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7 Powerful Questions to Get Unstuck Instantly and Moving Forward Again

7 Powerful Questions to Get Unstuck Instantly and Moving Forward Again

“You will never rise above how you see yourself.” – Oprah

What’s holding you back from your desired levels of health, wealth, and happiness?

These 7 powerful questions will help you identify the obstacles and get you unstuck instantly.

1. What do you want?

Example using “Dave.” Dave:

“I want to be happy. I want to make $100K. I want to lose 20 pounds. I want to stop procrastinating.”

The gap from where you are now versus where you want to be creates frustration and inner turmoil. It’s like trying to go from one side of the river to the other side without a bridge. To get unstuck, you need a bridge to get to the other side of the river. That bridge can be you, a friend, a seminar, a book, a coach, a psychotherapist, etc.

2. What would you like to feel as a result of getting what you want?

Dave: “I want to feel alive and happy and live up to my potential. I want to feel deserving, good enough, and not guilty.”

If you feel undeserving, guilty, or not good enough, it means you have acquired faulty negative core beliefs from childhood. You need to uncover the earliest incident that caused you to not feel good enough, etc.

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3. Do you have the courage and confidence to go after what you want?

Dave: “No, I keep procrastinating. I’m afraid most of the time. I make excuses. I’m not meeting my sales quota at work. I’ll get fired if I don’t get my act together.”

Lack of confidence and courage means you don’t believe in yourself. Successful people allow themselves to fail because they know eventually they will succeed. To get on the path to success, you must have the courage to take risks to fail and then pick yourself up and do it all over again because success will come after a few failures.

Again, identify the negative core beliefs that hold you back from being courageous and confident.

4. Do you believe you deserve to get what you want?

Dave: “Yes and no. I want it so badly but a part of me says: ‘Who do you think you are? You’re never going to amount to much. Mom always said you’re not as smart as your brother.'”

Beliefs => Thoughts => Feelings => Actions

Dave’s beliefs… “I’m not deserving. I’m worthless. I’m not going to amount to anything.”

These beliefs create thoughts of… “Who do you think you are? You’re not good enough! You’re not meant to make a lot of money.”

Dave’s thoughts create his feelings of… “Ugh. I’m afraid to make the phone call to try to sell to the next customer. I’m a loser.”

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Dave’s feelings create his actions of procrastination and the need to soothe his anxiety with unhealthy foods. Procrastinating and eating junk reinforces his original beliefs that he is worthless and not deserving of success and or a fit body.

Dave needs to uncover the original incidents that created his negative beliefs that he is worthless, guilty, and a loser. He needs to overturn those negative beliefs. Then he will believe he deserves health, wealth, and happiness.

Like Dave, you become what you think about – a self-fulfilling prophecy.

What happened to you that caused the negative beliefs that, “I’m not worthy; I’m not lovable; and/or I’m not enough?” Were you bullied at school? Did you feel rejected and unloved when your sister was born because mom didn’t have as much time for you anymore? Did your parents divorce when you were young? These types of events can be the root of why you don’t love yourself unconditionally.

5. What are you afraid of if you succeed? What will not be in alignment?

Dave: “My sales quota will increase. I’ll have to work harder which means I’ll have less time with my kids. My siblings and cousins will make fun of me for being a ‘rich and thin snob.’ I’ll have to buy a new wardrobe if I get fit and I can’t do that because I’m broke. I’m afraid I’ll be teased for eating healthy foods.”

The consequences of success holds Dave back from taking action. He doesn’t want to lose the love of his family and friends and he doesn’t want to empty his wallet to buy new clothes.

We are hard-wired to seek validation through friendship, family, love, and belonging. Dave is stuck because he is afraid he won’t belong anymore if he were to become more successful and fit than the people he hangs out with.

“You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with.” – Jim Rohn.

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In order to move forward, find a new tribe where you are the smaller fish in a pond of big fishes. The big fishes will support you to grow to their level.

When Dave feels good about himself he will know what he needs to say to his family and friends so that he doesn’t feel abandoned when he achieves success and a fit body.

Dave needs a confidant or coach to get him through this zone of discomfort of finding a new tribe where he feels he belongs.

6. What are you afraid of if you fail?

Dave: “I’ll be humiliated if I fail. It’s easier to keep struggling financially and to keep struggling with my weight. If I lose weight and gain it back and/or make money and then get fired if I can’t keep up with the demands of a better job, my friends will be laugh behind my back and say ‘See. I knew he was going to fail.'”

Most of us have memories of humiliation. Our psyche doesn’t want us to ever experience that pain again. Dave is subconsciously afraid of the painful consequences and that’s why he is stuck.

To overcome fear of failure, you need to visit the parts of you that hold the memories of the original humiliating experiences. Your highest self of today can tell that part that you are lovable and enough. When that part feels heard and unburdens itself of the humiliation, you will no longer be afraid of failing or succeeding.

