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4 Things You Should Do if Your Drive for Success is Taking a Toll on Your Mental Health

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There is no cookie-cutter formula for success. Success can look different depending on who you talk to. Some people pursue wealth while others chase after accolades. Then there are those who define success by the quality of their relationships with family and friends. In addition, others focus on their health and physique as a measure of success or self-worth. 

Often a person’s pursuit of success will depend on factors including what they feel they need to be okay with being who they are, or to get the love and approval they desire, or to meet expectations they believe they should achieve.

Whatever your definition of success, it can be helpful to know what motivates your pursuit for “more”— especially when a drive for success may be taking a toll on your mental health and ruining your quality of life. 

Below you’ll find four recommendations for how to regain a healthier perspective in your quest for success:

1. Be mindful of your daily stress levels and how you’re feeling

There is no point in reaching a goal of success if you wear yourself down day after day in the process. As is often said, happiness is a journey, not a destination. If your pursuit of success has become so stressful that it only feels like drudgery, it may be time to take some self-care measures. 

Poorly managed chronic stress can be as bad for your mental health as post-traumatic stress by negatively affecting your mind, thinking, body, behaviors, and relationships.

Chronic stress also impairs cognitive abilities and is associated with greater impulsiveness. That’s because we humans have a very sophisticated, built-in alarm system of sorts. This highly evolved stress response is designed to warn us of potential danger. 

In the face of a perceived threat, our body releases endorphins like adrenaline and cortisol. These chemicals prepare the body for “fight or flight”— a survival mechanism that can be incredibly handy when you’re staring down a lion on the African savannah. When you’ve got a big presentation tomorrow that you’ve had zero time to prepare for? Less so.

When your body gets accustomed to living in a near-constant state of fight or flight, your sleep is one of the first things to go. You’re then more likely to turn to pills, alcohol, or food to feel better. You also feel tired all the time and more inclined to be short with others or retreat altogether. Consequently, your relationships suffer.

Sleep, health and relationships are helpful barometers of stress levels, among other things. Pay attention to how you’re doing in these areas. Often, just a tweak here or there—to sleep and/or other lifestyle habits—can be a game changer for stress management.

“It is not a daily increase, but a daily decrease. Hack away at the inessentials.” – Bruce Lee

2. Strive for balance in all areas of your life, even if that balance seems elusive at times

If you’re regularly hitting home runs in one area of your life (such as in your profession) but keep striking out in every other domain (your relationships, health, etc.), you’d be better served exploring ways to juggle all of the aspects of your life. Don’t just be focused on one area of living.

The ideal is to strike a healthy balance between the physical, emotional, spiritual, career, and relationship spheres of life.

When we over-focus on one area, the other areas can suffer. A case in point: the workaholic who works all the time and soon finds they have nothing else; their health suffers, they are lonely, they don’t take time for their emotional and spiritual self and only keep draining the well until there is little left. This is called “burnout.” When you’re suffering from burnout, you are like a car without gas in the tank, you grind to a halt unexpectedly.

3. Seek greater flexibility, by cultivating an attitude of acceptance

People with a higher quality of life often report they have flexibility. They adjust to situations rather than ask situations to adjust to them. They do not demand their way, ask others to be the way they “should” be (but aren’t now) or set unreasonable expectations regarding outcomes.

We are all just human beings interacting in a vast and complicated world, so there is freedom in accepting the reality that we cannot simply “will” ourselves into success. If you can learn to accept and not fight life on its terms, but to adjust and respond in a healthy way, you’ll find that you’ll be better at dealing with the setbacks and issues you face each day.

Often a regular practice of mindfulness can be helpful at inculcating greater acceptance of oneself and the world around us. With that acceptance comes greater flexibility.

“The measure of intelligence is the ability to change.” – Albert Einstein

4. If fear is motivating your pursuit of success, work on letting it go

If fear were a person, it would only be selfish and self-interested. Fear assumes there are scarce resources and that you have to get yours or else be left out. When fear is operative, you constantly look for the next bad thing to happen; and your thinking, planning and coping skills are compromised because of your fear response.

Fear is not a motivator, it is a de-motivator. It is a hamster wheel that constantly keeps going, making us run for our lives without a break. There is always something else for us to be afraid of.

You would never knowingly instill fear in a child and tell them that is the ticket to success.  Instead, you would try to comfort, inspire, problem-solve and give them a feeling of self-worth and confidence. The same interventions work well for most of us grown-ups. If your success is driven by fears of failure or of not being good enough or of letting others down, it may be time to do some soul searching.

Maybe consider consulting a life coach or seeing a therapist. Not even the greatest fantasy of “having arrived” is worth achieving if that process is driven by what you’re afraid of.

Does your mental health ever take a toll because of your drive towards success? Share your thoughts and beliefs with us below! We’d love to know.

Dr. Beau Nelson heads the Clinical Services department at FHE Health, a nationally recognized behavioral health provider treating addiction and mental health conditions.  Learn more about FHE Health’s treatment programs here.

Success Advice

How Your Friends Determine Whether You Succeed or Not

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Can anyone do without having friends? We all have our friends, we share ideas with them, talk together, have fun, and fight. Yes, that’s the baseline of friendship. But, do you know that aside from you, your friends can determine whether you achieve success or not?

There are two things in friendship which are the ability to ”love” and the ability to “influence”. This means you are loved and you are influenced. How do your friends affect your success in life? How are they one of the biggest deciding factors of your success? Let’s find out.

What type of friends do you keep? 

