Tag: fear

Is procrastination affecting your life?

The dictionary describes procrastination as “the action of delaying or postponing something”.

Often procrastination is the cause of fear; there could be many factors associated with this including:

Fear of failure – starting things and often not completing them because you believe you will fail, so you do not complete the task to avoid defeat.

Fear of success – you want to be successful, but you are afraid of your inability to handle fame or fortune, perhaps you are scared of hard work or even become someone else.

Excessive perfectionism – is another common cause of procrastination. This excessive perfectionism causes procrastination by always putting off tasks until you think you can do it perfectly. In many ways, this is similar to the “fear of failure” concept outlined above, except that instead of believing you cannot succeed at all, you worry that you cannot meet your high standards.

Low energy levels – when you are always feeling tired due to lack of sleep or rest, unhealthy lifestyle or diet, it can also contribute to you putting things off or feeling like you can’t do much.

Lack of focus – you may lack vision and purpose in your life. Unfortunately, when you don’t have a purpose, there is no motivation to set goals or even pursue them.

Regardless of which fear you mostly relate to, both of these are associated with low self-esteem. Fear is an emotion that prevents us from fulfilling our destiny and often paralyses you so you feel stuck and unable to move forward.

There are also countless negative coping responses such as:

  • Avoidance
  • Denial or trivialisation
  • Distractions.

Procrastination has been linked to some emotional issues such as depression, anxiety, low and self-esteem.

They are so many people who are not living their life to the fullest, as a result of procrastination due to fear.

How to overcome procrastination:

Self-awareness and acceptance

The only way you can change any problem in life is to accept that you have the problem. This is the first step to recovery. We all wear a mask at times and present a false impression to others. We can surely not fool ourselves; if we do this, we are living in denial. This is a very negative emotional prison, as others can see your problem but you refuse to look at it and convince yourself that you don’t have a problem. Self-acceptance empowers you and gives you the freedom to change.

Understanding the root cause

When it comes to breaking any negative habit, it’s essential to understand the cause. Often, most learnt behaviour stems from early childhood experiences. Thinking as far back as possible to your life experience of when you started procrastinating will help you tremendously. Once you know the root cause you can change it.

Facing the fear

Unfortunately we all experience fear from time to time but living your life in constant fear is equal to an emotional prison. There is only one way to deal with fear – feel the fear and do it anyway. There are many types of fears, so it’s crucial to identify the fear and begin to embrace it by doing your research and developing a strategic plan to overcome it. If you are feeling stuck, then you can get help from various professionals including a therapist or coach who will be able to help you.

Discover your purpose in life

Life without direction is empty and can be very unfulfilling. Take time to find out your purpose by asking yourself the following questions:

  • Who am I?
  • What do I enjoy doing with my time?
  • What would be a fulfilling career or business?
  • What are my key strengths?
  • What do I want to be remembered for in my life?
  • What hobbies or interests could I begin to implement?
  • What lifestyle can I create?
  • How do I see my best self?
  • Am I creating a life that allows me to have financial freedom?
  • How much do I want to earn and how am I going to make that?
  • What do I want from life?
  • Am I living my life to the fullest, if not why and what can I begin to do now?

Set goals

Goal setting gives you direction in life. Begin by setting clear and measurable goals known as “SMART” goals which mean:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Relevant
  • Timely

When setting goals, it’s vital to ensure that you write goals somewhere that is visible so you can see it on a daily basis and set a reminder to do one thing each day towards your goals.

Don’t ever give up

You can acquire all the knowledge in the world, but knowledge without action is useless. Avoid things that may distract you so you can be more disciplined. The only way you will achieve the results you desire is by action, action and more action. You must keep trying no matter what. Life is about trying and trying again until you succeed, so never give up.

How self-sabotaging behaviour affects relationships

Self-sabotaging behaviour is when an individual is consciously or subconsciously doing things that are harmful to themselves. The root cause of self-sabotaging behaviour stems from childhood. When infants are born they have no self-identity, or awareness of themselves. They learn and develop their self-worth through their parents. Consequently, their parents represent a mirror of themselves, and children develop a sense of identity from as early as four years old. 

Children develop their sense of self and self-esteem slowly as they mature into adolescents. Identity is highly imposed and encouraged by environmental and cultural factors. 

