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5 Ways To Destroy The Illusion Of Fear

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Can you remember the last time you really wanted to do something, but didn’t? What stopped you, what changed your mind? Was it that voice inside your head? Have you ever stopped to question, who and what that voice is? Fear. Fear is the catalyst for inaction. Fear is the voice that tells us, if we try, the probability of failure will be higher than that of success, that rejection is more likely than acceptance, fear is the impetus that makes us do nothing instead.

In his most recent novel, ‘Aleph’, Paolo Coehlo says that, it’s in fact, not courage but willpower that leads to success. He says that willpower provides us with the determination and dedication required to pursue our dreams and not the absence of fear.

If we look at all of the successful people in the world, Ghandi, Steve Jobs, Mandela, Donald Trump, above all else, they possessed the fortitude to keep going. They all experienced issues along the way, however, when they embarked on their journey, they never anticipated the road to be a smooth one. So any problems they encountered, motivated them more, they chose to keep going when others would have given up, they chose to fight not retreat, they chose … freedom.

Here is a list of points to help you overcome your fears:

 

1) Feel the fear and do it anyway

You might remember this title from the best selling book by Dr Susan Jeffers. In her book, Dr Jeffers talks about developing assertiveness and challenging our negative thought patterns. She also talks about how we can extend our comfort zone by taking risks. The message to be learned then is that the only way we can overcome our fears is by confronting them. Put your fear aside, and just do it.

 

2) Go beyond reason

I recently watched the film ‘Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close’. Following the movie, I was researching the events of 911 on the Internet, and I came across an article listing accounts of several people who were delayed on that fateful day. People lost their car keys, others were caught in traffic, one woman was late for work because she forgot to set her alarm, another man got stuck on the freeway because of an accident … the stories are endless.

Sometimes we’re not aware of the master plan, the grand design and it isn’t until some time has passed, when we reflect back, we possess an understanding of why we met someone, why we missed that train or that an unforeseen obstacle or delay was in fact a blessing in disguise or the universe conspiring. Call it destiny, serendipity but regardless, remember, there is always a reason why things happened, even if we’re not aware of it at the time.

 

3) Too little, too late

Eight years ago my father was diagnosed with reflux. After a further year with no resolve, he decided to seek a second opinion. However, it was too late, the doctor diagnosed him with liver cancer which was in the advanced stages, and he was given 2 months to live. That was in November of 2004, by January the following year, he had passed. When my sisters and I were sorting through his papers, we came across a visa application for Burma. My father had left his home town 35 years ago and had always vowed to return. Have you heard the expression ‘too late she cried’? If my father had sought a second opinion sooner or not waited 35 years to return to Burma, perhaps this story would have a different ending. That holiday you’ve never had, the language class you never enrolled in, the friend you never made amends with, don’t find yourself saying, ‘I always wanted to … ‘ instead, write your bucket list and start planning your goals.

 

4) Regrets

If you ever speak to those that are somewhat older and wiser, they will tell you that, in life, we usually regret the things we didn’t do, rather than the things we did. If you spend your life procrastinating, you will never know the outcome. And remember, no result is a negative one. It’s what you make of your experiences, every moment, every encounter shapes you, bringing you to the point in your life, you’re at now. A wise man once said,

“Many of us crucify ourselves between two thieves – regret for the past and fear of the future.”

 

5) Finding Obstacles

How many times have you found yourself making an excuse for why you haven’t done something? ‘It’s too hard … I’m too tired … I haven’t got time?’ Does that sound familiar? We are all perpetrators of that mind set at one time or another in our lives, however, successful people invest the time and effort even when they don’t feel like it. Successful people do things the things that others find difficult. They take calculated risks, they are accountable for their actions, they have initiative are motivated, passionate and encourage others. They weren’t born successful or ‘lucky’, they achieved their goals through determination, hard work and by being fearless, they have courage of their convictions. They find opportunities … not obstacles.

 

Feel the fear, and do it anyway.

Charlette is a qualified Social Worker and lecturer in ESL, and currently teaches refugees and migrants from diverse ethnic backgrounds. Charlette would like to use her writing as a catalyst for social awareness to empower, motivate and inspire people and make a meaningful difference. Her writing is informed by her increasing knowledge from her work, volunteering and activism, which contributes to her writing.

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32 Comments

32 Comments

  1. Avianti

    Nov 15, 2014 at 11:35 pm

    SO true! and Very well put together! Great advice! Thank you!

  2. Denise Bahs

    Jan 17, 2014 at 8:46 pm

    The first time someone challenged me to consciously stretch outside my comfort zone, I was an adult. I really think this should be taught to kids in school and out. Otherwise we are all just reacting to our fears in avoidance. That’s not really living. Great post! Visit my blog for similar stuff!

  3. David Donkeke

    Sep 14, 2013 at 7:49 pm

    i will say that is what am facing right now fear. thank you for your words they will help me alot.

  4. Paul Bond

    Aug 7, 2013 at 9:16 am

    Every person in the world will face the fear, but challenging and overcoming the fear is important. Understand your fear and what are the cause of your fear and find some solutions for them. Breathe deep will helps you a lot.

  5. Maciek

    Apr 25, 2013 at 11:28 am

    It is the fear of doing something that if we beat and we will do what we had feared, then feel of fear relieved. Sometimes, however, the fear is due to the fact that we are not sure whether what we have done is correct. For example, we are responsible for the success of the project or the safety of others.

  6. Godwin

    Mar 6, 2013 at 9:54 pm

    fear is a sign of danger,but sometime it is not.you cause Fear yoursef No one else but you,………Solution is by confronting it.and go ur way

  7. Freeze

    Mar 3, 2013 at 6:33 pm

    Fear is the foundation of accepting failure before you even try

  8. Maicon

    Jan 23, 2013 at 3:27 pm

    Beautiful and inspiring article. The phrase about regrets and fears particularly made me think.

