Getting the Most Benefit from Peer Pressure.

Getting the Most Benefit from Peer Pressure.

Peer pressure is something we all have experienced. As kids, and as adults our peers influence the direction of our lives more than we may know.

Let’s talk more about peer pressure to see some of its difficulties, as well as some ways to use it for personal benefits.

What is Peer Pressure?

Here is a statement that the U.S Department of Human Services said about Peer pressure.

Friends can influence an adolescent’s attitudes and behaviors in ways that matter across multiple domains of health and well-being, well into adulthood. We often hear about this in the form of peer pressure, which refers more explicitly to the pressure adolescents feel from their friends or peer group to behave in certain ways, good or bad. It can take the form of encouragement, requests, challenges, threats, or insults. Sometimes, peer pressure is unspoken—an adolescent may feel pressured to do something simply because their friends are doing it.

This statement does well for drawing out much to discuss. But even though the statement speaks of the influence of peer pressure going well into adulthood, it speaks only quietly of the amount that these pressures affect adults. But by simply removing the word “adolescent” and replace it with “human being” and focusing mainly on peer group rather than friends, we are given a broader view. A view that may not be thought of often.

We are all Heavily Influenced.

No matter what our ages, peer pressure influences the direction our lives take. Us human beings are social creatures. We all have the bodily impulses for social connection woven into our beings. Whether we like it or not, we are pressured both internally and externally to become a part of groups of people.

To not receive enough social connection within a group is to be left as an outsider. Now as I am sure all of you know, without interaction with other people most of us wouldn’t fare too well. To be without people too much is lonely. And loneliness can cause mental health problems like unhealthy stress, anxiety, and depression. There is also a growing body of evidence that suggests that it may cause physical health problems as well.

Our bodies need social connection, our being more likely to get sick because of not having it is a clear sign of that. We are heavily influenced by our own physiology to engage with people and groups of people. With these groups and the people in them, our bodies feel much safer. Our bodies inherently feel and know that there is safety to be found in numbers.

To be a part of these groups we are subjected to a barrage of relational pressure. There are always rules when it comes to being part of a group (work, family, community, etc..). Social norms that we are expected to obey that are either implied or communicated openly.

It is these norms which describe the nature of the group, that lead to either negative or positive peer pressure. But first, let’s talk about the negative.

The Negative Effects of Peer Pressure.

Peer-pressure

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The negative effects of peer pressure are usually why we hear of the concept. Generally, the reason that parents are leery of friends and acquaintances that their children make.

Much is contagious when it comes to the people we surround ourselves with. Surrounding ourselves with people that complain a lot, we are more likely to complain a lot. Hanging out with poor attitudes, you best believe that is likely to rub off. And when connecting with those that are into risky behaviors, we are likely heading towards unwanted consequences.

We become mirrors with whom we most closely relate. Learning to talk like each other, and act like each other. Many people say that married couples even begin to look alike! So, when it comes to those we surround ourselves with, we need to be careful. Based on our level of desire for social acceptance, we may mirror the absolute worst that a peer group has to offer.

Negative effects may come from meeting unhealthy group norms and expectations placed upon us. But also come from not meeting these norms. Not meeting enough of these creates tension with the group and our possible alienation. We may be ridiculed, shamed, and threatened. All in an effort to get us to comply. On one hand, having to deal with the harsh treatment for possibly being oneself. And on the other having to face the thought of being ostracized from a group which we have grown attached.

Though the negative effects of peer pressure are many, these are of course not the only possible effects. There are equally as many positive effects of peer pressure as well.

The Power of Positive Peer Pressure.

In the same vein as negative peer pressure, there can be many positive consequences of peer pressure.

Healthy groups, we participate with can help support us, motivate us, correct our behaviors, amongst many other positive things. And just as there are negative physiological effects of not getting enough social interaction, there are benefits when we do.

Above it was mentioned that we may mirror the worst a group has to offer. But when surrounded by healthy, successful individuals we may just wind up mirroring the best the group has to offer. Bringing about amazing outcomes for ourselves, our loved ones, as well as the group itself.

But there are all sorts of individuals in this world, and groups of individuals for us to join. Since no individual is exactly the same, you better believe no group is either. So there are some ideas to keep in mind when seeking out groups of individuals to interact with. These ideas can help us make sure we wind up being pressured by peers that will bring us many more positives than negatives.

How to be Influenced in the Best Ways Through Peer Pressure.

1. Take Time to Get to Know Ourselves.

Peer pressure does one thing. It pushes us to live by the principles that guide the group. Therefore, to be ourselves within the group, we better come to learn what it means to be ourselves. Which first means, getting to know ourselves. The path to getting to know ourselves can be a difficult one, but ultimately one that has to be taken. That is if we want to understand how to be our most authentic selves anyway. Check out this article on self-discovery if you desire more information on how to make this process as painless as possible.

The old adage “If you don’t stand for something you will fall for anything”, rings true here. If we don’t stand for the principles that best suit our natures we will likely be taken down a path that isn’t ours. That will damage ourselves and our self-respect. But if we do develop our personal purposes, and stand for our own principles, our abilities to respect ourselves will soar.

2. Be Part of Groups that Align with Our Own Life’s Purposes.

When our need for belonging drives us to approach a group we might like to be a part of it is important to be discerning of what their purposes are. What is their purpose, and what they are here to do? That is a great question to seek the answer to. As well as even more importantly, does their purpose align well with my own? Because if we are going to be subject to peer pressure, it might as will be in a direction we truly desire to go.

