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“Those who wish
to sing, always
find a song.” 

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message IN bottle

LIFE
IS GOOD

STEVE JOBS QUOTE


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SUCCESS EQUALS EFFORT POSTER


YOU'VE SEEN MY DESCENT RUMI QUOTE


PROGRESS IS IMPOSSIBLE


JK ROWLING


ELEANOR ROOSEVELT QUOTE


PATH LONELY





UNPACK BAGGAGE POSTER


DALE CARNEGIE QUOTE


WONDERFUL THOUGHT


DOUBT WHAT YOU BELIEVE IS OKAY


NEW THINKING REQUIRED SLOGAN


HOW GOOD DO YOU WISH TO BE?


MOHANDAS GANDHI QUOTE


ACTION IS SUCCESS QUOTE


ANIMATED WRITE THE BOOK


LIFE IS SHORT BREAK THE RULES POSTER


DRAKE QUOTE


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IMPERFECTION IS BEAUTY


YOU MAY HAVE TO DIE A FEW TIMES BUKOWSKI QUOTE


JOHN LENNON QUOTE


REALITY STRENGTH SAYING


CHANGE IS HEALTH AUTUMN LEAVES


SMALL CHANGES BIG DIFFERENCE


MARILYN MONROE QUOTE


OPPORTUNITY IN DIFFICULTY


CHANGE THE WORLD TOLSTOY QUOTE


LIFE IS TOO SHORT TO WAIT OCEAN PIC


OPRAY QUOTE ON FAILURE


STOP WISHING START DOING QUOTE


BUILD A DOOR MILTON BERLE QUOTE


DECIDE COMMIT SUCCEED


JERRY SEINFELD ROAD LESS TRAVELLED QUOTE


MENTAL FREEDOM


DESIGN YOUR LIFE


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WHAT LIES BEHIND US CLICHE


WILLPOWER TRUMPS WHINING POSTER


FISH JUMP NEW BOWL


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WHEN YOU FEEL LIKE QUITTING


YOU ARE ALREADY THERE CLICHE


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NEAL DONALD WALSCH QUOTE


A WITTY SAYING PROVES NOTHING POSTER


GET RID OF THE BOX DEPAK CHOPRA


ONE THING THAT SCARES YOU


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JUST A BAD DAY NOT A BAD LIFE


ANYTHING BUT NOT EVERYTHING


OVERWHELMED 1960S HOUSEWIFE


BEST SIX DOCTORS ADVICE


DEPRESSION IS AN ILLNESS WARNING


IT'S OKAY NOT TO BE OKAY


SEXY IS THE NEW INTELLIGENT SKETCH GIRL

LIFE IS GOOD

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#2 Secret of Life? You Can Begin Again At Any Moment

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Not One Person On This Planet Escapes Without A Struggle

Welcome to
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ying VIDEO AND MUSIC FOR WEARY SOULS

Discover How Others Have Overcome

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Life Does Not Play Favorites

But It Does Reward Good Thinking

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BABY AND ADULT HANDS


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CONFINED BY WALL SELF CREATED


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THE EXPERT WAS A BEGINNER TOO SAYING


SET A GOAL


STRIVE FOR PROGRESS


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STRONG THOUGHTS


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BECOME WHAT WE THINK


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SEEING IS BELIEVING ARTICLE HEADLINE

"Life is ten percent what you experience and ninety percent
how you respond to it." Dorothy M. Neddermeyer, author

Only Design Flaw With The Human Brain?
Your Critical Inner Voice Is An Imposter.

After twenty-two years on a comfy psychiatric couch, Jack finally saw the light. His unhappiness, as he suspected, was someone else's fault: His Critical Inner Voice (CIV). Identical in tone, he claims, to that of beloved TV Reality star Gordon Ramsey. On a bad day. A really bad day. And you thought you had problems.

Jack's inner critic was like Mikee from that old TV Commercial (see video) who hated everything. Everything Jack. From dusk to dawn, it was a non-stop voice that screamed allot in a British accent and knit-picked Jack's every move. Jack's Critical Inner Voice was beyond abusive. Verbal abuse on steroids.

These were self attacks with pinpoint precision coupled with military-grade stealth. Jack indeed hated Jack. Not one happy thought really. Night and day, Jack's Critical Inner Voice (CIV) pounded ugly false thoughts about Jack's existence. Not one aspect was good enough. In fact Jack was near suicide. Depressed beyond all reasonable capacity to even muddle on with daily activities. He wanted to die. No one had a clue.

Now to be fair, Jack had no plan in place to exit stage left. It was merely a fleeting thought. Dark as night, but like millions of others, suicide ideation was a constant companion. He didn't want to live in his current state-of-mind, or the conditions he created, but he really didn't wish to die either. He just wished to be someone else. Anyone else. Could he die without dying? Could he really Begin Again?

Now if that describes you, welcome to the club. If you are close to the edge, unhappy and overwhelmed for any reason, contemplating ending your human existence, please read on. And there's lots to read. Some of it may ring-a-bell. After all it was cobbled together from people just like you. People who hung tough through the darkest moments of their life to emerge out the other-side as happy and well adjusted humans.

FIRST THINGS FIRST

How did they do it? Of all approaches to mental health, confronting that distorted CIV is extremely life-transforming. And why we begin here. We'll update this section with other Mental Health tips and tricks, but realizing that your thoughts are faulty is quite liberating and one that anyone can achieve without interfering with any current therapy or prescribed medication. Consider it homework.

