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Why You Should Embrace Imperfection To 10X Your Results And Win At Life

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Not So Perfect Barbie - Embrace Imperfection

One of the greatest reasons why we have pain in our life and fail to achieve our goals is because we somehow are trapped in the idea that perfection is a desirable result. I have spent my entire life trying to be perfect at stuff and always ended up being frustrated and not getting the results I want.

I was taught the idea of perfection, and it’s pitfalls, very early on in life without even realising it. As I have said on Addicted2Success many times, I used to be a musician. From an early age I was a world-class drummer and then later gave it up to become an electronic music producer.

When I studied the greats of music, I discovered that what made their music amazing was its imperfection. If you have ever seen someone try and copy a song perfectly, then you will instantly have spotted a fake (think annoying cover songs).

This idea of imperfect music became most apparent when I was given the individual tracks to every part of Queen’s famous song “Bohemian Rhapsody.”

As I listened to the vocal tracks with no other instruments, I began to hear all sorts of recording rules broken, imperfect singing, unpleasant noises, etc. What I learnt from listening to these Queen tracks is that it’s the sum of the imperfect parts (how we perform in individual life activities) that have the power to create an amazing masterpiece (our life).

I learnt, even more, lessons from music. I learnt that what makes a great groove is when each beat it not exactly in time and when the groove makes you really feel the song. If I showed you a song that is exactly in time and is kept in time by a machine, you would discover it has no feeling what so ever.

The feeling is the imperfection and that’s what makes a popular song. To increase your results, you must embrace this type of imperfection.

 

***Imperfect Blogging***

Have you ever read a blog post that was perfectly written, with each line carefully put together and spell checked? Have you noticed how these blog posts don’t go very deep and sound like something you have heard before? Have you ever wondered why these posts never get read?

The answer is simple; people want imperfection because imperfection equals emotion. When something is not perfect, it’s because there is human emotion put into every ounce of the outcome.

That’s why emotional blog posts, written off the cuff, have ten times the results of all the other generic rubbish you read on the internet and stop reading after two lines. Seek to be imperfect and to be uniquely you, and you will 10X the results of everyone else around you.

Here are the nine ways I am imperfect and how imperfection has 10X’d my results:

 

1. I can’t waste time and I’m always in a hurry

People see me as flawed because I am always in a hurry and want to save time no matter what. I pre-plan every destination I go to and always look for the quickest route. I always group together tasks so that two outcomes are achieved from one block of time.

This makes me imperfect because people sometimes don’t think I want to be around them or think I don’t have time for them. While this way of being often see’s other criticise me, it has 10X’d my results because I believe that time is valuable, and you should never waste a second.

I have some huge goals I want to achieve and I can never do this if I don’t value my time. Having met a lot of entrepreneurs in recent years, I have noticed that every one of them has a high level of urgency about what they are doing. It’s this urgency that allows you to win at life or your business.

 

2. I can’t take many breaks

Society is obsessed with escaping reality and always taking a break. While breaks are sometimes needed, I generally don’t take any breaks. People perceive this to mean that I am failing at life, or I can’t afford to take a break, or that I’m not into travelling the world.

All of these assumptions are wrong. I am imperfect and can’t take many breaks because I am so fixed on my goal to inspire the world that taking breaks makes me unhappy. Taking breaks makes me feel like I am not making progress or that I am participating in something that I haven’t yet earned.

What may sound like imperfection is the reason why I believe I have 10X’d the results of everyone around me. I don’t apologise for thinking different and I am not afraid to work twelve hours in a row as long as it’s on something that is directly linked to my passion, purpose, and something that makes me happy.

Change your perception around taking breaks, enjoy a holiday once in a while, and you will 10X the competition while they are sitting on the beach every day and you’re winning at life because your imperfect and hungry to change the world.

 

3. I get frustrated

I am imperfect because I constantly get frustrated at things. It could easily be misunderstood that I am frustrated because I am not in control of my life, but the opposite is true. I get frustrated because I value my purpose and will stop at nothing to achieve it.

The reason I get frustrated is usually when I am being asked or forced to do something that I believe doesn’t align with who I am and what I am passionate about. Frustration has the power to 10X your results if you use it in a positive way and allow it to drive you forward, rather than sabotage the way you feel.

Like everybody else, I ‘m human and I can’t be positive, optimistic, and in control 100% of the time. The aim is to try and spend most of your time in these states of being. The times when I slip out of these states are what make me successful and I embrace this imperfection – so should you.

 

4. I am not bold enough

There are way too many times in my life where I am not bold enough. I don’t play full out or I don’t take a big enough risk. Perfect people should do this all the time, but I don’t, and you probably don’t either.

I don’t frown upon the fact I’m not bold enough because it’s something that has allowed me to grow as a person. By not being bold enough, I have to try harder, and that has allowed me to realise this imperfection, embrace it, and conquer the fear of things like flying and public speaking.

See, it’s this imperfection that is pushing me towards success and defines who I am. If I were constantly being perfectly bold, then I would have no room to grow, and would be perceived by everyone to be fake.

“Too much perfection can make you appear fake and push you in the direction of failure. You will never be perfect so if that’s what you are striving for then failure is guaranteed”

 

5. I can’t always forgive people

Another big part of my imperfection is that I can’t forgive certain people no matter what. Many of the greats say that this is the number one thing you should do if you want to live a life of happiness. I agree with them except not forgiving certain people has allowed me to 10X my results.

These people that I have been able to forgive are also the same toxic people that use up my time, make me feel bad, encourage me to do the wrong thing, allow me to abuse my health, and a whole list of other negative effects.

If I didn’t have this imperfection of not being able to forgive everyone, I would probably still be losing at life, and be surrounded by people that would continue to sabotage my success. Does this imperfection mean I can’t forgive anyone at all? No, of course, it doesn’t.

In your own life, it’s important to forgive people but don’t feel like you must forgive everyone. At the same time, try to be forgiving as much as you can, when it’s warranted. Realise that people are imperfect and they make mistakes.

If someone is making the same mistake all the time, then adjust your approach, but if it’s a one off and you know it wasn’t intentional, then allow yourself to forgive that person’s moment of imperfection.

 

6. I can’t spend time with uninspiring people

Constantly, people are annoyed with me because I am very picky about who I spend time with and I have no issues leaving an event if I am surrounded by people and ideas that will sabotage my game plan for life.

This imperfection drives people nuts because they feel that I should be perfect, and be able to spend time with everyone no matter who they are.

Even though I have done lots of self-development, I do not believe that we should strive to be perfect and think that we have to spend time with whoever crosses our path. By being selective and moving away from uninspiring people, it has allowed me to 10X my results by spending time with the top 1%.

By spending time with inspiring people, I have been able to reshape my beliefs and re-educate myself in what matters in life. Your goal shouldn’t be to keep everyone happy at your own demise; your goal should be to pursue your passion and not let people or obstacles get in your way.

 

7. I still judge people

The next way I am imperfect is that I sometimes still judge people. As much as I believe in diversity and everyone being unique, I still fall into the trap of judging people every now and then. I might judge them because of their car, or the way they dress, or what they are eating.

This imperfection can make you very successful if you understand one core concept; when you are judging others, it’s because you are seeing your own reflection in the person you are judging. The very thing you are judging them for is the very thing that has affected you in some way.

So you’re probably wondering how the heck will judging others allow me to 10X my results? The answer is that when you judge others, and you understand the core concept I just presented to you, you realise that judging people allows you to see the parts of your life that you need to work on.

Judging others allows you to be imperfect and observe yourself in other people to help drive you further. When you see something in someone else that you despise, it gives you the opportunity to ask yourself why you despise that thing and reflect back on events that have occurred in the past.

As you reflect back on these past events, you get the chance to alter the course of these same events in the future – for the better.

 

8. I don’t eat and drink what everyone else does

I am constantly judged and told I am not perfect because I don’t allow myself to eat and drink what everyone else tells me to. When I go to a party, I consume very different things and have no issue in being thought as different.

If I were perfect, then I would let my hair down once in a while and consume things that suck my energy away and make me sick. The reality is I am not perfect though and this imperfection has allowed me to stay on track, achieve my goals, and 10X my results

I am never going to be tempted away from my goal to inspire others and will stop at nothing to stand guard at the door of my mouth….haha.

 

9. I don’t allow people to distract me

Distractions have caused me to become imperfect because I avoid them like there’s no tomorrow, and this can sometimes make me anti-social. People can think that I don’t want to be around them, when in fact, I am being imperfect and working in isolation to avoid distractions.

Perfect people are always available, they always want to talk, and they never go more than a few minutes without responding to an electronic message from someone. I am imperfect in this unique way, and it has made me win at life because I am clearly focused on my passion.

This can see me lock myself in a quiet room, turn my mobile phone off, go days without responding to social media, not attend social functions, etc. By doing all of these things it has allowed me to 10X my results because I have a disproportionate amount of time focused in the one area of my passion.

This means I can outwork anyone that has the same goal as me because I simply put in more hours. The key to the hours I put in is that they are highly focused – like a heat seeking missile – and so my thought patterns when I am in the state of flow are not interrupted.

I don’t choose to allow distractions to play ping pong with my mind so I am not living in a hyper state of anxious reactivity. I spend most of my life in a calm state of mind that lets me be who I am, and not have to apologise all the time for it because it doesn’t meet other people’s expectations.

