“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.
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.
We live in a time when we are constantly bombarded with images, ideas and sound bytes that tell us who we should be, could be and ought to be, all pointing to one main message, “You are not enough!” Unless you live in a cave, you can’t escape their massive barrage, and let’s face it, even from a cave you could probably still get text messages.
It’s enough to make your head spin, and throw even the most self-assured person off center. Add in a few difficult life events – a breakup, a job loss, a pay cut – and you could end up with a Hiroshima to your self-confidence.
Unless, that is, you have built up your self-confidence muscles. Just like training for a marathon and building physical muscles, to be a successful, happy and confident person you must work out your mental and emotional muscles regularly.
You wouldn’t go to the gym to start training your physical muscles the day before a marathon, would you? No way! You’d peril on the pavement. So why would the marathon of your life be any different? It’s not.
Put these 7 self-confidence muscle boosting tips into practice daily and you will develop the confidence and conviction that you can do anything… no matter what the outside world is telling you:
1. Stop Worrying About What Others Think, Trust Yourself
You can’t be responsible for how everyone else thinks about how you live your life, so stop worrying about how your family, partner and friends will react to your choices and start getting real about how you feel about your life. Act from what you think is right for you. We always know what the best action is to take for ourselves, when we slow down enough to listen to our inner wisdom. It’s just not always easy to slow down or to trust our intuition. Be committed to trusting yourself, even when it’s scary, and even when others disagree.
2. Become Best Buds with Your Intuition
Inside of you is the best life and decision making compass ever – your intuition. It always communicates what is best for you, but you have to listen, and you have to trust its advice. Just like a best friend, if you’re not calling, it will stop trying to contact you. If you keep asking for advice but don’t take it, it will stop trying to help. Start listening for the communication cues of your intuition – through words you hear, images you see, feelings you have, and things you just know. Act based on what your intuition tells you and you will start to trust yourself more, and build more self-confidence in the process.
3. Know What Makes You Unique
Every person, including you, was born with a set of unique gifts, talents and inclinations that they are naturally good at, more so than the average person. When you find these gifts and use them, your confidence increases. Think Tiger Woods. Born to golf. No matter how much you practiced, you’d never be as great as him; he has a gift. You have gifts too. Ask the people that know you the best, “What are my gifts?” Take notice of the compliments you receive, especially ones you find hard to accept. Make a list of your gifts and start putting time, energy and money there.
4. Know What Makes You Happy
Stop trying to fit into the expectations and ideals that outside forces – society, family, work, friends – have said you ‘should’ be in order to be successful, happy and accepted, and start asking yourself, “What really makes ME happy?” Think about the times that you’ve been happiest. Who were you being? What did you have? What were you doing? Do the same for your most unhappy times. Compare the two to your life today and notice the gaps. Happiness breeds confidence.
5. Have an Opinion and Express It
Know what you believe and don’t be afraid to express it. Confident people have convictions that come from inside. They know their truth and are willing to stand in it, even when what they have to say makes others uncomfortable. Know your truth in all situations and share it with pride and conviction, knowing that your unique voice deserves to be heard just because you’re you.
6. Never Apologize For Being You
Unfortunately the world is full of people, including our inner mean girls and inner bullies, that want to keep us small, playing along and being ‘good’ girls and boys. When you listen to them by apologizing for who you are, or by discounting your contributions, thoughts and feelings, you squash your self-confidence. Be brilliant. Be you. And never apologize for it.
7. Spend Less Time in the Basement, More Time in the Penthouse
We all have emotional triggers, things that evoke an overly strong feeling and reaction – anxiety, anger, worry, shame, despair, fear – especially during times of stress. Your job is to notice when you have one of these ‘basement’ emotions that erode your confidence, and then get yourself back up into the ‘penthouse’ where emotions like trust, peace, love, joy and happiness live. Have your hard emotions, just have them and move on back up to the penthouse, where the view of your life is much better!
We’ve all got our challenges, and I guess one of mine is that I don’t always get enough sleep–which is unhealthy and can also affect my personal level of happiness in a big way.
And, since I know that I’m profoundly normal in this particular aspect of my life, I have put together the following list of tips from the experts on getting more sleep.
1. Quit drinking caffeine after 7 pm in the evening (or three hours before bedtime.) It sounds obvious for most, I’m sure, but I had to include this one because I’m guilty of sipping coffee in the evening hours on a pretty regular basis.
2. Get your exercise. Getting out and moving is not only a great way to increase your happiness in general, but it can significantly improve the quality and quantity of sleep. You’ll feel more like sleeping when you exercise–and you’ll sleep better.
