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8 Reasons Why Nothing Ever Seems to Make You Happy

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“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

You Can Create Whatever Life You Want So Stop Talking Yourself Out of Your Destiny

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There’s never been a time like right now in human history for entrepreneurship. We have access to virtually limitless knowledge thanks to the advent of the internet, and you can reach anyone on this planet literally at the click of a button.

However, despite the massive amount of opportunity out there, there are still time-tested principles that every wanna-be entrepreneur needs to know in order to truly succeed. Knowing these principles can spell the difference between achieving your dreams and talking yourself out of your destiny.

There is Such a Thing as Preparing Too Much

While it’s certainly necessary to prepare in life, a just as devastating problem many people face in life is being too prepared. Way too often, people believe they’re actually working by spending hours “preparing” when all they’re doing is thinking about working while their actual work goes untouched.

As Gary Vaynerchuk put it bluntly in one of his livestream Q&A videos, “There are just so many ways to build your business, but lack of action is not one of them.” Basically, we are both blessed and cursed by our access to virtually limitless knowledge. We can turn on the faucet of knowledge and grab a quick swig when we need it, but if we leave it on for too long we’ll be drowning in information and be stuck trying to process everything.

If you spend too much time processing, you’ll be more likely to talk yourself out of taking the risks necessary to build a successful business. The solution is simple: stop processing and start taking action.

A phrase I find myself repeating a lot when I get into a bind is, “How did successful people do it before the age of internet?” The answer is they did it by not talking themselves off of the ledge of destiny and instead diving into their project headfirst.

“Change your life today. Don’t gamble on the future, act now, without delay.” – Simone de Beauvoir

Our Feelings Often Lie to Us

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve felt like throwing in the towel when trying to build my web design business. I remember one day in particular I had a massive headache and was on the verge of quitting everything due to the frustration I felt while dealing with a problematic client.

I looked at my watch and realized I hadn’t eaten yet that morning, so I went and made myself breakfast. After eating a bowl of scrambled eggs and toast, my headache magically vanished along with my thoughts of wanting to quit. I quickly realized what needed to be done and fixed the client’s issue without much thought. The problem wasn’t with the client, the problem was with my stomach.

Can you imagine how ridiculous I would have looked had I fired my client all because I hadn’t eaten that day? This is why our feelings sometimes need to take a backseat when it comes to making wise, calculated decisions for our success.

Intuition is important, obviously, but it’s best utilized with years of reliable experience to back it up. So go with your gut when it’s wise to do so, but always make sure your gut is fed otherwise you may regret what it has to say.

Perfectionism Can Halt All Progress

You will never have everything figured out. Let that sink in. It’s become such a trope in our society that it’s surprising how easily we tend to forget it. There isn’t a single business out there that has all the answers on how to do things right, so why do we feel the need to stop moving forward if things aren’t perfect?

I remember a friend of mine spent years trying to compose music on his synthesizer but never released anything because it “wasn’t good enough” by his standards. I gave him the simple proposition to “put out crappy music”, since no matter what he would always think his music was crappy due to his perfectionist mindset. Within a day, he finally put something out on SoundCloud and his song “#Selfie” became a hit worldwide while his band The ChainSmokers continues to put out hits to this day.

OK, I’m kidding about that last part, but hopefully you get my point. My friend finally had a song out that he could have had out years ago but was too caught up on making everything “perfect” to do anything. He had, in effect, talked himself out of taking action. The same thing applies with business, even if you don’t have everything figured out it’s best to just start something and learn as you go.

“Imperfection is perfection.” – Flume

Whenever that annoying, perfectionist voice in your head tries to get you to quit because you’ll never have the “perfect” product or service to sell, tell it to shut up and put out your product or service anyway. As you gain experience in your field and receive valuable feedback from customers, you’ll be able to continually improve things with your business.

Had you not taken action to begin with, you would never have attained either of these two valuable assets. Never settle for mediocrity, but at the same time recognize your need to be in motion even if the thing that sets you in motion is initially subpar.

