How to develop self-empowerment

How to develop self-empowerment

Fulfillment Solutions Uncategorized

Self-empowerment for happier relationships

Empowered CoupleYou may not realize this but your relationships are a reflection of your true personality and character. They correspond to your inner attitudes, beliefs and feelings about yourself. Relationships don’t necessarily reflect the person you want to be or pretend to be – they reflect back to you the person you really are at this moment. The people you choose to spend time with are a reflection of the person you really are inside.

So to co-create happy, healthy partnerships as well as lead a kick-a$$ life, you will need to take steps to become empowered, which we’ve previously defined as the process of becoming powerful.

Here are some starting points to think about, gleaned from the work of Abraham Maslow, a famed American psychologist who specialized in self-actualization. Self-actualization is defined as “the desire for self-fulfillment, namely the tendency for [the individual] to become actualized in what he is potentially.”

Experience life fully and vividly. The process of empowerment begins when we start to become completely immersed in our experiences – living fully, vividly and selflessly.

Be honest in your choices. Life is a series of choices. If you’re truthful with yourself as you make your choices, then you’re on the way to being empowered.

Be aware of your uniqueness. Realize that you are unique and begin to learn how to express yourself and your feelempowered super manings truthfully, rather than reflect what you believe others want you to do or say.

Act with integrity. You always have a choice in whatever situation you face so act in a way that is honest and true to your nature. As you take responsibility for your own actions, you will move toward empowerment.

Be courageous. Learn to expand your horizons and let go of the familiar. Learn to not be deterred by fear and adversity. Learn to follow your heart and stand up for what is right. Learn to face adversity with dignity.

Focus on continual self-development. Self-empowerment is not an end-state, rather it is a process.

Let go of your ego defenses. Learning to let go of troublesome defense mechanisms that you may use to protect yourself is a necessary part of this process. For example, if you have a tendency to blame your partner for your frustrations or to become angry when things don’t go your way, learn to react in a constructive manner.

Develop trust. This can be a difficult and lengthy process but without it, empowerment and happiness is not possible.  To develop trust, aim to:

  • Be Open:  In the sharing of information, ideas and thoughts.  When appropriate also share emotions, feelings and reactions.
  • Share and Co-operate:  Share resources and knowledge with others to help them to achieve their goals.
  • Be Trustworthy:  When other people place their trust in you, do your best to provide positive outcomes.
  • Be Accepting:  Hold the values and views of others in high regard.
  • Be Supportive:  Support others when necessary while also recognizing their strengths.

Learn to understand your strengths and limits. Identifying these will enable you to build on your strengths. If you face problems that are truly beyond your capabilities, seek help.  Empowered people know their own limits and have no problems with asking for help or guidance.

Develop confidence. Confidence acts as one of the greatest motivators or most powerful limitations to anyone trying to change their behavior and become more empowered.  Most people only undertake tasks that they feel capable of doing and it takes great effort to overcome a lack of confidence.  Self-empowerment involves people constantly challenging their own beliefs and what they are capable of undertaking.

 

… I know all of this sounds simple at first glance yet the real magic exists in the HOW to get there, which is what my coaching programs give you. What’s more, as you move forward toward self-fulfillment via my coaching programs, you’ll learn how to self-manage and course correct when faced with challenges that threaten to derail you.

To learn more about how you can liberate yourself and become an Empowered Single, please email me to schedule a no-cost 45 minute breakthrough session.  (If you qualify).  Email me by clicking HERE.

The Empowered Single: An urban legend?

The Empowered Single: An urban legend?

Self Discovery Self-Acceptance Uncategorized
We're no mythological creature...

We’re no mythological creature…

Know what to look for when searching for the Empowered Single

Myths and fables have been around since our ancient ancestors sat around campfires and spun legendary stories about people or things that exist only in the imagination. Fortunately, an Empowered Single is not an urban legend or fairy tale, like a unicorn or dragon. Empowered Singles exist. They do! And I’ve seen them in their natural habitat.

