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11 Actions You Can Take Today to Discover Your Life’s Purpose

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Take a breath, sit back, and imagine for a moment.

You are in the last hour of your life. Your time has come. You have a flashback, it’s your life, from birth to death. The good times, the bad times… It’s all there.

 

What will you see?

Will you have regrets?

Will you feel fulfilled?

As your eyes close… What will be your final emotion?

 

It’s scary to think about that day. But here’s the reality: It’s going to come.

The question isn’t will it come. It’s how will you feel when it does come?

 

The Question That Can Change Your Life

 

Can you discover your purpose?

Let’s back up a little bit. What does that even mean? Your “purpose“?

Let’s make it simple. Your purpose is what you love you doing, and is your opportunity to have the greatest positive impact on this world.

So when I ask the question: Can you discover your purpose? I’m really asking 2 questions:

1. Can you discover what you love doing?

2. Can you have a massive impact on this world by doing what you love?

 

Is this possible?

If the answer is yes, and I believe it is, then you’re not only selling yourself but the entire world short if you do not discover your purpose.

 

Are You Leaving it up To Chance?

Are you being intentional with the choices you make on a daily basis?

If you have no idea what you want to do with your life will talking about how you have “no idea what you want to do with” your life provide the answer?

I’m going to jump out on a limb here and say “no”.

The problem that most people run into is that they spend so much time talking about their worries and concerns that they never take the necessary actions to solve it.

Instead of spending days, weeks, months and even years stressing about discovering your all powerful magical purpose… how about you focus on taking action to figure it out?

 

Make Discovering Your Purpose Your Purpose

Discovering your purpose isn’t something that magically occurs. It requires that you take intentional action.

This isn’t rocket science. It’s just logical. If you want to figure out what you want to do with your life… Then you should spend time each day trying to figure out what you want to do with your life.

If you don’t know your purpose, then make finding your purpose your purpose.

 Mark Twain - Find Your Purpose Inspirational Picture Quote

 

11 Actions You Can Take Today to Discover Your Life’s Purpose

This all sounds nice and dandy but let’s get practical. Below I share with you 11 actions you can take today that can help you discover your life’s purpose.

 

1. Write out Your Life’s Vision

Take out a pen and paper. Imagine that 5 years have passed. All of your dreams have come true.

Where do you live? How do you feel? What are your hobbies? How much money do you make? How do you make money? What people are in your life? What people are no longer in your life? How do you spend your days?

The more details the better.

Then after you write the vision, answer this question:

What 1 action can you take today to start moving towards that vision?

Then take that 1 action.

 

2. Start a New Hobby 

What is that one thing you have been claiming “I would love to do this if…”

Want to learn a new language? Start a badminton club? collect stamps? learn how to sow?

It doesn’t matter what it is. If you want to do it, it’s great. Go do it.

 

3. Volunteer In Your Community

Choose to volunteer for something you find really interesting.

High quality people like to volunteer. They are nice, giving, and enjoy meeting new people. So not only will you get to be around great people but you also might happen to discover your purpose along the way.

Worst case scenario you spend a day making the world a better place. Best case scenario: you discover your purpose. Win-Win.

 

4. Answer The Million Dollar Question

Sit back, take a deep breath and answer the following question:

If you had a million dollars, what would you do with your life?

One of the major impediments to discovering your purpose is the money excuse. You buy into this lie that it’s impossible to make money doing what you love. So, you don’t even bother to search for your purpose.

The first step is to find your purpose, then later you can find a way to make money doing it.

 

5. Take Action Without Thinking

All too often you have a wonderful idea that’s going to change the world (or at minimum your world) and then the “voice of reason” comes in.

Sometimes it’s our own voice. Sometimes it’s from peers or family. The problem with the voice of reason is that it’s often lame, boring, lacks any sense of adventure and is… WRONG.

So, answer the following question based on your gut instinct:

What do you want to do with your life?

Great! Now don’t make any excuses. Just take the first step. If you don’t know the first step then your first step is to identify the first step.

 

6. Use Fear to Guide Your Actions

Sit back, and grab a piece of paper and a pencil. Answer the following question:

What are you deathly afraid to do? I’m not talking about a little bit afraid… I’m talking about pee your pants scared. What is it?

Fear is an indicator that something truly matters to you. Therefore you must identify that which you fear and then do it.

Commit to conquering this fear. Start with baby steps.

What action can you take today that would move you towards eventually destroying this fear?

 

7. Personify “Your Purpose”

Let’s make this personal… Literally. Imagine that your “purpose” was a human being. In fact, they are next to you right now.

What would this person be like? Would it be a man or a woman? What does it look like? how does it act? What types of activities does it do? What kind of relationship do you have with your purpose? Is it a marriage? a friend? a business partner.

Have fun with this one. You’ll be surprised how much it reveals.

 

8Read Inspiring Books Everyday

The greatest impediment you face to discovering your purpose is your own self doubt. Therefore it is critical that you defend yourself against these woeful voices of doubt and insecurity.

The simple way to do this is to commit to read 30 to 60 minutes of inspiring books everyday. Imagine feeding your mind with some of the greatest and most inspiring thinkers in all of human civilization.. everyday.

Do you think that will impact your sense of possibility?

Heck yes it will.

As you read more, your sense of possibility will increase. As your sense of possibility increases you will start to be more comfortable exploring potential purposes because you will know that you can find a way to make it happen.

 

9. Plan Out “Purpose Exploration” Activities

Look at your schedule this week. Write down 5 actions you will take to start discovering your purpose. Book it just like a doctors appointment. Write in the day and time that you will do it.

Don’t know what action to take? That’s easy. Just choose 5 from this post and add them to your calendar’.

 

10. Commit 60 Minutes to “Life Reflection”

A while ago someone said that “experience is the greatest teacher”. That’s wrong, experience isn’t the greatest teacher. “Experience reflected on is the greatest teacher”.

Set 60 minutes aside this week to think about your life. Grab a pen and paper and just write. Ask yourself the big questions:

What makes you happy?

What do you want to do with your life? 

What impact do you want to have on this world?

Write. Write. And write some more.

You will be amazed at the insights that come out of this.

 

11. Imagine The Impossible Then Take The First Step

For just one moment, imagine that you could do anything in the world you want to do. So, if that were possible, what would you do?

If you were going to do that one thing, what is the first step that you would need to take to make it happen?

Now, take that first step.

 

 

Above All Else Take Action

Above all else you must take action if you are going to discover your purpose. Take a breath… A big deep breath. Then answer the following question:

What 1 action am I going to take today after reading this post?

Then immediately take it.

 

 

Feature Image Courtesy of James Nord

Head over to The 30 Year Old Ninja to learn the critical mindset, steps, and principles to turn your dream into a reality. Izzy coaches people one on one and runs an online course to help you Achieve The Impossible. You can also follow him on Facebook to get daily inspiration.

