5 Reasons People Who Struggle Are Actually Stronger Individuals

5 Reasons People Who Struggle Are Actually Stronger Individuals

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Struggles have always been looked back in negative remorse and is usually associated with being weak. But what many tend to ignore is that these tough experiences are natural parts of our lives and that these moments help us grow. It is natural to experience good moments in your life and also natural to experience bad moments in your life.

There is nothing weak about soldiering on in your struggles. It does not make you any less fragile than anyone else and in fact I argue that it makes you stronger. Find out why in the points below:

They Are Experienced 

Each moment has moulded them and they come out a stronger person physically and mentally. Think of how a muscle is strengthened; it is put through constant strain and eventually rebuilds. Through struggle they learn how to optimally think, breath, and deal with stressful situations. They have felt different perspectives in life and have built resistance to hardship. The only way to build experience against struggle is to go through struggle. This is why having that experience is a strength.

They Are Able To Inspire and Encourage Others

Being able to motivate and inspire others is a great strength. It is a powerful way of giving value to others. People naturally look towards others whom are experienced. Struggle is interesting and people can’t help but give their attention to those whom have struggled. Everyone wants to know the secret to getting overcoming adversity and they want to hear from someone who’s been through it. People who struggle can empower others by becoming leaders and becoming mentors to others going through the same situations. They would offer value in return for yours and this makes the ability to inspire powerful.

They Can Remain Cool Calm and Unaffected

Sudden changes don’t phase these individuals because they know that life can throw anything at them. What keeps them calm is the fact that know that they can get through it with confidence. Each struggle has prepared them to go through life with ease. Similar to how fear is minimised through constant exposure the same can be said for struggle. Being able to remain calm in high stress situations is a strong trait and can only be developed by going through struggle. 

Struggles Spark a Sense of Urgency

In the current age there are countless stories of people going from rags to riches. Names that come to mind include Oprah Winfrey, J.K Rowling, John D. Rockefeller, and Richard Branson. Struggle forces people to take action and these acts of desperation can pave the way to one’s goals and dreams. When one desperately wants to survive and thrive they create remarkable feats. This desperation and motivation to survive is a strength that not everyone can experience.

Find The Beauty in Life

Being able to find beauty and joy in undesirable situations is a gift and strength. Each experience is paint for the canvas they call life. They know they can be happy at any moment in their lives and use it to their advantage. Most people are chasing for things such as money, fame, and power. They think that these things can bring them happiness and joy, but those things only provide temporary relief. People who struggled and lived without these things know that love, family, and friendship is more important and healthy for the soul.

Everyone struggles, it is as inevitable as breathing. Though this may be true, there are those whom struggle more than others. Struggles forge stronger people, any success that is worthwhile is built through struggle. Hold your head up high and soldier on!

———

Thanks for reading! Enjoy an exclusive article on getting past anxiety through my blog ‘The Anxiolytic’ !

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8 Advantages of Being an Introvert at Work

Historically, the term ‘introvert’ has been considered as being largely negative. Introverts are often the victims of fundamental misunderstandings, however, as others confuse them as being shy, overly analytical and in some instances entirely bereft of empathy for others.

Not only are these perceptions false, but they also disguise the fact that being an introvert offers many potential advantages. This is particularly true in the workplace, where many introverted character traits lend themselves to being a more responsive and effective employee.

Advantages of Being an Introvert

8 Advantages of Being an Introvert at Work

So what exactly are the major advantages of being an introvert at work, and how can you capitalise? Let’s explore this further:

1. Introverts are Great Listeners

One of the core strengths of an introvert is their innate ability to listen, and there are several reasons for this. To begin with, introverts are more comfortable listening than holding court within a conversation, while they are also more thoughtful about what they say and often use the responses of their conversational partners to influence their input.

This can highly beneficial in the workplace, as introverts have an opportunity to absorb knowledge and insight from those around them in a bid to progress their careers. This is in stark contrast with extroverts, who often use professional conversations as a stage to promote themselves without listening to what is expected of them.

To make the most of this opportunity, be particularly attentive to your colleagues and those in positions of seniority. Above all, make sure that you process any information that can help you perform better as an employee and identify opportunities for growth.

2. Introverts Can Be Relied Upon by Leaders

On a similar note, listening is a skill that helps to build trust and respect within the workplace. This is why even charismatic, extroverted leaders tend to recruit introverts in position of power, as they can be trusted to listen attentively to concise instructions and implement these with a minimum of fuss.

While I have seen numerous individuals with introverted personalities attain promotions at work, it is still important to use your initiative where possible within your role. This will help you to take further steps into leadership while and build your confidence as an employee.

3. Introverts Make for Thoughtful and Open-minded Leaders

One of the main perceptions surrounding introverts is that they do not make good leaders. This is largely untrue, however, as while those with an introverted persona may lack charisma they are thoughtful and open-minded when developing strategies, considering innovative ideas and recruiting staff members.

The latter point is particularly important, as extroverts can be insecure and competitive in their nature and this may cause friction with certain, successful members of staff. You must therefore take steps to show your open-mindedness and thoughtfulness in the workplace, while also avoiding any conflict or petty competition with colleagues.

4. Introverts are Empathetic Employees

As a general rule, introverts boast an extremely high level of self-awareness and are extremely sensitive to the needs of those around them. This is an unusual philosophy in the workplace, where so many are preoccupied with their own issues and the desire to progress their careers.

