Overcoming yourself

Overcoming yourself

In this week’s Success Newsletter, I would like to reveal how to overcome yourself.

First a quick update:

“Be patient – Blog responses”
When adding comments to my blog, please allow me time to respond as I choose to make time to write thoughtfully and properly, so always please check back in the blog for my response.

“Loss of innocence  – Why child actors suffer so much”
Corey Haim, Andrew Koenig, River Phoenix, Freddie Prinze, Brad Renfro – each one former child actors who suffered tragic deaths as adults from drugs, depression or suicide. Watch the TV interview I give to the Morning show revealing the factors and reasons so many child actors end up with destroyed lives as adults.

Now, let’s talk about ways to overcome yourself.

The dictionary defines “overcome” as “to get the better of in a struggle or conflict; conquer; defeat: and “to prevail over (opposition, a debility, temptations, etc.)

So what does it mean to “overcome oneself”?

It refers to conquering and defeating that part of you that stops you from setting, striving and achieving your goals; that part of you that stops you from enjoying life and living it to its fullest.

So what is that part of you that would want to stop you or sabotage your success?

In my Success Newsletter Dealing with emotional vampires , I revealed the five types of emotional vampires in our life; those people that can drain our energy, bring us down and destroy our confidence; the people who are like parasites in our life.

The response to that Newsletter has been truly overwhelming with many people relating, their story on my blog and seeking help and advice.

Interestingly, there are two key pieces of advice I give:

  1. How to handle the other person, the emotional vampire
  2. How to handle and release the negative emotions in oneself (that might also be the result of the work of the emotional vampire)

One lady “Sadness” wrote on my blog:

“I’m living at home with my 92 year old mother and we had another horrid fight this morning. I looked around at the shambles of my life and wondered why I feel so lethargic, so empty and hopeless, and why every interaction with her leaves me feel so drained. I realized that if it weren’t for my kids, I would be thinking of ways to end my life.

Then I started thinking, remembering.

For as long as I can recall, my mother has always told me how useless I am and what a failure I would be. Now her voice is inside my head, telling me the same thing, over and over again.”

And Susan wrote on my blog in response my Success Newsletter: Beware of immature men 

“Do you have any advice for a survivor of a long marriage to an immature, self-absorbed and violent addict? I want to get past my guilt at having stayed with him for years of abuse. I want to return to that confident, strong and self-loving woman I was at age 40.”

Both ladies have one thing in common – a part of themselves that thinks and feels that she is not good enough; in Sadness’ case, feeling useless and in Susan’s case, feeling guilty.

Sir Anthony Hopkins, the famous actor, who has been nominated four times and won an Academy Award for best actor in “The Silence of The Lambs” confesses to his battle with self-doubt and negative emotions:

“Self-doubt – and I’m loaded with it – keeps us grounded in a way. We’re not gods. But it can also be quite crippling. I have to actually boost myself against my inner nature, which had been for many years negative, destructive, all that stuff. I have to go against my own inclination and overcome. And there’s a resistance inside me that says, ‘Are you for real?’ Yes, I am.’”

The point here is that regardless of who we are or what level of success we have achieved, we all have self-doubt, we all suffer from some sort of negative emotion. And it is this or these emotions that become our saboteurs; they conquer us unless we conquer and overcome them.

Sometimes, we can push through and use our willpower to act in spite of them but ultimately, unless we defeat them, they defeat us by robbing us of our ability to act freely and to enjoy life and what we do and who we are.

John Edward Walsh, host of the TV show “America’s Most Wanted”, is an anti-crime activist, who has led and launched various campaigns including a non-profit organization to help missing and exploited children. John Walsh’s work and commitment led to the creation of the Missing Children Act of 1982 and the Missing Children’s Assistance Act of 1984.

But what drove John Walsh to do this? In 1981, John Walsh’s six-year-old son was abducted and murdered – his head was severed. John fell into deep despair and almost unbearable grief. One day John was speaking with Dr. Ronald Wright, the medical examiner in his son’s case. Dr. Wright noticed how horrible John looked and Dr. Wright said, “And you look like you’re contemplating suicide.” John responded with “What do I have to live for?”

