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PostPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2012 5:16 pm 

Joined: Tue Feb 14, 2012 7:38 pm
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I'll try to make a long story short.


I'm an INFP (50%-P, 50%-J).


It's come to my attention that the number one thing holding me back from living more fully and achieving some lifestyle goals/aspirations is my lack of self-confidence/esteem. Basically, everyone else thinks I rock and am outstanding at the work I do...except me.


I'm lacking the go-getter attitude that would allow me to apply to new jobs, try new things, etc.


Part of it (I think) is the education I've exposed myself to: non-dualism, existential philosophy, Buddhism, Q. Physics, economics, psychology, peak oil, collapse, enviro, geo-political, etc.


Mix that all together, and you get a highly self-limiting, anxiety-ridden existence.


I'm currently reading "The Magic of Thinking Big" and I just put "How to Live 365 days a Year" on hold.


Any other book / blog type recommendations to get me out of my head and into the world, get over my perfectionism and learned self-denial?




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PostPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2012 6:56 pm 
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Watch this video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z4AOwmqTGPY


EDIT:

Just found this old link to a nice pdf going through the basics of this approach:

http://www.davidmills.net/Overcoming-Self-Esteem.pdf


And then read this book that expands on the concept:

http://www.amazon.com/Overcoming-Myth-Self-Worth-Fallacy-Yourself/dp/0963938703/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1333648325&sr=8-3


For a practical treatment-oriented approach (to beat the idea into the rest of your brain and deal with your perfectionism):

http://www.amazon.com/Feeling-Good-The-Mood-Therapy/dp/0380810336/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1333648423&sr=1-1


Also this book can help A LOT if you think you need to become more assertive:

http://www.amazon.com/When-Say-No-Feel-Guilty/dp/0553263900/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1333648455&sr=1-1


I've been dealing with this shit when I was young, and I know how crippling it really is. These are the resources (out of literally hundreds of books) that made a real difference.




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PostPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2012 6:57 pm 
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Watch/listen to this series of lectures by Jim Rohn:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uv5GKJpblRE&feature=related


That's number 1 of 4.


Then start a journal -- a private one -- and write down your goals, your fears and your other thoughts/ideas and begin to reflect on them every week. I have been using www.penzu.com (free version) for this purpose, but there are many other options. Make sure you have at least one goal you can work on every day -- usually health, exercise, eating and/or reading-related goals work pretty well for those. But you may want to include some about self-expression and confidence in your case.




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PostPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2012 7:23 pm 

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Is it the self confidence holding you back or introversion? I.e is it that you don't think you will succeed at another job, or does the idea if interviewing drain you? I only ask because I absolutely hate interviewing and job hunting, and have probably missed opportunities because of it, but at the same time I am confident in my abilities.


On the other hand, maybe you are a perfectionist? So many people out there do such terrible work that competent workers are often praised, but of course because they are perfectionists all they see are the few times they weren't perfect.




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PostPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2012 7:53 pm 

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I found that simple practice helped a lot with my perfectionism. That is, I have a tendency to doubt myself and as a result I don't present, when what I really need to do is just "ship" [for products, "do" for actions] even when I feel it's incomplete. For example, in writing, it is much better to write a messy draft and then go back in separate rounds to improve it than to work slowly trying to make the first draft perfect (if you struggle with writing in this way I recommend Paul Silvia's "How to Write A Lot" which is oriented towards academics, but really cut through a lot of my bullshit excuses about why I wasn't "ready" to do xyz).


I think the same principle applies to social skills, etc--lower your standards enough to practice, and through repetition you realize you are improving. The first times are always most difficult, you can improve your technique with every successive attempt.




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PostPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2012 8:43 pm 

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@ Dragoncar: It's more of an internal thing, not something that's keeping me from doing a really good job at the stuff I'm assigned; I'm able to fake it on the outside really well, which is why I've been able to be largely successful in all of the positions I've been in - I get "clearly exceeds" marks on my performance reviews, raises, etc.; but all of the jobs I've held have been ones I've sort of fell into, not stuff that really excites me; so I'm excelling at things I don't care that much about because of the perfectionist, straight-A-student type obligations I developed when young, not because I'm working hard at work I love.