Introverts can capitalise on this, however, simply by being themselves and showing consideration for colleagues, teammates and employers. This will help you to stand out as an individual, especially if you are willing to be flexible in your role when pressure is created by long-term absences and sickness.

5. Introverts Tend to Have a Better Work-life Balance

If there is one lesson I have learned from work, it is that the daily interaction with colleagues and employers can be extremely draining for anyone with an introverted personality. This is something that introverts are conscious of at all times, meaning that they have an innate appreciation of the need for a positive work-life balance that can empower their personal lives.

With recent research suggesting that jobs paying an annual salary of £37,000 per annum tend to serve a tipping point in terms of the balance between sacrifice and reward in the workplace, having an appreciation of your limitations can help you to improve your life no end. Over time, this will make you a superior colleague without impacting negatively on your recreational time outside of work.

6. Introverts are Self-reflective and Excellent at Error Correction

We have already touched on the fact that introverts are excellent listeners, and this means that they are able to take on considerable feedback regarding their performance at work. Not only this, but those who are introverted also have a self-reflective mind-set that enables them to process this information and turn into action steps for their own, personal development.

Such a philosophy also allows introverts to excel when correcting their own errors, as they take their mistakes seriously once they have been highlighted and commit themselves to reverse these openly. When you consider that making mistakes is an inescapable element of being human, your natural outlook as an introvert offers you an advantage as a conscientious and thoughtful being with great integrity.

7. Introverts Enjoy More In-depth and Meaningful Proffesional Connections

We live in the digital age, where professional networks are driven by real-time chats and single line introductions. While this enables extroverts to build vast and often vacuous networks, however, it is well known that introverts crave the kind of in-depth and meaningful connection that drives genuine understanding.

This can actually be beneficial to introverts in the contemporary workplace, where intimate relationships based on knowledge and trust stand out while driving greater levels of collaboration. You can also your need for in-depth connections to build rapport with colleagues and clients alike, strengthening your position within the firm while also contributing to increased revenues.

8. Introverts Make Considered Rather Than Impulsive Decisions

Whether you are a leader or not, you will most likely have to make decisions in your professional life. While introverts are often criticised for over-analysing decisions to the point where they suffer a paralysis of thought, this is a gross exaggeration that disguises the benefits of forming well thought-out and informed decisions that have been considered from multiple angles.

In fact, the capacity of introverts to give due consideration to every aspect of a decision can benefit businesses greater, as it helps to avoid the type of impulsive mistake that can destroy even established ventures. From your own perspective as an introvert, you should therefore stay true to your inner thought processes when making a decision and resist the suggestions of those who want you to act quicker.

These are just some of the many benefits of being an introvert in the workplace, while these examples can help you to develop your career ahead of those with greater charisma and charm. If you would like to suggest any ideas that we have missed, feel free to leave your comments below!

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10 Tips to Use Social Media for Motivation (Instead of Procrastination)

10 Tips to Use Social Media for Motivation (Instead of Procrastination)

Most of us are well aware that social media browsing is a huge time suck. The more we friend and follow other users, the more we seemingly tend to suffer from FOMO (the fear of missing out).

As a result, we increase our time spent browsing our social feeds. We check our smartphones more often to see what’s new on Facebook or Instagram. We keep our eyes glued to our screens even when we know we should be getting more important work done or finally turning in for the night.

Social media should be a tool–not a distraction. Here are some habits worth adopting to help you shift your use of social media for motivation so that instead of it simply entertaining and distracting you, it inspires you to take action in the most important areas of your life.

1. Unfriend or unfollow all users that post negative content or don’t offer any value to you.

Over the years, as we add more friends and follow more accounts, our social feeds become overwhelmed with posts that are simply just noise. If you don’t want to permanently cut all ties with a particular user, at least unfollow their posts on Facebook or mute them on Twitter.

2. Consider cutting down on any accounts you follow purely for entertainment purposes.

Many of us love to look for those celebrity updates, funny YouTube videos, adorable pet photos and other entertaining posts in our social feeds because they make us happy. There’s nothing necessarily wrong with that, but when it gets excessive, it’s just an invitation for you to waste more time. Keep a few that you like, and get rid of the rest.

3. Follow accounts that post valuable and inspiring content that align with your goals.

If your goal is to get fit, then you should follow inspiring fitness-related accounts. If your goal is to build a business, then you should follow accounts that teach people how to build businesses. Following accounts that can support a proper mindset and influence your actions through the value-packed content they post is one of the best uses anyone can make of social media.

4. For every new account that you follow, unfollow a low-quality one.

Don’t go overboard on the previous step by following/friending/subscribing to every inspirational account you happen to come across. In order to avoid being completely overwhelmed with information, make it a rule to cut ties with another account that’s either pure noise or isn’t offering you as much value as you really need, every time you decide to add a new one.

5. Find and connect with mentors.

Social media gives you the opportunity to learn from others. If you have a goal in mind, find someone else who’s already succeeded at what you’re trying to do and try building a relationship with them. Interact with what they post, re-share their content, and consider reaching out to them by asking questions when you need help. Chances are they’ll be happy to offer you some advice.

