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4 Ways Responsibility Can Lead You To Greatness

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Can responsibility ensure greatness in our lives? We are held responsible from a young age to ensure we provide results. From being held responsible to do our homework, then when we grow up we are held responsible to be on time at work, it has been part of our daily lives without us realising.

Bearing this in mind, when did you last hold yourself responsible for your life? We can get back into the habit of using responsibility in our everyday lives to ensure that we reach a high level of greatness.

Here are 4 ways responsibility can lead you to greatness:

1. Be responsible for your own actions

Whatever action we take, we must take responsibility if we want to reach greatness. If it doesn’t go your way then don’t blame anyone else, or outside forces, take 100% responsibility for everything you do in life.

Get obsessive with it, if you’re late for work when you’d normally blame the traffic, realise that if you’d have left 5 minutes earlier you’d have made it. This may sound harsh on yourself, but it gives you the mindset that everything happens due to your actions.

Then when the successful times roll around you know that it was your actions that got you that deal or that raise and it was never down to lady luck. These actions might mean you fail at something but get back up, brush yourself off and learn from your mistakes, don’t shift the blame.

““In the long run, we shape our lives, and we shape ourselves. The process never ends until we die. And the choices we make are ultimately our own responsibility.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

2. Be responsible for the change you want to see

As Ghandi said “Be the change you wish to see in the world”. There are no truer words spoken. You are the one that can change the world around you, hold yourself responsible to make that change.

If you want to see more positivity in your workplace, then hold yourself responsible to be the most positive person in your office. You are holding yourself accountable to take action and you don’t want to let yourself down.

 

3. Be responsible for your inner voice

We all have an inner voice, this will determine your path in life. Your inner voice will bring up your doubts, fears and insecurities.

Whenever a negative thoughts arises, write it down in a notebook or in your phone. Then next to it write three reasons as to why that thought isn’t true. Use past experiences where you’ve overcome that fear, or how you can overcome that insecurity.

There is a beauty in writing your innermost thoughts down as they become measurable and more importantly manageable. If we nip every negative thought in the bud as soon as they arise, we know we are staying on the right course to greatness.

 

4. Hold someone else responsible for their success

Once you have mastered holding yourself responsible then you can hold other people responsible. A mentor is one of the pillars of success. Be the mentor that holds them responsible and checks up on their success. Have an email conversation every week, holding them responsible for the goals they had set the week before.

People are more driven to deliver when another party is holding them responsible. We learn so much more when we teach subjects, so teach your student how to hold himself or herself responsible and have greatness in their lives.

These four action points will give you control over the direction you want to take in life. We can make a conscious effort everyday to guide ourselves in the right direction by holding ourselves responsible.

“Leaders..should influence others..in such a way that it builds people up, encourages and edifies them so they can duplicate this attitude in others.” – Bob Goshen

How else do you hold yourself responsible? Please leave your thoughts in the comment section below!

Chris Targett all about helping people to help themselves through blog posts and online services. He helps people find accountability partners and is a co-founder of Accountability Buddy, where people can find an accountability partner for free.

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4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Alex Reyes

    Jul 26, 2016 at 11:20 pm

    To be completely honest, I just discovered this exact concept in my life.

    I really was avoiding facing my own issues and having difficulties with my freelance practice, however a strong wake up call made me take responsibility for my own life and my thoughts. I started to take action that very day and in very little time I was seeing small results.

    Yes, I have failed a lot of times and I still struggle with this, but I’m committed to make the change, otherwise I will never be able to really be the man I want to be.

    Thanks a lot for the inspiration and pep talk!

    • Chris Targett

      Aug 2, 2016 at 7:22 pm

      Congratulations, that’s a big step, taking responsibility for your own actions is a huge commitment, as it is so easy to leave it up to others.

      Love that I’ve given you a “pep talk” hope you go on to do great things

      Chris

  2. Shawn

    Jul 26, 2016 at 8:13 am

    Love this article.
    I feel guilty because sometimes I will just blame and make excuses.
    Saying is easy, doing is hard.
    It is challenging to be responsible for my own inner voices.
    They just shoot up in my mind. I need to train and think more positively, consciously. 🙂

    • Chris Targett

      Aug 2, 2016 at 7:24 pm

      Hi Shawn,

      Thanks for taking time to read my article.

      Exactly as you’ve said “Saying is easy, doing is hard” If you can keep the inner voices at bay then you’re on the way to greatness. Remember even the most successful in the world have an inner voice but they know when to listen to it and when to overpower it with positive thoughts.

      Good luck on your journey to greatness Shawn!

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Life

How to Get Better at Anything by Using This Self Encouragement Practice

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Whether you’re turning your sidehustle into a career, sculpting a fitter body, or perfecting your favourite sport, getting better at anything requires a simple yet specific sequence:

You do it, you encourage each of your efforts and then you repeat this process every day without cease.

Now think about the goals you’ve set after, and the habits you’ve tried to hone. If you aren’t exactly where you want to be in your growth curve, you’re skipping one or two of these simple steps. Which is it for you?

I used to be really good at starting things—step one. But, back before I began my self-improvement journey, I didn’t have the slightest concept of self-encouragement—step two. I figured that once I did something well enough, I’d get all the congratulations I needed from other people. It didn’t work out that way.

