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12 Inspiring Ways My Anxiety Elevated My Life

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Anxiety Can Be Inspiring - Addicted2Success

As I opened the door to the shrink’s office both my hands were shaking non-stop (this was an everyday occurrence). It was one of the darkest times of my life, and I couldn’t see where I would end up. I thought to myself in this moment, “am I going mental? Isn’t this where crazy people end up?”

The doctor told me I was very sick, and struggling from a whole host of self-inflicted medical issues of which anxiety was the strongest. I took the last of the money I had at the time to pay for five sessions with the shrink.

It was now session number five and all I had done so far was talk about myself and have him shake his head. I started thinking that it was all a waste of money. In this last session, it was time for the shrink to give me his verdict and send me on my way.

He said one paragraph that changed my life forever. He said, “Tim my diagnosis is that you have all the tools already to overcome your anxiety issues. You have already taken significant steps, and I didn’t instigate any of it. “

He then continued to say “everything you need to turn your life around is already in your own head, and you are one of the smartest young men that has ever walked into this office. Stop second-guessing yourself and keep taking the small steps towards reducing your anxiety. I see great things ahead for you, young man!”

His words were so powerful, yet all he really did was reconfirm the action I was already taking and believe in me. It was nice that someone other than myself saw what I was capable of. This one idea is something that can transform almost anyone’s current level of success.

Tim Denning - Seeds Of Success
 

The story above occurred before my personal transformation a few years ago when I used to suffer from severe anxiety. It involved predominantly experiencing daily anxiety followed by depression and any other mental disorder you can think of. It was fuelled by my ever-increasing stress levels caused by my obsession with business, family issues, and my life heading in the wrong direction.

In this article, I am going to explain to you how this anxiety elevated my entire life to the next level. Now that you have read a bit about the anxiety I used to suffer I want you to understand that this is very normal, and lots of people have the same thing. Anxiety is nothing to be afraid of.

I am now in a fortunate stage of my life where I don’t experience the effects of anxiety anymore, and I believe any mental illness can be unlearned and used to motivate you.

Below are the twelve inspiring ways my anxiety elevated my life.

 

1. It made me get involved in personal development

Without my previous anxiety disorder, I would never have taken up a commitment to personal development. The way to overcome anxiety (and any mental disorder) is through constant personal development each day.

Back then, I realised that I needed to change my state of mind, so I began listening to Tony Robbins and then that led to a whole host of others like Zig Ziglar, Eric Thomas, The Wolf Of Wall Street, Jim Rohn, etc.

Most of my life, while listening to mp3’s and for the entire day, I would always have the curtains shut, and my office and bedroom were usually in total darkness.

Tim Denning - Stepping Out Of The Shadow
 

Around the same time that I took up personal development, a strange thing happened: the curtain in my bedroom broke. This seemingly insignificant event meant that in the short term I had to keep the curtain open continuously. This changed my sleep pattern and had a real effect on me.

Shortly after, the curtain in my office broke. It was like it was supposed to happen and was a divine moment. To this day, both curtains are still broken and have to be kept open at all times. This small reminder each day serves as an anchor for where I am taking my life and how anxiety has helped me.

Anxiety can inspire you to do lots of things, but the best thing I have found it can do in my life is to inspire you to take up personal development.

 

2. It can teach you to think in the now

As I researched what anxiety was and how I could overcome it I figured out a simple concept; anxiety is thinking too much into the future and depression is thinking too much in the past. When I carefully analysed each day I realised that I was thinking about events that were way into the future and hadn’t even occurred yet.

Once I started thinking of these future events, I would then begin to stress about them in advance. The key to overcoming anxiety and using it to inspire you going forward is to stop the habit of stressing about things in the future.

Learn to think in the now and not try and control things that haven’t even occurred. Most of the time the events I was stressing about never ended up happening or turned out in an entirely different way. All of this time spent stressing on the future was wasted and made me tired constantly.

 

3. It got me reading books

Anxiety has inspired me to do lots of things but one way it elevated my life was to encourage me to take up reading. For many years, I never read any books because reading small words hurt my eyes and I didn’t have the concentration or focus (probably due to all the sugar).

After my experience with anxiety, I discovered that reading was a great way to heal my mind, and so I began reading books on an iPad which didn’t hurt my eyes. I mostly read motivational books and autobiographies of people who had done amazing things in their life.

This simple act started to rewire my brain, and it became the foundation for the success trajectory I am still on. It was a calming way to go to sleep each night rather than stressing about future events or having the TV yell at me about how bad the world was, and how horrible people could be.

 

4. It helped me quit coffee and alcohol

During my anxiety period, I learned to wake up with two or three coffees in the morning, have a soft drink for lunch, and then bring myself back down again with alcohol at night. Up until this point, all the references society had given me made me think this way of life was normal.

Through reading, I quickly figured out that these things were fuelling my anxiety even further and that I had to give them up. As I slowly kicked these bad habits, my state of mind shifted. I stopped making poor decisions and behaving badly as a reaction to my lack of energy and lethargicness.

 

5. It made me start tracking my success

Often when you try and overcome anxiety, it feels like you are making no progress. One thing that anxiety taught me was that it’s important to track your success. In the short term, I began to keep a note on my iPad of all the times I had successfully conquered anxiety.

Within a few weeks, I realised I was making a lot more progress than I had previously thought. Unless you write down your win’s, you will never know just how good you are!

 

6. It taught me to gamify my life

A cool outcome from the anxiety crushing process was that it taught me to play games with myself. As I kept a list of wins, I started to think of ways to increase my winning score and have even more successful situations.

I have later used this same technique to inspire me to write articles by keeping score of my progress and how well I’m doing. The concept of gamification is a great way to fast track any component of self-development. Gamifying your life is much better than wasting your time on computer or smartphone games.

 

7. It helped me to take control

Through the anxiety process, I discovered that the major driver behind anxiety is control. Anxiety is something that can take control of your human operating system and leave you without the power to make decisions yourself.

This concept empowered me to take back control and not let anything control my destiny. Instead of letting others make decisions about what I was going to do each day, I became stubborn and insisted on taking back control on even the smallest decisions.

Until you take back control of your own decision-making ability, you will never reach the pinnacle of success.

 

8. It reconnected me to the habit of learning and sales

Anxiety showed me that learning is so important, and it can help us to achieve anything and even overcome mental illness. The way I overcame anxiety, if you break it down, is through learning new ideas, unlearning bad habits, and relearning what made me successful in the first place.

You need to learn new ideas from inspiring individuals around you (or blogs like this), have the discipline to acknowledge your current bad habits and beliefs, and relearn the things that you have forgotten.

So in my personal transformation I used self-help content to learn new ideas, I wrote down all my bad habits and conquered them one by one, and I relearned how to sell by taking an entry level job in sales for a short time. I want to focus on the relearn component for a minute because this was something that had the biggest impact on me.

