Category Archives: Self Awareness

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On Confidence…

Short version of this post:

True confidence comes from doing. Period. It comes from you stepping out there, trying something new, and finding that you can do it well.

Here’s the long answer:

What we don’t see when we compare ourselves to others is the set of experiences (hard work, encouragement, relative skills at a particular point in time) that has given someone else the confidence THEY have. All we see is ourselves at ground zero, and we’re looking up at the others at the top of the mountain already wondering how they got there. They must have something we don’t (I wrote a bit more on this in my first post of 2016)

When we start off in life, we’re all the same… All helpless little baby blobs – unable to speak, walk, feed ourselves, or even reliably hold up our own heads. Somehow, over time, we’ve become these amazingly intelligent beings. Every one of us is a miracle of life, supremely unique in our perspective, with a truly unlimited potential that is all our own.

During our development, we’ve absorbed innumerable things that have shaped our beliefs. Years of silently observing our parents, who in our earliest lives are the gods of our worlds. We’ve possibly interacted with siblings, other relatives, peers. We’ve challenged them all on various occasions and learned the ‘limits’ in terms of what we can do and what we cannot. At times we received encouragement (which we inherently LOVE) and we’ve been driven to chase after more of it…loving the recognition so much that we were ok with stepping out into the unknown. Other times we’ve been chastised for doing something. Some of us may have done something we thought was amazing only to have the accomplishment fall on deaf ears. We’ve collected a number of painful and humiliating experiences that our ego aggressively avoids.

And now here we stand as adults – complete with our full, unique set of custom-made beliefs that is all our own.

And so the question is, “How can I have more confidence?”

Confidence, most simply put, is the belief that you can do something well. So what you’re really asking is “How can I create a belief in myself that I can do something well?”

It may be something you have never tried, or something where you tried, but have already failed.

Much like walking when you were a baby.

When you were a baby, you didn’t NEED confidence to try again. You wanted to stand up, and you fell. You didn’t care. If anything, your standing and falling was met with an overwhelming amount of stimulating attention! You couldn’t wait to try (and fail) again! So you did. You fell over and over and over and over. You didn’t think at all about what other babies were doing. If anything, seeing older children doing something triggered learning by modeling in you. And finally, you made the first step.. then the second. And eventually you were walking without even trying!

As we got older, things became a bit different. Some of the things we wanted to try were immensely dangerous, and some of us got hurt. Our parents had to ‘teach’ us and instill a certain amount of fear (less for some or more for others) in order for us to survive.

We went through some painful social experiences, where our innate desire to be part of a ‘tribe’ drives us to want to fit in and be accepted by others. We become a product of our particular surroundings, our peers, our social environment, our culture at large. We add to our own experienced limits by watching others, consciously and subconsciously learning from their successes and failures. Our very survival depends on this happening.

As far as nature is concerned, our survival is more important than our internal happiness.

Given that our entire lives have been involved in creating our limits, changing our deepest beliefs that have been etched in stone in the deepest recesses of our minds can be challenging.

Until it isn’t.

We all know of someone, or at least have heard of someone, that has gone through some kind of powerful transformation that shifted everything in their lives.

The reason this happens is that ALL of our internal limits and boundaries are tied together with the nearly unbreakable threads of our deepest beliefs.

When something happens in our lives causes us to question our deepest beliefs, it’s as though one of those binding threads has snapped. All the walls and boundaries held together by that thread begin to collapse and an immense world of possibility begins to open up for us.

So that’s the ‘easy’ way – only ‘easy’ because the ‘something’ that happens is usually some kind of traumatic life event that we are lucky to have survived.

So what do we do if we aren’t ‘lucky’ enough to experience a traumatic life-changing event?

We make a choice.

Choose to challenge your limits.

Challenge your beliefs.

Do not be limited by the beliefs of others, but instead continually expand your own boundaries.

Do not look upon others and see limits, but instead find and be inspired by what others have done and realize that they have shown that it is possible.

Choose to be inspired.

Choose to DO even when you’re not sure that you CAN.

You will fail, and then you will succeed.

