Being Comfortable in Your Own Skin

If people don’t hate you you’re probably not doing very big things
~ Jay Z

We tend to despise and attack that which we don’t understand. All new ideas go through four distinct phases, particularly if they’re truly innovative and creative:

  • Rejection
  • Ridicule
  • Acceptance/Tolerance
  • Self-evidence

If you can’t weather misunderstanding and criticism,
then whatever you do, don’t do anything new.
~ Jeff Bezos


A brief perusal of history will prove these four phases true beyond doubt; and while it’s not the purpose of this treatise to get into these four phases in depth and detail, it is our purpose to explore the qualities and characteristics of your own Ultimate Performance.

As we’ve discussed many times before, prepare yourself to be frequently misunderstood. (reference UHP1)

By now, you should at least have a beginners understanding, at minimum in concept, of the rejection and ridicule phases listed above. Whether you’re currently experiencing them in your life or not.

When you walk differently from the way of the world you’ll rarely be understood.

We discussed the solitary path in our last two installments. If you’ve attempted to practice this, or if this has already been a part of your constitution, then you’ve probably already experienced this lack of understanding with friends and family.

There may be a tendency to think I’m advocating rebellion. Particularly in this specific aspect of UHP. I’m not. Rebellion is a waste of energy.

Rebellion is a negative position against something.

Self-empowerment on the other hand, choosing your One Thing, knowing your Purpose and committing to living it fully, is a position to stand for something.

Big difference.

Do you follow?

I’m definitely advocating the latter versus the former. For pushing against what you don’t want is very different than pushing forward toward what you do.

When asked to march against war Mother Teresa stated, “No I will not. But when you march for peace I’ll be there.”

Think about it.

What do you stand for?

You can never truly say you stand for something
until you’ve been tested by its opposition.

As Jay Z so aptly states, the more uniquely you’re living, the more likely you are to be misunderstood, despised and even hated.

To be greatly loved is also to be greatly despised, blamed or even hated.
For each are just two different sides of the same coin.

If you can’t step up to this then stand down. For if you’re not making waves somewhere you’re playing in very shallow water.

Think about it.

If you’re not making waves somewhere
then you’re playing in very shallow water.

One of the most frequent questions that come in through my website and elsewhere these days (particularly from abroad where The Secret is still somewhat fresh), is some derivative of “James my girlfriend left me. How can I use the Law of Attraction to bring her back?” Or “I want to find my dream mate, tell me how to use the LOA to find him.”

The right relationships and partnerships are vital.

But as you know, and as we’ve discussed, if you’re really committed to your Magnum Opus, Your Own Great Work, then it’s extremely challenging in many if not most cases to find a solid, supportive, and understanding relationship.

Impossible?

No.

Probable?

Maybe a little more difficult.

You need to practice a little more patience and a lot more perseverance. (reference UHP16)

If you’re committed here’s the key:

The one relationship that you must develop fully and completely is the relationship with yourself. This is primary.

You will never ever attract a perfect relationship with another human being until you first and foremost have a perfect relationship with yourself.

Hence we come back to investing time with yourself now don’t we?womaninlight-james-arthur-ray

One of the first steps in understanding yourself is to know your innermost thoughts and feelings. Now while this may seem somewhat self-evident, I can assure you it’s not. Not at least in practice.

We live in a society that’s heavily invested and ingrained in denial. Much of traditional personal and spiritual development teachings help to propagate this way of thinking and living. Inadvertently possibly. But true nonetheless.

In the mass effort to “be positive all the time” we’ve lost what it means to be human. I submit that being truly positive is to positively experience the full range of human emotions; and then leverage and utilize them for our own advancement and growth.

True positive thinking is not expecting the best, that’s illusion.
True positive thinking is accepting that what is happening is the best for your further development, advancement and growth.

Digest the above and all its implications long and hard.

True positive thinking is the ability to utilize everything life throws at us and make it work for us versus against.

Unfortunately this is very uncommon; and it’s all grounded in a poor relationship with ourselves.

Know thyself and you shall possess the keys to the universe
and the secrets of the gods.
~ Esoteric Wisdom

Truly knowing yourself and then setting your own direction is a big thrust of my Ultimate Performance Coaching.

Most are just drifters with very little clarity on where they’re going or how to get there. Most have very little knowledge on who they truly are and why they’re here.