They’re actually not hard to find – empowered singles share some common qualities*. Here’s how you can easily spot one:

  • They possess a positive self-image with high levels of self-acceptance and acceptance of others – there’s no shame in their game.
  • They can see life, circumstances, people and events clearly without over dramatization.
  • They have a well-developed and even quirky sense of humor that is philosophical rather than hostile. They can laugh at themselves but never make jokes that hurt others.
  • They possess self-knowledge and self-awareness, which is the ability to know thyself in all its facets and thereby know how others operate and then how to interact with them.
  • They intentionally live their values on a daily basis, knowing that their values form the foundations of who they are and who they continue to become. To be self-aware it’s necessary to be aware of our values, to critically examine them, to intentionally live them, to use them as a guide as we make the best choices in any situation and to accept that our values may be different from those of others.
  • They’ve identified their Life Visionand Life Purpose which reflects what they long to bring into the world and points them in the direction they want to move in.
  • They set goals that reflect their values so they can take charge of their lives and move confidently in the direction of their dreams.
  • They understand the hidden science of Cause and Effect, knowing that what they reap what they sow. They are self-starters, responsible for themselves, and own their behavior.
  • They tend to be serene, characterized by a lack of worry, and retain dignity amid confusion and personal misfortune, all the while remaining objective.
  • They resist conformity. They determine their own behavior and have their own views on people and events. Because they take an independent view, they can see situations and problems more objectively and consequently they tend to be creative and make valuable contributions to society.
  • Their intimate relationships with specially loved people tend to be profound, sincere and long-lasting, rather than superficial. They respect others’ individuality and feel joy at another’s success.
  • They are motivated to continual growth and tend to be inner-directed.
  • They use positive and active language, knowing that their self-image is reflected in the words that they use.  (For example, saying “I should” or “You should” behave in a certain way implies passivity and detracts from being in control and taking responsibility.)

empowered woman on grassNow that you know what to look for, perhaps you can start discerning who is empowered and who is not when you’re scouting, screening and sorting potential friends and romantic partners.

Maybe you can even do a little self-evaluation by taking the empowerment assessment featured in the next post.

And finally, remember that birds of a feather fly together so maybe now is a good time to be a member of my Empowered Singles nation – enroll HERE.

 

*Please know that I’m not making this sh*t up – Abraham Maslow, a famed American psychologist, made his career proving that humans are not blindly reacting to situations, but trying to accomplish something greater. He studied mentally healthy individuals (instead of people with serious psychological issues) and concluded that empowered or self-actualizing people indicate coherent personalities (relating to the unique patterns of experience and action that make each of us who we are) and represent optimal psychological health and functioning. He also proved that all the individuals he studied had similar personality traits. These are the traits I list above.

Ask the Coach: only socializing to find a date?

Ask the Coach: only socializing to find a date?

Ask the Coach Community Special Events Uncategorized

Coach Linda, I read the info on the Empowered Singles support group, where you said this event is not about mindless socializing or to find a date. Isn’t not wanting to be alone the reason people mingle, date, marry, etc.? And what is wrong with Socializing to find a date? When women make comments like this is probably the reason a lot of men are not attending meet ups. Dating is difficult for many men like myself because I work in an environment of mostly men and don’t have the opportunity to meet a lot of women. And then, men are expected to initiate the process. But when I think about it I guess only men can give men good advice on attracting women. Women will say something stupid like “Just be yourself” well I am being Myself and I am still single. ~ Michael*

Michael, this is a great email and there’s so much in it that I’d like to talk about, so thank you for giving me this opportunity.

First, I hear your concern and your need to be in an environment where you can find a potential partner. That seems to be your top priority, am I right? While yes it’s true that the only way to find a potential partner is to socialize, when we socialize only to find a date, we’re setting ourselves up for frustration and disappointment. Here’s why.