When people ask me what made me successful as an entrepreneur, for a long time I had no idea. Through overcoming anxiety, I learned that sales is where all my success started from. I learned that sales equals confidence, and confidence drowns out anxiety.

Do you see the benefit of severe anxiety and what it can do for you yet?

 

9. It showed me the power of meditation

I didn’t actually discover meditation until after I cured the majority of my anxiety but it’s a great way to relax. Meditating, as part of the cure for anxiety, is now common practice although a few years ago it wasn’t that well known when I was going through my own treatment.

Essentially, meditation helps bring your mind back to the present and allows you to re-focus. The easiest way to try it is using an app like the one I have called “Calm.” I find that when I am required to produce moments of inspiration, meditation allows me to settle the mind and prepare for greatness.

Part of my new found inspiration has a lot to do with what anxiety did to my mind and how meditation helped to remove those mental roadblocks. I’m sure it can help you too.

 

10. It changed my work life

Anxiety helped me to elevate my life by first of all crippling everything I had, and then allowing me to come to the decision that my day-to-day work life had to change drastically. If it weren’t for anxiety I would still be stuck in the same work that I hated, with the same people that brought me down, and the same old beliefs that weren’t serving me.

What you do to earn a living each day has a lot to do with how inspired you are and where your life is heading. It can be tough to change your work life unless you have an event that forces you to quit and start again. Hopefully, if you’re lucky, that event may lead you down the path of entrepreneurship.

If not, that’s okay; there are still many wonderful things you can do to contribute to mankind and discover your purpose for being on earth. After all, you only get one chance at life so use it wisely ☺

Severe mental illness can be the trigger for something new, and all success starts with some sort of challenge or pain first. Anxiety was very much the seed of greatness in my life, and it can do wonders for you if you get the lessons from it.

 

11. It made me realise everyone suffers from a degree of anxiety

Have you ever seen someone toot their horn or swear at another person? The chances are that they probably suffer from anxiety to some degree. Anxiety can make you very frustrated and cause you to take this frustration out on other people.

During my anxiety days, I was often angry at the fact that I had to deal with this issue and thought I was one of the only ones. What I now know is that lots of people have this mental illness and that it’s what fuels most of the negative people you engage with on a daily basis.

Once I learned to identify anxiety and crush it, I found myself being much nicer to people and less frustrated. This resulted in lower levels of stress, more happiness, and a sharp increase in my overall mental and physical health.

“We are all infected with anxiety, but we have the vaccine already inside of us” – Tim Denning

 

12. It taught me to be more vulnerable

The biggest lesson I got from my dance with anxiety was that it can help you elevate your life further by teaching you to be more vulnerable. The only way to overcome anxiety is first to admit to yourself that you have it, and then to seek advice by being vulnerable enough to talk to another person about it.

Without courage, you will never elevate your life to the next level. Courage involves you accepting that you need to get vulnerable on a regular basis.

You need to do things that are difficult, and produce the good kind of anxiety, all with the acceptance that you could fail and learn a great lesson at the end of it – what a horrible thing that would be ☺

What major event (like severe anxiety) has helped you elevate your life? Let me know in the comment section below or on my personal Facebook and Twitter Pages.

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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7 Comments

7 Comments

  1. Jackie

    Oct 28, 2016 at 1:50 am

    Do you take medication now for anxiety?

  2. Nick Scuderi

    Feb 24, 2016 at 3:43 pm

    A lot of these ways really related to me and how I changed in my own life. I used to only focus on school or work and didn’t see life for what it really was. Since then, I opened my mind and now see life in a new way. We need to focus on important things in our lives, but we need to live life at the same time. The one thing I fear is to never try something and regret it later. I’m glad I finally “woke up”.

    • Tim Denning

      Feb 24, 2016 at 7:00 pm

      Thanks for sharing your point of view Nick. I think we all suffer the same fear if not getting to do everything we want to do in our lifetime. Time is limited so we must use it wisely and plan out what we want to achieve rather than being on auto-pilot.

  3. Toño

    Feb 18, 2016 at 7:49 am

    Perfect and right on time atricle for me (as always should I say), as I am stuck at home for a 4 days due my eye illness, not to mention my level of anxiety rised up because I missed my job, gym & swimming pool.. I was needed that portion of healthy read!

    Have to say, you did a lot of self-development work, and I mean A LOT! While reading your ways, one by one, I started to realise that behind inspiration and a prime example for us, readers, you came through so many things and re-shaped your life, did the massive upgrade to a whole new level. Sugar, coffee, alcohol adds much to level of stress and affects our body, leave alone, being up onto those things you will have a constant brain fog and yes, you named it, looking on how society defines this way of life you may think it is normal. When it’s actually not. Reading books is amazing and agree with you it definitely helps rewire your mind and change the way you look at things. It helped me throughout my journey overcome my OCD. You certainly need good focus and concentration to read.
    Oh, and I think I learned new word today – gamify! Sounds pretty awesome, gotta use it as well 🙂

    I also would like to know how to meditate. Or how to do it properly. It is hard for me to find time and quiet place where I can just sit and relax and reflect on everything, but sometimes I just feel like it.

    Thank you so much Tim, for inspiration and honest story, again I appreciate it greatly and looking forward to your future work! By the way, how’s your public speaking experience going? Did you have any chance to practice it ?

    • Tim Denning

      Feb 18, 2016 at 9:44 am

      Toño your commentary is always just what I need. Thanks for taking the time to leave such detailed comments. Hope you get better soon from your eye illness. You are spot on, I have done loads of self-development and it’s what has made me successful.

      Meditation is something I am still trying to master. I recommend doing it for 5 minutes per day, when you wake up using an iphone app like calm It gets easier as you practice it but the room you are in must be quiet.

      Did my first public speaking practice with a group today. My speech was only 90 seconds and it was a topic that was chosen for me on loneliness. I said that coming back from holidays makes me feel a bit lonely and explained it in further detail. I strongly recommend public speaking practice if you can get it. I have a long way to go though….lol

      • Toño

        Feb 18, 2016 at 10:41 am

        I’m glad you like my commentary, as sometimes I feel I just overwhelm you (or any other) with my rambling.. So it’s good to know.

        Also amazing to know you did your first public speaking today, yay! Congratulations and that was actually quite cool theme to discuss. How does it feel? I feel exactly the same when I get back from my holidays btw, partly I have to leave my family and also beautiful country of my origins. First week is tough and lonely indeed.

        Because of my job I do some practice of public speaking, sort of. Even though not much audience. But I really want to improve my skills there, would love to get more confidence as this is my main priority right now, what I am work on daily.

