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8 Reasons Why Nothing Ever Seems to Make You Happy

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not happy about life finding happiness through success

“Money may not buy you happiness but happiness can help you get rich.”
- Jim Loehr, author of Power of Full Engagement

Do you sometimes feel like you should be happier?

From the outside you’re the picture of success, but on the inside you feel miserable, with happiness just out of reach.

You used to think that success would bring contentment, but now you’re filled with doubt.

Well, let’s change that. The following are some answers to why you are not happier even when everything in your life is running smoothly.

 

1. You’ve been sold someone else’s idea of happiness

• Do you already have a good car and want an even better one?
• Have you been thinking about joining an exclusive club?
• Have you been thinking about getting a more expensive house even though the one you have is perfectly fine?
• Do you have a great partner but you can’t stop criticizing all of their little flaws?

You likely want more because you’ve bought into Madison Avenue and Hollywood images of success, happiness and perfection.

Unfortunately, the goal of Madison Avenue and Hollywood movies is to sell the hope of happiness so that you open your wallet and buy.

Solution: Don’t be seduced by advertising and movie images of the good life. If you are not happy in the now, you need to discover the real reasons why you are not as happy as you want to be — before you acquire more money, status and stuff — and work to uncover what will make you feel good about yourself now.

 

2. You’re acting like you’re still in high school

• Do you ever compare yourself to the Joneses?
• Are you ever seduced into getting the fancier car, house or partner just because your peers did?

Wanting to keep up with the Joneses and feel like you are a member of the tribe is normal because love and belonging are hard-wired human needs.

You want to feel like you are part of the in-crowd; adult life is a grown-up version of high school after all. The only difference is that the characters have wrinkles, gray hair and a few extra pounds.

If everyone else is accumulating more and more, you feel pressured to keep up. If you don’t keep up, it can remind you of memories of rejection and humiliation from school. That’s one of the reasons why you feel the need to keep up with the Joneses.

Solution: Find a new tribe that’s not as focused on materialistic things and are more focused on making a difference in the world. Stop thinking about yourself, give back to the community and find a cause you are passionate about.

 

3. You have no clue how to connect deeply with people

• Do you feel lonely despite having lots of Facebook friends, LinkedIn connections and community acquaintances?
• Are you dying to have real friends you can share your deepest thoughts, feelings and fears with?

Realistically, most of your peers feel as lonely as you and they crave real heart-to-heart connections too. They are just waiting for someone else to start the vulnerable conversations.

Solution: Get together for coffee or lunch with an acquaintance you’ve always wanted to know better. Look for an opening to share your deepest thoughts. Ask questions such as, “What makes you happy? What are you afraid of? What are your goals? Why are these goals important to you?”

 

4. Your past demons are driving you

• Growing up, did anyone ever make you feel you were not enough?
• Do you feel like you are trying to prove something to someone?

Who are you trying to prove your worth to?

• Your mother?
• Your father?
• Your sister or brother?
• The bullies on the playground?
• The teacher that humiliated you?

Through your drive for success, you may be subconsciously trying to show them that you are enough and that you are somebody important. That’s because the #1 desire of human beings is…

… to be validated.

To feel that you are perfect just the way you are.

To feel worthy.

To feel good enough.

You may be unconsciously driven to accumulate more money, more status and more stuff in the name of showing those who have hurt you that, “Look, I’m enough, I’m somebody important.”

Solution: Understand where your drive for success comes from. If it comes from a part of you that feels like you are not enough, you can update that part with what you have accomplished and let it know that you are enough. When this part finally realized that you have been successful, it will give you permission to slow down and smell the roses.

Happiness Journey Picture Quote

 

5. You’re in emotional jail

Are you afraid of feeling like a wimp if you admit you need help?

The stigma attached to seeking professional help to improve emotional states prevents many from seeking help. “I’m not a wimp; I can deal with this.” So you deal with it by going along with Madison Avenue’s definition of happiness — buy more stuff. Or you deal with it by drinking too much or eating too much and numbing your true feelings.

But you’re only hurting yourself if you do this. When you fail to deal with your emotions, they can blow up as anger, irritability, anxiety, rage, hostility, depression, and numbness. And not dealing with your emotions can cause health issues such as cancer, heart disease, thyroid problems, obesity, and autoimmune diseases, and wreck your relationships and hold you back from living to your potential.

Solution: If you cannot cope with life and are severely depressed or addicted, please seek the help of a licensed mental health provider so you can go from dead to good. If you are psychologically stable and you want to go from good to great, a coach may be the better option for you.

Talk to a trusted friend or your doctor. Share what’s going on. They should know a coach, healer or therapist you can talk to.

 

6. Your addictions keep you stuck in misery

• Are you guilty of working, drinking, eating, gambling, shopping, or exercising too much?
• Do you ever feel angry, irritable, sad, anxious, depressed, or numb?
• Are you a perfectionist?

These addictions and feelings are more than likely protective mechanisms to help you avoid old painful memories and feelings of humiliation, rejection, unworthiness, and abandonment.

Could you also be hurting your partner, kids, parents, siblings, peers, or employees as a result of these addictions and feelings?

Solution: Find a coach or counselor that can help you get to the bottom of why you are miserably stuck in these less than desirable behaviors and feelings.

 

7. You believe happiness is always one more goal away

• “If I just make more money, I’ll be happy.”
• “If I just buy my dream home, I’ll be happy.”
• “If I just get a hot and sexy partner, I’ll be happy.”
• “If I just get rid of the last 15 pounds, I’ll be happy.”

You are fooling yourself if you keep thinking that the next monetary, status or material possession will finally be the ticket to joy.

You’ll get high temporarily and then go back to your old miserable state shortly thereafter. Then you’ll convince yourself that the goal wasn’t big enough. The next goal will finally be the golden ticket.

The Law of Paradoxical Intention says, “You must have goals, but your happiness cannot be tied to those goals. You must be happy first before you reach your goals.”

This means if you want something so badly, that wanting creates a negative vibration and so the Universe will give you the opposite of what you want. So if you think you will be happy as a result of reaching a goal, this law says you won’t get it because you’re trying too hard.

