Monthly Archives: September 2013

Respond Wisely to Change and Experience Exceptional Growth

In the past, I haven’t responded to some to some of the changes I experienced.

We all go through different types of transitions in our lives.  Relationships end.  Companies downsize and we lose our jobs.  Many people start new businesses with positive expectations and a bit of fear. Many others begin to address their issues and struggles with anxiety or depression.

Hopefully, you learn something new every day that challenges you to take action outside of your comfort zone.

Our natural response to a transition we are experiencing is “Will I make it through this?” and “Will I be able to handle this?”

In this post, I’d like to share three practical ideas you can use whenever you experience a personal or professional changes in your life.

These ideas are ones I wish I had applied years ago. I suppose that the motto “live and learn” applies with these ideas.  My hope is that you will be encouraged with today’s post – and that these ideas will inspire you to take action.

Get Over the “I Can’t” Mentality 

This first tip applies to me as much as it does to anyone else.

How many times has this mentality or mindset affected you in your own life?

How many times have you told yourself “I can’t do this”?  Have you ever talked yourself out of pursuing a major goal in your life?

If you’re not careful, the “I can’t” mentality can begin to hinder you when you are faced with a new change in your life.

Who says that you can’t do something?  How do they know?  What qualifies your critic as an expert?

We all need to be careful about ideas we adopt about ourselves, our capabilities, and potential in life.  None of us truly know what we can do until we step out and try something new.

I have spent the majority of my life telling myself that I couldn’t accomplish my goals.  When we fill our lives with self-doubt, it’s easy to feel depressed about life, and anxious about the future.

In one of my previous posts, I included an image called “Strength” that had some very practical statements that are affirming and encouraging.

I saved this image on this website and you can view it in a different tab here.

One of the statements that I particularly like is “I can do anything I put my mind to.”

Once you believe and affirm that you can face any change or transition successfully, your life will begin to reflect that new belief.  It’s not easy.  We need to keep affirming and encouraging ourselves that we can (especially when we feel like we can’t!)

Recognize That Obstacles and Challenges can bring out the Best in You

Years ago, if you would have asked me if life’s challenges could be a good thing, I would have likely said “no”.

Quite often, I think we tend to equate problems as a bad thing, and as something we desperately want to avoid at all costs.

If we didn’t have problems, issues, defeats, mistakes, and obstacles, life wouldn’t be a struggle in any way.

But how would we ever grow that way?

If we didn’t have pain, hardships, and a few trials along the way, success and joy wouldn’t quite have the same meaning, would it?

Writing for this blog has been a challenge for me.  Sometimes a few of my posts might be similar, but it is my goal to make this blog practical and valuable for anyone who reads it.

Starting this website has been a huge learning curve for me.  I have needed technical help with it.  Taking my online courses has been a big step outside of my comfort zone.  I’ve had to learn more about self-discipline.  I’m hoping to develop better character as a person and as an online business owner.

I have also needed to take action outside of my comfort zone and push past fear.  I’m learning more and more about this every day.

The obstacles and challenges we face in life can bring out the best in us, but only when we choose to learn and grow from these experiences.

Instead of Getting Overwhelmed, Seek Help, Support, and Guidance

Through more and more trial and error, I’m beginning to realize the value of the advice, support, and help of others.

It’s tempting to go through life as some type of “lone ranger” mentality and pretend to have all the answers.

I believe that many people don’t want to appear confused or in need of help, support, or encouragement.  Because of our human pride, we often don’t want to somehow appear “needy” or weak.

When our self-confidence is low, we also don’t want to appear to be inferior.

Not having all of the answers is not a sign of weakness, it’s part of daily reality.

If you’re going through a difficult change or transition, why not seek the advice, help, and support of other people who have gone through what you’re going through?

There is no need to “reinvent the wheel” (for lack of a better term).  From my own experience, I would now be further ahead in my own life if I had spent more time learning from the wisdom of others, rather than go ahead and make mistakes.

I’d like to encourage you to seek out the wisdom, guidance, and support of others.  You don’t need to accept all of the advice you hear.  You can always check the advice you get with other sources.

Consider how much further ahead in life you could be if you’re willing to seek help and wise counsel.

All the best to you as you address any issues with anxiety or depression and as you go through personal changes or transitions in your life.

