Posts by Nikaos Coaching

Not long ago I would have identified myself as a child-abuse survivor who has struggled with PTSD, OCD, ADD, Social Anxiety Disorder, an Addict, Alcoholic and one who suffers from chronic illnesses... TOO MANY LABELS! Today I am whole, filled with inner-peace, content, motivated, focused, I know who I am and what I am capable of and I feel incredibly grateful for all of my life experiences both good and bad... and today is the best day of my life! I now have a voice, and a mission, to help everyone I meet launch into their best life through finding freedom from the "I can't" disease that persecutes much of mankind into a mediocre life devoid of passion, power and purpose.

Feelings Get A Bad Wrap


WRONG WRONG WRONG WRONG

As I sit in this foreign territory on the other side of being an emotional hostage to my own inner-workings for nearly 5 decades I now see that I was fighting the wrong battles.

We are told by professionals and counselors, and hosts of lay-people (and which I eagerly agreed with) that my emotional fears and insecurities (and other less pleasant trigger responses) were irrational occurrences based upon childhood traumas and not based in reality.

It’s not hard to agree with that idiom, clearly, traumas and other significant events generate huge amounts of emotion that write patterns on the soul which come back to haunt us.

Simply put, the mindset is…  “feelings lie”

And so, of course, the logical conclusion is to treat feelings as the enemy. So many tools to reframe, process, let them pass, don’t wrestle with them just observe… all well-meaning tools to help “manage” the feelings so we can “function more normally“.

I have agreed with that statement and subscribed to the self-management tools of meditation, finding my happy place, changing my environment, and a host of other coping mechanisms for over 40 years of off-on therapy.

But now, in hindsight, I take great exception to this perspective.

If I have social anxiety it is because I believe social situations are dangerous.

I can throw a hundred different tips and tricks at my conscious mind to “manage” those feelings but that will never do anything more than help me “cope” on some level, but never thrive.

I see it as kind of like a “dry drunk”, someone who has learned how “not to drink” but still has all the same thoughts, beliefs, attitudes and behaviors as a drunk. Sure they won’t get a DUI anymore but they are still obnoxious people with broken insides.

And I can use that example, I had 14 years of sobriety and lived a pretty good life on the outside, but inside I was still operating under the premise that I’m not good enough, my feelings don’t matter, and that I need to serve others so I can like myself.

I was doing all the right stuff, and living an OK life doing what I believed others expected, but no matter how good a tooth looks on the surface, if the roots are infected there is lots of pain.

Today I define feelings differently.

Feelings are a 100% accurate representation of what is going on in our core subconscious belief system. 

Feelings do not lie to us! Yes, they can be destructive and wreak havoc, but they are not flawed! They are not the problem! Managing them is not the solution!

It is our core belief that we are flawed, that we are damaged goods incapable of handling a certain situation. And it is the Western Medicine system that profits from labeling us with PTSD, SAD, Addict, ADD, ADHD (ad nauseum).

As an example of this (I’m assuming) controversial viewpoint, I believe the 12-step formula initiated by AA many years ago is a wonderful program that can lead people to sobriety and very fulfilling lives. But I also struggle with “once-an-addict-always-an-addict”.

For me, being labeled an alcoholic meant “I will be an alcoholic my entire life, and life will always be hard, and I’m supposed to always need a drink… because I’m an alcoholic”.

That mindset (belief system) can scare me off of alcohol for the rest of my life, but I will never be free from the devastating effects of alcoholism, I can only manage and minimize the damage one-day-at-a-time.

THAT IS THE POWER OF BELIEFS

Like the movie Les Miserables, Jean Valjean was labeled a thief, so he acted like one. Once the Bishop “treated him differently”, Jean began to see himself (belief) differently.

His character, behaviors, feelings towards himself and the world around him changed almost instantly, but he first had to allow the thought “maybe I’m not a thief” to take root.

Today, I value my feelings greatly, for if I can clearly see an out-of-proportion response to a situation then I know there is a BELIEF that is out of alignment with my VALUES.

If someone misunderstands my motives and judges me harshly that is understandable and fine, not everyone will understand me, I’m a complex guy (haha).