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30 Comments

30 Comments

  1. Christopher Adom

    Feb 27, 2017 at 8:48 pm

    Thank God we have people like you in our lives it’s so great, the starting is the problem, here man need money first after getting money ideas change BUT all the same with God all things are possible thanks Izzy.

  2. Bradley thomas Finkeldei

    Jun 19, 2015 at 6:25 pm

    Thanks for a great article.

  3. Sola

    Nov 26, 2014 at 12:44 pm

    Thanks Izzy for this post. Highly inspiring. I’m in my 40s and have interests in things that, to me, seem unrelated: event planning & decoration, sewing, and writing. I do not have the required skills for some of them yet but I’m thinking of acquiring the skills. The thought cripples me because I think it’s a bit late for me to start all these. I’m in a paid employment but I’m thinking of quitting anytime soon for some reasons. Can you help pls with some guide?

  4. tbabey85

    Nov 4, 2013 at 1:26 pm

    i dont have an answer to most the questions asked here. i do not what i love or enjoy doing. that is so pathetic

    • Roland

      Dec 23, 2013 at 11:11 pm

      tbabey85… It isn’t pathetic that you haven’t figured out what you truly enjoy. A lot of us have found ourselves in the same place. Be proud of the fact that you’ve come to where you are now questioning what that might be. No one ever gets the answer to the question without asking it first. Your answer may simply just require a little digging and prioritizing as you create your list of the possibilities you choose to pursue. If you commit yourself to finding the answer, it will appear. – Believe it

  5. Onochie

    Nov 2, 2013 at 2:26 pm

    clay, have you ever thought of the reason why you have so much interest? That might just be your purpose!

  6. Sebastian

    Oct 12, 2013 at 7:46 pm

    Answering the million dollar question makes me realize that having a million dollars has nothing to do with what I want to do with my life.

    Great post.

    Ps: You have the coolest dream Izzy

  7. clay

    Sep 17, 2013 at 5:04 am

    Oh man. These are very inspiring ways. But for every number I read, there’s a question, and every question that I try to answer, still nothing comes out. “Imagine 5 years have passed.” “What makes you happy?” What do you want to do with your life?” Nothing. Not even the money question, for money was never really my purpose.

    Unlike others who do not have any interests though, my problem lies in having to many interests. I have so many things I like doing: to swim, to draw, to be an advocate, to write, etc. etc. But that’s the problem, because I dont know which of those things I love the most and would love to do for the rest of my life. Also, I think my coping mechanisms make it even more confusing. Like, I love to write, but then I’ll think “what if I only like it because I’m good at it.” Or I’ll claim I like the medical field, but eventually I reflected “Do I really like it or I just like being smart?”

    I’m screwed. help.

    • Adam

      Sep 18, 2013 at 6:20 pm

      Clay, stop over thinking it mate… Sounds as though you just need to enjoy what you enjoy… do it, relax and enjoy. The one that you do the most will find you and that passion will open up other possibilities without you even realising. Find happiness in the comfort you have so many things you enjoy….good luck, I’m sure you’ll be great.

    • Clare

      Jan 5, 2014 at 12:58 am

      I totally understand this! I love so many things I have lots of interests which I do regularly. I have come to the conclusion that most of them fit into ” I love improving myself and others” but this is so broad I can’t fit it into one thing one career???

    • E

      Jan 9, 2014 at 6:20 am

      Clay as I was reading your comments I felt as if you are writing my thoughts exactly it brought some strange emotions out of me..I feel just like you do I am more confused than you but I just realizes as I’m writing this that I am taking my fist step in the right path SEARCHING FOR ANSWERS IS MY FIRST STEP and I’m not alone.

  8. Christopher

    Sep 8, 2013 at 11:54 pm

    My life vision is so extensive that I am crippled by it. I may be too ambitious about what I want to do. This is the one factor that has held me back. However, I plan to document everything, and then prioritize and focus on just those things to start with. Taking action is the key to progress. This article is an excellent guide. Thanks!

  9. Shilpa

    Sep 7, 2013 at 6:13 pm

    As everyone mentioned here, it s a grt read..
    N nothng impossible. Just beautiful insights put down very well.
    This was my today’s inspiring read.
    Thank you.
    God bless:)

  10. shobee

    Aug 27, 2013 at 2:01 pm

    This is such a very easy to read and inspiring post

    • alma

      Mar 29, 2014 at 5:13 pm

      it was great to see so many of you questioning purpose ,for awhile i though as was all alone with frustration on purpose, is the same as some those who have many interest and not one thing that stands out.I’m in my 40s so the feeling of finding purpose is very strong.thanks for sharing,,,,,,,,, with kindness and gratitude

  11. A. Solomon

    Aug 27, 2013 at 1:31 pm

    26 year old dude from London, you have literally shifted the direction of my life, this post confirmed what I have been feeling. Thank you so much!

  12. Sachin

    Aug 25, 2013 at 2:38 pm

    Wonderful insight! This is what I was looking for ! Life ! All answers are within us !

  13. antoniojavar

    Aug 25, 2013 at 5:29 am

    I love this article. There is so much power in writing things down. It helps us clarify are deepest and strongest desires. Thanks again!

  14. Hirantha Perera (@HiranthaPerera)

    Aug 23, 2013 at 3:41 pm

    Thanks for the wonderful post Izzy. This came just in time. I was just looking for some insight on verifying what I m doing actually what I love doing and its my purpose of living. And I gotta tell you, you life story so far had inspired me greatly. Thank you very much! 😀

    • Izzy

      Aug 24, 2013 at 8:16 am

      What’s up man.
      It’s a wonderful thing to be able to confirm the path you are heading down is the correct one.

      I’m really happy to hear my story has inspired you. That is the exact reason I share it: to prove your dream is possible and to compel you to take action.

  15. Rosie

    Aug 23, 2013 at 12:26 pm

    Can’t wait to get cracking on this. Thanks Izzy.

    • Izzy

      Aug 24, 2013 at 8:14 am

      Awesome Rosie :).

  16. Karun

    Aug 23, 2013 at 11:41 am

    Take action.. and Write down what you want? These 2 tips really pushed me forward and I believe another 60 days from now, I will be a different guy who believes in achieving stuff.

    • Izzy

      Aug 24, 2013 at 8:13 am

      Hi Karun :).

      Isn’t it amazing how simple and powerful those 2 things are. I can say with certainty it forever changed the direction of my life. If you do it, I’m confident it shall do the same for you.

  17. Eddie

    Aug 23, 2013 at 9:32 am

    Great article….thanks a lot .God bless you.

    • Izzy

      Aug 24, 2013 at 8:12 am

      What’s up Eddie :).

      Thanks man. I’m glad it helped you man.

  18. Zeeshan Ali

    Aug 23, 2013 at 8:21 am

    Bundles of thanks izzy Arkin u share very very nice article. 🙂

    • Izzy

      Aug 23, 2013 at 9:00 am

      I’m glad you enjoyed it Zeeshan :).

      Thank you for taking the time to leave such a nice comment.