6. Set specific times of the day to check social media.

The more often you let yourself check social media, the worse the habit gets, and the harder it is to go for longer periods of time without checking up on what’s new and who’s interacted with you. Unfortunately, it’s mind-numbingly counterproductive and makes you less likely to retain information you’ve consumed. Limit yourself to indulging in it for just a few minutes maybe once or twice a day.

7. Delete your social apps from your smartphone.

If you’ve already picked out just a few time slots in your day to check social media, then you’re not going to need the temptation of those apps on your phone (and all of their ridiculously invasive notifications) to make you fail at sticking to that commitment. When you have to check social media from a real computer, it’s a lot easier to avoid getting hopelessly hooked again.

8. Take time to absorb content rather than scrolling mindlessly through your feeds.

Mindless scrolling is a bad habit we develop when we’re following too many noisy accounts. Breaking this habit should be easier to do with a social feed full of inspiring content from a minimal number of accounts, but it doesn’t make you immune to scanning and passing on good content too quickly. Be intentional when you’re browsing your social feeds.

9. Don’t try to be everywhere.

Fitness fanatics stick to Instagram. Business savvy people love Twitter and LinkedIn. When it comes to maximizing your social media use for motivation, picking just a couple platforms (or even just one) to use is the best way to do it. It helps prevent information overwhelm and gives you the opportunity to build closer connections with the relationships you have.

10. Don’t get caught up in pimping out your own posts.

We use social media to share stuff, and it can be tricky to ignore all the Facebook comments being posted on your newly updated profile pic while you’re trying to consume motivational content at the same time. Try scaling back on your posting habits if you currently post frequently, and when you do decide to post your own stuff, do it at a time when you know you’ll be able to manage your interactions.

Remember, social media is designed to be tempting, and everyone on it is competing for your attention. Following the above tips will help you stay laser-focused on whatever you might be trying to achieve when there’s distraction hiding behind every corner.

Elise Moreau is a freelance writer for hire who specializes in blog writing, copywriting and ebook writing for businesses and entrepreneurs looking to increase their exposure online. She’s particularly passionate about writing on topics related to entrepreneurship, marketing, personal development, productivity, health and wellness.

Want to become a better version of yourself? Grab her free list of 28 Daily Must-Do Rules for Getting Sh*t Done.

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How To Make the Most Out Of Your Free Time

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We love our free time. And probably most things that come with the word free.  The thought is after hours of hard work you get a few hours for yourself without having to worry about work or school.   How you spend your free time can be challenging though. There is so much you want to do, things you want to try, endeavors you want to continue but you don’t know how to start. Here are ways you can make the most out of your free time

Plan Your Free Time

Everything works well with a plan.  The first step to enjoying your free time is to have a plan first. You can list all the things you want to try. Bookmark all the posts you want to read. Check out reviews for the places you want to go to. Think of all the activity and endeavors you may want to try before the week is over. Planning is a great way to keep you hyped and also to prepare for the activity you have in mind.

Do Some Volunteer Work

Maybe you want to do something different for a change. A work that’s not also interesting but also inspiring? For me the best way to spend free time into purposeful and meaningful work is to use it to serve others. You can try serving for charities, volunteering for community work or any activity that’s primary intentions is to help and better humanity. There are many ways you can look for these opportunities. You can try the daily paper, the internet or the radio.

Research and Learn New Things

Learning can become tiresome when it’s filled with restrictions, deadlines and fears. This is the usual case in our schools, universities or jobs. Most college professors make reading materials more of a task rather than an experience to learn something. Instead of getting psyched up, most students tend to resort to laziness and bunk the whole reading work instead. But when we do learning on our free time, and in our own accord we give ourselves more freedom to hone our knowledge and to really read about the things that intrigue us to our core.

Spend Time With Your Pets

Pets make great companions. Our furry friends that are always there for us in our happy and sad moments help us like life a little more. Dogs in particular, help reduce anxiety, stress and has been used to treat many damaging effects of loneliness.

Chat and Hang Out With Friends

Your week’s not going to turn out great if you don’t take time to catch up with old friends and people you care about. It can also be time to make new connections, and further relationships with acquaintances. It can be as simple as lunch, going to the movies, or playing bowling together.

Write in Your Journal

There are many benefits to writing. Emotional benefits that help you reflect on your life particularly in your relationships and your thoughts. When you reread your journal writings, you also learn more about yourself. I’ve kept a diary all through my high school days and rereading it to relive my experience actually opened a lot of things about me.

Go Gardening

Spend time digging into dirt, planting a seed and watching it grow into a plant. Growing your own produce is not only convenient; it’s also a great way to enjoy nature in your free time. If you’re spending the lot of your days glued in your computer or cell phone, gardening is a refreshing way to make use of your time.

Time is irreversible. As much as we’d like we can never go back in time and change our ways. The things you do now will shape your future.  The best way to spend time is to live in the present moment. To exist in the now. To never cease thinking of the present, and minimize dwelling on the past and future.

What other tips can you share to help readers make most of their free time?

——–

Armela Escalona is a blogger, digital marketer and content editor at Scoopfed.  She writes for business in various industries such as as tech, health, fitness and real estate. At present, she is helping people find and sell properties through saggiorealty.com. Send her a tweet @ArmelaE

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The Dirty Truth Behind Finding Passion, Meaning, and Purpose In your Life

The Dirty Truth Behind Finding Passion, Meaning & Purpose In Your Life

how to find your passion

Generic self-improvement advice sucks.

