Experiment.

You need this invitation … to experiment.

Every day, every moment of your life contains uncertainty.  No one knows what the future holds, even the future just a short few seconds away.  As I write, and you read this, neither of us knows what is just around the corner. Your corner. My corner: joy or sorrow, good or bad, life or death, ‘win’ or ‘lose’.  No one knows.  Life – each and every day – is an experiment, with billions of ‘unknowns’.  Everything – everything! –  we think about the future is speculation to one degree or another.

Find the (slightly) mad scientist in your heart.
Find the (slightly) mad scientist in your heart.

 

Navigator.

Yet we manage to navigate our way through these exploding billions of predictably unpredictable happenings, learning from them, adjusting to them, taking advantage of them, and even enjoying them. And as we grow up, we begin to recognise and react to these patterns, noticing how things happen, together and in order, and how we can profoundly rely on them to guide us through our never-twice-the-same inner and outer worlds. And how something we do seems to affect what happens around us. A baby’s physical hungry cry produces real actual milk spilling from its mother’s breast (how does that happen?) or perhaps a warmed version of nutritious something in a plastic bottle!

"Hmmm... I wonder what is going to happen?"
“Hmmm… I wonder… ?”

Experimenter.

Reflecting on this recently (experimenting, not breast feeding!) I thought about how I can be more the Experimenter than the experiment.  I’m not a fatalist.  I don’t accept that we are all caught up in a hopeless universal inevitability, because I don’t believe it’s true. I believe that to some extent I – each of us – can significantly influence what happens around me, and what happens beyond that. There’s no such thing as a failed experiment, just an unexpected result. I also believe that I am first of all a spiritual being, in a different realm from that perceived fatalistic inevitability, and that the spiritual part of me has huge unknown power. It breathes with the creative freedom-giving breath of its Creator.

Butterfly in Brazil? I swimmer in the 2016 Rio Olympics.
Butterfly in Brazil? A swimmer in Rio.

Creator.

Once I understand that a butterfly in Brazil can cause a hurricane in another part of the world, then choosing to alter my habitual behaviour today, given time, will indeed make the world different from what it would have been. And I believe that everything is connected in some way. You, me, that butterfly, everyone else and the Creator. Flapping my wings differently (or choosing not to) will just as inevitably change things somewhere. We cannot NOT communicate.

So how is that going to affect what you think, say and do today as you leave this blog?

Experiment. You cannot fail.

(Then let me know what happened.)

Inevitable Success – the reason I coach.

snapndrag182

“What is success?” the man leading the seminar asked brightly, wanting some audience participation. I put up my hand, and along with several other participants, gave my answer. “The inevitable result of being human.”  I knew it wouldn’t be regarded as a normal answer, but I want success now, a lot  –  and I want to use today’s successes as a springboard to more rewarding ones – and not just my own successes. My definition guarantees me success every day, and makes me aware of how natural success is for us all.

Success is inevitable.

You cannot help but achieve your deepest goals. Without knowing it, you succeed. Look close enough and you’ll find you’re a success.  Every day. Pretty much all the time!  

Here are some of my successes (though not in chronological order!)  Waking up.  Talking to my family. Cuddling my children and grandchildren. Breathing. Doing my emails. Writing this blog. Cooking breakfast. Laughing at a TV programme. Doing some reading. Having a bath. Walking. In fact I’ve succeeded so many times today it is so normal to succeed that I’m completely unaware of how much of a success I am.

However, your deepest goals may not be so obvious. You might be missing them. Even embarrassed by them.

Less obvious success…

Here are some successes that people have that they may not want to own up to:  

  • Backing off. Being successful at making sure they don’t need courage.
  • Avoiding potential pain by staying within safe, risk-free limits.
  • Never experiencing rejection (by not putting themselves in a relationship where that could happen, or by making sure they themselves do the rejecting first.) 
  • Staying an emotional child. (There are plenty of people out there looking to mother the emotionally needy.)