Solution: If you are not happy now on the journey to achieving your goals, look inward and ask yourself what events from the past are keeping you stuck from happiness today? Why do you need something outside of yourself to be happy?

 

8. You don’t love yourself unconditionally

“I love you so much … you are perfect just the way you are!” Can you look in the mirror and say this?

If you can’t love yourself, just know that this is a major root cause of misery for many.

Psychologist & Life Coach Wayne Dyer said:

“You will not attract into your life what you want, you will attract what you are.”

What you are is a function of what’s in your subconscious. Your subconscious is 90% responsible for what you attract into your life.

If your subconscious is full of negative chatter such as, “I’m a loser, I’m fat, I’ll never be as good as my brother”, these negative thoughts will emit negative energy.

Negative energy sucks the life out of people, and others will avoid you like the plague and you’ll end up alone and miserable in your old age, even if you have all the material trappings of success.

When you love yourself, the inner chatter will be positive and you will be happier. When you are happy, others will be drawn to you like bees to honey. Nothing is sexier than exuding unconditional self-love and confidence in a non-narcissistic way.

So how do you get rid of negative chatter and negative core beliefs such as, “I’m not lovable, I’m not worthy and I’m not enough,” so you can show up happy and sexy?

By accessing and healing negative memories at their source. These memories can be as minor as the bully that called you stupid or as major as emotional and physical abuse from caregivers.

Take yourself back into the painful memories and access those parts of you that hold feelings of shame, rejection, and worthlessness. These are the parts that hold you back from joy.

Tell those parts that you love them unconditionally. This is self-led re-parenting. When they feel love from you, they will delete the faulty beliefs they acquired from bad experiences and these parts will help you feel happy now because they no longer feel ashamed, rejected or worthless.

You can watch self-led re-parenting in the movies. The last 20 minutes of the movie The Kid with Bruce Willis demonstrates what I outlined above. The character played by Bruce Willis spent his whole life trying to forget his bad memories. Then his 8-year-old self shows up and Bruce heals that young part of himself through self-led re-parenting. He went back into the traumatic memories with his 8-year-old part and was able to give his younger part the love he needed that he never got when the original negative experiences occurred.

Bottom line:

If you are still miserable despite your successes, more than likely the burdens of the past are what make you feel like crap even though nothing seems to be wrong.

If you keep trying to push down old toxic memories, they will inevitably come back to haunt you and hold you back from authentic happiness (kind of like trying to make a beach ball disappear underwater).

When you feel good about yourself from the inside out, more money, status and stuff can be the icing on the happiness cake.

Are you happy now on the journey of living to your potential and making a difference? If not, what is keeping you stuck from being happy?

Emily Filloramo is a Success and Happiness Catalyst. Go from good to GREAT! Emily guides you to permanently boost happiness, self-esteem and confidence through discarding old emotional baggage. Get your free copy of 3 Steps To Discard The Emotional Baggage that Keep You Stuck.

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24 Comments

24 Comments

  1. Peter

    May 8, 2017 at 1:59 pm

    so amazing and excellent article i really thank you for sharing this important information. When i visit I feel very happy.

  2. Adam

    Sep 6, 2016 at 5:27 pm

    Great work Emily
    The complete post is awesome but the most important part i liked is “You have no clue how to connect deeply with people”

    Thanks for this and keep doing good work

    To your Success
    Adam

    • Emily Filloramo

      Sep 6, 2016 at 11:05 pm

      Thank you for the compliment Adam. 🙂 The people who have no clue how to connect deeply with others are not connected to themselves. They need to do some major self-awareness and inner work.

  3. rehan

    Aug 10, 2015 at 7:25 am

    thanks for sharing this amazing sort of information …
    well i think being happy is a great thing .. live happy make happy .

  4. UMOZ

    Jul 6, 2015 at 11:41 pm

    thank you a lot of info here keep going to the best 😉

  5. Pritish

    Mar 5, 2015 at 7:38 pm

    Really Great article !
    Mentioned Every Point apply on Me. Now I will Try to Recover From all These Rather than Archiving Other Goals 🙂

  6. Soh Sontsele

    Dec 14, 2014 at 5:52 am

    Now I realise how I messed my life ending up making up loans and credit thinking that if I could buy that, I would be happy. Ending up more depressed becoz I have material and debt. Bt no peace

  7. Caro

    Oct 10, 2014 at 6:03 pm

    Emily this was so well written and explained! Thank you for this. It’s so easy to feel as if you aren’t measuring up even when you have loads of accomplishments and successes under your belt. Thanks for your transparency and empathy in clearly outlining ways to overcome these feelings.

    • Emily Filloramo

      Dec 13, 2014 at 1:04 am

      So happy that this was helpful to you Caro. We often climb the ladder of success because that’s what we’ve been conditioned to do… until we reach a point in our lives where we can’t figure out why the trappings of success are not curing the feelings of disconnection, emptiness and angst. Now you know why.

  8. Dahlya

    Aug 26, 2014 at 8:44 pm

    Hi Emily, great article 🙂

    I’ve been struggling to find the first steps/occupation that makes me smile working everyday, I feel little connection to many jobs out there/available. I’m holding faith that something will come, but it’s disheartening having waited so long. I’m unsure what to think/do, would you have a quick minute? 🙂

    • Emily Filloramo

      Dec 13, 2014 at 1:05 am

      Hi Dahlya,

      I think a career coach is more of what you need. There are so many coaches (and books) you can find on the internet that have free resources where you can start to get come clarity.

  9. Carlos Reitzer

    Apr 20, 2014 at 10:14 pm

    I feel so bad because I believed for years I was good as a designer, now I’m 42 years old and I realize I’m not that good, I don’t know what should I do. Like a painfull prank of life.

    • Emily Filloramo

      Apr 22, 2014 at 3:40 am

      Carlos, have you considered hiring a career coach to figure out your next steps?

  10. Julian Sado

    Apr 16, 2014 at 8:49 pm

    Emily, I am a life and wellness coach for many people and if you don’t mind, I will direct people to your article. It’s always good to have like-minded information to confirm truth. Thank you for the article.

