How I Used My Pain to Find My Pleasure

I made a decision a long time ago. I decided that I was the one who had to find a way for the pain to end so I could find some pleasure in life. Up to this point I had survived life. I survived abandonment, abuse, neglect in my childhood, only for all of then to repeat as an adult. I watched as my children began to live the same cycle and realized this was because I was teaching them how to live in the cycle of negativity. Something needed to change. I needed to change. I chose to re-evaluate my perception of pain and you can too.

Evaluation

I looked back on my life and considered the moments that brought me joy and a sense of pleasure. Those moments all had the same theme; helping others. I was the one in high school that others turned to for advice or direction. I remembered feeling a sense of accomplishment when helping others to help themselves. This is what fed my soul. As an adult, others would come to me to talk about their marital disasters, behaviours in their children, or just general feelings of discontent. As a Mom, I was the community mom. The one my daughter’s friends turned to for support with navigating the crazy world of being a teenager. All of these moments gave me a sense of purpose, connectedness. I felt energized every time I was able to assist someone with their challenges. Even back then, without education or training, I was using my own experiences to guide others through their struggles. This, THIS is what I was supposed to be doing!! But how? My own life was a train wreck.

1 Simple Decision Changed It All

As I looked back on these moments of joy, pleasure, purpose and great internal satisfaction there was also a sense of hypocrisy. You see, I was great at resolving the issues that others brought to me, but I always managed to neglect my own issues. The longer I neglected me, the worse things got. I jumped from one miserable relationship to another. Each time, hoping this one would be different, but it never was. After the 3rd round of misery, I decided – “This is it. I quit.” The only thing that was the same in each relationship, was ME. I had to be part of the problem. That was the day I chose to be the solution!!

You can be part of the problem, or you can be part of the solution.

I Am My Solution

I began learning. I read about human behaviour, what makes us do what we do. I learned everything I could get my hands on. I learned that this learning also fed my soul. The more I learned, the more I understood my own path. Early in life, my path was chosen for me. I was in my 30’s before I realized that I had the power to choose my own path. I had the power to change my destiny – and so do you!! I began to realize that life didn’t happen TO me, it happened FOR me. Each event, situation, story of heart-break, disappointment and shame was there to teach me about the person I was designed to be!!

Your past is not your fault – your future is your responsibility.

Andrea Scarborough

Higher Education

The more I learned, the more I wanted to learn. Learning gave me a way out of my pain and into my pleasure. I sought out a career where I could share my passion for helping others. I became a Certified Addictions Counselor, specializing in Mental Health, and later added Certified Life Coach. With these credentials, I was finally able to pursue my life dream of unlocking the secrets that kept me stuck stuck. Learning to unlock the messages of the past that prevented me from truly connecting with who I was meant to be. I was able to help me to become more healthy, to feel better physically and most importantly; connect more deeply with the people I chose to have in my life. I have spent years mastering the transition from pain to pleasure.

Sharing My Wisdom

Today, I give. I share what I have learned. I am blessed to have the opportunity to truly contribute something of value to all those around me. I now have a sense of joy, fulfillment and purpose, simply by following my passion and feeding my soul. When I began to see how sharing what I have learned, truly helps others increase their own quality of life, I knew I had found my ultimate pleasure. I am no longer consumed with the pain of my past. I am exhilarated with the pleasure it brings me.

Andrea Scarborough is an amazing woman and those that attend will get to see first hand what I have known for some time. This woman has an amazing gift for seeing to the root of issues and helping you to discover for yourself, how to cut through the crap that is holding you down, holding you back and keeping you limited. Those that work with Andrea, even on the smallest scale, are forever impacted by her generous love and wisdom. You owe it to yourself to attend her events.

Cate Sullivan

Sharing with the Masses

Cate is speaking about my Live Events. I have created a program that will change the way you view your pain. In 1 day, we will uncover what drives you, what feeds your soul and we will use that to transform your life of pain into your life of pleasure!! We will get you unstuck and finally excited about your future!! Design Your Life on Your Terms is a powerful, life-altering event that you don’t want to miss!!!

Decide today to take responsibility for your future!

You Are Worth It!!

You see, if I can completely alter the course of my life, just by making 1 simple decision, you can too. You can have everything you’ve always dreamed about. Make an investment in your future, your family, in YOU!

Life Guide, Sharer of Wisdom, Witness of Beauty, Mentor of Empowerment

Raising Young Adults

Instilling Essential Life Skills is the key to raising young adults. In the hectic, craziness of every day life, we tend to focus on the short-term goal of simply making through the day. Sick kids, demanding careers, long hours and endless bills all keep us focused on the short-terms goals. We need to take a step back and realize the long-term goal.

Settling the Allowance Debate, discussed the importance of the family working together to maintain the home.  By everyone pitching in to do the their part, we have reduced the strain on the Parents to do it all, taught our children valuable skills to ensure their survival in the real world and begun to insert some of the Essential Life Skills that are so import to their individual success.

“It is not our job to fix our children, it is our job to teach our children how to fix themselves.”


Teaching Kids to Teach Themselves

We have all encountered kids who couldn’t problem-solve their way out of a wet paper bag. Truthfully, I have met a few adults who fit this as well. There is a quote I found somewhere:

You can raise your kids & spoil your grandchildren,

or you can spoil your kids & raise your grandchildren.

~unknown

I don’t think truer words have ever been spoken. We are not raising children, we are raising strong, healthy, independent adults. We need to keep the long-term goal in mind when we are wiping snotty noses, cleaning a scraped knee, consoling a bruised ego.

The only way for our children to become strong-minded, self-sufficient adults, is to instill these values long before adulthood.

