Have you ever been stuck in a conversation with the most boring human being of this planet that all you wanted from life was him to disappear from your sight?
Probably you have experienced this first-hand or, worse, you have behaved this way yourself!
Does It Sound Like You?
Maybe that’s exactly what you do in most social settings, you can’t relax and enjoy the moment as you’d like to. The problem is that this tension is preventing you from really connecting with people you interact with and guess what, you’ll push them away sooner or later.
Social interactions can be scary for many of us at the beginning, even if having successful social encounters is one of the most profound and most essential needs of us humans. It’s paradoxical how we are usually afraid of interactions while we still need them like we need water.
That’s because most people don’t understand that socialization should be fun, in fact, if you don’t have fun during socializing, you are doing it WRONG.
This does not mean that you should make fun of other people and laugh like Jim Carrey in the mask in every social occurrence you have.
What You’ll Learn From This Article
By reading this post, you are going to:
1: Discover the secrets of how true socialization has to occur based on how we are hardwired;
2: Change the perspective you were holding up to now;
3: Enjoy socializing once forever.
Stay tuned because learning the principles contained in here will help you both in your personal and professional life.
Before we start, a little question:
How can we always have fun in social interactions?
What People Do Wrong
Many people try to look cool, severe and composed when they are in social interactions because they think that this is what will make the other person tick.
The fact that trying to look always serious is attractive is actually a myth, in fact, that’s something that can be considered attractive when embedded in somebody’s natural character and personality.
Because every social interaction between people is supposed to be fun and positive. Deep inside we all want to create good connections and enjoy our time with others, the problem is that we either don’t know this or we don’t know how to.
This is also true in business relationships.
At equal conditions, would you rather do business with someone you have an incredibly good time with or with somebody that doesn’t leave any taste in your mouth after he goes away?
My Story: Behaving Like a Secret Agent In College
During my college years, when I was learning how human interactions worked, I started to do some social experiments to see how people were responding to me based on the premise that I put into the social interaction.
First, I started my experiment by putting the mask of the cool and serious guy on myself, pretending to be always composed, busy and important (I know, I was a dick). I was basically imitating cool people from movies to try to achieve their sort of powerful aura.
With this experiment, at first I was seeing new people I met being attracted to this detached behavior, especially during the first minutes of the interaction but then they seemed to lose interest in me because I was being too severe and probably also because of the incongruence this behavior had with my creative personality.
I was also hanging around with a good friend of mine at the time that was considered very serious and reserved. We were basically two people hanging around being the ugly James Bond’s copies of our college.
This period was also the one when I was experimenting with pickup, you can imagine the cocktail that came out of that.
A funny event occurred one day when I started talking to two girls that were studying in the same room where my friend and I were. At first, they were quite skeptical and worried about us, but I could not understand why.
I mean, I had never given this impression before to a woman. Anyway me and my friend kept talking to them until they opened up.
The Truth Came Out Unexpectedly
They basically told us that they and some other friends of theirs had always been intimidated by our attitude because of the serious appearance we were projecting and that they felt scared when we approached them.
Then, taken by the curiosity of the fact, my friend and I started asking around other people that we met if they had the same opinion of us and almost everybody said the same thing.
This was like being hit by a hammer for me as nobody had ever told me something like that.
I quickly realized that trying to look cool was not the key to social success and soon dismissed that approach. I was also spoiling my image by doing this experiment, so I quit immediately.
I spent some time thinking about why being cool didn’t work.
After all, James Bond is cool, and still, everybody likes him! Well, that’s true only on the big screen, real life works under an entirely different set of rules.
Authenticity – What Truly Works
“What the hell works then?” was my big question. The understanding came little by little.
What was the factor that repelled social interactions?
The answer to my question seemed only one: Heaviness and trying to look cool.
I started to understand that people were naturally repelled by heaviness in social interactions both if I put them on me, them or on the interaction itself, making it seem like a big deal. (Oh really Salvatore? You are a pure genius having discovered that).
Wait, because I still I see TOO MANY people shooting themselves in their feet by trying to behave in a cool way to copy somebody they’re not, most of the times being bad like Argentinian actors at doing it.
Why? Because probably they still don’t know how things really work.
I started to questions all the role models that I saw on TV and my belief system as well.
Maybe what made people tick was not the constructed image of coolness but something else.
If heaviness and being socially locked was repelling people what could actually attract them?
Of course, the opposite: Lightheartedness and Being Authentic.
I started to experiment this time with lightheartedness in my new social settings. I was not giving too much importance to delivering a cool image this time, but I was present with a genuine authenticity that, by magic, made people more attracted to me.
After that I arrived at a straightforward conclusion:
Life Is a Yacht Party
We are all in a big yacht party, and we are here to have as much good time as possible with the best possible people for us and whoever ruins the party, better to be thrown away from the yacht!
Having a good time with others is one of our most intimate desires, and that’s why usually people avoid others with which they cannot share good vibes as that’s not what we are instinctively looking for.
That’s why we hang out with those people we like, and we can have a good time with. This does not necessarily mean having those Jim Carrey super fun conversations but just feeling good around somebody can be enough.
What the hell! And what about professional relationships? Should they be this way as well?
If we talk business, it does not mean that we are talking with robots, even if most of the times that’s what it seems like. In business relationships, we are still relating to real people that make decisions based on emotions rather than logic.
For that reason, the human component is fundamental also in this case to maximize our success in social relationships.
How You Can Have Fun And Win
Then, how can we get all the benefits of social interactions without being afraid of them?
