Category Archives: Overcoming Negative Emotions

Overcoming Insecurity and Building Confidence

thesecurelife

How many times a day do you find that you’re concerned with the approval of others?

Acceptance from those around us is nice to have. It’s difficult to make great progress, though, if we find that we “need” the approval of others for our goals, dreams and plans.

Insecurity about our future and our capabilities in life often leads to a battle with low self-esteem and depression. This has been part of my own experience.

It illustrates a type of cause and effect relationship. If my thoughts are about my own inadequacy (the cause), the effect will be that I’m directly battling low self-esteem and depression. It’s amazing how much our daily thoughts affect our moods, feelings and attitudes.

With today’s post, I’d like to give you a few tips for overcoming insecurity and building confidence.

Questioning and Discarding Limited Thinking

When it comes to limited thinking, a couple of phrases that I’m trying to eliminate from my words and thoughts are:

“I can’t”,

and

“This won’t work”

You and I don’t really know what our true capabilities are.  We’ll discover greater courage and strength as we set and achieve goals. We can make exceptional progress in our lives, if we keep trying and persevering through our obstacles.  Sometimes we need to give ourselves a second chance in life.

Sometimes it’ll require you to “stay on course” towards your goals.  This can be hard to do when you encounter the negativity of others.

Many famous and successful people encountered the negative and limited thinking of others.  Even when they were told that they’d never be successful, they kept trying and reached their goals.

In the same way, why should you and I buy into the negative limitations others place on us?

I’m making it my personal mission to build my own sense of security and approval.  These days, if someone doesn’t approve of me or my goals, I consider that to be their problem, not mine.

I thought of a good question I could ask myself- as I consider my goals.  This is a good question you could ask yourself when you feel insecure when you experience disapproval:

How much do I value my peace of mind and being true to myself- over the negative things I hear from others?

Self-Awareness and Self-Acceptance

These are two key areas to define and build on.  As you develop a habit of increasing your self-awareness and self-acceptance, you’ll build more confidence.  This will help you regain a measure of enthusiasm for your life and your goals.  You’ll also overcome natural thoughts of insecurity that tend to arise.

Here are a couple of definitions I created in the latest eBook I’ve written (and am currently re-editing):

Self-Awareness

Awareness and recognition of your:

  • Strengths
  • Abilities
  • Potential

…and the importance of nurturing and building these areas.

Self-Acceptance

Awareness and recognition of:

  • Your supreme value and worth as a human being
  • The value of past mistakes/failures as stepping stones to a brighter future
  • Your duty to love, respect, honor and accept yourself unconditionally.

These definitions are ones I try to remember each day.  It’s tough to build character attributes in our lives if we don’t first define them.  These might be ones you’d like to include.  It may help as a reminder if you put them on 3″ by 5″ index card.  In battling the feelings of insecurity and low self-esteem, I’m going to be making my own index card.  It’s a good reminder for us to build confidence into our lives.

Develop Your Support Network

First and foremost, you are your own primary source of support.  I’ve realized this the hard way.  If I’m not supporting and building myself up (through my own thoughts, words, and actions), it’s difficult for others to do it for me.

In this case, your support network can consist of yourself and those around you (your family and friends that elevate and encourage you).

I encourage you to develop greater support for yourself- with your goals, dreams, visions and plans for the future.

In the past, I haven’t supported myself in my important life areas.  You may relate to this.

The past is now gone.  At this point, you can now support yourself in the following ways:

  • Building upon thoughts of your own strength, capability and potential
  • Envisioning yourself as courageous, effective, and successful in life
  • Making progress (growing personally and professionally) today and each day forward
  • Asking for help, support and guidance when you need it

I really like the following quote I read from Mark Twain:

“Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions.  Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.”

In my next series of posts, I’ll discuss the topic of habit development.  I hope you’ll find them valuable- and that the upcoming tips will help accelerate your success.

thesecurelife Overcoming Insecurity and Building Confidence

Exercising Kindness & Overcoming Hostility

the_man_who_dares

Hostility is one of those negative emotions that can easily be triggered.

It’s a tough emotion to try to overcome.  Sometimes anger can be a natural reaction.  If it’s directed appropriately to constructive action and solutions, it serves a purpose.  If it’s misdirected, we all see the consequences on the evening news.

With this post, I’d like to provide a few tips that help me overcome initial feelings of anger and hostility that arise.

Remember that you may not be able to choose your initial reactions to an event- but you can control your responses and thoughts to any circumstance that arises.

I like to listen to an audio series from Les Brown- called “The Courage to Live Your Dreams”.  On one of the audios, Brown quotes Harriet Beecher Stowe

“Things may happen to you, things may happen around you, but the only things that really matter are things that happen in you.”