So if you are an individual in recovery from addiction, getting together regularly with a group that seeks to party all the time most likely won’t be a good fit. If we are seeking to stay particularly cheerful, it would be best to not surround yourself with those will constantly bum us out. And if we are looking to create big changes in the groups we are a part of, maybe don’t get deeply involved with those that are deeply unwilling to change.

Of course on the flip-side, we will find more personal success with our own lives when we find peers that align with our own purposes. When we find groups with purposes that match our personalities well, we will benefit, as well as the group.

3. Create Regular Positive Peer Pressure for Others.

Not only do the groups we participate with cause pressure for us to act in certain ways. We also create pressure for others. And since we are looking for pressure on the positive side, it only makes sense that positive pressure is what we should offer others.

The positive peer pressure we create for others can be done in many different ways. We can pressure others with solely our actions, showing strong character and integrity while living our lives. As well as doing so more vocally, challenging and encouraging those around us to be their best. While not belittling them so much that our desire for positive outcomes for the group, turns into bad blood with others.

In the end, this is a powerful way to turn the table on peer pressure. It is taking active control of our ability to pressure ourselves positively, not just being swept along by the pressure of others. As well as sharing this pressure we create internally, to push it outwards to be positive catalysts for our peers. This is the work of a true leader.

Well, that is all we have for today and thank you so much for stopping into My Life Experiment. What is written here has come from struggle and growth. We wish you success in getting the best out of peer pressure in your life. If you enjoyed what you read then I would love for you to do a couple things for us.
  1. If you would like to help support this website by offsetting some of the costs of running it. There is a PayPal button below or in the right sidebar, depending on if you are viewing with mobile or by computer.
  2. Join our email list to Enroll in our Free 7 Day Impulse Negotiation Email Course!
  3. Follow our Facebook page.

 

My Life Experiment

Welcome! We are Travis and Casey Hagen, the writer's and owner's of My Life Experiment. As recovering Individuals, we are no strangers to leaving behind dysfunctional ways of living. Over the years we have become adept at managing our intense mental and emotional worlds. Finding healing from the past, peace in the present and new ways to bring about success for our futures. We promote Healthy Life Experimentation Principles for connecting with ourselves, our relationships, and finding healthier ways of bringing about success in our lives. Stick around and pick up what we have learned. You will not be disappointed.

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How to Live a Life of Self-Respect.

How to Live a Life of Self-Respect.

Hey there! Today we are discussing the concept of self-respect.
To respect oneself is not always an easy thing to do. But let’s find some ways to help disrespect ourselves less. And of course, some ways to respect ourselves more.

Inevitable Disrespect on the Path to Self-Respect.

Self-respect is defined as “pride and confidence in oneself; a feeling that one is behaving with honor and dignity.” It is a beautiful thing to be able to respect ourselves. But the path to being able to respect ourselves is not always an easy one. Quite often on the journey, we learn how to practice self-respect because of the pain of disrespect.

Feeling disrespected can come from anybody in any relationship. But I don’t feel off in saying that who disrespects us the most, is probably ourselves. We show ourselves disrespect in many ways. It, of course, may come from the actions of others. But more often from actions of our own. It is pretty much impossible to feel self-respect when we are allowing ourselves or others to treat us disrespectfully.

We must come to know what we are willing to put up with, and what we will not. Most of us disrespect ourselves often as we go about our days and our lives. The ways that we do this may be subtle, or they may be blatant. They may be something we are aware of, or we may be blind to the reality of our self-disrespectful ways.

Whether we are setting ourselves up to lose self-respect because of the allowing the behaviors of others, or our own, we must set personal boundaries with all these behaviors so they don’t cause harm to our ability to respect ourselves. But to set these boundaries we must first come to know ourselves, to know what is appropriate.

To Know Ourselves.

To respect ourselves, we must come to know ourselves. But what is it to come to know ourselves? We must become aware of our bodies impulses, habits and tendencies. As well as what beliefs and morals are guiding these impulses. In a recent article we discussed coming to know ourselves so if you have any questions about that area please check it out.

Getting to know who we are, enables us to purposely act in ways that will enhance self-respect. As well as help us avoid the impulses to behave in ways that would dampen it. Knowing ourselves and accepting those new realities about ourselves will make behaving in ways that are trigger disrespect, much more difficult to act on. As well as give a powerful tug from our consciences that let us know we shouldn’t have done what we just did. Which may bring a stinging of guilt and shame but ultimately give us the chance to change our ways for the better.

Self-knowledge also allows us to understand and feel what boundaries we need to set with other people. Disallowing individuals to treat us in ways that may harm the way we view ourselves. We are the only ones that can truly figure out what we should put up with, and what we should not.

Coming to know ourselves on a deep level is immensely important, of course. But knowing ourselves is not enough for building the amount we respect ourselves. We also must learn to be ourselves.

To Be Ourselves.

Not only must one come to know themselves to respect themselves. We must also be ourselves to respect ourselves. By neglecting to be ourselves, we are showing ourselves disrespect. It is difficult to feel genuine self-respect when neglecting to act and speak in ways that reflect our nature.

