How to Get Over a Painful Past and Finally Be Happy

How to Get Over a Painful Past and Finally Be Happy

“Drag your thoughts away from your troubles… by the ears, by the heels, or any other way you can manage it.” ~Mark Twain

Everyone has something (or someone) in their past that they’d just rather forget–but as everyone knows, sometimes that’s a little easier said than done.

Yet, as we focus on obtaining our ultimate personal fulfillment, we know that focusing on those negative things or people from our past is doing nothing but keeping us from obtaining our true divine desires.

When we focus on the things we don’t want in our own lives, we draw more of those things toward us–and then we may not remember to focus on the things we DO want. This leaves us unhappy and unfulfilled, living with a general sense of dissatisfaction and we’re left wondering what we’re doing wrong.

The law of attraction doesn’t discriminate–it’s very simple. What you think about, you bring about. So, if you think about how exceptionally awesome your life is–then you’ll draw more reasons for exceptional awesomeness into your life.

On the other hand, if you think about how much your life sucks–then you’ll soon find many more reasons for the suck factor.

I know, this is all very basic and may seem far too simple, especially when you throw whole “we’re all human” thing into the mix.  After all, we don’t always control the external factors, the little reminders in our everyday lives that trigger thoughts of the negative things or people in our pasts.

So what is a positive-thinking person to do?

Take an Honest Look at Yourself

“If things go wrong, don’t go with them.”  ~Roger Babson

First things first, it’s important to be aware of the problem. So, if you are always thinking about, say, that job you got fired from, you need to begin to be conscious of your internal dialogue–keep an “ear” on your thoughts. And the next time you think about that job, mentally “cancel” that thought and replace it with an affirmation of what you REALLY want.

So, for example, if what you really want is a new, high-paying and secure job that you enjoy, then you might tell yourself something like, “I work for ____. My job is secure and fun, and I make $_____ per ______.”

Take the Good, Leave the Bad

“Oh, my friend, it’s not what they take away from you that counts.  It’s what you do with what you have left.”  ~Hubert Humphrey

In almost every situation, there can be a positive. Using the example of the lost job, you could probably come up with at least one good thing that happened as a result of working there. Maybe you made a new friend, learned a good lesson or made enough money to send your kid to college.

If your negative thoughts revolve more around a past personal relationship, take the love, lessons and happy parts of that relationship and forget about the rest. That doesn’t mean that you have to get involved with that person in the present, but it means that you can move forward without the negative baggage “the rest” brings with it.

Keep the “good stuff” from your past and let the rest of it go. Again, this can be achieved through “thought replacement.” So, if you’re thinking about that ex who dumped you for no good reason, remind yourself of the things that you liked about the relationship with that person. Smile, give yourself a minute to reminisce, and then replace thoughts of that person with an affirmation of what you want today. Maybe something like “I am so very grateful for the healthy and fulfilling relationships in my life.” It takes some practice, but it works.

Don’t Worry–It Won’t Help

“Worry never robs tomorrow of its sorrow, it only saps today of its joy.”  ~Leo Buscaglia

You get where I’m going with this, right? The bottom line here is that focusing on negative things–worrying and upsetting yourself–will do you no good. In fact, these negative thoughts can actually cause harm by drawing more negativity into your life.

Worrying never solved anything, so why should you sit around feeling bad? Choose to feel good instead, choose to think and feel positive things–and watch as you begin to manifest the life you’ve always wanted.

How are you going to choose to feel today?

 

How to Get Over a Painful Past and Finally Be Happy

Bliss Mission: 7 Ways to Be More Productive

First Meeting“Once you have mastered time, you will understand how true it is that most people overestimate what they can accomplish in a year – and underestimate what they can achieve in a decade!” ~Tony Robbins

Being productive feels good. On those days that I manage to do all the things on my excessively long to-do list, I just feel amazing. But then, there are those days where I don’t quite hit the mark, and I find myself feeling less than stellar.

(Insider Tip: You can learn to use feng shui principles to increase your productivity when you sign up for Feng Shui Fest–it’s FREE!)

I love my work, and though I occasionally have a tendency to take on too much, I still keep plugging–most days. And then, there are those days where I just feel like I can’t get anything done. What about you?

Do you ever feel like your productivity level is slipping a bit?

Maybe you thought you’d get four projects done today, but you completed only two. You ask yourself where the time goes and you’ve noticed you’re feeling disappointed in yourself and how you perform at work or at home.