How do you push yourself and keep motivated? Let us know your thoughts below!

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3 Mental Tricks to Help You Become a More Productive Person

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Whether you’re a career salesman, a student, or a software engineer, you can’t move an inch in your career if you produce less. Productivity is the key that will unlock your success. Unfortunately, not all of us are productive. And some of it is not our problem. Our Internet-empowered world is bloated with too many social media tools, too many emails and notifications, too many SMS and short messages, too many YouTube videos and Netflix movies. The distractions are at an all time high.

But what if there is a system that will help you keep all these distractions aside until you have accomplished your tasks? There is. And it only takes 3 simple steps. Read Below:

Step 1: See your everyday tasks as a gift

Showing up every day to work is anything but fun. You know your life depends on it, but some days are not your best days. No matter how you plan your projects, you can’t show up to do them. You’re tired and bored and uninterested. What’s the way forward? It’s not about planning. It’s not about waking up early. It’s not about lack of exercise or anything like that.

If you want to conquer your to-do list, day in and day out, you need a simple shift in your mindset. Stop thinking of your tasks as work. See those tasks as gifts…as natural endowments exclusively given to you. This simple shift in your mindset will awaken the sleeping giant within you. You’ll start feeling great about yourself, stop seeing your work as burdensome. The tasks will now make you feel proud.

No longer will your showing up early at your desk irritate you—because now you feel comfortable doing the work that matters. The mindset adjustment is not even difficult. Just figure out the value that your tasks will bring to your marketplace.

“Focus on being productive instead of busy.” – Tim Ferriss

Step 2: Be conscious of the impeccable values of your tasks

That’s how to shift your thinking. You dissect the unique values that are embedded in your tasks (when you accomplish them, of course). If you’re a web designer, for example, think about the joy and life-changing events that your design job will bring to your client. That landing page that you’ll design, it would mean the world to your client.

It will even change their business and their lives along the way. But that will not happen if you don’t show up every day, roll up your sleeves and work on that landing page. Now if you can visualize that value, it will serve you well. You’ll be motivated. So, how do you become more conscious of the values of your work? Write them down. And read them every day to spark your productivity.

Step 3: Remind yourself of the limited time you have in life

We like to postpone today’s tasks for tomorrow. Often, we’ll schedule a time to work, but when the time is due, we come up with another excuse, “I’ve got to call that client instead; I’ll leave that work till tomorrow.” But we don’t own tomorrow. We don’t have control over it. We don’t even know what it holds. And we have a very limited time.

If you want to improve your productivity, you have got to remind yourself about the scarcity of your time. Here are a few questions to ask yourself (I recommend that you do these exercises every time before you begin to work):

  • If you only have 24 hours left today, how do you want to spend it?
  • If you have 5 projects to complete today, how do you manage your time?
  • Would you rather watch a movie on Netflix or accomplish today’s task and move closer to your vision?

“Do something instead of killing time because time is killing you.” – Paulo Coelho

It’s about making smart choices. I know It’s hard. It’s tough. It requires an impeccable amount of discipline. But with constant practice, these mental tricks will help you become a more productive person, move you closer to realizing your vision.

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Life

7 Simple Tips to Help You Eliminate Negative Thoughts

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Have you been feeling low lately? Are you missing being the person you once used to be? In this fast-paced life of ours, it is not surprising to feel depressed. 15 out of 100 adults in the USA fall prey to depression every year.

As we get more and more detached from reality and bury ourselves into the virtual world of our smartphones, anxiety and stress seep into our brain and make us lose sight of the happy versions of ourselves. It is optimism alone that keeps us going by giving us the will to fight the battle within us. The power to usher in positivity and shoo off the negative thoughts rests with you.

Here’s what you can do to remove the dark cloud of pessimism that hovers over you:

1. Train your mind to think positive

Affirmations can help boost your self-esteem. If you continue to affirm your brain, it will learn to believe in you and will work positively. Positive affirmations are scientifically proven and can make miracles happen. Tell yourself that you are getting better and your subconscious will adapt to it and function accordingly.