When things got really tough in my new business ventures or educational endeavors, I’d crack. I didn’t have someone orienting me toward the future, coaching me, and approving my efforts. I didn’t have me in my own corner.

Self encouragement is like the protein you consume after a workout

Lifting weights is hard on your muscles, right? The resistance/stress breaks down tissue. But if you don’t replenish your body with protein after the workout, your muscles won’t grow, which makes regular workouts frustrating and pointless. The same is true for self-encouragement and your personal growth.

You need that reflexive “good job!” or “you’re kicking ass!” to rebuild confidence after a big effort. But when you don’t get that positive self-talk, you won’t feel good enough about yourself and confident enough about the future to persist in your success effort.

“A word of encouragement during a failure is worth more than an hour of praise after success.” – Unknown

After landing back at my parents (for the third time) when my business venture in California went bust, I decided I would no longer succumb to the forces that had sabotaged my previous efforts. So I read all that I could from Tony Robbins and Zig Ziglar. The one thing I learned was that I had to become my own biggest supporter, otherwise, I’d continue to bring myself down with negative self-talk and inconsistent effort.

That’s when I started planning self-encouragement

My greatest weakness is that if I don’t plan something out and have an action step I can check off, I just won’t do it. This weakness ended up becoming my biggest strength when I decided to take ownership of it.

Since I wasn’t encouraging myself enough to grow consistently as a writer, I started writing out ten checkboxes for self encouragement in my daily planner. That’s when I literally got addicted to success.

Before, I’d write an article and then think to myself, “Yeah…probably not gonna make a difference anyway.” This attitude prevented me from taking risks and consistently doing my best, which is crucial for any kind of success. But when I started creating self-encouragement rituals to conclude my writing sessions, I got high off of the positivity.

“Thank you so much for kicking ass today! Thank you for doing everything you need to do to be successful and to make a difference. I’m so grateful for your efforts, and so excited to see where this effort takes you. Keep it up!”

This was instant gratification in the otherwise-delayed gratification process of achieving success, and it ended up giving me the confidence and positive attitude I needed to persist, to learn from my mistakes, and to grow in the ways I desired.

Three months after I planned for daily self-encouragement, I had my first full-time job as a staff writer at a major publication. That was no coincidence. When I continued my success sequence, do, encourage, persist, it was only another year before I was on each of the major magazines I’d dreamed of writing for.

“In the middle of every difficulty lies opportunity.” Albert Einstein

I gained a following. People began seeking me out for coaching, to help them gain similar success in wherever they wanted to improve their own lives. But more important than anything, I established an identity as my own greatest supporter, which will help me to succeed in anything I set my mind to: marriage, expanding my business, etc. I owe my successes and my career to ten self encouragement checkboxes.

Here’s how to start your self encouragement practice today:

1. Start a morning routine of affirmations

Before your mind can drift to negative thoughts, immediately set yourself to positive affirmations. I mean literally right after you wake up, don’t skip a beat! Pick out the forty affirmations that you need most. “I am worthy, I am persistent, I am successful” and write them down on a 3×5 index card. Then, recite them to yourself in a mirror as soon as you wake up. Keep up the habit until you have all forty memorized.

Once you start this practice you’ll become sensitized to your inner dialogue and you’ll begin to hear everything going on between your ears, including the negative. When you start to hear you beating yourself up, that’s when it’s crucial to fall back on the positive affirmation. You’ll cement this habit by scheduling regular self-encouragement checkins in a daily planner.

2. Create ten checkboxes for self encouragement in your daily planner

If you don’t already have a daily planning habit, you won’t get the life you want until you start planning for it every day. You don’t need to plan much, just your top five to eight goals, and the habits you intend to do every day (self-encouragement being the most important one). After you list your first three or four goals at the top, break the page up with “encourage yourself!”—followed by ten checkboxes.

As you check off your goals, make sure to encourage yourself for your efforts. For example, if one of your goals were to run five miles in the morning, when you check that goal off you’ll immediately applaud yourself and then check off a self-encouragement box. “Thank you so much for taking care of my body and making me feel good about myself, you’re doing awesome!” Check.

When you refer to your planner throughout the day, you’ll notice that there are more checkboxes than you have goals. Use those empty checkboxes as reminders to affirm yourself. “I am generous, kind, patient, uplifting, creative, dependable, perseverant, etc.” Check.

Keep this up over the course of a month and you’ll be on your way to mastering whatever it is you want.  

By holding yourself accountable to a self-encouragement practice, you’ll grow the resilience and confidence you need to persist in the things you love and to master the skills and habits you desire. All it takes is a blank sketchbook and the routine of planning out each of your goals at the beginning of a day, including ten checkboxes for self encouragement.

What self encouragement practices do you do? Comment below!

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The 4 Dimensions of Personal Energy You Need to Adopt to Deliver Extraordinary Results

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personal energy

Managers tend to look at humans as productivity units. Energy is invested into prioritizing what’s on the to do list, with an attitude of do more and accomplish more. Work is translated into more hours and the human experience tends to be minimized, criticized or diminished.

As the demands of the workplace keep rising, many people respond by increasing their hours at a rapid pace, inevitably leading to burn out that costs both people and business. Many businesses invest in developing people’s knowledge and skills yet very few help build and sustain their capacity – their energy. When you invest in your people, they have greater capacity to make it possible to get more done in less time.