Believe it or not, if you are seriously overwhelmed with life you are closer to a major turning point than you know. Now that may sound a little cliche (darkest before light) but we can assure you that Life is about to get very interesting for you. In fact, the closer you are to the end, possibly paralyzed with fear, the closer you are to a new beginning. Not to be envied of course, but you are in a perfect position to Begin Again.

That Life Is Good cannot be overstated. It is not just a bumbersticker slogan. It does not play favorites (although it certainly appears that way) and each one of us can rise to a Life worth living once we brush some faulty thinking aside. You can Begin Again at any moment, so fasten your seat belts. Life as you know it is about to marvelously change. You can break-free from your state-of-mind much easier than you might think -- and we know what you're thinking. It gets better.

We are not speaking of normal self-doubt and periodic bouts of the blues. That's life, you'll experience that along with every other human. We speak of that brain chatter that is akin to self-repudiation on steroids. That haunting voice that says you are not good enough. The one that asks: What's the point of going any further?

That crazy notion that has one close to proverbial edge of Life or Death. A powerful overwhelming belief that what the Critical Inner Voice has to say is true, when in fact, upon review, is nonsense and simply your mind left to it's own devices.

It's really just pulling bit's and pieces from past experiences that you have given it permission to do. And will continue to do so if left un-examined. It is the sub-conscious Default Operating Mode that is screaming for new thoughts and some direction from it's host -- you. And that's very good news.

BE UNHAPPY YOUR INNER CRITIC LED YOU ASTRY

You can provide it new marching orders, new mental attitude, new personality traits, and a complete set of fascinating Life experiences you'd like to enjoy into the future. Believe this to be true. That's all that's required. You can do this.

Most hesitate (life is naturally good for some) because there are still likeable elements in their Life and so they'll continue along the destiny of mediocrity. Their Default Operating Mode is adequate. Not entirely sad nor entirely happy. Those truly in despair however are beyond fed-up. Something desperately yearns to be different. The self-loathing, self-hate, corresponding thoughts and real physical emotions have driven them to suicidal tendencies.

Although wishing it to be different (and secretly knowing it could be different) they seek a reset button of sorts. And this is it. Or at least a good starting point. You'll know this to be true, afterall we were once you. You will be us soon enough.

The good news is that Jack found the answer and would love to share the secret. You and he may share different circumstances, but that dread of life and self-loathing has nothing to do with situations. Ironically enough, faulty thinking respects no boundaries. Old or young, it resonates and cripples equally. It's the same viewpoint, the same faulty self-image, the same un-examined loop-tape.

(BACK TO VIDEO)

Back to Jack. Technically Jack should have been curled-up in the fetal position sobbing for all the world to see. But that would not go over very well at the office nor the local coffee shop. He tried that once. Not pretty. So he restricted that for the cognitive therapy sessions.

He could not turn the negative chatter off. That Critical Inner Voice was exhausting. Unrelenting. What Jack eventually recognized (years of therapy) was that he was getting the results of that distorted inner critic. It worked beautifully.
A beautifully vicious catch-22. Creating exactly what Jack feared. And fear was everywhere. He didn't know it was fear, but fear it was. Nothing went right.

After-all, the CIV is the gatekeeper as to what actions you will or will not take. Then presents you the evidence of what it creates to complete the loop. It feels and acts like you, but it's not you at all. In so-called normal people, it acts as a friendly GPS system keeping one on course with a re-assuring commentary. In others, the brain will dredge up allot of crappolla (for lack of a better word) that disempowers and masquerades as truth. It feels real because you experience it physically as well.

It's a very convincing illusion. Las Vegas magicians would be proud.

Picture that inner critic as being on a loop-tape that needs a volume adjustment. Or a dimmer switch. You will not silence it completely (it will diminish and become friendly over time) but you can certainly turn down the volume once you realize it's providing faulty voice-over commentary. Once you recognize that it's providing brain-generated nonsense, the emotions and very real physical feelings (fear, worry, dread, anxiety, self-loathing, hopelessness) will begin to dissipate substantially.

But it's crucial you ignore whatever situations you may have created that justify the thinking (poverty, loneliness, health, appearance etc.). The reason you have such situations is the faulty thinking, not the other-way around. Look upon your situation as an opportunity to pick and choose what you wish to retain (if anything) and dismiss any guilt, shame, remorse. Take full responsibility for any consequences that need tidying up. And Begin Again.

You created the environment with faulty thinking so accept that and forgive yourself because it could be no other way. That's liberating. You were not enlightened enough during that period of time, but you are now. Move forward.

(BACK TO VIDEO)

Jack's Critical Inner Voice (CIV) became Jack's Default Operating Mode (DOM). Unhappy dread was normal. For he knew no other voice. It may have been vicious, but it was very familiar. Jack recognized that not only was the CIV not really him, it was the anti-him.

For the judgments the CIV screamed at Jack were truly horrendous (you are a failure, not much of a man, unattractive in all respects etc.) and one's Jack realized he would never level at another human. Of course he was worthy. Of course he was capable. He may have fallen short in a few areas of life, but so what?

The Default Operating Mode (DOM) is mostly invisible, residing in that unexplored
(<---- see video) netherland known as the sub-conscious. Although you'll get a flavor of it through personality traits. We all know folks who just have a good disposition, the perpetually happy, the perpetually unhappy, the optimist and the naysayers. That's just their natural state of being. It's who they are without any effort. Default. No thought required. It's who we wake-up with on any given day.