Train your brain to give a neutral spin to all your negative thoughts. Since, building a positive mindset isn’t an easy task to do, the neutral thoughts will help you keep the negativity at bay and aid you in paving your path towards positivity.

2. Cultivate self-love

If you have been waiting for a pair of arms to reach out and rescue you, you might just have to wait longer. Instead, be your own messiah. In order to do so, you have to perfect the art of self-love. Nurture your narcissism a bit and learn to appreciate yourself more often.

Learn to turn down offers politely and indulge in some quality Me-time. Bake your favorite cake or shop for the dress that you had been eyeing for quite some time now. Go get a spa treatment and appreciate the daily efforts that you make.

“Owning our story and loving ourselves through that process is the bravest thing that we’ll ever do.” – Brené Brown

3. Keep yourself busy

The key to ward off negativity is to keep your brain busy, so that it does not get the time to breed ill thoughts. Considering how the descent towards the abysmal pit of depression starts at our workstation, I would suggest that you find engagements outside your workplace that helps your mind to relax.

You can try reading lighthearted literature. A personal favorite, the Chicken Soup for the Soul, can actually nurture your brain with the much-needed optimism to fight away the negative blues. Listen to happy, soulful music or take a stroll in the fresh air.

4. Surround yourself with positivity

People around us have the power to affect us – in both positive and negative ways. Their actions affect us, and we take their words to heart. Quite often, negative thoughts cloud our minds because of a seed that was sown by someone we hold close to our hearts. The people we walk and talk with are capable of influencing our emotions. So, you must choose your company wisely.

Surround yourself with people who care for you and love you. Love is the only magic potion for us muggles, and with the right kind of love and support, we can eliminate the negative thoughts that wreak havoc in our brains. Also, learn to block unwanted people from your lives.

5. Be a social butterfly

In this age of social media, we have more virtual friends than actual friends. So, come out of the virtual world and spend some time with your family and friends. Your family members fall among the ones who love you just as you are. At the end of the day, they are the ones who matter.

Moreover, when you go out of your way to help someone, you feel more positive. Rescuing someone from the same pit of darkness as you are in can help you ward off your own demons. So, don’t shy away from community work.

“Society is like a large piece of frozen water; and skating well is the great art of social life.” – Letitia Elizabeth Landon

6. Lead a healthy life

Exercise and meditation can be of immense help when it comes to overcoming stress and negative thoughts. When you exercise, your brain releases chemicals like dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin which play an important role in regulating your mood. Mediation helps you to increase your brain power and aligns your thought processes towards optimism.

Other than exercising, you must get enough sleep. Proper sleep helps our bodies to recover from the daily toil and provides it with the time to repair. Also, try to eat healthy food. Avoid gluten, caffeine, and sugar as they make you bitter and depressed. Keep your body healthy, which in turn will tell your brain to be more positive.

7. Make your ambiance teem with positivity

Other than exercising and eating healthy, you can take little steps like drawing yourself a bath or sleeping with a heavier comforter on to make yourself feel more calm and composed. When you feel rejuvenated physically, your mind will automatically feel relaxed.

Get your upholstery in happier shades of light pastels and make sure that your room is adequately lit up. However small these changes might be, they will welcome positivity into your life.

In the end, I would like to emphasize the importance of reducing stress. Train your brain to focus on the brighter side of things, so that depression and negativity cannot take a toll on your mental health. Trust me when I say that you are stronger than you think!

Which one of these 7 tips to eliminate negative thoughts do you need to work on most? Let us know how you’re going to work on it below!

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Life

4 Steps to Accepting and Acting on Negative Feedback

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All feedback is good, but not all feedback is positive. We’re often subject to negative feedback at work for different scenarios such as missing a performance target set by the organization or developing a high-end product idea that flopped after testing.

Regardless of the reason, accepting negative feedback can be difficult—especially if there is pressure across the board to perform in the face of perpetual downsizing, outsourcing, or consolidation.