Outward Actions vs. Intent of the Heart

When we’re wronged – it’s easy to get caught up in the moment.

We see surface behaviors and hear the words of others, but do we really understand their intent?

It could be that the frustrated or difficult person that you’ve encountered has emotional or physical problems that you and I don’t even know about.  They may be acting out of their own frustration and their behaviors have nothing to do with you.

It’s also helpful to remember that our words sometimes don’t reflect what we intend when we speak.

Is it really important for us to understand the intent of others- when all we see and hear are actions and words?  Sometimes it is, and many times, it isn’t.  When it isn’t important, I try to let it go and move on with my day.

Personal Responsibility

Brian Tracy, in his book “Change your Thoughts, Change Your Life” has some excellent advice in personal development, and the role our thinking plays in our quality of life.

He suggests that we incorporate the phrase “I am responsible” in response to the things that happen to us.  Brian Tracy mentions in his book that the best way to eliminate anger of all kinds is to accept responsibility.  He talks about the Law of Substitution- and the fact that your mind can only hold one thought at a time.  Because of this fact, you cannot accept responsibility for your situation and be angry at the same time.

This advice has really helped me in my daily life- and my hope is that it will be valuable for you as well.  Many times, we don’t have the tools to deal with our emotions and thoughts constructively, which is part of the purpose of my blog.

The “Big Picture” Question

In the past, I tended to dwell upon my thoughts and feelings of anger.

I have allowed negative events to ruin my day.  It’s easy to allow the comments and actions of others to affect us.

Looking back, if I asked myself “Will this be important 1 year from now?”, I would have saved myself from a lot of mental and emotional turmoil.

Keeping this “big picture” question in mind, it’s focused me back to being in control of my own well-being.  I don’t allow others to define my mental or emotional well-being.

Other people’s ideas, opinions, and comments are just that- their ideas, opinions and comments.  Your thoughts, goals, inner peace and contentment are valuable assets in your life.  Don’t allow others to darken your outlook on life with their words and actions.

In the grand scheme of things, much of the negative that we hear ultimately has no validity.

In summary, then, it helps to control anger and hostility by:

  • recognizing that the words and actions of others does not always reflect their intent
  • accepting personal responsibility for your own responses to negative events
  • remembering that your own inner peace and contentment has more value than the words and actions of others

In my next post, I hope you’ll be able to incorporate valuable tips in overcoming insecurity- as many of us have battles with low self-esteem.  All the best to you until then.

the man who dares Exercising Kindness & Overcoming Hostility


Gaining Hope while Overcoming Past Guilt

Nature-3

Guilt is a tricky topic to discuss, and an even tougher emotion to overcome.

It’s an emotion that serves its purpose though. It helps us make progress in life, restore broken relationships and experience forgiveness.

I find that guilt can become quite damaging when it hinders my future. It’s a negative emotion that arises when I focus on the past.

With today’s post, I would like to help you with some ideas on dealing effectively with guilt- with a goal of living a fuller, richer and more rewarding life.

Recognizing Valuable Lessons from the Past

I used to regularly view parts of my past with guilt and regret. Now I try to recognize some valuable lessons I’ve learned.

In the same way, if you dwell upon your past mistakes, it’s impossible to move forward in life.

Life provides us with a tremendous opportunity for progress and growth.

For instance, there was a period of time where I didn’t value myself enough to set new goals or take any time to develop personally or professionally.  I didn’t place significance upon my life or the present moments I’d been given.

Now I recognize the value of making each day and each moment count.  I’d read a book by Les Brown called “It’s Not Over Until You Win!”.  In his book, Brown quotes Marcus Aurelius who said “Stop living your life as if you have a thousand years to live”.  It was a portion of this book which spoke to me about moving forward in life, developing more energy, urgency and passion for my goals in life.

Re-affirming Your Personal Value

In the past, I would tend to “beat myself up” over the things I neglected to do- and for the things I regretted doing.

I discovered the hard way that this wasn’t the right approach.  Feelings of guilt result from our negative thoughts.  As we “buy in” or agree with these initial thoughts, we experience negative results in life.

For example, when you beat yourself as you think about things from the past, your energy, productivity, and enthusiasm for life decreases.

If you don’t allow other people to tear you down in life, why tolerate it from yourself?

If there are things you’ve neglected to do, I’d encourage you to get started.  The progress you make will help you feel better about yourself- and this will help you affirm your value and increase your self-esteem.  I’ve experienced that it works.  As you create goals and make great progress, your overall self-concept will increase.

