Monthly Archives: March 2013

4 Misguided Beliefs That Can Affect Your Peace Of Mind

I like the term “peace of mind.”  Today I did a bit of online research about this term.  A website called thefreedictionary.com defines peace of mind as “the absence of mental stress or anxiety.”

Unfortunately, in today’s stress-filled world, we often let circumstances bother us when we should really let them go.

In today’s post, I’ll share with our four misguided beliefs that I’ve struggled with in my own life.

These erroneous beliefs have negatively affected my own health and well-being.

Our lives offer each of us a unique opportunity to learn.  In my own life, I’ve been to learn a great deal through my own successes, trials, mistakes, and errors.  My hope is that I can impart this wisdom to you and help you face your current circumstances, and experience encouragement and hope.

“If I feel anxious or depressed, something must be wrong with me.”

I think there is a stigma placed on people facing emotional challenges or difficulties.

Is there a person who has ever lived who has not felt joy, fear, sadness, discouragement, fear, anxiety or depression?  Are these emotions wrong?

Who are we to judge those who experience these feelings?

If you went out and interviewed many successful people, many of them (if not most) didn’t start out life with all the economic or social advantages.  Many of them likely endured painful trials, times when they felt like giving up on their dreams, and many times when they battled with self-doubt and discouragement.

If you have ever battled with depression or anxiety, I hope this blog post is a good reminder that you are not less of a person because you struggle.

Your challenges are part of the human condition.  You have an inherent worth and value, and don’t allow anyone to take that away from you.

“Life should be fair”

I could trace much of my own anxiety and depression to my stubborn belief that “life should be fair.”

Why do bad things sometimes happen to good people?  It’s a question that many people struggle with.

People who conduct an honest, ethical business should be the ones that are the most successful.  Within each of us, I think there is a sense that those who do the right thing should be victorious in life.  Those who stand up for what is right should achieve their goals and dreams in life.

It doesn’t always work that way, however.

Think of men like Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr., Abraham Lincoln, and Robert Kennedy.  They are examples of men who stood up for what is right – and tried to make the world that they lived in a better place.   Their lives were tragically taken, and in several instances, they didn’t see their goals or dreams fulfilled.

If we get too hung up on the “fairness” of life, we can’t move forward.  We’ll find it hard to forgive, and many times we’ll become bitter or depressed about life if we’re not careful.

If you struggle with this idea, focus your attention on your goals – and on the good parts about life.

I think gratitude is an important habit to develop.  You may have experienced pain and loss in your life.  When you’re grateful for what you have left, you can move forward and achieve your dreams.

“I deserve respect and good treatment from everyone.”

This has been a difficult belief for me to let go of.

For instance, it’s been important for me to try to respect and treat other people well.  It’s something that I aspire to do, although I’ve been far from perfect in this goal.

What happens to you when someone disrespects you, disapproves of you, criticizes you, gossips about you, or treats you unfairly?

One natural responses might be is “Who do they think they are?  How could they do that?  What did I ever do to them to deserve this treatment?”

I have discovered that there are few things that are more disturbing to my peace of mind than rude people.  There are, unfortunately, people in the world who are domineering, inconsiderate, unhelpful, unkind, and disrespectful.

My apologies to you if you find this offensive.  It’s reality and the way things are.  There are, of course, many good, kind, thoughtful, respectful, and helpful people in every society and culture as well.

A friend of mine has some audios by Jim Rohn.  He has a great story about those who mock others, laugh at their goals or ideals, and lie.

You can find a link to this brief story at this webpage:

http://web-ebiz.blogspot.ca/2008/06/how-to-have-your-best-year-ever.html

I’ve recognized my own need to stop being cynical.

The mockers do mock and the laughers do laugh.  It’s part of their nature.

I’ve experienced enough stress and anxiety trying to “change” any of the toxic people I encounter.  Managing my own life is enough of a struggle.

Imagine the peace of mind you can gain when you stop worrying about managing the behaviours of those around you.