Consider it your unaltered automatic state of mind. It can partly explain the need to get altered through substance -- alcohol, drugs, nicotine, food, sex etc. -- if your DOM is unhappy with your current state of affairs. It wishes an escape.

Jack began to see these thoughts as simply random brain chatter on a loop tape once he could distance himself from the evidence of what he created. Depressed minds neglect many things causing chaos and real physical dilemmas. Why he believed these thoughts was completely irrelevant. It was a debilitating Default Operating Mode that functioned without any effort -- until it was examined.

Suffice to say, the recognition that these critical automatic thoughts are false (simply brain chatter) is enough to get started on the road to a better life. Reserve the reasons why those thoughts exists for deeper therapy if you wish. But know, without any hesitation or reservation, that your view of you is false -- you are not unworthy, without hope, beyond redemption. Absolute nonsense.

BRAIN THOUGHTS GET RID OF SELF PITY ARTICLE

Yes, you may be experiencing substantial turmoil. But your current problems, in the big scheme of things, are insignificant. Begin to diminish the importance of them without mercy. Perspective is everything. Even your worst case scenario is essentially quite solvable -- and considering other lives on this planet (watch the news once in a while), you're in ship-shape to Begin Again.

Look around, take a deep breath and be somewhat thankful you find yourself where you are and who you are at this very moment. You have everything you need. Believe it or not, there are millions who would swap lives with you in a heartbeat. Self-pity is not productive. And the only one who finds it attractive is your CIV.

Begin Again with that truth. It's important.

Self-pity dissolves the moment you put your life in perspective and begin to take a little inventory of all that you have and all that you will have into the future. Not that you take any joy in other peoples troubles, but spend a moment to look about this planet and the lives of those less fortunate. You may feel a little silly when you take a mature and sober navel-gazing contest with someone truly in circumstances beyond their control -- war, famine, slavery, homeless, poverty etc.. And then discover they are more hopeful than yourself.

If you carry a great burden of toxic-shame (see archive article) as opposed to normal shame brought about by situational choices and subsequent consequences, then addressing your critical inner voice will also be of great assistance along with therapy and further study. Toxic-shame is not self-pity and worth exploring separately as part of your mental health fine-tuning.

That Critical Inner Voice, complete with that whoa-is-me soundtrack, is wrong so begin to ignore it. The best way to do that is to cultivate a new plan (please read below) and get excited. Enthusiasm is vital. No more self-pity. That's one habit you can kick without further ado.

Since the CIV is pulling visions (like scenes from a really bad movie) from the brain, you can begin to supplement the visions with a new realistic plan and act accordingly. Magic happens quickly. But watch for that voice that says "you're kidding yourself". That's the tip-off you are on the right track.

YOU ARE NOT CRAZY ARTICLE BANNER(BACK TO VIDEO)

This stream of destructive thought forms an anti-self that discourages one from acting in their own best interest. People often make their actions correspond to their self-attacks, getting the results of that terrible faulty thinking. Mostly lousy outcomes as predicted.

They then use the results as evidence, essentially leaving that CIV unexamined. After-all it's 100% accurate. Until you poke and prod into the ridiculous cycle. And once observed quickly loses steam. It's grip depends entirely on the person allowing those judgments to go un-examined.

Remember that your critical inner voice is not a reflection of reality. It is a viewpoint you adopted based on destructive early life experiences and attitudes directed toward you that you've internalized as your own point of view. As you go through life, similar situations will be added to the pile -- good, bad and indifferent. You're internal critic will of course zero in on the bad outcomes and awkward situations adding them to your impressive but quite distorted grey-matter resume.

In the healthy and well adjusted mind, it acts as a pretty-good navigation system, providing GPS co-ordinates for a reasonably happy existence. A reasonably encouraging voice for the most part. It's on your side in other-words.

Jack slowly peeled away the falsehoods one by one with psychiatric counsel. Cognitive therapy works. He was able to pinpoint exactly the errors of his over-dramatic and cruel thinking about himself and his place in the world. He found great relief the moment he realized his critical inner voice was not a reflection of reality. The world did not see Jack as Jack saw himself and that was liberating.

"One of the biggest fears is that our fears are correct. When it comes to the spectrum of delusional thinking, depressives are at one end and ego-maniacs at the other. The goal is to develop a healthy balance where one can exist without becoming an ego-maniac with an inferiority complex."

The faulty thoughts create appropriate physical emotions -- fear based mostly that manifest in depression, anxiety, dread, grief, hopelessness, laziness. All appropriate considering your CIV is barking through a megaphone. This is turn creates a cascading stream of similar thoughts.

It's a one lousy drama-queen thought leads to another thought affair when in comes to the un-examined brain chatter. It carries with it serious momentum. This is why that overwhelmed sense arises from anything that may trigger your CIV into high gear from the simplest of challenges. It's triggered that cascade mechanism which feeds upon itself -- all faulty but very convincing. Almost like there's two people: The conscious one who can monitor the nasty CIV and the critical voice itself.

CRITICAL INNER VOICE ARTICLE HEAD

That may sound about right, but not quite. It's not so complicated actually. What you are monitoring is the brains chatter. Culled up from years and years of experiences (good and bad) and left to run on auto-pilot through your sub-conscious. Creating your Default Operating Mode. You are now just consciously aware of what it's been up to all this time. Quite an insight.

The Why, the Where and The How The Inner Critic has picked up these bizarro ideas, only to beat you about with them, is completely irrelevant at the moment. Leave that for another time. Or better yet, couple your own efforts with counseling.