  9. Richie

    Aug 25, 2012 at 2:10 am

    Love the themes on this site guys. Inspiring and thought provoking.

    Inspired a post on mine: “Is Your Comfort Zone is Killing You?” http://richielewis.com/is-your-comfort-zone-killing-you/

    Hope you like it.

  10. Ivar

    Aug 22, 2012 at 1:22 pm

    It is all about what Meaning we link to an event or for instance the fear we feel.
    We are meaning makers, so we are in charge of what things mean to us.

  11. patti

    Aug 1, 2012 at 3:40 pm

    My motto for this summer has been “no regrets”, I have tried things I never would have tried before, met some fantastic people, and have had the pleasure of some wonderful opportunites. Just the other night, I got invited to a private event in NYC with Ramit Sethi, talk about serendibity! It’s that not I don’t have the fear, I just keeping telling myself to go for it, no matter what “it” is!
    thanks Joel, love this stuff.

  12. Erica

    Jul 24, 2012 at 4:16 pm

    Feel the fear and do it anyway! Love that.. It is my life motto! You’ll ALWAYS regret more the things you didn’t do than the things you did..

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Life

How to Get Better at Anything by Using This Self Encouragement Practice

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self encouragement

Whether you’re turning your sidehustle into a career, sculpting a fitter body, or perfecting your favourite sport, getting better at anything requires a simple yet specific sequence:

You do it, you encourage each of your efforts and then you repeat this process every day without cease.

Now think about the goals you’ve set after, and the habits you’ve tried to hone. If you aren’t exactly where you want to be in your growth curve, you’re skipping one or two of these simple steps. Which is it for you?

I used to be really good at starting things—step one. But, back before I began my self-improvement journey, I didn’t have the slightest concept of self-encouragement—step two. I figured that once I did something well enough, I’d get all the congratulations I needed from other people. It didn’t work out that way.

When things got really tough in my new business ventures or educational endeavors, I’d crack. I didn’t have someone orienting me toward the future, coaching me, and approving my efforts. I didn’t have me in my own corner.

Self encouragement is like the protein you consume after a workout

Lifting weights is hard on your muscles, right? The resistance/stress breaks down tissue. But if you don’t replenish your body with protein after the workout, your muscles won’t grow, which makes regular workouts frustrating and pointless. The same is true for self-encouragement and your personal growth.

You need that reflexive “good job!” or “you’re kicking ass!” to rebuild confidence after a big effort. But when you don’t get that positive self-talk, you won’t feel good enough about yourself and confident enough about the future to persist in your success effort.

“A word of encouragement during a failure is worth more than an hour of praise after success.” – Unknown

After landing back at my parents (for the third time) when my business venture in California went bust, I decided I would no longer succumb to the forces that had sabotaged my previous efforts. So I read all that I could from Tony Robbins and Zig Ziglar. The one thing I learned was that I had to become my own biggest supporter, otherwise, I’d continue to bring myself down with negative self-talk and inconsistent effort.

That’s when I started planning self-encouragement

My greatest weakness is that if I don’t plan something out and have an action step I can check off, I just won’t do it. This weakness ended up becoming my biggest strength when I decided to take ownership of it.

Since I wasn’t encouraging myself enough to grow consistently as a writer, I started writing out ten checkboxes for self encouragement in my daily planner. That’s when I literally got addicted to success.

Before, I’d write an article and then think to myself, “Yeah…probably not gonna make a difference anyway.” This attitude prevented me from taking risks and consistently doing my best, which is crucial for any kind of success. But when I started creating self-encouragement rituals to conclude my writing sessions, I got high off of the positivity.

“Thank you so much for kicking ass today! Thank you for doing everything you need to do to be successful and to make a difference. I’m so grateful for your efforts, and so excited to see where this effort takes you. Keep it up!”

This was instant gratification in the otherwise-delayed gratification process of achieving success, and it ended up giving me the confidence and positive attitude I needed to persist, to learn from my mistakes, and to grow in the ways I desired.

Three months after I planned for daily self-encouragement, I had my first full-time job as a staff writer at a major publication. That was no coincidence. When I continued my success sequence, do, encourage, persist, it was only another year before I was on each of the major magazines I’d dreamed of writing for.

“In the middle of every difficulty lies opportunity.” Albert Einstein

I gained a following. People began seeking me out for coaching, to help them gain similar success in wherever they wanted to improve their own lives. But more important than anything, I established an identity as my own greatest supporter, which will help me to succeed in anything I set my mind to: marriage, expanding my business, etc. I owe my successes and my career to ten self encouragement checkboxes.

Here’s how to start your self encouragement practice today:

1. Start a morning routine of affirmations

Before your mind can drift to negative thoughts, immediately set yourself to positive affirmations. I mean literally right after you wake up, don’t skip a beat! Pick out the forty affirmations that you need most. “I am worthy, I am persistent, I am successful” and write them down on a 3×5 index card. Then, recite them to yourself in a mirror as soon as you wake up. Keep up the habit until you have all forty memorized.

Once you start this practice you’ll become sensitized to your inner dialogue and you’ll begin to hear everything going on between your ears, including the negative. When you start to hear you beating yourself up, that’s when it’s crucial to fall back on the positive affirmation. You’ll cement this habit by scheduling regular self-encouragement checkins in a daily planner.

2. Create ten checkboxes for self encouragement in your daily planner

If you don’t already have a daily planning habit, you won’t get the life you want until you start planning for it every day. You don’t need to plan much, just your top five to eight goals, and the habits you intend to do every day (self-encouragement being the most important one). After you list your first three or four goals at the top, break the page up with “encourage yourself!”—followed by ten checkboxes.

