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6 Human Needs - Tony Robbins

Roslyn Loxton - Friday, May 13, 2011

The 6 basic human needs

November 12th, 2010 // 11:42 pm @ Chuck 

Been listening to a lot of Tony Robbins lately and his talk on “The 6 basic human needs” really struck me, mostly because it just makes sense in so many respects. I wish some of THIS stuff was taught in school… anyways, let me half reflect and half share these interesting theories with you.

1. Certainty

All human beings crave a certain level of safety, assurance and predictability in our lives, for this is the foundation of our most basic behavior: survival. When things are VERY uncertain, we tend to be freaked out! Which causes us to reach for different vehicles of comfort such as friends/family, television, or alcohol. And once we’re at a level where we feel certain there are no more dangers, we can relax and actually focus on the other needs. So this is one spectrum where the need for certainty is entirely UNMET, hence causing nerve-wrecking stress and pain.

But there’s also the other end of the spectrum, where the need for certainty is entirely MET. Think about it, would you want to watch a basketball game if you already knew the score and everything that was going to happen in that game? Probably not, because that’s just freaking boring. Now everyone require different levels of certainty in their lives, for example my own need for certainty is very LOW compared to other. So if things get too predictable, I get BORED. Hence the reason why myself and many others like me seek our next need, which is in directly conflict with our first need.

2. Uncertainty

Another word for uncertainty is variety. We all need a change of scenery every now and then, watch a new movie, travel to a new country. For this is what makes life exciting because we DON’T know what to expect, but the uncertainty level is still tolerable enough that we know in the end the variety will bring us pleasure. Too much uncertainty will bring us fear, while not enough will cause boredom. So really the first two needs are pieces of the same pie, if my need for uncertainty is at 70%, then my need for certainty will only be at 30%.

3. Significance

Deep down, we all need to feel that we are important, unique, and special, and this can be manifested in many ways. One vehicle for people is by becoming high achiever, because having those distinctions makes people feel important. But along the need for importance, a poor vehicle some people use is by putting down other, for that makes them feel like they are better than another. Another popular vehicle is acting/dressing in a eccentric way, many people take pride in being different and unique for that’s what fulfills their need for significance. BUT if we strive for TOO much significance and uniqueness, we end up totally different than everyone else which violates our very next need.

4. Connection

We all strive for a level of connection with our peers, whether that be in terms of a friendship or intimate relationship. The core of all human connections are based on similarities or sameness with one another, but if we are too busy being significant we rarely feel connected or similar to someone else. Hence again, the need for significance and connection are sharing the same piece of the pie. If we our need for connection is NOT being met, we feel alone and disjointed from people. But if it’s met entirely, we no longer feel different or unique from other, hence losing our own identity and violating our need for significance.

5. Growth

Everything is either growing or dieing, there’s no in between. And human beings are no exception, we must feel like we are constantly growing in our lives. Many people’s goal is to reach a certain financial target, or style of life, but when they get there, they become stagnant. While others might envy what these people have or achieve, they themselves are unhappy because their not growing anymore. They’ve reached the plateau, and there are no more mountains to climb. But we all NEED something to strive for, something that’ll challenge us to grow and take our lives to the next level.

6. Contribution

Aside from ourselves, we all desire to make a difference and contribute to the greater good. In essence, Philanthropy is a universal need for everyone, it DOESN’T depend on the person, for everything must serve a purpose in the big ecosystem. So we as human beings all have a deep desire to contribute outside of ourselves, whether that’s manifested in the friendship circle, community, society, or country as a whole.

Great theory! Now what?

Well, becoming aware of these needs is the first step in our attempt to meet them. Awareness of these concepts alone will takes you out of the hypnosis of the daily grind, and really force you to evaluate your OWN needs. It’ll also help you understand why you do certain things so naturally, because it obviously fulfills many of your basic needs. What’s even more interesting is everyone will have different level of needs that they are comfortable with. Now does that make one or more of us right or wrong? Certainly not, because our level of needs are shaped by our own nature, life experiences, and circle. But like all things in life, what we need to do is find that perfect BALANCE between these conflicting needs, for THAT’S where true success and fulfillment lies.

