We are finally getting back to recording. It’s been a crazy busy few months and we apologize for the extended absence. Look forward to our most recent episode being released by Monday. We will also post an announcement about what we’ve been working on. Thank you for sticking with us. We are so excited to get back into things. As always if you have any questions you can either e-mail us or post to the Facebook group. We try to respond as quickly as possible.
Posts by Anna Foss:
Matt and Anna end the self-love series by talking about the importance of coming face-to-face with the dark side of your personality and how getting to know it is actually a form of self-love.
Know Thyself: In achieving the best version of yourself it is important to also understand where you may have weaknesses or tendencies to do things that are hurtful either to yourself or others. Getting to know these aspects and understanding them on a deep level allows you to dive into what triggers them and possible where they originated from. This also allows you to empathize with others on a deeper level.
Many people tend to want to hide their darker side and cover it up. They wil often do this either in the form of outright denial or in downplaying the behaviors. While in the podcast we touched on some really deep subjects, they may not be as outwardly noticeable. For example, you may have a damaging behaviors when it comes to finance, laziness, or even thoughts when it comes to other people.
Getting to understand these aspects of yourself touches on one of the first and most important steps in getting control of a problem in your life, and that is acknowledging it is there. One way to do this is to look at a behavior you have done in the past and admit it to yourself without adding a “but I do it becuase” or “Yah but the only reason I do that”. While this may be true, it is not taking ownership of something you can take full control of. For example, if you sometimes say unnecessarily cruel things to your significant other, ad it it to yourself as just that. “Sometimes I hurt my significant other with my words”.
This is called inviting the shadow to the table. Your get to know it by acknowledging it first and foremost, and then approach it with curiosity. Wonder where it came from, and what triggers it. Tell yourself how you are going to handle it from a place of love going forward when trigger situations come up. Depending on the severity of it, you may want to consider a coach or therapist to help you work through this dark aspect of yourself. For the more severe issues, we would recommend a trained therapist as a coach may not be sufficient in tackling this problem and the root may need to be explored on a deeper level.
Most importantly, as you decide to do this work in discovering the hidden part of you, remember to do it from a place of love. Seeking to be better and change is, in itself, a quality that confirms you are deserving of the love you seek. Remember that even though the actions may have been hurtful to others, it was an act of self-love gone wrong in the past as you were doing the best you knew how for yourself. Understand this and forgive yourself but understand now that it is your responsibility to make the changes and actions necessary to change. Once again, remember there is no shame in seeking help and seeking help is also an act of self-love and dignity.
A final note I want to touch upon. Understand that often, your dark side and capability is a power and tool when used with control and self awareness. Please see the below talk by Jordan Peterson about this:
If you have the time, this is also a great lecture on knowing the dark side of yourself
Below are some articles we suggest you read for more information about this subject.
In this episode, Matt and Anna discuss creating a daily gratitude journal and the many benefits creating a life of gratitude can bring to those who practice it.
For this episode, we highly recommend picking up The 90-Day Gratitude Journal: A Mindful Practice for Lifetime of Happiness. Be sure to also join our Facebook group and the 30-day gratitude challenge so you can get the support of others to make this life-changing practice a new habit in your life.
Benefits of Practicing Gratitude
- Gratitude Increases your Happiness
- Gratitude Improves your Mental Health
- Gratitude Helps You Savor Positive Experiences
- Gratitude Helps You Cope with Major Life Challenges
- Gratitude Fosters resilience
- Gratitude Boosts your Self Esteem
- Gratitude Fosters Empathy
- Gratitude Gives you a Better Nights Sleep
- Gratitude Strengthens relationships
How to Build the Gratitude Journaling Habit
- Focus on Building Just the Gratitude Habit
- Commit to 30 or more days of Gratitude
- Anchor Gratitude to an established Habit
- Track the gratitude habit
- Plan for potential obstacles
- Practice gratitude throughout the day
- reward yourself for consistency
If you need a little inspiration to start your gratitude, understand that the mere fact that you are here right now reading this text is, for all intents and purposes, a miracle. The chances of you existing are unfathomably low and yet here you are. A winner in one of the toughest lotteries the universe has ever put out. You exist and that is something to truly be grateful for.
For more information about the odds of you, see the below video and info-graphic.
Matt and Anna discuss the ways to effectively approach disagreements and conflicts in relationships. As well as the do’s and don’ts of how to respond.