And eventually you will truly appreciate that

Failure is merely a stepping stone on the path to success

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Two Gifts To Help With Stress Right Now

Two things that will make your life a little bit (or a lot bit) easier right now:

1.) Things are generally nowhere near as important or urgent as we think they are in the moment.

2.) Stop worrying about bad things that MIGHT HAPPEN, because most of them WILL NOT HAPPEN.

An example of #2: How often have you stressed about getting somewhere late, only to arrive on time?

Continuation with #1: How often have you not only stressed about arriving late, and actually DID arrive late, only to find that the timing was perfect?

Now a bonus #3, a fundamental fact that supports #2:

ALL THINGS CHANGE

Often when we are going through a particular time in our lives that is very difficult, something that challenges everything we are and all we have become, we feel as though the challenging situation may have no end.

One thing is certain – things will change. All things change, and that includes the challenging times that you may be going through at this moment.

Dealing with the situation itself is challenging enough without you adding anything to it, so let go of the worry that your situation will never change – worrying about something bad that might happen, but won’t – because ALL THINGS CHANGE.

In my life, it has been these challenging events…these very events which in the moment are the most difficult time of our lives, that have forged me into the person that I am today.

Boy with world in his hands.

3 Lessons For Finding A Meaningful Life…

I recently gave a talk to a class at FIU, Florida International University, in Miami, Florida. The class was “Discovering Your Major”, and was a very interesting topic to me. I had no idea such a class even existed, but I loved the concept because of the intent to teach “meta” information about learning and life.

“Meta Teaching”…Meta-anything is something about something else… just above or outside of it. For example, “meta learning” could be used to describe learning about learning.. or how to learn, how to study.

There is a LOT to growing up that is no longer taught to us by default. Just the basics of what it means to be happy, how to live a happy life, what’s truly important – those lessons are often lacking. We have to try and figure that out for ourselves, but often only once we realize that something is missing.

This is the WISDOM we need in this world. This is the KNOWLEDGE that leads to Happiness.

These life lessons have to do, in many ways, with growing up… coming of age… becoming a meaningful person in life with one’s own identity, a meaningful, positive identity in the world.

BEING COMFORTABLE in your own skin.

These thoughts came to mind as I was reflecting on things after the talk.

Before the talk, I purposefully did not plan out what I was going to say. I wanted to see their faces, read their expressions to see what they were feeling, connect with them where they are in life and let that PULL the message from me.

And what came out were these 3 thought points, and they are just as applicable to all of us at any age as they are to the college students looking for direction…

  1. The image of whom you are striving to be – is it your own?
  2. You can change your life at any time.
  3. When in doubt, find a way to be of service to others.

The Image Of Whom You Are Striving To Be – Is It Your Own?

We all have a vision of whom we’re supposed to be, the person we believe we should be, but who’s vision is it? From birth, we strive to make our parents happy and proud. We learn throughs social interactions and observation of the world around us – whom does everyone else admire and respect, whom do we admire and respect. We might compare ourselves to friends, to siblings, classmates, people we see in the news, movies, marketing, everything… literally everything around is is constantly pumping information into our heads about what we need to do with our lives, whom we need to be, what we should study, what it means to be successful.

I used to wonder what it meant when someone said “I need to find myself,” a common theme during the transitional period of life where some young people travel to “find themselves”. It’s only natural to yearn for independence and respect, to be seen as an individual, an adult, and no longer as a child. I can see the challenge in finding your own path in life when being bombarded by input from outside sources. But…

REMEMBER: You are the one that has to live your life

The advice of the others in our lives is almost always well meaning. It comes from their own experiences in their lives, where they may foresee see pitfalls we can’t because they’ve been there and we haven’t yet. Some of the advice is valid – it may save us from making a catastrophic mistake in life. But also, some of the advice is fear-based, a result of their own personal life experiences melding with their character traits, desire for adventure or stability, following their dreams to the fullest or playing it safe to survive.

The “college” age is that very time where we start to build a NEW self-image, a self-image as an adult, not as a child… a self-image that would ideally be our own, but often is not.

When we build a life based on someone else’s (parents, society’s, etc.) image of whom we should be, our inner desire for our own identity does not go away. That’s why there are so many stories, books, and speakers that all describe something similar – a kind of metamorphosis as they find ‘their purpose’, something that resonates with them on a deeper level, even late in life.