Once a child incorporates a negative learnt behaviour, it is likely that they will transfer this behaviour into adulthood. 

People with self-sabotaging behaviour often do things that are harmful to themselves and their relationships. 

In most instances, they have a negative view of themselves and feel that they are not good enough. As a result, they enter relationships that are toxic and often do not value or appreciate healthy relationships. 

Signs of self-sabotaging behaviour 

Continuously finding negative ways to numb your emotions

You avoid feeling and dealing with negative emotions by overeating or comfort eating, particularly when you have weight concerns. When feeling vulnerable you tend to eat to numb your emotions. You feel guilty for eating so much,  then eat more again to overcome the guilt. This repeated cycle could be addictive and hard to break. In addition, you take recreational drugs, use sex, over spending, or dependent on alcohol to feel better.

Procrastination 

There are 24 hours in a day and it’s important to utilise your time productively and wisely. When you keep putting things off and spend a lot of time doing unproductive things, it hinders your self-esteem this includes; spending an excessive amount of time watching TV, playing computer games, or speaking on the telephone. Making excuses and putting things off affects your personal growth and development and could lead to fear of failure (starting things but never finishing).

Attracting dysfunctional partners

When you consciously choose men or women that are emotionally unstable. You are only going to make your life miserable. If someone is emotionally, physically or financially unstable they are unable to provide the security that you need to compliment you within the relationship. For instance, if you attract men/women who are emotionally or physically abusive, then your relationship will always be based on fear and as a result, you could lose your sense of your self and begin to believe that their behaviour is acceptable or “normal”. You may subconsciously attract partners that are a negative reminder of your childhood. Consequently, your potential mate will continuously reinforce the negative emotions from your childhood, which could be a hindrance to your self-worth.

Desire to have promiscuous relationships 

If you have strong desires to have promiscuous relationships, particularly if you often don’t use protection or have risky sexual encounters, then you are putting yourself and relationships at risk of STDs and impacting your emotional well being in a negative way. Sex addiction including, pornography, paying for sex, escorts or prostitutes can affect your self-esteem and your finances. These experiences could lead to fear of intimacy and cause difficulties in being fully committed to one person within a relationship. 

Fear of commitment 

People with self-sabotaging behaviour often have a fear of commitment as they struggle to be fully committed to themselves. They become afraid when their relationship is getting intense or when their spouses are becoming close as they have a negative belief from previous experiences or childhood that “people that love you will hurt you”. In order to manage with this belief system, they develop a coping strategy of loving from a distance or hurting people that love them before they get hurt. 

Fear of failure 

When you have a fear of failure, you continuously keep putting things off and often not accomplishing your goals. You start things but don’t finish it. If you don’t set goals or pursue them, you’re only making your life unfulfilling. As goals give you a vision, purpose and direction in life.

Self-esteem in relationships

What is the meaning of self-esteem? Self-esteem defines how you treat yourself, what you think of yourself and the relationship that you have with yourself. A person can be confident but still have low self-esteem, as they outwardly appear confident. This could be based on external factors including:
appearance, marital status, class, occupation, etc. But inwardly they feel terrible. We all wear a mask, as we have certain aspects of ourselves that we do not want others to see or know.

You can fool people, but you certainly can not fool yourself. When you begin to fool yourself, then you are living in denial. Living in denial can be a painful process as you struggle to accept the reality or truth about yourself or the situation that you are in.

Self-acceptance is the most powerful experience you can gain. To truly love yourself, it is important to accept everything about who you are as a person, including the good, the bad and the ugly. After all, no one is perfect. People with low self-esteem, often do not respect themselves and they consistently attract spouses that disrespect them. They put up with unreasonable behaviours including; cheating, domestic violence, serial liars, emotional abuse and highly selfish partners.

These individuals have a strong desire to be loved, so they often attract spouses that do not love them the way that they deserved to be loved. Consequently, reinforcing any negative experiences from their childhood. This makes a person live in constant fear of the worst outcome, which reinforces more negativity within intimate relationship experiences.

It is always best to have good relationships with yourself before committing to a serious relationship. After all, how will your potential spouse understand you if you do not understand yourself?

Building your esteem within relationships

  • Learn to respect yourself.