National Epidemic: The Isolated Single

Friends vintageSingles need to consciously expand their support community and network to lead a life they love – a single relationship, no matter how compatible, cannot meet all of our emotional and social needs. This is especially important in today’s world because we are such a mobile society, with many people living and working away from where they grew up. The number of people who live alone has increased since 1960 and many of those tend to live isolated social lives. Check out my blog posts on loneliness and isolation and the many benefits of friends HERE and HERE.

Plus, the complexities of any relationship – whether it’s a partner, family member, friend – can prove challenging. If you are NOT learning how to relate with friends and family or even strangers, then you can expect this skill deficit to continue when you are in a love relationship. I consider our social network to be our own personal learning laboratory.

On top of that, many successful couples have found the love of their lives via their social network (despite the illusion that bars and generic singles events offer us opportunities to connect on an authentic basis, less than 10% of happily married couples found their partner at a bar). Finding the relationship you’re looking for in these setting is possible but not very likely. When you have a robust social network, such as the one I am building with the Empowered Singles support circles, more than likely these people (and the people that they know) share the same values, goals and/or passions. This Empowered Singles community will offer a level of mutual support and involvement in each other’s lives.

Friends vintage2While Empowered Singles Circles are not intended to facilitate and promote opportunities to ask people out on dates, chances are that sparks will fly among members, especially as they get to know each other over time and bond. I’ve seen this happen hundreds of times in my own life (when I was living in New York).

Even if you don’t meet the kind of potential partner you are looking for, you can still form friendships and network. You could probably even form professional relationships, which would only enhance your career and finances. Not only that, your new friends can be your best scouts – people that you would want for friends are more likely to know someone who would be a great match for you.

I would encourage you to not look at socializing solely as a “meet market” – this viewpoint will only lead to disappointment if the setting doesn’t have the woman you’re looking for. Have fun, make friends, and by living a life that is fulfilling and interesting to you, you will attract the people you want into your life.

Empowered Singles Circles will Increase Your Happiness

In addition!! My Empowered Singles Circles are support group events, where each participant will be able to talk about the issues, challenges and joys of being a single in today’s digital age. And fancy this: Research suggests that the happiest people have twice as many substantive conversations, and engage in much less small talk, than the unhappiest.  Matthias Mehl, a psychologist at the University of Arizona who published a study on the subject, proposed that substantive conversation seemed to hold the key to happiness for two main reasons:

  • human beings are driven to find and create meaning in their lives, and
  • we are social animals who want and need to connect with other people

“By engaging in meaningful conversations, we manage to impose meaning on an otherwise pretty chaotic world,” Dr. Mehl said in an article in the New York Times. “And interpersonally, as you find this meaning, you bond with your interactive partner, and we know that interpersonal connection and integration is a core fundamental foundation of happiness.”

The happiest person in the study, based on self-reports about satisfaction with life and other happiness measures as well as reports from people who knew the subject, had twice as many substantive conversations, and only one-third of the amount of small talk as the unhappiest, Dr. Mehl said. Almost every other conversation the happiest person had — 45.9 percent of the day’s conversations — were substantive, while only 21.8 percent of the unhappiest person’s conversations were substantive.  

Yeah Buddy! Just Say No to Mindless Socializing!!!

Socializing & the Importance of Social Skills

Second, Michael, you say that women tell you that you should be yourself and yet, while you are yourself, you’re still not finding the love of your life. To be honest with you, you may need to do a little soul searching with that statement. I never advocate for people misrepresenting themselves just to woo a partner yet I’m curious about how you’re showing up in the world. I’m not talking about your likes or dislikes or even your values. I’m talking about things such as attitude and people skills.

For example, think about these questions:

  • Are you always negative, complaining, blaming, and being the victim?
  • How are your social or people skills, such as listening deeply (vs. listening just so you can share your own opinions), collaborating (as opposed to demanding everything be done your way), and resolving conflict in a respectful way?
  • How receptive are you to feedback… or do you react defensively?
  • Do you trust others or are you suspicious/guarded?
  • Do you actively value and appreciate others?
  • When challenging events befall you, do you feel cheated in some way?
  • Do you lack confidence to talk with others, even on a neutral plane?