But if in that same situation I find myself defensive, needing to be understood, and I have old feelings of insecurity arise, then I know that I have allowed myself to believe I am what THEY see, and I have stopped believing who I KNOW I am to be.

The battle is with our beliefs, not with our feelings, emotions or even behaviors. (That statement could use clarification but that will be another blog). Addictions and crazy behavior is simply our childish ways of trying to avoid feelings by shutting them down, which hopefully we now all agree isn’t possible.

The root must be ripped out or the pain will never go away (think Good Will Hunting)

CHANGE THE BELIEFS AND THE FEELINGS WILL FOLLOW

feelings2


If you would like help learning how to better get in touch with your limiting beliefs and learn how to arrest unhelpful thinking patterns dead in their tracks then give me a call, I’m here to help 6 days a week!  ~George @ Nikaos Coaching

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Is Overnight Success Possible?

“The elevator to success is out of order. You’ll have to use the stairs, one step at a time.”    ~Joe Girard

My answer would be a resounding YES!

The answer sounds surprising to me, how about you?

Of course, you know there has to be a catch, and yes, my answer does need clarifications.

A little back-story might be appropriate here. As a child abuse survivor and one who professes to have overcome a host of addictions and mental illnesses such as PTSD, Social Anxiety Disorder and on the road to recovery from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, it would be easy to say it has taken decades for me to “get better”.

But in reality, the problem was not that I wasn’t successful, in fact, everything I pursued I accomplished. I wanted to work in retail as a teenager so I went to the manager every other day for an entire summer until he finally said: “I’m going to hire you, that way if you fail I can fire you and never see you again”. (I have my father to thank for that trick).

At the age of 21 I knew that I needed rehab but I didn’t want to lose all my partying friends, so I literally went to my core group and talked them into going also, and then had to have a heartwrenching conversation with each of their parents… but they all went in with me. I honestly don’t know if any of them made it, but I was now free to get sober and start a new life because “they had the same chance I did”.

After that, still in my early 20’s I wanted a career in computers and to work for IBM. Through schooling and a series of Divine Appointments (I don’t believe in random coincidence), I found myself working for a company called Dataserv, which back in the ’90s serviced more IBM Point-of-Sale equipment than even IBM itself.

So why then with examples like that and dozens more over the next 30 years would I still be battling depression, alcoholism, be single, have mountains of credit card debt and wonder why life was so unfulfilling.

In hindsight, I realize it was because my definition of success was wrong.

I fell into the trap called The American Dream

  1. Get a job
  2. Go to college
  3. Get a career
  4. Get married
  5. Have 2.5 kids
  6. Put kids through college
  7. Retire
  8. Die

rw emerson

My whole life was about “what is next” and “I’m not happy until I achieve it”.

Even worse is when success is defined by material gain (new car, a bigger house, promotion, hot wife…) Getting “stuff” can leave someone more empty than before they had it, just ask the lonely, depressed, and often suicidal success moguls or the 70% of bankrupt lottery winners, or the Olympians who lost their sense of identity

The milestones of life and accumulation of wealth, power or prestige MUST NOT be the definitions of success, it is a lose-lose. You will be sad if you never get it and you will be left empty when it doesn’t fulfill long-term.

They can be byproducts of a full and blessed life, however, the ultimate success must be defined under a completely different set of criteria.

Hopefully, the point is becoming clearer. When my eyes were finally opened I realized that the problem wasn’t “I had not achieved success yet”, it was that I had the wrong definition of success. 

 

Once I took the time to discover my core values and align my beliefs, thoughts and actions with them, and then began living every part of my life from that place, then a fascinating thing happened that I never expected.

I discovered new self-worth, satisfaction in a simple good days’ work, greater clarity on why I’m doing what I’m doing, greater intentionality to enjoy every relationship and pour myself into every Divine Appointment.

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Problems today have simply become things that I will overcome, not something that I fear I can’t overcome.

I won’t be stopped from my destiny because I live it out every day. Sure, some of my goals get delayed by circumstances and others will take a long time to achieve, but as long as I am living balanced, focused and intentional I consider every day a resounding success, each small accomplishment is another step navigated on my proverbial stairway to heaven.

