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11 Lessons You Can Learn From My 38-Day Fast

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My 38 Day Fast Was Like Climbing A Mountain

As some of you know I have just completed a 38-day fast to cure myself of chronic illness. I was inspired by Tyler Tolman’s interview here on Addicted2Success to give it a go. It’s changed my life, and I have learnt so many vital lessons. Surprisingly, many of those lessons are directly linked to the basics of success.

It’s been a hell of a ride with ups and downs. I have learnt a lot about myself and who I want to be. I have released years worth of toxins and toxic emotions that just sat there. I always thought that when I changed the way I lived in 2012 after a Tony Robbins seminar, that this change would be enough.

What I have learnt is that you can start eating healthy and living better today, but if you don’t release all the years of bad food and toxic emotions, you won’t get the true benefits. You deserve to be the best version of you each day, and you deserve to be successful – let me show you how you do that.

Below are the eleven lessons I learnt from doing my 38-day fast.

 

1. Energy will change the game for you

The first and most important lesson I learnt was all about energy levels. Most of us think we have high levels of energy but compared to what I have now; we really don’t. After the first four days of fasting, once all the toxins were released, I had a new kind of energy.

I found myself being able to work longer than other people at a peak state consistently. I started to see that to live the life I wanted; I needed more time. The only way I have found to have more time is to have more energy.

By having more energy, it means that every minute is not wasted lounging around, and I can achieve my goals consistently. I also found that my passion for what I do increased because the new levels of energy allowed me to show more emotion and be more vulnerable.

The way I chose to be more vulnerable was to put myself out there and share my story with over 40,000 colleagues. For days, I was inundated with emails and messages from people who connected with my story and wanted to be around me to learn some of what I know.

What can high levels of energy do for your own life? How can you change the game?

 

2. Food is so good

So it’s no surprise that after the 38-day fast I now have a new perspective on what food means to me. Just having an avocado now is the most amazing thing I have ever tasted. Whereas before, unless it was full of salt and came from a takeaway shop, it didn’t excite me.

Most of my fast involved eating nothing but fruit (which is basically water) and so I started to see fruit in a completely different light. The fruit was very detoxing, and it was also sweet (the good kind). I began to look forward to getting home and pigging out, except this time it was on fruit.

That first moment when I broke the fast and ate something other than fruit again is something I will never forget. It’s a very mindful experience because rather than just scoffing down the food, you savour each bite.

Now that the fast is over, food has become something I love, even more, and I have a new sense of gratitude about it.

 

3. You will see if you have willpower

The other highlight lesson for me was around willpower. In 2011, I went from 65kg to over 100 kg’s by training with a personal trainer. One thing that I will never forget is that my trainer said to me, “Tim I have trained a lot of people, but you have determination and willpower like I have never seen before.”

For over one year I trained every single week, even through public holidays, winter storms, temperatures of more than forty-five degree’s to achieve my goal. Most people that try to do the same thing would have days off, holidays and time when they couldn’t make it to training – I never allowed this to happen (sacrifice).

From this gym experience to my recent experience of fasting, I have again seen my willpower and determination shine through. It’s an attribute I never thought I had, but there is no way that these two situations are a coincidence.

While you may not have the same willpower as me, if you can do something like a fast, you can certainly build it as a strength. The way that I stopped myself from breaking the fast was to think about all the hard work I had put in thus far and all the rewards I would miss out on if I gave up.

I mean I sacrificed four days of holidays to even begin the fast, if I had to start all over again, I would have to give up another four days. What I have just described to you here is the process of reframing that was taught to me by Tony Robbins.

It’s the most powerful success tool I know, and it’s what allowed me to conquer my fear of fasting.

Tim Denning Sunset Motivation Quote For Success
 

4. All food addictions can be abolished

Like most of us, for many years, I have suffered from sugar and salt addictions. By doing the fast, I was forced to abolish both of these things. When you don’t consume salt and sugar for a long time, your body stops craving it and it’s a great way to change your eating habits.

Now when I eat something, if it has even a bit of salt I can taste it straight away. It’s not that I don’t want salt or sugar anymore, it’s just that it doesn’t serve me on the path to success that I am creating for myself.

 

5. Let your body heal

All of our lives we are told to eat lots of fruit and vegetables and we never eat enough. We put things like alcohol consistently into our body and never give ourselves a chance to heal. While our bodies rest at night-time, just as we are starting to clear toxins from the body, we wake up and stuff more food into our mouths.

What I learnt from my 38-day fast was that when you give your body nothing but nutrients and vitamins for a prolonged period of time, your body thanks you in so many ways. During a fast you are giving your body a chance to heal and to break down all the old cells and create new ones.

We can’t recover from medical issues unless we let the healing process begin. This healing process will never start with hamburgers and deep fried food so let your body heal once in a while through something like a fast.

 

6. You won’t die from fasting

The biggest fear I had about fasting was that I was going to waste away and become skin and bone. After doing the fast, I can tell you this is completely false. Think back to the cavemen, their bodies were programmed by nature to go through feasts as well as famines. This same programming still exists in humans today but we just never use it.

Someone said to me a few weeks ago that they didn’t think they could go three hours without food otherwise they would get sick. I too believed this once before and now after fasting, I know this to be entirely untrue.

Most of what we are eating is creating our sickness and then feeding it when we are sick. Consider a new perspective and maybe try a short three-day fast to see for yourself. Many people asked me why I chose 38-days and not another duration. The reason for this is that the human threshold is about forty days, and I wanted to come in just below the extreme.

Now you will lose a few kilograms but most of this will be fat and all the stuff stuck in your colon, liver and kidneys. Once you complete your fast, and your body is healthy again, you will put a good level of weight back on pretty quickly so don’t stress!