In today’s world, business leaders generally feel it is the employee’s problem to practice healthy behaviors. Given the amount of time people spend at work, a shared responsibility embarks on both the business and the employee. Where possible, workplaces must facilitate the development of healthy practices to create a mutually beneficial and sustainable environment. Individually, you are responsible for how you manage your energy, the workplace is responsible for creating a workplace where people are energized, and their creativity unleashed.

When workplaces invest in their people across all dimensions of their lives, magic happens. People turn up at work energized, more productive, and execute the shared vision to deliver results.

When you are fully energized, you accomplish more in less time. When you feel fulfilled, you become more engaged, effective and contribute without expectation. The human experience includes four dimensions of personal energy that need to be cultivated to increase these levels of energy and deliver extraordinary results across workplaces.

1. We function best when we feel positive

Most people tend to perform best when they feel positive. I’m not talking about the eternal optimist and rah-rah noise, I’m referring to the people who re-fuel their positive energy by identifying their trigger points to what drains their energy and then refocus on a solution. Creating a resourceful functional state where you can think clearly, logically and reflectively.

Building habits into your day avoids you slipping into negative emotions or moving through them quicker. Diffusing emotions through deep breathing, expressing appreciation and gratitude as the brain can only do one thing at a time. Adopting self-reflection techniques such as upgrading the lens approach creates opportunities to refocus your energy – How would l like to see this situation in 3 months’ time? What lessons can l learn from this situation?

“When you are enthusiastic about what you do, you feel this positive energy. It’s very simple.” – Paulo Coelho

2. The human spirit

The human spirit transcends the individual human being. When you are clear about your purpose, what really matters, you focus better, feel more positive and feel a deeper commitment to contributing to humanity. To access the energy of the human spirit, explore what you do best and enjoy most at work and in life. Allocate time and energy to these areas and make a conscious decision to live your core values every day.

3. Sustaining your mental energy

Multitasking is a great way to kill your mental energy. When you lose your focus, or move from one task to the next, you increase the amount of time required to complete the primary task. Building simple rituals into your day can prevent mental fatigue.

Reduce interruptions by allocating uninterruptible 50-minute blocks of time to focus on the one task, respond to emails, voicemails at designated times during the day and identify the most important task for the next day. Robin Sharma, author of The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari, suggests focusing for the next 90 days, the first 90 minutes of your work day on creating your new piece of code that will revolutionize the marketplace.

4. Physical energy

We all need nutrition, exercise, sleep and rest. It is part of the human condition. If you want to sustain your energy levels, the four essential components will increase your energy levels to enable your focus on your single most valuable project and manage your emotions. Your will power may be highest first thing in the morning, your energy may peak in the afternoon or your mental focus may be the sharpest late at night. Capitalize and build a pocket of time so you use your highest value hours for your most valuable activities.

“Energy and persistence conquer all things.” – Benjamin Franklin

Prioritizing healthy eating, engaging in movement activities and committed to deep restful sleep are the keys to sustaining your physical energy. Consistent sleeping times with undisrupted sleep is critical to your ability to maintain your energy levels. Power naps, removal of digital technology from bedrooms and investment in sleep transition activities such as reading non-work-related books, listening to a guided meditation or focusing on breath work are great practices to invest in re-building energy levels.

When you are physically active, mentally agile, emotionally stable and spiritually charged, you can balance different aspects of your life with ease. Adopting rituals to manage your energy on all dimensions daily creates an environment where you are leading you, not the other way around. Manage your energy, not your time.

What techniques do you use to maximize your energy? Comment below!

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5 Simple Things to Do Right Now if You Feel Stuck in Life

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As a success-blogger, I normally have a great deal of clarity about what I need to be working on. I’m also really driven by a sense of purpose in helping others get unstuck and make an impact in their lives. There aren’t many times that I find myself at a loss for what to do next.

Nonetheless, I recently hit a dry spell. I felt entirely stuck and a little burnt out. It felt like I was in a pit, emotionally unempowered and unable to move forward. Due to this, I decided to sit down and write out a list of ways that I could get myself moving and build up some momentum again.

Here is what I came up with and I’m sharing it with you in the hopes that if you, too, are stuck it will make difference for you:

1. Get An Empowering Mindset

When we start to feel like we can’t move forward we often get down on ourselves. We begin to feel incapable and think we must be the cause of all the inaction. This puts us in a negative mindset that is self-reinforcing. To break out of that limiting mentality, try the substitution game. For every negative thought that comes to mind, remove it and replace it with a positive one.

For instance, instead of, “I just can’t figure this out—I’m so stupid,” remove and replace it with, “I’m ALWAYS supplied with a way through at just the right time.” Affirmations like this will keep you positive and put you back in the driver’s seat. Keep at this hard because it is relatively easy to do and you can gain traction quickly.

“Growth hacking is a mindset, and those who have it will reap incredible gains.” – Ryan Holiday

2. Do Some Housekeeping

When I’m really humming along in life, I’ve got no time for cleaning up files and putting things in order. This has to be done sometime and the time when you are stuck not doing anything else makes as good of sense as any.

More than that, however, I’ve also found the process of simplifying and organizing my notes to be very empowering. The very act of setting your mind on “cleaning things up” clarifies your mind. It’s an outward expression of something that changes your experience internally as well.