If you’ve had a breakdown in a relationship, you may want to make amends with this other person.  Part of the Christmas season is recognizing the value of things like peace, goodwill, giving, and forgiveness (for yourself and for others).

Re-orient your Daily Habits

The development of better habits in my own life has been exceeding valuable.  I hope you’ll be able to incorporate the following suggestions- and will experience life more fully as a result.

For example, in overcoming guilt, you could develop the following habits:

  • learning from your mistakes- as you discover valuable lessons from your past.
  • building yourself up- recognizing that you are valuable, worthwhile, and have the power to make a difference in your own life and in the lives of others.
  • affirming your goals- (dreams and plans for your life that you find inspiring, motivating and compelling).
  • defining and reviewing values that are most important to you, and
  • developing greater character- with your thoughts, actions and words.

I read a quote one time which I found quite inspiring- which said “Today well-lived makes tomorrow a vision of hope.”

As we value the present moments that we’ve been given, we have hope for a brighter tomorrow filled with progress, achievement, and greater joy.

In my next post, I’ll discuss some helpful tips on practicing kindness and overcoming hostility.  This will be a helpful post, as we do encounter challenging people and circumstances in our daily lives. Until then, I encourage you to value yourself, your goals and values, and to make progress each day.

Nature 3 Gaining Hope while Overcoming Past Guilt

Tips for Gaining Strength while Overcoming Fear

z136264492

Fear is a topic that I find difficult to write about.

It’s not an easy thing to admit to having fear in life. Many cultures look upon fear as an abnormal thing to deal with. Yet I think we all face this negative emotion in many areas in life.

Fear can be a good thing. It helps us avoid dangers (such as crossing the street without looking, and reminds us to stay away from obvious dangers).

In this post, I have 4 tips that help me deal with fear and with managing anxiety in my own life. My hope is that they’ll be valuable to you.

Remember that Some Fear is Normal

Susan Jeffers’ book called “Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway” gives great tips on dealing with fear.

She discusses truths about fear.

One of the truths that was most helpful to me was “Not only am I going to experience fear whenever I’m on unfamiliar territory, but so is everyone else.”

It’s difficult to step outside of my comfort zone and try out new things.  It’s natural to experience some anxiety when facing the unknown, as well as emotions such as:

  • excitement
  • anticipation, and
  • doubt

Remember that whenever you’re on unfamiliar territory, there are people out there who can guide you, encourage and support you.  There are many people out there who have struggled with the goal you’re trying to accomplish, and who can provide valuable tips and advice for you.

My advice would be to view fear in your life as a normal reaction, and to not surrender to it.  We build courage in life when we face our fears.

Recall Past Success Stories

Reflect for a moment on your past successes.

During the process of achievement, you’ve had to overcome some challenges.

As I’d mentioned in a previous post, I wrote out a document about the 15 biggest accomplishments in life.  I saved it on the computer and titled it “Top 15 Achievements”.  I find it encouraging to look over this document on a frequent basis.

Recalling past achievements has great benefits, as this activity:

  • helps us recall the valuable things we’ve learned as we’ve accomplished our goals.
  • reminds us of our capabilities, skills and talents
  • creates enthusiasm to keep trying and persevering in life

Reinforce Thoughts of Potential, Capability, and Truth

For me, one of the biggest thoughts that reflects my own fear is this:

“I can’t do it!”

Much of my own fear arises from thoughts of incapability, inadequacy, or being overwhelmed.

When I battle these thoughts, I first need to remember that fear is often a normal reaction to the unknown.  Then I don’t end up putting myself down for having these thoughts.

It always helps me to question these thoughts.  I suggest that you do the same.

Just because you have an initial thought about fear, doesn’t mean that you have to give into it.

It helps to re-frame our thoughts from “I can’t” to “I’ve overcome difficulties before and I can do this, too.”

I discussed more about re-framing our thoughts in a previous post, called:

Re-framing our Present from Uncertainty to Capability

There are also many times where I’ve had doubts about my efficiency and time management in getting things done.

I refer often to a couple of time management affirmations, such as:

  • “Time is a valuable resource and I invest it wisely.”
  • “I am well organized, efficient, and effective.”

Developing new thoughts, and referring to strong affirmations helps me overcome doubts and initial fears that I have.  The above statements remind me of my own potential, capability and become true about my life as I focus on them.

Re-energize your Hope in the Future

On occasion, we all need encouragement and help with depression and anxiety.

If we allow negative thoughts of despair and uncertainty to overwhelm us, the emotions depression and anxiety tend to develop.

I’ve been able to re-energize my own hope in the future, as I frequently do short reviews of my short-term and long-term goals, and as I visualize accomplishing them.

