Andrea Reyes Posts

Author: Andrea Reyes

Never get time to think

Well, that’s a lie right out of the gate. I think! And I don’t need any special time to do it. My brain is chugging thoughts all day and night.

So what’s the problem?

I am not thinking on purpose about stuff that matters to me. For example, in the context of business, I am not taking time to think intentionally about how to approach the work.

I’m being vague.

Let’s be clear: I am frustrated because I am not thinking productively. If I were doing so, I would achieve the following results:

My work would be organized – projects neatly segregated and time allotted to them.

I would do higher-quality work for taking time to think it through ahead of time. Better blog articles and courses.

How to Negotiate Your Boundaries

In any form of relationship being clear on your boundaries is vital to the quality and success of a fulfilling relationship. But what if the other person doesn’t agree or has difficulties with your boundary? Negotiating your boundaries is an option to consider. 

Firstly, though you need to know if your boundary is negotiable or not. And to do that you must know what your non-negotiables are. What you are not willing to negotiate or compromise. Meaning if the boundary is violated, it is a show stopper. For example, a violated non-negotiable boundary in a relationship would signify the end of the relationship.

A good way to determine your relationship non-negotiables is to ask yourself the question

“What would, without doubt, cause me without any hesitation to know that I can no longer stay in a relationship?” Your answers to this question are your non-negotiables!

But go a step further and imagine the situation in various scenarios. Be truly honest with yourself. If the non-negotiable is violated, no matter the circumstances, are you fully committed to follow through? This is especially important when setting boundaries in a  relationship. 

For example, you tell a romantic partner that infidelity will result in the end of your relationship and you then didn’t end the relationship if your partner had an affair. You would only be letting yourself down. You become untrustworthy to yourself. Which ultimately affects your self-esteem. 

So, once you have your non-negotiable boundaries determined, all other boundaries are in principle negotiable! 

When you want to set and communicate reasonable boundaries, most people will accept, understand and agree to your boundary. However, there can be times if you are in the process of establishing new or up levelling boundaries in your relationship, where you may receive reactions in the form of a push backs. They sound something like “you didn’t use to do that”, “why are you changing things?”, you were ok before with this, why now the change?”. Or you may even experience a complete objection to your boundary because he or she feels the boundary will create a problem. 

It is at times like this when you can decide to negotiate your boundary. A word of warning, be aware of manipulative or guilt-tripping behavior. You should never be left feeling guilty, or that you’re doing something wrong for wanting to set the boundary or that it results in you not following through at all on setting the boundary. 

Know that boundary setting in the beginning can bring imbalance into your relationship.

If you decide you are open to adjust the boundary, it’s a good idea to bring your partner into the boundary development process. Your goal is to create a win-win situation in which both of you benefit. Be respectful and come with open and honest attitudes to the discussion as much as possible.

Boundaries are about getting your needs met. So, things you can ask each other are:

  1. What do I/you need/want? (Be specific.)
  2. Why do I/you need it? 
  3. How do I/you need it? 
  4. When do I/you need it? 
  5. What can we offer the other person to encourage him or her to accept the boundary? 
  6. Can we do what we have agreed to do? Is it realistic? Is it beneficial?

Negotiations usually result in a compromise. However, it is important to remember that the final desired outcome should not get changed during the negotiations. It’s how the outcome is reached that it up for negotiation!

Time to reach out? 

Are you experiencing difficulties with setting boundaries for yourself? Have you recently come out of a relationship and want to empower yourself to set, maintain and enforce boundaries before getting into a new relationship? Why not apply for my coaching package; Empowering boundaries for women or send an email to info@thoughtperformancecoaching.com and ask for a free no obligation 30 min consultation call.

Rachel Goss is a Life Coach at Thought Performance Coaching. Rachel is a compassionate, caring and insightful Life Thought Coach. She is passionate about supporting people to step out of suffering and limitation and step into fulfillment. With her support and guidance, you connect to your inner wisdom, unleash your true potential and optimize your emotional well-being. Experience inner freedom and see your life through a different lens. Read about her Creating Healthy Boundaries coaching program.

PTSD and Overeating

Recently, I came to the undeniable conclusion that I’ve been suffering from undiagnosed PTSD from a long string of adverse experiences in childhood. Years ago, a therapist warned me that I’d experienced every major form of abuse, including physical and emotional neglect. 

