INSPIRATIONAL

  • Those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.

    When you’re feeling insecure, you typically don’t notice the hundreds of people around you who accept you just the way you are. All you notice are the few who don’t.

    In what way is the fear of rejection holding you back? How would your life be different if you didn’t (subconsciously) care what everyone thought about you?

    To answer these questions, we must understand that the vast majority of our fears and anxieties amount to one thing: Loss.

    We fear:

    • Losing our youth.
    • Losing our social status.
    • Losing our money.
    • Losing control.
    • Losing our comfort.
    • Losing our life.

    We also fear, perhaps more than anything else, being rejected by others. This kind of fear is widespread and debilitating if left unaddressed. Why is this fear so deeply entrenched in us? In ancient tribal times, being rejected from the safety of the community could have meant death. So it’s no wonder, really, that we want to be accepted by others.

    Fear is an instinctual human emotion designed to keep us aware and safe – like the headlights on a car clearly illuminating the twists and turns on the road ahead. But too much fear, like high beams blinding us on a dark, foggy road, can cause the loss of the very thing we feared losing in the first place.

    This is especially true when it comes to fear of rejection

    Do you look for acceptance and reassurance from others?

    If so, you now know you’re not alone.  And what I’ve learned over the years is this: Constantly seeking acceptance and reassurance from other people is a dead end journey. These things can only be found within you, not from others. Because any look, word, or reaction from someone else can be warped and misinterpreted.

    In this post I want to share some tips that helped me feel self-assured, and eventually allowed me to overcome my fear of rejection and my relentless tenancy to worry about what everyone thought of me…

    1. Realize that fear itself is the real enemy.

    Franklin D. Roosevelt so profoundly said, “Only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” Nothing could be closer to the truth. This is especially true as it relates to self-fulfilling prophecies.

    A self-fulfilling prophecy is a false belief about a situation that motivates the person with the belief to take actions that cause the belief to come true. This kind of thinking often kills opportunities and tears relationships apart. For instance, you might wrongly believe that a group of people will reject you, so you become defensive, anxious, and perhaps even hostile with them. Eventually, your behavior brings about the feared rejection, which wasn’t there to begin with. And then you, ‘the prophet,’ feels that you were right from the very beginning: “I knew they didn’t like me!”

    Do you see how this works? Look carefully at your own tendencies. How do your fears and beliefs about possible rejection influence your behavior toward others? Take a stand. Instead of letting fear show you what might be wrong in your relationships, start looking for signs of what might be right.

    2. Let go of your “end of the world” thinking.

    All variations of fear, including the fear of rejection, thrive on “end of the world” thinking. In other words, our emotions convince us that an undesirable outcome results in annihilation.

    • What if they don’t like me?
    • What if he rejects me?
    • What if I don’t fit in and I’m left sitting alone at the party?

    None of these things result in the “end of the world,” but if we convince ourselves that they do, we will irrationally fear these outcomes and give our fears control over us. The truth is, we – human beings – are inefficient at accurately predicting how future misfortune will make us feel. In fact, most of the time we avoid consciously thinking about it all together, which only perpetuates our subconscious fears.

    So ask yourself: “If disaster should strike, and my fear of being rejected comes true, what are three constructive ways I could cope and move forward with my life?” Sit down and tell yourself a story (write it down too if it helps) about how you will feel after rejection, how you will allow yourself to be upset for a short while, and then how you will begin the process of growing from the experience and moving on. Just doing this exercise will help you feel less fear around the possibility of rejection.

    3. Question what “rejection” really means.

    If a person discovers a 200 carat white diamond in the earth but, due to ignorance, believes it to be worthless, and thus tosses it aside, does this tell us more about the diamond or the person? Along the same lines, when one person rejects another, it reveals a lot more about the ‘rejecter’ than the ‘rejected.’ All you are really seeing is the often shortsighted opinion of one person. Consider the following…

    If J.K. Rowling stopped after being rejected by multiple publishers for years, there would be no Harry Potter. If Howard Schultz gave up after being turned down by banks 200+ times, there would be no Starbucks. If Walt Disney quit too soon after his theme park concept was trashed by 300+ investors, there would be no Disney World.