 

***Final Thought***

By being you, by being imperfect, and by not caring what others think of you, I can confidentially say that you can 10X your results. The common theme about imperfection is that you need to become consciously aware of what is happening each day and find a way to use your imperfection so it serves you.

Trying to be perfect is impossible and can use up all of your time. Like music, imperfection is a way of life and it’s what makes you different from everyone else. If you remove imperfection, then we all become clones of each other like the clone character in Star Wars.

The reason why you never want to be perfect is that it can create a lot of procrastination in your life. By always wanting to be perfect you will never get started at anything. I always thought this about blogging and thought to myself one day I will start writing articles.

Quickly, I realised that one day never came because I was obsessed with perfect grammar, perfect sentences, and perfectly crafted ideas. The reality is, by writing things that are not perfect, people have wanted to read my posts and I have grown at the same time.

It’s taken me personally a long time to acknowledge my imperfections (especially in public) and embrace them as the reason why I am winning at life, and achieving greater results. Thanks for reading and hopefully you can see your imperfection as something you should learn to love.

What do you think about imperfection? What things are you not perfect at? Let me know in the comments section below or on my website timdenning.net and my Facebook. 

Tim is best known as a long-time contributor on Addicted2Success. Tim's content has been shared hundreds of thousands of times and he has written multiple viral posts all around success, personal development, motivation, and entrepreneurship. During the day Tim works with the most iconic tech companies in the world, as an adviser, to assist them in expanding into Australia. By night, Tim coaches his students on the principles of personal development and the fundamentals of entrepreneurship. You can connect with Tim through his website www.timdenning.net or through his Facebook.

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9 Comments

9 Comments

  1. Zoenchii (@zoenchii)

    Apr 30, 2016 at 7:02 pm

    This post resonated within me! I am going through a phase for the last 2-3 months, when I don’t want to speak to anyone at all, or there are days when I want to meet everyone I know! There are days when I want to sleep 24 hours, and there are those days when I am so happy doing my makeup, dressing nice, and going out all day. People don’t get me. People expect me to find time for them every minute they call to hang out. I have often postponed my own plans like: staying home doing natural masks for hair/face, or working out and taking a good bath. I blew these plans in a constant basis only because I wanted to satisfy the person on the other side of my phone asking me to go out. Well, I am a people pleaser, but the thing is: I am learning to say NO! Even though I have been so tired these last months [maybe weather is to be blamed, it really affects my mood], I am happy that at least, I am wasting time doing nothing, but at least, I am not wasting it for other people I just don’t feel like meeting.
    Thank you for this article. It really made me climb one more step in the process of learning the power or a simple NO!

    • Tim Denning

      May 1, 2016 at 4:35 am

      Zoenchii glad you learnt something from my article. It sounds like you are going through Winter in your life at the moment but it will pass and you be back to Summer again I’m sure of it. All the best!

  2. ujay

    Apr 29, 2016 at 6:21 pm

    Wow, you did a great work with putting all these together. I had to write them down so I can go back and read them whenever I feel like. One of my imperfection is falling in love with the wrong person. Another is trusting those that doesn’t worth my trust.

    • Tim Denning

      Apr 30, 2016 at 1:16 am

      Thanks Ujay I was in a state of flow when I wrote these down so they just poured out in a very raw way. Thanks for sharing your imperfections as well 🙂

  3. Toño

    Apr 29, 2016 at 9:01 am

    What a wonderful intro Tim, I will say it again, you have a real thing to start your articles. I would even say ‘perfect’ haha, but in a good way 🙂

    Perfection was my huge theme for years as I always wanted to be desired, loved and of course, the most prefect guy in the room. The reality, though, quite often a ‘little bit’ different haha. Right now my body is in the process of teaching me how to accept your flaws and emrace them. I have an eye illness (yep still the same) and it’s evident. It has been quite a struggle for me for a while, as I have to work with people every single day, visual contact, sales etc I have to present myself good and of course the ‘perfect’ person like me always wants to be, well, perfect. I was constantly worrying what others may think of me, asking questions, or just stare.. It was so painfull at times I could hardly handle it, but then I beagn to realize it is all about me and this illness actually a good solution to increase my confidence and dependence on other people’s opinion by being out of your comfort zone most of the time. And even more, chance to escape that perfection I never actually had. It’s still a challenge for me, but just yesterday I was laying on the floor, laughing on this whole situation and thinking how you can just be you and enjoy life. And it was priceless! And today I’ve read lots of imperfect things about you, which is amazing 🙂

    Another thing I would like to share. There is a girl I work with, and she’s always perfect and lookin’ good. She loves to take slefies, her instagram account full of herself, and she is the type of those beauty queens. I saw her yesterday after swimming pool, without any make up, dry lips and skin, like normal people will have, tired, and stuff. And I thought she was pretty in her imperfection, like a real human being, a unique one, with flaws yet beautiful. It was funny as we spend much time together and I rarely see her like this. Lately of course she got all her make up and yet again, escaped the reality..

    That fear society taught us to always be like everyone else, in perfect condition, makes us do things we may not really desire to do. How often we scare what others will think about us? Like most of the time, and only the bravest minor will never follow the ship pack.

    Back to your article, I can relate to this 100%: ‘I can’t spend time with uninspiring people’ I cut off so many people out of my life and always extremely picky how and where spend my time that many who surrounds me think I’m very anti-social weirdo and just a cave man. Well, I would rather spend time alone in the cave, than with a bunch of toxic people that can hardly understand me. I have few friends and loving family I enjoy spend time with, and always lookin’ for new person to share experience and ideas, but again, I don’t have to be with everyone just because it may seem ‘normal’. And yes, I still do judge people and experienced the exact thing you explained in that paragraph.

    Going back to my home some voice into my head told me that thing: People may be mean to you, because you may be mean to people, for no reason. And that was like a cold shower! I tend to judge people for things that may mirror my behavior, or very close to that. It was such a cool deiscovery!

    I enjoyed this article, I think that was one of your best, honest an raw and for that I am very grateful! Thank you so much my friend, have a good day, take care and stay healthy!

    Oh, and you always can take a break and do something productive and cool, thus two things per one block time 😉

    • Tim Denning

      Apr 29, 2016 at 10:12 am

      Toño I just realised something; you’re an amazing writer. Thanks for sharing with us all about your own imperfections and your story about the girl at the pool. Imperfection is beauty plain and simple.
      Glad you liked the article and yes it’s very raw. The more raw the lessons are that I share, the more you will learn and the more relatable the information will be. Hopefully by me not being afraid to share my imperfections it will encourage others (such as yourself) to do the same and have a crack, and to play all out.

      Have a great weekend chief!

      • Toño

        Apr 30, 2016 at 2:50 am

        Before this article I honestly thought my messages here were long, chaotic, out of theme, awkward, in other word – imperfect. But I see now, they are imperfectly unique, and I feel good about it 🙂

        Thank you so much for the compliment, that means a big deal for me, and I appreciate all your support! You were right, as the more raw experience you share the more people it will attract, as they can all reflect on those breathing and living words you put together. I see more comments and I am sure more will come, because it feels natural and that’s the beauty of our nature.

        Thanks again, Tim, have a great weekend as well and never give up your idea, I’ll support you on that journey 🙂

  4. Shawn Lim

    Apr 29, 2016 at 2:54 am

    This reminds me of the quote, “Ever master was once a disaster”.
    Everyone started off as a beginner in something before they become an expert in it.
    Imperfections will lead us to do better in life.
    When you said our imperfections will 10x our results, I totally agree. 🙂

    • Tim Denning

      Apr 29, 2016 at 4:09 am

      Such a good quote Shawn thanks for sharing. Glad you enjoyed the article and got to the crux of what I was trying to say 🙂

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Life

6 Stepping Stones to Become Your Best Self in 2018

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become your best self

New Year resolutions are often wishful thinking. Being your best self is not something to be ticked off a checklist,  it is part of a never-ending continuum of learning and self-discovery.

What we think of as “self” is really a story we have strung together over time. What makes this an incredible masterpiece, is that given you created the story of who you are, you have the power to change it.

Being precisely who you are at your highest level is your greatest gift to the people around you, to magnetizing the things you want most in your life and a powerful contributor to this world.

Here are the 6 stepping stones towards your greatest self:

1. Letting go of negativity

Negativity can hold us back from many things in life. An attitude of ‘I have the worst luck’ or “nothing ever goes my way” infects the mind. Your perception creates your reality. When you invest all your energy in to what you don’t want, your brain conducts a transderivational search and conspires to provide the very thing you don’t want.

A few tips to let go of negativity:

  • Give yourself a window to complain for five minutes, once a day and then bolt that window shut. Time yourself or partner with a close friend to allow the complaining, moaning and whining to occur for 6 minutes only. Then stop it.
  • When you practice gratitude, nothing else exists in that moment. Your brain cannot immerse itself in fear and be grateful at the same time. Try it on. Invest in a journal and start with writing one thing down in the morning and before you go to bed, identifying what you are grateful for. What you focus on, is what you get.
  • Self-reflection. Negativity stems from a place of unhappiness. Adopt curious questioning to unveil what is triggering your responses, what you would like to change. Edit the story to how you can improve to live a happier existence.

“All progress takes place outside the comfort zone.” – Michael John Bobak

2. Kindness costs nothing

Kindness is the easiest thing you can do to become a better person. Every person has their challenges in life and it can take a random act of kindness to impact another human being in a single moment. The simplest of things, holding the door open, smiling at a person walking down the street or asking someone at work if you could make them a coffee. Priceless.