It can be even harder if you’re just starting out. It’s easy to take the feedback as a personal affront. But nothing could be farther from the truth. Performance feedback isn’t meant to insult or demean, it’s an attempt to rehabilitate.

Think about it, why would your supervisor take the time to talk it out if they’d already given up on you? Because motivating a team also means holding team members accountable for what’s not working. Receiving feedback is a chance to improve and better support those around us.

So next time you’re called into the boss’ office for feedback, consider these four steps below:

1. Detach – Remember that it’s not personal

The first step is to detach, emotionally that is. Before the conversation starts, remind yourself that this feedback is based on job performance and factors that include objective data. It has nothing to do with how nice you are, how fun you are around the office, or how you live your life away from work.

Your supervisor is trying to do their job as well as you’ve been trying to do yours. They feel that talking to you now is vital for your own well-being as a team member and for the team as a whole. If there’s something you’re doing that needs to be better, they have a responsibility to everyone on the team to tell you—and early enough so you can address it and make the end result better for everyone.

“I think it’s very important to have a feedback loop, where you’re constantly thinking about what you’ve done and how you could be doing it better.” – Elon Musk

2. Information – Focus on the data

Your supervisor’s description of your performance should be specific and actionable, so listen first and take careful notes as you pick up on themes. The earlier you try to respond, the more likely you will appear defensive and only out to present your ‘side’.

If you focus on listening and taking down what observations they have, you are more likely to capture what needs improvement. If you’re focused on improving those things, you’ll ultimately grow and be successful in supporting the organization and remaining an asset to those around you.

3. Vision – Create an image of what improvement looks like

The conversation is over. You’ve left the office and are back in your workspace. Review your notes and think about what your supervisor said. It’s time to work on the counter-image—what does improvement look like? This is an exercise in setting and realizing a vision.

Imagine what it looks like for the opposite of the feedback to be true. Don’t think about the steps to get there yet. Focus on ‘winning’ the situation, accounting for each observation your supervisor provided and experiencing success. Develop a narrative that you can see the same way you can watch a television series play out.

Got the image? Now plan your steps, in reverse from the vision you have to the moment you find yourself in now. You must have a vision of where you’ll end up before you can plan the steps to get there, otherwise you’ll set out on a path that leads nowhere—and therefore never ends.

“Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value.” – Albert Einstein

4. Empathize – Put yourself in the shoes of those around you

This is the most important step. Your supervisor felt it was the best thing for you and the team to tell you where you fell short and afford you a golden opportunity to do better. The truth is the conversation was likely as difficult for them as it was for you. Having to tell a teammate they’re not meeting standards can eat away at a manager, and is challenging because they must now consider what happens if you’re unable to improve.

You both have the organization’s best interest in mind. Feel what it’s like from their side, what it takes to manage the team and support everyone while meeting performance milestones set by senior leadership. Then think about the team around you.

What are they hoping to see from you? What can you do to help them focus elsewhere in the organization where there’s more work to be done? If you can push the envelope of improvement and get your team moving forward, it allows others to worry about the bigger problems ahead that will take everyone’s effort to solve.

Feedback is a tool for improvement, for yourself and those around you. If you’re receptive, you’ll engender trust and remain as an asset to the organization. That goes for managers, too.

Feedback is a two-way street, so if you’re that supervisor, remember to solicit feedback from your employees on a regular basis and rely on these same four steps to improve and look positively to the future.

How do you deal with handling negative feedback? Let us know your tips for others!

