It happens to us all. One day we’re motivated and the next day we’re in the dumps having ourselves a pity party. Staying motivated is not easy and lack of motivation can be a serious problem that affects every one of us.
But, it can be done. You believe it can be done and that’s why you’re reading this right now – good for you!
Think about this: You may have felt good about a certain job or project when it began. You were filled with enthusiasm and motivation.
Then you hit a few speed bumps and unexpected failures and your motivation waned. You may have fallen into depression and decided to give up. All of those positive thoughts turned into negative ones.
This is nothing new and, believe me, you are NOT alone! We’ve all experienced these emotions that can cause us to give up prematurely. All that upsurge of energy when we started a new project inevitably ends as dreams become reality and we lose our confidence.
Don’t be so hard on yourself; you are allowed to dream, and dream big.
The trick is to turn these negative emotions around and the best way to do that is to understand them, analyze them and find out what caused them. We lose our motivation as we lose our focus, our confidence and our direction.
If you can learn to control these three emotions you can control your life. Let’s take a quick look at each of these now:
Focus on what you really want
Focus can make or break your dreams, it’s as simple as that.
Be specific and be positive. We generally think in terms of what we don’t have rather than focus on what we want.
Try flipping this around; it’s also a good idea to be grateful for what you have and where you are at present.
You can find a great post about gratitude and self-reflection here.
Don’t focus on your fears but what you can do to overcome them. Don’t focus on being poor but on a plan to create wealth.
To do this make a plan to get there one step at a time. You don’t become the president of a company until you’ve come up from the ranks.
Focus on your plan to achieve your objectives and your goals. Be realistic on your goals.
Goals that are unreachable can lead to depression. But even small goals that are achieved lead to increased motivation.
Boost your confidence
So many people think that confidence is something you either have or you don’t, but, like any other skill or attribute, it can be acquired and developed.
To quickly boost self-confidence, you can do this by taking stock on what you already have and not what you lack. This is closely linked to the gratitude point made previously.
You’ll probably discover you’re more successful than you think.
We waste our mind power being jealous of others instead of working on achieving our own aspirations.
Don’t take your strengths for granted and count your failures one by one.
Count your blessings one by one and whatever your mind thinks it can accomplish.
So, confidence is a powerful motivator, but without a sense of direction, you won’t make the most of it, so let’s look at that now.
Without direction there is no motivation
You must create a day-to-day strategy. Make a to-do list and do it. Mark off each item once it’s accomplished and do not mark it off until it’s done.
You’ll eventually get tired of looking at it on your list and do it.
By making a list or outline of what needs to be done, you’ll find ways to do it and you’ll believe that you truly deserve success.
Don’t waste time by worrying about the future. Start today by doing something to change your future for the better. Today’s actions can create a better future.
Set goals that challenge you to grow, and don’t forget to enjoy the journey and not just the destination. And also, don’t be afraid to “fail” once in a while.
A great post about reframing “failure” can be found here.
Don’t be surprised or depressed about a lack of motivation; it will affect us all many times during our lives, but it is how we react to it that can make all the difference.
Discover your faults and correct them. When you re-evaluate your plans and goals from a fresh perspective, you’ll feel a new surge of enthusiasm and motivation and that lack of motivation can quickly become a thing of the past and you can move onto bigger and better things.
If you don’t know this already, habits are powerful things and have a massive impact on our lives, so it makes sense to follow good habits, doesn’t it? And there are numerous ways that will show you how to develop good habits.
Take a look on Amazon or in your local bookstore and you’ll see many books with “21 days” somewhere in their titles. In many of these titles, it has to do with some form of positive or good habit that the author is going to try to help you accomplish to change your life for the better.
Most of these authors will tell you this number is based on scientific studies. Whether this is true or not is irrelevant. On a personal note, I believe that 30-60 days is much more likely to succeed in instilling habits that last a lifetime.
When you perform the same tasks repeatedly for 21 days, they will start to become a routine. The problem with setting a hard number to this is that people may abandon it after they reach the threshold. In other words, if you do something every day for 21 days, after the 21st day, you may feel as though you accomplished the task and move on, but it is easy to “forget” your new habit and slip back into old habits if you aren’t careful.
A better approach for adopting new habits is to set up a plan that is longer term. Have milestones for the short term but project out for a much longer period. This way when 21 days passes, you still have a game plan to reference. This gives you something to shoot for after that time.
Another tip is to find people who are trying to form the same habits as you. Create times when you can all talk together, either in person or via some conferencing solution. It’s easier than ever to do this with the Internet. The members of this group can discuss what has worked for them and what has not been successful. Avoid the unsuccessful tasks. Try to keep the groups small. Large groups will force many members to become complacent and defer to the stronger personalities.
Being a member of a group gives you motivation, but perhaps, more importantly, it gives you accountability because you can make your goal public in the group and you won’t want to let them down, and they will push you to achieve it.
Here are 5 steps to developing good habits.