    • Emily Filloramo

      Apr 17, 2014 at 11:40 am

      Julian, of course you can direct others to the articles. 🙂

  11. margaret

    Apr 15, 2014 at 4:14 pm

    i have been empowered. happiness inside will lead to greater things

  12. Gabes

    Apr 15, 2014 at 10:36 am

    Grate Post Emily

  13. Koko

    Apr 13, 2014 at 7:05 pm

    Great article Emily. I tweeted “You will not attract into your life what you want, you will attract what you are.”, although I liked each and everything 🙂

  14. dotchamou

    Apr 13, 2014 at 1:46 pm

    Thank you for this post, I will quote Jim Rhon to express my thought
    “Happiness is the art of learning how to get joy from your substance.” — Jim Rohn

    “The greatest source of unhappiness comes from inside.” — Jim Rohn

    • Emily Filloramo

      Apr 13, 2014 at 6:44 pm

      Thanks for these great comments from Jim Rohn. Now if just more people would live their lives happy in the now and not after they have bought more stuff…

      • Jumana

        Dec 10, 2014 at 9:15 pm

        Amen to that. I despair sometimes when I see people buy into that facade of instant gratification when they think they’ve brought a bargain. I think you hit the nail on the head with this article..

    • June Nies

      Apr 25, 2014 at 5:45 pm

      I like that dotchamou… Happiness is an art of learning to get joy… Jim Rohn is a favorite of mine! I’ll never forget seeing & talking to Jim Rohn; such an impressionable person to never forget! I’ve also had the privilege of meeting Emily Filloramo in person and Emily is following in his footsteps! Thank you Emily!!!

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Life

5 Ways to Realize Your Authentic Self

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I was a scared kid throughout my younger years. Overly-cautious and wildly unsure were just a few of my characteristics as I headed into adulthood. Unfortunately for me, I wasn’t present to many of the decisions I made in my youth in regards to navigating life thus I was blindly going along with it.

Due to this, I forced my hand since I either had to grow or collapse into myself. With the latter not being an option, what ensued was arguably the most difficult yet freeing process of my life. I was to realize my authentic self. While every human being has their own distinct recipe for self-actualization, there are a few things that consistently show up for all of us to be cognisant of.

Let’s look at 5 ways we mask who we are at the core and how to distinguish them:

1. We feel a loss of power when we’re inauthentic

Whenever we feel a loss of power or self-expression within a conversation, it’s due to us not being true to ourselves. What keeps us from freedom is our attachment to a particular view or opinion, and we forget that opinions are not the truth.

We can restore our power by acknowledging where we are being inauthentic and pretending thus taking full ownership and responsibility for where we’re stopping ourselves. As much as owning our shortcomings feels like it looks bad, the humanity of it contributes to much of the contrary.

“Hard times arouse an instinctive desire for authenticity.” – Coco Chanel

2. Look at what you step over in conversation

Our word is our bond. The language we use tells a much deeper story than what may necessarily appear on the surface. Often times in conversation, we will throw a blanket statement over something we actually have a natural inclination to share more about. Words such as, “anyway,” “nevertheless,” and “regardless” are transitional words which often step over what we were committed to sharing in the previous moment.

Why do we so quickly shift from one part of the conversation to another? What part of acknowledging this area with another person is uncomfortable for us?  Answering some of these questions can shed a lot of light as to who we really are and what we stand for.

3. Acknowledge how many different personas you take on with the people in your life

We go through life like a play at times. It feels like everywhere we go, with whomever we meet, we’re putting on a performance. While the stage can be empowering at times, it’s equally exhausting once the threshold is met.

The reason humans love and cherish their alone time is due to the chance for mental recuperation. There’s no one to look good for, and there’s nothing to be embarrassed about. Looking in the mirror can be tough, but it’s far easier than looking in one with someone standing next to you.

As a result, we wear multiple hats throughout life. And while there’s nothing inherently wrong with this, it can be taxing for the human spirit. While it may be difficult at first, challenging yourself to take on a universal way of being with everyone you interact with—one that you yourself are happy with—can upshift your life to the highest degree of fulfillment.

To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

4. Question why you are the way you are and if it’s aligned with what matters most

I spent my early 20’s identifying as a hyper-driven individual with an unmatched work ethic. The reason for this wasn’t because I was a man of integrity or honor, but because I thought that working hard and getting results in life would grant me the approval and support of others.

What I was actually committed to was connection, yet my behavior—the long hours, the nights reading at home while my friends went out—was hiding the very thing I wanted all along. When I finally realized this, the breakthrough was as powerful as a hurricane. It completely reshaped how I organized my life and moreover, allowed me to finally let go of the suffocating pressure I imposed upon myself.

What you feel is missing in your life is a by-product of your own way of being. Begin to look where your ways of being are keeping you from experiencing what you want the most, at the purest source.

5. Examine your way of being while making requests

No one likes to be told no. What’s more uncomfortable, is requesting something of someone knowing they’re going to say no. But we never really know what they’re going to say—so why do we make this story up? Sure, someone you’ve asked the same thing to three times and received a no each time may have a higher percentage likelihood to decline. However, how the request occurs for them is where the real difference-maker resides.

Whether you realize it or not, when we make a request with an idea they might say no, it effectively shapes and colors our request the same way to the other person. As we make the “said request,” we feel this and overcompensate—attempting to influence the thinking of whom you’re asking, which is never a smart idea.

The other person senses this, feeling the same pressure and discomfort we impose upon ourselves, totally oblivious to what we’re actually committed to. By making every request as if the person were going to say yes, we focus on our commitment and the best possible way to articulate it. When it comes to being authentic, every action must be in correlation with what we stand for.

What do you see in yourself that you might not have noticed before?  What might this open for you now that you’re aware? Let us know in the comments below!

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Life

The Inspiration Imperative: Finding Your Recipe to Inspire the World

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An undeniably beautiful facet of the human condition is the responsibility we all share to make each other’s lives better. Inspiring others can be an incredibly rewarding and efficient means to that end. After all, helping others is the spice of life and inspiration allows us to exponentially increase our output of “help”, residually, long after we move on to something else.

The amazing thing about inspiration is that it isn’t a zero-sum game; we can give as much as we desire and take as much as we desire – or even do both in the same act. Even better, being inspirational and taking in inspiration are both behavioral skills we can work at and develop. But what does it really mean to inspire others?