3. What do you stand for?

Unveiling who you are and the values that underpin how you want to live, illuminate the pathway to becoming the best you. Values are the emotional states that you wish to experience every day. When you get clear on your code, decision making become effortless. Living your code, creates the person you are becoming.

4. Kicking self-doubt in the balls

Doubts, fears and accusations echo through. When your inner critic is amplified, it’s time to kick self-doubt in the balls, really hard. Remind yourself of all the things that you have achieved, the incredible people around you, the times that made you smile and the moments you felt alive. As long as you exist, there is potential within you to exceed every expectation, to upgrade your standards and step into your best self.

5. Investing in You

Whether you spend time reading, pursuing a workshop or walking along the beach, investing in you is the greatest gift. Detaching from the outcome and enjoying the moment can be unfamiliar however the more time you invest in discovering who you are, the masks you need to remove, and learn to dance with your fears, the more confidence you gain in becoming the best version of you.

“Don’t let the fear of losing be greater than the excitement of winning.” – Robert Kiyosaki

6. Ikigai – your reason for being

According to the Japanese, everyone has an ikigai, although not everyone has yet understood, discovered or developed it.  To find it, it often requires deep enquiry of self. Ikigai literally translates “the reason for being”. It is often used to describe a healthy passion for something that makes you feel as though life is worth living to the fullest.

An intense internal desire to carry out a personal mission that you have a magnetic connection to. When we manifest whatever is pulling at you, you experience an intense internal satisfaction. You create a feeling of being fulfilled and adding new layers of meaning to your life.

Some questions to ignite your ikigai.

  • What are you passionate about? What makes you come alive?
  • Identify what you are great at? What unique skills do you have that come most naturally to you? What do you excel at even when you aren’t trying? What does the world need and how you can deliver?
  • What cause do you believe in? What change would you love most to create in the world? What would you give your life for?
  • What service, value or offering do you bring that adds value to others and people would pay for?

Reflect on how these elements relate to each other and ask yourself, what is one thing you could do today that would be an expression of your ikigai? Comment below!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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Life

How To Be Happier And More Focused Using The Art Of Tidying Up: 34 Lessons From My Huge Tidy Up.

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Last week I spent two days throwing out more than 50% of my personal belongings.

What started this tidying up frenzy that caused me to throw out so much of my life’s possessions? It was a book that I read. In fact, I’ve read several books recently about why we should clean up our material possessions.

The results I experienced were phenomenal. By the end of this blog post, you’ll definitely want to do the same to replicate the results I got from this simple process.

Here are the 34 lessons from my huge tidy up which will inspire you to do the same:

 

1. Your mindset changes when you tidy up in one shot rather than bit by bit.

I’ve tried to tidy up for the last five years. It never fully happened. The reason was that I attempted to do this mammoth task in small chunks. As I tidied up one space or one category of belongings, I’d end up collecting more junk in the meantime.

“Seeing your home and workspace completely junk-free changes your mindset permanently”

I never want to go back to the old me because the tidy person I’ve now become is so much more organized, calm and in control. I now know what I value and what I don’t.

Once you’ve experienced this feeling, you’ll never go back. It’s only possible to get this feeling though by doing your big clean up in one shot without stopping.

Tidying up has changed my life and it can dramatically change yours too.

 

2. Discard first and organize second.

My huge tidy up followed the KonMari method. Basically, all you do is concentrate on discarding items that don’t bring you joy first and then the possessions you have left then need to be sorted. It doesn’t get any easier than that.

Every other tidying up method I’ve tried previously has resulted in one big chaotic event that I never fully completed. Try this method and I promise you it will work.

 

3. Tidying up sentimental items forces you to let go of the past.

The first part of my clean-up was discarding clothing. Once I got to the sentimental items – these items are best to do last because they’re the hardest – I found that discarding sentimental items helped me to deal with elements of my past which I’d previously ignored.

I had old business cards from failed businesses that still haunted me, cards from ex-girlfriends, sad possessions that belonged to dead relatives, belongings that were part of my old passions like Djing and Playing the drums, and even items that I’d held onto from past careers.

As I discarded with these items, I finalized past chapters of my life that weren’t fully closed. This made me feel completely free and it’s created space for the future.

“We all suffer from the past and having a big tidy up is a great way to deal with it and bring a newfound joy to your life”

 

4. The stuff you throw away has already fulfilled its purpose.

The items you throw away have taught you what you don’t love and the things you want to spend less time with. The items you throw away teach you what no longer inspires you and the hobbies you no longer want to engage with.

Every item you throw away has taught you something. Some possessions have already given you all the joy they have to give you and so their time in your life has passed. Other possessions have taught you a lesson and so now they can move on to somebody else’s life too.

Going through my possessions taught me how so many of the things I had held onto had already fulfilled their purpose. It’s like I was expecting these throwaway items to give me multiple miracle gifts rather than be happy and grateful for the ones they’d already given me.

“I learned that the possessions I cherished were invisible because of all the things I held onto which didn’t serve me”

Everything has an expiry date including you. Don’t hold onto stuff forever. Set yourself free.

 

5. Tidying requires two decisions.

Whether or not to dispose of something and where to put the things you keep. It’s really that simple. Don’t overcomplicate it any more than that.

 

6. Being perfectly tidy once is enough to create sustained momentum.

You’ll never go back to your old untidy ways once you’ve lived in a perfectly clean and clutter-free space. It’s addictive and I want all of you to witness this for yourselves.

 

7. Better storage is not the answer.

Just because something has been put away, it does not mean that the clutter has been removed. Buying convenient storage solutions makes you think your clutter has gone. It hasn’t. Tidying up allows you to see everything you own and that in itself is very valuable.

Hiding objects in magic lock away storage solutions results in you probably never actually using that item. I had lots of possessions stored in boxes and the reality is that I’ve never opened those boxes in the last ten years. Possessions that bring you joy should be easy to access so you can reap the benefits.

Possessions that no longer bring you joy should be discarded so that maybe someone else can get some use out of what you discard. Unfortunately, you can’t take your material possessions to the grave with you, so you need to learn to let go, and tidy up!

 

8. Tidying by location doesn’t work. Tidying by category does.

You need to be able to see everything you have of a particular item like clothes.

When I went through this process I realized I had batteries stored in every room, I had three torches, loose change everywhere and a mountain of computer cables that I was never going to use – and that looked very untidy.

Once you can do a proper stocktake of what you have, you’ll find the process of discarding much easier. This step is fundamental to the tidying up process being effective.

 

9. All tidying begins with this question.

Does this item bring me joy? It’s the only question you need to ask. If you keep what brings you joy, you’ll experience more joy in your life which is the ultimate goal I want all of you to achieve. Keeping only what sparks joy will help you to reset your life and begin a lifestyle that is phenomenal!

 

10. The second question is this: When did I last use this item?

The answer to this question when I did my big tidy up was typically more than five years ago. If you haven’t used something for the last twelve months, then there’s a very strong chance you never will. It’s time to make a decision and discard items in this category.

 

11. It’s not about getting rid of stuff; it’s about cherishing what you have.

The sense of gratitude I got from my doing this tidy up made me love the items I held onto even more. Tidying up allows us to see just how lucky we are and it reminds us that it’s not about the possessions we have so much, but the feeling we get from them and the memories our stuff gives us.

We all need more gratitude. Tidying up is a fantastic way to be more grateful.

 

12. Calculating the amount of a category to hold onto.

In the category of clothes as an example, you might be wondering how you know when you have enough clothes. The lesson here is to hold onto the clothes that you enjoy and discard everything else. The clothes that bring you joy will equal the right amount in the end.

I know that doesn’t sound tangible but it really works. Trust me on this.

 

13. Your possessions affect your self-image.

If you’re holding onto old t-shirts with holes in them so you can wear them to bed, you’ll make yourself feel unattractive when you go to sleep at night. I found during my clean up that I was holding onto clothes that no longer fitted or reminded me of the person I used to be, and using these clothes as pyjamas I could wear to bed.

I found I was going to bed with a poor self-image that reminded me of who I used to be. Even the clothes you wear affect how you feel and your confidence. Bottom-line is to ditch possessions that don’t bring you joy.

 

14. Touch items before you throw them away.

Interacting with your possessions before you decide how they make you feel helps make the decision for you. I found that by touching shirts in my wardrobe, the feeling of the material and how they looked up close made my decision-making process easier.

 

15. Ask yourself “What purpose does this item serve?

I held onto many miscellaneous items that I found were useless when I asked myself this question. Having a bag full of safety pins is great but if I haven’t used one for more than ten years, then there’s a good chance I never will.

I held onto boxes of batteries too yet I don’t own any devices that require replaceable batteries anymore. The purpose of what you have is important to consider. Don’t overthink it though. You’ll know pretty quickly if an item has a purpose in your life.

If there’s any doubt, get rid of the item.

 

16. Charitable throwing away is key to letting go.

Throwing things away feels really horrible if you know that an item won’t get further use. That’s why, where possible, I gave my possessions away to charity. You win and people that have nothing win as well. Charitable throwing away is reinforcing the gift of giving and helping you to declutter as well.

 

17. eBay and giving to friends doesn’t work.

Why? Because it takes time and gives you an excuse to hold onto things. The best thing you can do sometimes is take things to the recycling center because if you don’t, you’ll never get rid of them. It will always be this conversation in your head: “Someday, I’ll sell it on eBay.”