Marriage Keeping it Simple

Roslyn Loxton - Wednesday, May 11, 2011


by Roslyn Loxton 11 May 2011

Relationships – Keeping it simple 

Label accurately -  Speak the same language

Articulate and Translate - what are you making that mean

After interviewing couples that have been married for 50 years or more, the common denominator in their marriages lasting is COMMUNICATION.

Communication is more then what many people think it is.  Communication requires skills that are not taught in our mainstream education process.  In fact we tend to pick up some bad communication habits along the way.

What I am realizing more and more is that when people in relationships have challenges with their bond/partnership they are so often unable to articulate themselves clearly, people stop hearing each others real meaning.  Communication skills are letting them down.  This can be just a little thing or it can lead to ugly costly divorce.  Costs are financial, physical, emotional and spiritual.

How do you put things into the right words, do you really hear your partners message or just the words, or maybe just the emotion behind the words, do they really hear and understand your communication?  Active listening is hearing what isn’t being said as well as what is being said.

How do you really articulate how you are feeling, what you are thinking and why certain things matter to you?

Look below the surface.  Look beyond the behavior itself.  Leaving socks on the floor is behavior.  Our behavior is only a small part of what makes us tick, underneath our behavior is a huge collections of things that drive our behavior.  Emotions, beliefs, values, self identity.  When we focus on behavior only, we may be limiting our focus to the problem only and limit our focus from stretching toward solution or ideal outcomes.  What we focus on grows.

Here are a few tips on going beyond the surface layer, beyond the behavior.  

Ask a lot of whys and be able to hear what isn’t being said by what is being said.  This is a deep listening skill that most people simply do not possess.  This is why having a professional communicator (coach or counselor) to assist you to articulate, translate and identify what isn’t being said will get you to a place of clarity quicker and with less emotional costs.

Tip:  Never make anything about blame.  How can I make you wrong?  I just want you to be wrong!  Instead, make everything about reaching an ideal solution.

Be humble and be supportive.  Two cute little words, with massive implications.

Be happy to say, I made a mistake or I misunderstood because, ego and pride can just be big concrete roadblocks that get in the way of love and ideal outcomes.

  1. Name the emotion.  eg Frustrated or Sad or Anger or Jealous or Disappointed or Offended
  2. Break that down further eg 
    1. Why is that emotion what I feel? eg, I feel misunderstood and neglected that’s why I’m sad
  3. What exactly was I expecting instead of what happened?
  4. Why did I have that expectation?
  5. What actually happened and what are you making that mean?
  6. What is our current situation?
  7. What is our ideal situation?
  8. What is in the gap anchoring us from moving forward and reaching our ideal situation?
  9. What are some actions we can take to start letting go of the anchors?
  10. How important is this end goal, this ideal outcome for me to achieve out of 10?

Label clearly (lunch or ham and cheese sandwiches)

Saying you are angry is a start and it is like saying you are sick or saying you feel bad.  This description is too general and gives no indication of what caused the feeling or what the necessary solution could be.  It is like saying, “I want a vehicle” there is not enough specific information about what type of vehicle or what it needs to be used for.  

Translate Accurately (what exactly do you mean?)

Often people translate incorrectly.  

Eg. Person A actually says, “You’re smart with crosswords” and means, “you’re clever, I really admire you”.  

Person B actually hears, “You’re not really very good at anything other then crosswords”. 

TIP for Translating:  Ask; is this what you meant by saying that?  Or Just so I am clear, what exactly are you making that mean?

The 90% below the water or surface level:  Expectations, our filters, values systems, belief systems, self identity, profile, love language, past experiences, fears, hopes, limits and boundaries are all playing a part in what drives our behavior.  


You might have an itch on your leg. (This represents what you see in the 10% above the water level - behaviour) 

Why do you have an itch? 

Because Mozzies keep bighting you right.  You thought you killed them all???  

Why does this keep happening, why do I keep getting bitten?

What you haven’t seen, there is a bucket of stagnant water hidden under a tree way down the back yard breeding mozzies (this represents the 90% hiding under the water surface - what drives our behaviour)  

We don’t see the bucket breeding mozzies because we are too busy operating up in the 10% area, reacting to mozzies.

You can keep scratching your leg and putting creams on it, but until you clear away that bucket of breeding mozzies from way down the back yard, the itch will continue to occur and maybe even spread to other parts of your body and start leaving scares and effecting other people/kids/family etc sharing your mozzie filled world.


What you expect from a marriage/relationship, the functionality.