1. Start Off Small
It’s natural to want to make big changes to your life as quickly as possible but this is a mistake that many people make. They take on more than they can handle and become frustrated with lack of progress and eventually give up.
Does this sound familiar?
Instead, try to break down your big goal into smaller chunks and keep going until you can identify small daily tasks that you know you can achieve, and this will inspire you to keep going. It all adds up, and you will reach your goal in next to no time and you can have fun along the way 🙂
If you want to know more about enjoying the journey while tackling your goals, take a look at this great training here as it will really give you some insight into the fact that the goal is just the destination, and you can also enjoy every step of the process too. It is a real eye-opener and I highly suggest you take a look here.
I also have a nice infographic that you can view all about enjoying your journey 🙂
2. Get Crystal Clear
When deciding on which habit you want to instill in yourself, you need to get crystal clear on what it is, and what the desired end result is. There is no room for vagueness here. If you don’t know exactly what you want, then you will not stick to it, plain and simple.
Visualise what you want to achieve and be intentional. Use If/Then types of scenarios to trigger you to take action, such as “If I’ve got out of bed, then I’ll do 10 pushups before breakfast. This way, getting out of bed can act as a trigger for you to reinforce the habit you are trying to instill.
In a similar vein, you can simply add your new habit into your daily schedule. If it is important to you, then it is important enough to be put into your calendar and using online calendars, they can send you a reminder a few minutes before time. Simple, but very powerful.
3. Reward Yourself
Human nature means that we are so much better at berating ourselves over something we haven’t achieved, rather than rewarding ourselves for something we have achieved.
You want to flip this behaviour on its head and reward yourself for even the smallest of wins.
If you don’t reward yourself, you won’t be motivated to keep going (willpower simply isn’t enough), so use rewards as a positive reinforcement to encourage you to stay the course.
Whenever you reward yourself for making progress, you activate the “reward areas” in your brain.
This releases some key chemicals, such as dopamine, serotonin and endorphins, which make you experience feelings of achievement and pride. These emotions, in turn, empower you to take action and create bigger successes in the future.
4. Use your environment
Many psychologists will tell you that your environment can have a huge impact on the way you think and feel, so you need to use this you your advantage.
For example, Have you ever walked into your kitchen, spotted a plate of cookies on the counter, and eaten them just because they were in front of you without even thinking about it? Come on, admit it 🙂
The good thing is that we can use the environment to trigger good habits too, so what can you do to accomplish this?
Do you watch too much TV in your living room when you know you should be reading? Why not put a book on the chair where you sit, and put the remote control on the other side of the room? A simple enough thing to do, but you are much more likely to reach for the book, than get up off the sofa to grab the remote!
5. Go Public
I have already mentioned the power of accountability by going public, but you can also take this a step further by pre-committing to your habit publicly and attaching a penalty for not sticking to it.
This could be feeling guilty if you promise to meet someone at the gym and you don’t show up.
Or it could be financial, by paying that person an amount of money whenever you don’t show up. This can be a powerful motivator to stick to your guns.
So, there are 5 simple steps you can take to form new habits in yourself. However, if all else fails, you can seek professional help. There are plenty of coaches and mentors available to give you some guidance.
Make sure your coach and you both know what is expected of each other and have any provisions in place before you get started in case it doesn’t work out.
However, hopefully by following the 5 steps in this article, you won’t need a coach 🙂
So, what habit are you going to start building today?
Mindfulness is a tool that has become exceedingly popular over the last few years. But what is mindfulness? And what is it not?!
Let’s be honest; only a few short years ago the general public wouldn’t have been familiar with the term, whereas today it’s something we hear about all the time in a range of different contexts.
But at the same time, it could also be a bad thing because it has been misappropriated in some instances and many people don’t actually really understand what it means anymore.
So, with that in mind, let’s take a better look at what mindfulness is and what it isn’t – and how you can start using it to improve your life.
Mindfulness is often used to describe a type of meditation. Specifically, ‘mindfulness meditation’ is a type of meditation that involves reflecting on the contents of your own mind and how they might be affecting you.
Whereas the point of some forms of meditation – such as transcendental meditation – is to completely ‘empty’ your mind, the point of mindfulness is instead to simply detach yourself from your thoughts and become an observer. This way, you can prevent them from affecting you in the same way and you can also gain a greater understanding of the contents of your own thoughts.
Often this is described as ‘watching the thoughts go past like clouds’. The idea is not to engage with them or let them affect you but simply to observe them and to later reflect on how they might impact on your happiness.
By doing this, mindfulness allows us to take some time out of our stressful day to remove ourselves from our thoughts and thereby get some rest and relaxation.
But it’s not really just about meditation. What mindfulness also means is being constantly aware of your own thoughts as you go throughout your day. Some people will tell you to be ‘mindful’ of your body, or ‘mindful’ of your environment. But really what you should be focusing on is just what you’re mindful of.