        As for meditation, I’ve read for beginners you need some object to concentrate your attention on, like some kind of a flower (yeah, got this from Robin Sharma book). I have a little bamboo growing so it might be a good choice.

        • Tim Denning

          Feb 20, 2016 at 2:23 am

          Toño the speech felt good. I have spoken in public many times but never really done speeches as such. If you want to improve your skills the cheapest way is through Toastmasters. If you have a bit more money to spend then there are some great short courses you can do that will get you results faster than Toastmasters.

          Best of luck with the meditation. Try to focus on the breathe if you are new to it rather than an object and definitely use a meditation app like Calm.

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Life

How You Can Effectively Achieve Your Goals by Using the Puzzle Analogy

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I was building a 500 piece puzzle the other day with many tiny little pieces. When I opened the box, I was completely overwhelmed. There were so many pieces and many of them were very similar in color. I took a breath and thought “just do one piece at a time”. I knew that I had to come up with a plan and organize the pieces into groups before I got started. This helped me to focus and take away some of the overwhelming feelings that were coming up. I came up with a plan and executed that plan.

However, like anything in life, our plans don’t always go the way we think they will. If you can treat anything you are trying to achieve in life like a puzzle, it will help you get through the confusion and come up with a plan to achieve your goals.

Take Your Goals One Step at a Time

Putting a puzzle together is the perfect analogy for anything you are trying to achieve in life. You won’t know all the steps to take to achieve your goal until you are in the middle of it. Each step comes up when it needs to and you complete it as it comes up. Some of the pieces might need to be moved around but that is ok. It is ok if the first piece doesn’t fit, you make adjustments and move forward.

It is much less overwhelming to take it piece by piece instead of trying to figure out the whole picture before you even get started. Many things will come up that you didn’t expect and that is why you cannot see the whole picture until it is done. It is good to remain flexible and take it step by step as new things come up.

“Set your target and keep trying until you reach it.” – Napoleon Hill

Starting is the First Step to Achieve Any Goal You Want in Life

The most important thing is to start! You won’t know how it’s all going to go and you may need to change some things around in the middle. But in the end, you will have the complete picture. If you look at your goal with anxiety and think it is too hard in the beginning, then you may not even start. You only need to know the first step, get organized and all the pieces will fit into place.

I was overwhelmed when I first looked at the puzzle and I thought “maybe I won’t even do it. Is it worth it?” But I decided that I’d start, even if I didn’t finish it at least I’d try. But you know what? Once I got into the puzzle, it wasn’t so bad. It was way less overwhelming when I was in the middle of it then it was before I started.

You have time on your side. You don’t have to do it all in one day or one week or one year. You have plenty of time. That is something that helped me. There was no pressure to get it done in one day which was my original goal; the only pressure I had was that which I put upon myself.

Get Organized and Start With a Solid Plan

If you are starting out on a goal, it is important to get organized first. Yes, you won’t know everything that is going to happen but at least you will be organized enough that when things do come up, you will know how to incorporate them into your plan. Being organized will make it much easier to see where all the pieces go and save you a lot of time in the long run.

I got organized and sorted the puzzle pieces by colors as well as outside and inside pieces to make it easier to see where the pieces would fit. If I left them all in one big pile, I’d constantly have to sort through the pile to find what I was looking for and waste a ton of time. By having them broken out into smaller piles, I was able to find what I was looking for much faster and saved a lot of time.

This works with whatever it is you are trying to achieve in life. Get organized and make a plan. You will save yourself a lot of time and frustration. It is so much easier to go through little organized piles of items than one big, disorganized pile.

“Goals give you more than a reason to get up in the morning; they are an incentive to keep you going all day.” – Harvey MacKay

Get Through the Tough Times When Going for Your Goals

Before I dove into the puzzle, I was confused and a bit frustrated but determined to make it work. In the end all the pieces fit together perfectly and made a beautiful picture. It’s interesting to think of a project or a goal you want to achieve like a big puzzle with many pieces. When you first dump out the pieces, it is a mess. They just look like pieces, nothing is created yet. But as you go through the process and move things around it starts to come together.

You may hit some speed bumps along the way and get a bit frustrated, but if you are organized and take it one step at a time it will form a lovely picture in the end. So, keep going as determined as ever by moving one piece at a time.

Sometimes the piece will fit and other times you’ll need to find a different puzzle piece to go in that spot. Before you know it, you have a beautiful picture created that you never thought you’d be able to do before you started. It may be an interesting, messy, confusing, fun, bumpy ride but in the end all the pieces will form the beautiful picture that you set out to achieve.

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Self-Compassion Vs. Self-Esteem: How You Can Build Both

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Self-esteem can be defined as the confidence in your own abilities or worth. Self-compassion, however, can be defined by the ability to be gentle with yourself, even if you have misjudged or made a mistake.

You ask yourself from time to time, how is self esteem related to success? Having a sense of low self-esteem can really become a barrier for building your career and ultimately, living the life you want.

You may be completely competent in your skills and abilities but be too afraid to show the world your talents or too hesitant to apply for that job. Low self-esteem may hinder you in your personal life by leaving you with feelings of inadequacy or you may always be comparing yourself to someone else.

Self-esteem is not something that can be instantly repaired overnight. Building your self-esteem can take time and, most importantly, self-compassion. It is most important to be kind to yourself and accept that from time to time, you will make mistakes.

Creating a strong sense of self-compassion can ultimately bring more to your life than just a newfound sense of self-love.

Self-Compassion Vs. Self-Esteem

When looking at self compassion vs self esteem, which is more important? Self-esteem can be volatile and emotional, while self-compassion can allow you to remove your self-esteem from your value judgments of yourself.

Knowing this will allow you to look at your decisions and actions from a non-judgmental mindset. You will be able to look at your traits, both good and bad, and accept that all of them are a part of human nature.

New studies suggest that self-compassion, rather than self-esteem, may be the key that allows you to achieve more growth because you can take your best traits and cultivate them while look at your worst traits objectively.

It can be argued that improving self-compassion will ultimately serve you better in the long run than improving your self-esteem. Even if self-compassion is more important, you can still have room to improve your self-esteem while you are at it.

Here are some tips to tell you how to work on self esteem and self compassion:

1. Be Gentle with Yourself

No one is perfect and, as humans, we will all make mistakes. It is important to recognize and accept our flaws and mistakes as imperfect. Embrace that there are people that care about you, despite your flaws.

“Mistakes are always forgivable, if one has the courage to admit them.” – Bruce Lee

2. Practice Mindfulness

Mindfulness has many reported benefits for improving your mental health. You can use mindfulness by becoming aware and present in the current moment. Using mindfulness can help you look at your thoughts objectively and decide “Is this a fact about myself or a judgement?”

By staying mindful of how you are speaking to yourself, you can identify where your thoughts are becoming negative and redirect your thinking to more positive thoughts.

