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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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Motivation

You Snooze, You Lose! 4 Hacks to Get Out of Bed When That Alarm Goes Off

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Did you know that more than 57% of Americans hit the snooze button? That adds up to 3.5 months of our lives just snoozing! Why would we waste time snoozing when the intention is to actually get up to get things done? Is it laziness, a lack of discipline, motivation, or commitment? It doesn’t actually matter.

The fact is, you can’t be as productive as you want when you are getting out of bed late!  That is the obvious part. The not so obvious part is how to actually get of bed, when every part of you is screaming to sleep a bit longer. Let’s create a bit of pain first, because I’m assuming you actually don’t see the downsides to snoozing, or you are being ignorant and ignorance will never get you the results you want.

Sabotaging Success

Did you know that every time you set yourself an intention to wake up early and you don’t follow through with it, you dramatically lower your confidence and belief in yourself? Your word to yourself start to mean less and less. You can say to yourself, I will do this, but you know you probably won’t.

Nothing will sabotage your success more than losing faith in your own word. You need confidence to get results in life! Are you somebody who follows through with their word or not? You either are or you aren’t.

The second consequence, is that you are losing income and awesome results you could be having sooner. Why choose the easier things now and have a harder life later on, when you can choose the harder things now and have an easier life later on?  Don’t settle in life, this will never ever fulfill you.

4 Hacks to get out of bed when that alarm goes off:

1. Don’t negotiate with your brain 

If you start negotiating with your brain, you will always lose. So don’t go there, don’t even start that conversation in your mind! If you have decided to get out of bed, then do it, follow through with your word. Why change your mind in the morning? 

The ‘pleasure seeking’ part of your brain is always on automatic and it’s so strong, your ‘pre-fontal’ cortex doesn’t have much chance of winning this battle when you are half asleep in bed. Once you are out of bed, habit stack. It’s the 5 second rule – you are up already – don’t you dare go back.  Do exactly what you would do habitually. Do you go straight for the shower or do you get a glass of lemon juice? Know what you are going to do already to take any thinking out of it!

“Lose an hour in the morning and you will spend all day looking for it.” – Richard Whately

2. Look at your identity 

You behave according to what you believe. You believe what you repeat. Look at your own language, what do you say to yourself about getting up? Do you say things like; “It’s so hard to get out of bed in the morning” or “I’ve never been a morning person.” What you say becomes your reality of yourself and either motivates or demotivates you.

What you want to be saying to yourself is: “Just get out of bed. It’s easy, just get up. I can do this because I want to, I decide and control my actions. I am in control.” I can almost guarantee, if you struggle to get up when your alarm goes off, there is a part of your identity that believes this is who you are. If you change how you talk to yourself, about who you are, and tell yourself you can do anything, because you said so, your actions will be completely different.

3. Leaping out of bed

Unless I have a very compelling reason, I know it would be hard to get out of bed. We need to use our minds to motivate us into action, and the best way to do this, is to get excited the day before. Write down at least 5 reasons on a piece of paper; list why you want to leap out of bed tomorrow. This can take 2 minutes! The next morning, when your alarm goes off, look at that piece of paper, immediately so you know what awaits you and get up.

4. Use accountability and peer pressure

Create a game with your friends, family members, coach, colleagues, or business partner, I don’t care who it is, as long as you know that person will hold you accountable. Have fun with it, take a picture fully dressed and showered and send to your accountability partner, or call a ‘penalty’ if you don’t, like taking your friend out for dinner or spouse every time you sleep in. Get creative and use your support system.  The point is, it doesn’t matter what system you set up, how crazy it might seem, what matters is if it works!

Remember, you don’t need to make big changes from the outset, if you feel like an hour or 30 minute change is too much, start with 5 minutes earlier each day or 10 minutes earlier each week. You must be getting enough sleep and not over sleeping either. You have one life and if you are a business owner, I know you are missing out on results and lowering your confidence indirectly too.

“Life is getting up an hour early to live an hour more.”

You can have the best intentions to get up earlier every day, but if you let that snooze button control you, you will never follow through with your intentions or get your results! It is the small changes that can give us the biggest results. Try one these hacks to finally get out of that bed in the morning and finally take back your time! Don’t allow it to be more powerful than you.

