Wednesday, July 30, 2014

The big bad F word

Overcoming Fear:

We’ve all been there. Done that. Sometime or the other. Been paralyzed with fear. Felt frozen on the spot. Got into a panic, broken into a sweat. Felt anxious, petrified or even literally trembled with fear. 

Fear has victimized and continues to devour most of us across many situations of life.

Some fear heights, while others are afraid to take the next step. Some fear closed spaces others feel terrified when faced with a crowd. Some fear death and yet others fear life itself. 

In relationships, in business, at work, with friends, adapting to big changes, attempting to finish what we started or when having to start all over again…Fear of failure or fear of the unknown persists. 

Fear often attacks like a vicious thief wanting to imprison our rationale and ability to act with courage.

So what is the antidote to fear? 

Here it is. My personal tried and tested remedy. A secret passed down generations and guaranteed to work.

Face your Fears.

Okayyyy, I agree. That’s no breaking news. We all know that. 

I searched ‘how to overcome fear ‘and about 60,400,000 results came up which mostly talked of facing your fear, taking ownership, acting on it in order to overcome. Very few ‘tangibly’ addressed how to get there. 

How to actually get to a stage where you feel BRAVE enough to face your fears?

Brave! If you really think about it, we’ve all been there too. 

In school, at college, getting out of a bad relationship/marriage, facing a medical issue/disease, at childbirth, avoiding accidents, when dealing with a death of a loved one, at work, when standing up for yourself or another or even when killing a cockroach/spider; if you look back there will be at least one moment in life when you would have demonstrated bravery or felt brave. 

Voila! There’s the antidote then! 

So in order to act fearlessly if we only recognize and repeat our ‘Brave Strategy’, we can have the perfect alibi, each time we are faced with crippling fear.

How? Here’s how. Let me give you an example.

1. Ask:

Can you recall a time when you were totally brave? 

Umm… Yeah! Sky diving, I think that was a brave thing to do; friends too complimented me on how brave I was to jump off a plane.

2. Ask: 

Can you remember a specific time? 

Yes, that was May 29th 2012

3. Ask: 

As you go back to that time now, what was the very first thing that caused you to be totally brave?

Was it something you saw (or the way someone looked at you?)
Was it something you heard (or someone’s tone of voice?)
Was it the touch of someone or something?

Well, I saw a friend’s sky diving video and was inspired.

4. Ask: 

After you (saw, heard, felt) that, what was the very next thing that happened as you were totally brave?

Did you picture something in your mind?
Say something to yourself, or
Have a certain feeling or emotion?

Yes, I said to myself, “I wanna do this!”

5. And you keep repeating question 4 until you or the person you’re asking says something like, “That’s it, I just did it then!”

So in a nutshell here’s my “Brave Strategy”

Events that led to being totally brave


I saw a friends video

Seek inspiration

I said to myself, I wanna do this!

Voice desire with an empowering statement

I researched the net for risks involved, cost, best weather days, reliable people in the business, etc.

Spend time to research and/or evaluate

I zeroed in on a day, date, vendor and venue

Decide on an action plan

Asked my husband to come along for support and motivation

Rely on family/friends

Practiced with the instructor till I felt fairly confident

Practice; Practice; Practice

When I was just about to jump, I did not think of past fatalities or what will happen if I fall/fail. I just did it.

Focus and act in the moment

And there it is, my ‘Brave Strategy.’ 

Now I just use this same strategy across various circumstances. At times the situation may demand a more detailed action plan and less research and at other times the equation may change. Sometimes it may require that I innovate, for e.g. I don’t think women would get an opportunity to practice childbirth, especially with the first born. So you replace it with something that empowers you in that moment. Effortlessly visualizing it in your mind maybe or prayer perhaps?

Bottom line, you are way stronger than you think. And fate does love the fearless. So act with courage. 

Now my question to you, my dear friend is —  What is your ‘Brave Strategy’?

Therein lies the answer to your fears.

