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The Art Of Life: Lessons Learned From Being A Year Older

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Another Year Older

I sit here completely broken yet so perfect at the same time.

Another year of my life has passed and another birthday has arrived. With each birthday, life becomes clearer. My mission becomes clearer.

At least this year I know why I was put on this planet (to inspire). I’ve been blessed with some major highs that have shown me just what is possible if I believe in myself. Now, it’s not just me that believes. That belief has reached well beyond anything I could have ever imagined.

It wouldn’t be honest of me to only give you the high’s since my last birthday. If the truth be told, I’ve had the biggest year of low’s in my entire adult life. These lows have defined my comeback.

I’m no longer going to hide from what I really think. This last year has taught me many lessons.

Here are a few lessons you must use in your own life:

 

1. We can’t be inspirational all the time

Part of being a blogger is that I’m expected to always be inspiring. The truth is some days I don’t feel like being inspiring, and that’s okay. You can’t always be on. Some days you will be off. You’ll hate yourself, you’ll be lonely, you’ll be unmotivated and that’s okay.

 

2. Give to yourself once in a while

You can’t only give all of your talents to the world and never leave anything left for yourself. Sometimes you need to give yourself the following:

–   Forgiveness. Messing up is guaranteed. Don’t be too hard on yourself

–   Time. Low points in your life take time to get over. Give yourself that time.

–   Knowledge. Break the mould once in a while and learn a new skill. Do something that scares the hell out of you.

 

3. Make new friends

Perhaps your current friends are what are holding you back. Maybe it’s time to make some new friends and get access to new experiences. One thing that has always helped me develop is to surround myself with people who think the same as me but do life differently.

My definition of success always looked a certain way until I met people who had a totally different view of success. Our lives are often made up of ideas and goals we borrowed from other people. The more people you have around you that are positive, the more ideas you have to borrow.

 

4. Wear your heart on your sleeve

I’ve always believed you should do the opposite of the majority. That’s why I believe you should wear your heart on your sleeve. Say what you think and communicate how you feel. You’ll be surprised how much people appreciate this compared to the fakery that goes on day to day.

 

5. Success is seriously messed up

I’ve met a bunch of people this year that are obsessed with success. Normally I would love this but what I realized is that this so-called phenomenon has gone wrong for many people. Success is not about achieving all the time and being selfishly always about you.

As you mature, you realize that we have to go beyond ourselves. We have to care for other people. We have to contribute something meaningful to the world. After a while, being obsessed with a pursuit such as business can become overwhelmingly unfulfilling.

“Being successful is about having people who care about you, having someone to love and being dedicated to a mission that is far greater than you. All the money, sexual partners, fancy parties, degrees and nice clothes can’t do this for you”

 

6. Invest

Invest in the stock market

Invest in yourself

Invest in business, personal and romantic relationships

 

7. It’s okay not to be okay

There are going to be times in your life where it feels like you are walking through Antarctica in your freaking undies. You are going to have times when you are not okay even if you are mega successful. It’s okay not to be okay.

Nobody is on cloud nine all the time even though we are often tricked into comparing our lives to others.

 

8. The people you admire can often be in a dark place

6062106756_a49420a3b8_bI’ve been lucky enough to lift the curtain on some of the people I admire. What I learned this year is that many of them are not as they seem. Many of them have either come from a dark place or are in a dark place right now. As humans, we’re fantastic actors.

We act out what we want others to believe about us because to be vulnerable and ask for help hurts our ego. Someone like Robin Williams made us all laugh for so many years. You’d never know that he was actually living in a very dark place.

Focus on spending your time living your life and growing each day. Forget about comparing yourself to everyone else because chances are many of those people you think you admire are not who you think they are. People live in dark places all the time and you’ll never truly know who they really are.

At the same time, ensure you don’t go to that dark place yourself. Step into the light even during the hardest times in your life. Try to make sense of the events that happen to you which hurt like hell.

“Know that there is an empowering meaning for everything even if you can’t see it right now”

 

9. Your happiness starts with you

We’re all chasing the happy drug (even me). What I’ve learned over the last year is that happiness starts with me. I have to stop having so many rules and expectation that make it impossible for me to be happy.

Think about your own happiness. Are you trying to reach some crazy definition of happiness that can’t possibly be fulfilled? Strip away the layers just like an onion. Try and simplify what you define as happiness. You’re in control of the ship and you can be happy with you if you let yourself.

 

10. Focus is the winning formula

Our attention is being brought and sold at every second. The moment we try and do anything, chances are, we have to use a device connected to the internet. As soon as we turn to our phone or tablet, there are a hundred distractions right in front of us.

By watching successful people, I’ve seen that focusing on one thing is the winning formula. Our lives are already complicated enough and if you can’t find a way to divert your attention into the handful of things that matter to you, you’re unlikely ever to do anything that can be defined as success.

 

11. Ideas come from the weirdest places

To fuel your life, you need ideas. Ideas can come from everywhere and so you have to be consistently doing the following:

–   Reading

–   Listening to podcasts

–   Watching documentaries

–   Being curious

–   Going to new places

–   Attending events

Some of my best ideas have come from these well-known activities. Open your mind and get out there and do stuff. If you don’t know what to do with your life or what your mission is, the answer is you need ideas. Then, you obviously need to take action on a few of them.