What you expect to give and give up

What are your individual driving values?

What are your top priorities?

What are your limits and boundaries?

What are you individual and shared goals?

The seven deadly habits are criticizing, blaming, complaining, nagging, threatening, punishing, and bribing.

The seven caring habits include supporting, encouraging, listening, accepting, trusting, respecting, and negotiating your differences.

For Personalised Couples Coaching Contact Me Us Them

Your Project Your Own Reality

Roslyn Loxton - Wednesday, May 11, 2011

You Project Your Own Reality

May 9, 2011
by: Alison Skate - Personnel Development Solutions

Peace Love Joy

Our Reality is Projected from Within Ourselves

I’m having a timely reminder that people who do not want to change will not get the results they want if they are any different to the ones they have right now.

There is no guarantee that change will bring happiness to someone who doesn’t have it – but I can guarantee that change is needed.  Without change, an unhappy person is condemned to a life of unhappiness.  Unfortunately, there is occassionally a pay-off for misery, like sympathy, assistance from others that enables the unhappy to stay in a static existence of sadness and disempowerment, and extra attention from others out of concern.  Choosing to feel grateful, joyful and hopeful may result in all of that attention and support disappearing.

Carl Jung (psychologist & sociologist from the early to mid 20th century) says that what we project, what we see, is really a reflection of who we are.  If we look around and see all things joyful, things to celebrate, things worthy of laughter, that is because we have joy, happiness and laughter within us.  If we see misery, a lack of love, and judgement, that is because we feel miserable, unloved/unlovable and are either judging others or ourselves.

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (author of Flow) teaches that we have 2million bits of information presented to our senses at any moment in time.  If we were to pay attention to every bit of information we receive we would have a sensory meltdown! So we filter, distort and delete from those 2million bits of information through our internal filters so that we are only aware of 7 (plus or minus 2) ‘chunks’ of information at a time (about 156 ‘bits’).  What we choose to pay attention to, is what becomes our experience of the world.

There is a simple experiment which demonstrates that this is true.  Click on the link below and follow the instructions – count the number of times the people in white shirts pass the basketball to other players in white shirts.

What did you pay attention to?  What did you notice?  What didn’t you notice?  If you’ve watched this clip (under two minutes short) you’ll understand that you delete, distort and filter information from your consciousness.  Your reality was shaped by your focus and attention.

So what does this mean?  It means that you create your reality with your thoughts and your focus.  No one controls your thoughts except you.  Therefore you create your own reality.  If you are thinking “If I could only find someone to love me, then I’ll be happy”, or “If I can only get a bit of money, then I’ll feel happy”, or ”If I can only lose some weight, then I’ll feel happy” you are putting the responsibility for your reality (and therefore, your happiness) outside of yourself.  In actuality, no one has the power to make you feel happy/loved/worthy – you need to choose to interpret the world in a way that supports your desired outcome in order to achieve the results you would like.

I know that I can choose to feel sympathy and a desire to help when someone I love is creating a negative reality in their life - but nothing I do/say/give will help that person to change their reality unless they are willing to change their thoughts, their focus and their attention.

Focus in a world of distractions

Roslyn Loxton - Sunday, May 08, 2011

Modern life, with its technological advances and abundance of wealth is one of leisure and peace of mind. Right? Hrm. Well, no. We're busier than ever. Hold on. I got a text message... Ok. Where was I? Right. Distracted as ever. And, perhaps, more scatterbrained than ever. We're bombarded by extraneous stimuli at every turn. One sec. I have to take this call. Ok, I'm back. How do we cut through the noise? How can we filter the important from the trivial? And how can we regain focus and centeredness amidst the frenzy? This is what I... Sorry. A friend just Skyped me a viral video of a pair of twin toddlers baby-talking to one another. Cute. Anyway, this is what I explored in yesterday's blog post

