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Success Advice

7 Common Excuses That Are All In Your Head

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Excuses We Make For Failure

What would you say if I told you that you’re a great actor? Honestly, it’s true.

In fact, you’re so good that you’ll probably be among the nominees at next year’s Oscar’s.

You’re probably wondering what on earth I’m talking about, so here’s my reasoning…

The best actors are able to fully immerse themselves into their role. They live and breathe their part – adopting the many traits and mannerisms contained within. Some of whom take this so seriously they stay in character, even when the cameras aren’t rolling.

This is you.

You’ve put so much effort into believing the lies you’ve been telling yourself, that you’re now struggling to differentiate between your true self and this imposter that’s infesting your mind.

This character is a deadbeat and a coward. Your performance is legendary, but you were born to play a different role. You were born to play someone courageous; a character who took believed in their own potential for success.

Hey, if Matthew McConaughey can turn his career around – who’s to say you can’t do the same thing?

Trust yourself to make the right decisions. Focus on who you want to be. Accept the good and the bad with equal measure. Follow your instincts and cut out all of the excuses which simply don’t exist, such as;

 

1. I can’t earn a decent income because I have no qualifications

Throughout life we are told that education is the bedrock of success. From an early age we are raised with the belief that we must follow the well-trodden path and that any deviation will result in failure.

So it stands to reason that many of you reading this will believe that an absence of a diploma or a degree will render you at a disadvantage. Yes, it’s possible – in certain situations. But where one door remains locked, several will swing open.

A lack of qualifications will only prevent someone from deciding if you’re worthy. Do you need another person to grant you permission to earn the income you desire?

Many of this planet’s most successful people dropped out of college. Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates and Ted Turner seem to be doing alright – because they chose their own path.

So can you.

 

2. I’m too old to be doing this

Unless you’re trying to embark on an athletic career at the age of 45 this is one excuse that you should never catch yourself using. Age is an arbitrary number which we use way to often as a means to handicap our ambition and creativity.

Brendan Gleeson decided at the age of 34 that being a maths teacher wasn’t the life he envisioned for himself, so what did he do? He quit his job to become actor. Brendan began attending auditions and landed small roles in various TV movies but it wasn’t until Mel Gibson cast him in Braveheart that he would have his major breakthrough. Now he has several Golden Globe nominations and is one of the world’s most respected actors.

Blues musician, Seasick Steve had to wait 57 years before finally achieving chart success with his 2008 album ‘I Started Out with Nothin and I Still Got Most of It Left’. After spending the majority of his life as a struggling session musician and several years spent living as a hobo, he had to watch countless other artists live the dream before getting his shot at the big time.

If you’re worried that time is running out and success hasn’t found you yet – I have a bit of advice; Go and find it yourself.

 

3. I’m worried that everyone will laugh at me

People will always notice that which is different. It’s hardwired into our DNA. We seek out anything that is slightly out of the norm. Do you remember how your new hairstyle was ridiculed at school for no other reason than it was different than the day before?

We carry this fear into our adult lives. Whether it’s something major like a change in career, taking up a new hobby or something as trivial as a trip to the Barber’s – we become so dependent on the approval of our peers that we’re almost paralysed into mediocrity.

You should never feel ashamed for being the person you want to be. You should never walk away from achieving a goal because you’re worried about what other people may think. If something feels right. If your instincts are dragging you towards a future that you deserve then seriously, what the hell has it got to do with anyone else?

If other people choose to laugh because you’re daring to do something different, don’t worry. They are only laughing at themselves.

excuses quote

 

4. My life is hectic right now – I’m too busy

What makes you so special?

If we’re all given the same hours each day, what separates those who make use of their time from those who allow it slip by? That’s right – you’re lazy. I bet you waste several hours a week watching mindless television that could be better spent mastering your craft. I bet that you regularly sleep in late and waste your days off because you lack the discipline required to start your day the right way. I’m also willing to bet that your life is so disorganised that you have no idea how much free time you genuinely have to play around with.

Margaret Thatcher used to free up more time by only allowing herself 4 hours sleep each night.

Award winning author Geoff Thompson wrote his first book whilst sitting on the toilet at the job he hated.

Arnold Schwarzenegger would regularly sneak out of his military camp just so he could find the time to train.

Successful people will always find a way of overcoming their obstacles by stealing time where possible. The truth is that you don’t need more time, it’s already there. You just need to stop dithering and actually make use of it before it eventually runs out.

 

5. I’m waiting for the right time

Help me out here. What’s the right time – next week? Next year? 6.47 pm?

You’re hesitating. Maybe through fear, a lack of confidence or just laziness – you’re definitely hesitating, and it’s about time you did something about it.

You see, there is no tomorrow. The present is the only time that actually exists. Every moment in the past and every possible moment in the future will take place in the present. We are terrible at planning ahead. There are parts of our brain that are stimulated when we think about ourselves, and there are parts of our brain that light up when we think of others.

The interesting part is that when we think of our future selves, the part of our brain that gets used is that for other people. The person that wakes up tomorrow morning isn’t going to be the same person who made that promise today. Why would you trust a stranger with your life?

I admit, not all tasks can be carried out today, but at the very least you should be doing something; putting the wheels in motion and taking that first step.

The only time is now. Make it count.

 

6. I can’t do it, it’s too difficult

What’s too difficult?

Running a marathon is 26.2 miles of screaming lungs and burning quads. Those who finish can barely walk afterwards – and it’s even been known to claim a few lives in the process. But let me ask you this. Can you put on a pair of trainers and run around the block? Every endurance race begins with an easy training session.

Earning that big promotion requires you to successfully hit those sales targets. In a pressure cooker environment, only the most consistent performers will be considered. But let me ask you this. Are you able to treat your next customer with 100% focus and attention? Targets are achieved 1 sale at a time.

Every goal can be broken down into smaller chunks. Don’t try and take on the world today – leave that for another time. But also ask yourself this; if it’s not difficult, is it worth doing?

Being realistic is the most commonly travelled road to mediocrity.

 

7. There is an ‘us’ and ‘them’

If you have ever quit something, or worse, resisted from even trying because you believe that you somehow lack the natural ‘talent’ to succeed then please slap yourself in the face.

Seriously, I’ll wait here…

How did that feel? Did it hurt? Man up.

There is no ‘us’ and ‘them’. For the majority of skills, disciplines and career choices, there is no such thing as talent. The only difference between those who reach the top and those who sit around moaning about their lack of success is the ability to get off their ass.

Ordinary people do extraordinary things simply because they put themselves in a situation where the only possible outcome is one of excellence. You cannot pursue a full time dream whilst putting in part time hours. If you want something then you have to live and breathe it. Let it consume your thoughts. Embrace your craft and merge as one.

If you allow yourself to succeed then it’s inevitable.

No more excuses motivation

 

Final thoughts

Stop creating excuses where there are none. With enough effort you can probably come up with a multitude of reasons why you shouldn’t do something, but guess what? You already have one brilliant reason why you should go ahead and pursue your goal – and that’s because you want to.

Isn’t that enough?

Jamie is a guitar teacher, writer and blogger from Bournemouth, England. After choosing to quit the typical 9-5 existence, he created Psycholocrazy to document his thoughts and struggles as he forges his own path in life. Jamie is a firm believer in following your own instincts so go ahead and grab his my free 33 page ebook and find out how to quit your job and live life on your own terms too. You can also find Jamie on facebook and Google+.