 

12. We’ll all find love

HoldingHandsOceanSunset650It may take time, but we will all find love at some point in our life. The key is not to give up and try and be patient. Having said that being patient is hard (I should know as a single man). When the time is right you’ll find what you have always dreamt of and all the waiting will be worth it.

Don’t close your heart or tell yourself that love doesn’t exist for you. It does. Loves exists for everyone and you are worthy.

“Keep doing the reps towards your love goal just like you would in the gym”

 

13. Try not to judge

I find myself judging people without even knowing it. Not because I’m judgemental, but because people around me are and that influences me to do the same. Rather than judge people, help them. While judging people may make you feel good and help you to escape your own issues, it’s not an act that is going to help you live an inspired life.

Judging is taking away some of the power you have within you that could be used towards far better things such as your purpose. Watch how much you are judging and try and rein it in a little.

 

14. Don’t fall too in love with yourself

In Love With YourselfEspecially once you have had a bit of success it’s easy to become obsessed with how good you are. Lighten up a bit and put your ego to the side. It’s nice that you can achieve some cool stuff, but don’t let it consume you.

You’re another human being just like me and while you are special in your own way, we’re all kind of the same in the end. Spread your success around rather than become focused on how good you are. No one likes a person who is over the top about their own success.

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

Tim is best known as a long-time contributor on Addicted2Success. Tim's content has been shared millions of times and he has written multiple viral posts all around personal development and entrepreneurship. You can connect with Tim through his website www.timdenning.net

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Life

4 Ways to Give Your Self-Efficacy a Serious Boost

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Boosting your self-efficacy is a simple, yet powerful way to improve the levels of success and happiness you experience in your life. Each of us have goals in our lives, but if we don’t believe in our ability to achieve them, then how are we ever going to be successful?

In fact, according to the Theory of Planned Behaviour, our self-efficacy impacts both the goals we set for ourselves, as well as the amount of action we will take. If we have strong self-efficacy, we will aim higher with more ambitious goals as well as be more likely to follow through with the necessary goal-directed behaviours. However, with low levels of self-efficacy, we are likely not even to follow through and pursue even the most meagre of goals.

Therefore, if we have goals in life that are important to us, it is essential we develop and strengthen our self-efficacy.

Luckily, there are 4 simple areas to focus on when it comes to boosting our self-belief:

1. Boost Self-Efficacy Through Creating Mini Wins

One problem with big personal and life goals is that they take a while to realise. Maintaining motivation over a long period of time can be tough, and after a while, it is only natural to start questioning whether the goal will ever happen.

Rather than letting doubt creep into our minds, setting mini-goals along the way allows us to experience a feeling of success, even if we still have some way to go. These smaller wins still fill us with the same energy and excitement that accompanies bigger goals, albeit at a slightly lower level. But what is really important is that these performance accomplishments keep our self-efficacy levels nice and high.

If we set ourselves lots of mini challenges on the way to our bigger goals, we will soon find our self-efficacy levels through the roof. Think about how you can break your big goals down to allow you to experience performance accomplishments along the way.

“People’s level of motivation, affective states, and actions are based more on what they believe than on what is objectively the case.” – Albert Bandura

2. Boost Self-Efficacy Through Appropriate Role Modeling

Having a role model is a great way to identify your route to success. If you are on a journey, there is a good chance someone has already taken that path and can help you identify the right way to approach your goal. If someone else has done it, there is no reason you can’t do it too.

However, sometimes our role models can be so far ahead of us, it can feel as if we will never get to their level. Therefore, it is important to either focus on the appropriate phase of your role model’s development or find a number of different role models that you can associate to.

For example, if you are wanting to grow your business, Richard Branson could be a good role model. However, if you are right at the beginning of your journey, it may not be appropriate to read about his Virgin Galactic endeavours, so maybe study his early years in business instead.

3. Boost Self-Efficacy Through Positive Verbal Encouragement

It isn’t difficult to find negative messages that will cause you to question your ability to follow through and be successful with your goals. Often, that negative voice can even live inside our own heads, and it will attempt to be heard any time there is a quiet moment in our day.

Therefore, it is vital we find a way to replace those negative messages with some positive reinforcement at regular intervals. The great thing is, there are so many different ways to accomplish this.

The amount of audio content has gone through the roof, and with the rise in popularity of podcasts as well as companies like Audible making this easily accessible to everyone, there is no reason not to fill your day with positive content. Turn your daily commute, queues and gym time into brain training by replacing your music with positive audio content. Listen to biographies about your role models to hit two self-efficacy boosters at the same time.

Alternatively, get yourself a coach or mentor and schedule regular meetings to assess your progress. Although the entire meeting may not be focused on boosting your self-efficacy, a good coach or mentor will end each meeting making you feel that you can be successful, even with the biggest of challenges.

“If I have the belief that I can do it, I shall surely acquire the capacity to do it even if I may not have it at the beginning.” – Mahatma Gandhi

4. Boost Self-Efficacy Through Getting Into The Zone

Lastly, a great way to boost your self-belief and self-efficacy is to use music or film to get you into the zone and help make you feel unstoppable. Do you have a favourite playlist that puts you in the right frame of mind and ready to take on the world? Create a Spotify playlist with all of the tracks you know gets you into an emotional state where you feel unstoppable and make sure you listen to this immediately before you take on any challenging activities.

