Self-worth

6 Ways You’re Unintentionally Selling Yourself Short In Your Love Life

You deserve better – even if you don’t know it.

March 2, 2017

Needing Medication Doesn’t Make You a Failure

Taking care of yourself is never a failing.

February 27, 2017

How I Learned To Stop Being A Doormat And Start Saying No

Because there’s being an accepting person, and then there’s being a pushover. 

May 5, 2016

How Are Negative Life Patterns Affecting You?

Do you have a string of bad relationships? Can’t quit smoking, reach that goal weight or feel worthy of that promotion? What about finishing things? Perhaps you have some attainable goal that just seems to keep evading you? All these things are negative life patterns at work. Unconsciously you may be doing the same thing over and over again, expecting a different outcome or stuck in a familiar way of doing things.

RELATED: Everything you need to know about personal boundaries

Unfortunately life patterns can be much easier to recognise in others than acknowledge in ourselves. For example, we can often see our friends or relatives enter the same types of relationship time after time but never find happiness. The problem is they seem oblivious to what’s right in front of them.

We all experience this in one form or another. For some it’s worse than others, such as people who unintentionally sabotage themselves with unhealthy behaviours or continue to place themselves in violent relationships. It’s only when life patterns are recognised and acknowledged that change can begin.

How life patterns form

Barbara Findeisen, psychotherapist and world renowned expert in pre-and perinatal psychology, believes life patterns form before birth whilst still in the womb. She explains that here we begin learning patterns of trust and security.

This strongly supports the theory that life patterns evolve on a sub-conscious level. For example, knowing that things covered in fur which have four legs are usually animals. We don’t remember when we learn these things, but most of us eventually do.

We also learn what to expect in various situations and from other people. Like if we walk down a dark alley alone at night we’ll probably feel scared, or if we’ve done a good job at work we may receive praise. Combined these things form our unconscious perception of what we know and what we anticipate to happen. If we anticipate a negative or positive outcome we act accordingly.

Remember this happens on a sub-conscious level. Many of us aren’t aware that we intentionally set ourselves up for success or failure, but ironically that’s exactly what happens. The only way to move forward and overcome it is to recognise your life patterns for what they are and make some essential changes.

Negative self-defeating life patterns

If you have a string of bad relationships, can’t finish things, feel stuck in a rut or just can’t seem to meet goals you set for yourself, you may have a self-defeating life pattern. People with this type of life pattern learn a negative perception and often repeatedly behave in a way that supports it. This is called a self-fulfilling prophecy and occurs due to positive feedback between beliefs and behaviour.

For example, they may be attracted to a particular type of person and this is why the relationships they enter into end badly. Maybe they sub-consciously feel they can’t be in a relationship or that they don’t deserve happiness. They will choose partners based on this unconscious perception which supports this belief. When the relationship ends badly it’s familiar and expected, which in turn strengthens this belief.

How to fix negative life patterns

According to Kevin D. Arnold, a psychologist and Board Certified Cognitive & Behavioral Psychologist, there are some simple ways to overcome negative self-defeating behaviours.

1.Know what triggers your self-defeating behaviour

When you know what you want to change, work out the pattern which has lead you to defeat in the past. For example, you might eat when you’re tired rather than hungry. You might have a date with an ideal partner but not answer their call for a second date. Each behaviour has a trigger, so keep a diary and work out what you’ve been doing in the past which has prevented your happiness or success.

2.Control your triggers

This is pretty self explanatory, but pull yourself up on whatever the behaviour is when the trigger presents itself. Recognise it and the best method of control is replacing a negative behaviour with a positive one.

3.Replace Self-defeating habits

We learn every behaviour and most are a reaction to a trigger. The idea is to swap the behaviour for a non-defeating positive behaviour. Identify one which will work and replace the behaviour which is holding you back. It will become a habit over time and far easier to sustain a change.

4.Keep moving forward

We can’t change the past, so focus on the present and future. The idea is to shift your perspective of negative self-belief into positive self-belief. The power of positive thought works equally as well as negative thought, so if you have a choice, why focus on the negative? Over time your new behaviours will change your perception. They will confirm your positive perceptions and new self-fulfilling prophecies will develop.

