Monthly Archives: June 2013

Improve Your Life as You Forgive Yourself For The Past

Do you often struggle with the decisions you have made in the past?

If so, thinking or “re-visiting” these choices can drain your energy and make you struggle with feelings of regret.

In today’s post, I’d like to provide you with four benefits you will experience as you learn from your past choices and then forgive yourself for them.

You will Experience Greater Energy and Enthusiasm for Your Life

I’m not sure if there is anything that is more draining than regret over the past.

If we’re not careful, these feelings can really hinder us in life if we allow them to.

For instance, have you ever talked yourself out of taking the first step for a new goal or dream?  You might have punished yourself for your past by saying, “I’ve failed before, what makes me think I could ever be successful in life?”

If you have ever told yourself this type of statement, you have equated your past mistakes with your future potential.

When you begin to equate your past mistakes with your worth or value as a person, you will naturally feel regretful and depressed.

However, when you look at your past mistakes more objectively, you will discover that:

  • your failures in life can make you wiser, if you look for and apply the valuable lesson.
  • your worth as a person is not determined by your past failures or mistakes.

I am beginning to come to terms with my past mistakes.  Looking at them more objectively, I have learned a few valuable lessons.

For instance, with any business investment, I am using all the tools and resources I have to get the best information possible, and then make a wise choice.

Make it a habit to do your homework.  Doing your own research and “due diligence” before any major decision is valuable.  Don’t be pressured into any major purchasing decision.  Time and money are valuable commodities.

Forgive yourself for your past mistakes.  Begin to accept yourself unconditionally.  That way, you can move forward with greater strength and courage.

Whenever you start thinking about your past mistakes, keep reminding yourself that “I forgive myself for my past, and I am moving forward to a better and brighter future.”

Your Overall Mood Will Improve

Our thoughts do have a direct impact on our feelings and moods.

Research by psychologists and neuroscientists has concluded that every person has an ongoing dialogue of self-talk 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 percent of these thoughts are negative.

I was surprised by these numbers, as well as the link between our thoughts and emotions.

If we dwell on negative events and circumstances, we will naturally feel deflated, discouraged, and defeated.

If we decide to think about the good things in our lives (such as our present blessings) instead, we will likely feel grateful.

As Brian Tracy says in his book called “Great Little Book on Personal Achievement”,

Thoughts are causes and conditions are effects.  You are creating your current life with your present thinking.

Our thoughts often determine the quality of our lives.

With your thoughts, you can either beat yourself up over the past, or forgive yourself for it, and use your thinking to work for you instead of against you.

The choice is ultimately yours.  I hope that you will choose wisely.

You Will Be Able to Make Better Progress with Your Life’s Goals

Our regrets from the past tend to fill us with doubts about ourselves, others, and the future in general,

It’s difficult (if not impossible) to make much progress if your life is filled with self-doubt.

I’ve spent too much time in my own life in “the land of past regrets.”

As I’m learning to forgive myself for my past mistakes, I am beginning to make better progress with my goals.

It hasn’t been an easy process, but it is well worth the effort.

Think about your biggest goal or dream in life.  If you begin to bring up all the reasons why you can’t succeed, make a list of why you can succeed.

Even as I am writing this blog post, I still have a battle with self-doubt: “What if I can’t come up with ideas as I write?  What if I draw a blank as I share my ideas and end up staring at a blank screen?”

Each day that I live, I am beginning to recognize the value of time.

It seems that each day and each week goes by quickly.  Before we know it, another month has passed by.   Time doesn’t slow down and wait for us to start working on our goals tomorrow or at another more convenient time.

Les Brown has an excellent book called “It’s Not Over Until You Win!”  In this book, Brown talks about the importance of living with a sense of urgency, and how time keeps passing by whether we like it or not.

Many people use the phrase “One day I’m going to…”  When they wait until the time is “just right”, many end up waiting around for a long time, and sadly, never begin to work on their major goal or dream in life.

For me, dwelling on my regrets is like adding unnecessary weight to a backpack, and then beginning a journey on a difficult hike.

Life is not easy.  Once you make a conscious choice to forgive yourself for the past, and then not focus on any regrets, you are free to start making the most of the life you have.