  19. Kevin

    Aug 23, 2013 at 6:47 am

    Nice article izzy, hopefully i can now find my life’s purpose, thanks man

    • Izzy

      Aug 23, 2013 at 7:21 am

      What’s up Kevin :).

      I hope you can too brother. Take action, reflect on those actions and you can figure it out. I’m sure of it man.

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Life

The Inspiration Imperative: Finding Your Recipe to Inspire the World

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An undeniably beautiful facet of the human condition is the responsibility we all share to make each other’s lives better. Inspiring others can be an incredibly rewarding and efficient means to that end. After all, helping others is the spice of life and inspiration allows us to exponentially increase our output of “help”, residually, long after we move on to something else.

The amazing thing about inspiration is that it isn’t a zero-sum game; we can give as much as we desire and take as much as we desire – or even do both in the same act. Even better, being inspirational and taking in inspiration are both behavioral skills we can work at and develop. But what does it really mean to inspire others?

The one thing all inspirational moments have in common is how they make us feel; not the specifics of what they tell us, show us or even what they teach us. They leave us with a feeling we can’t let go of, and a seed is planted.

The inspiration we as humans impart on one another often comes through sharing our life experience and future vision in a way that catalyzes a change in mindset or behavior in someone else. Sometimes this happens without intention, but this piece focuses on how we can intentionally inspire by way of our vision.   

With that in mind here are some considerations as you embark on your personal journey of inspiration, broken into two sections: Building a deep reservoir of self-belief and Crafting your vision and living it authentically.

Building a deep reservoir of self-belief

The first step to inspiring others is conditioning belief in yourself. Self-belief can be built through habituation of behavior – think of this like working out a muscle. The process of opening yourself up to inspiration, identifying and utilizing your strengths and practicing self-affirmation are fail safe ways to build out self-belief as a resource you can call on as you inspire the world around you.

Here are 3 things you can do to build your self belief to new levels:

1. Put yourself in positions of vulnerability daily

Make it a habit to leave your comfort zone both physically and mentally on a regular basis; doing so will increase your rate of learning and the inspiration you take in, dramatically. As you leave what makes you comfortable, open your mind so that others can feed you with inspiration.

2. Know your strengths and own them  

In his famous book, Strengths Finder 2.0, Tom Rath explains our tendency to focus on our weakness and the power each of us can unlock if we acknowledge and build on our strengths. As you enjoy successes, it is crucial to reflect on how you arrived at them, how they correlate to your strengths, and how you use your strengths to replicate them in the future.

“Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength.” – Arnold Schwarzenegger

3. Regularly practice self-affirmation

Practicing self-affirmation goes hand-in-hand with owning your strengths and is an important habit which helps you build a foundation by which to inspire others. Ronald Alexander, PHD, provides some practical ways to make these effective in this Psychology Today article.

Crafting your vision and living it authentically

After you’ve built your foundation of self-belief you must have a vision. Visions come in all shapes and sizes. Whatever your goal may be, the vision must be clear; wavering and being wishy-washy about your goal will have the opposite effect. Remember, inspiring is not about telling people what they must do; it’s about instilling a feeling.

It’s also very important to remember that vision is nothing more than a wish for the future – until you build a narrative around it and make it real. A proven method to get there is by writing down your vision, being authentic in how you communicate it, and repeating it often to yourself and others.

Below are 3 things you should be doing with your vision:

1. Write down your vision and vision actualization statement

The first step to creating and executing on a vision is writing it down somewhere where you can refer to it regularly. All the rest follows. As Benjamin P Hardy notes, “if you read your long term goals every day you will think about them every day. If you think about them every day, and spend your days working toward them, they’ll manifest. Achieving goals is a science. There’s no confusion or ambiguity to it.”

Another great tip is to write a vision actualization statement as your future self (a year out) and then revisit it in a year. This is a description of what has manifested based on the realization of your vision and can be a couple paragraphs or pages. The key is to make it tangible; use numbers and specifics.

Vision without action is merely a dream. Action without vision just passes the time. Vision with action can change the world” – Joel L. Barker

2. Hold yourself accountable to authenticity, as you share your vision  

As you spread your vision you must do so from an authentic place. If you are not authentic through this process, people will quickly see through it and the lost trust can have lasting effects. One way to hold yourself accountable to this is noting every day what you did that day that “wasn’t you.” How many times that day did you compromise or mislead your beliefs?

3. Repeat, repeat, repeat

The greatest key to executing a vision, once built, is repeating its tenets to yourself and those around you as often as you can. This may take the form of morning affirmation, posting your vision to your community, chatting about it on your bus ride, or frequently re-reading what you’ve written down of it. Become known as the [insert your personal vision] gal or guy.

Well that should give you a start. Now get out there and inspire the world!

How do you aim to inspire others? Please comment below and share with us!

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Life

The Power Of Doing Only One Thing.

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This idea of doing only one thing was sparked by an event that happened this week. I decided to delete all podcasts on my phone and only keep the Tim Ferriss Show. In other areas of my life, I’ve done the same.

“I’ve selectively gone into each area and chosen one thing”

All the other things in the same category have been discarded. Here are some examples:

–    I had two pairs of earphones and now I have one

–    I’d read multiple books at the same time – now I do one at a time

–    I had multiple tools to cure stress and now I have one – meditation

I then took this minimalistic approach from how I handled material possessions and applied it to what I do each day.

Here are some examples:

–    I only pursue one passion now instead of many

–    I only execute on one vision instead of many

–    I only use my free time for one activity instead of many

 

Assess what you do and you’ll see one thing.

If you look at each category of your life, you’ll see that you spend a disproportionate amount of time in one area. I’ve normally had a few passions but if I evaluate the last five years, most of my efforts have been put towards blogging.

I had a few other passions but I didn’t spend a lot of time doing them. When I committed to doing one thing, I made a decision to stop pretending I cared about my other passions.

 

I listened to lots of podcasts until recently and I was constantly trying to keep up with the latest episodes. I found many of the podcasts shared similar messages and only one of them was life-changing in my eyes (The Tim Ferriss Podcast).

Now that I only listen to one podcast I can finally enjoy it, quit rushing and even playback episodes I’ve listened to already. Seeing the podcast screen with only one show on there is so refreshing!

Look at your life and you’ll see similar patterns.

 

It creates focus.

Doing one thing gives you extreme focus. This focus can be channelled towards tasks that lead to mastery instead of trying to dabble in lots of unrelated passions.

Focus is how you reach states of flow and achieve results that look impossible.

Doing one thing causes you to focus and practice more. Through this process, you can see your failures, areas of improvement and areas that you’re good at. This form of reflection gives you real-time feedback that can further compound your results.

“The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing” – Stephen Covey

 

It avoids overwhelm.

We can’t compute too many things at once. The power of doing one thing is that you avoid overwhelm. We can all manage one thing in each area of our life. The moment we introduce too many choices we end up with decision fatigue.

Overwhelm is selling yourself the false reality that you have to do everything to be successful. I’ve learned it’s the complete opposite.

