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Are You A Victor or Victim? 12 Signs You Have The Victim Mentality

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When was the last time you spent a day or two being the victim? Was it that you wanted something, and it just didn’t go your way or did someone hurt your feelings?

If that’s you, do not even start feeling bad about it.  We are all guilty of playing the victim at some point in our lives.

You like most of us react the same way when our feelings get hurt.  You feel insulted, disrespected, abandoned, humiliated just to name a few of the emotions you experience.

You are human, and human beings will feel those emotions but how long do they last?  Do you hang on to these emotions for lengthy periods of time? Do you tend to wallow in self-pity for days? Do you think the whole world is against you? Or Do you get yourself together, realize that you made a mistake and that some things are just not under your control and immediately start working to change your future?

“Learn from your past but don’t live in it.” – Steve Maraboli

I hope you choose the latter and work on making positive changes in your life. If you don’t, I have included a few of the tips that I used to become unstuck.

Here are 12 ways to become the victor and not the victim:

 

1. Recognize the self-loathing stage

When you start thinking that bad things only happen to you, and you are asking yourself why me, then you are in the self-loathing stage.

Change your mindset immediately.  Instead of asking yourself those questions, start thinking about what you can do to turn things around.  Thoughts like those only make you feel worse about yourself. Remember you will have to fix the situation if you want to make things right, so it is better to do so immediately than to spend time attacking yourself.

Refocus your mind on things that will take you from that low.  Think about the things that make you a wonderful human being.  Listen to motivational speakers, read positive quotes or find something to do that will take your mind away from your problems.

 

2. Recognize when you start looking back at the past with regrets

When you begin to focus on the past with regrets, it means you are heading down the wrong path.  Grieve for your mistakes and bury them.

You must realize that the past is behind you and never can be retrieved so you must move forward.  Looking back will only delay your progress.  The past is in the past for a reason, either you must continue to grow, or you need to change your focus.  Dwelling on your past mistakes and feeling down and depressed will only increase your suffering and ruin your chances for future successes.

Use the mistakes of the past, not only as a reminder never to go back, but also to see how far you have come.  You are over your past at this stage so applaud yourself for moving ahead.  You are now stronger and wiser because of those mistakes.  Learn from them and move on.  Your mistakes are not who you are as a person.  Separate yourself from the things you did.

Victim Mentality
 

3. Recognize when you are comparing your achievements to others

When you start comparing yourself to others, you view as better off you are playing the victim.

First you have to know who you are as a person.  There is no one else like you on this earth, and there will never be.  Even if you imitate everything they do, you will never be them, and you must accept that. Start accepting who you are and work on appreciating your gifts. Why would you want to live someone else’s life when you have yours to live?

You will never be happy being someone else so accept yourself and love who you are. Work on building your dreams and achieving your goals. Work to become the best version of yourself.

 

4. You aren’t happy with your success

When you start looking at your achievements and not seeing much, you are feeling sorry for yourself.

You must start celebrating your achievements no matter how small and insignificant they may seem to you.  Someone else would love to be in your shoes.  Do not diminish all the things you have achieved thus far as this will prevent you from appreciating anything else in the future.  Be happy where you are in your life and celebrate what you have.  That is exactly where you should be.  Keep working harder to get where you want but in the meantime celebrate your achievements.

Happiness is a choice so choose to be happy.  Work hard to achieve your goals, but choose to remain happy while doing so.  Don’t delay your happiness to achieve material things because they won’t make you happy.

 

5. You are becoming withdrawn

If you weren’t someone who liked staying away from others and you find yourself suddenly wanting to be by yourself, then you are playing the victim.

Never abandon the relationships you have and become withdrawn when you are feeling sad. You may be sad and disappointed but remember, we all at different stages of our lives, have been disappointed and heartbroken.  Abandoning your friends and family will only make things harder for you.

Make the effort to hang around positive people who will encourage and motivate you.  Stay amongst people who know and support you.  The ones who see the greatness in you and will encourage you.

 

6. You start placing blame  

When you start blaming someone or something for the state you are in, then you are becoming the victim.

You must realize that you are solely responsible for your life and your achievements.  It is no one else’s job to give you the life you want. Blaming others for the position you find yourself in will only prevent you from improving.  You must accept responsibility for your life.