*Based on a NLP technique; Strategy Elicitation

** Thank you +Meshack Ali Radebe for inspiring me to write this post.   

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The day a *Bollywood celebrity snubbed me.

2 Lessons Learned

Okay so this individual is an acclaimed celebrity and I admire his ability to be versatile and oh so uber-cool in whatever he does. Aha! So now you know it’s a ‘him.’ And that my friends, is no accident. Having to be gender neutral throughout this post would have been too cumbersome a task to take on.
Having said that about the present I’d like to dive straight into the past…

…My college years were full of memories. Coming from a highly grounded and honorably traditional family, the world outside of those realms was all brand new - more diverse and quite overwhelming. Typical of an impressionable youngster, I did all I could to fit in…. was a member of most college frats, hung out in the canteen, acquired a new wardrobe, attended and bunked classes, made new friends and went to socials and parties. Along the way though the line between ‘who I was’ with some and ‘who I was trying to be’ with some others gradually faded. Whilst I stretched myself to cope with all kinds of peer pressure as well as excel in academics, the internal struggle led to a few wrong choices which proved to be big learning lessons in later years. All in all, the metamorphosis of those influential (trial and error) years triumphed into greater self-awareness and a more perceptive understanding of others around me.
During this time I had a group of friends with whom I hung out often. ‘He’ was an integral part of that group and as such a good friend.

Many years later, I was on a call once with somebody who happened to be sitting with this yesteryear friend of mine. So of course I jumped at the opportunity to talk to him after so many years.
Here’s what transpired:

Me: Hiiiiiii!  (Super excited)
Him: Hello (In an indifferent voice)
Me: Sooooo; how are YOU? (Completely in a  bum-chum pal moment)
Him: Good. (Unenthusiastic monosyllable responses)
Me: You remember me, right? (Just not getting his drift; Duh!)
Him: Yes, I do. (Wish I didn’t voice)
Me: How’s life, it’s been ions (Still totally swimming in the past)
Him: Uhuh (Me: Uhuh???! That’s all you can manage to say! Finally…. Not a light bulb but a full on tube light moment right there!)
Me: Great then, good talking to you. (Good?! Seriously did you just say good?! Which part?! The part where you felt dumb and stupid or that part where you felt even more dumb and stupid?)
Him: Uhuh; Bye.
Me: Bye (Whatever…like it really even matters)

Now at first I was surprised, the sad kind of surprised. Why would he? How could he? I was a friend, not his BFF but hey; we were good friends. I felt bad. I relentlessly tried to analyze the situation… Is it his celebrity status and fame which brings on that attitude? Has he unfairly judged me?  Or perhaps all these years led to a ‘disconnect’. Or was our ‘connect’ back then just a fa├žade? And then again I thought; his reasons could be entirely different. It could be that he was having a bad day; perhaps he was feeling unwell or maybe he was just preoccupied with his own stuff.
Obsessing over the ‘why’ of ‘what’ just happened had me feeling rather restless. Until I reckoned whatever his reasons this small little incident taught me two things:

Over-analyzing is unhealthy:  Stop it. Over analyzing (or over-thinking) is a stress disorder that can affect your daily life. Analysis paralysis or paralysis of analysis is an anti-pattern, the state of over-analyzing (or over-thinking) a situation so that a decision or action is never taken, in effect paralyzing the outcome.

‘Over’ being the key word. Analyze by all means, understand the situation, learn from it, take any required action and then most importantly - Let it go.

How others act is out of your control. Essentially not something to delve upon. How you react is entirely in your control and important to bear in mind at all times.
**Forgiving yourself is healthy:  Do it. What analyzing did for me was it made me pay attention to aspects of my past that my subconscious was resurfacing as a result of this incident. Staring at me were leftovers of guilt and remnant regret from past actions. I reflected, addressed them and took corrective action. What could I do today to rid me of this past guilt? What could I learn from this regret? These were some of the questions I asked myself in order to heal my soul.

