How To Practice Optimism

Thinking More Positively

Is your glass half empty or half full? Perhaps one of the most cliché questions one could ask. However, the answer to this question is typically indicative of one’s greater outlook on his or her entire life. Studies have shown that both pessimism and optimism are each linked to opposite ends of the health and well-being spectrum wherein positive thinking is linked to better health, productivity, and an overall better quality of life.

Back in June, I discussed the challenges and strategies for finding happiness in your life. If you wish to read through that post as well, see blog post: How to Find Your Own Happiness.

This week, I wish to share with you my top 5 tips to encourage a more optimistic perspective in your day-to-day life. As always, the audio version for this post can be found on SoundCloud, iTunes, or Google Play.

1. Guide Your Energy

Guiding energy was discussed in July’s post: How To Use Flow To Get The Results You Want on the Law of Attraction. The idea is that our thoughts all operate at a certain frequency/vibration that attracts similar frequencies back into our lives. Many philosophers over time have theorized that how you think will create the energy in your life. Long story short, negative energy attracts negative results. Use the power of positive thinking to guide your energy towards yielding more positive results in your day-to-day.

2. Stop the Negative Self Talk

What is self talk? Self talk is the ongoing stream of unspoken conversation running through your head.  These conversations can be positive or negative.

Negative self talk can not only negatively impact our mood, it can also impact our perspective; making small problems large, and even creating problems where none existed. The more positive self talk you practice, the more positive your perspective becomes, but how?

  1. Figure out the areas you typically approach most negatively (work, relationships, etc.) and focus on the positive attributes of them.
  2. Check in periodically with yourself throughout your day to assure your thoughts are positive. If they aren’t, focus on spinning them the other way.
  3. Don’t say anything to yourself you wouldn’t say to others. When negative thoughts about yourself enter your mind remind yourself of your most shining attributes.

3. Create a Vision

Visualization and the power of the mind is the secret behind success. Studies have shown that visualization is one of the most powerful techniques to achieving what you want in life. Before you are able to believe in a goal, you  must have an idea of what it looks like. This is where your vision comes into play.

Where is it that you want to be? What is it that you want to feel? Through visualizing your potential future, you will become motivated and prepared to make the moves needed towards them. This tactic is not a gimmick, rather a performance enhancement technique that when executed properly can yield excellent results. Choose to focus on the outcomes of your goals and the results will expand into the rest of your life.

4. Seek Inspiration

Inspiration is in abundance these days (think movies, books, podcasts, YouTube videos) Find whatever works for you! Seek resources that will reaffirm the vision for your life that you have created, and incorporate those into your regular routine. By watching and listening to others succeed in the areas you wish to as well, the idea that you too can succeed will become reaffirmed within you.

5. Focus on Resiliency

Optimism does not mean you need to act oblivious and ignore life’s more unpleasant situations. It simply means that when faced with misfortune, you actively choose to approach it in productive and positive way. Positive people develop a mental capacity that allows them to adapt with ease during adversity.

Focus your energy on being adaptable, accepting, and grateful of these difficulties. Learn to cope with the realities and challenges of life trusting that things will work out eventually. Optimism through adversity will certainly yield more pleasurable results than the alternative.

Choose optimism, it feels better.

How to Choose Yourself

3 Step Guide to Trusting Your Own Decisions

There are billions of people in this world, each with their own opinions, backgrounds, and world views. The only way for you to please them all – if such a thing were possible – is by being inauthentic towards yourself, but I am here to encourage you instead to stand in your own truth.

You are the only person you can truly know through and through – your own thoughts and your own reactions. You are the only accurate compass you have to navigate through this world. This means your cannot and should not navigate your decisions based on what other people need. The only thing you are responsible for in this life is your intention, not your reception. You can control what you put out into the world, but not how people receive or react to it.

By being too afraid to stand strong in your beliefs, you are subconsciously telling yourself that the opinion of others is more important than your own happiness. Being firm in what you believe in is a way of making the commitment to yourself to love you above all else, and I urge you to do it now.

As always you can find the audio version of this podcast on iTunes, SoundCloud, and Google Play.