The Scattered Mind: Finding Focus in a World of Distractions

by Mark Sisson

frustrationScenario time. You’re in the grocery store picking up the last couple of things for dinner. Pushing your cart through the small throng who also stopped on their way home from work, you weave your way through with the obligatory, alternating “excuse me” and “pardon me.” You fumble through your pocket for the list you’d scribbled last minute on a post-it. Hmmm… good sale on chicken thighs. The familiar ding of a text notification goes off with your partner’s reminder of one more thing needed from the store – spinach. You reach over and grab the onion you were looking for and go in search of the garlic. Annoying music over the speakers. Better check work email one more time. “Ooops. Sorry about that,” you remark after bumping someone’s cart. The person grimaces at you with a passive aggressive nod. Thanks. There’s the email response you were waiting for. Great, another meeting on the same issue. You’ll have to gather materials to email tomorrow for everyone. What else was on the list? Don’t forget to wash the whites tonight. There’s the garlic. Why is it necessary to waste more time on that project? Tonight is the night to fix the shutters. After dinner. No, after the kids are in bed. Man, that was a mother of a wind storm last week. It would be nice to have a free night for once. That Netflix movie has been sitting there for how many weeks? Maybe just cancel the service. Why bother? Checkout. Long line. Geez, that person has how many bags of Cheetos? Any good magazines while I stand here? Celebrity baby bumps – who cares? Next in line finally. Hmmm… didn’t know she was pregnant. Wait, the d–n spinach! Groan.

Anyone here identify? Hands? Yes, these days it’s hard to find anyone who’s not busy. Whether we’re young or old, single or married, parents or not, there’s plenty to juggle.Modern life, for all its many “conveniences,” has done little to alter the bottom line on the day’s schedule. Nonetheless, there’s a decided difference between the person who’s occupied with a task and one who’s chronically preoccupied in the midst of their obligations. Two peoples’ calendars might look the same, but their respective experiences can differ as much as night and day.

How many of us go through the day scattered, easily distracted by the extraneous details of our settings, overwrought by the mental chatter playing in our minds. In the immediate moment, we compromise job or relationship performance. We forget things. We make mistakes and have to take more time redoing whatever it is we messed up (like the shopping list). Our kids, partner, or friends clearly see we’re not “all there.” (So much for affirming those connections today.) We’re left, finally, with that burned out, fried, hollowed out, jangly feeling – you know the one.

Recently, experts discovered the “filter” in the prefrontal cortex that helps us block out those extraneous stimuli (and, yes, there’s a lot of that in our modern world). It’s the filter that helps us hone in on the person talking to us in a crowded room, that allows us to focus on our task in the midst of a hectic work site, that helps us remain directed on a quick shopping trip instead of getting sucked into every sale display.

As we age, this filter, well, faltersThe busier an environment, for example, the harder it is for the brain to resist absorbing the peripheral stuff. We’re, technically speaking, more prone to distraction. Age requires more patience and effort to focus in the midst of mayhem.

There’s an apparent upside to this age-related shift in distractibility, however. One study found that older adults – because of their typical declining pattern in attentional focus – were able to “hyperbind” information – unconsciously integrate “seemingly extraneous co-occurrences” and then consciously find patterns in this information later. As the study leaders noted, this ability can have a substantial – and rich – impact on “real world decision-making.” Because they encode this additional information, older adults have more to go on when making related decisions.

It makes sense, I think. In the “primitive” context, young adults were the doers, the generative group who did the majority of hard physical labor involved in hunting, gathering, building, etc. Focus makes sense in these activities. Older members of the tribe offered leadership and advisory perspective. Wisdom and creativity are honed by seeing the bigger, broader picture, by perceiving and bringing together both the obviously pertinent and, oftentimes, less expected but illuminating aspects of an issue.

Whether we embrace the “silver lining” or not, there’s plenty we can do to fine tune our filters in every life stage. As is nearly always the case, common age related patterns needn’t be absolute destiny. Biology presents the basic content and components behind our abilities, but intention – cultivated – largely determines the precision of their use. The more we challenge the many dimensions of our cognition throughout our lifetime, the more complex – and resilient – it will be. Study authors say the often recommended activities like learning a new language or playing an instrument hones our overall brain function.

Meditation, however, may offer an even more efficient means for “attentional training.” A small study showed that participants who practiced mindful meditation for eight weeks showed more control over their alpha waves, a particular frequency associated with the processing of sensory stimuli – what we feel, see and hear. Other research has confirmed the benefits of meditation for concentration, “executive functioning” like prioritizing and goals setting, and memory performance.

What’s more? Meditation can help the brain de-clutter itself and find clear space again. Given the chance to step back from the frenzy, people plagued by scatteredness realize it’s not really about the tasks themselves (which probably aren’t that different than other people’s to-do lists). Beyond the bustle of the occasional harried day, a scattered mind suggests a deeper disintegration.