What humiliating and shameful experiences hold you back from taking the risks to go after what you want?

7. What do you need in order to get what you want?

Dave: “I need to feel that I deserve to make $100K and that I deserve to have a fit body. I need to let go of the negative old tapes I keep playing of my mother and sister criticizing me whenever I try to improve myself. I need to love myself and believe that I can do this.”

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If you can’t look in the mirror and say, “I love you. You are awesome. You are beautiful!” you will inevitably sabotage yourself when you try to move forward. That’s why it’s important to find and overturn your negative core beliefs.

footprint in sand 2 e-1

    How to discover and overturn your negative core beliefs so that you can move forward again.

    Dave’s answers showed you that fears drive most of your behaviors. Fears hold you back from expressing your true self and living to your full potential. Fears are likely rooted in negative core beliefs from old hurts that you probably aren’t conscious of.

    Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs shows that Dave is trying to self-actualize (become the best version of him) through skipping the self-esteem stage. He can’t skip self-esteem and go from love/belonging to self-actualization. He will achieve health, wealth, and happiness when he overcomes his low self-esteem.

    maslowabc

      To get unstuck for good and achieve health, wealth, and happiness, you need to have self-esteem. You will have high self-esteem when you heal the parts of you that hold faulty beliefs such as, “I’m not lovable. I’m not worthy. I’m not enough.”

      For example, when you were two-years-old mom brought home your baby sister and she stopped paying attention to you. You took on the belief that “I’m not lovable” because she wasn’t hugging you as much anymore.

      Then more rejections happened at school. You were bullied or someone you had a crush on rejected you. Negative experiences like these reinforced the “I’m not lovable” belief you acquired at two-years-old.

      In order to heal the “I’m not lovable” belief, be with that two-year-old part of you that is sitting on the floor, desperately waiting for mom to pick you up and hug you. Tell that part that you didn’t get hugs because mom was exhausted caring for the baby. Bring that two-year-old onto your lap and give her hugs and tell her that she is lovable and that she is enough.

      Now you have a new image of your two-year-old self. She’s got her arms around you. She’s no longer going to hold you back from your dreams. She’s going to give you the confidence you need to take risks to get to the next level of your life. Because you love yourself now, you will have the confidence and courage to overcome your fears and take risks to get unstuck.

      What negative core beliefs are you holding onto that are keeping you stuck? If you identify what they are through the answers to these 7 questions, you will overturn the faulty beliefs, feel better about yourself, and get unstuck instantly and moving forward again. photo credit: JIGGS IMAGES via photopin cc

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      Last Updated on January 15, 2021

      7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

      7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

      The popular idiomatic saying that “actions speak louder than words” has been around for centuries, but even to this day, most people struggle with at least one area of nonverbal communication. Consequently, many of us aspire to have more confident body language but don’t have the knowledge and tools necessary to change what are largely unconscious behaviors.

      Given that others’ perceptions of our competence and confidence are predominantly influenced by what we do with our faces and bodies, it’s important to develop greater self-awareness and consciously practice better posture, stance, eye contact, facial expressions, hand movements, and other aspects of body language.

      Posture

      First things first: how is your posture? Let’s start with a quick self-assessment of your body.

      • Are your shoulders slumped over or rolled back in an upright posture?
      • When you stand up, do you evenly distribute your weight or lean excessively to one side?
      • Does your natural stance place your feet relatively shoulder-width apart or are your feet and legs close together in a closed-off position?
      • When you sit, does your lower back protrude out in a slumped position or maintain a straight, spine-friendly posture in your seat?

      All of these are important considerations to make when evaluating and improving your posture and stance, which will lead to more confident body language over time. If you routinely struggle with maintaining good posture, consider buying a posture trainer/corrector, consulting a chiropractor or physical therapist, stretching daily, and strengthening both your core and back muscles.

      Facial Expressions

      Are you prone to any of the following in personal or professional settings?

      • Bruxism (tight, clenched jaw or grinding teeth)
      • Frowning and/or furrowing brows
      • Avoiding direct eye contact and/or staring at the ground

      If you answered “yes” to any of these, then let’s start by examining various ways in which you can project confident body language through your facial expressions.

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      1. Understand How Others Perceive Your Facial Expressions

      A December 2020 study by UC Berkeley and Google researchers utilized a deep neural network to analyze facial expressions in six million YouTube clips representing people from over 140 countries. The study found that, despite socio-cultural differences, people around the world tended to use about 70% of the same facial expressions in response to different emotional stimuli and situations.[1]

      The study’s researchers also published a fascinating interactive map to demonstrate how their machine learning technology assessed various facial expressions and determined subtle differences in emotional responses.

