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4 Lessons That Are Hidden In Your Weaknesses

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We all have weaknesses. That isn’t really a problem, though. After all, if everyone has weaknesses, then the most successful people around have some, too. They succeeded despite them – or in some cases, because of them.

The truth is, if the world’s most successful people got where they are today without their weaknesses barring the way, your weaknesses needn’t bar your way to success, either. The only problem comes if you use your weaknesses to convince yourself that you can’t possibly succeed. But if you use your weaknesses wisely, you can find them to be a source of success.

Here are 4 things to remember about your weaknesses:

1. Your weakness may be someone else’s problem rather than yours

Not everything that someone else tells you is a weakness. Often we are quick to believe what others tell us. We feel judged and convicted by the court of others’ opinions. Yet the problem isn’t necessarily us. The other person may simply be wrong.

Oprah Winfrey was fired from her first job in television because the boss thought she was “too emotional” and “not right for television.” Rather than believe the boss’ verdict on her and try to tone down her trademark enthusiasm, she built on it. Eventually, she found someone who would let her use it. The result? She rode her enthusiastic nature into a billion-dollar career.

“The key is to keep company only with people who uplift you, whose presence calls forth your best.” – Epicetus

2. Your weakness may only be in your own mind

We can build negatives up in our minds to the point where we feel they are insurmountable, when they actually aren’t. For example, a person may feel that the lack of a college degree eliminates them from any chance of success when in reality, it is highly possible to succeed without a college degree.

Sometimes all we need to do is change the way we look at our weakness. Actor, Bruce Willis, suffered a severe stutter for the first twenty years of his life. Rather than letting it isolate him from others, he used it as a way to develop a sense of humor about himself, put others at ease and make them laugh. Those qualities are a large part of what later made him an Emmy-winning actor and popular action movie star.

 

3. Your weakness may have a strength embedded in it

Go to any article on the topic of job interviews and you’re likely to find an article on the most dreaded question asked by employers: “What is your greatest weakness?” There’s something important to be learned from the advice given in those articles. Focus on the strength that accompanies your weakness.

For example, “I don’t do well with details,” is just a negative way of saying, “I’m good at focusing on the big picture or I’m too much of a perfectionist,” is a negative way of saying, “I’m very thorough and conscientious.”

Albert Einstein was considered slow and uninterested in learning as a child, always lost in abstract thoughts that were far removed from what his teachers were trying to teach him. But that penchant for abstract thinking ultimately led him to complex theories about time, space and matter that revealed his true genius.

“Strength and growth come only through continuous effort and struggle.” – Napoleon Hill

4. Your weaknesses can be defeated by effort

Sometimes it’s our efforts to overcome our greatest weaknesses, the tragedies that we face, that become the source of our greatest successes. Billionaire Richard Branson has made his fortune from being at the forefront of technological advancements. Yet no one who knew him in his childhood would ever have anticipated his success.

Branson is dyslexic. He struggled in school because little was known about dyslexia at the time. He was categorized as lazy, disruptive and uninterested in learning.

So, instead of focusing on reading about the technologies that fascinated him, he focused on surrounding himself with people who were experts in those technologies. He used his people skills to meld those experts into teams that could produce new approaches to old problems. Then he marketed the resulting products and services skillfully to build eight separate billion-dollar businesses.

Rather than focusing on the seemingly negative aspects of weaknesses, view them as they truly are, parts of what make you unique. Build on them to bring out the positives in them. Reassess them to see how you can use them in a positive manner.

Do you focus on finding the positives in your weaknesses or do you not focus on weaknesses all together? Please leave your thoughts in the comment section below!

Janet Anthony is a blogger from Kansas city and content writer at EssayKittens.com who has been writing professionally for five years now. She mostly writes about inspiration, blogging, motivation, and self-development. Her motto is “What you do today can improve all your tomorrows”. You can connect with Janet through her Twitter or Facebook.

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4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Victoria

    Dec 22, 2016 at 8:09 am

    Janet, Wonderful article and you’re a very talented and insightful person. #3 resonated with me and I’m going to put this technique into very good use. Starting tomorrow ?
    Thank you very much and Merry Christmas?

  2. AUBRIE RICKETTS

    Jul 25, 2016 at 3:43 am

    Janet, what a great article. I think that embracing weakness is one of our biggest challenges. Great job assessing the four biggest weakness we need to address. Personally I think the biggest weakness is the one we have set in our own mind as you point out in #2. I often point out my weaknesses preventing someone else to do it for me. Do you think this contributes to the weakness or helps reveal it?
    Aubrie

  3. Toño

    Jul 25, 2016 at 2:40 am

    Janet, I enjoyed your article and actually got some deep thinking on definition my own weaknesses. I like your #1 point and now can see you’re very much right about. If one person has an idea about your abilities it means only that. It’s their perception and not necessarily the world truth. Love it!

