MIRACLES OF MIND WITHOUT FEAR
Fear is generally of the unknown. We mostly fear that which is unfamiliar to us. So, the first time we go up on stage in an auditorium full of people – we are fearful; when we are investing in a new stock – we are fearful; when we are about to undergo an operation – we are fearful. It is only when we transcend that fear; we set the wheels in motion for what is to come next. We would miss out on a whole new world if we are stuck in our fear. Instead of focusing on the end result, just concentrate on the present act. Remember you are capable of more than you think. You just need to make a beginning and one single act of courage will set into motion a chain of acts of courage.
Change your relationship with Fear
Instead of letting the fear knock you down, use it as motivation to grow and achieve more. Once you recognize that fear is not real, the obstacles that appear to stand in your way will be removed, and you will feel empowered to take action.
Your potential in life is limited by only one factor and that is
So are you ready to transform fear into action?
Now the question is how to do that?
First, take a moment and imagine what your life would be like if you had no fear.
What would you do if you knew how to overcome fear?
It’s not difficult to imagine that it would alter your life significantly.
I believe that fear is the single biggest obstacle that holds people back from fulfilling their potential and becoming the best version of themselves. Fear of failure; fear of abandonment ; fear of success ; fear of not being good enough etc.
The question is where does it come from?
Neuroscientists claim that humans are the most fearful creatures on the planet because of our ability to learn, think, and create fear in our minds. We scare ourselves by imagining the worst possible outcomes, assuming that we are protecting ourselves from imminent danger. You make the choice to be a victim of your fear and anxiety or to push them aside and be courageous.
Fight the F. E. A. R.
1. F for Fear
Not all fear leaves you sweating, fearing for your life or screaming and running for the hills. However, when it comes to success, ‘fear’ is a word we hear many times:
Fear lurks behind so many elements of our lives, and to be successful you need to find ways to battle it. You must find where it hides and eradicate it. As a child you had someone there to hold your hand and coax you forward and keep the momentum going, to guide you into action and help you find a way forward. However, as an adult it’s all too easy to stagnate, to stall and allow life to slow down. You ‘accept’ where you find yourself and enable fear to take over.
2. E for Exercise
Let’s start by working out what matters to you. To do this you don’t need to work out what the perfect life would look like; we need to forget about the outside world and think about you. What matters to you?
I. Exercise 1
Take a moment to think about and list the different things that matter to you. This is a confidential list that you never have to share with anyone on the planet. You don’t have to justify your choices. If you want to put your children but not your partner then that is your choice, and no one is going to judge you for it.
Choose 10 things. You can write anything you like.
For example, the things that matter to me are:
career, holidays, family, success, friends, money, hobbies, culture, work, leisure, sport, health, exercise, socialising, finances, writing, gardening, reading, music, etc
II. Exercise 2
Then compare each item. For example, if you had to choose, could you live without family or holiday? If you could not live without family, then family would get one point and holiday gets a zero. Could you live without family or fun? If you could not live without fun, then fun would get 1 point and family zero. This is no reflection on your family. This is a no-guilt, for your eyes only, private document that will help you to see what matters to you. If you give family a zero it doesn’t mean they don’t matter to you, you are just finding out where in the great scheme of things they matter to you.
So remember: no guilt, complete honestly, go with your gut instinct and write the truth!
III. Exercise 3
Carry on moving down the column comparing family and fun, then family and work, then family and helping others, and so on.
IV. Exercise 4
With this information you can work out what your values are
3. A for Action
To help, you must find the inner confidence, and override the feeling that says the real you has to hide what matters to you. The person you really are is perfect, just perfect, and if you want real success in life, you need to know what that perfect version of you is all about. That way you can be proud and confident about what that person wants and desires in life. Then, no matter what comes into your life, you are able to ask yourself, ‘Does this fit with the person I am?’ It’s good to get into the habit of asking yourself this question. So, if you were to look around you right now, you might see a nice environment and all the things that are supposed to make you happy, but you may not be ‘feeling it’, because maybe one of your fears is the fear to be you. And it’s all too common. It takes guts and confidence to say, ‘This is what matters to me and this is what I want’. One of the reasons that people don’t get the results that they want in their lives is because they are frightened to show the world what they really want. And when you get the things you want in life, just knowing it’s what matters to you will help build your confidence and help you maintain and keep them too. You can stay focused on what you want and ignore the fear. Answer these questions and create some of your own.