The truer you is that voice that longs to be different, the one that bubbles underneath and cringes at what the Critical Voice is creating.

Be not unhappy with you, be unhappy that your Critical Inner Voice has led you so far astray. And rejoice in that new found truth. Although it feels real, it has merely found remnants of past experiences and situations and knitted them into a comfy sweater for you to wear. It's time for a wardrobe update.

The Inner Critic is left to occupy front row seats at what should be the best show on Planet Earth: Life with you happily playing a challenging bit part.

If left unchecked and unobserved The Inner Critic will create a very familiar response mechanism. Loop-tape. Voice over commentary. We are not talking about a little self doubt here. The Critical Inner Voice can be self-repudiation on steroids -- enough to bring the bravest souls to their knees and ultimately depths of despair. It is precisely this pattern that has no doubt taken many lives before their prime. Its dark power is not to be under-estimated.

Jack wasn't really alive. But even the recognition of that faulty thinking brought about a new question. If not that CIV then what? If that critical voice was false and not actually Jack, then what was Jack to believe was true? It was quite a dilemma.

POP QUIZ ARTICLE (BACK TO VIDEO)

See the thing about that Inner Critic is that it masquerades as you. You've never questioned just how ridiculous and supremely faulty that sub-conscious loop-tape really is. So convincing that even your physical body responds. You'll feel like hell, look like hell and be anxious as hell if your Inner Critic says so. The master of disguise.

So here's a little Pop Quiz to see if your Inner Critic is a little askew. Do any of these thoughts repeat in the background of your thinking?

Pop-quiz: The Nasty Inner Critic voice:

< You are not like others. < You can't do anything right. < You are a failure. < Don't try, you'll look like a fool. < You are too fat, too ugly, too skinny, too shy, too stupid, too afraid, too dumb, too small, too poor, too whatever. < You've wasted your Life. < Everyone hates you. < You're kidding yourself. < Fear, self loathing with a side-dish of suicide ideation. < You wake-up dreading the day ahead. < You are guilty of something. < Shame. < You just don't fit in, anywhere. < Who are you kidding. < You are and will be nobody. < Everyone is better off without you. < You'll never make it. < Give up. < You really need a nose job. < Your Mexican hair transplant looks terrible. < You can't even make coffee and the family barbeque was a disaster. < It's too late. < You blew it. < Not in this Lifetime. < Time to exit stage left. < What's the point? < Physical exhaustion. < Isolation. < Impending doom. < Emptiness. < Future will be same as past. < I'm pathetic. < It's over. < Out of time. < Your ideas are horrible. < What's the point. < You're an embarrassment. < Life is not worth living. < I'm a pretender. < I hate myself. < People dislike me. < It's time to go. < You can't do anything right. < You're stupid. >

So how many others can you add to the pile? It's endless really. All nonsense of course, but sadly powerful beliefs that throb like a bad toothache.

You get the idea. Notice how hostile this internal enemy can be. If any of those lovely thoughts rattle about your brain more often than not, then there's a good chance your Critical Inner Voice has been running the show and like an old DOS computer program requires an upgrade.

Even when success arrives, it's not good enough. It'll convince you it won't last or you got lucky and essentially contorts a joyful moment into one of fear. Crazy when something goes right it's telling you something is wrong.

Just know that Your Critical Inner Voice is false. Wrong. Ridiculous. Pick a term.
And no, you are not crazy. If there is one thing you can do on your own, explore your inner critic. Stick with your doctor therapy or even seek counseling. Medication may give you the foundation, but your Critical Inner Voice will build the house.

Embrace and explore whatever program or resource (books, tapes, video) you may find of assistance sparking a fresh set of viewpoints. But this one you can handily tackle on your own, or better still with a confidante who has your best interests at heart.

The question becomes if not that, then what? If the Inner Critic is wrong, and it is if you are miserable, then what exactly does one replace it with?

Regain your voice. Your true voice.

INTO ACTION ARTICLE BANNER(BACK TO VIDEO)

Intellectually, most of us can grasp the concept here. To some degree we all dip into that sub-prime territory known as faulty thinking from time to time. It's also very powerful because we believe these thoughts to be true -- creating the corresponding emotions. We believe them not because they are true, we believe them because we act according to these self attacks creating tangible evidence.

Once you challenge them by taking opposite action, which takes a fair bit of confidence, you'll quickly see a favorable response. But it takes action. You must find a way to prove the old view wrong and the new view correct. Be fearless.

There was a very insightful episode of TV's Seinfeld involving George Costanza and his faulty thinking. He figured all his thoughts were wrong so he set out to do the exact opposite of what his brain was telling him. He met with fabulous success once he ignored his Critical Inner Voice -- or more accurately, left the voice but took the opposite approach. Either way, he proved the theory and went on to wildly comical encounters. That was TV. Real life works on the same script but requires real courage.

THREE QUICK STEPS ARTICLE BANNER

Here's a quick three-point starter kit. By-no-means is this the final authority on this topic, far from it. There are many many high caliber resources on this topic
(see below) but this should get you moving in the right direction.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT ARTICLE BANNER
1) The first step is a no-brainer and one that you've already taken if you've read this far. It is the acknowledgement, or at the very least pondering the possibility, that your CIV is off the rails and needs a reboot. If you've done that, you're on your way big time. Congratulations.