- Think about what you want to say ahead of addressing the issue and decide what the goal of the discussion is. You are far more likely to have a successful resolution of the issue if you determine what needs have to be met ahead of time. Keep in mind, however, that you may not see the full picture until after you have begun discussing so this does not mean you can’t compromise depending on the issue.
- Focus on the issue at hand. It is not a great strategy to dump out multiple issues at once. It detracts from the focus and reduces the chance of a resolution of any issues as well as increases the likelihood the other person will feel attacked and criticized for who they are as opposed to something they have done.
- Listen when the other person is speaking. Try to hear them fully out without interjecting
- Try to always see from your partner’s perspective. Even if you don’t understand their point fully, you can probably understand their base feelings.
- Do not think of this as a win or lose scenario. If you both can come to an understanding and a resolution you both agree with, then it is a win.
- Don’t accuse and use “I” messages. For example, when you use the phrase “I feel”, there can be no arguing that you are incorrect about your feelings. Talking about how something makes you feel also requires no assumptions since you are only speaking your truth. Even if you misunderstand a scenario that has led to these feelings as a reaction, you are not misunderstanding your feelings.
- Focus on finding a mutually agreeable solution. Focusing on getting someone to “cave in” to you can make them feel like they have no say and it is all about you and not them. Even if they agree, there is a high likelihood of resentment building underneath from it.
- If it is getting heated, take a pause and come back later. It may be good to address exactly how you are feeling in that moment and mention you want to take a break from the discussion. Then pick a time to come back to it in the near future.
- Pick and choose your battles. Remember everyone will have things about them that annoy or bother you. Try to think about what it is ahead of time and determine how important this issue truly is. Ask yourself why it is so important to you as well.
- Never underestimate the power of humor when addressing less serious issues. Sometimes addressing a problem in a lighthearted manner communicates that something is bothering you but will let the other know that it is coming from a place of less seriousness and will put them much less on the defensive.
When someone is bringing up an issue with you
- Listen and hear them out. Try to fully understand what it is they are trying to tell you before placing your own judgements and interpretations on it.
- Be patient as they try to work out everything they want to say. Try to empathize with them. Remember, even if you do not agree with some of the conclusions they are coming to, their feelings are real.
- Avoid getting defensive. Even if they are not handling the discussion on their end very well you can still control how you react. After a resolution has been reached you can then bring up to them your issues with the way they handled the conflict and explain what would be more effective for you going forward.
- Try to understand the why of how they feel the way they do. Sometimes your partner may be communicating a specific incident or action that has upset them, but the core of it is how it made them feel which if often tied to something deeper. For example, if they are upset that you don’t let them know when you get home at night, the underlying issue might be that they are worried and not being put at ease by knowing you’re okay or they may feel like they don’t hold much priority in your life.
- Remember to take ownership of where you may have gone wrong or been inconsiderate, even if it is in the way you handled the conflict. It shows that you are willing to understand and work with your partner and it is not a weakness to be able to admit your own shortcomings.
What not to do when addressing conflict (For both)
- Accuse or make assumptions directly to them. You can speak in feelings however and using the “I” language.
- Get defensive. Remember you are always 100% in control of how you handle yourself, no matter how the other one is handling it on their end.
- Let your anger take over. Not only does this keep you from thinking clearly and more likely to attack the other, but may lead you to escalate the argument to a dangerous level. This especially applies to physical violence and actions such as throwing things, yelling, and especially physically hurting the other.
- Generalize. Saying things like “You always… “ or “You never..” Not only is it probably incorrect but can increases the likelihood the other will resort to defensiveness, In fact, it helps if you can think of a time when they did the opposite to help you keep more on track as well as giving them an example of when they did something right and how it made you feel instead.
- Avoid conflict altogether. You can take a little time to compose yourself and decide how you want to address the issue and the goal of the discussion, but hoping issues will go away almost never works. It can also lead to a constant feeling of things not being resolved. The longer you sit on an issue and let it build up, the more likely you are to eventually blow up and let all the emotions come flooding out as well causing the other to feel attacked.
- Make someone feel guilty for their feelings. Remember, regardless of any misunderstandings that led to the issue, how they feel is very real to them. Keep that in mind as you work through the issue and don’t make them feel ashamed for their feelings. This will also lead to them being less likely to open up to you down the road until the inevitable blow up.