I’m of the opinion that if we need direction in our lives, we need to make room for it. In this way, we welcome that which we really need. By putting our work in order we prepare the way for new ideas and inspiration.

3. Find Some Quick Results To Encourage Yourself

No matter how stuck you are there is always something you can do that will bring about a measurable result. Even small victories help you feel like you are gaining ground. As you do this, keep these tips in mind:

  • Set simple goals and breeze through them. Think of things you can accomplish in five-to-ten minutes. As you complete them you will gain a sense of momentum.
  • Make this a visual activity. I like to write each of my tasks out and put a little box in front of them. Work to check each item off as quickly as you can. It should be fun so treat it as a game, marking complete as many as you can in an hour, for instance.

4. Get Back To Doing What You Love

To keep growing, I have to keep looking forward to the bigger picture in what I do. Right now I’m spending a lot of time preparing content for future books and courses, but that level of stretching has produced a little burnout. I’m always tunneling forward into territory that I’m not as familiar with so it saps my energy and mental resources.

It’s good to tackle these types of things so that I keep pushing myself. But when I begin to feel like I’m burning out, it’s good to step back into what I’m best at and most comfortable in…for me, that’s writing blog posts. It brings a refreshing sense of fun back into my life.

This gets a sense of positivity flowing again. We have to keep a deep feeling of joy with what we do. Jump-starting that by getting back into your element can get you on the road again.

“Let the beauty of what you love be what you do.” – Rumi

5. Work On Something New

Sometimes we just get bogged-down and burned-out with what we are working on. It becomes drudgery, but there is always something related that we might not have begun to work on yet. Maybe we didn’t feel ready or we were just too invested in other things to take the turn down that road. In times like this, pull those things out and start working on them.

For me, that recent thing I began to do was guest posting on Addicted2Success. It was something that I had always wanted to do because I believe in everything that they are doing, but I hadn’t gone down that path yet because I didn’t feel ready.

In my period of trying to get unstuck, however, it began to feel like the perfect time to venture into new territory. Now that I’ve had the opportunity to focus on this avenue I have renewed energy and have come closer to fulfilling my overall dream of being a successful blogger.

If you just aren’t getting anywhere in your normal routine, it could be the perfect time to break into something else you’ve been holding off on.

What have you done to break free when YOU are stuck in life? Comment below!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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5 Subtle Things You Do When You Lack Confidence

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Confidence is a belief in one’s abilities and sense of competence. There are certain subtle things we do when we lack or have low confidence, and you need to be aware of these actions as they are quite subtle and can be easily skipped over. Even worse, we don’t identify the root cause of the problem and then spend years trying to fix something without any effect.

To prevent that, here is a list of 5 subtle things you do when you lack confidence:

1. You begin settling

You have it good enough in life so you settle for less because you think you don’t deserve it. The quote Jim Collins said about good being the enemy of great was focused on companies, but that can also apply to your life, your job and your relationship.

You got a job that you kind of hate. The job itself is okay but the boss is horrible and promotion/growth is not possible, but the salary is okay and the job is “just good.” When you lack confidence in your ability, you settle down. There are always other opportunities out there, so push forward.

The only thing worse than this is if the situation becomes permanent. Evaluate your life now and figure out where you are just floating by in. Believe in your ability to do better and take the risk. Learn new stuff and improve your life.

2. You avoid exposure

You think your ideas are not good or that your personality is not good enough. This is only fueled by your lack of confidence. You stand near the walls at a party to feel protected. The center of attention and the room is 2 meters away, but in your head, it’s a million miles.

Exposing yourself means showing other people who you are. To do that, we need to accept and love who we were. If we can’t, who can? For you to accept yourself continuously, do an exercise called “The Wheel of Change.” The exercise has 4 simple questions you need to answer for yourself giving you the building block of your confidence.

  1. What do I eliminate from my life?
  2. What do I create in my life?
  3. What do I accept in my life?
  4. What do I preserve in my life?

“With confidence, you have won before you have started.” – Marcus Garvey

3. You use distractions instead of solutions

The difference here is the belief. Zorro played by Antonio Banderas, couldn’t defeat his arch-enemy, Captain Harrison Love, because he just didn’t have the skills or knowledge at the time to do it. Due to this, he started drinking.

The drinking led him to despair and he almost gave up, yet a mentor played by Anthony Hopkins taught Zorro how to gain his confidence back and take out his enemies. The main thing was to master things in “The Zorro Circle.” That circle is small, but it’s a place where you have full control. When you master that circle, you expand it. The same things happen with your confidence.

You indulge in distractions, get overwhelmed and then quit. Nonetheless,  the main thing here is to do small things which are in your control. Use solutions instead of distractions and at some point, you will be able to solve problems which were out of your control when you started.

Don’t fall into the trap of rationalization, explaining why you are where you are in life. Just start working small, use solutions instead of distractions and you will get there.

4. You are a one-trick pony

A man came to see a psychologist and told him: “Doctor, I’m always depressed. I tried everything but nothing works. Please, help me out.” The psychologist told him to stand up and come to the window with him. “You see that tent over there?. That is the circus and they are really good. There is this one clown in particular who is really funny. He makes everyone laugh so hard. You should go and see him and you won’t have any reason to be depressed.”