Write down exactly the good, the bad and the ugly on a sheet of paper. Be brutally honest about your current perceptions. Take your time. List anything that your Inner Critic voices and include a few deeper character traits. Things like toxic shame, guilt, remorse, embarrassments, humiliations. Let it all hang out. Do not pull any punches. Let your CIV rip for one last final blast.

Read it over once and then symbolically tear it to shreds. Some crumple that page and toss it in the fireplace.

For some, a more formal approach is to begin a journal. Take the back page and use that space for your current distorted CIV thoughts. Refer to that page to monitor progress from time to time. Or select from that list certain beliefs you'd like to work on. Journaling can be very therapeutic, but like anything else will require some self-discipline to maintain. Make it a non-negotiable habit to step aside and actually monitor, journal or record that dialogue. Your CIV will hate this idea.

That will be that for those thoughts. You have a good understanding of how negative, over dramatized and critical you've become. There's no further need to rehash it, just know it to be false and part of what you once believed to be true.

Be vigilant. For there is real momentum behind that CIV. Like a spinning wheel that will continue for awhile. When any of it arises again remind yourself you've already dismissed it as false. You'll feel like you are pretending and that's what you want -- that's the Inner Critic loop-tape you want to be constantly on the look-out for. The difference is now, you are not pretending you are actually doing what's required.

A good benchmark rule on whether your thinking is false? You would never level those negative charges at someone you know and like, so why do they apply to you? We are much, much harsher on ourselves than others. Your critic will eventually become the voice of friendship and not a brutal task-master.

The challenge now becomes what does one now choose to believe? You've torn up the thoughts, beliefs and emotions that caused misery; now what do you wish?

VIEWPOINT ARTICLE HEAD
2) The trick is to come-up with a reasonable viewpoint.
Nothing fancy smancey. The goal here is to methodically add truths about you that are unshakeable, honest, reasonable and entirely rational -- one's you can and now believe to be true. And they are. Life is on your side afterall.

Get a good foundation in place. You don't necessarily want to build yourself up at this juncture. The goal is to counter the faulty CIV with rational thoughts, new truths and beliefs you are aiming to incorporate. Forget wild fantasy. Stay in the humble-zone as you go about pouring this vital foundation. This will become your Default Operating Mode so it has to be solid and non-negotiable. It's who you will be without any effort.

Consider them long forgotten Core Beliefs that you instinctively know to be true. Here's a few to get started:

1) Life Is Good 2) You Are Capable 3) You May Not Be Perfect, But Who Is? 4) It Gets Better With Time 5) You Will Arrive Into A Happy Fulfilled Life 6) You Will Be Fearless 7) Health Is Important And You Will Be Healthy 8) You Can Begin Again Anytime 9) You Are Optimistic 10) Quick To Smile, Slow To Anger 11) You can chart your own destiny 12) You care about others 13) You are happy 14) You are grateful 15) You are loving and compassionate to others and yourself. 16) You are likeable.

Compile an extensive list. Essentially these should counter balance that 'back page' list in step 1 -- unless you decided to start clean and tore it to shreds. Use the the phrase "I Am.... " when describing your new self and conversely "I was... " when that critical voice makes an appearance. The idea is to create a new voice to challenge the old falsehoods, but it takes real consciousness / awareness so stay on-the-ball and tackle this with real gusto. Make this a top priority.

As one of the leaders in interpersonal neurobiology Dr. Daniel Siegel says, the only appropriate attitude to have toward yourself is to be curious, open, accepting and loving. This attitude is what makes change possible. It’s what helps you to not only reach your goals but enjoy and appreciate the road that gets you there, imperfect as it may be. That from Psyche Alive, a terrific repository of good life advice.

The new agers and weekend seminar gurus will pontificate endlessly about the power of visioning -- fantasize about that new home and poof it magically appears. Not so fast. You are not in the business of manifesting anything at this point except a reasonable self-image complete with a soothing friendly and accurate inner critic. Leave the heavy-duty visioning and fantasizing for now -- you'll know when the time is right to step out and really turn-on the after burners.

For now, stick with envisioning a contented happy self.

OPPOSITE ACTIO ARTICLE HEAD
3) The final step is to stop acting on your CIV's advice. It is afterall only advice. Though actively ignoring and taking actions against your CIV may initially make its voice louder and you more anxious, it is the only way to ultimately silence this critic. 

Take actions that represent your own and newly minted point of view, who you want to be and what you aim to achieve. Courage is required. Ignore the fear. Begin to step-out and challenge yourself in new situations. For example: If you were fearful of people, initiate a conversation the next time you are at the grocery store with a complete stranger -- comment on the price of beans or engage a little test banter. Begin to challenge yourself in small ways. You are looking for peanut-sized successes. Eventually enough of these strung together make for a successful life.

Although your critical inner voice may get louder, telling you to stay in line or not to take chances, by identifying, separating from, and acting against this destructive thought process, you will grow stronger, while your Critical Inner Voice grows weaker and a new friendlier encouraging voice takes its place.

And that's exactly the result you want. Progress not perfection. It took your lifetime to accumulate these very private and hugely debilitating thoughts. It turns out they are nothing more than falsehoods told once too often. Lies become truth if left unchallenged. And like that old tattered sweater, it's comfortable.

Just as the flower cannot push away it's fragrance, the real you cannot push aside the Inner Critic. And that's a good thing. For it serves a very noble purpose when re-calibrated. It will remain. The real magic happens when it becomes your best friend with honest empowering advice.

