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4 Life Lessons You’ll Learn When You Follow Your Heart

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4 Life Lessons You’ll Learn When You Follow Your Heart

Sometimes, the things you think are just right for you are actually the complete opposite. Sometimes, it’s these things that pull you right under. And personally, I’ve hit my head on that rock several times now.

I’ve been extremely convinced about romantic partners that were really bad for me and got stuck in jobs that were doing me no good. And last year, even though it seemed like I was doing everything right, it became again very clear to me that it wasn’t…

“Follow your heart but take your brain with you” – Alfred Adler

There were some lessons I picked up from this experience and it’s the big 4 below that I wanted to share with you:

 

1. Feelings trump thoughts when it comes to choosing what you do every single day

Last year, I spent 7 full months building my online business coaching blog for growing startups. Which, after years of business consulting and being an entrepreneur with my brother, meant that I was finally doing something that was completely for me.

As this was the perfect combination of my skills and experience and my innate drive to help people’s dreams come true, I thought this was perfect! But, that’s the thing…they were thoughts, and it made sense, and it was smart…but it wasn’t what I wanted to do in my heart of hearts.

I’d denied it every time anybody asked me about it but in reality I had set up this particular business because I thought this was a relatively easy moneymaker…so that I would have an income when I would start my big passion project. But, as no business is when it’s just starting, it wasn’t a quick moneymaker and it wasn’t giving me any joy, which started to impact my health.

Remember I was only 7 months in! That’s nothing in entrepreneur years! As sound as the idea and business model was, it didn’t feel right to me at all!

 

2. Your body ALWAYS tells you the truth

I was entrepreneuring my booty off and it all went pretty decent apart from the fact that my costs still outweighed my income and the dark shadow of mortgage and bank began to slowly but surely fall over me. Being an experienced entrepreneur, I had of course already accounted for this but still…I started to cramp up.

Literally! My neck, my shoulders, my back, everything was stuck. My head felt like I was wearing a bowling ball for a hat and no matter what I did (yoga, meditate, special pillows, no typing, no sugars, lots of red wine, etc.), nothing worked…for months on end.

Something really wasn’t right here…And it didn’t feel like it was just the hard work getting me down. I’d been there before many times and knew how to deal with that. There was obviously also something else at play but through the fog of the headaches, working really hard, wanting to succeed and a draining savings account I just couldn’t see it.

Heart

3. Taking a step back can be the best gift you can give yourself

I got lucky and found a freelance job that gave me the opportunity to book a last-minute flight to Asia for a month and make some decent money that would get me going again for a while. It gave me a break from the incessant stress around money and from stress around having to make this business successful a.s.a.p.

So in this temporary stress free zone, I tinkered around with perhaps tweaking my business model a bit, or go after a specific niche or start cooperating with other instances more, but the more I thought (there’s that word again) about it, the less I was really feeling it.

What I was feeling…was a larger than life desire to work on my big passion project. To go around the world, create beautiful things and words and connections and work one on one with people that want to live the most fulfilling life they can.

And it was through the traveling, the freelance project and the freedom it brought that I was able to actually see and feel all this. Taking a step back can be absolutely priceless, even when it feels like you’re cheating on your business or yourself!

“To be successful you have to have your heart in your business, and your business in your heart” – Sr. Thomas Watson

4. Never, ever, make concessions where your passion is concerned (a.k.a. there’s always a way)

But my big passion project didn’t have a very clear business model (yet)…And it would cost me a lot of time and effort to get it off the ground. But the more I thought about it, the stronger I felt I just had to do it. Even though it meant letting go of everything I’d been building so far.

That pretty much meant I could throw my really strong resume in the bin. Over the years I’ve learned to trust myself, trust the process and trust that the money will come, one way or another. So with the right precautions (some money in the bank, renting out my house, freelance writing and consulting jobs as back-up), I felt confident enough to make the leap and follow my heart!

For a long time, success has always looked like money, material possessions and being recognized as such to me, but over the years I learned that true success is much more than that. Success is a state of mind, of soul and of being.

Ultimately, it is the freedom to live the life you love. And be the person you love being. It’s still early days for my new business, I’m not really making any money (yet) and it could very well be that it doesn’t take off at all business wise, but yet, I’ve never felt more successful in my life.

 

Thank you for reading my article! I hope it helps you to make the decision to follow your heart!

Linda Coussement is a life coach, writer and documentary maker. She’s slowly travelling the world asking all sorts of people: “How is it to be you?” Get her 10-page workbook on how to turn your dreams into practical reality right here and/or connect with her on Facebook.

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22 Comments

22 Comments

  1. Maria Stenvinkel

    Jun 24, 2015 at 9:55 pm

    Hi Linda,

    Great post! I SO agree with everything you say and these are the types of things I can talk about 24/7 lol.

    Loved this: “Ultimately, it is the freedom to live the life you love.”

    Thanks,
    Maria

    • Linda Coussement

      Jun 25, 2015 at 5:04 am

      I know! This is the stuff I live and breathe and write and can go on and on 🙂
      Thanks for your lovely comment!

  2. Linda Catherine Robinson

    Jun 24, 2015 at 6:37 pm

    Dear Linda: Thanks for the reminder to never, ever, EVER give up on following your heart. 🙂

    • Linda Coussement

      Jun 25, 2015 at 5:02 am

      Haha, you’re welcome! It’s easier said than done but never fails to be right!

  3. Mark Tong

    Jun 23, 2015 at 6:42 pm

    Hi Linda – I really identified with your post. I’ve had the same experience and reactions to doing the wrong thing even though it seemed like the right thing. Always go with your passions!

  4. Nicki Lee

    Jun 22, 2015 at 7:14 pm

    Thanks for sharing your experience, Linda! I love that your trip to Asia was such a turning point for you. It reminded me of Julia Cameron using artist dates to “fill the well” and get some inspiration so we can get back to our purpose. 🙂

    • Linda Coussement

      Jun 23, 2015 at 7:37 am

      You’re welcome Nicki! And yes…if you truly listen to your body and heart, you’ll find your way back to your purpose in life, no matter what it is! And it indeed might take some detours and extra time 🙂

  5. John

    Jun 22, 2015 at 4:59 pm

    Re: “Your body always tells you the truth:” I’ve never thought of this Linda, but isn’t that the absolute truth! I’ll do a better job of detecting my body’s reactions to where I choose to focus my energies. The body tells us things! Thank you for this super-helpful insight!

    • Linda Coussement

      Jun 23, 2015 at 7:40 am

      You’re very welcome John! It’s not easy because we human beings tend to be very stubborn and think we’re stronger than we are 🙂 I can recommend a 10 minute meditation every day to feel where you’re body and state of mind is at; really helped me become more aware of what’s going on! Good luck!

  6. John

    Jun 21, 2015 at 8:14 pm

    I always found it funny when someone would ask, “what does your gut tell you?”. I would picture my stomach talking to me. But there really is something to it. Your subconscious is constantly working like a computer in the background, and it lets you know with a queasy feeling when you’re in a bad situation. I also like that Adler quote. Thanks Linda.

    • Linda Coussement

      Jun 23, 2015 at 7:44 am

      You’re right, it’s a giant computer that keeps on spinning! And I’m sure there’s a cartoon in the ‘gut talking to you’ bit! 🙂

  7. Valerie Leroyer

    Jun 20, 2015 at 11:29 am

    Very nice article Linda! I liked when you said “Success is a state of mind, of soul and of being.” That is so true, once we realize it! I’m going through the same questions,and dilemma as I hesitate between a business blog (which is what I know) and my true passion, fiction writing. I wish you good luck and lots of travel in a near future 🙂

    • Linda Coussement

      Jun 20, 2015 at 2:40 pm

      Yes, the ‘once we realize it’ bit might take a while! Hang in there and keep meditating (cause I know you do 😉 ) on what you truly feel is right for you!

  8. eric

    Jun 20, 2015 at 10:46 am

    Keep it up Linda!

    This blog connected with me as I have made decisions that started to come form my heart and not the mind and hearts of others. Listening to how you feel and not to your thoughts are paramount! 🙂 Especially if you are a HEART oriented human 🙂 Which it sounds like you are.

