Newsletter: How to get energy to keep moving up and forward

Do you have energy for greater growth and change?
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Where do we get the energy to keep moving upward and forward?

Navigating the increasing complexity of upward development can be brutal. Observe any toddler or teen and their growing pains. Ask any leader growing an organization. But successful maturation is what we all need. We can even trace our most profound societal dysfunctions to breakdowns in this process, be it personal, organizational, and even socio-political.

Having energy to successfully climbing the stages of change will depend largely on how we deal with the following: 

1. Rejection
2. Loneliness
3. Loss & Trauma
4. Guilt
5. Rumination
6. Failure
7. Low Self-Esteem

The way you handle these emotional challenges can result in greater energy for growth and change or they can diminish your soul and disconnect you from the life and love you desire most.

I'm going to spend the next bunch of issues talking about each one and offering some ideas for effective ways to turn those painful experiences into catalysts that you can use to build greater capacity and strength to achieve more of what matters most.

So let's start today with rejection. 

Rejection is one of the most common wounds we experience. It's like the breaking of our skin. Some are minor, like paper cuts. Others can be a knife wound to our gut, causing profuse bleeding externally and internally; depends on who it's from and how we're doing at the time. If these injuries aren't treated, they get infected and profound harm (and even death) can result.

The pain from rejections comes from us being hard-wired for connection and belonging. When someone makes us feel isolated or unaccepted, it attacks this deep need. The more significant the person or group that rejects us, the closer the trauma to our vitals.

The place in our brains that registers the pain is actually the same for physical pain. Studies have shown taking pain killers does actually help lessen emotional pain! (Not that I'm recommending this.)

This pain can have devastating results ie. husbands killing their wives because of imminent separation / divorce. Even the 1999 Columbine shooting was primarily motivated by rejections and ostracisms by school mates. Not excusing / justifying any of this but just identifying the link.

All this to simply say we all would do well to become more proficient at identifying this emotional hurt and knowing how to treat it. Not only this, but also teach others (especially children and youth) effective ways to bind up these wounds. Of course, if the injury is profound, we need to seek a professional.

So here are several ways to treat the pain of rejection and increase your energy for greater growth and change: 

  • Manage self-criticism
    • List in writing any negative / self-critical thoughts from romantic, family, workplace, or social rejections
    • Use counterarguments to form one or more rebuttals to each self-critical thought.
    • Whenever negative thoughts occur, immediately articulate the relevant counterargument fully and clearly to self.
  • Clarify your self-worth
    • Come up with 5 traits / attributes you highly value about yourself (relevant to the rejection)
    • Choose the top 2-3 to write a short essay covering the following points:
      • Why the quality is important to you and how this attribute influences your life
      • Why this attribute is an important part of your self image
  • Embrace healthy social connections
    • Find support groups / affiliations with better fit
    • Keep reminders of social connections close by, ie. photos
    • Recall closest, most positive relationships
    • Read meaningful emails / letters, watch videos of loved ones, interact with valued mementos

Got this great content from Emotional First Aid by Guy Winch.

Next issue, we'll look at loneliness.

Want to start planning and gearing up for 2017 to achieve more of what matters most? Book a complimentary 30-60 minute session and let's chat.

Cecil Wong is a Certified Life Coach from San Francisco, California with over 25 years of experience in leadership and teaching. He works with children, families, individuals, organizations and companies, combining personal and professional development.

Life coaching is all about getting clear about your dreams and putting the practical pieces in place to make them happen. 

Family Connections Coaching is about achieving more of what matters most.


 I found my life coaching sessions with Cecil to be both challenging and inspiring.  Having been retired for over 10 years, why would I need life coaching?  With my intention to get my son to engage in life coaching, I made an agreement with my son to participate if he would also.

I discovered through life coaching  that there were obvious areas in my relationship with my family that needed restoration and healing.  I believe Cecil has a genuine love and passion for the family and to see healing of relationships.  Being firmly grounded in the Word of God, Cecil was able to steer me in the right direction to see healing begin in our home.

L.L, Pinole, CA


 I had never really considered taking on a life coach until Cecil Wong reached out to me. After graduating college I found myself stuck in an ambiguous spot in my life with many unanswered questions and worries about my future in this tough job market. I needed to restructure my lifestyle and plan for my short and long-term future. Knowing Cecil personally and the line of work he has experience in, especially working with youth, I knew that if anybody was to help me navigate through my difficult situation it would have to be him.

In the few months that I have worked with Cecil, I was able to change my outlook on life and figure out what mattered most to me. He took the time to listen and understand my unique situation, and we were able to pinpoint and address the root of my issues. By setting up action plans to help me reach major milestones, I am much more at peace in my life than I was just a few months ago. With Cecil’s life coaching I have transitioned from a discouraging part of my life to the most exciting point in my life thus far.

I cannot thank Cecil enough for helping me get through my post-graduate anxieties and struggles. I highly recommend Cecil as a life coach, because he has helped me reflect, mature, and better understand myself so that I can live my own life, and not a life someone else tells me how I’m supposed to live. I look forward to continuing my life coaching with Cecil as I take on new challenges.


~S. L., Reno

More testimonials >

Click on the gorilla for some of
Jim Collins' thoughts about B.H.A.G.'s

Click this pic for some of my thoughts on a spiritual BHAG:

Pull the trigger on pursuing the dream of something bigger than yourself, that will rock your world and bless your relationships, maybe even change THE world! 

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