So how could you wake up tomorrow morning a complete success and live your best day right away?

For me, I had to change my beliefs, attitudes, and perspectives

I try to take at least one uncomfortable risk each day, and connect with at least one family member, one friend, and one accountability peer each day, I work on my business most every day (because I love what I do), and I eat healthily and exercise. I also need to laugh every day, and I offer grace and respect to others.

And if I don’t do all those things every day, I also give myself grace, for I know that my heart is good, I believe I am who God says I am and that I am living in my destiny already.

(Mind you I have no income, my health is poor, and I am risking everything on my new business endeavor (Nikaos Coaching), and I’M loving it… no fear just hurdles, and with each one I clear, I learn to jump higher!) 

I believe that my self-worth (me loving me and being proud of my progress – not perfection) is my success and that comes from intentionally using the ability to love and problem solve that we are all born with, and my success is no longer tied to a fleeting achievement or milestone.

My sincere wish is that everyone can experience this same breakthrough and realize just how easy “success that matters” actually is.


As a life coach, I live for helping others remove the limiting beliefs and become super-aware of the unhelpful thinking patterns that squash progress, creativity and courage. I also help people get in touch with the dreamer inside who may have gone dormant from decades of being ignored, and help discover and define your core values so you can be assured you are pursuing the right goals to bring the greatest levels of self-satisfaction. Once the wreckage of the past is cleared away, you are ready to fuel up for launch and reach escape velocity into your best life. The solutions are simple but elusive. With the right guide, miraculous breakthroughs are possible.  ~George Crone

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Where Does Freedom Begin?

One’s philosophy is not best expressed in words; it is expressed in the choices one makes… and the choices we make are ultimately our responsibility.

~ Eleanor Roosevelt

This topic of FREEWILL or CHOICE is clearly an important one.

It is easy for us to say that we are ‘free to choose’ or that we have ‘freedom’, especially in America.

We are founded on the principles of freedom, of capitalism and democracy that says you are free to live (nearly) any way you choose, work at any job you choose, live in any town, city, or state you choose, drive any car you choose, etc…

If that is the case, however, then why is much of the population living unhappy and unfulfilling lives as if we are not free?

Do we even know what freedom means?

Do we even BELIEVE we are free?

We find ourselves stuck in unsatisfying dead-end jobs, feeling trapped in toxic relationships, out of options due to poverty, helpless due to physical or mental illnesses.

In all of life’s situations it is so easy to say “because of _______ I can’t have/do _______”


If that were true

  • it would mean we are victims trapped by circumstances and not free at all.
  • It would mean that every person in history who was in that same situation NEVER FOUND A WAY OUT because THERE IS NO WAY OUT.
  • It would mean that every person that is to come after us with similar circumstances is doomed because they fell into the very trap that destroys lives with NO WAY OUT.
  • It would mean our ONLY options are to succumb to addictions, take prescription meds, get on government subsidies, or stay in miserable jobs because we “need the money”, or stay in abusive relationships, be depressed, hopeless and powerless

(I’m not casting stones here… I’ve done, said and felt all those things myself)


But are those statements really true?

I think most people could get past those statements and agree that freedom means I have a choice to stay in this situations or to get the courage, drive, creativity, and self-worth to break free from the limits claiming to hold us captive. 

And what are those limits? I’m glad you asked!

As I see it, the more important truth here is:

WE ARE FREE TO BELIEVE WHAT WE CHOOSE TO BELIEVE ABOUT OURSELVES AND OUR CIRCUMSTANCES.

BELIEF REFRAMING EXERCISE

WHEN I CURRENTLY BELIEVE I CAN CHOOSE TO BELIEVE
I am not smart enough I can learn what I need
I am not skilled enough I can get the skills I need
I had a horrible childhood my past doesn’t define my future
I am my own worst enemy I am my best friend
I’ve tried before and failed to stop trying is to guarantee failure
But I’m afraid Faith cast out fear
But leaving my comfort is hard Staying miserable forever is harder
I need _______ to be happy I am happy while pursuing ______
I can’t do ________ I can do ___________
I’m depressed I’m empowered, alive, beautiful and FREE

Clearly, this list could go on for miles.