Maybe it all started sometime ago in the midst of an overwhelming stretch – the birth of newborn, an insane time at work, the circus of hosting a big holiday. We worked ourselves into a flurry, darting from task to task, letting our thoughts go hog wild jostling for our constant attention. Somewhere along the line we got used to it in a dysfunctional kind of way. It was like it had to be this way. Except it doesn’t.

Meditation can offer the space for a reintegration, a psychic culling of the superfluous and gravitation toward what’s essential. If a scattered mind suggests a random, desperate piecing out of one’s attention, meditation’s core principle – centering – is about reassembling the far-flung parts and ordering them once again.

At the end of the day, it comes down to what your mother always told you: focus on what you’re doing. Shut down the self-talk. Commit to the activity at hand. Beat back the compulsion to check your email yet again. In more meditative terms, observe and let go of each distraction. When you’re out in a busy environment, let yourself hone in by letting the rest dissolve into the peripheral pool. Focus, centeredness – whatever you want to call it – is something to cultivate throughout our lives and something that, in turn, cultivates us.

It’s the state that allows for flow. Sure, not every moment of focus will bring on the rewards of flow, but the simple peace that comes from a slower, more deliberate pace is nothing to shake a stick at either. When the whirling stops and the frenzy dies down, there’s a lot more to appreciate in the moment than we may have noticed before.

Thanks for stopping by today. Let me know your thoughts on living in the “unscattered” moment. Have a great week, everyone!

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Marriage Mind Mapping

Roslyn Loxton - Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Roslyn Loxton - Thursday, April 07, 2011

Masculine and Feminine Energy

March 18, 2011 by Heather Yelland

Women, I have a few questions for you!  (Men, read on anyway as you may discover some things about your woman or daughters that help you understand them.) Have you ever consciously stopped to consider what energy you operate in from one day to the next?  I mean, do you hold a belief that you only “get things done” when you are going flat out, making decisions, solving problems, ignoring your own feelings and being somewhat “harsh’ in the way you deal with people?  Would you even know how to identify which energy you are operating in at any given moment?

We recently began our national tour of Australia with the “Understanding our Differences” event.  This is the one day event in the Heart Of Relationship series, which focuses on supporting people to develop strong and loving relationships.  The Understanding Our Differences event covers a range of different areas, including the differences in the design and function of men’s and women’s brains, the drivers of men’s and women’s behaviour, 7 Keys To Reigniting Your Relationship, and other great ideas about building great relationships.  

What struck me was the extent to which people soaked up and wanted to explore more about masculine and feminine energy and how it drives our behaviour – consciously or otherwise.  Many women “of a certain age” were raised by mothers who were skilled, indeed gifted, at serving everyone else and we grew up thinking that’s what it means to be a woman.  Not all of us were thrilled at that prospect and so we sought alternative role models for how to make our way in the world.  This usually left our fathers!  Seeing what we perceived to be relative freedom, independence, the ability to come and go as desired, financial freedom (or at least freedom to go out and earn money) and other seemingly more attractive qualities than spending our lives serving everyone else, we set off in the same direction.

Great possibilities were afforded to those of us who were prepared to challenge ourselves, strive to achieve great things and be robustly independent, but sadly many of us also took on the notion that “masculine energy” is the only way to achieve all these things.  In some cases, we grew up to be women who are better at being in our masculine energy than we are in our feminine.  The problem is… WE ARE WOMEN!  Feminine energy is our natural state, but over time can become SO unfamiliar that we lose touch with it.

Do you sometimes find yourself spending the bulk of your working day in your masculine energy?  Do you even know the difference between how you operate (speak, think, walk) when you are in your feminine energy and when in masculine?  The inability to embrace your femininity not only inclines you toward avoiding intimacy, but let it go on for long enough and it will exhaust you and severely constrain your relationships – and not just with men!

If you can’t honestly face yourself in the mirror and see the beauty of who you are as a woman and embrace the nurture, sacredness and wonder of your own femininity and vulnerability, you are missing out on SO much of the joy of life.  Leave being a man to the men – let’s face it, they are better at that than we are.  Be who YOU are and enjoy the flow that returns to your heart, your relationship and your world.

Me Us Them Coaching and Psychology are big fans of Heather Yelland and love to share some of her pearls of relationship wisdom.

