The Glass Delusion: how our illogical beliefs block love

The Glass Delusion: how our illogical beliefs block love

Attitudes

If you’ve been searching for “the one” or want to lose weight or do better in your career or reach any kind of goal, but haven’t had any luck, ask yourself this question: what’s really stopping you from success?

When you think of your dream or aspiration, are you flooded with negative thoughts? Do you not fully believe it’s achievable? Or perhaps you secretly fear that you’ll achieve your goal and then everything will be different.

If this sounds true for you, then you are suffering from limiting beliefs.

What is a Limiting Belief?

Limiting beliefs are those negative thoughts you think over and over and over again. They’re the ones that create negative manifestations in your life and prevent you from creating what you want most.

Your limiting beliefs tell you something is impossible and so it is.

Your limiting beliefs tell you that all the good men are taken, or women only want to date rich men, and so you manifest scenarios where they are!

limiting beliefs

The problem with these negative thoughts is that they usually seem so real that they act like a brick wall holding you in place. They are invisible obstacles holding you back from success, turning your life into a self-fulfilling prophecy. They limit our potential.

Are you suffering from the Glass Delusion?

I recently read a story that illustrates exactly how irrational our “beliefs” can be and the damage they can cause if we accept them lock stock and barrel.

During the late Medieval period, around the 15th to 17th centuries, according to the History of Psychiatry, a psychiatric disorder swept through Europe: The Glass Delusion. Many people believed that they were made of glass and were likely to shatter into pieces with even the slightest of contact.

Such a belief meant that people took great lengths to change their lifestyle habits, adjust their behaviors, and even avoid human contact so they wouldn’t shatter.

For example, a 1561 medical account describes a patient “who had to relieve himself standing up, fearing that if he sat down, his buttocks would shatter. This man constantly applied a small cushion to his buttocks, even when standing.” Another reported sufferere was the French king, King Charles VI, who refused to let anyone touch him, and even wore reinforced clothing to protect himself from “shattering”!

Charles VI, King of France, who suffered from the Glass Delusion.

Charles VI, King of France, who suffered from the Glass Delusion.

Now, if you’re like me, you probably find this glass belief comical since we obviously know that humans aren’t made of glass. It seems silly that people would modify their lives over such an irrational and misguided fear. However, this belief was very real to European people then and they acted in accord to their fears. (This story also illustrates how beliefs can spread like colds, which we’ll talk about in an upcoming post.)

However hilarious this story is, the Glass Delusion is not the only instance where our beliefs shape our behaviors. To this day, we are entirely capable of believing wholeheartedly in things that are not true and then, act accordingly.

The only difference between limiting and the Glass Delusion is that one centered on physical contact, while our limiting beliefs are centered on our emotions, relationships, goals and dreams.

Either way, these beliefs become so deeply embedded in us, we’re not even aware that they lurk in our subconscious.

Your limiting beliefs are no less irrational than the Medieval European’s glass belief, and they are preventing you from living your best life!

wine-glass-shatterHow to avoid the Glass Delusion

The first step to moving past these limiting viewpoints is to recognize that they are there.

So take a deep breath, and notice if any of these common beliefs sound familiar to you – especially when it comes to your beliefs about yourself as a Single and about relationships.

#1 – I’m Not Good Enough

Probably the most common belief that stops us in our tracks, both in our love lives and in other areas of life is: I’m not good enough (As in, “I’m not good enough to find love the way I am … If only I were better, I might find love.”) Variations on this theme include “I’m not young enough (As in, “How will I ever find a partner at my age?!”), I’m not attractive enough (As in, “Men only like women who look like Angelina Jolie  – or Women only want to date men who look like George Clooney”), I’m not rich enough (As in, “People only want to date someone who has money.”) or I’m not smart enough (“I need to be witty and wise on dates or I’ll never have a second date.”)… Does any of this sound familiar to you?

Basically, the belief is that “I’m not OK the way I am, and I should be different.” When you believe you’re not OK the way you are, you’ll tend to beat yourself up and feel discouraged and unhappy.