“Follow your passion”

“Find what’s meaningful to you”

“Discover your purpose”

I mean it’s got all the right components, it’s just backwards in its approach.

Like the big corporations of the world take essential life resources—water, fresh vegetables, green spaces—generic self-improvement advice too takes essential components of living and puts labels on them, makes them sexy, and turns what was once had in abundance, into scarcity.

  • It puts passion at a distance from the everyday
  • It places meaning on a pedestal
  • It champions purpose as holy and absolute

It is a sexy idea, but it robs us of the truth.

Generic Self-Improvement Advice Loves Your Circle of Comfort Nearly As Much As You Do

Generic turn-your-life-around advice usually gets underway with one of the following:

  • Making a list of what you love doing
  • Asking others what you’re really good at
  • Asking yourself questions like, “If I knew I was going to die soon, what would I do?”

We love this—especially the list making part. It’s comfortable and arousing to explore a greater life and an upgraded version of ourselves, without ever having to leave our cubicle or couch or change our behavior.

You see, our bodies and minds love stability. They’re used to following certain routines and patterns and not standing out from the crowd. It’s part of survival. So if we left it up to them, change would be forever confined to the risk-free world of our imaginations.

It’s definitely a comfortable idea, but it robs us from the truth.

Generic Self-Improvement Advice Looks For Answers To The Wrong Questions

As you may have figured, the truth is often not very sexy or comfortable. And something which isn’t very sexy or comfortable is always going to be a tough sell.

So generic self-improvement advice continues to suck. And the truth sits in the shadows patiently waiting for anyone who makes the effort to go and find it.

Those who do, discover:

  • Passion is not limited to one endeavor. Real passion is a strong and barely controllable emotion which should be let free in every part of life.
  • Meaning can be found in anything. From suffering and doing the chores, to playing Tetris and curing cancer, meaning is everywhere.
  • Purpose is a trait that defines a life of quality. I visited my grandma with the same level of purpose in which I wrote this article. I wrote this article with the same level of purpose in which I completed my university dissertation.

Don’t be bummed out that there’s no one special path to follow or big dream to chase.

The reality is, any direction your life goes down can be just as bright and meaningful as the next.

So whenever you hear, “What’s your purpose in life?” or “What’s your passion?”, and you look up with a blank face, remember, the real truth seeker is not a person who gives the right answers, but who asks the right questions.

“Albert grunted. “Do you know what happens to lads who ask too many questions?”
Mort thought for a moment.
“No,” he said eventually, “what?”
There was silence.
Then Albert straightened up and said, “Damned if I know. Probably they get answers, and serve ’em right.”
—Terry Pratchett, Mort

Push aside all the sexy advice and ideas, tear away from the comfortable and familiar routines, and uncover the painful truth that lurks underneath.

Chances are you’ll find exactly what you’ve been searching for.

Want to get your day of soul-searching of to the best possible start?

Grab a free copy of our new eBook: MORNING MASTERY: The Simple 20 Minute Routine For Long Lasting Energy, Laser-Sharp Focus, and Stress Free Living.

P.S. Has generic self-improvement advice failed you before? Let me know in the comments.

Joseph is a freelance writer, and the co-creator of Project Monkey Mind—a new blog for the 21st century solopreneur and young professional who wants to lead a more free and fulfilling life.

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10 Quotes To Help You Live an Authentic Life

10 Quotes To Help You Live An Authentic Life

top 10 motivational quotes

“There is perhaps nothing worse than reaching the top of the ladder and discovering you’re on the wrong wall.”
Joseph Campbell

The ‘baby boom’ era is dead and the 20th century finished 16 years ago. Most of us are aware that becoming a ‘success’ in societies terms is not necessarily going to leave us feeling fulfilled. In fact, a ‘secure’, well paid employed job, your own house, marriage, two kids and two holidays a year may be your idea of hell and not the pinnacle of achievement that society would have us believe. Granted, most of this disdain for a materially driven and conformist life has to do with the nature of the work we do, rather than an aversion to holidays or family life, but we are all becoming wiser to the possibility that our ladder might be up against the wrong wall.

If this is the case or you’re about to enter the world of work or considering leaving your present career to find something that is more authentically you, then you need to read the following nine quotes. Some have been chosen because they provide direction, others because they instruct you on the attitude you need to adopt. All of them, if followed, will bring you closer to living a life that is a true reflection of your values and dreams.    

2. Follow your Nature

“One should always be on the trail of one’s own deepest nature. For it is the fearless living out of your own essential nature that connects you to the divine.”
– David Henry Thoreau

Inner guidance is real. Forget what society tells you, your conscience or inner voice is your best guide through life. You feel a certain way about different people, work and places for a reason. It’s your nature telling you what to pursue and what to avoid.

3. There’s nothing chaining you to a life of conformity

“I know where I’m going and I know the truth and I don’t have to be what you want me to be. I’m free to be what I want.”
– Muhammad Ali

Ali reminds us of a very simple yet profound truth – conformity is not forced upon us. We have a choice. The next time a parent, teacher, friend, classmate, boss, colleague, the media, tries to exert pressure on you to behave in a way they think is best then firmly remind them, “I don’t have to be what you want me to be.’”