So, two things are happening that are troubling me:


1) I'm completely wiped out at the end of the day from doing work I'm not suited to, but have to force myself to excel at, ie. being an extrovert when I'd rather introvert...I'm told I'm an excellent facilitator/presenter/public-speaker, despite that I hate it and it wipes me out; I haven't had a chance to do work that really excites me for long periods of time or fits my INFP self, so I don't know if the outcome would be different; when I do get a chance at work to really hone in on a project on my own without distraction, that's life at its best,


2) because I've pretty much worked in one industry my whole career, I feel completely inadequate when looking at other jobs at similar career experience levels and don't know how to muster the confidence to go after a career switch (or even other positions within the industry I'm in).


3) this carries over to deficit thinking when it comes to ERE...I have a hard time seeing myself be successful with ERE unless I stay in the job I'm in, since I don't have the confidence to go get a job that fits better and can sustain me for the next 5-7 yrs, but still pays well enough to meet the ERE and family goals.


@anastrophe: I can sit down and bang out a 10 page grad school essay in a few hours, write policy papers at work, and publish poetry on the web (http://amusingself.wordpress.com ); but once I submit/ship/send, I agonize about the results. I worry about being judged. I constantly worry at work that an email I send will be taken wrong and land me in hot-water (despite that it seldom happens...mostly when I forget I'm writing to functionally-illiterate business managers and use words they don't understand). Putting poetry out there for all to see is a massive step for me and one that I'm only handling semi-well.


I've done some reading on the effects of having narcissistic and addictive behavior parents/friends (both of which I had) and its pretty clear the general outcome is a "cracked-mirror" view of your self: you don't see your self as you actually are.


That's me.


I'm going to take a look through all the recommendations and see what makes sense.


Thanks all for sharing.




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PostPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2012 9:03 pm 
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"but once I submit/ship/send, I agonize about the results. I worry about being judged. I constantly worry at work that an email I send will be taken wrong and land me in hot-water"

That's your P talking. If you hang around this board long enough, it will strengthen your J. Being a P is exhausting, but I guess being a J is hard too (it must get old being right all of the time :P). I think it's worth trying to be more like the J's here.


"cracked-mirror" view of your self

I had a therapist explain that the best way to deal with that is to never look at your whole self at once. Only reflect on the part that is necessary at the time. And never ask yourself a yes or no question (am I good enough? am I fat? etc). Ask questions that force you to assess instead of reject or accept. Ask the same questions of a trusted friend or family member, and accept that the truth lies somewhere in the middle. You can then write down the answers or put them on a personal inspiration board if you think better visually. If you have any friends that are recovering addicts they might be able to help you with this part. It's a common theme in rehab.




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PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2012 12:13 am 

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I will have to disagree with above advice (sorry jennypenny)


Instead of segmenting/compartmentalizing your life...which I suspect is what you have been doing anyways (hence the feeling of being drained from work despite being good at it), as an INFP you have the compelling urge to integrate your life into a whole and be driven by your values.


From the INFPs I know (mature and on the way to maturity ones)...you are likely internally to be more driven by a pull towards/love of some idea/venture/purpose. Sounds though like you have been using a lot of Judging and Self Critical self talk in the hopes of getting motivated (further spurred by internalized learning from parents and peers). Problem is in the short-term it can work to have yourself get into a "go getter", "type A" mode to get that next job, interview etc. But pretty soon the same issues will emerge because they continue to be inside you.


If I may say, sounds like you've spent far too much of your life trying to win and maintain the approval of others and somewhat ignored your own feelings (the biggest source of strength for an INFP).


"Cracked mirror" eh?..Ok..so it is the mirror (i.e. a viewpoint, someone's or your own) that is cracked, not you. All mirrors crack at some point, they are fragile by nature. Why measure your own self-worth through such a flawed device?


You have an interest and talent for writing, how about doing more of it? Maybe write a blog and share your thoughts and experiences with others. You might be surprised to find how many kindred voices will reach out to you.


