Archive for February, 2012

February 29, 2012

Compassion

If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.

– Dali Lama

Compassion is not religious business, it is human business, it is not luxury, it is essential for our own peace and mental stability, it is essential for human survival.

– Dali Lama

The whole idea of compassion is based on a keen awareness of the interdependence of all these living beings, which are all part of one another, and all involved in one another.” – Thomas Merton

Dictionary.com defines compassion as “a feeling of deep sympathy and sorrow for another who is stricken by misfortune, accompanied by a strong desire to alleviate the suffering.” I definitely agree that compassion incorporated the strong feeling to alleviate the suffering of others. However, I feel that compassion is much deeper than a “feeling of deep sympathy or sorrow”. Compassion is deeper that “pity” or sympathy alone. When we show compassion to another, we understand the other’s feelings as a part of the human condition. Compassion arises out of the awareness that all people have the possibility to experience the same range of human experience all human experiences and human emotions. Compassion allows understanding of another person’s perspective since we can imagine ourselves reacting to the situation in a similar manner. Compassion is the desire to relieve another’s suffering. We can demonstrate compassion when another person is experiencing great anger, frustration, as well as sadness and loss.

When you demonstrating compassion, you perceive yourself as an equal to the one you are demonstrating compassion for. For example, if we feel compassion for someone who is homeless and down on their luck, we understand that we too could be homeless and it a similar situation. When friends or family make poor decisions (such as engaging in addictive patterns), compassion allows us to see that we have the same possibility to make similar decisions. When we interact with other people compassionately, others are able to feel supported in a non-judgmental fashion. Others can feel our intention to alleviate their suffering.

Compassion can be seen as the emotional equivalent of “the Golden Rule”. As Karen Armstrong from charterforcompassion.org has stated “Always treat others as you’d like to be treated yourself … Don’t do to others what you would not like them to do to you”. Compassion can be viewed as reacting to all others as if they are your self.

What are the benefits of compassion?

First, there are emerging studies that show that compassionate behavior and compassionate meditation are good for our health. In a study published in Psychoneuroendocrinology, it was demonstrated that “individuals who engage in compassion meditation may benefit by reductions in inflammatory and behavioral responses to stress that have been linked to depression and a number of medical illnesses”(link) In another study of 59 women, it was found that those who demonstrated high levels of compassion for others were more receptive to social support, enabling them to better handle acute psychological stress and maintain overall well-being, according to psychologists at the University of Maine, University of California – Berkeley and University of California – San Francisco (link).

Second, compassion can help us influence the interactions that we have with others. When we choose a compassionate response when another person gets upset, we are more likely going to have a neutral or understanding response. By responding in this manner, we are more likely to be able to diffuse a potential conflict. Additionally, when we react to others compassionately, we are more likely to build rapport with that person.

Finally, the more compassionate we are, the more compassion we bring into the world. As Ghandi is often quoted “be the change you want to see in the world.” By being more compassionate, we model how to be compassionate and those who are within our zone of influence are more likely to respond compassionately to us.

The next time someone gets angry with you, resist the temptation to engage in a defensive response. Consider what circumstances brought the other person to get angry. Imagine how you would feel in a similar situation. Then focus on the intention of elevating the other person’s suffering. Your compassionate response is not only good for your own health, but it has the opportunity to strengthen your interpersonal relationships and help facilitate a more compassionate world.

Please share your comments on this topic! I am grateful for any insight you may have.

February 28, 2012

This blog from Robin Sharma does a wonderful job of articulating how we can call move forward to creating the live we want!

Live & Learn

A life of greatness is not reserved for the chosen few: women and men with perfect skin, flawless teeth and a royal pedigree. There are no extra human beings on the planet and every single one of us, I deeply believe, can choose to create a life of greatness and extraordinary meaning. It all comes down to Small Daily Acts of Greatness (SDAG). I have been teaching this principle and the impact has been profound. Essentially, a great life is nothing more than a series of great, well-lived days strung together like a necklace of pearls.

As you live your days, so you create your life. The point really is: if you show up fully each and every day and play your best game during the waking hours of each one of your days, you will be guaranteed an extraordinary life. If you improve your health or your relationships or…

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February 27, 2012

Forgiveness, it is within our Control

Many people view forgiveness as something that is important for another person to do for us. Many times we may hear ourselves and others request, “please forgive me” or state, “I can’t believe she will not forgive me”. The forgiveness of others is definitely not something that we can control. Although the forgiveness of others can help heal an aspect of a relationship, we can only control our own ability to forgive.