    Thank you for great read, very well done, would like to read more in the future 🙂 Much love and appreciation~

  4. Chris

    Jul 23, 2016 at 5:38 am

    The stand out point for me here is that effort can overcome any weakness. I love the example’s of successful people that you use, I’d have to say my quote for effort over weakness would be Jack Nicklaus the golfer “The more I practice, the luckier I get”

    We do take what say people about is seriously and we shouldn’t. Your article shows just a handful of people that didn’t listen to other people or let their weaknesses get in the way, and we’re glad that they didn’t. The scary and almost sad thing about this is: if we think about how many people have listened to those negative people and walked away from their dreams, imagine how many more awesome people we would have in the world, it could be such a different place.

    Great article, thank you

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Life

How Never Giving Up Can Lead You From Pain and Suffering to Ease and Joy

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never give up

I struggled with many aspects of life early on such as growing up in challenging circumstances and getting bullied at school. I read my first self-development book at 13 and attended many courses and workshops, but nothing I encountered made the difference for me. It was only once I found a set of energetic processes and tools which I now use in my life and my work that I was able to turn things around.

Today, I get to write for you about my experiences, run a thriving mentoring and healing practice and travel to attend classes and events.

Here are some of the things I’ve done/learned along the way:

1. I took responsibility for my actions

I believe we attract all our experiences in order to learn from them. It is tough when we go through things we don’t know how to handle and experience pain, fear and anxiety as a result.  

This leaves us many emotions to release and a skill gap to bridge, which if done right, allows us to develop a level of confidence about how to turn experience into awareness and integrate our learning into wisdom for future ease and higher outcomes.

For me, learning to let go was hard (we are not taught this and I kept feeling like I had to hold onto things to protect myself). After a while, I came to the decision that “It’s not what’s happened to me, it’s how I deal with it that matters”.

Choosing from this space was empowering and allowed me to move from regret and develop a sense of purpose from my experiences.

2. I jumped off the cliff without a parachute and became inspired and trusting on the way down

I had gotten to the point where if I stayed where I was, I would die. I didn’t know how my life would look or who I would become in the process of changing, yet I knew if I was going to survive I had to become a radically different version of me.

Once I made that decision, I found the tools I was looking for that were relatable, fun and powerful. I began to change my thoughts, feelings and emotions and way of viewing the world.

After a while, instead of using personal development to escape the pain of my life, I became addicted to pursuing the highest version of myself and curious how much change and transformation I could create. I was having fun!

I began to ask what was possible for me I’d never imagined and realized that who I actually am is completely different from who I had thought I wanted to become. I discovered my soul purpose was connected to my inner work and my years of struggle and transformation meant that I had something valuable to offer others.

“What we are waiting for is not as important as what happens to us while we are waiting. Trust the process.” – Mandy Hale

3. I had the unshakeable belief something else was possible

As growth, healing, and expansion became my highest goal, the details filled themselves in. The right people and things showed up to trigger my growth and to support me which helped me be less fearful, and more able to give and receive love from others.

I lost layers of accumulated emotional garbage and started to connect with my power and purpose. I stopped telling my victim story (except to inspire others) and I began to trust myself and have faith in life again to have my back.

4. I made heaps of mistakes and instead of feeling bad about it, I felt determined, courageous and free

This part was tough. There were setbacks, embarrassments, discouragements and challenges but I wasn’t going to give in and quit.  

I had to suck at some things in order to get better. Creating a new life from scratch is a great way to lose ego. There were a few hurdles where I would get super upset, yet giving up was never an option.

There’s no point in being upset so I sucked it up and moved on. This takes courage and feels totally weird at first, but it is so worth it.

5. I became a new version of me

In the course of recreating myself, I began to develop new attributes. I was so focusing on changing, I didn’t notice what was different about me at first.

Every few months I would write my goals and it wasn’t until I would check them that I began to realize how much I’d accomplished in the process of changing me.

This became clearer whenever I would run across someone who I once looked up to because their life suddenly looked smaller than I remembered. While they had been comfortable and barely moving, I had plodded past them like the proverbial tortoise. As I stay on this trajectory, the benefits and changes multiply exponentially over time.

“Every day, you reinvent yourself. You’re always in motion. But you decide every day: forward or backward.” – James Altucher

6. I became open to new ideas and concepts

In the process of being cracked wide open by life, I became curious, accepting and interested in different ideas, concepts and techniques.

Things like manifesting, consciousness, spirituality and other ‘strange’ ideas became my friends.  After years of trying to create change via psychological means, effort, willpower and implementing traditional tools of personal development, I found my wheelhouse in the different.

Today I am grateful for my early adversity and my own persistence and determination. Without them, who I am today would have remained undiscovered and I wouldn’t get to do the cool stuff I do with other people. I am grateful for the amazing tools and information around today, which can make the journey so much easier.

