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10 Life Lessons Learned From Suddenly Quitting My Job

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Quit your day job and start your own business life lessons

We all feel lost from time to time. Society has a way of beating us down with its arbitrary life rules and expectations. Just when we think we have it nailed, the rug can be pulled from below and we end up with a crushing realisation that actually, we don’t have it all figured out.

Questions arise, and you find yourself doubting your very existence.

Am I in the right career?

Do I have the ability to rise through the ranks and increase my income?

Is this it for me?

I felt all of this and more. Until the age of 31 I felt trapped in a menial customer service position that began to eat away at my soul. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do, but I knew with absolute certainty that something had to change.

It did. When you back an animal into the corner it has no option but to come out fighting.

I quit my job and it was the scariest moment of my life. Would I sink or swim?

Well, 2 years later I have my own guitar tuition business and while it definitely wasn’t easy – the lessons I have learned on the way will be invaluable as I continue moving forward.

Hopefully, if you’re in a position where you are seeking to change your career or to start your own business, you can take a little something from the following 10 life lessons, such as…

 

Life Lessons Learned From Suddenly Quitting My Job

 

1. There is no such thing as the right time

Do you have a crazy life changing idea that you are putting off because the time just doesn’t feel right? You’re not the only one. I wrestled with my mind for years before I finally plucked up the courage to quit my job, and you know what?

It was a colossal waste of time.

Preparation is overrated. No matter how much thought, planning and care you put into something, you will always come up short.

Life doesn’t give a damn about how prepared you are. It wants people with the balls to make something happen.

 

2. People will think you are crazy but that’s ok

We’re fragile beings. Our ego likes to protect our little selves from all the bad people in the world. Even though we don’t like to admit it, many of our life decisions are taken because we care about what other people think.

It’s human nature.

After quitting my job it didn’t take long for the naysayers to crawl out of the woodwork and mock me for having ideas above my station. I heard it all;

You can’t do that. How will you survive?

You should have found another job first. You’ll regret it.

You’re insane!

But you know what? You soon learn to ignore the haters and it’s impossible to please everyone, so in future it’s best to just live life by your own standards.

 

3. You learn to become responsible for your own actions

Doing something as drastic as quitting my job without really thinking it through, led me to a profound realisation;

This is all down to me.

I don’t have work colleagues to drag me down or a narcissistic manager to crush my soul on a daily basis. There is no one to blame but myself if this goes down the toilet.

That’s the beauty of taking control of your life; you’re fully in the driving seat and the motivational surge you receive as a result of grabbing life by the balls is astounding.

 

4. Every problem faced becomes an end of level boss to defeat

Is life easy once you quit your safe job for a life of uncertainty? Hell no. It feels like an endless assault on the senses. You’ve heard of treading water? Well imagine treading treacle.

Just keeping your head above the surface is a herculean task by itself. Forget trying to run a fledgling business. Putting food on the table and paying the rent suddenly become the only goals worth bothering with.

But you learn to cope.

And then you look for the next challenge that passes your way. You defeat that one too.

In fact, you quickly learn that life isn’t that hard after all. It’s just a videogame and you’ve got invincibility mode enabled.

You’re bulletproof.

 

5. Life isn’t a linear process – there is no beginning, middle and end

I’ll admit; I believed that once I picked up a few students and started making a bit of cash, everything would sort itself out.

How naïve…

Just when things seemed to be moving forwards I would suffer a setback. The few students I had on my roster suddenly quit. No feedback, no apologies, nothing.

Gone, just like that.

And then I waited.

It took me 6 months before I found a few more students to take their place. That’s a long time to wait around without any proper income. Even now, I have good months and bad months, but I have come to realise that it’s all about the process, not the destination.

Life is too big to concern yourselves with. The present moment is all that counts.

 

6. You can make up the rules as you go along

Who in their right mind would give up a safe job, their own apartment and independence for an uncertain life as a guitar teacher?

On the face of it, it’s crazy. But I’ve always teetered on the edge of conformity – peering over the edge to see what is possible.

Who quits their job at the age of 31 and moves back home? Who starts a degree at the same time because it seemed like a good idea? Who fills their days with German study sessions and rigorous guitar practice when they aren’t working?