As you check off your goals, make sure to encourage yourself for your efforts. For example, if one of your goals were to run five miles in the morning, when you check that goal off you’ll immediately applaud yourself and then check off a self-encouragement box. “Thank you so much for taking care of my body and making me feel good about myself, you’re doing awesome!” Check.

When you refer to your planner throughout the day, you’ll notice that there are more checkboxes than you have goals. Use those empty checkboxes as reminders to affirm yourself. “I am generous, kind, patient, uplifting, creative, dependable, perseverant, etc.” Check.

Keep this up over the course of a month and you’ll be on your way to mastering whatever it is you want.  

By holding yourself accountable to a self-encouragement practice, you’ll grow the resilience and confidence you need to persist in the things you love and to master the skills and habits you desire. All it takes is a blank sketchbook and the routine of planning out each of your goals at the beginning of a day, including ten checkboxes for self encouragement.

What self encouragement practices do you do? Comment below!

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The 4 Dimensions of Personal Energy You Need to Adopt to Deliver Extraordinary Results

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personal energy

Managers tend to look at humans as productivity units. Energy is invested into prioritizing what’s on the to do list, with an attitude of do more and accomplish more. Work is translated into more hours and the human experience tends to be minimized, criticized or diminished.

As the demands of the workplace keep rising, many people respond by increasing their hours at a rapid pace, inevitably leading to burn out that costs both people and business. Many businesses invest in developing people’s knowledge and skills yet very few help build and sustain their capacity – their energy. When you invest in your people, they have greater capacity to make it possible to get more done in less time.

In today’s world, business leaders generally feel it is the employee’s problem to practice healthy behaviors. Given the amount of time people spend at work, a shared responsibility embarks on both the business and the employee. Where possible, workplaces must facilitate the development of healthy practices to create a mutually beneficial and sustainable environment. Individually, you are responsible for how you manage your energy, the workplace is responsible for creating a workplace where people are energized, and their creativity unleashed.

When workplaces invest in their people across all dimensions of their lives, magic happens. People turn up at work energized, more productive, and execute the shared vision to deliver results.

When you are fully energized, you accomplish more in less time. When you feel fulfilled, you become more engaged, effective and contribute without expectation. The human experience includes four dimensions of personal energy that need to be cultivated to increase these levels of energy and deliver extraordinary results across workplaces.

1. We function best when we feel positive

Most people tend to perform best when they feel positive. I’m not talking about the eternal optimist and rah-rah noise, I’m referring to the people who re-fuel their positive energy by identifying their trigger points to what drains their energy and then refocus on a solution. Creating a resourceful functional state where you can think clearly, logically and reflectively.

Building habits into your day avoids you slipping into negative emotions or moving through them quicker. Diffusing emotions through deep breathing, expressing appreciation and gratitude as the brain can only do one thing at a time. Adopting self-reflection techniques such as upgrading the lens approach creates opportunities to refocus your energy – How would l like to see this situation in 3 months’ time? What lessons can l learn from this situation?

“When you are enthusiastic about what you do, you feel this positive energy. It’s very simple.” – Paulo Coelho

2. The human spirit

The human spirit transcends the individual human being. When you are clear about your purpose, what really matters, you focus better, feel more positive and feel a deeper commitment to contributing to humanity. To access the energy of the human spirit, explore what you do best and enjoy most at work and in life. Allocate time and energy to these areas and make a conscious decision to live your core values every day.

3. Sustaining your mental energy

Multitasking is a great way to kill your mental energy. When you lose your focus, or move from one task to the next, you increase the amount of time required to complete the primary task. Building simple rituals into your day can prevent mental fatigue.

Reduce interruptions by allocating uninterruptible 50-minute blocks of time to focus on the one task, respond to emails, voicemails at designated times during the day and identify the most important task for the next day. Robin Sharma, author of The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari, suggests focusing for the next 90 days, the first 90 minutes of your work day on creating your new piece of code that will revolutionize the marketplace.

4. Physical energy

We all need nutrition, exercise, sleep and rest. It is part of the human condition. If you want to sustain your energy levels, the four essential components will increase your energy levels to enable your focus on your single most valuable project and manage your emotions. Your will power may be highest first thing in the morning, your energy may peak in the afternoon or your mental focus may be the sharpest late at night. Capitalize and build a pocket of time so you use your highest value hours for your most valuable activities.

“Energy and persistence conquer all things.” – Benjamin Franklin

Prioritizing healthy eating, engaging in movement activities and committed to deep restful sleep are the keys to sustaining your physical energy. Consistent sleeping times with undisrupted sleep is critical to your ability to maintain your energy levels. Power naps, removal of digital technology from bedrooms and investment in sleep transition activities such as reading non-work-related books, listening to a guided meditation or focusing on breath work are great practices to invest in re-building energy levels.

When you are physically active, mentally agile, emotionally stable and spiritually charged, you can balance different aspects of your life with ease. Adopting rituals to manage your energy on all dimensions daily creates an environment where you are leading you, not the other way around. Manage your energy, not your time.

What techniques do you use to maximize your energy? Comment below!

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Life

5 Simple Things to Do Right Now if You Feel Stuck in Life

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feeling stuck in life

As a success-blogger, I normally have a great deal of clarity about what I need to be working on. I’m also really driven by a sense of purpose in helping others get unstuck and make an impact in their lives. There aren’t many times that I find myself at a loss for what to do next.

Nonetheless, I recently hit a dry spell. I felt entirely stuck and a little burnt out. It felt like I was in a pit, emotionally unempowered and unable to move forward. Due to this, I decided to sit down and write out a list of ways that I could get myself moving and build up some momentum again.