Self-respect is key within all your relationships. The reality in life is that you will meet people who genuinely do not like or respect you the way that you should be treated. However, you have a choice not to accept unreasonable behaviour. If you put up with people constantly disrespecting you, then these individuals may feel that it is OK. If you do not like how you are spoken to or treated, then speak up.

  • Avoid people pleasing.

Repeatedly pleasing others in order for them to like or love you is emotionally draining and never works. You subconsciously give your power away and this could make you feel worthless. People have to like or love you for who you are. If you feel that you need to please others for love then, it is time for you to give yourself what you want from others, (love, reassurance and happiness) so you can break the cycle.

  • Learn from previous mistakes.

Life is like a school and our experiences teach us a lot about ourselves. Always learn something positive from your mistakes, these mistakes help you to do things better next time. So, instead of being hard on yourself because of mistakes that you have made or living in regret, learn something valuable about yourself.

  • Never allow another person to control you.

When you allow people to control you, you are actually giving them your power. Set boundaries within all your relationships. Controlling people are normally not in control and only want to feel like they are in control.

  • Analyse the type of spouses you attract.

You often attract people that are very similar to your character and the type men or women that you attract is a reflection of where you are at emotionally. For instance, co-dependents attract narcissistic mates and victims always attract perpetrators. Find out the patterns of the type of spouses have been attracted to. Make a list of the characteristics and consciously try and make better decisions when choosing your potential mate.

  • Explore your relationships.

Are you often giving more to your relationships than what you always receive? If so, ask yourself why do you give so much and yet get so little back. It is good to give but if you are the only one always giving, you became a “doormat”, so learn to get the balance right.

  • Create a happy list.

Make a list of all the things that you enjoy doing, that makes you happy and ensure that you do them as often as possible to make yourself happy, whether or not you are in a relationship.

  • Learn to conquer your fears.

Everyone is afraid of something, that is the reality of life. However, living in constant fear could leave you feeling stuck, and allow life to pass you by. Life is a risk and the more you take healthy risks that are not self-sabotaging impacts your esteem. Feel the fear and do it anyway.

Fear of intimacy

Everyone wants to find that special spouse who is loving, warm, share special memories and to be loved. However, there are times when we have a fantasy of having the relationship that we desire, but afraid of the reality of what it entails. Many men and women complain that they are not able to find the right spouse for whatever reason. 

The reason for the lack of success in the search for “Mr right or Mrs right” could be endless. But there could be one thing that may be preventing you from meeting the right person, which could be fear of intimacy. Firstly, children that have grown up in an environment where one or both parents were emotionally/physically unavailable or didn’t see or sense closeness from both parents, subconsciously repeat these learnt behaviours in relationships.

As result of this, you are more likely to attract men or women who are emotionally unavailable, struggle with intimacy or closeness within a relationship. People that have fear of intimacy often have issues associated with low self-esteem and are more comfortable loving from a distance. Although they crave for closeness, they are too afraid to consciously pursue it. As getting close to someone is risky, uncomfortable, boring, unsafe and often scary.

The fear of intimacy phobia is known by several other names such as aphenphosmphobia (which is the fear of being touched) as well as philophobia (which is the fear of love). The sad reality is that people want to experience love but struggle with it when they feel or sense it. 

To be completely intimate with someone requires a conscious effort on sides. It is also worth having a deep understanding of the root cause of this fear, which is more likely to have transpired from childhood experiences or past relationships. Having an awareness is key to enabling you to turn this around. 

Signs that you suffer from fear of intimacy:

1) You attract spouses that you can fix

You often attract spouses who are emotionally unavailable to you. This means that these individuals are unable to totally connect or understand your emotional needs. It could be both men or women who have had a troubled or difficult childhood. As being with people with emotional issues keeps you insecure and busy trying to fix them. The more you work hard trying to fix them, the more you subconsciously distract yourself from your own emotions and as a result, your spouse will not be able to meet your emotional needs.

2) You avoid feeling 

When you are overly busy and not taking the time to reflect, being still and processing your emotions, is a form of avoidance. When you avoid feeling, you can never really understand your emotions and will not able to understand yourself. How can someone love you, if you don’t even understand your feelings or yourself?

