Ayshah | Victoria

Living my Passion | Living with Purpose | Living in Peace


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When Your Best Isn’t Good Enough… For YOU!

I was thinking about the meaning of the term “BE THE BEST YOU CAN BE” and had one of my meditatively-induced revelations. Being the BEST that you can be has TWO MEANINGS and only one of them is really important in our everyday lives.

The universal thought process behind being “the best that you can be” implies that in whatever you do, you do it to the best of your ability, using all your knowledge, experience, mental and physical faculties and efforts – i.e. – the BEST that you CAN be. Sound about right – right? Well almost…. because I have come to the conclusion that this definition is only a part of it and not the best part either.

I believe this universal way of looking at being the “best that you can be” is synonymous with an automobile’s ability to function at its fastest speed at all times. Operating using all mechanical and electronic aspects of its body. This way, it is at its optimum performance level and in a race, a Ferrari will speed past a Civic. But a Ferarri is a Ferrari and a Civic is a Civic – built to function differently with different purposes and therefore different servicing needs. If that Ferrari has not been serviced properly, a few years down the road, it will break down at an unexpected place while watching the well-maintained Civic stroll by.

In our daily lives, many of us strive for this uber-performance mindset – at work and at home. Being “the best that you can be” has been taken to correlate with developing the characteristics of a “high achiever” which in my opinion is an entirely different thing.  The definition of a high achiever can be generalized as a person who strives beyond the reach of the average thinker to achieve extraordinary goals.

However being the best that you can be (as it is generally written), means to do the best that you are able to with the hand you have been dealt. It also gives the underlining message that you do not have to be as good as the next person, just the best that you yourself can be. In essence – this is true. But should you operate at your optimum mental and physical levels all the time?

Or is there a different meaning of “CAN BE”? I believe there is. For example, if a man has recently had to undergo some difficult surgical procedure and his wife has just unexpectedly left him, I would say that the best that he CAN BE has significantly decreased since he has had to deal with emotional trauma and physical healing. But there is still a “best that you can be” here. It is the BEST way that you can deal with TODAY – with the cards that you and you alone have been dealt. Your Best IN THE NOW!

In this day and age, I find many people suffering from low self esteem and a sense of being “less able” than the next person to “keep up”. We are fed daily – via our surroundings, interactions, the internet and the media with stories and impressions that other people are “put together” and “in control” of their lives in a way that we seem to fall short of. This is a repetitive worry that I find in my practice from people at all stages of their life and career. It really bothered me and I kept finding myself incorporating this simple thought into our sessions which seem to resonate well with my clients – so I am sharing it with others in the hope that it may bring about some much needed peace of mind.

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This note is for …

  • The single mother of 3 who thinks that she isn’t doing enough to keep the kids busy
  • The c-level executive who thinks that he doesn’t have what it takes to do the job she has and is afraid that others will “find out”
  • The entrepreneur who can’t get past the anxiety she deals with on a daily basis
  • The working parent who is juggling so much and feels that others seem to be doing a better job
  • The teacher who feels he isn’t making a difference
  • The broker who strives to be on the front page of the latest real estate publication
  • The doctor who blames herself for the unexpected results of that last surgical procedure.

In short, this note is for everyone who may sometimes get that feeling of “ I am not doing my best. I feel bad about myself”.

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I propose a different take on the notion of being the best that you can be. First, we must eliminate the notion of using the perceived lives of others as a benchmark to measure our progress in life which in turn impedes on our sense of self-worth.

points to consider;

1. There is no one else like you on this planet

2. You cannot control other people’s behaviors, you can only control your reaction to them

3. There is nothing you can do about yesterday – and tomorrow never comes. You live in today and always will

4. The choices you make are yours alone to make

5. Any external negative input should immediately be eliminated before it takes root

6. Each day provides a different set of experiences and these experiences meet a different ‘you’ every time

7. You can only do what you can do with what you have available – mentally and physically

I would like to therefore extend point #7 above to state that the “best that you can be” should mean that you are operating to the best of your ability with the current mental and physical strength you have at this given moment. Sometimes you are mentally stronger than other times – and that’s OK.

You cannot be at your strongest ALL THE TIME, Everything has a season and this extends to your mental and physical health.

It is therefore important to know when you need to “recharge your batteries” – i.e. take a rest, schedule some “me-time” and re-evaluate the path you are on as well as your TRUE goals.

This may sound simple in theory but it is very difficult for most of us to do – because we are always running to catch up with an invisible energizer bunny or superhuman entity. This running is exhausting and you will find that re-adjusting the way one thinks about “being the best you can be” will pay off in the long run by allowing you to achieve more than you initially hoped for without burning out, having a break down or giving up.

We have to listen to our “best selves” and know when we are out of tune with who we really are because we were busy trying to conform to what we think we SHOULD be.

This process requires some introspection but it is truly worth taking the time to reflect and re-adjust how tough we may be  on ourselves.