“I can’t make positive changes in my life…I’ve failed too many times in the past.”

Once again, I’m reminded of a great quote from Brian Tracy:

You can develop any habit of thought or behaviour that you consider to be desirable or necessary.

To me, one of the silliest expressions in life is “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.”

That’s a demeaning statement about people who are older.  It’s a myth, but if some people choose to believe it, that’s their choice.

I have lived enough of my own life, telling myself “I can’t.  This won’t work.  I can’t handle this challenge.  It’s too overwhelming.”

When I battled with these thoughts and ideas, I became anxious, depressed, and overwhelmed.

I would question my abilities, and often give up when faced with a new challenge or goal.

Who says personal change and development happens in a day?  In our “instant society” of North America, we would all love to have quick fixes to any obstacle or trial in life.

I like a quote I read from Martin Luther King, Jr.

Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle.

What do we gain in our struggles in life?  Here are a few suggestions:

  • Perseverance
  • Self-Discipline
  • The Will to Succeed
  • Courage
  • Strength of Character

I’m holding on to this idea as I face my own challenges in life.

Give yourself the chance to make positive changes in your life.  Learn to develop new habits.  Make the most of each day that you are given.

This is advice I wish I had followed years ago.

My hope is that this post has encouraged you today.  I hope you can refer to it when you face difficulties in your own life, and that it will inspire you to overcome them.

I like the encouraging quote in the image below from Og Mandino, which says “So long as there is breath in me, I will persist.  For now I know one of the greatest principles on success; if I persist long enough I will win.”

Until my next post, have a great day.

be persistent 4 Misguided Beliefs That Can Affect Your Peace Of Mind

Examine Your Beliefs To Improve Your Quality Of Life

It’s easy to write about or speak words without knowing what they mean.

This morning, I wanted to define the word “belief.”

I have a copy of the Webster’s English Dictionary (the Canadian edition).  It defines a belief as “a principle idea considered to be true” and as a “religious belief.” as an example.

With today’s post, I’d like to focus more on the first definition than the second.

Of course, when you think about your own spiritual or religious beliefs (whatever your perspective may be), that is ultimately your decision.

Let’s move on to think about four critical questions that will help you examine your beliefs.  As you improve your thoughts and the underlying beliefs in certain areas of your life, you can make the change that you desire to make.

What do you believe about yourself?

This is an important area to consider.

What you believe and think about yourself ultimately determines the quality of your life.

Research has shown that many of our beliefs are formed

I like a quote I read this morning from Les Brown’s excellent book called ”Live Your Dreams.”  At the beginning of his eighth chapter, Brown quotes Carter G. Woodson:

If you can control a man’s thinking, you do not have to worry about his action.  When you determine what a man shall think you do not have to concern yourself about what he will do.  If you make a man feel that he is inferior, you do not have to compel him to accept an inferior status, for he will seek it himself.  If you make a man think that he is justly an outcast, you do not have to order him to the back door.  He will go without being told; and if there is no back door, his very nature will demand one.

What do you ultimately believe about yourself?  You’ll be able to determine this by the way you talk to yourself.

Do you consider yourself to be worthy, valuable, and significant?  If so, it would be safe to say that you have a positive image of yourself.

If you consider yourself to be inadequate or inferior, this belief will be reflected in your thoughts and behaviours.  The quote by Carter Woodson clearly demonstrates this.

What do you believe about the world around you?

This morning, I read a portion from a book by Brian Tracy that addresses this topic.

In his book called “Maximum Achievement”, Tracy talks about the difference between a benevolent world view and a malevolent world view.

With a benevolent or optimistic view, we tend to see the world as a pretty good place in which to live.  People with this view tend to see the good in people and situations.

Tracy notes that “a person with a malevolent or pessimistic world view has a generally negative and pessimistic view toward himself or herself and toward life.”

Unfortunately, I would be classified as having more of the malevolent world view.  It’s something that I found necessary to change in the past few years.

Which view about life and the world around you will help you achieve your goals?  Which one will help you overcome feelings of despair, anxiety or depression?