Essential Life Skills are the foundation of success, healthy minds & independence.
  1. Interpersonal relationships are not developed by chatting with people on line through video games or messaging.  This is real, face-to-face, human interaction.  The opportunity to look another person in the eye & understand their point of view. 
  2. Communication is the greatest tool we have as humans.  We have the ability to express our thoughts, concerns & opinions.  This is what sets us apart from the animal kingdom.  Encourage your child to speak with respect & compassion. Encourage them to listen to understand & not listen to respond.  If you are able to do this with them, they will learn how to do it in their own lives.
  3. Problem-Solving is a really tough one for parents.  We don’t want our children  to fall, but it is necessary.  Our children need to learn to resolve their own issues.  Helping them talk through problems, exploring different options, choosing the appropriate action & then assessing the outcome will go a long way to reducing the number of problems your child encounters.
  4. Critical-Thinking is key.  This is the lessons we have learned from past mistakes that we have problem-solved and applying this information to current & future situations.  “Last time I went out in the rain, I didn’t take an umbrella & I was sick for a week.  Today, I will take an umbrella.
  5. Imagination / Creativity is how we develop a strong sense of self.  This is where we learn what we like, what we don’t like, our strengths, weakness and our passion.  Help your child to explore a variety of outlets to find whatever it is that will light their flame!
  6. Connectedness; true, honest & deep connections are what keep us grounded.  Humans were designed to live in communities and having a strong connection to this community will keep you safe from harm.  “You have to stand for something, or you’ll fall for anything“. Teaching your child to stand with a group of individuals who are searching for a similar outcome, will prevent them from being recruited by negativity.  Help your child to surround themselves with positive, supportive, like-minded people who will nurture their sense of self.
  7. Sense of self is knowing who you are and firmly believing in that person.  When a child has the freedom to explore their likes/dislikes and effectively communicate that, we are encouraging their individuality.  We may not like everything they do, but as long as it isn’t illegal, immoral or fattening, give it your blessing.
  8. Natural Consequences are a must for our future adults.  Imagine if we have world leaders who did not understand the value of natural consequences.  Leaders who believed they could do, say & act anyway those chose, regardless of how it affected those around them.  It would be a truly sad planet.  “You are free to make your own choices, but you are not free from the consequences of those choices.”  Hold you children accountable to their indiscretions.  Be sure they know that every decision they make has an effect on someone else.
  9. Emotional Regulation is the ability to self-sooth, calm strong emotions and release negative energy. Help your child to understand the array of complex emotions that we all have.  Use feeling words while talking to your child.  “That must have been frustrating” or “That’s really sad, I’m sorry to hear that.”  By inserting the proper emotions, children can then begin to process the situation.
  10. Patience is the ability to understand that good things come to those that wait.  By not giving your child everything they seem to want right now, you are instilling an understanding that one must work to earn privileges.  This is where their work ethic will be taught.

The Media is Working Against Us

The media is our worst enemy. The horror stories of trafficked or abducted children & school shootings play over & over again. These are our nightmares. We fight to protect and shelter our children and will go to great lengths to ensure their safety. But we are also ensuring their dependence.

Remember Elizabeth Smart?

Elizabeth was abducted from her home & held captive for months by a very deranged couple. Her parents feared the worst, but believed in the skills & values they had taught their daughter. They knew they had taught Elizabeth how to problem-solve, think critically, regulate her emotions & hold true to her own sense of self.

Elizabeth escaped her captors, and now travels the world sharing her story. Because of the efforts her parents put in when she was young, the trauma Elizabeth endured has helped to shape the strong, powerful woman she is today.

Moral of the Story

We cannot control what happens in the world, but we can teach our children how to handle all of life’s up’s & down’s.

Sending your child out into the world without Basic & Essential Life Skills, is equivalent to asking them to win the Boston Marathon without first teaching them how to walk.

Settling the Allowance Debate

As a parent, you have probably argued one way or the other in the Allowance Debate. If I may, I’d like to offer a slightly different perspective.

Allowance is a great time to teach financial responsibility & budgeting.  Teaching your children the value of a dollar will go along way to encouraging financial independence.

Method A – Chore List

Have a family discussion to create a list of tasks that must be completed in the home on a weekly basis.  This should include tasks such as maintaining individual spaces (clean your room) but also maintain community spaces (mop the kitchen).  You can either pay a flat rate at the end of the week, or assign a dollar value to each task.

Method B – The Extra Mile

If you choose to not pay your child for being an active participant in your home, there is still a way to earn money.  Have a list of tasks that are not required everyday; raking leaves, household laundry, cleaning windows, organize the garage, weed flower beds, help a neighbour.  Assign a dollar value to each task to be paid upon completion of task. 

Teaching Basic Life Skills

So many kids today are lacking the appropriate skills to navigate this world on their own.  We have created a generation of children who win a ribbon for showing up, not trying their best & working to achieve a goal.  We have raised our children with technology, not people.  It’s easier to send them off to be entertained by video games, then it is to get them to help make supper.

We, as adults tend to complain about the lack of skills our children have, but not many are willing to put in the work to correct this.

Join a community of Parents who are working to make a difference.

Basic Life Skills

Basic Life Skills are required to navigate this world effectively.  Without them, we have self-entitlement, a strong need for immediate gratification in our youth, but we also have some very burnt-out, frustrated parents as well.

Consider offering a small allowance to reward success with Basic Life Skills
Consider offering a small allowance to reward success with Basic Life Skills

Basic Life Skills teach very important lessons; pride in a job well done, co-operation & teamwork, respect for personal property.

These skills should be introduced at an early age, but can be taught at any stage.