To be successful, you have to focus and do one thing. Being successful is about not giving up and if you consistently put yourself into a state of overwhelm then you’ll simultaneously increase your negative thought patterns.

This milkshake of negativity will mix together and end up in failure if you let it.

Overwhelm is the enemy of passion and energy. Passion and energy become hyper-focused when you focus on one thing.

One podcast.

One business.

One romantic partner.

One vision.

One passion.

Embrace the power of doing one thing. 

<<<>>>

If you want to increase your productivity and learn some more valuable life hacks, then join my private mailing list on timdenning.net

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Life

3 Mind-Blowing Facts No One Told You About Vulnerability

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Vulnerability; A scary word which was hunting me down for 13 years until I faced one of my biggest emotional breakthroughs. It was the day when my idea of a tough woman fell apart and I was forced to reconsider everything I believed about mental toughness. Before I dive into the 3 important takeaways I learned from this process, I have a confession to make. I was convinced, for 13 years, that vulnerability was one of the biggest weaknesses and anyone who admitted it was a coward. I know, sounds terrifying.

That’s why I developed a strong belief that constant toughness was the only way we could maintain our strength and protect ourselves from hurt. Showing emotions or talking about them became taboo because I believed that’s what the “weak” do. Because of this misconception, my emotional pain was becoming more intense since I wasn’t facing it, I was numbing it.

“To share your weakness is to make yourself vulnerable; to make yourself vulnerable is to show your strength.” – Crissi Jami

When I admitted for the very first time that I may be a vulnerable person, I almost had a heart attack. I felt a mix of stress, fear and an overwhelming excitement and freedom that I finally let it out. It helped me tremendously in my work as well as my personal life.

Here are the 3 important takeaways I learned from this powerful journey which made me understood the true strength of a human being:

1. Vulnerability is hidden strength and courage

We are living in a society where being perfect and not being “too emotional” works just fine. And this is the place where many of us miss the point of what the real strength represents. One thing we fail to realize is that keeping all of our painful feelings under control and playing a part of a tough cookie isn’t going to last for a long time. It is an illusion which tricks us into believing that we are strong and untouchable and that becomes our weakness.

The moment we accept the fact that vulnerability is a part of a courageous life, we allow ourselves to be real. Realness brings self-respect. Think about it this way, pretending is easy and convenient, but being able to admit vulnerability, that’s what takes guts because we are putting ourselves at the risk of judgment and misunderstanding.

2. Facing your vulnerable state empowers you

Isn’t this ironic? The moment when we start accepting our pain as something that actually exists, we feel stronger even in the weakest moments and here is how I came to this crazy conclusion.

Dealing with vulnerable feelings is something we don’t want to do. So we take that burden and decide that we will deal with it on Monday. 5 years later there is just another Monday. However, when we choose to face our pains, we put ourselves in the process of working on them, analyzing them and learning from them.

Can you imagine that each time when you feel vulnerable, instead of running away from it, you will put up with it? Can you imagine that each time you are faced with something hurtful instead of asking yourself “Why this has to happen to me?” you ask yourself “What’s in it for me?”

Power of any vulnerable state is in facing and learning about who we are, what we feel or why we feel it. It helps us in practicing our self-awareness where we better understand how our feelings work and how to deal with them more effectively.

“Courage is vulnerability. Vulnerability is courage. Like shadow and light, neither one can exist without the other.” – Wai Lan Yuen

3. Embracing vulnerability leads to authenticity

The minute we face those real, uncomfortable emotions, we are being honest with ourselves. I found this as one of the most transforming parts of being vulnerable. We are letting go of pretending or playing it strong all the time. We are letting go of this military approach to life and perfectionism which, by the way, doesn’t exist.

In today’s world, embracing authenticity is a bold and brave decision. If you are anything like me, you know that choosing authenticity over impressing the world around you is a challenging process. It means standing in front of the world, emotionally naked and ready to face any feedback, whether pleasant or unpleasant. But, isn’t this a chance we all want to take?

Conclusion

Accepting vulnerability is one of the most courageous acts we can ever undertake. It’s risky, it’s scary, even terrifying in some cases because people don’t want to “do” vulnerability. Playing who is a bigger badass seems cooler.

But once we step up and decide to speak up about this issue, we open the door for others who are living in this emotional prison without knowing what to do or how to handle it. We give them the opportunity to say two of the most powerful words which stand behind real toughness and those are  “ME TOO.”

How do you handle vulnerability? Comment below!

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Life

Break Up With Doubt to Better Your Relationship With Fear

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As I’ve gone through life, I’ve spent a great deal of my energy working to overcome my fears. From everyday fears like rejection and judgment to more morbid fears like ill health and my demise, I avoided these possibilities like the plague. Unfortunately, my short-sightedness often kept me from starting anything, developing a life of caution and resignation.

I had to make a change and start leaning into my fears. I began to wrap my head around the fact that my fears weren’t real, they were simply creations of the mind. I got better results—acts of courage began piecing my confidence back together one brick at a time. But I was still getting stopped.

Despite being empowered by my own courage, something even more crippling began showing up as a result. I realized this was at the root of most of my fears, harnessing even more power than fear itself. It berated the belief I had in myself, bringing everything else important to me into question.

This feeling was doubt. I was disabled despite the understanding that my fears were simply constructs of my mind. Why couldn’t I shake this?

Fear is objective; doubt is personal

I like to think that fear exists in space. It will always be lurking in some capacity and we have the opportunity to focus on it if we choose. Fear is definitely scary, but it doesn’t have that much to do with us individually. It exists outside of ourselves. We can step up and face it (courage) or refrain from even acknowledging it (boldness) if we so choose.

Doubt is a little more complex. Doubt exists inside of us, challenging the very pillars we constructed to get to where we are today. Doubt has nothing but pessimism to offer about the future, constantly reminding us of our past mistakes.

The reason why doubt is so paralyzing is because we automatically identify with it. We assume because it’s referencing previous shortcomings or falters, that it’s the real us talking to ourselves. The reality is however, that everyone deals with this same thing. By understanding that doubt is simply trash talk at a sporting event, we stop associating with it directly. We tune out the noise and remember who we are. What we’re up to steps to the forefront, toppling over doubt without noticing.

Fear is going to hang around and show up from time to time, which we shouldn’t resist. We can simply acknowledge it and move forward with our original plans in spite of it. By strengthening our belief, hope and faith, doubt can disappear. Doubt only exists within the deficiency of character, which we have full control over developing.

“Doubt is a pain too lonely to know that faith is his twin brother.” – Khalil Gibran

Doubt is the source of our everyday fears

We have hundreds of opportunities each day to make an impact on others. Authentic interactions are more sought-after than ever before. People are really beginning to appreciate what it takes to step into their fears and share from the heart.

But it doesn’t always unfold that way, does it? We often get stopped. In this figurative straightjacket known as doubt, we’re helpless. We try to deal with it but instead end up saying something designed to protect us from showcasing who we really are and what we really feel. Doubt tells us we aren’t inspiring enough. It says we’re full of crap right before we bare our soul. By listening to it, we handcuff ourselves.

