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5 Strategies To Reach Success While Battling Depression

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depression

Depression is a challenge, it can affect everyone from your everyday person to celebrities. It’s not a choice to suffer from depression, but there is a choice in how you react to it.

Ernest Hemingway eventually chose suicide. He decided he didn’t want to confront the demons of his depression any longer. Sometimes even the strongest can fall.

Depression isn’t a joke and it’s certainly not a weakness. It can wrap its large hands around your neck and strangle you into submission. It’s not fun to suffer and you can’t “just get over it.

It’s a battle, a war. You may not be able to switch your moods with the snap of your fingers, but you can choose to drop your gloves against this crushing illness.

Depression can help create mystical stories like Edgar Allan Poe’s. It can help create awe inspiring paintings like Vincent Van Gogh’s. It can help create beautiful music like Beethoven’s.

Many have suffered, in many professions. Actor Marlon Brando (of The Godfather) suffered from chronic depression his entire life. Billy Joel checked himself into a hospital after a failed suicide attempt. Becoming the “President of The United States of America” while suffering from major depression is even a possibility, like Abraham Lincoln did.

Unfortunately, most people who suffer deeply enough turn to drugs and alcohol. I turned to alcohol. The reason drugs and alcohol are the dark alleys people linger down is because it’s a form of self-medication. It’s no different then the guy who comes home after a long day of work and drinks a six-pack of beer while watching mindless television. He’s self-medicating himself to avoid the issues — loneliness, job dissatisfaction, stress, etc. — that are being presented directly to him.

The list of famous people who suffer or have suffered can go on and on. What needs to be understood is that you can be very successful while getting punched and kicked by this bully that invades your mind.

As you can tell by Poe, Van Gogh, and Beethoven, depression can carry certain benefits if you are a creative artist such as a writer, a painter, or a musician. You just have to be careful you don’t get too deep like Hemingway and Billy Joel.

But what if you’re a CEO or everyday worker? Can you still live a successful life while dealing with the daily grind depression can bring?

In a society where power and hiding from your vulnerabilities rule all, hiding from depression is a common problem. Success can come with glorious benefits, but certain fears also tag along. It all depends what your goals are, what YOU are about. If you are about respect, compassion, kindness, and love, you are on the right track, and yes, you can become a wealthy person living by those traits. If you are solely about power and money, a laundry list of insecurities will clench onto you, potentially leading you down a disastrous path.

You can be anything while suffering, it’s been done. A powerful CEO or a single mom working two jobs to get by. The key is to fight back and never give up.

Here are some ways to fight depression while living a successful life:

 

1. Keep Up With Your Health

You don’t need crazy workouts to be healthy, that’s just a myth created by the fitness industry. All you really need is a sensible diet and some regular activity that gets you moving. Go for a long walk, do some simple bodyweight exercises, or enjoy an activity that gets you sweating. You don’t have to squat 400 pounds to be ‘fit’, that’s just macho, ego talk that persuades people to be scared of fitness.

Self-medication is a dangerous outlet when it comes to mental illness. Alcohol was my form of self-medication. For many celebrities, hard drugs is an addiction they fall into to escape the reality of their mental demons. When money and access are not a problem, it becomes far too easy to believe drugs are the best way to forget about your struggles.

Drugs and alcohol can kill. They can be used as a form of delayed suicide. Be conscious if you’re falling into that trap and seek help immediately if you are.

 

2. Read…A lot

I recommend a minimum of an hour a day. Read stories about people who have suffered, read strategies you could use in your life, read some good fiction. Keep your mind working.

Letting depression force you into a dark corner is far too easy. Sometimes you’ll feel as if you have no control, but you do. It may be a moment to fight, but reading good books can help teach you and inspire you to keep going.

 

3. Live Aggressively

Facing our fears feels harder than climbing Everest. It’s scary. Fight the urge to stay in your room and go out to dinner with a friend. Start building momentum, understand depression doesn’t have to hold you back.

Living passively is the worst way to handle depression, it keeps you tied down. When I first started talking openly about my depression I was scared. Just the thought of sharing my feelings caused my body to pour sweat. I aggressively worked through my sweat drenched clothes and talked. It helped. It actually speed up my recovery because, whether people understood or not, they knew how I felt.

I could be who I was. It was freeing. If I had a bad day it was easier to acknowledge it, and work through the day with it.