Me. I do that, because I can.

I’ve learned that confusing people with your day to day activities just means that you’re doing something right with your life.

 

7. Nobody can order you around, but you still need discipline

I have worked under some ridiculously inept managers in my time. Borderline psychopaths, bullies, bumbling buffoons and many other things that begin with the letter ‘B’; but they all have one thing in common…

They can’t tell me what to do.

Except, this led me to a strange realisation; without the structure and discipline of a full time job I became lazy. I needed my alarm clock and the threat of dismissal for not turning up on time to fuel my day.

This is something I still struggle with. I am slowly improving but the procrastination monster still rears its ugly head from time to time.

I’ve learnt that whatever we choose to do with our lives requires discipline to achieve greatness.

 

8. Fear is necessary for growth

I’ll let you in on a little secret.

Life scares the hell out of me.

I used to think that there was a big difference between successful people and the likes of me. That somehow they were born with superpowers that enable them to surge through life with confidence and swagger.

This couldn’t be further from the truth. Fear doesn’t discriminate. It engulfs us all. In fact, successful people experience more fear than anyone else because they are putting their balls on the line every single day

If you’re feeling scared then it’s a good sign. You are pushing yourself further; stretching your comfort zone and experiencing something new and exciting.

Accept and embrace fear because it’s the friend of exceptional people.

 

9. There will never be enough hours in the day

We always want more.

If it’s not money, then it’s time.

If it’s not time, then it’s success.

If it’s not success, then it’s respect.

If it’s not respect, then it’s money. It’s a vicious cycle – an addiction.

Life is a never ending quest to seek more of what we already have. But here is a novel idea… what would happen if we simply made better use of what we currently have? Of course, seeking to improve ourselves or our life situation is desirable but what is the point of acquiring more money if you can’t manage your current finances?

What’s the point in more time if you don’t make use of what you currently have?

What’s the point in building a reputation if you allow complacency to set in?

Everything; time, money and respect must first be earned and then utilised effectively. Do you only have $50 in your account? Stop binging on fast food and use that money wisely.

Do you only know a few people who trust and respect you as a businessperson or as a brand? Word of mouth is powerful; keep these people on side and you’ll reap the rewards later.

Do you only have 2 hours in the evening to spend with your loved ones? Make those 2 hours count.

Successful people make the best of what they have whilst continually striving to improve.

 

10. Excellence is 100% – everything else is failure

For years I coasted through life – doing the absolute bare minimum. Hoping that no one would notice how my whole existence was a master class in incompetence and laziness.

Everything from playing the guitar, my job, training in the gym and even my social interactions were all accomplished with this mentality. I felt like a fraud.

I needed to change, and fast. To do this I had to take a long, hard look at myself and accept that the only way I was going to be able to achieve anything is with complete transparency.

No more lies. No more covering up the cracks. It was time to get brutal.

I’ve discovered that success is a habit forged through a combination of time and effort. There are no shortcuts. Is it possible to put 100% into one area and then coast in another? For a while maybe, but eventually the lesser activity will start dragging the others down.

Consistency is the key. Eliminate the fat from your life and put 100% into whatever remains. Cement the habit and don’t settle for second best.

Since implementing this mentality my output has improved dramatically. My guitar playing has improved. My business has more students than ever. I’m finding that my studies and my assignments are getting easier. I am training harder than ever before and my diet is in check.

It’s not a coincidence.

By suddenly quitting my job I have finally learned how to live my life.

Try it. See what happens.

 

Gary Vaynerchuk Business Picture Quote

 

Jamie is a guitar teacher, writer and blogger from Bournemouth, England. After choosing to quit the typical 9-5 existence, he created Psycholocrazy to document his thoughts and struggles as he forges his own path in life. Jamie is a firm believer in following your own instincts so go ahead and grab his my free 33 page ebook and find out how to quit your job and live life on your own terms too. You can also find Jamie on facebook and Google+.

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38 Comments

38 Comments

  1. Jhasketan Garud

    Jun 5, 2017 at 12:16 am

    Hi Jamie,
    You have been a real inspiration. Thanks a lot.