Perhaps you’ve successfully taken whatever decisions you need to make absolutely sure you never stand out in the crowd. Solution: keep your head down and your mouth shut.

It is easy to make sure you never fail an exam. Simply never take one. Success!  

You need never fear mockery.  Never ever come up with anything original.

You need never fear being made redundant or getting the sack. Simple: resign at the earliest opportunity, or don’t take the job in the first place! 

But of course, such dubious success is linked to other dubious successes – successfully avoiding responsibility for your life and future for example.  And that means other people will begin to take over what you could contribute, and you will become poorer, more isolated, more vulnerable and more depleted. Some successes can produce unwelcome results.

What do you WANT to want?

Time to dig deeper. (As you know, I don’t do shallow.)  

Do you REALLY want what you’re getting out of life at the moment? What do you WANT to want? What WELCOME outcomes?

What are you prepared to go for, to sacrifice for (everything in life has a price), in order to get an outcome you’ll be PROUD OF?  

What is the next step for you?

From the day I stepped out from behind my mummy’s skirts to do something on my own, fear and courage have fought for supremacy. As I stepped out, eventually courage won.

My job is to make sure all these years later that courage continues to win, not just for me, but for you too.  

YOU are the reason I choose to coach.    Here are some others. 

 

 

 

Another reason for voting Leave: Big isn’t Better.

SnapnDrag108

 

In today’s world it is not size but flexibility that matters.

Big does not equal better. The greatest success stories in the animal kingdom are not huge elephants and rhinos, but ants. Billions and billions of them, in multiple self-sustaining colonies, underground, chattering away, getting on with the work of looking after each other and forming what is now believed to be a global network.

Today’s most successful wars are not won with nuclear bombs.  They are won with IEDs, Kalashnikovs, an empowering vision, and inspiring words. Small things. Lots and lots of them.

Big things are vulnerable and are easily crippled. “A bee can bite the bottom of the Pope in Rome” (Les Miserables”).  An easy target. Billions of small things are difficult to get rid of, as anyone who has had an infection knows only too well.

So how does this reflect on the Brexit campaign? 

The EU is focused on more and more centralisation and regulation, with fewer and fewer people making the crucial decisions. Common this, and common that. Fewer decision-makers mean slower decisions – and less time to make them so the quality becomes compromised. In today’s world that is bad news. The problem is not size in itself.  It is speed. Big things take a long time to get going, buy-in from all the parties takes close to eternity, and once they are on the move they are very difficult to stop – or even redirect.  And almost impossible to reverse.  Eventually they stop.  (See image above.)

In this world of exploding chaos and complexity, where centralised decision-making cripples progress, the world’s key decision-makers are those at the edge, ‘little people’ facing the immediate local situation who can switch twice in a day, adjusting to what they find.  And the best leaders are those who understand that principle, training those people, educating them, inspiring them … and then giving leadership-power away to them, empowering them to decide ‘there and then’ at the point of need, equipped with the knowledge they need. It is immediate connectivity and flexibility that are key in this context. The delivery driver on his mobile phone in his little white van phoning the customer, the school teacher in the classroom dealing immediately with the behaviour of a student, the bobby on the beat sorting an argument, the child deciding on what to have for breakfast.

SnapnDrag109

Think ant not articulated truck. When faced with a challenge, ants get into a little community group and sort out the problem, attacking, defending, and even dying when necessary. (They are typically called ‘worker’ ants.  I like that!) When the problem is solved, they go back to their work until needed again.  They will go to incredible lengths to support each other, sacrifice, and work.  The one in this pic is carrying a seed many times its weight and size.

And it all happens in seconds and minutes, not months and years. Quick, efficient, local decision-making by those affected by the decision sorting the problem out together. Collaboratively.  Without a formal structure.

