Monthly Archives: May 2013

6 Tips to Help You Overcome The Fear of Change- Part 2

In part 1 of this post, I introduced three tips that I find helpful and inspiring.

In today’s post, I’d like to continue with three additional ideas that I hope you will find valuable and practical.

Whenever we transition into something different (such as a new job or a new business), it’s easy to question “Will this work out?  Have I made a good decision?”

It’s easy to get caught up in the fear of making any new change in life.

Here are the additional ideas I’d like to help you with.  I believe that these action steps will really help you today if you act upon them.

I am attempting to do the same, and they are helping me overcome my own fear of change.

Overcome the Need to Have “All the Answers” Before You Begin Any Goal

I am discovering that the ideas I write about apply to me as much as anyone else.

Have you ever gotten stuck in the “paralysis of analysis”?  This is where you go over every scenario before you attempt anything major in life.  When it comes to setting and getting to work on any goal, you may talk yourself out of it because “the timing isn’t quite right” and you tell yourself “I don’t feel ready to begin working on this goal!”

I really like a quote I read from W. Clement Stone:

To solve a problem or reach a goal, you don’t need to know all the answers in advance.  But you must have a clear idea of the problem or the goal you want to reach.

Have you ever gained a sense of satisfaction for tackling a project that you have been putting off?  If you have, you have gained a measure of self-respect, confidence, and a general sense of well-being for “completing an incomplete task” in your life.

I once read a survey that was done of senior residents from a retirement home.  As they reflected on their lives, many thought about goals they abandoned and missed opportunities.

Many of them regretted the things they didn’t do or try, instead of the things they had done with their lives.

If we all wait until “the time is just right,” many of us will never get around to pursuing our goals or making changes in our lives.

Don’t be afraid of making a mistake or not getting things right the first time around.  You will learn a great deal in the process.  Sometimes life has its own share of “trial and error.”  The important thing is to step out and take action before you “have all the answers.”

When you begin to make the change or start working on your most important goal, you will be so much further ahead than those who wait until the time is “just right.”

Be Open to New Learning (& To Learn Valuable Lessons)

Years ago, I took driver training.

Our driver’s education had two components: one was (of course) in the car.  The other component (for lack of a better word) was in the classroom.

We had a very good instructor for the classroom portion of the course.

Our instructor knew a great deal about how to drive, the rules of the road, and other pertinent information that we needed to know.  It would be safe to say that he would be a very good driver himself.

I really liked one of his comments during the class when he said “If I ever claim to know everything about driving, I hope I hang up my keys at the front door and stop driving.”

I thought that was a great philosophy to follow.

The concept of making a change or transition in life can be far less intimidating when we are open to new learning.

For instance, I like writing for this blog.  I don’t know everything I need to know for setting up this blog, doing product recommendations, and doing all of the technical setup that I need to do for other important functions of this website.

Have I let it stop me in the past?  Unfortunately, I have allowed it to stop me.  Learning new things can be rather intimidating.

Once you allow yourself to learn new things, you gain a sense of power, and it gives you the opportunity to make new discoveries about yourself, about the topic you are studying, and about anything you struggle with (such as fear or anxiety).

I felt inspired as I reviewed an excellent quote from Brian Tracy about the topic of learning:

The antidotes to fear and ignorance are desire and knowledge.  Propel yourself forward by learning what you need to learn to do what you want to do.

This is a great piece of advice – it’s one I wish I followed years ago.  I don’t want to overuse quotes with this post, but I felt it was something important to share.

My hope is that you will recognize how valuable it is to make learning a daily part of your own life.  That way, you can achieve your goals and dreams.

Recognize that You Survived Previous Changes and Transitions

Someone once said that we often remember the things that we should forget and forget the things that we should remember.

Do you remember a previously successful transition in your life?

You may have gone to a new school.  Or you might have begun a new job.  You were quite nervous your first day.  You were very unsure of yourself, your abilities, whether you would like the work, and even if the new environment would be a good fit for you.

You “survived” your first day.  You might have made a mistake or two, asked an obvious question, or had a rather embarrassing moment.

Yet you eventually fit in to your new school, degree program, or new career.

The whole experience was outside of your personal comfort zone, but you not only “survived,” you thrived and became successful.