Practicing mindfulness will help you look at the current moment without judgements or preconceived ideas about yourself and allow room for growth.

3. Allow Room to Grow

We all inherently have traits that can be seen as undesirable, yet it’s what we do with those traits that decide whether we grow or remain where we’re at in life. By looking objectively at your flaws with a growth mindset, you can transform your life.

Allow yourself to take the things about yourself that you are uncomfortable with and learn from them on how to better yourself. The takeaways would be to focus on one thing at a time and take baby steps.

4. Be Grateful

It is easy to compare ourselves and what we have, or don’t have, to those around us.

Everyone around us is putting the greatest highlights of their lives on social media, and we end up making comparisons that we shouldn’t. It is important to remember to be grateful for what you do have such as the ability to be a great writer or excel in mathematics.

“Talent is God given. Be humble. Fame is man-given. Be grateful. Conceit is self-given. Be careful.” – John Wooden

Secondly, we need to be mindful of our positive traits, and how they can benefit the world. Think about how your specific skills have served you in the past. Perhaps, you are great at taking the lead and because of that, you’re the main leader on work projects. Remember that your positive traits deserve acknowledgement and praise.

5. Do Good

It has been proven that participating in improving the well-being of those around you will aid in improving your own well-being. Doing good and helping those around you will only have a positive effect in your life.

It is not beneficial to tear others down in an effort to build yourself up. Saying and doing helpful things for others around you will not only improve their self-esteem but yours as well.

6. Practice Makes Perfect

It will take some time and commitment to truly work on your self-esteem and self-compassion. This is not a commitment to yourself that you should take lightly. Decide that now is the time for action and truly commit to remaining consistent in bettering yourself.

You may see the successful people around you and how they seem to be so confident in themselves and wonder to yourself, is self-esteem the key to success? Truthfully, the answer would be no.

The key to success lies within many factors, and self-esteem and self-compassion are only two of the factors. As far as building both areas, practicing these strategies listed will help you learn how to get better in self-esteem and self-compassion.

Which one of the above factors resonated most with you in your pursuit of building your self-compassion and self-esteem? Let us know below!

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7 Strategies to Get Anything You Want From Life

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Success is tricky. There is no shortage of information about what creates success, but there are secret saboteurs in your thoughts and beliefs that may be sacking your accomplishments.

If you aren’t where you want to be in life, consider the following:

1. Choose accuracy over history

Your beliefs are not necessarily accurate. Your perception of the world is based on your personality traits, such as neuroticism, conscientiousness, agreeableness, or openness. In addition, what you learned in your early childhood environment and what was role modeled for you play another part.

Your views are more about your history than accuracy. Not to say that everything you set store by is wrong, but just because you think it, doesn’t make it so. Look for proof.

2. Be aware of your biases

Your brain uses mental shortcuts to evaluate new information out of necessity. Those shortcuts, however, influence how you perceive the world. Though there are hundreds of proven biases, here are a few more commonly known ones that impact what you believe.

Confirmation bias makes you more likely to accept new information that supports beliefs you currently hold about the world. This one makes you unlikely to change your mind once it’s made up.

Availability heuristic makes you more likely to overestimate the importance of information that is easy to remember. Lastly, there’s conformity bias which makes you want to conform with other people.

A 2015 article in Business Insider cited 58 biases that screw up the way we think and subsequently, what we do! Being aware that your brain may be limiting you and having some idea what the most common biases are can help you be more critical of information you take in and help you to be open to ideas and knowledge different from your beliefs.

3. Recognize, refute and replace negative self-talk

You have 50,000 to 80,000 conversations in your head per day on average, and some percentage of them are negative self-talk. For many people, that percentage is less than 50%. I’m not good enough, I’m too fat, or I can’t are all examples of negative self-talk.

Begin to recognize these thoughts and refute them by stating reasons why they’re not true. Lastly, replace them with something better such as “I have what it takes to do what I am meant to do,” or, change your “I can’t” to “I can.”

“Your smile will give you a positive countenance that will make people feel comfortable around you.” – Les Brown

4. Choose optimism

Optimism is defined by Merriam Webster online as, ”an inclination to put the most favorable construction upon actions and events or to anticipate the best possible outcome.” In short, it means to be hopeful which does not preclude healthy skepticism.

Martin Seligman is one of the founders of positive psychology, and in his book, Learned Optimism, shares strategies to grow your optimism. In the book, Dr. Seligman shares that “most people catastrophize. Learned optimism is about accuracy, and works not through an unjustifiable positivity about the world but through the power of ‘non-negative’ thinking.”

5. Rely on grit over talent and passion

Psychologist Angela Duckworth in her book Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance, states that “Enthusiasm is common. Endurance is rare.” She talks about how it’s easy to be in love with what you do but more challenging to stay in love with it. That takes grit. Pursuing something because you have a passion for it is not enough to keep you going.

You must be willing to hone your skills, develop your creativity and grow what you do. Discover, develop, deepen. Moreover, don’t expect talent and innate ability to do more than open doors and create opportunities. These are little more than clues to your passion. Grit is what creates success.

6. You figure out what you love over time not overnight

You also figure it out by trying many things and getting out of your head. Most people are not born knowing what their soul’s purpose and passion are. To figure out what you love, try different jobs, volunteer with different organizations, look for clues, and look for mentors to help you.

Knowing what you don’t like is important to the process of figuring out what you love. Dr. Duckworth shares, “most grit paragons I’ve interviewed told me they spent years exploring several different interests, and the one that eventually came to occupy all of their waking (and some sleeping) thoughts wasn’t recognizably their life’s destiny on first acquaintance.”

As someone who studied classical ballet, accounting, finance, international business, French, fashion and psychology in college, followed by positive psychology, coaching, and writing, I can vouch for it taking years, and thousands of dollars to find what I enduringly love doing.

“Entrepreneurs average 3.8 failures before final success. What sets the successful ones apart is their amazing persistence.” – Lisa M. Amos

7. A growth mindset wins over a fixed mindset

You will be more successful if you believe, not that you are ready, but that you aren’t. If you have a growth mindset, you know that to be successful you will have to learn new things, face challenges, and adapt.

In her book, Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, Dr. Carol Dweck shares that, “in the growth mindset, you don’t always need confidence…even when you think you’re not good at something, you can still plunge into it wholeheartedly and stick to it.”

When you are open to new information, whether it is consistent with your current beliefs or not, you have the opportunity to grow.

Whether you are cultivating optimism, finding or deepening your passion, or dialing down the influence of biases, having an open mind and expanding it can turn you into a high performer. If you feel stuck, try something new.

Tony Robbins says, “Don’t quit. Try a new approach.” You may be holding yourself back either by negative self-talk or old programming. If doing what you always did hasn’t gotten you where you want to be, try something new.  Start by challenging your thoughts and beliefs.