  • Personal Hygiene enhances their sense of independence, self-esteem.
  • Cleaning encourages team work & self-starting tasks without reminders.
  • Cooking teaches self-sufficiency & proper nutrition.
  • Laundry again enhances the respect for possessions & instills a level of control.
  • Care for Plants / Pets is where the self-entitlement decreases.  They learn to care for something other than themselves.  They learn empathy, compassion and are rewarded when they see the flower, or can eat the fruit.

It is not a parent’s job to do all these tasks for everyone in the home.  It is the parent’s job to ensure everyone in the home knows how to complete these tasks to the best of their ability.  Parent’s who do all of this & work full time, will be burnt out before their children are teenagers.  Believe it or not, the teenage years are where you need to bring your A Game.

Final Word on the Allowance Debate

Regardless of how you choose to implement an allowance; either with a chore list or the extra mile, it is essential that children learn the Basic Life Skills, which includes financial responsibility.

The long-term goal is to raise healthy, strong, independent adults who are capable of navigating this world on their own.


I’d love to have a strategy session with you, to create simple, effective strategies you can begin to implement and see amazing results.  

This session is FREE and you will gain valuable insight into helping your child create a life they are proud to live!!  

Schedule your FREE Parent Strategy Assessment Session NOW!

Your Life on Your Terms

Exposing the Hard Truth About Your Relationship

If you know me, you know that I am about the hard truth. I will dig into situations and expose the ugly core, what really lies underneath all the pain, stress & heartbreak. And the truth is, sometimes you are the problem, you are the only one who is standing in your way.

Here’s what I mean:

The demise of a relationship is never 1 person’s fault. The blame needs to be shared equally, in all situations. Most people are going to disagree with this, citing abuse, infidelity or a number of other breakdowns; but the hard truth is, you were there. You played a role. Even if your role was to stay too long, you still contributed to the problem. Bear with me, I will explain further.

Playing the Blame Game

  • When you have an argument with your spouse, do you hold a grudge or are you able to simply move on after the smoke has cleared?
  • Are you able to kiss & make up immediately, or do you need to keep your distance, lick your wounds & wait for an apology?
  • While you are angry, will you allow your spouse to come close to try to sooth or console you, or do you push him/her away?

If your answer was grudge, distance & push; then you have a hard time letting go of hurt. You struggle to get over what has been said or done (or if you’re a woman; not said & not done). This argument has left you feeling unloved and perhaps violated to some degree.

Hard Truth

Your partner likely has nothing to do with how hurt you feel.

You see, most times, when we feel hurt, it is because something in our present situation has triggered something unresolved from a past situation. We are then projecting the old pain onto our current partner. In the moment, you whole-heartedly believe that your partner is to blame for the hurt feelings, because they are standing right there, but it may be stemming from something much different.

Surface Dwellers

In the heat of the moment, we often respond to what we see, hear & feel. Everything in that moment is on the surface. What we are not aware of, is how are brains are sensing the familiarity of the situation, recalling past events with similar circumstances, and in a desperate attempt to ensure your survival, bring up the emotions you felt way back then that have very little to do with the situation at hand. Because you are unaware of your brains involvement in this argument, you accept those feelings as a response to the current situation. This, is projection. When you blame your current partner for your unresolved past issues.

Surface dwellers will remain on the surface of every situation. They will avoid, at all costs, peeling back the layers and truly examining what lays beneath the surface, beneath the pain, beneath the frustration, resentment & disappointment. Instead, they blame the last person that triggered the negative emotions – which is usually the current partner.

Hard Truth – Choose to heal your past to avoid hurting your future.

Healing Your Past

As I said in the beginning (and thank you for having enough faith in me to continue to this point), if your relationships keep failing, the only constant is YOU. If your cycle of relationships is toxic or abusive, there is something in your past that is drawing you to this toxicity.

Your past is not your fault – your future is your responsibility.

Unknown

It takes two to tango, and the only way to have a healthy relationship, is to bring healthy people into the relationship. If one of you brings obvious toxicity, chances are the other has brought hidden, unacknowledged toxicity.

Hard Truth

Check yourself. Sometimes, you are the toxic person. Sometimes, you are the mean, negative person you are looking to push away. Sometimes the problem is you.

That doesn’t make you less worthy. Keep growing. Keep on checking yourself. Keep motivating yourself. Mistakes are opportunities. Look at them, own them, grow from them & move on. Do better. Be better. Your human, it’s ok to admit that sometimes, you’re the one who is ridiculous.

Hard Truth.

Next Steps

Firstly, I want to congratulate you on getting this far. This was not an easy post to read & I appreciate your ability to accept some really hard truths.

  1. Accountability. Own your shit. Stop throwing it at the people around you, the ones who truly love you.
  2. Find support. There are many different avenues to seek support in healing your past. If the wounds are deep, therapy might be the answer. Counseling or group therapy are great places to start. A Life Coach can help you become aware of your old habits and begin to replace them with healthy, new habits.
  3. Educate yourself. The internet can be a great tool, if used properly. Find blogs, webinars, podcasts and other forms of helpful insight. Here is a link to get you started.
  4. Forgiveness. Forgive your partner for whatever it is that brought you here. Forgive yourself for your own past.

The best truths, are usually the hard truths. Thank you for staying with me on this one. I know it wasn’t easy. Leave me a comment below if any of this resonated with you. The more we talk about this, the better we are equipped to deal with it. You never really know who needs to hear your story.

Your Life on Your Terms

How to Eliminate Anxiety

Anxiety ranges from racing thoughts to racing heart beats. The “what if” thoughts swirl in your head, each one creating more chaos than the last. Your chest tightens, it’s difficult to breathe, you can’t sleep and your heart feels like it wants to run away. These anxiety attacks can last a few minutes or days. Some people can still function through, while others require professional interventions such as medications, counseling or hospitalization.