How much life does each of us have left?  We don’t know.  There are no guarantees.  Why not make the most of your life by pursuing your most rewarding goals, and use your thoughts to work for you rather than against you?  I mentioned it earlier in this post, but it’s worth mentioning again.  This is a wise choice that you will never regret.

All my best to you as you pursue your goals and dreams in life.

I like the quote in the image below from Lewis Carroll, which says “I can’t go back to yesterday – because I was a different person then.”

Until my next post, have a great day.

yesterday quote Improve Your Life as You Forgive Yourself For The Past

4 Tips to Help You Overcome Anxiety-Based Procrastination

With today’s post, I’d like to provide you with a few tips, ideas, and online resources that I have found most helpful.

In the past, many of my own challenges with procrastination could be classified as “anxiety-based.”

Many times, I would put off or delay taking action, due to the fear of failure, or the fear of inadequacy.

This morning, I did a bit of research on the terms related to procrastination and anxiety.

I was surprised to find 30,700 results for the search term “fear-based procrastination.”  If this big number of sites discuss this term, it must be for many people.

Let’s move on to today’s ideas in this blog post.

Affirm that You Are More than Adequate to Face New Challenges and Goals

It’s easy to talk ourselves out of trying new things.

Have there been times in the past when you have told yourself “This is too difficult.  I can’t do this.”

Self-doubt, fear, and anxiety are crippling and paralyzing emotions.  We begin to doubt that we can become successful.  Many times, we settle for the status quo.  We begin to fear change.  Not only that, we end up giving up on many of our goals.

I’d like to encourage you to follow a few of these ideas to help you:

  • If you are facing a new goal or challenge, focus on what you will gain (new learning, personal growth) instead of the fear of failure.
  • Take an inventory of your past accomplishments – which will provide you with a valuable reminder of your past successes – along with the obstacles you have overcome.
  • Remember that the thoughts you choose can work for you or against you - will you be your own source of support or discouragement?  

I like a quote I read from Sugar Ray Robinson: “To be a champ you have to believe in yourself when nobody else will.”

I think that the self-belief that Robinson talks about is one that we all need to develop.  How do we do that?

A good start is to affirm that you are a valuable and significant person – and that your goals in life are worth pursuing.

Create Energy and Enthusiasm for Your Goals as You Envision Success

Another great quote is from Brian Tracy in his book called “Great Little Book on Personal Achievement”:

Think continually in terms of the rewards of success rather than the penalties of failure.

If you think about it, the mental images you allow into your mind are a great determining factor.

For instance, when you start on a new goal or project, your image of success will determine your level of enthusiasm, whether you will get started on your dream, whether you will consistently make progress, and your energy and level of motivation in life.

I hope that you will refer back to the last paragraph often.  It will encourage you to develop an image of success with your goals and dreams.

Take Action on Your Major Goal Before You “Feel Motivated”

In my own life, I often waited to take action until I “felt motivated.”

I believe that being motivated is a good thing.  It’s a great personal characteristic to have.

If we wait until we feel motivated, though, many things won’t get accomplished.

In my personal library, I have many excellent books.  I can’t take all the credit for having this collection.  Many of these valuable resources have been given to me from friends and family.

I’m amazed by how many books I have started to read.  Many times, I got sidetracked by my other items (such as my audios).

How many of these books have I started to read?  Quite a few.  How many have I actually finished reading through?  Not many.  And how many ideas have I implemented in my own life?  Even fewer, unfortunately.

I often wonder how much the quality of my life would have improved if I had had completed the books and applied what I learned?  It would be safe to say that I would have likely made better business and personal decisions, and I would have developed more skills and personal qualities.

I think there is a lesson here.  When we wait until we feel motivated, we often end up taking a half-hearted approach to our lives, our goals, and our dreams.  Then we end up settling for inferior results.

My hope is that you will take this advice to heart.  Get started on your major goal or dream in life.  You may not always “feel” motivated to begin.  Even a small step builds momentum.

Think of a personal workout routine.  Many of us don’t feel like working out.  But once we get started, the blood starts pumping, endorphins get released, and we feel better once we have completed our fitness routine.

I think that working on our goals works in a similar manner.  Getting started is truly half the battle.

If everyone waited until they felt motivated to workout, many of our fitness facilities would likely be almost empty.