Forgiveness is an important habit /attribute for our own sense of wellbeing. Forgiveness allows us to “clear the slate” and let go of resentment and frustration. Forgiveness allows us to stop “holing on” to a perceived insult or injury.  Some people I know have stated that they are resistant to forgiving someone since they feel the act of forgiveness will encourage the other to continue engaging in wrongdoing. But forgiveness is for our own selves. It allows us to move on from a challenging situation. It allows us to dump the negative data set that we have been collecting and to change our emotional filter of continuing to gather data to reinforce our feelings of anger, resentment and contempt. Forgiveness is not forgetfulness. If someone has harmed us repeatedly in the past, we can forgive that person and let go of our emotional baggage while making the conscious decision of not letting that person hurt us again in the same way.

For example, there is one person that has been a part of my social circle for a long time. Many years ago, that person repeatedly spread gossip and rumors about me. Then, that person started rumors about other people that were close to me. Needless to say, this situation caused me a lot of anger, frustration and resentment. When I finally decided to forgive this person, my life got better. Now, when I run into this person, I no longer have a visceral emotional response. I am able to be cordial and no one in the room feels any tension. I do not actively seek out that person for validation or socialization nor have I forgotten this person’s tendency to spread rumors. What is important is that I have healed and I have moved on.

Resentment is a feeling that can cripple a relationship. Once we have started to resent someone, we typically hold onto the justification for that resentment. Forgiveness is the panacea for moving past our past resentments. Once we have forgiven that person, we can relive ourselves from the emotional baggage from that situation. This can help us objectively evaluate the situation or the relationship to determine if it continues to be beneficial to our personal interest.

Forgiveness can be valuable in situations where we know that we are the person that has made a mistake. If we know that we have made a mistake and that we are willing to do everything possible to move towards healing, forgiving ourselves can help us move forward. In this case, we can only hope that the other person can forgive us.

February 25, 2012

You Have A Voice!

Yesterday, my wife and I were discussing the prospect of looking at ourselves on video. She stated that she finds it interesting to watch herself on video. I replied that it kind of creeps me out when I watch myself on video. My wife replied, that our reaction to our videos may be reflective on how we viewed ourselves as speakers. My wife comes from the perspective that feels that typically what she has to say is interesting and important. I appear to come from the perspective of doubt that what I have to say may be interesting to others. Therefore, my wife is a more active and fluent speaker than myself for most topics. However, when I am fully confident of the topic of which I am speaking, I feel that I do a great job at expressing myself.

I realized from this conversation that I still need to acknowledge and overcome my unconscious programming. I know that at a conscious level that I am smart, articulate and respected in my feel. To overcome my subconscious thoughts, I need to re-write my story. I have interesting things to say! I am worthy of being heard!

In the movie “The King’s Speech”, there is a great scene where the King George VI is doubting the credentials of Lionel Logue, his speech therapist. In the movie to this point, King George VI was also greatly doubting himself on his ability to be King since public speaking was such a great challenge for him. On the eve of the King’s coronation, Lionel Logue sat on the thrown while King George was lost in doubt. When the King saw Lionel on the thrown, he told him to get out. Lionel refused and indicated that the King was not a King yet and why should Lionel listen to this duke who did not feel he was worthy of being a King? The King gathered confidence and strength with his articulation and stated clearly “because I have a voice!”

Each of us has a voice. Each of us can be prone to doubt. We are all best served when we do not let irrational fears or doubts hinder our voice.

We all have important things to say!

We are all worthy of being heard!

We may not all be Kings in the official sense, but we ALL have a VOICE!

We are all “Kings” of our own Kingdoms!

Thanks to all who have read and commented!

February 22, 2012

10 Elephants

Yesterday, we discussed the benefits of scripting out a challenging conversation before it occurs. Today, we will discuss the importance of the conversational pause.