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Motivation

Why It’s a Great Thing for Adversity to Push You to Your Breaking Point

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If you are not finding challenges that knock you flat on your back then you are missing out. A darker side of success that some have touched on is that you need to fail more. In addition to this, we should consider finding the challenges that punch us in the mouth and knock us unconscious.

The easiest place to be in life is one of comfort and knowing what tomorrow will bring. This brings little growth and requires very little effort because it’s safe. However, if we look at our role models who have done great things, then we will surely see that they have failed spectacularly.

Michael Jordan locked himself in his room and cried after he didn’t make his varsity basketball team as a sophomore. Walt Disney’s second business that failed miserably was called Laugh-O-Gram. JK Rowling was rejected by 12 literary publishers before she found any success.

Most likely you can think of some challenges that you rose up to beat in your own life. I would venture to say that the most difficult challenges that meant the most to you knocked you on your back right before you conquered them.

“Every adversity, every failure, and every heartache, carries with it the Seed of an equivalent or greater Benefit.” – Napoleon Hill

These obstacles are there for a reason. They are an important part of the puzzle for you. So if you find yourself in a place where you feel stuck or overwhelmed by a burden that seems insurmountable then this is a very good thing.

Life gives you everything you need

Life will give us everything we need, including the message that you have to get back up and go back at it with more determination, more will, and more fight than what you had before. Sometimes the moment we are down and out is the moment we have to regroup, reorganize, and come up with a new strategy to overcome those impending obstacles.

The reason the challenge knocks us down is because we need it. Just like an ocean wave knocks down an inexperienced surfer, it’s just a sign that the young surfer has to grow and become better.

Just like a surfer, the same is true for you and wherever you are at now. You have faced many things in your life which force you to become stronger for what is now in front of you.

However, what is most important in all this is having a challenge that can move you. For the surfer, the thrill of riding that perfect wave is worth the cost of getting beaten down by ocean waves again and again. For the man creating a business and putting his heart and soul into it, the reward of being a success and changing lives is worth battling each and everyday to get his enterprise up and off the ground.

For the woman who runs a marathon, the thrill of running across the finish line and having that experience was worth all the training and the grueling exhaustion she had to endure so that she could get to that point.

These experiences are the ones that can move you, but if your goal can have such a positive affect on you, then it can also have a dramatically negative affect as well. This is why you need challenges that can break you.

“It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all, in which case you have failed by default.” – J. K. Rowling

Why you need failure

The surfer is devastated after breaking his arm and having to spend time away from his passion, but after his recovery he is reinvigorated. The business fails and the man is crushed, but he comes back stronger and more experienced with another business. The runner fails at finishing her marathon, but trains harder and comes back even better.

For this reason, failure is only feedback and something to be used as a positive for getting to where you want to go. If you get knocked down you might just need to rest and try again. Or it could mean that you should go get some help and try again.

Remember, failure isn’t final and success within failure is having the opportunity to try again.

You should only be alarmed when you have failed challenges that aren’t breaking you. This means that you are playing it safe and need something more compelling to propel you forward.

If the challenge breaks you then you know it means something to you. Even more importantly, you have the opportunity to go again, harder and even more determined.

How do you handle failure? Let us know in the comments below!

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Motivation

What To Tell Yourself During A Tough Time.

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We all go through tough times.

A few examples of mine are:

  • Multiple consecutive breakups
  • Walking away from a business that could have made me a lot of money
  • Having my career come to a grinding halt
  • Dealing with mental illness

The list is very long and I’m sure yours is similar. It’s not about the tough times we go through though because they are guaranteed and you already knew that before you clicked this article.

What matters during tough times is what you tell yourself.

This is what I say to myself during tough times — well there’s actually four things I say to myself depending on the tough time I’m facing:


“This will pass”

No event in your life lasts forever. Today may be a really tough day, but that won’t last forever. We delude ourselves at times by saying in our head “I’m always going to be like this.”

“Why does this always happen to me?”

“Here we go again.”

These negative phrases tell our brain that things are never going to get better. When we say these phrases to ourselves enough, we start to believe them. During a difficult period in your life, in that moment, things will suck.

The way to get out of your head is to see the truth: this will pass. In one day, one month, or one year this tough situation will have passed and you’ll be onto the next part of your life.