You Can Change Your Life At Any Time

This is a huge concept for ALL aspects of life, not just related to what we choose to study, but also with respect to our friends, relationships, where we live, anything.

This does not mean that we throw in the towel at the first hint of resistance.

But it does mean that when we are able to see clearly that something is not right for us, that we have the power to change. If, as a student, you pick a major and you come to find that it absolutely is NOT what you want to do, it’s OK! Change!

If it takes another semester, or even another year to graduate, that can seem like an eternity at a young age. But what of a life where the entire path is in the wrong direction?

The majority of people stay in unhappy situations, feeling as though there are no options, for years to decades. Most of the ‘barriers’ seen are not barriers, just concepts in our own minds. We stay in bad relationships, we continue working at that unfulfilling job, we are afraid of ‘risk’, or when things are kind of ‘complex’, or when things might impact others, when they might incur the judgement of others. These barriers can be very real.

One of my favorite things to do with people is DESTROY THOSE BARRIERS, literally like a wrecking ball (please no photoshopped images of me like Miley Cyrus). But that’s what I love – questioning everything… Is it REALLY true that you “can’t”?

So this lesson that you can change your life at any time is one of the most important lessons a young person can learn.

Once you see things clearly, and you realize what IS and what IS NOT a barrier to change, that is when you gain control of your life. That is when it is a conscious choice to stay and try to improve your current situation, or when you choose to do something different.

THEN: Knowing that you can change things at any time, fearlessly explore your life

When In Doubt, Find A Way To Be Of Service To Others

  1. When we’re searching for a purpose and coming up with nothing, we can feel disconnected, empty, floating. We may not be able to ‘find’ a purpose, but we can always find a way of helping someone. Helping someone inherently means we’re useful, valuable, and shows that there IS a way that we can contribute to the world in some way – big or small. We literally do get back more than we give. Here’s a great post from Berkeley on how giving is good for you.
  2. When we are ‘helping’, there is a different feel to the arrangement. Somehow, we are not as afraid of failure; there’s nothing to lose. Even if what we do isn’t perfect, it’s almost always well received, rewarded with appreciation. Even the tiniest bit of positive reinforcement is all the spark that some of us need to ignite something deeper inside of us.
  3. When we search for ways to help and choose to show up in a positive way in this world, opportunities seem to arise in unexpected ways. We may be asked to ‘help’ with something that we NEVER would have considered doing. This gives us a change to fearlessly experiment, almost unknowingly wandering out of our comfort zone and into a space of self discovery.
  4. What do you think happens when you combine a fearless exploration, positive reinforcement, appreciation, and repeatedly create space for creative sparks to ignite something inside of us? We may just stumble, almost literally, across our calling… is it serendipity?
  5. You will have made the world that much better for at least one person, maybe many. You may never know how that small act may have changed their day, or even their lives, for the better.
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Life’s Purpose…

Are you searching for a more meaningful life, or do you already know Life’s Purpose for you?

When you feel connected to a larger purpose, connected to your authentic self, there is no need for motivation. Instead of dragging yourself to show up and pushing yourself to get things done, you feel pulled toward your work.

So why this talk about Life’s Purpose now? Well, it’s the start of a new year, and if one is open to it, it can also be a time for introspection, a time when there is a very strong energy of renewal, a reinvigoration of Life’s Purpose. Don’t confuse the intent of this with New Year’s resolutions simply because of the timing. This is NOT about making a list of all the things you put on a list at the beginning of every year, only to forget them all by Jan 4th.

Note that I said “Reinvigoration of Life’s Purpose,” not ”Your Purpose In Life.” The difference is subtle. Life is bigger than you, than me, and being part of something bigger than yourself, something connected to Life, brings with it a very profound sense of meaning.

Here are the four Levels of Life’s Purpose that we may progress through.