The man turned to the psychologist and said, “Doctor, I am that clown!” You are not a one-trick pony but your friends perceive you like that. You are the funny one that cracks jokes or the trivia guy who has interesting facts around the water cooler.

At a certain point, this becomes who you are, and then, you are scared to show anything else to people around you. At some point, it becomes unbearable and you crack. To prevent this, you need to know that it’s okay to show your full personality.

You are not a one-trick pony. You are a human being with a full range of emotions, character-traits and personalities that must be shown to the world. This is the way to confidence. The other way brings you to the story of Robin Williams who tragically ended his life, so show yourself fully.

“Always be yourself, express yourself, have faith in yourself, do not go out and look for a successful personality and duplicate it.” – Bruce Lee

5. You lack tears in your eyes

It’s when you are aligned with emotions – when you respect how you feel – that you are truly free to feel the freedom of your emotions. You must love and cherish them when they occur by shedding happy yet sad tears as well.

When you acknowledge what you feel and own it to your deepest level, that’s when you’ll feel the biggest confidence. Don’t run away from your emotions, but own them. Let them go through your body and mind and acknowledge what’s happening in you. Feel it. They are sometimes pleasant and sometimes not, yet they are yours. It’s not how you feel, it’s how you feel about how you feel.

What do you do when you lack confidence? Let us know in the comments below!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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How to Get Better at Anything by Using This Self Encouragement Practice

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Whether you’re turning your sidehustle into a career, sculpting a fitter body, or perfecting your favourite sport, getting better at anything requires a simple yet specific sequence: (more…)

Daniel Dowling is waging a war against distraction at MillennialSuccess.io, where he teaches the art of planning and making sh!# happen.

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4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Alex Reyes

    Jul 26, 2016 at 11:20 pm

    To be completely honest, I just discovered this exact concept in my life.

    I really was avoiding facing my own issues and having difficulties with my freelance practice, however a strong wake up call made me take responsibility for my own life and my thoughts. I started to take action that very day and in very little time I was seeing small results.

    Yes, I have failed a lot of times and I still struggle with this, but I’m committed to make the change, otherwise I will never be able to really be the man I want to be.

    Thanks a lot for the inspiration and pep talk!

    • Chris Targett

      Aug 2, 2016 at 7:22 pm

      Congratulations, that’s a big step, taking responsibility for your own actions is a huge commitment, as it is so easy to leave it up to others.

      Love that I’ve given you a “pep talk” hope you go on to do great things

      Chris

  2. Shawn

    Jul 26, 2016 at 8:13 am

    Love this article.
    I feel guilty because sometimes I will just blame and make excuses.
    Saying is easy, doing is hard.
    It is challenging to be responsible for my own inner voices.
    They just shoot up in my mind. I need to train and think more positively, consciously. 🙂

    • Chris Targett

      Aug 2, 2016 at 7:24 pm

      Hi Shawn,

      Thanks for taking time to read my article.

      Exactly as you’ve said “Saying is easy, doing is hard” If you can keep the inner voices at bay then you’re on the way to greatness. Remember even the most successful in the world have an inner voice but they know when to listen to it and when to overpower it with positive thoughts.

      Good luck on your journey to greatness Shawn!

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Life

How to Get Better at Anything by Using This Self Encouragement Practice

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self encouragement

Whether you’re turning your sidehustle into a career, sculpting a fitter body, or perfecting your favourite sport, getting better at anything requires a simple yet specific sequence:

You do it, you encourage each of your efforts and then you repeat this process every day without cease.

Now think about the goals you’ve set after, and the habits you’ve tried to hone. If you aren’t exactly where you want to be in your growth curve, you’re skipping one or two of these simple steps. Which is it for you?

I used to be really good at starting things—step one. But, back before I began my self-improvement journey, I didn’t have the slightest concept of self-encouragement—step two. I figured that once I did something well enough, I’d get all the congratulations I needed from other people. It didn’t work out that way.

When things got really tough in my new business ventures or educational endeavors, I’d crack. I didn’t have someone orienting me toward the future, coaching me, and approving my efforts. I didn’t have me in my own corner.

Self encouragement is like the protein you consume after a workout

Lifting weights is hard on your muscles, right? The resistance/stress breaks down tissue. But if you don’t replenish your body with protein after the workout, your muscles won’t grow, which makes regular workouts frustrating and pointless. The same is true for self-encouragement and your personal growth.

You need that reflexive “good job!” or “you’re kicking ass!” to rebuild confidence after a big effort. But when you don’t get that positive self-talk, you won’t feel good enough about yourself and confident enough about the future to persist in your success effort.

“A word of encouragement during a failure is worth more than an hour of praise after success.” – Unknown

After landing back at my parents (for the third time) when my business venture in California went bust, I decided I would no longer succumb to the forces that had sabotaged my previous efforts. So I read all that I could from Tony Robbins and Zig Ziglar. The one thing I learned was that I had to become my own biggest supporter, otherwise, I’d continue to bring myself down with negative self-talk and inconsistent effort.

That’s when I started planning self-encouragement

My greatest weakness is that if I don’t plan something out and have an action step I can check off, I just won’t do it. This weakness ended up becoming my biggest strength when I decided to take ownership of it.