So the predictions for the EU are speculated upon for the next 15 years. “It will be like this in 2030.”  One thing is sure.  Every prediction will be wrong, whoever makes it. Remember 15 years ago? It was the everyday people, filled with vision and purpose, who decided that for them there was no box to think out of. Like the bumble bee that is technically unable to fly because of it’s weight and wing area, they just get on and do it.

When I see the EU voting for the development of smaller government, disbanding important parts of itself (especially those that currently meddle uninvited in the detail of human community), distributing decision-making power to the edge, promoting freedom, encouraging diversity and speed by building connectivity (roads, airports, internet access), maybe it will get my vote.

I’m not holding my breath.  Today it seems to me to be more of a big overloaded truck stuck in a narrow lane, shouting at us about how we cannot do without it because it’s going places, yet blocking the way for the farmer, mother and deliveryman queued up behind, trying to get on with real life.

Meanwhile the flexible little ants quietly march past, over, under and round it, vote it off the job and get on with the work of living.

Those who want the EU are welcome to it. I’m voting ‘ant’.

 

Willing Surrender, Part 1.

What it isn’t, and what it may be for you.

Surrender? For some it is a dirty word, implying weakness, fear, or lack of endurance. However, depending on the context, willing surrender has huge power. I’d like to re-write the word ‘Surrender’ for you. I believe it will profoundly transform your life.

handing over a key

Surrender is not capitulation to fate, chance or luck, but a willing handing over of something to another. For some, that is about re-trusting their inner selves, about allowing that deep sense of intuition, that gut feeling, space to respond. It is a million miles away from throwing your hands in the air and giving up. For others, it is releasing (or re-releasing) your life or a situation to a higher power – God, perhaps.

Surrender isn’t evidence of a lack of resilience but rather the opposite. This sort of surrender is evidence of courage. Deliberately opening your clenched fist and letting go of the rope isn’t anything like the same as giving up. In the process you overcome fear of NOT letting go. The first is characterised by willingly accepting the consequences of making a courageous decision (to deliberately decide not to interfere with the ‘natural’ process of events takes a lot of courage and self control). It is characterised by a ‘faith choice’ that, as you let this dream die, another dream or pathway – a richer fuller better one will be revealed.

One key reason for the absence of depth in the life of many human beings is the absence of surrender. Depth often comes from slowing ‘forward’ progress, so that our energies are refocused in a different direction: Downward.

Like a pebble flung across the surface of the water we can keep afloat by spinning round and round and going ‘fast forward’, skating over the water. Hydroplaning. However this is not the way to discovering depth. Depth is revealed when we stop.

ducks and drakes spinning a pebble

Some of us are terrified at the thought of stopping. We fear we will discover our own shallowness when we commit to testing for depth, that, all too soon, ‘going deeper’ will end in us discovering what we are not. We also suspect that we will find a significant amount of mud, unwanted rubbish (plus a shipwreck or two) below the surface. We become concerned that we will be embarrassed by the rubbish as it is seen for what it is. That may well be true. We may well be. But until we are serious about facing the less obvious realities we will continue to forfeit the sheer joy and relief of deep, secure, and comparatively unassailable lives.

Ready to willingly surrender? Maybe we’ll come back to this in another blog and ask what, how, and to whom. In the meantime, you could record a little of what you know about willing surrender in the comment box below.

Davey’s Redemption

Davey was frightened. He had made all sorts of mistakes in life, and now it had come to this, he thought to himself as he gazed fixedly into the putrid black water.

IMGA0060Thinking all the usual thoughts  that people think in Davey’s position – he was practiced at them by now – he contemplated the ordinary bleakness of the future and what he might do next. After all the comings and goings of the last few months, he was low. Very low.

One thing was for sure, he had no more ideas.  His energies for life were all used up on the efforts he had made throughout his life’s journey and, here, in this decade of his life, he had finally come to a standstill. He had run out. In more ways than one. 