3) Attracting spouses that represent your childhood experiences

Choosing a partner that often causes you emotional pain, so they subconsciously repeat the negative emotional cycle from childhood. This could be a physical or emotional pain. When you subconsciously choose partners that have characteristics of the people that have abandoned, rejected, abused or not have been physically or emotionally available to you. This learnt behaviour becomes difficult to break and becomes the pattern in your relationships. Instead of experiencing love you experience pain. 

4) Discomfort with love

You attract people that treat you bad and get very uncomfortable with spouses that truly love you for who you are. 

5) Avoidance 

You use things to avoid feeling your emotions, particularly negative ones, this includes sex, food, alcohol, drugs, being overly busy all the time and engaging in none productive activities.

6) You’re afraid of being alone 

You find being alone very uncomfortable and being alone represents stillness and connecting with your emotions. So you subconsciously try to not be alone or find ways to distract yourself when you’re alone.

7) Being second best 

Choosing marriage partners is more exciting than taking a risk to find the right person for you. As you are subconsciously attracted to the drama.

 

Are you looking for love in the wrong places?

If you have grown up in an environment where you were not shown love, it can be hard to love yourself. After all, can you love someone (you) when no one has shown you love? As it was your parents’ responsibility to love, nurture, and protect you. If they have not done so, you will begin to lack self-identity and may attract people that may reinforce the negative emotions associated with low self-esteem.

You may also begin to love others more than yourself, by investing time and energy hoping to receive the love which you never received from your childhood. This process is very damaging and can lead to more separation from your true self.

Everyone needs to be loved, and if you did not receive this when growing up, you need to stop looking for it from people or things. Your past is behind you and your future is ahead. Hence, you are the only person that is responsible for loving, caring and nurturing yourself. If you don’t, sadly, no else can.

Remember, that the way people treat you is the reflection of how you treat yourself. If you have been in abusive or negative relationships, then it is time to take a step back and ask yourself ” I am really loving the real me and how am I contributing to the way others treat me”.

The more you love yourself, the more love and respect you will receive from others.

Most people want be in a relationship, but you cannot really get the relationship you deserve, until you have a good relationship yourself. It is not someone else’s responsibility to make you happy.  You need to begin to take responsibility for your life.

Sometimes people spend so much time trying to control others in exchange for love and lose their self-identity in the process. As a result of this, they would rather spend more time investing in other people’s growth than their own.

These individuals pursue relationships, unconsciously hoping to change their spouse, to the way that they would like them to be and often get frustrated when they can see no change. The reality is you can never change anyone, and the fact that you want control others simply means that you are not in control of yourself.

How to truly begin to love yourself

 

Learn to trust yourself.

It’s important to begin to make simple decisions for yourself, instead of depending on others to make decisions for you. Indecisiveness causes doubt and you cannot truly trust people, if you constantly doubt yourself.

It doesn’t matter if the decisions that you make are wrong; it’s all about having the ability to grow as an individual.

When other people make decisions for you, they are determining your future and you will always be reliant on them, which can lead to codependent relationships. Trusting yourself is the foundation of establishing a relationship with yourself. The more you know who you are, the more you will understand the power within and the special unique gifts that you have, rather than looking at how wonderful other people are.

Learn to understand your emotions.

Emotions are very powerful and if you don’t understand them, then they can control you and could lead to negative emotional well-being. Your emotions represent who you are. The first step, to understanding your emotions (which is not always easy) is learn to sit with your vulnerabilities, such as; fear, sadness, pain, guilt, anger and other insecurities. The more you begin to sit with emotional discomfort,  the stronger you will become.  Vulnerability is a strength and not a weakness. You could delay emotional growth if you use people, TV, drugs, sex and alcohol to numb your emotions.

Facing the emotional pain with the right support and techniques will become easier and easier, instead of suppressing them. Personal insecurities will always follow you wherever you go, like a shadow and the reality is, you can run away from everyone but you can’t run away from who you are. Another useful technique is keeping a journal of your thoughts and emotions. This method helps you to understand yourself, in a reflective way. It is also an excellent way to monitor your personal development and growth.

Create some me time.

It is very important to enjoy your own company rather being fully reliant on others. After all, if you do not enjoy your own company, how can you expect others to? If you are the type of person who don’t enjoy your own company, it never too late to begin. Start doing things that you enjoy, such as reading, going for walks, taking long baths with candles and some occasional quiet time to reflect. I can appreciate how difficult it can be to spend time alone, but with regular practice and commitment, you will soon begin to break free from distracting yourself from the real you.