Next time you go out for a nice walk with family, or next time you do something else that you should be enjoying, just make a note of whether you’re really focused on what you’re doing and whether you’re actively engaging in it… or is your mind elsewhere? Are you actually worrying about work? Or stressing about other things?
Mindfulness teaches us to be more aware of our thoughts as that way, we can decide that we’re not going to let them affect us and because that way we can then make the conscious effort to refocus and to decide to be happy. Whatever we focus on will determine how we feel, and mindfulness helps us with that.
Mindfulness is not mysticism or linked to religion and it’s not a cure-all therapeutic technique. All this is a tool and better yet, a state of mind. With practice, you can learn to be more in-tune with your own thoughts and that can change everything.
4 Mindfulness Exercises To Try
Now you know what mindfulness is (and isn’t) here are 4 exercises that you can use to become more mindful today.
These are simple exercises as we all have busy lives but take the time to try some of these out over the next 30 days and you will feel better and perform better, and people will wonder what your secret is!
The beauty of this exercise (in fact all of them) is that it can be done either standing up or sitting down, and anywhere you want and at any time.
If you can sit down in the meditation (lotus) position, that’s great, but don’t worry if you can’t; just do whatever is comfortable for you.
All you need to do is be still and focus on your breath for just one minute.
- Start by concentrating on breathing in and out slowly. One breath cycle should last for about 6 seconds.
- Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth, letting your breath flow effortlessly in and out of your body. Don’t force it, be natural.
- Let go of your thoughts. Let go of things you have to do later today or pending projects that need your attention. Simply let thoughts rise and fall of their own accord and be at one with your breath. Don’t concentrate on any one thing, just let things flow naturally.
- Purposefully keep an eye on your breath, focusing your sense of awareness on its rhythm as it enters your body and fills you with life.
- Then visualise its path as it works work its way up and out of your mouth and its energy dissipates into the world.
Did you think that you are the kind of person who could never meditate? Well, look at that; you are already halfway there!
If you enjoyed doing this mind-calming exercise one minute, why not try two or three instead?
2. Mindful Observation
This exercise is simple but incredibly powerful because it helps you notice and appreciate seemingly simple elements of your environment in a more profound way. It opens your eyes to possibility.
The exercise is designed to connect us with the beauty of the natural environment around us. This is something that is so easily missed or taken for granted when we are rushing around in the car or hopping on and off trains while we are commuting to and from work.
- Choose a natural object from within your immediate environment and simply focus on it for a minute or two. It could be a flower or an insect, or even the clouds or the moon.
- Don’t do anything except notice the thing you are looking at. Focus and really look at it. Simply relax into watching for as long as you can concentrate on it. Once again, don’t force it.
- Look at this object as if you are seeing it for the first time. What can you notice bout it that you may not have noticed before?
- Visually explore every aspect of its formation, and allow yourself to be consumed by its presence.
- Allow yourself to connect with its energy and its purpose within the natural world.
3. Mindful Awareness
This exercise is designed to cultivate a heightened awareness and appreciation of simple daily tasks and the results they achieve. By doing this we can live in the moment and appreciate everything that we are doing at any given time.
Think of something that happens every day more than once; something you take for granted. It could be something that appears really mundane, such as opening a door.
At the very moment you grab the doorknob to open the door, stop for a moment and be mindful of where you are, how you feel in that moment and where the door will lead you. What is on the other side of the door? What are you about to do in the next room and how can you do it to the best of your ability.
Similarly, the moment you open your computer to start work, take a moment to appreciate the hands that enable this process and the brain that facilitates your understanding of how to use the computer. Wonder at how technology makes things so much easier than before and be thankful for that.
And these ‘touch point’ cues don’t have to be physical ones either.
For example: Each time you think a negative thought, you might choose to take a moment to stop, label the thought as unhelpful and release the negativity. Reframe it into a positive thought. being mindful makes you acutely aware of these thoughts and allows you to overcome them.
Or, perhaps each time you smell food, you take a moment to stop and appreciate how lucky you are to have good food to eat and share with your family and friends. Mindfulness and gratitude are powerful partners.
4. Mindful Listening
This exercise is designed to open your ears to sound in a non-judgmental way, and you can even use this to train your mind to be less swayed by the influence of past experiences and preconception.
So much of what we “feel” is influenced by past experience.
For example, we may dislike a song because it reminds of us of a breakup or another period of life when things felt negative.
And sound is a very powerful evoker of memories, both good and bad.
So, the idea of this exercise is to listen to some music from a neutral standpoint, with a present awareness that is unhindered by preconception.
To do this, select a piece of music you have never listened to before. You may have something in your own collection that you have never listened to, or you might choose to turn the radio dial until something catches your ear.
- Close your eyes and put on headphones if possible for better immersion.
- Try not to get drawn into judging the music by its genre, title or artist name before it has begun. Instead, ignore any labels and just allow yourself to appreciate the journey of sound for the duration of the song.