A FEW TIPS ARTICLE HEAD(BACK TO VIDEO)

So here's a little mish-mash of tips that others have found of interest to pass along in no particular order. You'll find related videos smattered about of course, but this is a huge topic -- mental health. As always, stick with your doctor's advice and supplement your own knowledge base with quality resources. And if you need immediate help, never hesitate to call the caring souls at your local Distress Center. They are there to help you over the rough patches. And there will be a few.

Tackle your Mental Health Issues with gusto, enthusiasm and humility. It's the most important do-it-yourself renovation project you'll ever undertake. You'll arrive miles from your starting point in no time, impressing even your toughest critic -- you.

But here are just a few mental gardening tips from those that have been there.

WE ARE HERE TO SAY YOU ARE NOT ALONE: And that you can arrive into a Life worth living. Guaranteed. You can do this. The world needs good souls to overcome in order to strengthen others that may follow.
Of the billions now on this planet, not one has escaped without tragedy, self-doubt, confusion and insecurity of some kind. Do not wallow thinking you are alone and do not think for a moment you are special in your peculiar view of self. This is called being human. You will overcome. Guaranteed. In fact, you are not odd at all. If you could read peoples' minds you'd understand and marvel at how similar we all are about this human journey. You'd be stunned what the so-called well adjusted -- the one's you might envy -- actually think about themselves.
Someone out there really needs you to overcome whatever you now perceive as insurmountable. In otherwords, choose to be the person who may have experienced this particular path and then decided to change course. Many of those who have overcome great odds and horrific tragedy are often quiet on the subject. They have privately battled the same demons of fear, self-doubt, despair and loneliness. They've overcome, moved on to wonderful, emphatic and prominent lives. Although the battle scars may have faded, they'd like to remind you that It Gets Better. They've been you. You'll be them.

NOTHING IS ALL THAT IMPORTANT: And we do mean No Thing. Now repeat that three times. It helps immensely if you bang your noggin against that concrete wall a few times so this this wisdom-gem may require a football helmet. It is vital to diminish the importance of all events in your life. Good, bad and neutral.
At the end of the day, not one thing in life is all that important. By choosing to diminish the importance of whatever is overblown, you'll regain perspective immediately. Being Alive out-strips everything on your to do list. Start there if you must. You are Alive. There is No Thing that cannot be overcome.
Consider your grieving, shame, navel gazing, embarrassment (or whatever the crazy movie playing in mind) concluded. Fair enough? If others wish to remind you of the situation, be very clear: You've moved on. Takes a bit of courage, but nothing is all that important. Whatever your perceived failings maybe, they are Not (repeat Not) all that important. Diminish them, absorb the lesson and Begin Again.

INTO ACTION: Sounds easy. Begin Again. Just snap your fingers (read above). Well, with a modest amount of self-discipline you can begin -- once you begin, the energy will arrive. Keep in mind, your lack of action is perpetuating exactly what you wish to change. If your Old Inner Critic is flying it's colors, begin to simply monitor the thoughts and know them to be false. Procrastination is a leading cause of failure, so get a reasonable plan and new vision with a definite purpose. Once you've taken the governor off your critical voice you'll begin to challenge yourself just enough to prove your new thoughts to be correct -- and one small success will lead to another. Just as one thought leads to another. And remember to get a little indignant when the old loop-tape makes an appearance -- you are not entertaining these falsehoods any further. Be firm. You'll have some periods of slippage back to that old loop-tape, so stay very aware of any old negative and false thoughts -- swat them away like you would a pesky fly buzzing about.

FORGIVE YOURSELF: Whatever perceived shortcomings, real or imagined (mostly imagined BTW), you carry deep within, must now be set aside. Do it as many times as necessary. Always, always forgive yourself until you manage to walk on water. Until then, you'll fail. In fact if you are not failing you are not trying. Cut yourself some slack as you would others. And continuously, throughout your entire life, allow yourself a clean slate when appropriate. Learn from the so-called errors (even the ones you repeat endlessly), forgive, pick-up the pieces and move on with a smile. You are human and considered a work in progress not the final model. Forgive everyone else while you are at it -- there's a good chance they are just as confused as you. Cut them some slack if you can.

FORGET PERFECTION: Life rewards the effort. Although it's not necessarily reflected in the result. Remember results are perfectly perfect. They may not be what you anticipated, but they could be no otherway given the circumstances or they would have been. That's hard to get through the noggin. Perfection is all around, it's our judgment about the results that needs addressing. So cultivate the viewpoint that "Good Is Good Enough" and deal with what is, not what could or should have been. In some cases you can certainly pursue "better" results, but the quest for perfection is folly in many aspects of your life. Your best is always, always good enough -- just be honest about the effort and modify into the future. So you are perfect just the way you are -- yes, another cliche. But it's true. You are perfectly okay and capable just as you are -- that CIV is wrong if it's creating a different movie in your brain.

DIE BEFORE YOU DIE: Consider your old self as being already expired. It's officially run it's course. You may not know where your new self is going, nor even what is in store. But you do not need to physically end your existence to escape the torment or perceived misery that maybe apparent. Make a pledge in your mind that you will not move forward in your current state-of-mind. Your old self has moved on, was entirely based on faulty thinking and you will now be the person who went through that passage of unhappiness. So where to now? What do you wish to create? In otherwords, die before you die. Resurrect the new you, like that Phoenix, from the ashes. It starts with the recognition that Life Is Good. You are capable of Beginning Again. You'll struggle initially, but coupled with a little self discipline you'll rise to the occasion and your new vision. Your Inner Critic is becoming friendlier everyday. It feels good.