The same goes for when we are consistently treating others with disrespect we are also disrespecting ourselves. Of course, treating people respectfully doesn’t mean just agreeing to everything they say or even refraining from arguing with them. And it certainly doesn’t mean letting them walk all over us. Challenging other people to think, and having firm boundaries with others, respects ourselves well at the same time respecting the other.

Acting by the Golden Rule asks us to “treat others as we would like to be treated.” This universally believed rule is at heart of most religious thought. It implies that it is in our nature to desire respectful treatment. And in our nature to give it. There are physiological rewards to be found in treating others well. It is a beautiful outlet for our bodily impulses, which are pleased when given a connection to our fellows.

To be ourselves is to allow the energy that flows within us to have its healthy expression which breeds self-respect. To close our energies off from healthy expression, or expressing in harmful ways we as well as our self-respect will suffer. Whether we are immediately aware of this or not.

Developing a Self-respect Routine.

The responsibility for respecting ourselves rides solely on our own shoulders. This responsibility is a great one. Requiring our commitment and vigilance to a routine that will make consistent self-respect not only a possibility but a reality.

1. Self-respecting Routine.

To build a self-respecting routine. We must come to know ourselves, to come to be ourselves, to respect ourselves. A routine is something that we set in place, scheduling in activities that will make results that we desire, possible. To get the most out of a routine it must consistently enough that it almost becomes second nature. Though at first and at difficult times, may feel like something very foreign, even intrusive to our lives.

But to build self-respect, consistent application of self-respecting actions is a must. All the thinking in the world will not be enough to keep us in a self-respecting state.

2. Resolve to Show up and Be Productive.

It’s of course important to show up to be a part of our relationships, as in being physically present. But it’s entirely another thing to ACTUALLY SHOW UP. Meaning that we are engaged, actively listening, and looking for creative solutions to problems.

To really show up to life takes commitment. It requires that we are mindful, thoughtful, and seeking to help. This is whether at work, home or in the community. Routinely seeking to enhance the quality of our surroundinga has highly positive effects for the growth of self-respect.

3. Treating Others Well.

To treat others well is to treat them respectfully. It is to treat others as if they are intelligent and loving creatures. Even if they aren’t able to immediately prove that to themselves or most others. Treating others well means dropping our harsh judgments about there characters. Instead seeking to honor their positive qualities.

But treating others well is also about developing healthy boundaries. By letting someone take advantage of our kindness, we are not respecting them. We are only allowing their disrespectful routine to run havoc in their, and our lives. Not enabling the crappy actions may not end their unhealthy routine, but it will send a loud message. And just maybe we can help change the course of their life. There are plenty of other healthy places to direct our kindness,

For today I urge you to do something to respect the nature of some individual in your life. Whether that is giving a compliment, offering assistance, or even telling them no and that you can’t allow them to use you anymore. Do this today, and look to do it tomorrow, that is what consistent routines are all about, consistent practice.

4. Engage Routinely in Healthy Activities.

To engage in healthy activities is to do something enjoyable. That could be going outside to shoot some hoops, knitting a sweater in a, calling a friend or writing a novel. It can be anything really, anything that you enjoy. Set out to do something every single day that you enjoy. It doesn’t have to be expensive, it doesn’t have to cause a dime, but it will cost just a little bit of time.

5. Respecting our Emotional States.

When feeling emotionally heavy and run down it can be difficult to feel respected, as well as difficult to keep up with a routine. And that is okay, emotions run through us often that simply do not feel good. It really isn’t even reasonable to think that we will always feel good. But when you are not feeling good, to respect that feeling, is also respecting yourself.

You can also respect that feeling by kindly but firmly letting it know that all is going to be okay. And that getting up and having a little bit of fun, practicing gratitude or processing some of this emotion through therapeutic writing will help out greatly. Emotions come and go if allowed. The more we respect them, the less likely they will trigger our impulses to act in ways that will damage our self-respect.

Continuing with a self-respect building routine will also help with our emotional state. The stronger we adhere to the routine, the more secure we will be to process these emotions successfully. And the more successfully we process these emotions, the faster we will get back to more positive frames of mind.

Doesn’t more positivity and self-respect sound good to you?

Well, that is all we have for today, and thank you so much for stopping in to My Life Experiment. What is written here has come from struggle and growth. We wish you success in developing more self-respect in your life. If you enjoyed what you read then I would love for you to do a couple things for us.
  1. If you would like to help support this website by offsetting some of the costs of running it. There is a PayPal button below or in the right sidebar, depending on if you are viewing with mobile or by computer.
  2. Join our email list to Enroll in our Free 7 Day Impulse Negotiation Email Course!
  3. Follow our Facebook page.

My Life Experiment

Welcome! We are Travis and Casey Hagen, the writer's and owner's of My Life Experiment. As recovering Individuals, we are no strangers to leaving behind dysfunctional ways of living. Over the years we have become adept at managing our intense mental and emotional worlds. Finding healing from the past, peace in the present and new ways to bring about success for our futures. We promote Healthy Life Experimentation Principles for connecting with ourselves, our relationships, and finding healthier ways of bringing about success in our lives. Stick around and pick up what we have learned. You will not be disappointed.

To Support My Life Experiment.

Doing our Self Due-Diligence for Living our Best Lives.

The concept of doing our due-diligence is a popular idea. It speaks to doing our own research so that we can think for ourselves in any area in which we care to succeed.