1. Do you want to own a global empire?
2 .Do you want to sit on the board of directors?
3. Do you want to sit on the parent–teacher associations?
4. Do you want to sing in your local choir?
5. Do you want to work in your local store?
6. Do you want to be a best-selling author?
7. Do you want to own your own jet?
8. Do you want to run your own successful business?
9. Do you want to set up your own charity?
10. Do you want to sing at a football stadium?
4. R for Result
When you feel confident and internally empowered about the person you are and what matters to you in life, you will be able to live in a way that makes you feel good. You will smile more too.
WHAT IS FEAR, REALLY?
Fear is an emotion created by your mind based on real or imagined threats. Fear may be completely founded in reality, or not. It may also manifest as anxiety disorders in some cases, as anxiety is based on worries or fears about the future. These imagined scenarios of perceived threats end up feeding your fear to the point where it becomes all-consuming. Often, these scenarios never happen. The real issue is not the fear itself, but rather how we hold it in our minds.
How to Overcome Fear?
Overcoming fear may sound easier said than done. When you are in the thick of fear, it’s hard to see a way out. The good news is that, because you are the root cause of your fears, you are also the solution to them.
There are times when I’ve felt afraid but couldn’t identify why. If you keep your fears inside, you allow your mind to control how you feel. In order to prevent this confusion from happening in the first place, identify what your fears are before moving on to learning how to deal with fear.
What makes you feel afraid?
Instead of just thinking about these things, write them down. When you write down your fears on paper and actually question them, it forces you to analyze why you are afraid. Questions are designed to trigger your fears and bring them to the surface.
This isn’t a comfortable process, but deep inner work never is. However, if you continue to keep your feelings in the dark, the scarier they will be, and the more disempowered you will become. Once you identify the type of fear and the experience that you associate with your fears, you become armed with the power to take action to change them. Eventually, your fears become smaller and smaller, and your strength gets bigger and bigger.
If you want to learn how to overcome fear, gratitude is key, it’s difficult to experience fear and gratitude at the same time. They are literally on opposite ends of the continuum of the human experience. When you are experiencing difficult times in life, it’s easy to drop into fear and overwhelm. In that energetic space, it can be hard to stay grounded.
Developing a gratitude practice allows you to not drown in fear. It doesn’t mean that you won’t still feel it, but the blow will be lessened, thereby allowing you to see the brighter side of struggle.
In positive psychology research, gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness. Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their physical and mental health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships. Anyone who experiences fear knows that there is almost always a story attached to whatever it is that you’re fearful of. Fear loves to hang out with your inner critic and come up with worst-case scenarios about what could happen.
Gratitude helps keep these limiting stories at bay when you’re learning how to overcome fear. When you practice gratitude, your brain shifts to what is currently working instead of what isn’t working. The act of being fearful is a future-oriented process, while gratitude is a present-oriented one. The next time that fear tries to creep its way into your head, replace that disempowering thought with an empowering one.
Being a control freak is how a lot of people manage their fears, or so they think. Unfortunately, control has no place on the path to learning how to overcome fear. In actuality, all that they are doing is masking their fears by trying to control everything. If you can relate, it’s time to release control. Trust me when I say that this is a losing battle. Fear results in controlling behavior, and when this behavior doesn’t give us the results we’re seeking, it further intensifies our fears. In your attempt to control fear, you actually become a victim of it. This fear and control cycle leaves a lot of people feeling defeated. The reality is that there will always be things that are far beyond your control. The only way that we can move past needing to be in control is to accept that it is not always up to us. While you may be in control of your decisions, you don’t always have control over situations that you are pushed into, nor can you control how others react.
The only thing that you have control over is your inner world and how you choose to respond to your external environment. The next time you catch yourself trying to control everything, step back and ask yourself what you are afraid of. Start to get curious about what thoughts are generating your fear. Curiosity and fear don’t like to co-exist. Once you let go of one, you invite the other in, which will help as you learn how to get rid of fear. True freedom comes from fully releasing control. When you are able to do this, you begin the process of releasing your fears as well.
Positive affirmations can be used to combat almost any negative thought pattern, which can be very helpful when you want to learn how to overcome fear. Using them to help challenge your fears can help retrain your brain and have your fears reframed as powerful statements. Research shows that you can actually train your subconscious mind such that it will help you to attract exactly what you desire in life.
Instead of saying “I am afraid of doing this because I might fail,” look in the mirror and say to yourself, “I am prepared for this, I am ready, and I will not fail.”