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19 Comments

19 Comments

  1. Nicole Conner

    Dec 6, 2015 at 3:13 pm

    I sure needed this butt kicking this morning! Mask wearing is easy, taking it off, looking at myself – The real me – is the girl that needed the slap! (ouch!)

    Continue to be awesome….thank you!

  2. Joseph Dabon

    Dec 16, 2014 at 12:37 pm

    But aren’t all excuses in the head?

  3. Anna

    Dec 9, 2014 at 6:30 pm

    It’s so easy to be an inspirational speaker/write even YOU can do it. Do you have a family? Do you have kids to take care of, a wife to come home to? No? Oh, well then, you can do ANYTHING! The world is your oyster because you have no obligations to anyone other than yourself! How easy life must be then. Want to quit your job? No problem! Want to move the Hawaii and become a surfer? No problem! You’re just a naive kid spitting out same ol’ free spirit rhetoric that everyone else with no ties preaches on the internet. Bill Gates quit college, SO CAN YOU! Worst crock of horse $#^% I ever heard. Most people are NOT Bill Gates nor are they Zuckerberg. They are AVERAGE. And average people with AVERAGE ambition level NEED to stay in college so that Bill Gates can hire them. I hate it when people talk like you do because it means absolutely NOTHING to the average Joe. Which is pretty much everyone.

  4. Marcin

    Apr 25, 2014 at 12:27 am

    Half the listed college drop outs dropped out of Harvard. A Harvard dropout is better off than a community college graduate. There are more holes in your points than in swiss cheese

    In short, as the internet say: Your argument is invalid

  5. declan

    Apr 23, 2014 at 7:12 pm

    Brilliant 🙂
    May get it laminated??

  6. christian

    Apr 12, 2014 at 5:36 am

    yes just do it , tks a lot to help the others to be more brave, i like a lot ur last sentence if u really want it u ll found a way if not u ll found an excuse !! i use to tell something like this often
    in chinese , be brave exactly go on put the gas is ” jayou” then to all ” jayou !! “

  7. Jerly Dolomatan

    Apr 11, 2014 at 9:06 am

    Hello Jaime…thank you for this article..I agree in what are stated in article…because in myself..a lot of time I’ve wasted..like doing somethings which is less important…i am a student taking a degree which i don’t like..and that is why, I never give my very best..hope you can help me how to in this situation…

  8. Corey Roncoroni

    Apr 11, 2014 at 4:52 am

    Great article. We really are just a result of the stories we tell ourselves in our head.

  9. talya2312

    Apr 10, 2014 at 4:25 pm

    Great advice.

  10. Everyday Power

    Apr 8, 2014 at 1:12 am

    I absolutely loved this! It always important to have the language to combat the thoughts that hold us back! Great work!

  11. Naomi@business start ups

    Apr 7, 2014 at 11:19 pm

    Hi Jamie,

    The rationalizing thoughts people tell themselves to justify their behavior is always bizarre and extremely interesting.

    If you’re in doubt and think you’re trying to convince yourself with excuses – look in the mirror and say it out aloud. Chances are you can’t.

    Problem solved, you’re full of excuses!

    Naomi

    • jamie flexman

      Apr 8, 2014 at 4:04 pm

      Hey, that’s an interesting way of looking at it. You’re right, of course!

  12. Nik E Nokr

    Apr 7, 2014 at 1:24 pm

    Very inspiring read! Cant wait to share with a select few I have in mind! 🙂

  13. Matt

    Apr 6, 2014 at 7:29 pm

    Thanks for posting this, it was really good. Very inspiring to get off your butt and do it.

  14. Kash

    Apr 6, 2014 at 3:59 pm

    Very true Jamie.Well written and motivating!

  15. Solomon

    Apr 6, 2014 at 2:12 pm

    Dear Jamie, this article came at the right time. I needed that kick in the back-side, I agree with everything you said, we make far too many excuses and frankly laziness is also a big factor in my case. I`ve got to make some serious changes, Thanks for this informative, kick-ass article. P.S i`m also a fellow Englishman (London) 🙂

    • jamie flexman

      Apr 6, 2014 at 3:29 pm

      Thanks, Solomon. I had few more excuses that didn’t make the final article. It’s crazy how many we create to appease our ego.

  16. Billy Elliott

    Apr 5, 2014 at 9:39 pm

    Just thought I would take a moment to say it’s great to see positive quality advice online these days…
    I found it encouraging as well as informative.
    Cheers~

    • jamie flexman

      Apr 6, 2014 at 3:27 pm

      Hey, thanks for your kind words – I’m glad you enjoyed the article!

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Success Advice

10 Confronting Reasons Why People Don’t Reach Their Goals

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failing to reach your goals
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What is the incentive for attaining your full potential and realizing your goals? Why do some people seem to achieve more than others despite having the same time and resources availed to them? The devil is in the details, and this is especially true when it comes to accomplishing your goals or not.

If you’ve ever felt like you’re stuck in the same spot for weeks, months or years now and are not accomplishing much; it might be time for you to assess yourself with the following ten truths.

1. You Lack Self-Confidence

One of the biggest reasons why people fail is because they don’t believe in themselves. Belief is actually a trained function, therefore the deeper you condemn yourself to the rut of self-doubt, the harder it is to come out of it. Our past has a lot to do with how we view our own abilities.

Maybe you just landed a new job or transferred to a new school and are now meeting new people who seem much smarter or more accomplished than yourself. It is often said that battles are won long before they are ever fought, and a lack of self-confidence will cause a reverse effect in accomplishing your goals. Don’t doubt yourself and miss a crucial opportunity in the process.

2. You Always Make the Same Mistakes

This is simply about accountability. If, say you were fired from your dream job because of always showing up late and happened to land another job where soon after you began you made the same mistake, you just dig your own grave. The thorough self-assessment is a crucial part of achieving your goals. You won’t get to the gym and achieve success if you are always oversleeping, or overeating. The same applies to any other dream that you may possess, so work hard and do anything that is possible.

3. You’re Averse to Taking Risks

Risk taking isn’t just limited to those who are looking to go into business or for savvy entrepreneurs. It directly applies to every aspect of our daily lives. How many of us keep that 9 to 5 job that we hate only because we are afraid of taking a plunge and following our passions?

There are a million reasons why you shouldn’t take that risk, after all, bills have to be paid, and there’s a 401k to contribute to, right? But there’s one greater reason why you should take that risk: your dreams lie in wait. Start that business, go on that trip or try out that relationship. You never know what tomorrow might bring, so do not hesitate and take risks.

“Most people fail in life not because they aim too high and miss, but because they aim too low and hit.” – Les Brown

4. Unwilling to Let Go of Productivity Killers

One of the ridiculous reasons (but true) why people can’t have what they want is the fact that they can’t let go of habits that take up valuable time. Facebook posts, Insta selfies and a whole lot of Netflix-&-Chill might make the whole day down the drain. A global study conducted by B2X also reports that Millennials are spending more than 25% of their day on smartphones, thoroughly diminishing their productivity and bearing a hindrance on them achieving their goals. So, put aside all of the unneeded and pointless activities – it takes too much time!

5. It’s Just Not as Easy as You Thought

Starting is the most important part, but constantly grinding and working on it is even more important to become successful. We often see the glitz on media with stories of overnight successes and folks who hit the jackpot with their ideas. What we don’t see is the pain, sweat, tears and rejection that took up the biggest chunk of the grind.