Doing our due-diligence is of high importance for making the best decisions we can. If succeeding in any area of life is based on the amount of research that we do and apply, then how important is researching who we are as individuals. In this article we talk about applying our due-diligence to become experts in our own lives, looking into way to get to know ourselves

What is Due-Diligence?

Of several definitions that I took into consideration I have come to a personal definition based on their consensus. Due-diligence is the thorough investigation and thoughtful actions taken to understand and intelligently respond to the situations we face that effect our personal interests. Doing our due-diligence is doing our homework. It is studying up so that we can get the most out of our decisions and actions. Working to create the best possible outcomes for those we effect.

So now take the above definition. This definition can be used for essentially any area of life. Whether that is for building a career, starting a business, making family decisions, investment choices, etc. Success in our own lives is generally dependent on how much we understand the forces that effect us. It is through understanding of these forces, that determines the type of response we can have when confronted by them. Maybe sometimes we can get lucky and find success without knowledge. But living a life based mainly on luck doesn’t sound like a recipe for success to me. Our bodily impulses need guidance based on information that is thorough and reliable.

Our relationship with all the individual areas of our lives work best while being well-informed, yes of course. But there is one relationship more important than any of these areas that we can come to know. That relationship is with ourselves. The due-diligence we do on this thing we call ourselves, sets the stage for making the best decisions possible for every area of our lives.

How we Do Our Self Due Diligence.

Saying that the relationship we have with ourselves is the most important relationship we have may seem a bit self-centered. But this statement is self-centered in the healthiest way possible. All decisions we make are based on how well we understand our bodily impulses, beliefs, weak areas and strong areas. To make the best decisions for ourselves and all those we influence, time spent getting to know ourselves is time used wisely.

Where do we start when it comes to learning about ourselves more deeply? Over the years I have learned methods for gaining self knowledge. Here are some methods to put our due-diligence to work, for getting to know what makes ourselves tick.

1. Question what We Know about Ourselves.

There is an important question to eventually ask if we truly desire to know ourselves. Who am I? This question asked sincerely and openly can lead into an amazing process of self discovery. To question ourselves in this manner there are some things we are admitting. We are admitting that we don’t have all the answers about ourselves. As well, we are admitting that we believe it might be possible to come to know ourselves better. When we come to this place of willingness to find ourselves, we need to latch onto it and make a firm commitment.

The act of questioning ourselves in this manner can be unsettling. Some of us believe we have all the information we need about ourselves. But how many of us actually know everything there is to know about ourselves? How many of us know all our personal beliefs, impulses, weak and strong attributes? I have no problem saying that even the most enlightened individuals on the planet, would be lying if they said they did. We humans are constantly changing beings with desires, beliefs and abilities that transform over time.

This process of coming to know ourselves more deeply is not an easy task. At times it may even temporarily leave our mental and emotional equilibrium all over the place. Though it is a process that will pay us back great dividends on the energy we invest in it. Next we will move on to investigating what we strongly believe.

2. Investigating our Long Held Beliefs.

We all have deeply held beliefs. The beliefs could be of a spiritual or religious nature, political nature, ethical nature or any other nature. The nature of these beliefs isn’t important here, but our relationships with these beliefs most certainly are. Our relationships with these beliefs determine how we view ourselves, and how interact with the world around us. Sometimes we may be able to tell where these beliefs originate from, other times we may not even know we hold them until we act them out unexpectedly. That or someone else brings them to our attention.

Some beliefs are essential for maintaining a life that is both peaceful and fulfilling. Other beliefs may distort our perceptions, making it difficult or even impossible to live a life that is authentic to ourselves. If we have held a belief for many years, we may just think it is part of who we are. Maybe that is true or maybe not, us as individuals are the only ones that can figure that out. I believe the only way to find out is to examine the belief, pick it apart, and see if it still feels right afterward.

Due-diligence studying

Process of Belief Investigation.

To investigate a belief, we first must pin point what our beliefs are. The easiest way I know to begin this investigation is by writing these beliefs down. List the beliefs that you feel strongly about. Then afterwards, give some heartfelt effort to thinking about the origins of those beliefs.  Then after some thought, write down if the belief still fits who you are today or if life would be better if the belief was gone.

If you don’t feel like writing, another method is to think about an argument in which you recently partook. Or think about a statement you recently heard that offended you. Ask yourself, what am I believing that caused me to be offended, or triggered me to argue? Then, if you are feeling up to it ask yourself if the belief actually matters to you, or if it is just a reaction from a long held and hidden belief.

Commitment to regular examination of our beliefs is a commitment to coming to terms with the depths of who we are. We examine our beliefs, keep what we can still use, and discard what we no longer connect with. Coming to terms with our beliefs is important for being our best selves, but even more important is to get in touch with our bodily impulses.

3. Forming a Better Relationship our Bodily Impulses.

Our bodily impulses are talking to us continually. Sometimes the communications are pleasant, sometimes they are quite painful. Often times we hear of the pleasant feelings labeled as good, the painful as bad. This good and bad distinction about feelings is unnecessary and misleading. All of our bodily impulses are neither good nor bad, they just are, and they need our attention. As we learn to regularly pay kind attention to these impulses, we can develop a healthy relationship with them.

To pay kind attention doesn’t mean we give these impulses everything they desire. That is a recipe for an immensely dysfunctional and painful existence. What it means is to listen to them. Now I realize that these impulses may not speak directly to us in a voice we can understand. But as long as we are willing to pause and feel them without judgment when they come, our bodies will understand what to do.