What helps you keep moving when you feel like giving up? Let us know in the comments below!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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Life

As Bad As Smoking? 3 Reasons to Occasionally Unplug From Technology

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take a break from technology

A popular meme reads: “I’m having people over to stare at their phones later if you want to come by…” It’s kind of funny in an alarming way since many people would consider walking barefoot across flaming hot coals before parting with their smartphones for a few weeks.

As useful as things like the Internet and mobile devices are, taking time to occasionally unplug is a good habit. Even if for no other reason than to develop your willpower and avoid being too heavily addicted to your wireless toy.

Consider the following three reasons for periodically unplugging from technology and taking a minute to smell the roses:

1. Face-To-Face Interaction

As useful as social media is for things like marketing, maintaining contact with old friends and sending messages across the world in the blink of an eye, there’s no substitute for a friendly meeting and a firm handshake.

There are few things in life that have more potential to increase our happiness than building good relationships with the people around us. Taking the effort to postpone the reading and answering of your latest text message in order to listen and offer attention to the person in front of you can be a great way to improve relationships and show people you care.

If you want a more practical and success-driven reason, then consider the fact that developing a healthy network is one of the most powerful ways to successfully grow your business or career. Spending a business lunch or golf game glued to your touchscreen is a lousy way to build that network.

2. Creative Thinking

Creativity is another powerful asset in your effort to expand your success, solve your problems and increase your happiness. Getting in the habit of frequent, diligent reading (an activity often performed with mobile devices) is essential in developing your creative capacity. In addition, investing alone time to occasionally take a step back to think, review options and consider possible solutions towards life’s struggles is a great quality.

Making a habit of doing so can be beneficial for planning your career, planning an exciting night out on the town with your spouse, planning how to discipline your teenager and plenty more.

“Great is the human who has not lost his childlike heart.” – Mencius

3. Health Concerns

The health risks caused by electromagnetic frequencies (EMFs) are numerous and not to be ignored. Health damaging EMFs are emitted by various types of electronic devices including cellphones, tablets and laptops among others. Although pretending these dangers don’t exist may seem convenient, there’s nothing convenient about dealing with the consequences. Some have even suggested that cell phones may eventually prove to be as cancerous as cigarettes. Don’t believe me?

In the book ‘The Non-Tinfoil Guide To EMFs’, Nicolas Pineault writes, “A $25M study performed by the US National Toxicology Program (NTP) studied the effects of exposing rats and mice to an amount of cellphone radiation equivalent to what a human would get by talking for 30 minutes a day, for 36 years.

“As reported by Microwave News: ‘The exposed rats were found to have higher rates of two types of cancers: glioma, a tumor of the glial cells in the brain, and malignant schwannoma of the heart, a very rare tumor. None of the unexposed control rats developed either type of tumor.’

“The irony is the whole reason John Bucher, the senior manager of the NTP study, wanted his agency to run this study is to prove once and for all that cellphones do not cause cancer.”

Swearing off technology is probably not the most practical solution. (Although if that’s your thing, then rock on.) That said, occasionally taking a break from technology and spending some time in nature might help counteract some of the negative effects.

Bonus: Stress Reduction

With so many people in our culture complaining of excessive stress and/or taking antidepressants, it makes sense to proactively take steps to reduce stress before it builds up so much that you experience a nervous breakdown.

I don’t know about you, but when I get away from the computer or turn off my mobile device for a bit, I can feel the difference. If I’ve been working on my laptop or tablet for too long, then getting away and taking a break offers a noticeable relief. I almost immediately feel calmer.

If you’ve been on your phone/tablet/computer for a while, consider taking a few minutes after you finish reading this article to leave technology behind and catch a breath of fresh air.

“The more ways we have to connect, the more many of us seem desperate to unplug.” – Pico Iyer

Are you ready to build stronger relationships? Are you ready to proactively develop creative solutions? Are you ready to start preserving your health? Are you ready to leave some of that stress behind you? If so, then it’s time to fit a periodical unplug into your schedule. You might be surprised by how much this helps.

How many hours of the day do you use your phone? Are you being productive on it? Let us know in the comments below so we can help one another.

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Life

3 Ways to Have More Time by Living More Proactively

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We live in a reactive world. We feel compelled to check and respond to digital tools at a moment’s notice. A few minutes here and a few there checking email, responding to Slack messages, and replying to Facebook posts add up to a significant amount of time over the course of a day, week, and month. This precious time could be spent writing a book, training for a race, or being with your kids.

There’s a better way: live proactively. It means starting each day with purpose by taking control of what you do and when you do it. Embrace the proactive habits below and you’ll be amazed at what you accomplish.

1. Know Where Your Time Goes

It’s critical to start every day with a plan that details what you’re going to do and when. Take a few minutes each evening to create a schedule for the day ahead, hour-by-hour. Note your current commitments, like “meeting from 12pm to 1pm.” Then, give yourself large chunks of time to complete your priorities for the day.  