Hint: Getting drunk and socializing is not the solution.
There are some simple, actionable steps you can use now to maximize your success rate.
Here they are:
#1: Learn To Express Yourself
Whatever positive emotion you are feeling when in the presence of somebody, accept it and express it without trying to resist to it. This will make you more natural and genuine, and people will like and trust you more. Don’t be afraid to smile or laugh if you feel like, that’s being authentic.
#2: Deeply Understand That People Wanna Have Fun
As said before, understand that almost everybody at the end wants to connect and have the best possible social experience. If you can produce this shift in your beliefs, your actions will come from the right place.
Reframe social interactions as events that are supposed to be genuine and natural and not as something cool and perfect.
#3: Kill Perfectionism
You don’t have to try to look perfect in front of people, you’ll only look fake by doing this. You are not perfect like everybody in this world.
Moreover, your being imperfect makes you already perfect the way you are if you genuinely can accept your true self. The only time you are not perfect is when you try to look perfect. Keep this in mind.
#4: Listen To Your Body
This means not overthinking and overanalyzing every social interaction you experience when you experience it. It means being present and fully aware of your feelings rather than of your thoughts.
You’ll have a much deeper experience this way, believe me. The best interactions are the ones where you are able to feel instead of the ones where you merely think.
#5: Remove Expectations
Don’t force the direction of your social interactions. Even if you have a clear goal to achieve, like a business one or a romantic one, it is good to have in mind the destination as trying to over-control the interaction will put too much pressure on it and will inevitably make you fail on your expectation, apart from preventing you from enjoying it.
Your Take Away From This Article
It’s the belief that you hold about social interactions that will produce a specific behavior. When you understand that most people want to have fun and enjoy socializing, your internal perspective and your external reality will change.
I now close this post with a perfect quote for the occasion.
“It is good people who make good places.” Anna Sewell, Black Beauty
Did you ever think about socializing under this perspective?
If you often feel like you’re running away from your true self just like a cat runs away from his own shadow then you might be living as “The Alchemist” of Paulo Coelho, namely searching for something outside of you while missing out on the beautiful feelings (and opportunities) that the act of self-acceptance has to offer.
As strange as it might seem, the “simple” deed of accepting yourself will open you more doors in your career in your intimate relationships and friendship ones than you can ever imagine, apart from improving your health, happiness, and wellbeing, thus making you the most vibrant and joyful version you can be.
Wait, Sal, what the hell are you talking about? Self-acceptance and those life aspects are all linked?
Well, yes as whatever is missing inside of you will inevitably be reflected outside of you. That’s why you gotta start to kiss yourself like James Franco.
Apart from jokes, in my personal case 2 years ago, because of my severe self-denial, I have unconsciously thrown a 99% sure lay with a beautiful woman to the trash bin, realizing what and why this happened only months later.
Are you often too rigid and demanding for yourself that you end up surpassing the limit of what is humanly possible just to prove something to yourself or others?
Did it ever happen instead to put up a mask to fit in a specific place where people have particular demands on you?
What if you’re trying to open the self-acceptance door with the wrong key? What if with this way of behaving you’re limiting your life and shooting yourself on your feet without any reason? What if all you’ve been building during those years of your experience is nothing but a cover hiding your self-denial feelings that one day will crumble just like a house of cards?
This is one of the most critical pieces of content you’ll ever read in your life as far as concerns your personal development. The understanding and application of the principles explained here will help you not only in the development of your self-esteem, career and social life but in virtually every area of your it.
What is Self-Acceptance?
Self-acceptance, in fact, is one of the major prerequisites to become successful both personally and professionally and you’ll find this out very soon.
After reading this post you will, once forever, learn how to get rid of those self hate feelings and of the internal discomfort you usually feel in your gut both when you are around people or just when by yourself so that you can finally discover the pleasure of just being yourself, relaxed and at ease anywhere and anytime.
Now the question seems to be only one:
What is self-acceptance, and Is it really possible to accept yourself even after years of self-condemnation?
Self-acceptance, according to the science of psychology, is the practice feeling satisfied and happy with oneself for no reason linked to some ideal image of how we should be. It merely means, accepting ourselves unconditionally and in our wholeness in this very moment, regardless of our deficiencies, negative feelings or past events or choices we experienced.
Self-acceptance does not mean that we should necessarily like everything about ourselves. For example, we may not want some physical features we have, personality traits, habits or things that we did in the past. To get the power of self-acceptance we just must accept without putting the label “Like” or “Dislike” what we are.
We may not like our bodies, but we must accept this fact and still not like it. Anyway, things will proceed entirely differently if we accept what we don’t like.
Now you might be suffering from this problem, and one way with which you’re probably trying to get rid of it is by using external things to validate your internal discomfort.
For example, you might be overworking, overeating, overtraining (like I did) or doing things just to prove your value or even doing things that you don’t really want to do but that looks cool from the outside.
Well, if that’s your case don’t worry as it’s perfectly reasonable to escape with those kinds of reactions when you’re not aware of how the mechanics of self-acceptance actually work.
My Story: Screwing Up a Lay Handed Over a Silver Plate
That’s in fact how I was reacting precisely 2 years ago (2016) when I was hitting one of the lowest points of my life (and lost that opportunity with that beautiful woman that even Freddy Mercury would have managed to sleep with at my place.)
Let me tell you what happened so that you can understand how sneaky self-denial can be. During that period I had somehow entered a negative spiral caused by the fact that I was not successful with women due to a too rigid and technical approach I adopted back then.