- Really listen to what is going on during every aspect of track. Even if you don’t particularly like the music track in question, let go of your dislike and give your awareness full permission to climb inside the track and dance among the sound waves without any preconception or judgement.
- Explore the song by listening to the dynamics of each instrument. Separate each sound in your mind and analyze each one by one.
- Home in on the vocals: the sound of the voice, its range and tones. If there is more than one voice, separate them out as you did in the previous step.
The idea of this exercise is to listen intently and to become completely immersed in the composition without preconception or judgment of the genre, artist, lyrics or instrumentation. Don’t think, just listen.
OK, so now you have an idea of what mindfulness is, and 4 simple exercises that you do whenever you want to bring mindfulness into your life. Take the time to do them and mindfulness will enhance your life in many ways, from being more appreciative, more optimistic/positive and more productive; many high earners and high performers practice mindfulness exercises daily so don’t you think that this is something worth doing?
When it comes to finding our calling in life and starting our careers, most of us will go through a similar process that has very little to do with what we actually want to do and this is so sad and can end up with a sense of being unfulfilled which can permeate throughout our lives and make people feel miserable and unhappy.
For most of us, our jobs are not a matter of design so much as luck and divine intervention. Perhaps you finish school/college/university and you find yourself at a loss for what to do; let’s be honest; many of us don’t know what we really want to do at this stage in our lives.
So what do you do? Inevitably, the vast majority of people will take the first job offer that comes up – let’s say that is stacking boxes for an air conditioning company. Sexy, eh!?!
Then maybe you find yourself somehow rising through the ranks and becoming the head of logistics for delivering said air conditioning units. Maybe this then catches the eye of someone at Fed Ex and you get head hunted to become the head of international…
Never mind that you studied at Uni to become a marine biologist! Did you want to be a marine biologist? Maybe it was just something that was of interest to you, but a career? If it was something that you were keen on studying it, then why not?
How To Stop That Happening
So, how did that happen?
Basically you allowed your skills to form as a result of your experience rather than your desires or dreams.
This is normally what happens and is not your fault but you do need to be aware that this is the normal process.
Our strengths are partly natural and partly acquired through our experience.
The latter actually tends to play a larger role though and certainly from the perspective of someone looking to hire you. When someone is looking at candidates, experience is a very important part in the decision making process of many employers, so we tend to get pushed down a path we never intended to follow!
Never mind that you love fish and have a marine biology degree – you’ve got 10 years of experience in logistics!
In other words, your strengths will be largely shaped by your experience, so if you want to make sure you don’t just ‘land’ in a career you never planned to pursue, you need to ensure that the experience you’re getting is highly relevant to whatever it is that you want to do.
Now you may argue that this is out of your control and it may be to some extent.
You don’t always get to choose the job offers that come your way or the advancement courses you get offered.
But sometimes it will be down to you.
And it will be down to you to make your experience relevant to the career path that you want to choose.
Life is full of choices, and they will have a huge impact on the path that you follow in life, so choose wisely.
Sometimes you have to gamble and choose with your heart and see where it takes you; it will be more exciting and more rewarding, but it can also be incredibly scary and this can deter some people from ever going for it.
Let me tell you now; NEVER give up on your dreams and don’t stubbornly hold out for that perfect job either – instead, plot yourself a course and steer yourself as much in that direction as possible, looking for opportunities wherever they arise to mold your strengths and abilities to be a fit for whatever it is you truly want to do with your life.
This way you will be doing your best to ensure that you are finding the right path in life for you and not just falling into a career that doesn’t really suit you. You owe it to yourself to have a career that you truly enjoy, fulfills you and makes you happy (and hopefully makes you some money in the process) so be aware of your choices and do everything in your power to steer your life and career in the direction you want to go 🙂
Life obstacles; great aren’t they?
But suppose you are given a choice to live a life without any type of obstacles or challenges. Can you imagine a life without obstacles?
Would you take that if it were possible? You may be tempted to jump at the chance, however, it is likely it would not measure up to your expectations.
Several years ago, there was a television program that focused on only good news. It actively looked for good news in the local community and even in other places.
Do you know what happened? The show did not last because people seem to be more drawn to bad news. Isn’t that interesting?
The thing is, our minds are hardwired to solve problems, so when problems don’t exist, our minds become idle and we become bored with our situations.
Therefore, subconsciously, we welcome obstacles so that we can figure out how to overcome or solve them.
When we crash against an obstacle or challenge in our lives, we often moan and groan about how “life isn’t fair…” etc. but we need these things in our life to force us to grow as individuals.
Just think about an obstacle course. Why do these even exist and why do people try to get around them as quickly as possible?
If we weren’t so inclined to solve problems, these never would have become popular. But, we still participate in them because of the challenge involved.
The military use these to inspire things such as free thinking, abstract thought and leadership; 3 qualities highly regarded in life and crucial in soldiering.
When we manage to get past some obstacle, we experience a feeling of elation and accomplishment, which increases in proportion to how difficult the obstacle was to overcome.