The black water looked menacing and cold. It flowed slowly and silently round and round, yet if he stopped to listen he could hear it’s siren song calling him towards its clammy waters. It was all he could do to resist the water’s damning message.

Yet the stranger had definitely said that it was possible for good things to come out of bad, or even to actively turn bad things into good. “There is always a way” he had said, if you are patient and reach for it.

In despair and the deepest disappoint in himself he had ever known, Davey had finally given up the fight, declaring himself hopeless and the stranger’s words deceptive rubbish. The guy clearly had no idea of how bad bad can be. Bad things into good things? That could only be a platitude. There was no way forward from here. Yet the stranger had said that one day he would find out for himself.

Davey reviewed his life for a few moments.  Had he not become a respected scientist? Was he not indeed a competent entrepreneur? So how had it come to this? He had the finest of university educations and been taught by world class professors. He had a caring family, who even now we’re grieving for him in his sadness.

He felt overwhelmed by self pity. As he stared into the black sludgy polluted water he felt hopeless seep through his clothes and into his heart. Good out of bad?  This bad?  It was all a meaningless cruel joke, and now he would indeed take the next step that would… that would … that … would…

He stopped. A flash of moonlight on something in the water caught his attention. Swirling innocently in the incessant gurgling flow was a little glass bottle complete with its stopper.

In some strange way, it floated clean and sparkling on the surface of the blackness.  He felt it was waiting for him, a last chance perhaps, and he knew without doubt he must have it.

It was a long way down to the waters edge, but something in Davey’s heart came alive sufficiently to prompt him to action.  Stepping back for a moment from his precarious position (and his self pity) he climbed down to the bank of the putrid pool and reached out. He would need to reach out much further than what was safe for him to rescue the bottle (and maybe himself) from the fate that called them both, but driven by his sudden inexplicable change of mood, he was determined. That little fragile bottle might change his life he thought irrationally. Perhaps it already had. He must have it at all costs.

He reached out, accepting the risks of his new passion, no longer afraid, no longer obsessing about his failings and fortunes, risking being carried away, or sucked into the sludge.

No, it was beyond him. It was out of reach, but for the first time in his life he threw aside his inhibitions and looked around for help.

That was when he saw the stranger just a few yards away who had been quietly watching his efforts all the while, and seemed to read his mind. Unselfconsciously he asked, “Can you help me please? I need that bottle.” The stranger stepped forward and anchoring himself into the bank, grasped Davey’s outstretched hand. 

Trusting his weight to this Kind Stranger made the difference.  Davey felt the bottle at his finger tips, and with one last stretch, grasped it firmly in his hand. It was his. Looking up he saw, in the moonlight, a glimpse of a smile on the stranger’s shadowed face.

Davey sat for several minutes, still and quiet at the water’s edge, reliving the last few minutes of what had seemed an impossibly challenging day (and the last few years of what felt like an impossibly challenging life.)  He took a deep breath, and as he exhaled said to himself, “This moment is a turning point for me.  I know it. Life will never be the same again.”

For the first time, in a single moment he had reached out for help, and it was as if all the struggles to achieve, all his efforts to be accepted and loved, all the disappointment and inadequacy no longer mattered.

The magic words had been “help me” and he knew it. He had never asked so blatantly for help before. He had always tried to make it on his own, brought up with the expectation that he should be independent, self sufficient, stand on his own two feet and manage his own affairs.

The very walls he had built to keep himself safe had imprisoned him.  He felt a deep sense of love filtering its way into the rocky caverns of his heart; a strange lightness beaming it’s mellow rays into its grey shadows.

And the little glass bottle was here in his hand, rescued from the very waters that he, just a few minutes before … He preferred not to think about that.

It was many years later he told me this story. He was now a wealthy man, with a loving family around him. Things had turned out well.  Reaching into his coat, he drew out the little glass bottle, complete with its stopper…

…and a crumpled, stained, scrap of paper.

“This is what was in the bottle” he said, passing it to me. “I just accepted what it says, and that has made all the difference”.