Nothing lasts forever unless you allow your mind to trap you in the moment and believe a lie which is that this moment won’t pass. It will. You will come out the other side.


I’ll be stronger having dealt with this situation

When you reframe your tough times into strength building exercises, they take a whole new meaning.

All of a sudden, your current situation that may be wearing you down becomes like reps at the gym. The reps are a struggle and it hurts, but if you keep moving forward, you end up with mental toughness and strength.

“Exchange your tough times for mental toughness”

See this challenging situation for what it is. It’s the chance to come out the other end stronger.

Stack your tough times up like gold medals.

Have you dealt with cancer? Good, then you won’t take your health for granted ever again.

Have you lost a loved one? Then you’ll never take the rest of your family for granted and care for them more than you did before.

Did you lose your job? Amazing! Now you can work somewhere else and discover more of your hidden talents!

Without tough times, you won’t have the strategies you need to deal with the impossible. Your heroes are your heroes because they’ve used their tough times to become stronger.

Failure and rejection are the building blocks to whatever your definition of success is. Tough times make you hungryand that’s a good thing.


Keep taking baby steps forward

Tough times can feel like quicksand sometimes.

If you don’t keep moving forward though, you’ll eventually sink into the quicksand. The best thing you can do during the toughest of challenges is take baby steps.

When I battled severe anxiety, I took baby steps such as these:

  • Walked 15 minutes a day
  • Drank an extra glass of water each day to hydrate my body
  • Read one book a month on anxiety
  • Exposed myself to one small fear each day. It started with going two levels in a lift (something I couldn’t do before). Then I’d go three levels the next day and so on.

That last dot point is critical. Overcoming tough times requires you to take baby steps in the form of being uncomfortable. When you’re growing each day, you don’t have time to be too concerned about a particular tough time.

My battle with anxiety eventually led me to flying long distances (another thing I couldn’t do before) and then speaking on stages in front of a lot of people.

As you can see, the first few steps — like going two floors in a lift — are quite small. Then the steps get bigger and bigger until what used to seem impossible becomes a piece of cake.

Take baby steps.


“It only takes one person”

Tough times often require someone to believe in you. From my experience, you only need one person.

One person to believe in your idea.
One person to love you.
One person who has gone through the same tough times as you.

This one person exists. You have to go out there and find them. That one person for me was a team leader when I was working in a call center. He believed in me enough to take me aside and coach me one on one.

He believed I was going to go on and change the world through personal development. He was right and I did!

Don’t give up. Your one person exists as well.

<<<>>>

These four things are what I tell myself during a tough time. One of these phrases will always be the right one depending on the circumstance.

Believe that there is a way out and you’ll find one. It’s during the tough times that you’ll develop the skills and experience to help others.

What I’ve learned is that to get through the tough times, one of the best hacks is to focus on helping others. When you’re focusing on how you can serve, your own selfish problems become insignificant.

Seek out people who have even bigger problems than you do and listen to them. See if you can help them.

That’s how you deal with the tough times.

Tell yourself the truth. You deserve to hear it.

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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Motivation

This Can Be Your Life If You Choose It.

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I was sitting down last week with a friend for lemongrass and ginger teas — because that’s how we roll in Melbourne.

My friend was telling me his recent life challenges and why he’d stopped replying to everybody’s messages.

I’ll get to the point: he’d got stuck in the daily grind.

Your life is not this:

  • Wake up
  • Eat breakfast
  • Go to work
  • Have lunch
  • Come home
  • Ask your partner how their day was
  • Play with kids (if you have them)
  • Look forward to the weekend
  • Go to bed
  • Rinse and repeat

If this is how your life is, chances are you’re going to have challenges. Not because these daily activities are a problem but because there’s so much more to life.

When every day is the same, and you don’t know why, you become lost.


What do I mean by lost?

You go back to old ways. In my friend’s case, his mental health issues kicked in again. He started feeling sorry for himself. He lost his way.

For me, getting lost looks like going back to a state of negativity. A state where the world is against me and everything feels impossible.


Your life can be different if you choose it to be.

This is not hyperbole. Your life can be different.

How?

By not getting stuck in the daily grind. The way you do this is by being present. Noticing right now instead of looking down at your phone.