IF you require professional support to manage your anxiety, please speak with them before trying anything new, like the tips I have for you today.

You can be controlled by anxiety, or you can control your anxiety.

My Story

I struggled with anxiety for years. The horrible racing thoughts, my heart beating out of my chest and paralyzing fear that would stop me dead in my tracks. I have been rushed to the hospital countless times for an irregular heart beat, sudden asthma attacks and even possible cardiac events. This was all before the age of 35. Each time I went, we only talked about the presenting symptoms, never the whole picture. Therefore, I was put on medications to maintain my heart rhythm, given puffer for my asthma & assigned a cardiologist. But it wasn’t A-Fib, asthma or anything else – it was anxiety. I was terrified of life. Terrified that I would never be good enough. Terrified of making the wrong choice. Terrified of screwing it all up.

I am not that person any more. Today, I am excited about life. I live my life on purpose and with only the best of intentions, and you can too.

We get anxious or stressed when we overestimate the situation, and underestimate our ability to deal with it.

9 Tips to Help with Anxiety

  1. Set your own expectations. When you are desperately trying to measure up to someone else’s expectations, you will fail every time.
  2. Get to know YOU. What do you like/dislike? What brings you joy? What are you good at?
  3. Find your tools. There are several tools out there to help you reduce an anxiety attack when it happens. Find the tools that work for you. (I can help you find tools)
  4. Insert reality. You have been here before and you survived. You have proven that you have the ability to handle this.
  5. Just breathe. Really learn to breathe, with purpose, intention and love. Focus on your breath, in & out, nice & slow.
  6. Find your tribe. Surround yourself with people who lift you up. Inspire you. Challenge you to be/do more.
  7. Social cleanse. Reduce the time you spend with people who bring you down, stress you out.
  8. Get connected. Find a class, group or organization that feeds your passion. Join a team and get active!
  9. Find your purpose. We are all here for a reason. You have survived unspeakable events because of your strength, resilience & determination. How will you pay that forward to those that need your help?

Your Life on Your Terms

All of the tips listed above, have 1 thing in common – this is your life; you make the rules, you decide who to share it with, you create your story. You have the power to completely alter the direction of your life, if you want to. You can be controlled by anxiety, or you can choose to control it. You can be controlled by others, or you can choose to control yourself. You can choose. It’s entirely up to you.

You have been through a lot in your life time, I know. You see, these events didn’t happen TO you, they happened FOR you. Each event taught you something new about yourself. You have a very unique set of skills, knowledge, understanding & wisdom. No one else on the planet has everything you do. Take sometime to understand the lessons your life has taught you, then find a way to share this wisdom with those who need you.

Eliminating Anxiety

Time & Patience

It takes time but with patience & understanding you can learn to strengthen your resilience. You will learn that stress is a primal instinct designed for our survival, but it doesn’t have to define who we are & what we are capable of.

There are workshops & events all over the country that will help you gain the tools, build your tribe & increase your power. Make the investment in YOU – because you are worth it!!!

Design Your Life on Your Terms

This event will teach you how to truly appreciate everything you have been through, what it has taught you and how to use that information to Design Your Life on Your Terms. I truly hope you will join us!!!

You can purchase your ticket here.

Andrea Scarborough – Your Life on Your Terms

How to Break the Cycle of Dyfunction

Recognising Family Dysfunction

Every family has a level of dysfunction, those family secrets that are not talked about outside of the home; abuse, addiction, problem child, mental health.

Did you know that these dysfunctions are passed down through generations?

  1. Violent men raise violent boys.
  2. Addicts raise addicts.
  3. Codependent women raise codependent daughters.
  4. Anxious parents raise anxious children.
  5. Victimized women raise girls to be victims.

Now this does not happen in every single case, but there is an increased likelihood that dysfunction will be passed down to the next generation. A child of dysfunction will either follow suit and continue the cycle, or veer the opposite way and take a left-wing stance for their own lives, but will continue the cycle by choosing a life partner who mirrors the dysfunction.

Why the Cycle?

This answer is simple; we can only teach what we know.

  1. If we know that the best way to get what you want is to threaten violence, then that is what we teach. (abuse)
  2. If we know that the best way to handle stress is to drink, then that is what we teach. (addiction)
  3. If we know that the best way to stay safe is to appease our partner, then that is what we teach. (codependence)
  4. If we know how to worry ourselves crazy about everything, then that is what we teach. (anxiety)
  5. If we know that our lives are dictated by the events that happen TO us, then that is what we teach. (victim)

Take a Look at Your Own Family

As I said, every family has some dysfunction. The first step to breaking the cycle is to recognise the cycle. What runs in your family? The best way to truly assess the toxicity or dysfunction in your family is to create a Genogram.

Family-Genogram

I used my own family in the example and I am child #2. As you can see, we have a long history of mental health issues & addiction. These issues did not directly effect everyone, but it did effect the course of their lives.

How Do I Break the Cycle?

Your past is not your fault, your future is your responsibility.

unknown

Breaking the Cycles of Dysfunction is Possible.