Remember that Perfection is an Ideal and Not Reality

With a big goal, it’s tempting to wait for the “perfect time” to get started.

The reality is that there really is no “perfect time.”

I often used this convenient excuse to get myself out of taking action.  It was a lot easier than stepping outside of my comfort zone.

Even with my daily schedule, I still battle with perfectionism.  If I don’t measure up to the standards I have set, I tend to beat myself up and ask “why can’t I seem to keep up with the tasks I have planned?”

I’m in a process of learning new things, finding out what I’m good at, discovering areas in which I need help, and then asking for support from my mentors when I’m not sure about what I’m doing.

In the same way, consider yourself to be on the path to improvement, not perfection.  Don’t spend time berating yourself if you make a mistake, or fall short of an intended goal.

We all sometimes fail and falter in our efforts.  It’s important to recognize and affirm the progress that we do make with our goals.

Do the best you can and hold yourself to high standards.  Don’t expect flawless perfection from yourself (or from others).  When you encounter challenges, delays, and setbacks, learn from them, take all the wisdom you can get from them, and then move forward with your goals and dreams.

A very helpful article online has been written by John M. Grohol.  The article is called “Learn About Procrastination” and I highly recommend that you read it by clicking here.

In the article, John Grohol discusses three root causes of procrastination (perfectionism, fear, and disorganization).  It’s worth taking the time to read it.

Hopefully, you will find his ideas encouraging, and that my ideas have helped you today.

I like the quote in the image below from Johan Wolfgang von Goethe, which says “Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it.  Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.”

Until my next post, have a great day.

Boldness 4 Tips to Help You Overcome Anxiety Based Procrastination

Four Barriers to Success in Overcoming Emotional Challenges

I believe that we all want to be successful with all areas of our lives.

If you were to list out your goals and dreams in life, I’m sure that you could think of a few as you read this post.

There are many goals we tend to set on the “back burner.”   We think of some of our cherished dreams as ones that seem too unrealistic, and then many of us talk ourselves out of even starting or trying to make them come true.

In today’s post, I’ll provide you with four barriers to success that I have struggled with in my own life.  I believe that these hindering factors have played a big role in lives of many.

My hope is that this post will encourage you to be more committed and persistent with your goals and dreams.

Let’s address these four “success barriers.”

Becoming Too Easily Discouraged When We Don’t See Short-Term or “Immediate Results”

I’m not sure which culture you live in.

Unfortunately, I think our North American culture tends to emphasize “immediate results” and an “instant fix.”

We have drive-thru fast-food restaurants, drive-thru banking, and many other types of drive-thrus that I’m likely forgetting.

When you start on a short-term goal, do you allow yourself time to “learn the ropes”?  Do you permit yourself to make mistakes, learn some valuable lessons from your errors, and then make a second attempt?

Think about the topic of habit development.  If you’re trying to develop a new habit, recognize the fact that forming this new habit takes time, patience, and persistence.

Some psychologists estimate that it takes 21 days to form a new habit.

If you haven’t already done so, set a challenging, motivating, and life-changing goal for yourself.  Keep working on it, and don’t get discouraged if you don’t see the immediate results that you want.

Affirm yourself for the progress you are making.  It will motivate you to keep going.

Focusing on the Things We Lack, Instead of Our Daily Blessings 

Whenever I have been short on time or on money, I would focus on the problem of “lack” in these critical areas of life.

Anxiety-producing questions would occur to me, “What if I don’t have enough money for the car repair?” and “How will I make it to the end of the month with my finances?”

Instead, I could become grateful that I have a car to drive, and for the job I have that supports my website training and Internet work.

When we become focused on our problems, we easily tend to forget that we have good things or blessings in our lives.  

It becomes difficult (if not impossible) to move forward, make progress, and become successful without a good dose of gratitude in life.

When we complain, make excuses, and focus on our problems, we often get discouraged, depressed, worried, and anxious.

When we “count our blessings” and make the most of our time, energy, and talents (with gratitude), we are far more likely to achieve the success we desire.

Being Too Perfectionistic With Our Goals, Plans, and Results in Life

For me, unrealistic expectations and perfectionism went together like a hand in a glove.

If I didn’t have a great morning, or if I wasn’t living up to my short-term “to-do list”, I would often get rather anxious and discouraged about it.