Pay attention to what is reemerging.  Year after year we unconsciously carry our past baggage into the future. Perhaps we believe there is a price, some dis-empowering form of life-long penance that we must pay. There is a tendency in all of us to hold ourselves more accountable than we do others. If someone else did the same things, you might learn to forgive them or at least let go of the hurt, anger or guilt. That's because it's easier to forgive others. After all, they don't live in your head. Yet, most of us born to this earth have not lived or died without messing up something or, in some cases, ourselves. Mistakes are natural. Therefore please forgive yourself. Not because you should, but because you can.

In conclusion folks; I’d just like to say;
You do not have to suffer from guilt or regret. You can stop beating yourself up, it is not serving you. Instead learn, take action, forgive and stop looking behind you. Turn around. See what is right in front of you, and better yet, what lies ahead.

Note: Name withheld out of sheer nostalgia. He was a dear friend and for all its worth, I’d like to remember him fondly for what once was. :)
*Bollywood: Hindi language film industry based in Mumbai, India.

** It is your prerogative to heal in a way best suited to your beliefs and values. Some ask for forgiveness from God others practice charity. Whatever you resonate with works.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

What do you think?

Live Life the Real or Modern Way

A friend shared this interesting video which links in so well with my post yesterday;

Please "Like" me
Understanding Social (Media) Acceptance

Sharing the same. As well as its parody - Look down.

We all have different points of view. Extremism at either end is detrimental to our progress. A healthy balance; ideal.
Incase you are unable to view the videos here, below are the links to the same.
Look down:

Thank you +Shabbir Degani You continue to inspire me with your thoughts, pictures, articles and comments.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Please "Like" me

Understanding Social (Media) Acceptance

HOW MANY LIKES? How many +1’s, retweets or how many followers and appreciative comments did you get? Do you want 4 more to make a 1000 on your page, are you being congratulated on hitting double century on your group or is one more ‘like’ all you need to reach the next 100?
Life as we knew it is slowly filtering itself into the virtual world too. We evolved as social animals: living, hunting, learning, and working cooperatively. To our ancestors, being accepted and helped by the group was the only way they could ensure their own and their offspring's survival. Rejection could very well kill them. Millennia later and far from the African savanna, humans are still social creatures, and we still need meaningful interpersonal relationships in order to thrive—even the introverts among us. Like hunger or thirst, our need for acceptance emerged as a mechanism for survival.
Anyone who lived through school sports knows the anxiety of being picked last for the team. The same hurt feelings bubbles up today when no one likes your picture or post, when you read messages off someone else’s wall and wish you were a part of their lives or when you see people congratulating your ex and their new love interest. Research has proved that as far as the brain is concerned, a broken heart is not so different from a broken arm.
Rejection in any form feels lousy.
How then can we help each other feel accepted, needed and ‘liked’ in the virtual world?
Get in Rapport:  Rapport is a state of trusting openness. Where there is a feeling of closeness and safety. Where by a person is less consciously critical of ideas and suggestions offered to them by another. Where there is (what we refer to in NLP as) a Perception of Likeness and Liking = I like you therefore you can like me.
Sometimes, the natural desire to be accepted can make us do things we might not do otherwise. Can you think of one such incident where you behaved out of character? I’m sure you can. So as a simple antidote how about creating rapport over social media? Let’s be more liberal with our likes and less critical in our comments. Let’s avoid abusive language and be more sensitive to our choice of words. Let’s pause to like a post or pic before you choose to copy/share it. Instead of thinking that's nice, why not say it; it's nice. Together; let’s build a virtual world based on the Perception of Likeness and Liking. 