Which one of these points resonated most with you? Let us know your thoughts below!

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The Power of 7 Day Goals: 5 Behaviors to Make Them Successful

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When most people think of the goal setting process, they think of large auspicious goals that tend to occupy a lot of mental and behavioral space. Most of us, when we think of goal setting, think of bigger and more commodious housing, sexier automobiles, vacations, relationships, and any of the other bigger chunks of our lives that we would like to make changes in.

While larger goals are fine and help keep us focused in the direction of our lives’ objective, it really doesn’t hurt to focus on smaller goals; goals that can be accomplished quickly, maybe even in a week.

The two types of 7 day goals you need to set

There are two types of seven day goals that we should set: one is a larger goal broken down into a behavioral step that we can finish this week. By that I mean, if your goal was to lose 50 pounds, your goal this week might be to research gyms. You see what we’ve done here,  we took a larger goal, that of losing 50 pounds, and broken it into actionable steps; the first being to go to several gyms, trying them out and seeing which one we like the best.

The second type of seven day goals is very simple; it revolves around doing something that we know we should do. Let me give you an example. In my face-to-face, multi-week trainings, I asked participants to set a seven-day personal goal. Something small. Something that was bothering them and that they know they can accomplish in seven days. Perhaps it was a disorganized closet or washing the car. The whole idea was to practice the goal setting process, seeing results, and then celebrating your accomplishments.

“If you set goals and go after them with all the determination you can muster, your gifts will take you places that will amaze you.” – Les Brown

While going around the room and debriefing, one woman in the class said that she did in fact accomplish her goal; it was to remove her Christmas decorations from her ironing board and put them in the closet where they would be stored until next Christmas. I found this to be somewhat amusing since the class was being held April. I asked her where did she do her ironing? She said that she put her clothes in a basket and took them upstairs to the kitchen where she proceeded to iron on the kitchen counter.

I asked her how she felt about looking at that ironing board with the Christmas decorations on it and she said that when she viewed the ironing board, now Christmas decoration storage container, it made her mad or depressed. I asked her a second level question, how long did it take you to put those Christmas decorations in the closet, where they should’ve been for the last four months? She said about 10 minutes. 10 minutes to stop feeling angry or depressed!

Think about the power of goal setting. For four months this woman was feeling emotional overhead every time the visual anchor of the Christmas decorated ironing board was observed. She set a goal to remove the obstacle and in 10 minutes was able to clean her ironing and store it in the necessary location. I asked her how she felt after the ironing board was cleared. With a smile on her face she said, “delighted!” So, a 10 minute behavior, based upon a 7-day goal, transformed her anger/depression into feeling delighted!

As you can see, the power of the whole process is not only apparent in those gigantic chunks of achievement that we want to accomplish, but can also be evidenced in smaller, actionable steps that we can do quickly.

Here’s a couple ideas to move you in the direction of positive goal setting and successful behavior:

1. Set a seven-day business goal and a seven-day personal goal

Everyone has something in their business that they would like to accomplish. Perhaps it’s cleaning out a desk drawer that has for years been a black hole. Perhaps, it’s sorting through the file cabinet purging unnecessary files. Regardless, there is something at work that is most likely anchoring you negative emotional overhead and can be resolved quickly with setting the seven-day goal to change whatever it is. The same thing applies to home. Is there a closet that you’ve been meaning to clean (for several years)? How about that corner of the garage? A room that needs to be painted? Instead of rationalizing why you can’t do it, why not do it?

“Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible.” – Tony Robbins

2. Don’t only set the goal, schedule it

Put it in your calendar and make it an appointment. That way at the appropriate time you will naturally fall in the habit of action.

3. Stay enthusiastic

Don’t accomplish your goal with drudgery. If you do, you will most likely not set any more goals. Instead, attack your goals with enthusiasm and unbridled abandoned. Because it is that very action that is instilling in you the success attribute of positive goalsetting, one of the strongest behavior modifiers human kind has ever known.

4. At the end of the week analyze your results

What behaviors did you modify to accomplish your goals? What rationalizations did you hold dear that perhaps kept you from accomplishing your goals? Be honest with yourself! Add more of what you should, and delete that which was not helpful.

5. Celebrate your victories

Each small goal is an accomplishment. Each one is a celebration of your successes. While I’m not suggesting a two-week Caribbean cruise for cleaning out your closet, perhaps a pizza for dinner instead of cooking might be in order.

So, there you have it. The idea that all goals do not have to be gigantic, and that small goals are just as important. Success has been defined as the progressive, realization, of worthwhile, predetermined, personal goals. That means that success is based on goal setting and that success is a habit.

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How You Can Effectively Achieve Your Goals by Using the Puzzle Analogy

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Image Credit: Twenty20.com

I was building a 500 piece puzzle the other day with many tiny little pieces. When I opened the box, I was completely overwhelmed. There were so many pieces and many of them were very similar in color. I took a breath and thought “just do one piece at a time”. I knew that I had to come up with a plan and organize the pieces into groups before I got started. This helped me to focus and take away some of the overwhelming feelings that were coming up. I came up with a plan and executed that plan. (more…)

Meghan Olsgard is the creator and writer of www.infinitesoulblueprint.com where she writes articles about self-empowerment and creating a fulfilling life. She shares her personal experiences and the obstacles she has overcame to help and inspire others to do the same. You can get more information at her website or follow her on Facebook.

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7 Comments

7 Comments

  1. Jackie

    Oct 28, 2016 at 1:50 am

    Do you take medication now for anxiety?

  2. Nick Scuderi

    Feb 24, 2016 at 3:43 pm

    A lot of these ways really related to me and how I changed in my own life. I used to only focus on school or work and didn’t see life for what it really was. Since then, I opened my mind and now see life in a new way. We need to focus on important things in our lives, but we need to live life at the same time. The one thing I fear is to never try something and regret it later. I’m glad I finally “woke up”.

    • Tim Denning

      Feb 24, 2016 at 7:00 pm

      Thanks for sharing your point of view Nick. I think we all suffer the same fear if not getting to do everything we want to do in our lifetime. Time is limited so we must use it wisely and plan out what we want to achieve rather than being on auto-pilot.

  3. Toño

    Feb 18, 2016 at 7:49 am

    Perfect and right on time atricle for me (as always should I say), as I am stuck at home for a 4 days due my eye illness, not to mention my level of anxiety rised up because I missed my job, gym & swimming pool.. I was needed that portion of healthy read!