You can also break your routine. Don’t do the same thing every dayAdd some small twists and turns to how you do things.

Your life doesn’t have to be boring and full of routines. Habits are good to have as long as they don’t become 99.9% of your day. Having nothing but habits takes the variety out of your day.

You end up thinking the same way day in and day out. This stops you from seeing the endless opportunities that are available to you if you can only see them.


There has to be meaning.

No matter how big or how small, meaning gives you a reason to wake up outside of just following some pre-defined routine.

My friend that was going through issues last week didn’t have a meaning. He’d forgotten why he came to work. To shake up his reality, I told him about the day before where I’d volunteered at the local homeless shelter.

He asked me why I did it.

I told him It gets you out of your head. It makes you think and feel completely different. You stop feeling sorry for yourself. It reminds you of what it’s like to have a meaning.


We make the mistake of thinking everyone’s life is perfect except ours.

“I get this all the time. People think I live some rockstar blogging lifestyle full of free lunches, endless high-fives, smiles and opportunities. The reality couldn’t be further from this fake idea”

I have the same battles and challenges.
I get stuck in routines too.
I sometimes chase productivity over meaning as well.

No one has a straight flush of perfect days where all their hopes and dreams come true. Rejection, punches to the face, and disappointment affect us all.

The way you choose the good life is to acknowledge and push through the difficult parts of life.

As hard as I try, some days just suck. Some days I don’t feel like writing or my career is in the dumps.

The only difference is what you choose.

For me, I choose to keep moving forward. I choose optimism even when nothing makes sense and all the chips are stacked against me.

There’s no secret hack other than choosing to not settle for a life of routine and one that contains no variety.

You get to make that choice. That’s the difference.

The life you want is your choice. It’s not made for you.

Choose to change things up.

<<<>>>

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

How You Can Effectively Achieve Your Goals by Using the Puzzle Analogy

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Image Credit: Twenty20.com

I was building a 500 piece puzzle the other day with many tiny little pieces. When I opened the box, I was completely overwhelmed. There were so many pieces and many of them were very similar in color. I took a breath and thought “just do one piece at a time”. I knew that I had to come up with a plan and organize the pieces into groups before I got started. This helped me to focus and take away some of the overwhelming feelings that were coming up. I came up with a plan and executed that plan. (more…)

Meghan Olsgard is the creator and writer of www.infinitesoulblueprint.com where she writes articles about self-empowerment and creating a fulfilling life. She shares her personal experiences and the obstacles she has overcame to help and inspire others to do the same. You can get more information at her website or follow her on Facebook.

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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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Motivation

You Snooze, You Lose! 4 Hacks to Get Out of Bed When That Alarm Goes Off

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Did you know that more than 57% of Americans hit the snooze button? That adds up to 3.5 months of our lives just snoozing! Why would we waste time snoozing when the intention is to actually get up to get things done? Is it laziness, a lack of discipline, motivation, or commitment? It doesn’t actually matter.

The fact is, you can’t be as productive as you want when you are getting out of bed late!  That is the obvious part. The not so obvious part is how to actually get of bed, when every part of you is screaming to sleep a bit longer. Let’s create a bit of pain first, because I’m assuming you actually don’t see the downsides to snoozing, or you are being ignorant and ignorance will never get you the results you want.

Sabotaging Success

Did you know that every time you set yourself an intention to wake up early and you don’t follow through with it, you dramatically lower your confidence and belief in yourself? Your word to yourself start to mean less and less. You can say to yourself, I will do this, but you know you probably won’t.

Nothing will sabotage your success more than losing faith in your own word. You need confidence to get results in life! Are you somebody who follows through with their word or not? You either are or you aren’t.

The second consequence, is that you are losing income and awesome results you could be having sooner. Why choose the easier things now and have a harder life later on, when you can choose the harder things now and have an easier life later on?  Don’t settle in life, this will never ever fulfill you.

4 Hacks to get out of bed when that alarm goes off:

1. Don’t negotiate with your brain 

If you start negotiating with your brain, you will always lose. So don’t go there, don’t even start that conversation in your mind! If you have decided to get out of bed, then do it, follow through with your word. Why change your mind in the morning? 