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Here are 7 Simple, Yet Powerful Habits Worth Developing; 

1. Get enough sleep so that you wake up refreshed

2. Make time for meditation, prayer or introspection in the morning

3. Make the decision to be in tune with your mind and body so you will be better aware of the state of your health. This way you know when you are in peak performance mode and you can adjust your schedule accordingly

4. Frequently connect with people who make you feel good about yourself & terminate negative relationships (old and new)

5. Tackle your daily tasks one at a time and have confidence in your own accountability

6. Trust your judgement about your life and develop your goals accordingly

7. Give of yourself (in a humanitarian capacity) as much as possible – it is a substantial part of your existence

In conclusion (for today…) look at yourself through your own eyes, knowing that you were made (perfectly) to function in your own unique way that may or may not be similar to the next person. Be aware of yourself through the eyes or others but do not live by it.

Originally written: 2010 | All Rights Reserved © A.V.Powers

Follow me on twitter: @StrategicPowers


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Let It Go…

– You can’t touch YESTERDAY, but TOMORROW is all yours to shape. So why waste time dwelling on things you can do nothing about when that time can be spent enhancing your future?

You have goals (desires, dreams, hopes and wishes) for your life and you CAN achieve them. All it takes is you making the decision to make achieving them a reality. If you are not sure how – ask me.

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Emotional Healing

Not too long ago, I had to endure a very deep emotional wound that took some time to heal and it caused me to reflect on why it took so long to heal. I thought I was over the hurt. I had processed the situation and wanted to move on without feeling the pain – but I couldn’t. It got me thinking about the different types of emotional wounds we suffer throughout our lives and in the process, I discovered a correlation that shed light on why this emotional wound was different.

 

Emotional vs. Physical Wound

An emotional wound is much like a physical wound in that the severity of the wound dictates the length of the healing process as well as the method of healing. For example, if I received a paper cut, it would sting for a bit but shortly thereafter, I would have forgotten all about it after the very basic of treatments. If I sprained my ankle, it may take a little longer for me to be able to walk on it with comfort – depending on how well I stick to the treatment process that is specific to that injury. If however I were in a fire incident and had all the skin on my right thigh burnt off, it would take even longer to heal. I would have to follow the specific instructions given to me by my doctor to ensure the healing process takes place and hope to have minimal scarring.

I would imagine that this last incident would be harder to forget than the paper cut. The PHYSICAL presence of the scarring will be a continuous reminder any time I touched my thigh or looked in the mirror. I may have recovered physically from the fire incident – my life may be back to normal but there will always be that reminder even though the discomfort of it manages to fade with time.

If I had a burn scar that does not feel like the rest of the skin on my thigh, I may be more protective over anything that comes close to it. It may be more sensitive than the skin on other part of my body and I may not like to have it exposed to heat of any sort as I may believe (right or wrong) that it would make it vulnerable to the temperature. These are expected responses because they are tangible.

However if we present the same hypothesis using emotional injury – it can become more difficult to address – so indulge me for a moment. Let’s say that one day, I was teased in the playground as a little a five year old child. I went home crying to my mother who reassured me that those mean older kids were just harmlessly teasing me and that my hairstyle didn’t really look like “lots of pigtails”. I may be hurt for a while but as I grow and flourish (as children do) I learn the insignificance of the incident. The memory (wound) may remain but it causes no discomfort.

On the other hand, imagine I was to find out that my 5 month old puppy was hit by a car and killed after running into traffic – it would certainly be a devastatingly painful experience – especially if it was the first time I had my very own puppy. I may not want to have a pet for a while after that incident since the memory (wound) of the (emotional) pain would still be raw. But eventually, as with a physical scar, the pain or sensitivity of the emotional wound becomes less urgent and blurs into the background of our mind.

It takes time for this to happen because both our physical body and our emotional make up must regenerate new physical and emotional components in order to keep growing, developing and in essence, living.

Deep Wound

Imagine that I suffered the deep wound of betrayal and abuse as a teenager in such a way that it took many years to heal that emotional wound (the memory of the event and the pain it caused), the emotional scar would be pretty deep.  I liken this emotional scar to the burn scars in the physical example earlier or more aptly (in my mind) to the pain and discomfort felt after having major surgery that leaves you with a large ugly scar to remind you of where you were cut open and sewn back together. After this surgery, you may feel glad that it’s over and want to get on with your regular life but the wound will not let you. The wound HAS TO take the time to heal. The stitches HAVE TO be removed, the wound HAS TO be treated, the pain HAS TO be soothed. It takes time. A long time. And there is no choice.

Suppose then that some years after that surgery, (you know, the one with the large scar, where the skin is still numb and sensitive to the touch) you have a car accident that has some piece of metal rip right through that same spot – right through the scar, how do you suppose that may feel? What do you suppose the healing process would be like? How do you suppose you would feel following this healing process?

And how would that translate for an emotional wound of that magnitude? For me, when I actually experienced an emotional would of this magnitude, the time that it took to heal seemed even longer than the first time. But it really wasn’t. We may find that it  only seems that way because we do not want to have to go through it all over again. We want to get to the good part – the  “I am okay again” part.