Living aggressively doesn’t mean taking an axe to everything in your path. It’s not a violent or vicious path. Living aggressively is living intently. Simply intend on moving past your depression and get to work.

We have one life. Don’t allow depression to keep you down.

 

4. Be Better Today Than You Were Yesterday

It’s okay to struggle, but it’s not okay to quit.

How you improve at anything is through constant tiny steps that eventually turn into one, gigantic success.

It’s the same with battling depression. You have to work at it. It doesn’t just disappear. You have to work through your issues and make small improvements as you go.

“I’ve had some dark nights of the soul, of course, but giving in to depression would be a sellout, a defeat.” – Christopher Hitchens

Depression will knock you back down along your journey, that’s guaranteed. The key: to get your ass back up. I used to let depression knock me out for weeks, sometimes months. It was horrible. Once I started working on myself, I was able to start making a little progress and feeling a little better.

Then, I was better. It didn’t happen on a scheduled date, it just happened. I just believed I was better, and I was. I don’t really have an explanation for it, that’s just the way it happened for me. After years of tiny improvements, I finally felt like I had just defeated my enemy.

But it starts small. Sometimes just getting out of bed is that small step. Do it. Throwing off the covers and sliding out can be a successful day while you’re fighting. Create a positive mindset around that success and begin building momentum.

 

5. The Search For Personal Greatness

Being in a deep depression allows you to laser focus on the present. Every thought about your life is on display and available for analysis. A major factor in overcoming depression is coming to grips with who you are.

This can be life’s greatest struggle. Most highly successful people lose their way in the search for more money or more power; however, we must remember, deep seeded happiness comes from within, not from materials. Yes, materials and ego boosting delusions that associate with money and power help, but that happiness is only as strong as the current feeling towards your material items or ego. If they crash or lose intensity, so does your happiness.

Being successful doesn’t mean being a millionaire, it means being happy. Battling with mental illness will be the hardest fight of your life, but it’s a fight worth putting your full effort into. As you claw out of your personal dark dark valley you’ll find new aspects of yourself and accept that person.

The law of impermanence reminds us we will one day pass, be gone from this life. Focusing on material and ego based power is dangerous and could lead to disaster. Experiencing life and learning about your true self  will lead to a successful life filled with happiness.

 

Mental illness can ravage a life, but you don’t have to let it. The stigma surrounding mental illness is an incredibly dangerous one, keeping many quiet about their struggles. That’s why I write openly about mine. We must let people know that it’s okay to struggle, but it’s never okay to quit.

Daniel is a writer who struggled with both depression and anxiety for many years. His mission is to crush the stigma related to depression and build awareness that it's okay to struggle, but it's not okay to quit.

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64 Comments

64 Comments

  1. TUSHAR PATIL

    Feb 24, 2017 at 7:09 pm

    it’s not easy to go out of depression. I am going through this phase now. want to get out of it. don’t let it control you keep struggling keep your thought positive. one day will come u will realize its not the end it’s only the bend that god gives you to make you more strong to face life.

  2. Martha

    Mar 2, 2015 at 8:15 pm

    I have struggled terribly with anxiety, panic disorder at times, and major depression. I have tried everything that the doctors had to offer. I was tired of being on medication. I talked with my doctor and she reluctantly went along with me to taper off my medications, telling me that I WILL be back and that she wants me to try Lithium when I come back. I have not seen her since the beginning of December 2014 and it is now 3-2-15. I am off everything except I take 1 or 1/2 pill of Klonipin at bedtime. Soon, I will have to stop that as I will have no more pills left. It has not been easy. I ordered a 21 day brain detox program from Dr. Caroline Leaf. It’s an online program to help me change my thought patterns. I have a year’s subscription. I am on my 6th cycle of 21 days. She is a neuroscientist and says there is scientific proof we can change our brain and the chemicals in our brains by eliminating toxic thoughts and building healthy thoughts. It has seemed to help me at times, but I still feel very weak, facing this depression giant. I have sunk into a deep depression the last few days to where I see no reason to be alive. My life is over – I have no purpose, joy, or direction. I stay alone in my little apartment and do not want to go anywhere. It is overwhelming. I am thinking of going to school, a small local university two-year physical therapy assistant program. I am afraid I will not make it. Last Sept. I tried attending a local community college, only enrolled in two courses: math and psychology. I had to drop out. First I fractured my wrist and my other arm was already injured with tennis elbow. I had to use that other, injured arm, which injured it even more. I was always in excruciating pain. I think that was part of it — but I kept struggling along. Then the anxiety and depression took over and even though I was doing well, I dropped out. I couldn’t face it — thinking I was just going to fail. So, I am afraid to go back to school. The jobs I’ve recently had just added to my depression as I was treated horribly. I have never worked with such mean people in all my life! I am wondering where to go from here. I keep plugging along with my 21 day brain detox, but the depression at times is unbearable. I do not want to live and that just completely overwhelms me. I see no reason to be alive. I am just taking up space. I do not want to go back to medications. I would still get depressed on them and the doctors always changed them. I am really struggling right now badly. I pray for a way out – an idea – some inspiration somewhere – some hope – because right now I am living in complete darkness and I know I am not thinking or seeing my life correctly. This is awful. I need help and I do not know where to go, except God. I pray and seek Him daily. I am so tired of depression stopping me from living, that I do not want to live anymore. It is very sad. I am a capable and competent person, but I am not using what I have — I am not living — so why should I even be alive????

