Hey Dignity Daters! I’m preparing for my workshop tomorrow night in Los Angeles in which I’m collaborating Dr. Theo Kousouli, a chiropractic healer. We are going to dig deep into one of the most frequently asked questions here at Dating With Dignity — a question which I have received a few times from clients the past few days. Here it is:

Q: I want to make changes in my life, but seem paralyzed by fear. I hear voices that say, “I’m not smart enough,” “It’s the best I can do,” or “It’s too hard and scary.” What do I do? Sometimes I feel hopeless?

A: It’s quite horrible when the feelings seem so big, scary and paralyzing. In fact, I remember times in my life where I simply buckled to my knees and heaved giant sobs. Other times, the tears wouldn’t come. Instead, I felt vast amounts of anger, powered by thoughts of revenge, rebellion or hatred. Ultimately, however, I tired of myself. My complaints, the whining, and the same feelings of dread and sadness became monotonous. What, I wondered, could I do that would enable me to really experience joy. Here’s the steps I took, which involved a process we will discuss tomorrow during the workshop at The Beverly Hills Country Club.

1. I learned how to shift my thinking from that of the “victim,” to a place in which I decided to take responsibility for my life. Instead, I became very intentional regarding the specific steps I could take to move into action. What step will you take today to move into action?

2. I learned how to recognize the “dark” thoughts as untruths, designed only to keep me stuck in what was horrible, yet comfortable and safe. When they came at me, barraging my hopefulness, I acknowledged them yet made a choice to ask myself this important question: How true are these thoughts, really?

3. I asked for help, which is different than seeking advice from anyone who would listen to my tale. I looked to experts to help guide me in transforming my beliefs, thoughts and actions. I took self development to new levels, seeking out books, coaching and even participated in an 8-day personal retreat at The Hoffman Institute to get clear on who I am and what I deserve. When I reached out to connect with friends, I asked them merely to listen, not provide suggestions of a “quick fix.” Who is your support system, and how will you expand it in 2010?

4. I learned to meet my needs using a model in which I identified four basic parts of self; physical, intellectual, emotional self and spirit/authentic self. When I felt sad, lonely, mad, glad, tired or overwhelmed, I learned to ask each part of myself what it was “feeling,” and what it “needed.” Often, the body needed something as simple as rest, while my emotional self needed connection. Other times, it was my intellectual self that needed information. Once I became adept at this skill, I learned to meet these needs by deepening the connection to my authentic, spiritual self as a “one stop shop” to fulfillment and joy.

While none of these steps are complicated, they require study and attention. In fact, it takes skill to become aware of the negative repetitive noise that plays in your head, and replace this “noise” with positive energetic thoughts. The result? Love. Joy. Fulfillment and peace. Where you place your attention, remember, you will place your intention. And thus, if your intention is to seek change, take the steps necessary to ensure that your thoughts reflect this desire.

Author's Bio: 

As the founder of Dating With Dignity and more than 25 years of personal relationship and dating experience, Marni has dated, was married for 17 years, divorced, and then successfully dated again in the 21st century. In addition, she has received professional training in dating and relationship coaching, as well as training in the Core Energy Coaching Process from the Institute of Professional Excellence in Coaching (IPEC). Marni has also been extensively trained as a Facilitator by the Hoffman Institute, one of the world’s foremost organizations in personal development.

Most important, as a divorcee for more than 5 years, Marni truly understands what it feels like to be lonely and sick of wasting time on dates with men that go nowhere. A woman who is not your mother, best friend, or therapist, Marni is the professional relationship and dating expert who will stand behind you to provide love, compassion, support and honest guidance as you embark on one of the most important, fulfilling adventures in your life.