    Strength through Struggle

    • Linda Coussement

      Jun 20, 2015 at 2:41 pm

      Thanks Eric! And I indeed am…though it took me a while to get there 🙂
      Good for you to follow your heart no matter what!

  9. Ann

    Jun 20, 2015 at 10:45 am

    Love it. Keep us updated on your new adventure!

  10. Ashley

    Jun 20, 2015 at 10:33 am

    love the Adler quote! Good luck and great post!

  11. Linda Coussement

    Jun 20, 2015 at 7:29 am

    Thanks Helen, will do! 🙂

  12. Helen McCarthy

    Jun 20, 2015 at 7:18 am

    Great subheadings Linda . “Feelings trump thoughts when it comes to choosing what you do every single day” & “Your body always tells you the truth” – so true. All the best with your new (ad)venture.

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Life

6 Stepping Stones to Become Your Best Self in 2018

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become your best self

New Year resolutions are often wishful thinking. Being your best self is not something to be ticked off a checklist,  it is part of a never-ending continuum of learning and self-discovery.

What we think of as “self” is really a story we have strung together over time. What makes this an incredible masterpiece, is that given you created the story of who you are, you have the power to change it.

Being precisely who you are at your highest level is your greatest gift to the people around you, to magnetizing the things you want most in your life and a powerful contributor to this world.

Here are the 6 stepping stones towards your greatest self:

1. Letting go of negativity

Negativity can hold us back from many things in life. An attitude of ‘I have the worst luck’ or “nothing ever goes my way” infects the mind. Your perception creates your reality. When you invest all your energy in to what you don’t want, your brain conducts a transderivational search and conspires to provide the very thing you don’t want.

A few tips to let go of negativity:

  • Give yourself a window to complain for five minutes, once a day and then bolt that window shut. Time yourself or partner with a close friend to allow the complaining, moaning and whining to occur for 6 minutes only. Then stop it.
  • When you practice gratitude, nothing else exists in that moment. Your brain cannot immerse itself in fear and be grateful at the same time. Try it on. Invest in a journal and start with writing one thing down in the morning and before you go to bed, identifying what you are grateful for. What you focus on, is what you get.
  • Self-reflection. Negativity stems from a place of unhappiness. Adopt curious questioning to unveil what is triggering your responses, what you would like to change. Edit the story to how you can improve to live a happier existence.

“All progress takes place outside the comfort zone.” – Michael John Bobak

2. Kindness costs nothing

Kindness is the easiest thing you can do to become a better person. Every person has their challenges in life and it can take a random act of kindness to impact another human being in a single moment. The simplest of things, holding the door open, smiling at a person walking down the street or asking someone at work if you could make them a coffee. Priceless.

3. What do you stand for?

Unveiling who you are and the values that underpin how you want to live, illuminate the pathway to becoming the best you. Values are the emotional states that you wish to experience every day. When you get clear on your code, decision making become effortless. Living your code, creates the person you are becoming.

4. Kicking self-doubt in the balls

Doubts, fears and accusations echo through. When your inner critic is amplified, it’s time to kick self-doubt in the balls, really hard. Remind yourself of all the things that you have achieved, the incredible people around you, the times that made you smile and the moments you felt alive. As long as you exist, there is potential within you to exceed every expectation, to upgrade your standards and step into your best self.

5. Investing in You

Whether you spend time reading, pursuing a workshop or walking along the beach, investing in you is the greatest gift. Detaching from the outcome and enjoying the moment can be unfamiliar however the more time you invest in discovering who you are, the masks you need to remove, and learn to dance with your fears, the more confidence you gain in becoming the best version of you.

“Don’t let the fear of losing be greater than the excitement of winning.” – Robert Kiyosaki

6. Ikigai – your reason for being

According to the Japanese, everyone has an ikigai, although not everyone has yet understood, discovered or developed it.  To find it, it often requires deep enquiry of self. Ikigai literally translates “the reason for being”. It is often used to describe a healthy passion for something that makes you feel as though life is worth living to the fullest.

An intense internal desire to carry out a personal mission that you have a magnetic connection to. When we manifest whatever is pulling at you, you experience an intense internal satisfaction. You create a feeling of being fulfilled and adding new layers of meaning to your life.

Some questions to ignite your ikigai.

  • What are you passionate about? What makes you come alive?
  • Identify what you are great at? What unique skills do you have that come most naturally to you? What do you excel at even when you aren’t trying? What does the world need and how you can deliver?
  • What cause do you believe in? What change would you love most to create in the world? What would you give your life for?
  • What service, value or offering do you bring that adds value to others and people would pay for?

Reflect on how these elements relate to each other and ask yourself, what is one thing you could do today that would be an expression of your ikigai? Comment below!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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Life

How To Be Happier And More Focused Using The Art Of Tidying Up: 34 Lessons From My Huge Tidy Up.

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Last week I spent two days throwing out more than 50% of my personal belongings.

What started this tidying up frenzy that caused me to throw out so much of my life’s possessions? It was a book that I read. In fact, I’ve read several books recently about why we should clean up our material possessions.

The results I experienced were phenomenal. By the end of this blog post, you’ll definitely want to do the same to replicate the results I got from this simple process.

Here are the 34 lessons from my huge tidy up which will inspire you to do the same:

 

1. Your mindset changes when you tidy up in one shot rather than bit by bit.

I’ve tried to tidy up for the last five years. It never fully happened. The reason was that I attempted to do this mammoth task in small chunks. As I tidied up one space or one category of belongings, I’d end up collecting more junk in the meantime.

“Seeing your home and workspace completely junk-free changes your mindset permanently”

I never want to go back to the old me because the tidy person I’ve now become is so much more organized, calm and in control. I now know what I value and what I don’t.

Once you’ve experienced this feeling, you’ll never go back. It’s only possible to get this feeling though by doing your big clean up in one shot without stopping.

Tidying up has changed my life and it can dramatically change yours too.

 

2. Discard first and organize second.

My huge tidy up followed the KonMari method. Basically, all you do is concentrate on discarding items that don’t bring you joy first and then the possessions you have left then need to be sorted. It doesn’t get any easier than that.

Every other tidying up method I’ve tried previously has resulted in one big chaotic event that I never fully completed. Try this method and I promise you it will work.

 

3. Tidying up sentimental items forces you to let go of the past.

The first part of my clean-up was discarding clothing. Once I got to the sentimental items – these items are best to do last because they’re the hardest – I found that discarding sentimental items helped me to deal with elements of my past which I’d previously ignored.

I had old business cards from failed businesses that still haunted me, cards from ex-girlfriends, sad possessions that belonged to dead relatives, belongings that were part of my old passions like Djing and Playing the drums, and even items that I’d held onto from past careers.

As I discarded with these items, I finalized past chapters of my life that weren’t fully closed. This made me feel completely free and it’s created space for the future.

“We all suffer from the past and having a big tidy up is a great way to deal with it and bring a newfound joy to your life”

 

4. The stuff you throw away has already fulfilled its purpose.

The items you throw away have taught you what you don’t love and the things you want to spend less time with. The items you throw away teach you what no longer inspires you and the hobbies you no longer want to engage with.

Every item you throw away has taught you something. Some possessions have already given you all the joy they have to give you and so their time in your life has passed. Other possessions have taught you a lesson and so now they can move on to somebody else’s life too.

Going through my possessions taught me how so many of the things I had held onto had already fulfilled their purpose. It’s like I was expecting these throwaway items to give me multiple miracle gifts rather than be happy and grateful for the ones they’d already given me.

“I learned that the possessions I cherished were invisible because of all the things I held onto which didn’t serve me”

Everything has an expiry date including you. Don’t hold onto stuff forever. Set yourself free.

 

5. Tidying requires two decisions.

Whether or not to dispose of something and where to put the things you keep. It’s really that simple. Don’t overcomplicate it any more than that.

 

6. Being perfectly tidy once is enough to create sustained momentum.

You’ll never go back to your old untidy ways once you’ve lived in a perfectly clean and clutter-free space. It’s addictive and I want all of you to witness this for yourselves.

 

7. Better storage is not the answer.

Just because something has been put away, it does not mean that the clutter has been removed. Buying convenient storage solutions makes you think your clutter has gone. It hasn’t. Tidying up allows you to see everything you own and that in itself is very valuable.