Due-diligence sitting

Simple Process for Relating to Bodily Impulses.

I will walk you through the simplest method I know for relating with impulses in any somewhat free moment. Although I say it is simple, often times it is anything but easy.

Anytime throughout the day simply take stock of how you feel. You could even set a reminder on your phone to alert you multiple times a day to help you remember to check in. If your mind and body are particularly stressed, take note. And if possible, sit or stand still and take a full deep breathe, hold it momentarily, then exhale fully. Continue to focus on your breathing in this way until the stress subsides. While focusing on breathing the stress away, it likely will not give up without a fight. The impulses may spark all sorts of thoughts to sort through in this process. But use this exercise as a break from these thoughts. Continue to breathe through the stressed out thoughts and they will settle down. You may even find yourself very relaxed afterward.

This exercise is great for developing a better relationship with our impulses. Mindful breathing and non-judgment of thinking naturally helps us and our bodies develop a better relationship. Our bodies will do the communicating, the healing, the accepting, the understanding, when we let it. Without knowing our bodies, we cannot know ourselves.

Closing Thoughts.

It is clear to me that healthy relationships with our bodies and our beliefs are necessary for knowing and being our best selves. Without a healthy relationship with our bodies we will not understand what beliefs align well with us. And without beliefs that align well with our bodies we will be taken down a path that is not ours to take.

To be true to ourselves we must do our self due-diligence. We must diligently work at relating to our impulses, and aligning those impulses with healthy beliefs and eventual behaviors. Not for our country, our employers, our parents, but for ourselves. Because when we are true to our sane selves, others around us reap more rewards then when we are not.

Well, that is all we have for today, and thank you so much for stopping in to My Life Experiment. What is written here has come from struggle and growth. We wish you growth in your process of learning to do your self due-diligence! If you enjoyed what you read then I would love for you to do a couple things for us.
  1. If you would like to help support this website by offsetting some of the costs of running it. There is a PayPal button below or in the right sidebar, depending on if you are viewing with mobile or by computer.
  2. Join our email list to Enroll in our Free 7 Day Impulse Negotiation Email Course!
  3. Share this article on your social media.
  4. Follow our Facebook page.

My Life Experiment

Welcome! We are Travis and Casey Hagen, the writer's and owner's of My Life Experiment. As recovering Individuals, we are no strangers to leaving behind dysfunctional ways of living. Over the years we have become adept at managing our intense mental and emotional worlds. Finding healing from the past, peace in the present and new ways to bring about success for our futures. We promote Healthy Life Experimentation Principles for connecting with ourselves, our relationships, and finding healthier ways of bringing about success in our lives. Stick around and pick up what we have learned. You will not be disappointed.

To Support My Life Experiment.
Finding Freedom by Offering Forgiveness to Others.

Finding Freedom by Offering Forgiveness to Others.

Forgiveness: What is it?

What is it to forgive? To forgive is to release the anger or resentment that is felt because of an offense, flaw or mistake. Forgiveness isn’t necessarily about reconciling relationships, though it could lead to that. But forgiveness most certainly is a decision we make to give ourselves the ability to let go. At some point throughout our lives we are going to deal with making the decision to forgive or not. So why should we forgive?

Why Should We Forgive?

There is a great example of why forgiveness is so important in this article that tells a story of a mother’s journey to forgiving her only sons killer. Imagine being in the position of having your child murdered, and eventually coming to a place where you could hug the person that so painfully changed your life. That is exactly what this mother was able to do. But why would she?

There are other extreme instances where individuals were able to forgive. After years of holding onto hatred and resentment they are finally set free to take responsibility for those feelings. And with responsibility comes the ability to move on and take their lives back. There is tremendous freedom to be found in forgiveness. As the mother in the article states “I felt something leave me,” she said. “Instantly I knew all the hatred, bitterness and animosity — I knew it was gone.”

Forgiveness is for unchaining ourselves from the unnecessary weight of our painful pasts. So we may look to the future more clearly and optimistically. We don’t belong stuck in the past, reliving painful events over and over again. It is living mindfully in the present moment that we truly belong. But we must make the decision to release ourselves to a mindful present moment.

The Decision to Forgive.

Above, I stated that we will all come to a point in which we will need to forgive. Some version of the following questions may arise for you here, such as. How do we know we are ready to forgive? Does this mean we are letting the offenders off the hook? These are valid and important questions.

Forgiveness does not mean we are forgetting or dismissing the actions of an offender. The act of forgiveness does not mean that we are letting the individual who hurt us off the hook. This is where setting boundaries with others comes into play. A boundary such as, just because I am forgiving this offense, I certainly will not be putting myself in a similar position with that individual again.

If the situation allows it we may be able to continue on with a relationship that is meaningful to us. Forgiveness is no walk in the park and there are many emotions involved that need attention and mending. Some of these include but are not limited to, anger, sadness, resentfulness, bitterness, revengefulness, and embarrassment. These are all completely normal reactions when we have been hurt.

The amount of pain that we feel can make the decision to forgive that much harder. We make this decision when we feel that we are ready. But there is a difference between feeling we are ready and believing we are ready to forgive. There are bodily impulses that may be begging us to forgive, sometimes for long periods of time before we learn how to listen. The louder the anger, the louder the anxiety, speaks to the desire of these impulses that are crying out for freedom.