It’s clear that a benevolent view of life will help you with these areas of life.

It’s not easy to change our beliefs.  These types of attitudes or perspectives on life don’t change easily.

The good news is that we all have a moment-by-moment choice on how we will respond to the world around us – and what we will believe.

The choice is ultimately yours.  My hope is that you will choose your thoughts wisely.

Ultimately, it’s your focus and beliefs that will either help you or hinder you.

What do you believe about your past?

If you view your past with regret, take note that focusing on past hurts, grievances, and mistakes will really diminish the quality of your life.

What if you decided to view your past as a valuable lesson and a source of wisdom?

I discovered that I needed to begin to view it this way.

Unfortunately, I made a couple of poor business decisions in the past.

I have recognized the importance of things like self-discipline, time management, goal-setting, and taking time to visualize my success.

In the past, I explored the topic of personal development.  As much as I learned, I didn’t do much application with what I discovered.

When we think of our past as some kind of “roadblock”, it’s difficult (and often impossible) to move forward in life.  We may get derailed by the feelings of despair and depression.

If you journal, write down a few ideas about your past.  What are some of the good things that you have experienced?  Write those down.

I have a list I call “Positive Remembrances.”  It contains a list of times I overcame challenges and difficulties in my own life.  I refer to this list as a source of strength for any current problem that I face.  It’s encouraging and valuable to me when I review it.

If you learn from your past mistakes and difficulties – you’ll have some valuable lessons that you can refer to.  How would you have handled things differently?

Once you decide to think about your past this way, you will spend a lot less time regretting what could have been.  Instead, you can learn from it, take action, and make the most of each moment that you have in life.

What do you believe about your future?

Do you see yourself as a person with great potential?  If not, why not?

Do you see yourself as someone who can learn new things, accomplish your future goals, and achieve your dreams in life?

Or, do you have a pessimistic belief about the future?

Your belief about your future will determine whether you set any goals, learn anything new, and make any positive changes in your life.

As I write this blog post, I recognize my own need to follow this advice.

It’s easy to look at the future with a bit of apprehension.  What will happen tomorrow with the economy?  Life is filled with uncertainty.

Which belief about your future will help you – a pessimistic or optimistic view?

I would encourage you to be careful about what you choose to believe about your future and your potential.

If you have the habit of being anxious about the future, build some positive habits into your life.  Read books that encourage you.  Build your optimism about your future as you work on new goals.  Use affirmations to motivate and inspire you to take action each day.

I like a quote I read from Jim Rohn:

Unless you change how you are, you will always have what you’ve got

The habits that you build into your life today will help you build a better tomorrow.

I like the advice in the image below, which says “The past is behind.  Learn from it.  The future is ahead.  Prepare for it.  The present is here.  Live it.” 

Until my next post, have a great day.

Past Present and Future Quote Examine Your Beliefs To Improve Your Quality Of Life

3 Powerful Choices You Can Make To Improve Your Well-Being

I could have entitled today’s post as “3 powerful choices I wish I had followed in my own life.”

When we think about the past, we have happy memories, sad events, and some painful trials that we can look back on.

Many in our society get caught up in a “victim mentality” – where we think about our past hurts, rejections, and disappointments.

Unfortunately, I can say that I’ve been part of this group of people.  I have spent far too much time regretting and dwelling upon events that happened in my life.  However, there are things in the past that we can learn from.

In today’s post, I’d like to share three ideas or choices that have become valuable for me.  I have started to make these choices, and the quality of my life has definitely improved lately.

I can’t say that I’m able to apply everything I share with you.  I’m on a journey like you are.

As we apply a little of what we learn, we can develop great new habits.  I’d like to encourage you to take an idea or tip, apply it to your own life, and see what happens.  My hope is that you will be pleasantly surprised as you apply today’s ideas.

Above all, my purpose is to encourage you today.

Practice Faith Instead of Fear and Doubt

No matter what our spiritual perspectives may be, we all practice faith in our lives.