The ‘pleasure seeking’ part of your brain is always on automatic and it’s so strong, your ‘pre-fontal’ cortex doesn’t have much chance of winning this battle when you are half asleep in bed. Once you are out of bed, habit stack. It’s the 5 second rule – you are up already – don’t you dare go back.  Do exactly what you would do habitually. Do you go straight for the shower or do you get a glass of lemon juice? Know what you are going to do already to take any thinking out of it!

“Lose an hour in the morning and you will spend all day looking for it.” – Richard Whately

2. Look at your identity 

You behave according to what you believe. You believe what you repeat. Look at your own language, what do you say to yourself about getting up? Do you say things like; “It’s so hard to get out of bed in the morning” or “I’ve never been a morning person.” What you say becomes your reality of yourself and either motivates or demotivates you.

What you want to be saying to yourself is: “Just get out of bed. It’s easy, just get up. I can do this because I want to, I decide and control my actions. I am in control.” I can almost guarantee, if you struggle to get up when your alarm goes off, there is a part of your identity that believes this is who you are. If you change how you talk to yourself, about who you are, and tell yourself you can do anything, because you said so, your actions will be completely different.

3. Leaping out of bed

Unless I have a very compelling reason, I know it would be hard to get out of bed. We need to use our minds to motivate us into action, and the best way to do this, is to get excited the day before. Write down at least 5 reasons on a piece of paper; list why you want to leap out of bed tomorrow. This can take 2 minutes! The next morning, when your alarm goes off, look at that piece of paper, immediately so you know what awaits you and get up.

4. Use accountability and peer pressure

Create a game with your friends, family members, coach, colleagues, or business partner, I don’t care who it is, as long as you know that person will hold you accountable. Have fun with it, take a picture fully dressed and showered and send to your accountability partner, or call a ‘penalty’ if you don’t, like taking your friend out for dinner or spouse every time you sleep in. Get creative and use your support system.  The point is, it doesn’t matter what system you set up, how crazy it might seem, what matters is if it works!

Remember, you don’t need to make big changes from the outset, if you feel like an hour or 30 minute change is too much, start with 5 minutes earlier each day or 10 minutes earlier each week. You must be getting enough sleep and not over sleeping either. You have one life and if you are a business owner, I know you are missing out on results and lowering your confidence indirectly too.

“Life is getting up an hour early to live an hour more.”

You can have the best intentions to get up earlier every day, but if you let that snooze button control you, you will never follow through with your intentions or get your results! It is the small changes that can give us the biggest results. Try one these hacks to finally get out of that bed in the morning and finally take back your time! Don’t allow it to be more powerful than you.

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Motivation

Why It’s a Great Thing for Adversity to Push You to Your Breaking Point

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If you are not finding challenges that knock you flat on your back then you are missing out. A darker side of success that some have touched on is that you need to fail more. In addition to this, we should consider finding the challenges that punch us in the mouth and knock us unconscious.

The easiest place to be in life is one of comfort and knowing what tomorrow will bring. This brings little growth and requires very little effort because it’s safe. However, if we look at our role models who have done great things, then we will surely see that they have failed spectacularly.

Michael Jordan locked himself in his room and cried after he didn’t make his varsity basketball team as a sophomore. Walt Disney’s second business that failed miserably was called Laugh-O-Gram. JK Rowling was rejected by 12 literary publishers before she found any success.

Most likely you can think of some challenges that you rose up to beat in your own life. I would venture to say that the most difficult challenges that meant the most to you knocked you on your back right before you conquered them.

“Every adversity, every failure, and every heartache, carries with it the Seed of an equivalent or greater Benefit.” – Napoleon Hill

These obstacles are there for a reason. They are an important part of the puzzle for you. So if you find yourself in a place where you feel stuck or overwhelmed by a burden that seems insurmountable then this is a very good thing.

Life gives you everything you need

Life will give us everything we need, including the message that you have to get back up and go back at it with more determination, more will, and more fight than what you had before. Sometimes the moment we are down and out is the moment we have to regroup, reorganize, and come up with a new strategy to overcome those impending obstacles.

The reason the challenge knocks us down is because we need it. Just like an ocean wave knocks down an inexperienced surfer, it’s just a sign that the young surfer has to grow and become better.

Just like a surfer, the same is true for you and wherever you are at now. You have faced many things in your life which force you to become stronger for what is now in front of you.