  1. Existing. We are not searching for our Life’s Purpose. We are floating through life, not connected with anything very meaningful or purposeful. We are often in this state in our youth, though certain experiences can free us from this (sometimes encounters with enlightened individuals, sometime tragedies that knock our world upside down and force us into contemplation for answers). For many, it is simply the passage of time and unfulfilled dreams that can wake us up to contemplate a question like “Do I matter?”
  2. Searching. We feel that there must be something more to life, something to give our life meaning. We want to matter, to make a difference. We don’t know how, we don’t know what, but we are searching for something.
  3. Connected. We have discovered Life’s Purpose for ourselves, and we feel a connection to it – pulling us closer to fulfilling our purpose.
  4. Fulfilled. We are living Life’s Purpose fully and completely. We are strongly connected to Life’s Purpose, and this connection allows us to flow in new directions as Life presents new paths. Every day of our lives, good and bad, is still an amazing, interesting, and wonderful experience.

It is a very sad thing that many, if not most, go through their entire lives simply Existing, unaware, unconnected, and feeling as though their life does not and has not really mattered.

So don’t simply make a list of resolutions for this New Year. This year do something deeper, something more lasting and meaningful for your life. Examine the Level of your life… If you’re simply Existing, perhaps it’s time to as yourself the big questions…Why are we here? Is there something more to life than what I’ve been living so far?

If you have been feeling that there must be something more, if you are Searching, focus on your inner work. It doesn’t matter what you call it… God, Infinity, Intention, Life… open yourself up to the possibility that there is a higher purpose and meaning for your life, a place meant for you – where you can matter most. When you are open, your teachers (sometimes life itself) will find you. Life will help show you your Life’s Purpose.

When you feel Connected to Life’s Purpose, you are invigorated with the knowledge that there is something more. You may not know how to fulfill Life’s Purpose, but you know it’s there. It’s as though you know there is gold in a mountain, but you don’t know exactly where it is. It doesn’t matter, the knowledge that it is there is all you need to make you experiment with ways of reaching it. Some days are filled with excitement as you have some success, other days may be fraught with challenges and you may feel discouraged and have doubts. This Level of Life’s Purpose is where the work truly begins. Just as when searching for gold, the work may be the most difficult, but the rewards can be just as great in proportion.

So begin this New Year with an awareness of your current level, and a clear intention to progress to the next Level of Life’s Purpose. You may not know how… or what… be open… fearlessly explore. Don’t be afraid of failure – there is no failure, there is only Life, and the wonderful adventure, full of challenges, excitement, drama, and success.

It’s time to search for, find, and begin to live fulfilled… to live Life’s Purpose… to live Your Higher Level Life.

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One Important Lesson To Kick Off 2016

Careful How You Compare Yourself…

We compare ourselves to others, often automatically and somewhat subconsciously. We compare looks, our happiness, financial success, professional success, accomplishments, social status, material goods, physical abilities, family, friends, children, and their accomplishments… and 1000 other aspects of our lives – anything that can be associated or attributed to something considered ‘part’ of us, or ‘related’ to us in some way.

This sizing up of ourselves has a very useful purpose. In the business world, knowing one’s competition allows for strategic marketing, and possibly creating a solution that is not provided by your competition. In a physical conflict, it allows one to avoid violent encounters that would otherwise prove likely to be deadly or injurious if we are clearly outmatched by our rival (while seeming irrelevant for many, unfortunately this is a very real subject for many youths, and adults, all around the world – sometimes on a daily basis).

This somewhat automatic act of comparing ourselves to others has evolved from a very real need for survival… much like fear (something I wrote similarly of in Stop Living by Fear.

However, much like fear being useful as well as limiting, self-comparison can also be limiting and harmful when out of balance. In today’s world it is more difficult than ever to see things clearly. Social media, marketing, cosmetic surgery, airbrushing and editing of photography, movies and television shows…our perception of reality is very skewed. Comparing ourselves can sometimes lead to negative patterns of thinking, behavioral disorders, and a severely limited life (entirely self-imposed).

Much has been written similar topics – so I want to focus on two very clear points:

  1. Our knowledge of someone else’s full life experience is always incomplete
  2. We judge our full selves against someone else’s incomplete external image

Our knowledge of someone else’s full life experience is always incomplete

Think about the fact that we often compare aspects of our lives in isolation. We compare our weight or fitness to that of others, yet we don’t compare our full lives. The other person may be dedicating so much of their life to fitness that they have sacrificed their personal relationships, time with their children, and success in their career (and these may be things that for you are amazing). Or, perhaps someone else has an amazing career, but doesn’t have the wonderful kids you have… or vice versa (notice neither is better or worse, but is simply the results of your choices in life and each has their merits).
With social media, our images of others are primarily based on what they want to represent as their lives. We inherently share and celebrate our victories and successes, and quietly hide or move past our defeats and challenges – usually not wanting anyone else to know. So when others see us, and when we see others, the picture is NEVER complete.