Desist from blaming others and work to find solutions to your problems.  Blaming others will only create distance between you and others who could help you. Remember you cannot do it alone and placing the blame will only keep people away from you.

Accept that you have erred and work to improve your future.  Remember whatever you want, you can achieve if you are prepared to work hard enough.  You have your whole life ahead of you to make up for all your mistakes.

“As long as you think that the cause of your problem is “out there”—as long as you think that anyone or anything is responsible for your suffering—the situation is hopeless.” – Byron Katie

7. You see yourself as a failure

When you start seeing yourself as a failure then you know you are wallowing in being the victim.

You can never be a failure as long as you are prepared to keep fighting. You will sometimes fail like most of us have, but you must realize that failing at something doesn’t mean the end.  It might simply mean you need to pause, change your strategy or work harder.

Never think of yourself as a failure because things didn’t work out this time.  Keep doing it until you get it right.  Remember you only fail when you give up.

 

8. You are not able to forgive

If you are not able to forgive all those who have hurt or harmed you including yourself, then you are in a victim mentality state.

You must be prepared to forgive those who have caused you harm not for them, but yourself.  Most of the people who have done things to you might not even be aware they have caused you pain and even if they are aware, do not care.  Letting go of the hurt and pain does more good for you than anyone else.

You must also forgive yourself in the process for allowing others to hurt you.  You have given them your power and they have used it to hurt you. You need also to forgive yourself for your past mistakes.

When you forgive, you are giving yourself permission to be free.  You are allowing yourself the freedom to grow and succeed.  You are allowing yourself to live life to the fullest.

 

9. You have become angry and bitter

If you find that you are becoming angry and bitter, it means you are still in your victim mentality state.

No matter what happens in your life, you must make a conscious effort never to allow these things to make you angry or bitter.  You will be the one to suffer because of it.  You won’t enjoy life, relationships or your successes, as you will be too angry and bitter to appreciate the good things in your life.

Life knocks us all down sometimes, but you must understand that is life.  You are no different nor are you special when it comes to pain, disappointment and hurt.  We all have to go through hardship.

 

10. You stop caring about your appearance

If you find that you are no longer taking care of yourself, then you are in a self-destructive mode.

Your appearance is very important when you are going through difficult times.  You cannot afford to let yourself go.  Take care of yourself for you.

Find a gym or dance class if you like indoor activities and if you are more of an outdoors person start jogging or doing other outdoor activities. Choose clothes that fit properly and try not to become an emotional eater.  You must make an effort to eat well. Remember you are special and that will not change because you are going through a difficult time.  You will remain special through life’s ups and downs.

 

11. When you take rejections hard

If you find it very difficult to take rejections, it means you consider yourself a victim.

Nobody likes being rejected, but when you find that you take it too personal, then you are allowing the rejection to be who you are.  A person might reject you not because they have issues with you, but because they are having problems of their own.  People will critique you based on their perception of themselves.  Many times that has nothing to do with you and who you are.

You must be able to differentiate between someone critiquing your work and criticizing you.  You must also be able to take rejection for what it is.

“I am not a victim. No matter what I have been through, I’m still here. I have a history of victory.”  – Steve Maraboli

12. You are no longer taking risks

When you find that you are no longer willing to take the necessary risks to succeed, it means you see yourself as a victim.

To succeed, you must be prepared to take the risk that will enable you to succeed.  Without risk, you will not be rewarded. You cannot be afraid or lack confidence in your abilities that you are no longer willing to take the steps to achieve your goals.

Resist becoming a victim of any kind.  You must understand that you are special and being a victim will only rob you of the chance to succeed.

 

Take care of yourself and those you love.  Forgive those around you who haven’t been so kind and most of all forgive you.You do not have to become a victim ever in your life if you are prepared to remain the victor.The fact that you are still alive means you have already won.  You are a victor and will forever be one so start accepting who you are.

Thank you for reading my article! Which sign is your biggest action killer?

Rose Costas is a big believer in the power of facing your challenges head on and then boldly wear your scars to show others that they too can be triumphant.  She is an accountant by profession with a new found passion for blogging and a future author and best seller. You can received her amazing free Ebook  “34 Ways to Build Your Confidence Today”.