Image via completemortgageprocessing.net

February 17, 2015

Why You Never Deserve Male Violence And Bullying

Angie, 36, feels trapped in a toxic relationship because her physically and emotionally abusive, long-term boyfriend earns a lot of money and controls the finances. Years of degrading comments have left her feeling hopeless, worthless and powerless to leave him.

Jane, 25, is young, successful and slim, but stays with her emotionally abusive boyfriend, who constantly tells her she’s fat and stupid, because she’s scared of being alone and has started to believe his taunts about never being able to find someone better to love her.

Sophie, 45, has endured years of domestic violence, physical sexual and emotional, at the hands of her long-time husband, but is scared of leaving him because she’s worried about what further harm he’ll do to her and their three kids, and besides, the AVO she took out against him hasn’t worked anyway.

RELATED: Escaping Domestic Violence

Male bullying and violence can take many varied and insidious forms, but know this dear reader – you never, ever deserve it. And while the above names may be fake, to protect the innocent and safeguard people’s privacy, sadly the scenarios are not – they’re all recent, real-life examples.

Widespread male violence and bullying can be from a brother, father, or a partner; sadly, violence against women is one of the most widespread human rights abuses in Australia and around the world. In fact, one in three Australian women will experience violence in an intimate relationship.

self-help, self-esteem, domestic violence

And while I’m sure I don’t need to bombard you with many further grim domestic violence statistics here – for violence against women is so widespread and ingrained in our society that most women will know others in the above situations or experience such abuse themselves – it is noteworthy that domestic violence is the biggest cause of homelessness for Australian women.

And when you’re young and naive, you might think you can change a partner; make them a better person capable of kicking their abusive ways. But as you mature, you will hopefully come to realise, as I had to in my early 20s, that that’s not your job and you deserve so much more than they could ever give you.

And speaking of what we women deserve, just this past weekend I was so saddened to read a newspaper report about how a 16-year-old rising Romanian tennis player said she “deserved” to be violently assaulted by her abusive father (also her coach) because she’d played badly.

How did it come to this, that women feel they bring male violence and bullying on themselves? And what makes a man, as my vile, middle-aged neighbour did recently, ever think it’s OK to verbally abuse a woman, from the street outside her home, over fallen palm fronds in his yard post-storm?

I pride myself on being a strong woman, but even I shrunk back into the shadows of my lounge room when this nutter decided to hurl abuse at me at 9am on a Sunday, all while my husband was away and I was breakfasting with my two toddlers in the supposed safety of my own home! And so I went in search of answers from a clinical psychologist, who wishes to remain anonymous, over this difficult issue.

I hope you find her expert, wise answers as illuminating and helpful as I did.

abuse, violence, victim, love, survival, thriving, help, government and welfare agencies

Why is male violence and bullying so prevalent in society? Unfortunately, often boys grow up thinking it’s OK to use their strength and size to get what they want and they continue this bullying behaviour into adulthood because they find that it works; they can dominate and intimidate to get what they want. It may be more likely in boys who lack good verbal skills as they feel more competent using intimidation rather than discussion.

How do we teach women they never “deserve” to be abused, whether physically, sexually or emotionally? Of course no woman (or child) deserves to be abused! No one “deserves” abuse and no one has the right to abuse others. Of course, it does happen for reasons mentioned above. Perpetrators often abuse women for trivial things and make them believe they are stupid, incompetent, clumsy or whatever. This make the perpetrator feel strong/powerful/in control. Women with a reasonable sense of self-esteem can counteract this with an appropriate comment, but women who lack self confidence, are fearful or who feel helpless will take such put-downs to heart and feel even more disempowered. Addressing the DV or abuse would involve helping the woman to believe in their own worth and not accept bullying and abuse.

How do women being abused best seek for help? Talk to anyone and everyone – friends, family, DV help lines and if it doesn’t stop, the police. Bring the abuse out into the open because it’s more likely to escalate if kept hidden. Unfortunately, women often don’t like to talk about it if they are being abused because they often feel a sense of shame. Perpetrators often make their victims believe it is the woman’s fault. Abused women are often lacking in self-esteem so agencies that work with abused women will help them to build their self-esteem.