Join Me Us Them on 19th April for our next Relationship Skills Webinar - Sex Hugs and Rock n Soul - Uncovering Blind Spots

Retention Through Relationships

Roslyn Loxton - Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Retention Through Relationships

in Insights
Alison Skate - Personnel Development Solutions
28 Mar 2011 | 0 Comments

For many years it has been recognised that the relationships we establish within the workplace influence many workplace variables, such as job satisfaction, job performance, retention and productivity.  Managers becoming coaches is one example of leveraging the impact of relationships in the workplace.  Team building days have become popular due to their link with increased communication between departments, higher levels of productivity and enhanced job satisfaction.

But, what happens out of the workplace is none of your business, right?

What if I told you that an estimated USD$6,000,000,000 is lost in productivity and revenue in the US each year as a result of hardship in personal relationships?  What if I told you that a lack of spousal support for one's job is consistently ranked in the top three reasons for leaving a workplace?  What if you knew that retention could be influenced by providing an employee assistance program which incorporated relationship coaching?  If an employee had fewer emotional distractions, could this result in a safer workplace?

As I think about these questions, my mind wanders to those jobs that place the greatest demands on relationships - those including shift work or long periods of time away from home.  These jobs also seem to be the ones where additional stressors and strains could mean the difference between getting the job completed safely and on time, or not.

Late in 2010, Queensland mining magnate Clive Palmer gifted the majority of his employees a family holiday to exotic South Pacific islands for Christmas.  This is a very savvy move for an employer, making him an Employer of Choice in my mind, and demonstrates Mr Palmer's understanding of the demands that the mining industry places on families.  How many employers are pro-actively investing in their employees' family stability at such broad levels?

I'd like to see the day when companies are offering one or two opportunities per year for their employees to attend a relationship-strengthening workshop or retreat.  I'd love to hear from any companies that are already doing this as a matter of policy, and hear from you first hand about the effect this has had on productivity, safety and retention.


Contact us to discuss your personnel development requirements. 

Until next time, focus on the results you want to achieve.


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Relationship Balance

Roslyn Loxton - Tuesday, March 29, 2011

5 Tips for Relationship Balance 

By Roslyn Loxton 29 March 2011

1.  Have a clear understanding of what each other’s love language is?  You may well be feeling rather unappreciated because your partner isn't responding to all you do for them.  It is very common.  Some people love to be given gifts and to others, this means nothing.  Some people need to be told and others need to be shown.  Understand what works for you and what works for your partner.  Then you can do what works.

Consider your needs carefully and not just your partners or your kid’s needs or anyone else's for that matter.  If you don't understand your own needs fully, how can your partner expect to understand them?   When you don't fulfill your needs you become unbalanced. It is difficult to fulfill others needs when you are feeling unbalanced yourself.  It is not a sustainable process.  

.  Be generous in spirit and understand your partners needs fully.  This is easier to do when it is a 2 way street of course.  Sometimes our behavior is a result of an unmet need that we are blind to, we can feel unrest, but we haven't clearly identified what it is.  (These blind spots are were counseling or coaching really come into play)

 Share the vision.  Do what you can to understand the vision you both have for your life together.  When you share the dream, you can act like a team.  Some times you're pushing and sometimes your pulling, sometimes you're being carried and sometimes you’re doing the carrying.  If you don't have a shared dream, you can begin to harbor resentment for your sacrifices.  

 Let go of old baggage.  Easier said then done, and you will probably need help.  You don't put the last of the old milk into the new milk because it will make it go sour.  Harboring any level of resentment or feeling less then great within you can be a real catalyst in unbalancing the relationship.

Relationship Flight or Flight - Learned Triggers

Roslyn Loxton - Friday, March 25, 2011

Don’t let anxiety, fear make you lose perspective

When we feel trapped or in danger, we simply try to protect ourselves to get out of harm’s way and find a safe place.



Perspective is a confusing word to define because it comes in many forms. There is art perspective, linear perspective, cognitive perspective, spatial perspective and behavioral, humanistic and sociological perspectives. In addition, the word can be used as a noun or an adjective. TMI, as my grandchildren say! Too Much Information, for sure

 I am thinking of perspective as being able to see all sides of an issue before making a decision — to look at the whole picture.
  Perspective, however, is not present when we react out of anxiety or fear. In those moments when we feel trapped or in danger, we simply try to protect ourselves to get out of harm’s way and find a safe place.