Additionally, we moved at least once a year (non-military) so I changed schools 17 times in 12 years of primary education. According to this therapist, I had a “mountain of personal work to do” and that my case was “not typical.”

Well, that was a horseshit comment that I attribute, in part, to this therapist’s desire to get a long-term client who doubled as a cash cow. Seriously, it’s a dirty little secret in the mental health community. Some therapists, some of the time, tell you what they believe will keep you coming back for more. I worked as a mental health counselor for 10 years. There’s a whole underworld there.

Whether or not I’m a poster boy for complex PTSD who needs a lifetime of therapy just to cope, I cannot sit here and deny the impact of it all. I’m 50-ish, not 25. In our 20’s we have to just push through all the crap and figure out how to be viable in the world. At 50, assuming we’ve achieved that viability, among other things, it’s appropriate to look back and finish any unfinished business.

As I do so, I am realizing the heavy burden I’ve been carrying – and not merely the one around my waist.

Coming into BFFM, I wonder how people here view PTSD and the self-medicating that often accompanies it, be it with food or drug or some other activity. 

I’ve found that people view such things in a variety of ways. There’s the crowd that tells you to get over yourself, suck it up and move on. Stop being such a baby. The past is in the past. 

Of course, this is ignorant. With PTSD, the past is definitely NOT in the past, although we hope beyond hope that it will be one day.

On the other end of the spectrum, there are people who appear to cling to their diagnosis as if it were a religion. When you suggest they do anything outside their comfort zone; that they are capable of more, they look at you as if you were the very devil. How dare you ask me to do anything that is difficult for someone with my condition!

My perspective on PTSD as it relates to overeating is somewhere in between. PTSD is a significant complication to any weight loss effort. The flashbacks (which come in many forms) are overwhelming. PTSD can make weight loss, which is already difficult, even more challenging! But not impossible. Maybe improbable, as in less likely than if you hadn’t been traumatized and discovered that food is your preferred coping mechanism. 

Coping mechanism is another horseshit term to some. When you think about it, how is that coping? There is no situation in life that overeating can’t make worse. Overeating to self-medicate is like saying, “Wow, I feel like shit, so I’ll go ahead and make myself feel much worse with a good binge!” Nonsense. Eating to self-medicate is an awful remedy.

And don’t call your addiction a “crutch” either. Crutches are helpful tools that help you stay productive when injured. Addiction isn’t a crutch. It’s another injury.  

And no one knows it better than a chronic stress eater. Telling us all about it isn’t that helpful. 

The reality is that some of us are carrying around pent up pain from so long ago that it doesn’t seem rational. We feel crazy or self-indulgent at the prospect admitting it, let alone giving our suffering the legitimacy it deserves. Yet, there it is. When you try to ignore it, the emotional angst comes out in a variety of health-affecting ways, like anger and freakish panic attacks, and undersleeping, and enduring days where you’re living in chronic fight-or-flight physiology. 

This quote by  Bessel van der Kolk sums it up nicely:

Trauma, by definition, is unbearable and intolerable. Most [victims] become so upset when they think about the experience that they try to push it out of their minds, trying to act as if nothing happened, and move on. It takes tremendous energy to keep functioning while carrying the memory of terror, and the shame of utter weakness and vulnerability. 

Anyone who becomes conscious of what they’ve been through – what their body has been through – knows what van der Kolk is talking about. 

The icing on this cake is when, after such a long time negotiating the symptoms, they become so familiar that you can’t imagine life without them. A normal, happy life (as you imagine it) becomes a foreign concept. Most of us would choose misery that is familiar over happiness that is foreign. We’re just wired that way. Familiar = safe. Don’t think about that one too long or your head will start to spin.  

So we must rewire.

New limiting beliefs model called meta-beliefs

Not the best name for a self-improvement model – meta-beliefs? But it’s pretty cool.

The idea is that you discover a limiting belief, such as I can’t lose weight. Then you dig in, go deep, or whatever you call it. Find the meta-belief, which is the belief about the belief.

