Presenting Yourself With Confidence – How to Break Out of Your Shell

Imagine a royal court. You have the king, the dukes, the prince, the peasants and everyone in-between. Each of us has the equivalent to a royal court that resides in our heads. We populate the roles of the court with people we know and ourselves. Depending on our role and depending on the role of whomever it is we are interacting with, we act differently. Daily interactions always go through this thought process. If you’ve given yourself the role of peasant, you will always be expecting people to put you down. If, however, you’ve given yourself the role of a king, you don’t expect to ever be put down. The way one views oneself has been influenced by a myriad of factors, but most importantly by the people one surrounds oneself by. The trick to the whole game of life is figuring out which role you’ve given yourself and deciding if that’s the role you want to have. You can choose any role you want, but whatever role you choose becomes your reality.

When someone treats you in a way that isn’t congruent with your self-assigned role, your ego get’s shaken. You can physically feel the effects when that happens. That’s called “fight or flight.” I’m sure you’ve heard of it. I just find it amazing that the body reacts as if it is in physical danger when the ego is rattled.

The word “ego” has to be the most misused word in the English language. It’s been associated with “megalomania,” “vanity,” and a bunch of other negative concepts. According to Freud, it actually just represents the conscious, instead of the unconscious, mind. If a challenge to the conscious mind causes a physical reaction, it stands to reason that you can control the physical world through your conscious thoughts. I could take it a step further and posit that you must change your thoughts before you can change your physical reality. If we consider this as truth, then we aren’t reacting to our environments, we are creating them!

Once, I walked into a friend’s house that needed to be cleaned badly. His name is Charlie. I wouldn’t say he was up to hoarder status, but he definitely needed a hand. I realized that I could help change the situation in that house; and, without sounding condescending; I offered to hire Charlie a maid service. The thought of a maid service coming in to help clean up bothered Charlie to the point of physical agitation. Why would somebody with a dirty house be so against a paid maid service? I would have loved such a luxury.

The answer to that riddle lies in the internal role my friend has given himself… not exactly king. My offer to have a paid service come and clean things challenged his role, thereby challenging his ego, and causing him physical discomfort. Having a maid come in and clean would mean that the role he had given himself was false… that he wasn’t privileged enough to have a service like that. These are the types of life changing thought processes that need to be considered when attempting to unlock your inner swag. Have you given yourself the wrong role? Are you a peasant or are you upwardly mobile? If you’ve given yourself the wrong role, you need to change it and now.

If Charlie had already made the conscious decision to change the way he views himself in relation to his environment, he wouldn’t have resisted the notion of having a paid maid service come in and clean. He would have already been agitated at the sight of such a dirty house and would have been waiting for the opportunity to gather enough resources to get it fixed up. If he had done the internal work before the chance presented itself, he would have been able to benefit from it. If he previously visualized a clean house, it would have actualized at that moment. Daydreaming is, therefore, productive. Dream your reality into existence.

Some people just aren’t ready to view the world in a different way than they always have and they miss out on life because of it. Charlie could have challenged his own ego and upgraded his environment; but instead chose the lazy route and stayed in his comfort zone. It’s much better to step outside of the comfort zone, even if it means asking for help or thinking of oneself in a different light. To do it any other way is to cheat oneself. Do not wait around to be swallowed up by an environment you’ve created. That’s never a good look.

Ask yourself, “What role have I given myself?” You are not your role. You never were. You never will be. Your role is just a hat you wear, that’s all. Becoming the best person you can possibly be involves assessing your perspective. You can’t become the person you want to be if you don’t start with a basic understanding of who you are. Just like a general going to war against an enemy, you must assess the obstacles that stand in the way of you unlocking your personal potential. The first of those obstacles is your ego.

Everyone has doubts and insecurities about themselves… some are natural, but most are shaped by those around us. The art of finding yourself in all of that involves, oddly enough, finding yourself in those around you. People project their own insecurities onto you. You absorb those interactions and then they become a part of your personality. You really are the sum of the people around you. They help shape the way you view yourself and the way you view the world. You are the flesh and blood representation of all the thoughts, emotions, and views you have absorbed from those around you.