Almost everyone that you talk to has a different response time. We typically take it for granted the person that we are talking to has the same verbal response time that we do. In most situations, there is a natural conversational rhythm and ideas are easily exchanged with our conversational partner. If we engage in challenging conversations, conversations that require intense problem solving or if we are communicating with someone that has difficulty with receptive language, our conversational partner may need an increased verbal response time. The Hannen program for facilitating language for preschoolers encourages parents to allow “10 elephants” or 10 seconds for verbal response time. Not everyone needs a full “10 elephants”. The average response time is actually 7 to 10 seconds.  Once we understand that others may need up to 10 seconds to respond to a challenging question or conversation, we will start allowing enough space for others to respond. After we have given someone sufficient time to respond, it would then be appropriate to re-state the question or problem in a different way.

I will use myself as an example. When my wife and I are engaged in our typical conversations about our day, neither of us are conscious of any conversational pauses. However, when we start discussing issues that require problem solving, my wife has noted that I need up to “7 elephants” to respond. I am thankful for this conversational space. During this pause, I am able to use all of my working memory to work on the problem. Often, when I am interrupted during this time of pondering, my thought process will be derailed and I may need to start my thinking over. I am fortunate that the majority of the people that I interact with understand my conversational style.

My wife offered her conversational experience as another example (yes she reads this blog and she has given me her permission to discuss her conversational preferences). My wife feels that she often gives other people only “3 elephants” to respond. When she does not receive a quick response (3 elephants or less) she may feel that people are not listening to her. My wife is aware that she will provide more response time to children than she would for adults. When my wife is in a period of increased stress and increased responsibility, she realizes that she has fewer elephants for everyone.

Since we cannot control the responses of our conversational partners, it is best to reflect on our own conversational processing needs. If you need a full 7 to 10 seconds to respond, it would be beneficial to communicate this with your conversational partner. For example, to indicate that you are still participating in the conversation while processing your response, you could simply state “let me think about that” or offer a pre-determine gesture such as holding one finger up or nodding. If you know that you have a very quick response time, one strategy would be to simply count elephants when you are experiencing an uncomfortable pause.

When listening to jazz, blues or classical music, the spaces between the notes are just as important as the notes themselves. When having a sophisticated conversation, the space between ideas can almost be as important to the flow of the conversation.

February 21, 2012

Scripting for Emotional Success

 Recently, a friend of mine informed me of a strategy that he used to handle a challenging conversation with his wife. This strategy allowed him to state his concerns without being interrupted. He succinctly summarized the main issues that he wanted to be discussed, that in the past were met with a defensive response. In the end, both parties felt heard and the challenging conversation lasted less than 15 minutes. Both parties were able to express their feelings and they experienced a sense of closure.

 At first, I was surprised when he informed me that he sent his wife a text message.

What? Texting!  That is crazy. How can you have an emotional conversation by texting?

In this instance, texting was only the medium of communication. The main strategy was creating a script of the desired conversation. The reason that my friend’s challenging conversation was successful was that he took the time to prepare. He took a long time to craft a message that supported the value of the relationship as well as stating concerns that needed to be addressed.

Before you drop everything and start texting someone you have an issue with, it is vital that you a) consider the other conversational partner’s communicative preferences and b) spend adequate time preparing what you want to communicate while considering the emotional needs of the recipient.

Writing your script.

The most important step in creating your message is writing and revising your ideas so the other person will consider your ideas without feeling attacked, insulted or put down. For your first draft, it is important for you to get all your issues on the page without a filter. DO NOT send the first draft since it will most likely include accusatory statements about the person you are sending it to. For example the possible first draft statement “I am sick and tired of you being inconsiderate and rude when you leave the kitchen a mess”, would most likely be considered an attack and the recipient of this message will likely move into a defense posture.

One important step in framing your comments to your conversational partner is to separate facts from emotion. For example, for the above it may be beneficial to state “I have observed that after you use the kitchen, the dishes remain dirty and there is food on the counter until the next meal”.

The next step in framing your thought is to own your feelings about the situation. “I feel frustrated when I want to use the kitchen; and there is someone else’s mess there”.

A very important step in this process is to include positive statements about the person or about the relationship as a part of the script. If you feel that the other person may have great difficulty being receptive to the feedback that you plan on giving them, it would be beneficial to incorporate more positive statements. When writing these positive statements, make sure you do not link the positive with a critique using the word “but”. (“I love you; but it frustrates me when the kitchen is a mess”). When you use “but” in this instance, you negate everything positive that you have said before the word “but”.

Using the examples above, let’s put it all together to see how this could work.