On Monday evening you plan your day for Tuesday, which could look something like this:

6am – 8am: Write draft of article

8am – 9am: Commute to work

9am – 11am: Write report

11am – 12pm: Attend meeting

You get the idea. Without a plan, it’s too easy to spend your days reacting to others: agreeing to take on a project or deciding to attend a last-minute meeting. This is a sure-fire way to unnecessarily drag out your days, leaving you with little time for anything else.

Planning your day takes a little upfront effort, but the results pay dividends in return. You’ll get a lot done in less time.

“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” – Benjamin Franklin

2. Determine When You’re Available to Communicate

You can’t be a hermit all day, every day. You’ll have to respond to people either personally or digitally at some point. That’s why you should determine in advance when you’re available to others to answer questions and discuss issues with friends and colleagues. Experiment and find a block of time that works for you, and include it in your daily schedule.

This proactive approach gives you a block of time to handle communication, instead of here and there throughout the day—a practice that can eat away at your day. Plus, using a block of time to handle correspondence sets the expectation for others: they can’t interrupt and pepper you all day long with questions.

3. Focus, Focus, Focus

Now that you’ve got a plan in place, it’s time to hone in on the details: do one task at a time. This way of working is at odds with the rest of the world, since it’s popular today to multitask. It’s common to see employees working on one monitor and responding to Slack messages on another. But there’s a problem with multitasking: it doesn’t work.

When we “multitask,” we’re not really doing multiple things at once. Rather, we’re doing “individual actions in rapid succession,” as pointed out by the Cleveland Clinic. We are in fact “mono-taskers.”

Eliminating digital distractions helps you to focus completely on the task at hand. Put your smartphone on silent and move it out of sight so you’re not tempted to check it while working. Close your email and Slack tabs. In other words, proactively eliminate digital and physical clutter, and you’ll find you get more quality work done when you focus and do things one at a time.

“What I’ve learned in these 11 years is you just got to stay focused and believe in yourself and trust your own ability and judgment.” – Mark Cuban

Above all, living proactively is a shift in mindset. Instead of saying “let’s see what blows up at the office today” and reacting to every whim, begin the day with purpose and be proactive with your time and attention—both are limited.

How do you make sure you use your time wisely? Let us know by commenting below!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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Life

9 Tips to Increase Your Charisma and Charm

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Most of us can probably name a person or two who can walk into a room and instantly become the center of attention. Some people seem to have a sort of natural charisma making them successful in social situations.

On the other hand, plenty of people out there lack any sort of natural charisma. They can be the smartest person in the world, but put them in a party and ask them to make friends and they become clueless. While it is possible to go through life without any charisma, not being able to carry on a conversation and not being able to make friends easily can make your life significantly harder. Thankfully, there are ways to make yourself more charismatic and more charming.

Here are 9 proven tips that will help make you more charismatic:

1. Learn proper posture

One simple way to make yourself more charismatic to those around you is to have proper posture. You should sit up straight and make yourself as tall as possible. Do not lean on your elbows or do anything like that. Sit up straight with your hands either at your sides or in front of you.

Believe it or not, having correct posture actually makes you feel more confident, which then makes you feel more willing to engage in conversation. When you are more willing to engage in conversation, you will appear more charismatic and more charming to those around you.

2. Do not underestimate the power of physical contact

Part of being charismatic is knowing when physical contact is needed. Uncharismatic people tend to shun physical contact and often do not know when to do it appropriately.

So, if you want to be more charismatic, then you should master when physical contact is appropriate and when it is not. For example, if a friend is crying or very upset, a hand on the shoulder or a hug (depending on how close of a friend they are) is appropriate.

Sometimes physical contact is even more appropriate than mere words.

3. Learn to recognize nonverbal cues

Very often people will not state how they are feeling. People will tell you they are feeling fine, even when deep down they are not. However, just because they do not say how they feel does not mean they do not give any clues.

You can often tell how a person is feeling about something based on facial expressions or body language. This should tell you what sort of mood they are in and how you should interact with them. We often associate charisma with things like telling good stories or making people laugh, yet a big part of charisma is simply knowing what sorts of things to say (or not to say) to people. Part of the way you figure out what to say to people is by reading their body language.

“I speak two languages, Body and English.” – Mae West

4. Know when to use humor

A big part of being charismatic is knowing how to use humor. Know when to make jokes and what sort of jokes to make. Too often, people constantly throw out jokes on the false assumption that it makes them likable. However, the timing of a joke is just as important as its contents. Making jokes at the wrong time makes you come off as uncharismatic. So, read the mood of others around you before throwing out a joke.

5. Learn to ask questions

We usually do not consider asking questions to be “charismatic,” but asking questions, and specifically the right kind of questions, is a great way to keep a conversation going.

People love to talk about themselves and they love to talk about what they are interested in. Charismatic people know this, which is why a charismatic person will spend as little time talking about themselves as possible.

Plus, by asking questions, you can find common areas of interest, which will allow you to expand your conversation topics.