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10 Comments

10 Comments

  1. Olga

    Oct 19, 2017 at 3:06 am

    Great article. As my autistic 17 year old was raging in the house today, I kept saying over and over ‘I am a victor. I am a victor”. I never use that word, but for some reason today, I started saying it– I liked the way it sounds. I like your positive take responsibility attitude. My favorite was number 2- Grieve for your mistakes and BURY THEM. I need to remind myself of that as I am often tempted to cry over spilled milk. But most of all, I keep making every effort to continue to follow the Lord. God bless you.

  2. John Michael

    Aug 27, 2015 at 8:09 pm

    Thank you very much for this article. In truth, someone really hurt me earlier this year and I’ve been carrying it around in my heart not forgiving the person nor myself for what happened.
    Thanks to you i can breathe again. I am truly grateful.

    • Rose Costas

      Aug 28, 2015 at 1:01 pm

      John Michael as I stated earlier forgiveness is for you not the other person necessarily. When you choose to forgive you are setting yourself free to go out and love and live a free life. You are releasing yourself from the bondage imposed by pent up anger and bitterness so the real you can live again. I am glad you have chosen to forgive and move on so you can enjoy the wonderful life you so rightly deserve.

  3. B Collins

    Aug 25, 2015 at 5:20 pm

    Rose,

    Another great article. I have to admit I fall into the trap of reviewing my life and wishing I could change things in the past. Can’t do it. Have to focus on being positive and looking forward to the future.
    Keep up the good work Rose!!!

    • Rose Costas

      Aug 26, 2015 at 3:11 pm

      Thanks Bill for your comment. It is very important to learn the lessons from your past but you must work on leaving the past where it belongs. Hanging on to the past will only delay all that is waiting ahead for you in the future.

  4. Ngiam Tee Ee

    Aug 24, 2015 at 12:34 pm

    Thanks for the advice given, today I just trying to get to talk to the girl that I quite interested sometimes ago, since I don’t know her and she don’t know me as well. So when I approach her wanting to meeting her knowing her name. She ignored me and went. At first, it was quite hard to accept but, i’m a risk taker and I tried, i’m a winner here!!

    After reading your article I think that most of their opinion on you won’t matter, because you can’t control what happens. So may I ask should I continue to try getting to know her or move on? Thanks, hope you can give some advice here, thanks!

    • Rose Costas

      Aug 25, 2015 at 11:10 am

      Ngiam Tee Ee I am not an expert on relationships but I would suggest you become her friend. Try to know this person for who she is by becoming friends first. You might even find out that you do not even like her as much as you thought you did..
      You have to be confident in yourself and approach her with confidence. Nothing beats a great smile and a hello. Find out something about her from her friends and use that to start a conversation.
      If she refuse you then it is her loss. Good luck.

  5. Rose Costas

    Aug 23, 2015 at 12:15 pm

    Hi Tejaswi

    The point I am trying to make is that people often times judge others based on how they view themselves. We all have short comings and many times we use our short comings as a guide to how we see others. We limit ourselves and therefore we have limits for other people as well.

    For example you mentioned your ex criticizing you a lot. You have to understand that in fact she wasn’t criticizing you but herself. She placed limits on herself and because of those limits she was using that to judge you.
    Most people become angry at others because they are angry and frustrated with themselves first. You have to know yourself and be confident enough to believe who you are and never allow anyone else’s perception of you to be who you accept as real.

  6. Tejaswi Khanna

    Aug 23, 2015 at 1:41 am

    Hi. Great article

    “People will critique you based on their perception of themselves.” Can you elaborate on it??

    My ex criticized me to a whole new level and I could not handle rejection. Now, a burning desire to prove her wrong sticks in my mind, which I know I should let go, but I don’t know how.

    Thanks

    • Rose Costas

      Aug 23, 2015 at 3:55 pm

      Hi Tejaswi
      The point I am trying to make is that people often times judge others based on how they view themselves. We all have short comings and many times we use our short comings as a guide to how we see others. We limit ourselves and therefore we have limits for other people as well.