The one thing all inspirational moments have in common is how they make us feel; not the specifics of what they tell us, show us or even what they teach us. They leave us with a feeling we can’t let go of, and a seed is planted.

The inspiration we as humans impart on one another often comes through sharing our life experience and future vision in a way that catalyzes a change in mindset or behavior in someone else. Sometimes this happens without intention, but this piece focuses on how we can intentionally inspire by way of our vision.   

With that in mind here are some considerations as you embark on your personal journey of inspiration, broken into two sections: Building a deep reservoir of self-belief and Crafting your vision and living it authentically.

Building a deep reservoir of self-belief

The first step to inspiring others is conditioning belief in yourself. Self-belief can be built through habituation of behavior – think of this like working out a muscle. The process of opening yourself up to inspiration, identifying and utilizing your strengths and practicing self-affirmation are fail safe ways to build out self-belief as a resource you can call on as you inspire the world around you.

Here are 3 things you can do to build your self belief to new levels:

1. Put yourself in positions of vulnerability daily

Make it a habit to leave your comfort zone both physically and mentally on a regular basis; doing so will increase your rate of learning and the inspiration you take in, dramatically. As you leave what makes you comfortable, open your mind so that others can feed you with inspiration.

2. Know your strengths and own them  

In his famous book, Strengths Finder 2.0, Tom Rath explains our tendency to focus on our weakness and the power each of us can unlock if we acknowledge and build on our strengths. As you enjoy successes, it is crucial to reflect on how you arrived at them, how they correlate to your strengths, and how you use your strengths to replicate them in the future.

“Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength.” – Arnold Schwarzenegger

3. Regularly practice self-affirmation

Practicing self-affirmation goes hand-in-hand with owning your strengths and is an important habit which helps you build a foundation by which to inspire others. Ronald Alexander, PHD, provides some practical ways to make these effective in this Psychology Today article.

Crafting your vision and living it authentically

After you’ve built your foundation of self-belief you must have a vision. Visions come in all shapes and sizes. Whatever your goal may be, the vision must be clear; wavering and being wishy-washy about your goal will have the opposite effect. Remember, inspiring is not about telling people what they must do; it’s about instilling a feeling.

It’s also very important to remember that vision is nothing more than a wish for the future – until you build a narrative around it and make it real. A proven method to get there is by writing down your vision, being authentic in how you communicate it, and repeating it often to yourself and others.

Below are 3 things you should be doing with your vision:

1. Write down your vision and vision actualization statement

The first step to creating and executing on a vision is writing it down somewhere where you can refer to it regularly. All the rest follows. As Benjamin P Hardy notes, “if you read your long term goals every day you will think about them every day. If you think about them every day, and spend your days working toward them, they’ll manifest. Achieving goals is a science. There’s no confusion or ambiguity to it.”

Another great tip is to write a vision actualization statement as your future self (a year out) and then revisit it in a year. This is a description of what has manifested based on the realization of your vision and can be a couple paragraphs or pages. The key is to make it tangible; use numbers and specifics.

Vision without action is merely a dream. Action without vision just passes the time. Vision with action can change the world” – Joel L. Barker

2. Hold yourself accountable to authenticity, as you share your vision  

As you spread your vision you must do so from an authentic place. If you are not authentic through this process, people will quickly see through it and the lost trust can have lasting effects. One way to hold yourself accountable to this is noting every day what you did that day that “wasn’t you.” How many times that day did you compromise or mislead your beliefs?

3. Repeat, repeat, repeat

The greatest key to executing a vision, once built, is repeating its tenets to yourself and those around you as often as you can. This may take the form of morning affirmation, posting your vision to your community, chatting about it on your bus ride, or frequently re-reading what you’ve written down of it. Become known as the [insert your personal vision] gal or guy.

Well that should give you a start. Now get out there and inspire the world!

How do you aim to inspire others? Please comment below and share with us!

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Life

The Power Of Doing Only One Thing.

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This idea of doing only one thing was sparked by an event that happened this week. I decided to delete all podcasts on my phone and only keep the Tim Ferriss Show. In other areas of my life, I’ve done the same.

“I’ve selectively gone into each area and chosen one thing”

All the other things in the same category have been discarded. Here are some examples:

–    I had two pairs of earphones and now I have one

–    I’d read multiple books at the same time – now I do one at a time

–    I had multiple tools to cure stress and now I have one – meditation

I then took this minimalistic approach from how I handled material possessions and applied it to what I do each day.

Here are some examples:

–    I only pursue one passion now instead of many

–    I only execute on one vision instead of many

–    I only use my free time for one activity instead of many

 

Assess what you do and you’ll see one thing.

If you look at each category of your life, you’ll see that you spend a disproportionate amount of time in one area. I’ve normally had a few passions but if I evaluate the last five years, most of my efforts have been put towards blogging.

I had a few other passions but I didn’t spend a lot of time doing them. When I committed to doing one thing, I made a decision to stop pretending I cared about my other passions.

 

I listened to lots of podcasts until recently and I was constantly trying to keep up with the latest episodes. I found many of the podcasts shared similar messages and only one of them was life-changing in my eyes (The Tim Ferriss Podcast).

Now that I only listen to one podcast I can finally enjoy it, quit rushing and even playback episodes I’ve listened to already. Seeing the podcast screen with only one show on there is so refreshing!

Look at your life and you’ll see similar patterns.

 

It creates focus.

Doing one thing gives you extreme focus. This focus can be channelled towards tasks that lead to mastery instead of trying to dabble in lots of unrelated passions.

Focus is how you reach states of flow and achieve results that look impossible.

Doing one thing causes you to focus and practice more. Through this process, you can see your failures, areas of improvement and areas that you’re good at. This form of reflection gives you real-time feedback that can further compound your results.

“The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing” – Stephen Covey

 

It avoids overwhelm.

We can’t compute too many things at once. The power of doing one thing is that you avoid overwhelm. We can all manage one thing in each area of our life. The moment we introduce too many choices we end up with decision fatigue.

Overwhelm is selling yourself the false reality that you have to do everything to be successful. I’ve learned it’s the complete opposite.

To be successful, you have to focus and do one thing. Being successful is about not giving up and if you consistently put yourself into a state of overwhelm then you’ll simultaneously increase your negative thought patterns.