Alternatively, if you have a little more time and attention to spare, video and film can really get you into the mood. Put on a movie like Rocky and you will immediately want to put on your best grey tracksuit and go for an early morning run through the streets. Alternatively, check out motivational videos on YouTube for more of a bitesize chunk of self-efficacy boosting content.

As you can see, boosting your self-efficacy can be simple and fun and easy to incorporate into your daily routine. Boosting your self-efficacy will encourage you to reach higher with your goals, follow through with your actions and develop the resilience needed to reach the levels of success you deserve. Do something every day to boost your self-efficacy and you’ll amaze yourself with the new levels of results you are able to achieve.  

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Life

Visualizing a Life of Greater Abundance

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Abundance is a spiritual principle that says the universe consists of all that I need and that all I need is available to me right now. We all want abundance, although few of us would say that we have it to the degree that we’d hope for. So what is the problem and how do we get to that state of experiencing it in our daily lives? The real problem—and solution—seems to lie in HOW we view abundance.

All things are energy. Everything that we think of as physical, all matter from the mighty mountains down to the molecules that make them up, is equally energy. Where we sometimes come up against limits in our thinking and in our awareness, however, is in choosing to see what our mind most easily recognizes—form. But if we have the option to view abundance either as a physical concept (individual things that have form and bounded limits) or as one of energy (boundless and infinite) why would we not choose the latter?

Identifying the Problem of Form  

One of my personal abundance blocks is becoming overly preoccupied in physical expressions of that abundance. The recognition of form presents many trip-hazards in the spiritual journey. Our fascination with it tends to often be the meddling of the ego which, of course, idolizes physical or conceptual form as a way to create duality (an I-am-separate-ness) in order to highlight its own existence apart from all other things.

As a matter of course, however, this condensing of infinite abundance into perceivable form is an act of SEVERE limitation. Any time a concept is packaged for convenient consumption it always loses its natural impact.

“You must realize that money is not good or evil; it is a tool for expressing your creative energy in the physical world.” – Stephen Richards

Definition also has the curious effect of opening up the possibility for judgment. For better or worse, we attach values to things. For instance, I might begin to believe that money isn’t really all that important. As crazy as that will sound for some, it has been a lifelong block for me. I see money and I think that I can do without it. Perhaps I feel there are nobler pursuits or possibly I think there may be too much effort to attain it and keep it or even a fear that I may lose it— and then what will I do with myself?

Visualizing Abundance As Energy

To begin the visualization, relax and place yourself in a state of mindful presence. If you are not familiar with this concept it is to simply become very aware of and in-tune with the now-moment. You dis-identify with the regrets (or victories) of the past and worries (or hopes) of the future. It is simply about being aware of NOW. Through this act of presence, you begin to become less attached to conceptual form of any kind, not just time.

Now, subtlety shift your awareness to the concept of abundance. It is important to avoid attaching images of manifested forms to it such as money or possessions. Rather than seeing concepts of what you think abundance should look like, begin to see the essence of abundance itself; energy. With eyes closed, in your state of presence, begin to “see” the waves of energy—the essence of abundance—all around you. Let your imagination vividly take over the visualization. You are directing this mind-movie; let it be as cinematically convincing as you can.

Notice a few things about the nature of this energy:

  • It is formless. There is no firm definition and there are no hard edges.
  • It flows where it wants to and as it wants to. You don’t control it, you can merely accept it.
  • It is infinite. There is a depth to the energy that is powerful and unending.
  • It is friendly. It gravitates toward and lovingly surrounds you.
  • It is good. There is nothing bad to abundance energy and it only has your best interest as its intention.
  • It is complete. The abundance energy is EVERYTHING that is good—health, loving relationships, and financial prosperity—without any definition between each.

This energy is the essence of infinite abundance. Abundance is wholeness and completeness. It is perfection. In many ways it could be described as heaven; the kingdom on earth. The energy is formless—you cannot see it directly as money or health or relationships or wonderful circumstances—but you can sense that all of those things are there. We don’t get a visual cue but we can feel them. There is no specificity or form but rather—at most—shades of energy like the bands of audial or visual frequencies in a spectrum.

Visualizing Yourself As Energy

At the same time view yourself as boundless energy. In your state of presence, this shouldn’t be difficult; you have already risen above the concept of form. In your awareness, recognize that the universe is also within YOU. Abundance is within YOU. Abundance IS you. So visualize yourself a wellspring of infinite energy yourself and allow it to flow out of you and join in dance with the energy around you. In this embrace of energy, you see yourself as one with the universe which is, of course, the epitome of abundance itself.

“We are all wealth. We are all treasure. We are the abundance of all things. Spend yourself completely.” – Bryant McGill

This entire technique is ultimately an act of accepting abundance. All of it is good; there is no reason to fear what may be drawn to you. You are immersing yourself in ALL good things. You are immersed in a sea of EVERY good thing that possibly is or could be by your manifestation of it. THIS is abundance. You are not deprived of any positive, helpful, empowering resource. You are now experiencing completeness.

This technique gets easier and more powerful with practice. I love this visualization because it goes straight to the root of the problem—form identity as it relates to abundance—and deals with it at the elemental level. By removing rigid concepts of abundance I have found that it is much easier to appropriate it into my life. If this has been helpful to you please comment and share that others may find success as well.

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We Know Thoughts Become Things, but Where Did Those Thoughts Come From?

