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The 3 Happiness Assassins and What You Can Do to Control Them

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We all have those nights when we are suddenly wide awake and thinking about a problem or something we fear may happen. Fear is the ringleader of the gang of three known as the Happiness Assassins: Doubt. Worry. Circumstantial evidence. It is not just in our sleep we must watch out for this group of hoodlums. They lurk around corners waiting to pounce at all hours of the day.

The “assassins” are simply a part of our thought process. It takes some self-awareness to realize that our thoughts are not necessarily the truth, but we go through life mostly presuming what we think is true. Beliefs are nothing more than firmly held opinions born out of a thought – yours or someone else’s.

Unsupervised, our mind is like a big foster home taking in anyone who knocks on the door. I’d like you to consider that not all thoughts deserve our full attention. We have every right to pass on the ones that don’t serve us. Too often, we invite them in way past their usefulness. My rule of thumb is if you don’t play nice, go away.

We are rarely without thought. People who claim to have trouble meditating often refer to the issue as having a “monkey mind.” Meditation is not being without thought. Thoughts are as automatic as breathing or digestion. The idea is to control them when they come knocking.

Before we take those assassins out, one by one, know that there is nothing that is not subject to individual interpretation. A tree doesn’t occur to a painter as it does to an expert on rainforests, or even a firefighter. A squirrel has an entirely different take on the subject. Nevermind art, music, politics, and law. Interpretation is rampant. To recognize it as such is to relax the need to be right on most subjects.

Below are the three happiness assassins:

1. Worry

Worry is a future based version of interpretation. It takes us out of the present moment and is powerful enough to change our moods, cause us to miss out on the present moment, react defensively, and make us sick. It is hope turned inside out. It dresses itself in gloom. Our antidote to worry is to use your imagination. Imagine the best outcome. Or if you can’t let it go, put your mind somewhere else entirely.

“Our fatigue is often caused not by work, but by worry, frustration and resentment.” – Dale Carnegie

2. Doubt

A common question many of us have asked ourselves at one time or another is “Am I good enough?” That is a question filled with doubt and so unspecific as to be unanswerable. We inherit not trusting ourselves based on other people’s opinions or a past experience. But at some point, we must take control of our lives, our self-talk.

Confidence isn’t a real thing. It’s a stand we take. It’s as easy to take a leap of faith as it is a leap of doubt. Doubt makes us curl inward, not trusting our path or ourselves. Kill off doubt with action. If you doubt something you want to happen will come to pass, do something to make it happen. If I think my boss is going to berate me because of this month’s metrics, I could proactively come up with a plan on how we will excel in the future.

Confidence and proactivity are what moves the needle. How do you become confident?  Act thusly. Ask any actor who is freaking out before walking on stage.

3. Circumstantial Evidence

Also known as acting “out of context,” we jump to conclusions based on partial information.  Some of it is silly and some is very harmful. Silly: I thought the man in the mirror was flirting with me in an exercise class. It turns out his weights were too heavy. He was grimacing.  Harmful: A police officer shoots someone in a red jacket moving quickly away from the scene of a crime because the officer was told the suspect was in a bright color coat.

“As you think, so you become…..Our busy minds are forever jumping to conclusions, manufacturing and interpreting signs that aren’t there.” – Epictetus

If You Are Going to Lie Awake

I hope what keeps you up at night is joyful anticipation. I hope what keeps you up at night is crafting solutions and knowing that you can be freer than you have ever known by being in positive action and showing the assassins the way out before they get in.

How do you overcome constant worry, doubt, and jumping to conclusions? Share your tips with us below!

Known throughout her career as the happiness expert, Nanci Sherman was raised in New York City and earned a B.S in Journalism and Communications at the University of Colorado, Boulder. Nanci revolutionized the industry and consulted on leadership and motivation on three continents. Nanci raises the bar on happiness. Her personal quest has been "How do I live an extraordinary life?" Nanci studied with some of the greatest experts in the field of self-development and personal growth. She synthesized their teachings, expanded upon them, and translated this into her work success and life. You could say she is “terminally” happy and wants to pass that recipe for joy onto you. You will find her enthusiasm to be infectious, and her insights to be profound. She is a Happiness and Leadership Coach, Hotel Revolutionary and an established Author.

Life

Don’t Want To Feel Like A Failure Anymore? Stop Doing These 6 Things

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It’s pretty annoying isn’t it? All those great and accomplished people telling you that FAILURE is a necessity on your way to success. Yeah, that’s easy for them to say; they’re already ‘on the other side’! You on the other hand, are still struggling all day everyday to get your business lifted off the ground and are really not that sure if you’re indeed going to make it.

There’s that little voice in your head that keeps telling you that you don’t have the stuff to make it all happen. Not now and not ever. You feel like a failure…it’s holding you back and you don’t know how to deal with it. Well you could do yourself a favor and start dealing with it by doing the following things:

1. Stop Denying You Feel Like A Failure

Telling yourself things are going great when they’re not is one of the biggest, though most useless, coping mechanisms human beings deploy in rough times. Common denial signals among entrepreneurs: trying to regain more control by working even more hours and on the other side compensating this by letting go of all this control by partying and drinking way too hard.