Don’t worry, you’re not alone–this is all part of being human. But there are some simple things you can do to increase your efficiency and get more out of your life.

Hit the ground running. Be ready to go to work as soon as you arrive, whether you’re commuting an hour to your corporate job or 10 steps to a home office.

Using the example of work, visualize yourself on the way into the office, and then think about what it’s going to be like when you get there. Do you have three large stacks of paperwork to do? Articles to write, research to do? Phone calls to return?

Think about what you’ll do first. Perhaps you can complete that project you started last Friday with just a couple more hours of work. Put your mind ahead of your body’s arrival so you can get started quickly.

Learn to anticipate. When you consider what will be happening next, you’ll be ready to meet whatever challenge is occurring at the time.

For example, at home, you might think, “I know the kids will be hungry for a snack. I’ll get out that fruit salad from yesterday and give them glasses of juice right away so I can get to the laundry.”

Anticipate what might happen, and have a plan.

Develop a method of keeping track of tasks that works for you. Whether it’s speaking your list into your smartphone, jotting down things to do in your calendar, or carrying a spiral notebook, having a running list to look at or listen to will help you get more things done.

For me, it’s all about Google Calendar–I can have multiple, color-coded calendars in one, and I can share various calendars with various parties. In my case, I have a personal calendar as well as various work/editorial calendars, among others. All sync to my phone, and for the really important stuff, I set reminders to help me remember–sometimes several.

Whichever method you choose, be sure it’s convenient and works for you. Having some way to check-off items is helpful so you can tell at a glance which tasks you’ve completed and which ones remain–this also increases your sense of accomplishment and can help encourage you to keep on keeping on.

If you don’t already have a calendar or task manager tool in place, try a couple of methods until you find the list that’s easiest for you to use. There’s no one-size-fits-all solution here. Just find something that fits in your life and go with it.

Politely tell others you don’t “have a minute.” If you’re at work and people stop by your office to chat, feel free to say, “I’m sorry. I can’t talk right now but I’d love to have lunch today and hear more about this.”

When you don’t allow yourself to be interrupted, you can get a lot more done. Plus, others learn to avoid interrupting your work time.

On that same note, remember that you are not Superman or Superwoman, and that you have the right to say no, sometimes. For example, in my case, I might need to push back a deadline or explain that my schedule is too full to be on that committee or to plan that party.

I’m not going to lie. This one is hard for me. I find myself saying yes and just “making stuff happen.” But at times, this attitude makes my life more difficult in a number of ways, including lack of sleep, lack of personal time and more.

So sometimes, we all have to be strong and explain that we just don’t have time–and if possible, we can offer alternative options, but if not, we just have to politely say no.

Keep meetings brief. If you’re in a position to have control over meetings at work, make a goal to meet for 30 minutes max. If you go into a meeting with a written agenda, you’ll be ready to cover your points quickly.

Personally, I have a weekly meeting with my team at Scrubs & Suits. We always try to come in with an agenda, and since we’re a creative and inspired bunch, we have a tendency to get off-track and the  meetings can run long. But when I remind everyone early in the meeting that we are limited to a certain period of time, we manage to stay on track a bit more effectively.

So, when you’re leading a meeting, involve the group in helping to manage the time. And, if you’re not leading but you’re attending the meeting,  you can do your part by helping the group to stay focused.

Reinforce your efforts to achieve. Praise yourself each day. Maybe you completed a work project you’ve been working on for several weeks or cooked a great meal for friends and family.

Recognize the efforts you make to complete tasks. You deserve it, and you’re worth it–and you don’t need to wait for others to notice. Celebrate yourself, and stay positive about your efforts and achievements.

Allow yourself plenty of time in the morning. If you need an hour to shower, have breakfast and get your task list written for the day, then get up early enough to have your full hour.

When you respect your own needs, you’ll be better emotionally prepared to get things accomplished–and you’ll feel better when you make the effort to present the best possible version of yourself to the world around you.

And if you work at home, don’t think you’re exempt from this idea. You should still get up every morning (most mornings, anyway) and get ready as you would if you worked in an office–whether you’re a stay-at-home parent or you work from your home office, something about “getting ready for work” will change your mindset and help to increase your productivity levels (and you won’t have to hide when the UPS guy shows up.)

So, how about you? What are your best tips for increasing productivity and eliminating procrastination from  your life? Let’s discuss! Share your thoughts in the comments section, below.