6. Know how to listen effectively

This point goes hand-in-hand with the last one. Not only should you learn how to ask questions, but you should also learn to how to listen.

We all know that cliché about how women like men who are good listeners, well it is true and it applies to everyone, not just women. Sometimes, people simply want to talk to someone who will actually listen to their problems.

Knowing how to be a good listener will make people like you more since good listeners are so rare.

“When people talk, listen completely. Most people never listen.”- Ernest Hemingway

7. Memorize as many names as you can

This is a really small, but effective tip for coming across as more charismatic. Remembering a person’s name is a great way of signaling to them that they are important, which makes them feel better. Again, this is a very small tip, but you will be surprised at how much more charismatic you come across if you consistently remember people’s names.

8. Learn to talk with your hands

Believe it or not, using hand gestures while talking does make you come across as more charismatic. Now, we don’t mean that you should be swinging your hands around, but some light hand gestures while telling a story can help make people more engrossed in what you are saying. So, next time you want to really get people interested in what you are saying, try putting down whatever is in your hands and add in some gestures.

9. Cut out filler from your vocabulary

We all occasionally throw in an “umm” or an “uuuh” when talking (especially if we are telling a long story), but you should try cut down on the number of times that you use filler words like the ones we just mentioned. A hallmark of charisma is being able to talk for a long time without using a lot of filler. The best way to go about this is to simply keep track of how often you use filler words and slowly work on improving your speaking skills.

Which one of these tips are you going to start to implement? Let us know by commenting below!

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3 Practical Ways Successful People Attract Money

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It takes more than just hard work, grinding and strategies to become successful. Do you actually know what subtle changes to make in order to reach the level of success and financial wealth you desire? (more…)

Janette Getui is a mumpreneur and prosperity coach devoted to showing others how to produce more freedom and opulence in life. She is the co-founder of Bold Beautiful Blissful U and hosts transformational prosperity retreats and masterminds. Known to many as a powerful modern day mystic who has been able to prove through her own journey from the heart of poverty in an African slum to the abundant beach lifestyle that she gets to enjoy in Europe, that overcoming poverty consciousness, limiting beliefs and low self-worth is the fastest way to produce new beginnings and unfold a rich, blissful destiny. Her PH.D in overcoming harsh conditions and mind mastery make connecting with her worthwhile especially if spiritual and financial freedom matters to you. Get her free gift e-book that will enable you to unlock your version of heaven on earth.

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4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Victoria

    Dec 22, 2016 at 8:09 am

    Janet, Wonderful article and you’re a very talented and insightful person. #3 resonated with me and I’m going to put this technique into very good use. Starting tomorrow ?
    Thank you very much and Merry Christmas?

  2. AUBRIE RICKETTS

    Jul 25, 2016 at 3:43 am

    Janet, what a great article. I think that embracing weakness is one of our biggest challenges. Great job assessing the four biggest weakness we need to address. Personally I think the biggest weakness is the one we have set in our own mind as you point out in #2. I often point out my weaknesses preventing someone else to do it for me. Do you think this contributes to the weakness or helps reveal it?
    Aubrie

  3. Toño

    Jul 25, 2016 at 2:40 am

    Janet, I enjoyed your article and actually got some deep thinking on definition my own weaknesses. I like your #1 point and now can see you’re very much right about. If one person has an idea about your abilities it means only that. It’s their perception and not necessarily the world truth. Love it!

    Thank you for great read, very well done, would like to read more in the future 🙂 Much love and appreciation~

  4. Chris

    Jul 23, 2016 at 5:38 am

    The stand out point for me here is that effort can overcome any weakness. I love the example’s of successful people that you use, I’d have to say my quote for effort over weakness would be Jack Nicklaus the golfer “The more I practice, the luckier I get”

    We do take what say people about is seriously and we shouldn’t. Your article shows just a handful of people that didn’t listen to other people or let their weaknesses get in the way, and we’re glad that they didn’t. The scary and almost sad thing about this is: if we think about how many people have listened to those negative people and walked away from their dreams, imagine how many more awesome people we would have in the world, it could be such a different place.

    Great article, thank you

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Life

How Never Giving Up Can Lead You From Pain and Suffering to Ease and Joy

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never give up

I struggled with many aspects of life early on such as growing up in challenging circumstances and getting bullied at school. I read my first self-development book at 13 and attended many courses and workshops, but nothing I encountered made the difference for me. It was only once I found a set of energetic processes and tools which I now use in my life and my work that I was able to turn things around.

Today, I get to write for you about my experiences, run a thriving mentoring and healing practice and travel to attend classes and events.

Here are some of the things I’ve done/learned along the way:

1. I took responsibility for my actions

I believe we attract all our experiences in order to learn from them. It is tough when we go through things we don’t know how to handle and experience pain, fear and anxiety as a result.  

