Lessons from a Recovering Doormat

I’m happy to have Clinical Social Worker and Marriage Family Therapist, Michele Germain, also the author of “The Jill Principle – A Women’s Guide To Healing Her Spirit After Divorce Or Breakup (Llewellyn Worldwide) as my guest.

Creating A Healthy Mind
by Michele Germain

Are you trying to “bully” yourself into shape with your self talk? Is your mind flooded with thoughts of self-criticism, should’s and self-imposed pressure? Where did all this negative self-talk begin and why? If you don’t know the answer to these questions then it is time to carefully listen to your mind and find out exactly what it is you are telling yourself. First let me explain where it all begins.

Your negative self-talk begins in childhood. Our natural vulnerability is obvious. When you receive negative messages from your environment, your parents and others, your child’s mind is very impressionable. Unfortunately, those negative messages are taken in and they become part of your self-esteem and self talk.

The negative messages you internalize do not go away, they just become hidden and that becomes part of the negative internal dialog you presently have with yourself as an adult.

Let me explain further. In working with thousands of adult men and women one-on-one and in marriage counseling, I have found that affirmations are simply not enough. Even counseling or psych-therapy where all you do is talk, talk, talk, does not necessarily change your negative thinking.

It is important to connect with the voice of the inner child, name the negative thinking, and acknowledge that it started very early in your childhood.

Then bring compassionate understanding to yourself. Your child’s mind was not mature enough to say,” well my parents really don’t mean what they say; they are just frustrated and did not get the love they needed from their parents.” Instead the child internalizes the messages and now the negative messages and voice of the parent becomes your own. Your parents are now sitting on your shoulder.

We all need to use our minds to manage the changes, stress and the unknown. But, it order to achieve positive results you cannot start with self-criticism. It does take time to change your negative self-talk, but not impossible.

To investigate your inner child’s early programming you might quickly consider going through your day and noticing your negative self talk. If you do this for a few days you will notice a theme. You may notice that you frequently worry about the future, or obsess over past events beating yourself up, to name only a few themes. This self-talk theme you may not notice as it can be silently be going on in the background of your mind. Or, your negative self-talk could be spoken out loud when you are casually going through your day, or when someone ask you “how are you doing”?

How do you change this negative self-talk?

The first step is to just notice that you are engaging in self-critical or fear based self-talk. Most people spend 80% of their time in their minds, either thinking, thinking thinking, or talking talking talking, but not listening. The first step requires that you pause during your day and be silent, stop and listen to what you are telling yourself. Write down five negative thoughts that you are hearing yourself say.

The second step is to be compassionate with yourself, knowing that what you are hearing is the voice of your wounded inner child. Much of the time we spend putting ourselves under a microscope judging and being critical with decision, behavior, etc. Compassion is a critical step to develop and it will be easy now that you know this self-talk started with the innocent mind of the child.

The Third step is where you begin to update your inner child by reprogramming and putting in positive thoughts. This is like putting your inner child on your lap and saying that what she/he thinks is not really the truth of who you are, it is bringing self-love and understanding and the positive viewpoint which is updating the old into the new thinking.

Do not be hostage to your negative thoughts. You can change your negative thinking just follow the three (3) step process, it works. The process can be speeded along by working with a professional who deals with inner child work to help you identify your negative self-talk. Be patience and you will create a healthy mind.

Michele Germain is the author of The Jill Principle – A Women’s Guide To Healing Her Spirit After Divorce Or Breakup (Llewellyn Worldwide) and licensed as a Clinical Social Worker and Marriage Family Therapist in California. She’s a Certified Bioenergetic Analyst, specializing in the mind/body connection, an approach that resolves the emotional pain remaining in the body. Germain is also a relationship expert, and helps individuals find the spiritual gift in their crisis or breakup and does phone counseling. She has appeared on radio, cable television and in print media. She can also be found on

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This is post 47 in my series on the Law of Attraction in Action. You CAN use your power to attract all that you need. I do it every day! Read the posts in this series to see how.