For example, I have a vision board of places I’d like to travel to, and a few things I’d like to have and do. It’s a great reminder of the goals I want to achieve.  Seeing this vision board also reminds me of the reasons I’d like to accomplish these goals, and helps me envision success.

I hope you’ve been encouraged with this post to:

  • Remember that fear is a normal emotion, and to not put yourself down for having it when you experience it,
  • Recall your past accomplishments (and how you overcame obstacles in the past),
  • Reinforce thoughts about your potential, capability and truth, and to
  • Re-energize your hope in the future.

In my next post, I’ll discuss tips on dealing with emotions of guilt.

z136264492 Tips for Gaining Strength while Overcoming Fear

Experience Peace as you Overcome the Emotion of Entitlement

Winner-1

“Life should always be fair.”

I have often thought this way.  As I look back on the past, this has been part of my thinking.

It has, in fact, been my core belief.

Entitlement thinking, says, in effect, that I should always be fairly treated, everyone should be sympathetic to my needs, and that I should always get respectful, equitable treatment.

The emotion of entitlement, in its essence, has its root in erroneous thinking.

It’s been helpful for me to reorient my attitude in life… which has involved a change in viewpoint for me.  My change in attitude has been one from entitlement to one of privilege and gratitude.

As you adopt an attitude (or viewpoint) of privilege and gratitude, you will experience three primary benefits (and possibly even more!):

  • It allows you to reclaim power and responsibility
  • Helps you deal and work with difficult people
  • Helps you experience contentment in life

Reclaiming Power and Responsibility

I’ve read many books in the personal development areaBrian Tracy’s tip to adopt the phrase “I am responsible” has been very helpful for me.  It’s a phrase that I’ve tried to adopt, although I fall short of remembering to use this phrase from time to time.

Using the phrase “I am responsible” will help you reclaim power in your life.

As an example, if someone tries to make you angry, using the phrase “I am responsible” reminds you that your reaction to the injustice is your choice.

When you lack power and responsibility in your life, it has a bad effect on your day.  Your emotions and mood may end up being determined by other people, your circumstances, and events that occur.  Be encouraged to adopt an attitude of power and responsibility in your life.

Be encouraged to adopt an attitude of power and responsibility in your life.

As I’ve developed an attitude of power and responsibility, I’ve experienced greater focus in life.  I’ve also become more efficient and energized- and more hopeful in life.

Dealing and Working with Difficult People

While I’ve been developing this blog, I’ve had the experience of working with a wide range of people.  Some are helpful and easy to work with, while others are counter-productive and difficult to work with.

My main thought in working with others has been:

“I should be treated fairly and respectfully in each and every situation”.

I’ve had battles with the emotion of entitlement as a result.  It’s highly unrealistic for me to think that everyone will treat me with fairness, honesty and respect.  Some people were not brought up with values of treating those around them with these types of values.

For me, it’s been important to remember that people behave in a certain way for various reasons.  They may have issues with anger, personal problems, fear, uncertainty, or they might just be having a bad day.  In that case, their behavior has nothing to do with me.

I encourage you to overcome feelings of entitlement, by keeping the above paragraph in mind as you encounter difficult people.

Encountering people who are challenging allows us to develop patience and greater understanding.  These are qualities that we need more of in today’s world.

Developing a perspective of privilege and gratitude for life will helps us overcome the tendency to want to be right- along with the feelings that we’re entitled to fair treatment from everyone.

No one has the power to ruin your day or dampen your enthusiasm in life.  The power lies within us to determine our moods and outlook in life.

Greater Peace and Contentment

As we adopt an attitude (or viewpoint) of privilege and gratitude, we’re able to overcome feelings of “entitlement”.

As a result, we’re able to experience feelings of contentment – for our present blessings.

If you were to take a list of some blessings or benefits that you have in life, you list might include:

  • The basics in life- such as food, shelter, and clothing.  As you know, there are many people in the world who do not have adequate food or housing).
  • Our Freedoms- such as the freedom of thought, freedom of thought, freedom of expression and religion- things that our national veterans sacrificed their lives for.
  • Our Health- if you woke up today, and have good health, that’s another benefit or blessing in your life.
  • Your Efforts and Daily Accomplishments- the ability to set and achieve your goals, and make outstanding progress in life is another blessing.  With a gratitude or success journal, I’ve been able to list accomplishments that I’ve made lately.  It’s a great source of encouragement.

In my next post, I’ll discuss some valuable tips in overcoming fear in life.

Winner 1 Experience Peace as you Overcome the Emotion of Entitlement