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Motivation

The Ultimate Guide To Recognizing And Conquering Crippling Beliefs

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Do you know that feeling?

That urge calling you to do better. To establish firm goals and go after each in a predestined, unfaltering and decisive manner.

But something holds you back.

You can’t quite put your finger on it, yet something inside you is stopping you from manifesting the greatest version of yourself.

And while working out this problem, life is passing you by.

But it isn’t your fault.

Schools, parents, and peers don’t teach you the inner workings of the mind — the device responsible for your most spectacular successes and ugliest failures.

You see, most often than not, the way you think about things is the root cause of your unhappiness.

 

The biggest liar in the world

Your mind is undoubtedly brilliant. Though it has a dark side.

Whispering in your ear, moment after moment, telling you things you wouldn’t even tolerate from your worst enemy.

It can behave like a paranoid schizophrenic, convincing you that everyone is out to get you, you’re not good enough and you must change who you are to fit in.

To top it off, all the proof is there of your inadequacy. You find it difficult to connect with people, you’re in a job that sucks and you keep making silly mistakes over and over again. Sure signs of failure.

There comes a point when you can no longer separate yourself from these “truths” – you are one with your beliefs. That’s when you stop trying to make meaningful change in your life.

But listening to your mind is like living with a liar. The internal chatter becomes so overpowering, it’s almost impossible to recognize that thoughts are only words the mind strings together at any given moment.

The good news? It’s never too late to cut through the fog, flip your unhelpful beliefs and create a life of success.

“If one can only see things according to one’s own belief system, one is destined to become virtually deaf, dumb and blind.” – Robert Anton Wilson

Canny ways to uncover your limiting beliefs:

  • What’s your body telling you? What thoughts go through your mind when you have tension in your stomach? Your mind and body are connected, and even when your mind blinds you, your body will be a better place to look for answers. I had stomach pains for many years, but I accepted them as part of being anxious most of the time. Had I listened to my stomach earlier, I could’ve explored the reasons behind the constant churning.
  • What do you avoid? Things that you’re afraid to do can point to your stubborn, unhelpful beliefs. I don’t mean you have to jump off a bridge with a rope attached to your legs if you’re terrified of heights – though you could try that too. What I’m saying is that you habitually stop doing things you think are hard. Maybe you’re asked to give a presentation and your immediate reaction is to refuse it. Go in and explore why you reject this. Often what you most avoid is what you should be doing to progress.
  • Who offends you and why? People who hurt you can act like a mirror giving a glimpse into underlying beliefs you hold tight. Your friends will rarely point out your blind spots. I’m not suggesting the offenders are right; instead, think of those as areas where you can make improvements in your attitude. It doesn’t help you to be angry and bottle up emotions against someone else. These emotions can indicate that you need to ease up some feelings when someone says the wrong thing to you. Your anger won’t hurt them. It only harms you.
  • Can you stare at a wall … and do nothing? Most people are unable to do it for long (unless they’re experienced monks). I guarantee, even before 10 seconds pass your mind will jump into as many different ideas, worries and concerns. Which is an ideal opportunity for taking note of the chain of thoughts your mind created in that short time. And most of those sub-conscious thoughts will have an unpleasant undertone as studies have shown, because that’s the way minds work. So don’t be surprised of what you uncover.

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The art of taming unhelpful beliefs:

So you now have some ideas about what those negative beliefs are, but how do you get rid of them? You don’t actually have to. It’s enough to turn the volume down on them to lessen their power over you.