Use this past accomplishment or achievement as a source of strength and courage to make any new change in your life.

If you have ever struggled with anxiety or depression, you have likely thought about your negative past experiences to talk yourself out of your goals in life.

Why not use the positive experiences of your past to encourage yourself?

In your previous accomplishments, you likely overcame many challenges before you achieved your goals.  Use these experiences to strengthen your resolve and tell yourself “I overcame this challenge and accomplished this goal, and I can do it again.”

Then, step out and take action.  Your goals are worth it.

My hope is that I have encouraged you with any life change or transition you wish to make.  All the best to you as you work on your dreams in life.

I like the quote in the image below from Geoffrey Chaucer, which says “Time and tide wait for no man.”

Until my next post, have a great day.

Time quote 6 Tips to Help You Overcome The Fear of Change  Part 2

6 Tips to Help You Overcome The Fear of Change – Part 1

Do you ever get fearful when you face a major change in your life?

I believe that many of us do.  For me, one of my first reactions to a personal change or transition is a bit of resistance and fear.

In today’s blog post, I’ll provide you with three tips that will hopefully encourage and inspire you with any current or future transition you encounter in life.

Reassure and Encourage Yourself When You Battle with Your Negative Inner Dialogue 

Research by psychologists and neuroscientists has concluded that every person in the world has an ongoing dialogue of self-talk of between 150 and 300 words per minute.  This works out to be between 45,000 and 51,000 thoughts a day.  It is estimated that for most people, 80% of their thoughts are negative.

When you begin a new goal or “chapter” in your life (such as a new job, attendance at a new school, or when you’re starting a new business), do you battle with thoughts of self-doubt?

Many of us have this ongoing battle.  The “I can’t do this.” and “This won’t work” type of thinking easily unsettles us if we’re not careful.

How many goals and dreams have you talked yourself out of in life?

How many ideas have you not acted upon because you told yourself “I can’t do this. I’m inadequate.  I’ve failed in the past.  Who am I to think I can accomplish this?”

We all need to begin to reassure and encourage ourselves when we’re faced with a new goal or challenge.

If your best friend met you for lunch, and told you about her new goal or project, would you tell her “You can’t do that!  Who do you think you are to believe that you could ever be successful?”

Instead you would likely tell her “That’s great!  Go for it.  You’ll be great at doing that!”

If you’re the type of person who would encourage your best friend, why not encourage yourself when you’re faced with a new goal, change, or challenge in your own life?

We all need to reassure and encourage ourselves when we experience the fear of change in our lives.

Here’s a good question for you (and for me) to consider: Will you allow your fears to dictate your view of yourself, your goal, and your future?  Or will you reassure and encourage yourself to get started, keep going, and persevere when you face challenges?

I hope you’ll ask yourself this question whenever you face the fear of change.   It’s a question I came up with after a great deal of trial and error in my own life.

View Change and Transition as an Opportunity for Personal Development and Growth

Viewing a personal or professional change as an “opportunity” is a difficult idea to put into practice.

For much of my own life, I have viewed transitions as rather intimidating, and somewhat threatening.

Many of us feel uneasy when we have some type of change forced upon us. Some transitions are voluntary.  When we go back to school and pursue an area of interest, or when we begin a new relationship – these changes could be considered as a choice.

We face many changes that we didn’t choose.  We could call them “involuntary.”  A good example would be loss of a job or the breakup of a relationship.

Whenever I have faced a change (of either type) – I have felt resistant to it.  Instead of viewing it as an opportunity for growth, I would have preferred to maintain the “status quo” in my own life.

When I lost a previous job, it was an unpleasant experience for me.  I had no backup plan.  In the back of my mind, I knew that the job wasn’t a good fit for me.  I liked the people I worked with (for the most part), but I found the work to be very routine and at times, boring.

After I left that job, I began to discover more of my own interests.  I began to get a better understanding of who I was, and what I wanted in my career and work.

I began to step outside of my comfort zone, discover more of my strengths, and network with people I didn’t even know before.

Once I began to view change as an opportunity for growth, my mood improved.  The main benefit I experienced was the ability to start making progress in my life.

I’d like to encourage you to begin to view the ideas of change and transition as the opportunity to experience remarkable growth in your own life.