As you can see, this exercise is incredibly easy to do.

  1. Grab any piece of paper and make two columns.
  2. In the left column list the items that are the current “thought” limitations in life that are preventing you from true happiness and fulfillment
  3. In the right column counter all those limiting beliefs with an opposite reality.
  4. NOW CHOOSE TODAY TO CHANGE YOUR BELIEFS ABOUT YOUR LIMITATIONS

I know it may sound easier said than done, but after decades of battling my own demons, in the end, I realized it’s not difficult at all, it is a choice, it’s a decision!

I no longer choose to label myself as a victim of circumstances, today I am a warrior in pursuit of my dreams.

Most all of our problems in life stem from the disconnect we have from our UNDERSTANDINGS and BELIEFS.

We can say “I am free” and mean it, yet believe and feel we are trapped, helpless, and hopeless.

These are the subconscious limiting beliefs at the core of all of our indecisions, misfires, and our mindless and endless groundhog day experiences… nothing ever changes if we don’t’ change it. 

And labels are one of the biggest problems here. “I have PTSD”, “I am an addict/alcoholic”, “I have an eating disorder”, “I am poor”, “I am weak-willed”, “I don’t have time”, “I can’t because…”.

It we don’t first change the “I AM” statements we will forever be self-sabotaging any success we attempt or desire.

Once we discover that it is our BELIEFS that hold us captive and not our circumstances, we will then truly understand what real freedom is.

Real freedom is a choice.

And we are always choosing to live in the solution or be defined by our problems; whether we realize it or not.

It is a single decision to believe differently that can change a life immediately and forever.

“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t–you’re right.” 

~ Henry Ford

Here’s to your best life now!! ~George 


Nikaos Strategic Coaching – I myself have overcome PTSD, Social Anxiety Disorder and a host of addictions and am now living my best life, every day. Does that mean it is easy, no… but I am no longer held captive by my limiting beliefs and unhelpful thinking patterns and I have found freedom from believing that my severe childhood physical, sexual, mental, emotional and spiritual abuses made me who I was; today I am happy and at peace with myself and the world and I am boldly pursuing my dreams in every area of my life. And part of my passion, calling and gifting is helping others awaken their inner-warrior and find the same freedom I have found.

Learn more about how I can help you on your journey to true freedom 

Once Grateful, Now Trapped?

  • “Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.” – Melody Beattie

I’ve had a growing awareness lately of the people around me who have so much in their lives to be grateful for, but everything “needs an upgrade”.

That’s fine if your car is 25 years old and it’s due for a new transmission, or your roof leaks and it’s time for a new one… but what I’m noticing is something different.

As a leader of Men’s Recovery Groups for nearly a decade, it is pretty obvious that people are unhappy, discontented, “dis-eased” with either some part of their external world, or something within themselves isn’t right (blame & shame) so they try and medicate the disappointment away instead of dealing with the problems.

But beyond even that, I’m seeing mostly successful people with good jobs, loving wives, healthy children, some material comfort, may even be serving at church or in their community… by all accounts, they should be happy.

NEARLY EVERYTHING IN OUR LIFE IS A BYPRODUCT OF SOMETHING WE WISHED FOR, PURSUED, AND GOT

Yet, for some reason the things they longed for become not enough… they lose gratitude and start feeling a lack. If only my wife was x, if only my children x, if only my job, car, friends, house… blah, blah blah.

I don’t know whether it is the non-stop bombardment of an commercialized society that needs people dissatisfied with their lives to keep working unfulfilling jobs so they can pump money into the economy to keep the merry-go-round spinning, or some form of natural human instinct that is always bent on “the next thing”, but I do know one thing for sure…

When Gratitude Begins to Fade the Prison Walls Begin to Erect

We take on a different vision of the people, places and things around us. The job that we prayed for, maybe spent months trying to get, and brought such incredible elation when we finally go it… is now a burdensome trap and is sucking the life out of us.

That wonderful wife that we completely transformed ourselves into Prince Charming for and courted for months or even years who finally said yes and made us the happiest man on the planet, is now that nagging bitch that spends all our money.