I like the quote in the image below from Helen Keller, which says “Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet.  Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved.”

Until my next post, have a great day.

character quote Helen Keller Respond Wisely to Change and Experience Exceptional Growth

Three Ideas to Help You Overcome Your Past Regrets

It’s not an easy thing to admit that I have my own regrets from the past.

We all have done or said things that we would rather forget.  I’m sure that many (if not all of us) have made decisions and choices we would rather go back and do over.

I haven’t read many of the books from Dr. Phil McGraw.  What I have read has been rather direct and difficult to read, probably because it contains a lot of truth that is hard to face.

I think Dr. Phil once wrote “You cannot change what you do not acknowledge.”

In this post, I’d like to help you address any issues you have with your past regrets.  We’ll think about three consequences of this self-defeating emotion, and three ideas you can use to overcome the “regret habit” in your own life.

Your Mental and Emotional Energy Become Focused on the Unchangeable Past

When you start focusing and wallowing in regret, you are essentially focusing on things from the past that you cannot change.

In the past, I made a few career and education decisions that weren’t in my best interest.

I got involved in some online training that wasn’t a good fit for me.  I found the training to be overwhelming and difficult to follow.  Unfortunately, I made a couple of quick decisions to invest in these courses, and didn’t do my own “due diligence” with these companies.

I have struggled with the poor choices that I made.  Looking back, I got caught up in my own world of regret, and began to “beat myself up” over these past decisions.  

My life had become filled with “if-only” statements… “If only I had taken the time to make a better decision.  If only I had taken the time and not been pressured by their high-pressured sales tactics.  If only I had checked them out online before proceeding.”

If you struggle with any of your past choices, take a few moments and ask yourself:

  • “What did I learn from this experience?”
  • What valuable lesson can I use from this regrettable choice?”
  • “Can I use this experience for my own future benefit, and to help other people?”

With one of the online companies I am referring to, I still have some valuable information I can use in my life and in my online business.  It’s only a complete loss if I choose to think about the experience in that negative light.

Your Self-Esteem and Self-Image Suffers When You Get Too “Wrapped Up” or Focused on Your Past Regrets

I like a quote I once read from William James, who is a famous psychologist:

There is a law in psychology that if you form a picture in your mind of what you would like to be, and you keep and hold that picture there long enough, you will soon become exactly as you have been thinking.

Instead of labeling yourself as a “loser” or a “failure” or “inadequate” for your goals, why not begin to think of yourself as strong, capable, courageous, worthy of success, unique, and valuable?

I am slowly learning to not personalize my past mistakes and failures.

Our identities and value are not determined by our circumstances, our past, or other people’s opinions.

Your worth is based on your supreme value as a human being.  Remember that you were placed on this earth for a reason.

I don’t want to overuse quotes on this post, but this morning I found an excellent quote from St. Francis de Sales, who was a Catholic Bishop who lived during the 16th century:

Have patience with all things but first with yourself.  Never confuse your mistakes with your value as a human being. You’re a perfectly valuable, creative, worthwhile person simply because you exist.  And no amount of triumphs or tribulations can ever change that.  Unconditional self-acceptance is the core of a peaceful mind.

This quote encourages and inspires me to view myself, my mistakes, and my value in a much better light.  I hope it encourages you as you overcome your past regrets.

When You Focus on Your Past Regrets, It Hinders Your Progress in Life

All we have is this present moment.  It’s hard to remember that when we start thinking about our past regrets.

We can’t go back and “undo” the past.

I’ve found that the emotion of regret can often lead to doubts about my abilities and capabilities.

Whenever I started thinking about my own regrettable mistakes and decisions from the past, it affected my well-being and chances of success. It’s difficult to be productive, happy, and in a good mood when we become focused on a negative event from the past.

One of my mentors kept reinforcing to me that “the past does not equal the future.”

I have often needed to remind myself of this valuable statement.

Today is a new day.  Each moment is a new opportunity for you. What choice will you make with it?  Will you decide to make the most of your time as you focus on what you can do now?  Or will you allow your past regrets to dominate your thinking and diminish the quality of your life?

The choice is yours.  I hope you will choose wisely.  Your life and goals are well worth the effort.

I like the quote in the image below (from the website called searchquotes.com) which says “Never let mistakes define who you are. Only you choose who you are and what you become.”