Here is what I came up with and I’m sharing it with you in the hopes that if you, too, are stuck it will make difference for you:

1. Get An Empowering Mindset

When we start to feel like we can’t move forward we often get down on ourselves. We begin to feel incapable and think we must be the cause of all the inaction. This puts us in a negative mindset that is self-reinforcing. To break out of that limiting mentality, try the substitution game. For every negative thought that comes to mind, remove it and replace it with a positive one.

For instance, instead of, “I just can’t figure this out—I’m so stupid,” remove and replace it with, “I’m ALWAYS supplied with a way through at just the right time.” Affirmations like this will keep you positive and put you back in the driver’s seat. Keep at this hard because it is relatively easy to do and you can gain traction quickly.

“Growth hacking is a mindset, and those who have it will reap incredible gains.” – Ryan Holiday

2. Do Some Housekeeping

When I’m really humming along in life, I’ve got no time for cleaning up files and putting things in order. This has to be done sometime and the time when you are stuck not doing anything else makes as good of sense as any.

More than that, however, I’ve also found the process of simplifying and organizing my notes to be very empowering. The very act of setting your mind on “cleaning things up” clarifies your mind. It’s an outward expression of something that changes your experience internally as well.

I’m of the opinion that if we need direction in our lives, we need to make room for it. In this way, we welcome that which we really need. By putting our work in order we prepare the way for new ideas and inspiration.

3. Find Some Quick Results To Encourage Yourself

No matter how stuck you are there is always something you can do that will bring about a measurable result. Even small victories help you feel like you are gaining ground. As you do this, keep these tips in mind:

  • Set simple goals and breeze through them. Think of things you can accomplish in five-to-ten minutes. As you complete them you will gain a sense of momentum.
  • Make this a visual activity. I like to write each of my tasks out and put a little box in front of them. Work to check each item off as quickly as you can. It should be fun so treat it as a game, marking complete as many as you can in an hour, for instance.

4. Get Back To Doing What You Love

To keep growing, I have to keep looking forward to the bigger picture in what I do. Right now I’m spending a lot of time preparing content for future books and courses, but that level of stretching has produced a little burnout. I’m always tunneling forward into territory that I’m not as familiar with so it saps my energy and mental resources.

It’s good to tackle these types of things so that I keep pushing myself. But when I begin to feel like I’m burning out, it’s good to step back into what I’m best at and most comfortable in…for me, that’s writing blog posts. It brings a refreshing sense of fun back into my life.

This gets a sense of positivity flowing again. We have to keep a deep feeling of joy with what we do. Jump-starting that by getting back into your element can get you on the road again.

“Let the beauty of what you love be what you do.” – Rumi

5. Work On Something New

Sometimes we just get bogged-down and burned-out with what we are working on. It becomes drudgery, but there is always something related that we might not have begun to work on yet. Maybe we didn’t feel ready or we were just too invested in other things to take the turn down that road. In times like this, pull those things out and start working on them.

For me, that recent thing I began to do was guest posting on Addicted2Success. It was something that I had always wanted to do because I believe in everything that they are doing, but I hadn’t gone down that path yet because I didn’t feel ready.

In my period of trying to get unstuck, however, it began to feel like the perfect time to venture into new territory. Now that I’ve had the opportunity to focus on this avenue I have renewed energy and have come closer to fulfilling my overall dream of being a successful blogger.

If you just aren’t getting anywhere in your normal routine, it could be the perfect time to break into something else you’ve been holding off on.

What have you done to break free when YOU are stuck in life? Comment below!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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Life

5 Subtle Things You Do When You Lack Confidence

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lack of confidence

Confidence is a belief in one’s abilities and sense of competence. There are certain subtle things we do when we lack or have low confidence, and you need to be aware of these actions as they are quite subtle and can be easily skipped over. Even worse, we don’t identify the root cause of the problem and then spend years trying to fix something without any effect.

To prevent that, here is a list of 5 subtle things you do when you lack confidence:

1. You begin settling

You have it good enough in life so you settle for less because you think you don’t deserve it. The quote Jim Collins said about good being the enemy of great was focused on companies, but that can also apply to your life, your job and your relationship.

You got a job that you kind of hate. The job itself is okay but the boss is horrible and promotion/growth is not possible, but the salary is okay and the job is “just good.” When you lack confidence in your ability, you settle down. There are always other opportunities out there, so push forward.

The only thing worse than this is if the situation becomes permanent. Evaluate your life now and figure out where you are just floating by in. Believe in your ability to do better and take the risk. Learn new stuff and improve your life.

2. You avoid exposure

You think your ideas are not good or that your personality is not good enough. This is only fueled by your lack of confidence. You stand near the walls at a party to feel protected. The center of attention and the room is 2 meters away, but in your head, it’s a million miles.

Exposing yourself means showing other people who you are. To do that, we need to accept and love who we were. If we can’t, who can? For you to accept yourself continuously, do an exercise called “The Wheel of Change.” The exercise has 4 simple questions you need to answer for yourself giving you the building block of your confidence.

  1. What do I eliminate from my life?
  2. What do I create in my life?
  3. What do I accept in my life?
  4. What do I preserve in my life?

“With confidence, you have won before you have started.” – Marcus Garvey

3. You use distractions instead of solutions

The difference here is the belief. Zorro played by Antonio Banderas, couldn’t defeat his arch-enemy, Captain Harrison Love, because he just didn’t have the skills or knowledge at the time to do it. Due to this, he started drinking.

The drinking led him to despair and he almost gave up, yet a mentor played by Anthony Hopkins taught Zorro how to gain his confidence back and take out his enemies. The main thing was to master things in “The Zorro Circle.” That circle is small, but it’s a place where you have full control. When you master that circle, you expand it. The same things happen with your confidence.