Hiding objects in magic lock away storage solutions results in you probably never actually using that item. I had lots of possessions stored in boxes and the reality is that I’ve never opened those boxes in the last ten years. Possessions that bring you joy should be easy to access so you can reap the benefits.

Possessions that no longer bring you joy should be discarded so that maybe someone else can get some use out of what you discard. Unfortunately, you can’t take your material possessions to the grave with you, so you need to learn to let go, and tidy up!

 

8. Tidying by location doesn’t work. Tidying by category does.

You need to be able to see everything you have of a particular item like clothes.

When I went through this process I realized I had batteries stored in every room, I had three torches, loose change everywhere and a mountain of computer cables that I was never going to use – and that looked very untidy.

Once you can do a proper stocktake of what you have, you’ll find the process of discarding much easier. This step is fundamental to the tidying up process being effective.

 

9. All tidying begins with this question.

Does this item bring me joy? It’s the only question you need to ask. If you keep what brings you joy, you’ll experience more joy in your life which is the ultimate goal I want all of you to achieve. Keeping only what sparks joy will help you to reset your life and begin a lifestyle that is phenomenal!

 

10. The second question is this: When did I last use this item?

The answer to this question when I did my big tidy up was typically more than five years ago. If you haven’t used something for the last twelve months, then there’s a very strong chance you never will. It’s time to make a decision and discard items in this category.

 

11. It’s not about getting rid of stuff; it’s about cherishing what you have.

The sense of gratitude I got from my doing this tidy up made me love the items I held onto even more. Tidying up allows us to see just how lucky we are and it reminds us that it’s not about the possessions we have so much, but the feeling we get from them and the memories our stuff gives us.

We all need more gratitude. Tidying up is a fantastic way to be more grateful.

 

12. Calculating the amount of a category to hold onto.

In the category of clothes as an example, you might be wondering how you know when you have enough clothes. The lesson here is to hold onto the clothes that you enjoy and discard everything else. The clothes that bring you joy will equal the right amount in the end.

I know that doesn’t sound tangible but it really works. Trust me on this.

 

13. Your possessions affect your self-image.

If you’re holding onto old t-shirts with holes in them so you can wear them to bed, you’ll make yourself feel unattractive when you go to sleep at night. I found during my clean up that I was holding onto clothes that no longer fitted or reminded me of the person I used to be, and using these clothes as pyjamas I could wear to bed.

I found I was going to bed with a poor self-image that reminded me of who I used to be. Even the clothes you wear affect how you feel and your confidence. Bottom-line is to ditch possessions that don’t bring you joy.

 

14. Touch items before you throw them away.

Interacting with your possessions before you decide how they make you feel helps make the decision for you. I found that by touching shirts in my wardrobe, the feeling of the material and how they looked up close made my decision-making process easier.

 

15. Ask yourself “What purpose does this item serve?

I held onto many miscellaneous items that I found were useless when I asked myself this question. Having a bag full of safety pins is great but if I haven’t used one for more than ten years, then there’s a good chance I never will.

I held onto boxes of batteries too yet I don’t own any devices that require replaceable batteries anymore. The purpose of what you have is important to consider. Don’t overthink it though. You’ll know pretty quickly if an item has a purpose in your life.

If there’s any doubt, get rid of the item.

 

16. Charitable throwing away is key to letting go.

Throwing things away feels really horrible if you know that an item won’t get further use. That’s why, where possible, I gave my possessions away to charity. You win and people that have nothing win as well. Charitable throwing away is reinforcing the gift of giving and helping you to declutter as well.

 

17. eBay and giving to friends doesn’t work.

Why? Because it takes time and gives you an excuse to hold onto things. The best thing you can do sometimes is take things to the recycling center because if you don’t, you’ll never get rid of them. It will always be this conversation in your head: “Someday, I’ll sell it on eBay.”

You have better things to do with your time than listing every unwanted item you have online or trying to give things to friends.

“Once you’ve gone through the art of tidying up and refocused your life, you’ll have so many possessions to get rid of that listing your items for sale online will simply take up too much time that could be spent on income producing activities that outweigh the pocket change you’ll get for your unwanted items”

Think of it this way: the things you are getting rid of have already given you your monies worth. This simple reframe in your mind will allow you to let go. It will allow you to forgive yourself for buying useless stuff that you no longer use.

The other thing I found is that it’s surprisingly hard to give things away to your friends and you begin to feel bad because you end up cluttering up their homes.

 

18. Unused possessions teach you that you didn’t need them after all.

Again, these possessions have fulfilled their purpose so you can now let them go.

 

19. Discarding teaches you your true passions.

If you throw something away and deeply regret it, then you learn what you’re truly passionate away. Even if you buy the same item again, you’ve learned an important lesson which is worth the cost of throwing away the original item.

 

20. Your decision-making skills get better.

You end up being able to make decisions better when you learn to let go of your unwanted possessions. Your possessions are a reflection of your life and where you’ve been. Tidying up helps you to be satisfied with where you’ve come from and who’ve you’ve become.

Being forced to make a decision that is final and that you can’t come back from, is strangely satisfying and it will show up in other areas of your life down the track.

 

21. The moment you first encounter a book is the right time to read it.

If you didn’t read it when you bought it, you probably never will. This means the lessons the book could have taught you were not meant for you. Books are one of the biggest uses of space and many need to be thrown away so that you can be left with the books you’ll actually get value from.

There’s no better feeling than being surrounded by only books that you love and make you smile.

 

22. The best way to deal with loose paper.

Throw them all away because you’ll probably never read them. If you really think you need a bit of paper, take a photo of it with your phone and then throw it away. Loose paper looks really messy and makes you feel disorganized.

 

23. All empty boxes must go!

I am the biggest offender when it comes to keeping empty boxes. I kept every empty box, from every purchase I made in the last five years. The result is a home full of empty boxes. The space these boxes take up could be used for other things like renting out your spare room on Airbnb or having a quiet room to study in.

The reason I held onto empty boxes was that I thought when I eventually sold some items, they’d be worth more with their original box. In most cases, no one pays more for an item because it comes with the original box worth $1.

It’s perfectly fine to sell an item without a box. Create space by throwing away boxes.

 

24. And now onto those spare buttons you store.

I had a whole box of spare buttons from clothing I purchased. Guess what? I can’t sew and never hold onto a piece of clothing once the button falls off. Clothes that have buttons fall off are generally passed their expiry date. Chuck them out and don’t look back.

You’ll never match the correct button to the right piece of clothing 90% of the time anyway.

 

25. Tidying up can cause sickness. It’s part of the process.

After all of my tidying up, I became very ill. Part of the reason was because of all the dust my old, unused items spread in my living spaces from lack of use, and being disturbed from their existing storage locations.

As well as that, the process of letting go of most of your possessions is exhausting and it’s hard work on the body. Tidying up is like one big storm which is followed by carnage (sickness) and then calm at the end once you know you’re organized for life.

 

26. Storage solutions hide items you dislike from sight. Avoid them, they’re the enemy.

You can walk into a shopping mall and find lots of storage solutions to help you supposedly be tidier. Storage solutions are a trap. Storage solutions hide your possessions in complex places that make it even harder to know what you actually own, therefore increasing the chance that you have multiple items that serve the same purpose.

 

27. Round objects take up more room.

If there’s a square or rectangle option for things like furniture and laundry baskets, go for that. Round objects take up more space. Period.

 

28. Buying in bulk costs more.

Retailers promote the benefits of buying in bulk. I disagree. Buying in bulk forces you to do the following:

– Buy more than you need
– It doesn’t account for your tastes changing over time which leaves you with leftovers
– Waste your precious mental space because of the excess clutter that occupies your brain
– Forget the cost of storage which is more than the discount of buying in bulk
– Distract you from your true creativity which is enhanced through empty space

“Our homes are not commercial warehouses that are to be used for storage of widgets”

This whole concept forces us to behave like factory workers. Our homes are to be lived in and are supposed to spark joy and help us to relax after a long day.

 

29. Tidying up shows us what we love.

After a massive clean-up, you’ll learn more about yourself and the things you value. During my clean-up, I learned that I love the simplicity of certain items. I learned that I also love the color of an item and that affects whether I’ll retain it for the long-term. Having learned this about myself, I’ll now be much more careful about the colors of objects I buy in the future.