    One thing is for sure: If you give too much power to the opinions of others, you will become their prisoner. So never let someone’s opinion alter your reality. Never sacrifice who you are, or who you aspire to be, just because someone else has a problem with it. Love who you are inside and out, and keep pushing forward. No one else has the power to make you feel small unless you give them that power. And when someone rejects you, don’t inevitably feel it’s because you’re unworthy or unlovable. Because, in many ways, all they’ve really done is give you feedback about their own shortsightedness.

    4. Let your presence overpower your fear.

    Ever noticed how people who are struggling with emotional challenges tend to tell you how they don’t want to feel? Fair enough, but at some point we all need to focus on how we DO want to feel.

    When you’re in a social situation that’s making you anxious, forget what you don’t want to feel for a moment. Work out how you DO want to feel right now in the present moment. Train yourself to live right here, right now without regretting how others once made you feel, or fearing the possibility of future judgment.

    This is YOUR choice. You CAN change the way you think.

    If you were delivering life-saving mouth-to-mouth resuscitation on your mother in public, you’d be 100% focused and present. You wouldn’t be thinking about what bystanders thought of your hair, your body type, or the brand of jeans you were wearing. All these inconsequential details would vanish from your consciousness. The intensity of the situation would motivate you to choose not to care about what others might be thinking of you. This proves, quite simply, that thinking about what others are thinking about you is YOUR CHOICE.

    5. Let go of your need to always be right.

    The reason your fear of rejection sometimes gets the best of you is because a part of you believes you’re always right. If you think someone doesn’t like you, then surely they don’t. Right? WRONG!

    People who never learn to question their emotions, especially when they’re feeling worrisome or anxious, make life much more difficult than it has to be.

    If your perception is always so accurate, why do you make so many mistakes? Exactly! It’s time to let go a little. Being more confident in life partly means being OK with not knowing what’s going to happen, so you can relax and allow things to play out naturally. Relaxing with ‘not knowing’ is the key to confidence in relationships and peace in life.

    So here’s a new mantra for you ... say it, and then say it again: “This is my life, my choices, my mistakes and my lessons. I have nothing to prove. And as long as I’m not hurting people, I need not worry what they think of me.”

    6. Embrace and enjoy your individuality.

    Constantly seeking approval means we’re perpetually worried that others are forming negative judgments of us. This steals the fun, ingenuity, and spontaneity from our lives. Flip the switch on this habit. If you’re lucky enough to have something that makes you different from everybody else, don’t be ashamed and don’t change. Uniqueness is priceless. In this crazy world that’s trying to make you like everyone else, find the courage to keep being your remarkable self. And if they laugh at you for being different, laugh back at them for being the same.

    It takes a lot of courage to stand alone, but it’s worth it. Being unapologetically YOU is worth it! Your real friends in life will reveal themselves slowly – they’re the ones who truly know you and love you just the same.

    Bottom line: Don’t change so people will like you; be yourself and the right people will love the real you. 

    7. Use rejection as a priceless growth opportunity.

    As soon as someone critiques and criticizes you, as soon as you are rejected, you might find yourself thinking, “Well, that proves once again that I am not worthy.” What you need to realize is, these other people are NOT worthy of YOU and your particular journey. Rejection is necessary medicine; it teaches you how to reject relationships and opportunities that aren’t going to work, so you can quickly find new ones that will. It doesn’t mean you aren’t good enough; it just means someone else failed to notice what you have to offer. Which means you now have more time to improve yourself and explore your options.

    “Will you be bitter for a moment? Absolutely. Hurt? Of course, you’re human. There isn’t a soul on this planet that doesn’t feel a small fraction of their heartbreak at the awareness of rejection. For a short time afterwards you will ask yourself every question you can think of…

    • What did I do wrong?
    • Why didn’t they like me?
    • How come?

    But then you have to let your emotions fuel you! This is the important part. Let your feelings of rejection drive you, feed you, and inspire one heck of a powerful opening to the next chapter of your story.