Here’s a transcript of a meta-beliefs discovery

Meta Beliefs

beliefs about beliefs
  •  I want to lose weight but I can’t.
    • Why can’t you?
      • It’s too hard.
        • Why is losing weight too hard?
          • Because I’m a loser! Ok? I’m a total loser?
            • Why are you a total loser?
              • Because I’m weak! I’m weak. I’m too weak to do anything. I can’t handle it. I can’t take it. I’m pathetic. I’m weak. Just weak, that’s all. I’m too weak to be any good at anything. I’m weak. I can’t ride my bike very fast. I can’t win races like Jon. Jon is so fast! And he’s strong. He can beat me up anytime he wants to, that’s how strong he is. But I’m weak. If I even try to be strong, I’ll die. He will kill me. He’s already tried. I got lucky two times. I’m not going to try to be lucky anymore, either.

So what?

The idea is to keep going for the meta-belief until you get to one that grabs you emotionally. The one that is painful! That’s it. Then, proceed to change that belief using whichever method you prefer.

Truthfirmations idea

Truthfirmations could be a new type of affirmation. The key to affirmations is to make a statement that you want to be true, such as:

I am full of compassionate power.

With truthfirmations, rather than state something that you wish was true, you affirm a truth that you’ve been avoiding. Truthfirmations reveal an inconvenient truth that you’ve been avoiding. What better thing to affirm?

I unconsciously allow pain from the past to affect my decisions in the present.

This affirmation simply states a fact. The fact, in this case, could be incredibly useful. It might also be painful. This pain, however, could be the key to freedom.

Why all this?

Because affirmations don’t work for many people. Often they fail the people who need them the most. This post shows why and suggests turning negative thoughts into questions: https://psychcentral.com/blog/why-positive-affirmations-dont-work/

This post offers an alternative from a therapist who noticed her clients didn’t always do well with positive affirmations: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/bouncing-back/201405/why-affirmations-arent-always-effective-heres-solution

Third wave psychology – models like Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) are the new approach.

The big question

What could I realize that would be painfully liberating? Painfully liberating. This is the state of mind and body that breaks the emotional ice. That’s what these are! Truthfirmations are emotional ice breakers. Go ahead. Make yourself cry on purpose.

Make yourself cry on purpose. The key to emotional recovery?

Not just cry tears. The tears must come from a painfully liberating experience.

Criteria for Choosing a Joint Venture Partner

We all know that you cannot predict when people will show their true colors. So when you’re choosing a joint venture partner, how do you know whether or not this person is a good fit?

How do you know your JV partner is stable?

Appropriate? Honest? Genuinely motivated?

You can’t know for sure. Only time will tell. Interestingly, while time is the best judge of character, it never rules out the potential for things to go south.

This week we lost a JV partner because she spontaneously began acting bizarre. She is married to a man but made a pass at my wife after getting so drunk and disorderly that we’d have ended the relationship regardless.

We don’t care that much what our partners do in their own private worlds. But in the public arena during business? Nope. Drunken, disorderly and sexually inappropriate is a deal-breaker.

What are some good criteria for choosing a JV partner?

The usual list of honest and motivated and blah blah blah. They are super important in spite of the blah blah blah comment. But they’ve been done a thousand times. Here’s a good article on the classic characteristics of a good JV partner (as well as other good JV info).

But there’s more.

During the past two weeks – as a result of our epic JV partner relationship failure, I would say this.

Do NOT overlook ANY red flags.

Like any relationship, overlooking the red flags will kill you in the end. When the time comes; when conditions are just right, it will blow all blow up in your face.

How to Stop Being an Asshole by Changing your Perception

Our topic? How to stop being an asshole.

It may be dawning on you that you’re no Mother Theresa. And you don’t want to be, right? You would just like to stop being a total asshole. 

Congrats on your honesty, by the way.

It’s your negative views that make you an asshole. Or limiting beliefs. Let’s work through the issue together and come out the other side in a kinder, gentler frame of mind.

Describe the Adversity that Makes you Want to Know How to Stop Being an Asshole

I want to stop being an asshole. However, it’s hard. Being a jerk – looking down on people, yelling at them – seeing others as obstacles in my way or completing dismissing them as irrelevant. I don’t treat others as I want to be treated. I’m a jerk. 

Case in point: My step-son. I can barely tolerate being in the same room with him. I see him as some sort of degenerate sub creature that I’m not sure I can endure much longer. This is an exaggerated perception of the situation that adds up to nothing less than self-sabotage for me.