- Go to extremes to try and win. For example, taking actions that seem like conceding but are actually done to make them feel bad. As an example, if your partner brings up that you are spending too much time going out with friends and they feel neglected, don’t react by making a big show of telling her you won’t ever go out with your friends again and calling the friends to tell them in a way that makes your partner seem like the wrong one. It is actually a form of manipulation when you do this.
- Try to win. Remember that even if you “win” an argument, you lose. It is about creating a win-win situation where both are happy. Also keep in mind that in trying to win, you are far more likely to trigger a backfire effect with no compromise.
- Try to talk when the time is not conducive to a productive discussion. You can even schedule a time ahead of time. As your partner is rushing out the door to work, they will feel added pressure and tension if you decide to start discussing the issues then.
After the conflict
- Think about the lessons and gains from the discussion. Both in the things you have learned about your partner as well as in how to communicate with them in general.
- Create an action plan based on the compromise so that you can ensure the resolution to this issue can be effectively put in place and not occur again.
- Move on from the conflict. If it has been resolved, let it stay resolved. Constantly bringing it back up will make the other feel like discussions are pointless and less likely to trust you on discussions going forward and more likely to immediately go on the defensive.
Summary: Matt & Anna discuss self-love and it’s importance to creating a better life and better relationships. They also discuss some example of what self-love is and what it is not.
Self-love is not:
Generated from external sources. Self-love is generated from within and projected outwards on to the world. Just as the way people treat you is usually a reflection of how they feel about themselves, the way you treat others can be a reflection of your internal self-worth. You also tend to see the world in a way that reflects the way you feel about yourself and will miss the cues that contradict that view while focusing on those that confirm it.
It is more than just what feels good. Many people will turn to unhealthy habits or behaviors to feel good, but feeling good is not necessarily self-love. Some extremes of this may be things like drugs or alcohol but can also be more subtle like unhealthy food choices on a frequent basis for the immediate satisfaction it brings. Self love is is about taking actions that are overall good for you, even f they don’t necessarily feel great in the moment.
It is not conditional. Self-love starts with loving you, in all your imperfectness, as you are right now. The catch-22 of saying you will be worthy of love after you achieve a certain goal means you are also confirming you don’t feel worthy right now and it becomes self-defeating. Try writing the mantra “I accept myself as I am,. Unconditionally. Right now”
It is not Egocentric: While putting yourself first is important, it does not mean disregarding the importance of others. It means you are the most important person in the world to yourself, not that the entire world should also see you as the most important person. It also does not mean taking care of yourself at the expense of others.
What is Self-Love:
- It is being kind and caring to yourself because you deserve it right now. It is not from the external. It is also learning how to deal with the negative voices in your head that try to tell you about your unworthines.
Exercise to overcome negative internal voices
- Recognize the negative voice. Acknowledge the tone and inflection in the voice. How similar is this voice to your own actual voice?
- Give the voice a name. Preferably a goofy name that does not carry much authority with you.
- Change the sound of the voice as it talks to you. Make it sound super whiny, goofy, or stupid. Make sure it is a voice you can smile at.
- Listen to the voice in this new tone and realize how ridiculous it now sounds as it talks down to you.
- Thank the voice but let it know you know you have it handled or that you don’t need its input anymore. Understand that the negativity it speaks is actually a form of love and trying to protect you from hurt. Give it gratitude for it’s concern but then reassure it that it doesn’t need to worry anymore.
- Self-love maintains healthy boundaries. While self-love is not self-absorbed, it does care about those around as well. However, you also need to know when to say no to things in life when the need to give to another costs value in your own life.
- It is a willingness to say what you are willing to continue to tolerate and what you are not willing to tolerate. State it clearly in the form of “I am no longer willing to tolerate…..”. “I am willing to tolerate……”. Please read the book Unfu*k Yourself by Gary John Bishop for some great info on this and much more.
- Self-love is understanding your needs and realizing you deserve to have them fulfilled. For example, if you need a break from an insanely busy schedule or maybe even the opposite and realizing you need more focus and productivity in your day to feel happy. Please see Atomic Habits for help with the latter.
- Self-love understands you are perfectly imperfect. It is acknowledging that you are a flawed human being and still worthy of love. It acknowledges the great qualities about yourself as well as the not so great ones but willing to turn and face them. This actually is also the first major step in learning to control or even overcome the aspects of yourself that you are not so proud of.
- Self-love celebrates the wins and acknowledges your victories. It compares your progress in improving to yourself alone and not to others. You can use others as a model for which you want to progress but that is not the same as comparing yourself to them.