This milkshake of negativity will mix together and end up in failure if you let it.

Overwhelm is the enemy of passion and energy. Passion and energy become hyper-focused when you focus on one thing.

One podcast.

One business.

One romantic partner.

One vision.

One passion.

Embrace the power of doing one thing. 

<<<>>>

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

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Life

3 Mind-Blowing Facts No One Told You About Vulnerability

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Vulnerability; A scary word which was hunting me down for 13 years until I faced one of my biggest emotional breakthroughs. It was the day when my idea of a tough woman fell apart and I was forced to reconsider everything I believed about mental toughness. Before I dive into the 3 important takeaways I learned from this process, I have a confession to make. I was convinced, for 13 years, that vulnerability was one of the biggest weaknesses and anyone who admitted it was a coward. I know, sounds terrifying.

That’s why I developed a strong belief that constant toughness was the only way we could maintain our strength and protect ourselves from hurt. Showing emotions or talking about them became taboo because I believed that’s what the “weak” do. Because of this misconception, my emotional pain was becoming more intense since I wasn’t facing it, I was numbing it.

“To share your weakness is to make yourself vulnerable; to make yourself vulnerable is to show your strength.” – Crissi Jami

When I admitted for the very first time that I may be a vulnerable person, I almost had a heart attack. I felt a mix of stress, fear and an overwhelming excitement and freedom that I finally let it out. It helped me tremendously in my work as well as my personal life.

Here are the 3 important takeaways I learned from this powerful journey which made me understood the true strength of a human being:

1. Vulnerability is hidden strength and courage

We are living in a society where being perfect and not being “too emotional” works just fine. And this is the place where many of us miss the point of what the real strength represents. One thing we fail to realize is that keeping all of our painful feelings under control and playing a part of a tough cookie isn’t going to last for a long time. It is an illusion which tricks us into believing that we are strong and untouchable and that becomes our weakness.

The moment we accept the fact that vulnerability is a part of a courageous life, we allow ourselves to be real. Realness brings self-respect. Think about it this way, pretending is easy and convenient, but being able to admit vulnerability, that’s what takes guts because we are putting ourselves at the risk of judgment and misunderstanding.

2. Facing your vulnerable state empowers you

Isn’t this ironic? The moment when we start accepting our pain as something that actually exists, we feel stronger even in the weakest moments and here is how I came to this crazy conclusion.

Dealing with vulnerable feelings is something we don’t want to do. So we take that burden and decide that we will deal with it on Monday. 5 years later there is just another Monday. However, when we choose to face our pains, we put ourselves in the process of working on them, analyzing them and learning from them.

Can you imagine that each time when you feel vulnerable, instead of running away from it, you will put up with it? Can you imagine that each time you are faced with something hurtful instead of asking yourself “Why this has to happen to me?” you ask yourself “What’s in it for me?”

Power of any vulnerable state is in facing and learning about who we are, what we feel or why we feel it. It helps us in practicing our self-awareness where we better understand how our feelings work and how to deal with them more effectively.

“Courage is vulnerability. Vulnerability is courage. Like shadow and light, neither one can exist without the other.” – Wai Lan Yuen

3. Embracing vulnerability leads to authenticity

The minute we face those real, uncomfortable emotions, we are being honest with ourselves. I found this as one of the most transforming parts of being vulnerable. We are letting go of pretending or playing it strong all the time. We are letting go of this military approach to life and perfectionism which, by the way, doesn’t exist.

In today’s world, embracing authenticity is a bold and brave decision. If you are anything like me, you know that choosing authenticity over impressing the world around you is a challenging process. It means standing in front of the world, emotionally naked and ready to face any feedback, whether pleasant or unpleasant. But, isn’t this a chance we all want to take?

Conclusion

Accepting vulnerability is one of the most courageous acts we can ever undertake. It’s risky, it’s scary, even terrifying in some cases because people don’t want to “do” vulnerability. Playing who is a bigger badass seems cooler.

But once we step up and decide to speak up about this issue, we open the door for others who are living in this emotional prison without knowing what to do or how to handle it. We give them the opportunity to say two of the most powerful words which stand behind real toughness and those are  “ME TOO.”

How do you handle vulnerability? Comment below!

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Life

5 Ways to Realize Your Authentic Self

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authenticity

I was a scared kid throughout my younger years. Overly-cautious and wildly unsure were just a few of my characteristics as I headed into adulthood. Unfortunately for me, I wasn’t present to many of the decisions I made in my youth in regards to navigating life thus I was blindly going along with it. (more…)

Dan Whalen is a franchise operator with College Hunks Hauling Junk & Moving, personal development writer, and NLP master practitioner. He has a background in business management and team leadership spanning nearly a decade, and has a deeply-rooted passion for helping people experience fulfilling lives. You can find him on Twitter at @DanielJWhalen.

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24 Comments

24 Comments

  1. Peter

    May 8, 2017 at 1:59 pm

    so amazing and excellent article i really thank you for sharing this important information. When i visit I feel very happy.

  2. Adam

    Sep 6, 2016 at 5:27 pm

    Great work Emily
    The complete post is awesome but the most important part i liked is “You have no clue how to connect deeply with people”

    Thanks for this and keep doing good work

    To your Success
    Adam

    • Emily Filloramo

      Sep 6, 2016 at 11:05 pm

      Thank you for the compliment Adam. 🙂 The people who have no clue how to connect deeply with others are not connected to themselves. They need to do some major self-awareness and inner work.

  3. rehan

    Aug 10, 2015 at 7:25 am

    thanks for sharing this amazing sort of information …
    well i think being happy is a great thing .. live happy make happy .

  4. UMOZ

    Jul 6, 2015 at 11:41 pm

    thank you a lot of info here keep going to the best 😉

  5. Pritish

    Mar 5, 2015 at 7:38 pm

    Really Great article !
    Mentioned Every Point apply on Me. Now I will Try to Recover From all These Rather than Archiving Other Goals 🙂

  6. Soh Sontsele

    Dec 14, 2014 at 5:52 am

    Now I realise how I messed my life ending up making up loans and credit thinking that if I could buy that, I would be happy. Ending up more depressed becoz I have material and debt. Bt no peace

  7. Caro

    Oct 10, 2014 at 6:03 pm

    Emily this was so well written and explained! Thank you for this. It’s so easy to feel as if you aren’t measuring up even when you have loads of accomplishments and successes under your belt. Thanks for your transparency and empathy in clearly outlining ways to overcome these feelings.