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Startups

10 Small Startups That You Can Build on Your Own Right Now

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Having a business of our own is a dream that is very obvious and common all throughout. With the rise in startups and funding options, the market is blooming with successful entrepreneurs. And rightly so! But many ambitious people are seen dropping out of their dream of building a business only because of the funds involved in setting up one! We forget to acknowledge that the idea if planned and executed well, is strong enough to pull in all the investments. (more…)

Bronte Price is Australia’s First Certified Gay Wedding Celebrant. He stands strongly for marriage equality and takes immense pleasure in marrying any couples in love. He has also co-founded The Equality Network to help wedding suppliers create a better wedding experience for LGBTI couples. He is a regular volunteer newsreader at Joy 94.9, and a member of GLOBE (Gay and Lesbian Organization for Business and Enterprise). Beyond this you will find him either in his organic backyard vegetable garden or taking walks with his fiancée Clint and their four legged fur baby – Bingo.

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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

You Can Create Whatever Life You Want So Stop Talking Yourself Out of Your Destiny

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There’s never been a time like right now in human history for entrepreneurship. We have access to virtually limitless knowledge thanks to the advent of the internet, and you can reach anyone on this planet literally at the click of a button.

However, despite the massive amount of opportunity out there, there are still time-tested principles that every wanna-be entrepreneur needs to know in order to truly succeed. Knowing these principles can spell the difference between achieving your dreams and talking yourself out of your destiny.

There is Such a Thing as Preparing Too Much

While it’s certainly necessary to prepare in life, a just as devastating problem many people face in life is being too prepared. Way too often, people believe they’re actually working by spending hours “preparing” when all they’re doing is thinking about working while their actual work goes untouched.

As Gary Vaynerchuk put it bluntly in one of his livestream Q&A videos, “There are just so many ways to build your business, but lack of action is not one of them.” Basically, we are both blessed and cursed by our access to virtually limitless knowledge. We can turn on the faucet of knowledge and grab a quick swig when we need it, but if we leave it on for too long we’ll be drowning in information and be stuck trying to process everything.

If you spend too much time processing, you’ll be more likely to talk yourself out of taking the risks necessary to build a successful business. The solution is simple: stop processing and start taking action.

A phrase I find myself repeating a lot when I get into a bind is, “How did successful people do it before the age of internet?” The answer is they did it by not talking themselves off of the ledge of destiny and instead diving into their project headfirst.

“Change your life today. Don’t gamble on the future, act now, without delay.” – Simone de Beauvoir

Our Feelings Often Lie to Us

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve felt like throwing in the towel when trying to build my web design business. I remember one day in particular I had a massive headache and was on the verge of quitting everything due to the frustration I felt while dealing with a problematic client.

I looked at my watch and realized I hadn’t eaten yet that morning, so I went and made myself breakfast. After eating a bowl of scrambled eggs and toast, my headache magically vanished along with my thoughts of wanting to quit. I quickly realized what needed to be done and fixed the client’s issue without much thought. The problem wasn’t with the client, the problem was with my stomach.

Can you imagine how ridiculous I would have looked had I fired my client all because I hadn’t eaten that day? This is why our feelings sometimes need to take a backseat when it comes to making wise, calculated decisions for our success.

Intuition is important, obviously, but it’s best utilized with years of reliable experience to back it up. So go with your gut when it’s wise to do so, but always make sure your gut is fed otherwise you may regret what it has to say.

Perfectionism Can Halt All Progress

You will never have everything figured out. Let that sink in. It’s become such a trope in our society that it’s surprising how easily we tend to forget it. There isn’t a single business out there that has all the answers on how to do things right, so why do we feel the need to stop moving forward if things aren’t perfect?

I remember a friend of mine spent years trying to compose music on his synthesizer but never released anything because it “wasn’t good enough” by his standards. I gave him the simple proposition to “put out crappy music”, since no matter what he would always think his music was crappy due to his perfectionist mindset. Within a day, he finally put something out on SoundCloud and his song “#Selfie” became a hit worldwide while his band The ChainSmokers continues to put out hits to this day.

OK, I’m kidding about that last part, but hopefully you get my point. My friend finally had a song out that he could have had out years ago but was too caught up on making everything “perfect” to do anything. He had, in effect, talked himself out of taking action. The same thing applies with business, even if you don’t have everything figured out it’s best to just start something and learn as you go.

“Imperfection is perfection.” – Flume

Whenever that annoying, perfectionist voice in your head tries to get you to quit because you’ll never have the “perfect” product or service to sell, tell it to shut up and put out your product or service anyway. As you gain experience in your field and receive valuable feedback from customers, you’ll be able to continually improve things with your business.

Had you not taken action to begin with, you would never have attained either of these two valuable assets. Never settle for mediocrity, but at the same time recognize your need to be in motion even if the thing that sets you in motion is initially subpar.

How do you push yourself and keep motivated? Let us know your thoughts below!

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Life

3 Mental Tricks to Help You Become a More Productive Person

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Whether you’re a career salesman, a student, or a software engineer, you can’t move an inch in your career if you produce less. Productivity is the key that will unlock your success. Unfortunately, not all of us are productive. And some of it is not our problem. Our Internet-empowered world is bloated with too many social media tools, too many emails and notifications, too many SMS and short messages, too many YouTube videos and Netflix movies. The distractions are at an all time high.

But what if there is a system that will help you keep all these distractions aside until you have accomplished your tasks? There is. And it only takes 3 simple steps. Read Below:

Step 1: See your everyday tasks as a gift

Showing up every day to work is anything but fun. You know your life depends on it, but some days are not your best days. No matter how you plan your projects, you can’t show up to do them. You’re tired and bored and uninterested. What’s the way forward? It’s not about planning. It’s not about waking up early. It’s not about lack of exercise or anything like that.

If you want to conquer your to-do list, day in and day out, you need a simple shift in your mindset. Stop thinking of your tasks as work. See those tasks as gifts…as natural endowments exclusively given to you. This simple shift in your mindset will awaken the sleeping giant within you. You’ll start feeling great about yourself, stop seeing your work as burdensome. The tasks will now make you feel proud.

No longer will your showing up early at your desk irritate you—because now you feel comfortable doing the work that matters. The mindset adjustment is not even difficult. Just figure out the value that your tasks will bring to your marketplace.

“Focus on being productive instead of busy.” – Tim Ferriss

Step 2: Be conscious of the impeccable values of your tasks

That’s how to shift your thinking. You dissect the unique values that are embedded in your tasks (when you accomplish them, of course). If you’re a web designer, for example, think about the joy and life-changing events that your design job will bring to your client. That landing page that you’ll design, it would mean the world to your client.

It will even change their business and their lives along the way. But that will not happen if you don’t show up every day, roll up your sleeves and work on that landing page. Now if you can visualize that value, it will serve you well. You’ll be motivated. So, how do you become more conscious of the values of your work? Write them down. And read them every day to spark your productivity.

Step 3: Remind yourself of the limited time you have in life

We like to postpone today’s tasks for tomorrow. Often, we’ll schedule a time to work, but when the time is due, we come up with another excuse, “I’ve got to call that client instead; I’ll leave that work till tomorrow.” But we don’t own tomorrow. We don’t have control over it. We don’t even know what it holds. And we have a very limited time.

If you want to improve your productivity, you have got to remind yourself about the scarcity of your time. Here are a few questions to ask yourself (I recommend that you do these exercises every time before you begin to work):

  • If you only have 24 hours left today, how do you want to spend it?
  • If you have 5 projects to complete today, how do you manage your time?
  • Would you rather watch a movie on Netflix or accomplish today’s task and move closer to your vision?

“Do something instead of killing time because time is killing you.” – Paulo Coelho

It’s about making smart choices. I know It’s hard. It’s tough. It requires an impeccable amount of discipline. But with constant practice, these mental tricks will help you become a more productive person, move you closer to realizing your vision.

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Life

7 Simple Tips to Help You Eliminate Negative Thoughts

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Have you been feeling low lately? Are you missing being the person you once used to be? In this fast-paced life of ours, it is not surprising to feel depressed. 15 out of 100 adults in the USA fall prey to depression every year.