  2. Rogel Rosas

    Oct 3, 2016 at 7:31 pm

    Congratulation my friend, what an accurate post I totally understand and relate with it all.

  3. Brenda

    Mar 15, 2016 at 11:18 pm

    I quit my job today as well.It was the right decision.I know I need to put my happiness first and it was draining me.Thank you for posting this.

  4. Sri

    Feb 24, 2016 at 1:13 pm

    Hi,

    Thank you. With business plans in my head and many commitments forcing me to stay at a job I hate for 6 years, now after reading your words, i feel free and my mind became enlightened. Why should we need to work for someone to grow? Instead, let us do what we love and we spend time with our loved ones without hesitation of asking permission/leave.

    Love you Jamie Flexman

    Sri

  5. Tega Omisore

    Oct 27, 2015 at 12:03 am

    OMG…I am actually in tears just reading this…i have been in such a confused and fearful state from the time i discovered my passion for my business outweights 90/10 my corporate job. what would people think, what would my husband think, what would the world think if i quit my S**t job and face my business squarely? Now i know that at age 36 I have been denying my true self, i asked myself over and over again, why cant i be like most people who stay in a paid job for 15 years…now i know its because i am EXCEPTIONAL and a true CEO at heart…you have helped me more than you can imagine…Thanks Jaime.

    • Harry

      Apr 25, 2018 at 10:38 pm

      Hi Tega….is there a way to get in touch with you…I am 36 too and want to quit my job and have many questions

  6. Mark

    Jun 19, 2015 at 9:37 am

    My favorite is no.10 – we should certainly strive for excellency in everything we do in life. Customer’s now demand it for all services, and are willing to pay a premium for it.

    Go for it and don’t look back – be fearless – very motivational article

  7. Ruth

    Jan 11, 2015 at 10:58 pm

    This has really changed my way of thinking towards the life I want to leave,I am encouraged and motivated by your teachings,I am taking action to start my new business without fear now,thanks Joel

  8. aziera

    Oct 3, 2014 at 3:16 pm

    i’ve just quit my job as a teacher for 14 years in government sector.Everybody keeps telling me that it is totally a wrong decision.I feel so lost and hopeless thinking of my future. However, after reading your article i feel better and motivated.

  9. Lee Conte

    Oct 3, 2014 at 1:48 am

    really great piece… thank you 🙂

  10. Nyanzi Joseph Gavin

    May 1, 2014 at 7:31 am

    Thank you so much Joel Brown!!! Your site as changed my life around completely. In 5years time I shall be gracing the covers of big magazines like FORBES. Because of the wisdom I have gleaned from this site, my Home-country Uganda is getting better and better. Africa shall never be the same again.

    • Joel Brown

      Joel Brown

      May 1, 2014 at 10:30 am

      Great to hear Nyanzi, thank you for dropping a comment 🙂

  11. rachael.

    Apr 22, 2014 at 1:20 pm

    Sounds familiar everybody thought i had gone psycho wen i first quit my job and some people are still on it n bitter with the same boss same cinditions same salary same everything i thought i couldnt stomach when i got “psycho”
    And am soon quiting this one for satisfaction at a new level

  12. businessstarter

    Apr 9, 2014 at 4:41 am

    Love this, it is a true view of someone that is starting a business that hasn’t got the go getter genes but just follows their heart. This gives me hope and inspiration – thank you

  13. taniya

    Mar 30, 2014 at 5:47 pm

    i want to follow all of them……

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Life

3 Ways You Can Track Your Habits to Make Significant Improvements in Life

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Do you feel sick and tired of all the generic advice on success out there? It’s always the same things. Read more, write more, believe in yourself, eat healthy, go to the gym, love your life and your wife. From time to time, all of the articles seemed like they were written by someone who has never experienced real life or any of the struggles they tend to write about.

It’s like getting advice from an alien. But nobody ever writes on the details of the struggle. Because they don’t know it. To be able to know and understand the struggle, you need to experience it. To live something day in and day out and experience it viscerally means to know something and have a grasp of it.

