Sanity Before Success
One common cause that brings clients into coaching with me to stop anxiety spoiling their lives, is the ever-increasing cultural expectations to do more, be more, have more! This is fuelled by the feeling that unless we earn a certain income, and possess the right branded goods, we are not worth very much.
These definitions of success which used to be confined to the western world are going global, and as Arianna Huffington, founder of Huffington Post says “the current model in which success is equated with overwork, burnout, sleep deprivation, never seeing your family, being connected through email 24 hours a day and exhaustion, isn’t working” It is having devastating effects on the rise of both stress and anxiety disorders.
Much of this is down to commercial pressures. Here are some tips to free yourself from the prevailing media-driven must-dos and must-haves:
1. Don’t buy it!Begin to observe the 'game' that advertisers play with you and detach from the feeling that you must have what they are promoting. Once you realise they play on a basic human need to get along and belong with other people, you begin to be free of their influence. We are surrounded by expectations, but we can choose which ones to go along with and which to ignore. When you use that choice, you take back control of your own mind. That's what I call success.
2. So - to detachment.I like to watch ads both for the entertainment value, and to appreciate and admire the skills of the creative people making the ads. For example I love the animations for a well-known high street bank. I hope the animators will make full-length movies. But I feel no compulsion to switch to that bank. Just detach as if you’re a film critic.
3. Have fun working out exactly what lifestyle they are selling. They want to send a message to your unconscious mind and the emotional part of your brain that you desperately need their product. But when you bring awareness to analysing their tactics, you both calm your emotional brain, and exercise freedom of mind. Sometimes the message they are pushing is very subtle. Other times it is so obvious it makes me laugh out loud. Ask yourself how are they trying to sell a product? What is the underlying subliminal message? How do they manage to make you feel a lesser mortal without it, and only a success if you buy it? It is simply ridiculous when you think about it. Aha, you’re onto them!
4. They may well have a good product, and you could say that you are contributing to the economy by buying it, but you do not need their stuff to feel a worthwhile person. In fact the opposite can be true. By exercising choice to resist the 'brainwashing' you can feel stronger. And that breeds confidence.
5. Multi-millionaires have more nightmares than those on average incomes. So if you are inclined to anxiety, no amount of money or possessions will feel like enough. Falling victim to cultural pressures to play that game is just not worth your health or well-being.
A strong sense of self does not depend on having the right widgets, gadgets and digits.
Change your mind and you change your world
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