    • Ryan

      Apr 30, 2015 at 6:45 am

      Ive been in that situation about 3 years ago, i felt like there was nothing left for me so what was the point right? I still suffer from depression now but thats due to trying to become successfull, the way i got out of the situation of feeling like life was pointless is to get out of the house and just walk, you will be suprised the kinds of people you will meet along the way, i was only 21 at the time and living at home with parents, i used to drink every day but that just made me worse and ill. Once i started getting out and meeting new people my mind was on other things, then by some miracle i met someone, i could tell her all my problems at any time and when someone else understands what your going through it can take so much pressure from you. Since that time i found love, moved out with my girlfriend, got engaged, got a new job and im now in the process of starting my own business and moving to america next year hopefully. So just remember that small step can lead to a new life, just try it and you will be amazed

  3. Sean

    Oct 22, 2014 at 3:16 am

    Excellent article! I recently went through a long phase ( about 2 years) of depression. Before going through it I always considered it a fictional condition or an excuse. Boy was I wrong!! It is an extremely painful situation anyone can go through. After two years now I am recovering and doing much better. I overcame it without any medications strictly through nutrition, meditation, support ( which is critical) and belief in my mission. The moment that changed everything for me was when I realized that depressive thoughts were actually a means to suppress the vicious cycle of the daily grind. The moment you believe you can live the life you want !! Stop thinking it and start living it. Things will get a lot more clear for you and strength will come. Keep fighting everyone life is beautiful and depression is just a teacher :).

  4. Blurblurlimu

    Oct 14, 2014 at 6:00 am

    Hi Daniel,

    I like your phrases “it is ok to struggle, but it is not ok to quit”….

    I truly agreed getting out of bed is a small step, but this small step mean a big achievement to our fighting days. Recently, I have a relapse, I am struggling to leave my bed too every morning now, because I don’t have much energy especially when I wake up, I lost my confidence, I am afraid of the challenges that awaiting me after I leave my bed, and I don’t wish to meet with people too…

    Really struggling….

    When I see you wrote “it is ok to struggle”, I really felt quite comforting…

    Thanks for sharing.

  5. Amy

    May 5, 2014 at 8:33 pm

    Daniel – A very well written article. One that inspired me to continue to battle depression again. I congratulate you on writing about your experiences with the illness. I hope to be brave enough someday to also share my history and to feel that sense of freedom.

    Thank you for the article.
    Amy

  6. kritika

    May 3, 2014 at 6:51 pm

    i dont understand will this phase pas away or would i be suffering from depression all my life..i feel like my future is too dark,i wont do anything good in my proffesional life nor would i find a spouce..will i end up lonely or miserable!! anybody can please suggest what may i do?? i had decided to end up my life today itself coz i feel lik an insane but just thought to check out if there is any hope left for me…my doc says i should stop my studies coz i am too unstable some times happy other times miserable that i cannot do any thing good with my life,he saus people have to be stable and firm to be successful in carrer and relationships!!so whats the hope for my future?? should i die or try a year more?? please help

    • Blurblurlimu

      Oct 14, 2014 at 5:40 am

      Kritika,

      Have you discussed this with your lecturer or family? If your doctor advised you to stop studying at this moment, may be defer a semester might be an option for you? Then you can take the opportunity to rest and focus on medication or finding a solution for yourself.