Getting past the obstacle may happen very quickly or may happen over a period of time. It could be a mental or physical challenge, or even both. The thing is, it doesn’t really matter. Whatever the situation, we welcome the challenge, at least on a deep, subconscious level.
Some people will withdraw when faced with certain obstacles. They may feel as though these particular types of obstacles are beyond their ability to solve them and this is unfortunate because we all have the capability of solving most situations.
The difference between these people and others who succeed in overcoming these challenges is the belief that they can do so, not being put off by past experience and the perseverance to keep going (grit).
Even when the obstacles are dire, dangerous or even life threatening, people who approach it in a positive manner will have a much greater chance of overcoming them.
What is certain is that if you don’t try, you will definitely fail and that obstacle will become part of you in a negative way. It could destroy your life if you let it.
Your “failure” to overcome it can really eat at you and cause a quick downwards spiral which can make you less certain of yourself and thus even less inclined to face up to future challenges; it is a type of negative self-fulfilling prophesy that you need to be aware of and do everything to avoid.
Obstacles are an integral part of life and as you have seen from this post, they are necessary for our survival and continued growth as human beings and should be embraced.
They may be difficult to come to terms with. However, when we get to the point of overcoming them, we have tools we can use to make our lives better and that is an incredible experience.
But even more powerful is that we can extend our experience to helping others overcome similar obstacles and challenges as well.
And there is no greater feeling than helping someone to overcome a situation that they thought impossible!
So, why not think about all this the next time you are faced with a difficult situation and realise that it is not a challenge or obstacle, but rather an opportunity to stretch yourself and to grow and become a better version of yourself.
So, I ask you again; could you imagine life without obstacles?
I hope the answer is a resounding “No!”
If you search the Internet for quotes about success and/or failure, you’re pretty much guaranteed to come across this one:
“Success is not final; failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”
This was alleged to have been said by Sir Winston Churchill but there is no evidence that he actually said such a thing, but the sentiment is a good one.
Do you believe that failure is not fatal?
You can’t let failure, or more accurately, fear of failure, hold you back from pursuing the life of your dreams.
Either that, or you chose something that was too easy to accomplish, and you got it right first time. If you continually look for the easy way, you may not be living up to your full potential. Eventually, you are going to be confronted with something you find difficult to accomplish, and you may even fail at it.
Living within your comfort zone is a nice, safe place, but you need to venture outside it if you ever want to grow to reach your true potential.
Most people look down at their failures and consider themselves losers when they happen. They look at the profiles of successful people and think that only those people are good enough to make things happen. What they don’t see, is the failures all of those successful people went through before experiencing their successes.
There are many instances of this. Just look at Thomas Edison, or more recently, Sylvester Stallone. These people overcame massive rejection and failure, but did they stop? No, and they went on to achieve great things in their lives.
But people never see the failures and obstacles they went through; they just see the success that they have accomplished – in fact, they often view these people as “overnight successes” when nothing could be further from the truth!
Why not try to view failure as a gift instead? It is something you can use to figure out what went wrong. When you observe your steps, you may find that it was a minor flaw in what you attempted. Others would simply give up saying it is too hard.
Of course, you need to hold the belief that what you want to accomplish is possible. If you don’t truly believe this, the chances are that you will keep failing over and over again and never arrive at a solution.
But, if you are confident what you want to achieve can happen, then you must be determined to stop at nothing to make it so. This is what differentiates successful people from unsuccessful people; the willingness to keep going in the face of adversity, and an unwavering belief that they can and will succeed.
Another way to look at failure is this; consider your failures to be a learning process for your projects. As long as you spend the time figuring out what you were trying to do, and analyzing why it didn’t work, you are gaining valuable insight into the problem. Keep going with your efforts even if you fail thousands of times. Hold true to your belief in the project and stop at nothing to get it done.
You may have heard of the phrase “Fail forward fast” and this is what you need to keep in mind whenever you fail; it is just a part of the journey, and not the ultimate destination UNLESS you allow it to be!
If there is any formula for success, it can all be boiled down to an unwavering belief in the possibility of the project happening, as well as being tenacious in your efforts to bring it to fruition. In this way, you should never put yourself down for failing. In fact, you should expect it and embrace it. Be suspicious if it doesn’t happen.
It’s sad that most people don’t have the self-compassion for failure. These people try once or twice and then give up thinking that whatever goal they were trying to accomplish just wasn’t not meant to be. If only they gave it a few more thousand or so tries.
It’s easy to give up, and the human mind will always look for the path of least resistance and try to convince you that giving up is best for you.
But is it really?
Of course, it isn’t. If you can only push through the pain and disappointment of failing and stop beating yourself up and allowing yourself to feel self-compassion, that all is not lost, then you could achieve so much more that you are currently.
I believe in you and that everybody has the capacity to become successful and the best versions of themselves. The trouble is that most people just don’t believe in either their ability to succeed, or (even worse) that they don’t believe that they are worthy of success.