You’ll actually repel love away, because we all want to be around others who feel comfortable and content with themselves, not those who believe they’re not good enough and are constantly struggling.

#2 – I’ll Never Get What I Want

Another common limiting belief is “I can’t have what I really want, so I should just settle for what I can get.” This is a hugely common belief; many of us give up and feel resigned to our lot in life without making an effort to get what we really want.

If you buy into the belief that you can’t have your heart’s desire when it comes to love, you’ll probably accept whatever relationships show up, and stay with people who are not good matches for you. You may spend years, even decades, feeling disappointed with your love life and wishing things were different.

When you think you have to settle for what you can get, you’ll probably be afraid to take risks and try something new. When you believe you can’t have what you really want, it may feel too painful to even ask what you really do want. Without a clear vision, you’ll find it very challenging to manifest your dreams.

#3 – I’ll Only Wind Up Hurt … Again

If you’ve made it to adulthood, which obviously you have, you’ve probably experienced hurt, disappointment or rejection. If you’re like me, you’ve probably made a series of relationship decisions that resulted in multiple instances of being broken hearted. And then you convince yourself that you’ll wind up hurt, disappointed or rejected again, and that you won’t be able to handle it.

While you may be “getting out there” in the dating world, if you secretly believe relationships are dangerous and scary, you’ll avoid getting close enough to anyone to let love in. You may decide to play it safe and avoid dating and relationships all together, convincing yourself that you prefer the company of your dog and NCIS on CBS.

#4 – My Situation Isn’t My Fault

If only YOU were different, I could be happy. If YOU changed, my problems would go away. When you blame others for your problems, you keep yourself stuck in victim mode. By not taking responsibility for your part in creating the discomfort you are experiencing, you may feel that you’re “in the right” but you’re essentially handing over your power. If you’re quick to blame someone else for what’s wrong in your life, you reinforce your own helplessness. When we blame, we make the other person wrong and we make ourselves right… a surefire way to destroy intimacy and empathy in your relationships.

#5 – I’ll Be Happy When I’m in a Relationship

This is possibly the biggest lie out there and arguably the one that most of us believe. Surely if there’s someone who thinks we’re special, who wants to be with us and spend time with us, that’s a surefire recipe for bliss, right? Wrong. Somebody, anybody is not better than nobody. Don’t get me wrong, a relationship with the right person is a wonderful experience well worth the effort. But if you’re looking for someone to fill an empty spot in your heart, you’re asking for the impossible and will end up disappointed.

The truth is that no partner, no matter how perfect or charming, can make you happy all on his or her own. Happiness is individual sport. How you see yourself, the kinds of people you surround yourself with, the way you see you job and your place in society – all of these will impact your happiness in a way that no partner ever could. And this is great news. It means that you don’t have to wait for anyone, you can start working toward being happier right now.

#6 – Relationships Happen When I’m Not Really Looking

Most people hold the belief that true love should just show up when you’re least expecting it, and there’s nothing you can do to prepare for the love you want. It may seem that way to some happily married people because they never expected that the person who is now The One to be the one. That person didn’t come in to their lives with a business card saying “I’m The One — Happiness Guaranteed.” So, in retrospect, their meeting may seem on the surface serendipitous, as if it were all part of the mysterious workings of fate. But they were looking and they were open — if they weren’t, they would have never given The One a chance.

I don’t believe it’s possible to not be looking. To not look is to give up any hope of finding love.

If you have ever said I’d be open to a relationship if the right person came along, realize that statement doesn’t make any sense. How can you meet someone if you never put yourself out there (in an intelligent way, of course)? The One doesn’t magically show up on your door step, or at your office, or even in your yoga class, and decide to breakdown all the walls you’ve put up because you’re “not looking.”

If you were unemployed, would you sit around and magically hope that a job was going to fall in your lap while you were “doing something you loved,” like painting watercolors or watching Harry Potter marathons?

 

 

Now that you know how to identify limiting beliefs, you may want to take steps to eliminate them. My coaching programs offer many ways to free you from the constraints of negative thinking that block you from finding and connecting to the love you truly deserve. Don’t stay stuck with limiting beliefs that keep you unhappy, separate and disconnected from others.