As a result many live like a ping pong ball in the surf, being bounced and jostled from one direction to the next. Applying strategy after strategy, jumping from on brass ring to the next, chasing this and that.

When clarity and purpose are nonexistent, all actions degrade to the lowest common denominator which is money.

Furthermore, psychological research proves that very few people actually even know their true innermost thoughts and feelings.

I recall being interviewed for a men’s radio show several years ago and the host asked me, “What do you think is the major problem for men when it comes to creating and attracting what they want?”

The answer was very quick, simple and straightforward, “Their inability to feel their own feelings.” Unfortunately this is not a challenge reserved solely for men.

Studies in neurosciences prove that feeling your feelings actually fires off the right hemisphere of our brains more fully and actually creates new neurological connections.

Through neuroplasticity, these new connections build new superhighways in our brain literally changing brain structure; and giving us a powerful vehicle for the mind. Please be aware that the mind and the brain as two different things.

The reductionist strategy of turning all of human experience into a thing (i.e. a neurotransmitter) is only looking at the half the picture. No one gets up on a beautiful morning and states “Oh this is such a serotonin morning.”

Please.

All neurotransmitters are but effects of an indefinable cause.

Creating new neurological connections in the right hemisphere is like developing mental muscle. A workout for the mind.

Mental muscle of the right brain enhances creativity and allows you ultimately to experience one of the greatest human emotions available.

Compassion.

I have a family member who has little to no compassion for anyone or anything. Maybe you know someone like this. Part of your own Ultimate Performance is the ability to develop all of your capabilities, including your own emotional intelligence.

I realize that this family member is not a bad person. Quite the contrary. He’s just a product of the positive thinking movement and has spent close to a century stuffing and denying his feelings in the pursuit of “being positive.”

To have something to give, you must have lived it and experienced it.
You can’t give what you don’t have.

Some research suggests that emotional intelligence is paramount to cognitive intelligence when it comes to business. A study conducted by IBM of over 1000 CEO’s found that the number one quality necessary in an effective CEO is creativity.

Creativity is your natural state and honestly feeling your
emotions and feelings unleashes it more fully.

So, what are you doing? Thinking or ruminating? Creating or competing? Read more about it here.

While it may seem counterintuitive to be discussing feeling your emotions and feelings in a series on UHP, that’s exactly why many don’t experience their own ultimate performance. Please read that again.

Being stuck in the false “positive mode” actually shuts off our creative abilities and disallows us experiencing our full superhuman capacity. Please read that again; and again.

This is an extremely deep and broad subject.

Suffice to say that a relationship with yourself is imperative to playing at your best and performing at your ultimate levels. Once again, you can’t be who you’re truly meant to be until you know who you truly are.

To be comfortable in your own skin
you must clearly know who you are inside that skin.

So while this seems simple, and it is, it’s just simply not applied.

A couple of quick tips:

  • Practice what the Hindu and Toltec traditions called recapitulation. Each night before sleeping, take a few moments as you rest on your pillow and reflect (recapitulate) upon your day. What did you experience? What did you learn? What did you do well? What will you do differently next time? And most importantly, how do all those things make you feel?
  • Upon waking, take a moment and once again check in with your true feelings. This is not a “visualize your day” exercise which has it’s time and place; rather just an honest assessment of your true feelings in the moment.
  • Several times throughout the day at intervals just notice how you truly feel about your life, your mate, your job, your current situation, etc.

As previously stated while this seems simple, it’s really rarely done. It’s frightening for many because:

  • “If I honestly check in with how I feel about my mate, I might have to do something about it…
  • “If I honestly notice how I feel about my job or my boss, I may have to quit…
  • “If I’m honest about my feelings regarding my living situation, I might be forced to make a change or I might just feel downright depressed…
  • “If I’m really honest about how I feel about my life it might be incredibly disappointing and painful.”

Sometimes it seems easier in the short term to just stuff it and slap on a smiley face. It’s not. It will come back to haunt.

Anything that is suppressed will be expressed
in later days and uglier ways.

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There is no value in lying to yourself; and if you’re going to reach your own ultimate performance you must have a strong foundation, grounded in a relationship with yourself before you even begin. Please remember:

If you don’t enjoy spending time alone
then you must not be in very good company.

And the journey continues…

Stay Awake, Love Life and Be Epic!

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James