Forgiveness choice

 

Time to Forgive?

Here is a question to help figure out when it is time to forgive. How do I want to feel? For most people feelings of anger and resentfulness will not be on the top of the list of the way they want to feel, at least not consciously anyway.

Most people naturally want to feel good and these feeling states keep us feeling anything but that. When we choose to not be forgiving of others our happiness becomes a direct target. Being full of hatred and resentment can take over our lives, drain us from our happiness, and make us feel less purposeful. These feelings may spill over into all areas of our lives. Meaning that we wont simply torture ourselves, but also cause extra struggle for the people closest to us.

We know it is time when we want to rid ourselves of the powerful emotions that are holding us back from life.

Forgiveness is a Process.

This is a process and healing will come over time. Acknowledging how we feel verses ignoring it will greatly help our journey of forgiveness. Slowly we will start to feel the benefits as we begin to free up from the negative energy that we continue flowing through ourselves. In Steven Taylors article, “Are you ready to forgive”, he talks about four different phases of forgiveness that highlight this process.

1. Uncovering Phase- In the uncovering phase we are becoming aware of the impact the resentment we are holding is having on our lives.

2. Decision Phase- In the decision phase we come to a place where we decide that we are ready to take the step to forgive.

3. Work Phase- In the work phase we come to accept a certain amount of the reality of what has happened to us. It is here where we can begin to empathize with whomever has hurt us.

4. Deepening Phase- In the deepening phase we get to come to a deeper understanding of ourselves and our lives. Hopefully having life make more sense with the responsibility we have found in taking our lives back.

Forgiveness girl

Closing Thoughts.

Forgiveness is not easy, it is not desirable to be in a place where we need to give it. Although forgiving is not easy, it is necessary. It is necessary for giving back the ability to feel buried emotions and free our impulses to help us live more authentic lives.

If you find yourself in a position where you might need to forgive someone, give yourself a break. Remember how it is that you want to feel and slowly start taking steps from there. And like I said in the beginning, we are not meant to live in the past reliving the same feelings over and over. We owe ourselves the ability to reside peacefully in the present moment. Being forgiving of others won’t necessarily bring us the whole way but will at least point us in the right direction. And that is a big deal.

Well, that is all we have for today, and thank you so much for stopping in to My Life Experiment. What is written here has come from struggle and growth. We wish you growth in your process of learning to be a more forgiving person. If you enjoyed what you read then I would love for you to do a couple things for us.
  1. If you would like to help support this website by offsetting some of the costs of running it. There is a PayPal button below or in the right sidebar, depending on if you are viewing with mobile or by computer.
  2. Join our email list to Enroll in our Free 7 Day Impulse Negotiation Email Course!
  3. Follow our Facebook page.

My Life Experiment

Welcome! We are Travis and Casey Hagen, the writer's and owner's of My Life Experiment. As recovering Individuals, we are no strangers to leaving behind dysfunctional ways of living. Over the years we have become adept at managing our intense mental and emotional worlds. Finding healing from the past, peace in the present and new ways to bring about success for our futures. We promote Healthy Life Experimentation Principles for connecting with ourselves, our relationships, and finding healthier ways of bringing about success in our lives. Stick around and pick up what we have learned. You will not be disappointed.

To Support My Life Experiment.

Practicing Discernment for Guiding our Lives Well.

With all of the decisions we all face daily, learning the principle of discernment is a must. Well.. That is if we seek to live in a way that both challenges us and harmonizes with our own personal moralities.

Lets look a little deeper into the principle of discernment to see why it is so important. As well as to seek ways to better our lives with it.

A Life Without Discernment.

A life without discernment is a life without any sort of personal guidance system. It is a life of having whatever bodily impulse that comes to the surface to find it’s way into reality. The Buddha said that “the root of all suffering is ignorance of the causes of suffering.” This suffering that a lack of discernment can bring is no small thing.

I believe that the philosopher Plato would very much agree with Buddha’s quote above. Since he penned his teacher Socrates to say that “the unexamined life is not worth living.” A life that is not well thought out is guided by our own ignorance, and trailed by the regret of wasted time, energy and unnecessary suffering.

I do believe there is some attractiveness in not having to think deeply about the decisions we make. Maybe a sense of freedom arises from dreaming of a life where our decisions are magically made for us. But that sense of freedom is a fantasy. Granted, we should allow ourselves some freedom to quit thinking about the next decisions we have to make. We generally aren’t made for obsessively examining every detail of the next situation that life brings us. We need breaks, relaxation and possible vacations. But refusal or unawareness of the need to practice discernment for too long can push us into undesired situations.

Discernment Person

What is Discernment.

A Oxford dictionary definition for discernment is ” the ability to judge well.”

Now when I think of the word discernment, I think of decision making. More precisely, I think of being able to judge whether one decision is better than another. And on that note, which decision it is best for us as individuals to act on at the moment. There is a difference between discernment and decision making itself. Discernment is a principle that guides our bodily impulses down a life path that best fits us as individuals. The quality of a decision is based on the level of discernment we use. Our abilities to discern, are based on the level of our expertise.