You indulge in distractions, get overwhelmed and then quit. Nonetheless,  the main thing here is to do small things which are in your control. Use solutions instead of distractions and at some point, you will be able to solve problems which were out of your control when you started.

Don’t fall into the trap of rationalization, explaining why you are where you are in life. Just start working small, use solutions instead of distractions and you will get there.

4. You are a one-trick pony

A man came to see a psychologist and told him: “Doctor, I’m always depressed. I tried everything but nothing works. Please, help me out.” The psychologist told him to stand up and come to the window with him. “You see that tent over there?. That is the circus and they are really good. There is this one clown in particular who is really funny. He makes everyone laugh so hard. You should go and see him and you won’t have any reason to be depressed.”

The man turned to the psychologist and said, “Doctor, I am that clown!” You are not a one-trick pony but your friends perceive you like that. You are the funny one that cracks jokes or the trivia guy who has interesting facts around the water cooler.

At a certain point, this becomes who you are, and then, you are scared to show anything else to people around you. At some point, it becomes unbearable and you crack. To prevent this, you need to know that it’s okay to show your full personality.

You are not a one-trick pony. You are a human being with a full range of emotions, character-traits and personalities that must be shown to the world. This is the way to confidence. The other way brings you to the story of Robin Williams who tragically ended his life, so show yourself fully.

“Always be yourself, express yourself, have faith in yourself, do not go out and look for a successful personality and duplicate it.” – Bruce Lee

5. You lack tears in your eyes

It’s when you are aligned with emotions – when you respect how you feel – that you are truly free to feel the freedom of your emotions. You must love and cherish them when they occur by shedding happy yet sad tears as well.

When you acknowledge what you feel and own it to your deepest level, that’s when you’ll feel the biggest confidence. Don’t run away from your emotions, but own them. Let them go through your body and mind and acknowledge what’s happening in you. Feel it. They are sometimes pleasant and sometimes not, yet they are yours. It’s not how you feel, it’s how you feel about how you feel.

What do you do when you lack confidence? Let us know in the comments below!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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Life

How to Get Better at Anything by Using This Self Encouragement Practice

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self encouragement

Whether you’re turning your sidehustle into a career, sculpting a fitter body, or perfecting your favourite sport, getting better at anything requires a simple yet specific sequence: (more…)

Daniel Dowling is waging a war against distraction at MillennialSuccess.io, where he teaches the art of planning and making sh!# happen.

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32 Comments

32 Comments

  1. Avianti

    Nov 15, 2014 at 11:35 pm

    SO true! and Very well put together! Great advice! Thank you!

  2. Denise Bahs

    Jan 17, 2014 at 8:46 pm

    The first time someone challenged me to consciously stretch outside my comfort zone, I was an adult. I really think this should be taught to kids in school and out. Otherwise we are all just reacting to our fears in avoidance. That’s not really living. Great post! Visit my blog for similar stuff!

  3. David Donkeke

    Sep 14, 2013 at 7:49 pm

    i will say that is what am facing right now fear. thank you for your words they will help me alot.

  4. Paul Bond

    Aug 7, 2013 at 9:16 am

    Every person in the world will face the fear, but challenging and overcoming the fear is important. Understand your fear and what are the cause of your fear and find some solutions for them. Breathe deep will helps you a lot.

  5. Maciek

    Apr 25, 2013 at 11:28 am

    It is the fear of doing something that if we beat and we will do what we had feared, then feel of fear relieved. Sometimes, however, the fear is due to the fact that we are not sure whether what we have done is correct. For example, we are responsible for the success of the project or the safety of others.

  6. Godwin

    Mar 6, 2013 at 9:54 pm

    fear is a sign of danger,but sometime it is not.you cause Fear yoursef No one else but you,………Solution is by confronting it.and go ur way

  7. Freeze

    Mar 3, 2013 at 6:33 pm

    Fear is the foundation of accepting failure before you even try

  8. Maicon

    Jan 23, 2013 at 3:27 pm

    Beautiful and inspiring article. The phrase about regrets and fears particularly made me think.

  9. Richie

    Aug 25, 2012 at 2:10 am

    Love the themes on this site guys. Inspiring and thought provoking.

    Inspired a post on mine: “Is Your Comfort Zone is Killing You?” http://richielewis.com/is-your-comfort-zone-killing-you/

    Hope you like it.

  10. Ivar

    Aug 22, 2012 at 1:22 pm

    It is all about what Meaning we link to an event or for instance the fear we feel.
    We are meaning makers, so we are in charge of what things mean to us.

  11. patti

    Aug 1, 2012 at 3:40 pm

    My motto for this summer has been “no regrets”, I have tried things I never would have tried before, met some fantastic people, and have had the pleasure of some wonderful opportunites. Just the other night, I got invited to a private event in NYC with Ramit Sethi, talk about serendibity! It’s that not I don’t have the fear, I just keeping telling myself to go for it, no matter what “it” is!
    thanks Joel, love this stuff.

  12. Erica

    Jul 24, 2012 at 4:16 pm

    Feel the fear and do it anyway! Love that.. It is my life motto! You’ll ALWAYS regret more the things you didn’t do than the things you did..

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Life

How to Get Better at Anything by Using This Self Encouragement Practice

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self encouragement

Whether you’re turning your sidehustle into a career, sculpting a fitter body, or perfecting your favourite sport, getting better at anything requires a simple yet specific sequence:

You do it, you encourage each of your efforts and then you repeat this process every day without cease.

Now think about the goals you’ve set after, and the habits you’ve tried to hone. If you aren’t exactly where you want to be in your growth curve, you’re skipping one or two of these simple steps. Which is it for you?

I used to be really good at starting things—step one. But, back before I began my self-improvement journey, I didn’t have the slightest concept of self-encouragement—step two. I figured that once I did something well enough, I’d get all the congratulations I needed from other people. It didn’t work out that way.