The more you use positive affirmations, the stronger they become. The best way to cancel a negative belief is to develop its positive counterpart. Commit to making positive affirmations a key component of your morning ritual. It literally takes one thought, repeated over and over again, to set you on the path to transforming your entire life.
Living in your comfort zone will get you nowhere in life, and it certainly won’t help you learn how to overcome fear. In my experience, not doing the things that scare you will only increase the likelihood that your fears will grow and inevitably take over every decision that you make.
I want to encourage you to do one thing every day that scares you. It can be something small. All that matters is that you take action. Make it a habit to get comfortable being uncomfortable. Putting yourself in new and uncomfortable situations triggers a unique part of the brain that releases dopamine, nature’s make-you-happy chemical. Here’s the mind-blower: that unique region of the brain is only activated when you see or experience completely new things.
When you condition yourself to do something every day that scares you, your fear fades away, and your courage grows. Think about it…when you face your fears, how can you fear them again? Soon enough, your confidence will skyrocket.
EXTERNAL AND INTERNAL FEAR AND HOW THEY DEVELOP?
Almost everyone in today’s world understands the necessity of balancing their personal life with their business life. This balance if oftentimes fearful and chaotic. Frequently, people think the only way a person can accomplish all of their goals is to stay constantly busy. This is not Superhero thinking or living. When fears hold a person back from succeeding in all of their aspirations they lack balance. This fear-based imbalance restricts a person from achieving the greatness that they are capable of and most oftentimes people don’t realize how this occurs Fears can come in many forms and at times can be detrimental to a person’s wellbeing. The two types of fears that all other fears fall under are internal and external. These fears present themselves in very different ways and can have very different effects on a person’s state of mind. Understanding both of these fears and the reasons behind them is the only way to overcome them.
External fears are the most easily understandable and recognizable. These fears are related to things that exist outside of a person and bring with them a natural feeling of dread and anxiety. Just because it is natural to have these feelings, however, doesn’t mean it is necessary or even common to experience them. The fear of spiders and snakes are two of the most common external fears a person could have. External fears are very easy to recognize due to the fact that they are triggered by a clearly identifiable outside source. This trigger is always related to the fear itself. Referring back to the fear of spiders, the sighting of a spider or a soft creeping feeling going across a person’s arm can cause the feeling of anxiety and dread to appear. These fears usually only occur when a person encounters or believes they are encountering the object of their fear. External fears can affect a person in more than just their personal life. A business owner may refuse to expand their business if it requires that they work on the seventieth floor of a high-rise building when they are fearful of heights. A person may refuse to attend an important international business meeting if it is occurring in a part of the world that they fear is unsafe.
Regardless of what a person’s specific external fears are, they will always negatively affect that person in some area of their life holding them apart from experiencing their Superhero inside. As stated earlier, it is often easy to identify the source of an external fear. These fears are often caused by something that a person has seen or experienced at some point in their life. Falling from a tree house as a child could easily cause a fear of heights, and even seeing excessive crime in a certain area of town can cause a person to experience fear when under similar circumstances. Regardless of the external fear, it usually exists solely as a reminder of something bad that has already happened. Internal fears are much harder to define and explain than external fears. An internal fear is one that exists solely within a person’s own mind. They too are often triggered by something in the external world, but the external world is not their basis for existence. Since this type of fear doesn’t necessarily stem from a specific event in a person’s life, it can be difficult to identify the main cause for the fear. Internal fears can manifest as a fear of rejection, failure, success and several other inner issues. A person could fear asking for money to start a business because they think that they may be turned down, but another person may fear the same thing based solely on the fact that they fear the responsibility and what they have to take on if they succeed. This same fear of asking for a business loan could stem from the fear that a person will fail once they are given the opportunity. Regardless of the reason a person is hesitant to ask for the capital, it always stems from an internal fear. Internal fears can be caused by a number of factors that are usually related to emotion. A person may develop an irrational fear of rejection after being left by a partner. Another person may develop a fear of failure after spending a lifetime with an overbearing father who demanded perfection in every aspect of his life. These fears can prevent a person from taking the risks necessary to realize their dreams of success and let the Superhero with them soar. Often internal fears are very difficult to overcome. Unfortunately for anyone who has a fear, sometimes the only way to overcome it is to face it headon. This may sound very near impossible to many, but it only takes a moment of looking past this fear for a person to accomplish what they want. Focusing on the end results and not the fear can be the beginning of achieving a Superhero lifestyle.