Since I wasn’t encouraging myself enough to grow consistently as a writer, I started writing out ten checkboxes for self encouragement in my daily planner. That’s when I literally got addicted to success.

Before, I’d write an article and then think to myself, “Yeah…probably not gonna make a difference anyway.” This attitude prevented me from taking risks and consistently doing my best, which is crucial for any kind of success. But when I started creating self-encouragement rituals to conclude my writing sessions, I got high off of the positivity.

“Thank you so much for kicking ass today! Thank you for doing everything you need to do to be successful and to make a difference. I’m so grateful for your efforts, and so excited to see where this effort takes you. Keep it up!”

This was instant gratification in the otherwise-delayed gratification process of achieving success, and it ended up giving me the confidence and positive attitude I needed to persist, to learn from my mistakes, and to grow in the ways I desired.

Three months after I planned for daily self-encouragement, I had my first full-time job as a staff writer at a major publication. That was no coincidence. When I continued my success sequence, do, encourage, persist, it was only another year before I was on each of the major magazines I’d dreamed of writing for.

“In the middle of every difficulty lies opportunity.” Albert Einstein

I gained a following. People began seeking me out for coaching, to help them gain similar success in wherever they wanted to improve their own lives. But more important than anything, I established an identity as my own greatest supporter, which will help me to succeed in anything I set my mind to: marriage, expanding my business, etc. I owe my successes and my career to ten self encouragement checkboxes.

Here’s how to start your self encouragement practice today:

1. Start a morning routine of affirmations

Before your mind can drift to negative thoughts, immediately set yourself to positive affirmations. I mean literally right after you wake up, don’t skip a beat! Pick out the forty affirmations that you need most. “I am worthy, I am persistent, I am successful” and write them down on a 3×5 index card. Then, recite them to yourself in a mirror as soon as you wake up. Keep up the habit until you have all forty memorized.

Once you start this practice you’ll become sensitized to your inner dialogue and you’ll begin to hear everything going on between your ears, including the negative. When you start to hear you beating yourself up, that’s when it’s crucial to fall back on the positive affirmation. You’ll cement this habit by scheduling regular self-encouragement checkins in a daily planner.

2. Create ten checkboxes for self encouragement in your daily planner

If you don’t already have a daily planning habit, you won’t get the life you want until you start planning for it every day. You don’t need to plan much, just your top five to eight goals, and the habits you intend to do every day (self-encouragement being the most important one). After you list your first three or four goals at the top, break the page up with “encourage yourself!”—followed by ten checkboxes.

As you check off your goals, make sure to encourage yourself for your efforts. For example, if one of your goals were to run five miles in the morning, when you check that goal off you’ll immediately applaud yourself and then check off a self-encouragement box. “Thank you so much for taking care of my body and making me feel good about myself, you’re doing awesome!” Check.

When you refer to your planner throughout the day, you’ll notice that there are more checkboxes than you have goals. Use those empty checkboxes as reminders to affirm yourself. “I am generous, kind, patient, uplifting, creative, dependable, perseverant, etc.” Check.

Keep this up over the course of a month and you’ll be on your way to mastering whatever it is you want.  

By holding yourself accountable to a self-encouragement practice, you’ll grow the resilience and confidence you need to persist in the things you love and to master the skills and habits you desire. All it takes is a blank sketchbook and the routine of planning out each of your goals at the beginning of a day, including ten checkboxes for self encouragement.

What self encouragement practices do you do? Comment below!

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The 4 Dimensions of Personal Energy You Need to Adopt to Deliver Extraordinary Results

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Managers tend to look at humans as productivity units. Energy is invested into prioritizing what’s on the to do list, with an attitude of do more and accomplish more. Work is translated into more hours and the human experience tends to be minimized, criticized or diminished.

As the demands of the workplace keep rising, many people respond by increasing their hours at a rapid pace, inevitably leading to burn out that costs both people and business. Many businesses invest in developing people’s knowledge and skills yet very few help build and sustain their capacity – their energy. When you invest in your people, they have greater capacity to make it possible to get more done in less time.

In today’s world, business leaders generally feel it is the employee’s problem to practice healthy behaviors. Given the amount of time people spend at work, a shared responsibility embarks on both the business and the employee. Where possible, workplaces must facilitate the development of healthy practices to create a mutually beneficial and sustainable environment. Individually, you are responsible for how you manage your energy, the workplace is responsible for creating a workplace where people are energized, and their creativity unleashed.

When workplaces invest in their people across all dimensions of their lives, magic happens. People turn up at work energized, more productive, and execute the shared vision to deliver results.

When you are fully energized, you accomplish more in less time. When you feel fulfilled, you become more engaged, effective and contribute without expectation. The human experience includes four dimensions of personal energy that need to be cultivated to increase these levels of energy and deliver extraordinary results across workplaces.

1. We function best when we feel positive

Most people tend to perform best when they feel positive. I’m not talking about the eternal optimist and rah-rah noise, I’m referring to the people who re-fuel their positive energy by identifying their trigger points to what drains their energy and then refocus on a solution. Creating a resourceful functional state where you can think clearly, logically and reflectively.

Building habits into your day avoids you slipping into negative emotions or moving through them quicker. Diffusing emotions through deep breathing, expressing appreciation and gratitude as the brain can only do one thing at a time. Adopting self-reflection techniques such as upgrading the lens approach creates opportunities to refocus your energy – How would l like to see this situation in 3 months’ time? What lessons can l learn from this situation?