A More Recent Wound

That is what happened to me that caused me to write this article. I had both the extreme physical AND emotional wounding at the same time. At a time like this – it helps to know who God is in your life.

However, what started me writing this was a revelation I had regarding this new emotional would which  I received at the location of an older emotional scar that I believed had healed.  So when this new wound dug deep into the scarred location, I experienced the shock of it and since it was familiar, I thought I should be able to brush it off. I thought  the wound would heal quickly and I would be able to get on with things as if it had never existed.

But I was wrong. That’s not the case. Not at all. It STILL takes time to heal.  How annoying!

The difference is that this time round, I knew how to dress the (emotional) wound, I knew which ointment to put on it, I knew which vitamins helped heal it and I knew that I would survive it. But what I realised also was that I can’t just ignore its existence because it is familiar. I STILL have to treat it with the same healing balm. Whether I like it or not.

I also chose to learn from it, as with all experiences in life – especially the unexpected shocks to the system. It is of great importance to be able to remember what you have already survived in the past in order to move forward in life.

Remember…

Remember when you thought you could not make it through that last difficult time? Remember that you did. Remember HOW you did. And most of all, remember that we are human, with human feelings and human bodies and that if we treat ourselves well, we will be of better service to others.

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Originally written: 2010 All Rights Reserved © A.V.Powers

Follow me on twitter: @StrategicPowers


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Why Bother Striving To Be Happy?

Do you strive to be Happy? It may be important to be Happy, however Happiness does not come knocking on your door.

Understanding the components of what makes you HAPPY is paramount to living your life with a powerful level of energy, peace and satisfaction.

MY POINT HERE  IS…

(1) You cannot wake up each morning holding on to negative emotion and expect to have a good day.  Wallowing in one’s misery can be an addictive exercise that erodes the mind of repair and regeneration.

(2) This very moment is the only moment you are living in and you choose the emotion to hold onto.  Why not strive for something (lasting) that lifts you up.

STRIVING TO BE HAPPY is a fruitful task that becomes easier and more successful the more you are tapped into your true self.  It allows you to embrace the next moments of your life with a stronger sense of self-reliance and confidence.

It is a conscious act that is at its most powerful when performed subconsciously.

Being HAPPY is a process that requires definition and refinement whereas JOY  (see article “The Concept of Joy”) can come instantly and  leave just as quickly.  One is “happy” when experiencing a moment of joy, but true HAPPINESS is a more deep-rooted and highly valuable state of mind.

ACHIEVING HAPPINESS is possible beginning the moment you decide to say the following 3 statement out loud yourself (yes, OUT LOUD) whenever you catch your mind dwelling on things that make you unhappy;

“I want to be happy”

“I can be happy”

“I will be happy”.

You will immediately enter into  a mindset that you have created yourself  – and that you alone can control.  You have decided that happiness is possible but you have also implanted the desire and belief that happiness is achievable.  Without this desire and belief, you will be fighting a losing battle against the effects of any deep-rooted negative thought-processes you may be holding on to.

Happiness is not something you postpone for the future; it is something you design for the present.

Jim Rohn

Being Happy is an active process and the more you feed your mind with positive imagery and ideas while purposefully terminating the growth of further negative influences, the closer you will be to BEing HAPPY.

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Originally written: 2010 | All Rights Reserved © A.V.Powers

Follow me on twitter: @StrategicPowers


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Sailing Through Challenging Times

Yes, times are tough, etc. Yes this happened to this person and that happened to that person – and it’s not pleasant. You wonder how you can cope with all these changes. Well here are some helpful boosters to remind you how to harness a positive outlook especially when it seems impossible to do so.
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Here are 7 Actions To Enable You To Better Deal With Tomorrow’s Challenges
  1. Turn the TV off! Yes, OFF! Well… mainly the major news networks. You only need to catch the main news ONCE a day otherwise you will find yourself being subconsciously affected by the constant onslaught of bad news and the “latest economic downturn”. Remaining constantly plugged into the bad news has the same effect on your mind as attending funerals of people you know on a daily basis. It abuses your emotional system.
  2. ACCEPT situations that you can do nothing about right now and instead look to situations that you can do something about to effect a positive change.
  3. Avoid gathering that involve friends, relatives or colleagues where topics of conversation are anxiety-ridden, dreary, complaining sessions. These again are an abuse to your emotional system even though it may at first seem healthy to share how you feel. This only works if in the process of sharing you are assured of being provided with positive, encouraging feedback or support.
  4. Set goals that make you WANT TO achieve them. CELEBRATE each baby step taken. And keep going.
  5. Keep looking forward with a certainly of GOOD things to come. Wake up each morning and remind yourself that “Today is a brand new day and I feel GOOD about it”.
  6. Be conscious of what activities energize you and ensure you maintain a regular dose of such activities. This could be hiking, swimming, meditating or even sleeping (who knew).
  7. Build your external support system – this could be family, friends, colleagues or of course,  someone like me perhaps…

Originally written: 2009 All Rights Reserved © A.V.Powers

Follow me on twitter: @StrategicPowers