It’s important to be conscious about which notions you allow yourself to absorb and which you allow to “pass.” Once you allow a certain belief to enter your mind and become a fixture, you will begin to mirror that belief and your entire reality will bend in order to make room for it. Renovating your house of cards is just as time-consuming and uncomfortable as renovating your physical house. It hurts, but that’s the only way to truly grow.

Finding Dory & the Present Moment Tips

My 5 year old was exited to watch the movie Finding Dory. The movie is wonderful and my son enjoyed it thoroughly. He was literally standing up for few of the scenes. You can read a lot more about the movie plot on wikipedia

At the end of the movie I asked my Son what was the take away message from the movie. He said “We can find your way back following the shells”. This perspective coming from a 5 year old was a moment to pause, cherish and enjoy it. For me finding the path back and the entire movie, In addition to being entertaining, had some wholesome guidance to swim through life too. One of the key lessons was the Power of being present in the moment opens up life’s infinite wisdom to work through us.

It starts with “I remember something important “.. In Dory’s case her disability of forgetting everything and having no memory of the past in a way sparks the paradoxical thought of duality – Is this a blessing or a curse? A blessing because she is not limited by past belief systems and bane because she might not be able to care for herself as normally one would. Now from some deep corner of her mind she “remembers something important “. This starts off the faint stirrings of desire to find the source of the call. She remembers she has a family and desires to find them. In our evolution of self awareness this remembering is the call from the divine source. It exists and it calls. How do we hear it? It is not necessary to lose our memory and have the same disability that Dory suffers to hear it. Most of us are blessed to have a sharp memory and ability to use the past clues to navigate through life’s ocean. The flip side of this sharp memory is that sometimes we get stuck with the preconceived ideas and conditioning of the past. We limit ourselves and find excuses not to desire and trace our path back to the source. Whether we like it or not we all have to go back to the source we originated from.

How do we take the first step? By creating and simulating the state which Dory is in. Her state is that of complete awareness of the present moment. She is fully alive in the Now. Her every instant/moment is just that “the only moment there is”. For her nothing of the past exists – it is all new/fresh and open ended for life’s inspiration and guidance to work without any baggage of the past. We can be in that moment by suspending our intense attachment to the past thoughts. By being mindful of this state we can hear the faint call of beckoning from the source. This is the first step that starts us on our way to re-discovering what our souls have forgotten

And after the call?- We have to make a Will and get on the quest. The return journey has to begin. There will be times when we will be facing the most difficult obstacles. A t times even our loved ones might stand in our way and we would want to give up and give in to living a life not aligned with our true calling. In Dory’s case Marlin’s words are one of the obstacles she has to surmount and forge ahead.

During the journey – As you overcame the very first hurdles you know deep inside that you will not be stopping along the way come. When you have made up your will and set the source help starts appearing. Most often help starts showing up when you least expect it- Hank appears for Dory and he is with her all through to the very end. The ability to be mindful of the present moment allows us to see from a perspective which is limitless and through time and space. I particularly like the Dr Quantum cartoon of flat lands Dr Quantum – Flatland. When you see from a different perspective the paths that were not visibly before are now clearly visible.

Not withstanding the clarity you get and the help you receive, there will be times when others try to grab you. They want to hold you to themselves for their own comfort and well being. At times you are held on to so as to condition you to match their expectations. – This happens to Dory & Hank in the “touch pool” many hands try to grab Hank and Dory to hold them. During such times we should take the que from Dory- Swim & swim really fast. We too might have to run and run fast to avoid being captured in the trap of limitations created by other peoples thoughts & beliefs