  • Say, “Hello.” Receive your negative thoughts, beliefs and feelings with open arms instead of fighting them. Acceptance does not equal defeat. It’s more like a friendly acknowledgement. Once you’re better at recognizing your thoughts and beliefs, you can give them a little nod, as if to say, “Yes, I can see you’re there.” But they don’t have to bother you.
  • Don’t take them seriously. You can try not taking negative blabber seriously. Since laughter is the best form of medicine, do what it takes to ridicule them. Repeat troubling phrases in your head in a funny voice (Yoda is my favorite). Or try recording your most intrusive phrase, like “I’m not good enough” for about five minutes to a recording device. Then re-listen – if you can bear it for that long, you’ll understand that these are merely harmless words repeated over and over again.
  • Join a community. Find a support group (online or off) – the type of people whom you aspire to be. They’ll soon make you realize that your most precious beliefs could be just fantasies. They’ve been through where you are now and know the shortcuts to overcoming your problems. They’ll inspire you and show you how to thrive in your skin. There’s no easier way to grow than by taking advantage of the power of an experienced group.

 “Limits, like fear, is often an illusion” – Michael Jordan

Transforming the noise into action

Your mind will always try and trip you up, no matter how self-developed you are. That’s the nature of minds.

But you can outsmart it by staying one step ahead and understanding its workings.

Every day, you have oodles of chances to acquaint yourself with the real meaning behind your sub-conscious thoughts.

Knowing how to catch the unhelpful chatter and turn them into a source of power will help you fling into the orbit of change and onto a rich life that’s worth living.

And there isn’t a more ideal day than today – so you’d better get started.

 

Andrea, a quiet spirit, helps to make you feel at ease when interacting with others. A fledgling writer and speaker, she's driven to take the fear out of hanging out. If you want to know how to easily start talking to people, download your copy of Never be Tongue-Tied around People

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28 Comments

28 Comments

  1. Mike Cross

    May 7, 2015 at 10:34 am

    hi – im the proud volunteer chairman of a grassroots football club in cheshire england – its the little negative comments that always push me over the edge – i need to get rid of my fixed mindset on everything – love the funny voice idea “words will never hurt me”
    Im actually really positive most of the time – i need to focus on fewer things & do them better & just listen to the odd negative & turn it in to a positive

  2. Ilka

    Apr 30, 2015 at 7:28 pm

    Hi Andrea!

    That was a really wonderful post with a lot of deep insights. It is interesting how our sub-conscious can trick us and even lead us to sabotage ourselves.

    I love the idea of starring at a wall. I will definitely try this 🙂

    Thanks for sharing, Ilka

    • Andrea

      May 4, 2015 at 11:02 am

      Hi Ilka,

      Thank you for taking time to comment.

      The subconscious can be both a source of pain and the vehicle to guarantee our success. Once we are aware this, can we use it to our advantage and achieve goals we never thought was possible with a previous mindset.

      Best,
      Andrea

  3. Ashley trexler

    Apr 28, 2015 at 11:47 am

    great read! I especially love the part about exploring why you want to refuse something, and finding what the real problem is. That’s so true, for me. Often when I don’t want to do something (a presentation, a meeting) it’s because I’m not confident in my knowledge. When I truly know a subject, presenting isn’t a problem….there’s no fear because there’s no unknown. Great work, Andrea! Keep it up.

    • Andrea

      May 4, 2015 at 11:06 am

      Thanks you Ashley! Yes, I found that to be very true about resisting certain things. There’s always a reason for that and it’s better to look into it and asking ourselves the (sometimes painful) question of what really is the source of problem here…. It is rare that people achieve their goals without going through some kind of discomfort in the process. I’m learning to get on with things, however hard they may seem 🙂

  4. Mark Tong

    Apr 28, 2015 at 7:49 am

    Really, really useful tips on a universal problem. I love the silly voice idea – have used that often in the past – I use to try and listen to what my ‘inner voice’ was babbling about but it scared the hell out of me, so now I’ve got a retraining order on it – if it comes within 100 feet, I call the cops.