- It is Being open to an ever growing you. Be open to new experiences and allow yourself to experience new things.
- Remember we are all human and make mistakes. The path of self love is acknowledge those mistakes and allowing yourself forgiveness by asking “What have I learned from this?” When you understand the mistakes made and what you have learned to make sure they don’t occur again, you can forgive yourself and forgiveness is an act of love.
- Always focus on the things you can control and understand what the things you can not control are. Putting energy towards things that are not within your control takes that energy away from the parts you can, like how you are going to respond to a given situation. You may not be able to control a freak accident where someone hit your car, but you can control how you handle the situation now that it happened. You can’t control the hurtful things a loved one has said, but you can control how you respond to them by asking yourself who you want to be in that moment and what is the most effective response.
Ways to cultivate self-love
Pursue your passions without self-sabotage. Do the things that interest you or spend time thinking about what it is that interests you if you are unsure.
Implement physical exercise into your routine. We don’t need to go into depth here about the mental and physical benefits of exercise since information on this is everywhere, but creating an environment that is conducive to this is an act of self-love and knowing your own worth.
Start a gratitude journal. Every day write 3 things you are grateful for as well as affirmations for the day.
Go through your circle of friends and ask which ones help lift you up vs keep you down or even try to drag you down. Realize that you are the average of the people you hang out with most and begin surrounding yourself with people who are inline with your goals and vision of a better you.
Read “The Gifts of Imperfection” by Brene Brown. This is one of the best books about self-acceptance and self-love out there and you will know why we recommended it once you read it.
Two final points to remember going forward:
You Are Enough.
Everything you need to achieve your goals you already have within you.
Start where you are.Use what you have.Do what you can.– Arthur Ashe
Recommended Reading and Links
Summary: In this episode, Matt and Anna interview special guest Nathan Segal, a coach and expert on self-sabotage and dissociative amnesia. This episode is packed with useful information about the nature of self-sabotage, the effect it can have on our lives, and how Nathan works with himself and his clients to recognize and interrupt these behaviors.
Links and Resources:
Nathan Segal Contact Info:
- email: email@example.com
What is NLP? – Referenced in podcast
Freedom of Choice – Mind Field – Referenced in podcast
Summary: Matt and Anna talk about a listener submitted question to explain signs of when a relationship may have started too soon or someone may not be ready. They also cover communication, healing in between relationships, and how to go about getting yourself ready to begin dating again.
Take your time to heal when ending a relationship: The end of a relationship can be compared to the mourning process in a lot of ways with different stages. It is important to go through these stages and allow yourself to fully process each one before getting back into a relationship. Not allowing yourself this time means you could end up in a new relationship carrying the unhealed wounds and damage of the previous relationship and those wounds will bleed onto the new relationship. Remember, each relationship ending is an opportunity for growth and self-discovery. It is a chance to evaluate what went right, what went wrong, what you had done well, and what you could have done better.
Many people coming out of a relationship jump to quickly into a new one to avoid the pain of this healing process and to try and fill in the holes in their life that were previously occupied by one person with a new person. In that rush to do so however, they don’t really take the time to determine if the new person is a good fit of if they are truly in a place to receive that person.
Before you can be complete in a relationship, you need to be complete on your own: A relationship does not complete a person. You should be a complete and whole person without the relationship. Remember an ideal partner is someone who adds to your life. Makes it fun and encourages you to be more of who you already are and supports you in changing the things you are already working to change (or at least helping you identify those things from a loving place).
Learn healthy communication: Communication is key in any successful relationship. If you are not having a need met, hoping the other person will just “figure it out” will only lead to frustration for both. Remember also that often men and women communicate and receive information very differently. When a need is not being met or you want to express that there is something you really enjoyed and want more of, express it clearly to your partner. Remember, even when asserting boundaries or telling someone they are not doing something correctly for you, asserting yourself and communicating this does not need to turn into a huge conflict. Express your needs from a place of love and non-judgement. Remember it is also about your needs, not about their lack of meeting them.
Avoiding ending a relationship for fear of hurting just causes more hurt: Staying with someone because you don’t want to hurt them will ultimately lead to more hurt in the long run. It will manifest in the way you interact with them while you are with them and when the inevitable break up does come, it will just have been dragged out that much longer.
Whatever you feel inside will express itself whether you are aware you are doing so or not. Not clearly communicating it, however, will confuse the partner and leave them feeling like they need to “read your mind”.