What you’re doing is denying yourself the opportunity to actually feel what’s going on and acknowledge the problem; that both you and your business are in a bad place. Without acknowledging it, it’ll be pretty difficult to actually STOP feeling it. And remember, just because you feel like a failure, this does not mean that you indeed ARE a failure!

2. Stop Making It Bigger Than it Really Is

This is one of those other ‘fun’ things human beings do; we blow things way out of proportion in our heads! In business, when you lose that big client you’ve been working on for weeks, it feels like it’s the end of the world. You start doubting yourself, your strategy, your entire business model right up to the point where you barely sleep because you’re working on pivoting the whole thing.

But what if that customer simply didn’t have the money to go for your service anyway? Or what if they just decided to go for someone who is cheaper but who offers less quality? Does that mean there’s something wrong with YOU? Or that this was the ONLY customer out there and that you’re now doomed forever?

Of course not, it simply means that THIS CUSTOMER wasn’t a match. It’s a bit like dating actually…So if you take this into consideration, could it be that you just feel like a failure instead of really not succeeding in that what you want to at this point in time?

3. Stop Thinking You’re The Only One Who Feels Like This

You’re not! With the possible exception of the true sociopaths, that feeling you’re feeling is very normal to EVERYONE. It might not seem like it on the outside – because people don’t like to acknowledge this remember – but I can guarantee you that it’s true. But unlike 99% of the world’s population, YOU’RE not going to let this feeling stop you in your tracks. Are you?

4. Stop Thinking You’re Supposed To Be Superhuman

In fact, it’s very likely that you’re already doing, learning and succeeding at WAY more than most other people are. But for entrepreneurs, somehow, that never seems to be enough. You don’t just want to be successful after a few years of hard work (which is normal). You want to be successful after only a few months. Because you’re special…or at least you think you are…

Well, here’s the truth: you ARE special! But…it’s just not very likely that you’re one of those – very very rare – entrepreneurial superstars that – seemingly – just added some hot water and got instant business success as a result.

5. Stop Being So Incredibly Stubborn

Entrepreneurs are stubborn…almost by default. It’s what makes them push forward in the hardest of times. But…if you’re not doing the right things right you might just be hammering a square peg through a round hole. Which will only add to that frustrated feeling you’re already having. So why not stop being so stubborn for a moment, stop hammering away on that what obviously is not working and ask for help?

No matter who you ask – a business mentor or coach, a befriended entrepreneur – someone with a neutral perspective on you and our business will be very likely to see what’s going on with a lot more clarity than you can and can guide you to a place that will feel a whole lot more comfortable.

6. Stop Being Afraid Of Failure

I know, I know, you’ve heard this a million times before and you wouldn’t be in this pickle if you could do this. Right? I’m right there with ya!

But, if you get really rational about it, what’s the worst that could happen?

  • You might have to get a ‘real’ job for a while and start over on the side;
  • You might not be able to afford your rent anymore…but with Airbnb on the 1 hand and couchsurfing on the other, you should be able to work it out somehow;
  • You’ll have all the more experience to start over a whole lot faster;
  • You’ll be no less respected by anyone because it’s clear you gave it your all;
  • In a few years, when you’re an established and supersuccessful entrepreneur you’ll also have a cool failure story to tell;
  • None of your limbs will fall off;

Now that’s not too bad for a plan B is it? Failure is such a negative word. And the associated feeling is terrible and numbing. But really…how is giving it your all and not succeeding really the same as failing? Shouldn’t the definition of failure not be along the lines of ‘not even trying’ or ‘giving up when it gets hard’?

In other words: stop beating yourself up over this!

There’s really no need to feel like a failure at all because you’re sticking your neck out, you’re trying to make a difference and you’re still moving upward on that treacherous entrepreneurial mountain.

And that…is what success REALLY is.

Those Who Failed Their Way To Success

Quotes To Live By:

“Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.” – Robert F. Kennedy

“If you don’t try at anything, you can’t fail… it takes back bone to lead the life you want” – Richard Yates

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” – Thomas A. Edison

“We are all failures – at least the best of us are.” – J.M. Barrie

“Success is stumbling form failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm” – Winston Churchill

“Don’t let success go to your head and failure to your heart” – Will Smith

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Why You Never Have Enough Time and What You Need to Do About It

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Has this ever happened to you? You had an assignment, and the deadline was far away. You didn’t work on it much, but in the back of your mind, that insistent little voice was always whispering, “I gotta get this assignment done.” (more…)

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6 Unusual Exercises to Effectively Increase Your Creativity Faster Than Ever

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Although a vast majority of people think that creativity is something you are born with, the truth is a bit different. While we cannot deny that you need natural talent to a certain extent, stimulating creative thinking is indeed a matter of practice. If you give this thought a bit of thinking, you can realize pretty quickly that even the most fascinating and creative minds have faced the lack of creativity at some point in their lives. (more…)

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Life

3 Psychological Facts That Can Unleash Your Inner Power

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Some people will achieve great things. Others won’t. But why is that? We’re all just “talking monkeys on an organic spaceship flying through the universe,” as Joe Rogan puts it. So why do some “talking monkeys” build 7 or 8 figure businesses, travel the world, and live the life of their dreams while the rest of us… well, wish we were living the life of our dreams. (more…)

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