HOW TO DEFEAT THE FEAR AS AN ENTREPRENEUR AND ACHIEVE SUPERHERO SUCCESS?
Fear of failure, lack of experience, and timing can discourage entrepreneurs from embarking on a potentially successful business endeavor. While it is important to be smart about business goals and professional planning, organizations rarely grow to extensive lengths without a leap of Superhero faith and adequate preparation for professional opportunities. Ironically enough, while some fear is a good thing for keeping businesses safe and setting fluid limits, too much fear can be debilitating and may create intense barriers that inhibit professional growth.
Just as fear can affect some individuals in a negative manner, it can propel others forward into goals and can create motivation. Individuals can use fear to succeed in business, at school, or in health and fitness, amongst many other things. The fear of failure is sometimes strong enough to enhance motivation, determination, and courage to complete set tasks. Utilizing fear as a motivator can propel entrepreneurs into successful business endeavors and encourage business owners to take chances to facilitate business growth. As business professionals gain more confidence in their business, they will soon discover that fear is short-lived. This initial reaction is soon replaced by a commitment to Superhero success and professional empowerment.
One of the main reasons why individuals avoid entrepreneurship is based on the fear of failure, loss of money, and making mistakes. Yet, refusing to place blame on superficial objects/persons, meeting new partners, and studying previous mistakes can resurrect a business and provide the power one needs to embark on a journey of entrepreneurship.
Are you feeling a little more confident? Maybe even a little fearless? Remember, life is entirely too short to allow yourself to be governed in any way by that does not serve your purpose in life, and often fear does exactly this: it derails us on our path. Many people allow fear to not only have input in their lives, but literally control every thought they think. They die in regret instead of full of pride for a life well lived. Hopefully you found this little book on conquering fear to be of value to you. And if you do intend to soar with your fellow Superheroes at any point, then the information found in this little book will be INVALUABLE to you…especially if you intend to wear tights and a cape. Being fearless doesn’t mean you never experience fear. It simply means you don’t let it control your thoughts and therefore your daily life. Embrace the fear when it shows up in your life, then stop and think about the circumstances and what you were thinking about when it arrived. More often than not, you were subconsciously thinking about a pain that happened in your past, either physical or mental. You have complete control over your mind and what you think about, so if you want to achieve Superhero status in your life and your business, then that’s what you need to focus on and think about most. Being a Superhero is not just about being fearless. It’s about being balanced in all areas of your life: physical, spiritual, emotional, financial, personal and business.
Once you’ve learned how and implemented the simple steps necessary to break through your challenges, obstacles, and fears, then soon you’ll be able to break through bigger challenges, obstacles, and fears on your way to breaking through ANYTHING, on your way to achieving Superhero Success.
ELIMINATING FEAR INVOLVES LEARNING THESE 7 SKILLS
1. Learn to trust yourself-trust that you will make good decisions, research and learn what you need and if you make a mistake you can correct it.
2. Take ownership of your life-Taking purposeful action rather than reacting to events.
3. Identify the components of your fear. (Rejection, failure, so on).
4. Neutralize the above components. Know and trust that If one of those things happen you can deal with it or you can find help with it. Don’t suffer it before it has happened.
5. Build your self-esteem. Learn to like yourself. You forgive mistakes by others, why not yourself?
6. Know that you can learn whatever you need to succeed at what you are afraid of-whether they are practical skills or emotional skills, you can master them if necessary.
7. Believe at your very core that this can be done. This is not just for other people. This is for you. You are just as good as the next person.
Anything that you want or are thinking of doing can be done with some thought and planning.
It’s often easy to feel mentally strong when life is going well, but at times problems arise. A job loss, a natural disaster, an illness in the family, or a death of a loved one is sometimes inevitable. When you’re mentally strong, you’ll be more prepared to deal with life’s challenges. Benefits of increasing your mental strength include:
THE TRUTH ABOUT MENTAL STRENGTH
There’s a lot of misinformation and misconception about what it means to be mentally strong. Here are some of the truths about mental strength:
HOW TO DEVELOP MENTAL STRENGTH?
You’ll never become an expert at anything by simply reading a book. Athletes don’t become elite competitors after reading about their sport nor do top musicians increase their musical abilities by simply watching other performers play. They also have to practice.