Keep reading to discover the various ways you can take the next step.

Kiss Cam Fail Illustrates Relationship Doom

Kiss Cam Fail Illustrates Relationship Doom

Attitudes

The other day a friend alerted me to a video that was going viral – at a Chicago Bulls game, a couple is caught on a kiss cam arguing and a mascot comes rushing in to whisk the woman off. The video went viral as so many people thought the gaffe was hilarious. (See the end of this post for the video.)

I thought the video was pretty unfortunate for several reasons:

First: their behavior contains clear clues that this relationship is going to eventually fail. But not before they tear each other apart in the process.

Second: I can’t help but feel that most people’s reactions indicated a certain level of acceptance of their behavior. Thinking that romantic relationships naturally contain a certain amount of venom will set you up for failure.

If you’re interested in a Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious kind of a relationship, allow me to show you exactly what’s going on so that you do not fall into this same trap.

Relationship Doom Clues

The Gottman Institute analyzed 130 newlywed couples to identify top predictors of divorce. They came up with six key indicators of relationship doom: harsh start up, negativity (criticism, contempt, defensiveness, stonewalling), flooding, body language, failed repair attempts, and bad memories.

When I look at the video through the lens of these indicators, I can see this interaction exemplifies four of the six key indicators of relationship failure. More than likely the other two are displayed behind their closed doors.

couple fighting bullhorn2Harsh Start Up:

Within the first three second of the video, we see the woman realize she’s on camera and then harshly try to get his attention physically. His response is rather attacking. This is a classic harsh startup.

According to Gottman, when a discussion leads off with criticism and/or sarcasm (a form of contempt), it has begun with a “harsh startup.” Research shows that if your discussion begins with a harsh startup, it will inevitably end on a negative note.

Negativity:

After she punches him in the arm, he turns on her rather angrily. She responds with admonishment. Their entire interaction is negative.

Certain types of negativity if allowed to run rampant, are so lethal to a relationship, according to Gottman, that they are called the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. These include: Criticism (attacking a person’s character); Defensiveness (self-protection in the form of righteous indignation or victimhood, in attempt to ward off a perceived attack); Contempt (statements that come from a relative position of superiority displayed through sarcasm, cynicism, name-calling, eyerolling, sneering, mockery, and hostile humor); and finally Stonewalling (when the listener withdraws from the interaction).

While we can’t hear what she is saying, you can read her body language – if I were to guess, I’d say she’s engaging in Criticism and Contempt. His body language, on the other hand, is one of defensiveness.

Flooding:

When he reacts to her prodding so angrily, it obviously was “threatening” and thus stimulated an emotional reaction in the mascot who felt compelled to not only thwack the man on the head but rescue the woman. This is an example of Flooding.

Flooding means that your partner’s negativity – whether in the guise of criticism or contempt or even defensiveness – is so overwhelming, and so sudden, that it stimulates fight or flight. Eventually, this kind of pattern over time leaves a person shell-shocked or stunned.

A marriage’s meltdown can be predicted, then, by habitual harsh startup and frequent flooding brought on by the relentless presence of the four horsemen during disagreements.

TwoSamuraiBody Language:

I don’t think we really need to dissect the obvious, do we?

 

It takes time for the four horsemen and flooding that comes in their wake to overrun a marriage. And yet, says the Gottman Institute, relationship doom can so often be predicted by listening to a single conversation.

How can this be?

The answer is that by analyzing any disagreement a couple has, you get a good sense of the pattern they tend to follow. Over time, these kinds of interactions elicit bad feelings that continue to pile up until they drown the relationship.

The ironic thing is that these interactions are entirely avoidable.

So do yourself a favor. Don’t become this couple.

Once you find a partner who you love, do your very best to nurture the relationship in a healthy way. The behavior displayed by this couple is too often regarded at the “norm” – the nagging wife, the stonewalling husband… or worse, the angry or abusive husband.