Why are some female victims so scared and reluctant to seek help? How can we better support these women? The reality is that some perpetrators make terrible threats against them and their children and women have good reason to be afraid. Usually abuse in a family starts with something small and gradually escalates. That’s why it’s important to address the abuse as soon as it begins, with a clear message that it’s not ok. But it’s not easy and women should never be judged for not speaking up. Perpetrators sometimes threaten to harm/kill the woman and/or her children if they seek outside help, so it’s fear of the repercussions if they speak up that prevents them.

How can mothers better educate their sons not to abuse women? The way in which the father and other significant other male role models treat and speak to and about women is very important. If these male role models set an example of respectful treatment of women then boys are likely to internalise this, just as they will internalise disrespect and abuse of women. It’s not inevitable though – boys can make a conscious decision to be different from their fathers.

If you are experiencing male violence and/or bullying in any of its forms, seek help via The National Domestic Violence Hotline via www.thehotline.org; and/or www.somethingincommon.gov.au, and/or Lifeline on 13 11 14 and www.lifeline.org.au.

Human Rights Day

 

Main image via gretchenmiller.wordpress.com and secondary image via www.pixabay.com

December 10, 2014

Lift The Mask For Makeup Free Me

On Friday, August 29, one of our favourite skincare brands will join thousands of Australian women in going makeup-free to make a stand for positive self-image. Kosmea announced their support for cause-related charity movement, Makeup Free Me, to help shine a light on negative self-image, which 90 per cent of women believe is a major issue in today’s society.

This year, Makeup Free Me aims to raise $250,000 for the Butterfly Foundation with 100 per cent of funds raised going to combat negative body image and support those affected by eating disorders.

Kosmea’s founder Marie Jenkins said: “Kosmea are proud to have a very active contribution to charity, including our ongoing efforts in Lethoso, South Africa where we support communities by providing an income to local residents who harvest our rose hips. Closer to home, we are delighted to support Makeup Free Me’s efforts and the importance of addressing body image issues in helping women and g irls to ultimately develop a positive self-image. We’re extremely proud to help support this important cause.”

We asked Marie to shed some more light on the cause and why she believes it is so important:

Can you tell us a little bit more about the Makeup Free Me campaign?

Makeup Free Me is a cause-related charity movement focusing on combating issues of negative self-image in women and young girls. Negative body image, which can lead to eating disorders is recognised as an issue in today’s society by 90 per cent of Australian women. Makeup Free Me are on a mission to address and prevent negative body image around Australia with all proceeds from the campaign going towards the Butterfly Foundation. “Kosmea is delighted to support Makeup Free Me’s efforts and the importance of addressing body image issues in helping women and girls to ultimately develop a positive self-image. We’re extremely proud to help support this important cause.

How can people get involved?

Kosmea lovers can help to support the Makeup Free Me campaign by purchasing a bottle of our Certified Organic Rose Hip Oil up until 7th September. 5 per cent of all sales of Kosmea Certified Organic Rose Hip Oil (10mL and 20mL) will go to Makeup Free Me to help the movement ‘empower women and girls to develop and nurture positive self-image’. Kosmea Certified Organic Rose Hip Oil helps to repair, nourish, and hydrate skin leaving it glowing. Most women will hardly need to wear makeup after using it! You can also register to donate at the Makeup Free Me website www.makeupfreeme.com.au and go Makeup Free on August 29 with the help of Kosmea Facial Cleansing Wipes.

Why is important that we act to change unrealistic body expectations for women?

If we don’t do anything about change unrealistic body expectations we are going to be breeding a generation that is physiologically tainted and how will they cope with brining children into the world if they cannot manage to cope with life themselves. I believe that we need to change the way we think about how we look and start to look at how we think and act not only toward ourselves but others we come into contact with.

What are your tips on getting beautiful, glowing skin – without makeup?

Keep it simple, cleanse, exfoliate and nourish the skin. I would recommend our Certified Organic Rose Hip Oil as a staple to heal, nourish and repair the skin, to cleanse I would recommend our Purifying Cream Cleanser, and our Daily Facial Exfoliant to remove dead skin cells and prime the skin for the application of our moisturisers. To moisturise I would recommend our day cream our Replenishing Moisture Cream or our SPF30 Moisturising Lotion for the face to protect against UVA and UVB rays.

Makeup Free Me, Kosmea, Marie Jenkins, charity, self-worth, positive image

August 19, 2014