4. Operate Outside Convention

“When a man is denied the right to live the life he believes in, he has no choice but to become an outlaw.”
–   Nelson Mandela

You may have to become an ‘outlaw’. Not in the sense that you commit crimes, but in the sense that you operate outside of accepted societal norms. The person who seeks an authentic life cares little for what other people think of them, isn’t controlled by money and doesn’t accept the limitations imposed on them by others.

5. Love leads you to an Authentic Life

“At the risk of seeming ridiculous, let me say that the true revolutionary is guided by a great feeling of love. It is impossible to think of a genuine revolutionary lacking this quality.”
– Che Guevara

Having a positive impact on the world is your highest calling. Lifting other people up will give you a greater sense of fulfillment than seeking personal gain. Remember this when choosing a path for your authentic life.

6. Be Outrageous

“Being outrageous is a way to succeed . . . Sometimes I prefer being way out there, shocking people. Rebelliousness is part of what drove me from Austria. I didn’t want to be like everyone else. I thought of myself as special or unique and not the average Hans or Franz.”
Arnold Schwarzenegger

Being ‘outrageous’ is a tactic you can deploy to be successful at living an authentic life. It’s not that you’ll put on an act to draw attention to yourself. It’s more that you refuse to filter your personality. This always gains attention for your cause or product as, sadly, the majority stifle their uniqueness for fear of not being accepted.

7. Fight the Spiritual War

“We are the middle children of history. No purpose, no place. We have no great war, no great depression. Our great war is a spiritual war; our great depression is our lives.”
– Tyler Durden

No four sentences more perfectly capture the plight of the people of the early 21st Century. We are fighting a spiritual war. Do we succumb to materialism and the lifeless creed of more money, more food, more clothes, more cars, more homes and more ‘status’? Or do we take a leap and pursue that which makes us come alive?

8. Never have an Agenda

“If you follow your heart, if you listen to your gut, and if you extend your hand to help another, not for any agenda, but for the sake of humanity, you are going to find the truth.”
– Erin Brockovich

Never have an agenda for the things you do. Don’t make decisions because you think it’s going to make you money. While financial considerations are important, they should NEVER be the driving force of an authentic life. Instead, work, take up a cause, get involved with a project and help other people simple because it makes you feel good. You’ll be amazed at where this impulse leads.

9. Be Prepared for Rejection

When you are unknown, you will take unusual rejection. You must be able to take that without becoming destroyed. You must not accept that.
– Phillis Diller

At present, it is the fate of the individual seeking an authentic life to go against the grain of society. As a result, your path, at least initially, will be harder. There could be many setbacks and many occasions when your ideas, product or even you, are rejected. Don’t let this affect your self-esteem. Instead, realize that this is just part of your journey and maintain a belief in yourself at all times.

10. Be a Paradigm Shifter

“The reasonable man adapts himself to the world,
The unreasonable man adapts the world to himself,
That’s why all progress depends on the unreasonable man.”
George Bernard Shaw

I had to end with this quote because it gives you a taste of what’s to come. People are going to call you unreasonable for refusing to live by society’s standards but ultimately, you’ll be the one setting the agenda. This is because those who live inauthentic lives never change a thing. Instead, they just accept. Therefore, you’ll have free reign to make the positive change in the world that you want to see.

Special Bonus for Pick the Brain readers

Take the next step to living an authentic life. If you liked this article then discover more about how to create an extraordinary life by downloading my FREE eBook. Click the link below to get your copy.

50 Insights to help you live an Extraordinary Life 

Joe Barnes is the founder of Screw the System and author of the critically acclaimed book Escape the System. His mission is to help people succeed on their own terms. He also works as a tennis coach and hypnotherapist.

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3 Ways To Rid Your Life of Toxic Relationships

3 Ways To Rid Yourself Of Toxic Relationships

Kevin Hotter - Rid Your Life of Toxic Relationships

We spend our lives moving from one experience to another. And along the way, we build relationships. And most of these relationships are positive. We enjoy one another’s company, and enrich each other’s lives.

But, sometimes we get stuck in a bad situation. Like a storm with no end, the relationship erodes our self-confidence, and sense of well-being. Oftentimes, we don’t even realize it’s happening until it is seemingly too late. But, the reality is – it is never too late to rid your life of a toxic relationship.

Here’s how –

Identify the Culprit

It doesn’t matter if it’s a friend, lover or family member. Think hard. Who in your world never lifts your spirit, and is constantly filling your life with negativity? And, rather than giving you encouragement, this person is constantly ensuring you never reach your full potential.

I am sure you can identify these people pretty quickly when you really think about it. And, I mean really think about it. Now, of course, none of us are perfect. Which means – all relationships are flawed to some extent. And, that’s totally fine. Who needs perfection, anyway. So, I’m not talking about the person whom you are currently battling with over an everyday issue.

No, I am talking about that person who is consistently bringing you down. And, who is clearly not interested in your happiness.

Have a Conversation

Communicating in a clear and concise manner is a skill that I’ve come to learn is vital in so many aspects of life. With none being more important than your personal relationships. How many of us let our feelings just sit inside and fester? And, instead of expressing our dissatisfaction, we just lock it away and let the negativity destroy us from within.

Well, rather than damaging your own emotional and psychological well-being, your best approach is to talk through the issues with the other person (in a calm manner – no throwing things around the room!) 🙂

If they react in a positive manner, and consequently change their toxic behavior towards you – then great! If they get defensive, and refuse to acknowledge their own destructive behavior, well then…there is really nothing more you can do.