You have better things to do with your time than listing every unwanted item you have online or trying to give things to friends.

“Once you’ve gone through the art of tidying up and refocused your life, you’ll have so many possessions to get rid of that listing your items for sale online will simply take up too much time that could be spent on income producing activities that outweigh the pocket change you’ll get for your unwanted items”

Think of it this way: the things you are getting rid of have already given you your monies worth. This simple reframe in your mind will allow you to let go. It will allow you to forgive yourself for buying useless stuff that you no longer use.

The other thing I found is that it’s surprisingly hard to give things away to your friends and you begin to feel bad because you end up cluttering up their homes.

 

18. Unused possessions teach you that you didn’t need them after all.

Again, these possessions have fulfilled their purpose so you can now let them go.

 

19. Discarding teaches you your true passions.

If you throw something away and deeply regret it, then you learn what you’re truly passionate away. Even if you buy the same item again, you’ve learned an important lesson which is worth the cost of throwing away the original item.

 

20. Your decision-making skills get better.

You end up being able to make decisions better when you learn to let go of your unwanted possessions. Your possessions are a reflection of your life and where you’ve been. Tidying up helps you to be satisfied with where you’ve come from and who’ve you’ve become.

Being forced to make a decision that is final and that you can’t come back from, is strangely satisfying and it will show up in other areas of your life down the track.

 

21. The moment you first encounter a book is the right time to read it.

If you didn’t read it when you bought it, you probably never will. This means the lessons the book could have taught you were not meant for you. Books are one of the biggest uses of space and many need to be thrown away so that you can be left with the books you’ll actually get value from.

There’s no better feeling than being surrounded by only books that you love and make you smile.

 

22. The best way to deal with loose paper.

Throw them all away because you’ll probably never read them. If you really think you need a bit of paper, take a photo of it with your phone and then throw it away. Loose paper looks really messy and makes you feel disorganized.

 

23. All empty boxes must go!

I am the biggest offender when it comes to keeping empty boxes. I kept every empty box, from every purchase I made in the last five years. The result is a home full of empty boxes. The space these boxes take up could be used for other things like renting out your spare room on Airbnb or having a quiet room to study in.

The reason I held onto empty boxes was that I thought when I eventually sold some items, they’d be worth more with their original box. In most cases, no one pays more for an item because it comes with the original box worth $1.

It’s perfectly fine to sell an item without a box. Create space by throwing away boxes.

 

24. And now onto those spare buttons you store.

I had a whole box of spare buttons from clothing I purchased. Guess what? I can’t sew and never hold onto a piece of clothing once the button falls off. Clothes that have buttons fall off are generally passed their expiry date. Chuck them out and don’t look back.

You’ll never match the correct button to the right piece of clothing 90% of the time anyway.

 

25. Tidying up can cause sickness. It’s part of the process.

After all of my tidying up, I became very ill. Part of the reason was because of all the dust my old, unused items spread in my living spaces from lack of use, and being disturbed from their existing storage locations.

As well as that, the process of letting go of most of your possessions is exhausting and it’s hard work on the body. Tidying up is like one big storm which is followed by carnage (sickness) and then calm at the end once you know you’re organized for life.

 

26. Storage solutions hide items you dislike from sight. Avoid them, they’re the enemy.

You can walk into a shopping mall and find lots of storage solutions to help you supposedly be tidier. Storage solutions are a trap. Storage solutions hide your possessions in complex places that make it even harder to know what you actually own, therefore increasing the chance that you have multiple items that serve the same purpose.

 

27. Round objects take up more room.

If there’s a square or rectangle option for things like furniture and laundry baskets, go for that. Round objects take up more space. Period.

 

28. Buying in bulk costs more.

Retailers promote the benefits of buying in bulk. I disagree. Buying in bulk forces you to do the following:

– Buy more than you need
– It doesn’t account for your tastes changing over time which leaves you with leftovers
– Waste your precious mental space because of the excess clutter that occupies your brain
– Forget the cost of storage which is more than the discount of buying in bulk
– Distract you from your true creativity which is enhanced through empty space

“Our homes are not commercial warehouses that are to be used for storage of widgets”

This whole concept forces us to behave like factory workers. Our homes are to be lived in and are supposed to spark joy and help us to relax after a long day.

 

29. Tidying up shows us what we love.

After a massive clean-up, you’ll learn more about yourself and the things you value. During my clean-up, I learned that I love the simplicity of certain items. I learned that I also love the color of an item and that affects whether I’ll retain it for the long-term. Having learned this about myself, I’ll now be much more careful about the colors of objects I buy in the future.

 

30. You’ll learn about your weaknesses.

I learned that I have trouble letting go of the past and now I can work on this weakness going forward. Up until my big tidy up, I would never have believed this fact to be true.

 

31. Letting go is how you add new things into your life.

By cleaning out the junk that was occupying space in my life, I’ve now made room for new things. Maybe I’ll take up a new hobby or surround myself with new people. At least I have space now to do so and I’d love you to experience this feeling of freedom for yourself.

 

32. You’ll learn why you can’t throw something away.

It’s because of two reasons according to the book I read: an attachment to the past or a fear of the future. I held onto old gym diaries out of a fear that one day in the future I would need to look at them again if I decided to start the gym once more.

I also held onto cards from ex-girlfriends because I was nostalgic and didn’t want to let go of these old memories which deep down I had no desire to indulge in any longer.

 

33. Putting your home in order puts your mind in order.

Your mind is partly a reflection of the physical world. A messy home results in a messy mind that can’t think straight, make decisions or allow space for new ideas. Your possessions say so much about you and are a hidden contributor to your overall success in life.

It’s time to clean your house and remove some possessions.

 

34. The result is being surrounded by things that make you happy.

Now that I have gone through this mammoth task of tidying up everything I own and decluttering, I’m now left sitting here and evaluating the whole process. The result has been quite surprising. I find myself sitting here and looking around at only things that make me happy.

Everything I’ve held onto feels like it has a purpose. The possessions I have left make me feel happy and the objects in my life that produced negative emotions are now gone. I would never have predicted that tidying up could be so life-changing.

Try it for yourself and let me know how you go.

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

2 Vital Keys to Having a True Breakthrough This Year

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Every person has a great deal of potential within them. However, the majority of people will never tap into that potential because something hinders them from getting it done whether that be a traumatic event that plagues their mind, or a negative mindset. This can be due to fear, insecurities, or of feelings of not deserving or not being good enough.

The list is literally endless because every person has different challenges in life. We are all different people, with different pasts, experiences, backgrounds, belief systems, but one commonality we all share: the pain of NOT DOING in our past.

If you’ve ever been to a conference for business, professional, or spiritual development, you know the feeling of getting fired up, motivated and inspired to go forward and DO! When you get home, the fire in your heart and mind is still burning. Nonetheless, this feeling tends to be short lived, as the reality of life sets in: bills, relationship problems, office issues, etc. and your fire begins to go out and you are back at square one… again.

There are some people that go to an event and then truly have a breakthrough in life. They explode in their business, family life, spiritual life, and health. The one thing that separates these people from the rest of us is their willingness to go deeper within themselves.

If you have attended an Anthony “Tony” Robbins motivational lecture, you know there are many reported success stories of people that he has inspired. Tony has stated in the past that individuals are able to “breakthrough” because they do not accept surface level BS; these successful people go deeper within themselves to determine the root cause of their issues or shortcomings. He also explained that by doing so, they would experience a true “breakthrough.”

If this year is going to truly be different for you, and you are going to see expansion and advancements in all parts of your life, you will need to go deeper.

Here are two important keys to help you have a breakthrough year:

1. Get Real With Yourself

Self-reflection is a powerful character building tool. However, when inspecting your life and who you are, you must go deep into this process. Don’t stay surface level and just think about what you need to improve on. Make the extra effort to think about the why of it all. Why are you weak in certain areas? Why do you seem to always fall short when doing certain tasks? Why do you dislike specific types of people and or places? Most importantly, why do you lack motivation in crucial aspects of your life?

When you start asking these types of profound questions and digging deeper, you are able to realize that there may be hidden reasons for your life constraints. Sometimes, pain in our past and heart-rending experiences of life are responsible for our weaknesses.

The challenge is to visit these places mentally and resolve root causes. Having these moments of reflection enables us to experience some very personal and self teachable moments. It is in these moments that true clarity will come and you will make decisions about where to go from here based on level headed logic rather than simply pure emotion.

Getting to know yourself better will help you in your personal and professional growth and help you to fast-track the breakthrough you desire.

“Self awareness is the ability to take an honest look at your life without any attachment to it being right or wrong, good or bad.” – Debbie Ford

2. Get Real with Others

Knowing yourself is vital, but knowing the people and the environment around you is also crucial. We’ve all heard the old saying, “hang around dogs with fleas and you’ll soon have fleas as well.” If you’re going to breakthrough this year, you better get to doing not only some self-reflection but also some social-reflection. Look around yourself and find out who and what is having a positive or negative impact on your life.

Are you exposed to people who are constantly complaining, talking bad about others, criticizing people, belittling others, and just outright being negative? If so, their negative viewpoints need to be either dismissed in your mind, and/or you should minimize the amount of time and attention that they take from you.

Tasks, habits, and extracurricular activities which provide no greater value for you should be reconsidered. Not that you shouldn’t have some down time and moments to recharge, but be careful about scrolling social media aimlessly and indulging in online window shopping. Such activities are not adding to your expansion or ascension up to the next level of life; rather they are wasting your time.