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  • Saying yes to happiness means learning to say no to the desires that drain you.

     

     

    They say a person needs just three things to be truly happy in this world: someone to love, something to do, and something to hope for.  I don’t think anything could be closer to the truth, and yet all too often we find ways of complicating things for ourselves.  We look for happiness where it does not exist .... in shallow goals and desires ... in possessions, quick thrills, and impressing the wrong people.

    So say it out loud with me:

    “To be happier, I do NOT need…”

    1. To please everyone – Be careful not to give so much of yourself to others that you end up completely losing yourself.  When you go around pleasing everyone but yourself, you are the one that gets hurt in the end.  The late and great Herbert Bayard Swope said it like this: “I don’t know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody.”  That is spot on advice if you ask me.  Because truthfully, you are never going to please everyone anyway.  At some point you will hold an unpopular opinion – one that gives you meaning and makes you feel alive.  And when you do, you ought to hold on tight, tune out the noise, and make it count.
    2. Everything to be easy – You have to do hard things to be happy in life.  The things no one else is doing.  The things that frighten you.  The things others can’t do for you.  The things that make you question how much longer you can hold on and push forward.  Because those are the things that define you.  Those are the things that make the difference between existing and living – between knowing the path and walking the path – between a life of mediocrity and a life filled with happiness and success.
    3. Certainty and guarantees – Some people build too many walls in their lives and not enough bridges.  It sounds crazy, but they would rather be certain they’re miserable, than risk being happy.  Don’t be one of them.  Open yourself up.  Take chances.  Run free.  To accomplish amazing things, you must not only act, but also dream, not only plan, but also believe.  Be a dreamer, a believer, and a courageous and cheerful thinker.  Be a positive motivator, a productive doer, and a go-getter who keeps her head in the clouds and her feet on the ground.  Let the spirit of passion and possibility ignite a fire within you to do something worthwhile today and every day, and don’t forget to spread your enthusiasm to those around you.  
    4. To be better than others – The size of our universe shrinks dramatically when we place ourselves at the center – when we think everyone is our competition – when we think we have to be richer, smarter, and more attractive than the person sitting next to us.  Such a goal just keeps a person alienated and tirelessly running in place.  Now, on the flipside, take someone who doesn’t keep score, who’s not looking to be richer, or smarter, or more attractive, who has not the slightest interest even in being better than anyone else: she’s free.  Bottom line: Compete with yourself only.
    5. More control over everything and everyone – Sometimes we put too much interest into trying to control every tiny aspect of our lives.  Learn to relax and ride the path that life takes you sometimes.  Incredible change will happen in your life when you decide to take control of what you do have power over instead of craving control over what you do not.  Freeing yourself from trying to control the insignificant and uncontrollable things lets you experience more of the goodness around you.  In fact, the greatest joys are often the unexpected surprises that arrive when you are flexible and open to life’s twists and turns.
    6. Immense moments of glory – Graduations, wedding days, lavish vacations – these times are often fun-filled and deeply celebrated, but these times pass, because time passes.  This is something we rarely grasp at first.  True, lasting happiness is found in the appreciation of all the small things.  For me, there are random moments – making a beat, coming home to my wife and children, playing chess with my sons, standing in the kitchen watching my wife cook, hearing a giggle from my sons who’s playing PS4 in the other room.
    7. Relationships that are “supposed to” provide happiness – Relationships are essential, but happiness originates from within.  It is not dependent on external validation or on other people.  You become vulnerable and can be easily hurt when your feelings of security and happiness depend entirely on the behavior and actions of others.  Keep this in mind.  Never give all your power to anyone else.  Until you make complete peace with who you are, you’ll never be content with what you have or who you’re with.  Learn to love and respect yourself first, before loving the idea of other people loving and respecting you.
    8. Perfect harmony in all relationships at all times – Harmony in relationships is nice when it’s sincere, but too often we try to fake it.  Effective communication is king.  You have to talk it out sometimes.  After all, the only way to be happy in life is to live with integrity.  This means: Not settling for less than what you know you deserve in your relationships.  Being clear and asking for what you want and need from others.  Speaking your truth, even though it might create occasional tension.  Behaving in ways that are in agreement with your personal values.  Making choices based on what you believe, and not just what others believe. 
    9. A superior time and place – The reason many people find it so hard to be happy is that they always see the past better than it was, the present worse than it is, and the future less resolved than it will be.  The key, of course, is to do the opposite.  Appreciate your past without reliving it, handle your present with confidence, and face your future without fear.  Life is simply too short to spend at war with yourself.  Letting go of the past and future is your first step to happiness and peace in the present.  Realize that you are today where your thoughts and actions have brought you; you will be tomorrow where your thoughts and actions today take you.  Bottom line: You can’t stop the future.  You can’t rewind the past.  The only way to live is to press play, and Rap over the beat.
    10. Happiness 24/7 – Absolutely no one is happy all of the time.  Because you simply can’t be happy unless you’re unhappy sometimes.  This is a harsh truth, I know.  Just keep in mind that it’s perfectly normal to experience considerable fluctuations in your level of happiness from day to day, month to month, and even year to year.  Believing and expecting otherwise will only lead to disillusionment.  But even when life is less than blissful, you are still in charge of how you respond.  The greatest act of faith some days is to simply get up and face the day, with a smile.