We judge our full selves against someone else’s incomplete external image

This is where our ‘automatic’ act of comparing of ourselves to others can lead to problems if we are not present and aware that what we ‘know’ about someone else is grossly incomplete. If we are attempting to start a new business, and we’re comparing ourselves to someone else that has an immensely successful business, we may feel that we can never be as good / successful / famous / respected (insert any adjective you like here). But what we don’t see is the 10 failures they had while creating their success. We don’t see the way they were when they were just starting out – when they had the same insecurities that you have now. We don’t see all their flaws, mistakes, misjudgments, insecurities. We only see where they are now – not how they got there.

There is a VERY different feeling of possibility when one can see that they too can do what someone else has done. Sometimes it’s not all about self-confidence, or self-esteem, but simply knowing that you and they are truly much more alike than you realize…That they too were once just like you, with the same dreams, doubts, and a very unique set of talents, thoughts, and abilities.

The truth is we all have something amazing to offer this world. We are all human, we all have unique talents, as well as doubts and insecurities. Everyone gets tired sometimes. Everyone feels doubts, fears, and sometimes needs a helping hand, and maybe a kind word or gentle guidance from someone that has been there and done that.

So as you go through this coming year in 2016, set your goals high, and don’t limit yourself. You don’t have to know how you’re going to get there, just know that you will and start moving in the right direction. When you see someone whom you may put on some form of a pedestal, try to imagine them when they were just starting out…try to view their whole person. Then learn from what others have done, but don’t worry about who’s in front or behind you… just keep moving forward toward your dreams and you’ll be amazed with what begins to happen in your life :)

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Happy Holidays!

When we’re in the comfort of our own home with a cup of hot chocolate and holiday music… and everything is all in place, it’s easy to sit back and relax.

As you go outside at this time of year, you might find that many people are less present (an ironic pun?). We can become all caught up in our own minds with everything that we have to take care of around the holidays. Many are hit by extra financial stress. The extra traffic brings out even more frustration and distraction.

A simple reminder – just be present. Be patient. Stay connected to whom you are and allow some of that not-so-positive energy to roll off your back as we go through the holidays, and be sure to share a smile and some positivity when you can :)

Happy Holidays!

Cary

Rickety Bridge

Don’t Look Down…

We’ve seen this in the movies a million times, and maybe we’ve been in a situation or two in our lives where we’ve heard this:

DON’T LOOK DOWN…

If you’re not supposed to look down, where the *$#& are you supposed to look???

LOOK WHERE YOU’RE GOING!

Keep your eyes focused on your goal, and your mind focused on making the next step.

This thought came to me as I caught my mind running away from me this morning.  You see, I challenge myself as much as I challenge anyone I work with – to develop themselves, reach higher, get out of their (our?) comfort zones.

And this was one of those mornings where a few challenging areas of my own life started to percolate up to the surface.  I felt that fear inside… and heard that inner voice…

What if I can’t…

What if this doesn’t work out…

I have to figure this out, but I don’t see how…

I could feel tension in my body building up.

I meditated…..

One of my favorite Aikido instructors was Sugano Sense…He lost a foot to diabetes.  He returned to teach, and was more powerful than ever.  He described working through the loss as “an interesting challenge“.

I love thinking of that when I’m faced with something difficult…

IT’S AN INTERESTING CHALLENGE…

Meditating when your mind is running away from you is exactly that… it’s an interesting challenge.

A challenge is something I can deal with.  I’ll never back down from an interesting challenge.

Then I had this image come to mind of crossing a rickety foot-bridge… high up…where someone that is guiding me across would say:

DON’T LOOK DOWN

I immediately felt some of the tension diminish.

Here’s what I told myself:

Don’t look down.  Don’t focus on problems or issues that might be around you now, focus on where you are going… Focus on taking the next step… and then the next… and then the next.