  1. Create Awareness – start with your own genogram. grab a large piece of paper, pencil crayons & a ruler. Start with you, your siblings, children; working down. Then add your parents, aunts, uncles & grandparents. Use the legend in my example or create your own. When you are done, assess your diagram. What stands out? What have you learned?
  2. Ownership – What role do you play in the cycle of dysfunction? Are you anxious, a victim of abuse, child of addiction? You see, you only ever have 2 choices – You are part of the problem – or – you are part of the solution. Which will you be?
  3. Observe – with your new information, observe family interactions. How are difficult situations handled? Who over-reacts & when? Is conversation assertive or passive/aggressive? Do you recognise any of these behaviours in yourself?
  4. Children of dysfunction adapt a certain role or persona. Which one are you? Which persona have your children adapted?
  5. Find Support – There are several groups that help you recognise & offer support through family dysfunctions. Women on a Mission is a great place to find support on-line. You may also choose to Google groups in your local area.
  6. Social Awareness – take a look at all the people you surround yourself with – does the toxicity extend to your social circle?
  7. Patience – be patient with yourself. Having this new information or awareness can be overwhelming. Understand that the dysfunction in your family has been building for generations. It will take time for you to adapt to a new way of life.
  8. Seek Assistance – the most effective way to break the cycle is too seek assistance from a professional. If the damage runs deep, you may need to seek therapy or counseling. A Life Coach will help you assess your new information & work with you to overcome old habits.
* https://happyliving2you.blogspot.com/

Fast Track your Success

Your life experiences include fear, uncertainty, insecurity, loss of power or control. However; all of these have given you a very unique set of skills. Skills that can & will propel you into a much brighter future!! I know this because you are reading this blog post. You know that your current situation is NOT your final destination. You know that you want something different, but you’re not sure how or where to start.

If you’d like to know who you really are, without the weight of dysfunction, follow this link to experience your very own life-changing Power Hour.

Please let me know if there is anything I can do to assist.

Andrea Scarborough Life Guide

Are you in a relationship with a narcissist?

Are you in a relationship with a narcissist?

Here’s a scary statistic; 35% of women report either a current or past relationship with a narcissist.  35%.  Are you one of us?  Are you uncertain?  Let me help you clarify.

~ You firmly believe that your partner is smarter, wiser & more capable of managing life.  You depend on him/her to help you navigate your life because they have helped you realize that you are unable to do this on your own.  Your thoughts & choices cannot be trusted because you have made some grave errors in the past.  He or she is more likely to provide a solution to the sticky situations you find yourself in.  Without their constant guidance, instruction or input you would not be able to complete even the simplest of daily tasks.  Tasks you thought you could manage, such as choosing appropriate outfits, how to properly clean a home, effective discipline for children and managing finances are too much for you.

~  Your partner is very compassionate about the abuse you have suffered in the past and understands that because of the damage done to you, you are too broken to survive on your own.  He or she is your protector, your hero.  Your partner can see through the manipulation of your family & friends.  He or she knows that you are unsafe with them alone.  Your partner has suggested that you start to create distance between you & the people you thought loved you.  To keep you safe from these people causing further harm to you, perhaps you should cut ties all together, because your partner is the only one you can trust to keep you safe.

~  Your partner is always considerate enough to point out that little changes would be a great improvement.  “It’s too bad you can’t put together an outfit like her.  She’s hot in those heals with her hair up like that.”  He is also very careful to point out that you do not suit an up-do in heals, because it makes you look like a hooker.

~  Your partner encourages open dialogue to discuss the relationship.  You feel valued when you offer suggestions for improvement and he explains the reality of your situation: “I wish you looked at me they way you look at her.” “I look at her that way because she is strong & confident, something you will never be because you’re too broken.”

~  There have been times when you have doubted the wisdom and the authority of your partner, but each time you question this, he is able to mention a friend or co-worker who feels the same way he does, thus proving that you are once again to broken to form an opinion about anything.

~  You are fully aware that you are damaged goods and are so grateful that your partner was willing to take pity on you and love you in spite of your past.  You are unlovable to everyone and without him to save you, you would be lost.

If any of this sounds familiar, then you are in a relationship with a narcissist.  Let’s insert the appropriate terms for each point above:

Gaslighting – creating uncertainty in your thoughts, beliefs & abilities.  This is used to diminish your self-worth and create dependency on the narcissist.

Isolation – creating distance between you & your support system.  With your family & friends out-of-the-way, your abuser has more control.  You are no longer guided by outside positive influences and are fully dependant on him.

Shaming – sounds like a compliment, but leaves you feeling small & insecure.  Used to reduce your self-confidence.

Deflecting – blames you for their indiscretions.  Narcissists are unable to accept responsibility for their actions.  They deflect accountability and choose to be the victim of others.

Triangulation – Bring a third-party into a conversation to back up their thoughts & beliefs.  Used to force you to second guess your thoughts & beliefs.

Projection – they are unable to accept their own feelings of worthlessness, so they cast these feelings on to you in such a way that you are convinced they are true.  They project their insecurities onto you.

How do I know this?

Because I was one of the 35%.  I was in an 11-year relationship with a narcissist.  I was told that he was forced to sleep with other women because my being pregnant made me fat (I gained 12 pounds in 9 months).  I was told that cocaine & hookers were necessary because of the burden I placed on him.  I was told that he deserved the settlement from my injury for dragging my sorry ass around all these years.  I was told that I was lucky to have him because no one else would put up with my stupidity & laziness.

I was also told that it didn’t have to be this way.  I heard whispers of strength & determination.  I saw the fear in the eyes of my daughters.  I heard the inner voice tell me that this is not what I would choose for them.  This is not the example I wanted them to structure theirs lives on.  They were worth more than this.  They deserved more than this.  They, my girls, gave me the strength & the courage to want more, believe more and hope for more.

How do you break free from a narcissist?

Start by listening for that voice.  The voice buried deep inside you that tells you this isn’t right.  The voice that brought you to this article.  The voice that has led you to secretly seek out alternative solutions, choices & possibilities.  Look around you.  Find your source of strength.  Is it in your children, your family or even a memory?  When you’re ready, reach out.  There is always someone close by that will support you.