If it were that easy, it would be worthless. Along the way, you are bound to feel tired, uninspired, depressed, on the verge of giving up even. However, try to find ways of keeping motivated by learning a new skill, meditating, reading etc. Failure is a critical part of succeeding, and you have to embrace it and learn from it.

6. You’re Not Surrounded with Ambitious People

The people around us have a huge impact on how we utilize our time, how we think and the kind of goals we set for ourselves. Tom Mendoza, a brand contributor on Forbes, tackles this subject well by talking about the key qualities of the company he keeps and how it helps him grow. That old musing about being the average of the 5 people we spend the most time with couldn’t be truer.

7. Folks Who Don’t Reach Their Goals Because They Failed Before

This is probably the biggest reason why people don’t accomplish their goals. According to Fundera, about 20% of businesses fail in the first year. Does this mean the other 80% don’t face the same obstacles or they have a magic formula for victory? No, it just means that they managed to get themselves together and try again. The reason people can’t have everything they want is because they want everything `here and now`, but they don’t realize that failure is imminent and is the only sure road to the victory.

8. You Lack Vision and Never Take Action

Biagio Sciacca tackles the subject of a visionary mindset quite well in his blog article on how the boundaries of manifestation are limited by our own perception. He emphasizes with a personal story how everything that we see and interact with starts with a single idea in mind. A vision is not just a vague wish or some random fairy-tale hope, it is the fuel that drives your passion and every meticulous piece of work that you put in. Goal setting provides the big picture perspective on what and why you are doing something.

“Most people fail, not because of lack of desire, but because of lack of commitment.” – Vince Lombardi

9. Thinking They Lack Enough Time to Achieve Their Goals

A good number of folks don’t believe they can accomplish their dreams with the time they have left. If you’ve watched “The First Grader” you’ll get all the motivation you need. The story of an 84-year-old who goes back to school to attain a life-long desire to be learned is enough to make you think twice about giving up on your own ambitions. So it is never too late to do something you like, give yourself a try.

10. You Will Succeed Only If You Do It This Way

Living by others’ limitations and the boundaries they set for you is one sure way to box yourself in from your goals. You’ll only get more tired, frustrated and demotivated in the long run. People impose their limitations on you because they don’t want you to succeed or because they have fears about their own abilities and personal failures to deal with. Achieving your goals means silencing those critical voices and having faith in your own way of doing it. Your biggest motivation should be to do it for the people who want to see you fail.

In most of the cases, people shield themselves from success. So, don’t let anything hold you back from any goal you’ve ever set for yourself and always try your best.

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Success Advice

Stop Replying To Everyone.

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Image Credit: Unsplash

Many of you are running around like mad trying to manage your time. You’re reading productivity hacks, taking cold showers and waking up at 5 am.

You’re doing all of this because you want more time to do what you love.

Let me hit you in the face with one technique that has allowed me to win back time, so I can do what I love.

Stop replying to everyone…

You get emails asking you to do stuff.
You get asked to do an intro.
You get asked to speak at an event for free about your area of expertise.

Here’s the problem:
YOU KEEP RESPONDING TO EVERY REQUEST OF YOUR TIME.


What’s the answer?

The answer is really simple like everything I write. Are you ready?
Stop replying to everyone.

I learned this technique the hard way. When I was looking to interview entrepreneurs in 2014 about their story and share it in the form of a blog post, I didn’t get many replies.

I’d email very successful people who have achieved the impossible and get nothing.

Radio silence.
Donuts.


Why don’t your idols respond to requests for their time?

There’s many reasons.

  1. They have too many requests and could never humanly answer every single one.
  2. They have limited time and can’t fit everybody into their schedule.

The second reason is the most important. Your idols don’t respond because that’s their way of saying no.


No response is the best response.

By responding to every request of your time, you go down the rabbit hole of endless back and forth conversations.

Let me illustrate this point with a short story.

A US startup approached me on LinkedIn and asked me to advise them on their social media strategy. They offered me equity in return for my expertise.

The product was not something that aligned with who I am, and I was heading off to Europe on holidays and had no time to draft a proper reply.

I sent no response to their request.
They messaged me a second time.
I sent no response to their request.

Then, I got sucked into responding. I felt my moral compass telling me to reply and tell them no. On top of that, the startup had a very well known person in the social media industry join them. FOMO kicked in.

I replied and that’s where everything went wrong.

Once I replied to the request I got daily reminders and emails with pitch decks trying to convince me why they were the one startup who could beat Instagram. The claims of how much traction they had got more and more ridiculous.

“Eventually, a simple request of my time turned into a daily debate”

They wouldn’t leave me alone. I began to regret my stupidity for responding in the first place.

If a request of your time doesn’t resonate with you, and you don’t feel like saying “Fuck Yes” when presented with an opportunity, say NO.

Don’t be tempted by a request of your time. 
Say no.


Not replying is what works.

People generally give up after one email or direct message asking for your time. I’ve tested this theory a lot and it has almost always turned out to be true.

As soon as you reply, you become like a lawyer in the High Court trying to defend someone who is accused of murder. Your time is yours. You only get one life.

“You don’t need to justify yourself, your time, or your goals to anybody”

YOU HEAR ME? NOBODY!

The way you win back time and make room for what’s important to you is to fight the temptation to reply to every request that comes your way.

Quit giving away your time like free balloons at a car expo.


You end up making up lies.

The problem with replying to every request of your time is you can end up making up lies to get out of doing something. Or you may end up exaggerating or putting forward excuses that aren’t entirely true.

This causes even more problems for you because if the requester knows people within your network, they may find out you’re not being honest.

Why construct a grand plan that takes more of your time to respond to a request?

It’s easier to say nothing at all.


Silence says it all.

Smart people who ask you for stuff will know that after a week, if you haven’t responded, you’re probably not interested.

Silence is the best response. After all, if someone really wants you to do something they’ll chase you, they’ll follow you up and they may get a mutual connection to intro them to you.

Many pitches and requests are poorly written or incredibly selfish.

Fight back with silence. Don’t reply. Stop replying.


You’re not missing anything.

The temptation to respond can also be caused by the fear that you’re missing out.

Maybe someone is contacting you to fund your idea.
Maybe something you wrote is going to be published in the New York Times.
Maybe the request will lead you to direct a Hollywood Movie.

All of these false ideas are what’s causing you to respond to everybody.You’re worried you could miss the jackpot or your lucky break.

The harsh truth is that these opportunities are earned through hard work.Genuine opportunities that will excite you are clearly articulated and your gut feeling will guide you better than you think.

You’re not going to miss out on winning an Oscar for a movie you made because you didn’t reply to an email”


Not replying isn’t rude.

We feel we must reply to every request of our time. We have a fear that we will be accused of being rude.

This belief is false also. There’s nothing rude about not replying. We all get lots of emails and messages online and we can’t answer them all. People will understand when you don’t reply. If they don’t understand then that’s a problem with them, not you.

Don’t feel you have to reply out of politeness.

<<<>>>

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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Success Advice

Practice These 4 No’s for Greater Success

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how to achieve greater success
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In much of the success literature and in the applied motivational literature that is developed today, the explicit suggestions contained within are to practice certain behaviors for a certain outcome. So, you may see information with titles such as, “Do these four things for greater happiness”, or, “Perform the seven steps every morning for more focus”.

Not only am I a large proponent of these quick and distilled attributes of behavior change to bring about greater levels of whatever the outcome should be, I am also an author of a great many of them. The notion of cause and effect is explicit in applied motivation. If you want to change and affect then do not work on the effect directly, work on the cause that will invariably change the outcome.

