How much time do you spend complaining about things in your life? The time can be much better spent looking at what is good in your life. Your brain will give you what you focus on. If you focus on things to complain about, guess what? You will get more things to complain about. So next time you start to think about complaining, stop change your mind and think of the positive in the situation, change your thinking, change your life.
Life Coaching! Where did it come from and what is it about? Like many new ideas, Life Coaching’s origins cannot be traced back to a single person or a single event. However, there is one book that has been credited with helping to get Life Coaching moving. W Timothy Gallwey’s “The Inner Game of Tennis” /1974.
In his book, Gallwey talks about an inner game and an outer game, the outer game against an opponent, the inner game against ourselves. The outer game is about the physical aspects of the game, the racquet, the rules, fitness etc. The part of the game that is often neglected is the inner game, played out in the players mind, their fears, their distractions, their ability to concentrate and be focused at the right time. Often at the highest level of sport the difference between winning and losing is which player has the “mental toughness” to endure to the end.
Australia’s recent tennis history is littered with many young professional players who failed to reach their potential. The most visible problem was often the distractions caused by an out of control parent. In other cases, the issues were less visible.
So how does the inner game of tennis apply to us in our lives? How often have you wanted to do something new, it may be a new sport, go for a promotion at work or even start a new business? How often have you managed to talk yourself out of it? “That’s impossible, I’m not good enough if it was a good idea someone else would have done it ”.
Everyone has an inner critic, an inner voice. The difference is the winner’s voices are generally looking for new solutions to problems not creating new ones. By rehashing old ones. They are focused on winning, not worrying about losing.
Albert Einstein once said “You can’t solve a problem with the same thinking that created it”, a Life Coach’s job is to help change the way you think about your life.
If you think you can and you think you can’t, you are right in both cases. Which do you choose?
“My toughest opponent has always been me” Muhammad Ali
Enough with this stuff already! What can I do about my pain?
In my previous post, I wrote that TMS means “Too Much Stuff” and that this is the underlying cause of chronic pain. In this post I will seek to answer these three questions:
• What is stuff?
• When did it start?
• What can I do about reducing my stuff?
Stuff is simply our reactions to things that happen to us, they are decisions we make to adopt a strategy to either do something or avoid doing something in any given situation. Quite often these strategies were first undertaken when we were young and have now become habitual and unconscious. However we are making these decisions and adopting new strategies day in and day out, but rarely do we review old strategies, the result is we can sometimes get different reactions to the same situation, worse still our brain can try to adopt two or more different strategies at the same time, the result is often confusion or worse.
Have you ever been in two minds as to what to do in a given situation? Should I do this or should I do that, or suddenly a third option may come to mind. This can be less of a problem when you have the time to sort through it, but often in our busy schedules, we don’t have the time so we adopt the strategy of “I’ll deal with it later” Imagine what happens in our busy lives when we have hundreds of these small often conflicting strategies running around in our heads, first confusion, then overwhelm and eventually chronic pain.
So, when is it that our stuff starts? The answer is quite simple when we are born. As children, we begin to react to our environments and start to make decisions about how we will respond to a given situation. When the same situation occurs again we will often do the same thing that has worked for us in the past. Eventually, when we have done it enough times it becomes a habit.
The problems start when behaviour that was appropriate as a child continues into our adult life. We have all seen grown adults in a stressful situation behaving like children, this is because they haven’t developed a new strategy for dealing with that situation or they adopt the strategy they first learnt as a child.
What can we do about reducing our stuff? There is a collective belief that we cannot change these behaviours, the old adage you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. There is nothing further from the truth, the new science of neuroplasticity teaches us that our brains are forever changing and adapting. Voytex Pain Solution utilizes this fact in the “Retrain your Brain out of Pain” program.
The first step out of chronic pain is through acknowledgment of stuff. Firstly, that our stuff is playing a part in causing our chronic pain. The second is actually acknowledging that stuff is keeping you in overwhelm and as a result in pain. A teacher of mine once said that 65% of our stuff can be cleared just by becoming consciously aware of it. The realisation that one small decision made in the past had an impact on your pain in the present can be the most profound moment of learning. The beauty of doing this during the course of a Voytex Pain Solutions session is that you have the opportunity to acknowledge the past and make a decision to create a new way of dealing with any given situation that is better suited to your current life.
In your very first session of the “Retrain your Brain against Pain” program, we start to uncover some of the hidden stuff that is holding you in pain. The majority of my clients notice changes in what they are able to do after the first session. Each section of the program builds on the previous one, working towards reducing your stuff to the point that your body and mind are no longer in overwhelm. As each conflicting strategy is uncovered, the level of stress in your body reduces, as does your pain.
The answer to getting rid of chronic pain is simple enough, get rid of your stuff to get rid of your pain.
TMS means “Too Much Stuff”
TMS is an acronym that has long been associated with chronic pain. The term was first used by a leader in the treatment of chronic pain, John E. Sarno MD. He was the first to propose a diagnosis for chronic pain calling it Tension Myoneural Syndrome. With a new understanding, it has now been updated to The Mind-body Syndrome. Both these terms are somewhat ambiguous and can leave some people confused as to what it actually means. I have applied my own meaning to the acronym in order to demystify it.
“Too Much Stuff”.
What do I mean by “Stuff”, quite simply it is the stuff of life. All the everyday things that happen to us, some big others small. It could be an argument with our partner or spouse, the pressures of maintaining a work-life balance, dealing with traffic, any number of things. Over time these things build up in our system, on their own they are seemingly small and insignificant, but just as an avalanche starts with a single snowflake. We set them aside with an internal note “I’ll deal with that later”.
Eventually, something has to give. Eventually, there is “Too Much Stuff” your mind and body become overwhelmed.
Have you ever noticed that the pain appears at times of stress, or at times when we have a lot going on in your life? Over time the pain can cause its own stuff, it’s own internal pressures and becomes a self-sustaining loop of pain and “stuff”.
In his post “What is pain” Professor Lorimer Mosley explains a new understanding of pain. “We now think of pain as a complex and highly sophisticated protective mechanism”. He goes on to say “….recovery from persistent pain is seldom a quick fix, but requires a journey of patience, persistence and good coaching.” The build-up of stuff in our systems, to the point of overwhelm, is perceived by our minds as a threat thus triggering the pain mechanism.
When I begin working with clients it opens them up to the realisation that life has often tapped them on the shoulder a number of times, as if to say stop. There have been warning signs that have gone unheeded. Eventually, what is needed is a sledgehammer (chronic pain) to slow you down and to get your attention.
My program “Retrain your Brain against Pain” works in three ways, Firstly to reduce the amount of “stuff” that has built up in your system, thus reducing the overwhelm and as a consequence the pain.
Secondly, we work on strategies to prevent the build-up of “stuff” re-occuring, you learn that the pain is a warning to slow down, just as an electrical fuse in a house trips when the electrical circuit is overloaded.
Thirdly we give your life a new direction, away from pain and towards the life you were born to live.
There is an old saying that you can’t teach an old dog new trick. The new science of neuroplasticity suggests otherwise, it has now been found that our brains are wonderfully adaptable and are not fixed in their function and structure. The possibilities of what we can achieve are only limited by our imagination and our drive to achieve them. We can look at an obstacle in our lives in two ways, the first as an excuse not to go on, the other as an opportunity to learn something new, which would you choose.