    Have to say, you did a lot of self-development work, and I mean A LOT! While reading your ways, one by one, I started to realise that behind inspiration and a prime example for us, readers, you came through so many things and re-shaped your life, did the massive upgrade to a whole new level. Sugar, coffee, alcohol adds much to level of stress and affects our body, leave alone, being up onto those things you will have a constant brain fog and yes, you named it, looking on how society defines this way of life you may think it is normal. When it’s actually not. Reading books is amazing and agree with you it definitely helps rewire your mind and change the way you look at things. It helped me throughout my journey overcome my OCD. You certainly need good focus and concentration to read.
    Oh, and I think I learned new word today – gamify! Sounds pretty awesome, gotta use it as well 🙂

    I also would like to know how to meditate. Or how to do it properly. It is hard for me to find time and quiet place where I can just sit and relax and reflect on everything, but sometimes I just feel like it.

    Thank you so much Tim, for inspiration and honest story, again I appreciate it greatly and looking forward to your future work! By the way, how’s your public speaking experience going? Did you have any chance to practice it ?

    • Tim Denning

      Feb 18, 2016 at 9:44 am

      Toño your commentary is always just what I need. Thanks for taking the time to leave such detailed comments. Hope you get better soon from your eye illness. You are spot on, I have done loads of self-development and it’s what has made me successful.

      Meditation is something I am still trying to master. I recommend doing it for 5 minutes per day, when you wake up using an iphone app like calm It gets easier as you practice it but the room you are in must be quiet.

      Did my first public speaking practice with a group today. My speech was only 90 seconds and it was a topic that was chosen for me on loneliness. I said that coming back from holidays makes me feel a bit lonely and explained it in further detail. I strongly recommend public speaking practice if you can get it. I have a long way to go though….lol

      • Toño

        Feb 18, 2016 at 10:41 am

        I’m glad you like my commentary, as sometimes I feel I just overwhelm you (or any other) with my rambling.. So it’s good to know.

        Also amazing to know you did your first public speaking today, yay! Congratulations and that was actually quite cool theme to discuss. How does it feel? I feel exactly the same when I get back from my holidays btw, partly I have to leave my family and also beautiful country of my origins. First week is tough and lonely indeed.

        Because of my job I do some practice of public speaking, sort of. Even though not much audience. But I really want to improve my skills there, would love to get more confidence as this is my main priority right now, what I am work on daily.

        As for meditation, I’ve read for beginners you need some object to concentrate your attention on, like some kind of a flower (yeah, got this from Robin Sharma book). I have a little bamboo growing so it might be a good choice.

        • Tim Denning

          Feb 20, 2016 at 2:23 am

          Toño the speech felt good. I have spoken in public many times but never really done speeches as such. If you want to improve your skills the cheapest way is through Toastmasters. If you have a bit more money to spend then there are some great short courses you can do that will get you results faster than Toastmasters.

          Best of luck with the meditation. Try to focus on the breathe if you are new to it rather than an object and definitely use a meditation app like Calm.

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Life

How You Can Effectively Achieve Your Goals by Using the Puzzle Analogy

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I was building a 500 piece puzzle the other day with many tiny little pieces. When I opened the box, I was completely overwhelmed. There were so many pieces and many of them were very similar in color. I took a breath and thought “just do one piece at a time”. I knew that I had to come up with a plan and organize the pieces into groups before I got started. This helped me to focus and take away some of the overwhelming feelings that were coming up. I came up with a plan and executed that plan.

However, like anything in life, our plans don’t always go the way we think they will. If you can treat anything you are trying to achieve in life like a puzzle, it will help you get through the confusion and come up with a plan to achieve your goals.

Take Your Goals One Step at a Time

Putting a puzzle together is the perfect analogy for anything you are trying to achieve in life. You won’t know all the steps to take to achieve your goal until you are in the middle of it. Each step comes up when it needs to and you complete it as it comes up. Some of the pieces might need to be moved around but that is ok. It is ok if the first piece doesn’t fit, you make adjustments and move forward.

It is much less overwhelming to take it piece by piece instead of trying to figure out the whole picture before you even get started. Many things will come up that you didn’t expect and that is why you cannot see the whole picture until it is done. It is good to remain flexible and take it step by step as new things come up.

“Set your target and keep trying until you reach it.” – Napoleon Hill

Starting is the First Step to Achieve Any Goal You Want in Life

The most important thing is to start! You won’t know how it’s all going to go and you may need to change some things around in the middle. But in the end, you will have the complete picture. If you look at your goal with anxiety and think it is too hard in the beginning, then you may not even start. You only need to know the first step, get organized and all the pieces will fit into place.

I was overwhelmed when I first looked at the puzzle and I thought “maybe I won’t even do it. Is it worth it?” But I decided that I’d start, even if I didn’t finish it at least I’d try. But you know what? Once I got into the puzzle, it wasn’t so bad. It was way less overwhelming when I was in the middle of it then it was before I started.

You have time on your side. You don’t have to do it all in one day or one week or one year. You have plenty of time. That is something that helped me. There was no pressure to get it done in one day which was my original goal; the only pressure I had was that which I put upon myself.

Get Organized and Start With a Solid Plan

If you are starting out on a goal, it is important to get organized first. Yes, you won’t know everything that is going to happen but at least you will be organized enough that when things do come up, you will know how to incorporate them into your plan. Being organized will make it much easier to see where all the pieces go and save you a lot of time in the long run.

I got organized and sorted the puzzle pieces by colors as well as outside and inside pieces to make it easier to see where the pieces would fit. If I left them all in one big pile, I’d constantly have to sort through the pile to find what I was looking for and waste a ton of time. By having them broken out into smaller piles, I was able to find what I was looking for much faster and saved a lot of time.

This works with whatever it is you are trying to achieve in life. Get organized and make a plan. You will save yourself a lot of time and frustration. It is so much easier to go through little organized piles of items than one big, disorganized pile.

“Goals give you more than a reason to get up in the morning; they are an incentive to keep you going all day.” – Harvey MacKay

Get Through the Tough Times When Going for Your Goals

Before I dove into the puzzle, I was confused and a bit frustrated but determined to make it work. In the end all the pieces fit together perfectly and made a beautiful picture. It’s interesting to think of a project or a goal you want to achieve like a big puzzle with many pieces. When you first dump out the pieces, it is a mess. They just look like pieces, nothing is created yet. But as you go through the process and move things around it starts to come together.

You may hit some speed bumps along the way and get a bit frustrated, but if you are organized and take it one step at a time it will form a lovely picture in the end. So, keep going as determined as ever by moving one piece at a time.

Sometimes the piece will fit and other times you’ll need to find a different puzzle piece to go in that spot. Before you know it, you have a beautiful picture created that you never thought you’d be able to do before you started. It may be an interesting, messy, confusing, fun, bumpy ride but in the end all the pieces will form the beautiful picture that you set out to achieve.

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Self-Compassion Vs. Self-Esteem: How You Can Build Both

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Self-esteem can be defined as the confidence in your own abilities or worth. Self-compassion, however, can be defined by the ability to be gentle with yourself, even if you have misjudged or made a mistake.