This is why I stress so heartily to my community to do proper preparation while they are single before getting into a relationship. By enrolling in my VIP coaching program, Become Successfully Single & Relationship Ready, you’ll better understand how to get your needs met in a relationship and learn how to communicate your needs calmly, positively and constructively.

You’ll also learn how to avoid entirely a potential partner with whom your needs will never be met. It takes a lot of learning, unraveling, persistence, dedication and consistency to recognize your behavioral patterns and your attitudes – especially if you didn’t have good role models throughout your life. With the right kind of support, you can do this. This is why the rewards of coaching with me return a thousand-fold.

If you’re serious about co-creating a superlative romantic partnership, you need to enroll now. Click HERE to book an appointment today so we can discuss how my programs will support you in your goals.

 

Acceptance: You are who you are

Acceptance: You are who you are

Attitudes Self-Acceptance

Wherever you are on your path of self-actualization

Now that the weather has turned colder, it’s time to get ready for winter. On a deeper level, this is an opportunity to start preparing for hibernation, or the “dream-time” as I like to call it in my spiritual practice. This is the time when we start to go inward, literally and figuratively, to examine who we are, where we are and why we’re here.

This morning I was engaged with one of my more superficial fall rituals – swapping out my summer clothes for my warmer clothes – yet it always provides me an opportunity to reflect. As I was washing my tank tops and linen pants, I came across a few halter tops that I remember buying specifically to please my most recent ex-boyfriend. To him, despite all of my positive attributes, I was not sexy enough for him plus he had a particular obsession with women in halter tops. As I held them in my hand, I realized that I have never worn them since we broke up. In fact, I would never have purchased them in the first place, if he didn’t harp on me to dress sexier.

I then began to reflect on how else I sacrificed my Self just to secure the attentions of romantic flash-gordonpartners. Like the one time a boyfriend told me he would prefer me better if I had really short hair. I then had my curls all chopped off. Or the time this same boyfriend said that I would look better as a blonde (this was before I went completely grey). I then promptly had my hair dyed blonde, which destroyed my scalp and, coupled with my short-cropped hair, made me look like Flash Gordon.

This is all cosmetic stuff, I know, but the point is that I allowed myself to feel that I was not good enough. To maintain their attention and affection, I had to change. These actions were symptomatic of my lack of self-esteem. And over time, my unacknowledged resentment built up until my reactions to people who commented on my looks became venomous.

I mention this because all of my inner work these past five years has been about reclaiming myself. About stepping into my own power, and not sacrificing myself just because a romantic partner says so. This sacrifice is very prevalent in women in general — I see it quite frequently and is the primary reason why I always include self-esteem work in all of my coaching programs. Where, in your own life, could you be more accepting of yourself? Are you honoring your own path and being true to yourself?

Value Acceptance

Popeye as Zen master?

Popeye as Zen master?

On the flip side, I also see people demanding that their partners change in one way or another. It’s one of the biggest traps people fall into -thinking that if the partner could only embody this attribute or look a certain way, then that partner would measure up to standards and they would be happy. This is why my coaching programs help people focus on themselves, rather than trying to change others. We empower ourselves when we shift attention away from how others live, and place our awareness on our own lives. How can you let go of wanting to change others? What would happen if you were at peace with how things are right now? When we take the time to look within, it becomes easier to stay centered in who we are and accept, no matter what the path, that we are all essentially the same.

I hope that you too will get to this place of reclaiming.

 

Let’s Bust the Valentine’s Day Blues

Attitudes Courage Dating Dreams Fulfillment Planning Self Discovery Self Esteem Solutions

Back in the day when I was a relationship train-wreck, before I started to get my sh*t together about my self-esteem and intimacy issues, I used to despise Valentine’s Day, and all its reminders about romance and being in love and all those ads where pretty gals were surprised and delighted to be presented beautiful diamond engagement rings by handsome dudes. I used to hang black crepe paper ribbons in my work cubicle, wear all black, and regard the day as a day of mourning. I used to range emotionally from seething to despair around this time of year. I know I am (was) not alone – I talk to many singles now who regard Valentine’s Day as an unwelcome reminder of their “alone-ness” and longing for a loving connection. Continue reading