    • Emily Filloramo

      Dec 13, 2014 at 1:04 am

      So happy that this was helpful to you Caro. We often climb the ladder of success because that’s what we’ve been conditioned to do… until we reach a point in our lives where we can’t figure out why the trappings of success are not curing the feelings of disconnection, emptiness and angst. Now you know why.

  8. Dahlya

    Aug 26, 2014 at 8:44 pm

    Hi Emily, great article 🙂

    I’ve been struggling to find the first steps/occupation that makes me smile working everyday, I feel little connection to many jobs out there/available. I’m holding faith that something will come, but it’s disheartening having waited so long. I’m unsure what to think/do, would you have a quick minute? 🙂

    • Emily Filloramo

      Dec 13, 2014 at 1:05 am

      Hi Dahlya,

      I think a career coach is more of what you need. There are so many coaches (and books) you can find on the internet that have free resources where you can start to get come clarity.

  9. Carlos Reitzer

    Apr 20, 2014 at 10:14 pm

    I feel so bad because I believed for years I was good as a designer, now I’m 42 years old and I realize I’m not that good, I don’t know what should I do. Like a painfull prank of life.

    • Emily Filloramo

      Apr 22, 2014 at 3:40 am

      Carlos, have you considered hiring a career coach to figure out your next steps?

  10. Julian Sado

    Apr 16, 2014 at 8:49 pm

    Emily, I am a life and wellness coach for many people and if you don’t mind, I will direct people to your article. It’s always good to have like-minded information to confirm truth. Thank you for the article.

    • Emily Filloramo

      Apr 17, 2014 at 11:40 am

      Julian, of course you can direct others to the articles. 🙂

  11. margaret

    Apr 15, 2014 at 4:14 pm

    i have been empowered. happiness inside will lead to greater things

  12. Gabes

    Apr 15, 2014 at 10:36 am

    Grate Post Emily

  13. Koko

    Apr 13, 2014 at 7:05 pm

    Great article Emily. I tweeted “You will not attract into your life what you want, you will attract what you are.”, although I liked each and everything 🙂

  14. dotchamou

    Apr 13, 2014 at 1:46 pm

    Thank you for this post, I will quote Jim Rhon to express my thought
    “Happiness is the art of learning how to get joy from your substance.” — Jim Rohn

    “The greatest source of unhappiness comes from inside.” — Jim Rohn

    • Emily Filloramo

      Apr 13, 2014 at 6:44 pm

      Thanks for these great comments from Jim Rohn. Now if just more people would live their lives happy in the now and not after they have bought more stuff…

      • Jumana

        Dec 10, 2014 at 9:15 pm

        Amen to that. I despair sometimes when I see people buy into that facade of instant gratification when they think they’ve brought a bargain. I think you hit the nail on the head with this article..

    • June Nies

      Apr 25, 2014 at 5:45 pm

      I like that dotchamou… Happiness is an art of learning to get joy… Jim Rohn is a favorite of mine! I’ll never forget seeing & talking to Jim Rohn; such an impressionable person to never forget! I’ve also had the privilege of meeting Emily Filloramo in person and Emily is following in his footsteps! Thank you Emily!!!

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Life

5 Ways to Realize Your Authentic Self

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I was a scared kid throughout my younger years. Overly-cautious and wildly unsure were just a few of my characteristics as I headed into adulthood. Unfortunately for me, I wasn’t present to many of the decisions I made in my youth in regards to navigating life thus I was blindly going along with it.

Due to this, I forced my hand since I either had to grow or collapse into myself. With the latter not being an option, what ensued was arguably the most difficult yet freeing process of my life. I was to realize my authentic self. While every human being has their own distinct recipe for self-actualization, there are a few things that consistently show up for all of us to be cognisant of.

Let’s look at 5 ways we mask who we are at the core and how to distinguish them:

1. We feel a loss of power when we’re inauthentic

Whenever we feel a loss of power or self-expression within a conversation, it’s due to us not being true to ourselves. What keeps us from freedom is our attachment to a particular view or opinion, and we forget that opinions are not the truth.

We can restore our power by acknowledging where we are being inauthentic and pretending thus taking full ownership and responsibility for where we’re stopping ourselves. As much as owning our shortcomings feels like it looks bad, the humanity of it contributes to much of the contrary.

“Hard times arouse an instinctive desire for authenticity.” – Coco Chanel

2. Look at what you step over in conversation

Our word is our bond. The language we use tells a much deeper story than what may necessarily appear on the surface. Often times in conversation, we will throw a blanket statement over something we actually have a natural inclination to share more about. Words such as, “anyway,” “nevertheless,” and “regardless” are transitional words which often step over what we were committed to sharing in the previous moment.

Why do we so quickly shift from one part of the conversation to another? What part of acknowledging this area with another person is uncomfortable for us?  Answering some of these questions can shed a lot of light as to who we really are and what we stand for.

3. Acknowledge how many different personas you take on with the people in your life

We go through life like a play at times. It feels like everywhere we go, with whomever we meet, we’re putting on a performance. While the stage can be empowering at times, it’s equally exhausting once the threshold is met.

The reason humans love and cherish their alone time is due to the chance for mental recuperation. There’s no one to look good for, and there’s nothing to be embarrassed about. Looking in the mirror can be tough, but it’s far easier than looking in one with someone standing next to you.

As a result, we wear multiple hats throughout life. And while there’s nothing inherently wrong with this, it can be taxing for the human spirit. While it may be difficult at first, challenging yourself to take on a universal way of being with everyone you interact with—one that you yourself are happy with—can upshift your life to the highest degree of fulfillment.

To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

4. Question why you are the way you are and if it’s aligned with what matters most

I spent my early 20’s identifying as a hyper-driven individual with an unmatched work ethic. The reason for this wasn’t because I was a man of integrity or honor, but because I thought that working hard and getting results in life would grant me the approval and support of others.