Yet, I honestly feel that’s true. I see him that way. This is asshole territory, is it not? How to stop being an asshole? IDK

Identify the Limiting Belief

What must be true in order for me to see my stepson in this light and treat him poorly? Let me brainstorm ideas about what I must believe, given my perspective and behavior. 

Why is it so hard for me to stop being an asshole? Do I not see it? No….I see it. I know when I’m being one. I must believe being an asshole is justified somehow. I may never stop being an asshole, but people deserve it. Do I believe people deserve to be treated poorly?

  • I don’t have the time or energy to care for others
  • People suck
  • If I stopped being an asshole, it would make zero difference as the world is full of assholes

No, no. What MUST be true in order for me to so consistently see my stepson as less than and act like a jerk toward him? It’s how he makes me feel…..which is defined by how I see him! How do I see him?

As a lost cause. But a lost cause that demands resources that I resentfully provide. This is it! Who wouldn’t resent feeling compelled to spend time and money (a lot of it) on a total lost cause? What a waste, right? 

What are the Consequences of the belief?

Believing my stepson is an expensive lost cause and needing to learn how to stop being an asshole are one and the same issue.

See him as a lost cause that pointlessly drains family resources creates RESENTMENT within me. Wow. I am creating the resentment because it begins with how I perceive the situation. If I see through my belief that he’s a lost cause and then need to pay for his college, that creates resentment. It began with how I was seeing him as a lost cause. 

The stressful feelings I do not like carrying around every single day are the direct result of viewing my stepson as a lost cause. 

Dispute the Belief

No, he’s not a lost cause. This kid is not an utter waste of life. He exists for the same reason anyone exists. The reason itself is irrelevant because we’re all on an equal footing regardless. He’s not a lost cause. I do not know what he is – what his purpose might be or what good he might do in the world. 

Seeing him as a lost cause is essentially claiming to know the purpose (or lack thereof) of anyone’s life, I am not even very sure of my own life purpose!

Energize – Take Action 

Whenever I feel resentful I will stop and recognize that I can learn how to stop being an asshole if I realize that how I am seeing him is the root cause of the issue. It’s not him. The cause is my perception of him, which he has less to do with than I imagine. 

Step-Parent >> Be Honest with Thyself

I’d like to approach the topic of dealing with my step-son from a certain perspective that heaps all the responsibility on me.

Responsibility for what? For my own thoughts, feelings, beliefs, and behavior. For me. Not him. He’s an adult who is responsible for his own life.

These 2 points are the bottom line:

1) My issues with him are the direct result of my own perspective – the way I see him. So, I’d like to look more closely at how I see him. I believe this is a good approach because I have some influence on how I see him. Mostly, I think I am suffering from seeing him through the lens of my own self-sabotaging beliefs.

What if we examined those? 

2) If I’m honest about my own beliefs and put them to a sort of reality test – would the distortions drop? Within myself, I exaggerate his issues and make them appear intolerable.

In fact, he’s a difficult kid (think: Aspergers). Everyone who knows him knows this. But – that doesn’t mean his difficult personality has to be my personal doom. I am dooming myself. 

Hmm… what do you think? 

I Must Need Gratitude Training – Help!

Do I need gratitude training or what? Because the bad news is….

I haven’t been practicing gratitude (at all) even though I promised myself I would. Why not? It’s creepy. Skip to the second half of this post to read it.

In the meantime, I’ve been reflecting on my situation in life sans gratitude training.

Here’s the bullet point version:

• My children have flown the coop

• I run a successful online business and work at home with my wife as my biz partner

• I feel my children’s absence daily.

• My wife and I are both willful people who like to get our own way and be “right”

• Everything in my life looks awesome, except I don’t feel awesome!

Thus the obvious need for gratitude training

On the gratitude thing – I think I have an “Achilles Eel” thing going on (it’s a book I read) — about self-sabotage. The idea is that we become so accustomed to a certain way of being and seek it out on autopilot.

Ok – fine. But if the way of being includes negativity we still seek it out and even prefer it over lighter moods that are “foreign” to us.

Red alert!

Wow – WordPress doesn’t allow me to color the above fonts red! Dang. Ok here we go:

And worse, if you Google gratitude training you get news about a sex cult! Not the kind of education I was thinking of when I began writing.