 

30. You’ll learn about your weaknesses.

I learned that I have trouble letting go of the past and now I can work on this weakness going forward. Up until my big tidy up, I would never have believed this fact to be true.

 

31. Letting go is how you add new things into your life.

By cleaning out the junk that was occupying space in my life, I’ve now made room for new things. Maybe I’ll take up a new hobby or surround myself with new people. At least I have space now to do so and I’d love you to experience this feeling of freedom for yourself.

 

32. You’ll learn why you can’t throw something away.

It’s because of two reasons according to the book I read: an attachment to the past or a fear of the future. I held onto old gym diaries out of a fear that one day in the future I would need to look at them again if I decided to start the gym once more.

I also held onto cards from ex-girlfriends because I was nostalgic and didn’t want to let go of these old memories which deep down I had no desire to indulge in any longer.

 

33. Putting your home in order puts your mind in order.

Your mind is partly a reflection of the physical world. A messy home results in a messy mind that can’t think straight, make decisions or allow space for new ideas. Your possessions say so much about you and are a hidden contributor to your overall success in life.

It’s time to clean your house and remove some possessions.

 

34. The result is being surrounded by things that make you happy.

Now that I have gone through this mammoth task of tidying up everything I own and decluttering, I’m now left sitting here and evaluating the whole process. The result has been quite surprising. I find myself sitting here and looking around at only things that make me happy.

Everything I’ve held onto feels like it has a purpose. The possessions I have left make me feel happy and the objects in my life that produced negative emotions are now gone. I would never have predicted that tidying up could be so life-changing.

Try it for yourself and let me know how you go.

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

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Life

2 Vital Keys to Having a True Breakthrough This Year

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breakthrough

Every person has a great deal of potential within them. However, the majority of people will never tap into that potential because something hinders them from getting it done whether that be a traumatic event that plagues their mind, or a negative mindset. This can be due to fear, insecurities, or of feelings of not deserving or not being good enough.

The list is literally endless because every person has different challenges in life. We are all different people, with different pasts, experiences, backgrounds, belief systems, but one commonality we all share: the pain of NOT DOING in our past.

If you’ve ever been to a conference for business, professional, or spiritual development, you know the feeling of getting fired up, motivated and inspired to go forward and DO! When you get home, the fire in your heart and mind is still burning. Nonetheless, this feeling tends to be short lived, as the reality of life sets in: bills, relationship problems, office issues, etc. and your fire begins to go out and you are back at square one… again.

There are some people that go to an event and then truly have a breakthrough in life. They explode in their business, family life, spiritual life, and health. The one thing that separates these people from the rest of us is their willingness to go deeper within themselves.

If you have attended an Anthony “Tony” Robbins motivational lecture, you know there are many reported success stories of people that he has inspired. Tony has stated in the past that individuals are able to “breakthrough” because they do not accept surface level BS; these successful people go deeper within themselves to determine the root cause of their issues or shortcomings. He also explained that by doing so, they would experience a true “breakthrough.”

If this year is going to truly be different for you, and you are going to see expansion and advancements in all parts of your life, you will need to go deeper.

Here are two important keys to help you have a breakthrough year:

1. Get Real With Yourself

Self-reflection is a powerful character building tool. However, when inspecting your life and who you are, you must go deep into this process. Don’t stay surface level and just think about what you need to improve on. Make the extra effort to think about the why of it all. Why are you weak in certain areas? Why do you seem to always fall short when doing certain tasks? Why do you dislike specific types of people and or places? Most importantly, why do you lack motivation in crucial aspects of your life?

When you start asking these types of profound questions and digging deeper, you are able to realize that there may be hidden reasons for your life constraints. Sometimes, pain in our past and heart-rending experiences of life are responsible for our weaknesses.

The challenge is to visit these places mentally and resolve root causes. Having these moments of reflection enables us to experience some very personal and self teachable moments. It is in these moments that true clarity will come and you will make decisions about where to go from here based on level headed logic rather than simply pure emotion.

Getting to know yourself better will help you in your personal and professional growth and help you to fast-track the breakthrough you desire.

“Self awareness is the ability to take an honest look at your life without any attachment to it being right or wrong, good or bad.” – Debbie Ford

2. Get Real with Others

Knowing yourself is vital, but knowing the people and the environment around you is also crucial. We’ve all heard the old saying, “hang around dogs with fleas and you’ll soon have fleas as well.” If you’re going to breakthrough this year, you better get to doing not only some self-reflection but also some social-reflection. Look around yourself and find out who and what is having a positive or negative impact on your life.

Are you exposed to people who are constantly complaining, talking bad about others, criticizing people, belittling others, and just outright being negative? If so, their negative viewpoints need to be either dismissed in your mind, and/or you should minimize the amount of time and attention that they take from you.

Tasks, habits, and extracurricular activities which provide no greater value for you should be reconsidered. Not that you shouldn’t have some down time and moments to recharge, but be careful about scrolling social media aimlessly and indulging in online window shopping. Such activities are not adding to your expansion or ascension up to the next level of life; rather they are wasting your time.

We have a total of 100% energy to give per day (a cellphone example). Just like the apps we have running in the background, they tend to drain us of our energy. Everything we take part in requires some percentage of energy investment from us. You must choose to dedicate energy to things and people that are part of your solution in helping you move the needle towards your goals. One simple question to ask yourself, and that all true leaders must ask themselves is: Does THIS propel me closer TOWARDS my goal or AWAY from it?

“Surround yourself with people who are only going to lift you higher.” – Oprah Winfrey

So, get real with the situation at hand: you either want to have a breakthrough year or you don’t. If you do, you should size-up your expectations, and key on these two important areas of your life: who you are on the inside, and the people and things around you that impact who you are.

What are you going to do this year to make sure you have the best year of your life! Comment below and share your goals.

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Life

5 Steps to Help You Overcome Your Limiting Beliefs & Live Your Most Powerful Life

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overcoming limiting beliefs

When it comes to finding success in life our limiting beliefs can be one of the biggest trip-ups we face. They wall us in and continually place a ceiling on our potential. What’s more, as success begins to evade us because of these limited thoughts, we unknowingly strengthen them. It’s as if they look back at us to say, “I told you so.” In this manner, limiting beliefs are self-reinforcing.

They grow stronger and we feel weaker and less empowered to find success. It’s understandable that if they go unchecked for too long we can begin to feel deep frustration and hopelessness which can eventually lead to anger, self-hatred, and even depression.But it is possible to put our limiting beliefs in-check and find the freedom to pursue our purpose and maximize our potential.

If you’re ready to overcome your limiting beliefs and live your most powerful life, try these five steps:

1. Identify Your Limiting Beliefs

The first step to rectifying any situation is to get a clear handle on what’s wrong. It’s no different here. To overcome your limiting beliefs you first need to shine a spotlight on them. Most of your limiting beliefs will be relatively easy to identify. They should be—these are the types of beliefs you regularly beat yourself up over, after all.

But once you have your limiting beliefs identified make sure to write them down. There is something about “seeing” our problems in a tangible way that empowers us to better respond to them. In some cases, they begin to immediately lose their effectiveness over us just because we can see them for the illusions they are.

“You begin to fly when you let go of self-limiting beliefs and allow your mind and aspirations to rise to greater heights.” ―Brian Tracy

2. Acknowledge Them

Having the ability to view our limits helps us advance to the next step, acknowledgment. In this phase, we don’t just see our limiting beliefs in simple black-and-white—we acknowledge them for what they are, the harm they have done, and admit that we have taken part in their creation.

It’s almost as if we can have a dialog with them. By doing so we open the lines of communication and, as we all know, communication is crucial for any breakthrough. This step helps us understand our limiting beliefs better allowing us a clearer path moving forward.

It is also an especially critical step because by acknowledging our responsibility, we empower ourselves to change. No one ever gains victory over problems without taking responsibility for having them or for doing the work to resolve them.

3. Confront The Beliefs

We can only conquer our limiting beliefs by confronting them. The reason they grow so troublesome for us in the first place is simply that they go unchallenged. We often “assume” them without question.

Rather than deal with the struggle of this confrontation we develop an almost co-dependent relationship with them. We guard our limiting beliefs and justify them if they are ever questioned. But our beliefs will continue to grow and strengthen unless we challenge them.