What I was actually committed to was connection, yet my behavior—the long hours, the nights reading at home while my friends went out—was hiding the very thing I wanted all along. When I finally realized this, the breakthrough was as powerful as a hurricane. It completely reshaped how I organized my life and moreover, allowed me to finally let go of the suffocating pressure I imposed upon myself.

What you feel is missing in your life is a by-product of your own way of being. Begin to look where your ways of being are keeping you from experiencing what you want the most, at the purest source.

5. Examine your way of being while making requests

No one likes to be told no. What’s more uncomfortable, is requesting something of someone knowing they’re going to say no. But we never really know what they’re going to say—so why do we make this story up? Sure, someone you’ve asked the same thing to three times and received a no each time may have a higher percentage likelihood to decline. However, how the request occurs for them is where the real difference-maker resides.

Whether you realize it or not, when we make a request with an idea they might say no, it effectively shapes and colors our request the same way to the other person. As we make the “said request,” we feel this and overcompensate—attempting to influence the thinking of whom you’re asking, which is never a smart idea.

The other person senses this, feeling the same pressure and discomfort we impose upon ourselves, totally oblivious to what we’re actually committed to. By making every request as if the person were going to say yes, we focus on our commitment and the best possible way to articulate it. When it comes to being authentic, every action must be in correlation with what we stand for.

What do you see in yourself that you might not have noticed before?  What might this open for you now that you’re aware? Let us know in the comments below!

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Life

The Inspiration Imperative: Finding Your Recipe to Inspire the World

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An undeniably beautiful facet of the human condition is the responsibility we all share to make each other’s lives better. Inspiring others can be an incredibly rewarding and efficient means to that end. After all, helping others is the spice of life and inspiration allows us to exponentially increase our output of “help”, residually, long after we move on to something else.

The amazing thing about inspiration is that it isn’t a zero-sum game; we can give as much as we desire and take as much as we desire – or even do both in the same act. Even better, being inspirational and taking in inspiration are both behavioral skills we can work at and develop. But what does it really mean to inspire others?

The one thing all inspirational moments have in common is how they make us feel; not the specifics of what they tell us, show us or even what they teach us. They leave us with a feeling we can’t let go of, and a seed is planted.

The inspiration we as humans impart on one another often comes through sharing our life experience and future vision in a way that catalyzes a change in mindset or behavior in someone else. Sometimes this happens without intention, but this piece focuses on how we can intentionally inspire by way of our vision.   

With that in mind here are some considerations as you embark on your personal journey of inspiration, broken into two sections: Building a deep reservoir of self-belief and Crafting your vision and living it authentically.

Building a deep reservoir of self-belief

The first step to inspiring others is conditioning belief in yourself. Self-belief can be built through habituation of behavior – think of this like working out a muscle. The process of opening yourself up to inspiration, identifying and utilizing your strengths and practicing self-affirmation are fail safe ways to build out self-belief as a resource you can call on as you inspire the world around you.

Here are 3 things you can do to build your self belief to new levels:

1. Put yourself in positions of vulnerability daily

Make it a habit to leave your comfort zone both physically and mentally on a regular basis; doing so will increase your rate of learning and the inspiration you take in, dramatically. As you leave what makes you comfortable, open your mind so that others can feed you with inspiration.

2. Know your strengths and own them  

In his famous book, Strengths Finder 2.0, Tom Rath explains our tendency to focus on our weakness and the power each of us can unlock if we acknowledge and build on our strengths. As you enjoy successes, it is crucial to reflect on how you arrived at them, how they correlate to your strengths, and how you use your strengths to replicate them in the future.

“Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength.” – Arnold Schwarzenegger

3. Regularly practice self-affirmation

Practicing self-affirmation goes hand-in-hand with owning your strengths and is an important habit which helps you build a foundation by which to inspire others. Ronald Alexander, PHD, provides some practical ways to make these effective in this Psychology Today article.

Crafting your vision and living it authentically

After you’ve built your foundation of self-belief you must have a vision. Visions come in all shapes and sizes. Whatever your goal may be, the vision must be clear; wavering and being wishy-washy about your goal will have the opposite effect. Remember, inspiring is not about telling people what they must do; it’s about instilling a feeling.

It’s also very important to remember that vision is nothing more than a wish for the future – until you build a narrative around it and make it real. A proven method to get there is by writing down your vision, being authentic in how you communicate it, and repeating it often to yourself and others.

Below are 3 things you should be doing with your vision:

1. Write down your vision and vision actualization statement

The first step to creating and executing on a vision is writing it down somewhere where you can refer to it regularly. All the rest follows. As Benjamin P Hardy notes, “if you read your long term goals every day you will think about them every day. If you think about them every day, and spend your days working toward them, they’ll manifest. Achieving goals is a science. There’s no confusion or ambiguity to it.”

Another great tip is to write a vision actualization statement as your future self (a year out) and then revisit it in a year. This is a description of what has manifested based on the realization of your vision and can be a couple paragraphs or pages. The key is to make it tangible; use numbers and specifics.

Vision without action is merely a dream. Action without vision just passes the time. Vision with action can change the world” – Joel L. Barker

2. Hold yourself accountable to authenticity, as you share your vision  

As you spread your vision you must do so from an authentic place. If you are not authentic through this process, people will quickly see through it and the lost trust can have lasting effects. One way to hold yourself accountable to this is noting every day what you did that day that “wasn’t you.” How many times that day did you compromise or mislead your beliefs?

3. Repeat, repeat, repeat

The greatest key to executing a vision, once built, is repeating its tenets to yourself and those around you as often as you can. This may take the form of morning affirmation, posting your vision to your community, chatting about it on your bus ride, or frequently re-reading what you’ve written down of it. Become known as the [insert your personal vision] gal or guy.

Well that should give you a start. Now get out there and inspire the world!

How do you aim to inspire others? Please comment below and share with us!

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Life

The Power Of Doing Only One Thing.

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This idea of doing only one thing was sparked by an event that happened this week. I decided to delete all podcasts on my phone and only keep the Tim Ferriss Show. In other areas of my life, I’ve done the same.