My expectations are sometimes realistic.  When they aren’t, I still have the tendency to become a bit of a perfectionist.

I still say to myself “This online training is taking longer than planned.  I thought I would keep up with what I intended to accomplish this morning, but I haven’t.  This morning is become a ‘lost cause.’  Why can’t I keep up?”

Then, I would often “beat myself up” for falling short of my intended goals.

With some of my other goals, I would hesitate to get started because the time wasn’t “quite right.”

This morning I found an encouraging quote from the website.  Here is a great quote from Mark Victor Hansen:

Don’t wait until everything is just right.  It will never be perfect.  There will always be challenges, obstacles and less than perfect conditions.  So what.  Get started now.  With each step you take, you will grow stronger and stronger, more and more skilled, more and more self-confident and more and more successful.

If you struggle with perfectionism, I hope you will take Mark Victor Hansen’s quote and advice to heart.

Pretending (or Claiming) to Have “All the Answers” and Closing Our Minds to New Learning

In my own battles with negative emotions, I often closed my own mind to new learning.

I have accumulated a good personal library of audios and books on the topic of personal development.

If I had applied even 10 percent of what I read, I wonder how much further ahead I would be in many areas of my life.

When we fail to learn and experience personal or spiritual growth, I think we start to merely exist and drift through life.

I’d like to encourage you to view today as an opportunity to learn and to experience the satisfaction of making progress with your goals and dreams in life.

If you don’t open your mind up to new ideas – and then apply those ideas, you will start to drift.

In the past, I struggled with my lack of focus, and my unwillingness to learn, grow, and develop, both personally and professionally.

Here is one piece of advice I wish I had followed many years ago.  Learn all you can, take action on the ideas and insights that will improve the quality of your life.  You will never regret this wise choice.

I don’t want to overdo quotes for this post, but I read a great one from Steve Jobs this morning:

Watch, listen, and learn.  You can’t know it all yourself.  Anyone who thinks they do is destined for mediocrity.

All the best to you as you pursue your goals and dreams.

I like the quote in the image below from Gilbert K. Chesterton, which says “One sees great things from the valley; only small things from the peak.”

Until my next post, have a great day.

perspective Four Barriers to Success in Overcoming Emotional Challenges

4 Ideas to Help You Overcome Depression and Discouragement

In the past, I often wondered if my battle was with depression or discouragement.

The two emotions and battles are so similar.  I would suppose that we could use these terms interchangeably.

Many times things don’t turn out quite as we planned.  We experience the disappointment.  I think it was Charles Stanley who defined a disappointment as “an emotional response to a failed expectation.”

If I remember correctly, he had also noted that disappointment becomes a problem when it leads to discouragement- wanting to give up and quit.

Have you ever battled with the desire to give up on a dream or goal?

Do your obstacles and challenges in life appear to be too big?  Does your goal or dream look overwhelming and impossible?

My hope is that this blog post will encourage you today.  I have had my own battles with these negative emotions, and I believe that these ideas can help you with the challenge (or challenges) that you face today.

Accept Yourself as a Unique, Valuable, and Worthwhile Individual

It’s easy to “personalize” any challenge we face when we feel fearful, anxious, discouraged or depressed.

What do I mean by that?

I think that one of the natural responses to any difficulty is to tie our personal identifies to the way we feel.  For example, you may have had these types of responses:

  • “I’m fearful and often feel anxious.  There must be something wrong with me.”
  • “I can’t seem to focus and get myself on track with the things I need to do.  What’s wrong with me?”
  • “This challenge seems impossible.  Why would I ever think that I could accomplish this?  I feel like a failure.”

One of the major lessons I have needed to learn is to not equate my feelings, and the way that others treat me with my worth as a person.

Each of us has our own sets of strengths, weaknesses, characteristics that would be considered positive or virtuous, along with biases and flaws that we can all work on.  No one on this planet is perfect.

What does it mean when a person has a battle with anxiety or depression?  It means that they are struggling with these negative emotions.  It’s not a reflection of their identity, worth, or value as a person.

If you were to look at another person who struggled with these feelings with compassion or acceptance, why not accept and have compassion for yourself?  I think that would be a valuable first step toward overcoming any challenge in life.

You are a unique, valuable, and worthwhile person.  Don’t allow any struggle to tear away at your self-esteem or identity.