If this is a difficult process for you to do by yourself, a counselor or coach can be helpful. If not with a professional, then at least let your beliefs be open to scrutiny by a trusted friend or significant other.

With your written list, work through as many reasons to call B.S. as you can think of. Write them out and present your argument. This doesn’t have to be a quick process, take as much time as necessary to make your case. Especially with the help of another person, you will begin to see all of the ways in which your beliefs aren’t true and find all of the reasons you need to believe you can succeed.

4. Replace Them With Unlimited Beliefs

To move forward effectively, you can’t just drop your limiting beliefs and get back to life as usual. In order to reach your most powerful life, you’ve got replace the old, limiting beliefs with new, empowering ones.

If one of your limiting beliefs was, “I don’t deserve success because of xyz,” you need to replace it with, “I do deserve success because of abc,” and then list out all the reasons why.

It’s such a simple step but so many people neglect it. They’re just so happy to be rid of their old limiting beliefs, I guess. But what good is it to just be neutral? You’ve got to create an upgrade for every belief you just tore down. You’ve got to replace the limited ones with unlimited.

On that list, you created earlier, or on a new page if you’ve run out of room, write out your empowering, replacement beliefs. Keep going until each one is now optimized with a belief that removes those old limits you placed on yourself.

“Do the uncomfortable. Become comfortable with these acts. Prove to yourself that your limiting beliefs die a quick death if you will simply do what you feel uncomfortable doing.” ―Darren Rowse

5. Use Your New Beliefs To Find Success

You’ve got just one more step to go and that is to implement your new beliefs. Put your full faith in them as if they will succeed because they will. Use your fresh, new enthusiasm to push you through to success in areas where you only saw limitation before.

You will not fail because when we truly believe we are capable of success that is what we achieve. Be encouraged—every new success you have will only strengthen your beliefs. Congratulations, you are now on your way to living your most powerful life!

What are you doing today to make the most of your life? Comment below!

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The One Strategy to Help You Create Meaningful Work

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creating meaningful work

This past week I had dinner with a friend who had recently returned from Japan. While hearing about her trip, the Japanese concept of Ikigai came up and had stayed on my mind for days. I found it really compelling and couldn’t help but delve into the topic. (more…)

Vanya Lazarova is a certified professional coach, specializing in helping people create their life's work by starting with purpose and authenticity. She loves writing, reading, psychology, philosophy, arts and all forms of self- expression. She co-founded a personal development podcast called "The Coaching Journal", where she offers thought provoking concepts to empower people intentionally design the life they want to have. You can find more about Vanya and the work she does on her website www.LiveAuthentic.net and at her podcast The Coaching Journal.

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22 Comments

22 Comments

  1. Maria Stenvinkel

    Jun 24, 2015 at 9:55 pm

    Hi Linda,

    Great post! I SO agree with everything you say and these are the types of things I can talk about 24/7 lol.

    Loved this: “Ultimately, it is the freedom to live the life you love.”

    Thanks,
    Maria

    • Linda Coussement

      Jun 25, 2015 at 5:04 am

      I know! This is the stuff I live and breathe and write and can go on and on 🙂
      Thanks for your lovely comment!

  2. Linda Catherine Robinson

    Jun 24, 2015 at 6:37 pm

    Dear Linda: Thanks for the reminder to never, ever, EVER give up on following your heart. 🙂

    • Linda Coussement

      Jun 25, 2015 at 5:02 am

      Haha, you’re welcome! It’s easier said than done but never fails to be right!

  3. Mark Tong

    Jun 23, 2015 at 6:42 pm

    Hi Linda – I really identified with your post. I’ve had the same experience and reactions to doing the wrong thing even though it seemed like the right thing. Always go with your passions!

  4. Nicki Lee

    Jun 22, 2015 at 7:14 pm

    Thanks for sharing your experience, Linda! I love that your trip to Asia was such a turning point for you. It reminded me of Julia Cameron using artist dates to “fill the well” and get some inspiration so we can get back to our purpose. 🙂

    • Linda Coussement

      Jun 23, 2015 at 7:37 am

      You’re welcome Nicki! And yes…if you truly listen to your body and heart, you’ll find your way back to your purpose in life, no matter what it is! And it indeed might take some detours and extra time 🙂

  5. John

    Jun 22, 2015 at 4:59 pm

    Re: “Your body always tells you the truth:” I’ve never thought of this Linda, but isn’t that the absolute truth! I’ll do a better job of detecting my body’s reactions to where I choose to focus my energies. The body tells us things! Thank you for this super-helpful insight!

    • Linda Coussement

      Jun 23, 2015 at 7:40 am

      You’re very welcome John! It’s not easy because we human beings tend to be very stubborn and think we’re stronger than we are 🙂 I can recommend a 10 minute meditation every day to feel where you’re body and state of mind is at; really helped me become more aware of what’s going on! Good luck!

  6. John

    Jun 21, 2015 at 8:14 pm

    I always found it funny when someone would ask, “what does your gut tell you?”. I would picture my stomach talking to me. But there really is something to it. Your subconscious is constantly working like a computer in the background, and it lets you know with a queasy feeling when you’re in a bad situation. I also like that Adler quote. Thanks Linda.

    • Linda Coussement

      Jun 23, 2015 at 7:44 am

      You’re right, it’s a giant computer that keeps on spinning! And I’m sure there’s a cartoon in the ‘gut talking to you’ bit! 🙂

  7. Valerie Leroyer

    Jun 20, 2015 at 11:29 am

    Very nice article Linda! I liked when you said “Success is a state of mind, of soul and of being.” That is so true, once we realize it! I’m going through the same questions,and dilemma as I hesitate between a business blog (which is what I know) and my true passion, fiction writing. I wish you good luck and lots of travel in a near future 🙂

    • Linda Coussement

      Jun 20, 2015 at 2:40 pm

      Yes, the ‘once we realize it’ bit might take a while! Hang in there and keep meditating (cause I know you do 😉 ) on what you truly feel is right for you!

  8. eric

    Jun 20, 2015 at 10:46 am

    Keep it up Linda!

    This blog connected with me as I have made decisions that started to come form my heart and not the mind and hearts of others. Listening to how you feel and not to your thoughts are paramount! 🙂 Especially if you are a HEART oriented human 🙂 Which it sounds like you are.

    Strength through Struggle

    • Linda Coussement

      Jun 20, 2015 at 2:41 pm

      Thanks Eric! And I indeed am…though it took me a while to get there 🙂
      Good for you to follow your heart no matter what!

  9. Ann

    Jun 20, 2015 at 10:45 am

    Love it. Keep us updated on your new adventure!

  10. Ashley

    Jun 20, 2015 at 10:33 am

    love the Adler quote! Good luck and great post!

  11. Linda Coussement

    Jun 20, 2015 at 7:29 am

    Thanks Helen, will do! 🙂

  12. Helen McCarthy

    Jun 20, 2015 at 7:18 am

    Great subheadings Linda . “Feelings trump thoughts when it comes to choosing what you do every single day” & “Your body always tells you the truth” – so true. All the best with your new (ad)venture.

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Life

6 Stepping Stones to Become Your Best Self in 2018

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become your best self

New Year resolutions are often wishful thinking. Being your best self is not something to be ticked off a checklist,  it is part of a never-ending continuum of learning and self-discovery.

What we think of as “self” is really a story we have strung together over time. What makes this an incredible masterpiece, is that given you created the story of who you are, you have the power to change it.

Being precisely who you are at your highest level is your greatest gift to the people around you, to magnetizing the things you want most in your life and a powerful contributor to this world.

Here are the 6 stepping stones towards your greatest self:

1. Letting go of negativity

Negativity can hold us back from many things in life. An attitude of ‘I have the worst luck’ or “nothing ever goes my way” infects the mind. Your perception creates your reality. When you invest all your energy in to what you don’t want, your brain conducts a transderivational search and conspires to provide the very thing you don’t want.