With unconscious thoughts like these whizzing around your head, is it no wonder that people struggle from one thing to the next.
Failure is a part of success; you can’t have one without the other, so you need to embrace failure and enjoy the journey you are on to achieving your goals.
Whenever you encounter failure, it is okay to feel sorry for yourself. Most gurus will tell you to “man up” and “get over it” but that isn’t always the smart approach. I am telling you that it is okay to feel sorry for yourself, to feel dejected and frustrated. But also understand that it is a process and you can learn from it, adjust and keep going.
Achieving goals should be a lifelong process and you will fail so many times along the way but as long as you can keep the end goal in mind, you can pick yourself up, embrace the process and enjoy the journey you are on to success.
If you want to know more about how you can “enjoy the journey” then I encourage you to check out this cool training that can help you to do just that. You can find out more here: warr.pro/Journey-Full
Positive Self Talk
Can I ask you a question?
How often do you hear that little voice in your head that tells you that you aren’t quite good enough? Hourly, daily, weekly?
If you’re like most people, you probably hear it all too often and it is having a significant impact on the quality of your life.
Negative self-talk can severely hinder your progress in life and decrease the chances of you ever achieving your goals. And do you really want that for yourself? I doubt it, and you will be glad to hear that you can do something about it, starting today.
There are ways that you can turn that doubting inner voice into a positive one and I have complied a list of them below.
Follow these ten simple tips and you will be able to turn things around and create a new positive, helpful voice that will help you to build your confidence and change your life for the better and it’s not as difficult as you may think.
1. Use Affirmations
Using positive affirmations can help program your mind to speak in a positive voice more often. They are positive statements written in the present tense.
You should say them out loud first thing in the morning when you wake up and just before you go to sleep at night as these are the times when your brain is at its most receptive.
Regular repetition throughout the day will reinforce the positive messages and help them to become second nature. Don’t underestimate this simple practice, as you will find that many successful people practice affirmations, so there must be something in it, right?
2. Be Aware
You really need to be aware of that voice that you are hearing in your head. Listen to what it is saying and how it is talking to you.
If it is constantly negative, then you need to take action to turn it into a supportive and positive voice. Listen carefully and when you catch a negative thought turn it into a positive statement instead. It is all about training yourself to focus on the positive, rather than the negative; do that and you can train your inner voice to work for you rather than against you.
It’s a simple fact that regular meditation can help you develop greater control over your thoughts and emotions.
It will teach you how to listen carefully and to quieten your inner voice.
This will help you create a sense of calm and peace, which in turn reduces stress and anxiety.
As you gain greater control over your mind you will be able to silence the negative voice when it starts to speak. Meditation, along with awareness can quash your negative voice for good.
4. Practice Gratitude
Take time every day to think of at least three things you are grateful for.
It’s all too easy to lose yourself in the negative aspects of the day and to give in to the negative voice in your head.
Instead focus on the positive and be grateful. Write them down in a journal so that you can remember them and revisit them if needed.
If you want to know more about using gratitude in your life, you can download a free report about Positive Self Reflection here: warr.pro/PosSelf
5. Change Your Perspective/Focus
It’s all too easy to think about all the things that can go wrong, and these thoughts can easily take over in times of stress or anxiety.
But, instead of thinking of all the negative outcomes stand back and look at the situation from a different point of view.
This can shift your perception dramatically and make you feel better instantly.
6. Distance Yourself
Create some distance between yourself and your emotions. An effective yet simple way to do this is to think in the third person.
So instead of saying to yourself, “I’m really angry with myself because…”, say, “You’re really angry. Why?”
By creating psychological distance, a study by Ethan Kross, PhD of the University of Michigan found that participants were able to regulate their emotions and reduce discomfort, probably because the conversation wasn’t about “me” but rather about “you” which is a subtle but powerful difference.
7. Say, “I don’t”
One simple change you can make is to use the phrase, “I don’t,” instead of, “I can’t”. By saying “I don’t” you are taking responsibility and ownership of your thoughts.
If you are trying to lose weight then instead of saying, “I can’t eat cake” say, “I don’t eat cake”. The power of this approach was found in a study by Vanessa Patrick at the University of Houston.
8. Hire A Professional
By investing in professional help, you will have the benefit of mentoring and accountability.
These professionals are able to use a range of tools to help change your subconscious mind and remove blocks, change language and thought patterns and create new positive habits and behaviour.
There are numerous options including NLP (Neural Linguistic Programming), Coaching or Hypnotherapy.
9. Move Your Body
Body language can have a massive effect on your state of mind.
I once heard Tony Robbins state that “Emotion follows motion” so you can use your physical body to change your mental state dramatically.
Changing your body language can change your outlook and increase your sense of positivity and self-confidence. Stand or sit up straight with your shoulders back, hold your head high and smile. When you do this, you will find it almost impossible to feel miserable.
10. Use Oracle Cards
What are Oracle Cards you may ask?
Well, Oracle Cards are a really useful tool to help you connect with your subconscious and also to create change in your life.