These are the things that mentally strong people will do:
A. They don’t waste time feeling sorry for themselves
We all experience pain and sorrow in life. And although sadness is a normal, healthy emotion, dwelling on your sorrow and misfortune is self-destructive. Do you respond positively to any of the points below?
1. You tend to think your problems are worse than anyone else’s. If it weren’t for bad luck, you’re pretty sure you’d have none at all. Problems seem to add up for you at a much faster rate than anyone else.
2. You’re fairly certain that no one else truly understands how hard your life really is.
3. You sometimes choose to withdraw from leisure activities and social engagements so you can stay home and think about your problems.
4. You’re more likely to tell people what went wrong during your day rather than what went well.
5. You often complain about things not being fair.
6. You struggle to find anything to be grateful for sometimes.
7. You think that other people are blessed with easier lives.
8. You sometimes wonder if the world is out to get you.
STOP FEELING SORRY FOR YOURSELF
Reframing the way you look at a situation isn’t always easy, especially when you’re feeling like the host of your own pity party. Asking yourself the following questions can help change your negative thoughts into more realistic thoughts:
1. What’s another way I could view my situation? This is where the “glass half empty or glass half full” thinking comes in. If you’re looking at it from the glass-half-empty angle, take a moment to think about how someone looking from a glass-half-full perspective might view the same situation.
2. What advice would I give to a loved one who had this problem? Often, we’re better at handing out words of encouragement to other people rather than to ourselves. It’s unlikely you’d say to someone else, “You’ve got the worst life ever. Nothing ever goes right.” Instead, you’d hopefully offer some kind words of assistance such as, “You’ll figure out what to do, and you’ll make it through this. I know you will.” Take your own words of wisdom and apply them to your situation.
3. What evidence do I have that I can get through this? Feeling sorry for ourselves often stems from a lack of confidence in our ability to handle problems. We tend to think that we’ll never get through something. Remind yourself of times when you’ve solved problems and coped with tragedy in the past. Reviewing your skills, support systems, and past experiences can give you an extra boost of confidence that will help you stop feeling sorry for yourself. The more you indulge in thoughts that willfully delude yourself about your situation, the worse you’ll feel.
Common thoughts that lead to feelings of self-pity include things such as:
EXCHANGE SELF-PITY FOR GRATITUDE
Look for those little things in life that you can so easily take for granted and work toward increasing your feelings of gratitude. Here are a few simple habits that can help you focus on what you have to be grateful for:
1. Keep a gratitude journal. Each day write down at least one thing you’re grateful for. It could include being grateful for simple pleasures, like having clean air to breathe or seeing the sun shine, or major blessings like your job or family.
2. Say what you’re grateful for. If you aren’t likely to keep up with writing in a journal, make it a habit to say what you’re grateful for. Find one of life’s gifts to be grateful for each morning when you wake up and each night before you go to sleep. Say the words out loud, even if it’s just to yourself, because hearing the words of gratitude will increase your feelings of gratitude.
3. Change the channel when you’re experiencing self-pity. When you notice that you’re starting to feel sorry for yourself, shift your focus. Don’t allow yourself to continue thinking that life isn’t fair or that life should be different. Instead, sit down and list the people, circumstances, and experiences in life that you can be thankful for. If you keep a journal, refer to it and read it whenever self-pity begins to set in.
4. Ask others what they’re grateful for. Strike up conversations about gratitude to help you discover what other people feel thankful for. Hearing what others feel grateful for can remind you of more areas of your life that deserve gratitude.
5. Teach kids to be grateful. If you’re a parent, teaching your children to be grateful for what they have is one of the best ways to keep your own attitude in check. Make it a habit each day to ask your children what they’re grateful for. Have everyone in the family write down what they’re feeling grateful for and place it in a gratitude jar or hang it on a bulletin board. This will give your family a fun reminder to incorporate gratitude into your daily lives
B. They don’t give away their power
Giving other people the power to control how you think, feel, and behave makes it impossible to be mentally strong. Do any of the points below sound familiar?
Retaining your power is about being confident in who you are and the choices you make, despite the people around you and the circumstances you’re in.