I laugh at it now, but I was mainly operating like an emotionless android, talking to women like if they were objects.
This rigid mentality I adopted, contributed to the worsening of my dating skills, and consequently of my self-esteem.
That was totally crazy as I had never felt like that in my life before that time. It was as if the world had lost its colors and everything had turned black and white with no ambiance sounds.
Moving to the North of Italy
It was the end of summer, and I had moved to Brescia, a city in the north of Italy next to Milan, to work in the marketing sector of a dance record label.
I was very excited to start my life again in this new city, after all, I was really good at approaching women after years of practice and wanted to test my abilities in the north of Italy, a place I always heard to be one of the easiest to have fun with women.
For some reason, it was a period where I had lost touch with my inner child and creativity and was taking things a little bit too seriously. Every time I got off work I made a habit of talking to new groups of girls by using canned lines and a very rigid structure, all of that coupled with a very tense vibe (I was not aware of this back then.)
I remember that in just one month I had talked to more than 60 women with minimal results. It was very frustrating as that was not possible after all, the north of Italy was supposed to be a fun place!
Day after day I felt like I was going backward and deeper and deeper into a negative spiral of tension, self-denial, and refusal to get rejected by women.
The more I was approaching, and the worse things seemed to go and, even if I was practicing every day instead of going forward with my dating skills It felt like I was going back to the old days when I was a beginner. That felt horrible, and I didn’t know what was happening to me.
Something Was Off Me
The confirmation that I was going through one of the worst periods of my life came during one really amazing, pleasant and sunny… just kidding.
It was a cold October Saturday afternoon when a woman I had known back during summer in Sicily was coming from Milan (where she was studying) to Brescia (where she was from originally) for a date I had invited her to.
She was a brunette woman (my favorite type) with a very feminine face having soft facial features, a sensual voice and a tiny but curvy body that made my hormones skyrocket like Elon Musk’s toys do lately.
We had met 2 months before (August) during a bonfire I had organized with my friends on the beach (I am from the south of Italy where it’s hot, and we use to have parties like those.
Meeting And Cooking Her To Slow Fire
When we met It was almost the end of summertime, and I was genuinely having the time of my life. My vibe back then was relaxed, fun and very spontaneous, a fact that made me interact in an entirely different way with women.
The first days she arrived in Sicily there were a couple of guys hitting on her, but I had sensed that they were not having success with her. That’s why, seeing the opportunity, I decided to seduce her during the bonfire party.
It was a warm but dry summer night with no wind. She was sitting on her towel next to the bonfire talking to one of the two guys hitting on her, but there was a free place on the other side of the beach towel.
So I sat next to her and started to talk about light, funny stuff and about the stars that were glistening above our heads while the fire was warming the situation up.
The atmosphere was very sensual and very favorable to flirt, all to my advantage basically. After some minutes of talking with me she had forgotten about the other guy and put all her attention on me, in fact, she was listening to my voice telling her about the constellations above us while her head was placed on my right shoulder.
I warmed her up like that until the sunrise came. Unfortunately, there was both no time or chance to bring her away from the party that same night away as both the friends she had come to the party with were there while everybody else was virtually around us.
Anyway, that was not a problem for me as I knew she was from Brescia and that I would have moved there in just a month. Shortly after the sunrise, she went away with the other guys, and we said goodbye with a “let’s keep in touch” clearly alluding that something else would have happened between us.
Flash forwarding those two months, we come back to my dull and rigid reality with those shitty feelings of internal discomfort, escapism, and tension.
I don’t really know if all of that started from my failed approaches in Brescia or from the tension of the new job, but there I was, utterly transformed from the seductive, fun and bold beach dude to the tense, unhappy and insecure guy in the cold northern city.
That Afternoon… What The Hell Did I Do?!
The afternoon we met we went for a walk in the Castle of Brescia that was a beautiful creation right in the city center, where I was living. While walking up and down through the castle, I could sense that she was really into me, probably still enchanted from the energy I had left her that night. In fact, as she was showing me every corner of the castle and bringing me in particular places where it was OBVIOUS that I should have kissed her.
The problem was that somehow I didn’t feel enough for the move that afternoon. I didn’t feel good with myself, I felt rusted and without courage and I didn’t know why. It felt like I couldn’t express my sexual interest to her and like I was even insecure about showing her my interest.
It was strange as during the first month there I was working out 5 times per week with high intensity, a thing that made me very confident in my image (in this case working out was my escapism to my feelings of internal discomfort.)
This time I could sense that she perceived something was off in me, yet she was not sure of what was going around.
We Get To My Apartment
After spending more than one hour walking around the castle, not knowing what to do, I invited her to my place for dinner. She accepted after faking to have some commitments.
Great move you might think, right? Yes, absolutely, if that was not another way to escape being sexual.
We went to the supermarket near my house and bought some food to cook together. Until we got to my house, we talked and talked and talked about our life experiences, travels, and other bullshit except for those spicy topics that make things more interesting.
When we finally got to my home, we started cooking some rice salad while talking about the same bullshits, without making the interaction sexual or somewhat warm as during that summer night. That was my responsibility as she was clearly showing signs of being open to such topics by introducing some of them.
For some reason, I didn’t resonate with those topics and didn’t feel at ease with making the interaction more sexual. I was so disconnected from myself and from the masculine energy that I talked about platonic stuff all the time while eating my rice dish. I am sure that if the plate it could speak it would have told me to stop kissing the fork and to rather kiss and throw her in the big red sofa that was right next to us.