A personal development coach sent me some self-confidence affirmations.  I wish I had used them and referred to them more often.  There are two that I find particularly helpful:

  • I love and approve of myself aside from my accomplishments.
  • I am loving and accepting of who I am and who I am becoming.

Your ultimate level of self-acceptance and self-approval will determine your level of happiness and success in life.

Forgive Yourself (and Others) and Learn from Your Past Mistakes

This could be considered a difficult step or idea to follow, but consider the alternative.

If we don’t learn to forgive ourselves (and others), it will have a detrimental effect on our lives.

Your health and peace of mind will suffer.  The bitterness will be damaging to you in so many ways.

I can’t claim to be an expert in this area.  Recently, I have had to put into practice this idea.  It is difficult.  No one can claim that it’s easy.

Once I started to consider the alternative, I’m gravitating toward the choice to forgive myself and others.

If you struggle with this concept, why not learn all you can about the topic of forgiveness? Imagine the peace of mind you can potentially gain when you let go of past wrongs and the bitterness you may feel.

I admit that I have much to learn in this area.  My hope is that you will take the time to learn and apply as much as you can.  That way, you will pursue your goals with all the effort and energy you can – and then you will experience a higher quality of life.

Monitor Your Self-Talk Carefully

What type of messages do you tell yourself?

When you start a new goal or project for personal development, do you use the phrases “I can’t” and “I’m inadequate to handle this”?

Many times, I still catch myself using these phrases, and believing these limiting thoughts.  I have often felt defeated before I even begin to try.

I think it was Henry Ford who once said, “If you think you can’t, you can’t.”

When I was on holidays a few years back, I went to a breakfast cafe.  The cafe had a chalk board which had inspiring phrases and quotes.

I found it to be an interesting place to visit.  The food was good, and many of the quotes were both motivating and humorous.

One of the quotes said “Don’t believe everything you think.”

Our initial thoughts and ideas are ones that we can’t always control.  We all have ideas and impressions that occur to us.  We can choose the thoughts that we will dwell upon.  Reviewing this fact is encouraging.

I like a quote I read on this morning.  It’s a quote from Tom  Krause, and might be familiar to you:

Watch your thoughts, for they become words.  Watch your words, for they become actions.  Watch your actions, for they become habits.  Watch your habits, for they become character.  Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.

To me, this quote demonstrates how important my thought life is.  I hope you will take the time to monitor the way you think on a daily basis.  The quality of your thought life has a direct influence on the quality of your life.

Make an Active Choice to Affirm Yourself

This goes back to my first tip – where I talked about how it important it is for you to accept yourself as a unique, valuable, and worthwhile person.

Take a moment-by-moment inventory of how your last hour went.

Would you say that your thoughts worked for you or against you?

If you faced self-doubt and apprehension, you might have given into fear (thoughts that worked against you) instead of courage (reassuring and encouraging thoughts that worked for you).

I had a rather rough week at my other job.  It’s been difficult for me to forget about things that occurred.  Sometimes, we all have difficulties with controlling our thoughts and with fretting over things that have been said or done.

This morning, I did some research on the topic of thoughts.  I came across an interesting blog post from Travis Robertson titled How to Control Your Thoughts In 5 Simple Steps

I encourage you to read this post.  It has some excellent ideas and tips.  I followed through on these ideas with some difficult memories from my past, and it has been valuable for me.

I like the quote in the image below from Vince Lombardi, which says “It’s not whether you get knocked down, it’s whether you get up.”

Until my next post, have a great day.

Encouragement quote 4 Ideas to Help You Overcome Depression and Discouragement

Build Your Resilience as You Face Challenges in Life

When you encounter obstacles or challenges in life, how do you face them?

Do you respond with self-pity or self-doubt?  I often have.

Do you meet the obstacles or difficulties you face with courage, optimism, and determination?  I hope you do.

What about your past mistakes and failures?  Do you allow them to hold you back?  I often have.

I would like to encourage you to develop resiliency in your own life.  We all face difficulties, problems, obstacles, and challenges in life.

What are we going to do about them?  Will we retreat into a world or self-denial, or will we face them and overcome them?  The choice is ours.

In today’s blog post, I would like to provide three encouraging reasons to develop this trait in your life.  I have a couple of references that I believe will help you overcome this great character trait in your own life.