 

How to Get Over a Painful Past and Finally Be Happy

Bliss Mission: Hope for the Best

Humans are unique from other creatures in that we have the ability to reason, and the ability to HOPE. Hope is what keeps us going and moving toward the future.

It’s the ability to believe in the good things in the world. It’s the ability to know that you will prevail over adversity.

Every one of us has found ourselves lacking hope at some time in our lives. And in some of the most difficult conditions, who could blame us?

Even so, the gift of reason tells us that a person without hope is a person without life.

Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “If you lose hope, somehow you lose the vitality that keeps life moving, you lose that courage to be, that quality that helps you go on in spite of it all. And so today I still have a dream.”

With this in mind, how can we cope when we find ourselves feeling hopeless? It’s simply not possible to create personal change in our lives while remaining in this state.

It’s Not Rocket Science, But It Takes Practice

Creating personal change that leads to your own personal bliss can actually be pretty painless. As it turns out, when you take the road that makes you feel good, you’re more likely to be happy and to succeed in your goals.

And don’t forget these important tips.

  • Creating hope in your life can begin with simple affirmations. You can try adding one to your daily routine, something like “All good things are coming to me today” or “I see beauty around me and within me” or “The order of every day is happiness.”
  • Another way to change your outlook is to get some exercise. Play the Wii with your kids or go for an after dinner walk. Dance with the baby or your husband. Move your body and have fun with it.
  • Be aware of your body. If you’re not eating right or sleeping enough, depression can set in.
  • It’s all about your perspective. If you consistently beat yourself up with negativity, you will lose hope. If you focus on positive things and change your perspective, you will find hope seeping into every area of your life.

Give these things a try. Even one small change can bring you one step closer to creating the personal change you desire in your life.

I leave you with one final thought from Winston Churchill.

“The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.”

 

How to Get Over a Painful Past and Finally Be Happy

How to Stop Feeling Like You’re Not Good Enough, Part 2

 It took me a long time not to judge myself through someone else’s eyes.  ~Sally Field

As I was checking my email today, I received a notification that a new comment had arrived on a post I did on this blog about how to stop feeling like you’re not good enough. This comment touched me so deeply that I felt the need to reach out to the commenter, Kate, and anyone else in her position.

Kate wrote:

I have been doing what that article recommends. Unfortunately, I’m feeling even more inferior every time. It is getting worse, day by day.

Now what?

The first thing I want Kate to know is that she’s not alone. According to Dr. Joe Rubino, approximately 85% of people have experienced feelings of inferiority at some time in their lives. That’s nearly EVERYONE. I realize that doesn’t make it all better, but sometimes just knowing you’re not alone can help one begin the healing process.

And, for Kate and anyone who feels like they’re not good enough, I’d like to offer a few more suggestions, in addition to the ones made in this post.

Remember That You Are Freaking Fabulous

If you hear a voice within you say “you cannot paint,” then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.  ~Vincent Van Gogh

Often times, when we feel like we’re not good enough, we are focusing on all of the things we think are ‘wrong’ with us. We worry that people won’t like us, or that they’ll think bad things about us. We feel like we don’t look good enough, that we’re not smart enough, that we’re just generally terrible people.

But what does this get us? More reasons to feel crappy about ourselves. So, I propose that we start focusing on the things we like about ourselves, the things that make us proud. Maybe you’re a good painter, or you can cook a perfect souffle, or you’ve never met an animal who doesn’t love you. Perhaps you have a beautiful smile, sparkling eyes or a great pair of legs. There is something special about every single person on the planet, and you’re no exception.

Sit down with a piece of paper and write down at least ten GOOD things about you. Write down things you love about your body (it gets you from point A to B, for example!), things you love about your personality (that sparkling wit of yours, maybe) and things you love about your life in general (you have good friends or a close-knit family, a roof over your head, etc.)

Then spend a few minutes feeling grateful for each thing on that list. Gratitude is a powerful tool, and when you focus and are grateful for the things you love in life, you draw more things to love into your life.

And Speaking of Gratitude

If a fellow isn’t thankful for what he’s got, he isn’t likely to be thankful for what he’s going to get.  ~Frank A. Clark

Start a gratitude journal. You can even create a private blog for your gratitude journal, if you like. That’s what I did, since as a writer, I’m nearly always near a computer. Try to write in it each day. It doesn’t have to be fancy or complicated–just start each entry by saying “Today, I am so very grateful for…” and let it flow.

