“Instruction does much, but encouragement everything.”
(Letter to A.F. Oeser, Nov. 9, 1768)”
― Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Early and Miscellaneous Letters of J. W. Goethe: Including Letters to His Mother. With Notes and a Short Biography
A client of mine knows exactly what to do to eliminate her fear feelings. She is a therapist and has worked her way out of her fear mindset by using the tools of her trade. She likes coaching people to feel encouraged the same as I do. But sometimes, she gets herself mentally stuck anyway. That’s part of the human experience.
She knows where her fears come from. They are memories from her perfectionistic, alcoholic mother. Sometimes she gets into life situations and relationship interactions that seem like familiar mother-child memories. Thus, her fears come from staying stuck mentally in past memory of trauma.
And it IS okay for her to ask for help from others when she really needs it. She is currently developing the habit of “allowingness.” When she allows herself to consciously focus on the things she loves doing, just for the sake of liking what she can do, she feels encouraged instead of saddened about her life. And that’s where she is right now in her personal development journey.
What about you? Are you doing things that allow you to feel encouraged by focusing on what you CAN do? Are you sharing this concept with your coaching clients?
Replaying The Memory
When you keep insisting you are stuck in fear, hopelessness, depression, or any other form of victim consciousness, you are right; you are a victim in that moment. You are playing that role from a memorized script you stored in your own mind’s memory banks. And you can stay mentally stuck there or you can consciously respond with something that encourages you to focus on something where you feel good about you instead of feeling like a victim.
Think of a part of your mind like it’s an external flash drive. In it you’ve stored memories from the past. In some of those memories, you are a loser. In others, you are a winner. Those are competitive memories. And there are some memories where you are a lover…a love of yourself for who you are. Those are the memories to work from because you feel encouraged playing that role.
React or Respond?
We can react or respond to memories. When you react, you are oftentimes a victim. When you respond, you acknowledge that the trauma happened but you’ve moved on through it with confidence instead of fear. When you feel confident about liking yourself for who you are, you feel encouraged about life.
When you react instead of respond to a memory, you have accessed and revived a victim role using your brain. Do you feel fear, shame, guilt, etc? If so, you’ve triggered a past victim consciousness memory moment. And that’s the last thing you want to do…play the role of a helpless victim.
So what can you do to feel encouraged instead of mentally trapped in the emotion of a past memory? Stop reacting and start responding to play the role of accepting, respecting and loving yourself for who you are instead of basing your personal value on performance. Here’s a simple process that might be useful to you and your coaching clients on responding instead of reacting:
1-You suddenly realize you feel like a victim. This is the time to start expressing encouraging, uplifting, inspiring gratitude for what you have, can do or can be instead of focusing on what you cannot do. Remember, you can focus on ANY thought and FEEL a result of that focus. To make life valuable, recognize we are ALL works in progress.
2-To think and process the event optimistically, instead of mentally being stuck in victim consciousness, notice ONLY the successful achievements in your life. Concentrate on expressing gratitude for an ability you visually demonstrate. Be the CAPABLE you in that moment and forget about anything else.
3-Persevere and focus on developing the habit of expressing encouraging gratitude if you accidentally trip a mental trigger of a victim consciousness past story.
Example: You are at a social gathering. You typically assume no one will like you. That assumption is a LEARNED behavior and the trigger to thinking like a victim. When you hear something hypercritical of yourself, ask yourself questions as if you are wonderful and proud of who you are.
Why ask a question? Because the brain is a search engine. It will search for answers to make the answer to the question true. So, by asking a question assuming you already ARE what you want to be, the critical voice stops pushing you to think like a victim.
Sample questions to ask about yourself as if they are already true (because they CAN be if you desire):
“Why do I love my friendly smile?”
“Why do I give myself credit for coming to a social gathering?”
“Why do I know that people generally like me?”
When you ask these questions assuming everything is okay, it is okay! Be encouraged. You ARE wonderful just for being who you are. Never forget it and start practicing and developing the habit of being the encouraged you!
Are you a coach who helps people feel good about who they are? Practice this exercise with them. For further questions about building your confidence and self esteem, please contact me by email. Or, read some articles about the mind, body, spirit connection at my website.