      I deferred my study too when I first encountered depression during my tertiary education. Then, I resumed my study after rest for a semester, there were a lot of challenges when I resumed my study because it was indeed quite difficult to catch up especially when we lost the common with our same batch friends. However, I managed to graduate at the end….

      You are not a lone…don’t give up…

    • lavesh

      Nov 20, 2014 at 6:38 pm

      I wish to talk to u personally cause my situation iz same tooo

  7. kin

    May 3, 2014 at 6:42 pm

    i do

  8. ryan

    May 2, 2014 at 5:39 am

    Thank you for this. It reminds me that I can get back to that place of true internal happiness. When times are good they are really good and that should be the focus. If I focus on allowing the bad times and accepting what comes along with it will help significantly. I deserve happiness and so do all of you 🙂

  9. Emily Filloramo

    Apr 20, 2014 at 12:28 am

    I too suffered from depression 10 years ago, precipitated by a toxic situation.

    My psychiatrist said “What trauma are you reliving from your past through this situation that caused you to be depressed?” The lightbulb went off and I realized that the depression was a reflection of the part of me that held the toxic traumas of my childhood which I had conveniently swept under the rug and forgotten about.

    Sweeping our past “under the rug” will eventually bite us in the butt in midlife in the form of some mental or physical health crisis. This is what happened to me in my early 40’s.

    I buried my negative childhood memories, living in “quiet desperation”, pretending that everything was “great!”

    So I healed through “reparenting” the younger parts of me that held faulty beliefs of “I’m not lovable and I’m not enough” and turned those beliefs into “I am lovable, I am awesome, I am enough.” The depression and sleepless nights finally lifted.

    I realize now that the Universe purposely gave me the negative experiences for the evolution of my soul. When I turned 50, I found my life’s calling based on all of my traumatic experiences. Now I am happy beyond belief.

    When you find the gift in the negative experiences and make “lemonade” out of your “lemons”, you will thrive.

    I have a free video trainings on the page below that talks about healing through “Internal Family System” modality of healing and self-leadership.

    http://www.successandjoynow.com/increase-happiness/

    This modality does NOT see depression as a disease – it sees your depressed parts as burdens you are carrying from the young parts of you that were traumatized. When you reparent your traumatized young parts and release the burdens, the sadness and depression will more than likely lift. m/increase-happiness/

    BTW – I spent 10 years selling anti-depressants and bipolar medicines to psychiatrists. These meds take the edge off. They are essentially band-aids. You need to get to the root of the issues that are causing you to feel depressed and heal those wounded parts.

  10. hasibrahman1

    Apr 18, 2014 at 9:38 am

    hermingway was really informational to me.and i felt famouscity is an big deal

  11. Amine AL KADERI (@amindeed)

    Mar 23, 2014 at 2:01 pm

    I was fortunate enough to read your post after a frustrating weekend start.
    Thank you for inspiring and warming me up, Dan! 🙂

    • Dan Grant

      Mar 25, 2014 at 6:10 am

      Thank you for the kind words, Amine 🙂

  12. Npmac

    Mar 23, 2014 at 7:10 am

    Thank you, like it was written for me.

  13. meikedoliver40

    Mar 22, 2014 at 3:19 pm

    Daniel thank you for this great post. I really needed to read this today. I’ve suffered from depression for as long as I can remember and I had it under control for a very long time. Recently it’s slowly crept back in and had me feeling as if everything I wanted in my life just isn’t worth working for. I have been writing in my journal and meditating to get through. It’s good to know that I’m not alone and that I’m not lazy or disinterested in life. Sometimes it’s a struggle to leave the house, it’s a struggle to go hang out, but once I get going….I’m glad that I do! It’s just a mental process sometimes.

    • Dan Grant

      Mar 25, 2014 at 6:08 am

      it’s a tough battle, that’s for sure. One worth working through, though. I’ve been incorporating mediation in my life lately and it’s been awesome. Thanks for your comment!

  14. Dan Grant

    Mar 14, 2014 at 2:46 am

    well said Wally, education is the key for sure!