3. Try EFT tapping. EFT stands for Emotional Freedom Technique or Emotional Freedom Therapy (depending on who you ask.) The technique involves a series of acupressure, wherein you tap certain points on your body to create specific effects–including improved sleep, among other things.
4. Try not to eat three hours before bedtime, and especially snacks that involve grains or sugars. Why? Because grains and sugars will raise your blood sugar, giving you lower quality sleep. And, doctors say, when the blood sugar drops later, you could wake up and have trouble falling back asleep.
5. Sleep in darkness. Ok, I admit it, I’m guilty of sleeping with the bathroom light on and the TV tuned to a random sit-com. I could go into the reasons I do this and why it works for me, but that wouldn’t be helping either of us get more sleep. According to researchers, even a small amount of light in your bedroom can disrupt your circadian rhythms, as well as your body’s production of melatonin and serotonin, which help to naturally induce and enhance restorative sleep. So, they recommend, sleep without lights or television (which also stimulates the brain and can reduce your chances of a good night’s sleep.)
So how about you? Do you find yourself giving up sleep to accommodate your busy schedule? What are your top tips for getting more or better sleep? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments section, below!
“The most important single ingredient in the formula of success is knowing how to get along with people.” ~Theodore Roosevelt
I get along with most everyone I meet, but every now and again, I run across people I just can’t seem to “click” with. We’ve all been there–awkward silences, uncomfortable conversations, forced politeness.
It can get worse if you have to see one of these people in your day to day life, too. Say you work with or live next door to someone with whom you don’t seem to have any chemistry. Inevitably, you begin to avoid him or her, even if it means taking the long way back to your desk at work or sneaking in the back door at home.
Why People Don’t Click
There’s no single answer to why you have chemistry with some people but not with others. It can be something as simple as a difference in opinions to something as complicated as an instant, unexplainable dislike–but it’s happened to all of us at one time or another.
Uncommon Knowledge blogger Mark Tyrrell says that people need to have certain basic emotional needs met, and when we can’t satisfy those at least some of those in our interactions, we don’t get along well. Tyrrell says that in order to be happy, we need to have our emotional needs met at least some of the time.
He says our emotional needs include things such as the need to feel safe and secure, giving and receiving attention, a sense of control and status and the need for connection, among others.
We offend people when we “step on” their emotional needs.
“One common way this occurs is by mistakenly assuming that communicating the problem ‘as you see it’ is the only thing to be considered when ‘giving feedback,’” Tyrrell writes. “Anyone can say the words, but it takes thought, practice and skill to deliver unpalatable messages without causing undue hurt.”
So what’s the solution?
While avoiding that person as often as possible can seem like the least painful solution, what happens when you have to deal with that person again, or when the next one comes along?
More awkwardness, discomfort, forced toleration for both parties. More desire to get the heck out of there as quickly as possible every time you are near that person.
I don’t know about you, this doesn’t seem like much of a solution to me. So what’s the answer?
It sounds more complicated than it really is–just learn to get along with (almost) everyone you meet. Try these five tips to get you started.
Ask Questions and Listen to the Answers
One way to make almost anyone more comfortable around you is to ask questions about him, and truly listen and respond to the answers. Depending on how well you know the person, you can ask about family, friends, hobbies, the person’s home or work, pets, children–nearly anything will do.
When we talk about ourselves to someone who seems genuinely interested in what we have to say, we are more likely to feel warmer toward that person.
Accept People for Who They Are
Keep in mind that everyone has her own path to follow. If you focus on the mistakes you think a person makes or the parts of a person’s personality that don’t sit well with you, you’re bound to feel negatively toward her. (On a more selfish note, you’ll also draw more negativity into your own life.)
Next time you find yourself judging someone who is different than you, try changing your perspective a little. Instead of focusing on the things you don’t love about someone, find qualities in her that you do like.
Dole Out Compliments Liberally
Now that you’ve noticed something nice about the person, try telling him about it. Find something, anything to compliment a person on, and you’ve just begun to change his mind about you.
Humans are wired to feel warmth toward people who tell us nice things about ourselves, so use this to your advantage when you’re trying to get along with someone. Compliment him on his clothing or his car or his family values–anything will do. Just be sure it’s a sincerely-delivered, genuine compliment.
Sometimes awkwardness can happen just because a person is shy or nervous around others, and this can sometimes come off like arrogance or even rudeness.
A friend of mine recently told me that after living in her neighborhood for a few years, she noticed that she was never invited to neighborhood parties. Being an extremely shy person, she didn’t mind–until she heard from her next-door neighbor that people thought she was “stuck up” and that they thought she acted like she was “too good” for the other people in the neighborhood.
She considered it a real wake-up call, and started making more of an effort to be friendly and polite to her neighbors. Before long, she found herself being embraced by several of them.