REJOICE IN OTHERS: If you cannot see yourself happy and well adjusted, take joy in others if you can. Discard all resentments, envy, jealousy and other judgments toward others. Be the encourager when appropriate, just as you seek acceptance and kind words do the same for others and you will discover it returns ten fold. It also allows you a new focus outside of yourself. Give freely with no expectation of return and you'll discover that you have much to give. There are many opportunities for you to express your new thoughts and that generally involves others in some kind of need. Be a friend to the friendless, be the person you need in your life to someone else.

GRATITUDE: If you don’t learn the language of gratitude, you will never be on speaking terms with happiness, so goes the old proverb. And the language is easy to master (unlike Latin) especially for those feeling sorry-for-themselves. Take an inventory of what good things you have in life and turf the others -- and we do mean physical inventory as well. De-cluttering is a great way to gain gratitude as it'll force you to poke through long forgotten nooks and crannies. Discard, give to charity any items no longer in line with your new self and be grateful that you have much to give. Gratitude is recognition that you have a terrific amount of taken-for-granted people, places and things. Begin to embrace and appreciate your new starting point, it could be allot worse and you'll know it. It is what it is.
Remember, you must Begin Again where you find yourself -- not in some distant fantasy. Taking inventory of what good things you have to Begin Again with is very energizing. Clean house, get excited and reward those people with a gesture of appreciation.

FORGIVE ALL THINGS: As above mentioned, it's important to forgive. To hold others responsible for your state-of-affairs only empowers them. Whatever challenges may come before you, it's worth remembering that what you do for others you really do for yourself. So extend forgiveness generously about and you will receive it back ten-fold. After-all humans are faulty. We all make errors. Do away with all grudges. Clean slate.

FEAR AND ANXIETY: Impending doom? Just too much focus on future events that haven't happened and probably won't. Keep in mind, the old you would cower in fear. The new you does not do that any longer. Confront it head-on. Fear will paralyze. And past failures only reinforce that dread of similar pending situations. Take adversity and make it an asset. Some of your greatest fears hold some of your greatest answers. By confronting it head-on you'll at least know what you are dealing with -- the actual truth and not some fiction of your vivid imagination. Now, a certain level of fear is perfectly normal. Know that you are capable of overcoming whatever arises. And remember, nothing is all that important anyway. So what if it does happen? Learn and move on. Fear is the root of many failures until it's confronted, challenged and then examined. Accept it but keep it in perspective -- most of your fears are false and will never happen. Smile.

MUSIC BARS ARTICLE HEAD FIND THE SOUNDTRACK OF YOUR LIFE: The quickest shortcut to changing your mind is through music. Period. It will transport you to good memories of what was, what could have been and what will be. Use it wisely.
By that we mean, music that lifts your spirit (dance-in-the-kitchen type) and not music that you'd like to be remembered by at your funeral. Select empowering music only (for the time being anyway) and not the suicidal ideation variety. That's important. You'll discover some truly empowering tunes from your distant past -- like time travel -- if you undertake this exercise to assemble a top-ten list. Find the soundtrack of your life and you'll find your thoughts dramatically altered. Undertake the same exercise for movies that really charge your batteries.
The combination of good music and up-lifting movies provides you instant access to positive external stimuli. Saturate yourself for 30 days in music that moves you. Get that soundtrack of your life playing in the background of your real-life adventure. And don't hesitate to sing in the shower.

PRAYER AND MEDITATION: Whatever approach you undertake, designate time for peace, quiet and thoughtful reflection. Turn off all devices and toys while you're at it -- no distractions. Prayer and/or meditation can facilitate some interesting thought processes. It will provide you an opportunity to give thanks and reflect upon your state-of-being. Consider re-engaging former and possibly long forgotten spiritual practices -- head back to church -- or taking a Yoga class at the local community center. Find something that works for you. But designate dedicated time to spiritual evolution and education. You are much more than flesh, bone and brain. Explore prayer/meditation options and you'll discover a new dimension to yourself and a fresh outlook on the world at large. And it's good for the soul.

SLEEP / HYDRATION / EXERCISE: All three plus nutrition are vital to your well-being. Do not smartass these and they'll reward you with a fit physique and clear thinking. Make these part of your unshakeable new foundation.

VANITY / SELF-IMAGE: Find your acceptable level of physicality and forget about it. Obsession with how you appear to others is a pursuit without payoff. For maintaining that charade will turn you old very quick. And if you think your youthful appearance is unacceptable now, wait till you have the hair off your head and sprouting in your ears as a senior citizen. Get comfortable in your own skin as early as possible, for your physical form will be with you for some time. Get used to it. You're perfectly acceptable, all things considered, just the way you are. Make the best of it and forget about it so can enjoy the ride. Wear clean clothes, shower often, spruce up a bit and run a comb through your hair once in awhile. Take pride in your appearance but not obsession. Get a quick routine that works. This applies to men as well. Keep it simple and celebrate the vast spectrum of human appearances -- and withhold judgments when you encounter someone out of the ordinary.

BULLIES AND UNREASONABLE PEOPLE: Mean and cruel. They grow-up to be adult bullies as well. Adults have to work with them, youths have to school with them and seniors have their bed-pans changed by them. They are destined for miserable lives. Keep your distance if you can and report where necessary -- the new you will not tolerate this against you or others. Be the voice that speaks honestly and directly.

NO MORE SUICIDAL IDEATION: Knock that one off. That's part of the deal. No more pondering what your old Critical Inner Voice had in store. Commit to eliminating suicide as an option. If you retain this morbid fascination it will consume brain energy better spent creating the life you wish to live. And the one you will achieve is delayed. The world is your Oyster as they say. Spend your time pondering possibilities. "Eliminate the ideation of your demise and you'll discover Life provides you a marvelous surprise." And PS: reach out to those with that option still on their plate. You'll know who they are by their demeanor.

PERSONALITY TRAITS TO CULTIVATE: If you're unclear as to what the new you may look like, try a few of these personality traits in your new vision (no particular order): See yourself as: Enthusiastic when appropriate; Sincere and caring; Humorous; Attractive but not vain; Hopeful knowing; Healthy; Informed; Smart; Optimistic about you and others; Friend to the friendless; Sexy; Charitable; Happy; Loving; Understanding; Compassionate; Helpful; Adventurous; Curious; Strong; Reliable; Dependable; Hard-working; Persistent; Good Natured; Approachable.
Now you may feel a little awkward with a few of these. The point is to find attributes you'd like to incorporate into your new self-image. And then begin to act accordingly. Begin to emulate those you respect if that helps. Act as if you are these and you'll be amazed to discover you actually are these -- your Inner Critic will begin to shift and support these new thoughts quite quickly. Begin to see yourself as these now.

BRAIN THOUGHTS (BACK TO VIDEO)

“The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind-the-scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel.” ~ Steve Furtick

“All that we are is the result of what we have thought. The mind is everything. What we think, we become.” ~ Buddha

People spend far less time thinking about you then you think they do.

"You can spend your whole life imagining ghosts, worrying about the pathway to the future, but all there will ever be is what’s happening here and the decisions we make in this moment, which are based on either love or fear. So many of us choose our path out of fear disguised as practicality. What we really want seems impossibly out of reach and ridiculous to expect, so we never dare to ask the universe for it." ~ Jim Carrey

"In reality, life is both joyful and painful. The more fully we live and love, the more sadness we are bound to experience. Our inner critic tries to shield us from feeling the joys and pains of existence. It keeps us in a chronic state of numbness or dissatisfaction. In order to face our fears, we must consciously identify and actively ignore this coaching." ~ Lisa Firestone, PhD

Of the 7 billion souls traipsing about Planet Earth, it is estimated all but a handful struggle at one time with this heavy-burden we call our existence. So, you, as special as you think yourself to be, are not all that special after-all. The specifics of your anguish may vary, but rest assured you are not alone. ~ Frank Yourak

"As you move through this Life, just keep going and you will eventually get there. Just make sure your Inner Critic isn't eating all the popcorn and lieing about the movie,"
~ Harry Sullivan

"The real problem with suicidal ideation -- that corrupted and morbid movie in your brain -- is that it produces exactly the circumstances in which you can exit. Hang on to that small voice who knows how great Life can be and ignore the brain chatter that says otherwise." ~ Debbie Hatch

"Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is You er than You," ~ Dr. Seuss

We only bring this Inner Critic Theory to your attention because of all the weekend motivational seminars you'll encounter during your lifetime. Not one of them will be of any assistance if your Critical Inner Voice is not on board.

Considering all that's been said and done on the Mental Health Frontier, addressing your Critical Inner Voice is as close to finding a reset button for the brain. Scratch about for more on this topic and we think you'll agree it's carries some serious merit worthy of implementation. It's been a staple of psychiatric couches for decades.

From a larger perspective, this whole notion of being overwhelmed with Life is ironically part of Life. You'll experience the roller-coaster ride along with the rest of the motley crew. That is Life's greatest equalizer. It may appear to play favorites and you're not one of the in crowd. That's just a popular myth.

No matter what you may be going through at this very moment, rest assured someone else has experienced the very same situation and managed somehow to overcome. What you perceive as the end is really an opportunity to start over -- exhausting as that may sound.

Although it may feel like you are overwhelmed and ready to pack it in, the very fact that you are still here despite these perceived burdens is truly proof positive that you are on your way to a better life. Not in the distant future, but in short order when you decide what it is you seek. And then move into action.

Generations before and generations after you will have different variations of those overwhelming burdens both on a personal level and collectively. But that's Life. Being human is not an easy affair, but it's glorious once lived fearlessly. Remove the shackles of your distorted brain chatter and discover the real you. It's really that simple and that complicated.

Being Overwhelmed begins and ends with your perceptions of the events unfolding. That's why some are able to withstand great pain thresholds while others buckle in a light breeze. But no matter, hell is hell. All are relative to the individual.

When you find yourself navel gazing a little too enthusiastically, try and remember you are not actually the center-of-the-universe. What appears to you at this very moment to be Life Ending would merely be a brief summer rain to someone else. And vice versa. Hellish as it may seem to you, it is not the end of the world as you know it -- someday soon you'll look upon this patch of your journey with a nudge-nudge-wink-wink to yourself.

The late-breaking news is that you will emerge relatively un-scathed and experience life as it was intended. That's the Good News. The bad news? Only you can take corrective action and keep the appropriate perspectives. It takes effort.

Remember: Allot of thoughtful people, research institutions and phd's have taken up this very important dimension of the human psyche. There are many excellent resources available for your further study. Tackle this one on your own. You can become your own best friend and finally break those ruts wide-open.

And keep up the good work.

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