You are obviously at a breaking point with this person, hence, the conversation. So, if at this juncture, they are unwilling to change, and work towards a more positive relationship. Then, it’s time for you to move on.

And, by the way, I know how hard it can be to confront someone who has hurt you. It is easier said than done. But, if you are really serious about breaking free come the cycle of negativity, you have to face the person. Maybe not right away, but soon enough…you will be glad you did it.

Break Free

You’ve identified the culprit. You’ve expressed your dissatisfaction. And now, you are confronted with a potentially life-altering choice. Should I stay? Or go?

This is the deal – if you stay in the toxic relationship, then you are imposing a detriment to your own life. In other words, you are now (at least partially) responsible for the consequences of this toxic relationship.

Leaving your comfort zone is never easy (yes, bad relationships are sometimes comfortable – oddly). But, in order to grow as a human being, and to reach your full potential, you need to walk away from the people in your life who truly do not have your best interest in their hearts.

Once you break away from a toxic relationship, your heart and mind will be free. You will literally feel a weight lifted off your shoulders. Your constant self-doubt will begin to dissipate. Your sense of self-worth will increase. And, your happiness will reach new heights.

In the end, we are all masters of our own universe. The question is – do you have what it takes to take control of your own existence? I’m pretty sure you do. So, go for it!

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5 Ways Traveling Can Change Your World

5 Ways Traveling Can Change Your World

how traveling can change your life

I wish I could say I’ve traveled a large part of the world and have my passport overloaded with stamps from different places.

But nah. I’ve traveled a little only. I also was into a long-distance relationship once.

Suffice to say, traveling is amazing. It does wonders for you, your mind and your soul.

You won’t find any travel hacks here. Just an honest piece on why you should travel.

1) It will humble you and make you grateful

I personally love going to Thailand. It’s pretty near where I am from.

Every time I go, I get humbled to the point of being thankful for what I’ve in my life today.

As long as you go to a poor country where there’re people who are so poor that they’ve to beg for food and money on the street, you’ll definitely start being grateful for the little, basic things in life.

We get so caught up in chasing things in society, namely money, love, a good career or status that we forget how lucky we already have it. Perhaps it’s time to always remember what a great life you already have.

2) It will surprise you in the way different people lead their lives

I remember going to the rural parts of Thailand. Most people worked in farms there.

That’s it. Then they chill and relax for the most part of the day.

It made think about what made me happy. So many of us are chasing money thinking that we need it to be happy. But the people over there? They didn’t care. They will probably never make as much as the modern person does in modern society, but they don’t care.

Because they’re happy. Meeting people like that will really make you wonder about the things you’re chasing.

3) It’ll allow you to know different cultures see things differently

I met a friend overseas once. We are around the same age. When I asked him what he does for a living, he casually replied, “My parents give me money now.”

It was so normal and accepted there. If I did that back home, people would laugh and look down on me for being a supposed burden to my family.

It made me think about the way different cultures lived.

Indeed, there’re people out there who can accept you for who you are despite your supposed flaws or shortcomings. You really need not be so hard on yourself, because there’re people in the same exact situation as you, but they’re happy.

Or perhaps well, maybe you can consider changing locations altogether and move to a new place.

4) It will make you think the world is a great place after all

Look, what you read and see in the news today isn’t the world.

The media specifically creates news pieces just to make sure you click, read and share them. That’s how they make money. And more often than not, it’s about something negative. We’re just wired that way.

It can be pretty depressing to keep reading the news.

So travel, meet people and learn their way of life for who they really are. A lot of people who travel say the world is a pretty safe place, as long as you’re safe yourself and use common sense.

You’d be surprise at how far locals would go to make sure you’re happy and safe. I experienced it myself before and it was awesome.

The world and its people aren’t what they are in the news. The news is the news.

5) It will push you to want more in life

Your life is based on what you perceive. So why not open up to the world and expand your horizons already?

If you travel, you’d surely want more out of life because there’re just so many different places to explore and different people to meet!

This is how you challenge yourself. This is how you keep getting out of your comfort zone, especially when you travel alone. This is how you open your mind so you don’t stay stagnant.

Life is way too short for a world this big.

So get out there already.

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What Age Should You Stop Chasing Your Dream? 10 Ways To Make Sure It’s Never Too Late

positiveattitudesforlife (3)

“Keep your dreams alive. Understand to achieve anything requires faith and belief in yourself, vision, hard work, determination, and dedication. Remember all things are possible for those who believe.” Gail Devers

We are all aware of how limited our time on this earth is.  As soon as we were born the clock seemed to start ticking, and we are constantly encouraged to make haste.

We were told not to waste time in school, being reminded that we would all regret it when we got older and how much little time we have.

As adults, we are constantly told when it is time to get married, have a family and work hard at our careers because then we have to prepare for our retirement. We have to plan for the children, their education, and our retirement.

It seems everything is set by the clock.  You are told how much money you need to save to be able to retire comfortably and how your career should proceed to be considered successful by a certain age.

What if, unfortunately, all the goals you set for yourself are not attained by a certain age, does that mean you should quit?  What do you do if you haven’t achieved all that society set for you?  Does that mean you are a failure and should just give up and disappear?  What do you do besides worry, become frustrated and lose your self-confidence?