  15. Wally

    Oct 16, 2013 at 11:55 am

    Thank you Daniel, I have been struggling for years, and must stress that over medication even from a Doctor can be dangerous. Some of the medicines easily make depression worse to the point of suicide even, I found out the hard way. So when treated and you feel like you start to lose interest in normal things while on a medicine stop or taper down no matter what the Doctor says. It just might save you from disaster. My new mission in life now that I am getting better, is to educate and help people become advocates for their mental health because of the stigma and the embarrassment causes one to be even more powerless in their recovery. Do research on anything that is given to you and know the risks even more than your doctor. Educate them whenever possible, especially if they are respectful and listen; the kind you want in the first place. I can not stress them enough. Most of these people have no idea what its like to have these problems and live on sometimes crippling medications. Learn everything about them, visit forums where others share experience with respect and always remember the rule of the benefits has to ALWAYS outweigh the risk of any treatment EVER. So learn the short and long term effects of anything that is ever prescribed. There is a disorder related to every human emotion that is natural in most cases that has a medication that will be pushed whenever possible because of negative business practice. Like going into a shady mechanic to have your oil changed only to find out you need a new this and that and this worked on; I’ m telling you from vast experience that you can experience the same thing with your brain every time you go into one of these treatment centers. Do your homework and always know more and good luck, you will move forward.

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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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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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6 Stepping Stones to Become Your Best Self in 2018

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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. (more…)

Angela Kambouris used to work with high risk kids in the streets of Melbourne, now she has her own consultancy business and writes for large publications. As a leadership coach and business leader having spent over 20 years in the field of vulnerability and trauma, she has built a high-level career as an executive and transitioned into a business owner. She has spoken on stages and worked with thousands of people in self-development, leadership, mindset, human behavior and business. Love to travel, experience difference cultures and mastermind with leaders and expert authorities in personal development and business all over the world. Connect with her through her website http://angelakambouris.com/ or through her Facebook.

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64 Comments

64 Comments

  1. TUSHAR PATIL

    Feb 24, 2017 at 7:09 pm

    it’s not easy to go out of depression. I am going through this phase now. want to get out of it. don’t let it control you keep struggling keep your thought positive. one day will come u will realize its not the end it’s only the bend that god gives you to make you more strong to face life.

  2. Martha

    Mar 2, 2015 at 8:15 pm

    I have struggled terribly with anxiety, panic disorder at times, and major depression. I have tried everything that the doctors had to offer. I was tired of being on medication. I talked with my doctor and she reluctantly went along with me to taper off my medications, telling me that I WILL be back and that she wants me to try Lithium when I come back. I have not seen her since the beginning of December 2014 and it is now 3-2-15. I am off everything except I take 1 or 1/2 pill of Klonipin at bedtime. Soon, I will have to stop that as I will have no more pills left. It has not been easy. I ordered a 21 day brain detox program from Dr. Caroline Leaf. It’s an online program to help me change my thought patterns. I have a year’s subscription. I am on my 6th cycle of 21 days. She is a neuroscientist and says there is scientific proof we can change our brain and the chemicals in our brains by eliminating toxic thoughts and building healthy thoughts. It has seemed to help me at times, but I still feel very weak, facing this depression giant. I have sunk into a deep depression the last few days to where I see no reason to be alive. My life is over – I have no purpose, joy, or direction. I stay alone in my little apartment and do not want to go anywhere. It is overwhelming. I am thinking of going to school, a small local university two-year physical therapy assistant program. I am afraid I will not make it. Last Sept. I tried attending a local community college, only enrolled in two courses: math and psychology. I had to drop out. First I fractured my wrist and my other arm was already injured with tennis elbow. I had to use that other, injured arm, which injured it even more. I was always in excruciating pain. I think that was part of it — but I kept struggling along. Then the anxiety and depression took over and even though I was doing well, I dropped out. I couldn’t face it — thinking I was just going to fail. So, I am afraid to go back to school. The jobs I’ve recently had just added to my depression as I was treated horribly. I have never worked with such mean people in all my life! I am wondering where to go from here. I keep plugging along with my 21 day brain detox, but the depression at times is unbearable. I do not want to live and that just completely overwhelms me. I see no reason to be alive. I am just taking up space. I do not want to go back to medications. I would still get depressed on them and the doctors always changed them. I am really struggling right now badly. I pray for a way out – an idea – some inspiration somewhere – some hope – because right now I am living in complete darkness and I know I am not thinking or seeing my life correctly. This is awful. I need help and I do not know where to go, except God. I pray and seek Him daily. I am so tired of depression stopping me from living, that I do not want to live anymore. It is very sad. I am a capable and competent person, but I am not using what I have — I am not living — so why should I even be alive????