I Ended Up Cleaning Dishes
End of the story, we finished eating and the night ended with her going away because of a “commitment” she had and me cleaning the dishes she had cooked (she was a decent cook I have to say).
Well, guys, that was the sad story and the evident lay handed to me on a silver platter was thrown on the trash bin. A whole me wouldn’t have behaved this way on that occasion. The problem was that I didn’t feel whole during that month, I didn’t feel enough, I didn’t accept how I was, and that’s why I was putting all my energies in working out.
I had created a “tougher” version of me that was perfect, that shouldn’t have made mistakes, and that was able to coldly face anything in life without feelings. This version was making it hard for me to relate to my senses and to the natural imperfections that we all have, a thing that prevented me from being as spontaneous as I should have been with that woman.
The problem was that this version of me was not there in times of need, all because I had to prove to the world that I was something more of who I actually was.
You will understand more of that by reading the post as if you don’t accept yourself first as you are, all the things you build upon you may just be a house of cards, crumbling in seconds like a sand castle hit by a wave.
Now that you heard this story and had a grasp on the importance of self-acceptance, it’s time to talk about it a little more so that you can better understand its dynamics and implications in life.
How to Accept Yourself (Now)
Self-acceptance is one of the major prerequisites to really thrive in life, and the reason for this is that if you can’t accept yourself as you are you’ll hardly relate well with people in life.
This happens because when we, human beings, can’t express or accept the deepest parts of ourselves, it becomes difficult relating to our own feelings and this means that we become increasingly disconnected from our own true nature.
This disconnection might not be perceived by your conscious mind but your sub-conscious mind knows you better than you think and it will send you signals (feelings) that are corresponding to what you provide it with disconnection.
You already know who you are deep within, as your subconscious mind remembers everything about you, but if you don’t accept all the parts of your being that make you who you indeed are, you’ll never reach a full satisfaction in life (fulfillment).
The closure of communication between who you are and your rational mind also makes it hard to live a life that is authentic, as you’re not authentic to yourself first.
How can you be authentic to life or other people if you’re not even authentic to yourself?
Lack Of Self-Love Causes Separation
Another aspect of this disconnection is the lack of love that you provide to you. This naturally implies that you’ll find it hard to give love other people, as you can’t truly love somebody else for who he or she is if you don’t love yourself first for who you are.
You might think to love someone, and that can be true, anyway, the depth of love that you can offer to another person can’t be higher than the depth of love you can conceive in your own mind. This means that the less love you are able to “take,” the less you’ll be able to give.
Real love to give to others lies where self-love lies. If you can’t accept and love yourself for who you are, you’ll never be able to receive and love other people for who they are since everything you express depends on your own awareness to feel it.
Bringing Water To a Thirsty African Village
Let’s make an example to make this clearer. You are in Africa, and you’re carrying some water to a very distant village that needs it. You are all by yourself with an empty jar that is able to contain 10 liters of water.
You go to a place to refill the jar, and you fill it with exactly 10 liters of water to maximize the quantity you can bring to the village. When you get to the town, you see that people are happy to know that you brought the jar full of water.
Everybody starts to drink from it and the water goes down and down until approximately only 1 liter is left.
Other people come, very thirsty, but there’s only one liter of water left now. Immediately the inhabitants of the village understand that there’s not enough for everybody and the previous feeling of joy immediately goes away.
With your 10 liter jar, you have not been able to satisfy the demand of all the people in the village, you needed a bigger pot to fulfill that demand.
Your Consciousness Is The Key
Now think about your consciousness as a jar. The more expanded your awareness is and the more it can contain. If you carry every day, a consciousness that can only accept a finite amount of love, then all the love you’re going to give will be precisely in proportion to that limited quantity that you can conceive with your own consciousness!
You can’t give more of what you have. You can’t donate €1 Million if all you have in your bank account is €100k. This means that the degree to which you accept and love yourself is the measure to which you can allow other people to be.
What value are you going to attribute to the life of others if you can’t attribute enough value to yourself?
When you don’t feel accepting, loving and caring of you, it will be hard for you to assign those qualities to other people as well.
We don’t feel worthy of ourselves when we don’t give us the attention that we deserve. This means we have lost the connection to our inner value that has always been there from our birth and so we start seeking for other sources of value (validation) outside of us since we inherently feel like we can’t find value in our being, thoughts, and actions.
This brings us in a reactive mode where everything that we do in life becomes a reaction to the fact that we don’t accept/love ourselves.
How can you be at peace with yourself when you have built a wall between your true self and the constructed or limited person that you are always focussed on?
Love is omnipresent, and so it lies in your consciousness as well. Within you, there are the keys that open the door to true freedom through self-love and only you can have access to those keys.
Now think about that: if your consciousness is in a state of reaction, rejection of the self, fear and distrust, all the things that will come out of your consciousness will inevitably be of the same nature.
It’s like trying to make a bronze sculpture from copper material, you can’t just do it as the material itself is not bronze but copper. If you want to create a beautiful bronze sculpture, all you have to do is get bronze.
Now I think you’re asking yourself something like:
What Self-Acceptance Is Not
Does self-acceptance mean that we should just love and accept ourselves and let life take its course without our intervention?
Apparently not, as self-acceptance is the starting point for stable and healthy growth.
The change that should happen in you is a genuine change that comes from a pure desire to improve yourself because it’s natural for the spirit to have the need to expand itself. The soul always wants more, and that’s how we have gotten here as humans. If self-acceptance were the only ingredient, we wouldn’t have grown where we have so far.