      For example you mentioned your ex criticizing you a lot. You have to understand that in fact she wasn’t criticizing you but herself. She placed limits on herself and because of those limits she was using that to judge you.
      Most people become angry at others because they are angry and frustrated with themselves first. You have to know yourself and be confident enough to believe who you are and never allow anyone else’s perception of you to be who you accept as real.

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Life

The 9 Question Exercise Which Will Help You Prioritize What Matters Most

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You’re busy, I get it. If you’re like me, you’re constantly jumping from one activity to the next. From one commitment to another, you barely have enough time to think, let alone ask yourself the meaningful questions that will help you drive your career forward or lift your business to the next level. Nonetheless, you owe it to yourself and those around you to take the time to clearly define your goals and your aspirations if you are going to make real progress in any direction.

If you’re caught in the race or just trying to keep up with the Joneses, take it upon yourself to ask these questions. Take a few hours to sit down and write out the answers to these questions. If you’re working as part of a team, consider asking these questions as a group and starting a discussion around them.

Here are the 9 questions you need to be asking yourself on a consistent basis:

1. Where will your future growth come from?

This can relate to your business or your personal life. Consider whether you are in a place to grow emotionally, spiritually, or intellectually. Where will you have the greatest opportunity to grow? What form will this growth take?

2. How do you think your current strategy is going to change, based on emerging trends such as… [fill in the blank]?

Everyone experiences change. You are influenced by different things in different ways, and you have to be ready to face those changes by adjusting your goals and aspirations.

3. Why have you been successful so far? How will these reasons for success change in the future?

Consider what you have done which has worked well in the past and look at ways in which this might not work in the future. It is important to realize what has worked in the past may not always work in the future, so consider ways you may have to shift your thinking to address future goals.

“Every day, you reinvent yourself. You’re always in motion. But you decide every day: forward or backward.” – James Altucher

4. If you had more money, time or resources, how would you invest them to reach your goals more quickly or more effectively?

Sometimes it is valuable to consider what you would do if you had the option to invest more capital or resources into a project or a plan. Think about what you would do if you had all the time and money in the world. How would that affect your decisions and your next steps?

5. Are there things you can stop doing or place less emphasis on?

Consider how you spend your time currently. Are there things you do that don’t provide a return on investment? Are there things that you do which hinder your ability to get more done? Think about the habits you have and the people you spend time with. Where is there room to adjust or shift how you spend your time?  

6. What would you ask for if you were not afraid of getting “no” as an answer?

Most of us avoid taking action or moving towards our goals because we are afraid of being told “no” or rejected in some way. Rejection happens to everyone, and we won’t be able to put it off simply by avoiding action. Most often, the things that you are afraid of doing because you may receive a “no” response are the things you really should do.

7. As you think about the future of your career, your business or the project you’re working on, what are you most excited about?

Too often, we are so caught up in the minutiae of a day-to-day routine that we forget the reason we are doing something in the first place. Think about why you are most excited about something, and why you have started down a certain path.

“What’s money? A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and goes to bed at night and in between does what he wants to do.” – Bob Dylan

8. As you think about the future, what are you most worried about?

It is likely that one thing getting in the way of you accomplishing your goals is the worry that you will fail to meet expectations. Take a closer look at what you are most worried about and try to understand the reasons for those worries. Often, the worries are unfounded, and you may be able to alleviate those worries through sheer force of will.

9. What are your dreams for the future?

This is one of the more challenging questions you will be asked to answer, but it is still incredibly important. Consider your dreams for the future, not just for this project or business or activity, but your long term dreams. What do you want your life to represent? What do you want your mark to be on the world?

The more detail you’re able to put into the responses to these questions, the more you will be able to create a strategy for how to effectively adjust and reach your goals. Take those 2 or 3 hours this month to write out your responses to these questions, and I assure you it will make a tremendous difference in your life and how you think about your aspirations.

Which one of these questions has made the most profound impact on your life? Comment below and let us know!