    • Andrea

      May 4, 2015 at 11:09 am

      What a great idea Mark, I haven’t considered that as an option but you’re right! That will do some serious damage to it 😉

  5. Kim

    Apr 27, 2015 at 11:17 pm

    The mind-body connection that you talk about is so true. It is only now that I realize the power of it and work to understand why I’m feeling a certain way instead of simply worrying or doing “whatever it takes,” to avoid it. I’m not always successful, but I am always glad I’ve tried. Thanks for the great article.

    • Andrea

      May 4, 2015 at 11:13 am

      Nice to see you here Kim 🙂

      Yes, we have to keep trying. It’s better to get a handle on these thoughts and emotions than let them handle us!! The good thing is that it becomes easier with time, and once you understand their workings.

      Thanks
      Andrea

  6. Rob

    Apr 23, 2015 at 9:42 pm

    Andrea, amazing! I’m inspired to think of our minds having a dark side and that listening to our own minds can be like listening to a liar! Now there’s a scary thought.

    I love the idea of exploring why we reject certain opportunities to see what we can find. Areas for improvements, perhaps, or at least conscious recognition of something that deeply concerns us. As you put it so well: acceptance. There’s a sense of empowerment that comes with that and also not taking the negative blabber, as you call it, so seriously.

    For me, the most exciting insight (and affirmation) is surrounding ourselves with the people we aspire to be: those who have trodden the path and know the territory. Those who know how to outsmart the mind and overcome limiting beliefs with ease (great choice on the Michael Jordan quote!)

    I’d go further to say that the sooner, or younger, we do what you suggest, the better our chances of outsmarting the negative self-banter of the mind and the more powerful we become.

    Here’s food for thought: if the ideas and suggestions you share here were offered to young children, what may their chances of greater success be like in adulthood?

    Inspiring stuff, thank you!

    • Andrea

      Apr 27, 2015 at 4:42 pm

      Thank you for your wonderful comment Rob. 🙂

      Indeed, by the time we reach adulthood, we should be all equipped with recognizing when the unhelpful beliefs take over. Alas, a lot of us aren’t even aware of these powerful subconscious trends that define our every being.

      Cheers,
      Andrea

  7. Nicki Lee

    Apr 23, 2015 at 7:34 pm

    “Often what you most avoid is what you should be doing to progress.” I really wish you were wrong about this, so I could continue avoiding certain situations (particularly social ones), but you are so right! Even as I say no, there is a little voice telling me that I need to say yes. But, I stomp out that voice and feel relieved that I have avoided discomfort. Really must work on pushing through the discomfort!

    • Andrea

      Apr 27, 2015 at 3:07 pm

      Hi Nicki,

      My answer to that would be, you have to make yourself push through the first few occasions. Then there will come a time when you start thinking “What was I worrying about?”. I can think of lots of times when I was terrified of entering a situation, but I actually enjoyed the process. I wouldn’t have known that if I carried on avoiding it. I’m afraid to say you can only do it by taking action. But once you start doing it and you build up enough momentum – you’ll be well on your way to accomplishing some bigger challenges you set.

      Thanks for reading and I hope that helps 🙂

  8. Debashish

    Apr 23, 2015 at 3:00 pm

    Great post, Andrea!

    Our brain gives birth to our beliefs, both positive and negative. If we do the hard work to change our limiting beliefs into beliefs that support us, we can become limitless!

    For starters though, I’ll settle with turning down the volume of the unhelpful beliefs. Acceptance and community seem like brilliant strategies for doing so. Like you said, I better get started.

    • Andrea

      Apr 27, 2015 at 3:37 pm

      Thanks Debashish, and precisely! We are in charge whether we give power to the beliefs that hold us back, or choose to allow those to surface that help us ultimately. I love the idea of growing with a community too – you can make results manifest so much faster than if you were to create those on your own. 🙂

  9. newton emase

    Apr 23, 2015 at 3:46 am

    Thank you andrea for this inspiring article, am a student and this are my limits and for now am trying to prove the inner critic wrong

    • Andrea

      Apr 27, 2015 at 3:11 pm

      As human beings we are gifted with ability to change our thoughts/behaviors and therefore our perceived limits. Good luck with proving your inner critic wrong Newton!