At first, it will feel a little awkward, but once you get going, it’ll flow like water. If you have trouble thinking of things to be grateful for, why not start with the fact that you woke up today and work from there. You can be grateful for your health, your senses, your friends and family, your home, your ability to read–the list goes on and on.

This practice alone can significantly improve your general outlook on life. And, as a nice little side effect, it can help to improve your self-esteem and feelings of self-worth. It works because as you spend more time focusing on the good things in your life and less time focusing on the things you want to change, the law of attraction works in your favor, bringing more reasons to feel good into your life.

Follow a Passion

“The more intensely we feel about an idea or a goal, the more assuredly the idea, buried deep in our subconscious, will direct us along the path to its fulfillment.”~Earl Nightingale

Everyone has some thing or activity in their lives that they’re passionate about. For me, it’s writing. I have always known that I wanted to be a writer, and have followed that passion on some level for most of my life. The years I spent scribbling into a journal between meetings and writing corporate publications for the companies I worked for were a little tough, but I survived and lived to have the opportunity to follow my passion full-time.

One friend of mine  is passionate about helping animals. She blogs about animals, volunteers for the Humane Society and helps raise funds for animal rights and assistance groups. Another friend is passionate about helping kids–and after getting her Masters Degree in Social Work, she has become a school social worker. Both are very happy in their lives.

While you may not have the option to “quit your day job” right now, there’s nothing stopping you from finding and following your passion on the side. Maybe you’ve always wanted to be a fashion designer. You could start by doing some research and taking some classes. If you already know how to design patterns and sew, why not start making clothes? You can set up a cheap or free website and start selling.

Nothing wrong with starting small–just do SOMETHING to follow your passion, anything at all.  Give yourself permission to call yourself a fashion designer (or writer, or artist, or actor, or astronaut, or whatever you want to be.) And then go and do, be and have what you want!

Studies show that people who follow their passions, whether in their careers or just as a hobby, are significantly happier than people who don’t.

Judge Not

“The secret of attraction is to love yourself. Attractive people judge neither themselves nor others. They are open to gestures of love. They think about love, and express their love in every action. They know that love is not a mere sentiment, but the ultimate truth at the heart of the universe.” ~Deepak Chopra

Most people unconsciously judge others. It’s human nature, and it doesn’t make you a bad person–but it might make you feel like one. When you are focusing, consciously or otherwise, on the faults in other people, you’re going to be more likely to see them in yourself too. The best way to change this pattern is to begin intentionally finding something good in every single person you meet.

So, for every person in your life and every person you meet, find at least one thing about them that makes them special. And be free with the compliments. Even if you barely know a person, you can find SOMETHING to compliment them about–and not only will you make their day, you’ll walk away feeling good about yourself too. Remember, what you put out into the world is what comes back to you. So if you’re walking around finding good and beautiful things and sharing the love by freely passing out compliments? You’ll find that you’re attracting the same back to yourself–beauty, love, compliments–and ultimately, a renewed sense of self.

To Kate

A successful person is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks that others throw at him or her.  ~David Brinkley

I hope that these suggestions help you as you move into a new place of peace and self worth. Know that you are worthy, you are special and you are an amazing person. Even (and especially) when you feel at your lowest, try to change your perception and see the beauty and good things all around you. Be grateful for your life, for your SELF, and for all of the good things in your life.

I have been where you are, Kate, and I know the pain and despair that comes with feeling like you’re not good enough. Nearly every person alive has felt just like you feel now. The trick is to decide that you don’t WANT to feel that way any more, and to start taking action to change it. And then, Kate, you have to BELIEVE that you can have the life you want. Believe it and trust that its yours, and watch as your life begins to transform itself to match your true divine desires. Keep your eye on the prize, my friend, it can and will get better!

And to the rest of my readers, have you ever felt like Kate feels? What sort of advice would you offer to a friend in her situation? Let me know in the comments.

 

 

 

Do you feel like you’re not good enough?

Do you feel like you’re not good enough?

So Far... The Best of Sinéad O'ConnorWhen I first started I didn’t think I deserved [fan acclaim] — which is why I did things like refuse awards. I felt then that anybody who loved me must be mental and was not to be trusted… I didn’t believe in myself [before] and now I do, so I can accept other people believing in me or liking what I do.” ~Sinead O’Connor

I was checking Google Analytics the other day for this site, and found that someone had found it by typing in “I feel like I’m not good enough.”