     

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  • 25 season to keep your life more simple

     

     

     

    Some lessons I’ve learned about living a simpler life:

     

    1.    A simpler life is about subtracting the obvious and adding the meaningful. Thus, you are wealthy in proportion to the number of unnecessary things you can afford to live without.

     

    2.    Simplifying is not merely seeing how little you can get by with, but how efficiently you can put first things first, and use your time accordingly to pursue the things that make a difference and mean the most to you.

     

    3.    Besides the art of getting things done, there is the often-forgotten art of leaving things undone. The simplicity and efficiency of life relies heavily on the elimination of non-essentials.

     

    4.    Overcommitting is the biggest mistake most people make against living a simpler life. It’s tempting to fill in every waking minute of the day with to-do list tasks or distractions. Don’t do this to yourself. Leave space.

     

    5.    Just because you can doesn’t mean you should. There are so many activities that sound fun and exciting. We check Facebook, Instagram or Snapchat and see what others are doing and immediately want to add these things to our lives. But before you let these new ideas get the best of you, remember that by adding too many things to your life, you are subtracting space. And that space is vital to focusing on what matters most.

     

    6.    Distractions are both more tempting and more damaging than we realize. When we fill our lives with distractions, its often because we’re scared of what life might be like without constant social media, TV, video games, snacks, chats, music, etc. Don’t numb yourself with noise. Don’t let distractions hold you back. Control your distractions before your distractions control you.

     

    7.    You can’t live a simpler life if you’re unwilling to change and let go of what you are used to.

     

    8.    Priorities don’t get done automatically. You have to make time for what’s important to you: time with your significant other, time with your kids, time for creating, time for learning, time for exercise, etc. Push everything else aside to make time. By saying no to more things that sound really exciting, you get to say yes to more of what’s truly important.

     

    9.    Rising earlier helps. A quiet, unrushed morning routine is a gift to treasure. (I awake early so that I have quiet time to read, write, and practice a gratitude meditation.)

     

    10. Letting go of old routines and habits and building new ones can be hard, but it’s easier if you do a 30-day challenge. Let go of something for 30 days and see how it affects your life. (Letting go of sky TV was one of the best decisions I made a few years back...no more continuous, distracting noise in our home, and no more advertisements for stuff we don’t need.)

     

    11. Buying more stuff doesn’t solve our problems. Neither does more snack food or another TV program.

     

    12. Shopping isn’t a hobby, and it certainly isn’t therapy. It’s a waste of time and money, and inevitably leads to a cluttered life.

     

    13. When we travel lightly, we’re freer, less burdened, and less stressed. This applies to traveling through life too, not just traveling through an airport.

