Category Archives: potential

Size Matters


Oftentimes, we try to pass through small windows of opportunity with old beliefs that don’t fit.  It’s like forcing a huge square peg through a small round hole.  We bang, push, cry, yell and say “This is so unfair!”

We expect to make friends with people who want to be treated differently than our old pals; the ones who are used to our usual behavior.  Yes, some people will stick around and take the same old crap.  It’s called low self-esteem.  But to have new and maybe even better opportunities with different people, the same old crap won’t work.  The size of our baggage blocks our ability to see this.

Maybe our old beliefs have worked in the past.  We put value on how many times the loyal friends and family members kept coming back, no matter how insidious we acted at times or maybe even all the time.  We tend to look at this as being worth more than the potential for new experiences that foster real growth.

Remember that thing called “inflation”?  How many times have we refused to drop a useless pattern of thinking or an outdated belief, because of how it serves us in the name of comfort?  It’s like refusing a job that can possibly reap ten times more money, but the level of initial discomfort keeps us in a job that only earns a meager salary.

The Trouble With Self-Affirming Statements


Michael Schumacher (Ferrari) leads brother Ral...

We are encouraged by many to produce inner-motivation towards our goals through the work of self-affirmation.  In recent years there has been the prominent referral to “I’m Okay and You’re Okay” kinds of statements.  Some of the self-help gurus make “positive inner discovery” a staple of their programs.  One thousand percent of this makes sense and is effective.

To say “I can” and then of course finish the statement is a very healthy and even courageous declaration.  It beats sitting crouched in a corner with your thumb in mouth, while rocking back and forth.  It sure as hell beats standing by and hiding your abilities while someone else takes off with the opportunity.  Do you agree?

What we’re missing here is the challenge to saying “I can” or “My strength is..” when much of life has been a focus on what a sibling or cousin or classmate can do better.  I will venture to say that the challenge has a lot to do with what communication many of us receive in these different environments.  Have you ever been told “Why can’t you be like..?”

In chapter five of “The Strong-Willed Child: Birth Through Adolescence” written by Dr. James Dobson (1978), there is the conclusion arrived at on how comparisons are made between siblings.  A child in the family or at school hears spoken messages by his adult leaders which stick in his or her mind.  An older brother or sister is praised for winning the trophies.  And at every turn, upon misbehavior of the failure to perform up to snuff, the other sibling is told “Why can’t you do..?”  And the competition ensues.  For this boy or girl, the focus becomes more about what the older sister or brother or classmate has, and less about what is yet to be discovered within.

We Don’t Wear Leashes!


English: visual representation of the Freud's ...

English: visual representation of the Freud’s id, ego and super-ego and the level of consciousness (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Most of us want to experience more in life.  We want to do better in quite a few different areas, whether it having a greater financial situation or increased physical strength.  A lot of us can attest to wanting our relationships with certain people to make more sense.  The only barrier to this, is the strength of ego.  Ego is what has each of us settling back into a safe “reality” on a daily basis.  Ego is the safety governor that works against every idea of personal freedom and measures of assertiveness.  It is the stuff that throttles a person with tinges of guilt or creeping embarrassment when he or she is about to take an action, that goes against their yesterday.

The messages which give proof of a personal safety governor:

“I’ll look stupid.”

“They/ he/ she will think I’m some sort of weirdo.”

“I’m coming on too strong.”

“I’m not ready yet.”

“They’re not ready yet.”

“I’m just being impulsive.”

“Have to do this first.”

The train of self-sabotage goes on and on.  We rationalize that the messages and accompanying emotions are there for a reason and the doubts make sense.  What doesn’t make sense is the restlessness and time spent looking back on what could have been.  What really does not make any sense is the time spent bitching about the current state of affairs and talking about what someone else is able to do.  It’s kind of like forfeiting one’s right to take part in life.  When anyone of us stands there and says “I wished I had that kind of talent” while speaking about someone else’s accomplishment, it is the same as “I give up.”

I have news for anyone who operates such a premise.  The personal ego “defense system” is blind to reality.  Fear, self-doubt and inner criticism are based on expectations and beliefs, which are nothing more than stories fabricated in the mind.  While still inside the mind, they are but mere shadows.  Are shadows supposed to be the ruling body?

Who Is Boss Around Here?


think stencil art & graffiti cat

think stencil art & graffiti cat (Photo credit: urbanartcore.eu)

We (human beings in general) tend to dismiss quite a few thoughts that enter our minds throughout the day.  Some of these may hide a helpful ticket of direction.  And I for one will acknowledge, the reason for this being an issue with distance and how we order priorities.  It’s a matter of playing God and letting ego take the reins in life.  What makes me think about the subject, is whether ego (which does not know reality) is permitted to run things.  Does any business in life prosper off of mindless judgement?

There’s no telling what could be put together over a period of time and consistent effort when the thought of investing in a project is nurtured and acted upon.  Many artists have been amazed by their own works that materialized and grew to fruition because of the many steps taken keep the idea alive.  The idea always starts in the mind.  It may visit during moments of stark consciousness, while driving or walking the dog.  Some thoughts are like a comet streaming through the sky.  The jolting body signifies a limited access for the view.  How does our inner critic (blind to the world around us) get to make the decision about whether or not to make note of the potential of such a natural force?  Who gets to say which idea deserves a more thorough investigation?

Time management in psychotherapy sessions


Aside from making sure that therapy sessions are actually effective, I also want to facilitate conversation or play in a way that uses time management.  The Jungle Pack workbook is with the intention of helping other therapists tune into their client‘s struggle with themselves and each of the multiple environments (school, home and community).  The prompts which cover universal situations for human beings of any age, gender and circumstance are meant to draw out conversation items.  On a week to week basis, I and others in my field are faced with a client’s sense of confusion and struggle to set priorities for conversation.  I will go ahead and speak for the lot of us and say that a therapist’s aim is to help the client (or consumer) to quit spinning his/ her wheels and move ahead.  Time management and having an anchor for conversation go hand in hand for effectiveness in the direction of feeling better and out of idle.

David W. Peace