When things got really tough in my new business ventures or educational endeavors, I’d crack. I didn’t have someone orienting me toward the future, coaching me, and approving my efforts. I didn’t have me in my own corner.

Self encouragement is like the protein you consume after a workout

Lifting weights is hard on your muscles, right? The resistance/stress breaks down tissue. But if you don’t replenish your body with protein after the workout, your muscles won’t grow, which makes regular workouts frustrating and pointless. The same is true for self-encouragement and your personal growth.

You need that reflexive “good job!” or “you’re kicking ass!” to rebuild confidence after a big effort. But when you don’t get that positive self-talk, you won’t feel good enough about yourself and confident enough about the future to persist in your success effort.

“A word of encouragement during a failure is worth more than an hour of praise after success.” – Unknown

After landing back at my parents (for the third time) when my business venture in California went bust, I decided I would no longer succumb to the forces that had sabotaged my previous efforts. So I read all that I could from Tony Robbins and Zig Ziglar. The one thing I learned was that I had to become my own biggest supporter, otherwise, I’d continue to bring myself down with negative self-talk and inconsistent effort.

That’s when I started planning self-encouragement

My greatest weakness is that if I don’t plan something out and have an action step I can check off, I just won’t do it. This weakness ended up becoming my biggest strength when I decided to take ownership of it.

Since I wasn’t encouraging myself enough to grow consistently as a writer, I started writing out ten checkboxes for self encouragement in my daily planner. That’s when I literally got addicted to success.

Before, I’d write an article and then think to myself, “Yeah…probably not gonna make a difference anyway.” This attitude prevented me from taking risks and consistently doing my best, which is crucial for any kind of success. But when I started creating self-encouragement rituals to conclude my writing sessions, I got high off of the positivity.

“Thank you so much for kicking ass today! Thank you for doing everything you need to do to be successful and to make a difference. I’m so grateful for your efforts, and so excited to see where this effort takes you. Keep it up!”

This was instant gratification in the otherwise-delayed gratification process of achieving success, and it ended up giving me the confidence and positive attitude I needed to persist, to learn from my mistakes, and to grow in the ways I desired.

Three months after I planned for daily self-encouragement, I had my first full-time job as a staff writer at a major publication. That was no coincidence. When I continued my success sequence, do, encourage, persist, it was only another year before I was on each of the major magazines I’d dreamed of writing for.

“In the middle of every difficulty lies opportunity.” Albert Einstein

I gained a following. People began seeking me out for coaching, to help them gain similar success in wherever they wanted to improve their own lives. But more important than anything, I established an identity as my own greatest supporter, which will help me to succeed in anything I set my mind to: marriage, expanding my business, etc. I owe my successes and my career to ten self encouragement checkboxes.

Here’s how to start your self encouragement practice today:

1. Start a morning routine of affirmations

Before your mind can drift to negative thoughts, immediately set yourself to positive affirmations. I mean literally right after you wake up, don’t skip a beat! Pick out the forty affirmations that you need most. “I am worthy, I am persistent, I am successful” and write them down on a 3×5 index card. Then, recite them to yourself in a mirror as soon as you wake up. Keep up the habit until you have all forty memorized.

Once you start this practice you’ll become sensitized to your inner dialogue and you’ll begin to hear everything going on between your ears, including the negative. When you start to hear you beating yourself up, that’s when it’s crucial to fall back on the positive affirmation. You’ll cement this habit by scheduling regular self-encouragement checkins in a daily planner.

2. Create ten checkboxes for self encouragement in your daily planner

If you don’t already have a daily planning habit, you won’t get the life you want until you start planning for it every day. You don’t need to plan much, just your top five to eight goals, and the habits you intend to do every day (self-encouragement being the most important one). After you list your first three or four goals at the top, break the page up with “encourage yourself!”—followed by ten checkboxes.

As you check off your goals, make sure to encourage yourself for your efforts. For example, if one of your goals were to run five miles in the morning, when you check that goal off you’ll immediately applaud yourself and then check off a self-encouragement box. “Thank you so much for taking care of my body and making me feel good about myself, you’re doing awesome!” Check.

When you refer to your planner throughout the day, you’ll notice that there are more checkboxes than you have goals. Use those empty checkboxes as reminders to affirm yourself. “I am generous, kind, patient, uplifting, creative, dependable, perseverant, etc.” Check.

Keep this up over the course of a month and you’ll be on your way to mastering whatever it is you want.  

By holding yourself accountable to a self-encouragement practice, you’ll grow the resilience and confidence you need to persist in the things you love and to master the skills and habits you desire. All it takes is a blank sketchbook and the routine of planning out each of your goals at the beginning of a day, including ten checkboxes for self encouragement.

What self encouragement practices do you do? Comment below!

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The 4 Dimensions of Personal Energy You Need to Adopt to Deliver Extraordinary Results

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Managers tend to look at humans as productivity units. Energy is invested into prioritizing what’s on the to do list, with an attitude of do more and accomplish more. Work is translated into more hours and the human experience tends to be minimized, criticized or diminished.

As the demands of the workplace keep rising, many people respond by increasing their hours at a rapid pace, inevitably leading to burn out that costs both people and business. Many businesses invest in developing people’s knowledge and skills yet very few help build and sustain their capacity – their energy. When you invest in your people, they have greater capacity to make it possible to get more done in less time.

In today’s world, business leaders generally feel it is the employee’s problem to practice healthy behaviors. Given the amount of time people spend at work, a shared responsibility embarks on both the business and the employee. Where possible, workplaces must facilitate the development of healthy practices to create a mutually beneficial and sustainable environment. Individually, you are responsible for how you manage your energy, the workplace is responsible for creating a workplace where people are energized, and their creativity unleashed.