It is as Walt Whitman said it: “I do not ask the wounded person how he feels. . . . I myself become the wounded person.” I went through years of pain to learn how to build habits. I didn’t only read books about it (and yes, books are important), but I lived through it.

Because I know that theory and practice are the same in theory, but they are not the same in practice. I had to live it through to be able to give any advice on it.

I did go through the pain and created my habit building system. What I noticed during the process of building my habits was that it can be challenging to track them. Nobody was telling us how to do it, because that’s something you learn when you go through the process.

Here are the three different ways you can track your habits:

1. Task done

The way you track this type of habit is by marking if you did your task. By that, I mean “I am going to vacuum the room” and you mark it done/not done or 1/0 in your habit tracker. This way of tracking works the best when you don’t know how much time a task will take and you just track if you did or didn’t do the task.

I have the same for my writing habit. My daily habit is “Write 500 words.” So when I do the task, I immediately open my habit tracker and mark it done. I do this by writing in the tracker the number of words I wrote that day (I don’t count social media or texting or things like this- only writing as in pure writing).

This is one of the easiest ways you can track your habit. But if you have a tight schedule, a different way of tracking might be better and this is what I mean.

“It is easier to prevent bad habits than to break them.” – Benjamin Franklin

2. Time Allocated

Let’s say that you have only 30 minutes for yourself in the morning before the kids wake up. What you do in those 30 minutes counts and that is the second way of tracking your habits.

A great question to ask yourself is “How much time did I spend today on a certain habit?”

For example, let’s take the habit I’m developing of the writing 500 words daily. I try to make “write for 20 minutes” a daily habit. This way of tracking your habit works the best if you have a tight schedule or you run your life on “manager time,” as Paul Graham would say it.

I use this way of tracking for my daily walking habit where I “walk for 30 minutes” a day, trying to get my 10,000 steps a day count. From July 2018 up to March 2019, my average number of steps per day was 9429 and I did 2,178,120 steps. One kilometer is around 1,250 steps which means I walked 1,742 kilometers in 8 months which is the equivalent of walking from Miami, Florida, to Washington D.C.

There is one more way of tracking your habits, and this one is the best for tasks which are hard to accurately measure.

3. Did I do my best?

How do you measure your habit of being a great dad, husband, boyfriend, or friend? You can’t just say “Phone my girlfriend every day and talk to her for 15 minutes” and call it a day. It doesn’t work like that. You can talk to your girlfriend for 2 hours straight and it won’t make you a great boyfriend. Time isn’t the issue here. It’s how we use that time.

And that’s where the third way of tracking your habits comes into play. “Did I do my best to be an awesome boyfriend, husband, father, or friend today?” And you rank yourself from 1 to 10, 1 meaning that today, you were really lousy, and 10 meaning you were an amazing boyfriend, husband, father, or friend in the world.

“You’ll never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine.” – John C. Maxwell

This makes a massive difference in the lives of not just you, but people around you. It’s what Brendon Burchard would call social habits. You can’t count love, but sure as hell can you count the effort for love.

You don’t have to pick just one way or another. You can combine these different ways of tracking your habits. And yes, even though some habits work better with a particular type of tracking, that doesn’t mean that you need to adapt to it.

Experiment and try and see which one works the best for you. Use all three tracking methods if you want to. Just remember to track your habits. Because the Walt Whitman quotes, which I modified a little bit, tells us “I don’t ask a successful person how he did it…. I myself become a successful person.”

How do you track your habits to make sure you’re on the path towards succeeding? Share your advice below!

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Life

Why Breaking Out of Your Comfort Zone May Be a Bad Idea

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Donald Trump famously said, “Avoid your comfort zone – it’s probably outdated anyway.” It is very good advice for people who are exceptional, but what if you are not exceptional? You probably learned in college that no matter how good you are at something, there are always other people who are better than you.

Are you humble enough to say you are not exceptional? And if so, isn’t it possible that your comfort zone is where you belong? Just because you are in your comfort zone, it doesn’t mean you don’t crave success. Champion boxers never leave their comfort zone to take part-time jobs as a typist. Consider the fact that your comfort zone is the place where you will enjoy the most success.