I smoothed out the paper and felt my own heart leap. There on the paper were the very words I had so longed to hear as a child – and actually through all these demanding and challenging years of life.  As I read them over and over, I could feel them washing me too, cleansing and healing me to the very core.

And I accepted them.

And that has made all the difference.

Invasive History Syndrome. Have you experienced it?

SnapnDrag1043
Invasive History Syndrome respects no one, and can strike at any time. Know what I mean?

I don’t know whether the medical profession has another more technical name for this, but IHS, in Auto Response Psychology, stands for Invasive History Syndrome. You first heard about it here.

Let me give you a brief introduction, but the chances are YOU can tell ME about it…

It’s what it says on the tin – when memories, thoughts, bad experiences, pain from the past, invade your present and threaten your future.  Know what I mean?  Typically, you can be carrying on as usual when someone says or does something and the emotions and remembrances of something in your history – a comparatively minor childhood trauma, a bad experience when you were 13, the rejection of a failed relationship, an unkind word spoken in jest – simply invade you.  It sweeps in, carrying all before it, like a tidal wave, so that you can think of little (or nothing) else. It may take hours, days or weeks to get over it, for your thinking to settle down and the pain (it is usually pain, though it can be other emotions too) finally subsides and you can carry on. 

Invasive History Syndrome.  IHS. It is a killer of healthy living, can affect the children, and other members of your family and social group, and exhausts you. You may need to sit down, go to bed early, or take a shower. You may need space. Or you may just take another tablet.  Invasive History Syndrome has struck yet again.  However tough you may be, you may feel profoundly intimidated by its power and end up shaky – and fearful for next time. It is associated with guilt, abuse, PTSD, insecurity and inadequacy, eating and sleeping disorders, and depression – and can sometimes be a strong, usually negative, motivational driver of unwanted behaviours like anger and violence.

But IHS may not be overwhelming.  It may just appear above the surface like the Loch Ness Monster for a few minutes, and subside, leaving you wondering, without clarity or closure, awake at 4.00am. Where did THAT come from? Will it be back?

IHS can be treated. In fact it can be completely sorted for the most part. Gone. Finished. Most of the people who arrive in my client room come with IHS as a feature of their experience, and go away in charge of their life and future again.

No need to have your life distorted – however subtly – by your history invading the priceless quiet spaces of your day or night.

Call me. Together we make sure it doesn’t happen again.  My direct line is: 077-71-63-1945, or andrew@powerchange.com

I’m here to help,

Andrew.

PS:  IHS has an upside.  It can be an overwhelming sense of joy, profound excitement, a deep sense of love – anything that invades your thoughts triggered from a moment in your history and stops you in your tracks.

 

 

Persistent Unhappiness Syndrome?

Most of you will know by now that I’m the founder and director of Powerchange, and have a passion to see men, women and young people everywhere live lives that they are proud to own, and for them to have a baseline of persistent happiness.

Know how Max feels?  Get in touch.
Know how Max feels? Get in touch.

No, that doesn’t mean I’m naive enough to think that any sincere and emotionally healthy person can be – or in fact would want to be – deliriously happy day in day out. Most of us know that the growing times we experience are most often within times of trouble and pain, and we need a good few of them through life. To remove them would leave us with shallowness and superficiality  –  and with no points of reference to compare our current happiness with unhappy times we would lose any sense of happiness anyway.

However, we also know that constant ‘baseline’ unhappiness is not at all good for your health, leading to all sorts of identifiable relational damage emotional and physical illness.

Some time  ago our Powerchange team coined the phrase Persistent Unhappiness Syndrome™, a label that describes a condition we regularly identified in our clients of, wait for it, Persistent Unhappiness.