“I am very glad to have you as a roommate. I really appreciate that we get along and that can talk about most things. Lately, I have noticed that after you use the kitchen, the dishes remain dirty; and there is food on the counter until the next meal. I sometimes feel frustrated when I want to use the kitchen; and there is someone else’s mess there. I hope that we can work together to figure this out.

Once you have performed your first edit based on the steps above, re-read while imagining what the other person may think or feel when reading or hearing your words. Although you do not have control of how they will respond, you have a great influence in how that person may perceive your message. If the other person perceives your message as an attack, they will likely react by going into “fight or flight”, which will cause them to either emotionally shut down or verbally attack. If the other person attributes your message as an appeal for collaboration, there is a greater chance that you can resolve the issue. Once you have read, re-read, revised, and finalized your message, it is time to consider how to send it.

Finding the right medium

When considering the medium for your challenging conversation/ message, it is best to consider the other person’s communicative preferences. For example, if someone rarely uses technology, texting a challenging message would not be a wise idea. Also, if you know that the other person has a habit of collecting “the bad things in life”, a letter, e-mail or text may not be a wise option; since this piece of writing may be saved for that person’s later rumination. However, if you have an issue where you have had difficulty fully communicating your point of view, written correspondence may help.

A face-to-face conversation is the most intimate form of communication. A face-to-face interaction requires flexibility and the ability to listen objectively to the other person’s perspective. Scripting prior to a face-to-face interaction could help prepare you for the other person’s possible responses and prepare you on how to best respond to the other person. Prior scripting also helps in including positive statements about the other person as well as detaching your emotions from the position in question.

There are some considerations for a face-to-face interaction. If you are addressing an issue that would be emotionally charged for both parties, the face to face interaction may be more about your in the moment emotional experience versus the issues discussed. Also, if you are interacting with a person that has a tendency to be extremely defensive, your carefully crafted statements may be met with a barrage of defensive responses or anticipatory attacks.

When considering e-mail, text or a formal letter, think about how the other person may react. If you are considering a text, do you have enough lines of text to get the message across? Would the other person feel that a text is impersonal? Does the other person even use texting on their phone? When considering for a personal challenging conversation, NEVER blind carbon copy or copy another person to the e-mail. If the goal is for the other person to collaborate with you, they need to feel like an equal conversational partner. When considering e-mail, make sure that your message would not be considered appropriate if your recipient happened to forward your message to unintended parties. For a formal letter, make sure that the recipient would not consider a letter overly formal based on the situation. For example, a formal letter for a messy kitchen may be a little “over the top”.

There are many great resources for the topic of challenging conversations. I have attended great presentations by Greg Abels, Nick Martin, and Ernie Mendez. The strategies listed above are just a starting point.

The next time you find yourself drifting towards a challenging conversation with your spouse, remember to; state the positives about that person and your relationship, talk about the issues as facts, own your emotional responses and tell them again about the positives about them and your relationship.

February 13, 2012

Gratitude versus Entitlement

As a parent of two young children (seven and eight years old), I feel like I am constantly experiencing the struggle between gratitude and entitlement. If you have children around this age range, I am sure that you experience this dynamic as well.

Last week, we decided to go to Chuck E. Cheese. I had a bag of tokens left over from our last trip to allow for each child to have at least 90 minutes of game play. While they were playing, they were having fun and enjoying each moment. When it was time to leave, a curious thing happened (actually, not so curious if you have kids around this age). They both wanted more! They wanted ice cream. They wanted more tokens. If you listened to the tone of how their needs were being expressed to me, you may have gotten the impression that I was shirking my responsibilities for fulfilling their basic human rights.

When I started to reflect on this, I actually found the situation somewhat amazing. Here were two loving, kind and spirited human beings who were experiencing dissatisfaction since they could not have more. Both of these people entered the gaming area with something of substance. Their game tokens were free to them. There was nothing required of them beforehand to earn this fun event. It was just supposed to be a good time.

The more I thought about this, I realized that I battle with my own inner 8 year old on a regular basis. In our daily life, most of us start the day with wealth and abundance. Most of us have air to breath, shelter to stay warm, clean water to drink and adequate food to eat. For these daily necessities, we could all benefit from feeling satisfaction and gratitude. However, most of us (including myself) take these things for granted. These things are similar to my kid’s tokens, we get so use to having them that we can forget that they are special. Not only can we forget to feel gratitude for the basics, we may feel dissatisfied for not having more. We may feel frustrated that our morning coffee is cold, our car that gets us to work is too old or we did not get the exact birthday present that we expected. We may feel that we are all entitled to more than the basic necessities of life.