Another lesson – this time from Marlin & Nemo- Along life’s journey some of the early detractors might come back to help us on our journey to find the source. Maybe sometimes we have been the detractors to others when they have been on their path to reach certain goals. When we have an intense desire to help it is important not to think with our limited thoughts. It is vital to ask the pertinent question “what would Dory Do?” Not what I would do, with my present belief systems and conditioning. A complete drop of our preconceived ideas of help and thinking can open the door to be of any value to others. Most often our help can be in the form of Being there for the other person without judgement

Finally – Life’s insights and guidance will continue leading us along the paths towards the source. It is vital to our journey to remember that the source has called us back, call is not the end of it. It has also prepared the way. In Dory’s case her parents have been waiting and preparing for her return. The shells are all laid out from the core extending outwards in all directions. When we get closer we start seeing the way back more vividly and brightly. As we become alert we start seeing shells marking our way back and acting as lighted paths. If we keep following life’s guidance and the markers we will surely arrive at the source. Life’s infinite wisdom, guidance and markers all exist, its just that we have not found them yet. When we arrive the joy of the re-union can only be experienced and not described I suppose.

A few questions that could help:-
1. Are we present, mindful & still enough Now to hear the call of what life’s purpose for us is? “Do we remember something important?
2. Do we have the Will to really listen to the call and go after it?
3. Can we let go of our past conditioning and pre-conceived ideas of how things should work and embrace change and uncertainty?
4. Do we have what it takes to tackle difficulties and obstacles – Are we prepared enough to trust in life’s infinite wisdom and guidance that it will help us in our return. Can we swim and swim fast?

Movie Plot @ ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Finding_Dory
Dr Quantum Video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BWyTxCsIXE4

7 Keys For Effective Negotiating

In nearly every aspect of our lives, we find a need to effectively utilize negotiating skills in order to perform to our potential. Negotiations is a useful and needed skill in our personal lives, in our business activities, and in nearly every one of our day to day activities. There are seven basic keys to become a competent and effective negotiator, which include: 1. Doing our homework; 2. Effective listening; 3. Clearly communicate what’s needed; 4. Be as specific as possible; 5. Include as much as possible in the contract/ agreement; 6. Build in contingency clauses; and 7. Exhibiting absolute integrity.

1. Homework refers to understanding the needs and positions, not only from your perspective, but from your adversary’s perspective, as well. This process creates an understanding of what can and cannot be asked for, and why. It requires both a willingness as well as the ability to do the work and put in the effort that is required in advance.

2. Unless someone is willing to effectively listen, rather than simply speak at someone, he cannot effectively negotiate. When we negotiate, the goal must be achieving a deal that creates a win- win scenario, because all long lasting deals come to fruition only when both sides are satisfied with the results. Negotiating is never about trying to defeat an opponent!

3. Next, there is a need to clearly articulate and communicate what is needed, and why, so that there are no surprises, misconceptions, or inaccuracies. How can anyone possibly negotiate properly if both sides are not on the same side? This must include a thorough understanding of priorities, etc.

4. Effective negotiations require specificity. There is no use or purpose being vague during this process, because unless it is clear what you want to happen and need, you can never come to a meeting of the minds. When both sides understand each other, they can much better work together to come to a mutual,y acceptable agreement.

5. The result of the negotiations must be coming up with a contract agreement that is as inclusive as possible, including as much specificity and detail as possible. There is always the best chance of a fair deal before a contract is signed because both sides are then on equal footing, while after the contract is signed, one side might have an upper hand.

6. The basic rule of any deal made is that at some point, things happen. We can never foresee all possibilities, but it is wise to include as many contingency clauses as can be foreseen, in that initial and binding agreement. Professional negotiators always have back up plans!

7. When all is said and done, the main quality remains a commitment to the principles and ideals of absolute integrity. Without integrity, negotiations will invariably fail in the long run.

Successful negotiations must be based on mutual respect and understanding. When this is the approach, there is always significantly more cooperation between the parties, and thus a better end result. These principles and keys are needed, whether the negotiations are event related, labor contracts, business dealings, or intra- family arrangements, etc.