Embrace Your First Impression

Getting a date hinges on first impressions so think about your appearance. I’m not saying you need to look like George Clooney but do you take care of yourself or do you look like you’re one Happy Meal away from a coronary? Do you take the time to dress neatly or do you look like you just came back from an Australian walk-about? I know this is going to seem really harsh, but studies have shown that regarding a first impression, everything counts.

The fact is that when you first meet a person, he or she makes a judgment about you in approximately four seconds, and his/her judgment is finalized largely within 30 seconds of the initial contact. In a survey of the members of the American Personnel Consultants, members generally agreed that they made their decision to hire or not to hire a person within 30 seconds of the first meeting, Obviously we’re not talking about job interviews here but these details are relevant.

You see, you could go to 365 singles events a year, but if you have no support community, your people skills suck, and you’re not making a powerful first impression, chances are you will be stay single.

Smash this Myth: Women Don’t Approach Men

Third – regarding the belief that women expect men to make the first move – again I’d encourage you to examine that belief to see if it is 100% true. One of the most recurring complaints that I hear from men is that women don’t approach enough. Many, many guys, especially ones who are more socially inexperienced or who deal with acute social anxiety, regularly lament that men are expected to do all the hard work when it comes to trying to start a relationship and wish women would help out by being willing to make the first move.

The truth is that women have become far more empowered to make the first move. They do it all the time. It just seems less significant compared to the many men who shotgun their dating approach. Other times they get brushed off by the men because they’re not the women those men want to approach them.

Then, there are the times when guys don’t recognize that someone is trying to make the first move. More often than not the way women approach men they’re interested in doesn’t match up with how they picture the approach going.

But realize this:  personality matters. It matters……a lot. Most women would pick an average looking guy with a great personality and sense of humor over a hot guy who lacks in those areas. I can absolutely personally attest to that statement.

However, it’s important to realize that all of us get really anxious about approaching people we find attractive, thanks to this deep fear of rejection. Here’s my blog post on this topic:  HERE  

Bust this Myth: Men Don’t Show Up

FINALLY, I’d like to explode the myth that men don’t show up to Meet Up events. Most of the people who have attended the past two Empowered Singles Circles were men. The most recent event attracted 100% men. Now granted, these events are in their infancy and the number of registrations have been small compared to these singles dance events … but if I were to do a projection based on the current percentage of men vs. women, I’d say that these events are going to be havens for guys. Why? My gut tells me that these events are going to be low-pressure with no expectations that they must hook up or be in control.

 So, having explored all of that (whew, that was a LOT), you can see in more ways than one, it makes sense to attend these Empowered Singles Circles so you can build your social network to gain and hone your relationship skills as a way of preparing for, finding and keeping a successful relationship. If you live in New Jersey, please consider joining me for the next one.

 

* This email question has been edited to protect the privacy of the querent.

A spiritual partnership is merely a lump of coal that…

A spiritual partnership is merely a lump of coal that…

Dating Relationships Uncategorized

I know all this spiritual talk must sound esoteric mumbo jumbo but frankly I think everyone desires to be in a relationship with a conscious (i.e., aware) partner whether or not they overtly follow a spiritual path. By spiritual, I mean being concerned with the “higher” things in life, such as their own emotional, psychological and soul evolution.

Most passionate, committed and loving relationships are, indeed, conscious ones, showing a high degree of compassion, honesty, intentionality, communication, empathy and so on.

Despite this ubiquitous desire to attract a conscious relationship, and despite all the inner work that spiritual, or evolutionary, singles do, few actually get to attract such a ready-made partner into their reality right off the bat. I don’t want to sound like a big bummer because I don’t mean the situation is hopeless. I just mean that most people are diamonds in the rough and there’s a lot that can be done to co-create and sustain a high-vibrational or high functioning relationship. So let’s talk more about this.