Until my next post, have a great day.

never let mistakes define who you are Three Ideas to Help You Overcome Your Past Regrets

Four Valuable Habits You Can Develop To Overcome Worry

My worry habit has often interfered with my productivity – as well as my quality of life.

In today’s world, it’s easy to become anxious and worried about the future.  For many people, it can become a major distraction and problem.

The three ideas I’m writing about in today’s post are ones that I’ve learned through “trial and error.”

I’m sure that today’s tips aren’t unique to me.  The main purpose is to give you a few practical ideas that will actually help you address your worry or anxiety habit effectively.  Hopefully, you will be encouraged and inspired as you read and follow these strategies.

When you are tempted to worry, keep bringing yourself back to the present moment

This can be a bit difficult tip to follow, but it’s well worth the effort.

When you think about it, life is truly a collection of the way in which you spend each moment.

If you spend your moments regretting the past, or fearing the future, you have lost the opportunity that you’ve been given- and that opportunity is this present moment in time.

In my online research for this post, I read a great quote from Brian Weiss on this topic of worry:

Worrying is worthless.  When you stop focusing on what has already happened and what may never happen, then you’ll be in the present moment.  Then you’ll begin to experience joy in life.

As I finished typing out this quote, I’m beginning to realize that I need this advice as much as anyone else.

Remember that Most of Your Fears have no Rational Basis

Think back to things that you previously worried about.  How many of these previous worries actually happened to you?

I had read somewhere that research has indicated that only 8 percent of the things we worry about are actually legitimate.  

That makes 92 percent of our worries not worth even thinking about.

It really shows us how futile it is to become anxious about the future, or get “caught up” in past events that we can’t even change.

The quality of your life is reflected in the way you think.

If you think about past events that you can’t even change, you ended up using a lot of mental energy on something you can’t even re-do or “un-do.”

In my own life, I have really started to see the futility of worry.  It changes nothing in my circumstances, and adds to my stress level, wears me out physically and mentally, and I end up feeling exhausted, confused, and discouraged about the future.

When you begin to worry, reflect on the consequences of “giving in” to the negative thoughts that you’re battling with.  A good place to start might be the last paragraph I wrote.

I think I will refer back to it when I am tempted to worry about the future.

Be Careful About What You Choose to Allow Into Your Mind

A few months ago, I was able to review an excellent audio I received through an email subscription.

The audio featured Brian Tracy.  If you get the chance to access one of his products, I highly recommend them.  I have a few of his books and resources, and have found them to be motivating, encouraging, and inspirational.

In one of his audios, Tracy talked about the importance of what we allow into our minds.

He spoke about how the things that you allow into your mind should be consistent with the things you want, and with the kind of person you want to be.

The habit of worry doesn’t fit either category.

For instance, I would safely bet that you don’t really want to experience the things that you worry about.

Secondly, when you allow yourself to become anxious about your future, you are not becoming the kind of person that you truly want to be.

In many ways, we become powerless, distracted, confused, agitated, impatient, and discouraged.  Are these the types of characteristics that you would want to have in your life?

I think I could safely say that your answer would be a definite “no”!

Begin to visualize a better future for yourself – one in which you are setting goals that inspire and captivate you.  Allow only those thoughts, images, words and ideas into your mind that inspire you, encourage you, and lead you closer to your dreams in life.

Put Your Personal Faith into Practice

You may have a set of your own spiritual beliefs.

If you do, why not put your faith into practice?

If you don’t have any type of spiritual beliefs, that is, of course, your own personal choice.

You also have the choice about the thoughts and ideas you will entertain.

Will your life be characterized by fear or faith?  Even if you don’t have any particular set of spiritual beliefs, take a moment to consider the power of exercising faith in your abilities to succeed, create a better life for yourself, and overcome the worry habit.

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

Your life truly is what you make of it.  The quality of your life is definitely affected by the quality of your thought life.  My hope is that today’s post has given you some practical ideas to truly overcome the habit of worry.

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

I like the quote from the image below, which says “Anything is possible when you stop believing it is impossible.  Life doesn’t provide warranties and guarantees, it only provides possibilities and opportunities for those who dare to make the best use of it.”