Pursue your goals

A goal without action is a dream. There is nothing worse than settling for less in life and doing the same thing over and over again,  but expecting a different result. Life without a vision or direction is empty. It’s like going on journey without a destination.

When setting goals it is best to make them realistic and achievable. You can begin with small goals than expand to bigger ones, once you are more comfortable. I recommend writing your goals and placing them somewhere visible. You can set also reminders on your mobile device, to do something small each day towards your goal.

Remember, no matter how long or challenging it may seem, never give up. Just keep going and you will get there.

Be grateful

Gratitude is essential for maintaining positive emotional well being. It helps you appreciate what you have instead of, constantly wanting more. Keeping a gratitude diary helps you to see your life from a different perceptive and will enable you to have a positive mind set, regardless of any challenges that you face in life.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Low self-esteem and relationships

Most people who have experienced abuse, neglect, abandonment and rejection, often attract spouses in relationships who often reinforce the emotions that are associated with these experiences.

These individuals unconsciously work hard in relationships by trying to please their spouse in exchange for attention, recognition, acceptance, and more importantly love. If you have work hard for love, you will continue working hard in need to gain love.

When a person’s esteem is low, they often attract partners who have low self-concept, which keeps the negative cycle going.

Women with low self esteem, are more likely to be drawn to spouses whose character resembles their fathers, particularly if their fathers were abusive, emotionally unavailable, didn’t love them or value them when growing up.

When you put people on a paddle stall, you tend to always look up to them and in response; they will always look down at you.

Sometimes women use make up and clothes to attract the opposite sex, unconsciously in exchange for love. When they don’t get the attention they need, they often wonder if there is something wrong with them.

They may even view sex as love, and have casual relationships in exchange for love.

If your esteem is low, you’re likely to settle for less, and never ask for what you want within relationships.

Low self-concept, demonstrates neediness, desperation and anxiety within relationships, which can be unappealing regardless of how attractive you are.

If you don’t love yourself, why should someone else love what you don’t love?

A person with low self-esteem often puts their spouse’s needs before their own, which could cause to anger and resentment.

Desperate and broken women attract desperate and broken men.

Many people are struggling with issues associated with their childhood and not taking responsibility for the damage, pain, and disappointments that they have experienced when growing up. Some look for others to fix them by jumping from one relationship to the next, only to realise the negative emotions and pain still remains as they unconsciously hold on to blame, pain and unforgiveness from the past.

Sometimes, a person can spend a lot of time being angry and blame others for how they feel. They may feel devalued, as they have valued others more. It is painful, when you don’t receive what you invest in others. However, it is worth taking time to explore the emotions that are hidden behind the anger, which could be: rejection, abandonment or hurt.

When you take the time to dig deeper, you may realise that this anger may have manifested from your childhood and have been buried. Hence, when triggered, you feel rejection, abandonment, pain and hurt.

Over coming low self esteem

You will attract emotionally balanced individuals when you’re balanced and whole within yourself.

It is important to understand your purpose in life and have a vision, this gives you a direction and hope, even when things are not the way you want it in the moment.

Have quality ‘me-time’ on a regular basis, this helps you to connect and nurture yourself.

Read more books, knowledge is power.

Make more positive and supportive friends, who have similar interest to you.

Learn to forgive others, even when it is difficult.

Take care of your self-image.

Find someone you trust to share your problems with, so you can off load.

Take responsibility for your happiness

Do things that you enjoy.

Be your own best friend.

Try new things to come out of your comfort zone.

Utilize your skills and strengths that you have.

Learn positive things in every negative situation

No matter what, never give up.

How fear abandonment affects relationships

Fear of abandonment usually affects people that have been abandoned or neglected by their parents during their childhood either due to death of a parent, a divorce or inadequate physical or emotional care.

These individuals often attract spouses that may reinforce the negative emotions that are associated with this fear, which can often leave a person feeling insecure and anxious within intimate relationships.

When a person has a fear of abandonment, they never feel safe within relationships, and always have thoughts at the back of their mind about their spouse leaving them, or assume that their partner is having an affair, without any objective evidence. This can lead self-sabotaging behaviour and can make an individual feel on edge or anxious.

