Transform your life Archives - The Self-Worth Experiment

Category Archives for "Transform your life"

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A life-changing practice to eradicate anxiety and depression
Sep 28

A life-changing practice to eradicate anxiety and depression

By Dr Berni Sewell | Transform your life

Let me ask you a question. Do you brush your teeth? Every day?

Why?

Because it’s imperative for your dental health, right? If you don’t brush your teeth caries will accumulate, erode your enamel and cause excruciating pain. Who wouldn’t want to avoid that?!

And we are well equipped. Our parents taught us an effective dental hygiene routine as soon as our first teeth emerged. Our schools reinforced the essential message and we visited the dentist regularly to maintain healthy teeth.

Most adults will brush their teeth diligently and consistently once or twice a day. It’s part of our daily hygiene. And we don’t think much about it. Knowing that, if we neglect it, we will suffer the painful consequences.

I am sure you do the same, don’t you? It’s important after all!

But what do you do to prevent emotional pain? To avoid and eradicate anxiety and depression? ​What does your daily emotional hygiene routine look like?

Do you even have one?

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3 empowering steps to eliminate negativity and toxic self-talk
Sep 17

How to eliminate negativity and toxic self-talk

By Dr Berni Sewell | Transform your life

I still remember the day when I first noticed it.

Cursing the abhorrent weather, I stumbled through the front door off the storm-swept streets of Vienna. I shivered and sneezed, feeling sorry for my dripping wet self. It would be just my luck to catch a cold so close to my birthday!

I opened my mailbox with a feeling of dread. It only ever spat out bills, problems and evil tidings. I expected the worst, and wasn’t disappointed when a hefty supplementary electricity payment dropped in my hand.

This was outrageous! They were taking advantage of little people like me!

Disgusted by the world’s corruption, I stomped up the stairs to my flat. My mind racing with worst case scenarios of nasty conversations involving arrogant call centre employees defending a money-grubbing corporation. I loathed conflict!

Lost in gloomy thoughts, I caught my foot on an umbrella some idiot had left outside their door to dry. I tumbled down, my knee hitting the hard stone floor. I screamed in pain and frustration.

Why always me?! Why did the Universe hate me?

As I finally collapsed on my sofa, despair overwhelmed me. My life was a relentless string of disasters, catastrophes and anxieties.

What was wrong with me? Why did nothing good ever happen in my life?

I felt like a pathetic failure. I wasn’t good enough! My own incompetence and the cruelty of this backstabbing world doomed me to a miserable existence…

And right there, as my mind wallowed in hopelessness, it hit me.

Every thought I created was toxic, every word I spoke despondent. I had become a powerless victim of my own negativity which sabotaged my life, destroyed my happiness and ramped up my anxiety.

And I knew it had to change.

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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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How I silenced my self-doubt and followed my dreams
Feb 25

How I silenced my self-doubt and followed my dreams

By Dr Berni Sewell | Transform your life

All my life, my self-doubt murdered my plans, strangled my enthusiasm and drowned my passions.

When I was 7 years old, my deepest desire was to become an author. But self-doubt convinced me that my sister was the creative genius in the family. I could never compare to her, why waste my life on silly phantasies and unrealistic ideas.

When I chose a sensible career in research instead, self-doubt insisted that I was an imposter in a ridiculous scientist disguise. I lived in constant fear of being exposed. Of somebody pointing a finger at me, shouting: “You know nothing, little girl”.

And now, as I dreamed of rekindling my love for writing, self-doubt vetoed again. And I believed its warnings, bought its objections. Again.

As always, I stuck with my familiar life, my stale routines devoid of challenges, excitement and adventures. Busy suppressing my passion and disregarding my need for creative expression, purpose and direction.

While my dreams simmered on the back burner, neglected, oppressed, out of reach. I thought I didn’t need them to be happy. But I was wrong.

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The only guaranteed way to transform your life
Jan 29

The only guaranteed way to transform your life

By Dr Berni Sewell | Transform your life

I hit rock-bottom at the age of 25.

Every aspect of my life was a struggle. I felt like I was serving a life sentence in a homemade prison.