I find it interesting that you wrote a lot about what you don't like but very briefly mentioned what interests you. What other interests do you have? What would you like to do if you were already retired and no one knew who you were (i.e. without your past baggage or accomplishments)? Give it some thought...sometimes the answer is not very clear but in the process of trying to answer you will discover kernels of your own truth. From there you can start to build your own ERE/FI plan..if indeed that is the path that will get you to what you are drawn towards.


Oh..one other thing..the saying "Healthy Body Healthy Mind" is very true. Important to do some physical activity, sport, practice etc. to balance all the swirling thoughts in the brain ;-). Also, Confucius say having good close friend/s, good sleep and healthy food very essential for Happy Life ;-)




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PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2012 2:45 am 

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rule number 1...be yourself!


if you have a job or career that doesnt fit find a new one..


but your life goal should always be to be true to yourself. The longer you strive to fit other expectations the further from hapiness you will move.




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PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2012 6:55 am 

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You cannot find self confidence in a book, on a website, a forum, or any advice from others. The very act of seeking it undermines it. Confidence is from the latin for "with trust". Trust your self. Really, actually, trust your self. It's not something you figure out. It's something you do. Let go and trust your self. Rely upon your self. Believe that your self is acting in your best interest. Feel safe and secure with your self. Know that you and your self are one and the same.




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PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2012 7:10 am 

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brilliant obadobadope.


I guess it also means trust yourself at any given moment. For this you need to be able to look down on yourself from above (second person) and see the moment for what it is...


then as Eckart Tolle explains be at peace with 'the moment" because that all we ever have...


The anxiety comes from our minds wondering out of the moment and creating stories about the past and future..


It works. The mind if left to itself to wonder keeps going and going and going to places it shouldnt go....and in your case crashes your confidence which seems to be irrational.




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PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2012 12:30 pm 
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Lots of good advice here. There is even good advice in both Jennypenny's and Freedom's comments, even though they don't necessarily agree.


I agree with Obadobadope to an extent. No book, movie, link, etc. will supply you with self-confidence/desire. They might be able to remind you of it, but they will never supply.


You need to remember that everyone feels this way to a greater or lessor degree. Even the extroverts who talk at every meeting and provide suggestions all the time lack self-confidence.


I know I do. This has always been and always will be an issue for me, even though I have a slightly stronger J than a P. I remember when I switched majors and selected accounting. My college football coach, who doesn't have a filter, said, "Why are you doing that? You have a personality." My first thought was "Really?" He was dead on and it turned out to be the worst decision of my life. Man, do I hate accounting.


I have been fighting my way from one job to the next since then. Starting with jobs I truly hated and up to the current time with one I'm just ok with. I've come to the conclusion that I don't think any regular/normal job in any profession would satisfy me, as too many morons screw with your day/time in every normal job in every field.


Now, I require myself to follow a long held dream. I write at least 500 words a day for my novel. I will make this work, as I can't keep working these soul crushing jobs even for a few more years. We can't allow self-doubt or low self-confidence to hold us back, and this has to be a conscious decision. We can't operate on default, like many people, as our default causes negative consequences for us in society's current form.


If you like writing, and it sounds like you do, now is the greatest time in the history of mankind to be a writer. You don't even need a publisher anymore $1,000-1,2000 will buy you a publisher quality cover, editor, copy editor, and someone to format the book. This book can then be easily placed on the largest bookstores on the planet (Amazon, B&N.com, iBooks).


Succeed or fail, I'm done doubting.


One of my favorite little pickme ups of all time...Everybody's Free (To Wear Sunscreen)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sTJ7AzBIJoI




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PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2012 12:37 pm 
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Oh, and if it helps, ebooks are increasing the amount being read...


http://edition.cnn.com/2012/04/05/tech/gaming-gadgets/e-reader-survey-pew-gahran/?hpt=hp_bn9




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PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2012 3:12 pm 
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Self confidence does not come from thinking. It comes from accomplishing physical things. Stop to use the brain so much and start to get something real done. Not writing, as writing is one of the most brainy things one can do. Why would you trust yourself? You must have a reason to trust, otherwise it would be only blind faith. It is hard to really keep blind faith on anything, at least it is hard if you have a minimum of sensibility. You building a history of accomplishments you will have more self confidence. Lack of self confidence also may mean lack of memory. In this regard, having a written diary may help. I would suggest you start to practice brazilian jiu jitsu, wrestling, or judo. Because self confidence is highly related to you comparing yourself with others, and those arts will help you learn to deal with others under stress. In some level we still are afraid that if people don't like what we say or do, they may attack us physically. It's hard to happen these days, but there is a level of us that

still has this fears. Only when you have some months of training under your belt you start to realize how much of your relationships are influenced by fear. In my personal history, nothing has helped me more to be self-confident than my jiu jitsu training. That feeling of being able to deal with extreme situations and yet be well, will spread to other areas of your life and will change the way you feel about yourself.