    • Ryan

      Apr 30, 2015 at 6:45 am

      Ive been in that situation about 3 years ago, i felt like there was nothing left for me so what was the point right? I still suffer from depression now but thats due to trying to become successfull, the way i got out of the situation of feeling like life was pointless is to get out of the house and just walk, you will be suprised the kinds of people you will meet along the way, i was only 21 at the time and living at home with parents, i used to drink every day but that just made me worse and ill. Once i started getting out and meeting new people my mind was on other things, then by some miracle i met someone, i could tell her all my problems at any time and when someone else understands what your going through it can take so much pressure from you. Since that time i found love, moved out with my girlfriend, got engaged, got a new job and im now in the process of starting my own business and moving to america next year hopefully. So just remember that small step can lead to a new life, just try it and you will be amazed

  3. Sean

    Oct 22, 2014 at 3:16 am

    Excellent article! I recently went through a long phase ( about 2 years) of depression. Before going through it I always considered it a fictional condition or an excuse. Boy was I wrong!! It is an extremely painful situation anyone can go through. After two years now I am recovering and doing much better. I overcame it without any medications strictly through nutrition, meditation, support ( which is critical) and belief in my mission. The moment that changed everything for me was when I realized that depressive thoughts were actually a means to suppress the vicious cycle of the daily grind. The moment you believe you can live the life you want !! Stop thinking it and start living it. Things will get a lot more clear for you and strength will come. Keep fighting everyone life is beautiful and depression is just a teacher :).

  4. Blurblurlimu

    Oct 14, 2014 at 6:00 am

    Hi Daniel,

    I like your phrases “it is ok to struggle, but it is not ok to quit”….

    I truly agreed getting out of bed is a small step, but this small step mean a big achievement to our fighting days. Recently, I have a relapse, I am struggling to leave my bed too every morning now, because I don’t have much energy especially when I wake up, I lost my confidence, I am afraid of the challenges that awaiting me after I leave my bed, and I don’t wish to meet with people too…

    Really struggling….

    When I see you wrote “it is ok to struggle”, I really felt quite comforting…

    Thanks for sharing.

  5. Amy

    May 5, 2014 at 8:33 pm

    Daniel – A very well written article. One that inspired me to continue to battle depression again. I congratulate you on writing about your experiences with the illness. I hope to be brave enough someday to also share my history and to feel that sense of freedom.

    Thank you for the article.
    Amy

  6. kritika

    May 3, 2014 at 6:51 pm

    i dont understand will this phase pas away or would i be suffering from depression all my life..i feel like my future is too dark,i wont do anything good in my proffesional life nor would i find a spouce..will i end up lonely or miserable!! anybody can please suggest what may i do?? i had decided to end up my life today itself coz i feel lik an insane but just thought to check out if there is any hope left for me…my doc says i should stop my studies coz i am too unstable some times happy other times miserable that i cannot do any thing good with my life,he saus people have to be stable and firm to be successful in carrer and relationships!!so whats the hope for my future?? should i die or try a year more?? please help

    • Blurblurlimu

      Oct 14, 2014 at 5:40 am

      Kritika,

      Have you discussed this with your lecturer or family? If your doctor advised you to stop studying at this moment, may be defer a semester might be an option for you? Then you can take the opportunity to rest and focus on medication or finding a solution for yourself.

      I deferred my study too when I first encountered depression during my tertiary education. Then, I resumed my study after rest for a semester, there were a lot of challenges when I resumed my study because it was indeed quite difficult to catch up especially when we lost the common with our same batch friends. However, I managed to graduate at the end….

      You are not a lone…don’t give up…

    • lavesh

      Nov 20, 2014 at 6:38 pm

      I wish to talk to u personally cause my situation iz same tooo

  7. kin

    May 3, 2014 at 6:42 pm

    i do

  8. ryan

    May 2, 2014 at 5:39 am

    Thank you for this. It reminds me that I can get back to that place of true internal happiness. When times are good they are really good and that should be the focus. If I focus on allowing the bad times and accepting what comes along with it will help significantly. I deserve happiness and so do all of you 🙂

  9. Emily Filloramo

    Apr 20, 2014 at 12:28 am

    I too suffered from depression 10 years ago, precipitated by a toxic situation.