  1. Contact your local abuse shelter: they will help you with a safety plan, housing & Legal Counsel
  2. Contact your local Police & tell them you are planning to leave a toxic relationship& ask for a Police Escort if needed. Let them know of any weapons in the home.
  3. Begin to slowly save & hide money.
  4. Pack a bag of essentials & leave it with a friend
  5. Download this Safety Plan for Domestic Violence 

You cannot fix this person.  They do not see themselves as the problem.  They feel you are the problem.

The honeymoon (those moments when you are treated like a queen, the apologies, the gifts, the promises) won’t last.  You know this.  This is just another manipulation tool to get you to stay.


You are never alone in this.  There are thousands of narcissists in this world, but there are millions of survivors.  When survivors band together, we begin to thrive, to dream, to create & to conquer!!  Together, we will change this world.  We’re ready for you to join us.  Let us know how we can help.

Click here to read more stories of survival.

Andrea Scarborough
Life / Parenting Coach

Core Values

Core Values

Core Values are a person’s principles or standards of behavior; their judgment of what is important in life.

What are your Core Values? How do you figure out what your Core Values are? Why would you even waste your time trying to figure them out?

What are your Core Values? How do you figure out what your Core Values are? Why would you even waste your time trying to figure them out?

You have to stand for something, or you’ll fall for anything.

~unknown

Those that stand for something, have a level of expectation for themselves and those around them. They believe in things like self-respect, honesty, accountability and compassion, to name a few. Having these beliefs allows you to behave in a way that aligns with them and also practise safe personal boundaries,  choose friends that will inspire and encourage you to be the best you can be.

Those that do not understand their Core Values will fall for anything. Lack of respect for themselves, or others usually results in feeling as though they are a victim because they lack accountability for their actions. They choose the easy, fun friends and skip class, break curfew, miss assignments at school, and feel that life is and always will be a struggle.

Definition
Common Core Values

If your life is a struggle, maybe you need to re-evaluate your what’s truly important. Life presents you with challenges, or life lessons. Some of these lessons are difficult and some of them hurt. But, if you take the time to understand your Core Values, these struggles will start to appear not as struggles, but as lessons. You will begin to learn from them, see where you can make improvements, and slowly step forward.

Core Values are quite simple.

Choose the 10 most important Core Values, from the list below:

  1. Acceptance: to be open to and accepting of myself, others, life, etc.
  2. Adventure: to be adventurous; to actively seek, create, or explore novel or stimulating experiences
  3. Agency: to choose how I live and behave and help others do likewise; to be self-supportive and choose my own way of doing things.
  4. Assertiveness: to respectfully stand up for my rights and request what I want
  5. Authenticity: to be authentic, genuine, and real; to be true to myself
  6. Beauty: to appreciate, create, nurture, or cultivate beauty in myself, others, the environment, etc.
  7. Caring: to be caring toward myself, others, the environment, etc.
  8. Challenge: to keep challenging myself to grow, learn, and improve
  9. Compassion: to act with kindness toward those who are suffering
  10. Conformity: to be respectful and obedient of rules and obligations
  11. Connection: to engage fully in whatever I am doing, and be fully present with others
  12. Contribution: to contribute, help, assist, or make a positive difference to myself or others
  13. Cooperation: to be cooperative and collaborative with others
  14. Courage: to be courageous or brave; to persist in the face of fear, threat, or difficulty
  15. Creativity: to be creative or innovative
  16. Curiosity: to be curious, open-minded, and interested; to explore and discover
  17. Encouragement: to encourage and reward behavior that I value in myself or others
  18. Equality: to treat others as equal to myself, and vice versa
  19. Excitement: to seek, create, and engage in activities that are exciting, stimulating, or thrilling
  20. Fairness: to be fair to myself or others
  21. Fitness: to maintain or improve my fitness; to look after my physical and mental health and well-being
  22. Flexibility: to adjust and adapt readily to changing circumstances
  23. Forgiveness: to be forgiving toward myself or others
  24. Freedom: to live freely; to choose how I live and behave, or help others do likewise
  25. Friendliness: to be friendly, companionable, or agreeable toward others
  26. Fun: to be fun-loving; to seek, create, and engage in fun-filled activities
  27. Generosity: to be generous, sharing, and giving, to myself or others
  28. Gratitude: to be grateful for and appreciative of the positive aspects of myself, others, and life
  29. Honesty: to be honest, truthful, and sincere with myself and others
  30. Humility: to be humble or modest; to let my achievements speak for themselves
  31. Humor: to see and appreciate the humorous side of life
  32. Impact: to exert myself into the universe in a way I believe is important. I work for what I want, not what others want from me.
  33. Independence: to be self-supportive, and choose my own way of doing things
  34. Industry: to be industrious, hard-working, and dedicated
  35. Intimacy: to open up, reveal, and share myself — emotionally or physically — in my close personal relationships
  36. Justice: to uphold justice and fairness
  37. Kindness: to be kind, compassionate, considerate, nurturing, or caring toward myself or others
  38. Love: to act lovingly or affectionately toward myself or others
  39. Mindfulness: to be conscious of, open to, and curious about my here-and-now experience
  40. Open-mindedness: to think things through, see things from others’ points of view, and weigh evidence fairly
  41. Order: to be orderly and organized
  42. Patience: to wait calmly for what I want
  43. Persistence: to continue resolutely, despite problems or difficulties
  44. Pleasure: to create and give pleasure to myself or others
  45. Power: to strongly influence or wield authority over others, e.g., taking charge, leading, organizing
  46. Reciprocity: to build relationships in which there is a fair balance of giving and taking
  47. Respect: to be respectful toward myself or others; to be polite, be considerate, and show positive regard
  48. Responsibility: to be responsible and accountable for my actions
  49. Romance: to be romantic; to display and express love or strong affection
  50. Safety: to secure, protect, or ensure safety of myself or others
  51. Self-awareness: to be aware of my own thoughts, feelings, and actions
  52. Self-care: to look after my health and well-being, and get my needs met
  53. Self-control: to act in accordance with my own ideals
  54. Self-development: to keep growing, advancing, or improving in knowledge, skills, character, or life experience.
  55. Sensuality: to create, explore, and enjoy experiences that stimulate the five senses
  56. Sexuality: to explore or express my sexuality
  57. Skillfulness: to continually practice and improve my skills, and apply myself fully when using them
  58. Soul in the Game: I believe it is an ethical concern that I put my money and time where my mouth is, that I have no divorce between what I preach and my lifestyle. I believe the highest form of ethics is to take on risk for others.
  59. Spirituality: to connect with things bigger than myself
  60. Supportiveness: to be supportive, helpful, encouraging, and available to myself or others
  61. Trust: to be trustworthy; to be loyal, faithful, sincere, and reliable
  62. Insert your own value here.