A few tips to let go of negativity:

  • Give yourself a window to complain for five minutes, once a day and then bolt that window shut. Time yourself or partner with a close friend to allow the complaining, moaning and whining to occur for 6 minutes only. Then stop it.
  • When you practice gratitude, nothing else exists in that moment. Your brain cannot immerse itself in fear and be grateful at the same time. Try it on. Invest in a journal and start with writing one thing down in the morning and before you go to bed, identifying what you are grateful for. What you focus on, is what you get.
  • Self-reflection. Negativity stems from a place of unhappiness. Adopt curious questioning to unveil what is triggering your responses, what you would like to change. Edit the story to how you can improve to live a happier existence.

“All progress takes place outside the comfort zone.” – Michael John Bobak

2. Kindness costs nothing

Kindness is the easiest thing you can do to become a better person. Every person has their challenges in life and it can take a random act of kindness to impact another human being in a single moment. The simplest of things, holding the door open, smiling at a person walking down the street or asking someone at work if you could make them a coffee. Priceless.

3. What do you stand for?

Unveiling who you are and the values that underpin how you want to live, illuminate the pathway to becoming the best you. Values are the emotional states that you wish to experience every day. When you get clear on your code, decision making become effortless. Living your code, creates the person you are becoming.

4. Kicking self-doubt in the balls

Doubts, fears and accusations echo through. When your inner critic is amplified, it’s time to kick self-doubt in the balls, really hard. Remind yourself of all the things that you have achieved, the incredible people around you, the times that made you smile and the moments you felt alive. As long as you exist, there is potential within you to exceed every expectation, to upgrade your standards and step into your best self.

5. Investing in You

Whether you spend time reading, pursuing a workshop or walking along the beach, investing in you is the greatest gift. Detaching from the outcome and enjoying the moment can be unfamiliar however the more time you invest in discovering who you are, the masks you need to remove, and learn to dance with your fears, the more confidence you gain in becoming the best version of you.

“Don’t let the fear of losing be greater than the excitement of winning.” – Robert Kiyosaki

6. Ikigai – your reason for being

According to the Japanese, everyone has an ikigai, although not everyone has yet understood, discovered or developed it.  To find it, it often requires deep enquiry of self. Ikigai literally translates “the reason for being”. It is often used to describe a healthy passion for something that makes you feel as though life is worth living to the fullest.

An intense internal desire to carry out a personal mission that you have a magnetic connection to. When we manifest whatever is pulling at you, you experience an intense internal satisfaction. You create a feeling of being fulfilled and adding new layers of meaning to your life.

Some questions to ignite your ikigai.

  • What are you passionate about? What makes you come alive?
  • Identify what you are great at? What unique skills do you have that come most naturally to you? What do you excel at even when you aren’t trying? What does the world need and how you can deliver?
  • What cause do you believe in? What change would you love most to create in the world? What would you give your life for?
  • What service, value or offering do you bring that adds value to others and people would pay for?

Reflect on how these elements relate to each other and ask yourself, what is one thing you could do today that would be an expression of your ikigai? Comment below!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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Life

How To Be Happier And More Focused Using The Art Of Tidying Up: 34 Lessons From My Huge Tidy Up.

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Last week I spent two days throwing out more than 50% of my personal belongings.

What started this tidying up frenzy that caused me to throw out so much of my life’s possessions? It was a book that I read. In fact, I’ve read several books recently about why we should clean up our material possessions.

The results I experienced were phenomenal. By the end of this blog post, you’ll definitely want to do the same to replicate the results I got from this simple process.

Here are the 34 lessons from my huge tidy up which will inspire you to do the same:

 

1. Your mindset changes when you tidy up in one shot rather than bit by bit.

I’ve tried to tidy up for the last five years. It never fully happened. The reason was that I attempted to do this mammoth task in small chunks. As I tidied up one space or one category of belongings, I’d end up collecting more junk in the meantime.

“Seeing your home and workspace completely junk-free changes your mindset permanently”

I never want to go back to the old me because the tidy person I’ve now become is so much more organized, calm and in control. I now know what I value and what I don’t.

Once you’ve experienced this feeling, you’ll never go back. It’s only possible to get this feeling though by doing your big clean up in one shot without stopping.

Tidying up has changed my life and it can dramatically change yours too.

 

2. Discard first and organize second.

My huge tidy up followed the KonMari method. Basically, all you do is concentrate on discarding items that don’t bring you joy first and then the possessions you have left then need to be sorted. It doesn’t get any easier than that.

Every other tidying up method I’ve tried previously has resulted in one big chaotic event that I never fully completed. Try this method and I promise you it will work.

 

3. Tidying up sentimental items forces you to let go of the past.

The first part of my clean-up was discarding clothing. Once I got to the sentimental items – these items are best to do last because they’re the hardest – I found that discarding sentimental items helped me to deal with elements of my past which I’d previously ignored.

I had old business cards from failed businesses that still haunted me, cards from ex-girlfriends, sad possessions that belonged to dead relatives, belongings that were part of my old passions like Djing and Playing the drums, and even items that I’d held onto from past careers.

As I discarded with these items, I finalized past chapters of my life that weren’t fully closed. This made me feel completely free and it’s created space for the future.

“We all suffer from the past and having a big tidy up is a great way to deal with it and bring a newfound joy to your life”

 

4. The stuff you throw away has already fulfilled its purpose.

The items you throw away have taught you what you don’t love and the things you want to spend less time with. The items you throw away teach you what no longer inspires you and the hobbies you no longer want to engage with.

Every item you throw away has taught you something. Some possessions have already given you all the joy they have to give you and so their time in your life has passed. Other possessions have taught you a lesson and so now they can move on to somebody else’s life too.

Going through my possessions taught me how so many of the things I had held onto had already fulfilled their purpose. It’s like I was expecting these throwaway items to give me multiple miracle gifts rather than be happy and grateful for the ones they’d already given me.

“I learned that the possessions I cherished were invisible because of all the things I held onto which didn’t serve me”

Everything has an expiry date including you. Don’t hold onto stuff forever. Set yourself free.

 

5. Tidying requires two decisions.

Whether or not to dispose of something and where to put the things you keep. It’s really that simple. Don’t overcomplicate it any more than that.

 

6. Being perfectly tidy once is enough to create sustained momentum.

You’ll never go back to your old untidy ways once you’ve lived in a perfectly clean and clutter-free space. It’s addictive and I want all of you to witness this for yourselves.

 

7. Better storage is not the answer.

Just because something has been put away, it does not mean that the clutter has been removed. Buying convenient storage solutions makes you think your clutter has gone. It hasn’t. Tidying up allows you to see everything you own and that in itself is very valuable.

Hiding objects in magic lock away storage solutions results in you probably never actually using that item. I had lots of possessions stored in boxes and the reality is that I’ve never opened those boxes in the last ten years. Possessions that bring you joy should be easy to access so you can reap the benefits.

Possessions that no longer bring you joy should be discarded so that maybe someone else can get some use out of what you discard. Unfortunately, you can’t take your material possessions to the grave with you, so you need to learn to let go, and tidy up!

 

8. Tidying by location doesn’t work. Tidying by category does.

You need to be able to see everything you have of a particular item like clothes.

When I went through this process I realized I had batteries stored in every room, I had three torches, loose change everywhere and a mountain of computer cables that I was never going to use – and that looked very untidy.

Once you can do a proper stocktake of what you have, you’ll find the process of discarding much easier. This step is fundamental to the tidying up process being effective.

 

9. All tidying begins with this question.

Does this item bring me joy? It’s the only question you need to ask. If you keep what brings you joy, you’ll experience more joy in your life which is the ultimate goal I want all of you to achieve. Keeping only what sparks joy will help you to reset your life and begin a lifestyle that is phenomenal!

 

10. The second question is this: When did I last use this item?

The answer to this question when I did my big tidy up was typically more than five years ago. If you haven’t used something for the last twelve months, then there’s a very strong chance you never will. It’s time to make a decision and discard items in this category.

 

11. It’s not about getting rid of stuff; it’s about cherishing what you have.

The sense of gratitude I got from my doing this tidy up made me love the items I held onto even more. Tidying up allows us to see just how lucky we are and it reminds us that it’s not about the possessions we have so much, but the feeling we get from them and the memories our stuff gives us.

We all need more gratitude. Tidying up is a fantastic way to be more grateful.

 

12. Calculating the amount of a category to hold onto.

In the category of clothes as an example, you might be wondering how you know when you have enough clothes. The lesson here is to hold onto the clothes that you enjoy and discard everything else. The clothes that bring you joy will equal the right amount in the end.