So many of us try to psychologically bully our conscious mind into various effects, when all we really need to do is understand the causes. Thoughts drive behavior. If you change the thought the behavior must change. But can you increase your level of overall well-being by NOT doing certain things? And I know the answer is yes. It all begins with a shift in our perception and the thought process.

“If you realized how powerful your thoughts are, you would never think a negative thought.” – Peace Pilgrim

Here are four NO’s that you may want to stop practicing. And by virtue of not doing these things you will have more mental room, and idea space between your positive notions for greater levels of contentment and well-being.

1. There are no justified discontentment’s

If the laws of cause and effect, and the law of attraction hold true, then we are where we are right now by virtue of our past behaviors, which are a direct result of our past beginning. So don’t be mad over your current situation, you created it! If you want to be happy, change it! But don’t just sit there and bask in your discontentment; bring about the necessary changes that you require.

In the words of James Ray, “a person of power embraces challenges and complete gratitude. No matter the situation life may bring, discontent is never justified, but rather all is experienced as an opportunity and privilege to adventure and grow.”

2. There are no justified excuses

The present is a doorway that balances past events with future circumstances. When we begin to fully grasp the idea that there is no dress rehearsal, we are on Broadway; that there is no scrimmage, today we are in the Super Bowl, we begin to realize that our life is a series of micro adjustments and that we are in total and complete control over them. Instead of wasting time making excuses for poor decisions, spend that time in fine-tuning future decisions to make up for those poor decisions of the past.

3. There are no justified complaints

We complain about a situation for one of two reasons. One, to elicit pity from another and, two, to transfer the issue we are complaining about to somebody else. Either behavior is destructive to the current personal relationship and will only serve to undermine future transactions with that individual.

Be a person of higher self-esteem; handle your issues in silence then speak to another individual about your successful outcomes. By doing so, you have altered your focus on a positive outcome instead of our negative conditions. By the way, there is always a successful outcome! If you can find it, look deeper, it’s there!

“Champions never complain, they are too busy getting better.” – John Wooden

4. There are no justified resentments

None, zip, zilch, zero! That person that borrowed $500 off you and never paid you back, forgive them. That significant other that dropped you like a hot coal just when you needed them the most, forgive them. That business partner that screwed you to the wall and caused you to lose a vast amount of money, forgive them. Remember, forgiveness is not about them, it’s about you. By letting go of the resentments that you have toward other people you open yourself up to the endless possibilities of bountiful manifestations that can occur because of your positive attitude and constructive optimism.

Think of these four big No’s! Number them, with number one being the one which you practice and think about the most. Then answer the following questions:

  • What can I do to alter this behavior and/or thought process?
  • What situations do I encounter and lead me in this behavior and/or thought process?
  • Can I avoid those situations?
  • If so, am I willing to avoid those situations?

Then do that with the second the third and the fourth big No’s. What will happen after enough time is that you will no longer be looking for situations to offend you, rather you will begin to open up to the possibilities of what the world and the universe have to offer you in a positive, enthusiastic, and engaging light.

I look forward to your comments, opinions, and suggestions. Please feel free to write them below.

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Success Advice

9 Ways To Build Unbreakable Confidence From The Outside In

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Build Self Confidence

There are a million different resources and pieces of advice out there from “experts” on how to build confidence, particularly self-confidence.

A vulnerable and anxious population consumes this guidance like they are starving for it… probably because they are. The dream of being able to overcome all fear and self-imposed limits by simply reading some advice is a very tempting dish indeed.

After lifetimes of being subject to images and ideals that they cannot possibly live up to, people start to feel like they are “less than.” This fear of being a substandard human being drives some of us to seek guidance, bringing us into contact with the murky, over-crowded world of self-help products and services.

Look, some of the stuff out there is good – I know, I’ve tried most of it. However, some of it is very misguided and even delusional.

People who lack self-confidence themselves can take a class on basic theoretical knowledge of psychological research, and use it to excrete volumes of garbage about how to build self-esteem and confidence. They then charge copious amounts of money for this drivel, which usually makes you feel great temporarily but does absolutely nothing to change your long term situation.

I’m not going to pretend I know it all, yet what I do have to offer is that I have completed the full journey, from shy, “nice,” and trying to please everyone, all the way through to where I am now.

You may ask, where is that, and what does being confident mean to me? It means that these things now occur in my life where they didn’t before:

  • I regularly seek out opportunities to push boundaries and expand my comfort zone, running towards fear rather than away from it
  • I can go into a situation full of anxiety and quickly push through that to enable me to feel competent and at ease
  • I feel comfortable being honest in all situations. Rather than hide my views, I express them calmly and diplomatically where required, but also without compromise
  • I place my needs above everything else. I am selfish about developing my life and inner-self, because I know that ultimately the people in my life will benefit from me being a better person
  • Most importantly from my point of view, I can’t remember the last time I felt jealousy or envy, and it’s been many, many years since I entertained the idea of wanting to be anyone else

So how did I get to this from being a “nice” guy that did all I could to avoid confrontation and anxiety-provoking situations? Well, it wasn’t easy! I have taken some time to break down the steps I took to achieve this in order to help others out there who are similar to me and serious about developing true, unbreakable inner confidence.

See the secret is really no secret at all – it’s about constantly taking action in a way that pushes your comfort zone further out until you learn how to make any situation feel like it’s in your comfort zone.

Below are 9 ways to build unbreakable confidence from the outside in:

1. Identifying your ultimate dream lifestyle

Something that is a real confidence drainer is not knowing where you’re going in life. The great thing is you don’t even need to be sure about it; you just need to have a direction to travel in.

Try taking 30 minutes to write down a descriptive paragraph or two about what your life would look like if you could wave a magic wand and choose anything. I’ve found with my clients that answering these three questions in detail is a great structure to use:

1What will you have / what will you be doing?

2) How would other people describe you?

3) What will you think about yourself?

Writing down the detailed answers to these questions, using emotional and descriptive language. Once you’ve done this, make sure you re-read it regularly (at least twice per week) to remind yourself constantly about why it is you are getting out of bed.

This will increase your sense of purpose in life, a reason to live in a way, which will increase your confidence. Of course, to actually achieve this dream lifestyle, there are further steps you need to take… (read on).

2. Writing down goals and striving to achieve them

I remember reading about a study at Oxford University: researchers asked all students in a class who had written down their goals. I can’t remember the exact details but about 3% of them did this.

When the researchers revisited the students again 20 years later, the small group who had written down goals were earning a combined income that was greater than the combined income of all 97% of their classmates.

There are plenty of free resources out there on how to write goals (including The Inspirational Lifestyle). The general key I recommend is that rather than write outcome based goals (e.g. “I will get a promotion”) try writing action-based goals that are under your control (e.g. “I will take a management course and then apply for a promotion”).

By making sure the goals are under your control, your confidence is not subject to luck. Remove luck by making sure that nothing and no-one can affect the achievement of your goal except for you.

3. Reading popular self-development books by successful business people

While there are far too many refuse-bin-worthy self-development books out there, your safest bet is to read the memoirs and how-to books which are written by people who have actually achieved something.

It really is simple; if someone like Richard Branson is a billionaire, he’s probably a pretty reliable source of information on how to make money. It’s much better to listen to him than someone fresh from completing an MBA and spilling a bunch of inexperienced theory-based conjecture.

4Learning how to manage your state of mind

Most of the time the reason you feel anxious or nervous about a situation you’re about to go into, such as public speaking, is because you’re in the wrong frame of mind.