Why “Comfort Zone” Advice Seems So Correct

Once again, breaking out of your comfort zone may be the right thing to do if you are exceptional. It is especially true for exceptional people because breaking out of their comfort zone is often the only place where they can grow. Yet, that is not the only reason why breaking out of your comfort zone seems like good advice.

The truth is that most people confuse being in a rut with being in their comfort zone. For example, the middle-aged executive who stays in his dead-end job because it is safe, rather than starting a new business selling parachute lessons, is not staying in his comfort zone, he is sticking with his rut. If people tell the middle-aged executive to get out of his comfort zone, they actually mean he should get out of his rut.

However, take the same middle-aged executive who is well respected at work, whose job is not a dead-end one, whose social life thrives because of his job, who’s bringing up children, investing, and who is healthy because of his job. If this same person were to leave his job to start a parachute training company, he would be leaving his comfort zone and most probably be making a great mistake.

Isn’t the Grass Always Greener On The Other Side?

Taking the previous example, what if the middle-aged executive left his job and his parachute training company offered him all the same things his old job offered him except better? Isn’t it always a good idea to try and fail rather than to never try at all?

The question and sentiment is fine, but it is not real life. Ask a person who has tried everything and ask a person who tried a bunch of stuff and then found something he/she enjoyed, and ask which person is happiest. Just because you “Didn’t” try something doesn’t mean you are missing out.

“The grass isn’t always greener on the other side!” – Ricky Gervais

What About People Who Broke Out of Their Comfort Zone?

There is an old “Will & Grace” episode from 2002 called, “Went to a Garden Potty.” In it an old man says a line that goes, “I’m Stan’s old partner. We started the mattress store together, then he wanted to branch out into other businesses but I said, no I’ll just not take any chances, so now I’ve got the one little store and he’s worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

The mattress store story sounds familiar doesn’t it? You have read about similar stories in motivational books, but what you rarely read about are people who didn’t take risks and still became successful millionaires. A book called, “The Millionaire Next Door” addresses this discrepancy by featuring people who became millionaires by selling caravans and by being dentists. It shows how people who work the same job their entire lives are not schmucks, and that their unexciting success stories are still success stories.

Do not confuse taking risks with being outside of your comfort zone. In the “Will & Grace” example, the character Stan felt outside of his comfort zone with just one store. Stan’s comfort zone was taking risks. Stan didn’t leave his comfort zone when he went off making millions of dollars, he entered his comfort zone in order to do it.

The people who risk it all on a penny-share company are not doing it to break out of their comfort zone, they are doing it because they feel uncomfortable if they are not taking risks.

“Unexceptional” People Can Be “Exceptionally” Successful in Their Comfort Zone

I don’t like to be out of my comfort zone, which is about a half an inch wide.” That line is a quote from Larry David, the guy who wrote “Curb your Enthusiasm” and “Seinfeld” and he is worth $400 million.

Stephen King was 27 when he sold his first book, and he was writing long before that. King hasn’t left his comfort zone since he was out of college, and he is worth $400 million. One could even say that Stephen King rarely leaves his comfort zone creatively since his stories almost always feature a middle aged man, and many times the middle-aged man has a creative career such as being a writer, painter, etc.

Danica Patrick, when asked how she became the best female racer in the world responded with, “I never do anything out of my comfort zone.” Does that mean this woman, who is worth $60 million, never takes risks? You would know the answer if you had ever watched her race.

Do not forget the psychological damage that repeated failure can do to a person. People who say, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” have clearly never gone through a terrible time because terrible times often make you weaker.

Repeatedly trying to break out of your comfort zone, only to be kicked back and stomped into the ground (metaphorically speaking) takes its toll and will often sap your enthusiasm to keep going forwards.

“Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.” – Dale Carnegie

Conclusion – He Will Be Back

Have you considered that exceptional people do not have a comfort zone? Take Arnold Schwarzenegger, whose last name has found its way into every spell checker program on the planet. He was a world-class bodybuilder, a record breaking actor, married a Kennedy, and became a US governor.

Some people say he was so successful because he never became comfortable being the best at just one thing. Maybe that is the reason for his success, maybe he wasn’t trying to break from his comfort zone…maybe he was trying to find it.