We have a total of 100% energy to give per day (a cellphone example). Just like the apps we have running in the background, they tend to drain us of our energy. Everything we take part in requires some percentage of energy investment from us. You must choose to dedicate energy to things and people that are part of your solution in helping you move the needle towards your goals. One simple question to ask yourself, and that all true leaders must ask themselves is: Does THIS propel me closer TOWARDS my goal or AWAY from it?

“Surround yourself with people who are only going to lift you higher.” – Oprah Winfrey

So, get real with the situation at hand: you either want to have a breakthrough year or you don’t. If you do, you should size-up your expectations, and key on these two important areas of your life: who you are on the inside, and the people and things around you that impact who you are.

What are you going to do this year to make sure you have the best year of your life! Comment below and share your goals.

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Life

5 Steps to Help You Overcome Your Limiting Beliefs & Live Your Most Powerful Life

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When it comes to finding success in life our limiting beliefs can be one of the biggest trip-ups we face. They wall us in and continually place a ceiling on our potential. What’s more, as success begins to evade us because of these limited thoughts, we unknowingly strengthen them. It’s as if they look back at us to say, “I told you so.” In this manner, limiting beliefs are self-reinforcing.

They grow stronger and we feel weaker and less empowered to find success. It’s understandable that if they go unchecked for too long we can begin to feel deep frustration and hopelessness which can eventually lead to anger, self-hatred, and even depression.But it is possible to put our limiting beliefs in-check and find the freedom to pursue our purpose and maximize our potential.

If you’re ready to overcome your limiting beliefs and live your most powerful life, try these five steps:

1. Identify Your Limiting Beliefs

The first step to rectifying any situation is to get a clear handle on what’s wrong. It’s no different here. To overcome your limiting beliefs you first need to shine a spotlight on them. Most of your limiting beliefs will be relatively easy to identify. They should be—these are the types of beliefs you regularly beat yourself up over, after all.

But once you have your limiting beliefs identified make sure to write them down. There is something about “seeing” our problems in a tangible way that empowers us to better respond to them. In some cases, they begin to immediately lose their effectiveness over us just because we can see them for the illusions they are.

“You begin to fly when you let go of self-limiting beliefs and allow your mind and aspirations to rise to greater heights.” ―Brian Tracy

2. Acknowledge Them

Having the ability to view our limits helps us advance to the next step, acknowledgment. In this phase, we don’t just see our limiting beliefs in simple black-and-white—we acknowledge them for what they are, the harm they have done, and admit that we have taken part in their creation.

It’s almost as if we can have a dialog with them. By doing so we open the lines of communication and, as we all know, communication is crucial for any breakthrough. This step helps us understand our limiting beliefs better allowing us a clearer path moving forward.

It is also an especially critical step because by acknowledging our responsibility, we empower ourselves to change. No one ever gains victory over problems without taking responsibility for having them or for doing the work to resolve them.

3. Confront The Beliefs

We can only conquer our limiting beliefs by confronting them. The reason they grow so troublesome for us in the first place is simply that they go unchallenged. We often “assume” them without question.

Rather than deal with the struggle of this confrontation we develop an almost co-dependent relationship with them. We guard our limiting beliefs and justify them if they are ever questioned. But our beliefs will continue to grow and strengthen unless we challenge them.

If this is a difficult process for you to do by yourself, a counselor or coach can be helpful. If not with a professional, then at least let your beliefs be open to scrutiny by a trusted friend or significant other.

With your written list, work through as many reasons to call B.S. as you can think of. Write them out and present your argument. This doesn’t have to be a quick process, take as much time as necessary to make your case. Especially with the help of another person, you will begin to see all of the ways in which your beliefs aren’t true and find all of the reasons you need to believe you can succeed.

4. Replace Them With Unlimited Beliefs

To move forward effectively, you can’t just drop your limiting beliefs and get back to life as usual. In order to reach your most powerful life, you’ve got replace the old, limiting beliefs with new, empowering ones.

If one of your limiting beliefs was, “I don’t deserve success because of xyz,” you need to replace it with, “I do deserve success because of abc,” and then list out all the reasons why.

It’s such a simple step but so many people neglect it. They’re just so happy to be rid of their old limiting beliefs, I guess. But what good is it to just be neutral? You’ve got to create an upgrade for every belief you just tore down. You’ve got to replace the limited ones with unlimited.

On that list, you created earlier, or on a new page if you’ve run out of room, write out your empowering, replacement beliefs. Keep going until each one is now optimized with a belief that removes those old limits you placed on yourself.

“Do the uncomfortable. Become comfortable with these acts. Prove to yourself that your limiting beliefs die a quick death if you will simply do what you feel uncomfortable doing.” ―Darren Rowse

5. Use Your New Beliefs To Find Success

You’ve got just one more step to go and that is to implement your new beliefs. Put your full faith in them as if they will succeed because they will. Use your fresh, new enthusiasm to push you through to success in areas where you only saw limitation before.

You will not fail because when we truly believe we are capable of success that is what we achieve. Be encouraged—every new success you have will only strengthen your beliefs. Congratulations, you are now on your way to living your most powerful life!

What are you doing today to make the most of your life? Comment below!

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The One Strategy to Help You Create Meaningful Work

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This past week I had dinner with a friend who had recently returned from Japan. While hearing about her trip, the Japanese concept of Ikigai came up and had stayed on my mind for days. I found it really compelling and couldn’t help but delve into the topic. (more…)

Vanya Lazarova is a certified professional coach, specializing in helping people create their life's work by starting with purpose and authenticity. She loves writing, reading, psychology, philosophy, arts and all forms of self- expression. She co-founded a personal development podcast called "The Coaching Journal", where she offers thought provoking concepts to empower people intentionally design the life they want to have. You can find more about Vanya and the work she does on her website www.LiveAuthentic.net and at her podcast The Coaching Journal.

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9 Comments

9 Comments

  1. Zoenchii (@zoenchii)

    Apr 30, 2016 at 7:02 pm

    This post resonated within me! I am going through a phase for the last 2-3 months, when I don’t want to speak to anyone at all, or there are days when I want to meet everyone I know! There are days when I want to sleep 24 hours, and there are those days when I am so happy doing my makeup, dressing nice, and going out all day. People don’t get me. People expect me to find time for them every minute they call to hang out. I have often postponed my own plans like: staying home doing natural masks for hair/face, or working out and taking a good bath. I blew these plans in a constant basis only because I wanted to satisfy the person on the other side of my phone asking me to go out. Well, I am a people pleaser, but the thing is: I am learning to say NO! Even though I have been so tired these last months [maybe weather is to be blamed, it really affects my mood], I am happy that at least, I am wasting time doing nothing, but at least, I am not wasting it for other people I just don’t feel like meeting.
    Thank you for this article. It really made me climb one more step in the process of learning the power or a simple NO!

    • Tim Denning

      May 1, 2016 at 4:35 am

      Zoenchii glad you learnt something from my article. It sounds like you are going through Winter in your life at the moment but it will pass and you be back to Summer again I’m sure of it. All the best!

  2. ujay

    Apr 29, 2016 at 6:21 pm

    Wow, you did a great work with putting all these together. I had to write them down so I can go back and read them whenever I feel like. One of my imperfection is falling in love with the wrong person. Another is trusting those that doesn’t worth my trust.

    • Tim Denning

      Apr 30, 2016 at 1:16 am

      Thanks Ujay I was in a state of flow when I wrote these down so they just poured out in a very raw way. Thanks for sharing your imperfections as well 🙂

  3. Toño

    Apr 29, 2016 at 9:01 am

    What a wonderful intro Tim, I will say it again, you have a real thing to start your articles. I would even say ‘perfect’ haha, but in a good way 🙂

    Perfection was my huge theme for years as I always wanted to be desired, loved and of course, the most prefect guy in the room. The reality, though, quite often a ‘little bit’ different haha. Right now my body is in the process of teaching me how to accept your flaws and emrace them. I have an eye illness (yep still the same) and it’s evident. It has been quite a struggle for me for a while, as I have to work with people every single day, visual contact, sales etc I have to present myself good and of course the ‘perfect’ person like me always wants to be, well, perfect. I was constantly worrying what others may think of me, asking questions, or just stare.. It was so painfull at times I could hardly handle it, but then I beagn to realize it is all about me and this illness actually a good solution to increase my confidence and dependence on other people’s opinion by being out of your comfort zone most of the time. And even more, chance to escape that perfection I never actually had. It’s still a challenge for me, but just yesterday I was laying on the floor, laughing on this whole situation and thinking how you can just be you and enjoy life. And it was priceless! And today I’ve read lots of imperfect things about you, which is amazing 🙂

    Another thing I would like to share. There is a girl I work with, and she’s always perfect and lookin’ good. She loves to take slefies, her instagram account full of herself, and she is the type of those beauty queens. I saw her yesterday after swimming pool, without any make up, dry lips and skin, like normal people will have, tired, and stuff. And I thought she was pretty in her imperfection, like a real human being, a unique one, with flaws yet beautiful. It was funny as we spend much time together and I rarely see her like this. Lately of course she got all her make up and yet again, escaped the reality..

    That fear society taught us to always be like everyone else, in perfect condition, makes us do things we may not really desire to do. How often we scare what others will think about us? Like most of the time, and only the bravest minor will never follow the ship pack.