I know that doesn’t sound tangible but it really works. Trust me on this.

 

13. Your possessions affect your self-image.

If you’re holding onto old t-shirts with holes in them so you can wear them to bed, you’ll make yourself feel unattractive when you go to sleep at night. I found during my clean up that I was holding onto clothes that no longer fitted or reminded me of the person I used to be, and using these clothes as pyjamas I could wear to bed.

I found I was going to bed with a poor self-image that reminded me of who I used to be. Even the clothes you wear affect how you feel and your confidence. Bottom-line is to ditch possessions that don’t bring you joy.

 

14. Touch items before you throw them away.

Interacting with your possessions before you decide how they make you feel helps make the decision for you. I found that by touching shirts in my wardrobe, the feeling of the material and how they looked up close made my decision-making process easier.

 

15. Ask yourself “What purpose does this item serve?

I held onto many miscellaneous items that I found were useless when I asked myself this question. Having a bag full of safety pins is great but if I haven’t used one for more than ten years, then there’s a good chance I never will.

I held onto boxes of batteries too yet I don’t own any devices that require replaceable batteries anymore. The purpose of what you have is important to consider. Don’t overthink it though. You’ll know pretty quickly if an item has a purpose in your life.

If there’s any doubt, get rid of the item.

 

16. Charitable throwing away is key to letting go.

Throwing things away feels really horrible if you know that an item won’t get further use. That’s why, where possible, I gave my possessions away to charity. You win and people that have nothing win as well. Charitable throwing away is reinforcing the gift of giving and helping you to declutter as well.

 

17. eBay and giving to friends doesn’t work.

Why? Because it takes time and gives you an excuse to hold onto things. The best thing you can do sometimes is take things to the recycling center because if you don’t, you’ll never get rid of them. It will always be this conversation in your head: “Someday, I’ll sell it on eBay.”

You have better things to do with your time than listing every unwanted item you have online or trying to give things to friends.

“Once you’ve gone through the art of tidying up and refocused your life, you’ll have so many possessions to get rid of that listing your items for sale online will simply take up too much time that could be spent on income producing activities that outweigh the pocket change you’ll get for your unwanted items”

Think of it this way: the things you are getting rid of have already given you your monies worth. This simple reframe in your mind will allow you to let go. It will allow you to forgive yourself for buying useless stuff that you no longer use.

The other thing I found is that it’s surprisingly hard to give things away to your friends and you begin to feel bad because you end up cluttering up their homes.

 

18. Unused possessions teach you that you didn’t need them after all.

Again, these possessions have fulfilled their purpose so you can now let them go.

 

19. Discarding teaches you your true passions.

If you throw something away and deeply regret it, then you learn what you’re truly passionate away. Even if you buy the same item again, you’ve learned an important lesson which is worth the cost of throwing away the original item.

 

20. Your decision-making skills get better.

You end up being able to make decisions better when you learn to let go of your unwanted possessions. Your possessions are a reflection of your life and where you’ve been. Tidying up helps you to be satisfied with where you’ve come from and who’ve you’ve become.

Being forced to make a decision that is final and that you can’t come back from, is strangely satisfying and it will show up in other areas of your life down the track.

 

21. The moment you first encounter a book is the right time to read it.

If you didn’t read it when you bought it, you probably never will. This means the lessons the book could have taught you were not meant for you. Books are one of the biggest uses of space and many need to be thrown away so that you can be left with the books you’ll actually get value from.

There’s no better feeling than being surrounded by only books that you love and make you smile.

 

22. The best way to deal with loose paper.

Throw them all away because you’ll probably never read them. If you really think you need a bit of paper, take a photo of it with your phone and then throw it away. Loose paper looks really messy and makes you feel disorganized.

 

23. All empty boxes must go!

I am the biggest offender when it comes to keeping empty boxes. I kept every empty box, from every purchase I made in the last five years. The result is a home full of empty boxes. The space these boxes take up could be used for other things like renting out your spare room on Airbnb or having a quiet room to study in.

The reason I held onto empty boxes was that I thought when I eventually sold some items, they’d be worth more with their original box. In most cases, no one pays more for an item because it comes with the original box worth $1.

It’s perfectly fine to sell an item without a box. Create space by throwing away boxes.

 

24. And now onto those spare buttons you store.

I had a whole box of spare buttons from clothing I purchased. Guess what? I can’t sew and never hold onto a piece of clothing once the button falls off. Clothes that have buttons fall off are generally passed their expiry date. Chuck them out and don’t look back.

You’ll never match the correct button to the right piece of clothing 90% of the time anyway.

 

25. Tidying up can cause sickness. It’s part of the process.

After all of my tidying up, I became very ill. Part of the reason was because of all the dust my old, unused items spread in my living spaces from lack of use, and being disturbed from their existing storage locations.

As well as that, the process of letting go of most of your possessions is exhausting and it’s hard work on the body. Tidying up is like one big storm which is followed by carnage (sickness) and then calm at the end once you know you’re organized for life.

 

26. Storage solutions hide items you dislike from sight. Avoid them, they’re the enemy.

You can walk into a shopping mall and find lots of storage solutions to help you supposedly be tidier. Storage solutions are a trap. Storage solutions hide your possessions in complex places that make it even harder to know what you actually own, therefore increasing the chance that you have multiple items that serve the same purpose.

 

27. Round objects take up more room.

If there’s a square or rectangle option for things like furniture and laundry baskets, go for that. Round objects take up more space. Period.

 

28. Buying in bulk costs more.

Retailers promote the benefits of buying in bulk. I disagree. Buying in bulk forces you to do the following:

– Buy more than you need
– It doesn’t account for your tastes changing over time which leaves you with leftovers
– Waste your precious mental space because of the excess clutter that occupies your brain
– Forget the cost of storage which is more than the discount of buying in bulk
– Distract you from your true creativity which is enhanced through empty space

“Our homes are not commercial warehouses that are to be used for storage of widgets”

This whole concept forces us to behave like factory workers. Our homes are to be lived in and are supposed to spark joy and help us to relax after a long day.

 

29. Tidying up shows us what we love.

After a massive clean-up, you’ll learn more about yourself and the things you value. During my clean-up, I learned that I love the simplicity of certain items. I learned that I also love the color of an item and that affects whether I’ll retain it for the long-term. Having learned this about myself, I’ll now be much more careful about the colors of objects I buy in the future.

 

30. You’ll learn about your weaknesses.

I learned that I have trouble letting go of the past and now I can work on this weakness going forward. Up until my big tidy up, I would never have believed this fact to be true.

 

31. Letting go is how you add new things into your life.

By cleaning out the junk that was occupying space in my life, I’ve now made room for new things. Maybe I’ll take up a new hobby or surround myself with new people. At least I have space now to do so and I’d love you to experience this feeling of freedom for yourself.

 

32. You’ll learn why you can’t throw something away.

It’s because of two reasons according to the book I read: an attachment to the past or a fear of the future. I held onto old gym diaries out of a fear that one day in the future I would need to look at them again if I decided to start the gym once more.

I also held onto cards from ex-girlfriends because I was nostalgic and didn’t want to let go of these old memories which deep down I had no desire to indulge in any longer.

 

33. Putting your home in order puts your mind in order.

Your mind is partly a reflection of the physical world. A messy home results in a messy mind that can’t think straight, make decisions or allow space for new ideas. Your possessions say so much about you and are a hidden contributor to your overall success in life.

It’s time to clean your house and remove some possessions.

 

34. The result is being surrounded by things that make you happy.

Now that I have gone through this mammoth task of tidying up everything I own and decluttering, I’m now left sitting here and evaluating the whole process. The result has been quite surprising. I find myself sitting here and looking around at only things that make me happy.

Everything I’ve held onto feels like it has a purpose. The possessions I have left make me feel happy and the objects in my life that produced negative emotions are now gone. I would never have predicted that tidying up could be so life-changing.

Try it for yourself and let me know how you go.

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

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Life

2 Vital Keys to Having a True Breakthrough This Year

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Every person has a great deal of potential within them. However, the majority of people will never tap into that potential because something hinders them from getting it done whether that be a traumatic event that plagues their mind, or a negative mindset. This can be due to fear, insecurities, or of feelings of not deserving or not being good enough.