RECLAIM YOUR POWER
Sometimes retaining your power means changing the way you look at the situation. Examples of language that indicates you’re giving away your power include:
TAKING BACK YOUR POWER WILL MAKE YOU STRONGER
When you decide that no one else has the power to control how you feel, you’ll experience empowerment. Here are some other ways how retaining your power will help you become mentally strong:
C. They don’t shy away from change
Although it’s often easy to say you want to change, successfully making a change is hard. Our thoughts and emotions often prevent us from creating behavioral change, even when it will improve our lives. Many people shy away from making changes that can drastically improve their lives. See if any of the following apply to you:
IDENTIFY THE PROS AND CONS OF CHANGING
Create a list of what is good about staying the same and what is bad about staying the same. Then, create a list about the potentially good and bad outcomes of making a change. Don’t simply make your decision based on the sheer number of pros versus cons. Instead, examine the list. Read it over a few times and think about the potential consequences of changing versus staying the same. If you’re still considering change, this exercise can help you move closer to making a decision. There’s no need to change for the sake of change. Moving to a new home, starting a new relationship, or switching jobs aren’t inherently going to increase your mental strength. Instead, it’s important to pay close attention to the reasons why you want to change so you can determine whether the decision is about doing what’s ultimately best for you.
CREATE A SUCCESSFUL PLAN FOR CHANGE
Preparing for the change can be the most important step. Create a plan for how you’ll implement the change and how you’ll stick to it. Once you have a plan in place, then you can implement the behavioral change one small step at a time.
Prepare for making the change with these steps:
D. They don’t foucs on things they cant control
KEEPING EVERYTHING UNDER CONTROL
It feels so safe to have everything under control, but thinking we have the power to always pull the strings can become problematic.
Do you respond positively to any of these points below?
Remind yourself that there’s a lot you can’t control:
When you stop trying to control every aspect of your life, you’ll have more time and energy to devote to things you can control. Here are some of the benefits you’ll experience:
E. They don’t worry about pleasing everyone
When you stop worrying about pleasing everyone and, instead, are willing to be bold enough to live according to your own values, you’ll experience many benefits:
If you’re only doing something to make someone else happy, you’ll struggle to reach your goal. You’ll be motivated to keep up the good work if you’re convinced it’s the best choice for you.
F. They don’t fear taking calculated risks
We face many risks in our lives—financial, physical, emotional, social, and business risks to name a few, but often people avoid taking the risks that could help them reach their full potential because they’re afraid. Do you respond positively to any of the points below?
MINIMIZE RISK MAXIMIZE SUCCESS
The level of risk you’ll experience in a given situation is unique to you. While speaking in front of a group is a risk to some people, it’s not risky at all to others. Ask yourself the following questions to help you calculate your risk level:
1. What are the potential costs? Sometimes the cost of taking a risk is tangible —like the money you might spend on an investment—but other times, intangible costs are associated with risk, like the risk of being rejected.
2. What are the potential benefits? Consider the potential positive outcome of taking the risk. Look at what would happen if the risk turns out well. Do you stand to gain increased finances? Better relationships? Improved health? There needs to be a big enough payoff to outweigh the potential costs.
3. How will this help me achieve my goal? It is important to examine your bigger goals and look at how this risk plays into that goal. For example, if you are hoping to gain more money, look at how opening your own business could help you with that goal as you examine your risk.
4. What are the alternatives? Sometimes we look at risk as if we only have two choices—take the risk or pass it up. But, often, there are many different types of opportunities that can help you reach your goals. It’s important to recognize those alternatives that may lie in between so you can make the most well-informed decision.
5. How good would it be if the best-case scenario came true? Spend some time really thinking about the payoff in a risk and how that payoff could impact your life. Try to develop realistic expectations for how the best-case scenario could benefit you.
6. What is the worst thing that could happen and how could I reduce the risk it will occur? It’s also important to really examine the worst-possible scenario and then think about steps you could take to minimize the risk that it would happen. For example, if you are considering investing in a business, how could you increase your chance for success?
7. How bad would it be if the worst-case scenario did come true? Just like hospitals, cities, and governments have disaster-preparedness plans, it can be helpful to create your own. Develop a plan for how you could respond if the worst-case scenario did occur.
8. How much will this decision matter in five years? To help you keep things in perspective, ask yourself how much this particular risk is likely to impact your future. If it’s a small risk, you probably won’t even remember it a few years from now. If it’s a big risk, it could greatly impact your future.
Monitor the type of risks you’re taking and how you feel about those risks. Also, take note about which opportunities you are passing up. This can help ensure that you are taking the risks that could benefit you the most, even the kind that cause some anxiety. Remember that calculating risks takes practice, but with practice, you can learn and grow.
G. They don’t dwell on past
Sometimes people dwell on the things that happened years ago, while others tend to dwell on whatever happened last week. Do any of these scenarios sound familiar?