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PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2012 3:59 pm 
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"Self confidence does not come from thinking. It comes from accomplishing physical things. Stop to use the brain so much and start to get something real done."


I couldn't disagree more that only physical things matter. As someone who has accomplished physical things (4 year starter in college football, record for most sacks in one game, record for most blocked extra points and field goals in one game, one season, and career, brown belt Isshinryu karate, numerous weightlifting awards, etc.) and mental things (graduate degree and the writing assiciated with it), they are both important and can build self-confidence. Just accomplish something, it doesn't matter what it is. It only matters that you accomplish it.




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PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2012 4:49 pm 
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Chad, that's really important what you are doing by writing something every day. It's the discipline of what you do every day that ultimately determines and turns you into what you will become.


First you think it, then you do it, then you become it. Or you don't think or don't do and don't become anything in particular, but a randomized blob that is determined by its surroundings.




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PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2012 5:38 pm 

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Wow. A lot of great content being generated here. Again, thank you for taking the time to read and share.


Some of hits, some of it doesn't, but all of it is worthy of consideration. It's hard to come forward asking advice when you can't really share everything about who you are in one or two posts (or 200), though I guess being engaged in this board already tells a bit of the story.


I spent some time last night answering some of the questions Freedom_2018 posed: "What other interests do you have? What would you like to do if you were already retired and no one knew who you were (i.e. without your past baggage or accomplishments)?"


Well, writing for one. I enjoy persuasive writing (research, essays) and tech-writing (not how-to, but position papers, briefs, etc.) almost as much as, if not more than, short-stories and poetry. I'm not sure that it is that "good" for me though -- it can consume a lot of me if it's future oriented stuff on the state-of-world, things that are f-cked, etc.


Two, I love spending time with kids. Infants on up. I love the opportunity to give love and inspiration to the next generation. I love the innocence and wonder. My wife and I are planning to make a go at having our own this June/July...but I wouldn't mind finding a career in something to do with kids.


Three, I love teaching. Whether it's mentoring, tutoring, or just helping share about the things I've learned how to do, I like helping other people learn how to do things easier. (I'm not sure how this jives with my introvert tendencies, though more on that later.)


Four, I love selling. I worked in retail and residential real estate leasing for a number of years and actually loved it. I liked learning about people's needs and trying to meet them at a fair price that worked for both of us. I never felt the need to be sleezy about it.


Five, I like interacting with people. As a barista, server, retail, and other misc customer service gigs, I always liked listening to people, chatting with them about their day, etc. BUT - only when I had the autonomy to do so and didn't have a micro-managing boss breathing down my neck.


Six, nature. I like being outside.


Seven, food-service/nutrition related stuff. I've spent years learning about diet, food, and as you can see from my avatar, tea. I love cooking simple, healthy, tasty stuff. My wife and I have often dreamed of opening a simple tea and snacks/books cafe type joint. But never followed through...


So, I've got all these things I'd love to do or be involved in, and then I have the negative voices associated with them (as represented by my parents, bro, and certain friends that still sit in my psyche):