This leaves us many emotions to release and a skill gap to bridge, which if done right, allows us to develop a level of confidence about how to turn experience into awareness and integrate our learning into wisdom for future ease and higher outcomes.

For me, learning to let go was hard (we are not taught this and I kept feeling like I had to hold onto things to protect myself). After a while, I came to the decision that “It’s not what’s happened to me, it’s how I deal with it that matters”.

Choosing from this space was empowering and allowed me to move from regret and develop a sense of purpose from my experiences.

2. I jumped off the cliff without a parachute and became inspired and trusting on the way down

I had gotten to the point where if I stayed where I was, I would die. I didn’t know how my life would look or who I would become in the process of changing, yet I knew if I was going to survive I had to become a radically different version of me.

Once I made that decision, I found the tools I was looking for that were relatable, fun and powerful. I began to change my thoughts, feelings and emotions and way of viewing the world.

After a while, instead of using personal development to escape the pain of my life, I became addicted to pursuing the highest version of myself and curious how much change and transformation I could create. I was having fun!

I began to ask what was possible for me I’d never imagined and realized that who I actually am is completely different from who I had thought I wanted to become. I discovered my soul purpose was connected to my inner work and my years of struggle and transformation meant that I had something valuable to offer others.

“What we are waiting for is not as important as what happens to us while we are waiting. Trust the process.” – Mandy Hale

3. I had the unshakeable belief something else was possible

As growth, healing, and expansion became my highest goal, the details filled themselves in. The right people and things showed up to trigger my growth and to support me which helped me be less fearful, and more able to give and receive love from others.

I lost layers of accumulated emotional garbage and started to connect with my power and purpose. I stopped telling my victim story (except to inspire others) and I began to trust myself and have faith in life again to have my back.

4. I made heaps of mistakes and instead of feeling bad about it, I felt determined, courageous and free

This part was tough. There were setbacks, embarrassments, discouragements and challenges but I wasn’t going to give in and quit.  

I had to suck at some things in order to get better. Creating a new life from scratch is a great way to lose ego. There were a few hurdles where I would get super upset, yet giving up was never an option.

There’s no point in being upset so I sucked it up and moved on. This takes courage and feels totally weird at first, but it is so worth it.

5. I became a new version of me

In the course of recreating myself, I began to develop new attributes. I was so focusing on changing, I didn’t notice what was different about me at first.

Every few months I would write my goals and it wasn’t until I would check them that I began to realize how much I’d accomplished in the process of changing me.

This became clearer whenever I would run across someone who I once looked up to because their life suddenly looked smaller than I remembered. While they had been comfortable and barely moving, I had plodded past them like the proverbial tortoise. As I stay on this trajectory, the benefits and changes multiply exponentially over time.

“Every day, you reinvent yourself. You’re always in motion. But you decide every day: forward or backward.” – James Altucher

6. I became open to new ideas and concepts

In the process of being cracked wide open by life, I became curious, accepting and interested in different ideas, concepts and techniques.

Things like manifesting, consciousness, spirituality and other ‘strange’ ideas became my friends.  After years of trying to create change via psychological means, effort, willpower and implementing traditional tools of personal development, I found my wheelhouse in the different.

Today I am grateful for my early adversity and my own persistence and determination. Without them, who I am today would have remained undiscovered and I wouldn’t get to do the cool stuff I do with other people. I am grateful for the amazing tools and information around today, which can make the journey so much easier.

What helps you keep moving when you feel like giving up? Let us know in the comments below!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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As Bad As Smoking? 3 Reasons to Occasionally Unplug From Technology

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A popular meme reads: “I’m having people over to stare at their phones later if you want to come by…” It’s kind of funny in an alarming way since many people would consider walking barefoot across flaming hot coals before parting with their smartphones for a few weeks.

As useful as things like the Internet and mobile devices are, taking time to occasionally unplug is a good habit. Even if for no other reason than to develop your willpower and avoid being too heavily addicted to your wireless toy.

Consider the following three reasons for periodically unplugging from technology and taking a minute to smell the roses:

1. Face-To-Face Interaction

As useful as social media is for things like marketing, maintaining contact with old friends and sending messages across the world in the blink of an eye, there’s no substitute for a friendly meeting and a firm handshake.

There are few things in life that have more potential to increase our happiness than building good relationships with the people around us. Taking the effort to postpone the reading and answering of your latest text message in order to listen and offer attention to the person in front of you can be a great way to improve relationships and show people you care.

If you want a more practical and success-driven reason, then consider the fact that developing a healthy network is one of the most powerful ways to successfully grow your business or career. Spending a business lunch or golf game glued to your touchscreen is a lousy way to build that network.

2. Creative Thinking

Creativity is another powerful asset in your effort to expand your success, solve your problems and increase your happiness. Getting in the habit of frequent, diligent reading (an activity often performed with mobile devices) is essential in developing your creative capacity. In addition, investing alone time to occasionally take a step back to think, review options and consider possible solutions towards life’s struggles is a great quality.

