Thursday, June 4, 2009

Dr. Ronald J. Frederick on Living Like You Mean It

I'm very excited to have Dr. Ronald J. Frederick as today's guest blogger. His book, Living Like You Mean It: Use the Wisdom and Power of Your Emotions to Get the Life You Really Want shares with you his proven four-step approach to overcoming fear and connecting more deeply with yourself and others.

Writers deal with self-doubt and fear often. Not only do we doubt our abilities, but we can be afraid of failing, afraid of succeeding, and afraid that no matter what we do it can't possibly be good enough.

With Living Like You Mean It: Use the Wisdom and Power of Your Emotions to Get the Life You Really Want you'll learn to:

* Break through old patterns and get unstuck,

* Open up to the energy and resources inside you and feel motivated,

* Get in touch with your personal truth and put an end to confusion and indecisiveness,

* Experience a profound sense of meaning, purpose, and belonging,

* Deepen and enrich your relationships and feel closer to those you love,

* Realize your true potential and experience greater fulfillment and happiness,

* ….and live your life like you mean it!

Today Dr. Frederick will discuss the power of fear and how it keeps us from achieving what we want.

The ability to live like you mean it hinges on being able to be emotionally present in our lives—really being there for the happy times and coming through the difficult times a much better person. It’s our feelings that make us feel alive and vital, energize us to meet and deal with life’s challenges, and point us in the best direction to get what we really want. Our feelings are what bridge the gap between ourselves and others, enliven our relationships, and help us feel close. Our personal identity—the core of who we are—is largely formed by what we feel and how we react. Our likes and dislikes, what makes us happy, what makes us sad, what excites us, what brings us pleasure, what annoys or frustrates us—all say so much about who we are. It’s in our feelings that we find our true authentic self.

Unfortunately, many of us are uncomfortable with our feelings. We have what I call a “feelings phobia.” We get close to our feelings, start to feel anxious, and avoid them. We do all these things to steer clear of our feelings—behaviours we’re not even aware we’re doing. When we avoid or deny our feelings, when we suppress them, we are in a way denying who we are, squelching our creativity and individuality, and sacrificing our true potential and power. It’s impossible to go the distance, to really live like you mean it, unless we can be fully present with our feelings.

But, as I discuss in my new book Living Like You Mean It: Use the Wisdom and Power of Your Emotions to Get the Life You Really Want, change is possible. We can loosen the grip of fear on our experience and unleash our inner wisdom and power. It all begins with opening our eyes and waking up to what’s going on inside of us. We need to find a way to put the brakes on, slow down, and tune in to our internal experience. In short, we need to develop what I call emotional mindfulness. Emotional mindfulness is about purposely paying attention to our physically felt emotional experience as it happens with the aim of helping us be more consciously aware of our feelings and, ultimately, more fully present with them.

How do you do this? You start by slowing down, going inward and just noticing. At any time you want to, stop and ask yourself, What am I feeling? and then tune in to what’s happening inside you right in that moment. Not what you think should be happening, not what you wish were happening, but what is happening. Consciously direct your attention to your felt experience. Watch and observe.

Each time you repeat this behaviour, each time you bring your focus back to your body sensations, you’re developing a new habit. You’re training your mind to be aware of and pay attention to your emotional experience. You’re opening up to a richer experience of yourself. You’re making room for your creative juices to flow. And, you’re beginning to transform your life.

To find out more about living like you mean it, please visit:

Ron Frederick is a licensed psychologist and life coach and author of the bestselling book Living Like You Mean It: Use the Wisdom and Power of Your Emotions to Get the Life You Really Want (Jossey-Bass, 2009). A long-time proponent of the power of therapy to transform lives, he co-founded the Center for Courageous Living which offers innovative therapy, coaching, and consulting.

Noted for his warmth, humor, and engaging presentation style, Dr. Ron travels throughout North America as a speaker and trainer, receiving consistent acclaim for his expertise and inviting teaching style. His work has been featured in the APA Monitor on Psychology, Clinical Psychiatry News: The Leading Independent Newspaper for the Psychiatrist, and Lavender Magazine. An invited contributor to several professional books, he has also been quoted on

Dr. Ron is a Senior Faculty Member of the Accelerated Experiential Dynamic Psychotherapy (AEDP) Institute as well as the supervising psychologist of Abbott Northwestern Hospital’s Park House Day Treatment Program.

Born and raised in New Jersey, Dr. Ron now lives in Minneapolis, MN.

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