Unfortunately, life doesn’t always go the way we want it to. Sadly, many of us won’t achieve everything the way we planned it and might even have to start over later in life in spite of our well laid out plans.

Life has a way of turning things upside down for us when we least expect it.

The good news is no matter where you are in your career or where you are in life you have a chance to start over.  It is never too late to achieve your dreams. Your age should never be a stumbling block in the way of you going after what you want.

You must realize that wherever you are in your life, that is where you should be.  It doesn’t matter what age you are.  If you are 20, 30, 40, 50 or above, you are where you should be in life, and your goals are still yours for the taking.  Never forget that your dreams are yours and no one else’s.  If you never achieve your dreams no one else can for you and they always will be there unachieved.  Therefore, it is right there waiting for you to achieve.

Everything you have been through in your life has led you to where you are now for you to get where you need to be.  Every high, every low and in between all led you to this very moment.

You are at a crossroad in your life, and you need to make a move; it is just a matter of taking one step at a time in the right direction.  Whatever age you are currently is the right age you need to be, to be able to succeed.  You must remember we all mature at different ages and, therefore, achieving our goals are the same.

It doesn’t matter your age and your previous career path if you want to make a change for the better

Start by asking yourself one simple question right now.  What is it I want to achieve in my life?  Once you have answered that question, you then need to find out how to get there and put the things in place to take you there.

Here are a few tips on how to achieve all your goals at any age:-

  1. Write down your goal

It doesn’t matter your age set your goals or take the old one out and dust it off and get ready to go after it today.  Make sure you take the time to document it.  Writing it down will not only help you to remember, but it will also help you to remain focus.  Every time you lose focus, you must go back to it and remind yourself of the goal you set.

  1. Set a time table

Not only is writing down your goals important but you must set a time to achieve those goals.  Without a deadline, your goals will only be a dream.  Setting a time will not only help you to remain focus, but it will also encourage you to become more dedicated because you want to achieve those goals in the time you allotted.

  1. Tell someone you respect

One of the main reasons many of us fail to achieve our goal is because we do not let others know about them.  When you tell someone of your desire, they will keep you accountable.  They will remind you, and you will be disappointed if you do not achieve those goals, so you work hard to be successful. The persons you tell will constantly ask you about your progress, and the guilt will help to motivate you to keep going.

  1. Create consequences

When you have set your goals and your schedule, you should also be prepared to reap the consequences if you fail to achieve them.  I am not saying you need to be hard on yourself if you are working diligently toward your goal, and you haven’t achieved all in the time allotted.  You must be prepared to revisit the time and if needed change it accordingly, but you must also have consequences for yourself if you become lackadaisical.  The consequence could be that you could quit watching your favorite show or not doing something you treasure for a while until you get to where you need to be.

  1. Set up an accountability system

It doesn’t have to be anything elaborate, but you must be able to hold yourself accountable for your success.  You could use social media where you post your progress, and your followers will be there to not only hold you accountable but motivate and encourage you along the way.  It is a way to daily track your progress and to help you to remain on track.  If one system doesn’t work, find one that works for you and use it to remain on track.

  1. Reward yourself

Just as important as it is for you to be prepared to feel the consequences of not doing the things you need to do you must also be prepared to reward yourself for your successes.  Rewarding yourself for achieving and reaching certain targets towards will motivate and inspire you to continue to work hard and to build your self-confidence.

  1. Avoid comparing yourself to others

It doesn’t matter what stage you are in your life you will be tempted to compare yourself to others.  You must resist the temptation to do so. It is never a good thing to compare your achievements to others.  Focus on what you need to do to achieve the goals you set for yourself. Everybody else is busy working on their dreams; you should do the same.

  1. Leave the past in the past

In the Bible lot’s wife became a pillar of salt all because she was focusing on her past life and all she had lost.  You must leave the past in the past, good or bad; you can never retrieve all you had so reframe from focusing on the past.  Focus on your future and all that you can achieve if you do not quit.  Remind yourself that your dreams are still there waiting for you to achieve.  Put all your energy into working on succeeding.

  1. Forgive yourself for past mistakes

All too often we hang on to our failures and use them to torture and torment ourselves all throughout our lives.  Forgive all those who have hurt you and caused you pain.  Forgiving does more for you than it does for the person.  Letting go will allow you to be free to be yourself and to move on so you can achieve your goals.  Most of all forgive yourself for allowing others to hurt you.  You must also forgive yourself your mistakes as well.  Remind yourself that everybody errs, and that includes you.  Learn from those mistakes and move on.

  1. Take time out to enjoy life

It doesn’t matter where you are in your life you must make every effort to enjoy the process.  You will never retrieve the time you have wasted being angry and frustrated so do enjoy your life.  If you do not take the time to enjoy your life while working on your goals, then you will not be able to enjoy it after you have achieved all that you need.  You will not then know how.  Do things that make you happy and to remind you how much you have to be happy and grateful for.

It doesn’t matter where you are in life your age is never the reason to put your dreams aside.  The older you get, the more mature and sure you are of yourself and what you want to do.  That alone should propel you to go after your dreams.  Also, you would have finished raising the children and now have all the time to focus on you.  You also would have gone through some very difficult times that have made you stronger more self-assured and confident to tackle anything life has to offer.