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It’s common knowledge that what we concentrate on over any length of time, manifests. The notion that thoughts precede reality has been around for quite some time and we also know that the intermediate step between thoughts and reality is behavior.

So, we think something, that thought drives a certain behavioral pattern, and enough of that behavior will create whatever that original thought outcome was. But did you ever wonder where those thoughts came from? How many of them came from poor mothers and fathers and preachers and teachers when we were babies?

Let’s face it, our formative years were spent with these aforementioned individuals and they were adults. They may have said things to us that we perhaps misinterpreted because, we were six years old! They weren’t trying to deceive us or teach us something negative. They just assumed that when they said something (and it may not have even been to us) that the listener would be able to connect the dots!

Let me give you an example. When I was growing up my mother, father, and I were watching variety shows on the black and white television set in the middle of our living room, quite often my mother would say, when someone was singing, that they were actually dubbing! In other words, singing to a turned off microphone while the actual recording was actually being played from the sound engineers’ room! She was probably correct! Many of the singers on those old shows were dubbing their studio recordings.

“All action results from thought. So it is thoughts that matter.” – Sai Baba

But she made it seem as if the singer and the host were trying to deceive us. My mother would say something like, “They aren’t singing for real, they’re just moving their lips! Isn’t that terrible?” Now I could never really tell if they were singing, or not, but this was my mom, so I accepted what she said at face value. Except, I really thought those people were terrible people for trying to trick my poor mother and that they were very bad. (Keep in mind, I was 6!)

That script stayed with me long into adulthood, and I very consciously watched out for people that were going to make a fool out of me and I either avoided them or confronted them. That thought pattern of filling in the blanks from what adults told me when I was a child is what I like to call Projective Resolution, can be debilitating. Personally, it sabotaged several meaningful relationships and my first 2 professional positions.

I was able to identify the faulty script years later and resolve it, but I wonder how many more I have playing right now, that I might not be aware of. How about you? What scripts are causing your Projective Resolution?

The reason they are so hard to spot is because we have repeated them so many times for so many years, that they have become a habit and are firmly entrenched into our subconscious minds. But the behavior is real. And it can be devastating!

You may ask if it is possible to eradicate the old scripts and I believe the answer is yes. I did! And without any professional assistance, and well before I had the internet for quick guidance.

“If you realized how powerful your thoughts are, you would never think a negative thought.” – Peace Pilgrim

If you think you are a victim of Projective Resolution, try these steps:

  • Step #1: Spend some time in quiet thought, thinking about situations with parents and others when you were a child. It may be helpful to start with your first thought of childhood and work up from there.
  • Step #2: What were some of the admonitions and sayings that were said to you? Perhaps it was “A stitch in time saves 9.” And you were told that so many times that you now take 9 stitches immediately, just in case. You plan, plan, plan! Can that be an OCD?
  • Step #3: Link past experiences to current behavior and tag the behaviors that you want to change. If you can identify current behaviors that are driven by conversations when you were a child and left to “fill in the blanks”, you are well on your way to rewriting the scripts.
  • Step #4: Now that you are an adult, put adult meaning on what the person (the adult) was trying to convey to you when you were a child. (Yes, you can actively role play with that person and talk to them adult-to-adult!)
  • Step #5: Place the proper meaning on that statement now.
  • Step #6: Forgive the adult who may have steered you wrong. They did the best they could at the time with what they had!
  • I hope that you see the moral to this story. Please be carful of what you say to children. They are taking what you say and filling in the blanks. But they are doing so with the mind of a child. If you think in those terms, you may guard your words very carefully.

What do you think? Let me know in the comment section below!

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The Simplest Mindset Hack to Get More Out of Life

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Money. Happiness. Success. Love. I think we can all agree that “more” is something we often find ourselves chasing, whether we’re willing to admit it or not, in our businesses, health, relationships and our lives in general.

Typically when we’re looking to increase our income (whether in our business or in our personal accounts) we often look to typical business and career strategies to do so. We look for a new, higher paying job. We open a new location. Work longer hours. Increase or improve our marketing efforts. Attend more networking events. The list goes on and on.

When we’re looking for more love in relationships we may schedule date nights with our significant other. Nag them for attention. Some, even resort to extra-marital affairs to feel the love they need. In health, we hire personal trainers. Go on diets…I’m sure you’re getting the point by now.

All of these strategies, however require us to do more of something. But what if the process to getting more of anything started before all that? What if there was a simple mindset hack that would allow your marketing, networking, dieting, date nights and gym sessions to have a greater impact? What if one behavioral tweak, that involved you doing less would lead to more happiness? More love? Just more!

“Once your mindset changes, everything on the outside will change along with it.” – Steve Maraboli

The mindset hack to having more

This mindset hack is actually so simple you may not believe me but I’m going to tell you anyways. If you want to start having more in your life, the secret to doing so is to begin accepting compliments.

Yes. You read that right – by beginning to accept compliments we actually increase our ability to earn more money, experience more happiness and have more overall success. Stay with me and I’ll explain how this works.

First, however, I want you to consider this situation and question: Imagine it’s a normal day. It’s not your birthday, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, or any other day you’d expect to receive a compliment or gift. It’s just a normal day. You go to work, or maybe you meet a friend for lunch, when, out of nowhere, they compliment you, or buy you a small gift (like a coffee for example).