Here are some of the ways that dwelling on the past can interfere with your ability to be your best self:
SHIFT YOUR THINKING
Dwelling starts out as a cognitive process, but eventually it influences your emotions and behavior. By shifting the way you think about the past, you can move forward.
Here are some ways to make peace with the past:
H. They don’t make the same mistake over and over
Although we’d like to think we learn from our mistakes the first time around, the truth is, everyone repeats mistakes sometimes.
Do any of the points below sound familiar?
Sometimes we just don’t learn the first time. But there are steps we can take to avoid repeating the unhealthy mistakes that hold us back from reaching our goals.
1. Establish behavior that will replace previous behavior. Instead of drinking alcohol to cope with stress, a person could identify alternative strategies, such as going for a walk or calling a friend. Decide what healthy behavior will help you avoid repeating unhealthy behavior.
2. Identify warning signs that you’re headed down the wrong path again. It’s important to be on the lookout for old behavior patterns that may return. Perhaps you’ll know your spending habits are getting out of control again when you begin putting purchases on credit cards.
3. Find a way to hold yourself accountable. It’ll be more difficult to hide your mistakes or ignore them when you’re being held accountable. Talking to a trusted friend or relative who is willing to hold you accountable and point out your blunders can be helpful. You may also be able to increase the likelihood that you’ll hold yourself accountable by keeping a journal or using a calendar to chart your progress.
4. Practice tolerating discomfort. Whether you’re feeling lonely and you’re tempted to text message that ex who isn’t good for you or you’re craving a sweet treat that will blow your diet, practice tolerating the discomfort. Although people often convince themselves if they “give in just this once” it will help, research shows otherwise. Each time you give in you reduce your self-control.
5. Use positive self-talk. Realistic affirmations can help you resist temptation in moments of weakness. Saying things like “I can do this” or “I’m doing a great job working toward my goals” can help you stay on track.
6. Keep your goals in mind. Focusing on the importance of your goals helps decrease temptations. So if you focus on how good you’ll feel when your car is paid off, you’ll be less tempted to make that purchase that will wreak havoc on the month’s budget.
7. Impose restrictions on yourself. If you know you’re likely to spend too much money when you’re out with friends, only take a small amount of cash with you. Take steps that make it difficult, if not impossible, for you to give in when you’re faced with temptation.
8. Create a list of all the reasons why you don’t want to repeat your mistake. Carry this list with you. When you’re tempted to resort to your previous behavior pattern, read this list to yourself. It can increase your motivation to resist repeating old patterns. For example, create a list of reasons why you should go for a walk after dinner. When you’re tempted to watch TV instead of exercise, read the list and it may increase your motivation to move forward.
I. They don’t resent other people’s success
While jealousy can be described as “I want what you have,” resentment over someone’s success goes further: “I want what you have and I don’t want you to have it.” Fleeting and occasional jealousy is normal. But resentment is unhealthy.
Do any of these statements sound familiar?
CHANGE YOUR ATTITUDE
If you find yourself resenting other people, use these strategies to change your thoughts:
Mindfulness is often used synonymously with meditation, but they’re not exactly the same thing. Mindfulness is about developing an acute awareness of what is happening within the moment without forming judgment. In today’s world we’re tempted to multitask almost every minute of the day. We send text messages while walking the dog, we listen to the radio while we’re cleaning the kitchen, or we try to carry on a conversation with someone while we’re typing on our laptops. Instead of being mindful of what we’re doing, we’re zoned out. Our mind wanders in the midst of a conversation. We can’t remember what we did with our car keys even though we just had them in our hands. And we can’t recall whether we washed our hair already while we’re in the shower.
STEPS TO SIMPLE MEDITATION
In its simplest form, you can perform meditation in just a few easy steps anytime and anywhere.
1. Sit in a Relaxed Position—Find a position that allows you to keep your spine straight, either in a chair or on the floor.
2. Focus on Your Breath—Take deep slow breaths and really feel your breath as you inhale and as you exhale.
3. Return Your Consciousness to Your Breath—Your mind will wander and thoughts will enter your mind. When they do, return your focus to your breathing.
WAYS TO PRACTICE MINDFULNESS
Many different exercises can help you begin practicing mindfulness. The more you practice, the more you’ll become fully aware, and fully awake, throughout all your daily activities. Here are just a few exercises that can help you develop mindfulness: