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Posted:  02/16/2023

Spiritual Growth: the Spiritual Challenge of Modern Times 

To grow spiritually in a world defined by power, money, and influence is a Herculean task. Modern conveniences such as electronic equipment, gadgets, as well as, entertainment through television, magazines, and the web have predisposed us to confine our attention mostly to physical needs and wants. As a result, our concepts of self-worth and self-meaning are muddled. How can we strike a balance between the material and spiritual aspects of our lives? 

To grow spiritually is to look inward. Introspection goes beyond recalling the things that happened in a day, week, or month. You need to look closely and reflect on your thoughts, feelings, beliefs, and motivations. Periodically examining your experiences, the decisions you make, the relationships you have, and the things you engage in provide useful insights on your life goals, on the good traits you must sustain and the bad traits you have to discard. Moreover, it gives you clues on how to act, react, and conduct yourself in the midst of any situation. Like any skill, introspection can be learned; all it takes is the courage and willingness to seek the truths that lie within you. 

Here are some pointers when you introspect: be objective, be forgiving of yourself, and focus on your areas for improvement. To grow spiritually is to develop your potentials. Religion and science have differing views on matters of the human spirit. Religion views people as spiritual beings temporarily living on Earth, while science views the spirit as just one dimension of an individual. Mastery of the self is a recurring theme in both Christian (Western) and Islamic (Eastern) teachings. The needs of the body are recognized but placed under the needs of the spirit. Beliefs, values, morality, rules, experiences, and good works provide the blueprint to ensure the growth of the spiritual being. In Psychology, realizing one's full potential is to self-actualize. Maslow identified several human needs: physiological, security, belonging, esteem, cognitive, aesthetic, self-actualization, and self-transcendence. Earlier these were categorized these needs into three: material, emotional, and spiritual. When you have satisfied the basic physiological and emotional needs, spiritual or existential needs come next. Achieving each need leads to the total development of the individual. Perhaps the difference between these two religions and psychology is the end of self-development: Christianity and Islam see that self-development is a means toward serving God, while psychology's view is that self-development is an end by itself. 

To grow spiritually is to search for meaning. The Self Improvement Handbook Page 11 of 19 Religions that believe in the existence of God such as Christianity, Judaism, and Islam suppose that the purpose of the human life is to serve the Creator of all things. Several theories in psychology propose that we ultimately give meaning to our lives. Whether we believe that life's meaning is pre-determined or self-directed, to grow in spirit is to realize that we do not merely exist. We do not know the meaning of our lives at birth; but we gain knowledge and wisdom from our interactions with people and from our actions and reactions to the situations we are in. As we discover this meaning, there are certain beliefs and values that we reject and affirm. Our lives have purpose. This purpose puts all our physical, emotional, and intellectual potentials into use; sustains us during trying times; and gives us something to look forward to---a goal to achieve, a destination to reach. A person without purpose or meaning is like a drifting ship at sea. To grow spiritually is to recognize interconnections. Religions stress the concept of our relatedness to all creation, live and inanimate. Thus we call other people “brothers and sisters” even if there are no direct blood relations. Moreover, deity-centered religions such as Christianity and Islam speak of the relationship between humans and a higher being. On the other hand, science expounds on our link to other living things through the evolution theory. This relatedness is clearly seen in the concept of ecology, the interaction between living and non-living things. 

In psychology, connectedness is a characteristic of self-transcendence, the highest human need according to Maslow. Recognizing your connection to all things makes you more humble and respectful of people, animals, plants, and things in nature. It makes you appreciate everything around you. It moves you to go beyond your comfort zone and reach out to other people, and become stewards of all other things around you. Growth is a process thus to grow in spirit is a day-to-day encounter. We win some, we lose some, but the important thing is that we learn, and from this knowledge, further spiritual growth is made possible.

Start Building Self Esteem Today

What Is Self Esteem?

High self esteem is an extremely important characteristic of all highly successful people. Without high levels of self esteem you are unlikely to see yourself as being worthy of success or happiness, and as a result will never truly try your hardest to achieve it.

High self esteem will give you the courage to keep going when things get tough, and believe in yourself when others say you will never accomplish something. Developing and building self esteem is therefore one of the most important and valuable things you could ever do for yourself. Unfortunately, the value of self esteem is often overlooked, yet the truth is we could all improve our level of self esteem in some way or another.

Things That Build Self Esteem

The things that improve your self esteem are quite simple. Basically anything that makes you feel good about yourself, makes you feel important or valuable as a person will build your level of self esteem. So if your life is full of these things on a consistent daily basis, then your level of self esteem will automatically rise.

However the opposite is also true. So anything that makes you feel bad, reduces your feelings of worthiness or importance, will lower your self esteem.

Causes Of Low Self Esteem

So when you look at self esteem like this, you can see that overall self esteem is just a balance between things that make you feel good, and things that make you feel bad. If you feel good more often than you do bad, you will have high self esteem and vice versa.

So why is this important? Well many people who suffer from low levels of self esteem continue to expose themselves to things that make them feel bad. They may hang around with the same people everyday who laugh at them, or treat them disrespectfully. They may talk to themselves in a way that lacks respect, such as saying they are a looser or that they can’t do anything. Or they may do other things which day by day make them feel the same way.

Change Your Life, Change Your Thoughts

So the key here is change. If you are able to identify the things that make you feel bad, and replace them with the things that make you feel good, ultimately your self esteem will improve. You won’t have to try to improve and build up your self esteem, it will just happen automatically.

This principle of change is so simple it is often overlooked, because people become used to doing the same things day in day out. The trouble with this is that by doing the same things everyday, your thought patterns remain the same everyday and so you FEEL the same everyday. This is the real value and importance of change, which is why sometimes you need to change your life first, before you can change your thoughts.

Change will break your current thought patterns and create new patterns of thought. It is up to you to create patterns that will improve and enrich your life, and you do this by exposing yourself to things that make you feel good about yourself and raise your value as a person.


Building Confidence

Confidence Through Neuro-linguistic Programming And Self-hypnosis

Self confidence is an emotional and mental state of mind which responds to our need for self-acceptance and recognition. It's among the oldest and most studied concepts in psychology. It is used to describe a good albeit adequate perception of oneself and one's abilities. Hence, self-confident persons generally have a better knowledge of what they are able to achieve and are more likely to be successful in what they attempt. They are also more likely to accept and learn from their mistakes.

Contrarily, a lack of confidence may deter you from trusting that your actions or decisions will ultimately turn out the way you had planned. It can thus hamper the buildup of executive skills, planning and managerial abilities all of which are basic and mandatory skills in today's business world. The pre-occupation with other people's judgment of your work might also cause you to become too self-critical, which will distract you from things you would have otherwise been totally able to do.

Low self confidence will also have an impact your social life, because people with a low level of self confidence tend to stay in their "comfort zone" and dread the risk of rejection. This is called social phobia and presents a high level of co-morbidity with low self confidence, but also other mental conditions such as depression. People with low self confidence are afraid of being judged by their peers and will avoid talking to new people, which can result in isolation and even lower self confidence. Low self confidence is a vicious circle that is hard to break.

On the other hand, because they believe in their own aptitudes, self-confident persons are able to do what they feel is right and don't expect the approval of their peers. They also trigger confidence: your boss, employees, customers, friends or relatives are more likely to trust you or what you are telling them when you appear self-confident.

Different experiences can contribute to low self confidence. New research indicates that parenting style has a major impact on the development of the self confidence of children. Bodily and emotional abuses during childhood are, for example, the worse for a person's self confidence, as well as divorce and family conflicts. Overprotective parents may also be a reason for a child's social phobia and hamper the independence that is necessary to develop self confidence. Successes and failures, for example at school or in one's professional life, also play a significant role: losing a job or failing a class are among the several experiences that will have a negative impact your self confidence.

There are nonetheless methods to overcome such bad experiences and gain self confidence. The first step to build self confidence would be to learn to know who you are and what your strengths are. Recognizing that you are allowed not to be perfect and cannot be the best in all that you do will help you gain self confidence. Accepting yourself as you are is the key to building self confidence. But improving self confidence also requires that you start taking risks and giving yourself credit for your accomplishments. This is very simple advice which will help you develop self confidence. You may also find many books which will claim they can help you gain self confidence, however not all of them are reliable.