“I’ve selectively gone into each area and chosen one thing”

All the other things in the same category have been discarded. Here are some examples:

–    I had two pairs of earphones and now I have one

–    I’d read multiple books at the same time – now I do one at a time

–    I had multiple tools to cure stress and now I have one – meditation

I then took this minimalistic approach from how I handled material possessions and applied it to what I do each day.

Here are some examples:

–    I only pursue one passion now instead of many

–    I only execute on one vision instead of many

–    I only use my free time for one activity instead of many

 

Assess what you do and you’ll see one thing.

If you look at each category of your life, you’ll see that you spend a disproportionate amount of time in one area. I’ve normally had a few passions but if I evaluate the last five years, most of my efforts have been put towards blogging.

I had a few other passions but I didn’t spend a lot of time doing them. When I committed to doing one thing, I made a decision to stop pretending I cared about my other passions.

 

I listened to lots of podcasts until recently and I was constantly trying to keep up with the latest episodes. I found many of the podcasts shared similar messages and only one of them was life-changing in my eyes (The Tim Ferriss Podcast).

Now that I only listen to one podcast I can finally enjoy it, quit rushing and even playback episodes I’ve listened to already. Seeing the podcast screen with only one show on there is so refreshing!

Look at your life and you’ll see similar patterns.

 

It creates focus.

Doing one thing gives you extreme focus. This focus can be channelled towards tasks that lead to mastery instead of trying to dabble in lots of unrelated passions.

Focus is how you reach states of flow and achieve results that look impossible.

Doing one thing causes you to focus and practice more. Through this process, you can see your failures, areas of improvement and areas that you’re good at. This form of reflection gives you real-time feedback that can further compound your results.

“The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing” – Stephen Covey

 

It avoids overwhelm.

We can’t compute too many things at once. The power of doing one thing is that you avoid overwhelm. We can all manage one thing in each area of our life. The moment we introduce too many choices we end up with decision fatigue.

Overwhelm is selling yourself the false reality that you have to do everything to be successful. I’ve learned it’s the complete opposite.

To be successful, you have to focus and do one thing. Being successful is about not giving up and if you consistently put yourself into a state of overwhelm then you’ll simultaneously increase your negative thought patterns.

This milkshake of negativity will mix together and end up in failure if you let it.

Overwhelm is the enemy of passion and energy. Passion and energy become hyper-focused when you focus on one thing.

One podcast.

One business.

One romantic partner.

One vision.

One passion.

Embrace the power of doing one thing. 

<<<>>>

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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3 Mind-Blowing Facts No One Told You About Vulnerability

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Vulnerability; A scary word which was hunting me down for 13 years until I faced one of my biggest emotional breakthroughs. It was the day when my idea of a tough woman fell apart and I was forced to reconsider everything I believed about mental toughness. Before I dive into the 3 important takeaways I learned from this process, I have a confession to make. I was convinced, for 13 years, that vulnerability was one of the biggest weaknesses and anyone who admitted it was a coward. I know, sounds terrifying.

That’s why I developed a strong belief that constant toughness was the only way we could maintain our strength and protect ourselves from hurt. Showing emotions or talking about them became taboo because I believed that’s what the “weak” do. Because of this misconception, my emotional pain was becoming more intense since I wasn’t facing it, I was numbing it.

“To share your weakness is to make yourself vulnerable; to make yourself vulnerable is to show your strength.” – Crissi Jami

When I admitted for the very first time that I may be a vulnerable person, I almost had a heart attack. I felt a mix of stress, fear and an overwhelming excitement and freedom that I finally let it out. It helped me tremendously in my work as well as my personal life.

Here are the 3 important takeaways I learned from this powerful journey which made me understood the true strength of a human being:

1. Vulnerability is hidden strength and courage

We are living in a society where being perfect and not being “too emotional” works just fine. And this is the place where many of us miss the point of what the real strength represents. One thing we fail to realize is that keeping all of our painful feelings under control and playing a part of a tough cookie isn’t going to last for a long time. It is an illusion which tricks us into believing that we are strong and untouchable and that becomes our weakness.

The moment we accept the fact that vulnerability is a part of a courageous life, we allow ourselves to be real. Realness brings self-respect. Think about it this way, pretending is easy and convenient, but being able to admit vulnerability, that’s what takes guts because we are putting ourselves at the risk of judgment and misunderstanding.

2. Facing your vulnerable state empowers you

Isn’t this ironic? The moment when we start accepting our pain as something that actually exists, we feel stronger even in the weakest moments and here is how I came to this crazy conclusion.

Dealing with vulnerable feelings is something we don’t want to do. So we take that burden and decide that we will deal with it on Monday. 5 years later there is just another Monday. However, when we choose to face our pains, we put ourselves in the process of working on them, analyzing them and learning from them.

Can you imagine that each time when you feel vulnerable, instead of running away from it, you will put up with it? Can you imagine that each time you are faced with something hurtful instead of asking yourself “Why this has to happen to me?” you ask yourself “What’s in it for me?”

Power of any vulnerable state is in facing and learning about who we are, what we feel or why we feel it. It helps us in practicing our self-awareness where we better understand how our feelings work and how to deal with them more effectively.

“Courage is vulnerability. Vulnerability is courage. Like shadow and light, neither one can exist without the other.” – Wai Lan Yuen

3. Embracing vulnerability leads to authenticity

The minute we face those real, uncomfortable emotions, we are being honest with ourselves. I found this as one of the most transforming parts of being vulnerable. We are letting go of pretending or playing it strong all the time. We are letting go of this military approach to life and perfectionism which, by the way, doesn’t exist.

In today’s world, embracing authenticity is a bold and brave decision. If you are anything like me, you know that choosing authenticity over impressing the world around you is a challenging process. It means standing in front of the world, emotionally naked and ready to face any feedback, whether pleasant or unpleasant. But, isn’t this a chance we all want to take?

Conclusion

Accepting vulnerability is one of the most courageous acts we can ever undertake. It’s risky, it’s scary, even terrifying in some cases because people don’t want to “do” vulnerability. Playing who is a bigger badass seems cooler.

But once we step up and decide to speak up about this issue, we open the door for others who are living in this emotional prison without knowing what to do or how to handle it. We give them the opportunity to say two of the most powerful words which stand behind real toughness and those are  “ME TOO.”

How do you handle vulnerability? Comment below!

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