Imagine this: you’ve been studying accounting for three straights hours without interruption, when all of a sudden you’re dragged to a party. Straight away you feel anxiety even though going to a party is not an unusual situation for you. So what’s the problem?

Your brain was set into the “studying” state, which is secluded, quiet, and antisocial. You are then thrown into a situation which requires you to be extroverted, talkative and social. This is a really uncomfortable imbalance for your brain to handle. The solution? Taking baby steps.

When you realize you are feeling anxiety about an upcoming situation and you suspect that it is because of being in the wrong state, try to figure out some in-between steps you can take.

Using our example above, rather than going straight to the party, you could have a chat on the phone with some close friends, followed by pre-drinks at your house with just a few people. This way by the time you get to the party your state has gone from withdrawn to outgoing in easy to manage steps.

confidence picture quote

5Understanding the balance between learning, mentoring and action

One of the most common barriers to success is too much thinking and not enough doing. It’s the doing that builds confidence, not the learning.

As a general rule, for every hour you spend reading or watching videos (passive learning), you will benefit most by complementing this with two hours of mentoring or coaching, and seven hours practicing or otherwise taking action. It’s the 10/20/70 rule.

This is why I’ve titled this article “9 ways to build confidence from the outside in,” because building confidence goes far beyond just reading inspirational or educational books. It’s about taking action so you will start seeing results and positive changes.

6. Approaching strangers

This is one of the scariest things for people to do – very few can do it sober without a background in cold-calling or sales of some kind. Doing this is a really powerful way to build confidence, particularly if you’re single and approaching strangers with the intention of potential romance.

If you can get yourself to do this sober and during the day, it makes everything else seem a lot less scary. You can learn to love rejection as the learning and feedback experience it really is.

7. Trying new things regularly

Having a routine can kill your creativity and make your life boring. It’s important to seek new adventures, and always try new things regularly because it can boost your confidence through the following two ways.

1) By learning a range of skills and having varied experiences, you start building up transferable abilities. Over time less situations will seem totally unknown because you will have done something similar before.

For example, I found I really enjoyed salsa dancing despite never having danced before, because it combined my previous experiences of playing in a band and doing martial arts.

2) You will eventually find those things that bring you the most pleasure and satisfaction (in a non-creepy way of course).

Confidence is often also described as “conscious competence,” which basically means that if you are doing something that you are skilled at, and you know that you are skilled, you feel confident.

8. Surrounding yourself with successful people

Successful people always say “how can we do this?” whereas unsuccessful people generally say “why should we do this?

What kind of people do you spend the most time with? Until you develop a strong inner core of confidence that others cannot touch, you need to surround yourself with “can do” people in order to feed on their confidence.

People showing you that anything is possible, and that they believe you are capable of anything will go a long way towards helping you believe this yourself.

9. Making a conscious effort to stop caring about other’s opinions of you

Finally, the biggest lesson I ever really learned about developing true all-round confidence is that the only person I should compare myself to is… myself. There is nothing to be gained in comparing myself to others or trying to live to others expectations.

Confidence comes from setting your own expectations of yourself and then trying your best to live up to them. I am not saying that you shouldn’t compete with others, because that’s a great motivator too, but your results and progress should only be measured against your past self.

Well that’s it. There’s a million other things you can do, but I am sure that if you start with this list and TAKE ACTION rather than just read this and do nothing, then you will start to see big changes in how you feel about yourself.

Which one of the above 9 ways to build unbreakable confidence resonated most with you and why?

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Success Advice

10 Confronting Reasons Why People Don’t Reach Their Goals

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failing to reach your goals
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What is the incentive for attaining your full potential and realizing your goals? Why do some people seem to achieve more than others despite having the same time and resources availed to them? The devil is in the details, and this is especially true when it comes to accomplishing your goals or not. (more…)

Alice Berg is a blogger and a career advisor at Skillroads, who received a degree in Social Work and Applied Social Studies. Now she helps people to find their own way in life, gives career advice and guidance and helps young people to prepare for their careers. You can find Alice on Twitter.  

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19 Comments

19 Comments

  1. Nicole Conner

    Dec 6, 2015 at 3:13 pm

    I sure needed this butt kicking this morning! Mask wearing is easy, taking it off, looking at myself – The real me – is the girl that needed the slap! (ouch!)

    Continue to be awesome….thank you!

  2. Joseph Dabon

    Dec 16, 2014 at 12:37 pm

    But aren’t all excuses in the head?

  3. Anna

    Dec 9, 2014 at 6:30 pm

    It’s so easy to be an inspirational speaker/write even YOU can do it. Do you have a family? Do you have kids to take care of, a wife to come home to? No? Oh, well then, you can do ANYTHING! The world is your oyster because you have no obligations to anyone other than yourself! How easy life must be then. Want to quit your job? No problem! Want to move the Hawaii and become a surfer? No problem! You’re just a naive kid spitting out same ol’ free spirit rhetoric that everyone else with no ties preaches on the internet. Bill Gates quit college, SO CAN YOU! Worst crock of horse $#^% I ever heard. Most people are NOT Bill Gates nor are they Zuckerberg. They are AVERAGE. And average people with AVERAGE ambition level NEED to stay in college so that Bill Gates can hire them. I hate it when people talk like you do because it means absolutely NOTHING to the average Joe. Which is pretty much everyone.

  4. Marcin

    Apr 25, 2014 at 12:27 am

    Half the listed college drop outs dropped out of Harvard. A Harvard dropout is better off than a community college graduate. There are more holes in your points than in swiss cheese

    In short, as the internet say: Your argument is invalid

  5. declan

    Apr 23, 2014 at 7:12 pm

    Brilliant 🙂
    May get it laminated??

  6. christian

    Apr 12, 2014 at 5:36 am

    yes just do it , tks a lot to help the others to be more brave, i like a lot ur last sentence if u really want it u ll found a way if not u ll found an excuse !! i use to tell something like this often
    in chinese , be brave exactly go on put the gas is ” jayou” then to all ” jayou !! “

  7. Jerly Dolomatan

    Apr 11, 2014 at 9:06 am

    Hello Jaime…thank you for this article..I agree in what are stated in article…because in myself..a lot of time I’ve wasted..like doing somethings which is less important…i am a student taking a degree which i don’t like..and that is why, I never give my very best..hope you can help me how to in this situation…

  8. Corey Roncoroni

    Apr 11, 2014 at 4:52 am

    Great article. We really are just a result of the stories we tell ourselves in our head.

  9. talya2312

    Apr 10, 2014 at 4:25 pm

    Great advice.

  10. Everyday Power

    Apr 8, 2014 at 1:12 am

    I absolutely loved this! It always important to have the language to combat the thoughts that hold us back! Great work!

  11. Naomi@business start ups

    Apr 7, 2014 at 11:19 pm

    Hi Jamie,

    The rationalizing thoughts people tell themselves to justify their behavior is always bizarre and extremely interesting.

    If you’re in doubt and think you’re trying to convince yourself with excuses – look in the mirror and say it out aloud. Chances are you can’t.

    Problem solved, you’re full of excuses!

    Naomi

    • jamie flexman

      Apr 8, 2014 at 4:04 pm

      Hey, that’s an interesting way of looking at it. You’re right, of course!

  12. Nik E Nokr

    Apr 7, 2014 at 1:24 pm

    Very inspiring read! Cant wait to share with a select few I have in mind! 🙂

  13. Matt

    Apr 6, 2014 at 7:29 pm

    Thanks for posting this, it was really good. Very inspiring to get off your butt and do it.