However, what is most important in all this is having a challenge that can move you. For the surfer, the thrill of riding that perfect wave is worth the cost of getting beaten down by ocean waves again and again. For the man creating a business and putting his heart and soul into it, the reward of being a success and changing lives is worth battling each and everyday to get his enterprise up and off the ground.

For the woman who runs a marathon, the thrill of running across the finish line and having that experience was worth all the training and the grueling exhaustion she had to endure so that she could get to that point.

These experiences are the ones that can move you, but if your goal can have such a positive affect on you, then it can also have a dramatically negative affect as well. This is why you need challenges that can break you.

“It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all, in which case you have failed by default.” – J. K. Rowling

Why you need failure

The surfer is devastated after breaking his arm and having to spend time away from his passion, but after his recovery he is reinvigorated. The business fails and the man is crushed, but he comes back stronger and more experienced with another business. The runner fails at finishing her marathon, but trains harder and comes back even better.

For this reason, failure is only feedback and something to be used as a positive for getting to where you want to go. If you get knocked down you might just need to rest and try again. Or it could mean that you should go get some help and try again.

Remember, failure isn’t final and success within failure is having the opportunity to try again.

You should only be alarmed when you have failed challenges that aren’t breaking you. This means that you are playing it safe and need something more compelling to propel you forward.

If the challenge breaks you then you know it means something to you. Even more importantly, you have the opportunity to go again, harder and even more determined.

How do you handle failure? Let us know in the comments below!

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Motivation

What To Tell Yourself During A Tough Time.

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We all go through tough times.

A few examples of mine are:

  • Multiple consecutive breakups
  • Walking away from a business that could have made me a lot of money
  • Having my career come to a grinding halt
  • Dealing with mental illness

The list is very long and I’m sure yours is similar. It’s not about the tough times we go through though because they are guaranteed and you already knew that before you clicked this article.

What matters during tough times is what you tell yourself.

This is what I say to myself during tough times — well there’s actually four things I say to myself depending on the tough time I’m facing:


“This will pass”

No event in your life lasts forever. Today may be a really tough day, but that won’t last forever. We delude ourselves at times by saying in our head “I’m always going to be like this.”

“Why does this always happen to me?”

“Here we go again.”

These negative phrases tell our brain that things are never going to get better. When we say these phrases to ourselves enough, we start to believe them. During a difficult period in your life, in that moment, things will suck.

The way to get out of your head is to see the truth: this will pass. In one day, one month, or one year this tough situation will have passed and you’ll be onto the next part of your life.

Nothing lasts forever unless you allow your mind to trap you in the moment and believe a lie which is that this moment won’t pass. It will. You will come out the other side.


I’ll be stronger having dealt with this situation

When you reframe your tough times into strength building exercises, they take a whole new meaning.

All of a sudden, your current situation that may be wearing you down becomes like reps at the gym. The reps are a struggle and it hurts, but if you keep moving forward, you end up with mental toughness and strength.

“Exchange your tough times for mental toughness”

See this challenging situation for what it is. It’s the chance to come out the other end stronger.

Stack your tough times up like gold medals.

Have you dealt with cancer? Good, then you won’t take your health for granted ever again.

Have you lost a loved one? Then you’ll never take the rest of your family for granted and care for them more than you did before.

Did you lose your job? Amazing! Now you can work somewhere else and discover more of your hidden talents!

Without tough times, you won’t have the strategies you need to deal with the impossible. Your heroes are your heroes because they’ve used their tough times to become stronger.

Failure and rejection are the building blocks to whatever your definition of success is. Tough times make you hungryand that’s a good thing.


Keep taking baby steps forward

Tough times can feel like quicksand sometimes.

If you don’t keep moving forward though, you’ll eventually sink into the quicksand. The best thing you can do during the toughest of challenges is take baby steps.

When I battled severe anxiety, I took baby steps such as these:

  • Walked 15 minutes a day
  • Drank an extra glass of water each day to hydrate my body
  • Read one book a month on anxiety
  • Exposed myself to one small fear each day. It started with going two levels in a lift (something I couldn’t do before). Then I’d go three levels the next day and so on.

That last dot point is critical. Overcoming tough times requires you to take baby steps in the form of being uncomfortable. When you’re growing each day, you don’t have time to be too concerned about a particular tough time.