When we get our kids to get ready for bed, my wife and I often lay down with them for a little while to help him feel safe and secure. During these moments, we are all appreciating the basics of family life. We say “I love you”, we share hugs and we talk about all the good things that happened during the day. We experience gratitude for each other and for the moment.

The next time that you are stuck in a long line for you morning coffee, remember that you can choose to experience gratitude that you have enough money for coffee. The next time that you have a frustrating experience at work, remember that you can choose to be appreciative to have a job. The next time you feel frustrated when you kids are clamoring for ice cream at Chuck E. Cheese, you can choose to experience gratitude for the love that those children have brought into your life.

Influence:   The more grateful you are, you increase your chances of other’s appreciating your gratitude. If you are frequently grateful for what you receive at work or from your friends, there is a greater chance that those around you will continue to share their friendship, support and good ideas.

Control:   Only you can control how grateful you feel. Gratitude is a chosen response that can be developed into a habit. If you feel that it is a challenge to experience gratitude for everyday things, experiment with keeping a gratitude journal where you force yourself to list at least five things you are grateful for.

Pragmatic Explanation:   When you are grateful for another person’s generosity, you are providing that person with a social reward, which will increase the likelihood of future generosity.  Additionally, adopting a focus of gratitude encourages you to collect data of all the good that you see in the world, which can improve your overall worldview.

Metaphysical Explanation:   Gratitude elevates you energy love so you are more in alignment with the creative force of the universe. Being more in alignment will cause more good to come to you.

February 6, 2012

Love is the answer, no really it is… and giving helps too.

“The love that we give away is the only love we keep” – Elbert Hubbard

Yes, I know that the title of this blog may sound trite, cliché or overused, especially to a recovering cynic (like myself) or if you are a die-hard pragmatist.

But it is true.

If you want more health and happiness in your life, you need love.

Think about it.

You cannot be happy without love. You cannot be completely healthy unless you are happy.

I believe most of us know what it is liked to beloved by another person. It is awesome! We feel safe, warm, appreciated and confident. In literature, song lyrics and popular culture, there is strong evidence that humans want to be loved.

I feel that the ironic twist of the fascination with being loved is that it misses the true origin of love. Love is a creative force. Love is giving unconditionally to others. Love is striving to create a better life for the people that we love. Love is the desire for others to have a sense of wellbeing and contentment.

“When I chased after money, I never had enough. When I got my life on purpose and focused on giving of myself and everything that arrived into my life, then I was prosperous.” Wayne Dyer

The giving of love is an education in itself.Eleanor Roosevelt

If you have any doubt on the importance of love and giving, just think about times that you have striving to receive something (time, attention, affection, acknowledgement, etc.) from another person. In these times, you may be dependent on that other person for your feelings of wellbeing. You may feel impatient or slightly dissatisfied. You have thoughts to the effect of “if only they….”

On the other hand, if you focus is what you can give to another person, your focus is on the other person and your aspiration that they feel loved or supported. From you loving actions, you may feel loving, kind or generous.

As an adult, my concrete example of this is the Christmas gift exchanged. I am always appreciative of the generosity that I receive from others, but I experience more joy when my children open their presents and jump up and down with joy.

Control: We can only control how loving we are. We cannot control if others love us or not. In fact, the more that we try to make others love us, the more resistant they may be to our intentions.

 

Influence:  The more loving you are, the greater positive influence you will have on others around you. If you don’t believe me, try going to the supermarket with a positive loving attitude and say hello and thank you often. I am almost sure that you will make at least one person smile. As Ghandi said “Be the change that you want to see in the world”, he challenged us all to “bring it”. If you want a more loving world, bring more love to the world.

 

The Pragmatist Explanation:  Love is just cause and effect. Love is a creative force that gives. When you give you create value for others. When you create value for others, there is a greater chance that someone would want to give back to you.

 

The New Age Explanation:  When you are loving, you vibrate at a higher frequency and the universe aligns to that higher frequency.

Whichever explanation to the importance to love that you want to choose, so be it.

If you are an incurable pessimist, I can report that I did my best to get the word out.