The principle of discernment is a beautiful thing, though it is not necessarily an easy principle to develop. The principle is developed through learned experience. Through experience, important faculties develop for building our ability to discern well. First of all as we go through life taking risks, whether we fail or succeed, we learn. We learn the ins and outs of the specific areas in which we are taking the risk, developing expertise. Secondly, we learn more about what we are interested in in the first place. We come to learn more about ourselves, our tastes, our passions, and the areas that are most worth our time and energy. By taking risks, experimenting with our creative impulses intelligently and learning from these experiences we can become experts in living our own lives.

Becoming Discerning Individuals for Guiding Our Lives Well.

Above is stated that “our abilities to discern, are based on the level of our expertise.” This happens to apply to any area of life in which we choose to spend our lives developing. For example, your level of expertise in race car driving will guide the decisions you can make on the race track. Now if you don’t know much about race car driving you might not know how to discern what a good decision is on the race track. The same goes with any area of life.

A race car drivers expertise helps them discern better decisions on the track, no doubt. Under the same logic, the more bits of information we understand about ourselves, the better guides we can be for the direction of our own lives. Allowing us to take more intelligent risks, and more intelligently use all resources at our disposal.

Here are some tips for developing discernment, so we can effectively be positive guides for the direction of our own lives.

Doing Self Due-Diligence.

Due-Diligence is about doing our own research. We should be doing our own research on any activity that we care to succeed with. Without studying the information available and giving it sufficient thought, discerning the best decision ends up being a shot in the dark. Maybe get lucky, maybe just waste time. On the same note, if we don’t do our due-diligence in studying ourselves we won’t know ourselves well enough. We won’t know where to best focus our thoughts and actions, so our ability to discern the best decisions for ourselves will be blunted. Studying and thinking deeply about our beliefs, interests, abilities and the areas of life these will be best applied is critical for living lives of which we can be proud. The idea of becoming experts in our own lives rings loudly here.

Nobody knows more about ourselves than we do, we know us at our cores, even if not consciously. There is a great deal of information I don’t consciously have about myself. I have to continue mining the depths of myself to connect with all of it.

There isn’t a single person that can be a closer expert in our lives, than ourselves. But other people around us have incredibly useful information about us that we may not see. Having healthy people we trust to help us gain knowledge about ourselves and our capabilities is very beneficial. This could be from a mentor of some sort, family members, self help books, or even a person we don’t know that says the right thing to us at the right time. Only we can make our own decisions, but the discernment of others can often help ourselves discern more effectively.

Discernment Self

Living on Purpose.

Purpose acts as a boundary and guide for the type of lives we want to live. You have probably heard the phrase “if you stand for nothing you will fall for anything.” Falling for anything is not a healthy proposition. Having purpose means deciding what we are living for, which implies what we are not going to fall for. So my purpose to live a life that will create benefits for my loved ones, but not at the peril of others, keeps me from acting maliciously toward others for our gain. My purpose of respecting myself keeps me from acting in ways that will disrespect myself. Disregarding thoughts, activities, and people that could lead to reducing respect for myself, and focusing on those that will enhance it.

Our purposes and what we believe guide our impulses into the thoughts we allow ourselves to think, what we deem important, what to learn, and how to learn them. Purpose guides us into the areas in which we will gain our knowledge, the areas in which we will be discerning. Finding purposes that align with our healthy desires allows are ability to discern to be guided in a healthy way.

Discernment

Well, that is all we have for today, and thank you so much for stopping in to My Life Experiment. What is written here has come from struggle and growth. We wish you growth on your path of practicing the principle of discernment in your life. If you enjoyed what you read then I would love for you to do a couple things for us.
  1. If you would like to help support this website by offsetting some of the costs of running it. There is a PayPal button below or in the right sidebar, depending on if you are viewing with mobile or by computer.
  2. Join our email list to Enroll in our Free 7 Day Impulse Negotiation Email Course!
  3. Share this article on your social media.
  4. Follow our Facebook page.

 

My Life Experiment

Welcome! We are Travis and Casey Hagen, the writer's and owner's of My Life Experiment. As recovering Individuals, we are no strangers to leaving behind dysfunctional ways of living. Over the years we have become adept at managing our intense mental and emotional worlds. Finding healing from the past, peace in the present and new ways to bring about success for our futures. We promote Healthy Life Experimentation Principles for connecting with ourselves, our relationships, and finding healthier ways of bringing about success in our lives. Stick around and pick up what we have learned. You will not be disappointed.

To Support My Life Experiment.
Putting our Trust into Ourselves.

Putting our Trust into Ourselves.

Learning to be trust other people in this world is a critical skill to learn for building healthy relationships. As well as for managing mental health.

But even more important is to learn to be trusting of ourselves. Let’s talk more about self trust to find the difficulties and tips for a healthy path to doing so.

Trust and Vulnerability.

I found an interesting definition of trust which is to “give credit to a customer.” This definition is speaking of a transaction that of course would generally be for money, goods, or services. But this definition leads us to an interesting question. What are we giving away when we give our own trust in the non business relationship sense, or even in that sense? The best answer that comes to mind is that to give our trust is to be vulnerable, it is to give of ourselves.

To trust someone or something takes a decision to. So, essentially a decision to be vulnerable by offering up ourselves or property to the needs of the moment. This decision could be the very thing that allows someone to save us from great pain or death one day. Now being vulnerable is not a popular concept for most individuals, it is an even more unpopular feeling. But to have healthy relationships with the people around us, as well as ourselves it is something we must risk. Our lives and our livelihoods do actually depend on it.