How do you react? If you’re like the bulk of the population you’ll say something like: “Oh you shouldn’t have” or “The next round is on me” or “This old thing?!” If your reaction is somewhere along these lines, what you are doing is energetically and unconsciously REJECTING the compliment or gift.

In today’s day and age, when someone compliments us, or buys us a small gift (like in the example above) our initial and unconscious reaction is often to reject or block ourselves from receiving it. Most people fear what others think of them, and because we don’t want to appear to be conceited or stuck-up we feel uncomfortable simply saying “thank you!”. In fact, this reaction has become so ingrained in us by society that most people don’t even realize they are doing it!

The second reason we typically reject unexpected compliments or gifts is because it takes us out of the driver’s seat. When we sit back and receive we’re not in control. Think about it, who is in control of the gift/compliment? The giver. Who is in control of the intention? The giver. The giver is also in control of how and when they give it.

The receiver is only in control of their reaction. From a primal and evolutionary standpoint, when we’re not in control we’re vulnerable, exposed, possibly even at a disadvantage. To regain control many people often give a gift or compliment back (“no, no, I’ll buy the coffees today!”) or reject it all together (“oh this dress? I only paid $5 for it”).

The underlying problem

The problem with this primal and societal patterning however, is that it instills a belief in our unconscious minds that it’s unsafe to receive. Our unconscious mind is highly suggestive and completely illogical. Our unconscious mind believes our actions and feelings over our words, and is always processing information from our surroundings and our inner dialogue. Our unconscious minds also love to make associations, so it regularly connects things like beliefs with behaviours that we wouldn’t consciously or logically associate.

When we suggest to our unconscious mind that it is unsafe to receive small things, like a compliment or $5 coffee, the unconscious mind expands this and applies this belief to receiving anything and everything. In our unconscious mind, if a $5 coffee is unsafe to receive, then receiving hundreds, thousands or hundreds of thousands from a client would be life threatening!

Because the brain is also highly symbolic, it perceives all receiving to be the same. This belief then extends a whole lot further than just receiving money. It impacts our ability to receive other revenue or income generating things like referrals, new clients and even opportunities to scale a business to new levels.

“If my mind can conceive it and my heart can believe it, then I can achieve it.” – Muhammad Ali

If you’re goal is to grow your income or your business, you may need to do new things like use social media ads or create referral partnerships. However, these activities will prove fruitless if you’ve wired your brain out of receiving the leads you’ll generate!

If you want more love from your partner, it doesn’t matter what they do to show more love, or how many affairs you have, you’ll never see or feel the love they are giving because you’ve blocked yourself from it. The same applies to your health and your life in general, you’ve told the filtering system in your unconscious mind (the Reticular Activating System) that it’s not safe to receive, so you won’t see the opportunities to accept these things.

The next time someone compliments you or buys you a small gift randomly, accept it graciously and simply say “thank you”. Practice this every time someone wants to give you something. Rewiring the brain takes repetition, it’s not enough to accept one compliment and return to your old patterns! Begin implementing this new behavior of receiving today and you’ll start noticing changes in your life and financial situation before the end of the month!

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Life

4 Ways to Give Your Self-Efficacy a Serious Boost

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Boosting your self-efficacy is a simple, yet powerful way to improve the levels of success and happiness you experience in your life. Each of us have goals in our lives, but if we don’t believe in our ability to achieve them, then how are we ever going to be successful? (more…)

I am Dan Storey from UK .I have worked in and around the world of Motivational seminars for many years, starting as a volunteer and affiliate before heading up one of the UK’s biggest personal development seminar companies. I have been training NLP to business and sales people for over 10 years and the author of next level persuasion. I am currently Working towards MSC in Behavioural Psychology and constantly trying to figure out why we do what we do.

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Life

4 Ways to Give Your Self-Efficacy a Serious Boost

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self-efficacy
Image Credit: Unsplash

Boosting your self-efficacy is a simple, yet powerful way to improve the levels of success and happiness you experience in your life. Each of us have goals in our lives, but if we don’t believe in our ability to achieve them, then how are we ever going to be successful?

In fact, according to the Theory of Planned Behaviour, our self-efficacy impacts both the goals we set for ourselves, as well as the amount of action we will take. If we have strong self-efficacy, we will aim higher with more ambitious goals as well as be more likely to follow through with the necessary goal-directed behaviours. However, with low levels of self-efficacy, we are likely not even to follow through and pursue even the most meagre of goals.

Therefore, if we have goals in life that are important to us, it is essential we develop and strengthen our self-efficacy.

Luckily, there are 4 simple areas to focus on when it comes to boosting our self-belief:

1. Boost Self-Efficacy Through Creating Mini Wins

One problem with big personal and life goals is that they take a while to realise. Maintaining motivation over a long period of time can be tough, and after a while, it is only natural to start questioning whether the goal will ever happen.

Rather than letting doubt creep into our minds, setting mini-goals along the way allows us to experience a feeling of success, even if we still have some way to go. These smaller wins still fill us with the same energy and excitement that accompanies bigger goals, albeit at a slightly lower level. But what is really important is that these performance accomplishments keep our self-efficacy levels nice and high.

If we set ourselves lots of mini challenges on the way to our bigger goals, we will soon find our self-efficacy levels through the roof. Think about how you can break your big goals down to allow you to experience performance accomplishments along the way.

“People’s level of motivation, affective states, and actions are based more on what they believe than on what is objectively the case.” – Albert Bandura

2. Boost Self-Efficacy Through Appropriate Role Modeling

Having a role model is a great way to identify your route to success. If you are on a journey, there is a good chance someone has already taken that path and can help you identify the right way to approach your goal. If someone else has done it, there is no reason you can’t do it too.

However, sometimes our role models can be so far ahead of us, it can feel as if we will never get to their level. Therefore, it is important to either focus on the appropriate phase of your role model’s development or find a number of different role models that you can associate to.

For example, if you are wanting to grow your business, Richard Branson could be a good role model. However, if you are right at the beginning of your journey, it may not be appropriate to read about his Virgin Galactic endeavours, so maybe study his early years in business instead.

3. Boost Self-Efficacy Through Positive Verbal Encouragement

It isn’t difficult to find negative messages that will cause you to question your ability to follow through and be successful with your goals. Often, that negative voice can even live inside our own heads, and it will attempt to be heard any time there is a quiet moment in our day.

Therefore, it is vital we find a way to replace those negative messages with some positive reinforcement at regular intervals. The great thing is, there are so many different ways to accomplish this.

The amount of audio content has gone through the roof, and with the rise in popularity of podcasts as well as companies like Audible making this easily accessible to everyone, there is no reason not to fill your day with positive content. Turn your daily commute, queues and gym time into brain training by replacing your music with positive audio content. Listen to biographies about your role models to hit two self-efficacy boosters at the same time.

Alternatively, get yourself a coach or mentor and schedule regular meetings to assess your progress. Although the entire meeting may not be focused on boosting your self-efficacy, a good coach or mentor will end each meeting making you feel that you can be successful, even with the biggest of challenges.

“If I have the belief that I can do it, I shall surely acquire the capacity to do it even if I may not have it at the beginning.” – Mahatma Gandhi

4. Boost Self-Efficacy Through Getting Into The Zone

Lastly, a great way to boost your self-belief and self-efficacy is to use music or film to get you into the zone and help make you feel unstoppable. Do you have a favourite playlist that puts you in the right frame of mind and ready to take on the world? Create a Spotify playlist with all of the tracks you know gets you into an emotional state where you feel unstoppable and make sure you listen to this immediately before you take on any challenging activities.

Alternatively, if you have a little more time and attention to spare, video and film can really get you into the mood. Put on a movie like Rocky and you will immediately want to put on your best grey tracksuit and go for an early morning run through the streets. Alternatively, check out motivational videos on YouTube for more of a bitesize chunk of self-efficacy boosting content.

As you can see, boosting your self-efficacy can be simple and fun and easy to incorporate into your daily routine. Boosting your self-efficacy will encourage you to reach higher with your goals, follow through with your actions and develop the resilience needed to reach the levels of success you deserve. Do something every day to boost your self-efficacy and you’ll amaze yourself with the new levels of results you are able to achieve.  

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Life

Visualizing a Life of Greater Abundance

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Abundance is a spiritual principle that says the universe consists of all that I need and that all I need is available to me right now. We all want abundance, although few of us would say that we have it to the degree that we’d hope for. So what is the problem and how do we get to that state of experiencing it in our daily lives? The real problem—and solution—seems to lie in HOW we view abundance.

All things are energy. Everything that we think of as physical, all matter from the mighty mountains down to the molecules that make them up, is equally energy. Where we sometimes come up against limits in our thinking and in our awareness, however, is in choosing to see what our mind most easily recognizes—form. But if we have the option to view abundance either as a physical concept (individual things that have form and bounded limits) or as one of energy (boundless and infinite) why would we not choose the latter?

Identifying the Problem of Form  

One of my personal abundance blocks is becoming overly preoccupied in physical expressions of that abundance. The recognition of form presents many trip-hazards in the spiritual journey. Our fascination with it tends to often be the meddling of the ego which, of course, idolizes physical or conceptual form as a way to create duality (an I-am-separate-ness) in order to highlight its own existence apart from all other things.

As a matter of course, however, this condensing of infinite abundance into perceivable form is an act of SEVERE limitation. Any time a concept is packaged for convenient consumption it always loses its natural impact.

“You must realize that money is not good or evil; it is a tool for expressing your creative energy in the physical world.” – Stephen Richards

Definition also has the curious effect of opening up the possibility for judgment. For better or worse, we attach values to things. For instance, I might begin to believe that money isn’t really all that important. As crazy as that will sound for some, it has been a lifelong block for me. I see money and I think that I can do without it. Perhaps I feel there are nobler pursuits or possibly I think there may be too much effort to attain it and keep it or even a fear that I may lose it— and then what will I do with myself?

Visualizing Abundance As Energy

To begin the visualization, relax and place yourself in a state of mindful presence. If you are not familiar with this concept it is to simply become very aware of and in-tune with the now-moment. You dis-identify with the regrets (or victories) of the past and worries (or hopes) of the future. It is simply about being aware of NOW. Through this act of presence, you begin to become less attached to conceptual form of any kind, not just time.

Now, subtlety shift your awareness to the concept of abundance. It is important to avoid attaching images of manifested forms to it such as money or possessions. Rather than seeing concepts of what you think abundance should look like, begin to see the essence of abundance itself; energy. With eyes closed, in your state of presence, begin to “see” the waves of energy—the essence of abundance—all around you. Let your imagination vividly take over the visualization. You are directing this mind-movie; let it be as cinematically convincing as you can.