In the same way, your attitude towards change will either help you or hinder you.  The choice is yours.

Step Outside of Your Comfort Zone (Starting with a Small Step)

I would have to admit that this blog is a step outside of my own comfort zone.

In one of my previous blog posts, I included an image from a site called photobucket.com – which has inspiring quotes and images.  Here is a link to the comfort zone image I saved on this blog.  It opens up in a new tab on your web browser:

http://topliferesults.com/blog/images/comfort-20zone-small.jpg

I think of all the words and descriptions that characterize our lives when we “play small” and maintain the “status quo”:

90% of the population, Mediocre Life, Just Survival, Fear, Tired, Depression, Settling, Average, and “What if I Can’t”

Contrast this list with the words that describe life outside of the comfort zone:  Fearless, Excitement, Success, Financial Freedom, Wealth, Dreams, Belief, Confidence, Passion, What if I CAN, The Sky is the Limit, and Fulfillment.

If you feel overwhelmed by a major goal for your life, I’d like to encourage you to set and achieve a few small, “doable” steps.

When I made minor changes in my life (one step at a time), I began to feel better about myself, my fears of change started to ease, and I became more enthused about my life and the progress I could make.

When you start to set and achieve a few doable short-term goals, you will discover that you can accomplish greater things if you put your mind to it, persevere, and never give up on your dreams in life.

That is my hope for you, and a major goal of this blog – to get you outside of your comfort zone, and to encourage you to discover and pursue your goals.

I like the quote from Lou Holtz in the image below, which says “Life is ten percent what happens to you and ninety percent how you respond to it.”

Until my next post, have a great day.

Life Response 6 Tips to Help You Overcome The Fear of Change   Part 1

6 Tips to Overcome Discouragement and Gain Strength – Part 2

When we feel discouraged, it affects our moods, attitudes, and actions.

In today’s blog post, I’d like to provide three more tips that will inspire you – and motivate you to get going with your goals and dreams in life.  These ideas are helping me overcome discouragement as I apply them in my own life.  Please refer to part 1 of this blog post for the first three ideas.

My hope is that these tips will help you today – and that this will be a good reference for you (and for me) in the future.   I recognize that I need these reminders as well.

Of course, I can’t claim to have “all the answers.”  That’s the great part about life- the opportunity to experience personal growth and development – even when we face problems that appear to be “overwhelming.”

Begin to See Yourself as Strong, Capable and Able to Handle Your Challenges in Life

I like inspiring quotes and images, as you can probably tell from my previous blog posts.

There is always something meaningful that we can learn if we give ourselves the chance.

At a friend’s place, I read a quote in a book that said “Every difficult moment has the potential to open my mind and open my heart.”

Unfortunately, when we face difficulties in life, we often retreat from our goals and take the path of least resistance.  It’s easy to become pessimistic and say “I can’t handle this” when we’re faced with a new challenge.

I really like an image that I saved on this site.  The image is called “Strength” and contains some very inspiring statements.  It’s inspiring and encouraging, and you can view it from the link below:

http://topliferesults.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/strength.jpg

I especially like four of the statements in the centre of the image:

  • I focus on my goal and have the strength to make it happen.
  • I choose to be unstoppable
  • I am strong
  • I act in spite of my fears

As I was typing out these statements, I thought about the number of times that many of us tend to focus on our challenges (instead of our goals), choose to quit (rather than persevere and be unstoppable), think of ourselves as weak (instead of strong), and allow fear to stop us (rather than “act in spite of our fears”).

What would happen in your life if you started to view yourself as strong, capable and able to handle the challenges you face?  Would you choose to go after your goals in life?  Would the quality of your life improve?  Would you become more encouraged and motivated?

The answer to the last three questions would of course be “yes.”

Become your own source of encouragement and motivation in life.  Begin to see yourself as strong and capable.  Then observe how the quality of your life improves.  I can assure you that this change in your mindset (seeing yourself as strong instead of weak) is well worth the effort.

Alter Your Perspective about Disappointments, Disapproval and Rejection

Of course, there will always be times when we feel disappointed.  We all experience the sting of disapproval, and the pain of rejection.