Changing my focus, I felt good…

Taking that next step, I felt great.

Taking the step after…and the one after that, I’m on my way and nothing can stop me.

It’s an interesting challenge!

OCTOBER OFFER:

Do you have an interesting challenge???

Being fed to the sharks of fear

Why I Cause Myself To Fail…

At some point in my life I realized that some part of my brain doesn’t want me to be successful. You may have experienced something similar.  I see it all the time with people I interact with – usually completely unaware of what’s going on… I still catch this happening within myself all the time, but it’s the awareness that allows me to overcome the limitations.

Self-sabotaging behavior is just one way this can manifest from our subconscious.  And rather than preach from some high altar like I’ve completely surpassed these issues, I thought I’d just raise some of your awareness by sharing some things about myself…

For me, negative patterns of behavior crop up when I’m doing something challenging, something new, and there’s some fear in the back of my mind around failure.  I take on too much work when I really need to focus on the one thing that is truly important to me.  Somehow as a means of protecting “myself”, my subconscious mind (seemingly way smarter than my conscious brain) outsmarts every rational aspect of my behavior with some kind of override button as a means of protection.  Protection from what?  Failure for one.  More accurately, the FEAR of failure, because the failure hasn’t happened yet, and might never happen.

Here are a few other things I’ve seen in myself from time to time that you can look out for:

  • Forgetfulness – Believe it or not, your subconscious can make you forget as easily as it can help you remember.  You might forget to reply to that important email in a timely manner – and you never know what it might be that life-changing person that can connect you to the next level.
  • Tardiness – Instead of waking up on time like a kid waking up to go to Disney, you might forget to set your alarm… or not give yourself enough time to prepare / make it to that interview or presentation.  You set yourself up for failure due to ‘circumstances’ that were ‘beyond your control’.  You fail, but you are not a personal failure.
  • Procrastination – I’ll write more about this later.
  • Perfectionism – Have you ever worried so much what someone else might think, that you never finish something?  It might be writing a book, publishing a blog post (like this one! :)), finishing that final cut of a demo music track to send to a contact.  You eventually you forget about it.  It’s something you worked on but never finished, and you failed but never “failed”.
  • Wrong Priorities – “Things” come up.  Work calls you in for an extra shift when you have an important meeting the same day.  You *could* have said “I’m sorry, I can’t make it” and have chosen yourself, as James Altucher would say (I’m a big fan of his stuff – check out his book, “Choose Yourself”).  But you didn’t.  You just HAD to go in because you need the money, or you “might” lose your job.  You didn’t choose yourself, and you failed but you didn’t “fail”.
  • Laziness – Working to create something while working a full-time job is NOT easy.  It can be demanding, draining, challenging… and sometimes you just want a break.  It’s very easy to talk yourself into justifying “time for myself”.  Now, I’m all for time for myself – it just has to be in the right way, and at the right time.  Whenever I feel that urge, I don’t just ignore it and try to “push through the pain”… I go deeper.  I meditate.  I find out where that urge is coming from.  If I find a connection to fear related to something I am working toward, that gets me fired back up to squash that fear.  Without being able to discern the cause, you will either work yourself to exhaustion or you will not get your sh*t done… both are paths to failure by not doing.
  • Getting Ready to Get Ready – Oh, this was me (sometimes still is).  Wanting to learn everything and know everything before leaping out there.  Think fear of failure / risk aversion might have something to do with it?
  • Negative Thoughts – “It’s probably not going to work anyways, and I could really use the [insert one of: time, money, rest]”… “I just don’t think I’m ready”… “I’ll be ready as soon as I [ insert one of: graduate, take this course, go to XYZ training]”

Here’s the thing – when you’re not looking for these behavior patterns, they rule your life and you have no clue you’re being manipulated like a puppet by your subconscious.

BUT! … HERE’S THE GOOD NEWS!

As a wise man once said.. I think it was GI JOE… “Knowing is half the battle”.

Once you’re aware of these patterns, you can’t help but see them.  The above list is from my own personal experiences, and you’ll begin to see even more over time.  As you’re reading this, you’re probably thinking of a few right now.

There are only two ways to handle these patterns that I’m aware of, and I do both.