     

    14. It’s not how many, or how few, things we own that matters. It’s whether we make those things count. Thus, it’s better to have three good books on your bookshelf that you’re actually going to read rather than 300 you never get around to.

     

    15. Decluttering your physical space can lead to a less cluttered mental space. These visual distractions pull on us and distract us in more ways than we often realize. Overthinking is one of the most rampant sources of stress and mental clutter. The key is to realize that the problem is not the problem. The problem is the incredible amount of overthinking you’re doing with the problem. Let it go and be free.

     

    16. Positivity always pays off in simplifying outcomes. So before you waste it on anger, resentment, spite or envy, think of how precious and irreplaceable your time is.

     

    17. Stay out of other people’s drama. And don’t needlessly create your own.

     

    18. A simpler, more positive mindset can be created anytime and anyplace with a change in thinking. Because frustration and stress come from the way you react, not the way things are. Adjust your attitude, and the frustration and stress evaporates.

     

    19. The simplest secret to happiness and peace in the present is letting every circumstance be what it is, instead of what you think it should be, and making the best of it.

     

    20. Gratitude always makes life easier to deal with. Because happiness comes easier when you stop complaining about your problems and you start being grateful for all the problems you don’t have.

     

    21. Make mistakes, learn from them, laugh about them, and move along. Waste not a minute on outcomes you can’t control.

     

    22. There is a huge amount of freedom that comes to you when you take nothing personally. The truth...your truth....is always the simplest path forward. If you listen closely to your intuition you will always know what is best for you, because what is best for you is what is true for you.

     

    23. The feeling you get from doing something important (and true) is far better and less stressful than the feeling you get from sitting around wishing you were doing it.

     

     

     

     

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  • Relationship Conflict

     

    Committed relationships have absolutely nothing to do with perfection, Nor do they have one thing to do with expectations. Honestly, we should expect the unexpected. Life has a fantastic way of forcing us to change. This is great, because we should never want to be who we were when we entered the relationship. However, learning to adapt to the new person requires one to adjust to a new normal. When I mention new normal on my facebook page, it sparks interest and great conversation.

    It is important to self-evaluate, and identify who you are and where you are in your life. This helps you to figure why you are doing what you’re doing, and reacting to situations. I find that this experience simply puts things into perspective. I shut the heck up and allow the wife to speak, I accept when I am wrong, I am totally honest about how I feel and I get it out and move on. I wasn’t always able to do this. Like many, entering a relationship, I figured, happy wife happy life, things would work themselves out, we love each other so life would be magnificent. Nope, that is not how it works at all.

    There are characteristics that I loved about the wife as a 25 year old that drives me insane now. There are things that she does now that she never did that I absolutely love! A lot of this is because we have changed, matured, changed locations, friends, etc. So instead of me losing it, I’ve just learned to adjust, fall in love with the new and out of love with the old. (Create a New Normal!)

    When I chat with divorced couples that are now best friends, the first thing that I ask is how did you manage to get so close? Many times, they’ve replied I just accept him or her for who they are and we just don’t make a big deal out of anything. I get so excited that I have to spodd them!!! None of us are perfect. Evolution is inevitable! We will constantly be changing and so will the love we have for each other. It is totally okay to fall out of love with something. It doesn’t mean you no longer love your partner. It simply means you should prepare for a shift in the relationship and communicate about how the change/s make you feel.

    Lastly, ignore the saying that a relationship is work. Two imperfect people make up a relationship and they are the WORK! Define your issue and be real with yourself. The key is to create a more refined self to enhance the quality of your relationship.

    The key to coping with conflict is thought. Before lashing out or seething in painful silence when negative emotions rear up between you, remember this.....although a couple, you are still two people, individuals with often differing ideas and ways of doing things.

    When you first got to know each other, you were delighted to discover all the many things you have in common and you found you were so amazingly compatible you could easily, you hoped, live together in harmony. You probably didn’t foresee much conflict, if any. But, after the honeymoon months or years, like most couples you will have lost that in-love habit of slotting easily into agreement. You remembered you both have strong wills of your own and wanted to have your will again, most or at least a good part of the time.