——

Rose Costas is a big believer in the power of facing your challenges head on, and that boldly wearing your scars can help others triumph over their own challenges. An accountant by profession with a passion for writing and blogging, Rose can help you to get back the fire that once burned within you, starting with her eBook “34 Ways to Build Your Confidence Today.”  at her website http://positiveattitudesforlife.com

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50 Ways to Change Your Life Today

Self-Improvement-Book-Chicago

Self-Improvement-Book-Chicago
Redefine Yourself: The Simple Guide to Happiness

In our imperfect lives, we’re constantly pulled in every direction while we attempt to maintain a sense of control and normalcy. Within this chaos, we need a direction-a business plan for change.

After I had finished writing my self-improvement book Redefine Yourself: The Simple Guide to Happiness, I created the list below as a guide for my personal training clients in Chicago as well as myself. Nearly a year later, it’s still posted on my wall as a reminder. While most advice you receive will encourage you to reshape your environment, I urge you to face your toughest challenge first: Reshape yourself. Or as I like to say, “Redefine yourself”.

For the next 50 days, adopt each point in this list into your life. Repeat the statement, observe, accept, adapt, or do whatever is instructed. By the end of this experience, your world will be different even if you don’t change where you stand.

  1. Believe that you can redefine yourself.
    2. Create a business plan for your life.
    3. Become a human scientist and study the physical, mental, and emotional you.
    4. Make it a point to understand yourself and others.
    5. Become an outside observer to the mechanics of your mind and think about your thinking.
    6. Practice looking at yourself objectively.
    7. Trust your instincts, your gut, and your perspective, but know where they stem from.
    8. Don’t be a bystander in the course of life.
    9. Adopt the mantra “Keep it Simple”.
    10. Write your new mantra on a post-it note and place it in numerous places as a reminder.
    11. Approach new ideas with an open mind.
    12. Realize that you’re not alone.
    13. Teach yourself to wake up to life around you—and inside of you—at any given moment.
    14. Schedule alerts throughout the day to remind you to “take a breath”.
    15. Listen to your inner voice.
    16. Catch yourself making negative statements about you while randomly doing other things and write them down.
    17. Create a list of positive messages and repeat them to yourself daily.
    18. Become a detective and collect the truth of a moment, observing yourself and every movement, sight, touch, scent, and sound of the world.
    19. Don’t take a leap of faith without stopping first and observing the moment.
    20. Remain aware before making a decision, judgment or movement and commit to a higher state of living.
    21. Soak in the aura of a moment wherever you are as often as possible.
    22. Remove yourself from a situation when necessary (despite your emotional investment).
    23. Sometimes listen to your subconscious when it taps you on the shoulder.
    24. Sometimes ignore your subconscious when it taps you on the shoulder with the same negative message.
    25. Remember this quote by Frederick Douglass, a former slave and leader in the abolitionist movement. Accept that what you discover isn’t always the easiest to handle (and that’s okay): “…I would at times feel that learning to read had been a curse rather than a blessing. It had given me a view of my wretched condition, without the remedy. It opened my eyes to the horrible pit, but to no ladder upon which to get out. In moments of agony, I envied my fellow slaves for their stupidity. I often wished myself a beast.”
    26. Quit complaining and do something.
    27. Accept your ‘selfish friends’ as they are and ignore their ‘selfish’ tendencies. Discuss with them how their actions make you feel or begin dismantling your friendship.
    28. Judge yourself fairly.
    29. Don’t avoid looking at yourself.
    30. Accept that obsessive, perfectionist ambition will lead to a perfect state of stress and an emotional unacceptance of your life.
    31. Don’t multitask (sorry).
    32. Accept that feeling overwhelmed or frustrated is the result of your perspective.
    33. Identify the fears that steer your behavior.
    34. Refuse to allow insecurities to steer your behavior.
    35. Find the root of your insecurities and write down the evidence against these irrational claims.
    36. Accept people’s input, but remember you don’t always have to agree with their opinion or approach.
    37. Leash and manage your emotional output.
    38. Feel confident about your approach, accepting the consequences, and adapting whenever and wherever needed.
    39. Take control of the trends, patterns, and little idiosyncrasies that make up your world.
    40. Don’t say “It is what it is” unless you’ve fully investigated yourself and the possible solutions.
    41. Accept that improving a relationship might mean adapting or leaving it.
    42. Identify the areas in your personal life in which you feel helpless.
    43. Accumulate wisdom through error.
    44. Change bad habits by inserting a new routine, keeping the old cue, and delivering the old reward.
    45. Redefine your boundaries based on your needs (not your wants).
    46. Create conversations with others.
    47. Create a bucket list.
    48. Treat life as an adventure and explore the unknowns.
    49. Smile more often.
    50. Help someone when you notice it.

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Michael Moody is the author of the self-improvement book Redefine Yourself: The Simple Guide to Happiness and the former fitness expert on NBC’s The Biggest Loser/MSN Chicago tour. The owner of the successful Chicago personal training business Michael Moody Fitness, his fitness and life-structure programs have helped his clients lose more than 2,500 pounds since 2005. Michael has been featured in Muscle & Fitness and Today’s Chicago Woman magazines, among others. During his time as the official trainer for PBS’s The Whitney Reynolds Show, he also produced an inspirational segment about his travels in Guatemala.

Having researched emotion and coping behaviors in university-level studies, Michael has presented various fitness, motivation, body image, and stress-management programs at Illinois State University, DePaul University, corporations, high schools, and workshops.

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