What are your thoughts on being able to succeed while staying your comfort zone? Share your opinions and stories below!

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Life

Do These 3 Things Today to Live in the Moment and Have a Better Tomorrow

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People always say that life is short, but they fail to remember that while life is short compared to eternity, living is the longest task that we as humans will ever perform.

Some of us take each day as it comes and some of us carefully plan out what we desire each day to bring us. No matter how you go about it, if you’re not careful, having an unbalanced point of view as it pertains to life and how to make it better for yourself can bring more pain than it will joy.

Life is filled with decisions and the decisions you make today have the power to shift the course of your tomorrow. Life can sometimes move so quickly that it’s hard to think and act while simultaneously balancing all the roles you possess and completing all the tasks you need to complete. Nonetheless, there are ways to navigate the trenches of life so that you’re able to enjoy each day as it comes, embrace the possibilities of tomorrow and be present to experience all the moments that make you smile.

If you have a hard time slowing your mind down long enough to pause and breathe, try these three tips:

1. Before you make a decision, ask yourself “why.”

According to Psychology experts, one of the easiest steps you can take right now on your journey of de-stressing is to ask yourself hard questions. Sometimes you think, act and speak before you have time to process what is happening inside of you and around you. Knowing this. It could be your lack of intention that’s the problem.

As a part of your self-awareness journey, start asking yourself why you are the way you are, why you think the things you think and why you do the things you do before you take action. While an adrenaline rush helps kick you into gear to take action, you want to make sure any action you take aligns with your personal goals.

Self-awareness allows people to recognize what things they do best so they can then go hard on those aspects of their life. It also helps you accept your weaknesses. – Gary Vaynerchuk

2. Instead of planning for the long game, just plan for tomorrow

Worry is the thief of time and joy. If you look at your track record of life events, you may notice that many of the things that caused you the most stress and worry never came to pass. When you think about the direction you want your life to go in, don’t stress yourself out wondering what the next five years will look like. Take a moment to breathe, look around you and relax.

When you focus on taking life one day at a time, you’ll have more energy to think logically and make the decisions that lead to both short and long-term gains. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. How do you live a happy life? One moment at a time.

3. Fight the urge to prove yourself

We live in a society that forces us to try to convince others of our happiness. According to studies, phones are necessary evils. It seems like you can’t live with them and you can’t live without them. And for most of us, our phones play such a large role in our day to day that we start and end the day looking at the small screen.

The last time you enjoyed a moment of peace and tranquility, it’s likely that you snapped a picture of your surroundings so you could show the world just how much you enjoyed that moment.

Here is the good news, you don’t have to prove to anyone that you are happy or that you enjoy your life. Keep some moments to yourself. Protect your peace and your space. Don’t let the urge of sharing your journey cause you to be distracted from living in the moment. Don’t miss a moment in an attempt to capture the moment. Just be.

“It’s the moments that I stopped just to be, rather than do, that have given me true happiness.” – Richard Branson

Life is what you make of it. You have more control than you know. Life gets so much better when you acknowledge the opportunities instead of the obstacles that come your way. Before you feel an ounce of anxiety as a result of a stressor coming your way, ask yourself “why” you feel the way you do, think for the moment and not for your life and remember that you have nothing to prove to anyone but yourself.

How do you relax with so many distractions in the world? Share your ideas with everyone below!

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Life

Follow These 5 Steps to Radically Transform Your Negative Mindset

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Struggling with a negative mindset is a very real and common problem, one that often hinders a person’s ability to grow and achieve the things in life they want. Oftentimes, it is someone’s mindset that determines their level of happiness.

What is a mindset? A mindset is the beliefs about yourself and your most basic qualities. Think about your intelligence, talents, and personality, these are the basic traits of oneselves. A mindset determines how we deal with challenges and obstacles. Which frame the running accounts in our heads and guide us on our life journey.

Experts agree there are two basic types – a fixed mindset and a growth mindset. In a fixed mindset, people believe that their natural traits – intelligence, abilities, and talents are fixed from birth. In a growth mindset, people believe that they can develop their inner traits through learning and determination.