These are events that none of us would ever care to experience.  As we all know, life doesn’t quite work that way.

We encounter people who disappoint us with their actions.  We disappoint ourselves when we fail and make mistakes.  We don’t like it when we experience the disapproval of others.  And it’s even more painful when we get rejected by others.

After these kinds of experiences, many of us tend to get discouraged, and then give up on our goals and dreams.

What would happen if you chose to view your latest disappointment as a valuable learning tool?  What if you used this wisdom to more intelligently begin again?  Would you be encouraged to try again?

Once again, I think the answer to the last question would be a definite “yes.”

When someone disapproves of you and rejects you, do you tend to “personalize it” and say “They’re right.  I’m not worth knowing, being around, or working with.”?  Or do you say “I feel bad that this didn’t work out.  Maybe this person is having a bad day.  I am worthy of respect.  I am a worthwhile person.  My goals and dreams in life are worth pursuing.”

I like to think of rejection and disapproval as “O.P.O” or “one person’s opinion.”

If I remember correctly, I once read a powerful quote from Les Brown, a great motivational speaker, who said:

Other people’s opinion of you does not have to become your reality.

If anyone ever tries to make you feel “inferior”, remember that you may be dealing with a person who has major problems in their lives.

In other instances, you’re dealing with someone’s “personal bias or opinion.”

Use it as an opportunity to grow, learn from, and then move on with your day.

View rejection and disapproval as an “event” – and never as an indicator of your worth and value as a person.

This is advice I wish I had followed years ago.

Remind Yourself That Life is a Gift (and Worth Living to its Fullest)

I think it’s important to make the most of what we all call “today.”

Tomorrow is not a guarantee.  We don’t know how long we will live, how healthy we will be, or the type of opportunities we will have in life.

When we let today’s opportunities pass by, days can easily turn into weeks, weeks turn into months, and even the months turn into years of maintaining the “status quo.”

When we choose to think of life as difficult, challenging, and filled with problems, it’s no wonder many of us feel discouraged and ready to quit on our goals and dreams.

Have you ever stopped to consider the blessings of having good health, a mind that functions, and of personal characteristics you have that make you the unique individual that you are?

You have skills, talents, and abilities that you may not even recognize.

I think back to some of my own previous goals.  What if I had kept learning, and kept persisting until many of my goals were achieved?  I’d have been much further ahead.

In the past, I would often put off until tomorrow what I could do today.

I procrastinated with my goals and dreams.  If I dwell on these “missed opportunities,” I begin to feel discouraged.

Lately, I have recognized how my own view of life affects my well-being.  When I focus on my past regrets, I feel discouraged.

Life doesn’t offer us a second chance.  Time passes by.  I’d like to encourage you to go after your goals and dreams starting today.  As you begin, you’ll be able to overcome much of the discouragement you experience.

You’ll begin to experience a greater sense of accomplishment as you go to work on your major goals.  It’s been a great source of encouragement to me, and I know that it will be for you as well.

Begin to see life as a gift and each day as the opportunity to make the most of what we call “today.”  You won’t regret this choice. Your enthusiasm, productivity, and overall mood will definitely improve.

I like the quote in the image below from William James, which says “Believe that life is worth living and your belief will help create the fact.”

Until my next post, have a great day.

life is worth living 6 Tips to Overcome Discouragement and Gain Strength   Part 2

6 Tips to Overcome Discouragement and Gain Strength – Part 1

Do you ever get discouraged in your daily life?

Many of us do.  I think it’s safe to say that those of us who battle with anxiety or depression often feel this way.

In today’s post, I’d like to offer three tips that are helping me overcome discouragement in my own life.

These ideas will hopefully help you in your own challenges.  These tips aren’t easy to remember or follow, but they will hopefully serve as a valuable source of encouragement to you.

Our lives and difficulties give us opportunities to learn from “trial and error”.  That’s what this blog is all about.

Recognize that the past is done – and does not determine your future

This is a tough idea to follow and implement in our lives.  But it’s a tip that we need to remind ourselves about.

When we think about the past, and any difficult times we face, our natural reaction is to look back on it with feelings of regret, remorse, or even self-pity.

For instance, in the past few years, I decided to get additional training in website and business development.  I developed an interest in this area when I was getting my business degree.