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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

The 9 Question Exercise Which Will Help You Prioritize What Matters Most

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You’re busy, I get it. If you’re like me, you’re constantly jumping from one activity to the next. From one commitment to another, you barely have enough time to think, let alone ask yourself the meaningful questions that will help you drive your career forward or lift your business to the next level. Nonetheless, you owe it to yourself and those around you to take the time to clearly define your goals and your aspirations if you are going to make real progress in any direction. (more…)

McVal Osborne is the author of Start Up your Life: Why we don’t know what we want, and how to set goals that really matter. McVal writes about motivation, decision making, and strategic thinking. He graduated from UC Santa Barbara in 2011 with a degree in Spanish, and has since worked as a market researcher and business consultant in Washington D.C., New York City and London. You can reach him on Twitter @mcval or on IG @mcvaliant.

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10 Comments

10 Comments

  1. Olga

    Oct 19, 2017 at 3:06 am

    Great article. As my autistic 17 year old was raging in the house today, I kept saying over and over ‘I am a victor. I am a victor”. I never use that word, but for some reason today, I started saying it– I liked the way it sounds. I like your positive take responsibility attitude. My favorite was number 2- Grieve for your mistakes and BURY THEM. I need to remind myself of that as I am often tempted to cry over spilled milk. But most of all, I keep making every effort to continue to follow the Lord. God bless you.

  2. John Michael

    Aug 27, 2015 at 8:09 pm

    Thank you very much for this article. In truth, someone really hurt me earlier this year and I’ve been carrying it around in my heart not forgiving the person nor myself for what happened.
    Thanks to you i can breathe again. I am truly grateful.

    • Rose Costas

      Aug 28, 2015 at 1:01 pm

      John Michael as I stated earlier forgiveness is for you not the other person necessarily. When you choose to forgive you are setting yourself free to go out and love and live a free life. You are releasing yourself from the bondage imposed by pent up anger and bitterness so the real you can live again. I am glad you have chosen to forgive and move on so you can enjoy the wonderful life you so rightly deserve.

  3. B Collins

    Aug 25, 2015 at 5:20 pm

    Rose,

    Another great article. I have to admit I fall into the trap of reviewing my life and wishing I could change things in the past. Can’t do it. Have to focus on being positive and looking forward to the future.
    Keep up the good work Rose!!!

    • Rose Costas

      Aug 26, 2015 at 3:11 pm

      Thanks Bill for your comment. It is very important to learn the lessons from your past but you must work on leaving the past where it belongs. Hanging on to the past will only delay all that is waiting ahead for you in the future.

  4. Ngiam Tee Ee

    Aug 24, 2015 at 12:34 pm

    Thanks for the advice given, today I just trying to get to talk to the girl that I quite interested sometimes ago, since I don’t know her and she don’t know me as well. So when I approach her wanting to meeting her knowing her name. She ignored me and went. At first, it was quite hard to accept but, i’m a risk taker and I tried, i’m a winner here!!

    After reading your article I think that most of their opinion on you won’t matter, because you can’t control what happens. So may I ask should I continue to try getting to know her or move on? Thanks, hope you can give some advice here, thanks!

    • Rose Costas

      Aug 25, 2015 at 11:10 am

      Ngiam Tee Ee I am not an expert on relationships but I would suggest you become her friend. Try to know this person for who she is by becoming friends first. You might even find out that you do not even like her as much as you thought you did..
      You have to be confident in yourself and approach her with confidence. Nothing beats a great smile and a hello. Find out something about her from her friends and use that to start a conversation.
      If she refuse you then it is her loss. Good luck.

  5. Rose Costas

    Aug 23, 2015 at 12:15 pm

    Hi Tejaswi

    The point I am trying to make is that people often times judge others based on how they view themselves. We all have short comings and many times we use our short comings as a guide to how we see others. We limit ourselves and therefore we have limits for other people as well.

    For example you mentioned your ex criticizing you a lot. You have to understand that in fact she wasn’t criticizing you but herself. She placed limits on herself and because of those limits she was using that to judge you.
    Most people become angry at others because they are angry and frustrated with themselves first. You have to know yourself and be confident enough to believe who you are and never allow anyone else’s perception of you to be who you accept as real.

  6. Tejaswi Khanna

    Aug 23, 2015 at 1:41 am

    Hi. Great article

    “People will critique you based on their perception of themselves.” Can you elaborate on it??

    My ex criticized me to a whole new level and I could not handle rejection. Now, a burning desire to prove her wrong sticks in my mind, which I know I should let go, but I don’t know how.