Actions equal outcomes. But buried underneath the actions are the beliefs about them, doubt being one of them. Doubt can put a filter on the action if we’re not careful, effectively diminishing the potential for powerful results. Adopting a one-track mind for that particular moment and staying focused on the action will keep us grounded from being influenced by doubt.

With doubt absent, fear becomes healthy

Ever prepare to ask out a member of the opposite (or same) sex and feel your heartbeat increase? How about stepping on stage to deliver a public presentation and instantly feel your face flush? Fear is present, yes, but you’re alive. There’s no more direct notification.

From a third person perspective, my fears didn’t possess nearly as much strength without doubt serving as a foundation. With doubt absent, fear was a diesel engine powered by unleaded gasoline. Like a frightened dog, it was all bark and no bite.

“When in doubt, don’t.” – Benjamin Franklin

People go skydiving for a reason. This dose of healthy fear allows for a broader perspective. It shapes and colors the way we look at life. The little things that we once allowed to ruin our day no longer have the staying power. Fear in itself is not the problem. Fear rooted in doubt is the dream-killer.

By ending your relationship with doubt and getting comfortable with your relationship with fear, what would you finally do that you’ve been held back by? Comment below!

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Success Advice

You Don’t Have To Listen To Every Bit Of Career Feedback. Some People Just Don’t Get You And That’s Fine!

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I recently got rejected from what I thought was a fantastic career opportunity. I was told that I was “Not entrepreneurial enough.”

Those that know me well know that it’s probably one of the few things I’m good at. Many of my mentors who I told this story to laughed out loud.

These three words were career feedback and I was always led to believe that to ignore this feedback would be ignorant and stupid.

I pondered that thought for a few days and then had a revelation: “I don’t have to listen to every bit of feedback I get.”

 

Pissed off is a natural first reaction.

That’s how I felt after someone told me I was crap at the very thing I love and have dedicated most of my time to. Our brain wants to be angry and fight back. Our first reaction, though, is often not what we should pay attention to.

“Empty space and time to reflect is how we process career feedback for what it really is: an opinion”

Don’t let your first reaction dominate how you think about the feedback. Maturity that can come at any age will show you to question everything – even your reaction.

 

Some people just don’t get you.

You’re not their type, they don’t like you, you speak a different language or you may have different values. Not everyone is going to get you and what you stand for and that’s okay. In my case, I didn’t connect.

Buying into the circus that is me is not for everyone. If you don’t like vulnerability or breaking comfort zones, then you probably won’t like me.

If you’re not obsessed with big goals, doing the impossible and trying to improve just a little bit every day, then you probably won’t like me.

That’s okay and I forgive you. I don’t have all the answers and I’m far from perfect – like the rest of us.

Learn to accept that some people will never get you and what you’re about.

That realization is how we overcome career feedback that we may not agree with.

 

Sometimes it’s any excuse. The real answer is something different.

Feedback can be disguised by the truth. The truth is maybe there was someone else the whole time and I never had a chance at this career opportunity. Maybe it wasn’t me at all.

Sometimes feedback is given because the real reason is much harder to deliver. It’s not easy to say “Tim, thanks but we hired someone else and you were never in the running.”

Admitting you never even had a chance is something many of us would never want to say. Being brutally honest takes courage, and courage is not everyone’s kind of kebab with garlic sauce on top, sprinkles and chili flakes.

 

We all get rejected.

I nearly forgot this fact. Everyone gets rejected. In fact, right now, someone is being rejected.

Rejection is not limited to you and me; learning to deal with it will only help us, not hinder our ability to achieve success in any field.

“We’ve all got 99 problems and thinking you’re special will only create more pointless thoughts that won’t serve you or your goals”

 

You’re responsible.

The thing about career feedback is that you have to take responsibility. Maybe in my case, I didn’t deliver the message of how obsessed and skilled I am at entrepreneurship. Maybe I could have done a better job at explaining my entrepreneurial background and passion.

It’s highly likely that I am entrepreneurial enough for this career opportunity and that it’s not a lack of skill at play here but a lack of effective communication.

“Responsibility always trumps the blame game and it helps us grow more as a person”

 

There’s always one lesson.

Mine was to develop more skills in strategy.

Let’s stop for one second: I hate the word strategy. The other career feedback I got was to do more strategy yet that’s not a skill of mine and I have no desire to do lots of that in my career.

The key here is that there’s always a lesson from all feedback and it might not be the intended lesson that the giver left you with.

There’s either a great lesson in the feedback or a reminder in the feedback of what you stand for. Don’t let any feedback compromise your values and who you are.

 

You are good enough.

You just have to believe in yourself and eventually, the right opportunity will find you.

Don’t give up your hopes and dreams because of one rejection. Interrupt the story in your head that plays on repeat and focuses on anger towards another person.

Replace that story with thoughts of how you can do better and get to the next opportunity.

Through rejection and bad career feedback, you find your way to what you’ve always wanted. That’s the hack and it works.

I’m off to suck up the rejection and take my own advice. Much respect.

If you want to increase your productivity and learn some more valuable life hacks, then join my private mailing list on timdenning.net

Tim is best known as a long-time contributor on Addicted2Success. Tim's content has been shared hundreds of thousands of times and he has written multiple viral posts all around success, personal development, motivation, and entrepreneurship. During the day Tim works with the most iconic tech companies in the world, as an adviser, to assist them in expanding into Australia. By night, Tim coaches his students on the principles of personal development and the fundamentals of entrepreneurship. You can connect with Tim through his website www.timdenning.net or through his Facebook.

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30 Comments

30 Comments

  1. Christopher Adom

    Feb 27, 2017 at 8:48 pm

    Thank God we have people like you in our lives it’s so great, the starting is the problem, here man need money first after getting money ideas change BUT all the same with God all things are possible thanks Izzy.

  2. Bradley thomas Finkeldei

    Jun 19, 2015 at 6:25 pm

    Thanks for a great article.

  3. Sola

    Nov 26, 2014 at 12:44 pm

    Thanks Izzy for this post. Highly inspiring. I’m in my 40s and have interests in things that, to me, seem unrelated: event planning & decoration, sewing, and writing. I do not have the required skills for some of them yet but I’m thinking of acquiring the skills. The thought cripples me because I think it’s a bit late for me to start all these. I’m in a paid employment but I’m thinking of quitting anytime soon for some reasons. Can you help pls with some guide?

  4. tbabey85

    Nov 4, 2013 at 1:26 pm

    i dont have an answer to most the questions asked here. i do not what i love or enjoy doing. that is so pathetic

    • Roland

      Dec 23, 2013 at 11:11 pm

      tbabey85… It isn’t pathetic that you haven’t figured out what you truly enjoy. A lot of us have found ourselves in the same place. Be proud of the fact that you’ve come to where you are now questioning what that might be. No one ever gets the answer to the question without asking it first. Your answer may simply just require a little digging and prioritizing as you create your list of the possibilities you choose to pursue. If you commit yourself to finding the answer, it will appear. – Believe it

  5. Onochie

    Nov 2, 2013 at 2:26 pm

    clay, have you ever thought of the reason why you have so much interest? That might just be your purpose!