1. Trust What Your Body Tells You

When something isn’t right for you, no matter how you try to justify it, your body knows. Have you ever made a decision that just didn’t sit quite right in your gut? I bet you felt heavy, restricted, and doubtful; yet you forced yourself to believe otherwise and carry on. Learning to understand this instinct is one, but learning to trust it is another. Your body never lies, so pay attention.

Choosing to be vocal about how we really feel can be difficult because people may disagree. It is okay to feel sad if those you care about don’t agree with your decision, but be careful of the choices you make at that time. Trust your decision and stay in that uncomfortable place. I promise you it will pass. Those who truly love and respect you will come around to recognize that you are standing in your own truth. While it may not be easy, I assure you it will be worth it.

2. Make Feeling Good a Priority

In the high demand world we live in, it is all too easy to ignore our body’s signals in order to take care of everyone else’s needs. Stop worrying about what other people are feeling for a minute, and learn to test things against your own body’s compass. What feels good for you? This is your life and you should be your number one priority. Listen to your body, and act accordingly; guilt free.

Make sure that you are showing others that you matter to you, as much as you matter to them. Lead by example. Teach others to value and care for themselves by adopting that into your lifestyle.

3. Focus on the Present

Dwelling on the past, and stressing about the future are both pointless as you cannot change either. Successful people are successful because they understand the importance of the now. Not only do they choose themselves, but they focus on the actions necessary now to get them where they want to be later. Moving forward is always going to get you forward no matter how slow you are moving. You just need to figure out how  you are going to move.

Choosing yourself is not selfish; in fact it is the only way you can thrive in this world.

How to Strengthen Your Intuition

Self-Guided Happiness

Intuition: the instinct and ability to acquire knowledge without conscious reasoning. It is the act of knowing something without knowing why or how you know it. While traditional science doesn’t recognize intuition as “a thing”, it can most certainly be honed in on and utilized as a tool to achieve the results you seek.

Intuition allows you to live a beautiful life. A life full of joy. We are often so hard on ourselves thinking if we make the wrong decision it will be awful! I encourage you to think less and receive more – if you make a bad decision you can learn how to follow your intuition to a better place.

Intuition is gentle guidance, it is never urgent or pushy and it doesn’t tell you what you can and cannot do. Instead it serves as a quiet confidence; if you follow it your soul will feel good, but there is no timeline to do so. Finding and using your intuition is the act of discovering your purpose and acting on it.

Society may pressure you to build a lifestyle in a particular way, but you don’t have to do that. Find your intuition and enable it to weave your passions into your life and your work. While choosing the path that feels most true to who you are and where you want to go may not always be clear, learning how to move through that process will lead to clarity and confidence in making future decisions to get where you want to go.

This week I have two very simple tips for you to tap into that intuitive feeling. As always you can find the audio versions of this post on iTunes, Google Play, or SoundCloud.

Find Inspiration

What is it that inspires you? Sometimes life can become so muddled and messy that it can be difficult to remember the simple joys. When you find yourself in a rut, find another source of inspiration and go back to what you love (e.g. cooking, art, meditation, gardening, watching a favourite TV show, etc.). Do whatever brings you joy.

Understand your triggers that will put you into a negative or unproductive state. Learn toin develop a “toolbox” of activities you can go to when you are approaching a this state. Learning to tap into your mind and understand what it is that makes you feel good, whether you realize it or not, is a way of tapping into your intuition.

Practice

Give yourself the opportunity to make intuitive decisions. Listen to how you really feel about what you want to do/eat/see.

Consider this example. Every day you wake up and you eat the same thing for breakfast – let’s say a bowl of cereal. I encourage you tomorrow to instead wake up and rather than reverting to this habit think to yourself, “What do I want for breakfast?”. If it’s cereal, great. However, I trust if you really listen you may discover another answer; maybe it’s toast, fruit, eggs, or oatmeal. As silly or simple as it may sound this is an easy way of training your brain to trust your intuition.

You need to afford yourself the opportunity to follow that gut feeling. We often ignore this feeling in fear of the “what if’s” and the comfort in sticking with the status quo, but in practicing over time to trust you heart in decisions for smaller events (i.e. breakfast), you will build the confidence in your intuition enough to make larger more life impacting decisions later on.

Learn to stand in your truth. Let your heart lead and use your head (logic) to formulate the plan. 