Until my next post, have a great day.

possibility Four Valuable Habits You Can Develop To Overcome Worry

Strengthen Your Determination to Overcome Depression

When you are faced with a challenge, obstacle, or difficulty, what is your typical response?

Do you tend to get intimidated by it and become easily discouraged?  Or do you decide to face it with the determination that says “I’m going to face it and get through it?”

Unfortunately, I chose the first option rather than the second one I just mentioned.  We all need a bit of encouragement to keep going (and become more persistent in life), to dream and of course, to never give up on our goals.

In today’s post, I’d like to encourage you to take action with any battle you have with things like depression or discouragement.  These ideas are ones which I (once again) learned through my own challenges and problems.

It’s odd how we often learn many things through “trial and error.”  I’ve had my share of both in my own life.

Let’s think about four reasons why we need to strengthen our determination to overcome our difficulties and problems.

My hope is that you will find these ideas valuable, inspiring, and encouraging.

Life goes by too quickly

Years ago, I became interested in personal development.  At the same time, I think I’ve had my own battles with depression and with generalized anxiety, as far as I can tell from what I read.

It’s been an interesting combination.  On the one hand, I would read about great ideas from many of the top personal development experts and mentors we have today.  On the other hand, I would just give my own type of “passing grade” to what I learned.

I would acknowledge that the ideas I was learning were great.

However, I wouldn’t take the time to apply what I learned.

Time seems to really move forward quickly.  Days can turn into weeks.  The weeks can turn quickly to months, and before you know it, another year has passed by.

I’m discovering more and more that I need to apply what I learn.  With this blog, I don’t claim to have all the answers.

If you’re battling with any type of challenge in life (such as depression or anxiety) or any major important goal (such as getting better and improving the quality of your life), why not take action today?

You will Experience a Few Setbacks in Your Attempt at Life Improvement

This should be an obvious reason to develop persistence.

Many times, I think we tend to believe that any attempt at life improvement should be “smooth sailing.”  We become unrealistic and when we fail to meet the expectations we have of ourselves.

In my own attempts at life improvement, I have often berated myself for not “measuring up” to some impossible standard or expectation I had.

I’ve had a few success stories.  In addition, I’ve had my own share of setbacks, failures, and mistakes in life.

I had to learn about the value of persistence and determination.  I’m sure that you needed this lesson on many occasions in your own life.

It definitely applies to any major goal you have.  When your objective is life improvement, take small steps, experience a few successes, and learn from your setbacks.

One of the best pieces of advice I ever read about success and failure was from Winston Churchill:

Success is not final.  Failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.

This quote from Churchill encourages me, and helps me view the events of my life more realistically.  Hopefully, this is a valuable idea for you as well.

Life can be Difficult- Events happen beyond our Control

This is another good reason to become more persistent and determined.

During a previous job loss, I gave in to the despair and sadness over this unexpected change.

I liked the place where I worked, and enjoyed the job-sharing duties I had with my co-worker.  The company closed down.  I also liked the owner.  It was a sad time for me.

Instead of moving forward, I faced the future with fear and despair.  Looking back at this experience, I wish I had made the choice to move forward and not give in to the despair.

When I joined a job search support group, things began to change for me.  I began to recognize that I had skills, talents, and abilities.

When you experience setbacks in life, you face a critical choice.  Will you give in to the despair, tempted to believe that there is no hope for life improvement?  Or will you make the resolution to learn from your past, and move forward?

The Quality of Your Life is Well Worth the Effort

These days, a lot of emphasis is placed on the importance of physical fitness.  That is a good thing.

How much importance do you place on your mental and emotional well-being?

It’s a question worth considering.

In the past, I often have neglected this very important part of my life.  It’s easy to become busy, overwhelmed, and stressed out.

If you battle with depression or discouragement, are you doing anything about it, or are you just accepting things as they are?

I’d like to encourage you to take some time each day to work through any emotional challenges you face in life.  The help may be in the form or a book, an audio program, a counsellor, or with someone who can provide you with some type of spiritual help.

The quality of your life is well worth the effort.  The value of your well-being is immeasurable.

My hope is that this post gives you solid and practical reasons to become more determined to overcome any depression or discouragement you are battling.

I like the quote in the image below from William Arthur Ward, which says “The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.”

Until my next post, have a great day.

the realist Strengthen Your Determination to Overcome Depression