Note: This list was originally sourced from thehappinesstrap.com

Once you have your top 10, use those words to create your own standard of personal ethics, or rules to live by.

Live Your Life on Your Terms

Some mental health issues are a result of trying to live your life by the expectations others have set for you.  By creating your own list of Core Values, you are learning to set your own expectations and create a life you are fully free to live in.  Setting your own standards will reduce anxiety, depression & stress.

What to do with your Core Values

Your new list of Core Values are a list of your rules to live by.

  • Print & post your Values in a place where you will be reminded daily.
  • Refer to your list during times of stress, overwhelm, anxiety or depression.
  • Apply your values to situations you encounter:

Someone at work has spoken about you behind your back.  Usually this would stress you out, anger you or cause you to spiral inwards.  Apply your Core Values:

Acceptance – understand that this person also has a story of grief or shame & is unable to fully accept their own issues.

Forgiveness – forgive the gossip because you are aware of the truth.

Kindness – perhaps this person truly needs a friend

Be Patient

Like anything new, living your life by your own expectations is a little scary and foreign.  It will take time to fully integrate this new practice into your daily life.

If you are struggling with one or more of your values, consider reviewing your list and making some changes.  This is your life & these are your rules; you can rewrite them as often as you need to ensure it reflects exactly who you wish to be.

What’s next?

Congratulations on wanting to create a life on your terms!!  I know (from personal experience) that starting this new chapter can be daunting.  Here are a few additional resources to ensure your success:

  • Journaling – learn to journal your thoughts & life’s events to help you process the information in line with your new Core Values.
  • Teach my Children – teaching your children to set their own core values will go along way to reducing bullying, ensuring future success as well as incorporating valuable coping skills.
  • I need help! – Schedule a very powerful 1 hour chat to discover your authentic self!!  Answer 12 simple questions & experience a life-altering session that will help you uncover your truest self!!
  • I don’t know where to start – choose from a variety of services to help you get started.
  • Find a Tribe of Women on a Mission – Join a group of women on this journey who will support, encourage & empower you to explore the best version of YOU!

I sincerely hope you found value in reading this post.  Please leave a comment below of you Care Values.  We’d love to hear how this helped you.

We wish you success on your new journey.  Please let us know if we can help in any way.  <3

Your Life on Your Terms

How Not to Raise Self-entitled Children – Part 3

If you’ve made it this far in my Blog Series, then you have already read about Basic & Essential Life Skills.  In this post, we will first discuss self-entitlement and then begin to discuss ways to both prevent & undo the damage.

What is Self-Entitlement?

When an individual perceives themselves as deserving of unearned privileges,  the belief that life owes them something; a reward, a measure of success or a particular standard of living, this is self-entitlement.

Narcissism is the key component.  The exaggerate self of self, self-importance coupled with a lack of regard or empathy for others.

There is an unbalanced sense of ownership  in that they believe they have access to whatever they want, but are unwilling to share with others.

There is a belief that they have the right to start at the top of the ladder.  They deserve the best, not because they have worked for it, earned it, but because they want it.  This bottom-up approach infuriates those that struggle to climb rung by rung.

Self-entitlement and self-awareness are opposites.  Self-entitlement lacks accountability and will seek excuses and blame when confronted.  Self-awareness demonstrates a high level of accountability and empathy; an ability to see different perspectives.

Extreme anger when confronted, often fits of rage; physical or verbal aggression, or passive eye-rolls or a death-glare are all signs of self-entitlement.

When the anger does not help them reach their goal, they may resort to the “poor me” game.  Self-pitying behaviours coupled with manipulation and attention-seeking will follow the dominant, aggressive behaviours.  They are likely to punish themselves, but make it appear as though you are punishing them.  There is a strong victim mentality.

What is behind all of this negative behaviour?

This person is lost, lonely and longs to be admired.  They are not happy with themselves and lack the skills to express that effectively.  Instead they lash out at the people they blame for their own misery.  There is a constant need for validation, and  they attempt this by demanding respect.  The level of insecurity is frightening and they are unable to fully acknowledge it, so they project it onto those around them.

They lack the essential life skills to navigate the world on their own and this frightens them to their very core.  Therefore, they try to ensure that others will pick up the slack by demanding, arguing, lashing out  and disrespecting those they hold dear.

What can we do to help?

Depending on the age of the person, this can be a long road; but it is possible.