TACKLE THEM HEAD ON:

This is what we do by default, and we should.  It helps, but it doesn’t get to the core (I’ll talk about that in a minute).

For forgetfulness, you might start to use reminders or to-do lists (like I did… and if you’ve done this on and off periodically, keep reading – you’ll need the “GO DEEPER” section for sure).

For things like procrastination and laziness, you might get an accountability partner.

For tardiness, you make it a habit to add things to your smartphone’s calendar and set 3 reminders like I do sometimes (one for an hour before an event.. one for the day before, and one for a week before!).

But only going head on at these things will make your life a living hell because it doesn’t get to the root CAUSE… For that you have to GO DEEPER.

GOING DEEPER:

Since the ‘head on’ approach is fixing the symptoms and not the CAUSE, you can do that forever, and it’ll never get easier.  You’ll go through a life filled to the brim with some amount of self-torture trying to deal with these things on the outside, until you GO DEEPER.

Going deeper gets you to the cause… usually rooted in some form of belief or values that we may or may not even know exists in our minds.

An short example from my life will be better than a 200 page explanation…My fear of money.

For a while, I despised people with money.  This was because of experiences in elementary school, where I was frequently the subject of a lot of mean comments based on my family’s financial status.  It was an elementary school that my parents struggled to keep my sister and I in when my family had lost everything at one point – their business, our childhood home.. everything.  My mom and dad are very resourceful, and somehow they were able to keep us in the same school to try and do what was best for us.  But during that time, I still remember some of the kids making fun of my mom because of what she wore.  Others made fun of my dad because of the kind of car he drove.  Partly because of that I got into countless fights at that school and never really fit in.  As I grew older, I realized how hard it must be to raise good children that can really appreciate what they have when they have everything…where money isn’t the most important thing in life.  I didn’t want my kids to grow up to be ‘those’ kinds of kids, and part of my mind was protecting me from that outcome by completely avoiding the problem of ‘having too much money’ altogether.  Is this making sense to you?

This revelation took me a while to discover…But going deeper allowed me to change that ‘belief’, which was one of the reasons that my mind would sabotage success.  Part of my mind.. part of me, at a very deep level, did not want to succeed.  I was able to realize that I can be immensely successful and that can give me more of a chance to raise wonderful children.  One of my dreams now is to teach by example for one (think philanthropy), as well as by exposing them to the world – other cultures… that we are all humans, all different and all the same.

Think about how your mind works.   Your mind (barring physical issues or chemical imbalances) is fundamentally a rational machine.  We are only conscious of a very small part of our thoughts – like looking at the surface of the ocean, not knowing what currents are going on underneath.  Our rational mind will work to protect us at all costs from any dangers, even if those dangers are, by definition, irrational.  Find out what you subconscious is protecting you from, and you can start to work on correcting those flawed beliefs.

4 STEPS TO STOP FAILING ‘ON PURPOSE’:

  1. Watch yourself carefully. Observe yourself meticulously for self-sabotaging thoughts and behaviors.  Keep in mind that your subconscious can be VERY tricky, and is way more powerful than your conscious mind.
  2. Outsmart yourself.  When you identify these limiting behaviors, find ways to outsmart your subconscious while you
  3. Go deeper.  Find out the true source of those behaviors within yourself.
  4. Internal development.  Work on correcting the incongruent belief within yourself.

Step 4 may be easy in some cases – awareness may be enough… or may be a big challenge.  You might need to experiment to find out who or what works for you…

This is all about improving… personal growth…getting past your limitations… removing limiting beliefs and thought patters, and eradicating limiting behaviors.

Internal Development for External Success.

I Am The World

Be Limitless!

What limits are holding you back right now?  What limiting thoughts, behaviors, beliefs?  Where do they come from – your own mind? Another person’s voice?  Past experiences, or what you’ve seen others do or not do?

Repeat this to yourself right now, and whenever you hear any limiting thoughts:

I AM LIMITLESS!!!

We’ve all had those moments of doubt, but we’ve also had those moments of accomplishment and success.  We’ve all felt that elation when we were unsure of ourselves, but we persevered and succeeded in spite of our doubts. We’ve surprised ourselves!