A lot people suffer from low self confidence or are only able to gain self confidence in one or a few areas of their lives because they constantly look for other people's approval and are afraid that they could fail. A lot of factors, like childhood traumas, can explain why some people cannot enjoy the wholesome life a self confident individual could have. These persons also do not always know how to gain self confidence. However gaining self confidence can now readily and effectively be done with hypnosis and NLP.

As we have seen before low self confidence and social phobia can be caused by bad experiences or unconscious fears which are sometimes hard to overcome with self persuasion only. Confidence hypnosis and NLP on the contrary are able to get to the unconscious part of our brain and change belief systems to boost self confidence. They are effective tools that will help you face your fears and believe in yourself to develop self confidence.

Hypnosis for building confidence has been in use for a few decades and has shown significant results in building self confidence. In a hypnotic state, reaching unconscious thoughts is a lot easier and, through hypnotic suggestion, it is possible to replace your negative thought patterns with positive ones to boost self-confidence.


5 Common Limiting Beliefs That Can Destroy Your Self Confidence

Limiting beliefs are firmly held convictions that constrain us is some way. By believing them, we end up diminishing ourselves and impoverishing our lives. They tend to destroy your self-esteem, damaging your belief in your own ability to make the necessary changes in your life that will lead you to happiness and a more fulfilled life. When it comes to the limiting beliefs that destroy your self-esteem, here are the five most common beliefs that you may be holding onto.
1. I Don't Deserve Anything Good
When you believe that you aren't worthy of anything good in your life, you will subconsciously turn down any reasonable opportunities that come your way or sabotage those opportunities that you've already received. This limiting belief disrupts that balance of giving and receiving.
2. I'm Not Good Looking Enough
When you continue to fail at finding a date, you begin to question your appearance. While appearance does play an essential role in delivering an excellent first impression, it is your charm and attractiveness that matters in the long run. It can be hard to appear confident if you always doubt your physical looks.
3. I Will Only Fail in My Dream
When you trap yourself in a failure mindset, you will never have a chance to achieve success, regardless of what you are doing. The more you fear failure, the harder it will be for you to move on. Instead, you need to learn as much as you can from each mistake and failure you've encountered and move on quickly.
4. I Can't Find Happiness
If you don't know where to look for it, the quest for happiness in your life can be an eternal journey. While you will always encounter negative emotions, even when you are bursting with confidence, happiness is a skill that you can learn. You just have to start being grateful for all the little things you have in life.
5. I Can Never Turn This Around
When you experience setbacks and challenges in life, you may end up feeling anxious or depressed. When you hit rock bottom, you can't see anything good happening to you in the future. If you continue to strengthen this belief, it will eventually turn into your reality. If you find yourself in this situation, it is vital to feel hopeful and start taking actions to dig yourself out of this hole.
Don't continue to allow these five limiting beliefs to hold you back from being a confident person and living the life you want.

3 Ways Your Limiting Beliefs are Holding You Back

Limiting beliefs, whether you realize it or not, have a profound effect on our lives. They can affect your life in so many ways, and none of the ways they can affect your life are good. When you can let go of your limiting beliefs, you can change your life and start living the life that you've always wanted. Here are three ways that your limiting beliefs are holding you back from realizing your dreams and living the life you want.

They Taint Your Experience of Living
When you are constricted by your limiting beliefs, you will do far fewer things over the course of your life. For example, if you believe that roller coasters are dangerous, you will probably never ride one, and you'd miss out on the thrill that so many others have experienced. No matter how great your life is at this current moment, you are holding onto beliefs that are stopping you from experiencing life to the fullest.

They Make You inefficient
The limiting beliefs that we are holding onto cause us to find an alternate path. If we believe that the best route won't work for us, we can spend a ton of time following a less direct way to work around our limiting belief. You may have always dreamed of being a teacher but believe that you canÕt make a living as a teacher, so you do everything but teach. Save yourself time and deal with the beliefs that are holding you back rather than giving up on what you really want.

They Can Cause You to Unintentionally Harm Others
Your beliefs are more like a virus and less like math because they are more likely to be caught then they are to be taught. Even if you have the best of intentions, you can infect others with your limiting beliefs. The limiting beliefs that you pass onto others then affect them for the rest of their lives. You need to take some time and consider who you are infecting with your limiting beliefs and how those beliefs are affecting them and their own potential to live their best life.

Limiting beliefs can be incredibly destructive and will always keep you from achieving the life that you've always wanted. If you want to change your life you need to identify your limiting beliefs and start taking the necessary steps to overcome them.


How to Overcome Your Limiting Beliefs

Everyone holds limiting beliefs, and whether you know it or not, the limiting beliefs that you hold can actually limit your success and ability to live a full and happy life. Many of these limiting beliefs are formed in childhood and are based on what we've been told about ourselves and the world in general. If you find that there are specific areas in your life in which you aren't getting what you want, it may be because of your limiting beliefs. Here are three strategies to help you overcome your limiting beliefs and replace them with empowering beliefs.
Keeping a journal
The only way you can begin to overcome your limiting beliefs is to identify them. One way you can determine those beliefs that are holding you back is by keeping a journal. You need to find time every day to sit down and write about your current situation. Then you need to think about how you got to this point in your life. Writing a journal will help you discover your limiting beliefs, which is the first step to overcoming them.
Observe Others
A great way to overcome your negative beliefs is to observe the behavior of others. This can serve two purposes. First, it can help you uncover the ideas you have about yourself that you may not be aware you have. Noticing specific reactions and behaviors within ourselves can be hard. Secondly, when you watch others who are currently succeeding in an area of life that you're doing poorly in, you can start to uncover the beliefs that they hold that lead them to achieve success in that area of life. You can then begin to adopt these beliefs in your own life.
Be Your Own Mentor
Another technique you can use, to overcome your limiting beliefs, is to become your own mentor. Pretend that you are sitting across from your future self. Not only are they kind and wise, but they've achieved everything that you wanted in your life. Have a conversation with your future self and tell them about the areas in your life where you're currently having trouble. Ask them to help you uncover your limiting beliefs, discover how you formed your limiting beliefs, how to interpret the situation differently, and help you come up with a new set of beliefs.
The next time that you find yourself being held back because of your limiting beliefs continue to tell yourself that it's only in your head. Use the above strategies to overcome your limiting beliefs and live your best life.

Living a better life through practicing self-control

Learning and practicing self-control will better all aspects of our lives, both professionally aspects and personally. Self-control is one of the crucial ingredients of self-development, and when put into practice will result in us becoming better people overall. If we are able to show self-control, we will be able to overcome many of the situations that contribute to stress in our lives. It is crucial that we adapt and grow in our lives, and becoming individuals that are more self-controlled.
It is vital that we are all able to control ourselves when faced with many of the situations presented to us through life. It works to aid in the directing of our attentions, the withholding of our judgements and the decisions and actions that we take. We learn to accept the things that we cannot change and change the things that are within our power. We learn to act in a controlled manner changing our behavior to suit the situations we face.
It is imperative that we are receptive to change. Life is dynamic and does not remain constant. If we are trapped in the mindset where we cannot adapt to the constant fluidity of life, then we are directed along a path that leads to despair and the loss of self-control. It is necessary we wake up to the reality that exhibiting self-control will help us avoid many of life's problems. We are made better overall and are able to handle anything that the world throws at us. We are able to face all the issues that arise in living head on.
The fact is that we all have our own way of dealing with the challenges directed at us in our lives. We are not always able to be calm, cool and collected in every situation we face, which is one of the main factors contributing to the need for self-control. There are times we will let our emotions get the best of us, but when this occurs the end result is often worst than the problem to begin with.. It is here that we all see the apparent need for self-control. We need to be able to face our problems head on with logic rather than emotion. Logic can provide us with the best reaction to the situation. Yet to build logic, we must learn to analyze and continue to develop self-control.
When we are stressed and unable to see our way through a problem, it is often because our subconscious mind hinders us. Once we start to explore our subconscious mind, only then will we gain control of ourselves working easily through the process of learning and practicing self-control. We will be able to redirect our thoughts to the positive aspects of our lives. If we always focus on the stresses in our lives, we will soon become overburdened. In order to progress, we need to open up our minds and hearts and be in control of our emotions and physical reactions. It is quite possible, at times, to forget about the important things in life and to focus only on the negatives. If we remain in control of our thoughts we will be able to redirect ourselves to action that is more positive.

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