If you’re a little shy, even the smallest gesture can go a long way. Try smiling at someone and meeting their eyes, waving and saying hello or even prepare a few remarks and start up a light conversation using some of the tips mentioned above.
If you’re dealing with a shy person, you can make them more comfortable by being genuinely friendly, but not too pushy. Avoid personal questions and controversial topics–keep the conversation light whenever possible.
Empathy Goes a Long Way
Being empathetic doesn’t just mean feeling sorry for someone when they’re having a bad time–it means understanding and sometimes reflecting back the emotions of the person you’re dealing with.
Actors sometimes use a technique called mirroring, which involves responding to a person’s questions and statements in the same tone of voice and with the same type of emotion they express. While directly mirroring a person’s mannerisms and emotions can seem a little stalker-ish in real life, most of us find ourselves doing it on some level when we’re dealing with someone with whom we’re comfortable.
Think about it–you behave differently with people you work with than you do your closest friends, right? And there’s a difference in how you deal with your children or spouse than there is with your neighbor or the checkout person at the supermarket.
Reaching out to someone this way, even when you don’t click, can make a big difference in how she perceives you. Acknowledging and demonstrating that you understand how she feels is the other side of that coin, and it can be the quickest way to a person’s good side.
So how about you? What are your favorite ways to get along with those people you just don’t click with? Tell me in the comments!
Are you stressed out? Stress is one of the main factors that can negatively affect our mental and physical health. While there are medical treatments to help you deal with the effects of stress, such as sleeping tablets or anti-anxiety medications, these do not usually deal with the real cause of the problem.
Here are ten tips to help you deal with the stress in your life.
1. Discover Your Weak Point.
Learning to recognize your weak point will tell you when you are under too much stress. Some early warning signs include: headaches, tiredness, insomnia, indigestion, diarrhea, irritability, poor memory, crying frequently, or heart palpitations. Consult your doctor if you experience any of these symptoms – if there is no other medical explanation, you may be under too much pressure.
2. Get Rid of Unnecessary Stress.
A good way to find causes of unnecessary stress is through this exercise:
Make a list of all the things you plan to do this week. Put them into two columns – things you plan to do for OTHERS and things you plan to do for YOU. Which list is longer? Then circle your priorities on the list. What can you eliminate from what is left?
3. Show Your Emotions.
Many people are afraid to express sadness or anger because they believe it makes them appear vulnerable. However, holding in your emotions will only cause you more long-term stress. Cry when you feel sad, even if it’s just for a romantic movie. Laugh when you’re happy. Even smiling can do wonders to improve your outlook.
4. Organize Your Life
Perhaps you feel constantly stressed out because you’re not sure of what will happen next, or you worry about forgetting things. Try using a day planner. You can write things down and know that they will be there to remind you to plan ahead. At the beginning of each week, you can look at the week ahead and prepare.
5. Value Yourself.
Do you worry about what others think of you? Do you think you need to go out of your way to be appreciated? You are probably more valued than you think. Try making a list of all the skills you have and all the things you are good at. Or you could make a list of positive adjectives to describe yourself. It will also help to spend some time with friends and loved ones – they are the people who value the most and can help you realize how wonderful you truly are.
6. Don’t Be Bored.
Do you have any hobbies? Is there something that you have always wanted to do but haven’t given a try? Discovering a new hobby can be a way to relieve the stress in your life. You may even consider volunteering with non-profit organization – making a difference in others’ lives can be incredibly fulfilling.
7. Learn to Relax.
A great thing to do after a stressful day at work is to simply relax. Sit or lay down in a comfy place and close your eyes. Imagine you are someplace peaceful, such as a grassy meadow or a beach. Try to feel yourself there –think of the sun on your face and the sounds of nature around you. You may even try relaxing one part of your body at a time, starting with your feet and gradually moving to the top of your head. Just 15 minutes of total relaxation will benefit your mind and body.
8. Stop Worrying.
If you feel stressed out because you worry frequently, you could try letting them out. Write them down as a list or in a journal. This may help you think about WHY you worry about these things and what you can possibly do to stop worrying.
9. Go on Vacation.
Some people go years without taking a vacation. If that’s you, then now is the perfect time to get away. Even a 4-day weekend can do wonders to take your mind away from the stress around you. You’ll come back refreshed and revitalized.
10. Do Nothing.
Seriously. Many people, especially Americans, feel stressed because they are constantly on the go. There is nothing wrong with “doing nothing” every once in a while. It’s a great way to clear your mind of all that stress.
About the Author
Patricia Duggan has a Masters in Psychology and has been practicing for 11 years. She maintains the site Psychology Degree Guide. She writes about various subjects within the psychology field.