Here you might argue that as humans we have evolved by our survival instinct and by escaping the bad more than searching for good. That’s partially true, and in fact, that’s one way to foster growth in life.
The reality is that there is another effective method that can be used to create even better, more harmonious, creative and efficient results that only a handful of people take advantage of.
The Two Paths You Can Take
Let’s explore the two paths:
Path 1: The place of neediness/reaction and not accepting yourself first.
Path 2: The position of loving yourself first and wanting to expand yourself as a consequence of that.
Path 1: Briefly, the first path is just doomed to failure as once you will reach the set goal in your life, your internal state will still be a state of pain and self-rejection unless you learned how to love yourself during your path towards your goals.
Path 2: If instead you start loving yourself today, your state will immediately change, and you’ll harness the power of pure unconditional desire that will come from your true self. This will make your life journey a pleasurable trip, and you’ll fall in love with it while winning.
Now that you understand the power of operating from the second position (love and acceptance first) let’s move forward with your exercise.
The Aim Of This Exercise
This is one of the most critical self-awareness exercises you’ll ever do in your life. This exercise is going to help you not only in your social life, but it will have its impact on virtually every area of it.
Being willing to learn self-love
Whenever you are in a conversation with somebody, and you feel bad, in discomfort or internally disturbed, accept the way you are feeling.
You could be in a social setting, and a part of your personality wants to express itself.
This can be the funny part of you, the sexual part of you, the creative part of you or whatever facet you possess. Many times it happens that instead of owning those parts of us we dismiss them, creating a fracture in our own being.
This is the classic “people pleasing” behavior, a habit that you probably learned when still a baby and that you’ve been conditioned to perpetuate not to “look bad” or not to “disappoint people.”
The problem is that by not disappointing others (many times our self-expression will benefit them, anyway…) you are doing a disservice to yourself because you are supposed to accept and express yourself 100% every time (unless the context is not right, in this case, your empathy and calibration will sense this).
This is one way you can operate in social situations. From now on express what you feel if the context permits you to do it and learn to re-own all the possible shades of your being back.
Another scenario in social settings occurs when you feel a negative emotion like anxiety, fear, tension and you don’t accept the way you are feeling.
First of all, recognize that if you are feeling that way, there is a reason as your subconscious mind is communicating this to you in the form of emotion.
Accept What And How You Feel
This means that the feeling you have is generally right in that very moment and that you should take advantage of it to think about why you are feeling this way.
Some common thoughts that may come to you in those situations are: “I shouldn’t feel negative” “I shouldn’t feel anxious” “I should always feel good, because I’m the man (if you are a man),” “What I’m feeling is wrong.”
That kind of thought might arise when we feel something that is considered bad from our society or religion, i.e., sexual excitement, envy, pride, anger, jealousy, etc.
Of course, most of those feelings are not the best ones at all in terms of your personal development, but they can’t be labeled wrong from you; otherwise, you’ll create a separation between your natural being and your ideal of how you should be.
If you feel envy for someone that is being successful in a particular area, accept the feeling you’re having and try to understand why you are feeling this way later on.
The important thing is that you don’t reject or suppress the feeling!
The feeling is a message your mind is sending you, and you can’t just suppress it because it is considered “wrong” by society.
Society does not have a clue about how we should work, and that’s why problems are leaking in many cultures around the globe. Your feeling is what it is and the more you try to suppress it, the less able you’ll be to work on it.
Remember that whatever feeling that is not either accepted or expressed by you will not go away but will be repressed in your subconscious mind and will be buried there forever, causing you problems in your life like energy blockages or even diseases!
When you can’t express something in a given situation, accept the feeling, write it down and come back to it later in a neutral state of mind to analyze it.
You may discover many unconscious beliefs you were holding about yourself that once uncovered will get your energy flowing back like it is supposed to do apart from making you feel REALLY GOOD.
That’s your task for this mission. Be aware of what you feel and if you can express the feeling do it, following common sense. If you can’t show it just accept it and come back to it later.
Tip #1: Don’t try to overthink, just say “I accept what I’m feeling as this is a part of me at this moment” or “I accept this feeling right now and thank my body for informing me of that. Thank you mind, I now let this feeling go”.
Tip #2: Don’t try to force things. For example, if you can’t accept how you feel, first accept the fact that you can’t accept how you feel and then accept the feeling that you were not able to accept.
Tip #3: Don’t judge how you feel, just be aware. There are no right or wrong feelings, there are just feelings, and as we’re all human beings, we are all subject to shifts in our level of consciousness. You should never judge yourself for how you feel.
Feelings are nor good nor bad, they just are. Acknowledge this and then come back to them to see why they have been triggered.
What You Can Expect From This Exercise
If you were experiencing negative feelings in your body or if you had some emotional blocks they’ll go away if you practice this technique because you are keeping the energy flowing freely.
Apart from this, remember that if you stay present with your feeling for a couple of minutes and then let it go, you’re on the right path to success. As a consequence of this, you’ll become more expressive and more relaxed in your everyday life.
The feeling you should feel in the process of self-acceptance is a feeling of relief, of losing control, of letting go. It should feel like you’re falling from great highs and having trust that your mother will catch you. This is a simple suggestion, then you might experience this in a completely different way to be aware of trusting your feelings more than my suggestions as everybody is different.
Now, you can only surrender to yourself and embrace who you are 100%. Good luck as this is one of the most important steps you’ll ever make in the process of your personal growth.