Start with the Right Mindset
First of all, as I mention in pretty much every blog post, we need to continually unearth what’s going on with our experiences (rightmindfulness) because we’ve all become so adept at deceiving ourselves that even those who have the most ardent spiritual practices can fall into Dating Traps ( check some of them out here ). Or we fall into another trap that I like to call the Perfect Already Trap, where the spiritual or inner-looking single demands that his or her partner must have already attained Buddhahood, a state of perfect enlightenment. Therefore, it becomes even more important for us spiritual folks to become supremely aware of subconscious beliefs, and black or white thinking, that we unwittingly may still be carrying around.

Use the right tools
Contrary to popular belief, we don’t “find” our soul mate; we co-create our soul mate partnership through an equal exchange of energy, knowledge, compassion, empathy, and right communication. I’ve got a blog post coming up on the truth about soul mates but in the meantime, remember that some spiritual peeps may be farther along in the journey but some may actually be just starting their journey in earnest. And remember, just because someone calls him or herself spiritual that’s no guarantee they’re enlightened. I remember meeting a yoga teacher through Match.com who was not only an hour late for our meet up but behaved in a bombastic manner throughout the evening, telling me what to do, criticizing my body and not listening to what I had to say. Or an acquaintance who went to every spiritual workshop and weekend intensive but remained incredibly snarky, gossipy and unforgiving. So maybe a better evaluation tool is to observe people’s willingness to learn and connect with you in the process of dating.

conscious relationshipsSoul mate relationships may be co-created … but here’s how to increase your odds
In that spirit, today I want to make it easier for you to identify what a conscious person looks like by pinpointing typical enlightened behavior within a relationship, so that in your search for a spiritual partner, you don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater.

Overall, a conscious partner:

  • Is not looking for a trophy wife or sugar daddy; instead, they’re looking for natural, genuine and authentic partners
  • Provides a safe space for you to express yourself
  • Allows healthy emotional expression (including anger) and doesn’t expect you to be a Stepford Partner. In fact, a conscious person may even help you sort through what’s making you angry, to help you find the hidden gems called Your Needs
  • Knows how to authentically and deeply listen to you (and not listen in order to formulate a reply or rebuttal)
  • Makes you a priority without being codependent
  • Is fully committed to you and the relationship
  • Makes you feel unique and significant
  • Is open-minded, relaxed and comfortable with sexuality
  • Lets go of self-righteousness, and the need to control everything
  • Is comfortable saying “I’m wrong” and “I’m sorry”
  • Is equally ok with fully embodying both “masculine” traits and behaviors (proactivity, aggression, initiation, action, manifestation and movement) as well “feminine” traits and behaviors (nurturance, receptivity, love, compassion, connection, empathy), knowing in some way that these traits are not exclusive to gender
  • Doesn’t avoid conflicts and knows how to navigate tension to resolve disagreements with compassion
  • Has as top priorities good health, evolution and personal growth

Does that describe you? If so, then congrats – you are a spiritual partner!

While it’s true that finding a conscious partner may take some work (this is the quest for the Holy Grail, after all), I know that it’s possible. I’ve had the privilege to work with many conscious men who are looking for a committed relationship with a conscious woman and vice versa. They do exist.

Why are you not attracting a conscious partner?
What, then, keeps people such as yourself from attracting and being in a relationship with a conscious partner? After 15 years of working with people from all over the world, I’ve noticed certain patterns that prevent people from attracting a conscious partnership. These patterns or dynamics keep them stuck on a karmic, merry-go-round where they keep attracting the same type of person (dishonest, non-committed, unavailable, immature, etc.) or not attract any one at all.

Once the kind of deep inner work is undertaken to identify and transform these patterns, which is what my Empowered Relationships programs provide, the possibility of attracting a conscious partner and manifesting an extraordinary relationship becomes inevitable.

Up Next:
How to ensure you will attract a conscious partner.