People now see me as someone who makes her dreams come true. We all have dreams. Our minds can take us far. But I’ve found that people fall into several general categories. Yes, they may overlap at times. But in general, you’ll probably recognize yourself most in one. You might not want to recognize yourself correctly. But when you do, you can use the Law of Attraction too help you get what you think you want. Which one are you?

* Fantasy Dreamer: People imagine scenarios that are either so far from their lives to consider happening or that are over the top for someone or that they really wouldn’t want to come true. These dreams are often too general to attract spiritual support, like being rich and famous or having men or women fawning all over you to get your attention. These kinds of dreams usually stay in the person’s bed. We often retreat to these dreams when we’re down or feeling helpless to improve life.

I had fantasy dreams often as a DoorMat. I’d imagine myself doing all sorts of incredible things or being with handsome actors or becoming a different person. They’d make me feel better for a while and help me pass time. But then I’d get sad KNOWING they wouldn’t come true. My putting it out to the Law of Attraction that I KNEW it wouldn’t happen ensured it wouldn’t happen. Fantasies CAN become reality IF you believe they can, but most fantasy dreamers don’t.

* Envious Dreamer: Envy can make you dream about having something that someone else has. You might not have wanted it on your own but seeing someone else with it can start you dreaming about having it too. You might want the expensive car your wealthier neighbor has or the prefect body you see on someone else, even though your frame is different.

In my DoorMat day, I envied many people and dreamed of having what they had—the hot boyfriend, the killer body, the lavish lifestyle and anything else I saw that seemed good. I just assumed the people with them were happy, which I wasn’t. So I dreamed about having it all, as I sadly believed I’d always have to live vicariously through others since I’d never have any of it. Envious dreamers tend to focus on their envy rather than trying to get what they dreamed about. They believe it’s always other people who get those things.

* Hopeless Dreamer: These dreamers really want to manifest and may take a few steps to do it. But, one setback or perceived obstacle can keep them dreaming forever. You may want to start a business, take a trip around the world, buy a house, become the president of your company or the US! But if you wait for a miracle before taking some steps forward, you’ll probably live in hopelessness. I felt hopeless about many things, especially getting out of DoorMatville. Compliments and words of encouragement were deflected by my low self-image, which said I couldn’t do much.

Many people sort of believe in the possibility of their dreams coming true but succumb to roadblocks, the biggest being in their heads. When things don’t go smoothly or come easily, it’s interpreted as too hard or not doable. That tells the Law of Attraction that you don’t expect it to happen. And guess what? It doesn’t! Then you may wallow in your being right instead of looking for another way to make it work.

* Intentional Dreamer: This is where I am now—a dream realizer! I won’t dream it if I don’t intend to seek it. People call me lucky. I don’t believe there’s any such thing. You get what people call luck by setting your sites on what you want with a belief that you will get it, and put that out strongly to the Law of Attraction. That’s truly what luck is—intentions manifested. Sometimes I hated others for being so lucky, not recognizing that I always had the power of the Law of Attraction to help me manifest real dreams. Lucky people are careful about their thoughts and attract more, so the other kind of dreamers call it luck. But it really is letting your thoughts work with the Law of Attraction.

Hopeless dreamers are good at making excuses for why they can’t make their dreams come true. They’re just copouts for not doing what it takes in most cases! You can find a million reasons for waiting to pursue your dreams. And waiting. And waiting. Each time you wait gets you a little more stuck in moving forward and it often becomes even harder to go for your dreams.

The best way to realize your dreams is to begin to live them.

Take a step forward to bring the dream out of wishful thinking and make it part of your life. If you make progress and then hit a step backwards, you can’t let it stop you—IF you truly want what you dream about. As a DoorMat, I dreamed in the black and white visions of what I wanted, shrouded in doubts about why it couldn’t happen. Now I dream in reality Technicolor. I decide what I want, do what I can to make it happen, and then trust that what I need will be there.

When intentions are clear and faith is strong, the Law of Attraction facilitates them.