  14. Kash

    Apr 6, 2014 at 3:59 pm

    Very true Jamie.Well written and motivating!

  15. Solomon

    Apr 6, 2014 at 2:12 pm

    Dear Jamie, this article came at the right time. I needed that kick in the back-side, I agree with everything you said, we make far too many excuses and frankly laziness is also a big factor in my case. I`ve got to make some serious changes, Thanks for this informative, kick-ass article. P.S i`m also a fellow Englishman (London) 🙂

    • jamie flexman

      Apr 6, 2014 at 3:29 pm

      Thanks, Solomon. I had few more excuses that didn’t make the final article. It’s crazy how many we create to appease our ego.

  16. Billy Elliott

    Apr 5, 2014 at 9:39 pm

    Just thought I would take a moment to say it’s great to see positive quality advice online these days…
    I found it encouraging as well as informative.
    Cheers~

    • jamie flexman

      Apr 6, 2014 at 3:27 pm

      Hey, thanks for your kind words – I’m glad you enjoyed the article!

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Success Advice

10 Confronting Reasons Why People Don’t Reach Their Goals

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failing to reach your goals
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What is the incentive for attaining your full potential and realizing your goals? Why do some people seem to achieve more than others despite having the same time and resources availed to them? The devil is in the details, and this is especially true when it comes to accomplishing your goals or not.

If you’ve ever felt like you’re stuck in the same spot for weeks, months or years now and are not accomplishing much; it might be time for you to assess yourself with the following ten truths.

1. You Lack Self-Confidence

One of the biggest reasons why people fail is because they don’t believe in themselves. Belief is actually a trained function, therefore the deeper you condemn yourself to the rut of self-doubt, the harder it is to come out of it. Our past has a lot to do with how we view our own abilities.

Maybe you just landed a new job or transferred to a new school and are now meeting new people who seem much smarter or more accomplished than yourself. It is often said that battles are won long before they are ever fought, and a lack of self-confidence will cause a reverse effect in accomplishing your goals. Don’t doubt yourself and miss a crucial opportunity in the process.

2. You Always Make the Same Mistakes

This is simply about accountability. If, say you were fired from your dream job because of always showing up late and happened to land another job where soon after you began you made the same mistake, you just dig your own grave. The thorough self-assessment is a crucial part of achieving your goals. You won’t get to the gym and achieve success if you are always oversleeping, or overeating. The same applies to any other dream that you may possess, so work hard and do anything that is possible.

3. You’re Averse to Taking Risks

Risk taking isn’t just limited to those who are looking to go into business or for savvy entrepreneurs. It directly applies to every aspect of our daily lives. How many of us keep that 9 to 5 job that we hate only because we are afraid of taking a plunge and following our passions?

There are a million reasons why you shouldn’t take that risk, after all, bills have to be paid, and there’s a 401k to contribute to, right? But there’s one greater reason why you should take that risk: your dreams lie in wait. Start that business, go on that trip or try out that relationship. You never know what tomorrow might bring, so do not hesitate and take risks.

“Most people fail in life not because they aim too high and miss, but because they aim too low and hit.” – Les Brown

4. Unwilling to Let Go of Productivity Killers

One of the ridiculous reasons (but true) why people can’t have what they want is the fact that they can’t let go of habits that take up valuable time. Facebook posts, Insta selfies and a whole lot of Netflix-&-Chill might make the whole day down the drain. A global study conducted by B2X also reports that Millennials are spending more than 25% of their day on smartphones, thoroughly diminishing their productivity and bearing a hindrance on them achieving their goals. So, put aside all of the unneeded and pointless activities – it takes too much time!

5. It’s Just Not as Easy as You Thought

Starting is the most important part, but constantly grinding and working on it is even more important to become successful. We often see the glitz on media with stories of overnight successes and folks who hit the jackpot with their ideas. What we don’t see is the pain, sweat, tears and rejection that took up the biggest chunk of the grind.

If it were that easy, it would be worthless. Along the way, you are bound to feel tired, uninspired, depressed, on the verge of giving up even. However, try to find ways of keeping motivated by learning a new skill, meditating, reading etc. Failure is a critical part of succeeding, and you have to embrace it and learn from it.

6. You’re Not Surrounded with Ambitious People

The people around us have a huge impact on how we utilize our time, how we think and the kind of goals we set for ourselves. Tom Mendoza, a brand contributor on Forbes, tackles this subject well by talking about the key qualities of the company he keeps and how it helps him grow. That old musing about being the average of the 5 people we spend the most time with couldn’t be truer.

7. Folks Who Don’t Reach Their Goals Because They Failed Before

This is probably the biggest reason why people don’t accomplish their goals. According to Fundera, about 20% of businesses fail in the first year. Does this mean the other 80% don’t face the same obstacles or they have a magic formula for victory? No, it just means that they managed to get themselves together and try again. The reason people can’t have everything they want is because they want everything `here and now`, but they don’t realize that failure is imminent and is the only sure road to the victory.

8. You Lack Vision and Never Take Action

Biagio Sciacca tackles the subject of a visionary mindset quite well in his blog article on how the boundaries of manifestation are limited by our own perception. He emphasizes with a personal story how everything that we see and interact with starts with a single idea in mind. A vision is not just a vague wish or some random fairy-tale hope, it is the fuel that drives your passion and every meticulous piece of work that you put in. Goal setting provides the big picture perspective on what and why you are doing something.

“Most people fail, not because of lack of desire, but because of lack of commitment.” – Vince Lombardi

9. Thinking They Lack Enough Time to Achieve Their Goals

A good number of folks don’t believe they can accomplish their dreams with the time they have left. If you’ve watched “The First Grader” you’ll get all the motivation you need. The story of an 84-year-old who goes back to school to attain a life-long desire to be learned is enough to make you think twice about giving up on your own ambitions. So it is never too late to do something you like, give yourself a try.

10. You Will Succeed Only If You Do It This Way

Living by others’ limitations and the boundaries they set for you is one sure way to box yourself in from your goals. You’ll only get more tired, frustrated and demotivated in the long run. People impose their limitations on you because they don’t want you to succeed or because they have fears about their own abilities and personal failures to deal with. Achieving your goals means silencing those critical voices and having faith in your own way of doing it. Your biggest motivation should be to do it for the people who want to see you fail.

In most of the cases, people shield themselves from success. So, don’t let anything hold you back from any goal you’ve ever set for yourself and always try your best.

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Success Advice

Stop Replying To Everyone.

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Many of you are running around like mad trying to manage your time. You’re reading productivity hacks, taking cold showers and waking up at 5 am.

You’re doing all of this because you want more time to do what you love.

Let me hit you in the face with one technique that has allowed me to win back time, so I can do what I love.

Stop replying to everyone…

You get emails asking you to do stuff.
You get asked to do an intro.
You get asked to speak at an event for free about your area of expertise.

Here’s the problem:
YOU KEEP RESPONDING TO EVERY REQUEST OF YOUR TIME.


What’s the answer?

The answer is really simple like everything I write. Are you ready?
Stop replying to everyone.

I learned this technique the hard way. When I was looking to interview entrepreneurs in 2014 about their story and share it in the form of a blog post, I didn’t get many replies.

I’d email very successful people who have achieved the impossible and get nothing.

Radio silence.
Donuts.


Why don’t your idols respond to requests for their time?

There’s many reasons.