  10. Ann

    Apr 22, 2015 at 8:40 pm

    Andrea, Thanks for the reminder on how to tame my unhelpful beliefs.

  11. Ellen

    Apr 22, 2015 at 6:19 pm

    Great article Andrea. I especially like the point about checking in with your body. I often find I have tension in my shoulders in certain situations, and it’s a message that usually points to feeling tension about the person or situation for some reason.

    Thanks for sharing.

    • Andrea

      Apr 27, 2015 at 3:17 pm

      Thanks for leaving a comment Ellen. The body has so much more wisdom than we can explain in terms of science – I guess we can intuitively feel what is wrong if we really tune into and get familiar with these bodily signals.

  12. Wilfried

    Apr 22, 2015 at 4:08 pm

    Hi Andrea,

    Great article!
    I like especially that you address negative beliefs, like so many of us have, and how do you get rid of them?

    Cheers
    Wilfried

    • Andrea

      Apr 27, 2015 at 3:42 pm

      Hey Wifried,

      It’s funny you know only the other day I was talking to a friend, and we were discussing how so many of us are even unaware of these negative beliefs inside our minds. Shows how powerfully the mind conceals this from our very own eyes. So yes, locate them first, then you can start dealing with them!

  13. Lynn

    Apr 22, 2015 at 1:37 pm

    Well done, Andrea. You’ve provided life-changing advice in a straightforward, sensible way.

    I’d sum up as “Don’t always believe what you believe”! So my meditation teacher says 🙂

    • Andrea

      Apr 22, 2015 at 3:29 pm

      Thanks Lynn. I agree with your meditation teacher, though one of the hardest things to do! After all, it all seems so real… and that’s what’s so scary about it. 🙂

  14. Tejaswi

    Apr 22, 2015 at 12:32 pm

    Thanks a lot for a great article.
    I really needed this advice… Acknowledging and accepting the limiting beliefs before taming is the most important.

    Thanks again.
    Tejaswi

    • Andrea

      Apr 22, 2015 at 3:30 pm

      My pleasure Tejaswi. Thanks for stopping by and I’m glad if it helped 🙂

  15. Raymond Lamar Lee

    Apr 22, 2015 at 10:18 am

    Great Article, love the pic

  16. Divsdivya

    Apr 22, 2015 at 3:10 am

    Thanks andrea for sharing the article…..since few days i was reading the articles about the subconcious mind and how will it work in shaping our believes …this articles a simple with nice understandable examples…i liked the way you presented the article…

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The Guide to Staying Motivated While Working Alone

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Working alone at home might sound like a nightmare to some, but as a fully signed up introvert, working alone at home is an absolute dream. No energy-draining small talk, no noisy distractions, just peace and quiet to complete deep and focused work. Well not quite. Working alone at home has more challenges than you might expect. Boredom, lack of focus and lack of motivation to name a few.

When you start working for yourself, you quickly realise that one of the biggest problems you face isn’t the job itself. Maintaining your motivation poses a potentially huge difficulty. Much of that difficulty stems from working alone, rather than in a traditional office setting. There is also the challenge of staying focused on the task at hand. With no boss or supervisor looking over your shoulder, social media can distract or cat videos interrupt you.

But the greatest problem by far is a simple lack of motivation. There doesn’t seem to be a pressing need to finish this project right now, making it far too easy to put it off until later. Left unchecked, a lack of motivation can cripple the work you are trying to accomplish. Over the past few years I’ve developed a few go-to tactics to improve my lone working motivation.

Here are some of the tools I’ve used to stay motivated and on-task.

These first few tips focus on using different tweaks in your personal work schedule to provide some variety and maintain your focus.