They include positive inspirational images, affirmations and ideas about how to create change.
Pick a card each morning to guide you through the day creating positive change. If you don’t want to use the cards yourself you can get a reading done by a professional oracle reader; many of whom are also coaches, Neuro Linguistic Programming Practitioners or hypnotherapists.
Well that’s it. 10 tips to bolster your positive self talk.
Put them to use and inner peace can be yours. I’ve also put some actions steps below, so why not try one of them and start experiencing it right now?
3 Actionable Steps You Can Do Right Now!
|Stand up straight, hold your head high, shoulders back and smile. Feel your self-confidence grow.||Contact a coach, Neuro Linguistic Practitioner or hypnotherapist. Many give a free initial consultation.||Take a break, sit, breathe and enjoy the moment. Finish by saying, “I can and I will.” Take action.|
Challenging Your Perceived Limitations
Are you holding yourself back? Do you even truly know whether this is the case or not? I ask these questions because they can sometimes be very difficult to answer objectively about yourself. Your subconscious mind tends to gloss over these things unless you make a conscious effort to focus on them. One of the big hurdles which can be holding you back in both personal and business/career growth is that of putting limitations on yourself and your ability. However, these are not (normally) true limitations, but rather perceived limitations that may no, in fact, be true at all! Let’s take a look at perceived limitations a bit deeper.
Perceived limitations can be as challenging as trying to tie a rope with your hands behind your back. We know by watching athletes achieve the seemingly impossible feats of man against the elements, that the mind and body can exceed limits far past what we may expect of ourselves.
We all have that power within us. An obstacle may seem insurmountable, but rather than ask yourself if you can overcome it, challenge yourself to figure out how you can do it.
Endurance events that athletes face are no different than the challenges you face at work, in relationships or in completing goals and realizing your dreams. When you surrender your dreams to the limitations you place on yourself, you’ll never reach the vision of your true destiny.
There’s nothing deep or mystical in lifting the limitations on your life – it just takes persistence and continuous results. One thing you can do to challenge those limitations you place on yourself is to list what you want to accomplish and then think about what you have to do to get there.
After you figure out how you can challenge the limitations you set for yourself, it’s time to prepare for the race. You wouldn’t swim the English Channel without preparing months (or even years) ahead for the challenges you’ll face across those treacherous waters.
Prepare for your own journey through extensive training, gathering knowledge, getting your body and mind in shape for the challenge and anything else you can do to make sure you’ll be successful.
You may need to adjust your strategy from time to time as you learn, but eventually you’ll be on your way to the success you envision. Next, you’ll have to put your plan into motion.
This can be a difficult time for some because you’re afraid of failure. After all, you’ve been thinking and preparing for the race – and now you have to make it happen. But it’s far worse to hold back and do nothing than to fail because you didn’t even try.
Last, you need to believe in yourself. You are the only obstacle in your way of achieving greatness and you should never let self-doubt keep you in a box because you were afraid of failure and thought you had limitations you couldn’t overcome.
Think like a child. Children boldly believe they can climb the highest tree or venture out into the middle of the lake. Thank goodness adults are there to hold them back. Those are true limitations.
Never accept any thought or suggestion that limits your ability to achieve everything you can dream of to have the kind of life you crave and deserve. Get busy and begin to challenge those false beliefs! This can be difficult to begin with, but keep breaking down these self-limiting beliefs and you won’t believe what you can truly accomplish when you let yourself believe in what you can do.
This is too important to leave, so start right now; look deep inside yourself, find any self-limiting belief and deal with it head on and watch your life change for the better.
How To Build Your Business Quickly
So, you want to know the quickest way to build and grow your business quickly! Well the answer is actually pretty simple and common sense if you think about it!
The quickest way to build your business is:
No, not cloning sheep or mice, but cloning yourself through outsourcing.
Hiring other people to do various tasks in your business will grow the business like nothing else.
Most people think of outsourcing as an expense that eats away at the bottom line. They avoid jumping on outsourcing because they see it as an expensive luxury instead of a unique way to solve problems and grow fast.
And that’s why you’re in business, isn’t it, enjoying life?
Unfortunately, most small business owners never experience the power of outsourcing. They never experience a team that’s fully invested in the business’s success and they don’t build the business with systems in mind.
But you have to do it right. If you continue to run your business as a solopreneur doing everything yourself, eventually you’ll discover that you’ve created a really difficult job and work for a really bad boss.
The alternative is creating a scalable and sustainable business which means you must do the things that bring the best financial return. Those things are important.
When you start paying attention to all of your Urgent vs Important tasks, you soon discover that the Important tasks are usually the ones left undone.
Urgent always wins…
Unless you put a plan with a team in place to minimize the urgent tasks, and handle them when they do come up, it’s nearly impossible to focus on the important…
Let’s be clear on what Urgent AND Important means…
This is an emergency.
That kills a staff’s morale.