How to be successful in everything you do

Attitudes Courage Dreams Fulfillment Goals

 – including in your relationships

Over the course of my career, as a life coach and in the world of advertising, I’ve been fortunate to learn from people amazingly successful, and wise, in both the realm of their professions and in their personal lives. (Note: I define “success” here as achieving what matters most to you – not as some objective measure of outer wealth, accomplishment or achievement.) Observing people who are living fully on their terms and loving it, I’ve seen how they think, react, interrelate, and problem solve.  I’ve applied these lessons to my own life, and to those I coach.

I’ve seen these people not only engage continuously in life-supporting (and generous) behaviors, but also avoid certain negative actions and mindsets that other, less successful people habitually get lost in. Here’s an overview of 8 limiting beliefs and behaviors these people avoid: Continue reading

“Survey Says!”…dating & relationship statistics

Attitudes Dating Dating Skills Fulfillment Goals Planning Relationships Solutions Women

Because I am a research geek (I love surveys and statistics), I was cruising around the interwebs, looking to see if I could find any recent stats on Singles in the U.S. I found a site that I’ve now bookmarked, statisticbrain.com, just in case I have the urge to know more about how many people visit national parks and things like that. They did have a pretty cool table that highlighted findings from a survey chronicled in a book called Sex in America, A Definitive Survey. As you can surmise, researchers like clarity, even in their book titles. I’m summarizing the stats that I found super-interesting here – some of which I think you should consider as you map out your scouting strategies – and of course, Continue reading

How ready are you for change?

Attitudes Courage Creativity Dreams Fulfillment Goals Homework Planning Prosperity Self Discovery Self Esteem Solutions Success

Do you believe in your life vision enough to “go for it”, to take up that vision with both hands? All creative ventures, including the forging of our ideal life, begin a little at a time, where an idea may lead to another, snowballing and gaining momentum. But the creation of our vision has to start somewhere – we need to move beyond the sanctuary of our proverbial caves, the place where we may be safe and warm but yet stagnant. Our caves might be the debilitating self-doubts and behaviors that, while creating an illusion of Continue reading

Is your current relationship the right one for you?

Attitudes Dating Dating Skills Fulfillment Requirements Solutions Success

From The Chooser files, an assessment

The other night I hosted a webinar on Being the Chooser – a new paradigm for attracting the extraordinary.

(FYI: I also use the words Creator and Architect interchangeably for the word Chooser – it all refers to the same thing: taking the initiative to create what you want, taking full responsibility for your outcomes and making choices mindful of their long-term consequences…. In other words, think about what you want for yourself in your life. A fulfilling relationship? Success in your career? Financial serenity? Whatever your aims are, to get what you want, you must be the Chooser.)

Continue reading

10 Commandments of Attracting Extraordinary Relationships

Attitudes Dating Dating Skills Dreams Fulfillment Relationships Requirements Self Discovery Success
Just say no to "meh"

Just say no to “meh”

Interested in attracting the extraordinary? Not satisfied with “meh” (or worse, destructive) relationships? Congratulations – and welcome to Empowered Dating & Relationships, a new paradigm. I do not believe – not for one second – that we need to settle for anything less than the very best in our lives. I think that men and women alike can come together from this space of empowerment and vitality and learn to co-create relationships that are uplifting, exciting and Continue reading

Ladies, it is time to call out the power

Attitudes Courage Dating Freedom Fulfillment Relationships Self Discovery Self-Acceptance Success
wonder-woman

What would Wonder Woman post on Facebook?

As I scan all of the status posts on my Facebook page, I see so many women posting articles about men. Here’s a sampling of what I’ve seen over the weekend:  Seven types of men who will never marry. Nine types of women that men do not want to marry. Why women fall for bad boys. 10 ways to know you’re dating a real man. Creativity, madness and drugs. Does your dog love you back? Oh wait – sorry –  those two are my own. … Let’s move back to the topic, shall we? Continue reading