  6. Sebastian

    Oct 12, 2013 at 7:46 pm

    Answering the million dollar question makes me realize that having a million dollars has nothing to do with what I want to do with my life.

    Great post.

    Ps: You have the coolest dream Izzy

  7. clay

    Sep 17, 2013 at 5:04 am

    Oh man. These are very inspiring ways. But for every number I read, there’s a question, and every question that I try to answer, still nothing comes out. “Imagine 5 years have passed.” “What makes you happy?” What do you want to do with your life?” Nothing. Not even the money question, for money was never really my purpose.

    Unlike others who do not have any interests though, my problem lies in having to many interests. I have so many things I like doing: to swim, to draw, to be an advocate, to write, etc. etc. But that’s the problem, because I dont know which of those things I love the most and would love to do for the rest of my life. Also, I think my coping mechanisms make it even more confusing. Like, I love to write, but then I’ll think “what if I only like it because I’m good at it.” Or I’ll claim I like the medical field, but eventually I reflected “Do I really like it or I just like being smart?”

    I’m screwed. help.

    • Adam

      Sep 18, 2013 at 6:20 pm

      Clay, stop over thinking it mate… Sounds as though you just need to enjoy what you enjoy… do it, relax and enjoy. The one that you do the most will find you and that passion will open up other possibilities without you even realising. Find happiness in the comfort you have so many things you enjoy….good luck, I’m sure you’ll be great.

    • Clare

      Jan 5, 2014 at 12:58 am

      I totally understand this! I love so many things I have lots of interests which I do regularly. I have come to the conclusion that most of them fit into ” I love improving myself and others” but this is so broad I can’t fit it into one thing one career???

    • E

      Jan 9, 2014 at 6:20 am

      Clay as I was reading your comments I felt as if you are writing my thoughts exactly it brought some strange emotions out of me..I feel just like you do I am more confused than you but I just realizes as I’m writing this that I am taking my fist step in the right path SEARCHING FOR ANSWERS IS MY FIRST STEP and I’m not alone.

  8. Christopher

    Sep 8, 2013 at 11:54 pm

    My life vision is so extensive that I am crippled by it. I may be too ambitious about what I want to do. This is the one factor that has held me back. However, I plan to document everything, and then prioritize and focus on just those things to start with. Taking action is the key to progress. This article is an excellent guide. Thanks!

  9. Shilpa

    Sep 7, 2013 at 6:13 pm

    As everyone mentioned here, it s a grt read..
    N nothng impossible. Just beautiful insights put down very well.
    This was my today’s inspiring read.
    Thank you.
    God bless:)

  10. shobee

    Aug 27, 2013 at 2:01 pm

    This is such a very easy to read and inspiring post

    • alma

      Mar 29, 2014 at 5:13 pm

      it was great to see so many of you questioning purpose ,for awhile i though as was all alone with frustration on purpose, is the same as some those who have many interest and not one thing that stands out.I’m in my 40s so the feeling of finding purpose is very strong.thanks for sharing,,,,,,,,, with kindness and gratitude

  11. A. Solomon

    Aug 27, 2013 at 1:31 pm

    26 year old dude from London, you have literally shifted the direction of my life, this post confirmed what I have been feeling. Thank you so much!

  12. Sachin

    Aug 25, 2013 at 2:38 pm

    Wonderful insight! This is what I was looking for ! Life ! All answers are within us !

  13. antoniojavar

    Aug 25, 2013 at 5:29 am

    I love this article. There is so much power in writing things down. It helps us clarify are deepest and strongest desires. Thanks again!

  14. Hirantha Perera (@HiranthaPerera)

    Aug 23, 2013 at 3:41 pm

    Thanks for the wonderful post Izzy. This came just in time. I was just looking for some insight on verifying what I m doing actually what I love doing and its my purpose of living. And I gotta tell you, you life story so far had inspired me greatly. Thank you very much! 😀

    • Izzy

      Aug 24, 2013 at 8:16 am

      What’s up man.
      It’s a wonderful thing to be able to confirm the path you are heading down is the correct one.

      I’m really happy to hear my story has inspired you. That is the exact reason I share it: to prove your dream is possible and to compel you to take action.

  15. Rosie

    Aug 23, 2013 at 12:26 pm

    Can’t wait to get cracking on this. Thanks Izzy.

    • Izzy

      Aug 24, 2013 at 8:14 am

      Awesome Rosie :).

  16. Karun

    Aug 23, 2013 at 11:41 am

    Take action.. and Write down what you want? These 2 tips really pushed me forward and I believe another 60 days from now, I will be a different guy who believes in achieving stuff.

    • Izzy

      Aug 24, 2013 at 8:13 am

      Hi Karun :).

      Isn’t it amazing how simple and powerful those 2 things are. I can say with certainty it forever changed the direction of my life. If you do it, I’m confident it shall do the same for you.

  17. Eddie

    Aug 23, 2013 at 9:32 am

    Great article….thanks a lot .God bless you.

    • Izzy

      Aug 24, 2013 at 8:12 am

      What’s up Eddie :).

      Thanks man. I’m glad it helped you man.

  18. Zeeshan Ali

    Aug 23, 2013 at 8:21 am

    Bundles of thanks izzy Arkin u share very very nice article. 🙂

    • Izzy

      Aug 23, 2013 at 9:00 am

      I’m glad you enjoyed it Zeeshan :).

      Thank you for taking the time to leave such a nice comment.

  19. Kevin

    Aug 23, 2013 at 6:47 am

    Nice article izzy, hopefully i can now find my life’s purpose, thanks man

    • Izzy

      Aug 23, 2013 at 7:21 am

      What’s up Kevin :).

      I hope you can too brother. Take action, reflect on those actions and you can figure it out. I’m sure of it man.

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Life

The Inspiration Imperative: Finding Your Recipe to Inspire the World

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An undeniably beautiful facet of the human condition is the responsibility we all share to make each other’s lives better. Inspiring others can be an incredibly rewarding and efficient means to that end. After all, helping others is the spice of life and inspiration allows us to exponentially increase our output of “help”, residually, long after we move on to something else.

The amazing thing about inspiration is that it isn’t a zero-sum game; we can give as much as we desire and take as much as we desire – or even do both in the same act. Even better, being inspirational and taking in inspiration are both behavioral skills we can work at and develop. But what does it really mean to inspire others?

The one thing all inspirational moments have in common is how they make us feel; not the specifics of what they tell us, show us or even what they teach us. They leave us with a feeling we can’t let go of, and a seed is planted.

The inspiration we as humans impart on one another often comes through sharing our life experience and future vision in a way that catalyzes a change in mindset or behavior in someone else. Sometimes this happens without intention, but this piece focuses on how we can intentionally inspire by way of our vision.   