1) you'll never earn enough to support your family

2) how will you get health benefits to care for your family

3) stop dreaming and do something practical

4) you've tried doing something different in the past and failed

5) you need X,Y,Z credentials to do that


Those are the voices and negative tracks that need to be overcome or dealt with...


~~~~~~


I agree with some of the comments around the concept of the Self; as I said at the outset, I'm steeped in quite a bit of cognitive and neuro science, nondualism, Zen, etc. I've sat silent retreats and had some mind-blowing bliss. The question remains...how does this all integrate into day-to-day experience? How do I exist and relate to the world? How do I perceive the experience that comes into my awareness?


I have loops of connections in my brain that lead to positive emotive experience and seeing the world as it is and dwell in that place from time to time...for long periods of time actually. But I have other tracks and connections in my brain that lead down paths of pity, difficulty, anger, frustration, low-self-worth, and all the rest.


Through practice, I've been able to sit more and more often in the place of awareness that sees all that negative bullsh8t going on and sees it as passing clouds in the broader field of consciousness/awareness; I know it's not "me" or my "true self", it's just what's happening in this moment. And yet, it's still there, and it still causes a limited experience in this world. I'm still attached to those clouds at the heart level, so to speak, even though mentally I know they are what they are.


Looking back over the past few years, I can see how the awareness of my attachment to certain negative loops has grown and how those negative loops have become easier and easier to hop out of.


BUT - I'm still really struggling with creating an environment (mentally and physically) that doesn't reinforce the negative loops. My current boss is a spitting-image of the narcissistic parents I grew up with; the inconsistent messages, the frantic, unprepared nature, the micro-managing mixed with inaccessibility on important projects. It's a horrible fit for me, as is my current position in general -- except that I do get to write position papers and do policy research -- but those are then torn down by management anyway, so it's a double-edged sword. And because it's a horrible fit, it puts me in a mental milleiu that triggers all those negative loops on a daily basis...hourly even.


This is really long, so I'll sum up.


I recognize that most of what I'm dealing with is a gap between understanding and implementation; mixed in that are deeply engrained feelings of unworthiness; which are triggered by my work environment and negative influences; over-time I could likely develop the cognitive ability to re-wire how I deal with those negative experiences, but it may be more expeditious for me to do some training and make some choices to get myself out of a situation I'm having difficulty dealing with; to do so, I need to develop the self-confidence in my overt abilities to take a chance on something new for work; and to do that, I need to work on understanding and skillfully counteracting the negative, self-limiting tendencies that are part of my current day-to-day reality.


I like what I've read on REBT so far. I think that may be a practice that draws me out of my head and into my heart. The therapy, reading, and mindfulness/insight practices I've been engaged in so far have been very "heady". That may not be a good thing for me.


Final note, I'm not sure if I'm truly an introvert (see my love for teaching and selling), or if I'm an extrovert, but one who doesn't like being managed or judged, and so reverts to introversion to avoid the judgement..hmm.




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PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2012 6:02 pm 
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@Dragline

Thanks, I'm really working on making it a habit. I would like to increase that to 1,000 or 1,500 words per day, but for right now I want something much more realistic to accomplish after work.


@livinlite

Sounds like you are starting to create a plan to tackle this. Just make sure you take it to it's conclusion.


"I'm not sure if I'm truly an introvert (see my love for teaching and selling), or if I'm an extrovert"


There are some of your interests that suggest extrovert, especially selling, so maybe your I and E are close to 50-50 or they move a little depending on your mindset at the time. Either way, it sounds like you need to change the work dynamic soon. You can't live like that for years.




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PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2012 7:37 pm 

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I'd stop trying to overanalyze it. maybe because i see a lot of what you are talking about and where I was ten years ago, even six months ago (I am 40, now). I read countless books and tried everything you can think of from the Taoism end of the spectrum to hardcore objectivism...then I realized that my biggest problem was that all this information created competing internal philosophies and every time I tried to measure my life against these philosophies, inevitably they wouldn't measure up to one or more internal paradigms.


So my advice, which I've put into practice with wonderful personal results, is to simply let it all go...practice cessation-meditation. In other words sit in meditation and just observe your thoughts, don't try to follow them. Focus on your breath...literally feel the breath pass through your nose hairs. A mentor of mine uses the analogy of the Hotel Clerk that sits behind the desk just watching all the traffic go by.


If you feel caught up in a thought, just say to it, "sorry, I'm going to have to let you go, I'm busy." As campy as that sounds what you're doing with this is you're taking away the power and energy from these competing thoughts. Let them fall away and then so too, will your anxieties start to melt away. As per your Buddhist teaching, stopping trying to overanalyze everything, stop being emotionally attached to everything.