Is your baseline state one of happiness or unhappiness?  In other words, when all the pressures of the day/week/month are through, you ‘land’ on a foundation of feeling happy.  The alternative is you constantly expending energy, effort and money on getting away from a nagging sense of UNhappiness, that when you run out of resources, or stop doing all those self-entertaining, happy-making activities  –  or simply drinking the pain away – finally captures you once more.

You are suffering from Persistent Unhappiness Syndrome™ when your default emotional ‘state’, how you feel, fulfils some of the following criteria:

  • You look back on the past and are predominantly conscious of a sense of dissatisfaction, pain, rejection or worthlessness.
  • You have had to work at being happy on a day to day basis for more than six months, or are constantly trying harder, or caught in the ‘perfectionist trap’.
  • You have to focus on enjoying other people’s lives (successes, joy, rewards, achievements, peace) more than your own in order to feel happy, satisfied or fulfilled.
  • You are trying to avoid the word ‘depression’.
  • You are on any sort of psycho-therapeutic medication.
  • The future looks bleak – more a challenge than an opportunity.
  • You are consistently not sleeping well due to troublesome thoughts (rather than a troublesome bladder).
  • You can’t remember experiencing a lasting deep sense of inner peace.

Yes, I know it sounds a bit esoteric or spiritual even, doesn’t it. For most people it is neither esoteric nor spiritual. Either way, PU Syndrome can be a nasty little undermining emotional ‘illness’.

Thankfully there is a cure…

As you address and ‘re-write’ some of your current beliefs, expectations, memories, lifestyle and values, you will find that you wake up each day WITHOUT those PU symptoms – in the same way that a person who has been cured of cancer wakes with a whole different perspective on their life.

Quite a good analogy, actually.

There’s more here:   http://www.powerchange.com/learn/persistent-unhappiness-syndrome/

If you’re a sufferer, our team can help. [contact-form][contact-field label=’Name’ type=’name’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Email’ type=’email’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Website’ type=’url’/][contact-field label=’Comment’ type=’textarea’ required=’1’/][/contact-form]

Corrective Truth Technique

“Ok, so tell me the truth.” “I only wish I knew the truth.” “I swear to tell the truth, the whole truth …”

So what is it about truth that is so important to us? What does knowing the truth provide for us? And do we really want to know the truth? About ourselves? About the ‘real’ uncomfortable world we live in? Truth is an interesting commodity. It is not the same as ‘facts.’ Without our concern to know it, or at least promote it, the world would grind to a halt.

Maybe we are like Colonel Jessep (played by Jack Nicholson opposite Tom Cruise) in the film “A Few Good Men” who shouts out in the courtroom, “You don’t want the truth. You can’t handle the truth!” The question is: Can I, and can my client?

"I want the Truth!" "Son, you can't handle the truth!"  Can you?
“I want the Truth!” “Son, you can’t handle the truth!” Can you?

An appreciation of Truth is an essential ingredient in every aspect of human life. It is the basis for all trusting and at the core of human interaction. Without it we live in a fantasy world, a world of distortion, a world where we are vulnerable to being deceived and taken advantage of.

In emotional health terms, truth plays another very important part. It helps us grow up. Small children know nothing of the big world in which they live. A baby is ignorant of everything beyond its simple familial relationships. As it grows up it learns about the world, letting go of some of its initial impressions and facing some of the harder truths about life. Wise parents will do their best to pace the speed at which truth arrives in the lap of their kids. Too much too soon creates trauma, and doesn’t allow time for the young person to adjust their life to fit. Too little hampers the process of maturity.

People also face situations where they decide “Don’t tell me, I don’t want to know”, or “Too much information!” (See ‘Sufficient Truth’ below.)

Corrective Truth Technique is used by our coaches to increase self-confidence, boost emotional strength, and establish an immovable foundation for future development of the client’s life. It is easy to assume that all unknown truth is unpalatable, will hurt us. But not so. Truth can be astoundingly liberating and wonderfully beneficial. It can feel like winning the lottery (Though I’ve never bought a ticket let alone won anything!)