As we get more and more detached from reality and bury ourselves into the virtual world of our smartphones, anxiety and stress seep into our brain and make us lose sight of the happy versions of ourselves. It is optimism alone that keeps us going by giving us the will to fight the battle within us. The power to usher in positivity and shoo off the negative thoughts rests with you.

Here’s what you can do to remove the dark cloud of pessimism that hovers over you:

1. Train your mind to think positive

Affirmations can help boost your self-esteem. If you continue to affirm your brain, it will learn to believe in you and will work positively. Positive affirmations are scientifically proven and can make miracles happen. Tell yourself that you are getting better and your subconscious will adapt to it and function accordingly.

Train your brain to give a neutral spin to all your negative thoughts. Since, building a positive mindset isn’t an easy task to do, the neutral thoughts will help you keep the negativity at bay and aid you in paving your path towards positivity.

2. Cultivate self-love

If you have been waiting for a pair of arms to reach out and rescue you, you might just have to wait longer. Instead, be your own messiah. In order to do so, you have to perfect the art of self-love. Nurture your narcissism a bit and learn to appreciate yourself more often.

Learn to turn down offers politely and indulge in some quality Me-time. Bake your favorite cake or shop for the dress that you had been eyeing for quite some time now. Go get a spa treatment and appreciate the daily efforts that you make.

“Owning our story and loving ourselves through that process is the bravest thing that we’ll ever do.” – Brené Brown

3. Keep yourself busy

The key to ward off negativity is to keep your brain busy, so that it does not get the time to breed ill thoughts. Considering how the descent towards the abysmal pit of depression starts at our workstation, I would suggest that you find engagements outside your workplace that helps your mind to relax.

You can try reading lighthearted literature. A personal favorite, the Chicken Soup for the Soul, can actually nurture your brain with the much-needed optimism to fight away the negative blues. Listen to happy, soulful music or take a stroll in the fresh air.

4. Surround yourself with positivity

People around us have the power to affect us – in both positive and negative ways. Their actions affect us, and we take their words to heart. Quite often, negative thoughts cloud our minds because of a seed that was sown by someone we hold close to our hearts. The people we walk and talk with are capable of influencing our emotions. So, you must choose your company wisely.

Surround yourself with people who care for you and love you. Love is the only magic potion for us muggles, and with the right kind of love and support, we can eliminate the negative thoughts that wreak havoc in our brains. Also, learn to block unwanted people from your lives.

5. Be a social butterfly

In this age of social media, we have more virtual friends than actual friends. So, come out of the virtual world and spend some time with your family and friends. Your family members fall among the ones who love you just as you are. At the end of the day, they are the ones who matter.

Moreover, when you go out of your way to help someone, you feel more positive. Rescuing someone from the same pit of darkness as you are in can help you ward off your own demons. So, don’t shy away from community work.

“Society is like a large piece of frozen water; and skating well is the great art of social life.” – Letitia Elizabeth Landon

6. Lead a healthy life

Exercise and meditation can be of immense help when it comes to overcoming stress and negative thoughts. When you exercise, your brain releases chemicals like dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin which play an important role in regulating your mood. Mediation helps you to increase your brain power and aligns your thought processes towards optimism.

Other than exercising, you must get enough sleep. Proper sleep helps our bodies to recover from the daily toil and provides it with the time to repair. Also, try to eat healthy food. Avoid gluten, caffeine, and sugar as they make you bitter and depressed. Keep your body healthy, which in turn will tell your brain to be more positive.

7. Make your ambiance teem with positivity

Other than exercising and eating healthy, you can take little steps like drawing yourself a bath or sleeping with a heavier comforter on to make yourself feel more calm and composed. When you feel rejuvenated physically, your mind will automatically feel relaxed.

Get your upholstery in happier shades of light pastels and make sure that your room is adequately lit up. However small these changes might be, they will welcome positivity into your life.

In the end, I would like to emphasize the importance of reducing stress. Train your brain to focus on the brighter side of things, so that depression and negativity cannot take a toll on your mental health. Trust me when I say that you are stronger than you think!