The list is literally endless because every person has different challenges in life. We are all different people, with different pasts, experiences, backgrounds, belief systems, but one commonality we all share: the pain of NOT DOING in our past.

If you’ve ever been to a conference for business, professional, or spiritual development, you know the feeling of getting fired up, motivated and inspired to go forward and DO! When you get home, the fire in your heart and mind is still burning. Nonetheless, this feeling tends to be short lived, as the reality of life sets in: bills, relationship problems, office issues, etc. and your fire begins to go out and you are back at square one… again.

There are some people that go to an event and then truly have a breakthrough in life. They explode in their business, family life, spiritual life, and health. The one thing that separates these people from the rest of us is their willingness to go deeper within themselves.

If you have attended an Anthony “Tony” Robbins motivational lecture, you know there are many reported success stories of people that he has inspired. Tony has stated in the past that individuals are able to “breakthrough” because they do not accept surface level BS; these successful people go deeper within themselves to determine the root cause of their issues or shortcomings. He also explained that by doing so, they would experience a true “breakthrough.”

If this year is going to truly be different for you, and you are going to see expansion and advancements in all parts of your life, you will need to go deeper.

Here are two important keys to help you have a breakthrough year:

1. Get Real With Yourself

Self-reflection is a powerful character building tool. However, when inspecting your life and who you are, you must go deep into this process. Don’t stay surface level and just think about what you need to improve on. Make the extra effort to think about the why of it all. Why are you weak in certain areas? Why do you seem to always fall short when doing certain tasks? Why do you dislike specific types of people and or places? Most importantly, why do you lack motivation in crucial aspects of your life?

When you start asking these types of profound questions and digging deeper, you are able to realize that there may be hidden reasons for your life constraints. Sometimes, pain in our past and heart-rending experiences of life are responsible for our weaknesses.

The challenge is to visit these places mentally and resolve root causes. Having these moments of reflection enables us to experience some very personal and self teachable moments. It is in these moments that true clarity will come and you will make decisions about where to go from here based on level headed logic rather than simply pure emotion.

Getting to know yourself better will help you in your personal and professional growth and help you to fast-track the breakthrough you desire.

“Self awareness is the ability to take an honest look at your life without any attachment to it being right or wrong, good or bad.” – Debbie Ford

2. Get Real with Others

Knowing yourself is vital, but knowing the people and the environment around you is also crucial. We’ve all heard the old saying, “hang around dogs with fleas and you’ll soon have fleas as well.” If you’re going to breakthrough this year, you better get to doing not only some self-reflection but also some social-reflection. Look around yourself and find out who and what is having a positive or negative impact on your life.

Are you exposed to people who are constantly complaining, talking bad about others, criticizing people, belittling others, and just outright being negative? If so, their negative viewpoints need to be either dismissed in your mind, and/or you should minimize the amount of time and attention that they take from you.

Tasks, habits, and extracurricular activities which provide no greater value for you should be reconsidered. Not that you shouldn’t have some down time and moments to recharge, but be careful about scrolling social media aimlessly and indulging in online window shopping. Such activities are not adding to your expansion or ascension up to the next level of life; rather they are wasting your time.

We have a total of 100% energy to give per day (a cellphone example). Just like the apps we have running in the background, they tend to drain us of our energy. Everything we take part in requires some percentage of energy investment from us. You must choose to dedicate energy to things and people that are part of your solution in helping you move the needle towards your goals. One simple question to ask yourself, and that all true leaders must ask themselves is: Does THIS propel me closer TOWARDS my goal or AWAY from it?

“Surround yourself with people who are only going to lift you higher.” – Oprah Winfrey

So, get real with the situation at hand: you either want to have a breakthrough year or you don’t. If you do, you should size-up your expectations, and key on these two important areas of your life: who you are on the inside, and the people and things around you that impact who you are.

What are you going to do this year to make sure you have the best year of your life! Comment below and share your goals.

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5 Steps to Help You Overcome Your Limiting Beliefs & Live Your Most Powerful Life

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When it comes to finding success in life our limiting beliefs can be one of the biggest trip-ups we face. They wall us in and continually place a ceiling on our potential. What’s more, as success begins to evade us because of these limited thoughts, we unknowingly strengthen them. It’s as if they look back at us to say, “I told you so.” In this manner, limiting beliefs are self-reinforcing.

They grow stronger and we feel weaker and less empowered to find success. It’s understandable that if they go unchecked for too long we can begin to feel deep frustration and hopelessness which can eventually lead to anger, self-hatred, and even depression.But it is possible to put our limiting beliefs in-check and find the freedom to pursue our purpose and maximize our potential.

If you’re ready to overcome your limiting beliefs and live your most powerful life, try these five steps:

1. Identify Your Limiting Beliefs

The first step to rectifying any situation is to get a clear handle on what’s wrong. It’s no different here. To overcome your limiting beliefs you first need to shine a spotlight on them. Most of your limiting beliefs will be relatively easy to identify. They should be—these are the types of beliefs you regularly beat yourself up over, after all.

But once you have your limiting beliefs identified make sure to write them down. There is something about “seeing” our problems in a tangible way that empowers us to better respond to them. In some cases, they begin to immediately lose their effectiveness over us just because we can see them for the illusions they are.

“You begin to fly when you let go of self-limiting beliefs and allow your mind and aspirations to rise to greater heights.” ―Brian Tracy

2. Acknowledge Them

Having the ability to view our limits helps us advance to the next step, acknowledgment. In this phase, we don’t just see our limiting beliefs in simple black-and-white—we acknowledge them for what they are, the harm they have done, and admit that we have taken part in their creation.

It’s almost as if we can have a dialog with them. By doing so we open the lines of communication and, as we all know, communication is crucial for any breakthrough. This step helps us understand our limiting beliefs better allowing us a clearer path moving forward.

It is also an especially critical step because by acknowledging our responsibility, we empower ourselves to change. No one ever gains victory over problems without taking responsibility for having them or for doing the work to resolve them.

3. Confront The Beliefs

We can only conquer our limiting beliefs by confronting them. The reason they grow so troublesome for us in the first place is simply that they go unchallenged. We often “assume” them without question.

Rather than deal with the struggle of this confrontation we develop an almost co-dependent relationship with them. We guard our limiting beliefs and justify them if they are ever questioned. But our beliefs will continue to grow and strengthen unless we challenge them.

If this is a difficult process for you to do by yourself, a counselor or coach can be helpful. If not with a professional, then at least let your beliefs be open to scrutiny by a trusted friend or significant other.

With your written list, work through as many reasons to call B.S. as you can think of. Write them out and present your argument. This doesn’t have to be a quick process, take as much time as necessary to make your case. Especially with the help of another person, you will begin to see all of the ways in which your beliefs aren’t true and find all of the reasons you need to believe you can succeed.

4. Replace Them With Unlimited Beliefs

To move forward effectively, you can’t just drop your limiting beliefs and get back to life as usual. In order to reach your most powerful life, you’ve got replace the old, limiting beliefs with new, empowering ones.

If one of your limiting beliefs was, “I don’t deserve success because of xyz,” you need to replace it with, “I do deserve success because of abc,” and then list out all the reasons why.

It’s such a simple step but so many people neglect it. They’re just so happy to be rid of their old limiting beliefs, I guess. But what good is it to just be neutral? You’ve got to create an upgrade for every belief you just tore down. You’ve got to replace the limited ones with unlimited.

On that list, you created earlier, or on a new page if you’ve run out of room, write out your empowering, replacement beliefs. Keep going until each one is now optimized with a belief that removes those old limits you placed on yourself.

“Do the uncomfortable. Become comfortable with these acts. Prove to yourself that your limiting beliefs die a quick death if you will simply do what you feel uncomfortable doing.” ―Darren Rowse

5. Use Your New Beliefs To Find Success

You’ve got just one more step to go and that is to implement your new beliefs. Put your full faith in them as if they will succeed because they will. Use your fresh, new enthusiasm to push you through to success in areas where you only saw limitation before.

You will not fail because when we truly believe we are capable of success that is what we achieve. Be encouraged—every new success you have will only strengthen your beliefs. Congratulations, you are now on your way to living your most powerful life!

What are you doing today to make the most of your life? Comment below!

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