Allowing ourselves to be vulnerable is in a sense to surrender ourselves to the unknown. We have a need to be filled and so we rely on others to take care of what we cannot. For us to trust we are allowing something or someone we cannot control, to take care of their personal part of that unknown. The risk in this is of course being betrayed. Having an individual whom we have given our trust to, take advantage of our vulnerability.

There can be great risk in trusting, this is for sure. But in learning to trust ourselves we can find a better monitoring system for putting our trust in more trustworthy places.

More to Ourselves than We can Control.

We must learn to trust others, yes. The people around us may recognize certain problem areas that we may not see on our own. Though being able to give ourselves some of that very same trust is an absolute must. It is a must if we desire not just to live out a life, but to live our a life we can truly call our own.

It is an interesting thing to say we need to trust ourselves. Because the description seems to cut our selves, into multiple pieces. There is now the self the we should be trusting, and there is now the self that gives the trust. It makes sense though, there are a incredible amount of physical processes going on in each of our bodies at this very moment, that we don’t really have control over. We generally don’t have to think about our breathing, our hearts beating, or the blood rushing through our bodies.

Much like those processes “we” are also doing all sorts of other things behind our own backs. Such as the formulating and retrieving of knowledge and wisdom in our brains and the rest of our bodies. In fact, I have come to find many of my best ideas without even attempting to think about them. Many times ideas and moments of insight come completely out of the blue.

But in order to enlist the fullness of information of our own bodies, it needs our vulnerability. We need to ask the unknown in ourselves to help guide us.

To Trust the Unknown in Ourselves.

To trust ourselves, is to be vulnerable to the unknown within ourselves to take care of ourselves. It is to trust our own internal processes, our intelligences, our ability to surprise ourselves.

The relationship that we develop with ourselves is the most important relationship we have. Nobody knows us better than ourselves. Or at least the information is here within ourselves, we just need to be open and willing to find it. Here are some ideas for allowing this process of coaxing out and trust the wisdom that is within us.

1. Trust in Healthy Relationships.

I feel that with the topic of learning to trust ourselves, we must not overlook the importance of having sufficient healthy relationships. Without these relationships, trusting ourselves too much may not be the best idea. The love from our relationships is a life energy that should not be lived without. It is these connections with others that helps to ignite our own creative natures.

Now although having healthy relationships helps to fuel our own creativity, these relationships are no way more important than the one we have with ourselves. It is important to trust the information of our healthy relationships. But if the guidance of these relationships goes against our own healthy desires, we may have to blaze our own trails.

group trust

2. Surrendering to Ourselves.

In order to allow the pieces of ourselves we cannot control to work in our favor, we need to give them a entrance into our conscious awareness. Constantly stuffing our senses with information will make it difficult for the wisdom of our bodies to get through to us. A healthy relationship doesn’t happen with ourselves when obsessing about this thing and the next. The space needs to be created for new impulses from our bodies to speak to us.

We need to slow down, take breaks, and practice relaxation in some manner. Surrendering can be a difficult thing to do since some impulses may fight to maintain our attention. But trusting that the process of our bodies will work better by practicing surrender makes it easier. We may get the fear of missing out on something which makes it difficult to let go. But what is coming next in our lives will be much more enjoyable and fruitful with the healthy relationship we develop with ourselves.

3. Regularly Communicate with Self.

Communication is at the core of any healthy relationship. The relationship we have with our own bodies is no different.

To communicate with ourselves means both talking and listening. If there are impulses that we don’t understand asking for our awareness, we can ask what they are seeking. That isn’t to say these impulses will give us an immediate and definitive answer. But over time our openness and willingness to listen will foster a healthy relationship with them. They begin to learn that we are a safe place to become known.

We can communicate with that which we cannot control in ourselves to gain understanding and guidance for living life as well. Asking ourselves questions can help coax our subconscious minds to seek the answers to our questions. Even after we have forgotten that we have asked them. Often times making these requests for help comes in times of distress. A willingness to trust and be vulnerable might be easier in desperate times. But we need not wait until times of great stress to have the support of this relationship. Regular respectful and sincere communication with ourselves, ensures that a trusting relationship will develop over time.

In this relationship we develop with ourselves, we can find ourselves, as well as the most important guidance we may ever know.

Trust Self

Well, that is all we have for today, and thank you so much for stopping in to My Life Experiment. What is written here has come from struggle and growth. We wish you growth on your path of learning to trust yourselves more deeply. If you enjoyed what you read then I would love for you to do a couple things for us.
  1. If you would like to help support this website by offsetting some of the costs of running it. There is a PayPal button below or in the right sidebar, depending on if you are viewing with mobile or by computer.
  2. Join our email list to Enroll in our Free 7 Day Impulse Negotiation Email Course!
  3. Share this article on your social media.
  4. Follow our Facebook page.

 

 

My Life Experiment

Welcome! We are Travis and Casey Hagen, the writer's and owner's of My Life Experiment. As recovering Individuals, we are no strangers to leaving behind dysfunctional ways of living. Over the years we have become adept at managing our intense mental and emotional worlds. Finding healing from the past, peace in the present and new ways to bring about success for our futures. We promote Healthy Life Experimentation Principles for connecting with ourselves, our relationships, and finding healthier ways of bringing about success in our lives. Stick around and pick up what we have learned. You will not be disappointed.

To Support My Life Experiment.
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