Unfortunately, I didn’t do my “due diligence” with two training schools I had been contacted by.  Their sales staff seemed a bit aggressive, and I should have done a more thorough background check before I invested any money with them.

I was able to get some decent training out of it, but these companies wanted more money out of me before I advanced with further training.

Back then, my interest and motivation level wasn’t as strong as it is now.  The progress I was making was slow, and the support these companies gave me wasn’t what it should have been.

I began to “beat myself up” over these poor decisions.  At that point, I think I started to look at the future with doubt and despair.

I started to equate the past with the future.  How could I ever make a good decision (or be successful) in the future?  I kept on reminding myself of my past decisions, and felt a lot of self-blame for my poor choices. 

Our past achievements don’t define our lives.  In the same way that we shouldn’t “build a monument” to our previous achievements, we shouldn’t imprison ourselves in the past with the emotions of self-pity or regret.

Today is a new day.  This present moment is one that we can never “re-live.”  I have recognized my need to start living more in the present (instead of some “past regret” that I can do nothing about).

Gain Wisdom from your Negative Experiences in Life

How much could we gain if we learned from our mistakes and negative experiences in life?

We would learn about:

  • the importance of persistence or determination.
  • the value of self-discipline
  • new insights that will help us succeed next time

Rather than try to avoid failure, why not make an attempt with your most important goal in life?

I like a quote I once read by Mark Twain:

We should be careful to get out of an experience only the   wisdom that is in it – and stop there; lest we be like the cat that sits on a hot stove lid.  She will never sit down on a hot stove lid again – and that is well; but she will never sit down on a cold one anymore.

One of the saddest parts of life is when people give up on their dreams or their most meaningful goals.

Imagine what we miss out on when we give up or quit in life.

It’s sad because there are so many things we could really do with our lives if we only give ourselves the chance.

What if you decided today to begin pursuing your most cherished goal or dream in life?  I am glad I’m working on my own set of inspiring goals.  I’m not sure that I would be able to generate much enthusiasm otherwise.

If I fail in a few of my attempts to succeed, I’m determined to learn from it as valuable feedback.  I hope that you will begin to see your own past mistakes or failures in this perspective.

That way, you will have the heart or the will to try again.

Think about your life as an “Opportunity” rather than a series of “Obstacles or Burdens to Overcome”

If you feel depressed or discouraged today, chances are good that you have a negative or pessimistic view of your life and the world around you.

Whenever we experience challenges, difficulties, or problems in life, our natural reaction is to focus on them and ask “why me?”

Many of us are tempted to “give in” to thinking that things will never change, that our obstacles are far too overwhelming, and that we don’t “have what it takes” to succeed in life.

When we try something new in life, many of us pessimistically think “I’m not able to handle this challenge.”

If you feel tempted to believe this type of statement, ask yourself the following questions:

How do I know?  Have I tried?  Have I failed and learned from the experience?  Do I have concrete evidence and proof that I can’t succeed?  

Think back to a previous success that you’ve had.  You encountered obstacles and challenges in life before.  You survived, overcame these difficulties, and ultimately succeeded.  Think back the joy of the accomplishment.  What if you had given up?

If your goal or dream back then was worth fighting for and pursuing back then, isn’t your current goal worth pursuing today?

In the past, I wish I had viewed my life as an opportunity to succeed, rather than a daily burden or grind of “never-ending duties or responsibilities.”

It’s far easier (and more enjoyable) to pursue your goals and dreams in life, rather than become discouraged and believe that “life is nothing more than series of endless duties with insurmountable challenges and problems.”

As you can see, there’s a big difference between this optimistic and pessimistic view toward life.  One will help you overcome the discouragement and problem that you now face.  The other will keep you stuck in a state of despair.

My hope is that you will choose your view of life and of yourself very carefully.  That way, you can achieve your greatest goals and dreams, and keep going despite any setback that you encounter.

In my next post (which, of course, is part two of this post), I hope to inspire you with three more tips to help you overcome discouragement.

Until my next post, have a great day.

I like the quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson in the image below, which says “No great man ever complains of want of opportunities.”

opportunity 6 Tips to Overcome Discouragement and Gain Strength   Part 1