Notice a few things about the nature of this energy:

  • It is formless. There is no firm definition and there are no hard edges.
  • It flows where it wants to and as it wants to. You don’t control it, you can merely accept it.
  • It is infinite. There is a depth to the energy that is powerful and unending.
  • It is friendly. It gravitates toward and lovingly surrounds you.
  • It is good. There is nothing bad to abundance energy and it only has your best interest as its intention.
  • It is complete. The abundance energy is EVERYTHING that is good—health, loving relationships, and financial prosperity—without any definition between each.

This energy is the essence of infinite abundance. Abundance is wholeness and completeness. It is perfection. In many ways it could be described as heaven; the kingdom on earth. The energy is formless—you cannot see it directly as money or health or relationships or wonderful circumstances—but you can sense that all of those things are there. We don’t get a visual cue but we can feel them. There is no specificity or form but rather—at most—shades of energy like the bands of audial or visual frequencies in a spectrum.

Visualizing Yourself As Energy

At the same time view yourself as boundless energy. In your state of presence, this shouldn’t be difficult; you have already risen above the concept of form. In your awareness, recognize that the universe is also within YOU. Abundance is within YOU. Abundance IS you. So visualize yourself a wellspring of infinite energy yourself and allow it to flow out of you and join in dance with the energy around you. In this embrace of energy, you see yourself as one with the universe which is, of course, the epitome of abundance itself.

“We are all wealth. We are all treasure. We are the abundance of all things. Spend yourself completely.” – Bryant McGill

This entire technique is ultimately an act of accepting abundance. All of it is good; there is no reason to fear what may be drawn to you. You are immersing yourself in ALL good things. You are immersed in a sea of EVERY good thing that possibly is or could be by your manifestation of it. THIS is abundance. You are not deprived of any positive, helpful, empowering resource. You are now experiencing completeness.

This technique gets easier and more powerful with practice. I love this visualization because it goes straight to the root of the problem—form identity as it relates to abundance—and deals with it at the elemental level. By removing rigid concepts of abundance I have found that it is much easier to appropriate it into my life. If this has been helpful to you please comment and share that others may find success as well.

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We Know Thoughts Become Things, but Where Did Those Thoughts Come From?

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It’s common knowledge that what we concentrate on over any length of time, manifests. The notion that thoughts precede reality has been around for quite some time and we also know that the intermediate step between thoughts and reality is behavior.

So, we think something, that thought drives a certain behavioral pattern, and enough of that behavior will create whatever that original thought outcome was. But did you ever wonder where those thoughts came from? How many of them came from poor mothers and fathers and preachers and teachers when we were babies?

Let’s face it, our formative years were spent with these aforementioned individuals and they were adults. They may have said things to us that we perhaps misinterpreted because, we were six years old! They weren’t trying to deceive us or teach us something negative. They just assumed that when they said something (and it may not have even been to us) that the listener would be able to connect the dots!

Let me give you an example. When I was growing up my mother, father, and I were watching variety shows on the black and white television set in the middle of our living room, quite often my mother would say, when someone was singing, that they were actually dubbing! In other words, singing to a turned off microphone while the actual recording was actually being played from the sound engineers’ room! She was probably correct! Many of the singers on those old shows were dubbing their studio recordings.

“All action results from thought. So it is thoughts that matter.” – Sai Baba

But she made it seem as if the singer and the host were trying to deceive us. My mother would say something like, “They aren’t singing for real, they’re just moving their lips! Isn’t that terrible?” Now I could never really tell if they were singing, or not, but this was my mom, so I accepted what she said at face value. Except, I really thought those people were terrible people for trying to trick my poor mother and that they were very bad. (Keep in mind, I was 6!)

That script stayed with me long into adulthood, and I very consciously watched out for people that were going to make a fool out of me and I either avoided them or confronted them. That thought pattern of filling in the blanks from what adults told me when I was a child is what I like to call Projective Resolution, can be debilitating. Personally, it sabotaged several meaningful relationships and my first 2 professional positions.

I was able to identify the faulty script years later and resolve it, but I wonder how many more I have playing right now, that I might not be aware of. How about you? What scripts are causing your Projective Resolution?

The reason they are so hard to spot is because we have repeated them so many times for so many years, that they have become a habit and are firmly entrenched into our subconscious minds. But the behavior is real. And it can be devastating!

You may ask if it is possible to eradicate the old scripts and I believe the answer is yes. I did! And without any professional assistance, and well before I had the internet for quick guidance.

“If you realized how powerful your thoughts are, you would never think a negative thought.” – Peace Pilgrim

If you think you are a victim of Projective Resolution, try these steps:

  • Step #1: Spend some time in quiet thought, thinking about situations with parents and others when you were a child. It may be helpful to start with your first thought of childhood and work up from there.
  • Step #2: What were some of the admonitions and sayings that were said to you? Perhaps it was “A stitch in time saves 9.” And you were told that so many times that you now take 9 stitches immediately, just in case. You plan, plan, plan! Can that be an OCD?
  • Step #3: Link past experiences to current behavior and tag the behaviors that you want to change. If you can identify current behaviors that are driven by conversations when you were a child and left to “fill in the blanks”, you are well on your way to rewriting the scripts.
  • Step #4: Now that you are an adult, put adult meaning on what the person (the adult) was trying to convey to you when you were a child. (Yes, you can actively role play with that person and talk to them adult-to-adult!)
  • Step #5: Place the proper meaning on that statement now.
  • Step #6: Forgive the adult who may have steered you wrong. They did the best they could at the time with what they had!
  • I hope that you see the moral to this story. Please be carful of what you say to children. They are taking what you say and filling in the blanks. But they are doing so with the mind of a child. If you think in those terms, you may guard your words very carefully.