With that in mind here are some considerations as you embark on your personal journey of inspiration, broken into two sections: Building a deep reservoir of self-belief and Crafting your vision and living it authentically.

Building a deep reservoir of self-belief

The first step to inspiring others is conditioning belief in yourself. Self-belief can be built through habituation of behavior – think of this like working out a muscle. The process of opening yourself up to inspiration, identifying and utilizing your strengths and practicing self-affirmation are fail safe ways to build out self-belief as a resource you can call on as you inspire the world around you.

Here are 3 things you can do to build your self belief to new levels:

1. Put yourself in positions of vulnerability daily

Make it a habit to leave your comfort zone both physically and mentally on a regular basis; doing so will increase your rate of learning and the inspiration you take in, dramatically. As you leave what makes you comfortable, open your mind so that others can feed you with inspiration.

2. Know your strengths and own them  

In his famous book, Strengths Finder 2.0, Tom Rath explains our tendency to focus on our weakness and the power each of us can unlock if we acknowledge and build on our strengths. As you enjoy successes, it is crucial to reflect on how you arrived at them, how they correlate to your strengths, and how you use your strengths to replicate them in the future.

“Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength.” – Arnold Schwarzenegger

3. Regularly practice self-affirmation

Practicing self-affirmation goes hand-in-hand with owning your strengths and is an important habit which helps you build a foundation by which to inspire others. Ronald Alexander, PHD, provides some practical ways to make these effective in this Psychology Today article.

Crafting your vision and living it authentically

After you’ve built your foundation of self-belief you must have a vision. Visions come in all shapes and sizes. Whatever your goal may be, the vision must be clear; wavering and being wishy-washy about your goal will have the opposite effect. Remember, inspiring is not about telling people what they must do; it’s about instilling a feeling.

It’s also very important to remember that vision is nothing more than a wish for the future – until you build a narrative around it and make it real. A proven method to get there is by writing down your vision, being authentic in how you communicate it, and repeating it often to yourself and others.

Below are 3 things you should be doing with your vision:

1. Write down your vision and vision actualization statement

The first step to creating and executing on a vision is writing it down somewhere where you can refer to it regularly. All the rest follows. As Benjamin P Hardy notes, “if you read your long term goals every day you will think about them every day. If you think about them every day, and spend your days working toward them, they’ll manifest. Achieving goals is a science. There’s no confusion or ambiguity to it.”

Another great tip is to write a vision actualization statement as your future self (a year out) and then revisit it in a year. This is a description of what has manifested based on the realization of your vision and can be a couple paragraphs or pages. The key is to make it tangible; use numbers and specifics.

Vision without action is merely a dream. Action without vision just passes the time. Vision with action can change the world” – Joel L. Barker

2. Hold yourself accountable to authenticity, as you share your vision  

As you spread your vision you must do so from an authentic place. If you are not authentic through this process, people will quickly see through it and the lost trust can have lasting effects. One way to hold yourself accountable to this is noting every day what you did that day that “wasn’t you.” How many times that day did you compromise or mislead your beliefs?

3. Repeat, repeat, repeat

The greatest key to executing a vision, once built, is repeating its tenets to yourself and those around you as often as you can. This may take the form of morning affirmation, posting your vision to your community, chatting about it on your bus ride, or frequently re-reading what you’ve written down of it. Become known as the [insert your personal vision] gal or guy.

Well that should give you a start. Now get out there and inspire the world!

How do you aim to inspire others? Please comment below and share with us!

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Life

The Power Of Doing Only One Thing.

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This idea of doing only one thing was sparked by an event that happened this week. I decided to delete all podcasts on my phone and only keep the Tim Ferriss Show. In other areas of my life, I’ve done the same.

“I’ve selectively gone into each area and chosen one thing”

All the other things in the same category have been discarded. Here are some examples:

–    I had two pairs of earphones and now I have one

–    I’d read multiple books at the same time – now I do one at a time

–    I had multiple tools to cure stress and now I have one – meditation

I then took this minimalistic approach from how I handled material possessions and applied it to what I do each day.

Here are some examples:

–    I only pursue one passion now instead of many

–    I only execute on one vision instead of many

–    I only use my free time for one activity instead of many

 

Assess what you do and you’ll see one thing.

If you look at each category of your life, you’ll see that you spend a disproportionate amount of time in one area. I’ve normally had a few passions but if I evaluate the last five years, most of my efforts have been put towards blogging.

I had a few other passions but I didn’t spend a lot of time doing them. When I committed to doing one thing, I made a decision to stop pretending I cared about my other passions.

 

I listened to lots of podcasts until recently and I was constantly trying to keep up with the latest episodes. I found many of the podcasts shared similar messages and only one of them was life-changing in my eyes (The Tim Ferriss Podcast).

Now that I only listen to one podcast I can finally enjoy it, quit rushing and even playback episodes I’ve listened to already. Seeing the podcast screen with only one show on there is so refreshing!

Look at your life and you’ll see similar patterns.

 

It creates focus.

Doing one thing gives you extreme focus. This focus can be channelled towards tasks that lead to mastery instead of trying to dabble in lots of unrelated passions.

Focus is how you reach states of flow and achieve results that look impossible.

Doing one thing causes you to focus and practice more. Through this process, you can see your failures, areas of improvement and areas that you’re good at. This form of reflection gives you real-time feedback that can further compound your results.

“The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing” – Stephen Covey

 

It avoids overwhelm.

We can’t compute too many things at once. The power of doing one thing is that you avoid overwhelm. We can all manage one thing in each area of our life. The moment we introduce too many choices we end up with decision fatigue.

Overwhelm is selling yourself the false reality that you have to do everything to be successful. I’ve learned it’s the complete opposite.

To be successful, you have to focus and do one thing. Being successful is about not giving up and if you consistently put yourself into a state of overwhelm then you’ll simultaneously increase your negative thought patterns.

This milkshake of negativity will mix together and end up in failure if you let it.

Overwhelm is the enemy of passion and energy. Passion and energy become hyper-focused when you focus on one thing.

One podcast.

One business.

One romantic partner.

One vision.

One passion.

Embrace the power of doing one thing. 

<<<>>>

If you want to increase your productivity and learn some more valuable life hacks, then join my private mailing list on timdenning.net

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Life

3 Mind-Blowing Facts No One Told You About Vulnerability

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Vulnerability; A scary word which was hunting me down for 13 years until I faced one of my biggest emotional breakthroughs. It was the day when my idea of a tough woman fell apart and I was forced to reconsider everything I believed about mental toughness. Before I dive into the 3 important takeaways I learned from this process, I have a confession to make. I was convinced, for 13 years, that vulnerability was one of the biggest weaknesses and anyone who admitted it was a coward. I know, sounds terrifying.

That’s why I developed a strong belief that constant toughness was the only way we could maintain our strength and protect ourselves from hurt. Showing emotions or talking about them became taboo because I believed that’s what the “weak” do. Because of this misconception, my emotional pain was becoming more intense since I wasn’t facing it, I was numbing it.