When workplaces invest in their people across all dimensions of their lives, magic happens. People turn up at work energized, more productive, and execute the shared vision to deliver results.

When you are fully energized, you accomplish more in less time. When you feel fulfilled, you become more engaged, effective and contribute without expectation. The human experience includes four dimensions of personal energy that need to be cultivated to increase these levels of energy and deliver extraordinary results across workplaces.

1. We function best when we feel positive

Most people tend to perform best when they feel positive. I’m not talking about the eternal optimist and rah-rah noise, I’m referring to the people who re-fuel their positive energy by identifying their trigger points to what drains their energy and then refocus on a solution. Creating a resourceful functional state where you can think clearly, logically and reflectively.

Building habits into your day avoids you slipping into negative emotions or moving through them quicker. Diffusing emotions through deep breathing, expressing appreciation and gratitude as the brain can only do one thing at a time. Adopting self-reflection techniques such as upgrading the lens approach creates opportunities to refocus your energy – How would l like to see this situation in 3 months’ time? What lessons can l learn from this situation?

“When you are enthusiastic about what you do, you feel this positive energy. It’s very simple.” – Paulo Coelho

2. The human spirit

The human spirit transcends the individual human being. When you are clear about your purpose, what really matters, you focus better, feel more positive and feel a deeper commitment to contributing to humanity. To access the energy of the human spirit, explore what you do best and enjoy most at work and in life. Allocate time and energy to these areas and make a conscious decision to live your core values every day.

3. Sustaining your mental energy

Multitasking is a great way to kill your mental energy. When you lose your focus, or move from one task to the next, you increase the amount of time required to complete the primary task. Building simple rituals into your day can prevent mental fatigue.

Reduce interruptions by allocating uninterruptible 50-minute blocks of time to focus on the one task, respond to emails, voicemails at designated times during the day and identify the most important task for the next day. Robin Sharma, author of The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari, suggests focusing for the next 90 days, the first 90 minutes of your work day on creating your new piece of code that will revolutionize the marketplace.

4. Physical energy

We all need nutrition, exercise, sleep and rest. It is part of the human condition. If you want to sustain your energy levels, the four essential components will increase your energy levels to enable your focus on your single most valuable project and manage your emotions. Your will power may be highest first thing in the morning, your energy may peak in the afternoon or your mental focus may be the sharpest late at night. Capitalize and build a pocket of time so you use your highest value hours for your most valuable activities.

“Energy and persistence conquer all things.” – Benjamin Franklin

Prioritizing healthy eating, engaging in movement activities and committed to deep restful sleep are the keys to sustaining your physical energy. Consistent sleeping times with undisrupted sleep is critical to your ability to maintain your energy levels. Power naps, removal of digital technology from bedrooms and investment in sleep transition activities such as reading non-work-related books, listening to a guided meditation or focusing on breath work are great practices to invest in re-building energy levels.

When you are physically active, mentally agile, emotionally stable and spiritually charged, you can balance different aspects of your life with ease. Adopting rituals to manage your energy on all dimensions daily creates an environment where you are leading you, not the other way around. Manage your energy, not your time.

What techniques do you use to maximize your energy? Comment below!

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5 Simple Things to Do Right Now if You Feel Stuck in Life

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As a success-blogger, I normally have a great deal of clarity about what I need to be working on. I’m also really driven by a sense of purpose in helping others get unstuck and make an impact in their lives. There aren’t many times that I find myself at a loss for what to do next.

Nonetheless, I recently hit a dry spell. I felt entirely stuck and a little burnt out. It felt like I was in a pit, emotionally unempowered and unable to move forward. Due to this, I decided to sit down and write out a list of ways that I could get myself moving and build up some momentum again.

Here is what I came up with and I’m sharing it with you in the hopes that if you, too, are stuck it will make difference for you:

1. Get An Empowering Mindset

When we start to feel like we can’t move forward we often get down on ourselves. We begin to feel incapable and think we must be the cause of all the inaction. This puts us in a negative mindset that is self-reinforcing. To break out of that limiting mentality, try the substitution game. For every negative thought that comes to mind, remove it and replace it with a positive one.

For instance, instead of, “I just can’t figure this out—I’m so stupid,” remove and replace it with, “I’m ALWAYS supplied with a way through at just the right time.” Affirmations like this will keep you positive and put you back in the driver’s seat. Keep at this hard because it is relatively easy to do and you can gain traction quickly.

“Growth hacking is a mindset, and those who have it will reap incredible gains.” – Ryan Holiday

2. Do Some Housekeeping

When I’m really humming along in life, I’ve got no time for cleaning up files and putting things in order. This has to be done sometime and the time when you are stuck not doing anything else makes as good of sense as any.

More than that, however, I’ve also found the process of simplifying and organizing my notes to be very empowering. The very act of setting your mind on “cleaning things up” clarifies your mind. It’s an outward expression of something that changes your experience internally as well.

I’m of the opinion that if we need direction in our lives, we need to make room for it. In this way, we welcome that which we really need. By putting our work in order we prepare the way for new ideas and inspiration.

3. Find Some Quick Results To Encourage Yourself

No matter how stuck you are there is always something you can do that will bring about a measurable result. Even small victories help you feel like you are gaining ground. As you do this, keep these tips in mind:

  • Set simple goals and breeze through them. Think of things you can accomplish in five-to-ten minutes. As you complete them you will gain a sense of momentum.
  • Make this a visual activity. I like to write each of my tasks out and put a little box in front of them. Work to check each item off as quickly as you can. It should be fun so treat it as a game, marking complete as many as you can in an hour, for instance.