    Back to your article, I can relate to this 100%: ‘I can’t spend time with uninspiring people’ I cut off so many people out of my life and always extremely picky how and where spend my time that many who surrounds me think I’m very anti-social weirdo and just a cave man. Well, I would rather spend time alone in the cave, than with a bunch of toxic people that can hardly understand me. I have few friends and loving family I enjoy spend time with, and always lookin’ for new person to share experience and ideas, but again, I don’t have to be with everyone just because it may seem ‘normal’. And yes, I still do judge people and experienced the exact thing you explained in that paragraph.

    Going back to my home some voice into my head told me that thing: People may be mean to you, because you may be mean to people, for no reason. And that was like a cold shower! I tend to judge people for things that may mirror my behavior, or very close to that. It was such a cool deiscovery!

    I enjoyed this article, I think that was one of your best, honest an raw and for that I am very grateful! Thank you so much my friend, have a good day, take care and stay healthy!

    Oh, and you always can take a break and do something productive and cool, thus two things per one block time 😉

    • Tim Denning

      Apr 29, 2016 at 10:12 am

      Toño I just realised something; you’re an amazing writer. Thanks for sharing with us all about your own imperfections and your story about the girl at the pool. Imperfection is beauty plain and simple.
      Glad you liked the article and yes it’s very raw. The more raw the lessons are that I share, the more you will learn and the more relatable the information will be. Hopefully by me not being afraid to share my imperfections it will encourage others (such as yourself) to do the same and have a crack, and to play all out.

      Have a great weekend chief!

      • Toño

        Apr 30, 2016 at 2:50 am

        Before this article I honestly thought my messages here were long, chaotic, out of theme, awkward, in other word – imperfect. But I see now, they are imperfectly unique, and I feel good about it 🙂

        Thank you so much for the compliment, that means a big deal for me, and I appreciate all your support! You were right, as the more raw experience you share the more people it will attract, as they can all reflect on those breathing and living words you put together. I see more comments and I am sure more will come, because it feels natural and that’s the beauty of our nature.

        Thanks again, Tim, have a great weekend as well and never give up your idea, I’ll support you on that journey 🙂

  4. Shawn Lim

    Apr 29, 2016 at 2:54 am

    This reminds me of the quote, “Ever master was once a disaster”.
    Everyone started off as a beginner in something before they become an expert in it.
    Imperfections will lead us to do better in life.
    When you said our imperfections will 10x our results, I totally agree. 🙂

    • Tim Denning

      Apr 29, 2016 at 4:09 am

      Such a good quote Shawn thanks for sharing. Glad you enjoyed the article and got to the crux of what I was trying to say 🙂

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Life

6 Stepping Stones to Become Your Best Self in 2018

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New Year resolutions are often wishful thinking. Being your best self is not something to be ticked off a checklist,  it is part of a never-ending continuum of learning and self-discovery.

What we think of as “self” is really a story we have strung together over time. What makes this an incredible masterpiece, is that given you created the story of who you are, you have the power to change it.

Being precisely who you are at your highest level is your greatest gift to the people around you, to magnetizing the things you want most in your life and a powerful contributor to this world.

Here are the 6 stepping stones towards your greatest self:

1. Letting go of negativity

Negativity can hold us back from many things in life. An attitude of ‘I have the worst luck’ or “nothing ever goes my way” infects the mind. Your perception creates your reality. When you invest all your energy in to what you don’t want, your brain conducts a transderivational search and conspires to provide the very thing you don’t want.

A few tips to let go of negativity:

  • Give yourself a window to complain for five minutes, once a day and then bolt that window shut. Time yourself or partner with a close friend to allow the complaining, moaning and whining to occur for 6 minutes only. Then stop it.
  • When you practice gratitude, nothing else exists in that moment. Your brain cannot immerse itself in fear and be grateful at the same time. Try it on. Invest in a journal and start with writing one thing down in the morning and before you go to bed, identifying what you are grateful for. What you focus on, is what you get.
  • Self-reflection. Negativity stems from a place of unhappiness. Adopt curious questioning to unveil what is triggering your responses, what you would like to change. Edit the story to how you can improve to live a happier existence.

“All progress takes place outside the comfort zone.” – Michael John Bobak

2. Kindness costs nothing

Kindness is the easiest thing you can do to become a better person. Every person has their challenges in life and it can take a random act of kindness to impact another human being in a single moment. The simplest of things, holding the door open, smiling at a person walking down the street or asking someone at work if you could make them a coffee. Priceless.

3. What do you stand for?

Unveiling who you are and the values that underpin how you want to live, illuminate the pathway to becoming the best you. Values are the emotional states that you wish to experience every day. When you get clear on your code, decision making become effortless. Living your code, creates the person you are becoming.

4. Kicking self-doubt in the balls

Doubts, fears and accusations echo through. When your inner critic is amplified, it’s time to kick self-doubt in the balls, really hard. Remind yourself of all the things that you have achieved, the incredible people around you, the times that made you smile and the moments you felt alive. As long as you exist, there is potential within you to exceed every expectation, to upgrade your standards and step into your best self.

5. Investing in You

Whether you spend time reading, pursuing a workshop or walking along the beach, investing in you is the greatest gift. Detaching from the outcome and enjoying the moment can be unfamiliar however the more time you invest in discovering who you are, the masks you need to remove, and learn to dance with your fears, the more confidence you gain in becoming the best version of you.

“Don’t let the fear of losing be greater than the excitement of winning.” – Robert Kiyosaki

6. Ikigai – your reason for being

According to the Japanese, everyone has an ikigai, although not everyone has yet understood, discovered or developed it.  To find it, it often requires deep enquiry of self. Ikigai literally translates “the reason for being”. It is often used to describe a healthy passion for something that makes you feel as though life is worth living to the fullest.

An intense internal desire to carry out a personal mission that you have a magnetic connection to. When we manifest whatever is pulling at you, you experience an intense internal satisfaction. You create a feeling of being fulfilled and adding new layers of meaning to your life.

Some questions to ignite your ikigai.

  • What are you passionate about? What makes you come alive?
  • Identify what you are great at? What unique skills do you have that come most naturally to you? What do you excel at even when you aren’t trying? What does the world need and how you can deliver?
  • What cause do you believe in? What change would you love most to create in the world? What would you give your life for?
  • What service, value or offering do you bring that adds value to others and people would pay for?

Reflect on how these elements relate to each other and ask yourself, what is one thing you could do today that would be an expression of your ikigai? Comment below!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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How To Be Happier And More Focused Using The Art Of Tidying Up: 34 Lessons From My Huge Tidy Up.

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Last week I spent two days throwing out more than 50% of my personal belongings.

What started this tidying up frenzy that caused me to throw out so much of my life’s possessions? It was a book that I read. In fact, I’ve read several books recently about why we should clean up our material possessions.

The results I experienced were phenomenal. By the end of this blog post, you’ll definitely want to do the same to replicate the results I got from this simple process.

Here are the 34 lessons from my huge tidy up which will inspire you to do the same:

 

1. Your mindset changes when you tidy up in one shot rather than bit by bit.

I’ve tried to tidy up for the last five years. It never fully happened. The reason was that I attempted to do this mammoth task in small chunks. As I tidied up one space or one category of belongings, I’d end up collecting more junk in the meantime.

“Seeing your home and workspace completely junk-free changes your mindset permanently”

I never want to go back to the old me because the tidy person I’ve now become is so much more organized, calm and in control. I now know what I value and what I don’t.

Once you’ve experienced this feeling, you’ll never go back. It’s only possible to get this feeling though by doing your big clean up in one shot without stopping.

Tidying up has changed my life and it can dramatically change yours too.

 

2. Discard first and organize second.

My huge tidy up followed the KonMari method. Basically, all you do is concentrate on discarding items that don’t bring you joy first and then the possessions you have left then need to be sorted. It doesn’t get any easier than that.

Every other tidying up method I’ve tried previously has resulted in one big chaotic event that I never fully completed. Try this method and I promise you it will work.

 

3. Tidying up sentimental items forces you to let go of the past.

The first part of my clean-up was discarding clothing. Once I got to the sentimental items – these items are best to do last because they’re the hardest – I found that discarding sentimental items helped me to deal with elements of my past which I’d previously ignored.

I had old business cards from failed businesses that still haunted me, cards from ex-girlfriends, sad possessions that belonged to dead relatives, belongings that were part of my old passions like Djing and Playing the drums, and even items that I’d held onto from past careers.

As I discarded with these items, I finalized past chapters of my life that weren’t fully closed. This made me feel completely free and it’s created space for the future.

“We all suffer from the past and having a big tidy up is a great way to deal with it and bring a newfound joy to your life”

 

4. The stuff you throw away has already fulfilled its purpose.

The items you throw away have taught you what you don’t love and the things you want to spend less time with. The items you throw away teach you what no longer inspires you and the hobbies you no longer want to engage with.

Every item you throw away has taught you something. Some possessions have already given you all the joy they have to give you and so their time in your life has passed. Other possessions have taught you a lesson and so now they can move on to somebody else’s life too.

Going through my possessions taught me how so many of the things I had held onto had already fulfilled their purpose. It’s like I was expecting these throwaway items to give me multiple miracle gifts rather than be happy and grateful for the ones they’d already given me.

“I learned that the possessions I cherished were invisible because of all the things I held onto which didn’t serve me”

Everything has an expiry date including you. Don’t hold onto stuff forever. Set yourself free.

 

5. Tidying requires two decisions.

Whether or not to dispose of something and where to put the things you keep. It’s really that simple. Don’t overcomplicate it any more than that.