Without flinching and with sheer conviction, Dr. Wright warned John Walsh: “You either let it kill you, let it break your heart and destroy you forever, or you try to make sure that Adam didn’t die in vain.”

Those words by Dr. Wright to John Walsh were the words that helped John overcome his own pain, grief and loss of purpose and hope. It was those words that gave John Walsh the inspiration and drive to overcome himself, turn his tragedy into purpose and to make a huge difference.

Mike Tyson, the former undisputed heavyweight champion and the youngest man ever to win the WBC, WBA and IBF world heavyweight titles, was bullied and beaten up at school before one day fighting back and thus learning to defend himself. Tyson’s ferociousness and drive came from a subconscious need to protect himself and from the feeling that he was always alone (Tyson felt he and his mother never really knew each other and his father abandoned the family when Tyson was two.)

Of course, not all of us, have a life-changing experience or an event that we can turn into purpose and life mission; some of us, like Susan who wrote on my blog, have to overcome guilt and others like “Sadness” who also wrote on my blog have to overcome feeling useless or not good enough.

So how do we do that?

First identify what is the emotion that holds you back. Is it fear, bitterness, guilt, resentment, shame, regret, feelings of worthlessness, hopelessness, anger or something else? I have also found, from experience with clients, that a lack of forgiveness is also almost always involved in the equation?  Who do you need to forgive? Yourself?

Thus, step two is to release the emotion and that is where the process of forgiveness enters. For “Sadness” the answer includes forgiving her mother for the horrible things she told her, reducing the time spent together now, and understanding at a subconscious level that her mother is wrong; there is nothing innately wrong with “Sadness.”

For Susan, forgiveness of herself is paramount; to forgive herself for allowing her husband to treat her so poorly for so many years; for not loving herself enough to end the relationship and walk away sooner.

The process may also require a kind of purging or release of the emotion. For example, Mike Tyson appeared on Oprah in 2009 and when he was talking about the death of his boxing trainer Gus D’Amato, Mike Tyson could hardly get any words out. He was truly choking on the words, barely able to breathe, and yet unable to cry. Mike was not only still grieving more than 20 years later, but he has probably not fully and freely cried and released the pain; deep down he is still a little boy full of regrets, pain and loss. Sometimes we are afraid to connect with our emotional pain because we fear it will overwhelm us. But when we face that pain, it dissipates, and we realize that the bulk of that pain consisted of our resistance to it. Yes, only when we are willing to face all of our fears and all of our pain, can we then truly conquer and overcome ourselves, regain our strength and power and be able to fully enjoy life.

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I wish you the best and remind you “Believe in yourself -You deserve the best!”

Patrick Wanis Ph.D.
Celebrity Life Coach, Human Behavior & Relationship Expert & Clinical Hypnotherapist
www.patrickwanis.com

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5 replies
  1. Avatar
    Mike says:

    Lots of stuff there – pain regret and most of all shame and fear
    Shame caused by pride and fear caused by abuse of others knowing it will come back to me

    Abused my wife except for physical abuse and infidelity. Pride is laced throughout my character you can call it arrogance

  2. Avatar
    Stephany says:

    So it’s either win or lose with yourself? That’s what I understand here, and it used to work for me as an idea, but I can’t manage that anymore.
    There’s a part of me these days that just doesn’t want me to be happy, so for every important thing I have to do, there’s a little voice in the back of my head insisting I don’t, or insisting I screw it up.
    So I find myself in situations, usually in public speech, where I take a long pause, to hear the voices in my head fighting”do it, you have nothing to lose” and “don’t do it, it doesn’t matter anyway”. Then even if I would have liked to do it, I’m too embarrassed because I stopped, and end up feeling even worse about myself.
    I honestly don’t understand why I’m so against being happy.

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