  1. They have too many requests and could never humanly answer every single one.
  2. They have limited time and can’t fit everybody into their schedule.

The second reason is the most important. Your idols don’t respond because that’s their way of saying no.


No response is the best response.

By responding to every request of your time, you go down the rabbit hole of endless back and forth conversations.

Let me illustrate this point with a short story.

A US startup approached me on LinkedIn and asked me to advise them on their social media strategy. They offered me equity in return for my expertise.

The product was not something that aligned with who I am, and I was heading off to Europe on holidays and had no time to draft a proper reply.

I sent no response to their request.
They messaged me a second time.
I sent no response to their request.

Then, I got sucked into responding. I felt my moral compass telling me to reply and tell them no. On top of that, the startup had a very well known person in the social media industry join them. FOMO kicked in.

I replied and that’s where everything went wrong.

Once I replied to the request I got daily reminders and emails with pitch decks trying to convince me why they were the one startup who could beat Instagram. The claims of how much traction they had got more and more ridiculous.

“Eventually, a simple request of my time turned into a daily debate”

They wouldn’t leave me alone. I began to regret my stupidity for responding in the first place.

If a request of your time doesn’t resonate with you, and you don’t feel like saying “Fuck Yes” when presented with an opportunity, say NO.

Don’t be tempted by a request of your time. 
Say no.


Not replying is what works.

People generally give up after one email or direct message asking for your time. I’ve tested this theory a lot and it has almost always turned out to be true.

As soon as you reply, you become like a lawyer in the High Court trying to defend someone who is accused of murder. Your time is yours. You only get one life.

“You don’t need to justify yourself, your time, or your goals to anybody”

YOU HEAR ME? NOBODY!

The way you win back time and make room for what’s important to you is to fight the temptation to reply to every request that comes your way.

Quit giving away your time like free balloons at a car expo.


You end up making up lies.

The problem with replying to every request of your time is you can end up making up lies to get out of doing something. Or you may end up exaggerating or putting forward excuses that aren’t entirely true.

This causes even more problems for you because if the requester knows people within your network, they may find out you’re not being honest.

Why construct a grand plan that takes more of your time to respond to a request?

It’s easier to say nothing at all.


Silence says it all.

Smart people who ask you for stuff will know that after a week, if you haven’t responded, you’re probably not interested.

Silence is the best response. After all, if someone really wants you to do something they’ll chase you, they’ll follow you up and they may get a mutual connection to intro them to you.

Many pitches and requests are poorly written or incredibly selfish.

Fight back with silence. Don’t reply. Stop replying.


You’re not missing anything.

The temptation to respond can also be caused by the fear that you’re missing out.

Maybe someone is contacting you to fund your idea.
Maybe something you wrote is going to be published in the New York Times.
Maybe the request will lead you to direct a Hollywood Movie.

All of these false ideas are what’s causing you to respond to everybody.You’re worried you could miss the jackpot or your lucky break.

The harsh truth is that these opportunities are earned through hard work.Genuine opportunities that will excite you are clearly articulated and your gut feeling will guide you better than you think.

You’re not going to miss out on winning an Oscar for a movie you made because you didn’t reply to an email”


Not replying isn’t rude.

We feel we must reply to every request of our time. We have a fear that we will be accused of being rude.

This belief is false also. There’s nothing rude about not replying. We all get lots of emails and messages online and we can’t answer them all. People will understand when you don’t reply. If they don’t understand then that’s a problem with them, not you.

Don’t feel you have to reply out of politeness.

<<<>>>

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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Success Advice

Practice These 4 No’s for Greater Success

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In much of the success literature and in the applied motivational literature that is developed today, the explicit suggestions contained within are to practice certain behaviors for a certain outcome. So, you may see information with titles such as, “Do these four things for greater happiness”, or, “Perform the seven steps every morning for more focus”.

Not only am I a large proponent of these quick and distilled attributes of behavior change to bring about greater levels of whatever the outcome should be, I am also an author of a great many of them. The notion of cause and effect is explicit in applied motivation. If you want to change and affect then do not work on the effect directly, work on the cause that will invariably change the outcome.

So many of us try to psychologically bully our conscious mind into various effects, when all we really need to do is understand the causes. Thoughts drive behavior. If you change the thought the behavior must change. But can you increase your level of overall well-being by NOT doing certain things? And I know the answer is yes. It all begins with a shift in our perception and the thought process.

“If you realized how powerful your thoughts are, you would never think a negative thought.” – Peace Pilgrim

Here are four NO’s that you may want to stop practicing. And by virtue of not doing these things you will have more mental room, and idea space between your positive notions for greater levels of contentment and well-being.

1. There are no justified discontentment’s

If the laws of cause and effect, and the law of attraction hold true, then we are where we are right now by virtue of our past behaviors, which are a direct result of our past beginning. So don’t be mad over your current situation, you created it! If you want to be happy, change it! But don’t just sit there and bask in your discontentment; bring about the necessary changes that you require.

In the words of James Ray, “a person of power embraces challenges and complete gratitude. No matter the situation life may bring, discontent is never justified, but rather all is experienced as an opportunity and privilege to adventure and grow.”

2. There are no justified excuses

The present is a doorway that balances past events with future circumstances. When we begin to fully grasp the idea that there is no dress rehearsal, we are on Broadway; that there is no scrimmage, today we are in the Super Bowl, we begin to realize that our life is a series of micro adjustments and that we are in total and complete control over them. Instead of wasting time making excuses for poor decisions, spend that time in fine-tuning future decisions to make up for those poor decisions of the past.

3. There are no justified complaints

We complain about a situation for one of two reasons. One, to elicit pity from another and, two, to transfer the issue we are complaining about to somebody else. Either behavior is destructive to the current personal relationship and will only serve to undermine future transactions with that individual.

Be a person of higher self-esteem; handle your issues in silence then speak to another individual about your successful outcomes. By doing so, you have altered your focus on a positive outcome instead of our negative conditions. By the way, there is always a successful outcome! If you can find it, look deeper, it’s there!

“Champions never complain, they are too busy getting better.” – John Wooden

4. There are no justified resentments

None, zip, zilch, zero! That person that borrowed $500 off you and never paid you back, forgive them. That significant other that dropped you like a hot coal just when you needed them the most, forgive them. That business partner that screwed you to the wall and caused you to lose a vast amount of money, forgive them. Remember, forgiveness is not about them, it’s about you. By letting go of the resentments that you have toward other people you open yourself up to the endless possibilities of bountiful manifestations that can occur because of your positive attitude and constructive optimism.

Think of these four big No’s! Number them, with number one being the one which you practice and think about the most. Then answer the following questions:

  • What can I do to alter this behavior and/or thought process?
  • What situations do I encounter and lead me in this behavior and/or thought process?
  • Can I avoid those situations?
  • If so, am I willing to avoid those situations?

Then do that with the second the third and the fourth big No’s. What will happen after enough time is that you will no longer be looking for situations to offend you, rather you will begin to open up to the possibilities of what the world and the universe have to offer you in a positive, enthusiastic, and engaging light.

I look forward to your comments, opinions, and suggestions. Please feel free to write them below.

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Success Advice

9 Ways To Build Unbreakable Confidence From The Outside In

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Build Self Confidence

There are a million different resources and pieces of advice out there from “experts” on how to build confidence, particularly self-confidence.

A vulnerable and anxious population consumes this guidance like they are starving for it… probably because they are. The dream of being able to overcome all fear and self-imposed limits by simply reading some advice is a very tempting dish indeed.