4. Get Back To Doing What You Love

To keep growing, I have to keep looking forward to the bigger picture in what I do. Right now I’m spending a lot of time preparing content for future books and courses, but that level of stretching has produced a little burnout. I’m always tunneling forward into territory that I’m not as familiar with so it saps my energy and mental resources.

It’s good to tackle these types of things so that I keep pushing myself. But when I begin to feel like I’m burning out, it’s good to step back into what I’m best at and most comfortable in…for me, that’s writing blog posts. It brings a refreshing sense of fun back into my life.

This gets a sense of positivity flowing again. We have to keep a deep feeling of joy with what we do. Jump-starting that by getting back into your element can get you on the road again.

“Let the beauty of what you love be what you do.” – Rumi

5. Work On Something New

Sometimes we just get bogged-down and burned-out with what we are working on. It becomes drudgery, but there is always something related that we might not have begun to work on yet. Maybe we didn’t feel ready or we were just too invested in other things to take the turn down that road. In times like this, pull those things out and start working on them.

For me, that recent thing I began to do was guest posting on Addicted2Success. It was something that I had always wanted to do because I believe in everything that they are doing, but I hadn’t gone down that path yet because I didn’t feel ready.

In my period of trying to get unstuck, however, it began to feel like the perfect time to venture into new territory. Now that I’ve had the opportunity to focus on this avenue I have renewed energy and have come closer to fulfilling my overall dream of being a successful blogger.

If you just aren’t getting anywhere in your normal routine, it could be the perfect time to break into something else you’ve been holding off on.

What have you done to break free when YOU are stuck in life? Comment below!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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5 Subtle Things You Do When You Lack Confidence

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lack of confidence

Confidence is a belief in one’s abilities and sense of competence. There are certain subtle things we do when we lack or have low confidence, and you need to be aware of these actions as they are quite subtle and can be easily skipped over. Even worse, we don’t identify the root cause of the problem and then spend years trying to fix something without any effect.

To prevent that, here is a list of 5 subtle things you do when you lack confidence:

1. You begin settling

You have it good enough in life so you settle for less because you think you don’t deserve it. The quote Jim Collins said about good being the enemy of great was focused on companies, but that can also apply to your life, your job and your relationship.

You got a job that you kind of hate. The job itself is okay but the boss is horrible and promotion/growth is not possible, but the salary is okay and the job is “just good.” When you lack confidence in your ability, you settle down. There are always other opportunities out there, so push forward.

The only thing worse than this is if the situation becomes permanent. Evaluate your life now and figure out where you are just floating by in. Believe in your ability to do better and take the risk. Learn new stuff and improve your life.

2. You avoid exposure

You think your ideas are not good or that your personality is not good enough. This is only fueled by your lack of confidence. You stand near the walls at a party to feel protected. The center of attention and the room is 2 meters away, but in your head, it’s a million miles.

Exposing yourself means showing other people who you are. To do that, we need to accept and love who we were. If we can’t, who can? For you to accept yourself continuously, do an exercise called “The Wheel of Change.” The exercise has 4 simple questions you need to answer for yourself giving you the building block of your confidence.

  1. What do I eliminate from my life?
  2. What do I create in my life?
  3. What do I accept in my life?
  4. What do I preserve in my life?

“With confidence, you have won before you have started.” – Marcus Garvey

3. You use distractions instead of solutions

The difference here is the belief. Zorro played by Antonio Banderas, couldn’t defeat his arch-enemy, Captain Harrison Love, because he just didn’t have the skills or knowledge at the time to do it. Due to this, he started drinking.

The drinking led him to despair and he almost gave up, yet a mentor played by Anthony Hopkins taught Zorro how to gain his confidence back and take out his enemies. The main thing was to master things in “The Zorro Circle.” That circle is small, but it’s a place where you have full control. When you master that circle, you expand it. The same things happen with your confidence.

You indulge in distractions, get overwhelmed and then quit. Nonetheless,  the main thing here is to do small things which are in your control. Use solutions instead of distractions and at some point, you will be able to solve problems which were out of your control when you started.

Don’t fall into the trap of rationalization, explaining why you are where you are in life. Just start working small, use solutions instead of distractions and you will get there.

4. You are a one-trick pony

A man came to see a psychologist and told him: “Doctor, I’m always depressed. I tried everything but nothing works. Please, help me out.” The psychologist told him to stand up and come to the window with him. “You see that tent over there?. That is the circus and they are really good. There is this one clown in particular who is really funny. He makes everyone laugh so hard. You should go and see him and you won’t have any reason to be depressed.”

The man turned to the psychologist and said, “Doctor, I am that clown!” You are not a one-trick pony but your friends perceive you like that. You are the funny one that cracks jokes or the trivia guy who has interesting facts around the water cooler.

At a certain point, this becomes who you are, and then, you are scared to show anything else to people around you. At some point, it becomes unbearable and you crack. To prevent this, you need to know that it’s okay to show your full personality.

You are not a one-trick pony. You are a human being with a full range of emotions, character-traits and personalities that must be shown to the world. This is the way to confidence. The other way brings you to the story of Robin Williams who tragically ended his life, so show yourself fully.

“Always be yourself, express yourself, have faith in yourself, do not go out and look for a successful personality and duplicate it.” – Bruce Lee

5. You lack tears in your eyes

It’s when you are aligned with emotions – when you respect how you feel – that you are truly free to feel the freedom of your emotions. You must love and cherish them when they occur by shedding happy yet sad tears as well.

When you acknowledge what you feel and own it to your deepest level, that’s when you’ll feel the biggest confidence. Don’t run away from your emotions, but own them. Let them go through your body and mind and acknowledge what’s happening in you. Feel it. They are sometimes pleasant and sometimes not, yet they are yours. It’s not how you feel, it’s how you feel about how you feel.

What do you do when you lack confidence? Let us know in the comments below!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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