Whether you are beginning a new project, starting a new goal, or taking a scary step outside of your comfort zone, you face two critical choices - you will either tell yourself “I can do it” or “I can’t do this.”

During a previous job search, I had a difficult time before I was able to get help from a few others in my support group.  We were all looking for work, and facing challenges, encouraging times, and disappointments during this difficult transition.

Without the help, support, and guidance from the men in my group, I’m not sure if I would have continued to keep pressing on.

When faced with the challenge of finding work, I often told myself “I can’t” or “This won’t work.”  My mind was filled with fear and doubt.  I became anxious and depressed about the whole process.

I had reacted badly to a couple of bad experiences in my job hunt.  I felt like I was treated poorly by two managers, and I felt like a victim.  I told myself “I can’t do this.  Who am I to think I would have anything to offer these employers?”

When I received the support I needed, I recognized again that I had skills and good qualifications.  My support coach encouraged me to keep trying and keep going.

With any new goal or challenge you face, you face the choices of faith or doubt.  Which will you choose?  Think about how much further ahead you will be in life if you affirm your abilities, and give yourself reasons why you can succeed and will succeed.

This idea will work for you if you follow this advice in your own life.

If you also have a particular spiritual faith perspective, why not put your faith into practice?

Be Open to New Learning

This is one piece of advice I wish I had followed in my own life.

I’ve been guilty of being “resistant” to new learning in my own life.

When we face criticism, many of us battle with feelings of pride.  We may react and say ”Who do they are to point out my weaknesses?”

When we encounter difficulties or challenges, another natural response is “Why me?”

I like a quote I once read that said “The mind is like a parachute.  It doesn’t work unless it’s open.”

I’m not sure who said or wrote that quote, but it’s definitely true.

During a previous driver’s education course, I remember some words of wisdom from our instructor.

He told us that he didn’t know everything about the topic of driving a motor vehicle.  He mentioned to us that if he did, he hoped that he would “hang up his car keys and stop driving.”

I won’t pretend that I know everything there is to know about the topics of personal development, anxiety and depression, motivation, and stress.

I have learned a great deal through what I’ve studied, and I hope that what I share helps you.

Like my driving instructor, if I ever say that “I have all the answers,” I hope I’ll have the good sense to move onto something else.

The most meaningful things in life require the necessary learning.  My hope is that I am encouraging you to make new learning a daily habit. 

It all starts with what we input into our minds. I don’t want to overuse quotes in this post, but I like one that I read this morning from Brian Tracy:

Feed your mind with mental protein, not mental candy.  Read, listen to and watch positive, uplifting material.

If you are facing challenges as you battle anxiety and depression, why not invest in yourself as you learn about these topics, and then apply what you learn?  Take a moment to think about how much your life will improve if you choose to do so.

Choose to Take Action & Step Outside Your Comfort Zone

This is a difficult choice to make.

Recently, I discovered how much my schedule has affected my overall mood.

I get very busy with my work, and as a result, I start to feel overwhelmed by tasks, duties, and responsibilities.

I’m also taking some online courses to learn about how to setup my online business correctly, create and format this blog with WordPress, along with a couple of other topics.

Lately, I’m facing the reality that I can’t do it all.  I’ve always been a “lone ranger” and try to figure things out on my own first.  It’s been difficult for me to ask for help.

I don’t want to appear to ask “dumb questions.”  I have had some good questions, while many of my other questions have probably been simple or basic.  Either way, my business contacts have been very helpful.

Sometimes I feel anxious when I focus too much on the future.  Will I become successful with my goals and dreams in life?  I don’t know for sure.  I recognize that I need to take a step back, take a deep breath, and realize that life is a journey.

There are no easy answers.  Sometimes I will succeed and other times, I may not.  That’s part of life.

I might not meet the high expectations I have for myself, but that’s okay.  I’m learning to accept and approve myself anyway.  Rather than get “overwhelmed and stressed” these days, I’m doing the best I can.