You ask yourself from time to time, how is self esteem related to success? Having a sense of low self-esteem can really become a barrier for building your career and ultimately, living the life you want.

You may be completely competent in your skills and abilities but be too afraid to show the world your talents or too hesitant to apply for that job. Low self-esteem may hinder you in your personal life by leaving you with feelings of inadequacy or you may always be comparing yourself to someone else.

Self-esteem is not something that can be instantly repaired overnight. Building your self-esteem can take time and, most importantly, self-compassion. It is most important to be kind to yourself and accept that from time to time, you will make mistakes.

Creating a strong sense of self-compassion can ultimately bring more to your life than just a newfound sense of self-love.

Self-Compassion Vs. Self-Esteem

When looking at self compassion vs self esteem, which is more important? Self-esteem can be volatile and emotional, while self-compassion can allow you to remove your self-esteem from your value judgments of yourself.

Knowing this will allow you to look at your decisions and actions from a non-judgmental mindset. You will be able to look at your traits, both good and bad, and accept that all of them are a part of human nature.

New studies suggest that self-compassion, rather than self-esteem, may be the key that allows you to achieve more growth because you can take your best traits and cultivate them while look at your worst traits objectively.

It can be argued that improving self-compassion will ultimately serve you better in the long run than improving your self-esteem. Even if self-compassion is more important, you can still have room to improve your self-esteem while you are at it.

Here are some tips to tell you how to work on self esteem and self compassion:

1. Be Gentle with Yourself

No one is perfect and, as humans, we will all make mistakes. It is important to recognize and accept our flaws and mistakes as imperfect. Embrace that there are people that care about you, despite your flaws.

“Mistakes are always forgivable, if one has the courage to admit them.” – Bruce Lee

2. Practice Mindfulness

Mindfulness has many reported benefits for improving your mental health. You can use mindfulness by becoming aware and present in the current moment. Using mindfulness can help you look at your thoughts objectively and decide “Is this a fact about myself or a judgement?”

By staying mindful of how you are speaking to yourself, you can identify where your thoughts are becoming negative and redirect your thinking to more positive thoughts.

Practicing mindfulness will help you look at the current moment without judgements or preconceived ideas about yourself and allow room for growth.

3. Allow Room to Grow

We all inherently have traits that can be seen as undesirable, yet it’s what we do with those traits that decide whether we grow or remain where we’re at in life. By looking objectively at your flaws with a growth mindset, you can transform your life.

Allow yourself to take the things about yourself that you are uncomfortable with and learn from them on how to better yourself. The takeaways would be to focus on one thing at a time and take baby steps.

4. Be Grateful

It is easy to compare ourselves and what we have, or don’t have, to those around us.

Everyone around us is putting the greatest highlights of their lives on social media, and we end up making comparisons that we shouldn’t. It is important to remember to be grateful for what you do have such as the ability to be a great writer or excel in mathematics.

“Talent is God given. Be humble. Fame is man-given. Be grateful. Conceit is self-given. Be careful.” – John Wooden

Secondly, we need to be mindful of our positive traits, and how they can benefit the world. Think about how your specific skills have served you in the past. Perhaps, you are great at taking the lead and because of that, you’re the main leader on work projects. Remember that your positive traits deserve acknowledgement and praise.

5. Do Good

It has been proven that participating in improving the well-being of those around you will aid in improving your own well-being. Doing good and helping those around you will only have a positive effect in your life.

It is not beneficial to tear others down in an effort to build yourself up. Saying and doing helpful things for others around you will not only improve their self-esteem but yours as well.

6. Practice Makes Perfect

It will take some time and commitment to truly work on your self-esteem and self-compassion. This is not a commitment to yourself that you should take lightly. Decide that now is the time for action and truly commit to remaining consistent in bettering yourself.

You may see the successful people around you and how they seem to be so confident in themselves and wonder to yourself, is self-esteem the key to success? Truthfully, the answer would be no.

The key to success lies within many factors, and self-esteem and self-compassion are only two of the factors. As far as building both areas, practicing these strategies listed will help you learn how to get better in self-esteem and self-compassion.

Which one of the above factors resonated most with you in your pursuit of building your self-compassion and self-esteem? Let us know below!

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7 Strategies to Get Anything You Want From Life

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Success is tricky. There is no shortage of information about what creates success, but there are secret saboteurs in your thoughts and beliefs that may be sacking your accomplishments.

If you aren’t where you want to be in life, consider the following:

1. Choose accuracy over history

Your beliefs are not necessarily accurate. Your perception of the world is based on your personality traits, such as neuroticism, conscientiousness, agreeableness, or openness. In addition, what you learned in your early childhood environment and what was role modeled for you play another part.

Your views are more about your history than accuracy. Not to say that everything you set store by is wrong, but just because you think it, doesn’t make it so. Look for proof.

2. Be aware of your biases

Your brain uses mental shortcuts to evaluate new information out of necessity. Those shortcuts, however, influence how you perceive the world. Though there are hundreds of proven biases, here are a few more commonly known ones that impact what you believe.

Confirmation bias makes you more likely to accept new information that supports beliefs you currently hold about the world. This one makes you unlikely to change your mind once it’s made up.

Availability heuristic makes you more likely to overestimate the importance of information that is easy to remember. Lastly, there’s conformity bias which makes you want to conform with other people.

A 2015 article in Business Insider cited 58 biases that screw up the way we think and subsequently, what we do! Being aware that your brain may be limiting you and having some idea what the most common biases are can help you be more critical of information you take in and help you to be open to ideas and knowledge different from your beliefs.

3. Recognize, refute and replace negative self-talk

You have 50,000 to 80,000 conversations in your head per day on average, and some percentage of them are negative self-talk. For many people, that percentage is less than 50%. I’m not good enough, I’m too fat, or I can’t are all examples of negative self-talk.

Begin to recognize these thoughts and refute them by stating reasons why they’re not true. Lastly, replace them with something better such as “I have what it takes to do what I am meant to do,” or, change your “I can’t” to “I can.”

“Your smile will give you a positive countenance that will make people feel comfortable around you.” – Les Brown

4. Choose optimism

Optimism is defined by Merriam Webster online as, ”an inclination to put the most favorable construction upon actions and events or to anticipate the best possible outcome.” In short, it means to be hopeful which does not preclude healthy skepticism.

Martin Seligman is one of the founders of positive psychology, and in his book, Learned Optimism, shares strategies to grow your optimism. In the book, Dr. Seligman shares that “most people catastrophize. Learned optimism is about accuracy, and works not through an unjustifiable positivity about the world but through the power of ‘non-negative’ thinking.”