Or our beautiful kids who we would die for have become rebellious whiny brats, our awesome new car is now a piece-of-sh*t, our wonderful new apartment is now a hell-hole we’ve got to escape from. (Feel free to reflect on your own heart at this point).

This is what I call the Zombie Apocalypse.

We are each living in an existence that is the direct result of every choice we ourselves have made, and we will only have the direct result of what we believe we can have or deserve in the future.

Believing anyone else is responsible for our place in life or our emotions, good or bad, is complete bass-ackwards!

If we ever wonder “how did I get here” and begin to resent the very things we pursued, achieved and obtained, then we become disconnected from gratitude which disconnects us from feeling joy, contentment, peace, happiness, fulfillment.

Those feelings are never something we can pursue, they are current states of mind that we choose, every minute, of every day.

A good example of this, a friend called recently because his wife was “really” upset that the “automated” cat box was broken and the box was a mess and the cat just kicked old litter all over then took a leak in the living room”. His heart was burdened because she called him venting AT him. That word AT is the key.

He was feeling responsible for “her” feelings. Instead of just being able to take ownership of his chore that he neglected and apologize, he was carrying the shame and burden of his wife’s anger, disappointment, judgment and condemnation.

But how did this typical marriage discord begin. A piece of mechanics broke, and an animal didn’t want to pee in a dirty box.

I shared with my friend that his wife could have looked at the situation, and actually laughed. “What a freaking mess, how disgusting, here goes 15 minutes of my life I’ll never get back”. Then clean it up, or leave it for her husband, and simply comment “how bad did that suck” with a light heart.

But instead, as I understand it the conversation never came up again, he’s walking around with shame and she’s burying blame and resentment… and the once grateful marriage adds another prison bar.

We are NEVER responsible for the emotional state of another person. And we have the freedom to choose to own it, try fixing it, or simply help the other person re-frame it.

She had the choice to tell him “about” the situation, but instead she chose to throw it “at” him. He then had a choice to let the ball roll past him, but instead he picked it up and swallowed it, storing it in his ever-disheartening soul and begins daydreaming about “better days when life isn’t so hard”.

We have to check ourselves, if we can’t be grateful for EVERYTHING in our life, even the acceptance of uncontrollable and messy things in our life, then we simply need to get busy changing it.

We are not victims, we are not imprisoned to the situation, we are not stuck, we are simply in a reality we created and we have the same power and freedom to change it again, period.

Does that mean it will be easy, no. Does it mean it’s not our responsibility to change it, no. It is absolutely on us to adjust our own beliefs, feelings and behaviors and accept the people, places and things around us as they are, and be grateful in the process. Until we do, we will always “feel” stuck in the very prison we constructed in our own mind.

May your self constructed walls disappear with the renewal of your mind sooner rather than later.

George

If you would like to explore how to break free from the limiting beliefs and negative thought patterns holding you back from your best self, and discover your core strengths and begin dreaming into reality your best life, then please don’t hesitate to book a free consultation.

Why Doesn’t Freedom Feel Like Freedom

John 8:36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.

Like ALL of our challenges in life, KNOWING something is true and actually BELIEVING it is true are two very different things, and most often, we just end up WISHING something was true.

We can get very excited about the “thought” of being free, and our morning meditations and visualizations of what life will look like and feel like when we have already achieved those deepest desires of our heart can inspire us to keep moving toward the prize.

But true freedom, as everyone here should already know (or you will soon enough because this is the core message on my heart that applies to everything), That when I talk about freedom I am rarely referring to material freedoms. Sure we may have needs that represent freedom like a new car, better living conditions, a successful business or financial freedom to allow for deeper relationships.

But more importantly, the deeper freedoms, and the more insidious prisons we find ourselves searching for a way out of are the elusive desires for inner-peace, contentment, joy, fulfillment, happiness, feeling connected, significant, empowered, even loved; these core longings of the soul we often mistakenly try to fill by increasing outer world advancements.