This is easier said than done, but it is an incredibly freeing life skill, and one that most analytic-types argue vehementally against. I can just say it worked for me, and by "work" I mean that I was finally able to get out of my own way and as opportunities would come I would either follow that route or not, but it didn't matter as I simply became more at peace with my circumstance.


The more I meditate, and in fact, I've made it a daily practice these last six months to get an hour or more in daily, the more the effects compound and I feel better every day. The job I hated, I don't hate anymore. The people I found difficult aren't difficult anymore. The debts laying over my head, I've paid off numerous one's in the last six months just because cessation-meditation has obliterated my desire to buy stuff that isn't for my necessary survival.


To me there is no more fundamental and beneficial tool at our disposal than cessation-meditation...and it's free.




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PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2012 7:55 pm 
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@livinlite -- sounds like you are an "ambivert". Welcome to the club.


A lot of your desires scream "I want to be a teacher" to me. I currently teach part-time (as in one class) a year. I make almost nothing, but its been very rewarding and will be something I continue doing as long as I can.


How did I get "appointed" you ask? Well, a friend of mine said I should do it and encouraged me to write a letter to my old school to see if I could teach a class. And they said yes. But I probably would not even have tried without the encouragement, because I thought I needed some additional qualifications that weren't necessary.


Now I teach adults, so that's different than kids. But if I wanted to teach kids (outside of being a Boy Scout leader, which I do with my sons), I would look in my local community to see if there are organizations that offer classes (my local parks authority does this). Then I would get a catalog, look at it and identify things that I think I could teach. And then contact the appropriate persons to offer my services.


Now maybe that's not the right plan for you. I'm just guessing at that. But I think you want to find something outside your job that gets you excited and motivated and incorporates some of your desires.


The kind of thing you are looking for should incorporate the concepts of Autonomy, Mastery and Purpose. These are the "touchstones" that tell you whether an activity is worthwhile. See this wonderful RSA Animate (speech by Dan Pink): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u6XAPnuFjJc




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PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2012 8:19 pm 
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Chad, you are right. Accomplishment is what does bring self-confidence, be it mental or physical. Well, I remember that as a child I've got such a feeling that I could win most people in the chess, as I haven't found many of them that could beat me. That is surely a mental skill, not a physical one. Now don't you agree with me that the OP seems to be the kind of guy that uses mostly his brain, overanalyses everything and is in trouble getting to some conclusion?


As an example, we both could talk and talk and refer each other to examples and research and theory about martial arts. We could do that for years and yet we could keep in doubt about it. But how much we learn from stopping the talking and trying the fighting? How much self-confidence do you get when you have trained for less than two years in your martial art and you are able to easily defeat a teacher from another martial art? That's the real thing, that's what brings confidence. You can translate the example to another areas of expertise. For example, you could get a degree and do all the research associated with building houses; but do that really bring you self-confidence that you can build a house? What if you simply skip all that theory and just have someone show you how to do the real thing? What do you think that will bring more self-confidence, four years of paper study or having a small house in front of you that you have built yourself?


I'm not saying that we should avoid theory, but rather that it should be always connected with practice. I'm also saying that if what you want is more self confidence, you can do the practice and even skip the theory. Off course at some point you will want to get back and study a little more to improve the practice. Also, it also seems that our friend is already full of theories, isn't he? He could improve his theories and fix his perfectionism disease by getting his hands dirty.




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PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2012 8:36 pm 

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@Harmonica Charlie: "This is easier said than done, but it is an incredibly freeing life skill"


That's actually the type of meditation and contemplative work I've focused on; some call it choiceless awareness or standing as awareness. I like your analogy of the hotel clerk - that hits it on the head, witnessing the thoughts going through your mind without attaching to them or following them. The more I do that type of practice, the better I feel and I truly believe in it: that's simply how I see the world and make sense of experience at this point; everything is just a series of momentary events rising in each of our fields of awareness.


Of course, I'm still struggling with not getting attached to all of the more deeply ingrained negative thought patterns...I can see the thoughts of insignificant events (cold coffee) rise and pass without getting attached; but I'm less able at times to maintain that standpoint when it comes to stuff from my heavy triggers - parents, boss, etc. There are times when I can and times when I don't.