    Thanks

    • Rose Costas

      Aug 23, 2015 at 3:55 pm

      Hi Tejaswi
      The point I am trying to make is that people often times judge others based on how they view themselves. We all have short comings and many times we use our short comings as a guide to how we see others. We limit ourselves and therefore we have limits for other people as well.

      For example you mentioned your ex criticizing you a lot. You have to understand that in fact she wasn’t criticizing you but herself. She placed limits on herself and because of those limits she was using that to judge you.
      Most people become angry at others because they are angry and frustrated with themselves first. You have to know yourself and be confident enough to believe who you are and never allow anyone else’s perception of you to be who you accept as real.

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Life

The 9 Question Exercise Which Will Help You Prioritize What Matters Most

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prioritize

You’re busy, I get it. If you’re like me, you’re constantly jumping from one activity to the next. From one commitment to another, you barely have enough time to think, let alone ask yourself the meaningful questions that will help you drive your career forward or lift your business to the next level. Nonetheless, you owe it to yourself and those around you to take the time to clearly define your goals and your aspirations if you are going to make real progress in any direction.

If you’re caught in the race or just trying to keep up with the Joneses, take it upon yourself to ask these questions. Take a few hours to sit down and write out the answers to these questions. If you’re working as part of a team, consider asking these questions as a group and starting a discussion around them.

Here are the 9 questions you need to be asking yourself on a consistent basis:

1. Where will your future growth come from?

This can relate to your business or your personal life. Consider whether you are in a place to grow emotionally, spiritually, or intellectually. Where will you have the greatest opportunity to grow? What form will this growth take?

2. How do you think your current strategy is going to change, based on emerging trends such as… [fill in the blank]?

Everyone experiences change. You are influenced by different things in different ways, and you have to be ready to face those changes by adjusting your goals and aspirations.

3. Why have you been successful so far? How will these reasons for success change in the future?

Consider what you have done which has worked well in the past and look at ways in which this might not work in the future. It is important to realize what has worked in the past may not always work in the future, so consider ways you may have to shift your thinking to address future goals.

“Every day, you reinvent yourself. You’re always in motion. But you decide every day: forward or backward.” – James Altucher

4. If you had more money, time or resources, how would you invest them to reach your goals more quickly or more effectively?

Sometimes it is valuable to consider what you would do if you had the option to invest more capital or resources into a project or a plan. Think about what you would do if you had all the time and money in the world. How would that affect your decisions and your next steps?

5. Are there things you can stop doing or place less emphasis on?

Consider how you spend your time currently. Are there things you do that don’t provide a return on investment? Are there things that you do which hinder your ability to get more done? Think about the habits you have and the people you spend time with. Where is there room to adjust or shift how you spend your time?  

6. What would you ask for if you were not afraid of getting “no” as an answer?

Most of us avoid taking action or moving towards our goals because we are afraid of being told “no” or rejected in some way. Rejection happens to everyone, and we won’t be able to put it off simply by avoiding action. Most often, the things that you are afraid of doing because you may receive a “no” response are the things you really should do.

7. As you think about the future of your career, your business or the project you’re working on, what are you most excited about?

Too often, we are so caught up in the minutiae of a day-to-day routine that we forget the reason we are doing something in the first place. Think about why you are most excited about something, and why you have started down a certain path.

“What’s money? A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and goes to bed at night and in between does what he wants to do.” – Bob Dylan

8. As you think about the future, what are you most worried about?

It is likely that one thing getting in the way of you accomplishing your goals is the worry that you will fail to meet expectations. Take a closer look at what you are most worried about and try to understand the reasons for those worries. Often, the worries are unfounded, and you may be able to alleviate those worries through sheer force of will.

9. What are your dreams for the future?

This is one of the more challenging questions you will be asked to answer, but it is still incredibly important. Consider your dreams for the future, not just for this project or business or activity, but your long term dreams. What do you want your life to represent? What do you want your mark to be on the world?

The more detail you’re able to put into the responses to these questions, the more you will be able to create a strategy for how to effectively adjust and reach your goals. Take those 2 or 3 hours this month to write out your responses to these questions, and I assure you it will make a tremendous difference in your life and how you think about your aspirations.

Which one of these questions has made the most profound impact on your life? Comment below and let us know!

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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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