It stopped me in my tracks. Suddenly, the numbers didn’t matter anymore.

I connected for a moment with the person who felt sad and alone, but hopeful enough to reach out for help. I hope that person found something here that helped her find peace, maybe some small phrase or idea that sticks with her and makes a difference in her perception.

I have been there. I have felt just like that–as I’m sure many of you have. In fact, one of the reasons I write this blog is because I have been there and because I want to help people who are there now. I have learned how to change my perception, how to change my life…and I’m creating the life I want.

Don’t get me wrong, there have been bumps along the way, and no one is perfect. But the difference today is that now, when I feel down, depressed or angry, I am able to move past it and go on with the business of being happy. I have programmed myself to notice when I’m headed down the wrong road, and to change my mind–which has me on the fast track to having the life I want.

How do you stop feeling ‘not good enough?’

So, how does it work? How do you move past feelings of inferiority? What do you do when you feel like you’re not good enough?

Identify the Source

Why do you feel that way? Something has happened in your life to cause you to take on the belief that you’re not good enough. Did a parent, teacher or friend constantly berate you as a child? Or maybe your parents wanted you to succeed so badly that they pushed you in a direction you didn’t want to go? Do you have a superstar sibling who was always in the spotlight, leaving you to wonder why no one noticed you? Maybe there was a lover or partner who rejected you or belittled you too often?

Take a moment to think about it. Who or what gave you the impression that you weren’t good enough or that you were somehow inferior to others?

Choose Your Perception

Now that you’ve identified the event or situation that first caused feelings of inferiority in your life, it’s time to decide how you want to perceive it. Let’s say your parents were especially hard on you as a child. Maybe nothing you ever said or did seemed to be good enough–and all you ever wanted was their approval.

You could choose to feel like a broken, beaten down victim if you wanted. You could carry that feeling of sadness and desperation with you throughout your life, and you could attract more of it into your world.

Or, you could decide that you don’t accept their negativity, and you could change your perception. You can decide how to feel, and the more you focus on feeling good and being happy, the more reasons you’ll find to feel good and be happy.

How does changing your perception help?

Here’s the deal. When you feel inferior and you focus (intentionally or otherwise) on feeling sorry for yourself, and on thinking that you’re not good enough, then you create a reality in which those negative feelings and situations thrive. By always worrying about (AKA focusing on) the things you don’t want, you draw more of the things you don’t want into your life.

So, if you want to feel good about yourself and know that you deserve every good thing that comes your way, you have to first decide to change your mind. And then? You just fake it ’til you make it.

How do you fake it until you make it?

Begin by coming up with a simple mantra. For example, you might use “I am a beautiful person with amazing self-confidence” or “I am strong and intelligent and I deserve the best.”

Then, make a point of noticing when you have negative thoughts about yourself or other people or situations in your life. (It will seem forced at first, but quickly becomes second nature.)

When you notice those thoughts, mentally “cancel” them and recite your mantra (out loud or in your head.) The simple act of “changing your mind” might feel a little “fake” at first, but stick with it. Soon enough, you’ll find that it becomes natural, and then one day, you’ll truly realize that you are, in fact, good enough. Not only that, but you’ll realize that you’re pretty freaking awesome. You’ll realize that you like yourself, and before you know it, you’ll realize that other people like you too.

What does it mean to love yourself?

You have to love yourself! Don’t just say it. Do it – actually love yourself. No matter if you feel silly or self-indulgent. The only reason you’d feel that way is if you felt you didn’t deserve to have good things and people and situations in your life.

You must recognize that you DO deserve good things, you DO deserve to be happy. And by ACTUALLY loving yourself, you can begin to truly embrace the things and people and situations that you want in your life

“Love yourself first and everything else falls into line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world.” ~ Lucille Ball

Be nice to yourself. Treat yourself like someone who is treasured and deserving of everything you want. Treat yourself like someone you love–because if you can’t love yourself first, you won’t let anyone else love you either. Love begets love, my friends.

Buy yourself little gifts, allow yourself little luxuries and remember that you are just as important as every other person in the world. You matter. YOU are important. Treat yourself like someone who deserves the very best, and as your light begins to shine, watch as others begin to treat you that way too.

How do you remind yourself that you are completely amazing? How about reminding yourself that you deserve to have good things, people, and situations in your life?

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