    So some conflict is natural. The Secret of its peaceful presence in a happy relationship. Your happy relationship is about dealing positively and constructively with the conflict between you when the natural wish of each of you for individual autonomy clashes.

    The first step is recognizing it and not feeling guilty about it or about the plethora of emotions that have suddenly engulfed you. They are natural, too, in your insistence on being your natural selves individuals.

    Once you register this – and doing so is a habit you can choose to adopt and it only takes a nanosecond. you are in the strong, centred position of knowing what’s going on. Now you will find you can shake off the negative feelings undermining your serenity and move forwards in clarity to use your common sense, love and all-round intelligence to find the best way to deal with the dispute.

    It could be a matter of finding a resolution that suits you both or deciding on the best decision to go with in the circumstances. Talking it through may well find one or both of you changing your opinion and seeing there is perhaps another better way. So willingness to listen to each other as you state your case calmly and without rancour is key. As is a willingness to let go of pre-held conceptions when they are not apt or beneficial to this particular situation.

    And always remember..... willingness to accept each other’s right to their views and to take turns at decision making is vital too.

     

     

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  • Look up at the stars and not down at your feet

    Do you want a rewarding life?  Then be curious.  The more curious you are, the more possibilities you will open throughout your lifetime.  Open your eyes and look around.  How many blind assumptions have you made?  What do you want to know more about?

    Here are 10 good reasons why you should unleash your curiosity:

    1. You Will Clarify Yourself – Curiosity allows you to shed light on your troubles, thoughts, and personal circumstances.  It motivates you to uncover the truth about the nuances of your life.  When curiosity is properly honed, it serves as a vehicle for establishing personal goals.
    2. You Will Uncover the Truth – All that seems obvious in life is not necessarily true.  A curious person doesn’t just take someone’s word for it; they discover the truth for themselves.  The curious dig deep into the details, and when they finish their detective work, they don’t only know “what” or “when”, they know “how” and “why”.
    3. You Will Release Your Inner Child – Children are curious.  They are like an empty canvas, waiting to be filled with knowledge and experiences.  They don’t have predetermined expectations fogging their judgment.  Children absorb the world around with an open mind driven by sheer curiosity.  Curiosity can help open your mind too.
    4. You Will Experience Something Fresh – New experiences are one of the most exciting acts of living.  They simulate your mind and free your creative emotion, thus liberating your thoughts from the tension of a daily routine.  Be curious, be daring, be alive!  Go discover something fresh.
    5. You Will Increase Your Productivity – A curious mind dives beneath the surface of common acceptance to unravel the details driving the process.  The more you comprehend the details, the better you will understand the process.  Thus, the more productive you will be.
    6. You Will Learn More Often – When your curiosity steers you into the unknown you will return with a greater wealth of knowledge.  You will stretch the boundaries of your mind.  The more you learn, the more you will want to know.  Every new awareness will lead you to another stimulating challenge.
    7. You Will Become More Efficient – Curious people look at a challenge from multiple angles.  They discover alternative ways of accomplishing the same task.  The greater the pool of possible solutions, the more likely it is that they will expose a better way to get things done.
    8. You Will Experience a Spice of Variety – Variety is the spice of life, at least that’s what the curious folks understand.  There is nothing more boring than repetition.  When you allow your curiosity to send you in new directions you add variety into your life.  This could be as simple as eating at a new restaurant or taking a new route to work.  Don’t confine yourself, go explore.
    9. You Will Be More Positive – It is much easier to be negative about something than it is to be positive.  If you don’t understand something, or it is unusual to your senses, it’s easy to write it off as being useless or dumb.  Only when you truly understand something will you be able to appreciate it.  Human beings tend to be more positive toward the things they understand.  Curiosity naturally broadens a person’s horizons, and thus their understanding of the things around them.
    10. You Will Establish New Relationships – Your curiosity will lead you down roads you would otherwise not have travelled.  On occasion you will almost certainly want to stop and look around.  You never know, you may bump into someone you have a lot in common with.
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