I’m going to share one of my dreams. I’ve told a few people but they laugh. Does it faze me? Nope! I just know they’ll have a harder time manifesting their own dreams if they don’t understand the faithful intentions I have. I intend to win the Mega Millions lottery! There, I’ve said it in public! I want to use the money to do good for others. I KNOW with all my heart this will happen when the time is right. I have a budget for where the money will go. Mostly charities. I’ll keep just enough to live on so I can administer the money to do the most good.

I don’t buy tickets every week. The jackpot must be well over 100 million for it to suit my intentions. ?

When it gets there, then I buy. If I forget, it’s okay since it will be higher the following week or someone else will win. In the latter case, I wouldn’t want to win that time and split the money. Meanwhile, I keep visualizing the win coming and make concrete plans for the money, which can change each time the jackpot goes up. I’ll take 26 payments so it must be enough to give me substantial money each year. I’m still not sure of some details of how to accomplish what I intend, since when I ask an accountant, etc, I get strange looks, not answers.

I truly KNOW with all my heart it’s coming—next week or in 10 years—whenever the right time is.

So now you have one of my more secret dreams, though I have many more! Join me! Be spontaneous, with some planning of course. Move forward in making your dreams come true. Take one step today. Learn something you need on the Internet. Write a plan. List your goals. Make a call. Ask for advice. Read a book about it. Things work out when you LET them. So LET them! Set your intentions, do what’s necessary, and let the Law of Attraction do its part. Take your dreams out of bed and begin the steps to seeing them to reality!

See al
l the Law of Attraction in Action Series..

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You might have noticed I’ve been MIA for over a week. No posts. I felt guilty the first few days but couldn’t find the time. My next book was due yesterday, and I had to get it done properly. Every day I tried to make time to write a post or do some of the other things I had no time for but time kept running out. While I want to do it all and the ads say women can do it all, often we can’t. And it’s okay.

The old DoorMat in me tried to do everything at the expense of sleep and herself. Now I know it’s okay to prioritize and do what’s best for my well being.

People pleasers often take on too much. Often nothing gets done as well as possible. After a few days of trying, I gave myself permission to take time off from writing my blog and other things I’d normally do. My book came first, along with paying my bills on time. I also factored in time for loved ones and exercise. But that was about it. It was actually empowering to skip things I normally wouldn’t in order to take the pressure off of my time.

Trying to do too much or stressing out about not doing all you think you should can hurt your health.

Now I love myself enough to be kind to me and not push myself too hard. It feels great! I finished my book on time and have put some work into my next one, which will now be my priority. I have more leeway on time for a while. I’m chilling out more this weekend to decompress form the last few weeks, before I get back on the fast track again. The nice thing is I no longer feel guilty about putting things off!

We’re entitled—yes, entitled—to prioritize what we do in ways that feel best to us.

In my DoorMat days, even if I’d put something off, guilt would have offset the benefits. I didn’t feel right not doing everything I was “supposed to.” But what does “supposed to” mean? Going beyond your time? Draining all your energy? Putting too much stress on you? None of that makes sense to me anymore. What does make sense is doing everything I can to insure my good health and keep stress down.

If something is on your plate that’s stressing you out, find a way to put it away for a while or get it done fast.

I had some important calls to make and other things that needed to be done. So one morning I forced myself to sit down and make them all. When they were done, the big sense of relief felt great! I also determined what could wait. While I love writing my blog, it wasn’t essential to write posts. I found a bunch of others things that I also deemed postponable. Once I did that it was such a relief!

Things won’t fall apart because they’ve been postponed but you might fall apart if you try to do too much.

I’m writing this in the park around the corner from my apartment in midtown. It’s my oasis, with gorgeous trees and flowers and a big waterfall. That’s me in the pic. I took it with my laptop! I’m writing but not under pressure. It feels so good to relax and write at my leisure. The more I’ve grown to love myself, the more I strive to slow myself down and keep my plate at a reasonable level of full. I love what I do so most of it is sheer pleasure. If I could create some 48-hour days, I’d be a happier camper.

For now, I’ll try hard to keep time in my 24-hour days reasonably accounted for.