“When you are enthusiastic about what you do, you feel this positive energy. It’s very simple.” – Paulo Coelho

2. The human spirit

The human spirit transcends the individual human being. When you are clear about your purpose, what really matters, you focus better, feel more positive and feel a deeper commitment to contributing to humanity. To access the energy of the human spirit, explore what you do best and enjoy most at work and in life. Allocate time and energy to these areas and make a conscious decision to live your core values every day.

3. Sustaining your mental energy

Multitasking is a great way to kill your mental energy. When you lose your focus, or move from one task to the next, you increase the amount of time required to complete the primary task. Building simple rituals into your day can prevent mental fatigue.

Reduce interruptions by allocating uninterruptible 50-minute blocks of time to focus on the one task, respond to emails, voicemails at designated times during the day and identify the most important task for the next day. Robin Sharma, author of The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari, suggests focusing for the next 90 days, the first 90 minutes of your work day on creating your new piece of code that will revolutionize the marketplace.

4. Physical energy

We all need nutrition, exercise, sleep and rest. It is part of the human condition. If you want to sustain your energy levels, the four essential components will increase your energy levels to enable your focus on your single most valuable project and manage your emotions. Your will power may be highest first thing in the morning, your energy may peak in the afternoon or your mental focus may be the sharpest late at night. Capitalize and build a pocket of time so you use your highest value hours for your most valuable activities.

“Energy and persistence conquer all things.” – Benjamin Franklin

Prioritizing healthy eating, engaging in movement activities and committed to deep restful sleep are the keys to sustaining your physical energy. Consistent sleeping times with undisrupted sleep is critical to your ability to maintain your energy levels. Power naps, removal of digital technology from bedrooms and investment in sleep transition activities such as reading non-work-related books, listening to a guided meditation or focusing on breath work are great practices to invest in re-building energy levels.

When you are physically active, mentally agile, emotionally stable and spiritually charged, you can balance different aspects of your life with ease. Adopting rituals to manage your energy on all dimensions daily creates an environment where you are leading you, not the other way around. Manage your energy, not your time.

What techniques do you use to maximize your energy? Comment below!

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5 Simple Things to Do Right Now if You Feel Stuck in Life

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As a success-blogger, I normally have a great deal of clarity about what I need to be working on. I’m also really driven by a sense of purpose in helping others get unstuck and make an impact in their lives. There aren’t many times that I find myself at a loss for what to do next.

Nonetheless, I recently hit a dry spell. I felt entirely stuck and a little burnt out. It felt like I was in a pit, emotionally unempowered and unable to move forward. Due to this, I decided to sit down and write out a list of ways that I could get myself moving and build up some momentum again.

Here is what I came up with and I’m sharing it with you in the hopes that if you, too, are stuck it will make difference for you:

1. Get An Empowering Mindset

When we start to feel like we can’t move forward we often get down on ourselves. We begin to feel incapable and think we must be the cause of all the inaction. This puts us in a negative mindset that is self-reinforcing. To break out of that limiting mentality, try the substitution game. For every negative thought that comes to mind, remove it and replace it with a positive one.

For instance, instead of, “I just can’t figure this out—I’m so stupid,” remove and replace it with, “I’m ALWAYS supplied with a way through at just the right time.” Affirmations like this will keep you positive and put you back in the driver’s seat. Keep at this hard because it is relatively easy to do and you can gain traction quickly.

“Growth hacking is a mindset, and those who have it will reap incredible gains.” – Ryan Holiday

2. Do Some Housekeeping

When I’m really humming along in life, I’ve got no time for cleaning up files and putting things in order. This has to be done sometime and the time when you are stuck not doing anything else makes as good of sense as any.

More than that, however, I’ve also found the process of simplifying and organizing my notes to be very empowering. The very act of setting your mind on “cleaning things up” clarifies your mind. It’s an outward expression of something that changes your experience internally as well.

I’m of the opinion that if we need direction in our lives, we need to make room for it. In this way, we welcome that which we really need. By putting our work in order we prepare the way for new ideas and inspiration.

3. Find Some Quick Results To Encourage Yourself

No matter how stuck you are there is always something you can do that will bring about a measurable result. Even small victories help you feel like you are gaining ground. As you do this, keep these tips in mind:

  • Set simple goals and breeze through them. Think of things you can accomplish in five-to-ten minutes. As you complete them you will gain a sense of momentum.
  • Make this a visual activity. I like to write each of my tasks out and put a little box in front of them. Work to check each item off as quickly as you can. It should be fun so treat it as a game, marking complete as many as you can in an hour, for instance.

4. Get Back To Doing What You Love

To keep growing, I have to keep looking forward to the bigger picture in what I do. Right now I’m spending a lot of time preparing content for future books and courses, but that level of stretching has produced a little burnout. I’m always tunneling forward into territory that I’m not as familiar with so it saps my energy and mental resources.

It’s good to tackle these types of things so that I keep pushing myself. But when I begin to feel like I’m burning out, it’s good to step back into what I’m best at and most comfortable in…for me, that’s writing blog posts. It brings a refreshing sense of fun back into my life.