 

7. There are going to be real lows

During any extreme task like a 38-day fast you are going to experience some lows. For me, my biggest lows were day three and day four. I was walking down the street on day three and then all of a sudden I started wanting to vomit and I couldn’t stand up.

Having never experienced these sensations before all at once, I wasn’t sure what to do. I checked with the online fasting group, and they told me this was perfectly normal. As toxins leave the body in a hurry, they come up to the surface and make you feel very unwell.

On the night of day three, I could feel the toxins coming up through my mouth, and there was this liquid that went onto my tongue and tasted horrible. Day four was much the same, and I was starting to panic. I figured that everyone was right and that not eating normal food was what was causing the sickness.

Using the self-development techniques I have learnt over the years, I decided that anything worth doing was going to be tough, and I stuck it out. By day five the sickness had passed and I started to feel better.

“Success is something that is going to have real lows, and you need to be prepared to face them, and overcome them with courage, patience and determination”

 

8. Whole foods are really good for you and cheaper

My 38-day fast had a number of different types of fasting built into the program. For thirty days of the fast, I ate nothing but fruit every single day (not really what we consider as food because of the high water content).

I expected that this diet of eating whole foods would be much more expensive. Per item it was, but overall, it was much cheaper than the junk food and takeaway food. The fact I didn’t get sick and had higher levels of energy also meant that my capacity to add value (and make money), was drastically increased. So, overall, I believe that whole foods are not only better for you but also cheaper.

 

9. People will judge you

An unexpected outcome of my 38-day fast is that I found some people really wanted to judge me. They either thought I was crazy, different, not normal or a freak. The way I see it, the road to greatness is not for everyone so the people that achieve it stand out in lots of different ways.

Standing out is a good thing because it means you are not going to achieve the same results as everyone else. People continually told me that they thought fruit must be so hard to eat and so boring. Actually, it was quite the opposite. Fruit has natural sugar and tastes really nice.

On top of that, the fast was helping me heal my body and feel amazing, so there was no way I could view it as hard or boring.

 

10. Proper hydration is life changing

A few years ago I was introduced to a book called “The Body’s Many Cries For Water.” The basic message of this book is that when your stomach is rumbling, or you want food, what your body really wants is water.

During my 38-day fast I learnt pretty quickly that this statement was so very true. Every time I got hungry and drank lots of water the hunger went away. I often found that eating a bowl of fruit would make me very full.

This book teaches us that when you are full from fruit, it’s actually not the case, it’s just that the fruit’s water has properly hydrated you and now you don’t feel like any more food. I found it phenomenal just how crucial water was during the 38-days.

The level of water I drank directly reflected how I felt. So the lesson here is to do what we have always been told, drink more water and consume more water-rich food.

 

11. You’ll never let yourself get backed up again

The final lesson I learnt is that once I went through this gruelling 38-day process, I realised that I never wanted to become backed up and unhealthy again. Seeing all the poisons and years of abuse I put my body through, was kind of enlightening and made be decide to think twice from now on.

Once my body was clear and I could think straight again with high levels of energy, I began to see a new level of what I believed to be possible. Life changing events like a 38-day fast can rewire your neural pathways for life and leave a lasting effect on you.

So I hope you learnt something from my 38-day fast. What event have you gone through that was similar to my 38-day fast? Let me know in the comments section below or on my Facebook and Twitter.

Tim is best known as a long-time contributor on Addicted2Success. Tim's content has been shared millions of times and he has written multiple viral posts all around personal development and entrepreneurship.You can connect with Tim through his website www.timdenning.net

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9 Comments

9 Comments

  1. Will

    Mar 3, 2017 at 10:28 am

    Great artlcie, thank you again for writing.

  2. Jeanette

    Jan 30, 2016 at 11:30 pm

    Great article Tim, I love a good fast. I haven’t done one in a while and it’s been weighing on my mind to do another soon. I love the format you followed, I may do something similar. Thanks so much for sharing!

    • Tim Denning

      Jan 31, 2016 at 11:02 am

      Thanks Jeanette for reading. Sounds like a fast is on the cards for you. I would recommend a 30-day juice fast rather than eating fruit. The eating fruit part was unique to my fructose intolerance.

  3. karmesh

    Dec 29, 2015 at 5:28 am

    Hi Tim, where can we find the exact and the right way of doing this particular fast?
    Its great to learn the benefits of this process and I am very inspired right now to get on to it. Please help.

    • Tim Denning

      Dec 30, 2015 at 1:25 am

      Hi Karmesh, the exact steps I did were:
      4 day colon cleanse (using Tyler Tolman mixture from his website)
      On the morning of the 5th day you do a salt flush (1 liter water with a tablespoon of Himalayan salt)
      3 days of drinking nothing but vegie juice
      30 days of eating nothing but fruit and drinking water
      1 day of salt flush in the afternoon (again) and at night a liver flush (1 liter of freshly made grapefruit juice with 1/2 cupt of olive oil mixed in the blender)

      This article has more detail for you: https://addicted2success.com/life/6-life-changing-health-tips-to-transform-your-energy-tyler-tolman/

  4. Boris

    Dec 27, 2015 at 4:28 pm

    That’s admirable Tim. Have you noticed clearer and faster thinking when you were fasting? A rush of ideas, improved attention and concentration?

    • Tim Denning

      Dec 28, 2015 at 3:06 am

      Thanks Boris. I have noticed all of those things Boris and I have to say I was quite surprised. I thoroughly recommend trying some type of fast if you can. 10 days is usually a good starting point.

  5. Ben H

    Dec 22, 2015 at 5:16 am

    Great stuff, Tim. Really inspiring me to make some serious changes.

    • Tim Denning

      Dec 24, 2015 at 7:14 am

      Thanks Ben for taking the time to read and I hope you do make some changes to get more energy.

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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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