1. Include short breaks

My eye doctor once told me that for every 20 minutes of staring at a computer screen, you should look away and focus on something across the room for 20 seconds. This gives your eyes a chance to reset. Do something similar with the rest of your body; don’t just look across the room, walk, jog, or run across the room. Give your body a break, and try to reset your thoughts. If you don’t have the discipline to take regular breaks, use an app to remind you.

2. Block out an afternoon for social activities and networking

Set aside one afternoon a week for your social life. Friday afternoon works best for me. If you feel guilty about not working, think of it as a chance to network. Either way, be sure to spend this section of time with other people. Socialise and network.

3. View your personal schedule as your work schedule

A 9-to-5 job requires getting up every morning, preparing for the day, leaving the house, and commuting to your workplace. In other words, it requires going to work. You want to recreate the same rhythm at home. You may not actually need to leave your house in order to work, but try to stick with the schedule. Filling the old job timeslot with your new work helps to keep you motivated – you can’t clock out early!

These next few tips are little things you can do to trick yourself into staying focused!

1. Music

This tip may sound cliché, but try listening to an upbeat song loudly whenever you feel unmotivated. It’s a simple trick, but a surprisingly effective one!

2. Have somewhere else to work for a change of scenery

When procrastination sets in, sometimes a quick change of scenery is all you need. If you work at home, going to your favourite café can be a huge help. Other freelancers I know have even gone so far as to hire office space outside the home, and rotate between the two to help stay on-task.

3. Love what you do

This is arguably the most critical point on the whole list. If you don’t love what you do, it will be hard to keep yourself motivated – particularly long-term. Sure, you may be able to push on through sheer force of will for a while, but sooner or later you’ll lose motivation entirely. Do something you genuinely enjoy, and you’ll find it much easier to stick with it for the long haul.

These last few tips are Industry-related!

1. Make sure you have fun projects

Not all of your work projects will be fun, but fight to make at least a couple of them fun. These might even be personal side projects, not particularly related to your main job. Or they might be in the same general field, but not your specific focus.

2. Attend industry events a couple of times a year

Nearly every imaginable industry has an organising body of some kind. Find the local branch, and use it to keep tabs on industry-related events. Attend some seminars, network, and maybe even glean some new tips and tricks from industry insiders.

3. Schedule at least one call a week to learn something within your industry

View this as an opportunity for personal development. At least once a week, try to learn something new about your industry. For me, this might mean calling a new tool provider to demonstrate their gadgets. Whatever your industry, try to expand your horizons a little bit every week. You’ll learn new methods and make new connections at the same time.

These tips worked for me, hopefully, some of them will help you out as well. Above all, strive to enjoy what you do, stick to a “work schedule,” and look for opportunities for constant self-improvement. With those ideas in mind, you’ll find staying motivated much easier to do alone or in a group!

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Motivation

7 Ways Yoga Effectively Motivates You to Achieve Success

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how yoga motivates you

Yoga is an appointment with your own self. It is time to meet your true self and receive a return ticket to your true nature that is bliss and happiness. You will naturally feel happy while doing yoga. Many people don’t realize they are in a distressed state until it’s too late. The same thing happened with me when I failed to understand my life’s circumstances. I was struggling with a lack of motivation, depression, insomnia, and maintaining my personal relationships, which eventually started affecting my physical health.

Last year, I struggled with depression and general anxiety disorder. I was constantly chasing after money, a lucrative career, happiness, and success. I was afraid that if I told my colleagues about my mental health issues, they would criticize me and eventually it would hamper my progression and I would not be taken seriously.

Last winter, my responsibilities in life increased in a short period of time, which created a lot of anxiety. It began to disturb my mood at home as I was unable to relax and felt low. I hated my own egotistical self because I was an extremely competitive individual as well. I always felt that I did not have the career of my dreams and I was not where I aimed to be. It felt like I was failing because I was not able to attain any of the goals I set in my own life.