      This study highlights the social importance of facial expressions because whether or not we’re consciously aware of them—by gazing into a mirror or your screen on a video conferencing platform—how we present our faces to others can have tremendous impacts on their perceptions of us, our confidence, and our emotional states. This awareness is the essential first step towards

      2. Relax Your Face

      New research on bruxism and facial tension found the stresses and anxieties of Covid-19 lockdowns led to considerable increases in orofacial pain, jaw-clenching, and teeth grinding, particularly among women.[2]

      The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research estimates that more than 10 million Americans alone have temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ syndrome), and facial tension can lead to other complications such as insomnia, wrinkles, dry skin, and dark, puffy bags under your eyes.[3])

      To avoid these unpleasant outcomes, start practicing progressive muscle relaxation techniques and taking breaks more frequently throughout the day to moderate facial tension.[4] You should also try out some biofeedback techniques to enhance your awareness of involuntary bodily processes like facial tension and achieve more confident body language as a result.[5]

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      3. Improve Your Eye Contact

      Did you know there’s an entire subfield of kinesic communication research dedicated to eye movements and behaviors called oculesics?[6] It refers to various communication behaviors including direct eye contact, averting one’s gaze, pupil dilation/constriction, and even frequency of blinking. All of these qualities can shape how other people perceive you, which means that eye contact is yet another area of nonverbal body language that we should be more mindful of in social interactions.

      The ideal type (direct/indirect) and duration of eye contact depends on a variety of factors, such as cultural setting, differences in power/authority/age between the parties involved, and communication context. Research has shown that differences in the effects of eye contact are particularly prominent when comparing East Asian and Western European/North American cultures.[7]

      To improve your eye contact with others, strive to maintain consistent contact for at least 3 to 4 seconds at a time, consciously consider where you’re looking while listening to someone else, and practice eye contact as much as possible (as strange as this may seem in the beginning, it’s the best way to improve).

      3. Smile More

      There are many benefits to smiling and laughing, and when it comes to working on more confident body language, this is an area that should be fun, low-stakes, and relatively stress-free.

      Smiling is associated with the “happiness chemical” dopamine and the mood-stabilizing hormone, serotonin. Many empirical studies have shown that smiling generally leads to positive outcomes for the person smiling, and further research has shown that smiling can influence listeners’ perceptions of our confidence and trustworthiness as well.

      4. Hand Gestures

      Similar to facial expressions and posture, what you do with your hands while speaking or listening in a conversation can significantly influence others’ perceptions of you in positive or negative ways.

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      It’s undoubtedly challenging to consciously account for all of your nonverbal signals while simultaneously trying to stay engaged with the verbal part of the discussion, but putting in the effort to develop more bodily awareness now will make it much easier to unconsciously project more confident body language later on.

      5. Enhance Your Handshake

      In the article, “An Anthropology of the Handshake,” University of Copenhagen social anthropology professor Bjarke Oxlund assessed the future of handshaking in wake of the Covid-19 pandemic:[8]

      “Handshakes not only vary in function and meaning but do so according to social context, situation and scale. . . a public discussion should ensue on the advantages and disadvantages of holding on to the tradition of shaking hands as the conventional gesture of greeting and leave-taking in a variety of circumstances.”

      It’s too early to determine some of the ways in which Covid-19 has permanently changed our social norms and professional etiquette standards, but it’s reasonable to assume that handshaking may retain its importance in American society even after this pandemic. To practice more confident body language in the meantime, the video on the science of the perfect handshake below explains what you need to know.

      6. Complement Your Verbals With Hand Gestures

      As you know by now, confident communication involves so much more than simply smiling more or sounding like you know what you’re talking about. What you do with your hands can be particularly influential in how others perceive you, whether you’re fidgeting with an object, clenching your fists, hiding your hands in your pockets, or calmly gesturing to emphasize important points you’re discussing.

      Social psychology researchers have found that “iconic gestures”—hand movements that appear to be meaningfully related to the speaker’s verbal content—can have profound impacts on listeners’ information retention. In other words, people are more likely to engage with you and remember more of what you said when you speak with complementary hand gestures instead of just your voice.[9]

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      Further research on hand gestures has shown that even your choice of the left or right hand for gesturing can influence your ability to clearly convey information to listeners, which supports the notion that more confident body language is readily achievable through greater self-awareness and deliberate nonverbal actions.[10]

      Final Takeaways

      Developing better posture, enhancing your facial expressiveness, and practicing hand gestures can vastly improve your communication with other people. At first, it will be challenging to consciously practice nonverbal behaviors that many of us are accustomed to performing daily without thinking about them.

      If you ever feel discouraged, however, remember that there’s no downside to consistently putting in just a little more time and effort to increase your bodily awareness. With the tips and strategies above, you’ll be well on your way to embracing more confident body language and amplifying others’ perceptions of you in no time.

      More Tips on How to Develop a Confident Body Language

      Featured photo credit: Maria Lupan via unsplash.com

      Reference

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