A common thread among clients who come to me for self-empowerment counseling is “Why do people use me?” And they groan, “Why me?” And they whine, “I’ll never get what I want because of _____.” I tell them to fill in that blank with, “because I allow myself to be a victim.” People don’t make […]
The economy is awful. People are losing hope. But you don’t have to! I’m delighted to have Laurie Nadel, Ph.D., a life coach, counselor, bestselling author and journalist, as my guest blogger today. Dr. Laurie has a wonderful technique for taking back your power. I’ve used this technique and it works. The economy may be bad but your life can still be good! Read on..
By Laurie Nadel, Ph.D.
As a reformed adrenaline junkie, it is all too easy for me to get swept away on a tide of e-words: excitement, exuberance, enthusiasm, excellence, and euphoria. For there is no high like living a dream come true.
We adrenaline junkies know too well the post-euphoria let-down. It’s not exactly a crash. It’s a physiological sensation of dry mouth, muscle cramping, and emotional fatigue. Ripples of accomplishment often accompany those shaky muscles but you are still coming down.
The communal ecstasy of Election Night has imprinted itself into our collective psyche as a series of images, phrases, and kinesthetic sensations that we can use to reboot our enthusiasm when the rituals and routines of everyday life reconvene. All you need to do is recall how you felt and step back into it as if you were living that dream again…right here, right now.
Feel the power of those e-words: excitement, exuberance, enthusiasm, excellence, and euphoria. Touch your ear or make a fist and say, “Yes, we can!” When the feeling fades, shake out your hand, wiggle your shoulders…and go back to work. Whenever you want a boost, touch that same ear, make that same fist and think the power phrase, “Yes, we can!” and you can magically reboot.
Emotions are stored as molecules in your limbic system, also known as the emotional brain. Those molecules are triggered by, say, the smell of roast turkey and pumpkin pie at Halloween, or a song that takes you back to a summer afternoon when you were in college. This is equally true for pleasurable and painful emotions. (If, like me, you want to understand the science behind this, please read Dr. Candace Pert’s groundbreaking classic, Molecules of Emotion.)
This technique, called “anchoring,” gives you the power to change the channel. Instead of feeling frustrated or upset, you can use the anchor to signal your brain that it is time to change your emotional state to “Yes, we can.”
It won’t bring back your job, your house, or your investments. Nor can just one anchor bring back all the confidence you had before your dream broke down. That takes time, patience, and new ideas.
I know something about that. I lost everything in a recession in the late 1990’s: home, savings, marriage, job, and my health. More to the point: I lost my self-esteem. I blamed myself for not being able to prevent the loss. I felt like a failure. I believed I would never regain the money or income that was drained away by an adjustable mortgage and escalated well beyond our ability to pay. It was traumatic and isolating.
A middle-class baby boomer, one of the most humiliating days of my life came when our family qualified for the free school lunch program. This was not supposed to happen!
I’m sharing this now because I know what it’s like for you if you are in a similar position today. Losing a job or a home is more complex than it may seem on the surface. It is connected to your sense of survival and your sense of self-worth. If you feel like I did at the time, you may be questioning your ability to come back from this. You may be angry because the dream you worked so hard to achieve has broken down.
You may even feel depressed and overwhelmed because you do not know how to begin rebuilding. Where do you start?
This is not meant to be trite. You start with yourself. Make a list of your fears and put it in a drawer. A year from now you will be surprised when you read it again. What do you believe about yourself? Make another list. Now touch your ear, make a fist, and say, “Yes, we can.”
My friend Ed (www.whydriveyourselfcrazy.com) likes to say, “Hope is a walking dream.” It is a paraphrase of Aristotle, who said, “Hope is a waking dream.”
Why not take the first step? Use your anchor at least five times a day!
It is the first step back to reclaiming yourself….and your dream.
Laurie Nadel, Ph.D. mentors women who need breakthroughs to achieve their dreams.
www.laurienadel.com and www.unlockyoursixthsense.com She is the host of “The Sixth Sense” radio show on www.webtalkradio.net which reaches 70,000 listeners weekly. Dr. Laurie blogs for The Huffington Post. She was a columnist for The New York Times.