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How to meditate effectively (even if your mind won't shut up)
Aug 02

How to meditate effectively (even if your mind won’t shut up)

By Dr Berni Sewell | Transform your life

I am often asked why my tips on overcoming low self-worth and anxiety never seem to include meditation.

After all, it calms the mind, balances your emotions, deepens your breathing and helps to control stress, fear and negativity. During meditation, you connect with your authentic Self. Transcend your limitations and struggles. Enjoy the infinite peace, love, bliss and worth that dwell deep within your blessed soul.

And I know that. I tried.

When I first started to transform my life back in 2005, I believed a regular, healthy meditation practice was an indispensable part of my journey out of fear, emotional turmoil and worthlessness. Many times I sat down on my meditation cushion. Closed my eyes. Focused on my breath with high hopes and expectations.

But it always went a bit like this…

Me: “OK, breathe in. And out. No thinking now.”
Mind: “Shall we have fish and chips for dinner?”
Me: “Argh! Be quiet!”
Mind: “Oops! No more thinking…my back aches. That was another thought, wasn’t it? So sorry!”
Me: “Don’t worry about it. It’s ok. Just be silent now please”.
Mind: “Oh God! I have to give a presentation at work tomorrow. I think I’ll be sick.”
“Me: “Would you just shut up!”
Mind: “Don’t be so mean! I‘m trying my best here. I’m just not good enough. I will never get better. It’s hopeless.”
Me: “You know what, just forget about it! I can’t even meditate. I hate myself. What is wrong with me?!”

It was counterproductive, to say the least. Every time I attempted meditation, I abandoned it prematurely, feeling ever more anxious and upset. Despairing over my obvious inability to create a happier life.

I believed I wasn’t disciplined enough. Too weak and pathetic. Incompetent.

When, in fact, I misunderstood meditation altogether.

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May 30

How to start (and finish) overwhelming tasks

By Dr Berni Sewell | Transform your life

A few weeks ago I pruned my 3 young fruit trees.

None of them is particularly big yet, but I admit I got carried away. Because the resulting amount of twigs and branches on the ground was astonishing!

I sat in the grass next to this humongous pile and felt like crying. The enormous task of cutting the entire mountain up in small pieces to fit in refuse bags was overwhelming and depressing.

The branches were entangled and intertwined. I couldn’t even see a way to get to all the individual twigs and it would probably take many hours to complete! It seemed hopeless.

So I did what every self-respecting gardener would do. I procrastinated.

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Why failure can be good for us
May 29

Why failure can be good for us

By Dr Berni Sewell | Discover your happiness

I am Austrian. And Austrians ski. Actually, we learn it in school! It’s part of the curriculum! I kid you not!

So there I was, at 13 years old, finding myself on my second school skiing course. I tried my best to control the two planks on my feet. I made efforts not to fall out of ski lifts. I strained my eyes in an attempt to defeat my snow blindness. And I could still feel my legs turning down the slopes when I was lying in my bed at night.

But still, at the end of the week, my teacher took me to one side and said: “Berni, you are hopeless. You are a menace to yourself and others. Please do us all a favour and NEVER ski again.”

I was shocked. Despite all the blood, sweat and tears (literally!), I was a complete and utter skiing disaster. The school skiing dummy. Loser of the year. A failure. How could this have happened?

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