I apologize to those of you who missed my posts and I’ll try to do much better this week. I won’t always be able to write consistently, but I’ve moved these posts up in priority now that my book is done. Make sure you prioritize your time too. If you bite off more that you can handle, or should chew, spit some out or freeze it for another day! ?

If you enjoyed my post, please leave a comment and/or click on the bookmark and write a short review at some of the sites, especially Stumbleupon and Digg. Thanks!

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This is post 46 in my series on the Law of Attraction in Action. You CAN use your power to attract all that you need. I do it every day! Read the posts in this series to see how.

I have a friend who always says he can’t fix anything and hires people to do them. He’s sure he’ll break the wall if he tries to put a hook in it. I’ve tried to show him how to do simple things but he continues to sabotage his efforts by saying over and over that he’ll mess it up. Guess what happens? Yep, he messes it up, by attracting what he expected.

Believing that you can’t do something reinforces your inability to do it. The Law of Attraction supports you in screwing it up.

Most of us grew up with at least some limitations on what we can or can’t do. You may be too big to model, not smart enough to get a top job, not talented enough to do art, no handy enough to fix things. That mentality carries into other areas of your life and can make you feel somewhat out of control. Worst of all, it keeps you from trying to do those things without the mental restrictions.

If your parent or teacher or friend or the media told you what you can’t do, you carry that belief into adulthood.

My advisor in high school told me I was best suited to be someone’s wife and discredited my lofty dreams. She said I couldn’t do business or have a real career. The DoorMat in me believed her and studied Liberal Arts, which prepared me for nothing I wanted to do. But I couldn’t have a business career because my advisor said that.

It’s YOUR choice to make your thoughts positive or self-defeating.

Even if you were never able to do something before, trying it with expectations of success can make it happen! You can get someone to show you how, take a class, or just use determination, and your thoughts, to conquer it. Whatever you think becomes your reality.

* If you think you can’t, you can’t. Saying this takes away the option of learning to do something or overcoming a handicap. Thinking you can’t closes the door to overcoming what kept you from doing it before. It keeps you stuck in victim mode and dependent on others, like my friend who pays people to do what he could do himself.

* If you think you can, you can. That doesn’t mean you will. But it opens the door to possibilities. Thinking you can makes it possible. It says you’re willing to try your best and there’s a decent chance that you’ll succeed. “I can” can get you to “I will.”

* If you know you will, you will! There are 2 key words here—KNOW and WILL. Knowing is stringing than thinking, which still has doubt. WILL is the most definite. You can think you can do something but it doesn’t mean you will. It may happen but also may not. WILL sets your intention to it happening. It has no doubt.

WILL tells the Law of Attraction to bring it on!

The remote control for my VCR hasn’t worked well in a while. I finally went to Radio Shack and bought a universal one. The guy in the store wasn’t sure how to work it. The instructions weren’t clear and he said I’d have to try to figure it out on my own, or return it. I had no choice. The instructions were useless. At first I thought it wouldn’t do what I needed. Programming the remote was confusing. But I needed it to work and decided I’d figure out how to do it.

I said in a very determined voice, “I WILL make this work for me!”

A friend called during this and said, “Oh, I couldn’t program that remote.” There you go! Say you can’t and you can’t. I knew she couldn’t do it but also knew that I WOULD! I brought all my logic together, played with the buttons, said positive affirmations, “I WILL program this sucker,” and a few minutes later, it was programmed. I was proud of myself and immediately looked up and said thanks. It seemed impossible at first. I’m not tech inclined. But when I decided I WOULD program it, something in me changed.

I almost felt the invisible force of the Law of Attraction working with me! Knowing I have that support for my thoughts gave me the confidence to make it happen.

Catch yourself when you say you can’t do something that you actually would like to do. Ask yourself why not? See if you can change the possibility to “maybe I can.” Then take a leap and affirm “I WILL.” YOU determine whether you can or can’t do by your thoughts. Why not use them to help you!? ?

See all the Law of Attraction in Action Series..

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