After lifetimes of being subject to images and ideals that they cannot possibly live up to, people start to feel like they are “less than.” This fear of being a substandard human being drives some of us to seek guidance, bringing us into contact with the murky, over-crowded world of self-help products and services.

Look, some of the stuff out there is good – I know, I’ve tried most of it. However, some of it is very misguided and even delusional.

People who lack self-confidence themselves can take a class on basic theoretical knowledge of psychological research, and use it to excrete volumes of garbage about how to build self-esteem and confidence. They then charge copious amounts of money for this drivel, which usually makes you feel great temporarily but does absolutely nothing to change your long term situation.

I’m not going to pretend I know it all, yet what I do have to offer is that I have completed the full journey, from shy, “nice,” and trying to please everyone, all the way through to where I am now.

You may ask, where is that, and what does being confident mean to me? It means that these things now occur in my life where they didn’t before:

  • I regularly seek out opportunities to push boundaries and expand my comfort zone, running towards fear rather than away from it
  • I can go into a situation full of anxiety and quickly push through that to enable me to feel competent and at ease
  • I feel comfortable being honest in all situations. Rather than hide my views, I express them calmly and diplomatically where required, but also without compromise
  • I place my needs above everything else. I am selfish about developing my life and inner-self, because I know that ultimately the people in my life will benefit from me being a better person
  • Most importantly from my point of view, I can’t remember the last time I felt jealousy or envy, and it’s been many, many years since I entertained the idea of wanting to be anyone else

So how did I get to this from being a “nice” guy that did all I could to avoid confrontation and anxiety-provoking situations? Well, it wasn’t easy! I have taken some time to break down the steps I took to achieve this in order to help others out there who are similar to me and serious about developing true, unbreakable inner confidence.

See the secret is really no secret at all – it’s about constantly taking action in a way that pushes your comfort zone further out until you learn how to make any situation feel like it’s in your comfort zone.

Below are 9 ways to build unbreakable confidence from the outside in:

1. Identifying your ultimate dream lifestyle

Something that is a real confidence drainer is not knowing where you’re going in life. The great thing is you don’t even need to be sure about it; you just need to have a direction to travel in.

Try taking 30 minutes to write down a descriptive paragraph or two about what your life would look like if you could wave a magic wand and choose anything. I’ve found with my clients that answering these three questions in detail is a great structure to use:

1What will you have / what will you be doing?

2) How would other people describe you?

3) What will you think about yourself?

Writing down the detailed answers to these questions, using emotional and descriptive language. Once you’ve done this, make sure you re-read it regularly (at least twice per week) to remind yourself constantly about why it is you are getting out of bed.

This will increase your sense of purpose in life, a reason to live in a way, which will increase your confidence. Of course, to actually achieve this dream lifestyle, there are further steps you need to take… (read on).

2. Writing down goals and striving to achieve them

I remember reading about a study at Oxford University: researchers asked all students in a class who had written down their goals. I can’t remember the exact details but about 3% of them did this.

When the researchers revisited the students again 20 years later, the small group who had written down goals were earning a combined income that was greater than the combined income of all 97% of their classmates.

There are plenty of free resources out there on how to write goals (including The Inspirational Lifestyle). The general key I recommend is that rather than write outcome based goals (e.g. “I will get a promotion”) try writing action-based goals that are under your control (e.g. “I will take a management course and then apply for a promotion”).

By making sure the goals are under your control, your confidence is not subject to luck. Remove luck by making sure that nothing and no-one can affect the achievement of your goal except for you.

3. Reading popular self-development books by successful business people

While there are far too many refuse-bin-worthy self-development books out there, your safest bet is to read the memoirs and how-to books which are written by people who have actually achieved something.

It really is simple; if someone like Richard Branson is a billionaire, he’s probably a pretty reliable source of information on how to make money. It’s much better to listen to him than someone fresh from completing an MBA and spilling a bunch of inexperienced theory-based conjecture.

4Learning how to manage your state of mind

Most of the time the reason you feel anxious or nervous about a situation you’re about to go into, such as public speaking, is because you’re in the wrong frame of mind.

Imagine this: you’ve been studying accounting for three straights hours without interruption, when all of a sudden you’re dragged to a party. Straight away you feel anxiety even though going to a party is not an unusual situation for you. So what’s the problem?

Your brain was set into the “studying” state, which is secluded, quiet, and antisocial. You are then thrown into a situation which requires you to be extroverted, talkative and social. This is a really uncomfortable imbalance for your brain to handle. The solution? Taking baby steps.

When you realize you are feeling anxiety about an upcoming situation and you suspect that it is because of being in the wrong state, try to figure out some in-between steps you can take.

Using our example above, rather than going straight to the party, you could have a chat on the phone with some close friends, followed by pre-drinks at your house with just a few people. This way by the time you get to the party your state has gone from withdrawn to outgoing in easy to manage steps.

confidence picture quote

5Understanding the balance between learning, mentoring and action

One of the most common barriers to success is too much thinking and not enough doing. It’s the doing that builds confidence, not the learning.

As a general rule, for every hour you spend reading or watching videos (passive learning), you will benefit most by complementing this with two hours of mentoring or coaching, and seven hours practicing or otherwise taking action. It’s the 10/20/70 rule.

This is why I’ve titled this article “9 ways to build confidence from the outside in,” because building confidence goes far beyond just reading inspirational or educational books. It’s about taking action so you will start seeing results and positive changes.

6. Approaching strangers

This is one of the scariest things for people to do – very few can do it sober without a background in cold-calling or sales of some kind. Doing this is a really powerful way to build confidence, particularly if you’re single and approaching strangers with the intention of potential romance.

If you can get yourself to do this sober and during the day, it makes everything else seem a lot less scary. You can learn to love rejection as the learning and feedback experience it really is.

7. Trying new things regularly

Having a routine can kill your creativity and make your life boring. It’s important to seek new adventures, and always try new things regularly because it can boost your confidence through the following two ways.

1) By learning a range of skills and having varied experiences, you start building up transferable abilities. Over time less situations will seem totally unknown because you will have done something similar before.

For example, I found I really enjoyed salsa dancing despite never having danced before, because it combined my previous experiences of playing in a band and doing martial arts.

2) You will eventually find those things that bring you the most pleasure and satisfaction (in a non-creepy way of course).

Confidence is often also described as “conscious competence,” which basically means that if you are doing something that you are skilled at, and you know that you are skilled, you feel confident.

8. Surrounding yourself with successful people

Successful people always say “how can we do this?” whereas unsuccessful people generally say “why should we do this?

What kind of people do you spend the most time with? Until you develop a strong inner core of confidence that others cannot touch, you need to surround yourself with “can do” people in order to feed on their confidence.

People showing you that anything is possible, and that they believe you are capable of anything will go a long way towards helping you believe this yourself.

9. Making a conscious effort to stop caring about other’s opinions of you

Finally, the biggest lesson I ever really learned about developing true all-round confidence is that the only person I should compare myself to is… myself. There is nothing to be gained in comparing myself to others or trying to live to others expectations.

Confidence comes from setting your own expectations of yourself and then trying your best to live up to them. I am not saying that you shouldn’t compete with others, because that’s a great motivator too, but your results and progress should only be measured against your past self.

Well that’s it. There’s a million other things you can do, but I am sure that if you start with this list and TAKE ACTION rather than just read this and do nothing, then you will start to see big changes in how you feel about yourself.

Which one of the above 9 ways to build unbreakable confidence resonated most with you and why?

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