 

How to Cultivate Compassion

compassion

Whether or not we choose to acknowledge it, we are each on our own journey through life in the pursuit of happiness be it whatever form that may choose to manifest itself; either for ourselves or for others. Human nature is to feel good when expressing love and care for other humans, and to feel even better when those same feelings are reciprocated back to us. Humans have a natural capacity to provide and express compassion. However, day-to-day factors such as stress, social pressures, and life experiences/filters can suppress this capacity.

Practicing compassion not only helps to lower your cortisol levels (see post here on the negative impacts of cortisol), but will also serve to help you attract happier people into your life. When you are happy, the people around you are happy and so, cultivating a sense of compassion can serve as a highly effective tool in achieving the happiness you seek. By incorporating just three simple changes into your everyday life, you can begin to cultivate compassion in your life effortlessly.

Feel free to listen to the audio version of this post on iTunes, Google Play, or SoundCloud.

Give Back

Too often does it occur that we conceive a way in which we would love to help someone, but fail to act upon this idea. I encourage you each and every day to act on your impulse to express your kindness; no matter how big or small. Practice doing something small each day to help end the suffering of others, even in a tiny way. It can be something as simple as a smile, a kind word, doing an errand or chore, or just talking about a problem with another person.

When you live to serve others in a way that affords them strength, guidance, or direction in their life with no expectation of a return, you will soon come to realize that the gift of having that ability to provide in the first place was really your greatest asset all along. I promise it will feel good.

Seek Commonalities

Another common barrier preventing our innate ability to practice compassion is judgement. It is important that while every individual’s journey through life is different, we all experience a life that is hard and are making the best effort to do what we can with the tools we have. So, relax your judgements.

At the end of the day, we are all human – we all need food, water, shelter, and love. We crave attention (whether we admit it or not) and seek recognition when we do something… anything… big or small. Reflect more on these commonalities and less on what sets you apart; In recognizing we are each one in the same, compassion will naturally flow for the needs with which you can connect.

Mindful and Get Your Emotions in Check

Lastly, understand that you cannot properly help someone if you aren’t in a good place to start. Just as in the theory that an abused child turns into an abuser, inner turmoil can in turn inflict outer turmoil unintentionally when trying to express compassion from an unstable place. In order to serve others, you need to first work through your own emotions and difficulties to be able to connect with good intentions. When you do the work to heal your psyche and connect with yourself, compassion becomes a natural by-product

At the end of each day think about the people you met and talked to, and how you treated each other. Think about your goal to act with compassion towards others. Reflecting on your actions will allow you to move your best foot forward tomorrow, the next day, and so on

  1. How well did you do?
  2. What could you do better?
  3. What did you learn from your experiences today?

When you start to utilize these tools to practice compassion more and more in your day to day life, I can promise you that you will begin to see and feel a positive difference emotionally, physically, and spiritually.

No one has ever felt bad for improving someone else’s life.

How to Create Your Confidence

Confidence – a concept that is seemingly easy and natural for some, but a struggle for many.

While we some believe that confidence is an ability that you are born with, I like to think that over time it is an ability that has evolved and developed. From childhood to adulthood your confidence has taken hits – that person you thought liked you didn’t, you didn’t get the job for the interview you thought you aced, person x told you that person y was prettier and so on – over time particularly with the rise of social media, you have become hyper aware of the negative things about yourself that society is telling you, you need to change – Well, what if I told you that all of that is completely bogus, and that your confidence is in your control?

Each day you wake up you have a picture of yourself in your mind; some days are good, while other days are not so much.  Whether you realize it or not, that mental image is what determines the level of confidence you emit into the world. When you feel good about yourself, you radiate; when you don’t, you tend to hide away. The important key is to develop that awareness that can recognize you are never going to be stuck with where you are currently at forever. The action of being confident is in your control, practicing this alongside a few other simple tips is the first step to gaining and exuding the confidence you deserve.

As always, you can find the audio version of this post on iTunes, Google Play, or SoundCloud.

Take Control

The first step in taking the initiative to build your confidence is to recognize that your attitude is ultimately in your control. Once you come to realize and accept this as fact, you then need to take the steps to change it. Back in May I did a post about taking control in all aspects of your life [not just confidence], you can find that here.