 

February 2, 2012

Summary of Main Points

 

In this blog, we have reviewed some Psychological concepts important to the discussion of what we can personally control and what factors we can only influence.

 

In “The First Step” we discussed that you will experience more success in attaining your live goals if you take full responsibility for where you are in your life. This concept is supported by research in Intrinsic Locus of Control that people who feel that the have the ability to control their lives tend to be happier.

 

When discussing locus of control, we also stated that there are some elements of life that we cannot control such as the economy or weather and for these factors we should adopt an external locus of control. Although there are elements of life that we cannot control, we are in control on how we choose to respond to these situations. In the blog post E+R=O we discussed that our chosen response to a given situation has a direct impact on the overall outcome.

 

If “The First Step” is accepting full responsibility for your life, the second step should be “Find your Passion”. The research suggests that for situations that require problem solving and creativity, people do better when they are intrinsically motivated.

 

If we have identified some life goals that are challenging for us, we may benefit from extrinsic rewards to help get us motivated.

 

Once we have reflected on our passions and considered what activities help us “go with the flow”, it is beneficial to reflect on our belief systems. In the blog post “Icebergs Ahead” we discussed that many of our beliefs are unconscious, yet still have a significant impact on our internal dialogue. In “Identity” we discussed that what we typically think of as ourselves is the voice in our head. Once we realize that a “me is a story I tell myself”, we can start to evaluate which recurring thoughts are serving us and which thoughts bring us down. In Judgment – Part 2 we discussed that there is a difference between the processes of evaluation (“does this serve my interests”) versus devaluation (finding something or someone to be “inferior” to us). In reviewing our beliefs, it is valuable to evaluate if a belief serves us and to “root out” beliefs that devalue our selves or the humanity of others.  Similarly, in “Appreciation” we discussed that it is helpful to review our beliefs to see if we are appreciating the world around us as well as our own value.

 

In future blogs, we will be exploring emotions in more depth and considerations for turning around our emotional perspective.

 

For the topic of actions, we reviewed how to set goals.

 

In future blogs, we will explore some pragmatic action plans in the areas of weight loss as well as finances.

 

So far, this blog has been posted daily. To ensure quality of writing and to tackle topics in greater detail, I have decided to start posting weekly. If you prefer the daily posts please let me know.

 

If you have any feedback about the content so far, please feel free to contact me at otbikesurf@yahoo.com

 

Thank you for your time and attention!

 

Andrew Gilbert

February 1, 2012

Habits and Goals

Habits and Goals
If you have committed to developing and attaining personal goals for the New Year, you will likely need to develop new habits to attain these goals. For example, if your goal is to lose weight, you will need to develop the habit of eating less and moving more. Sometimes the new habit itself will be the goal. For example, quitting smoking requires a daily habit of inhaling only air. Your goal will be to maintain habits that are in alignment with your goal. Habit change requires daily focus. 
Some general habits that can support a variety of goals include:
– Reviewing your goals daily
– Keeping a daily journal about progress (and gratitude for what you have)
– Repeating daily affirmations that reinforce the beliefs, thoughts and feelings you need to keep focus on your goals.
– A time of quiet reflection, meditation or prayer (depending on what works best for you) where you can detach from your typical thought pattern. Detaching from you typical internal dialogue can help you modify your internal dialogue to help develop thoughts, feelings and beliefs that support your new habits/actions
– Use a phone app or journal to keep track your habits for personal accountability. I currently use the phone app “Habit Streak” to quickly check off each habit that I have completed on a daily basis.

Get Back on the Wagon
I have heard that the saying “falling off the wagon” was developed during the time where settlers where moving out west in wagon trains. Those that drank too much would “fall off the wagon” and thus fall behind the wagon train. Imagine that the “wagon” is your goal or the vision of where you want to go in life. If you fall off the wagon, GET UP, and get back on the wagon!  You do not want to be left alone on the proverbial prairie. Even if you “slip up” on your goal by eating that cupcake or smoking that cigarette, choose to re-commit to your goal Right Now! Often when people make a backward step or mis-step towards their goal, they may go in a downward spiral by thinking “I have messed up, I guess that it does not matter anymore”. NO, Get up! Get back on the wagon! If you have made a mistake, you may need to do some more work on analyzing your beliefs and feelings. You may need to spend more time with personal affirmations that reinforce that you CAN DO IT!