 

6. Being perfectly tidy once is enough to create sustained momentum.

You’ll never go back to your old untidy ways once you’ve lived in a perfectly clean and clutter-free space. It’s addictive and I want all of you to witness this for yourselves.

 

7. Better storage is not the answer.

Just because something has been put away, it does not mean that the clutter has been removed. Buying convenient storage solutions makes you think your clutter has gone. It hasn’t. Tidying up allows you to see everything you own and that in itself is very valuable.

Hiding objects in magic lock away storage solutions results in you probably never actually using that item. I had lots of possessions stored in boxes and the reality is that I’ve never opened those boxes in the last ten years. Possessions that bring you joy should be easy to access so you can reap the benefits.

Possessions that no longer bring you joy should be discarded so that maybe someone else can get some use out of what you discard. Unfortunately, you can’t take your material possessions to the grave with you, so you need to learn to let go, and tidy up!

 

8. Tidying by location doesn’t work. Tidying by category does.

You need to be able to see everything you have of a particular item like clothes.

When I went through this process I realized I had batteries stored in every room, I had three torches, loose change everywhere and a mountain of computer cables that I was never going to use – and that looked very untidy.

Once you can do a proper stocktake of what you have, you’ll find the process of discarding much easier. This step is fundamental to the tidying up process being effective.

 

9. All tidying begins with this question.

Does this item bring me joy? It’s the only question you need to ask. If you keep what brings you joy, you’ll experience more joy in your life which is the ultimate goal I want all of you to achieve. Keeping only what sparks joy will help you to reset your life and begin a lifestyle that is phenomenal!

 

10. The second question is this: When did I last use this item?

The answer to this question when I did my big tidy up was typically more than five years ago. If you haven’t used something for the last twelve months, then there’s a very strong chance you never will. It’s time to make a decision and discard items in this category.

 

11. It’s not about getting rid of stuff; it’s about cherishing what you have.

The sense of gratitude I got from my doing this tidy up made me love the items I held onto even more. Tidying up allows us to see just how lucky we are and it reminds us that it’s not about the possessions we have so much, but the feeling we get from them and the memories our stuff gives us.

We all need more gratitude. Tidying up is a fantastic way to be more grateful.

 

12. Calculating the amount of a category to hold onto.

In the category of clothes as an example, you might be wondering how you know when you have enough clothes. The lesson here is to hold onto the clothes that you enjoy and discard everything else. The clothes that bring you joy will equal the right amount in the end.

I know that doesn’t sound tangible but it really works. Trust me on this.

 

13. Your possessions affect your self-image.

If you’re holding onto old t-shirts with holes in them so you can wear them to bed, you’ll make yourself feel unattractive when you go to sleep at night. I found during my clean up that I was holding onto clothes that no longer fitted or reminded me of the person I used to be, and using these clothes as pyjamas I could wear to bed.

I found I was going to bed with a poor self-image that reminded me of who I used to be. Even the clothes you wear affect how you feel and your confidence. Bottom-line is to ditch possessions that don’t bring you joy.

 

14. Touch items before you throw them away.

Interacting with your possessions before you decide how they make you feel helps make the decision for you. I found that by touching shirts in my wardrobe, the feeling of the material and how they looked up close made my decision-making process easier.

 

15. Ask yourself “What purpose does this item serve?

I held onto many miscellaneous items that I found were useless when I asked myself this question. Having a bag full of safety pins is great but if I haven’t used one for more than ten years, then there’s a good chance I never will.

I held onto boxes of batteries too yet I don’t own any devices that require replaceable batteries anymore. The purpose of what you have is important to consider. Don’t overthink it though. You’ll know pretty quickly if an item has a purpose in your life.

If there’s any doubt, get rid of the item.

 

16. Charitable throwing away is key to letting go.

Throwing things away feels really horrible if you know that an item won’t get further use. That’s why, where possible, I gave my possessions away to charity. You win and people that have nothing win as well. Charitable throwing away is reinforcing the gift of giving and helping you to declutter as well.

 

17. eBay and giving to friends doesn’t work.

Why? Because it takes time and gives you an excuse to hold onto things. The best thing you can do sometimes is take things to the recycling center because if you don’t, you’ll never get rid of them. It will always be this conversation in your head: “Someday, I’ll sell it on eBay.”

You have better things to do with your time than listing every unwanted item you have online or trying to give things to friends.

“Once you’ve gone through the art of tidying up and refocused your life, you’ll have so many possessions to get rid of that listing your items for sale online will simply take up too much time that could be spent on income producing activities that outweigh the pocket change you’ll get for your unwanted items”

Think of it this way: the things you are getting rid of have already given you your monies worth. This simple reframe in your mind will allow you to let go. It will allow you to forgive yourself for buying useless stuff that you no longer use.

The other thing I found is that it’s surprisingly hard to give things away to your friends and you begin to feel bad because you end up cluttering up their homes.

 

18. Unused possessions teach you that you didn’t need them after all.

Again, these possessions have fulfilled their purpose so you can now let them go.

 

19. Discarding teaches you your true passions.

If you throw something away and deeply regret it, then you learn what you’re truly passionate away. Even if you buy the same item again, you’ve learned an important lesson which is worth the cost of throwing away the original item.

 

20. Your decision-making skills get better.

You end up being able to make decisions better when you learn to let go of your unwanted possessions. Your possessions are a reflection of your life and where you’ve been. Tidying up helps you to be satisfied with where you’ve come from and who’ve you’ve become.

Being forced to make a decision that is final and that you can’t come back from, is strangely satisfying and it will show up in other areas of your life down the track.

 

21. The moment you first encounter a book is the right time to read it.

If you didn’t read it when you bought it, you probably never will. This means the lessons the book could have taught you were not meant for you. Books are one of the biggest uses of space and many need to be thrown away so that you can be left with the books you’ll actually get value from.

There’s no better feeling than being surrounded by only books that you love and make you smile.

 

22. The best way to deal with loose paper.

Throw them all away because you’ll probably never read them. If you really think you need a bit of paper, take a photo of it with your phone and then throw it away. Loose paper looks really messy and makes you feel disorganized.

 

23. All empty boxes must go!

I am the biggest offender when it comes to keeping empty boxes. I kept every empty box, from every purchase I made in the last five years. The result is a home full of empty boxes. The space these boxes take up could be used for other things like renting out your spare room on Airbnb or having a quiet room to study in.

The reason I held onto empty boxes was that I thought when I eventually sold some items, they’d be worth more with their original box. In most cases, no one pays more for an item because it comes with the original box worth $1.

It’s perfectly fine to sell an item without a box. Create space by throwing away boxes.

 

24. And now onto those spare buttons you store.

I had a whole box of spare buttons from clothing I purchased. Guess what? I can’t sew and never hold onto a piece of clothing once the button falls off. Clothes that have buttons fall off are generally passed their expiry date. Chuck them out and don’t look back.

You’ll never match the correct button to the right piece of clothing 90% of the time anyway.

 

25. Tidying up can cause sickness. It’s part of the process.

After all of my tidying up, I became very ill. Part of the reason was because of all the dust my old, unused items spread in my living spaces from lack of use, and being disturbed from their existing storage locations.

As well as that, the process of letting go of most of your possessions is exhausting and it’s hard work on the body. Tidying up is like one big storm which is followed by carnage (sickness) and then calm at the end once you know you’re organized for life.

 

26. Storage solutions hide items you dislike from sight. Avoid them, they’re the enemy.

You can walk into a shopping mall and find lots of storage solutions to help you supposedly be tidier. Storage solutions are a trap. Storage solutions hide your possessions in complex places that make it even harder to know what you actually own, therefore increasing the chance that you have multiple items that serve the same purpose.

 

27. Round objects take up more room.

If there’s a square or rectangle option for things like furniture and laundry baskets, go for that. Round objects take up more space. Period.

 

28. Buying in bulk costs more.

Retailers promote the benefits of buying in bulk. I disagree. Buying in bulk forces you to do the following:

– Buy more than you need
– It doesn’t account for your tastes changing over time which leaves you with leftovers
– Waste your precious mental space because of the excess clutter that occupies your brain
– Forget the cost of storage which is more than the discount of buying in bulk
– Distract you from your true creativity which is enhanced through empty space

“Our homes are not commercial warehouses that are to be used for storage of widgets”

This whole concept forces us to behave like factory workers. Our homes are to be lived in and are supposed to spark joy and help us to relax after a long day.

 

29. Tidying up shows us what we love.

After a massive clean-up, you’ll learn more about yourself and the things you value. During my clean-up, I learned that I love the simplicity of certain items. I learned that I also love the color of an item and that affects whether I’ll retain it for the long-term. Having learned this about myself, I’ll now be much more careful about the colors of objects I buy in the future.

 

30. You’ll learn about your weaknesses.

I learned that I have trouble letting go of the past and now I can work on this weakness going forward. Up until my big tidy up, I would never have believed this fact to be true.

 

31. Letting go is how you add new things into your life.

By cleaning out the junk that was occupying space in my life, I’ve now made room for new things. Maybe I’ll take up a new hobby or surround myself with new people. At least I have space now to do so and I’d love you to experience this feeling of freedom for yourself.

 

32. You’ll learn why you can’t throw something away.

It’s because of two reasons according to the book I read: an attachment to the past or a fear of the future. I held onto old gym diaries out of a fear that one day in the future I would need to look at them again if I decided to start the gym once more.