“The passion for stretching yourself and sticking to it, even when it’s not going well, is the hallmark of the growth mindset. This is the mindset that allows people to thrive during some of the most challenging times in their lives.” – Carol Dweck

Research has shown that 80% of the nearly 60,000 thoughts we have on a daily basis are negative. It also estimated that 98% of those thoughts are a repetition of yesterday. On a subconscious level, people are expecting the worst – almost all of the time. Constant repeated thought patterns turn into beliefs.

These beliefs then combine into a fixed and negative mindset. One where our inner voice is a harsh critic, a worrisome voice, and an anxious being. Luckily – we can employ parts of our brains to change other parts. We can move a fixed mindset into a growth mindset. How?

Here are five steps to radically transform your negative mindset:

Step One – Untangling your thoughts

A very powerful, proven technique for stepping back from the constant flow of thoughts is to look at them with the impartial rational mind. Generally, it is easy to spot these negative thought patterns because they are accompanied by an emotion. Recognizing the emotion tied to anxiety then gives you the power to label it for what it is. The same can be done for many other feeling patterns. These thoughts and feelings start to lose their intensity when repeatedly scrutinized by the rational mind.

Step Two – Examine your beliefs

Using the perspective gained in step one, you can begin to check your belief systems. The fixed mindset creates an internal monologue that is focused on judging: “This means I’m a loser,”  “I am a better person than they are,” “I am not a good wife and mother,” “My partner is selfish.” Etc.

The key is adopting a growth mindset. A growth mindset is one where it is possible to learn and begin to cultivate positive beliefs. For example – when you find yourself being hard on yourself, consciously change it to something more positive – like when you have failed at something and the negative inner voice is yelling “see – you suck. I knew you’d fail” (a fixed view). Changing this tone to one that is more forgiving to yourself – “its ok – you’re only human. Learn from this mistake and you’ll do much better next time” (a growth view).

Step Three – Balance Your Risk-Averse fears

Being overly risk-averse in life leads to focusing on catastrophic possibilities. In a fixed mindset,  these fears are set in place and the belief is that they cannot be changed. Which results in a human being that is unable to experience life because of fearfulness. Fears can be overcome by setting goals and making detailed plans to accomplish them. Write the specific goals and plans down on paper. If you have your plan written down on paper than you know what you have to do and will not negotiate with your fears when making decisions.

Step Four – Adopt the Habit of Daily Mindfulness Meditation Practice

The practice of mindfulness meditation has been around for 2500+ years. It is what Buddha practiced and is at the heart of many religions. Meditation can be used to see the bigger picture and not focus on the implications of now. More so, mindfulness meditation can delve into each piece of it – old fears, habitual self-loathing, shying away from challenges and eliminate these pains.

What is meditation anyway? At the core, it is the mind’s ability to look inward. As discussed above – it can look at the thoughts, emotions, beliefs, fears, hopes, attraction, and avoidance of oneself. It can gradually quiet the negative internal monologue. Research shows that meditation increases a sense of happiness and contentment. Mediation makes space for growth by eliminating underlying stress, depression, and anxiety.

“Your mind is a powerful thing. When you filter it with positive thoughts, your life will start to change.” – Buddha

Step Five – Shape Your Mindset With Visions and Goals

Every person has hopes and dreams that they want to accomplish. However, often we feel powerless to do so. By setting specific goals and detailed plans to accomplish them, you can start to break free from negativity. Break down the goals into smaller achievable steps. Allow every achievement along your plan to bring a sense of accomplishment and self worth.

The best way to begin to put it all together is to have faith that you can break out of a negative mindset. Gain an understanding of how your current mindset is fixed and negative through mindful meditation. From this insight and understanding, you can then set achievable goals of positive growth and use the same mindfulness to measure your success.

Adopt these five steps and through determination and consistent practice, you will find your mindset transformed in ways you never thought possible. Remember, there is always space for failure. Without failure there is no growth.

Do not fall back into the trap of negative thinking if you do not achieve what you want in one day. Humans are imperfect beings, and it is not possible to reprogram your brain within a day or a week. Some negativity will linger for awhile and that is totally normal. What matters most is your continued effort to reprogram. Over time your mind will change, just give it time.

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