Thursday, 30 April 2009

Survivor Psychology - Some Basic Elements

This is perhaps an apt topic for our turbulent times. Having been in the self-development field for more than half my life now (yes, I can't believe it either), I've seen my fair share of survivor models. Some are very basic, others are very complicated. I don't intend to offer yet another model to the plethora that is already out there, but there are some basic traits which are common to most of these models.

Awareness - This ability covers two areas: 1. The ability to notice when the world isn't going your way and 2. Realising when your inner world is beginning to see the with turmoil, usually as a result of 1. This noticing skill is important because without it, you won't be able to apply the other skill sets at all.

Responsibility - The ability to survive is conditional on one's ability to take responsibility for one's situation, whatever it is. The victim mentality is very characteristic of Phases 5 and 6. Without taking responsibility and owning the situation, you are unlikely to be able to summon the resources to deal with the situation.

Emotional Clarity - This follows from responsibility. No one can take care of your emotional state except you. There are various methodologies here (Sedona Method, EFT, The Work, Feeling Exercise, Complete Acceptance Process, to name a few), but the main elements of these include:

(a) Identifying thought patterns which are causing pain
(b) Recognising the falsity of beliefs
(c) Being kind to oneself
(d) Diving into the emotional turmoil
(e) Releasing one's hold on the paradigm

That is not a complete list, but you'll find most of it in there. The methods reflect where the developer is in his development, and so different requirements are needed for each paradigm. There is also a question of taste.

Action - Action of some kind is then usually required, especially if you are playing at the physical level of excellence. The key elements to effective action are:

(a) Flexibility
(b) Creativity
(c) Efficiency/conservation of energy
(d) Strategy
(e) Ability to stick to a plan, when required
(f) Knowledge of how to psychologically motivate oneself to carry it out
(g) Foresight

Well, there you have it. I said I wasn't going to offer a new model, but it looks like I have anyway: the AREA model, developed by yours truly. If you study most self-help methodologies, you'll find it's encompassed in this one. Why do I give it away for free? Because there are those who genuinely need it, and, if they are committed enough, will find a way to make it work.

I quote a master to close: "Even if we give them the whole cake, unless they actually spend time learning from those gone before, they will have great difficulty finding the heart of the application at all. That is why you need guidance - to show you what is relevant to your particular situation." So use the information here with care!

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