As a result of this fear, individuals’ works hard for love so they are not abandoned, like their parent/s did when they were growing up.

When confronted with challenges within a relationship and their emotions get triggered, a person may feel like ending the relationship, or hurting the other person before they get hurt. Even within a healthy relationship, you can still think that one day the person will leave you, based on the rejection from your childhood, or if you have had unfaithful partners in your previous relationships.

Women often give too much, by spoiling and trying to prove  to their spouse that they are perfect, so that a person can appreciate them. This behaviour does not work, as it is a form of manipulation. Learn to give your self-unconditional love and what you look for from others.

How counseling can help with fear of abandonment

Acknowledge the fear

It is impossible to resolve any issue if you are unaware of it. In order to overcome fear of abandonment, it is very important to acknowledge, accept and understand the root cause. Whether it is through a loss of a family member who you may not have had a chance to say goodbye or rekindle the relationship; or through a separation from a parent who may have left when you were growing up. In such circumstances, it is possible to have suppressed anger towards that person, which can be unconsciously expressed or triggered within other relationships.  In addition, if fear of abandonment is a result of rejection from parent(s) then counselling can help you to understand the emotional pain that may be associated with your self esteem.

Recognise the emotions that are associated fears of abandonment 

When you have been deeply hurt by abandonment, you may become very needy, constantly seeking attention or needing regular reassurance from others. Consequently, you don’t enjoy your own company and often finds ways to distract yourself from your pain. This could involve the use of alcohol, drugs, sex or excessive time spent watching TV.  Counselling can help you to understand emotions that you find overwhelming and difficult to cope with on your own. This process will help you to have deeper understanding of yourself and recognise your own inner resources, rather than being dependent on others to make you happy.

Take Action

With the help of a counsellor, you can begin to establish the trust, firstly within yourself and others. It will also allow you to have an understanding of emotional triggers, which may be associated with fear of abandonment. Keeping a journal will help you have deeper insights of your thoughts and emotions, which your counsellor will support you to manage. With time, the fear will minimize and counselling will help you to learn to separate the fear from past that may be linked to the present.

What is low self esteem

What is low self-esteem?

Low self-esteem is how a person values themselves. The more positive you are about yourself, then the higher your self-esteem will be.

So when you keep telling yourself all the things that you are not good at, you are actually decreasing your self concept.

It is highly important to realise that having a high self-esteem is not based on, how attractive you are; it is all about how you feel about yourself.

Even the most beautiful women in the world suffer from low self-esteem.

Research shows that the people you attract into your life are a reflection of your self value. Women with high self-esteem have a tendency to attract men that have a high self concept and vice versa.

Signs of low self-esteem

Attracting abusive partners in relationships (whether it is verbal, physical or emotional).

Constantly seeking approval of others, attention seeking or people pleasing.

Avoiding conflicts, because you are afraid of how other people will perceive you.

Constantly worrying, and not being able to relax or have a sound mind.

Comparing yourself to others, who are above or below you, based on your ego needs at the time.

Being highly critical of yourself.

Not making your own decisions or letting other people make important decisions for you.

Constantly complaining about your circumstances, which you know you’re able to change.

Not forgiving yourself or others.

The more positive view that you have of yourself, the higher your self-esteem will be, and also the more negative view that you have of yourself the lower your self-esteem will be.

It is very important to get rid of things that make you highly unattractive to yourself.

How to increase your self-esteem.

Learn to appreciate who you are and the blessings that you have in your life, (show gratitude).

Stop setting yourself up for stress or failure. You don’t need more stress to get the adrenaline going, unless you think this is the start of boredom?

Don’t try to become someone that you are not and just be yourself – so idolising superstars is very unhealthy, just be who you are and develop yourself.

Taking care of yourself by eating well and exercising on a regular basis will give you a sense of well-being.

Get into a habit of thinking and saying positive things to yourself.

Negative people can be draining, so spend more time with positive people, who are encouraging.

Be assertive and don’t allow people to treat you with lack of respect.

Engage in your hobbies and interest.

Learn to accept compliments, no matter how hard it may be.

Know what you want and say so.

Learn to give your self ,what you desperately need from others  (LOVE)