What I'm feeling out here is that I likely need to do a little retreating from certain life-conditions that maybe are beyond my current ability to maintain that awareness standpoint.


It's hard to say. With the right attitude, I could take this "challenge" of my work environment as a growth opportunity; but at some point I have to decide if I'm ready for that or not.


There's a reason monks retreat to the mountains to develop Right View before heading back into the hub-bub of daily life.


Anyway, in between making that decision and finding new work, I'm going to take some of the advice here and really commit to working on some small changes I can make right now to help my general mental state: getting back to meditating daily, taking more breaks at work, working on mentally combating the negative introject voices (questioning them so they are seen for what they are), resuming my yoga practice, and being sure to get enough sleep.


After a few weeks of that, I'll hopefully be in a spot where I can start thinking clearly about what I want to do for a career from here and what my next steps should be to move in that direction.


On a side note: I got invited this morning to participate in a nine-month Leadership Development program, sponsored by my company but as part of a larger city-wide organization, for the "promising leaders of tomorrow". Hmm... It's a great opportunity, but the commitment scares me given how I feel about my current position.


http://www.leadershiptomorrowseattle.org/




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PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2012 9:06 pm 

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@ bigato: "Also, it also seems that our friend is already full of theories, isn't he? He could improve his theories and fix his perfectionism disease by getting his hands dirty."


In Zen parlance, the Lankavatara Sutra "contains but two teachings: that everything we perceive as being real is nothing but the perceptions of our own mind and that the knowledge of this is something that must be realized and experienced for oneself and cannot be expressed in words. In the words of Chinese Zen masters, these two teachings became known as “have a cup of tea” and “taste the tea.” " -- Red Pine


I need to "taste the tea" of letting go of attachment to my internalized versions of others' judgements on my self-worth and abilities...and take more actions (as posited above). If I don't, Bigato will whack me repeatedly with his kyosaku (until I get it) ;)




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PostPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2012 1:49 am 
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Given the NF-ness ... could this be a search for the ephemeral goal of "authenticity". I know one other INFP well and she is pretty much into [trying] every [what I'd call] subjective philosophy (=the world is what we subjectively think it is) she comes across.


NFs try to build authenticity (subjective systems) much like NTs try to build world models (objective systems). It's the way of life so there really no escape.


The difference is that once their knowledge reached a level where they realize how little they understand, NT's often feel they're faking [to others] the understanding of the [external] world. By symmetry/analogy, NF's must feel like they're faking [to themselves] their understanding of themselves---I'd image this is not a nice feeling.


Just mentioning this as something to consider ... (I'm surprised that you mention self-confidence. I think of self-confidence as something else, but that may just be my NT angle.)




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PostPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2012 3:28 am 

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@livinlite


I agree with chad it does sound like you have a plan you are slowly working towards. Infact, more than that, I would say that you seem to be well on your way to some sort of great self awareness. Lifes a journey and many of us do not get past go when it comes to understanding oursleves. I would say you are a long long way down the track and in truth you are pretty much there save for a little more time and some good luck. The process i think never ends.


One thing i reckon which you havent considered. Maybe, just maybe, those around you do not percieve you as the way you think they perceive you. You think they think you lack confidence but maybe deep down they respect you and like you for the deep thinking, human being that you are. All you need, crave etc is some validity....some status...something or someone to remind you that you are a success.


Most people have NO SHIT TOGETHER and pretty much the persona is all just a bluff. And most of these people are the first to offer advice. It seems to me you are building your future on some pretty solid foundations...keep rockin, chill and look for signs on where to go next. There is no right or wrong answer but keep reverting back to finding your authentic self (as you have been doing) and it will come.


I realise that there is a reality about "needing to earn a living and provide". I understand that fully. Deepak chopra touches on this alot in his 7 spiritual laws of success. Basically he says, and i agree, it doesnt matter what you do, there is always money to be made, so make sure what you do try and enjoy it. If you take teaching for example....yes you could be a teacher and get paid crap for 40 years. Or you could do it and also write a book on the subjects you are teaching. Or you could start your own school, or you could start a private tutoring business, or you could become an expert on one area and be asked to appear on TED!


So dont listed to the naysayers....do what you want!




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