Applied Corrective Truth via Powerchange’s Corrective Truth Technique can be used to undermine the subjective inhibiting beliefs the client has constructed from their experience of the world. “The thing is, I’m rubbish.” “I’m hopeless at most things.” “You can’t trust anybody these days.” All not true of course. Corrective Truth professionally applied to the depths of a person can (…will, does…) transform a client’s thinking and renew their zest for living tomorrow.

Sufficient Truth.
No one in their right mind wants to know – or can know, or can tell – “the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth” The well known legal phrase makes a mockery of the UK legal system, not least because the person who makes that commitment is deceiving themselves and the court already. Each of us is selective about the truth, even those who want to ‘tell the truth’ cannot do so. The ‘Whole Truth’ isn’t available for them to tell.

I’ve found that a commitment to seek out and personally tell ‘sufficient truth’ is often a good guide, and better still, for me to set out to be trustworthy. I like to live by a Personal Mission statement I put together to guide my life in 2002.  Part of that Mission is “To seek truth, and keep eternity in view.”  The truth is, I don’t always tell the truth, but I’m committed to seeking it and knowing it, and living in it as a long term goal. Yes, sometimes I withhold it.  I ask, “How much of the truth is going to be helpful for this person to know?” “How detailed does this need to be for them to understand it and accept it?” “Do I have their best interests at heart as well as my own when I tell them the truth?”

Powerchange coaches use Corrective Truth Technique to establish a reliable foundation in our clients’ lives that is ‘truth’-based and is in turn able to support more Truth. We allow it time to ‘set’, to harden like concrete, and on that sound base the client can build his or her new life, one that won’t crack when the storms come.

However uncomfortable to discover, the Truth can provide a new and more reliable personal foundation when apparently ’good’ things that we have for decades consistently believed to be true are revealed to be deception. “I always thought you were my sister. I can’t believe you didn’t tell me all these years you are actually my Mum.” Yet when I ask the client “Aren’t you glad that at least now you know the truth?” Almost without exception the person will say yes. The truth is very attractive.

However liberating or unpalatable Truth may be – and it is often both in some measure – there’s one thing that will always make our Corrective Truth Technique very attractive …

It reveals the Truth.

Feel Like You are on a Lead?

The only reason, it seems to me, that we tame an animal is for our benefit. To have it work for us, feed us, entertain us, rescue us, protect us, guide us – or for use as a pet, a cuddly toy, or a plaything, or to bet on its performance. Of course we look after it and care for it, but it has no real choice.

‘Tamed’ is for animals …

SnapnDrag619
Feel like you are on a lead? Trapped? Tamed? That isn’t what you were designed for. (c)www.dailymail.co.uk

… NOT people. How many men and women do you know who have been tamed – by their wife, partner, husband, children, parents, boss, school, college, or professional body?

Tamed: Brought into line. Forced to comply. Bullied into submission.  “So break their spirit. Trick them into being controlled. Without them realising until it is too late.”

And there is always a plausible excuse: Order. Safety. Control. The Money.  “It’s for the best.”

How have you been tamed?
Emasculated. Enslaved. Indentured. Dehumanised. Handcuffed to a job, a way of life, a habit, a culture, a partner, a pay cheque, a trauma, a professional body, a thought pattern. Brought under control. Subject to the will, whim or pleasure of another. Tamed by greater power, physical violence, pain, fear, psychotherapeutic drugs, a court, money. Think about it.

In people, tame is not good. You were designed to be free, able to choose at least something of your destiny, without others interfering, limiting, cracking the whip, or writing an unnecessary prescription. Designed to be free, not impoverished or imprisoned, or chemically coshed.

Weakness tames us, whether caused by any of the above, or by poverty, ignorance, violence, shame, or injustice.