Your Take Away From This Article
We can then say that yes, it is possible to accept yourself entirely even if you had a past that was filled entirely with self-denial and hate. You now have the tools to do it, the only thing is that you must take action to make this happen right away.
Did this post resonated with and/or helped you improve yourself support us by sharing it or by comment below your experiences, thoughts or simply what you learned from it.
Do you know who you are aside from your primal instincts? Who you really are apart from being a hungry animal walking on this earth always searching for resources, sex, and protection?
Discovering your core values will help you understand your true nature, not the animal one but your more sophisticated one that makes you a human being. If you fail to do this, you might be perpetuating a life of a primal that only enjoys eating, having sex and sleeping.
Luckily for us, there is much more than meets the eye as we’re not animals. No, we are souls living in an animal body as the self-development genius Bob Proctor says.
Then it’s easy to understand that unless you find who you are apart from this primary animalistic side of you, you’re spiritually dead. Yes, exactly like a zombie in “The Walking Dead.”
Now you might be living like that and not even caring about your core values but that’s not the best way to live as in my personal experience, I’ve lost years in pursuing things that were not mine just because I didn’t know what my core values were back then.
The most terrifying questions remain one anyway; What if you wake up one day and realize that you wasted your entire life onto something that was not worthwhile? What if that day you wake up will be in your elder age where you won’t be able to make the changes you wanted to make any more?
That’s what you’re going to avoid by reading this piece of content and by doing the exercises.
What Are Core Values?
Why are core values essential to discover and how can you actually find yours?
Your core values are what make you unique in who you are and in why you do what you do in your life.
Everybody has his own core values and the ones you hold, both consciously or subconsciously, represent who you really are at your core.
You must find them out; otherwise, you’ll always be obscure of who you really are as a person, that will stop you from achieving your fulfillment.
If you’re only living like an animal on this planet, you’re just enjoying a tiny percentage of what life has to offer to you. This is a real pity as you’d be wasting this precious gift in the way it’s supposed to be lived.
Or maybe you’re living a life that is not just that, but that perhaps is not going towards the direction you want to go, so you’re sacrificing it for some values that do not belong to you.
Going For The Military: A Wrong Choice I’ve Made
That’s in fact exactly how I was approaching life 9 years ago when I believed that my life purpose was to become a military pilot of the Italian Airforce.
Yes, I saw the movie Top Gun and fell in love with Tom Cruise’s character (maybe because he had that beautiful chick).
Just kidding, anyway I did try to become a pilot for real, let me tell you why this was a bad idea back then even if it sounded so good and how you can avoid making the same mistake I’ve made.
During my teenage years, I always had the ambition to become an official military pilot of the Italian Airforce. I don’t really know from where this dream came from back then, yet it was my only purpose in life, and that’s how I was envisioning myself to be every day.
I was imagining to be one of the best pilots, respected by all men and with my beautiful woman looking at me with those reverence eyes, just like in the movie Top Gun.
I was imagining of flying through the skies of the world with those powerful hi-tech jets getting that combined feeling of power and freedom that was enough for me to make every day of my life a new brick that together with the others would have helped me complete the building of success.
Time For The Selection Process
When I finally turned 19 the long-awaited time for me to fight for my dream had come and so, excited, I jumped full of adrenaline on the selection process.
It was and still is one of the most difficult selection process in the whole of Italy, consisting of 5 different steps during 8 months where only 44 pilots out of thousands of applicants would be selected.
That didn’t look scary me anyway as the stakes were so high in terms of lifetime rewards, and so I decided to go on and bet on myself.
I studied hard to prepare myself for the first quizzes. Failure was not an option for me, after all, that was my dream since I was a child and I couldn’t let laziness and carelessness destroy it.
The tests were very hard, and I didn’t know how I could maximize the chances of passing them. Then I got the idea to consult some people in the online forums that had already made it in the past or that had been through this strict selection process.
I managed to make a couple of friends that were trying the selection for the third time and decided to learn as much as possible from their experience. In the meantime, I kept studying and studying for hours every day, almost neglecting my high school subjects.
My only question, then, was if it could have really worked or if I was just wasting my time. There was no predetermined answer of course and the only thing left for me to do was to keep going, hoping for the best.
So I kept studying and executing my plans diligently, probably as diligently as I had never done before in my life.
When the day of the first test finally arrived in late January, I was there trembling from fear and excitement at the same time. Two other friends of mine from my class also decided to participate in the selection process with me.
The Day Of The First Test
We had it in a vast hangar that was full of military officials. We had only 30 minutes to complete a ton of questions, but eventually, I managed to finish a significant portion of it.
The results arrived days later, I had passed it together with one of those friends of mine. An incredible feeling of joy mixed with pride flood my body.
It was one of my first big wins in life-fighting for something that I really cared about. Unfortunately, we lost our third friend that didn’t manage to get to the minimum score. Now we were about 700 participants out of thousands selected to compete for those 44 official positions.
The Impossible Medical Checkup
After that, it was time for the medical checkup in mid-February. That was the part of the selection process that scared me the most as it was the only one I couldn’t control. Either I was born with the body to be a pilot, or there was no hope for me, and my dream would have been deleted forever.
The problem with those visits was that I had to have a specific weight requirement to be accepted(apart from many more standards) and it was 58kg. Unfortunately, I was very skinny at the time and only weighed 54 kg, in fact, I had to subscribe to the gym to put on some weight.
I had arrived at 57.5 kg the day before the medical checkup, a real mess. But I couldn’t fail my dream just for half a Kilogram so I thought of eating as much food and drinking as much water as I could during the visits.