Making a habit of doing so can be beneficial for planning your career, planning an exciting night out on the town with your spouse, planning how to discipline your teenager and plenty more.

“Great is the human who has not lost his childlike heart.” – Mencius

3. Health Concerns

The health risks caused by electromagnetic frequencies (EMFs) are numerous and not to be ignored. Health damaging EMFs are emitted by various types of electronic devices including cellphones, tablets and laptops among others. Although pretending these dangers don’t exist may seem convenient, there’s nothing convenient about dealing with the consequences. Some have even suggested that cell phones may eventually prove to be as cancerous as cigarettes. Don’t believe me?

In the book ‘The Non-Tinfoil Guide To EMFs’, Nicolas Pineault writes, “A $25M study performed by the US National Toxicology Program (NTP) studied the effects of exposing rats and mice to an amount of cellphone radiation equivalent to what a human would get by talking for 30 minutes a day, for 36 years.

“As reported by Microwave News: ‘The exposed rats were found to have higher rates of two types of cancers: glioma, a tumor of the glial cells in the brain, and malignant schwannoma of the heart, a very rare tumor. None of the unexposed control rats developed either type of tumor.’

“The irony is the whole reason John Bucher, the senior manager of the NTP study, wanted his agency to run this study is to prove once and for all that cellphones do not cause cancer.”

Swearing off technology is probably not the most practical solution. (Although if that’s your thing, then rock on.) That said, occasionally taking a break from technology and spending some time in nature might help counteract some of the negative effects.

Bonus: Stress Reduction

With so many people in our culture complaining of excessive stress and/or taking antidepressants, it makes sense to proactively take steps to reduce stress before it builds up so much that you experience a nervous breakdown.

I don’t know about you, but when I get away from the computer or turn off my mobile device for a bit, I can feel the difference. If I’ve been working on my laptop or tablet for too long, then getting away and taking a break offers a noticeable relief. I almost immediately feel calmer.

If you’ve been on your phone/tablet/computer for a while, consider taking a few minutes after you finish reading this article to leave technology behind and catch a breath of fresh air.

“The more ways we have to connect, the more many of us seem desperate to unplug.” – Pico Iyer

Are you ready to build stronger relationships? Are you ready to proactively develop creative solutions? Are you ready to start preserving your health? Are you ready to leave some of that stress behind you? If so, then it’s time to fit a periodical unplug into your schedule. You might be surprised by how much this helps.

How many hours of the day do you use your phone? Are you being productive on it? Let us know in the comments below so we can help one another.

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3 Ways to Have More Time by Living More Proactively

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We live in a reactive world. We feel compelled to check and respond to digital tools at a moment’s notice. A few minutes here and a few there checking email, responding to Slack messages, and replying to Facebook posts add up to a significant amount of time over the course of a day, week, and month. This precious time could be spent writing a book, training for a race, or being with your kids.

There’s a better way: live proactively. It means starting each day with purpose by taking control of what you do and when you do it. Embrace the proactive habits below and you’ll be amazed at what you accomplish.

1. Know Where Your Time Goes

It’s critical to start every day with a plan that details what you’re going to do and when. Take a few minutes each evening to create a schedule for the day ahead, hour-by-hour. Note your current commitments, like “meeting from 12pm to 1pm.” Then, give yourself large chunks of time to complete your priorities for the day.  

On Monday evening you plan your day for Tuesday, which could look something like this:

6am – 8am: Write draft of article

8am – 9am: Commute to work

9am – 11am: Write report

11am – 12pm: Attend meeting

You get the idea. Without a plan, it’s too easy to spend your days reacting to others: agreeing to take on a project or deciding to attend a last-minute meeting. This is a sure-fire way to unnecessarily drag out your days, leaving you with little time for anything else.

Planning your day takes a little upfront effort, but the results pay dividends in return. You’ll get a lot done in less time.

“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” – Benjamin Franklin

2. Determine When You’re Available to Communicate

You can’t be a hermit all day, every day. You’ll have to respond to people either personally or digitally at some point. That’s why you should determine in advance when you’re available to others to answer questions and discuss issues with friends and colleagues. Experiment and find a block of time that works for you, and include it in your daily schedule.

This proactive approach gives you a block of time to handle communication, instead of here and there throughout the day—a practice that can eat away at your day. Plus, using a block of time to handle correspondence sets the expectation for others: they can’t interrupt and pepper you all day long with questions.

3. Focus, Focus, Focus

Now that you’ve got a plan in place, it’s time to hone in on the details: do one task at a time. This way of working is at odds with the rest of the world, since it’s popular today to multitask. It’s common to see employees working on one monitor and responding to Slack messages on another. But there’s a problem with multitasking: it doesn’t work.

When we “multitask,” we’re not really doing multiple things at once. Rather, we’re doing “individual actions in rapid succession,” as pointed out by the Cleveland Clinic. We are in fact “mono-taskers.”