Powerchange, on the other hand does the opposite. The Powerchange team is here to strengthen, liberate, and educate you. To free you. Our therapeutic coaching moves people out of the grip of shame, injustice and life-taming drugs (however well-intentioned the prescription) and, yes, clients ARE shocked when they realise how straightforward it was to ‘come free’, and how staying free is not a burden.

If this blog echoes with you, if you have found yourself on a lead, living a tamed life, surrendered, snared or struggling to resist (or snarling behind the bars) then please call me. Call me on my Direct Access number: 07771631945, or email andrew@powerchange.com.     Let me help you find your hidden power.

And if you are free but have a friend or colleague who you suspect is being or has been tamed, whisper the word ‘Powerchange’ into their ear. Whisper it slowly “P-o-w-e-r-ch-a-n-g-e”and link us up – you’ll know how best to do that.

Victiming – do you do it?

SnapnDrag595
Triple amputee Corporal Matt Webb in the grounds of Headley Court. People here aren’t allowed to do ‘victiming’ for long.

You know how it happens. Someone does something that hurts you and sometimes really badly – whether accidentally or deliberately doesn’t really matter – and you ‘victim’.  I mean ‘victim’ as a verb not a noun and it means to play the victim role to ‘do’ victiming.  Here are some clear signs that you (or someone you know) is ‘victiming’ …

  1. Refusal to accept any responsibility for the accident (though it is rarely just one person’s fault)
  2. Practicing all your blame skills, hunting high and low for evidence that this was negligence on someone else’s part
  3. Self pity – feeling sorry for yourself and isolating yourself if possible
  4. Phoning a personal injury claims line or trying to get some other sort of compensation
  5. Taking unnecessary time off work on medical grounds
  6. Going to the doctor for stress medication
  7. Focusing your thoughts on the evident rewards of ‘being a victim’

Of course I’m not excusing bad behaviour towards others, but I AM suggesting that victiming is VERY bad for your health. Here are some reasons and an example.

1.  It keeps you psychologically weak. To stay a ‘victim’ you must constantly remember that you could and can do nothing about it. Don’t whatever you do, accept the faintest possibility that you’ll be fine.

2.  It closes down the potential new information a challenging or painful experience offers.  The vast majority of traumatic and challenging experiences can be turned into highly useful education opportunities. The person who has taken the good learning from a ‘bad’ experience will often tell you that they are truly glad it happened to them.  GLAD!  They wouldn’t want to NOT have had that bad experience.  They will offer all sorts of good things  –  it helped them mature, they learnt about themselves, they discovered strength and courage, they learnt about others, they became more aware of the world   …. loads.

3. Other people treat you with compassion and pity.  You are showing them how – by treating yourself like it.  And pity, particularly self-pity, is the last thing you need.  It is subtly demeaning just when you need the very opposite.

Here is an example.  In my role as a Powerchange coach, I once saw a woman on the TV who had had her face badly burnt – I believe it was from acid. Her face was healing and she had it protected by a piece of transparent plastic. She was clearly going through emotional hell – and had every reason to feel terrible. Eventually I got through to her personally and explained that I could reduce the emotional traumatic effect of the injury so that she would not be in such emotional pain and would be able to live a much more normal and healthy life.  She thought about this and a few days later got back to me:  She had talked to her counsellor and her lawyers, both of whom had said that her payout would be much less if she appeared in Court feeling better and less traumatised.  (Both her lawyers and counsellors of course had a vested financial interest in her staying as a victim.) The money said she must stay emotionally in pain at all costs.  At least until after the claim was finalised. Hopefully she has gone on to live a fulfilling and happy life. At the time I spoke to her she was ‘victiming’.

Last month someone else decided to wait for coaching for a similar reason.

Pain, both physical and emotional, is an important part of maturing as a person. The evidence is clear – those who renounce any ‘victiming’ behaviour and accept their circumstances as an initially unwelcome but powerful platform from which they can launch their new and different future do remarkably well, living emotionally strong, successful and satisfying lives.

Good on them.  If you’re victiming about something and want out, call me.