If you have battles with anxiety or depression in your own life, you have issues you need to face.

Make the wise choice to get the help and advice that you need.

What is holding you back in life?  Is it a fear of failure, disapproval, or rejection?  You need to recognize your fear, confront it, and know that you can survive.

Here’s a great quote from Eleanor Roosevelt, a former U.S. First Lady:

You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face… do the thing you think you cannot do.

Experiencing fear isn’t a sign of weakness.  It’s part of being human.  It’s what you do with your life and your fears that makes the difference.

Here’s a quick summary of the three power choices that I just wrote about:

  • When you are faced with a new goal or challenge, practice faith instead of fear and doubt
  • Instead of being to learning new things- invest in your own personal development,
  • Rather than allow fear to hold you back in life, choose to take action and step outside of your comfort zone.

I like the quote in the image below from Jerry Spinello in the image below, which says “Live today.  Not tomorrow.  Not yesterday.  Just today.  Inhabit your moments.  Don’t rent them out to tomorrow.”

For me, this is a wise piece of advice to think about whenever I battle with regret over the past, or when I have anxiety about the future.  I hope this post has encouraged you today.

Until my next post, have a great day.

Live today not yesterday 3 Powerful Choices You Can Make To Improve Your Well Being

4 Limiting Beliefs That Can Keep You Anxious And Depressed

Our beliefs about life, ourselves, and the world around us play a crucial role.

In today’s post, I’d like to share what I hope will be valuable ideas and tips for you.

With this blog, I think a lot of it contains ideas of what I’ve learned through “trial and error.”  It seems that we can learn a lot through our mistakes.  One time I heard some audios from Jim Rohn.  If I remember correctly, Rohn referred to our mistakes as “errors in judgement.”

The whole idea is to not repeat these mistakes.

Let’s move on to four limiting beliefs that may have kept you “stuck” in feelings of anxiety or depression.

Believing that Your Obstacles and Challenges in Life are “Overwhelming” or “Impossible”

For me, it’s been easy to look at everything that is outside of my comfort zone as overwhelming and impossible.

It’s been an excuse to put off until tomorrow what could be done today.

Have you ever stopped to consider that your obstacles or problems can be beneficial for you?  How can that be?

At all costs, we would all like a life of ease and comfort, with no difficulties to face each day.

If we didn’t have obstacles, challenges, or problems to overcome, we wouldn’t get the chance to develop persistence, resilience, courage, strength, and wisdom in life.

It’s difficult to change the idea that your present challenge has some type of benefit.  Of course, it’s not fun to look for the valuable lesson we can gain through a trial.

Our mistakes, poor decisions, and “errors in judgement” are things we would rather avoid or forget.  Sometimes, we blame others for our mistakes.  Other times, we spend needless energy blaming ourselves – as we live in state of regret and remorse.

If you believe that your current obstacle is too big to overcome, you won’t even bother trying to overcome it.  At the end of the day, you’ll experience the regret that you could have succeeded if you gave yourself the chance.

Try viewing your next problem or difficulty as ”an opportunity in disguise.”  If you keep your current challenge in perspective, you will see it as “something I can overcome and I will gain strength, courage, and wisdom” instead of “an impossibility I will never get through.”

This change in perspective will make the difference for you.  It has made a difference in my own life.

Viewing Yourself as “Inferior” because of Your Past

Probably one of the most common reactions to any past mistake or failure is to “personalize” it.

When we personalize our failures, I believe that a common belief would be “I am what I do” and “My life circumstances reflect my personal value and worth.”

One of the natural reactions to failure is “Why me?  What did I do wrong? There must be something wrong with me.”

Here are some questions you can ask yourself to view your past mistakes more objectively:

  • Was my goal unrealistic?
  • Did I really want to achieve this goal?
  • Did I make a poor decision because I was young?  Or because of inadequate knowledge (I didn’t do my “due diligence”, do my homework, and didn’t ”shop around” and then make a wise decision?)
  • Did I make this personal or business decision based on my feelings?  Was this a “quick fix”?
  • Was my plan flawed? (Maybe there was an error in your plan or it was unrealistic).
  • Did I not seek advice?  (A good lesson to seek the wisdom and counsel of others who have done what you want to accomplish).