I also held onto cards from ex-girlfriends because I was nostalgic and didn’t want to let go of these old memories which deep down I had no desire to indulge in any longer.

 

33. Putting your home in order puts your mind in order.

Your mind is partly a reflection of the physical world. A messy home results in a messy mind that can’t think straight, make decisions or allow space for new ideas. Your possessions say so much about you and are a hidden contributor to your overall success in life.

It’s time to clean your house and remove some possessions.

 

34. The result is being surrounded by things that make you happy.

Now that I have gone through this mammoth task of tidying up everything I own and decluttering, I’m now left sitting here and evaluating the whole process. The result has been quite surprising. I find myself sitting here and looking around at only things that make me happy.

Everything I’ve held onto feels like it has a purpose. The possessions I have left make me feel happy and the objects in my life that produced negative emotions are now gone. I would never have predicted that tidying up could be so life-changing.

Try it for yourself and let me know how you go.

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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2 Vital Keys to Having a True Breakthrough This Year

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Every person has a great deal of potential within them. However, the majority of people will never tap into that potential because something hinders them from getting it done whether that be a traumatic event that plagues their mind, or a negative mindset. This can be due to fear, insecurities, or of feelings of not deserving or not being good enough.

The list is literally endless because every person has different challenges in life. We are all different people, with different pasts, experiences, backgrounds, belief systems, but one commonality we all share: the pain of NOT DOING in our past.

If you’ve ever been to a conference for business, professional, or spiritual development, you know the feeling of getting fired up, motivated and inspired to go forward and DO! When you get home, the fire in your heart and mind is still burning. Nonetheless, this feeling tends to be short lived, as the reality of life sets in: bills, relationship problems, office issues, etc. and your fire begins to go out and you are back at square one… again.

There are some people that go to an event and then truly have a breakthrough in life. They explode in their business, family life, spiritual life, and health. The one thing that separates these people from the rest of us is their willingness to go deeper within themselves.

If you have attended an Anthony “Tony” Robbins motivational lecture, you know there are many reported success stories of people that he has inspired. Tony has stated in the past that individuals are able to “breakthrough” because they do not accept surface level BS; these successful people go deeper within themselves to determine the root cause of their issues or shortcomings. He also explained that by doing so, they would experience a true “breakthrough.”

If this year is going to truly be different for you, and you are going to see expansion and advancements in all parts of your life, you will need to go deeper.

Here are two important keys to help you have a breakthrough year:

1. Get Real With Yourself

Self-reflection is a powerful character building tool. However, when inspecting your life and who you are, you must go deep into this process. Don’t stay surface level and just think about what you need to improve on. Make the extra effort to think about the why of it all. Why are you weak in certain areas? Why do you seem to always fall short when doing certain tasks? Why do you dislike specific types of people and or places? Most importantly, why do you lack motivation in crucial aspects of your life?

When you start asking these types of profound questions and digging deeper, you are able to realize that there may be hidden reasons for your life constraints. Sometimes, pain in our past and heart-rending experiences of life are responsible for our weaknesses.

The challenge is to visit these places mentally and resolve root causes. Having these moments of reflection enables us to experience some very personal and self teachable moments. It is in these moments that true clarity will come and you will make decisions about where to go from here based on level headed logic rather than simply pure emotion.

Getting to know yourself better will help you in your personal and professional growth and help you to fast-track the breakthrough you desire.

“Self awareness is the ability to take an honest look at your life without any attachment to it being right or wrong, good or bad.” – Debbie Ford

2. Get Real with Others

Knowing yourself is vital, but knowing the people and the environment around you is also crucial. We’ve all heard the old saying, “hang around dogs with fleas and you’ll soon have fleas as well.” If you’re going to breakthrough this year, you better get to doing not only some self-reflection but also some social-reflection. Look around yourself and find out who and what is having a positive or negative impact on your life.

Are you exposed to people who are constantly complaining, talking bad about others, criticizing people, belittling others, and just outright being negative? If so, their negative viewpoints need to be either dismissed in your mind, and/or you should minimize the amount of time and attention that they take from you.

Tasks, habits, and extracurricular activities which provide no greater value for you should be reconsidered. Not that you shouldn’t have some down time and moments to recharge, but be careful about scrolling social media aimlessly and indulging in online window shopping. Such activities are not adding to your expansion or ascension up to the next level of life; rather they are wasting your time.

We have a total of 100% energy to give per day (a cellphone example). Just like the apps we have running in the background, they tend to drain us of our energy. Everything we take part in requires some percentage of energy investment from us. You must choose to dedicate energy to things and people that are part of your solution in helping you move the needle towards your goals. One simple question to ask yourself, and that all true leaders must ask themselves is: Does THIS propel me closer TOWARDS my goal or AWAY from it?

“Surround yourself with people who are only going to lift you higher.” – Oprah Winfrey

So, get real with the situation at hand: you either want to have a breakthrough year or you don’t. If you do, you should size-up your expectations, and key on these two important areas of your life: who you are on the inside, and the people and things around you that impact who you are.

What are you going to do this year to make sure you have the best year of your life! Comment below and share your goals.

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5 Steps to Help You Overcome Your Limiting Beliefs & Live Your Most Powerful Life

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When it comes to finding success in life our limiting beliefs can be one of the biggest trip-ups we face. They wall us in and continually place a ceiling on our potential. What’s more, as success begins to evade us because of these limited thoughts, we unknowingly strengthen them. It’s as if they look back at us to say, “I told you so.” In this manner, limiting beliefs are self-reinforcing.

They grow stronger and we feel weaker and less empowered to find success. It’s understandable that if they go unchecked for too long we can begin to feel deep frustration and hopelessness which can eventually lead to anger, self-hatred, and even depression.But it is possible to put our limiting beliefs in-check and find the freedom to pursue our purpose and maximize our potential.

If you’re ready to overcome your limiting beliefs and live your most powerful life, try these five steps:

1. Identify Your Limiting Beliefs

The first step to rectifying any situation is to get a clear handle on what’s wrong. It’s no different here. To overcome your limiting beliefs you first need to shine a spotlight on them. Most of your limiting beliefs will be relatively easy to identify. They should be—these are the types of beliefs you regularly beat yourself up over, after all.

But once you have your limiting beliefs identified make sure to write them down. There is something about “seeing” our problems in a tangible way that empowers us to better respond to them. In some cases, they begin to immediately lose their effectiveness over us just because we can see them for the illusions they are.

“You begin to fly when you let go of self-limiting beliefs and allow your mind and aspirations to rise to greater heights.” ―Brian Tracy

2. Acknowledge Them

Having the ability to view our limits helps us advance to the next step, acknowledgment. In this phase, we don’t just see our limiting beliefs in simple black-and-white—we acknowledge them for what they are, the harm they have done, and admit that we have taken part in their creation.

It’s almost as if we can have a dialog with them. By doing so we open the lines of communication and, as we all know, communication is crucial for any breakthrough. This step helps us understand our limiting beliefs better allowing us a clearer path moving forward.

It is also an especially critical step because by acknowledging our responsibility, we empower ourselves to change. No one ever gains victory over problems without taking responsibility for having them or for doing the work to resolve them.

3. Confront The Beliefs

We can only conquer our limiting beliefs by confronting them. The reason they grow so troublesome for us in the first place is simply that they go unchallenged. We often “assume” them without question.

Rather than deal with the struggle of this confrontation we develop an almost co-dependent relationship with them. We guard our limiting beliefs and justify them if they are ever questioned. But our beliefs will continue to grow and strengthen unless we challenge them.

If this is a difficult process for you to do by yourself, a counselor or coach can be helpful. If not with a professional, then at least let your beliefs be open to scrutiny by a trusted friend or significant other.

With your written list, work through as many reasons to call B.S. as you can think of. Write them out and present your argument. This doesn’t have to be a quick process, take as much time as necessary to make your case. Especially with the help of another person, you will begin to see all of the ways in which your beliefs aren’t true and find all of the reasons you need to believe you can succeed.

4. Replace Them With Unlimited Beliefs

To move forward effectively, you can’t just drop your limiting beliefs and get back to life as usual. In order to reach your most powerful life, you’ve got replace the old, limiting beliefs with new, empowering ones.

If one of your limiting beliefs was, “I don’t deserve success because of xyz,” you need to replace it with, “I do deserve success because of abc,” and then list out all the reasons why.

It’s such a simple step but so many people neglect it. They’re just so happy to be rid of their old limiting beliefs, I guess. But what good is it to just be neutral? You’ve got to create an upgrade for every belief you just tore down. You’ve got to replace the limited ones with unlimited.

On that list, you created earlier, or on a new page if you’ve run out of room, write out your empowering, replacement beliefs. Keep going until each one is now optimized with a belief that removes those old limits you placed on yourself.

“Do the uncomfortable. Become comfortable with these acts. Prove to yourself that your limiting beliefs die a quick death if you will simply do what you feel uncomfortable doing.” ―Darren Rowse

5. Use Your New Beliefs To Find Success

You’ve got just one more step to go and that is to implement your new beliefs. Put your full faith in them as if they will succeed because they will. Use your fresh, new enthusiasm to push you through to success in areas where you only saw limitation before.

You will not fail because when we truly believe we are capable of success that is what we achieve. Be encouraged—every new success you have will only strengthen your beliefs. Congratulations, you are now on your way to living your most powerful life!

What are you doing today to make the most of your life? Comment below!

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