So why is it, if God (and you are free to define God as you choose) wants us to be free in spirit, fully alive, living out our best lives, loving ourselves (healthy, not ego) and serving the world and if we believe we are doing that to the best of our ability; then why is it so hard to feel those things?

IT IS ALL IN THE PROGRAMMINGWE STOP BELIEVING WE ARE FREE

Yesterday is a great example of this (and why I felt inspired to share this morning). The morning was difficult, I was having troubles getting inspired and engaged. I’ve given myself the freedom to work on what I want, when I want. That in itself was a difficult transition because most of my life I had been so rigid in my “set goals and achieve them” road-map to success mentality that if I had a goal in front of me and I didn’t feel like working on it, I would grind through.

But I discovered recently that there are always a dozen different goals to work on in my new business, or in my relationships, or in the areas of self-care or growth and learning. I realized that I was the one putting the rigid pressure on me to achieve “believing” a difficult grind is the “only way to success, freedom and fulfillment”.

But when I choose freedom today, I give myself permission to be me. When I love me, I don’t carry on in a taskmaster/slave relationship with myself.

When I feel stuck, unmotivated, unfocused and it begins to lean on frustration, I am not only FREE to step away from that, it is a soul-care imperative that I step away. Whether it be just for a break, a quick walk around the office, get some water (I never drink enough water anyway), or maybe a 5 minute meditation or prayer, or put on some binaural beats to clear the energy or call a friend for a quick chat; anything to get re-centered, refocused and back In-State or In-The-Flow or connected to God (I’m sure you know what I mean)

But yesterday wasn’t about that, no matter what I tried including changing tasks over and over and many steps mentioned above, EVERYTHING was out of sync. By noon I had a 1/2 dozen misfires and had no idea what was going on.

I realize in hindsight, it was at that point that I no longer “felt” free, because I no longer “believed” I was free, and therefore I no longer “was” free, but it was a cage I put myself in.

Always remember, we HAVE what we BELIEVE we have, and we ARE what we BELIEVE we are.

… AND THE DEATH SPIRAL ENSUES

I believed I was “supposed to be productive” or I would “fail” and then the catastrophizing mindsets begin to chant their ugly song.

“If I don’t get this project done I can’t move forward”

“If I don’t move forward then I will have to push back the deadlines”

“If I push back the deadlines then the customer will be unhappy”

“If I make my customers unhappy then I will lose them”

If I lose customers then my business will fail”

“If my business fails my family will struggle, and I will be humiliated, and I will never be able to start over, this is my only shot, and this can’t be happening I have to get back to work and… and… and… whew… exhausting!

And notice, the exhaustion comes from the internal battle that ran amuck, not from actually getting something physically productive done.

The Real Problem

So what did I end up doing yesterday? I just laid down to “rest my eyes for a minute” around one in the afternoon, and I passed out for 2 hours! Go figure, I had been burning the candle at both ends creatively and I emotionally was exhausted! That’s why I couldn’t engage in any project, body was fine; mind was done.

Free Again

So I got up at three, listened to some of my favorite music, made a healthy meal.. and I sat back down at the computer around 4 pm and then had one the most incredible epiphanies; I had been trying to grind out one aspect of my new company for several days, but turns out it was putting the cart before the horse and I needed to adjust my short-term goals to a whole different target.

Once I started working with a completely new agendy my creativity and energy began to flow like melted butter out of a hot pan and I probably looked like a madman on crack until 2 am because I was loving every minute of it! And the result was a giant needle-mover in my business that I didn’t even know was possible!

Once I gave myself the freedom to be me, to listen to my internal needs, and to love myself enough to meet ME where I am (instead of beating myself up with my own expectations and condemnation that “I wasn’t where I felt I should be by now), my joy, inner-peace, contentment, satisfaction, self-worth, feeling of accomplishment and fulfillment all returned in full-force.

Our freedom, or lack there of, is a product of our beliefs, thoughts, feelings and actions, in that order.

When we learn to tune into our God-frequency and live from inner-awareness, then we can begin to trust our inner-barometer to guide us into the “next best thing”.

Freedom is a choice, it is internal, and it is available 24/7 if we ALLOW ourselves to experience it.

May your hearts deepest desires be realized sooner rather than later,

George