We first must accept that no-one is born self-entitled.  We create this mess by giving them what they want before we give them what they need.  They wanted new headphones – they needed to earn the headphones.

Positive ParentingIn order to effectively undo the self-entitlement, we must first look at ourselves.  This child is merely reacting to the environment the parent has created.  A child needs boundaries, structure and expectations.  If we as parents, do not have our own boundaries in place, it is very difficult to teach our children to have boundaries.

Your children will become who you are, so become who you want them to be. ~Virginia Satir

Demonstrate the behaviours you wish to see in your child.  Your actions must line up with your words.  Yelling at a child to be quiet – is a mixed message.

Our children need role models – someone they watch intently.  A role model will teach our children which behaviours are acceptable & which are not.

There are plenty of exemplary role models out there – Oprah, Dwayne Johnson, professional athletes, even movie stars.  Your child is not interested in any of this.  They want & need to be exactly like you.  You are their Hero.  You are who they are striving to be.  You are the one who, through your own actions, will teach them how to navigate this world.  They will gain their own sense of self, by watching you.  They are not learning by listening, they are learning by watching.

Back to the Basics

Go back  to the Basic & Essential Life skills.  Assess yourself, do you have all of these skills?  Do you effectively regulate your own emotions, or have you been known to fly off the handle?  Do you have a strong sense of connectedness; to family, friends, groups or teams?  Are you patient?  Are you accountable?

It is possible to learn these skills at any age.  You may not have learned them as a child, but you can still learn all of them, if you want to.

It is not our job to fix our children.  It is our job to teach them how to fix themselves. ~ Andrea Scarborough

Teach your children how to fix themselves, by allowing them to witness your own journey of healing.


Your past is not your fault. Your future is your responsibility.

This is what I know of you so far:

  • You are aware there is an issue. – We first must acknowledge the problem before we can begin to correct it.  You are on the right path!!!
  • You are seeking change. – The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over & over again, expecting a different result each time.  You are willing to make changes!!!  Congratulations!!  You’re off to a great start!!!
  • Ghandi said “Be the change you wish to see in the world” – You are trying to do that!!  I’m proud of you!!
  • You have everything you need to succeed.  You have all the tools, knowledge, wisdom & experience you need to make the changes you need.
  • If you have read this far, you are willing to go farther.  You are ready to do something different, BE something different!!  This is what makes you an amazing person & parent!!

I’d love to have a strategy session with you, to create simple, effective strategies you can begin to implement and see amazing results.  

This session is FREE and you will gain valuable insight into helping your child create a life they are proud to live!!  

Schedule your FREE Parent Strategy Assessment Session NOW!


Join our Solution-Focused Parenting Group to receive helpful hints, support & encouragement through your parenting journey. 

 

 

 

How to Not Raise Self-Entitled Children

One of the chiefs complaints from parents, teachers & coaches is the level of self-entitlement in todays youth.

So many kids today are lacking the appropriate skills to navigate this world on their own.  We have created a generation of children who win a ribbon for showing up, not trying their best & working to achieve a goal.  We have raised our children with technology, not people.  It’s easier to send them off to be entertained by video games, then it is to get them to help make supper.

We, as adults tend to complain about the lack of skills our children have, but not many are willing to put in the work to correct this.

Join a community of Parents who are working to make a difference.

Basic Life Skills are required to navigate this world effectively.  Without them, we have self-entitlement, a strong need for immediate gratification in our youth, but we also have some very burnt-out, frustrated parents as well.

Start with Basic Life Skills

Basic Life Skills are the fundamental tools to ensure independence.

Basic Life Skills teach very important lessons:

Value of a job well done.

Cooperation & team work

Respect for belongings

These skills should be introduced at an early age, but can be taught at any stage.

Personal Hygiene enhances their sense of independence, self-esteem.

Cleaning encourages team work & self-starting tasks without reminders.

Cooking teaches self-sufficiency & proper nutrition.

Laundry again enhances the respect for possessions & instills a level of control.

Care for Plants / Pets is where the self-entitlement decreases.  They learn to care for something other than themselves.  They learn empathy, compassion and are rewarded when they see the flower, or can eat the fruit.

It is not a parent’s job to do all these tasks for everyone in the home.  It is the parent’s job to ensure everyone in the home knows how to complete these tasks to the best of their ability.  Parent’s who do all of this & work full time, will be burnt out before their children are teenagers.  Believe it or not, the teenage years are where you need to bring your A Game.

Little side note about allowance – I get asked this one all the time:

Allowance is a great time to teach financial responsibility & budgeting.  Teaching your children the value of a dollar will go along way to encouraging financial independence.

Method A – Chore List

Have a family discussion to create a list of tasks that must be completed in the home on a weekly basis.  This should include tasks such as maintaining individual spaces (clean your room) but also maintain community spaces (mop the kitchen).  You can either pay a flat rate at the end of the week, or assign a dollar value to each task.

Method B – The Extra Mile

If you choose to not pay your child for being an active participant in your home, there is still a way to earn money.  Have a list of tasks that are not required everyday; raking leaves, household laundry, cleaning windows, organize the garage, weed flower beds, help a neighbour.  Assign a dollar value to each task to be paid upon completion of task. 

I’d love to have a strategy session with you, to create simple, effective strategies you can begin to implement and see amazing results.  

This session is FREE and you will gain valuable insight into helping your child create a life they are proud to live!!  

Schedule your FREE Parent Strategy Assessment Session NOW!


Join our Solution-Focused Parenting Group to receive helpful hints, support & encouragement through your parenting journey. 


Continue reading about Essential Life Skills.

Your Life on Your Terms