Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Wednesday's Writing: Do You Talk Yourself Out of Success?

By Glenys O’Connell @GlenysOConnell
*This was first published two years ago, but I thought it was worth repeating!

“Argue your limitations and sure enough, they’re yours.” #Richard Bach #quote

laoDo you talk to yourself? Most writers do – and we’re not alone. Most ‘Normal’ people talk to themselves, too. Not always out loud, but there’s that inner voice in your head that comments on just about everything you do, advises you, comes up with great (or not so great) ideas, comforts and inspires.

Or not.

Because lots of us have voices in our heads that talk us down. Sometimes they may even sound like someone in our past who has told us our ‘limits’. Your mother, another relative, a teacher, a friend, an employer, people who may have said things ‘for your own good’ or to ‘stop you getting big headed’. Perhaps people who were afraid to step out on Life’s High Wire themselves, and passed that fear on to you. Or people afraid they’d lose you if you became successful, or who were genuinely afraid you’d be hurt if you strove for high dreams and fell flat on your face.

guy on skateboardBut now that self-talk is firmly embedded in your mind. You want to write a book? It’s too much work…I’m not talented enough..who would want to read what I have to say…it’s silly, everyone would laugh….no-one from my social class has ever…I’m too old….

You want that beautiful home, that fulfilling job? You want love? Success? Happiness? A healthy inner voice cheers you on, tells you that you do deserve good things; but that negative inner voice will come up with all the reasons why it’s a bad idea, you don’t deserve it, who would love you anyway,. and why can’t you just settle for, well, second best?

Or fill in the blank here for what your little voice says:__________________________________

It may be a little voice, but it puts huge limits on you. It may help you stay within your comfort zone, but it doesn’t help you achieve the dreams that are in your heart.

Negative Self Talk Limits You.

Basically, your mind accepts what you tell it. If you say you can’t, well, you can’t.

Say you can, then that wonderful organ, your brain, will have all its neurons scurrying around for ideas and plans to help you do what you want to achieve.

never lose hopeOf course, it’s not that simple;sometimes you want something that just won’t work out for a number of different reasons that may be beyond your control. Funnily enough, if one dream doesn’t work out, your clever brain often comes up with a substitute dream much more suited to you, and do-able.

So, spend some time every day having a chat with yourself; tell yourself that you are a smart, caring, competent, deserving person.

It won’t be easy, it won’t be painless, but you can erase the limitations that experiences and other people have encouraged you to put on yourself. Talk nicely to yourself, be positive, and believe  that you can.

I leave you with one of my favorite quotes. Write it out and hang it where you’ll see if often:

‘Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it – boldness has genius, power and magic in it.” Johann von Goeth #quote

Glenys O’Connell is a trained counselor and the author of Depression: The Essential Guide and PTSD: The Essential Guide

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Monday Inspiration: I'm Not Pleased With You, Larry the Lump (Cancer Diaries)

Oh, my, Larry the Lump! You've done some mean things in your time, but this beats all! I am not at all pleased with you.
Since you were diagnosed at Stage Three last August, I have tried to look on you, not as a malignant creature, but as some of my own cells that are confused and disaffected. Good cells gone bad, you might say.
But there's definitely a mean side to you. Like the fact that you are a species that doesn't always or readily show up on a mammogram, so I went through all those uncomfortable boob-flattening mammograms, year after year, just so that I could feel safe from the likes of you. I actually felt I was taking care of myself, going through the necessary tests that would sound the alarm bells the moment just one tiny cell started to misbehave.
How innocent I was! How mean you are! No doubt you had a good laugh about that, Mr. Meanie.
Even my own doctor dismissed my anxieties about pain in the breast with the comment: "Oh, your mammogram was clear, so there's nothing to worry about."
It took a breast scan and a biopsy to decide just what you were. And MRI tests to keep track of you.
It's cold comfort to hear that if a professional didn't know this, it doesn't seem so dumb that I didn't know. Invasive lobular carcinomas can be difficult to diagnose as they are generally symptom free or have few symptoms, are difficult to feel and don't show any changes in breast shape until they've grown big and strong. Even when they can be felt, they don't necessarily show on a mammogram. They account for about 15 per cent of all breast cancers. Read more here.
Apparently Larry had been around for up to six years before being detected. That was the first nasty trick.
The second was the side effects in response to the drug I began to take to shrink him. Larry did not enjoy being on a diet (he has estrogen receptors and the drug blocked his daily intake so he was starving and even more mean.) This left me feeling more fatigued than before the diagnosis, with symptoms of menopause like hot flashes, memory lapses, occasional depression, etc.
But it seemed it was all going to be worth it. Larry had shrunk by about 70 per cent and it looked like I could do a lumpectomy, a much less radical surgery than a mastectomy or the removal of the whole breast.
That's where another mean trick came in - as he shrank, Larry broke into several smaller pieces, little Larrys, I guess you'd call them.
But they inhabit the same space that the large tumor did, and the odds of them all being removed, along with all possible cancerous tissue, plummeted.
So it's a mastectomy now.
That means an eviction for you, Larry.
No more warm and cozy nest.
I suppose, in a grim way, I have the last laugh.