Rather than “Wallow in Regret” over the past, You Can Use Your Past Experiences for Learning, Growth, and Wisdom

In the past, I often felt like a “victim.”

I felt victimized by a couple of companies I have done business with.

It’s not something that I’m proud to admit.  You may struggle with bitterness and anger when you think back on the past wrongs that others have done to you.

We often feel guilty for allowing these types of people into our lives.  Have you ever thought to yourself “Why did I let this happen?  How could I have been so foolish to make this decision?”

When we get in the “land of regret,” life takes on a sense of ingratitude.  When we blame ourselves for the past, it’s very difficult (if not impossible) to move forward with our lives.

I’d like to encourage you today to think about some valuable lessons you can gain from your past mistakes or failures.

I have made a few career and business blunders in my own life.  However, when I look back, I’ve gained some valuable lessons from my own mistakes:

  • the value of doing “due diligence” and proper research when investing in an educational or “business opportunity.”
  • the importance of developing goals and a step-by-step plan to achieve them (rather than become confused, lose focus, and move on to the next “great opportunity”)
  • the value of being focused and self-disciplined with my online training and business.

I hope this list gives you a few ideas in your own life.  Remember that you can’t change the past, but you can gain some valuable insights from it for your future success.

You can Develop this Valuable Skill to Face Stress and Change in Your Life

This morning I did a Google search for the term “resilience.”

When I started typing in the term “resilience is”, many search term suggestions appeared… “Resilience is a gift,…Resilience is a trait,…Resilience is a skill.”

In my own personal library, I reviewed a book I bought about ten years ago called “The Resilience Factor.”  It was written by Karen Reivich and Andrew Shatté.  It’s a book that is available on Amazon, and seems to have many good customer reviews (which is always a good thing to check).

In their book, Reivich and Shatté think of resilience as a learned skill – something that we can build into our lives.

Whether we think of resilience as a trait, or a skill, or a gift, it’s something that is important for us to develop.

How do we develop this skill?  Learning about would be an important step.  It would then be crucial that we put into practice what we learn.  That’s one step I often left out in my own life.  If we don’t apply new ideas, how can we possibly know whether they work or not?

This morning I read an interesting article from Kendra Cherry on an interesting psychology website, called 10 Ways to Become More Resilient

I hope you find this article as practical and inspiring as I have.  It has some valuable tips that we can all put into practice.  Life’s challenges and difficulties won’t go away.  However, we can all develop better coping skills as we encounter the stress and problems we face.

You Will Develop Courage and Strength When You Decide to “Bounce Back” from Your Disappointments and Mistakes

To me, this is a great benefit and a compelling reason to develop some good coping and resilience skills.

Think back to some of your past successes or accomplishments.  When you achieved your major goal, would you say that it was “smooth sailing”?  Or would you say that you had to be adaptable, resilient, and persistent?

I would be willing to bet that you had a few setbacks and disappointments before you experienced your big success.  You likely struggled with self-doubt, and wondered if you could ever achieve your goal.

What if you had given up before you achieved it?  You wouldn’t have experienced the joy or exhilaration of accomplishing your dream.

In fact, you would likely say that you were resilient.  You gained courage and strength as you “bounced back” from your disappointment, mistake, or setback.  You decided to keep going, and because you did, you became a better, stronger and wiser person.

Use this past victory or accomplishment as a motivational tool when you feel discouraged, uncertain, or anxious about whether you will succeed with your new goal.

We can all use this type of encouragement and motivation to keep going when we face difficult times.

My hope is that this post has been encouraging and valuable to you.

It’s easy to get discouraged and defeated when we don’t think we quite “measure up” to society’s standards, when we don’t accomplish the goals on the timetable that we would like, or even begin to overcome a battle with anxiety or depression.

Learn and apply all that you can.  As you seek answers to your questions and challenges in life, keep an open mind.  This is another additional piece of advice that I wish I had followed long ago.

An investment in yourself and your well-being is always an excellent choice.

I like the quote in the image below from George S. Patton, which says “I don’t measure a man’s success by how high he climbs but how he bounces when he hits bottom.”

Until my next post, have a great day.

resilience quote Build Your Resilience as You Face Challenges in Life