Which one of these 7 tips to eliminate negative thoughts do you need to work on most? Let us know how you’re going to work on it below!

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Life

4 Steps to Accepting and Acting on Negative Feedback

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All feedback is good, but not all feedback is positive. We’re often subject to negative feedback at work for different scenarios such as missing a performance target set by the organization or developing a high-end product idea that flopped after testing.

Regardless of the reason, accepting negative feedback can be difficult—especially if there is pressure across the board to perform in the face of perpetual downsizing, outsourcing, or consolidation.

It can be even harder if you’re just starting out. It’s easy to take the feedback as a personal affront. But nothing could be farther from the truth. Performance feedback isn’t meant to insult or demean, it’s an attempt to rehabilitate.

Think about it, why would your supervisor take the time to talk it out if they’d already given up on you? Because motivating a team also means holding team members accountable for what’s not working. Receiving feedback is a chance to improve and better support those around us.

So next time you’re called into the boss’ office for feedback, consider these four steps below:

1. Detach – Remember that it’s not personal

The first step is to detach, emotionally that is. Before the conversation starts, remind yourself that this feedback is based on job performance and factors that include objective data. It has nothing to do with how nice you are, how fun you are around the office, or how you live your life away from work.

Your supervisor is trying to do their job as well as you’ve been trying to do yours. They feel that talking to you now is vital for your own well-being as a team member and for the team as a whole. If there’s something you’re doing that needs to be better, they have a responsibility to everyone on the team to tell you—and early enough so you can address it and make the end result better for everyone.

“I think it’s very important to have a feedback loop, where you’re constantly thinking about what you’ve done and how you could be doing it better.” – Elon Musk

2. Information – Focus on the data

Your supervisor’s description of your performance should be specific and actionable, so listen first and take careful notes as you pick up on themes. The earlier you try to respond, the more likely you will appear defensive and only out to present your ‘side’.

If you focus on listening and taking down what observations they have, you are more likely to capture what needs improvement. If you’re focused on improving those things, you’ll ultimately grow and be successful in supporting the organization and remaining an asset to those around you.

3. Vision – Create an image of what improvement looks like

The conversation is over. You’ve left the office and are back in your workspace. Review your notes and think about what your supervisor said. It’s time to work on the counter-image—what does improvement look like? This is an exercise in setting and realizing a vision.

Imagine what it looks like for the opposite of the feedback to be true. Don’t think about the steps to get there yet. Focus on ‘winning’ the situation, accounting for each observation your supervisor provided and experiencing success. Develop a narrative that you can see the same way you can watch a television series play out.

Got the image? Now plan your steps, in reverse from the vision you have to the moment you find yourself in now. You must have a vision of where you’ll end up before you can plan the steps to get there, otherwise you’ll set out on a path that leads nowhere—and therefore never ends.

“Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value.” – Albert Einstein

4. Empathize – Put yourself in the shoes of those around you

This is the most important step. Your supervisor felt it was the best thing for you and the team to tell you where you fell short and afford you a golden opportunity to do better. The truth is the conversation was likely as difficult for them as it was for you. Having to tell a teammate they’re not meeting standards can eat away at a manager, and is challenging because they must now consider what happens if you’re unable to improve.

You both have the organization’s best interest in mind. Feel what it’s like from their side, what it takes to manage the team and support everyone while meeting performance milestones set by senior leadership. Then think about the team around you.

What are they hoping to see from you? What can you do to help them focus elsewhere in the organization where there’s more work to be done? If you can push the envelope of improvement and get your team moving forward, it allows others to worry about the bigger problems ahead that will take everyone’s effort to solve.

Feedback is a tool for improvement, for yourself and those around you. If you’re receptive, you’ll engender trust and remain as an asset to the organization. That goes for managers, too.

Feedback is a two-way street, so if you’re that supervisor, remember to solicit feedback from your employees on a regular basis and rely on these same four steps to improve and look positively to the future.

How do you deal with handling negative feedback? Let us know your tips for others!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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