Paralysed, stuck. And alone.

I couldn’t advance in my career because crippling self-doubt convinced me that I was a fraud in a ridiculous scientist disguise. I felt lucky I had a job at all! Considering my incompetence.

I was unable to go out with friends because I felt weak, anxious and vulnerable and was terrified of being mugged or killed on the way home alone.

I avoided meeting new people because the thought of social interactions made me feel sick. I believed that everybody I met would automatically judge me.

And I had given up on love and the prospect of a new relationship because I felt too flawed and damaged to deserve it. The only conceivable outcome was abandonment and the resulting unbearable pain. No, thank you!

So I sat at home. Day in, day out.

Wallowed in self-pity. Blamed myself, the Universe, other people for my misery. Drowned in negativity and self-loathing. Resented the people who had it all figured out, who were happy, confident and loved. And spent whole days in bed, in despair and hopelessness.

I would still be there now. Full of emptiness, hurt and envy.

But I was lucky. Because somehow I discovered the answers to the 3 most essential questions we will ask ourselves when we embark on the journey to a free, light-hearted and happier life.

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Why your New Year's resolution is doomed to fail (and what to focus on instead in 2018)
Jan 07

Why your New Year’s resolution is doomed to fail (and what to focus on instead in 2018)

By Dr Berni Sewell | Transform your life

Since the birth of my little one I have tried to lose the weight I gained during pregnancy.

And every year I make a New Year’s resolution. With great hopes and motivation. This time I will succeed. I will do whatever it takes. I will stick to my diet and reclaim my body.

But, the truth is, I hate every minute of it. I crave carbs and chocolate, I detest kale and beat myself up for never making it to the gym. The constant feeling of hunger makes me grumpy and bitchy. And every minute of every day becomes a struggle to keep myself committed.

Usually, after a month (at the very most), I give up. Finding myself at the same weight I started within weeks.

Another failure. Well done me.

And I am not alone. Research has shown that, on average, 88% of New Year’s resolutions crash and burn. Most of them within the first month. And almost everybody cites “lack of willpower and control” as the reason.

Leaving millions of us to feel like failures. Believing that we just aren’t good enough to lose that weight, stop smoking and drinking, get that shopping habit under control or declutter the house.

The good intentions of the New Year’s resolution become more proof of our perceived worthlessness and weakness. The failed attempt to improve our lives makes us feel worse about ourselves than ever.

But it’s not us who is wrong, incapable or flawed. And it’s not willpower we need. It’s something else altogether…

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6 reasons why we accumulate clutter (and how to let go)
Jun 15

6 eye-opening reasons why we accumulate clutter (and how to finally let go)

By Berni Sewell | Transform your life

This is our garage. Once upon a time it was a useful room. Venue for enjoyable family snooker matches, organised tools storage and space to overwinter the garden furniture.

Then, about 9 months ago, I decluttered the house. Room by room, I discarded junk we hadn’t used in years and items we had 4 of and only needed one.

But I couldn’t let go of most of our stuff. I tend to get emotionally attached to lifeless objects and some items were treasured souvenirs of happy times. Most of it belonged to my husband and it didn’t feel right to get rid of it. And I didn’t want to waste money by tossing out perfectly good, fit-for-purpose things. It’s fair to say I resisted the idea of parting with our possessions.

So I shifted the problem from one area of the house to another. And now the clutter is mocking me. Every day I enter the garage, it reminds me of my failure to declutter. It condemns me for my weakness and it shames me for the ever increasing chaos, mess and dirt.

I attempted to declutter but the task is so overwhelming, so massive and unmanageable that it is suffocating me. I don’t know where to start, feel anxious at the thought of wading through the mountains of junk and dust.

I know it has to be done. I worry that other people will judge me, I beat myself up for procrastinating. And every time I sit down for a well-deserved rest I feel guilty and embarrassed about the lack of progress. And I think “I should really declutter the garage”.

It weighs on my mind non-stop. And it made me wonder. Why do we accumulate so much clutter? Why is it so hard to let go? And what is the best way to ban useless clutter once and for all?

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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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