I drank probably around two liters of water while I was waiting for the visits. The moment of weighing myself came. 58.5 kg was the result. I immediately gave a sigh of relief, it was not over yet apparently.
I later did all the other visits, and finally, after a long morning and afternoon of checkups I got a piece of paper with the response: There was written: “Suitable for the Pilot Position.” That was the most magical moment for me as I was dreaming about that for years! My friend had passed it to so we were still together.
After that, it was time for the 3rd stage, the written essay. I had always been a failure on those things but thanks to some practice I also managed to pass this stage together with my friend.
Now you might think what this story has to do with your core values, well we’re getting there soon.
The Final Step: 10 Days In The Italian Airforce Academy
Once I had passed the third test I was ready for the most crucial one, the 10 day trial in the actual Airforce Academy.
That was known as the hardest part of the entire selection process, not only because we were subject to the scrutiny of 3 physical performance tests, 5 psychological ones and 1 proving our attitude to flight with a flight simulator but because of the pressure that was put into us by the superior officials.
My friend and I got into the academy right after our high school exams. It was mid-July, and the weather was hot like hell. As we entered the academy, the officials immediately handed us the uniforms and instructed us on how things worked there, the rules that had to be observed and the penalties we would have received if such observation was not met.
The vibe was very severe and controlled, not permitting even the smallest space for a laugh (a thing that was in direct opposition with my personality.)
Things Weren’t As We Expected
As the days passed over there, my friend and I started to lose all the enthusiasm that we previously had about that life. We had lost our inner creativity, freedom, and spontaneity and we both didn’t want to give up such things for the prestige of being an official pilot of the Italian airforce.
He left the academy after the 6th day while I kept staying there as a way to prove myself that I could make it until the end even if that were not my end goal anymore. During those 10 days, I saw all the other candidates being reduced in from a couple of hundreds of them into a few dozens until we just were about 50 of us.
That was the moment the trial had ended, and I had officially passed it. Nonetheless, that was not my goal anymore so as I got the paper with the admission to the next stage (where I would have piloted my first military plane) I resigned from the position to the surprise of the officials that were astonished by what I did.
Lesson Learned: Know Who You Are First
I have made that decision because over there I was feeling constricted to a life of bondage rather than the life of freedom and flying I had envisioned during all those years.
I had made some mistakes along the way, and unfortunately, I hadn’t evaluated my personal values before attempting my journey.
If I had only understood before that in my own personal value system freedom was more important than social prestige, I had never started it. If I just knew back that I was more a free spirit than an orderly person this wouldn’t have happened.
Instead, I only discovered this when it was too late and just after months spent studying like a mad guy.
That’s why I want you to do this exercise right now. From this exercise, you will understand who you indeed are and what’s essential for you in life.
Now It’s Time To Discover Your Core Values
Having said that, here is the theory and process of discovery of your core values.
This is one of the most important exercises you’ll do throughout your entire life. Why? Because here you will find why you did what you did in life from the moment you were born until today.
This exercise is going to help you discover if your everyday actions are pushing you to become closer to the person you want to be or if they are pulling you away from it.
We all have some invisible wires that motivate us and control our behaviors every day. Those forces operate silently even if you are aware of them or not. They are the reasons (or should be) why we go to work, why we choose a kind of partner over another one, why we make individual decisions instead of others and why we do things in our own way.
Those forces are our core values.
As soon as I completed this exercise, I immediately discovered why I had made such bad decisions in my life in the past. I thought that certain jobs, experiences, and ways of living were bringing me closer to my fulfillment while instead they blatantly conflicted with my core values.
For example, when I was 18 I decided to pursue the military pilot career but, after months of studying, I realized that I couldn’t stand the pressure and the constriction feeling that the army life gave me. I was feeling bound and unable to express myself, so I resigned from the position.
At the beginning I only had a vague feeling that something wasn’t right about that career path, then the sense became oppression, and I couldn’t help but get away from there as soon as possible.
I discovered the reason only years later after studying myself and psychology. What was the reason why I left such a prestigious position that ensured me a lifelong success? I’ll tell you this in a while. Now it’s time to talk about you.
The first thing we need to do is finding out what are your current values. After that, you’ll need to modify them based on the goals that you want to achieve in your life.
Exercise 1: What’s Important for You?
As a first exercise, I’m going to ask you what’s essential for you in your life. Try to answer this question quickly and put all the things that you can without filtering them. There are no right or wrong answers here so relax.
What’s essential for you in life?
For me in life it’s essential…
Exercise 2: Why Is It Important for You?
Now ask yourself why those things are essential in your life. How does/do it/they make you feel? Why you want more of it/them? What are you willing to sacrifice for those things?
Usually, we have values based on emotions/sensations we wanna feel. It is the emotions that we love experiencing that drive our behavior and control our choices. That’s why values are so strong, they really come from deep within your subconscious mind, that is the seat of your soul giving you information about what’s best for you.
Those emotions/sensations that you like to feel are the causes of what is called “Peak Experiences” in life. You always strive to experience more of those whether you know this or not. Every action you take has the purpose of letting you experience more of what you want.
Exercise 3: Recalling Your Peak Experiences
Now that you know what a peak experience is, try to remember the ones that you experienced in your life.
What was happening back then? What values were you following?
It is essential to know what are your values because whenever your actions conflict with your values, you will always struggle in your life for something that you don’t actually want. This means that you are taking the risk of living your life and waking up one day understanding that you have wasted it all.