    My psychiatrist said “What trauma are you reliving from your past through this situation that caused you to be depressed?” The lightbulb went off and I realized that the depression was a reflection of the part of me that held the toxic traumas of my childhood which I had conveniently swept under the rug and forgotten about.

    Sweeping our past “under the rug” will eventually bite us in the butt in midlife in the form of some mental or physical health crisis. This is what happened to me in my early 40’s.

    I buried my negative childhood memories, living in “quiet desperation”, pretending that everything was “great!”

    So I healed through “reparenting” the younger parts of me that held faulty beliefs of “I’m not lovable and I’m not enough” and turned those beliefs into “I am lovable, I am awesome, I am enough.” The depression and sleepless nights finally lifted.

    I realize now that the Universe purposely gave me the negative experiences for the evolution of my soul. When I turned 50, I found my life’s calling based on all of my traumatic experiences. Now I am happy beyond belief.

    When you find the gift in the negative experiences and make “lemonade” out of your “lemons”, you will thrive.

    I have a free video trainings on the page below that talks about healing through “Internal Family System” modality of healing and self-leadership.

    http://www.successandjoynow.com/increase-happiness/

    This modality does NOT see depression as a disease – it sees your depressed parts as burdens you are carrying from the young parts of you that were traumatized. When you reparent your traumatized young parts and release the burdens, the sadness and depression will more than likely lift. m/increase-happiness/

    BTW – I spent 10 years selling anti-depressants and bipolar medicines to psychiatrists. These meds take the edge off. They are essentially band-aids. You need to get to the root of the issues that are causing you to feel depressed and heal those wounded parts.

  10. hasibrahman1

    Apr 18, 2014 at 9:38 am

    hermingway was really informational to me.and i felt famouscity is an big deal

  11. Amine AL KADERI (@amindeed)

    Mar 23, 2014 at 2:01 pm

    I was fortunate enough to read your post after a frustrating weekend start.
    Thank you for inspiring and warming me up, Dan! 🙂

    • Dan Grant

      Mar 25, 2014 at 6:10 am

      Thank you for the kind words, Amine 🙂

  12. Npmac

    Mar 23, 2014 at 7:10 am

    Thank you, like it was written for me.

  13. meikedoliver40

    Mar 22, 2014 at 3:19 pm

    Daniel thank you for this great post. I really needed to read this today. I’ve suffered from depression for as long as I can remember and I had it under control for a very long time. Recently it’s slowly crept back in and had me feeling as if everything I wanted in my life just isn’t worth working for. I have been writing in my journal and meditating to get through. It’s good to know that I’m not alone and that I’m not lazy or disinterested in life. Sometimes it’s a struggle to leave the house, it’s a struggle to go hang out, but once I get going….I’m glad that I do! It’s just a mental process sometimes.

    • Dan Grant

      Mar 25, 2014 at 6:08 am

      it’s a tough battle, that’s for sure. One worth working through, though. I’ve been incorporating mediation in my life lately and it’s been awesome. Thanks for your comment!

  14. Dan Grant

    Mar 14, 2014 at 2:46 am

    well said Wally, education is the key for sure!

  15. Wally

    Oct 16, 2013 at 11:55 am

    Thank you Daniel, I have been struggling for years, and must stress that over medication even from a Doctor can be dangerous. Some of the medicines easily make depression worse to the point of suicide even, I found out the hard way. So when treated and you feel like you start to lose interest in normal things while on a medicine stop or taper down no matter what the Doctor says. It just might save you from disaster. My new mission in life now that I am getting better, is to educate and help people become advocates for their mental health because of the stigma and the embarrassment causes one to be even more powerless in their recovery. Do research on anything that is given to you and know the risks even more than your doctor. Educate them whenever possible, especially if they are respectful and listen; the kind you want in the first place. I can not stress them enough. Most of these people have no idea what its like to have these problems and live on sometimes crippling medications. Learn everything about them, visit forums where others share experience with respect and always remember the rule of the benefits has to ALWAYS outweigh the risk of any treatment EVER. So learn the short and long term effects of anything that is ever prescribed. There is a disorder related to every human emotion that is natural in most cases that has a medication that will be pushed whenever possible because of negative business practice. Like going into a shady mechanic to have your oil changed only to find out you need a new this and that and this worked on; I’ m telling you from vast experience that you can experience the same thing with your brain every time you go into one of these treatment centers. Do your homework and always know more and good luck, you will move forward.

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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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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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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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