By accepting that you are solely responsible for your own life and attitudes, you can work towards mastering the control you need to gain the confidence you seek. How you ask? Make the decision to be better for yourself, your mental state, and the overall outcomes of your life. You are in the driver seat deciding where you want to go. Take yourself on the path of positivity towards achieving all that you have ever wanted.

Practice Self Care

The next step I recommend is to treat yourself – if you feel good you people will be able to tell. I want you to think about times when you are eating bad, not sleeping properly, loafting around on the couch for hours or days, etc. and the impact those actions have on how you feel about yourself. There is nothing wrong with any of these scenarios, provided that you are willing to own it.

This is me. This is who I am. This is how I love to look/act/feel/behave

Remember, this is YOUR life not anyone else’s so forget other’s negative opinions and appreciate yourself in all of your glory. Think about what you have to offer the world, and encourage yourself to showcase it. You should never say anything to yourself that you wouldn’t say to someone else. Positive self-talk is integral to your success on your journey to radiating confidence.

Flip The Negativity

Throughout your life, as you have likely already concluded, people will intentionally try to tear you down. The reality of the matter is that in 99% of cases, this negativity is really just a projection of their own insecurities. So, rather than allowing it to affect you, perhaps take a moment to evaluate where they are at and coming from. Recognize that most likely what they are saying isn’t actually true.

What is it within you that they are envious of in you? Cherish that.

Disappointment is either going to fuel you or destroy, you get to choose. When something doesn’t go your way and is making you feel insecure do what you need to change it your mind.. what did I learn? What can I do next time to get what I want? By exuding the control in these situations you naturally begin to feel more confident in these decisions

Celebrate the Small Wins

Disappointment is either going to fuel you or destroy, you get to choose. When something doesn’t go your way and is making you feel insecure do what you need to change it your mind. What did you learn, and what can you do next time to get what you want? By exuding the control in these situations you naturally begin to feel more confident in these decisions. Rejection is hard at times and it can hurt  pretty bad. Sometimes it feels as though no matter what you will never be enough, but I can promise you that the more you try, the more opportunities you will find, and the more risks you take; the greater the rewards and the more confident you will feel.

We live in an anti-ego world, but its okay to be happy when you are succeeding. There is absolutely no shame in doing good. When you are proud of something you have done – own it – and do the same for others. Encouraging and recognizing each other for even the smallest things can have a much larger impact that you would expect.

I want you to think of something you are good at – music, telling jokes, lifting weights, cooking, doing makeup – whatever it is, hold on to it. Having confidence in one aspect of your life will provide the validation you need to try things outside your comfort zone and discover new areas in which you can grow your confidence.

Your story is not over yet, it is up to you. The more effort and practice you put into life and building your confidence the better results you will achieve.

 

How to Care Less

Focus On What Serves You

Whether you realize it or not, you get to choose each and every day what it is that you care about. This decision is based on what your priorities are at that time.  You may think that caring about nothing is the easiest most effortless thing you can do, but caring about nothing is still a choice – a choice not to care at all.

This week I am discussing how to care less about the things holding you back from caring about what it is that will serve you. As always, the audio version of this post is available on iTunes, SoundCloud, or Google Play.

1. Determine Your Values

Think of something you want.

A six pack? More money? A different job?

Now, dig past that first layer.

What will you have to de-prioritize in order to bring those things to fruition? (i.e. what will you be giving up in order to get what you want, and is it going to be worth it?)

Happiness is typically not found in trivial things. So maybe,achieving those surface level things won’t make you happy after all. Instead think about the actions that it took to get you there. What did you have to do to be able to achieve that goal, and was it the action itself that made you most happy? Perhaps.

Most humans need meaning and purpose to feel fulfilled, not superficial results. So, determine what it is on deeper level that will bring you happiness. Is it: Integrity? Dedication? Stability? Transparency? It’s yours to decide.

2. Find Your OWN Balance

Balance sounds great in theory, but it doesn’t mean the same thing for every person. My life is different than yours, therefore my balance looks different than yours. Balance is determined by your priorities; figure out where you want to focus your time, and how you can work towards fitting that into your life.

The point of focusing on balance is to exude your energy into activities that actually give you joy and fulfillment as much as possible. Care more about what serves you and less about things that drain your energy.