Shy No More: Tips for Empowered Dating

Shy No More: Tips for Empowered Dating

Courage Dating Dating Skills Self-Acceptance Uncategorized

Last night I hosted a special teleclass on Empowered Dating for Introverts and judging by the fevered pitch of dismay I received from those who missed it, this is a hot topic. I thought I would share here the kernels of what I discussed, including a step-by-step process to help you (as an introvert and/or as someone who is shy) date to your strengths.

Before we get into strategies and tactics, let’s differentiate between Shyness and Introversion because the two are not the same. According to Psychology Today, Shyness is the awkwardness or apprehension some people feel when approaching or being approached by other people. Shy people often desperately want to connect with others, but don’t know how or can’t tolerate the anxiety that comes with human interaction. Introverts, on the other hand, have the interpersonal skills and healthy self-esteem needed for interacting with others yet feel most energized by time alone. Shy people want very much to be with others but lack the social skills and self-esteem to take a chance. Introverts seek time alone because they want time alone. At a party, you might see an introvert and a shy person standing against the wall, but the introvert prefers to be there, while the Continue reading

What are men looking for in a relationship?

Relationships Solutions Success Uncategorized

I’ve lately been talking with some women who are in a whirl over “how to understand men.” Some of them don verbal grenade launchers when they start talking about guys, while others wring their hands, urgently and anxiously trying to figure out the Masculine Mysteries.

When I’m coaching people, I generally redirect my clients’ attention back to themselves because I find that fulfillment is not about changing other people’s behaviors to suit us, or trying to figure out what motivates others. In my experience, fulfillment is about discovering Continue reading

Women ~ get your shields up … ?

Dating Dating Skills Relationships Uncategorized Women

Advocating for the safety of women doesn’t mean that men suck

Shields Up! (Is this what he meant?)

Shields Up! (Is this what he meant?)

The other day I posted to my Google+ account a clip by Louis CK (see here) in which he marveled at straight women’s willingness to continue dating men, considering that men are the leading cause of death to women. This post started to get some commentary from men who felt defensive, claiming that I was contributing to the problem because I was advising women to “shield up” by painting all men as Continue reading

Are you caught in a trap?

Dating Dating Skills Relationships Solutions Success Uncategorized

Register for all the major online dating sites – Check.
Go to singles mixers – Check.
Ask friends to help scout – Check.
Go out on a bunch of dates and come home frustrated and dismayed – Check.

What exactly is going wrong? If you’re like me, it could very well be that you’ve fallen into one of these common dating traps. Continue reading

Got self-esteem?

Attitudes Dreams Fulfillment Goals Relationships Self Esteem Success Uncategorized

Or, to paraphrase Sally Field: “I like me! Right now, I like me!”

Anyone who reads my blog posts, or sits in on my webinars, consistently hears me say: Know Thyself … and … Be Your True Self (<– 5 Essential Principles for Dating Bliss). The underlying thread here is that knowing yourself leads to self-acceptance, and when you accept yourself, you can be true to yourself, and not sacrifice yourself on the altar of desperation and self-loathing. (How’s that for drama?) You’ll make much better choices if you have healthy self-regard. This seems to be a “DUH!” statement but boy oh boy, our world is chock full of people who berate themselves, who are unaware of their sabotaging beliefs, and thus deny themselves their full potential. In other words, This Is A Biggie. There is no true success Continue reading

Ask the Coach: How can you help people if you’re single?

Uncategorized

Dear Coach Linda: Not to be rude, or offensive, but why would women take advice from someone who isn’t in a relationship and, even further, is on a dating site seeking one? I’m terribly vexed about this. Again, I do NOT mean to be an ass, I just find this to be very contradictory. — “Without Care”

Thanks for asking, “Without Care”. I appreciate the opportunity to talk about what I do and why I do it; I also appreciate your curiosity — and your vexation. It speaks a lot about your need for authenticity. First, just to be clear, I’m not a dating advice expert. In fact, I’m not a big believer in dispensing advice at all. I am, however, an expert in coaching the process of change and my past failures and struggles (and I experienced a LOT of Continue reading