This list of questions will help you look at your past mistakes or “failures” more objectively.

As you can see from this list, any past failure or mistake has nothing to do with your worth or value as a person.

It’s easy to personalize our past mistakes.  I hope this list of questions will help you recognize the folly of doing so.  In my own battle with my past regrets, I think I’ll need to review this list again and again.  Old habits, ideas, and beliefs tend to resurface.

We all need to remind ourselves that we can learn from our past mistakes, and that these apparent “failures” do not reflect our personal worth in life.

Viewing Our Habits as “Ingrained, Involuntary, and Automatic”

With this type of belief, I have often told myself “I can’t help it.  That’s just the way I am.”

For example, whenever I hear a comment that I don’t like, my natural reaction has been to react in anger or disgust.

It’s been valuable to me to learn new habits of thought and behaviour.

For example, I practice using affirmations when I’m filled with the habit of self-doubt.  I reassure myself when I feel anxious or inadequate.  Lately, I’m practicing a habit of daily gratitude for my blessings.  My overall attitude and mood has improved.

Of course, it’s not an easy process.  Nothing worthwhile comes easily or without effort.

I like what Brian Tracy writes in his book called “Great Little Book on Personal Achievement”:

You can develop any habit of thought or behavior that you consider desirable or necessary.

I like this quote, as it reminds me to tell myself that “I can.”  It gives me the inspiration to think that I can make great changes in my life, and develop the habits of thought and behaviour that will help me overcome fear and self-doubt, and achieve my goals faster in life.

Need a few ideas?  Refer again to a few of them I listed four paragraphs ago.

These ideas have been valuable for me, and my hope is that they will help you as well.

Viewing Personal Development as “Unnecessary”, “Boring”, or “Optional”

Years ago, I gave no thought to my own personal development.

It seemed like such an unnecessary, boring, and optional type of topic.

When I started taking classes after high school, I took some very interesting social science and psychology courses.

I can’t claim to be a psychologist or a psychology major.  I have a few ideas that I feel have worked for me as I mentioned before.

When I listened to some personal development audio, I was fortunate to gain some valuable insights, ideas, and tips that helped me succeed with my courses.  I am grateful for some audios a good friend of mine gave me before he moved to Eastern Canada.

I can’t imagine what my life would be like today without this inspiring and encouraging material.

Why be the same person today that you were yesterday, last month, or last year?  The world of personal development offers us a great deal.

Do you have any spiritual beliefs as well?  Why not put them into practice?

Imagine how much better your life would be if you invest in yourself.  How much time do you take for personal learning, growth and development?

It’s a question I wish I would have thought about years ago.  I wonder how much further ahead I would be in so many areas if I took the above question seriously.

If you struggle with things like stress, anxiety, or depression, why not take the time to learn what you can, and then apply some valuable ideas?

I have done so, and I can assure you that it’s well worth the effort.

Consider yourself as worthy of the investment.  You will never regret it.

In summary, here are the four limiting beliefs I discussed in today’s blog- along with four ideas that I wish I had followed long ago:

  • Rather than believe that your difficulties are overwhelming, view them as an opportunity to gain strength, courage, and wisdom.
  • Rather than view yourself as “inferior” because of your past mistakes, view your past more objectively – and never equate your past mistakes with your personal worth.
  • Rather than view your habits as “ingrained” or “automatic”, recognize that you can develop new habits that will help you achieve your goals and dreams in life.
  • Rather than view personal development as “unnecessary” or “boring,” think about the great progress you can make in your life as you learn new ideas and put them into practice. 

I like the quote from Stephen Kaggwa in the image below, which says “Try and fail, but don’t fail to try.”

Until my next post, have a great day.

keep trying quote 4 Limiting Beliefs That Can Keep You Anxious And Depressed