3. Be Honest With Yourself

Up until this point in time, most of us have spent a large majority of our time basing our lives and decisions on the guidance of our parents. Our values of our younger years were largely influenced by those who raised us. The difficulty comes as adults, when we begin to question and realize that perhaps we no longer hold the same perspective.

The hardest times come when we have to honestly look at our decisions and think “Do I actually care about this, or it only because [society] [my parents] [my peers] [etc] told me I do?”. It’s okay to be afraid to make a change in your life out of fear of how people will react. What is not okay is to because complacent and accepting of your unhappy state. By caring too much about what others think, we are hindering are own ability to determine what it is that we actually care about. Be honest, be open, and be willing to change; you are your own largest road block on the pathway to success.

Figure out what you want, how you’re going to get there, and what you need to forget about along the way. Care less, and achieve so much more.

How to Change Your Trajectory

Creating New Opportunities

As humans we are always constantly changing and desiring change. We envy others and always dream of ways in which our lives could be different. Maybe you aren’t satisfied with the circumstances you are in, or perhaps you are merely wanting to continue to grow and develop as your best possible self; either way, these 3 tips will aid you in that process.

The one path that will never get you anywhere different is the one we most commonly take and that is the path of doing nothing at all. You don’t have enough time to be mediocre in your life. It’s painful and it’s pointless so, if it is change you seek then it is change you must create. As always, the audio version of this post is available on iTunes, Google Play, or SoundCloud.

1. Determine Your Limitations

Stop for a minute and think to yourself about what it is exactly that is stopping you from getting what you want. It may be your job, your living situation, or your finances; all of which can make it hard for you to make drastic changes in your life. However, often it is yourself that serves as your biggest limitation. Self-doubt can be detrimental to our growth. Fear can be crippling, making us unable or unwilling to pursue unfamiliar and new opportunities.

Once you’ve taken the time to determine what factors are limiting you, figure out which of those are within your control. While some situations we cannot change (i.e. death in the family, a bad break up, etc), most instances have elements that we can adjust to suit our needs. We may not be able to change what has happened, but we can decide to move forward despite it.

Don’t allow your circumstances to let you fall back. Use the dark times to learn and always fall forward onto the next best thing.

2. Re-Evaluate Your Circumstances

If you are in a situation that is making you unhappy or unsatisfied, re-evaluate how you got there. Think about any elements or decisions you made along the way that were perhaps chosen because other options were overlooked. Look at what isn’t working, and what it is that you are not doing to determine what the void is that you need to fill.

Pursuing these unique opportunities is rare because it is scary and uncomfortable; the outcome is unknown. Few people are willing to pursue the unknown, and would rather stick with what is “safe” mainly for fear of rejection, judgement, or some other useless excuse. Forget the fear, and pursue whatever it is that is going to make you happy.

If you are unsure of where it is you need to start making changes, ASK SOMEONE. Being curious is the first step in personal growth. Curiousity is the desire to understand and to try and push the envelope – it is what drives change. Gain perspectives (new and old) and try to take away as many important lessons as possible that you can apply in your own life.

3. Get Uncomfortable

I can guarantee you that you won’t get anywhere new by practicing the same old strategies. Always going to the same places, working the same job, interacting with the same people, but expecting things to change/improve is not a realistic outlook on your situation. Results will not change if you do not alter the actions creating them.

If you don’t like something in your life, change it. If you want to try something new, just try it. Not only are you your own largest limitation, you are also the only one who can do anything about it.

Finding success is about making the decision to not do nothing. We have been brainwashed to think that doing nothing is safe, and once you realize that the safest thing you can do actually feels the most risky, the sky is the limit.

Have the courage to challenge the status quo, defy limitations, find your purpose, and serve it.

How To Handle Rejection

Handling Rejection

So, you got rejected. It hurts right? Really sucks? Feels not so great? Jobs. Relationships. Everything else that got away. We have all been there. Rejection isn’t easy, but it certainly doesn’t have to be as difficult as we often make it out to be. The way in which you respond to it can determine your future. Are you going to allow it to hold you back, or will you utilize the chance to grow stronger, more resilient, and better prepared the next time?