5. Rely on grit over talent and passion

Psychologist Angela Duckworth in her book Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance, states that “Enthusiasm is common. Endurance is rare.” She talks about how it’s easy to be in love with what you do but more challenging to stay in love with it. That takes grit. Pursuing something because you have a passion for it is not enough to keep you going.

You must be willing to hone your skills, develop your creativity and grow what you do. Discover, develop, deepen. Moreover, don’t expect talent and innate ability to do more than open doors and create opportunities. These are little more than clues to your passion. Grit is what creates success.

6. You figure out what you love over time not overnight

You also figure it out by trying many things and getting out of your head. Most people are not born knowing what their soul’s purpose and passion are. To figure out what you love, try different jobs, volunteer with different organizations, look for clues, and look for mentors to help you.

Knowing what you don’t like is important to the process of figuring out what you love. Dr. Duckworth shares, “most grit paragons I’ve interviewed told me they spent years exploring several different interests, and the one that eventually came to occupy all of their waking (and some sleeping) thoughts wasn’t recognizably their life’s destiny on first acquaintance.”

As someone who studied classical ballet, accounting, finance, international business, French, fashion and psychology in college, followed by positive psychology, coaching, and writing, I can vouch for it taking years, and thousands of dollars to find what I enduringly love doing.

“Entrepreneurs average 3.8 failures before final success. What sets the successful ones apart is their amazing persistence.” – Lisa M. Amos

7. A growth mindset wins over a fixed mindset

You will be more successful if you believe, not that you are ready, but that you aren’t. If you have a growth mindset, you know that to be successful you will have to learn new things, face challenges, and adapt.

In her book, Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, Dr. Carol Dweck shares that, “in the growth mindset, you don’t always need confidence…even when you think you’re not good at something, you can still plunge into it wholeheartedly and stick to it.”

When you are open to new information, whether it is consistent with your current beliefs or not, you have the opportunity to grow.

Whether you are cultivating optimism, finding or deepening your passion, or dialing down the influence of biases, having an open mind and expanding it can turn you into a high performer. If you feel stuck, try something new.

Tony Robbins says, “Don’t quit. Try a new approach.” You may be holding yourself back either by negative self-talk or old programming. If doing what you always did hasn’t gotten you where you want to be, try something new.  Start by challenging your thoughts and beliefs.

Which one of these points resonated most with you? Let us know your thoughts below!

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The Power of 7 Day Goals: 5 Behaviors to Make Them Successful

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When most people think of the goal setting process, they think of large auspicious goals that tend to occupy a lot of mental and behavioral space. Most of us, when we think of goal setting, think of bigger and more commodious housing, sexier automobiles, vacations, relationships, and any of the other bigger chunks of our lives that we would like to make changes in.

While larger goals are fine and help keep us focused in the direction of our lives’ objective, it really doesn’t hurt to focus on smaller goals; goals that can be accomplished quickly, maybe even in a week.

The two types of 7 day goals you need to set

There are two types of seven day goals that we should set: one is a larger goal broken down into a behavioral step that we can finish this week. By that I mean, if your goal was to lose 50 pounds, your goal this week might be to research gyms. You see what we’ve done here,  we took a larger goal, that of losing 50 pounds, and broken it into actionable steps; the first being to go to several gyms, trying them out and seeing which one we like the best.

The second type of seven day goals is very simple; it revolves around doing something that we know we should do. Let me give you an example. In my face-to-face, multi-week trainings, I asked participants to set a seven-day personal goal. Something small. Something that was bothering them and that they know they can accomplish in seven days. Perhaps it was a disorganized closet or washing the car. The whole idea was to practice the goal setting process, seeing results, and then celebrating your accomplishments.

“If you set goals and go after them with all the determination you can muster, your gifts will take you places that will amaze you.” – Les Brown

While going around the room and debriefing, one woman in the class said that she did in fact accomplish her goal; it was to remove her Christmas decorations from her ironing board and put them in the closet where they would be stored until next Christmas. I found this to be somewhat amusing since the class was being held April. I asked her where did she do her ironing? She said that she put her clothes in a basket and took them upstairs to the kitchen where she proceeded to iron on the kitchen counter.

I asked her how she felt about looking at that ironing board with the Christmas decorations on it and she said that when she viewed the ironing board, now Christmas decoration storage container, it made her mad or depressed. I asked her a second level question, how long did it take you to put those Christmas decorations in the closet, where they should’ve been for the last four months? She said about 10 minutes. 10 minutes to stop feeling angry or depressed!

Think about the power of goal setting. For four months this woman was feeling emotional overhead every time the visual anchor of the Christmas decorated ironing board was observed. She set a goal to remove the obstacle and in 10 minutes was able to clean her ironing and store it in the necessary location. I asked her how she felt after the ironing board was cleared. With a smile on her face she said, “delighted!” So, a 10 minute behavior, based upon a 7-day goal, transformed her anger/depression into feeling delighted!

As you can see, the power of the whole process is not only apparent in those gigantic chunks of achievement that we want to accomplish, but can also be evidenced in smaller, actionable steps that we can do quickly.

Here’s a couple ideas to move you in the direction of positive goal setting and successful behavior:

1. Set a seven-day business goal and a seven-day personal goal

Everyone has something in their business that they would like to accomplish. Perhaps it’s cleaning out a desk drawer that has for years been a black hole. Perhaps, it’s sorting through the file cabinet purging unnecessary files. Regardless, there is something at work that is most likely anchoring you negative emotional overhead and can be resolved quickly with setting the seven-day goal to change whatever it is. The same thing applies to home. Is there a closet that you’ve been meaning to clean (for several years)? How about that corner of the garage? A room that needs to be painted? Instead of rationalizing why you can’t do it, why not do it?

“Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible.” – Tony Robbins

2. Don’t only set the goal, schedule it

Put it in your calendar and make it an appointment. That way at the appropriate time you will naturally fall in the habit of action.

3. Stay enthusiastic

Don’t accomplish your goal with drudgery. If you do, you will most likely not set any more goals. Instead, attack your goals with enthusiasm and unbridled abandoned. Because it is that very action that is instilling in you the success attribute of positive goalsetting, one of the strongest behavior modifiers human kind has ever known.

4. At the end of the week analyze your results

What behaviors did you modify to accomplish your goals? What rationalizations did you hold dear that perhaps kept you from accomplishing your goals? Be honest with yourself! Add more of what you should, and delete that which was not helpful.

5. Celebrate your victories

Each small goal is an accomplishment. Each one is a celebration of your successes. While I’m not suggesting a two-week Caribbean cruise for cleaning out your closet, perhaps a pizza for dinner instead of cooking might be in order.

So, there you have it. The idea that all goals do not have to be gigantic, and that small goals are just as important. Success has been defined as the progressive, realization, of worthwhile, predetermined, personal goals. That means that success is based on goal setting and that success is a habit.

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