 The brain is wired to help us when in danger. Some people stand and fight, others flee.

There are many ways to fight — with fists or threats or verbal abuse.

There are also many ways to flee without walking out the door — withdrawing, verbally shutting down, going to bed or overmedicating with alcohol or drugs.

These coping skills are typically learned in a childhood that was full of turmoil or during a traumatic event, such as war or a catastrophic accident.
  Though no longer in those circumstances, an individual can lapse into a fight-or-flight reaction when confronted, even though their present relationship holds no hint of danger.

When this occurs over and over, the relationship loses balance and misunderstandings arise. If neither person understands what is happening, a rift in the relationship can become permanent.

 One of the most important skills a person can develop is to become aware of “triggers” that throw them into a fight-or-flight reaction and learn how to quiet themselves, creating space between the impulse and the action.

If your relationship at the office or at home is difficult and full of drama, then perhaps this might be a possibility you would want to explore.

Discovering how to bring a healthy perspective into your relationship will not only make it more loving, it will have a better chance at lasting.

How we self sabotage

Roslyn Loxton - Thursday, February 10, 2011

by Josie Thomson


Most of the ways that we self sabotage are unconscious. The characteristics that come into play are those that Carl Jung referred to when he spoke of our 'shadow'. All of us have degrees of every personality trait possible - some we are comfortable to own, others we're not.  Our shadow includes both the parts of ourselves that we disown (and generally dislike in others) as well as those that we admire in others (but are too modest to claim for ourselves).  Simply put, Jung's philosophy is that in order to grow we must confront our shadow and begin to embrace and make peace with all of our character traits.

This process requires courage and commitment and is often best accompanied by working with a professional but you can begin on your own. Start by paying attention to the styles of self sabotage you favour. Once you become aware of these otherwise unconscious thoughts, you have the opportunity to challenge them with your inner dialogue.


This method of self sabotage is pretty self explanatory. You believe that your circumstances are not your fault. Whilst it's possible that there is some degree of truth in this, blaming leaves you feeling powerless. Blaming often goes hand in hand with a 'victim' mentality which is equally disempowering. Ultimately, you are the only person who has the ability to change your situation. When you begin to take responsibility, you feel better about yourself and more in control of your life.

Likely self talk: 'She made me do it'; 'It's his fault'; 'Things are just really hard for me'.


How many times do you repeatedly put off an unpleasant task? The most common are doing your tax, tidying your desk/wardrobe/garage, getting your finances in order, starting an exercise program or a healthy eating regime. Procrastination is a very popular method of self sabotage.

Likely self talk: 'I don't have the time'; 'I'm too tired'; 'The time isn't right'.

Over Committing/Overwhelm

Many people over commit themselves. They say yes to everything and then find themselves feeling completely overwhelmed (and quite often resentful). This method of self sabotage often helps you to avoid your 'real' goals (the ones that would bring you the most fulfilment if you were brave enough to pursue them) by distracting you with a range of incidental activities.

Likely self talk: 'They need me - I can't say no'; 'I'm the only one who will do the job well'; 'I like to stay busy'.

Lack of Self Belief

This is quite possibly the most popular method of all. Like all others, it is also a self fulfilling prophecy. The less you believe in yourself, the less likely you are to take on new challenges and the more likely you are to believe you are unworthy of great things.

Likely self talk: 'I'm not good enough'; 'No one will want me'; 'I'm too tall; too short; too heavy; too unattractive; not interesting or not smart enough'.

Unclear Goals/Lack of Direction

This is a difficult area to tackle as it generally presents as an overall sense of confusion. Not being clear about what you want in life is often connected to not wanting to make the wrong choices.

Likely self talk: 'I don't know what I want'; 'Nothing interests me'; 'What if I get it wrong?'.

With all of the above methods of self sabotage, the first step is to notice your dominant style. Most of us use more than one so begin by just becoming aware of your self talk. If you feel ready to challenge that thinking, find a way to reframe your original thought, for example 'I'm not good enough' could become 'I'm as good as I need to be to give this a go'.

Josie Thomson


'The best years of your life are the ones in which you decide your problems are your own.  You do not blame them on your mother/partner, the ecology, or the economy.  You realise that you control your own destiny.' Albert Ellis