I decided to share my emotions and feelings with someone who could potentially make things easier for me. I ended up explaining my struggles and mental illness to my manager. His reaction was amazing because he thanked me for being honest, and he introduced me to yoga. I am happy that I made this decision because it felt better after sweating it out in the Yoga workshop.

Yoga helped me in focusing on what I truly had, instead of on what I didn’t have. I learned how to embrace my competitive side and to use it in a way that pushed me to become a happier person. Yoga taught me that instead of wasting most of my life chasing after success and competing with others, I had to let life run its natural course. Happiness and success will then come to us naturally.

Below I have listed some reasons as to why yoga works effectively to motivate yourself to achieve success:

1. It Solves Your Problem

When it comes to challenges and tackling problems, yoga works amazingly. When you get on a yoga mat and begin to practice, you are made to deal with everything that comes to you and asked to face it gracefully. In turn, this increases your focus and patience levels, so that you will be able to face the mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical challenges at every turn.

2. It Lowers Your Anxiety and Stress

Yoga doesn’t mean that you will heal instantly, but constant practice can help you destress. The simple breathing and moving exercises can help a lot in releasing your tension and anxiety. 

Yoga helps in stretching your muscles by relaxing them as most of the stress and tension is stored there. The breathing exercises energize your body by increasing the blood flow, which eventually refreshes your body and mind. The daily practice of yoga makes you aware of the surroundings by making you control your emotions and stress.

“Learn to relax. Your body is precious, as it houses your mind and spirit. Inner peace begins with a relaxed body.” – Norman Vincent Peale

3. Increase Your Focus

Yoga helps improve your focus through the breathing exercises you do during the yoga postures. It relaxes the body and mind so you can think clearly, and in time build up the ability to concentrate. 

Yoga is focused on concentration, breathing,  and the alignments. Additionally, yoga’s claimed to bring mental and physical relaxation by energizing the parasympathetic nervous system, and this is the reason why yogis sleep well at night. No wonder they have such a healthy and a stress-free lifestyle.

4. It Helps in Redefining Success

Real success comes when you use yourself to your full capability. It does not matter what you become, the only thing that matters is that you are living your life to your full potential. 

If you want to be successful, then you must see everything just the way it is, without any distortion. Yoga helps you with just that. Through practicing yoga daily, you will start to see the results and live more joyfully.

5. It Boosts Your Health

Mental health affects your work and your physical health. Your physical health can drastically  affect your work as it will make you work less and take more time off, which will lead to lined-up pending assignments. 

Yoga helps your body with almost every physical problem. Yoga increases your blood flow, oxygen, and improves your circulatory system. All the postures of the Bikram yoga help to improve the flow of fresh and oxygenated blood to every part of the body and mind.

“Move your joints every day. You have to find your own tricks. Bury your mind deep in your heart, and watch the body move by itself.” – Sri Dharma Mittra

6. Gives Mindfulness and Makes You Present

Mindfulness teaches us to become more present at any given moment. It makes us more aware and conscious of our inner thoughts, feelings, emotions, and hence makes us strong enough to control our actions towards situations. 

Practicing breathing in yoga teaches you to experience and live each moment to the fullest. Over time, yoga will help you live in a deep sense of fulfillment and inner peace, which will ultimately help you in making the right decision for yourself and your team.

7. Stay Aware and Positive

A yogi tends to have a balanced outlook on life. Yoga sessions of meditations, breathing exercises, and mindfulness will aim at making you conscious and aware of yourself. Additionally,  it will open up new possibilities of understanding your true self. 

Yoga also aims at making you a positive person, and the effects of yoga are not limited to relaxation after a workout but are exceptionally long-lasting. Yoga makes you attain the attitude of gratitude that helps you identify the brighter side of life.

To achieve success through yoga, you must adapt it into your day to day life because having good health is a basic necessity to live a happy and healthy life and no one but you can keep yourself healthy.

Have you tried yoga? If so, share with us how it’s positively impacted your life below!

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