My battle with anxiety eventually led me to flying long distances (another thing I couldn’t do before) and then speaking on stages in front of a lot of people.

As you can see, the first few steps — like going two floors in a lift — are quite small. Then the steps get bigger and bigger until what used to seem impossible becomes a piece of cake.

Take baby steps.


“It only takes one person”

Tough times often require someone to believe in you. From my experience, you only need one person.

One person to believe in your idea.
One person to love you.
One person who has gone through the same tough times as you.

This one person exists. You have to go out there and find them. That one person for me was a team leader when I was working in a call center. He believed in me enough to take me aside and coach me one on one.

He believed I was going to go on and change the world through personal development. He was right and I did!

Don’t give up. Your one person exists as well.

<<<>>>

These four things are what I tell myself during a tough time. One of these phrases will always be the right one depending on the circumstance.

Believe that there is a way out and you’ll find one. It’s during the tough times that you’ll develop the skills and experience to help others.

What I’ve learned is that to get through the tough times, one of the best hacks is to focus on helping others. When you’re focusing on how you can serve, your own selfish problems become insignificant.

Seek out people who have even bigger problems than you do and listen to them. See if you can help them.

That’s how you deal with the tough times.

Tell yourself the truth. You deserve to hear it.

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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Motivation

This Can Be Your Life If You Choose It.

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I was sitting down last week with a friend for lemongrass and ginger teas — because that’s how we roll in Melbourne.

My friend was telling me his recent life challenges and why he’d stopped replying to everybody’s messages.

I’ll get to the point: he’d got stuck in the daily grind.

Your life is not this:

  • Wake up
  • Eat breakfast
  • Go to work
  • Have lunch
  • Come home
  • Ask your partner how their day was
  • Play with kids (if you have them)
  • Look forward to the weekend
  • Go to bed
  • Rinse and repeat

If this is how your life is, chances are you’re going to have challenges. Not because these daily activities are a problem but because there’s so much more to life.

When every day is the same, and you don’t know why, you become lost.


What do I mean by lost?

You go back to old ways. In my friend’s case, his mental health issues kicked in again. He started feeling sorry for himself. He lost his way.

For me, getting lost looks like going back to a state of negativity. A state where the world is against me and everything feels impossible.


Your life can be different if you choose it to be.

This is not hyperbole. Your life can be different.

How?

By not getting stuck in the daily grind. The way you do this is by being present. Noticing right now instead of looking down at your phone.

You can also break your routine. Don’t do the same thing every dayAdd some small twists and turns to how you do things.

Your life doesn’t have to be boring and full of routines. Habits are good to have as long as they don’t become 99.9% of your day. Having nothing but habits takes the variety out of your day.

You end up thinking the same way day in and day out. This stops you from seeing the endless opportunities that are available to you if you can only see them.


There has to be meaning.

No matter how big or how small, meaning gives you a reason to wake up outside of just following some pre-defined routine.

My friend that was going through issues last week didn’t have a meaning. He’d forgotten why he came to work. To shake up his reality, I told him about the day before where I’d volunteered at the local homeless shelter.

He asked me why I did it.

I told him It gets you out of your head. It makes you think and feel completely different. You stop feeling sorry for yourself. It reminds you of what it’s like to have a meaning.


We make the mistake of thinking everyone’s life is perfect except ours.

“I get this all the time. People think I live some rockstar blogging lifestyle full of free lunches, endless high-fives, smiles and opportunities. The reality couldn’t be further from this fake idea”

I have the same battles and challenges.
I get stuck in routines too.
I sometimes chase productivity over meaning as well.

No one has a straight flush of perfect days where all their hopes and dreams come true. Rejection, punches to the face, and disappointment affect us all.

The way you choose the good life is to acknowledge and push through the difficult parts of life.

As hard as I try, some days just suck. Some days I don’t feel like writing or my career is in the dumps.

The only difference is what you choose.

For me, I choose to keep moving forward. I choose optimism even when nothing makes sense and all the chips are stacked against me.

There’s no secret hack other than choosing to not settle for a life of routine and one that contains no variety.

You get to make that choice. That’s the difference.

The life you want is your choice. It’s not made for you.

Choose to change things up.

<<<>>>

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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