all in the name of looking and feeling confident I would have much rather admitted to myself and to those around me that I am very afraid and I do not know of what and I do not know why.

It is estimated that approximately 13% of the population suffers from some form of anxiety disorder! Here are just a few names I plucked from a VERY long list of names you may recognize that suffer(ed) from a form of anxiety or panic disorders that may surprise you:
Abraham Lincoln (President - USA)
Anthony Hopkins (actor)
Aretha Franklin (singer)
Barbara Bush (former First Lady - U.S.)
David Bowie (singer)
Eric Clapton (musician)
John Madden (NFL announcer)
Johnny Depp (actor)
Oprah Winfrey (TV host)

So, if these people who have achieved so much can freely admit that they suffer from anxiety it may help us to put into perspective that any stigma that may come with anxiety as a weakness or character flaw is ignorant and outdated. My purpose in finding these names was simply to illustrate that there is no shame in anxiety but found the stories behind their struggles with anxiety all unique and how they overcame or simply learned to live with it all very inspiring and will keep in mind for future posts as most of us will relate and connect to bits and pieces if not the majority of each story.

So, for those of you who did not know, you are far from alone, there are countless people and resources out there willing to help and I would be honored if you follow me on my journey through the newest chapter in my life and we will hopefully be able to learn from each other along the way.  Thanks for reading the first of many posts!