Exercise 4: Negative Events
Now that you know all the right moments you had think of all the bad ones where you got angry, disappointed or frustrated. Usually what happens during those moments is that a value that we hold dear is not being lived or experienced for some reason and so we get into this state of resistance.
Can you recall those events that occurred in your life? What were you feeling and why? What particular thing was being of an obstacle to what you wanted or found important at that time?
Rational and Emotional Values
For sure you have discovered many values that appeal to you until now, right? Perfect. Now I guess many of those are emotional values, meaning that they are values that give you the emotions/sensations that you want to experience in your life. To live a successful life anyway, we need to have a value system that also integrates support values to the others.
This is necessary because otherwise, you take the risk of living for your value at the expense of its own stability (for example living for the pleasure of food at the expense of health that, if damaged, will stop you from pursuing food pleasure any more in your life).
The secret then is balancing the need-based values with the emotional ones and using the former as a support structure of the latter.
Exercise 5: Your Behaviour
Finally, it’s time to discover the remaining values by observing what you must have in your life to experience fulfillment. It may be freedom, order, being in ecstasy, finding new things, going into crazy adventures, etc.
What do you really value in life apart from the basic needs you have? What is the thing that if removed would make your life just a mere survival game? What are the things that spark growth out of you?
Extrinsic And Intrinsic Values
There are two types of values: Extrinsic values or means values and intrinsic values or end values. To understand this better let’s make an example:
Arthur values a lot of Freedom and Financial Independence. In his value system, he may appreciate Financial Independence a lot, anyway what he is really looking for is freedom in his life and knows that Financial Independence can give him the freedom he wants.
He’s not after financial independence then because it is a condition to achieve freedom in his life. Anyway, he may enroll in a course in personal finance, and he may convince yourself that he wants to learn more about finances when, in reality, all he wants is to experience freedom. Why does he want to experience freedom?
The answer to a question related to an intrinsic (end) value should always be “just because.”
That’s because an extrinsic value is one that promotes a valuable end. So you can see here that there might be a massive set of values that you have that support each other to help you get to your final value in life that is the most important.
That’s the end of a value chain, and you will find it when “Just because” will be the answer. That’s where you should get to see your end value.
Exercise 6: Finding Your Means & End Values
Now that you have an awareness of what are your values, you must find your natural ones that are the ones that you honor just because that makes you feel good, happy and fulfilled and the ones that are of necessary support of those values.
You might strive for freedom in your life, but you’ll never be free if you are broke. You might aim for health in your life, but you’ll never be healthy if you’re not disciplined in your life.
That’s so important because if you value your son/daughter, you also appreciate what you let them eat right? If you value your house, you also value insurance on that house a lot, because it keeps the house safe.
You don’t value the insurance per se, but you appreciate it as a way to protect something of value.
If you have a treasure to take locked in a trunk, you also value a lot the key that will open it because it lets you open the trunk. Anyway, when opened you won’t appreciate it anymore.
An end value would represent something that you would cry for once achieved in your life.
It would cause such an emotional impact on you due to its importance that most likely than not you will cry or feel a deep sense of fulfillment.
For example, I value a lot positively contributing to people’s lives. Why? Because helping others in the right way is really important for me and I’ll do anything in my power to make this happen and to fulfill myself from a spiritual point of view.
Exercise 7: Group Your Values
After you have found the values for which your life is worth sacrificing, and you found the values that need to support those critical ones, it’s time to group them.
Values like impact, making the difference and recognition fall into the same category. Others like fun, pleasure, enjoyment also fall into the same one. Once you have found the class on each value, choose one that best represents that category. For example, you may select “impact” for the first group and pleasure for the second one.
You should now have between 5 and 10 values that are important to you. Now your job will be to rate them in order of importance so that you will know what the first value you’re striving for is. This is very hard to do and will probably be one of the hardest mental exercises you’ll ever do in your life, nonetheless, that’s important, so keep doing in until you rank them in the right order of importance.
It may take you some days or weeks before you feel that your work is done so don’t rush it as you’ll be working with the deepest parts of yourself in here. You’ll be in direct communication with your subconscious truest desires, that’s why it’s hard to get through this right away.
Exercise 8: Describe The Value Better
Now all you have to do is to select each value and describe it with some words that represent the value in the best way for you. For example, taking the value Impact, you might write “ Impact: Changing the world BIG in a good way.”
Exercise 9: The Final Test
Now you need to actually validate each of the values you have selected for you. This is a way to make sure that you did your job right and that you’re are all set to live a fulfilling and happy life.
If you have chosen the right values, you should feel like they belong to you.
1: How does each one of those values make you feel?
2: How does your gut feel when you think about them?
3: Are you happy with the way you prioritized your values?
4: Do they represent you at your very core? Be honest as your entire life will depend upon those values.
Your Take Away From This Article
If you work hard towards something you don’t really care about, then you’re not working. You’re merely stressing yourself out.
Now that you know how to find your core values you won’t find yourself anymore in a position of passivity concerning who you are, but you will be able to see yourself and do the things that are in line with your real being.
We can then say that our core values are the pillars of who we are and without knowing them, we’re merely lost and wondering in a world of unknown.
Now that you know what are your core values you are a step ahead of many people in this world that don’t even have a clue of what they are doing.
Remember that this is a lifelong process and that you should revise your values every now and then because with time you will naturally value certain things more than others and so your life will need to be directed towards other frontiers to ensure you perpetual fulfillment.
Did you manage to find your core values and what benefits have you gotten by reading this article? Share below your experience with us.