“To share your weakness is to make yourself vulnerable; to make yourself vulnerable is to show your strength.” – Crissi Jami

When I admitted for the very first time that I may be a vulnerable person, I almost had a heart attack. I felt a mix of stress, fear and an overwhelming excitement and freedom that I finally let it out. It helped me tremendously in my work as well as my personal life.

Here are the 3 important takeaways I learned from this powerful journey which made me understood the true strength of a human being:

1. Vulnerability is hidden strength and courage

We are living in a society where being perfect and not being “too emotional” works just fine. And this is the place where many of us miss the point of what the real strength represents. One thing we fail to realize is that keeping all of our painful feelings under control and playing a part of a tough cookie isn’t going to last for a long time. It is an illusion which tricks us into believing that we are strong and untouchable and that becomes our weakness.

The moment we accept the fact that vulnerability is a part of a courageous life, we allow ourselves to be real. Realness brings self-respect. Think about it this way, pretending is easy and convenient, but being able to admit vulnerability, that’s what takes guts because we are putting ourselves at the risk of judgment and misunderstanding.

2. Facing your vulnerable state empowers you

Isn’t this ironic? The moment when we start accepting our pain as something that actually exists, we feel stronger even in the weakest moments and here is how I came to this crazy conclusion.

Dealing with vulnerable feelings is something we don’t want to do. So we take that burden and decide that we will deal with it on Monday. 5 years later there is just another Monday. However, when we choose to face our pains, we put ourselves in the process of working on them, analyzing them and learning from them.

Can you imagine that each time when you feel vulnerable, instead of running away from it, you will put up with it? Can you imagine that each time you are faced with something hurtful instead of asking yourself “Why this has to happen to me?” you ask yourself “What’s in it for me?”

Power of any vulnerable state is in facing and learning about who we are, what we feel or why we feel it. It helps us in practicing our self-awareness where we better understand how our feelings work and how to deal with them more effectively.

“Courage is vulnerability. Vulnerability is courage. Like shadow and light, neither one can exist without the other.” – Wai Lan Yuen

3. Embracing vulnerability leads to authenticity

The minute we face those real, uncomfortable emotions, we are being honest with ourselves. I found this as one of the most transforming parts of being vulnerable. We are letting go of pretending or playing it strong all the time. We are letting go of this military approach to life and perfectionism which, by the way, doesn’t exist.

In today’s world, embracing authenticity is a bold and brave decision. If you are anything like me, you know that choosing authenticity over impressing the world around you is a challenging process. It means standing in front of the world, emotionally naked and ready to face any feedback, whether pleasant or unpleasant. But, isn’t this a chance we all want to take?

Conclusion

Accepting vulnerability is one of the most courageous acts we can ever undertake. It’s risky, it’s scary, even terrifying in some cases because people don’t want to “do” vulnerability. Playing who is a bigger badass seems cooler.

But once we step up and decide to speak up about this issue, we open the door for others who are living in this emotional prison without knowing what to do or how to handle it. We give them the opportunity to say two of the most powerful words which stand behind real toughness and those are  “ME TOO.”

How do you handle vulnerability? Comment below!

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Life

Break Up With Doubt to Better Your Relationship With Fear

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As I’ve gone through life, I’ve spent a great deal of my energy working to overcome my fears. From everyday fears like rejection and judgment to more morbid fears like ill health and my demise, I avoided these possibilities like the plague. Unfortunately, my short-sightedness often kept me from starting anything, developing a life of caution and resignation.

I had to make a change and start leaning into my fears. I began to wrap my head around the fact that my fears weren’t real, they were simply creations of the mind. I got better results—acts of courage began piecing my confidence back together one brick at a time. But I was still getting stopped.

Despite being empowered by my own courage, something even more crippling began showing up as a result. I realized this was at the root of most of my fears, harnessing even more power than fear itself. It berated the belief I had in myself, bringing everything else important to me into question.

This feeling was doubt. I was disabled despite the understanding that my fears were simply constructs of my mind. Why couldn’t I shake this?

Fear is objective; doubt is personal

I like to think that fear exists in space. It will always be lurking in some capacity and we have the opportunity to focus on it if we choose. Fear is definitely scary, but it doesn’t have that much to do with us individually. It exists outside of ourselves. We can step up and face it (courage) or refrain from even acknowledging it (boldness) if we so choose.

Doubt is a little more complex. Doubt exists inside of us, challenging the very pillars we constructed to get to where we are today. Doubt has nothing but pessimism to offer about the future, constantly reminding us of our past mistakes.

The reason why doubt is so paralyzing is because we automatically identify with it. We assume because it’s referencing previous shortcomings or falters, that it’s the real us talking to ourselves. The reality is however, that everyone deals with this same thing. By understanding that doubt is simply trash talk at a sporting event, we stop associating with it directly. We tune out the noise and remember who we are. What we’re up to steps to the forefront, toppling over doubt without noticing.

Fear is going to hang around and show up from time to time, which we shouldn’t resist. We can simply acknowledge it and move forward with our original plans in spite of it. By strengthening our belief, hope and faith, doubt can disappear. Doubt only exists within the deficiency of character, which we have full control over developing.

“Doubt is a pain too lonely to know that faith is his twin brother.” – Khalil Gibran

Doubt is the source of our everyday fears

We have hundreds of opportunities each day to make an impact on others. Authentic interactions are more sought-after than ever before. People are really beginning to appreciate what it takes to step into their fears and share from the heart.

But it doesn’t always unfold that way, does it? We often get stopped. In this figurative straightjacket known as doubt, we’re helpless. We try to deal with it but instead end up saying something designed to protect us from showcasing who we really are and what we really feel. Doubt tells us we aren’t inspiring enough. It says we’re full of crap right before we bare our soul. By listening to it, we handcuff ourselves.

Actions equal outcomes. But buried underneath the actions are the beliefs about them, doubt being one of them. Doubt can put a filter on the action if we’re not careful, effectively diminishing the potential for powerful results. Adopting a one-track mind for that particular moment and staying focused on the action will keep us grounded from being influenced by doubt.

With doubt absent, fear becomes healthy

Ever prepare to ask out a member of the opposite (or same) sex and feel your heartbeat increase? How about stepping on stage to deliver a public presentation and instantly feel your face flush? Fear is present, yes, but you’re alive. There’s no more direct notification.

From a third person perspective, my fears didn’t possess nearly as much strength without doubt serving as a foundation. With doubt absent, fear was a diesel engine powered by unleaded gasoline. Like a frightened dog, it was all bark and no bite.

“When in doubt, don’t.” – Benjamin Franklin

People go skydiving for a reason. This dose of healthy fear allows for a broader perspective. It shapes and colors the way we look at life. The little things that we once allowed to ruin our day no longer have the staying power. Fear in itself is not the problem. Fear rooted in doubt is the dream-killer.

By ending your relationship with doubt and getting comfortable with your relationship with fear, what would you finally do that you’ve been held back by? Comment below!

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