As always, you can find the audio version of this post on iTunes, SoundCloud, or Google Play.

1. Reframe the Rejection

The easiest thing you can do when faced with rejection is to slip into the “I’m so stupid” mentality.  Approaching your defeat with this attitude is only going to hold you down. If you aren’t there to lift yourself up,  no one else will be either. It’s important in these times, to reaffirm the efforts you have made and remember, “I pushed myself to my limits”. By exercising this compassion you can begin to see the new possibilities provided by this misfortune.

2. Do Not Let It Define Your Limitations

A single case of rejection (or perhaps more than one) is not indicative of the end. Not getting the job you wanted, or being rejected by the one you ‘love’ does not discredit who you are as a person or the skills and attributes you have to offer the world. It is not the end.

Remember, one incident or individual is not reflective of all that you have and are.

3. Seek the Learning Opportunity

Rejection doesn’t have to be the end. In fact, rejection can serve as a humbling experience because it reminds you that you don’t know/have everything. With the right mindset, rejection can serve as an opportunity for motivation to do and be better.

Yes. You lost opportunity x or person y,  but what did you learn? What can you do differently next time? And what is it that you want?

Rejection is hard and it hurts, but it’s certainly not the end. Revaluate, appreciate, and always persevere.

How To Take Control of Your Life

CONTROL AND ACHIEVING RESPONSIBILITY

When was the last time you found yourself thinking about your current situation in life, and how making just one different decision in your past would’ve have changed the course of everything for the better? Perhaps if you had or had not of done that one thing, absolutely everything would be totally different. Maybe if you could have had more time, better support, or different resources things would have worked out how you wanted them to. These thoughts are destructive, and it’s finally time to stop and take control.

People tend to live as though their past controls their future, but this is only true if you allow it to be. Your memories of past events are biased, leaving you with feelings towards those situations that are distorted and often times, unresourceful. By learning to own the fact that you are in control of the decisions you have made and will make in your life, you are one step closer to achieving your desired outcomes.

As always the audio version of this post can be found on iTunes, Google Play, or SoundCloud.

1. Quit Passing the Blame and Let Go

All too often we don’t want to own up to the mistakes that we have made in the past. We blame other people, our previous circumstances, and our surroundings for not achieving the results we wanted. Not only is this tendency unattractive to others when trying to gain their support, but it also prevents us from altering our decision making process and impedes us from getting the results we want.

I want you to think of a time when something didn’t go your way. Did blaming someone/something else change that? Nope, definitely not. What can YOU do differently next time to alter your outcome?

We are in control of our own decisions. By learning to liberate ourselves from the decisions of the past (both our own and those of others) we can achieve so much more clarity on the path to being successful. Always reflect on what you have learned, and move forward knowing how you can be better. Do not worry about the others.

2. Learn to Accept and Take Care of Yourself

When you learn how to take 100% responsibility for things you want and the work you put into achieving them, you will begin to naturally attract the support of others without them being the ones in control.

We are all human, each respectively with our own flaws. By learning to accept our faults, and working towards being better each and every day we will find that the sense of control we feel in our day-to-day actions will naturally strengthen.

Continuously seek to develop traits that will aid in the process of getting what you want and nurture those characteristics as they develop. Reward yourself for your successes, but do not punish yourself for mis-steps; it is all part of the journey. In order to feel good you need to reassure yourself that you are doing good, so be sure to evaluate along the way and recognize your achievements – no matter how small.

3. Establish Your Priorities and Always Think Forward

If you feel like you are constantly at war with a never ending to-do list perhaps it is time to stop and assess how you got there. Don’t be afraid to turn away new opportunities that do not contribute to your overall end game. The end goal here is progress, if your actions are not contributing to your progress then why are you participating in them? Rid your time of useless activities.

Further to the idea that you should not waste your time on things not contributing to your overall success, it is important to recognize that you also aren’t going to do something you don’t believe is possible. If you tell yourself you can’t do something, then chances are you won’t. After all, why would you try to do something that your brain thinks you are incapable of doing? Prioritize your success, and work towards the end goal here. Think of the tools and actions you need to get there, and determine how you can and will get and do those things. Don’t be afraid to give it your all – even in unfamiliar territory.

Quit the “No’s” – Love Yourself – Strive Towards Success