First, what type of friends do you keep? Who do you call your best friend? There are two different kinds of friends, good friends, and bad ones. A lot of people have lost their pathway to success and some have also found their road to success all because of the friends they keep, the people they mingle with. 

Who is your best friend? Answer carefully. Having a best friend means you find each other compatible and understanding. Analyze who your best friend is. If your best friend has not motivated you to do something positive, if who you call your bestie has never given you positive advice, lastly if your best friend has never informed and advised you on your shortcomings, then you don’t have a best friend.

This quote tells us “birds of the same feather flock together”. Countless people have changed from their good nature into a bad one all because of friends. One thing to note is, “negative people move with negative aura”. If your best friend is filled with negativity inside-out then you will surely be affected by his/her negative aura.

They influence your success with positivity or negativity 

The friends you keep can either influence you with positivity or negativity because your friends have the power to change your kind of person completely. 

This is how your friends influence you:

  1. They influence you indirectly with what they do
  2. They influence you directly by teaching and giving you advice 

Yes, that is how they influence you. For instance, you watch a movie and you like the way the actor walks. The question is if you truly like the way the actor walks, won’t you try to imitate the actor? Of course, you will.

Just the way you imitate the actor is the same way your friends can influence you with their character. However, the funny part is, they don’t have to teach you to do things like them. You just find yourself imitating and copying them gradually.

An important question to ask is, are you imitating a good friend or a bad one? If you imitate a good friend then you will be good, but if you imitate a bad person, you will surely become a bad person.

Everyone wants to succeed, a good friend will always teach, enlighten, and motivate you for success. A bad friend will only motivate you to do evil things (smoking, drinking, fight, envy,).

And you should know that things like that are a great enemy of success and even of God. So, if you have these bad elements in your life, how will you achieve success? There is no way!

And also, they can teach and advise you directly. But, what do your friends teach you? When you ask them for advice do they inspire you positively or teach you the bad stuff.? A lot of people have regretted lifelong decisions just by listening to the advice of friends. 

The company you keep has the power to influence and change you. Never forget that a positive influence will teach, motivate, and brush you up for success. While a negative influence will inspire you to become a bad person, change your good nature, and leave you with regrets in the end.

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The 3 Step Process to Building a Profitable Pitch

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As a communication coach, one of the top questions entrepreneurs ask me is how to deliver a winning pitch to potential investors. They want to know if there’s a magic formula to get an investor to say yes and buy into their dream and their business. (more…)

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The 4 Pillars of Wealth and Abundance

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Have you ever wondered what the formula for a wealthy and abundant life is? Many people have. Lots has been written about the subject of wealth creation and living an abundant life. It was a breaking point in my journey and pursuit of success when I found out that there is a clear path to achieve success in life. Thanks to those who have shared their journey, we can clearly see and follow the principles of prosperity. (more…)

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Success Advice

Here Are 4 Reasons Why You Should Have a Podcast, Youtube Channel or Online Show

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Confidence comes from a place of strong understanding of self. After close to three years on radio, I’ve grown from a shy introvert to a shy introvert with an extrovert persona. When the mic is turned on, I can channel a version of myself that some say is attractive, strong, and of course, confident but it wasn’t always this way.

What I want to share with you is what I discovered on this journey into broadcast that you can apply to your life, your ventures, and your personal development. This doesn’t require any fancy gear. It does require a leap of faith on your part because once you go down the road of media; it can change your life.

1. Perceived Expertise

When you go to a doctor, you expect their knowledge will guide them to a solution to your problems. When you have a show, you become your listeners’ doctor. For all the multiple thousands, maybe millions, of YouTube channels, podcasts, and user-created content in the world, each person that gets behind a mic takes a position on their passion, their opinions, and their themes.

They challenge the status quo for the benefit of their listeners in hopes to entertain and educate. With consistency on your side, those fans place you on a platform and give you permission to influence them.

2. Global Acknowledgement

One of the benefits to increasing confidence is when you receive thank you notes from people you may never meet. The feeling of enriching someone’s life from halfway around the globe, provides validation you’re enhancing someone else’s life with your wisdom and your wit.

The very first time I was told I was making a difference in someone’s life in a country other than my own, I felt like I caused massive impact that transcends my circle of influence. When you experience just how much you can cause impact and it comes back to you, it’ll change your worldview.

“Be grateful for what you have and stop complaining – it bores everybody else, does you no good, and doesn’t solve any problems.” – Zig Ziglar

3. Backed By Numbers

One of the most exciting ways to measure success is to quantify your growth. It’s not enough to just broadcast. Having subscribers and downloads helps to know, numerically, how well you’re doing. Word of caution. This can be a way to set yourself up for distress because of number envy but if you understand what the numbers mean; you can control the narrative of the numbers.

The major number that makes most people smile is 10,000. I’d advise it to be 1. Here’s why. As you grow in your industry, so does your reach. If you learned that the one person that subscribed totally changed for the better because of you, wouldn’t that be worth the effort?

4. Effective Communication

While it’s not talked about much, having a show is documentation. You create a dynamic account of your life, your industry, and the pulse on what’s important simply by having a show. When you find a channel to improve your communication skills, you demand attention and people will listen to you. You become more trusted as a leader and people will follow you once they believe you can lead them to their wants and needs.

“To effectively communicate, we must realize that we are all different in the way we perceive the world and use this understanding as a guide to our communication with others.” – Tony Robbins

These insights have helped many people become leaders and, ultimately, move others to their best selves. It’s worked for me and I hope it works for you. At the end of the day, it’s all about showing up and showing out.

Have you ever thought about having a radio show? If so, what would you talk about? Let us below!

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