As children we begin to see a pattern, the pattern where we don’t yet KNOW that we can do something, but we try anyways…and sometimes we succeed…sometimes we fail.  For some of us, the pattern is predominantly negative.  We become afraid of failure, afraid of being ridiculed.  Others of us begin to feed on the elation of success. Throughout our lives these patterns become reinforced – by our employers, significant others, family members.

These ‘patterned’ limits become our internal thermostat.  They direct our everyday decisions. They are deep in our subconscious, and direct our behaviors behind the scenes trying to protect us from ourselves. The act of procrastination is a very good example… perhaps you never got around to sending in that job application – you were “too busy”, or somehow it slipped your mind… when in fact, that was simply some part of your own mind avoiding the pain of failure that it was falsely predicting.

Repeat this right now:

“I am safe to make my own decisions and my own choices, and I will not limit myself.  I know that my happiness is in my true freedom to choose my own destiny.”

There are countless examples of limitations imposed by the human mind.  One of the most widely known examples is when the world believed it was impossible for any human to run a mile in under 4 minutes.  After an eternity of trying, Roger Bannister finally proved that it was possible.  Then, as if an invisible barrier had been shattered in the minds of the world, within a year another runner repeated the feat… And later another, and another.  How is that possible?  Did the WORLD become faster overnight?  Yes and No.  Physically the runners were the same.  What changed?  The limit in their minds had been removed.

From the very small daily decisions we make, to the life changing… every action we take is governed and throttled by our own internal “thermostat” of what we believe is possible.  While it makes sense to avoid wasting our time on something futile, more often than not the important decisions are in that gray area of the unknown where both failure AND success reside.

Make a commitment to constantly challenge your own beliefs of what is and what is not possible. Push yourself. Inch that thermostat up a tiny notch at first…. and then another… and another. Will you endure failures?  Of course!  That is not only ok, that’s how you know you’re REALLY doing it right!

If you never fail, you are not living anywhere near your true potential for SUCCESS.

You will learn to appreciate how fear and doubt will be transformed into wonder and possibility… that sense of “What if?”. You will no longer see the shadows, you’ll see the light. You will no longer see the chance of failure, you will see the path to success.

You will begin to realize that there are no true limits… that you can achieve way more than you’ve ever dreamed possible… that you truly are LIMITLESS!

 

Finding a path

3 Rules of CHOICE…

1. Realize that you have a choice.  If you’re not where you want to be, and you’re not doing something about it, you’re choosing to be where you are.  Many times the choices we have can be so difficult to make that we don’t see them as choices.  It’s important to take an honest look at where we are and own up to the CHOICES we are making.  Staying in denial and telling yourself that you have no choice is one way to stay stuck for a long time.  Once you admit that there is a CHOICE… even if it’s a difficult choice…THEN you can work on overcoming the fear or difficulty.   You can build up the confidence to make that CHOICE that scares the hell out of you.

2. Don’t limit your options by pre-judging them.  Another way to stay stuck for a long, long time is to take your options and throw them out.  That knee-jerk response in your head that interrupts you and says, “there’s no way”, or “I can’t”… just shut it off.  Usually that voice is driven by some form of fear – a fear of failure, a fear of change, a fear of having to do work or endure sacrifice.  Be HONEST with yourself and look at the fear head-on before pretending like you don’t have an option.  Sometimes the best course of action is the one that you at first think you just can’t do.

3. Be OPEN to conceiving of new options.  Know that at EVERY point in time there are an infinite number of possibilities, and all we need is one that is better than what we have now.  When you tell yourself “I have no choice”, you are turning off the creative part of your mind that would otherwise be searching for options.  Meditate on the fact that there is a better way… you KNOW there is a choice… you just need to SEE it… Call it “Inspiration”… “God”… “Source”… “Subconscious”… something will reveal the answer to you.  One thing seems to be consistent across all the explanations – answers are a lot more likely to come when you’re searching, so don’t stop looking.

Own up to your situation and realize that you have a choice.  Don’t limit your options, even if the choices are not always pleasant.  Always keep an open mind, knowing that the choices that you see are nothing compared to the options that are available.

There are an infinite number of paths to take you from where you are to where you want to be; all you need is one.