What do you think? Let me know in the comment section below!

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The Simplest Mindset Hack to Get More Out of Life

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Money. Happiness. Success. Love. I think we can all agree that “more” is something we often find ourselves chasing, whether we’re willing to admit it or not, in our businesses, health, relationships and our lives in general.

Typically when we’re looking to increase our income (whether in our business or in our personal accounts) we often look to typical business and career strategies to do so. We look for a new, higher paying job. We open a new location. Work longer hours. Increase or improve our marketing efforts. Attend more networking events. The list goes on and on.

When we’re looking for more love in relationships we may schedule date nights with our significant other. Nag them for attention. Some, even resort to extra-marital affairs to feel the love they need. In health, we hire personal trainers. Go on diets…I’m sure you’re getting the point by now.

All of these strategies, however require us to do more of something. But what if the process to getting more of anything started before all that? What if there was a simple mindset hack that would allow your marketing, networking, dieting, date nights and gym sessions to have a greater impact? What if one behavioral tweak, that involved you doing less would lead to more happiness? More love? Just more!

“Once your mindset changes, everything on the outside will change along with it.” – Steve Maraboli

The mindset hack to having more

This mindset hack is actually so simple you may not believe me but I’m going to tell you anyways. If you want to start having more in your life, the secret to doing so is to begin accepting compliments.

Yes. You read that right – by beginning to accept compliments we actually increase our ability to earn more money, experience more happiness and have more overall success. Stay with me and I’ll explain how this works.

First, however, I want you to consider this situation and question: Imagine it’s a normal day. It’s not your birthday, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, or any other day you’d expect to receive a compliment or gift. It’s just a normal day. You go to work, or maybe you meet a friend for lunch, when, out of nowhere, they compliment you, or buy you a small gift (like a coffee for example).

How do you react? If you’re like the bulk of the population you’ll say something like: “Oh you shouldn’t have” or “The next round is on me” or “This old thing?!” If your reaction is somewhere along these lines, what you are doing is energetically and unconsciously REJECTING the compliment or gift.

In today’s day and age, when someone compliments us, or buys us a small gift (like in the example above) our initial and unconscious reaction is often to reject or block ourselves from receiving it. Most people fear what others think of them, and because we don’t want to appear to be conceited or stuck-up we feel uncomfortable simply saying “thank you!”. In fact, this reaction has become so ingrained in us by society that most people don’t even realize they are doing it!

The second reason we typically reject unexpected compliments or gifts is because it takes us out of the driver’s seat. When we sit back and receive we’re not in control. Think about it, who is in control of the gift/compliment? The giver. Who is in control of the intention? The giver. The giver is also in control of how and when they give it.

The receiver is only in control of their reaction. From a primal and evolutionary standpoint, when we’re not in control we’re vulnerable, exposed, possibly even at a disadvantage. To regain control many people often give a gift or compliment back (“no, no, I’ll buy the coffees today!”) or reject it all together (“oh this dress? I only paid $5 for it”).

The underlying problem

The problem with this primal and societal patterning however, is that it instills a belief in our unconscious minds that it’s unsafe to receive. Our unconscious mind is highly suggestive and completely illogical. Our unconscious mind believes our actions and feelings over our words, and is always processing information from our surroundings and our inner dialogue. Our unconscious minds also love to make associations, so it regularly connects things like beliefs with behaviours that we wouldn’t consciously or logically associate.

When we suggest to our unconscious mind that it is unsafe to receive small things, like a compliment or $5 coffee, the unconscious mind expands this and applies this belief to receiving anything and everything. In our unconscious mind, if a $5 coffee is unsafe to receive, then receiving hundreds, thousands or hundreds of thousands from a client would be life threatening!

Because the brain is also highly symbolic, it perceives all receiving to be the same. This belief then extends a whole lot further than just receiving money. It impacts our ability to receive other revenue or income generating things like referrals, new clients and even opportunities to scale a business to new levels.

“If my mind can conceive it and my heart can believe it, then I can achieve it.” – Muhammad Ali

If you’re goal is to grow your income or your business, you may need to do new things like use social media ads or create referral partnerships. However, these activities will prove fruitless if you’ve wired your brain out of receiving the leads you’ll generate!

If you want more love from your partner, it doesn’t matter what they do to show more love, or how many affairs you have, you’ll never see or feel the love they are giving because you’ve blocked yourself from it. The same applies to your health and your life in general, you’ve told the filtering system in your unconscious mind (the Reticular Activating System) that it’s not safe to receive, so you won’t see the opportunities to accept these things.

The next time someone compliments you or buys you a small gift randomly, accept it graciously and simply say “thank you”. Practice this every time someone wants to give you something. Rewiring the brain takes repetition, it’s not enough to accept one compliment and return to your old patterns! Begin implementing this new behavior of receiving today and you’ll start noticing changes in your life and financial situation before the end of the month!

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