Eliminating digital distractions helps you to focus completely on the task at hand. Put your smartphone on silent and move it out of sight so you’re not tempted to check it while working. Close your email and Slack tabs. In other words, proactively eliminate digital and physical clutter, and you’ll find you get more quality work done when you focus and do things one at a time.

“What I’ve learned in these 11 years is you just got to stay focused and believe in yourself and trust your own ability and judgment.” – Mark Cuban

Above all, living proactively is a shift in mindset. Instead of saying “let’s see what blows up at the office today” and reacting to every whim, begin the day with purpose and be proactive with your time and attention—both are limited.

How do you make sure you use your time wisely? Let us know by commenting below!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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9 Tips to Increase Your Charisma and Charm

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Most of us can probably name a person or two who can walk into a room and instantly become the center of attention. Some people seem to have a sort of natural charisma making them successful in social situations.

On the other hand, plenty of people out there lack any sort of natural charisma. They can be the smartest person in the world, but put them in a party and ask them to make friends and they become clueless. While it is possible to go through life without any charisma, not being able to carry on a conversation and not being able to make friends easily can make your life significantly harder. Thankfully, there are ways to make yourself more charismatic and more charming.

Here are 9 proven tips that will help make you more charismatic:

1. Learn proper posture

One simple way to make yourself more charismatic to those around you is to have proper posture. You should sit up straight and make yourself as tall as possible. Do not lean on your elbows or do anything like that. Sit up straight with your hands either at your sides or in front of you.

Believe it or not, having correct posture actually makes you feel more confident, which then makes you feel more willing to engage in conversation. When you are more willing to engage in conversation, you will appear more charismatic and more charming to those around you.

2. Do not underestimate the power of physical contact

Part of being charismatic is knowing when physical contact is needed. Uncharismatic people tend to shun physical contact and often do not know when to do it appropriately.

So, if you want to be more charismatic, then you should master when physical contact is appropriate and when it is not. For example, if a friend is crying or very upset, a hand on the shoulder or a hug (depending on how close of a friend they are) is appropriate.

Sometimes physical contact is even more appropriate than mere words.

3. Learn to recognize nonverbal cues

Very often people will not state how they are feeling. People will tell you they are feeling fine, even when deep down they are not. However, just because they do not say how they feel does not mean they do not give any clues.

You can often tell how a person is feeling about something based on facial expressions or body language. This should tell you what sort of mood they are in and how you should interact with them. We often associate charisma with things like telling good stories or making people laugh, yet a big part of charisma is simply knowing what sorts of things to say (or not to say) to people. Part of the way you figure out what to say to people is by reading their body language.

“I speak two languages, Body and English.” – Mae West

4. Know when to use humor

A big part of being charismatic is knowing how to use humor. Know when to make jokes and what sort of jokes to make. Too often, people constantly throw out jokes on the false assumption that it makes them likable. However, the timing of a joke is just as important as its contents. Making jokes at the wrong time makes you come off as uncharismatic. So, read the mood of others around you before throwing out a joke.

5. Learn to ask questions

We usually do not consider asking questions to be “charismatic,” but asking questions, and specifically the right kind of questions, is a great way to keep a conversation going.

People love to talk about themselves and they love to talk about what they are interested in. Charismatic people know this, which is why a charismatic person will spend as little time talking about themselves as possible.

Plus, by asking questions, you can find common areas of interest, which will allow you to expand your conversation topics.

6. Know how to listen effectively

This point goes hand-in-hand with the last one. Not only should you learn how to ask questions, but you should also learn to how to listen.

We all know that cliché about how women like men who are good listeners, well it is true and it applies to everyone, not just women. Sometimes, people simply want to talk to someone who will actually listen to their problems.

Knowing how to be a good listener will make people like you more since good listeners are so rare.

“When people talk, listen completely. Most people never listen.”- Ernest Hemingway

7. Memorize as many names as you can

This is a really small, but effective tip for coming across as more charismatic. Remembering a person’s name is a great way of signaling to them that they are important, which makes them feel better. Again, this is a very small tip, but you will be surprised at how much more charismatic you come across if you consistently remember people’s names.

8. Learn to talk with your hands

Believe it or not, using hand gestures while talking does make you come across as more charismatic. Now, we don’t mean that you should be swinging your hands around, but some light hand gestures while telling a story can help make people more engrossed in what you are saying. So, next time you want to really get people interested in what you are saying, try putting down whatever is in your hands and add in some gestures.

9. Cut out filler from your vocabulary

We all occasionally throw in an “umm” or an “uuuh” when talking (especially if we are telling a long story), but you should try cut down on the number of times that you use filler words like the ones we just mentioned. A hallmark of charisma is being able to talk for a long time without using a lot of filler. The best way to go about this is to simply keep track of how often you use filler words and slowly work on improving your speaking skills.

Which one of these tips are you going to start to implement? Let us know by commenting below!

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