This gets a sense of positivity flowing again. We have to keep a deep feeling of joy with what we do. Jump-starting that by getting back into your element can get you on the road again.

“Let the beauty of what you love be what you do.” – Rumi

5. Work On Something New

Sometimes we just get bogged-down and burned-out with what we are working on. It becomes drudgery, but there is always something related that we might not have begun to work on yet. Maybe we didn’t feel ready or we were just too invested in other things to take the turn down that road. In times like this, pull those things out and start working on them.

For me, that recent thing I began to do was guest posting on Addicted2Success. It was something that I had always wanted to do because I believe in everything that they are doing, but I hadn’t gone down that path yet because I didn’t feel ready.

In my period of trying to get unstuck, however, it began to feel like the perfect time to venture into new territory. Now that I’ve had the opportunity to focus on this avenue I have renewed energy and have come closer to fulfilling my overall dream of being a successful blogger.

If you just aren’t getting anywhere in your normal routine, it could be the perfect time to break into something else you’ve been holding off on.

What have you done to break free when YOU are stuck in life? Comment below!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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5 Subtle Things You Do When You Lack Confidence

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Confidence is a belief in one’s abilities and sense of competence. There are certain subtle things we do when we lack or have low confidence, and you need to be aware of these actions as they are quite subtle and can be easily skipped over. Even worse, we don’t identify the root cause of the problem and then spend years trying to fix something without any effect.

To prevent that, here is a list of 5 subtle things you do when you lack confidence:

1. You begin settling

You have it good enough in life so you settle for less because you think you don’t deserve it. The quote Jim Collins said about good being the enemy of great was focused on companies, but that can also apply to your life, your job and your relationship.

You got a job that you kind of hate. The job itself is okay but the boss is horrible and promotion/growth is not possible, but the salary is okay and the job is “just good.” When you lack confidence in your ability, you settle down. There are always other opportunities out there, so push forward.

The only thing worse than this is if the situation becomes permanent. Evaluate your life now and figure out where you are just floating by in. Believe in your ability to do better and take the risk. Learn new stuff and improve your life.

2. You avoid exposure

You think your ideas are not good or that your personality is not good enough. This is only fueled by your lack of confidence. You stand near the walls at a party to feel protected. The center of attention and the room is 2 meters away, but in your head, it’s a million miles.

Exposing yourself means showing other people who you are. To do that, we need to accept and love who we were. If we can’t, who can? For you to accept yourself continuously, do an exercise called “The Wheel of Change.” The exercise has 4 simple questions you need to answer for yourself giving you the building block of your confidence.

  1. What do I eliminate from my life?
  2. What do I create in my life?
  3. What do I accept in my life?
  4. What do I preserve in my life?

“With confidence, you have won before you have started.” – Marcus Garvey

3. You use distractions instead of solutions

The difference here is the belief. Zorro played by Antonio Banderas, couldn’t defeat his arch-enemy, Captain Harrison Love, because he just didn’t have the skills or knowledge at the time to do it. Due to this, he started drinking.

The drinking led him to despair and he almost gave up, yet a mentor played by Anthony Hopkins taught Zorro how to gain his confidence back and take out his enemies. The main thing was to master things in “The Zorro Circle.” That circle is small, but it’s a place where you have full control. When you master that circle, you expand it. The same things happen with your confidence.

You indulge in distractions, get overwhelmed and then quit. Nonetheless,  the main thing here is to do small things which are in your control. Use solutions instead of distractions and at some point, you will be able to solve problems which were out of your control when you started.

Don’t fall into the trap of rationalization, explaining why you are where you are in life. Just start working small, use solutions instead of distractions and you will get there.

4. You are a one-trick pony

A man came to see a psychologist and told him: “Doctor, I’m always depressed. I tried everything but nothing works. Please, help me out.” The psychologist told him to stand up and come to the window with him. “You see that tent over there?. That is the circus and they are really good. There is this one clown in particular who is really funny. He makes everyone laugh so hard. You should go and see him and you won’t have any reason to be depressed.”

The man turned to the psychologist and said, “Doctor, I am that clown!” You are not a one-trick pony but your friends perceive you like that. You are the funny one that cracks jokes or the trivia guy who has interesting facts around the water cooler.

At a certain point, this becomes who you are, and then, you are scared to show anything else to people around you. At some point, it becomes unbearable and you crack. To prevent this, you need to know that it’s okay to show your full personality.

You are not a one-trick pony. You are a human being with a full range of emotions, character-traits and personalities that must be shown to the world. This is the way to confidence. The other way brings you to the story of Robin Williams who tragically ended his life, so show yourself fully.

“Always be yourself, express yourself, have faith in yourself, do not go out and look for a successful personality and duplicate it.” – Bruce Lee

5. You lack tears in your eyes

It’s when you are aligned with emotions – when you respect how you feel – that you are truly free to feel the freedom of your emotions. You must love and cherish them when they occur by shedding happy yet sad tears as well.

When you acknowledge what you feel and own it to your deepest level, that’s when you’ll feel the biggest confidence. Don’t run away from your emotions, but own them. Let them go through your body and mind and acknowledge what’s happening in you. Feel it. They are sometimes pleasant and sometimes not, yet they are yours. It’s not how you feel, it’s how you feel about how you feel.

What do you do when you lack confidence? Let us know in the comments below!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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