Get Real: “Cyberspace” is not a term generally used any longer. In fact, it seems to me that no one really speaks of a division between the real world and the cyber world any longer. Rather, people speak of how close and integrated they are and of technologies and ways to bring them even closer. I think a whole other domain of existence is quietly but rapidly merging with our “natural” existence and unless we are careful the result will not be favorable to us. 
Be realistic about your friend/follower list. The virtual world has the ability to make us feel extremely wanted one moment and totally rejected the next. Know that. Accept it. Take a genuine look at your friend/follower list. How many of them have you interacted with in the last six months? Is it really possible that they all know you, leave aside ‘like’ you? How many just sit there in your friend list without even pleasantries being exchanged? How many are acquaintances? How many strangers? How many purely cyber- friends?  
Focus your attention on the real world. Give social media only that much thought that it deserves. That much time as is benefitting. Obsessive, addictive, compulsive dependency will only bring forth anxiety, sadness, loneliness and worse still, illness or depression. Online social networking–or online anything–gives the impression of individuality, of discrete human beings behind the messages, but the fact is that nothing about the cyber world uniquely or necessarily links to the real world. Therefore, you@whatever is not really you; it could just as easily be me: simply give me your username and password. 
In conclusion; we should all ask ourselves: if we can have and exist in only one of these two worlds, the real or the cyber, which would we choose? I would choose the real for its sunrises and sunsets, its birds tweeting and flowers blooming, its coffee with conversations and its touch of a loved one, for its hustle - bustle, and (if I should so choose) for its sheer convenience of being able to bang my head against a real wall....
Note 1: Self-acceptance is key. Social acceptance closely follows. Self-acceptance is an endless unconditional journey of self-discovery. Self-acceptance also enables you to give yourself fully and freely to the world because you are not looking for approval, you are not afraid of rejection and you are simply interested in living an authentic life.
 Note 2: The above does not necessarily refer to businesses and/or other similar initiatives where the key to success is engaging people by providing content/services which individuals find interesting and valuable.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Got a headache?

An NLP technique for relief from Headaches and Migraines

Anyone have those disturbing, throbbing, burning, pounding, piercing headaches?! And I bet we can collectively add to this hate list in the hope that it will be bullied down; yet this seemingly simple ailment continues to destroy our days.

These agonizing headaches or migraines can be severely handicapping and prove to be progressively detrimental to the lives of persons who have to go through them. I trust that if you’ve had just one of them…you’d know and you’d agree.

Need a cure?

So what are the remedies that have been used and/or abused by these distraught heads. Have they tried everything under the sun? Avoided their headache triggers, popped pills like candy, emptied balm bottles by the dozen until they smell like walking-talking eucalyptus trees or even tied bandannas so tightly around their heads that if it were around their necks they'd probably not be alive to read this right now…

Now try this…

The process I am about to tell you has proved to be highly successful with many including myself. So here's what you do the next time you have a family member or friend with a banging headache.

Ask: So tell me where is the headache?

Where is it located?

Where about in your head?

(Look for responses like, back of the head, temples, eye area, etc.)

Next ask them to close their eyes

Ask: Tell me what the headache looks like?

(Look for responses like, like a blob, a circle, etc.)

What color is it?

(Look for varying responses from purple, black, grey, blue, etc.)

How dense is it?

What does the headache feel like?

What does the exterior of your headache feel like?

(Look for responses like heavy, light, thick, knotty, rough, smooth, jagged, etc.)

It may sound weird to you right now but when you have a person with their eyes closed and desperate for some relief they will actually answer these questions. Try and get as much detail as possible. Thereafter;

Tell: I want you to give me that headache and whilst you’re doing that confirm the descriptions you have received from them. For e.g. “Oh yes! That’s right! The headache is indeed heavy, purple, it does feel jagged.”

Tell: Now I am going to move this headache away from you and as I move this away from you can feel it lose its power on you, can’t you? (This is where the power of pre-suppositions and suggestions come in)

Continue moving (literally and physically) further away.

Tell: You can notice that when I move further and further away with your headache, it loses its power on you and you can feel it dissipate. Now what I am going to do with this headache is I am going to throw it in the bin. (Or back yard or whatever is best available as per your environment) Say; “I am going to get rid of it.”

That’s it. Notice the difference in how he/she feels… Come on; give it a go! What do you have to lose? No one’s actually going to rip their brains out and give them to you and if they do; OMG! What kinda people do you hang out with? You don’t need NLP. You need help… in which case dial 911 immediately.