When you build systems and put people in charge of those systems, they become accountable. And they work to ensure less urgent activities. Your freedom and success live in the Important But NOT Urgent quadrant. So should you.
Unless you have systems, and people working those systems, most of your activities are the same that you’ve done many times before needlessly. Our businesses are full of processes and tasks that create revenue and expenses. The goal is to control the expenses and create more revenue.
Scaling your business is the best way to grow your revenue. Making more money requires leverage – cloning yourself. Unless you start leveraging other people, your business will stay small and revenues more than likely will be thin.
When you start scaling and expanding, you’ll find outsourcing makes that happen.
How do you get started outsourcing?
- Start small
- Identify repetitive tasks
- Find good help
Example: Start Small
Find a task that needs to be done but is not urgent or important to your business. (This is something that can’t hurt your business if it’s messed up.)
For example, imagine that you have a PDF document with 200 resource links that you’d like to transfer to a spreadsheet. That’s a perfect task for outsourcing.
You’re looking for someone that you can build a long-term relationship with, so you want to see how they handle the project.
- Do they turn it around before the deadline?
- Do they require a lot of hand-holding from you?
- Do they find a better way to do the task?
- Is their price reasonable?
- Is the communication top notch?
If that experience was positive, try them on something else.
Example: Repetitive Tasks
Look at your calendar. Is there something you have to do each month, week, or day that can’t be done by automation (computer), but is done the same way every time?
Here are some examples:
- Product download
- Indexing your forum
- Managing Facebook group memberships
- Transcription of your monthly call
- Support desk responses
Create a process document, or make a video of the task activities. You’re beginning to build a business operations manual. And that’s one of the keys to building a real business asset that adds value.
Example: Find Good People
What is more important to you? Cost, Quality or Speed? As the saying goes, you can have two of those. Never all three.
When you’re looking for good help, make sure you understand:
- Does this require outstanding quality?
- Does it have to be done fast?
- Can you pay top dollar?
Compromise and can still get what you need for the price you need it when you need it. But you must understand your need. Finding outsourcing resources can be tough, especially good ones. Word of mouth is the best source to find good people, but satisfied business owners seldom share their best resources. But you can ask. And you can ask them to make a referral.
If you can’t get a good referral, go to a site like UpWork.com and look for people with high ratings and skill sets that you need. Pay close attention to the reviews. The people you recruit will be an important part of your profit center.
Remember, every task or process outsourced should be creating more revenue for you. Think of outsourcing as a profit center, not an expense. If you’re doing it right, you should be creating more revenue with every process you outsource.
The world today is full of uncertainties and challenges, and the last thing that we want to do is to do something as simple as say “thank you.” With the hardships, turmoil, difficulties and problems that people are facing these days, it has become increasingly difficult to see the good side of the world we live in. And listening to all the negativity in the news and media just reinforces this bleak view of modern day life. But this is an incredibly skewed version of reality and bears no real resemblance to the real world, but hey, bad news sells!
Things appear to have become so irrational and unpredictable. The world has changed so much and become so different, and being grateful in this (apparently) very ungrateful world can be really challenging. And the quicker things change, the more disconnected people start to feel.
Also, the sad fact is that many people in this generation have an “entitlement” attitude; they believe that they are entitled to pretty much anything with little to no effort. This may not be a politically correct statement but is the plain truth (in my opinion).
The thing that we all need to remember is that although the world seems so difficult and things may not always go the way we want them to go, there are still many things to be grateful for. No matter what good things happen in your life, if you don’t have an attitude of gratitude, you will never be completely happy. It is simply a matter of focus; in fact, focus can be used to support many aspects of your life, not just gratitude.
Learning to be grateful when things go wrong, when problems strike or when difficulties happen will make a huge difference in your life and the way you will generally feel about life itself. Life is always better once you feel blessed no matter how difficult things might seem. Is it easy? No, but is it worth it? You bet it is!
Feeling grateful allows you to see life as a great and wonderful gift. Once you can feel great about the world and about your life, you will be able to find real happiness and peace.
When everything around you seems to be going wrong, it is can be very difficult to feel grateful for anything, but if you remain thankful about even those little blessings you have, your life will become happier. Learning to be grateful in this ungrateful world is something worth doing. If you don’t, you will keep feeling a sense of unhappiness, a lack of self-worth and a general lack and that is no way to go through life.
After all, you only have one life so you owe it to yourself to do everything you can to enjoy it and to experience everything that it has to offer. Living with an attitude of gratitude will help you to do that.
Start practicing gratitude daily and see what a difference it can make. Start off gradually; why not spend a few minutes in the morning when you first wake to think of all the things in your life that you are grateful for? Why not write these things down and start a gratitude journal. Try doing this for 30 days and see how this small thing done daily can make you feel and how your outlook on life will shift. You will become more content, happier and people will notice and wonder what your secret is. Share it with them and let’s all make the world a happier, more grateful place in our own small way.
Start today and allow gratitude into your life and reap the benefits. What are you waiting for?